polling

Survey: Optimism Grows Among Democratic Staffers
Aides are more confident minority party can block GOP agenda

The top three Democrats in the Senate, from left, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray leave a policy luncheon in the Capitol on April 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican congressional staffers remain hopeful that they’ll enact significant legislation in 2017, but their Democratic counterparts are gaining confidence that they can block the GOP agenda, according to the June Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill aides.

Two-thirds of the Republican respondents expected it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll enact legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But only one in five of the Democrats said the same.

Race Rating: Virginia Governor Contest Still Leans Democratic
Primary results don’t change GOP nominee’s uphill battle

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, right, seen here posing for a selfie with Gov. Terry McAuliffe at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last year, remains the favorite in the commonwealth’s governor’s race this fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While the margins, if not the outcomes, of Virginia’s gubernatorial primaries may have been a surprise, the long view of the race remains the same — Democrats are in position to hold the commonwealth’s governorship in November.

In the Republican primary, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie defeated Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County board of supervisors, 44 percent to 43 percent. It was a closer-than-expected margin of victory for Gillespie, the 2014 Senate nominee, over Stewart, former state chairman for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Poll: Most Think Trump Interfered With Russia Investigation
As Trump calls the investigation ‘phony’

A new poll shows that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed are moderately or very concerned about possible ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most Americans think President Donald Trump has attempted to interfere with the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia and possible Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to a new poll from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Other results that don’t bode well for Trump: Just one in five Americans support his firing of James Comey as FBI director, 68 percent are moderately to very concerned about possible Trump ties to Russia, and only three in 10 say they aren’t very concerned.

Report: Mueller Investigating Whether Trump Obstructed Justice
Special counsel’s shift of focus would only deepen president’s legal woes

Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Justice Department’s special counsel investigating Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential election is now also reportedly examining whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice.

Robert Mueller, the former FBI director now leading the DOJ probe, is looking into whether the 45th president is guilty of a federal crime, The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening.

Opinion: Republicans’ Biggest Problem in Georgia Isn’t the Special Election
Health care looms large in the 6th District

Whether or not Democrat Jon Ossoff wins in Georgia’s 6th District next week, health care could spell serious trouble for the GOP in 2018, Murphy writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

ATLANTA — Of all of the numbers that should give Republican leaders heartburn in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election runoff is scheduled for next Tuesday, the most worrisome number might be in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll from last week.

That survey of likely and early voters showed Democrat Jon Ossoff leading Republican Karen Handel by 7 points. That’s not great news in the district where its former congressman, HHS Secretary Tom Price, won 62 percent of the vote just six months ago. But special elections being what they are, no one can confidently predict the result of this contest until it happens next week.

Legislative Agenda Gets Tougher for Trump
Even before Comey issue, Capitol Hill efforts were plodding

President Donald Trump speaks on May 4 while flanked by House Republicans in the Rose Garden after they passed legislation aimed at repealing and replacing the 2010 health care law. Trump will need to keep them on his side to pass his agenda as legal experts say James B. Comey bolstered a possible obstruction of justice case against him. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump is declaring victory despite scathing testimony against him by former FBI Director James B. Comey. But that likely will further complicate his domestic agenda and transform the 2018 midterms into a referendum on his actions related to the bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in U.S. elections.

Comey did not land a knockout blow on the president during hours of dramatic testimony Thursday. But some experts say he presented a strong case that the president obstructed justice when Trump leaned on him to drop a probe of his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and then allegedly fired Comey for refusing to do so.

Race Rating: New Jersey Governor Likely Democratic Takeover
Trump and Christie’s low job ratings hurt GOP chances of winning

Low job approval ratings for President Donald Trump and outgoing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make it hard for a Republican to replace Christie. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

While it’s still unclear whether Democrats will get their first signature victory of the year in Georgia’s 6th House District, a takeover in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race looks likely later this fall. 

On Tuesday, Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno won the GOP primary with 47 percent against four other candidates. Former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy won the Democratic primary with 48 percent against five other contenders.  

How GOP Outside Spending Turned a Loser Into a Winner in Montana
Congressional Leadership Fund spent $2.7 million to boost Greg Gianforte

Greg Gianforte won the special election for Montana’s at-large House seat Thursday despite attacking a reporter the night before. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Six months ago, Republican Greg Gianforte lost Montana’s gubernatorial election by nearly 4 points. Thursday night, he won statewide by about 6 points.

Congressional special elections are, well, special. The electorate is different, and so is the spending. Last fall, Gianforte was running against an incumbent.

Annual Capitol Insiders Survey: The Trump Effect
Tensions on the Hill from last year have carried over into 2017

Republicans staffers on Capitol Hill are still not comfortable with President Donald Trump, the latest Capitol Insiders Survey finds. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Last year’s election was humbling for pollsters, and the Capitol Insiders Survey was no exception. The vast majority of congressional staffers surveyed by CQ Roll Call in the days before the election — 91 percent — predicted a Hillary Clinton win. Only 6 percent thought Donald Trump could pull it off.

Still, the results reflect how Trump’s win blindsided the Washington establishment. The majority of Republican aides said consistently during the campaign that they wouldn’t vote for Trump.

Poll: Ossoff Leads Handel by 7 Points in Georgia House Runoff
Majority of voters surveyed disapprove of President Donald Trump

Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for the Georgia 6th Congressional District, leads Republican opponent Karen Handel in a new poll released a month before their runoff. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll shows Democrat Jon Ossoff with a 7-point lead against Republican Karen Handel ahead of the runoff election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District.

Of the 700 voters interviewed in the SurveyUSA poll conducted for Atlanta TV station WXIA, Ossoff leads with 51 percent compared to Handel’s 44 percent. Six percent of respondents were undecided and the margin of error was 4.3 percent.