Todd Rokita

The Best and Worst Campaign Ads of 2018
House and Senate ads that made us laugh, cry and cringe

West Virginia’s Don Blankenship lost his bid for the Republican Senate nomination. (Screenshot/Blankenship for Congress/YouTube)

The best (or worst) part of following campaigns — depending on your perspective — is watching all the ads. TV spots from campaigns and outside groups have flooded the airwaves this year, beginning with the primaries this spring. 

We’re not judging which ones have been most effective, which were most inaccurate or most offensive. And we’re excluding the biopic viral videos that have raised so much money for Democratic candidates. (For the most part, these lengthy videos didn’t run on TV in full.)

6 Takeaways From the 2018 Primary Season, So Far
President, female candidates play key roles in drawing the midterm battle lines

New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set the internet ablaze with her upset of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley, but overall, the 2018 primaries have been kind to incumbents. (Mario Tama/Getty Images file photo)

With only three states left to hold primaries this year, the battle lines have firmed up for a midterm election that could also determine the future for President Donald Trump.

Democrats need to net 23 seats to take control of the House, which would give them a platform to block the president’s agenda and launch their own investigations of his finances and the 2016 election that could rival those already underway at the Justice Department.

Goodlatte Family Feud Not the First to Befuddle Congress
Between Bernie’s son and the Conyers family, this election cycle has seen some familial discord

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., doesn’t see eye to eye with his son, as a pointed tweet revealed this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Bobby Goodlatte, son of the Virginia congressman by the same name, spoke out this week in defiance of his father, it struck some as odd. But it wasn’t the first family feud to play out in Congress. Here are a few of the ones we’ve seen this year: 

Things got a little awkward for retiring Republican Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte over the weekend, after his son announced he had donated the maximum amount allowed to the Democrat running to replace him.

Some House Members Flop In Bids for Governor
Colleen Hanabusa is the latest one to fall

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, lost her primary run for governor. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s loss in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary is the latest example of House members losing their bids for the highest office in a state. 

Hanabusa lost the primary Saturday to incumbent Gov. David Ige. Hanabusa returned to the House in 2016 after the death of former Rep. Mark Takai.

Ed Case’s Comeback Bid Continues in Hawaii Race for Hanabusa’s Seat
Former congressman wins crowded Democratic primary in 1st District

Hawaii Rep. Colleen Hanabusa lost her bid for governor Saturday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 7:52 a.m. | Former Rep. Ed Case won the Democratic nomination in Hawaii’s open 1st District on Saturday night, and is likely returning to Congress next year to represent the deep-blue seat. Case previously served two terms in the House from the 2nd District.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Case led a seven-way primary field with 40 percent of the vote, The Associated Press reported. Lt. Gov. Doug Chin and state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim trailed behind with 26 percent and 18 percent respectively.

GOP Poll: Donnelly in Position to Win in Indiana
He doesn’t need to win the 3rd District; he just needs to hold down his losses.

Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., is one of the most vulnerable Democrats in 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After defeating a flawed candidate in 2012 and President Donald Trump winning Indiana in 2016 by nearly 20 points, Sen. Joe Donnelly is widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable Democratic senators in the country. But don’t count him out yet, according to a new Republican poll.

Former state Rep. Mike Braun, the GOP nominee, led Donnelly, 50-42 percent in the 3rd Congressional District, according to a survey of 401 likely voters conducted May 29-31 by WPAi for GOP Rep. Jim Banks.

Criminal Justice System Reformers in House a Motley Bipartisan Crew
A libertarian-leaning Minnesota rep has teamed up with a Virginia progressive to push reform initiatives

Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., has taken up criminal justice system reform as one of his primary missions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As lawmakers work to reconcile differences between separate Senate and House bills to reform juvenile criminal detention, leaders with vastly different ideological backgrounds have shown they are eager to work across the aisle to remake the criminal justice system.

Reps. Jason Lewis, a Minnesota Republican, and Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, have spearheaded multiple efforts to that end, including a bill that passed the House last May that would provide education and vocational training resources to at-risk youth and young criminal offenders instead of levying penalties against them for petty offenses.

Members Find Fault With NFL’s New National Anthem Policy
New guidelines criticized from both sides

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said he will boycott the NFL this season because of its policy fining players who kneel during the National Anthem. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress found a partisan divide over the NFL’s new policy on players kneeling in protest during the national anthem.

The league announced last week that players who kneel during the anthem on the field would be fined, but they can stay in the locker room if they want to protest.

Jim Baird Likely to Be Next Congressman From Indiana’s 4th District
State legislator surprises by defeating opponents who outraised him

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird won the GOP nomination in the 4th District on Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Indiana state Rep. Jim Baird won the Republican nomination for the 4th District on Tuesday, defeating two opponents who outraised and outspent him.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Baird had 36 percent of the vote to 30 percent for businessman Steve Braun and 15 percent for former gubernatorial aide Diego Morales, according to The Associated Press. 

Mike Braun Wins Indiana GOP Senate Primary
Ex-state representative will face vulnerable Democrat Joe Donnelly in November

Former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun will face Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in November. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Businessman and former state Rep. Mike Braun won the Republican nod for Senate in Indiana on Tuesday. He’ll take on Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly in one of the most competitive races in the country.

Outspending his opponents, Braun defeated Reps. Todd Rokita and Luke Messer to win the nomination. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Braun had 41 percent of the vote to 30 percent for Messer and 29 percent for Rokita, according to The Associated Press.