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Democrats Might 'Roll the Dice’ Hoping Trump or Cruz is on Ballot

Democrats think a Trump or Cruz nomination could help them turn Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr's seat blue again. But time is running out. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are optimistic that a Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz nomination will expand the map in their favor. But because of how long the GOP nominating contest could take, and how early some congressional filing deadlines are, Democrats may need to take a leap of faith on candidates before they know whether the GOP nominee will put certain states in play.  

"I’m telling potential candidates, 'There’s a chance that our party is going to win the lottery. ... It might be worth rolling the dice because it turns out the Democratic nominee in some of these states that are not competitive right now may be worth a lot,'" one Democratic consultant said.  

DCCC Robocalls Target GOP on DHS Funding

Luján is chairman of the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will launch robocalls against more than two dozen House Republicans Tuesday over the Department of Homeland Security funding flap , according to a script of the call provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

Many of the 29 targeted Republicans represent districts atop the DCCC's list of pick up opportunities in 2016. Democrats must net 30 seats to win control of the House.  

Exclusive: NRCC Announces 12 Members in Patriot Program

Walden of Oregon is the NRCC chairman in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced 12 members will kick-start its Patriot Program for the House GOP's most vulnerable incumbents, according to a news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.  

Eleven of the members were elected in 2014, when Republicans made huge gains across the country. The 12 members represent districts where Democrats typically perform well in presidential cycles, making them top targets in 2016.  

Illinois Democrat Hesitant on House Race

Bost is a freshman Republican from Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a potential Democratic recruit in a top pick-up opportunity for House Democrats in Illinois this cycle, demurred on the possibility of a bid next year.  

Land of Lincoln Democrats are reportedly asking Simon  to consider challenging freshman Rep. Mike Bost, the Republican swept into the 12th District in November. But fresh off a defeat for state comptroller last cycle, Simon said she is not yet ready to jump into a congressional race.  

Why State Lawmakers Are an Opposition Researcher's Dream

Tillis has a record and Democrats know it. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Think being a Washington politician gets a bum rap? It's not so easy being a politician from Phoenix, Springfield, Des Moines, Lincoln or Raleigh, either. Just ask Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, Iowa House Rep. Pat Murphy, Nebraska state Sen. Brad Ashford or North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.

With extensive voting records, state legislators hoping to capture national offices have seen their records used against them in close races, as their opponents use their votes to paint them with the same brush any incumbent is accustomed to.

DCCC Spends to Boost Five Incumbents

Rahall is receiving a boost from national Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added an additional $1.3 million in ad buys Friday in five districts to boost incumbents with increasingly challenging re-election races.  

The cash injection comes 11 days before voters head to the polls and signals House Democrats are increasingly fearful they could see double-digit losses on election night.  

House Democrats Boost Incumbents With TV Money

This is the first time Democrats are spending on Loebsack's race. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats continue to bolster their incumbents, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee expanding its defensive spending.  

Most notably, the DCCC is spending more in support of Democratic Reps. Collin C. Peterson in Minnesota and Dave Loebsack in Iowa, races that are only in recent days coming to the forefront of the House map .  

For House GOP, a Wave ... Or a Trickle?

Kirkpatrick is one of the most endangered Democrats this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are on track to make gains this cycle, but two weeks before Election Day, it's still unclear whether the party will procure a wave of double-digit gains in their quest to extend the majority.  

Members of Congress and operatives alike note this is a toxic time for Democrats on the ballot that should result in huge losses for the president's party. But a race-by-race evaluation of the House map shows Republicans are more likely in a position to pick up a net of around six seats this cycle.  

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.  

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.  

DCCC Cuts Airtime in 8 TV Markets

Steve Israel of New York is the DCCC Chariman. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started to pull back its advertising buys in several congressional districts around the country, according to an aide.  

At this point in the cycle, the cancellations — also known as "triage " — serve as a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has already pulled some of its buys in the same districts.