Jump to Any Race
National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 21, 2014

Some time in the next six months, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to decide whether to seek the presidency in 2016. But how will she do if she decides to run? In 2008, the nomination was widely seen as hers for the taking. But that, as we all know, was not to be. On one level, the Democratic Party was buying what then-Sen. Barack Obama was selling. Democrats wanted to...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, November 19, 2014

There’s an odd binary mindset these days about the Democrats in 2016. Either the party will stick with their current frontrunner and standard bearer Hillary Clinton, or the base will rebel and promote the more progressive, “edgier” Elizabeth Warren as the nominee. A parent with more than one child can love each of their children equally; differently, yes, but equally nonetheless. So, why is...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, November 18, 2014

President Obama’s data-powered win in 2012 triggered not just an analytics arms race in 2014 but increased questioning of how campaigns approach the biggest line item in their budgets: their TV ad spending. In the latest example, Republican analytics start-up 0ptimus takes aim at a trio of longtime rules of thumb: buy broadcast primetime, news, and football. In all three cases, 0ptimus...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 18, 2014

There's an old saying that there are only two ways for an incumbent to run: scared or unopposed. Many incumbents raise money almost continuously—call it paranoid or just cautious—as if a multimillionaire self-funder were poised to announce a challenge at any moment. This year, an unusually large number of seemingly out-of-the-blue challengers came within a whisker of pulling off upsets against...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, November 14, 2014

For House Democrats, Election Night was something close to a nightmare. But ever since then, Democrats have received a steady stream of consolation prizes. A thin silver lining though it might be, nearly all of the too-close-to-call races on Election Night have broken Democrats' way. At one point last week, it looked as if Democrats could lose as many as 18 House seats. Today, it looks like...

Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, November 14, 2014

Given that Democrats’ majority in the Senate was in serious jeopardy and that there was no realistic chance that they would win a majority in the U.S. House, the nation’s 36 Governors races were supposed to provide a silver lining for Democrats on Election Night. As the votes started coming in, though, it became apparent that the wave that was washing ashore would also drown Democrats’ hopes...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, November 14, 2014

Democrats are now sifting through the rubble of what was their party on election night, examining losses—and even near losses—that seemed fairly inconceivable just a couple of weeks ago. Such epically bad nights rarely have a single cause, and this one was no different. But some factors weighed more heavily than others. No truer words were ever spoken then when President Obama told a...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, November 12, 2014

While there’s still some debate about whether 2014 should be called a “wave” or a “tsunami” or some other sort of nautical disaster, it’s fair to say it looks very similar to the elections of 2006, 2008, and 2010, where one side wins a disproportionate share of the closest races, and party control over Congress and/or the White House switches hands. In every one of these elections, the...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, November 12, 2014

Democrats advertised a lot about outsourcing in 2014. Republicans outsourced a lot of advertising. In the only air war that mattered, the one for control of the Senate, a majority of all Republican general election spots (individual airings of ads) on broadcast TV were sponsored by either outside groups or the NRSC’s independent expenditure arm. According to the below graphic by CMAG’s...

  • 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

The Cook Political Report is...

  • A newsletter that both parties regard as authoritative.
    – The New York Times
  • The bible of the political community.
    – Bob Schieffer, host of CBS News "Face the Nation"
  • Perhaps the best nonpartisan tracker of Congressional races.
    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

How Fake News Undermines Democracy

January 17, 2017

Al­most 130 years ago, Ger­man philo­soph­er Friedrich Ni­et­z­sche wrote, “That which does not kill us, makes us stronger.” In a per­verse way, BuzzFeed and CNN made Pres­id­ent-elect Trump stronger this week.

Read more »
More Columns »
Sign up for Charlie’s columns as they are released on NationalJournal.com »


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.
View Columns »

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.
View Columns »

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.
See Chart »
Read More »

The Rhodes Cook Letter

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

Download »