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Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, May 12, 2015

This week brings the upfronts, when television networks roll out their programming wares for advertisers and the industry contemplates its fragmenting future. "TV" used to be shorthand for both content and the device on which the content was viewed. Now TV means either network-produced content viewed live or time-shifted on any manner of devices, or that 50-inch screen on which you watch...

Illinois Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, May 8, 2015

If presidential performance was the only thing that mattered in determining the outcome of a U.S. Senate race, then perhaps first-term Republican Sen. Mark Kirk should be polishing his resume. Fortunately for Kirk, presidential performance isn’t the only factor, but it does provide a good indication of challenge he faces in his bid for a second term.

Senate Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, May 8, 2015

Alabama: Republican Sen. Richard Shelby hasn’t gotten less than 60 percent of the vote since 1992 when he was running for a second term. He won his first Senate race in 1986 with 50 percent. The incumbent’s bid for a sixth term won’t be any different, especially in a presidential election year in deeply red Alabama. It doesn’t hurt that Shelby started the cycle with a whopping $18.3 million...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 7, 2015

There was a lot of talk last week about New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential hopes suffering a mortal blow after two of his associates, including a former deputy chief of staff, were indicted on charges related to the "Bridgegate" matter, with a third pleading guilty. The only part I would quibble with is whether his hopes were still alive before the indictments or if they were, in...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, May 6, 2015

After two unsuccessful marriages to guys named McCain and Romney, GOP primary voters are more interested in playing the field this year than in settling down. That's the best explanation I can come up with for why polling shows a wide-open contest for the GOP nomination

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 5, 2015

More than a few people laughed when 19 presidential candidates took the stage one by one at a recent New Hampshire Republican Party event. Nineteen, that is, if you count Dennis Michael Lynch, a documentary filmmaker who contributed $10,000 to the New Hampshire Republican Party for the privilege of sharing a very narrow beam of the limelight that night. (I wonder how much a slot in a debate...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, May 1, 2015

Politics is broken. Washington is dysfunctional. The best way to fix it, goes the conventional thinking, is to destroy the system itself. Rand Paul wants to “defeat the Washington machine,” while Hillary Clinton wants “get unaccountable money out of” our political system. Good government groups press for redistricting reform that takes politicians out of the line-drawing process. Banning...

Mississippi House|By David Wasserman, May 1, 2015

With less than two weeks to go until the May 12 special election , the free-for-all to fill the seat of late GOP Rep. Alan Nunnelee is heating up. Just about the only certainties here are that the race will go to a June 2 runoff and that a Republican will win. Most insiders have long believed Northern District Transportation Commissioner Mike Tagert and Tupelo prosecutor Trent Kelly would make...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, May 1, 2015

Last week, this column noted the avoidance of drama this past fall, when another government shutdown could have occurred, and the fact that in recent weeks, Congress eliminated the much reviled Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (aka the "doc fix")—something that has eluded Congress repeatedly over the past decade—and extended the Children's Health Insurance Program. Both chambers approved budget...

  • 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.

Tennessee  |  Governor  |  Haslam (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Kansas  |  Governor  |  Brownback (R)

Likely R
Solid R

Illinois  |  Governor  |  Rauner (R)

Toss Up
Lean R

New Mexico  |  Governor  |  Martinez (R)

Lean D
Toss Up

New Jersey  |  Governor  |  Christie (R)

Likely D
Lean D

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Charlie Cook's Column

No Easy Wins for GOP Lawmakers Under Trump

June 23, 2017

For con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans in the new norm of the Trump pres­id­ency, noth­ing is easy, and everything is hard. Rais­ing the debt ceil­ing in or­der to keep the gov­ern­ment from de­fault­ing on its debt is nor­mally easy; now it is hard. Passing an om­ni­bus budget bill to simply keep the gov­ern­ment op­er­at­ing (for­get the idea of passing the full bat­tery of 12 ap­pro­pri­ations...

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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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