At the Races

Trump Pledges to Campaign for Moore if Strange Loses
Strange was originally a ‘no’ on repeal-and-replace efforts, president says

President Donald Trump is backing Alabama Sen. Luther Strange in the Senate GOP runoff. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump traveled south Friday night to urge Alabamians to vote for Sen. Luther Strange in next week’s Senate Republican primary runoff. But he said he would campaign for Strange’s opponent if Strange loses.

Strange, who was appointed to the seat, faces former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore on Tuesday to serve out the rest of former Sen. Jeff Sessions’ term. Sessions is now Trump’s attorney general. Moore has been leading in public polls, and Strange’s allies hoped Trump’s visit to the state could boost turnout in the senator’s favor.

Carson Praises Moore, Breaking With Trump on Alabama Senate Race
Stops short of a formal endorsement

HUD Secretary Ben Carson praised Judge Roy Moore in a statement. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A member of President Donald Trump’s own Cabinet appears to be breaking with him in the GOP runoff in the Alabama Senate Race.

Hours before Trump travels to the state to headline a rally for Sen. Luther Strange, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson praised former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who is vying for the GOP nomination. Trump has backed Strange, Moore’s opponent. Strange was appointed to the seat after former Sen. Jeff Sessions became the U.S. attorney general.

Trump Not Present, Still Center Stage at Alabama Senate Race
Strange and Moore showcase their closing arguments to voters

Judge Roy Moore has been leading in public polling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The two GOP candidates in the Alabama Senate race came face-to-face Thursday night in an unusual debate, but President Donald Trump and his agenda took center stage.

The debate highlighted a central struggle in the race between Sen. Luther Strange, the candidate Trump has endorsed, and Judge Roy Moore, who has the backing of some of Trump’s allies and supporters who decry the D.C. establishment.

Blue Dog PAC Endorses Eight Democrats for 2018
Blue Dogs’ numbers ticked up in 2016

The Blue Dog PAC endorsed former Rep. Brad Ashford on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Blue Dog Coalition’s PAC backed eight Democratic House challengers Thursday in its first round of endorsements of the 2018 cycle. 

Endorsements come with a $5,000 check — the maximum a PAC is allowed to contribute to a federal candidate per election. The PAC can cut each candidate another $5,000 check if they clear the primary and run in the general election.

Republicans Head Into Alabama Senate Race Homestretch
Campaigns zero in on turning out supporters

Alabama Sen. Luther Strange is counting on visits by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to carry him to victory on Sept. 26. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The biggest names in the Republican Party — from President Donald Trump to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin —  will be heading south as the GOP primary runoff in the Alabama Senate race enters the homestretch. 

Sen. Luther Strange and former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore have been fighting for the GOP nod to fill the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, now Trump’s attorney general. As the top two contenders in the August primary, they advanced to the runoff, which in some ways has turned into a proxy battle within the Republican Party.

Susan Brooks Chooses Sides in Indiana Senate Primary
GOP congresswoman endorses Luke Messer, will chair “Women for Luke”

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks is the first member of the Hoosier delegation to publicly choose sides in the Senate GOP primary battle between Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks endorsed fellow Hoosier Rep. Luke Messer’s Senate bid Wednesday. She’s the first member of the delegation to publicly choose sides in what’s already become a nasty member-on-member primary war between Messer and Rep. Todd Rokita as the GOP tries to unseat the Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly.

“Luke and I have been friends for a long time, and being his colleague and watching him work up close, I have no doubt he'll make a great U.S. Senator,” Brooks said in a statement.

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is facing at least one primary challenger, with a few more looking at getting in the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

314 Action Hopes to be the ‘EMILY’s List for Scientists’
Endorsements come with PAC check and potential IE investments

314 Action is rolling out four more endorsements of Democratic challengers Monday. The organization has already backed Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate bid.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An organization dedicated to electing scientists and STEM professionals is endorsing four more Democratic House challengers Monday.

Monday’s congressional endorsements — part of a broader rollout of state and local candidates – comes in traditionally GOP seats, two of which may look more competitive for Democrats in 2018, while two others still look more challenging to flip.

Half of New Jersey Voters Don’t Think Menendez Should Be Re-Elected’
Only 20 percent said he deserves to be re-elected in Quinnipiac Poll

Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves the Senate Democrats' weekly policy lunch in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is in the legal fight of his life. And if he runs for re-election in 2018, he may be in for his toughest political fight, too. 

Half of New Jersey voters said the state’s senior Democratic senator does not deserve to be re-elected next year, according to a Quinnipiac Poll released Thursday.

GOP Sees Offensive Opening on Health Care for 2018
Republicans plan to tie all Democrats to “Medicare for all” proposals

Supporters waved signs Wednesday as Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act of 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As more and more Democrats come out in favor of some form of “Medicare for all” legislation, Republican campaign strategists are salivating.

In much the same way the GOP has tried to tie all Democrats to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in attack ads, they’re planning to tie all Democratic incumbents and challengers to different proposals from Vermont independent Bernie Sanders in the Senate and Michigan Rep. John Conyers Jr. in the House, regardless of whether they’ve personally embraced those policies.

GOP Gears Up for Primary in Wisconsin Senate Race
Candidates already battling over conservative bona fides

Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Janesville, Wis., in March 2016 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Republican primary is officially underway in the Wisconsin Senate race, with candidates facing off over who should take on Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin next year.

President Donald Trump won the Badger State by less than one point in November, the first time a Republican presidential nominee had won Wisconsin in more than 30 years. GOP Sen. Ron Johnson also ran 2 points ahead of Trump in winning a second term.

Trump Smiles With Manchin at Bipartisan Senate Tax Dinner
West Virginia Democrat posts photograph with the president

President Donald Trump posed for a photo with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III Tuesday evening. (Photo Via Manchin on Twitter)

Many Democrats might not want to be photographed alongside a smiling President Donald Trump, but then there’s Joe Manchin III.

Trump has been very popular in Manchin’s West Virginia. And Manchin was one of three Democratic senators who showed up for dinner and a tax overhaul discussion with the president Tuesday evening.

GOP Rep. Pete Sessions Gets Another Democratic Challenger
Lillian Salerno worked for the Obama administration

Salerno entered the Democratic primary in the race against GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. (Photo courtesy of Salerno’s campaign)

Lillian Salerno announced Tuesday that she is jumping into the field of Democrats hoping to take on Texas GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, as Sessions emphasizes that he is definitely running for re-election.

Democrats are targeting the district that includes northern Dallas, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November. In 2016, Sessions did not have a Democratic opponent. But Salerno, who worked in the Obama administration, is joining an already crowded field of Democrats who will face off in a March 6 primary.

Michigan’s Dave Trott Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
11th District race is rated Likely Republican

Michigan Rep. Dave Trott won’t run for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michigan Republican Rep. Dave Trott announced Monday that he won’t seek re-election in 2018.

“I have decided that the best course for me is to spend more time with my family and return to the private sector,” the 11th District congressman said in a statement.

Report: Romney Prepping Senate Run in Utah if Hatch Retires
Hatch has said Romney would not challenge him for the seat

Mitt Romney could run for Senate if Sen. Orrin G. Hatch decides to retire. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

Former presidential nominee Mitt Romney is prepared to run for Senate in Utah if the state’s senior GOP senator Orrin G. Hatch decides to retire, Utah Policy reported Monday.

The report cited unnamed sources close to Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, who said he is preparing a Senate run in case Hatch opts not to run again. Hatch had previously said this term would be his last, but he has since signaled he could run for an eighth time.