Why Is Pelosi Losing Sleep Over Bustos' Re-Election Bid?
Just one of many desperate fundraising pleas from a safe member

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi still believes Democrats have a chance to take back the majority, but she’s somehow simultaneously worried about her colleague from Illinois losing re-election in a safe race. 

“I’m sorry to email you so late, but I’m not sleeping,” Pelosi wrote in a Sept. 19 mass email. “Cheri Bustos has a PUBLIC fundraising deadline in just 2 weeks — and right now she’s WAY behind her ‘minimum’ fundraising goal.”

Six Weeks To Go: Roll Call’s Election Forecast

Elections Editor Nathan L. Gonzales discusses where the national presidential election stands as Hillary Clinton's advantage over Donald Trump has nearly faded in some polls. And find out how the Democrats' hope of overtaking the Senate looks with six weeks to go before Nov. 8, as well as the current status of House races....
Rating Change: Democrats Turn Up Heat in New Jersey House Race
Defeating GOP's Scott Garrett has become one of the party's top goals

Rep. Scott Garrett doesn’t represent one of the most Democratic districts, but Democrats have made the New Jersey Republican one of their top takeover targets this cycle. It’s starting to feel like even if Democrats fall short of the majority on Election Night, defeating Garrett would help them sleep a little easier.

Mitt Romney and John McCain carried New Jersey’s 5th District in the most recent presidential elections, so there are better opportunities for Democrats in more Democratic districts.

Rating Change: California House Seat Not So Safe for Democrats
Millennial Republican making his move in retiring Rep. Lois Capps’ open seat

Any time there is a discussion about Republicans taking over a House seat in California, I’m skeptical. That’s a reasonable reaction considering Republicans haven’t taken over a Democratic seat in the Golden State since Bill Clinton was president. But that streak could end this year.

Even though Donald Trump is complicating GOP efforts in House and Senate races across the country, Republicans have two takeover opportunities in California.

Rating Change: McCain More Vulnerable in Arizona
Donald Trump isn’t helping longtime senator’s bid for sixth term

Sen. John McCain didn’t have a lot of trouble winning his recent primary, but the Arizona Republican doesn’t have any time to relax with a competitive general election on the horizon.

“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life,” the 2008 GOP presidential nominee told supporters at a May fundraiser.

Fall Forecast: The Top 10 Senate Race Challengers

Elections Editor Nathan L. Gonzales and Senior Political Reporter Alex Roarty discuss the most formidable Senate challengers as Election Day draws ever nearer. Can the Democrats take back the chamber as they hope?...
Rating Change in Ohio Senate Race
Rob Portman is bucking the national trend working against the GOP

With Donald Trump at the top of the ticket, there hasn’t been a lot of good news for Republicans, but one of their senators is providing a glimmer of hope.

It was no surprise that Ohio started the cycle as a focal point as a perennial presidential swing state with a competitive Senate race. A close re-election contest for GOP Sen. Rob Portman looked inevitable, particularly after Democrats recruited former Gov. Ted Strickland to run. And Trump’s subsequent victory in the presidential primaries and overall weakness as a candidate threatened to drag down GOP incumbents across the country.

Rating Change: New Hampshire House Race Swings Toward Democrats
Democrats now have the advantage in 7 GOP-held House seats

New Hampshire’s 1st District has a history of flipping party control every two years, and this year doesn’t appear to be any different.

Regardless of who emerges from the Republican primary on Sept. 13 between incumbent Rep. Frank C. Guinta and businessman Rich Ashooh, the nominee will have a difficult fight in the general election.

Rating Change: Toomey to Tossup
Donald Trump appears to be dragging down GOP senator in Pennsylvania

The Keystone State could be the key race in deciding which party controls the Senate next year.

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 Second Biggest Surprise of the Election Season
GOP senators have won primaries with 86 percent of the vote on average

Donald Trump winning the Republican presidential nomination is the biggest surprise of the election season, but GOP senators’ success in primaries has to be a close second.

Republicans Target Governorship in Bernie Sanders’ Vermont
GOP Lt. Gov. Phil Scott starts race in surprising strong position

Sen. Bernie Sanders believes his political revolution will elect progressive candidates around the country, but Republicans have their sights set on electing a governor in his home state.

Even though Vermont is viewed as a liberal New England state, it wasn’t that long ago that it had a Republican governor. Jim Douglas was elected in 2002 (succeeding Democratic Gov. Howard Dean) and re-elected three times to two-year terms.

The Most Important Question to Ask Trump Defectors
What will #NeverTrump voters do in down-ballot races?

“Quitting the Republican Party” is the easiest way to make the news these days, but the stories about Donald Trump defectors don’t go far enough to understand the potential impact on the November elections.

Conservative columnist George Will revealed in late June that he had changed his voter registration to “unaffiliated.”

Ratings Changes in Two Top Senate Races
Mixed news for two of the most vulnerable Republican incumbents

While Donald Trump’s presidential campaign appears to be spinning wildly out of control most days and is potentially cratering from lack of support from GOP voters, Republican senators are trying to maintain some independence in order to weather the storm and keep the chamber in GOP hands.

With the conventions in the rearview mirror, the electoral landscape is settling in search of a new baseline for the general election sprint. Fresh polling conducted after the conventions shows that Trump is hemorrhaging Republican voters and thus getting crushed in the typical presidential swing states.

Huelskamp’s Loss Could Embolden the Freedom Caucus
Group could back challengers against GOP incumbents in future primaries

Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s primary loss Tuesday night was widely viewed as the Republican establishment sending a message to the tea party.  

But even though the House Freedom Caucus  is losing a member next year, the Kansas result may have sparked more fighting in future GOP primaries.  

What I Learned Outside the Convention Bubble
Pennsylvania Democrats haven't closed the deal in down-ballot races

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. — Stephanie Peditto is a reminder that it’s good for reporters to venture outside the bubble because normal people don’t always follow the campaigns closely.  

After nearly two consecutive weeks of covering party conventions, it was time to take a break from the overwhelming world of politicians, delegates and fellow members of the media. On Thursday morning, I drove west a few miles outside of Philadelphia to nearby Wynnewood.  

Plouffe Warns Democrats Against Bed-Wetting — Again
In 2010, Democrats lost 63 House seats after Obama manager’s advice

PHILADELPHIA — I thought Hillary Clinton had an advantage in the presidential race until President Barack Obama’s campaign manager said there was nothing to worry about.  

As the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Philadelphia, there was significant unrest both within and outside the official activities.  

Ep. 16: First Lady, Sanders Make Case for Clinton Amid Rebellious Bernie Supporters
The Week Ahead: Convention Special

Catch up on the tumultuous first day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with CQ Roll Call's Managing Editor Adriel Bettelheim and Elections Editor Nathan Gonzales, who tells us what to look for Tuesday.  

Show Notes:

Clinton Campaign Readying National Olympic Ad Blitz
High seven-figure network and cable advertising campaign

Hillary Clinton is planning a massive television ad buy during the Olympics, on the heels of accepting the Democratic nomination for president next week in Philadelphia.  

Hillary for America has reserved time for a high seven-figure national network and cable advertising campaign during the Summer Olympics, which begin August 5, according to a senior campaign official.  

NRCC Bracing for Lonely Defense of House Majority
With all eyes on the presidential race, House Republicans believe their majority is safe.

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Severe thunderstorms pounding downtown Cleveland were an ominous beginning to the Republican National Convention on Monday morning, but House Republicans in the city for the festivities don’t see a wave in the forecast that would jeopardize their majority in the November elections.  

Republicans are enjoying their largest House majority since 1928, but it feels more tenuous because of the potential that presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump could create a backlash against the entire party.