James B Renacci

Midterm Barnstorming: Trump Channels Reagan
In 1986 and now in 2018, presidential coattails will be tested in focus on Senate contests

President Ronald Reagan speaks at a Republican campaign rally in Costa Mesa, Calif., in 1986. (Courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration)

Picture this: a Republican president, just days before voters decide whether his party would lose one chamber of Congress, warning that Democrats had “weakened our nation and nearly brought our economy to its knees.”

Only it wasn’t Donald Trump at one of his recent homestretch midterm rallies. It was Ronald Reagan at an October 1986 campaign stop in Springfield, Missouri.

Trump to Focus on Midwestern Battlegrounds in Final Midterms Tour
One president. 11 rallies. Eight states. Six days.

President Donald Trump waves to a crowd of supporters as he arrives at a rally at the International Air Response facility in Mesa, Ariz., on Oct. 19. Behind him is Arizona Republican Senate nominee Martha McSally. (Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will hit eight states with 11 campaign rallies in the final six days of the midterm election cycle with the House and Senate — and most of his domestic agenda — up for grabs.

Trump was in Washington on Monday and will remain there until Wednesday, when he will begin his final push to convince voters to keep both chambers in Republican hands. His tour will mostly focus on Midwestern and Mid-Southern battlegrounds.

Some Wealthy Republicans Give Themselves Q3 Campaign Cash Bumps
Select GOP candidates under pressure to dip into own accounts

Indiana Republican Senate nominee Mike Braun loaned his campaign against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly more money during the third quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have long been frustrated that a handful of candidates in tight races who could afford to loan their campaigns more of their own money had not done so.

A few of those GOP nominees changed that during the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, dipping into their personal resources to give their campaigns a cash infusion. Fundraising report filings were due Monday at midnight. 

In Trade Pact, Trump Sees Trap for Democrats and Warning to China
Kudlow: If Democrats ‘want to help working folks, they’ll go with this deal’

President Donald Trump, with Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn, at a campaign rally Monday night in Johnson City, Tenn. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

One word stood out this week as President Donald Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, described an updated North American trade pact: “progressive.”

Also notable during a half-hour discussion about the agreement Lighthizer held with a group of reporters: He was complimentary of the Obama administration’s Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with Asian countries from which Trump withdrew. He even admitted the new North American agreement is “built on” many aspects of TPP.

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018: Heidi Heitkamp Moves to Top Spot
North Dakota Democrat tops Roll Call’s latest list of endangered Senate incumbents

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., tops the list of most vulnerable Senate incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats continue to dominate the latest list of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents two months out from Election Day, with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp moving into the top spot.

Heitkamp displaces Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who nevertheless remains the most vulnerable incumbent on the Republican side and the only GOP senator running in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Meet More Likely New Members of Congress
For all of them, winning the primary was tantamount to winning the general election

Clockwise from top left, Ben Cline, Anthony Gonzalez, Deb Haaland, Dan Meuser, Rashida Tlaib, David Trone, John Rose, Andy Levin, Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean. (Courtesy Bill Clark/D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call, Anthony Gonzalez for Congress, Meuser for Congress, Rashida Tlaib for Congress, David Trone for Congress, John Rose for Congress, Andy Levin for Congress, Friends of Michael Guest and Madeleine Dean for United States Congress)

With control of the House up for grabs and the number of competitive seats growing to 86, many congressional hopefuls have two more months of grueling politicking to look forward to as they barrel toward Election Day.

But not all of them.

Facebook, Twitter Testify: Here Are the Lawmakers Who Own Their Stock
Members of Congress have invested more than $7M in three tech giants

Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins is the only senator who will question representatives from Facebook and Twitter who also holds stock in one of the companies. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate will question representatives of tech giants Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday. The chamber’s Intelligence Committee also invited Alphabet CEO Larry Page but rejected the company’s counteroffer to send Google’s chief legal officer.

Roll Call found 32 members of Congress have stock ownership in the three companies. These stocks are held in trust funds, IRAs and brokerage accounts for the members, their spouses or their dependent children. In total, members of Congress have invested more than $7,000,000 in the three tech companies subject to scrutiny in Wednesday’s hearings.

Senate Candidates Mislead When Announcing Fundraising Numbers
Not filing FEC reports electronically allows candidates to spin their totals

Mike Braun, the GOP nominee for Senate in Indiana, actually loaned his campaign $1 million during the second quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least two Republican Senate candidates who kicked their own money into their campaigns issued misleading statements about their second quarter fundraising this month.

Press releases that paint a rosier picture of candidates’ fundraising than their official quarterly reports are a reminder of the anachronistic reporting standards to which only Senate hopefuls are held.

Report: Jordan Named in New Ohio State Wrestler Lawsuit
Ohio Republican has denied knowing about sexual abuse of athletes

A new lawsuit names Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, regarding knowing about sexual abuse by Ohio State University's wrestling team's physician. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan was named in a new class-action lawsuit regarding allegations of sexual abuse at Ohio State University.

The Republican congressman, who was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1986 to 1994, is one of three former school officials named in the lawsuit, Rolling Stone reported, including former team physician Richard Strauss, who has been accused of sexually abusing male athletes over two decades. He died in 2005.

Ratings Change: Two Top Senate Races Shift Out of Toss-Up
North Dakota Moves to Tilts Republican, West Virginia Moves to Tilts Democratic

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has seen her state shift further to the right since her narrow win in 2012, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When it comes to political handicapping, the easiest thing to do would be to put all of the most competitive contests into the Toss-up category and declare them too close to call. Or to argue that because Donald Trump was elected president against the projections, it’s not worth rating any races at all.

But that’s not particularly helpful to people looking for some direction and distinctions in congressional elections.