open-seat

Democrats Eyeing Maine Natives to Unseat Bruce Poliquin
GOP sophomore starts with incumbency and financial advantage

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has twice defeated Democrat Emily Cain, but if he seeks re-election in 2018, he’ll face a new challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Bruce Poliquin initially looked like a ripe target last cycle.

A freshman Republican, he was sitting in a longtime Democratic district former President Barack Obama comfortably carried twice. 

Rating Change: Nevada Senate Race Moves to Toss-Up
Feeling pressure from both sides, Dean Heller is more vulnerable

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller faces a credible Democratic challenger in Rep. Jacky Rosen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton last fall, Dean Heller had a tough task ahead of him next year.

And that was even before he started enduring attacks from within his own party.

At the Races: Democrats Announce for Wide Swath of Congressional Races

Angie Craig, the Democratic Farmer Labor candidate in Minnesota's 2nd District in 2016, announced on Monday she's running again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats continued to announce their intentions for several congressional races on Monday, which ranged from tossup match-ups to crowded primary races to nearly hopeless cases in heavily Republican states. 

Angie Craig lost last year’s open-seat race in Minnesota’s 2nd District by less than 2 points. On Monday, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate announced she’d try to unseat last year’s rival, freshman GOP Rep. Jason Lewis.

Angie Craig Back for Rematch Against Jason Lewis in Minnesota
Craig lost to Lewis by less than 2 points in 2016

Angie Craig, the Democratic Farmer Labor candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd District in 2016, announced Monday she’s running again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Angie Craig lost last year’s open-seat race in Minnesota’s 2nd District by less than 2 points. On Monday, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate announced she’d try to unseat last year’s rival, freshman GOP Rep. Jason Lewis.

Craig, a former health care executive, plans to spend the summer on a listening tour of the district before officially kicking off her campaign in the fall. She’s already been active in the district this year, holding an “adopt a district” town hall in the 2nd District with 1st District Rep. Tim Walz.

Republicans Seeing Red in Newly Open Nevada Seat
Rosen’s decision to run for Senate opens up 3rd District Seat

Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen is running for Senate, leaving behind a swing House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are largely on defense in 2018, but they see a bright spot in Nevada’s 3rd District. And they believe that spot is even brighter now that the Democratic incumbent is running for Senate.

Rep. Jacky Rosen’s decision to challenge GOP Sen. Dean Heller opens up the Nevada Democrat’s competitive seat. Operatives from both parties expect the House race to once again be one of the most competitive — and expensive — in the country.

Rating Change: Open Seat Gives Democrats Takeover Opportunity in New Mexico
Rep. Steve Pearce vacates 2nd District seat to run for governor

New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce’s run for governor gives Democrats an opening in his 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With re-election rates often hovering above 90 percent, open seats represent a critical factor in the Democrats’ quest for a House majority. New Mexico’s 2nd District has been an elusive target for years, as long as Rep. Steve Pearce has been on the ballot.

But the Republican congressman’s decision to run for governor opens up a majority-Hispanic district that could be vulnerable if an anti-GOP wave develops.

What’s Ohio’s Tim Ryan Up To?
Youngstown Democrat in media spotlight again — and on the trail

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan greets voters in South Carolina's 5th District, where he campaigned earlier this month for Democratic candidate Archie Parnell. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

The weekend before South Carolina’s special election, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan had been thrown into the lion’s den — “literally,” he joked. 

As a surrogate for an under-the-radar Democratic candidate in the 5th District race, the congressman from Youngstown, Ohio, was addressing a Lions Club candidate forum in a gated community south of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the room was mostly white, elderly and Republican.

Six Who Could Succeed Pelosi — Someday
Ouster talk fades, but speculation continues about the next generation of House Democratic leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she’s “very confident” she retains the support of most members of her Democratic Caucus. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One week after House Democrats finished 0-for-4 in this special election season, their burst of frustration and pique vented toward Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to have fizzled.

The vexation is not going to fade away altogether, however, and neither will the lawmakers’ whispered talk in the cloakrooms or after their nightly fundraisers about which of them has a plausible shot at someday becoming Pelosi’s successor.

Take Five: Brian Fitzpatrick
Pennsylvania Republican recalls arresting politicians before becoming one

Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick says his work as an FBI agent has given him a “pretty neat” perspective in his new job. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freshman Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, 43, a Pennsylvania Republican, talks about deciding to run to replace his brother in Congress, transitioning from life as an FBI agent, and his unique perspective at his new job.

Q: What has surprised you about Congress so far?

Podcast: Democrats’ Big Test in Georgia
The Big Story, Episode 58

Democrat John Ossoff, left, faces off June 20 against Republican competitor Karen Handel, right, for Georgia’s 6th District congressional seat.

Roll Call political correspondent Simone Pathè explains how the most expensive House race in history, next week's contest to fill an open seat in suburban Atlanta, has already revealed plenty about the new congressional electoral landscape in the age of Trump.

Show Notes: