House and Senate primaries

Maybe Stu Rothenberg Isn’t So Bad at This After All
2016 was a disaster, 2018 not so much

From left, Sen.-elect Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen.-elect Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., talk during a photo-op in Schumer’s office in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boy, I stunk up the joint in 2016. I was sure that Donald Trump wouldn’t — couldn’t — win the presidency, and I said so without any “ifs” or “buts.” I didn’t pay enough attention to the possibility that Trump could lose the popular vote badly but still win an electoral college majority. I tried to explain my mistakes as completely as I could in an end-of-the-year Washington Post column.

But this year, watching the midterms from 10,000 feet instead of being in the weeds, I feel pretty good about my analysis throughout the cycle. Maybe it was dumb luck. Maybe it was years of watching campaigns and candidates. Maybe it was some of each.

Meet Carol Miller. She Could Be the Only New Republican Woman Coming to Congress Next Year.
The GOP’s only new woman, so far, will represent West Virginia’s 3rd District

West Virginia Republican Carol Miller may be the only new GOP woman in the next Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Among the 33 new women elected to the House this week, only one is a Republican. 

Carol Miller, the majority whip in the West Virginia state House and daughter of a former Ohio congressman, won the Mountain State’s 3rd District seat Tuesday night, defeating Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda.

All the Post-Election Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask
With special guest Professor U.R. Wise, scholar of the later campaigns of Harold Stassen

Aren’t House Democrats taking a political risk by doubling down on Nancy Pelosi? No, says our resident expert. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — To answer your post-election questions, we have retained the services of Professor U.R. Wise, the holder of the Warren G. Harding chair in political philosophy at Flyover University.

A: Pelosi is the great survivor of American politics. Assuming she has the votes, Pelosi will become the first legislator in American history to regain the speaker’s gavel after a gap as long as eight years.

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Capitol Ink | It’s a Win Win
Series finale concludes Matson’s chronicle of this past year’s political tides and turns

Previously On Capitol Ink ...

Today’s Capitol Ink caps off a series Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson started a year ago, looking at the 2018 midterms with his satirical eye. Here are the previous three entries in the series.

5 Surprises from the 2018 Midterm Elections
From the Indiana Senate race to the Atlanta suburbs, a scattering of the unexpected

Republican Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, by nearly double digits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most midterm elections have dozens of individual House and Senate races that remain unpredictable right up until — and after — the polls close on Election Day. The 2018 cycle was no different, with 22 House and three Senate races still uncalled by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

But each year, there are a few races that experts thought they had a handle on, only to be flummoxed by the results.

Romney Shades Away From Trump as High Profile Senate Role Awaits
Not since Hillary Clinton’s 2000 election has a Senate candidate come with such clout

Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann greet supporters as he leaves his election night party on Tuesday in Orem, Utah. Romney won the election to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney easily defeated Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson to clinch an open Utah Senate seat, positioning him to become the highest-profile freshman senator since Hillary Clinton’s successful New York bid in 2000 when her husband was still president.

With his more than 60 percent win, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is poised to fill a power vacuum in the Senate GOP. The party has lost many of its most senior members and moderate voices through retirement, not to mention the death of John McCain. Purists from both parties have looked to Romney as one of the lone — if only — politicians with the clout and gravitas to become both a counterweight to President Donald Trump and a defender of the institution.

It’s Not Too Early to Start Looking at the 2020 Senate Map
The fight for the Senate should once again be a prime battle.

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is up for re-election in 2020 in a state carried by both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The votes haven’t all been counted in the 2018 Senate elections, but we know the size of the incoming majority will be critical, because the 2020 Senate map offers limited initial takeover opportunities for both parties.

Of course, it’s too early to tell what the presidential race will look like, how voters will feel about the economy and direction of the country, and whether they’ll believe more Democrats are needed in Washington.

Republicans Maintain Senate Control
Democrats lose seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri

Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have retained their control of the chamber after the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, but it is still unclear by how narrow a margin.

The Associated Press projects the chamber will remain in Republican hands, with a Democratic takeover blocked after losses in Indiana and North Dakota. Things got worse for Democrats later in the night when they lost Missouri, too. 

5 Reasons Why Democrats Are Poised to Take Over the House
Money, Trump and a few unexpected breaks have boosted party’s chances

Harley Rouda, a Democrat running for California's 48th Congressional District, speaks during his campaign rally in Laguna Beach, Calif. in May (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At the start of this election cycle, historical trends suggested Democrats were likely to make gains in the House. Two years later, they appear to be on the verge of taking over the chamber. A few surprising developments helped them get there.

While President Donald Trump has attempted to deflect blame should Republicans lose House control Tuesday, he has certainly been a factor in this year’s contests. That’s typical for midterm elections — the president’s party has lost an average of 33 seats in 18 of the last 20 midterms.