Gonzales

Election analysis from Nathan L. Gonzales

Initial 2018 Senate Ratings Map Filled With GOP Opportunities
Democrats defending 25 seats next year, compared to just 8 for Republicans

While Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, left, is heavily favored for re-election, Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana are facing toss-up contests, according to the first 2018 race ratings by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ready or not, here come the 2018 midterm elections. Resistance is futile.

Even if you don’t want to acknowledge them, aspiring candidates are posturing for statewide bids and vulnerable incumbents are casting votes with re-election in mind.

House Republicans Entrust Majority to Rogers at NRCC
New York native begins fourth cycle at committee, but first as executive director

John Rogers was part of the National Republican Congressional Committee team that limited the party’s losses in the House to a net of just six seats in last year’s election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Midterm elections are supposed to be trouble for the president’s party, but House Republicans are confident that if they have a problem, John Rogers can solve it.

Rogers was born in Amsterdam, New York, a small-town about a half-hour west of Albany, but Republican friends know him best for once identifying an unlikely takeover opportunity three hours south in New York City.

The Certainty of Death, Taxes, and White Evangelicals
Faithful made up one-quarter of the electorate (again) and voted big for Trump

President-elect Donald Trump, seen here at the Republican National Convention in July, won white evangelical voters by the largest margin in recent memory. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the electorate evolves with each election cycle because of changing demographics, there is one constant: white evangelicals. Once again, they made up one-quarter of the electorate and voted heavily for the Republican presidential nominee.

White voters, as a share of the electorate, have been on a steady descent from 88 percent in 1980 to 70 percent in the most recent election, according to exit polling. Yet the share of white evangelical voters has remained remarkably static.

Reid Boasts About Not Going Back to Nevada
Residency issues plagued colleagues, but not former Democratic leader

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid acknowledges that he didn’t get back to his home state on a regular basis. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Residency issues knocked out a handful of Harry Reid’s colleagues over the years, but the outgoing Senate Democratic leader didn’t even pretend that he got back to his home state of Nevada on a regular basis. 

“It’s amazing what I have not done,” said Reid in the recent cover story for GW Magazine. “I don’t go home every week. I never have, even when I was in the House. I don’t like banquets, parades.” 

How Tomi Lahren Could Get Elected to Congress
Open-seat opportunity in home state of the right’s emerging media star

With South Dakota Rep. Kristi Noem leaving the House in 2018, conservative activist Tomi Lahren, center, could run to replace her. (Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons file photo CC BY-SA 2.0)

With millions of video views and hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers, young Tomi Lahren is leaving her mark on the political world from her new media perch on the right. Could Congress be next?

Lahren is no stranger to Republicans, conservatives, and Donald Trump supporters. Her “Final Thoughts” segment chastising San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for protesting racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem has been viewed more than 66 million times on Facebook. 

Will Applegate’s Rematch With Issa Be Successful?
Mixed record for California challengers on their second chance

California Rep. Darrell Issa will face another challenge from Doug Applegate, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No one paid much attention to Doug Applegate’s challenge to California Rep. Darrell Issa until there were only five months left in the campaign, and the Democrat came within 2 points of knocking off the Republican incumbent.

Applegate didn’t waste any time and has already announced his 2018 candidacy, but will more time be enough to put him over the top? 

Pelosi Remains But ‘Winter is Coming’ for Democrats
After watching Republicans, Democrats are headed for their own civil war

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan speaks with the media on Capitol Hill after losing the race for Democratic leader to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Nancy Pelosi survived her leadership election and will continue to lead House Democrats in the next Congress. But the fact that she received a credible challenge, who was supported by one-third of her members, is yet another sign that the times have changed for the Democratic Party.

For the last eight years, Democrats have enjoyed watching the greatest show on Earth: the Republican Civil War. Democrats could grab a bowl of popcorn, sit back, and watch the Republicans eat themselves alive in primaries.

Gubernatorial Losers Descend on Next Congress
Up to six new House Members previously lost a race for governor

Rep.-elect Anthony Brown, who lost a governor’s race in Maryland two years ago, walks down the House steps for the 115th Congress freshman class group photo during the first week of orientation on Nov. 15. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Getting to know your new classmates is always an awkward experience, but a handful of new House members will have at least one thing in common: losing a race for governor.

Two years ago, Democrat Anthony Brown lost the Maryland gubernatorial race to Republican Larry Hogan in an upset, 51 percent to 47 percent. But the former lieutenant governor rebounded to win a competitive Democratic primary this year in Maryland’s 4th District when Rep. Donna Edwards decided to run for the Senate. Brown cruised in the general election and will be coming to Congress next year.

Under Next Electoral Map, Trump Would Still Have Won
Trump would gain 2 electoral votes under likely new map next census

.

Population trends are working against the Republican Party — at least that’s what we’ve been told.

But a combination of the 2016 presidential results and early looks at reapportionment after the 2020 census shows that the short-term changes may not be as dramatic as once believed.

Senate Landscape: Never Too Early to Look at 2018
Tension between Trump’s strong performance and traditional midterm losses

All of the votes haven’t even been counted in the 2016 elections, but it’s not too early to look ahead to 2018.

When Orientation Is a ‘Miserable Experience’
Down, but not officially out, Mike Feeley came to orientation and dreaded every moment

Colorado Democrat Mike Feeley during a break in the new-member orientation in 2002. Feeley eventually lost his race by 121 votes and never made it to Congress. (Scott J. Farrell/ CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It might sound like fun for Republican Scott Jones and Democrat Doug Applegate to come to Washington and attend new member orientation even though they are trailing in their respective California congressional races.

But one Colorado Democrat still remembers being in that same situation over a dozen years ago, and it wasn’t good.

Opinion: Does the Country Even Want to Come Together?
President-elect Trump tasked with unifying people who don't want to be together

President-elect Donald Trump takes a few questions from the press as he leaves Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office in the U.S. Capitol Thursday with his wife, Melania Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the wake of elections, there’s a common refrain and an implicit mandate: “come together.” But unity might not just only be impossible under the circumstances, I’m not convinced most Americans even want it.

“I say it is time for us to come together as one united people,” President-elect Donald Trump said in his election night victory speech.

Ratings Change: Obama State Shifts to Trump
Iowa shifts from Tossup to Tilts Republican

GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump is well-positioned to win Iowa's six electoral votes on Tuesday, Nathan Gonzales writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to have a narrow but distinct advantage over Donald J. Trump in the presidential race, but one state that President Barack Obama won twice looks to have slipped away from the Democrat’s reach.

Obama won Iowa twice with little fanfare, but Trump is well-positioned to win the Hawkeye State’s six electoral votes on Tuesday. The final pre-election poll by Iowa-based Selzer & Co., conducted Nov. 1-4, showed Trump with a 46-39 percent lead. Other private polling confirms the Republican’s advantage.

Ratings Change: 9 House Races Shift in Final Days
As Trump closes in on Clinton, some Democratic House targets fade away

Democrats have invested plenty of time and money into defeating vulnerable Republicans including Florida Rep. John L. Mica. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic majority in the House has always been a stretch. But now that Donald Trump is closing in on Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket, Democratic hopes of making Nancy Pelosi speaker of the House once again have all but evaporated.

There is no question House Republicans have vulnerabilities and will lose seats, they just won’t lose the 30 that Democrats need for a majority, even with Trump’s volatility at the top of the ticket.

Ratings Change: 7 House Races Shift Toward Democrats
But one change toward Republicans isn’t particularly good news for majority chances

California Rep. Jeff Denham faces a competitive re-election fight with less than two weeks before Nov. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When nearly 90 percent of the batch of House ratings changes are in your favor, it’s normally great news. But with a limited House playing field, Democrats need to win virtually all of the competitive seats, and some initial takeover targets look like they are slipping out of reach.

In the most recent set of ratings changes by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call, seven races shift toward the Democrats. Takeover prospects improved in a couple of California districts (the 10th and 49th), a couple of districts with weakened GOP incumbents (Florida’s 7th and New Jersey’s 5th), and two suburban districts (Kansas’ 3rd and Pennsylvania’s 8th).