Charlie Cook (born November 20, 1953), originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, is an American political analyst who specializes in election forecasts and political trends. He attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He delivers election forecasts and rankings in his own publication, The Cook Political Report, and in other media venues. Cook writes two columns for National Journal, the "The Cook Report" for the main publication and "Off to the Races" for CongressDaily. Since the 1984 presidential election, Cook has provided election night commentary for various television networks. He is a political analyst for the National Journal and NBC. He has been with NBC since 1994.
In 1984, he founded the acclaimed The Cook Political Report newsletter, which publishes analysis of the primaries and general elections for federal political offices and state governorships. The Report's predictions are accorded high credibility among journalists and politicians. Cook readily acknowledges some of his failed predictions. In 2006, he said he had "tread marks on my forehead" after understating the Republican gains in the 1994 midterm Congressional elections. In July 2008, at a time when U.S. Senator John McCain had for many months been the presumptive presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Cook reminded his audience that he had "written McCain off as politically dead just a year ago"..
He claims to be non-partisan in his analyses. Prior to founding his newsletter in 1984, Cook worked on Capitol Hill for then-Senator J. Bennett Johnston, Jr., a Democrat from Shreveport who served from 1972-1997. Cook also worked for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Policy Committee. In addition, he worked as a pollster and campaign consultant and on the staff of BUILD-PAC, the political action committee of the trade association, the National Association of Home Builders.