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Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, February 3, 2017

Historical political trends have long served as guideposts for political analysts when handicapping presidential and congressional elections. As the 2016 elections so poignantly demonstrated, relying on such trends is hardly foolproof, but cycles like these have tended to be more the exception than the rule. Still, the 2016 cycle – or more accurately, its results – does create some...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, February 3, 2017

Over this past week­end, a num­ber of people noted that while it took Pres­id­ent Re­agan 727 days to have a ma­jor­ity in the polls dis­ap­prov­ing of his job in of­fice, Pres­id­ent George H.W. Bush 1,336 days, Pres­id­ent Clin­ton 573 days, Pres­id­ent George W. Bush 1,205 days, and Pres­id­ent Obama 936 days, it took Pres­id­ent Trump just eight days to get there. That fit well in­to a...

House Overview|By Amy Walter, February 2, 2017

One of the biggest questions this year (and perhaps the next four) is which branch of the GOP is running things in Washington? Is it the White House with its unpredictable and unorthodox priority list? Or is it the GOP-controlled Congress pursuing a more traditional GOP agenda under known rules and procedures?

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 31, 2017

We need to get used to the next four years be­ing the polit­ic­al equi­val­ent of Space Moun­tain, the great Dis­ney­land roller coast­er ride. Ca­reen­ing one way, then the oth­er, plum­met­ing down­ward or soar­ing up, all in the dark so you nev­er know what will hap­pen yet, it’s an ex­per­i­ence that is both ex­hil­ar­at­ing and dis­or­i­ent­ing. The key dif­fer­ence is that it only lasts...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 27, 2017

Ba­sic phys­ics was not the high point in my aca­dem­ic ca­reer, but I did learn enough to re­mem­ber New­ton’s third law of mo­tion, that for every ac­tion or force there is a re­ac­tion that is equal in size, but in the op­pos­ite dir­ec­tion. Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate Don­ald Trump’s gi­gant­ic cam­paign ral­lies have now giv­en way to enorm­ous demon­stra­tions against Pres­id­ent Trump,...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, January 24, 2017

Since the November election, barrels of ink and millions of pixels have been spilled over the plight of the news media in the age of Trump. Among the many disruptions journalism has faced over the last 20 years, we can now add “fake news” and “alternative truth.” But, the role of journalists hasn’t changed. It’s pretty simple actually: help Americans make sense of a complicated world as fairly...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 24, 2017

On Fri­day, Don­ald J. Trump takes the oath of of­fice and be­comes pres­id­ent. A year ago, the vast ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans—av­er­age voters, polit­ic­al afi­cion­ados, and pun­dits—thought this was vir­tu­ally im­possible. Deep down I sus­pect Trump is sur­prised as well. Forty-four men have pre­vi­ously taken the oath of of­fice and as­sumed the awe­some re­spons­ib­il­it­ies of the job,...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, January 20, 2017

Typically, midterm elections are, to borrow a word from the new president's lexicon, "tremendous" opportunities for the out party to hold a first-term White House occupant accountable. Just ask Bill Clinton about 1994 or Barack Obama about 2010. But as is the case with this new president, 2018 isn't set up to be a "typical" first-term midterm.

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, January 20, 2017

The gen­er­al para­met­ers are already well known. In Novem­ber, Amer­ic­ans elec­ted a pres­id­ent who had no gov­ern­ment ex­per­i­ence of any kind. He was clearly not well-versed in policy is­sues and had a pro­cliv­ity to shoot from the hip, say­ing whatever came to mind, work­ing off of in­stinct rather than ex­pert­ise. We have elec­ted out­siders be­fore, but they have been the gov­ernor...

  • 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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