Deborah Ross

Trump Gave Vulnerable GOP Senators an Unexpected Boost
Republicans keep majority in winning some races they had written off

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.

Democrats spent months plotting how they could take back the Senate: Win Pennsylvania, steal an unexpected victory in Missouri, and up the score in blue states like New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Illinois.

All of their paths to a majority — every one of them — was built on the idea that Hillary Clinton would comfortably win the presidential race. As it turns out, that was a fatal flaw.

Burr Apologizes for ‘Bull’s-Eye’ Remark About Clinton
Said previously he was surprised Clinton’s face on a magazine didn’t have a bull’s-eye

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr was criticized by his Democratic opponent Deborah Ross for the remark. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Richard M. Burr apologized Monday for comments he made over the weekend alluding to a bull’s-eye on Hillary Clinton’s face.

The North Carolina Republican, who is facing a tough re-election race against Democrat Deborah Ross, made the remark when speaking in Mooresville, North Carolina, noting that he had seen a rifle magazine with Clinton’s face on the cover.

Poll: GOP All but Certain to Hold Georgia, Iowa Senate Seats
Race in North Carolina between Burr and Ross remains tight

Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley, right, and Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson appear to be coasting in their respective Senate re-election races. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows the Senate races in Georgia and Iowa all but decided, while the North Carolina contest remains tight.

A survey of early voting in Georgia showed challenger Jim Barksdale ahead of incumbent Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson by 1 point among voters who cast early ballots. But Isakson held a commanding 54 percent to 40 percent lead among all likely voters. 

‘Wal-Mart Moms’ Don't Know Much About Senate Candidates
Focus group participants familiar with presidential race, very little down-ballot

Nevada Rep. Joe Heck is among the candidates in Senate races that "Wal-Mart moms" know little about. But they revealed, in a focus group on Tuesday, that they know a lot about the presidential race. (Bill Clark/Roll Call file photo)

The Senate race in Nevada between Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Rep. Joe Heck is one of the marquee battlegrounds of 2016 — a contest that could determine which party controls the legislative body next year.

And yet, with just two weeks before Election Day, a key bloc of voters doesn’t know much about the race, its candidates, or even whom they’ll vote for.

Democratic Super PAC Invests in Senate Races
Group had initially focused on backing Hillary Clinton

Former state Rep. Deborah Ross, right, is running against Sen. Richard M. Burr in a surprisingly tight race in North Carolina. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic super PAC Priorities USA Action is planning to put some of its money into tight Senate races across the country. 

The group had been initially focused on supporting Hillary Clinton, primarily. But now the super PAC is planning on spending in races in North Carolina, Nevada, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, CNN reported.

The Senate: How the Challengers Rank
A new No. 1 rises thanks to his unexpected strength in a Republican state

Democrats are counting on Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander to win his Senate race against Sen. Roy Blunt. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

How bad can it get for the GOP?

That’s the question party strategists are asking themselves this week after the revelation last Friday of a video in which Donald Trump bragged about sexually assaulting women. Already, former Trump supporters like Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rob Portman of Ohio, and Rep. Joe Heck of Nevada have decided to no longer back their own party’s presidential nominee. Other Republicans may not be far behind. 

Are Senate Republicans Over-Performing Trump?
Kelly Ayotte, Marco Rubio lead the way among GOP senators

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is over-performing her party's presidential nominee Donald Trump by almost 9 points in New Hampshire. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have always believed that to hold their Senate majority they needed to run ahead of Donald Trump.

Some of their candidates are having more success than others.

In TV Ads, Senate Democrats Avoid Trump
Party strategists say their campaigns run deeper than the GOP nominee

North Carolina's Deborah Ross, center, has not yet linked her opponent Sen. Richard M. Burr to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in TV advertising in their Senate race. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have run TV ads accusing North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr of profiting from his office, undermining Medicare, and exacerbating congressional gridlock.  

And yet, a month before Election Day, the party’s candidates and their allies have conspicuously and surprisingly avoided one subject altogether in their on-air barrage: Donald Trump.

Was Richard Burr's Re-Election Bid Always Supposed to Be This Competitive?
North Carolina Republicans say tightening race doesn't surprise them

North Carolina Republicans say Sen. Richard M. Burr's bid for a third term was always going to be close. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With all the chatter about Sen. Richard M. Burr's re-election contest becoming more competitive, North Carolina Republicans are effectively saying, "We told you so."

Over the course of the summer, it's gone from a third-tier race to a matchup that's attracting national attention and dollars. Tightening numbers in the Tar Heel State have provoked much publicized angst among Washington Republicans.