DCCC

Montana Candidate Gianforte Cited for Misdemeanor Assault
Witnesses say Republican body-slammed and punched journalist

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign meet and greet at Lions Park on May 23, 2017 in Great Falls, Montana. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Updated Thursday 1:08 a.m. | Greg Gianforte, the Republican nominee in Thursday’s special election in Montana, was cited for a misdemeanor assault Wednesday evening after allegedly assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs at a campaign event at Gianforte’s headquarters in Bozeman earlier that day.

On the eve of a special election in which many early votes have already been cast, it’s unclear what effect the incident could have on what has been expected to be a close race. Gianforte has been ahead by single digits in most public and private polling. But Montana’s largest newspapers pulled their endorsements of the two-time GOP candidate Wednesday night, and Democratic outside groups lost no time producing digital ads using Jacobs’ audio of the altercation. 

Big Spending in Montana Portends a Close Election
Two flawed candidates battle for at-large district Thursday

Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte speaks to supporters during a campaign meet and greet Tuesday in Great Falls, Montana.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Updated 9:48 p.m. | Ahead of Thursday night’s “body-slamming” incident, most bets were on Republican nominee Greg Gianforte, who’s led by single digits in recent public and private polling, winning Montana’s at-large House seat on Thursday.

But that’d still be a dramatic shift from President Donald Trump’s 20-point victory in the state last fall.

Pittenger Draws Democratic Challenger in North Carolina
Marine veteran and businessman is first-time candidate in 9th District

North Carolina Rep. Robert Pittenger is a DCCC target in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The road through North Carolina doesn’t look easy for House Democrats, but the party is targeting four seats (all of which President Donald Trump won by at least 9 points) in their effort to expand the 2018 battlefield.

Democrats have talked up their efforts to land veterans and businesspeople in red districts this year. Now they’re getting a candidate that checks both of those boxes in North Carolina’s 9th District. 

Rep. Lamar Smith Out of Touch With Science, Challenger Says
Aerospace engineer — a veteran — is taking on Science committee chairman

Lamar Smith chairs the House Science Space and Technology Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, is getting a Democratic challenger who says Smith is out of touch with science and his constituents.

Joseph Kopser announced Tuesday that he is taking on Smith, who is running for re-election for a 17th term in Congress in the solidly Republican central Texas district. Kopser, a combat veteran who served in Iraq and earned a Bronze Star, is one of a slew of candidates in science and technology fields running for elected office as political outsiders.

Democrats Expanding Battlefield Into Trump Country
DCCC adds 20 more GOP seats to its target list

The DCCC is targeting California Rep. Devin Nunes in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday added 20 seats to its target list for 2018. The House Democrats’ campaign arm is now going after 79 Republican-held seats in the midterms.

President Donald Trump won these newly targeted seats by anywhere from 6 to 49 points. The first round of 59 targets, announced in January, included the 23 GOP-held seats that Hillary Clinton carried last fall. But it also included plenty of red districts, including at least eight districts that Trump carried by 15 points or more.

DCCC Breaks April Fundraising Record With $9 Million Haul
GOP outraised Democratic campaign arm by $1 million

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján is chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $9 million in April, breaking its previous fundraising records for the month. Still, that’s about a million dollars less than what the group’s Republican counterpart raised last month.

Republicans are defending two House seats in two closely watched upcoming special elections in Montana and Georgia. The DCCC has invested in both of those races, but not as much as some Democrats would like. 

White House Turmoil Ramps Pressure on Vulnerable Republicans
Some are speaking out, others still waiting for more facts

Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, seen here with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan last year, said she cannot defend the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By BRIDGET BOWMAN and SIMONE PATHÉ

No matter what he did or how much he tweeted during his first four months in office, President Donald Trump has mostly held on to the loyalty of congressional Republicans — even those who might have the most to lose at the ballot box next year. 

Vulnerable Republicans Call on Comey to Testify Before Congress
Most are House Democratic targets in 2018

Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo said that, if true, the Comey memo allegations open up “a new chapter that all of us have to consider very carefully.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable House Republicans are calling for former FBI Director James B. Comey to testify before Congress following a report from The New York Times that President Donald Trump told him to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser’s ties to Russia.

Comey, the Times reported, wrote a memo documenting a conversation he had with Trump in February the day after national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign amid revelations about his correspondence with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s presidential campaign.

Vodka and Gelato Tycoon Challenging Minnesota’s Erik Paulsen
Did Democrats just recruit their own Stewart Mills?

Congressional candidate Dean Phillips says Democratic efforts to tie the incumbent to President Donald Trump didn't work last cycle. (Courtesy Dean Phillips for Congress)

long-haired, wealthy businessman whose last name evokes one of Minnesota’s largest family fortunes announced a run for Congress on Tuesday.

No, this isn’t the return of Stewart Mills — yet. (There’s talk the two-time Republican candidate would run again in the 8th District if Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan does not seek re-election.)

Political Reaction to Comey Strikes Familiar Pattern
Democrats see opportunity, Republican responses vary

FBI Director James B. Comey’s firing has appeared to knock the issue of the GOP health care bill off the front pages. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A familiar pattern emerged after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey: Democrats pressured Republicans to weigh in, vulnerable Republicans tried to distance themselves, and others stayed quiet.

With the 2018 midterms still 18 months away, political operatives in both parties say it’s difficult to predict what issues will dominate the campaigns. But what followed Comey’s dismissal suggests that both parties may be continuing strategies they developed during last year’s elections: Democrats seek to tie Republicans to Trump, and Republicans try to stay above the the fray of the ever-changing news cycle.