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National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 29, 2014

One of the outstanding questions left in this election is whether the Democrats' ground operation – an operation that has proven to be far superior to that of Republicans in recent years - will be enough to help their candidates squeak out narrow victories. Thus far, Democratic incumbents have done a pretty amazing job in dramatically outperforming the president’s standing in the polls. The...

Chart of the Week|October 29, 2014

In The Cook Political Report's system of race ratings, the classification of "Toss Up" is used to refer to those races which are the most competitive of the cycle, and which either party stands a reasonable chance of winning. However, if the results of Toss Up races taken together really broke down like coin flips, we would expect to see parties walking away with roughly equal shares of these...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 28, 2014

After the obvious "Who's going to control the Senate after this midterm election?" question, several more questions come up in most political conversations these days. One recurring inquiry focuses on the role of the Affordable Care Act, with many suggesting that it has faded as an issue in the eyes of voters. People who monitor advertising, however, argue with that. "The ACA is back to...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, October 28, 2014

An uptick in education, the sudden emergence of financial reform, and drop-offs on prescription drugs and terrorism—the latter from the list entirely—represent the moves in what otherwise has been a notably stable ranking of the top 15 most-mentioned issues in Senate broadcast TV ad occurrences from three weeks before Election Day to two weeks out. As usual, this graphic by CMAG’s Harley...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 24, 2014

"Double Down" is the name of a best-selling book about the 2012 election, not to mention a very caloric sandwich at KFC, but the phrase applies just as well to House Democrats in 2014. Everyone knows Democrats need a long-term, not short-term, strategy for winning back the House. But a party committee's job is to maximize seats in the short-term, and its first responsibility is to hunker down

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 24, 2014

The prospects remain very tough for Democrats to hold onto their majority in the Senate, but there is a new scenario emerging—albeit still unlikely—that is turning the majority math a bit on its head. As I have said previously, Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take the majority. The question has generally been whether Republicans just need to knock off six Democratic seats to get...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 22, 2014

Up until last week, Massachusetts's open 6th CD and New Jersey's open 3rd CD were the most-watched races in their respective states. But now that it's October and everyone is looking for potential surprises, some of the buzz in the Bay State and Garden State has shifted to two long-shot candidates both parties had previously written off: Democratic attorney Roy Cho (NJ-05) and GOP attorney

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 22, 2014

We may not know the results of this election, but we do know this: neither party will have 60 Senate seats. While it’s more likely that Republicans will have the majority in 2015, it will be a very narrow one. As such, there’s very little that can get passed without support from the other side of the aisle, a.k.a compromise. Talk to any voter out there this year, and they’ll tell you two...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 21, 2014

With just a little more than two weeks to go before the midterm election, Democrats are increasingly in need of a break or two to salvage their Senate majority. In my National Journal Daily column a month ago (September 14), after suggesting that Republicans had a 60 percent chance of scoring the six-seat net gain necessary for a majority, I asked what might go wrong for the GOP that could...

  • 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

Trump’s Policies Are a Result of On-the-Job Training

April 20, 2017

The me­dia and crit­ics on the Left are hav­ing a field day at­tack­ing Pres­id­ent Trump’s rather nu­mer­ous and of­ten dra­mat­ic changes of heart on policy—wheth­er China ma­nip­u­lates its cur­rency, the ne­ces­sity of the U.S. Ex­port-Im­port Bank and NATO, and the U.S.’s stra­tegic pos­ture in Syr­ia.

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Columnists

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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