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National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 31, 2015

Does the rise of brash speaking candidates like Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders suggest a new, more potent level of anger among the American electorate? An anger that has reached a tipping point and threatens to truly upend the system. Or are we seeing echoes of previously angry electorates that produced (ultimately unsuccessful) candidates like Howard Dean, Ross Perot and Pat Buchanan?

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 31, 2015

The job of a political analyst is to have a theory of what is happening and why, and what will happen and why. But an analyst also has the responsibility to ask: Am I right? Are things changing? Have there been events or circumstances that alter what was expected to happen? Has an inflection point been reached? And, if the current theory isn't going to play out, what will?

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 28, 2015

With Donald Trump dominating the headlines and cable-news shows, it's easy to get caught up in the machinations of the unfolding 2016 presidential campaign and lose sight of the stakes—which are even higher than a lot of people appreciate.

House Overview|By David Wasserman and Amy Walter, July 24, 2015

Nearly two years ago, House Speaker John Boehner faced an insurrection from the right flank of his party that forced a government shutdown and nearly cost him his job. This year, the governing environment has measurably detoxified, making passage of perpetually vexing items such as a long-term fix to Medicare physician reimbursement rates possible. Boehner's road ahead today looks less steep...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 24, 2015

It was inevitable: If given enough rope, Donald Trump would hang himself.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 23, 2015

Let's face it, Donald Trump's campaign is going to be like a tire with a bad leak: The car will go on for a while, but losing speed and increasingly wobbling, so this vehicle is not likely to make it to the finish line at the Cleveland convention. It would be a serious mistake to ignore Trump's supporters and the views they represent, but the actual candidate has real troubles. Before too long,...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, July 23, 2015

A lot of conventional wisdom floating out there about 2016 is grounded more in opinion and assumption than in facts or data. And, as your teacher or mom may have taught you, "assumption makes an A.S.S. out of you and me." Here are some of the most prevalent and pervasive assumptions about the nascent 2016 campaign.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, July 21, 2015

The situation in which Republican voters find themselves these days is looking more and more like the experience of someone visiting a Baskin-Robbins. Walking into the ice-cream shop, one is immediately overwhelmed by the choices afforded by 31 flavors, but delight soon sets in. One starts off with a large number of options to consider, narrows it down to a handful, and maybe samples a few...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, July 20, 2015

Projecting total political ad spending on television is where Main Street politicking meets Wall Street finance. As noted in this space before, after retransmission fees, broadcasters count on political advertising as their second biggest source of incremental new revenue. Cable companies eye political as a similarly important source of cash. This is why Wall Street analysts have begun...

  • In 2014, a good political environment, a weakened Democratic President and several open Democratic-held seats in red states combined to give Senate Republicans a nine-seat gain and the majority. In 2016, the tables are turned. Republicans will defend 24 seats to just 10 for Democrats. Of those 24 seats, President Obama carried the states of five of them in 2012 by at least five points, and carried two more by one and three points. Neither party has been helped by open seats, particularly compared to the last three cycles. Democrats need five seats – or four if they retain the White House – to take back the majority. Wth two weeks before Election Day, Democrats appear to be on track to pick up between four and six seats.

  • The 2016 election resulted in a House breakdown of 240 Republicans and 194 Democrats, with one Louisiana seat headed to a December 10 runoff that is very likely to be won by a Republican. Democrats scored a net gain of six seats, a disappointing result for a party that had hoped to pick up more than 15 and cut the GOP's majority in half. Democrats' best hope for a majority in 2018 would be an unpopular President Donald Trump. But given Republicans' redistricting advantages and how well sorted-out the House has become, it could still be very difficult for Democrats to pick up the 24 seats they would need.

  • The 2016 cycle will host 12 gubernatorial contests, including the special election in Oregon. Democrats are defending eight seats to four for Republicans. The marquis contests will be the Democratic-held open seats in Missouri, New Hampshire and West Virginia, and in North Carolina where GOP Gov. Pat McCrory is seeking a second term. With so few seats on the ballot, neither party is likely to make significant gains or sustain big losses.

Wisconsin  |  District 08  |  Ribble (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 24  |  Katko (R)

Lean R
Likely R

New York  |  District 22  |  Hanna (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New York  |  District 03  |  Israel (D)

Likely D
Lean D

New York  |  District 01  |  Zeldin (R)

Lean R
Likely R

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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Two Special Elections Add Suspense to Midterms

April 25, 2017

Two con­gres­sion­al spe­cial elec­tions in as many weeks make clear that while the Re­pub­lic­an Party is not in a free fall, things are not co­pacet­ic, either. Re­pub­lic­an state Treas­urer Ron Estes won last week’s spe­cial elec­tion in Kan­sas’s 4th Dis­trict to fill the va­cancy cre­ated by Mike Pom­peo’s nom­in­a­tion to head the CIA, but his 5-point vic­tory was far short of the...

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Amy Walter, National Editor

Amy Walter is the Cook Political Report's National Editor. In her weekly column, Walter provides analysis of the issues, trends, and events that shape the national political environment.
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Elizabeth Wilner, Senior Contributing Editor

Elizabeth Wilner is Senior Vice President of Kantar Media Ad Intelligence with oversight of its Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), Contributing Editor of The Cook Political Report, and former Political Director of NBC News. Wilner's weekly segment, "On Points," covers the fast-growing junction of advertising, Big Data, and politics.
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The Cook Political Report Partisan Voting Index (PVI)

The 2014 Partisan Voting Index

Since 1997, the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voting Index (PVI) has been the gold standard in measuring how each state and district performs at the presidential level relative to the nation as a whole. Click below for the breakdown of PVI for every House district in the 113th Congress.
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The Rhodes Cook Letter

In the latest issue of the Rhodes Cook Letter, Rhodes takes a close look at the 2016 election.

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