Stephanie Akin

Missouri Democrat underscores challenge to Rep. Ann Wagner with eyebrow-raising 24-hour haul
Democrats are targeting St. Louis-area district in quest for further gains in the suburbs

Missouri Democratic state Sen. Jill Schupp, who is challenging Republican Rep. Ann Wagner in a St. Louis-area district, raised over $225,000 in the 24 hours after she launched her bid Tuesday, her campaign said. 

Democrats are sure to seize upon the number as a sign of continued leftward momentum in the suburbs. 

Denver Riggleman keeps taking flak from other Republicans
Social conservatives look to move nominating process to convention, away from primary

Corrected 10:29 a.m. | Conservatives pushing for more control of the nominating process in a congressional district in Virginia insist it’s not just because freshman Republican Denver Riggleman officiated a gay wedding this summer.

But it’s hard to talk about the effort to replace Riggleman, a libertarian-leaning business owner, with a more socially conservative Republican without talking about the wedding. It is arguably the most prominent thing Riggleman has done in his 11 months in office.

GOP plan for suburbs includes bills focused on child care, health costs
Democratic wins in traditionally Republican areas helped fuel House takeover last year

Leaders of a group formed by House Republicans after Democrats routed GOP candidates in suburbs around the country in the 2018 midterms said Wednesday that they would roll out dozens of bills in the coming months to show the party can appeal to voters beyond rural areas.

The product of a new suburban caucus launched last spring by Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, the agenda might look familiar to anyone following the Democratic presidential campaigns. Caucus task forces have been dedicated to making health care affordable, supporting family caregivers and increasing school safety, for example.

States in the Midwest with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Rust Belt states helped decide the presidency, and have numerous competitive races for House, Senate

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

States in the East with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Pennsylvania remains a presidential battleground, while Collins bid in Maine will be closely watched

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

In the West, an outsize role for Texas in the 2020 elections
Battles for Senate and numerous House seats will drive interest in Lone Star State

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

States in the South with outsize roles in the 2020 elections
Florida, Georgia and North Carolina among key states to watch

 

 

Despite Ukraine heat, Pompeo seen as front-runner if he seeks Kansas Senate seat
Transcripts show State Department veterans wanted him to stand up to White House pressure

Recently released transcripts in the House impeachment inquiry have led to criticism of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for not stepping up to protect diplomats from White House political pressure over Ukraine.

Republicans in Washington and his native Kansas, however, told CQ Roll Call that nothing they have heard would lead them to back off efforts to recruit Pompeo to run for an open Senate seat in the Sunflower State. They say the former four-term congressman and CIA director would be the immediate front-runner in the race. 

The most vulnerable 2020 House and Senate incumbents, explained
Political Theater, Episode 99

One year out from Election Day 2020 and Senate Republicans and House Democrats find themselves in parallel universes. The GOP is on defense in Senate races, where more Republicans are on the ballot, and it’s the opposite in the House, where many Democrats who won in hostile territory last year find themselves in tough races. CQ Roll Call’s campaign team, Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin, run through the 10 most vulnerable members of both the House and Senate.

Show Notes:

Shimkus confirms retirement
Illinois Republican said last week he might want to stick around

Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus said Monday that he will stick with his plan to retire, ending a brief flirtation with an opportunity to pursue a top position on the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

“After weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to reaffirm my plan to retire,” Shimkus said in a statement. 

The 10 most vulnerable senators in 2020: Republicans play defense
2 GOP senators must win in states that went for Hillary Clinton in ’16

Although most competitive Senate races in 2020 involve Republicans defending their seats, it’s a Democratic senator who tops the list of the most vulnerable incumbents in the chamber one year out from Election Day.

Alabama’s Doug Jones is running for a full Senate term after winning a special election in 2017, and he faces the difficult task of overcoming the partisan dynamics of a deeply Republican state. Michigan Sen. Gary Peters is the other Democrat running in a state that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but he is further down the list, since Trump won the Wolverine State by a much smaller margin.

The 10 most vulnerable House members in 2020: Democrats dominate
Majority on defense after significant gains in last year’s midterms

One year out from the 2020 elections, the most vulnerable member of the House is the Oklahoma Democrat whose upset win surprised even astute politicos last fall. She is joined by a California Republican who is under indictment and numerous Democrats running in districts President Donald Trump easily won in 2016.

Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to win control of the House, and they see their path back to the majority running through so-called Trump districts that slipped from the party’s grasp in the midterms. Whether they succeed depends on next year’s political climate and the strength of their candidates. In some districts, the GOP has worked hard to recruit more diverse challengers, especially after Democrats’ success electing women last year.

Is tight Kentucky governor’s race a sign of trouble awaiting McConnell in 2020?
Competitive red state excites Democrats, but GOP says no comparison between Bevin and Senate leader

Shortly before Kentucky Gov.  Matt Bevin won his first term four years ago, he made an elaborate show of contrition to onetime rival and fellow Republican Mitch McConnell, showing a satirical video at a GOP dinner in which Bevin appeared to get a McConnell-themed tattoo.

Now Bevin is in the homestretch of a bitter reelection battle — against the state’s Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear — that is seen as a curtain raiser to McConnell’s own 2020 campaign for a seventh Senate term. And the Senate majority leader has been returning the love, working behind the scenes to boost his erstwhile antagonist, according to sources familiar with the race.

Shimkus ‘reconsidering’ retirement after top GOP committee post opens up
12-termer from Illinois also seems to soften Trump criticism

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, a 12-term Republican who had announced in August he would retire rather than run again in 2020, said Tuesday he is “reconsidering” his decision.

The change of heart comes a day after Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, announced his retirement. Shimkus is third in Republican seniority on the committee, after a former chairman, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who would need a waiver from GOP rules to become the panel’s chairman or ranking member in the next Congress.

Gabbard won’t run again for House seat, stays in presidential race
Four-term Hawaii representative has clashed with fellow Democrats over military and foreign policy issues

Tulsi Gabbard, the last House member still in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Thursday she would not seek reelection for her Hawaii seat.

“I believe I can best serve the people of Hawaiʻi and our country as your President and Commander-in-Chief,” she said in an announcement posted on Twitter.

Tim Ryan drops presidential bid, will run for reelection in House
Ohio Democrat had struggled to raise money, qualify for debates

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan on Thursday became the latest Democrat to drop out of the race for the party’s presidential nomination, announcing in a tweet that he would seek a 10th term in the House instead. 

“I got into this race in April to really give voice to the forgotten people in this country,” he said in a video posted online. “I’m proud of this campaign because I believe we’ve done that.”

After 184 years, Cherokees seek House delegate seat promised in treaty
Move poses technical and moral questions, including whether Cherokees would get ‘super vote’

Kim Teehee was an intern combing through dusty archives when she first learned of a largely forgotten agreement between her Cherokee tribe and the federal government.

More than 25 years later, that document has placed Teehee at the center of a historic reckoning of the way Congress treats Native Americans, while raising questions about what representation in Washington really means.

Vulnerable Democrat gets little heat over impeachment at town hall
Trump predicted that Democrats would face a backlash, but that hasn’t happened

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. —Elaine Luria knew that many at the church where she spoke here Thursday night weren’t going like what she had to say about impeachment.

But at her first town hall since she led a group of Republican-targeted Democrats who threw their support behind an inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine last week, Luria stood her ground.

Even Joe Biden was once the upstart
Former vice president’s 1972 Senate race was long-shot campaign that paid off

This is the sixth installment in “Battle Tested,” a series analyzing early campaigns of some Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. Earlier pieces focused on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Biden was an unknown lawyer in his first term on the New Castle County Council when he started talking to people about his next move.

Elizabeth Warren backs primary challengers against sitting House Democrats
Warren is endorsing Jessica Cisneros against Henry Cuellar and Marie Newman against Dan Lipinski

Sen. Elizabeth Warren endorsed two House Democratic primary challengers Monday, backing two women taking on sitting lawmakers.

The Massachusetts Democrat is endorsing Marie Newman, who is taking on Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd District and immigration lawyer Jessica Cisneros, who is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas’ 28th District, Justice Democrats announced in a news release.