Colin Diersing

Peterson's Greatest Challenge Yet, but GOP Still Looks to 2016

Minnesota Democrats think Rep. Collin C. Peterson is nearly unbeatable in the 7th District. For the first time in more than a decade, that theory is about to be put to the test.  

Peterson is one of just a handful of House Democrats representing a decidedly Republican district, but he has won re-election even in GOP wave years. In 2012, presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the conservative, rural district by 10 points as the Democratic lawmaker won his race by a 25-point margin.  

The Calm Before the Pre-Recess Storm

As House and Senate leadership scrambled to reach agreements on legislation to address the Veterans Affairs backlog, reauthorizing transportation programs and the influx of Central Americans at the Southern border before they adjourned for recess, Barbara Halpern-Levin, wife of Sen. Carl Levin, paused calmly in the middle of the Capitol Crypt.  

The Michigan Democrat's wife was giving a tour of the Capitol to a relative visiting from Florida, and she provided a serene contrast to Wednesday's back-door buzz. In a brief interview with CQ Roll Call, the senator’s wife said she would need to check her schedule before deciding whether to take the visiting relative to watch either chambers’ final votes.  

Republicans Unite in Tossup New York House Race

New York Republican Matt Doheny endorsed Elise Stefanik at a press conference Friday, more than a month after losing to her in a House race primary.  

Stefanik, who was recently added to the NRCC's Young Guns program , faces Democrat Aaron Woolf for the 21st District seat being vacated by Democrat Bill Owens. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Report/Roll Call. Though he lost the June 24 primary, Doheny had already won the nomination of the Independence Party and could still appear on the general-election ballot in November. But at the press conference, Doheny said he'd like to have his name removed.  

Quirky Ex-Senator Stomps on Democrats' S.D. Hopes

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card — former Sen. Larry Pressler — to help the contest break their way.  

Pressler seems to have other plans.  

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

A new poll of likely voters in 12 Senate battleground states suggests a populist economic message and focus on women’s health issues could help Democrats improve their standing with unmarried women voters in advance of the midterm elections.  

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg's Democracy Corps in collaboration with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which focuses on increasing participation among unmarried women voters.  

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.  

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota's Iron Range.  

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.

DNC Chair Predicts Party Will Exceed Expectations in 2014

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the strength of individual candidates will help her party outperform expectations in the upcoming midterms.  

“Pundits are wildly misinterpreting or over interpreting,” the Florida Democrat said, specifically responding to a projection published by the Washington Post that gives Republicans an 86 percent chance of taking control of the Senate.  

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.  

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.  

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Democrats Work to Mitigate VA Scandal as Political Issue

Politicians have always touted their support for military veterans back home. The willingness to expend federal dollars to provide the best care possible is popular across the partisan spectrum and is rarely cause for controversy.  

But the issue has been turned on its head in recent months, with the fallout from the Veterans Affairs scandal prompting even the Obama administration to admit a "corrosive culture" at the VA affecting facilities across the country.  

Democrats Work to Mitigate VA Scandal as Political Issue

Politicians have always touted their support for military veterans back home. The willingness to expend federal dollars to provide the best care possible is popular across the partisan spectrum and is rarely cause for controversy.

But the issue has been turned on its head in recent months, with the fallout from the Veterans Affairs scandal prompting even the Obama administration to admit a “corrosive culture” at the VA affecting facilities across the country.

'Ms. Ethics' Carol Dixon Remembered on House Floor

Carol E. Dixon, director of advice and education for the House Committee on Ethics, died Monday from unknown causes. She was 44.

Kirk Pays Tribute to Staffer Lisa Radogno

Lisa Radogno, executive assistant and scheduler to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., died Wednesday of a massive pulmonary embolism that may have resulted from complications following a car accident earlier this year. She was 31  years old.

Kevin McCarthy's Real Foes: A Horse Breeder, an Ex-Cop and 12-Time Candidate

Regardless of the result of Thursday's leadership vote, it's unlikely House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will suffer the same electoral fate as his colleague, Majority Leader Eric Cantor  — at least this cycle.  

The Virginia Republican's surprise primary loss on June 10 and subsequent decision to step down paved the path for McCarthy, who has emerged as the front-runner for the majority leader gig.  

Crossroads Upends New York's 21st District Primary

In New York’s sprawling 21st District, a recent influx of more than $1 million from outside groups has catapulted a 29-year-old first-time candidate ahead of the two-time nominee in the Republican primary for this coveted seat.

American Crossroads alone has already made more than $750,000 in independent expenditures to boost former White House aide Elise Stefanik's bid — the group's only spending in a House primary so far in 2014.

Crossroads Upends New York's 21st District Primary

In New York’s sprawling 21st District, a recent influx of more than $1 million from outside groups has catapulted a 29-year-old first-time candidate ahead of the two-time nominee in the Republican primary for this coveted seat.

American Crossroads alone has already made more than $750,000 in independent expenditures to boost former White House aide Elise Stefanik’s bid — the group’s only spending in a House primary so far in 2014.

Virginia's Clout Plummets With Cantor's Defeat, Retirements

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat marks the latest in a series of losses for the Old Dominion’s influence in Congress after 2014.  

In addition to the Virginia Republican's departure, the delegation will lose its two most senior House members and its only seats on the appropriations committee: Democrat James P. Moran and Republican Frank R. Wolf have already announced their retirements . Together, Cantor, Moran and Wolf have served 36 terms, a number that contributed to making their delegation one of the most influential and powerful this Congress. Virginia placed sixth in the most recent edition of the Roll Call Clout Index , which ranks each state's influence in Congress.