Patty Judge

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. 

Grassley, Challenger Camps Swap Insults Over Debates
No debates yet on the calendar with early voting to start in two weeks

Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge is accusing Sen. Charles E. Grassley of ducking debates. Grassley's campaign said Judge's camp is making excuses. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The campaigns of Iowa Sen. Charles E. Grassley and his Democratic challenger Patty Judge have yet to agree to a debate schedule, with early voting in the Hawkeye State set to begin in two weeks.

And both campaigns are accusing the other of ducking debates, The Des Moines Register reported

Democrats No Longer Divided Over Social Security
Expansion, not cuts, has been the theme in Washington and on campaign trail

More Democrats are coming around to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren's thinking on Social Security. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While there was a split among moderate and liberal Democrats on Social Security, expanding the program rather than cutting it is becoming the party line on the Hill and on the campaign trail.

On Friday, Democratic Reps. Linda T. Sánchez, Mark Pocan, and Michael M. Honda announced legislation to expand Social Security.

Hispanic House Recruit Gets Prominent Speaking Slot at DNC
Many other Democratic candidates are choosing to stay in their districts

Nevada state Sen. Ruben Kihuen (Photo By Douglas Graham/Roll Call)

Nevada state Sen. Ruben Kihuen is the sole House Democratic recruit the Democratic National Convention Committee has touted as a major speaker in Philadelphia this week.  

The selection of a Hispanic state legislator underscores Democrats’ desire to showcase diversity on stage this week, while also promoting a candidate who has a good opportunity to flip a red seat blue.  

Obama Backs Patty Judge in Iowa Senate Race
Democrat challening Charles Grassley, who's blocking Supreme Court nominee

Barack Obama endorsed Patty Judge, who is running against Sen. Charles Grassley, who has opposed Obama's latest nominee to the Supreme Court. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama on Wednesday endorsed former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge in her race against Sen. Charles E. Grassley, who has led the GOP effort to block his latest Supreme Court nominee.  

"Patty has never backed down from a challenge," Obama said in a statement. "I have no doubt that she will carry this spirit with her to the United States Senate."  

Roll Call's Senate Challenger Rankings
The list leans heavily Democratic in a year in which Republicans are playing defense

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan has never held office in Washington. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In close races, the quality of the candidates can make all the difference. And with a few notable exceptions, most incumbents acquit themselves well with strong fundraising, good campaigns, and a message tailored for victory.  

So this year, Roll Call has decided to rank the Senate challengers — that is, the candidates for office who aren’t incumbents. It’s a list that leans heavily Democratic in 2016, a year when Republicans are playing defense in all but two seats currently considered at all competitive.  

Democrats Set to Take on Vulnerable Iowa Republicans
Monica Vernon and Jim Mowrer Win Democratic House nods

Monica Vernon won the Democratic nod in Iowa's 1st District and will face off against GOP Rep. Rod Blum. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats need to win two competitive seats in Iowa to hope to make a dent in their 30-seat deficit in the House.   

And they now have their candidates. In Iowa's 1st District, Monica Vernon will face off against freshman GOP Rep. Rod Blum in November.   

First GOP Incumbent to Fall on Busy Primary Day
One of North Carolina's Republican members will lose on Tuesday

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., left, arrives for a House Republican Conference meeting in October. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Tuesday will be a busy day for congressional candidates, with primaries in four states.  

No matter what, the first GOP incumbent of the year will lose.