Tim Walz

A Back-of-the-Envelope Look at How the House Could Flip
Electoral waves, ranging in size, are the norm for midterms going back decades

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., is running for Senate, leaving behind a House seat that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. It’s a prime takeover target for Democrats this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Count the House races, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of whether the House will flip in the fall. No, you can’t be entirely certain how an individual toss-up contest is going to turn out in November. But you can arrive at a ballpark assessment of House changes right now by looking at three baskets of districts and how similar ones behaved in previous midterms.

There are 25 Republican House members representing districts carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016 (up from 23 before Pennsylvania drew a new congressional map). Almost one-third of those members, eight, are retiring. Given the current political polarization, the normal midterm dynamic (which punishes the president’s party) and the added risk of losing open seats, it’s likely that most of those 25 GOP districts will flip party control.

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

Walz Wins DFL Nomination for Minnesota Governor
Former Gov. Pawlenty gets thrashed in Republican primary

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., won the gubernatorial nomination for the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Tim Walz won the Democratic Farmer-Labor Party nomination in Minnesota’s gubernatorial race.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, Walz had 41.7 percent ahead of state Rep. Erin Murphy’s 32.1 percent and Attorney General Lori Swanson’s 24.4 percent, according to The Associated Press.

Hagedorn Wins GOP Nomination for Toss-Up Minnesota Race
This is Hagedorn’s fourth bid for 1st District and third as the nominee

Jim Hagedorn won the GOP nomination for Minnesota’s 1st District on Tuesday and will face Democrat Dan Feehan in November. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn has won the Republican nomination for Minnesota’s 1st District, hoping the third time is the charm to win the highly competitive seat. 

With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Hagedorn led state Sen. Carla Nelson 60 percent to 33 percent, when The Associated Press called the race. 

In Minnesota’s 1st District, a Test Between New and Old GOP Candidates
Jim Hagedorn is running for the nomination for the fourth time

Jim Hagedorn, who’s been endorsed by the Minnesota GOP, is facing a primary in the 1st District on Tuesday. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jim Hagedorn has done this before — three times, in fact.

The Minnesota Republican has never won any of those congressional races in the 1st District, but he’s trying again this year. Hagedorn came within a point of defeating Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Tim Walz in 2016, and now that it’s an open seat — Walz is running for governor — Hagedorn sees another opening.

For New Veterans Affairs Chief, That Was the Easy Part
Robert Wilkie may have made it through the Senate, but the second-largest federal agency still has vacancies, other woes

Nominee Robert Wilkie is sworn in to testify in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Building on June 27. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

His confirmation Monday drew scrutiny and nine dissenters. Now Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie must face the real challenge: repairing the sprawling agency that serves the nation’s veterans, including 9 million who receive health care benefits through the department.

The second-largest federal agency is embarking on two major initiatives — a reorganization of its private medical care options and a $15.8 billion electronic health records project — at the same time that it seeks to fill key positions overseeing them.

Rick Nolan Joins Last-Minute Gubernatorial Ticket in Minnesota
Nolan already passed on his own gubernatorial bid last year

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is running for lieutenant governor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is joining a gubernatorial ticket let by current Attorney General Lori Swanson.

They’ll run together for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party nomination in the August primary against state Rep. Erin Murphy, who received the DFL endorsement this weekend, and Rep. Tim Walz.

Rothenberg’s Dangerous Dozen Open House Seats
Republicans find themselves more on the defensive as November looms

Former Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Patrick Meehan, seen here after being pulled from the Congressional Baseball Game in 2014, has left behinda an open seat that is the most likely to flip party control, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Yes, it’s time for another of my “dangerous dozen open House seats” columns, which I have been writing since shortly after the establishment of the Jamestown Settlement (or so it seems).

This cycle’s version has a plethora of seats to choose from, given the 38 Republican and 19 Democratic seats where an incumbent is not seeking re-election, either because he or she is retiring or running for a different office. (The number does not include those districts where a special election has already filled a vacancy or will be held before November.)

Nine House Members Pushing for Gubernatorial Promotion
But for many, the road to the governor’s mansion won’t be easy

Of all the House members running for governor this year, Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa may have the best shot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Just seven of the 50 current governors have previously served in the House, and only five of those were elected directly from the House without holding a statewide office or another job in the interim period. But a handful of lawmakers are hoping to buck the trend and push that total number closer to double digits.

Many of them have to navigate competitive primaries first, and the precedent for members getting elected governor isn’t great. But while most of them are leaving behind safe seats, there’s an upside: becoming their state’s top elected official and departing from an unpopular Congress.

Special, Special, Special Elections
Gearing up for the midterms amid one special election after another

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