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Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, October 7, 2014

ISIS and heightened awareness of terrorist threats to the US. Border security. Equal pay for women and domestic violence. These are the hot new additions to the otherwise same old, same old issue menu for TV advertising in 2014. Being topical or at least highly tactical, these ads get a lot of attention. Yet none of these subjects even comes close to amassing the airings devoted to the...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 7, 2014

While the outcomes of presidential races are pretty much decided by how the swing, or "purple," states split, in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate that is not always the case. The challenge for Democrats in this election is having so many seats up in very Republican states. Seven of those seats are in states carried by Mitt Romney, and—tougher still—six of the seven are states Romney...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 3, 2014

One month out, Republicans appear on track to expand their House majority by between two and 12 seats. As more GOP incumbents like Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) have moved towards safer ground, Republicans are talking more openly about targeting some seats that were previously considered "reaches," such as Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei's NY-24 and Maine's open 2nd CD. To be sure, the news isn't all...

Maryland Governor|By Jennifer Duffy, October 3, 2014

This race was supposed to be over once the nominees were chosen, but Republican businessman Larry Hogan is showing surprising strength against Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in this heavily Democratic state.  According to strategists, voters are restless and are looking for change.  They don’t see Brown, who serves as outgoing two-term Gov. Martin O’Malley’s second in command, as...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, October 3, 2014

With the outcome of up to 11 Senate seats plausibly in doubt, here is what we know—or at least can pretty easily assume. Republicans are virtually certain to pick up three open Democratic-held seats in Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia. The GOP is now increasingly favored to hold on to at least two of the party's three endangered seats: the open seat in Georgia and that of Senate...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, October 3, 2014

For all of House Democrats' problems this cycle, money hasn't seemed to be one of them. Thanks in part to their domination of online fundraising, the DCCC outraised the NRCC $10.2 million to $4.4 million in August. "We may have more money than we have winnable races," said one Democratic consultant earlier in the year. Yet when it comes to actual spending in the most competitive races, so far...

National Politics|By Amy Walter, October 1, 2014

Almost anytime I engage in a conversation about 2016 presidential prospects, the first thing that gets brought up is the shortcomings of the potential candidates: Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate,” Rand Paul’s perceived isolationism, Hillary Clinton’s “Benghazi,” and Marco Rubio’s immigration vote. Republicans openly fret about the fact that they don’t have a candidate with the experience and...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, September 30, 2014

A considerable subset of political junkies also follow football. But for those who don't, we at CMAG use the term "gaining separation" to describe how one advertiser or one side in the air war builds up an advantage over another advertiser or the other side. Separation can be achieved among particular audiences through strategic ad placement. It also can be gained on particular messages in ads...

Kansas Senate|By Jennifer Duffy, September 29, 2014

This contest has become the Rubik’s Cube of Senate races. At the end of the day, it will be solved, but no one really knows how long it will take or how many different ways to solve the puzzle there really are. As a result, this race defies traditional analyses. Given what has become a complicated two-way race, polling is of little use. How the rift between conservative and moderate...

  • 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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Charlie Cook's Column

A Presidency Headed in the Wrong Direction

March 28, 2017

Nobody knows where this nas­cent Don­ald Trump pres­id­ency is go­ing. New ad­min­is­tra­tions start off with an in­fin­ite num­ber of po­ten­tial tra­ject­or­ies, but this one is even more un­pre­dict­able than oth­ers. Trump could still turn out to be a suc­cess­ful pres­id­ent. As an Amer­ic­an, I cer­tainly hope he will. But today at least, it looks more like a “death by a thou­sand cuts.”

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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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