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Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, September 23, 2014

The final sprint to Election Day can make you forget everything that came before it. And with the 2014 air war having engaged last fall, that puts a year’s worth of advertising at risk of being forgotten. So before that onslaught of GOP ads hits Democrats on terrorism (and, just sayin’, it hasn’t yet) or things otherwise start looking smaller in the rear-view mirror, let’s review the big...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 19, 2014

It says a lot about the climate in 2014 - not to mention the polarized state of House races - that indicted Staten Island GOP Rep. Michael Grimm could win reelection in New York's 11th CD. Yet, even as he awaits a December trial on federal tax evasion and perjury charges, a new Siena Research Institute poll shows him leading the Democrat, Brooklyn-based New York City Councilman Domenic...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 19, 2014

At this point, most independent political analysts are giving the edge to Republicans in this year's fight for majority status in the U.S. Senate. Personally, I give the GOP a 60 percent chance of taking the majority, while others put it a little higher or lower. At least a half dozen very close races will be determined by just a point or two, and those can turn on events that may have yet to...

Political Advertising|By Elizabeth Wilner, September 16, 2014

The political media strategists recently summoned by the nation’s TV station executives to offer their thoughts on 2014 advertising toed the pro-broadcast line up until they were invited to offer some parting advice. Stop gouging our issue groups by charging them twice as much as you charge our candidates, suggested Guy Harrison of Republican media firm OnMessage Inc. If you keep it up, he...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 16, 2014

In bad midterm-election years, members of a president's party often find the political climate challenging. In some ways, it is like a swimmer encountering riptides or facing strong undertows. The degree of the danger varies from location to location, and in many cases, weak swimmers struggle in this environment; occasionally, even an Olympic-level swimmer perishes. In 2010—President Obama's...

House Overview|By David Wasserman, September 12, 2014

Primary season ended with a bang on Tuesday when 35-year-old Marine veteran Seth Moulton upset Democratic Rep. John Tierney (MA-06) in the Massachusetts primary. How did polls miss it, just as they missed Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss? One common thread this year has been that just about every voter who has woken up undecided on election day has voted for the "change" candidate. In...

Governors Overview|By Jennifer Duffy, September 12, 2014

Massachusetts: Attorney General Martha Coakley won the September 9 Democratic primary with 42 percent of the vote to 36 percent for state Treasurer Steve Grossman and 21 percent for Donald Berwick, the former administrator of the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services. Coakley faces former Harvard Pilgrim CEO Charlie Baker in the general election. Baker was the party’s nominee in 2010 and...

National Politics|By Charlie Cook, September 12, 2014

As Congress returns to Washington this week for the few remaining legislative days before the midterm elections, lawmakers will compare notes on what they heard and saw back home. They will also share impressions they gleaned about what will happen on Nov. 4. Democrats' assessments will be particularly enlightening, and my guess is that those reports will be about as discouraging as they can...

National Politics|By Ethan Roeder and Brent McGoldrick, September 12, 2014

The hundreds of campaign managers and strategists now trying to keep up in the arms race to make their campaigns more data-driven are ignoring the elephant (or large donkey) in the room that could mean the difference between a balloon drop and a concession speech. The data tells us that there is no better way to save time and money, while increasing our productivity and reach, than to invest...

  • 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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    – David Broder, The Washington Post

Charlie Cook's Column

Authenticity Is Key to Democratic Chances

July 21, 2017

Some on the left say the Democrats’ path to a House majority next year is to nominate passionate liberals who can tap into the energy and excitement that Bernie Sanders generated last year. Moderates say the path is down the middle, nominating pragmatists whom swing voters won’t find threatening. Still others suggest that Democrats nominate veterans, women, and other nonpoliticians who can tap...

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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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