At the Races

Poliquin Sues to Stop Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting
Poliquin could lose his narrow lead under new system

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin is suing to stop the state’s ranked-choice voting system from going forward in his 2nd District re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has sued state Attorney General Matthew Dunlap seeking an injunction to stop the tabulation of ballots under the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which is being used in his race against Democrat Jared Golden in the 2nd District.

Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the state’s ranked-choice voting system kicked in last week. This year is the first time it’s being used at the federal level in Maine, and the 2nd District will likely be the first House race in the country to be decided under this process.

Kyrsten Sinema Becomes First Female Senator Elected From Arizona
She’s also the first Democrat to win an Arizona Senate election in 30 years

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has won the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has made history by becoming the first woman elected to represent Arizona in the Senate. She defeated Republican Rep. Martha McSally after several days of ballot counting.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Sinema led McSally 50 percent to 48 percent when The Associated Press called the race six days after Election Day.

League of Women Voters, Common Cause File Suit to Remove Scott From Recount Process
Nelson also called on Scott to recuse himself from any role in recount

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is leading by about 12,000 votes in Florida’s Senate race, a margin that has triggered a machine recount. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Common Cause Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida have filed a lawsuit to keep Republican Gov. Rick Scott from having any involvement in the recount of the Senate race.

Scott is currently leading Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in that race by just over 12,000 votes, a margin that has triggered a statewide recount.  

Richard Ojeda, West Virginia’s Trump-voting Democrat, Announces Presidential Bid
Retired army major lost his bid for 3rd District last week

State Sen. Richard Ojeda lost his bid for the 3rd District by nearly 13 points last week. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

On the heels of his losing congressional bid in West Virginia, state Sen. Richard Ojeda has filed to run for the Democratic nomination for president.

Speaking to his supporters via Facebook Live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon, Ojeda laid out an anti-corruption platform and promised to fight for the working class.

Arizona Counties Have Until Next Wednesday to ‘Cure’ Mail-in Ballots in Senate Race
Announcement comes day after Democrat Sinema pulls ahead of Republican McSally in count

Arizona Democratic Senate nominee Kyrsten Sinema overtook Republican Martha McSally after Thursday’s vote count. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some county officials in Arizona will have until the middle of next week to resolve issues with mail-in ballots for the state’s tight Senate race.

Under an agreement announced Friday by an Arizona judge, county recorders in rural Arizona will have time to allow people to “cure” issues with signatures that do not match their mail-in ballots, The Associated Press reported.

Meet Carol Miller. She Could Be the Only New Republican Woman Coming to Congress Next Year.
The GOP’s only new woman, so far, will represent West Virginia’s 3rd District

West Virginia Republican Carol Miller may be the only new GOP woman in the next Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Among the 33 new women elected to the House this week, only one is a Republican. 

Carol Miller, the majority whip in the West Virginia state House and daughter of a former Ohio congressman, won the Mountain State’s 3rd District seat Tuesday night, defeating Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Sues Broward County Election Supervisor
Scott’s lead over Nelson has shrunk since Tuesday

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has sued the Broward County supervisor of elections for failing to provide information about ballots that have been counted in his race against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.  (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has a dwindling lead over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, took legal action Thursday night against Broward County for failing to provide information about ballots that have been counted.

He and the National Republican Senatorial Committee sued Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, while Scott also called for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation into Broward County’s handling of ballots. 

Stivers Not Running Again for NRCC Chairman
Stivers’ decision comes after Republicans lose House control

Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, is not seeking a second term as NRCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Steve Stivers will not seek a second term as head of House Republicans’ campaign arm. Republicans lost control of the House on Tuesday.

“I am extremely proud of the work the Members, candidates, and NRCC team have done over the last two years. It is because of their hard work that we prevented a large Democrat majority,” he said in a statement thanking the NRCC team for their “tireless efforts” this cycle.

Two Washington State Democrats to Face Off for DCCC Chair
Denny Heck and Suzan Delbene announced bids Wednesday

Rep. Denny Heck, D-Wash., led the DCCC’s recruitment this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two Washington state Democrats with crucial roles in the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this year are facing off to lead the House Democrats’ campaign arm next cycle.

Both Reps. Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene on Wednesday announced bids to lead the committee. The current chairman, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján, is expected to run for a different leadership position.

How Minnesota Told a Bigger Story About 2018 Midterm Partisanship
Republicans flipped two seats, but lost two incumbents

Republican Pete Stauber won Minnesota’s open 8th District, which had been held by DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite losing control of the House, Republicans won both of their best pick-up opportunities, two open seats in Minnesota where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016.

Former Duluth police officer Pete Stauber won the northeastern 8th District, where Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan did not seek re-election. Jim Hagedorn won the southern 1st District, which DFL Rep. Tim Walz vacated to run for governor. 

DCCC Credits Large Battlefield in Securing Majority
Democrats had 101 targets in 2018

DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján touted the committee's efforts in winning back the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats won back the House largely due to victories in the suburbs, but they also said their expansive target list led to gains in unlikely places.

Voters in suburban districts tend to be wealthier and better educated, and largely backed Democrats on Tuesday — even in districts with strong GOP incumbents.

The Candidates Mattered. But Opinions About Trump Mattered More
Different outcomes in the House and Senate mostly about the president

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly both lost their bids for second terms Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties had something to celebrate after Tuesday’s midterm elections, depending on where they looked. But that split outcome — with Democrats winning the House, and Republicans gaining seats in the Senate — underscores the extent to which opinions about President Donald Trump shape today’s politics.

Republicans largely prevailed at the Senate level because they were running in red states where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016. The House saw the opposite outcome, but the reason was the same. Republicans largely struggled because they were running in places where Trump was unpopular.

Rosen’s Win in Nevada One Bright Spot for Senate Democrats
Silver State is so far the first Senate seat Democrats have flipped

GOP Sen. Dean Heller lost to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen in a hard-fought race in Nevada (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen won the Nevada Senate race Tuesday, defeating GOP Sen. Dean Heller in one of the most hotly contested races of the cycle. Rosen’s victory was a rare piece of good news for Democrats on a night when Republicans decisively retained control of the chamber.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Rosen led Heller 51 percent to 45 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Democrats Flip Sanford Seat in Coastal South Carolina
GOP nominee was panned for voicing support for offshore drilling during primary

Joe Cunningham has won South Carolina's 1st District. (Courtesy Joe Cunningham for Congress)

Democrat Joe Cunningham’s win in South Carolina’s 1st District is a blow to Republicans who thought they’d hold on to the coastal seat even after South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford lost a GOP primary earlier this year. 

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cunningham led GOP state Rep. Katie Arrington 51 percent to 49 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Democrats Score Oklahoma Upset Despite Deep-Red Struggles
Kendra Horn pulled off a surprise victory in Oklahoma City-anchored district

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., lost to Democrat Kendra Horn on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Democrats struggled in deep red districts Tuesday night, Kendra Horn pulled off a surprise upset in Oklahoma. She defeated Republican Rep. Steve Russell in the 5th District, which includes Oklahoma City.

President Donald Trump won Russell’s district by nearly 14 points in 2016, and the race wasn’t considered a potential Democratic pickup. Russell, who was first elected in 2014, did not communicate to the National Republican Congressional Committee that he was in any trouble, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations.