Collin C Peterson

NRCC Goes After Blue-Collar Districts in 2018
GOP campaign arm releases list of 36 initial targets

Rep. Tim Walz speaks with guests during a campaign event in Duluth for fellow Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan last fall. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee’s initial list of offensive targets for 2018 includes 36 Democrat-held districts, many in blue-collar areas of the country.

If Democrats are targeting the well-educated suburbs (see New Jersey’s 11th District, for example), where Donald Trump either barely won or underperformed, Republicans are going after many rural districts where Hillary Clinton underperformed the congressional ticket. 

The Incredible Shrinking Split Tickets
Midterm campaign field starts with just 35 crossover House districts

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican up for re-election in 2018 in a state not carried by Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the latest evidence of the nation’s polarized politics, the granular returns from November offer these slivers of bright purple insight:

Voters in just 35 congressional districts, or 8 percent of the total, elected a House member from one party while preferring the presidential candidate of the other party — the second election in a row where the share of ticket-splitting seats was in the single digits. Before that, 1920 was the last time the number of such crossover districts fell below one out of every nine.

Word on the Hill: Gotcha — Or Not
New caucus launches

Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva didn’t get got. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gotcha — wait, maybe not.

A tipster contacted HOH to allege hypocrisy on the part of Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., for flying first class on his way back to D.C. this week when a bill he sponsored prevented such a thing.

Newest Blue Dog Sides with GOP on Repeal of Midnight Rules
Democrat Josh Gottheimer campaigned as a fiscal conservative

New Jersey Rep. Josh Gottheimer was one of only four Democrats to vote for legislation allowing for the repeal of recent regulations finalized by the Obama administration. (Courtesy Josh Gottheimer Facebook page)

The three Blue Dog Democrats who voted for the Republican-backed Midnight Rules Relief Act last November had some new company Wednesday night, when the House again passed California Rep. Darrell Issa’s reintroduced legislation.

The House voted 238-184 to allow Congress to repeal en bloc multiple regulations approved in the last 60 legislative days of President Barack Obama’s administration. 

Did Down-Ballot Democrats Rely Too Heavily on Trump?
Party only cut historic House deficit by 6 seats

Democrats were unsuccessful in their attempts to tie Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen to Donald Trump. The congressman ended up coasting to re-election by 14 points. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats never thought they were in for a great night on Tuesday, but their scant gains are inspiring new questions about how the party wins congressional elections after several cycles of disappointment.

Front and center, of course, is Donald Trump. How they missed the signs of Trump’s surprise victory will be a bigger question for the entire Democratic Party (and Republicans and the media alike) for months to come. 

In Trump Country, Democrats Fight to Defend Minnesota Seat
Rick Nolan is one of just three House Democrats the GOP could knock off

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., left, appears with Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan during a campaign event for Nolan at the University of Minnesota Duluth on Oct. 28. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. — Rare is the House candidate who has two vice presidents stump for him in less than 24 hours.

But Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan is one of three vulnerable Democratic incumbents in a year when mostly Republicans are on the defensive. Democrats must gain 30 seats to take the House majority, so they can’t afford to lose this one.

Minnesota Blue Dog Isn't Ready to Give Up His District
Collin Peterson’s seat will almost certainly flip when he retires

Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson, left, is one of the last Blue Dog Democrats in the House. Here he appears with former Vice President Walter Mondale, center, and Rep. Rick Nolanat the Nolan Annual Fish Fry on Oct. 27. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BRAINERD, Minn. ­— Collin C. Peterson is the last thing keeping Minnesota’s 7th District blue.

Democrats are always worried that the 13-term congressman is going to retire. Because if he does, his heavily agricultural district will almost certainly send a Republican to Congress.

Tuesday Trivia: Congressional Campaign Edition
These candidates have interesting pasts

Test your knowledge of congressional campaigns. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For this recess trivia, we're going all congressional campaigns.

Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, a Republican, is running this year in Florida’s 19th Congressional District. In 2014, which Democrat did he run against in a different state?

E-Cigarette Industry Eyes Year-End Bill for Regulatory Rollback
Omnibus could better shield e-cigarette sales from new FDA regulations

Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole said an omnibus bill would a better way of ensuring the sale of e-cigarette products are not affected by the new FDA regulations. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The effort to pass appropriations bills on time has all but collapsed because of controversial policy riders, but the e-cigarette industry and its allies view the likelihood of a catchall spending measure as a good thing.  

That’s because of a provision tucked into the House bill that funds the Food and Drug Administration (HR 5054), which would let current e-cigarette products remain on sale without pre-market approval from the FDA. Supporters of the language think it is more likely to survive in an omnibus than a stand-alone bill funding the FDA.  

Meat vs. Veggie Showdown on National Hot Dog Day
PETA not happy over Meat Institute's annual hot dog lunch

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, second from right, poses for a picture with members of his staff during the North American Meat Institute's annual hot dog lunch. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

With only the front security entrance to Rayburn separating them, traditional hot dogs and veggie dogs were handed out for lunch simultaneously. So which do you choose?

Several hot dog companies passed out the classic summer chow in the 97-degree heat. Another perk was that former Major League Baseball players were signing balls and bats for attendees.