2016 National Conventions

A Tale of Two Democrats
Minority leader candidate more collaborative, DNC candidate a liberal and never a Trumper

Midwestern Democratic Reps. Tim Ryan of Ohio, left, and Keith Ellison of Minnesota are sharply different in their biographies, world views and political backstories, writes David Hawkings. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photos)

The losers dominate the soul-searching after every election. And the strategic, ideological, generational and even regional identity crises confronting the Democrats are all embodied in the pair of congressmen most overtly ready to springboard to the party’s dispirited national forefront after years as insider players.

Should Rep. Tim Ryan end up running a credible race for House minority leader in two weeks, even if he’s unsuccessful, that will be a sign the party is ready for a deal-making and somewhat centrist approach to the Trump administration.

How the Hill's Endangered Have Been Voting
Some Republicans in Democratic turf have moderated, others have stayed hard right

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin, center, has a lower-than-average party unity score while New Hampshire Rep. Frank C. Guinta, right, who is even more vulnerable, scores close to the party average. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The year’s desultory legislative track record offers this insight into the closing days of the campaign for Congress: The already compacted political middle is threatened with additional shrinkage.

In the Senate, especially, but also in the House, the collection of lawmakers running scared less than a week before Election Day is overstocked with an endangered ideological species — the independent-minded centrist.

Capitol Ink | The Exact Same Joke

“If I write a good joke in July that puts words in Donald Trump's mouth and then draw it up in a cartoon, everybody loves it. It's fantastic. They think it's absolutely great. Donald Trump tells the exact same joke in October and people get on his case, and I don't get it! I don't know why. It wasn't his fault those words came out of his mouth.”

Generation Gap: Can Clinton and Trump Reach Millennials?
Attitudes, timing and social media all play a factor

How do you get young people interested in your campaign? With both major-party candidates drawing lukewarm responses from millennial voters, the campaigns have their work cut out for them. (Daniel A. Anderson/CQ Roll Call)

Millennials played a big part in getting President Barack Obama into the White House. But they aren't nearly as enthusiastic about their choices to succeed him.

Not only do candidates have to engage this demographic, they have to find them first. The groundbreaking methods of media engagement that the Obama campaign used in 2008 are no longer applicable to millennials. That's because of innovations in social media in the eight years since.

White House Sees Opportunity in Trump's Pitch to African-Americans
Obama spokesman: GOP nominee's tax plan hurts "everyone" but the rich

Colorado Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Darryl Glenn spoke to a mostly white audience at the  2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is trying to reach out to African-American voters.  (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The White House appears to sense an opportunity in Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s recent outreach to African-Americans.

Speaking in Michigan on Friday, Trump made a pitch for black voters to support him in November. "You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed,” Trump said.

Private Immigrant Detention Firm Gave $45K to Trump Fundraising Group
The GEO Group operates more than five dozen facilities nationwide

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has previously expressed support for private prisons. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The political arm of one of the country’s leading operators of federally contracted immigrant detention facilities donated $45,000 last month to a joint fundraising committee supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, according to a recent Federal Election Commission filing.

The political action committee representing The GEO Group, Inc., made the donation on July 27 to the Trump Victory fund, a joint committee also supporting the Republican National Committee and 11 state parties. Donors to GEO's PAC are almost entirely employees of the Boca Raton, Florida-based company.

TMI, Chris Murphy
Connecticut senator is a fan of 'Fight Song' and Nick Lachey

Connecticut Sen. Christopher S. Murphy' has drawn mixed reviews on Twitter for his musical tastes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Christopher S. Murphy opened himself up to criticism by admitting he might not be the best judge of music.

On Tuesday morning, the Connecticut Democrat defended Rachel Platten's "Fight Song," which has been widely used by the Hillary Clinton campaign over the past year, saying that he liked it "a lot."

Poll: Debbie Wasserman Shultz Has Double-Digit Lead in Florida
A bright spot for embattled former DNC chairwoman

Despite a summer of bad headlines, 58 percent of Democratic voters in Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz's district have a favorable view of her, a new poll shows. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At last, some good news for Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

In spite of the most challenging summer of the Florida congresswoman's career, she still commands a 10-point lead over opponent Tim Canova in next week's Democratic primary, according to a poll released by the South Florida Sun Sentinel/Florida Atlantic University.

The Clintons' Philosophy: We Walk the Ethics Line
Clinton Foundation management has handed an issue to Trump

Bill Clinton's ego has driven actions that had political disaster written all over them and are casting a cloud over Hillary Clinton's campaign, writes Walter Shapiro. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On those rare like-a-stopped-watch occasions when Donald Trump is right about something, he ruins the moment with bombastic overstatement.

Monday morning, the supposedly newly disciplined GOP nominee issued a press release calling for the Clinton Foundation to be "shut down immediately." But Trump accompanied that defensible position (similar to a Boston Globe editorial) with the over-the-top claim that "the Clinton Foundation is the most corrupt enterprise in political history."

Obama Administration Transgender Bathroom Policy Blocked
Federal judge in Texas issues nationwide injunction

Sharron Cooks, a transgender woman delegate from Pennsylvania, looks on as Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration's rule directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Texas was joined by 12 other states and two school districts in filing a lawsuit against the directive. The other states are Alabama, Louisiana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Arizona, Utah Tennessee, Maine, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi and Kentucky.

Hawaii GOP Chairman Disavows Party's House Candidate
Denounces Gabbard opponent's 'vulgar, racially-bigoted' comments

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard nominates Bernie Sanders at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party has disavowed the GOP House candidate challenging Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in the state's 2nd District and is urging others to do the same.

Angela Kaaihue, the GOP candidate, attacked Gabbard’s religion and ridiculed her “moon-crater cheeks,” according to the Honolulu Civil Beat. She also called Japanese people “conspirators, stealers and liars,” Hawaii News Now reported.  

Ratings Change: 7 States Shift Toward Clinton in Electoral College
Democrat projected to win 332 electoral votes — she needs 270 to win

Donald Trump appears to be drowning in the wake of the conventions.

The Canaries in the Collapsing Trump Coal Mine
Pro-Trump down-ballot Republicans find their fortunes sinking

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, an early backer of Donald Trump, faces a tough re-election fight in the Tar Heel state. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There was a time in the early summer of 2016, after Donald Trump seemed to have locked up the Republican presidential nomination but before he attacked an Indiana judge as “Mexican” and picked a ruthless fight with a Gold Star family, that embracing Trump as a down-ticket candidate seemed like a gamble worth taking.

For newcomers, it would be a way to both get early media attention and surf off the best of the Trump brand to tell voters they were a new kind of candidate, too. For incumbents, going full-Trump was the path of least resistance — a way to stay loyal to the party and its likely nominee, and associate with the man who was, against all odds, clobbering the competition in their states.

Bill Clinton Turns 70
Former president and possible future first spouse celebrates

Bill Clinton celebrates at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former president and possible future first first man Bill Clinton celebrates his 70th birthday on Friday and we hope it's full of balloons. 

He’s about one year older than his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who will turn 69 in October.

Manafort Resigns From Trump Campaign
Campaign chairman reportedly marginalized in shakeup earlier this week

Paul Manafort resigned as Donald Trump's campaign chairman Friday. His role was already seen as diminishing after a campaign shake-up earlier this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Paul Manafort, Donald Trump's campaign chairman, has resigned, the campaign announced in a statement Friday.

"This morning Paul Manafort offered, and I accepted, his resignation from the campaign," Trump said. "I am very appreciative for his great work in helping to get us where we are today, and in particular his guiding us through the delegate and convention process. Paul is a true professional and I wish him the greatest success."