Tossup

Ratings Changes: 15 Races Shift Toward Democrats, 1 Toward Republicans
Democratic chances have improved beyond Pennsylvania

From left, Democrats Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey and Stephanie Murphy of Florida are looking more secure in their re-elections this fall, while, from right, Republicans Ted Budd and Mimi Walters may be more vulnerable. (Bill Clark/Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Less than eight months before Election Day, the midterm landscape is still taking shape. It’s still not clear whether Democrats will have a good night (and potentially fall short of a majority) or a historic night in the House that puts them well over the top. But mounting evidence nationally and at the district level points to a Democratic advantage in a growing number of seats.

Democratic prospects improved in a handful of seats in Pennsylvania, thanks to a new, court-ordered map. And the party’s successes in state and local elections over the last 14 months demonstrate a surge in Democratic voters, particularly in blue areas, that could be problematic for Republican candidates in the fall. GOP incumbents in districts Hillary Clinton carried in 2016 might be particularly susceptible to increased Democratic enthusiasm.

Scott Walker Backs Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate Primary
Morrisey is running for GOP nod to take on Manchin in November

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is picking up the endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. 

“Attorney General Morrisey’s strong, conservative record is exactly what West Virginia needs in its next senator,” Walker said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call. 

DCCC Announces Six More ‘Red to Blue’ Candidates
The candidates will benefit from additional DCCC resources

Lauren Baer, a former Obama Administration foreign policy expert , is challenging first-term GOP Rep. Brian Mast in Florida’s 18th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more candidates to its Red to Blue program, which helps congressional hopefuls stand out to donors and gain access to committee resources.

The candidates must meet goals for fundraising and grassroots engagement to be added to the program. The candidates will also be able to benefit from additional DCCC staff resources, guidance, trainings and organizational support.

Cramer Running for Senate
The congressman had originally said he wouldn’t run

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is running for Senate in North Dakota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer is reversing course and running for Senate in North Dakota after all, according to multiple media reports and an announcement notice posted on his campaign’s Facebook page.

The name of his campaign’s Facebook page, linked to on his congressional campaign website, is now titled, “Kevin Cramer for US Senate.” The page also links to a Friday event in Bismarck titled “Cramer for Senate Announcement & Rally.” A GOP strategist confirmd Cramer is running.

Nolan’s Former Campaign Manager Running for Minnesota’s 8th District
Joe Radinovich joins emerging DFL field

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan is not running for re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Minnesota Rep. Rick Nolan’s decision not to seek re-election has shaken up the race in one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities, with the Democratic-Farmer-Labor field just beginning to take shape.

Former state Rep. Joe Radinovich, Nolan’s 2016 campaign manager, is getting into the race Thursday.

Cramer Reverses Course, Reconsiders North Dakota Senate Run
GOP lawmaker expects to make a decision over the weekend

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is reconsidering running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer is reconsidering running for Senate in North Dakota, despite previously saying he would run for re-election to the House. Cramer said he expects to make a final decision by the end of the weekend.

Cramer said Tuesday night that he had received encouragement from people in D.C. and in North Dakota to reconsider his decision not to run. He did not directly answer a question as to whether President Donald Trump was personally encouraging him to challenge Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

Report: Republicans Trying to Get Cramer to Run for Senate
North Dakota congressman earlier passed on challenging Democrat Heitkamp

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. Dak., passed on a senate run last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans are trying to change North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer’s mind about challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders are worried about opposition research on state Sen. Tom Campbell, the Washington Examiner reported. 

Jenkins Leads Morrisey in Internal Poll of West Virginia Primary
Republicans locked in competitive May 8 primary to take on Manchin

West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins led the Republican Senate primary field  in a poll commissioned by his campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins led the primary field for the Republican nomination for Senate in an automated poll conducted earlier this month for his campaign.

Jenkins was ahead of his closest opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 33 percent to 25 percent among GOP primary voters in the six-way matchup, results of which were obtained first by Roll Call.

Manchin Gets Saltier at Pence: No One Is More Bipartisan Than Me
Vulnerable West Virginia senator ‘shocked’ at VP’s speech to Republican retreat in home state

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has tried to position himself as a Democratic ally of President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:05 p.m. | Sen. Joe Manchin apparently did not vent enough on Wednesday when he responded to Mike Pence’s speech in West Virginia in which the vice president criticized the Mountain State Democrat for voting against the Republican tax code overhaul in December.

So he did what most politicians do now when they’re frustrated: let loose on Twitter.

Some in Arizona GOP Trying to Nudge Arpaio Out of Senate Race
Would be ‘miracle’ if former sheriff beat Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in general election, GOP operative says

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks with members of the Arizona delegation on the floor of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A cohort of state GOP officials in Arizona is trying to nudge Joe Arpaio out of the Senate primary race, according to a draft resolution the group plans to propose at the party’s annual meeting in Phoenix this weekend, according to The Arizona Republic, which broke the story.

The officials are worried the former sheriff would severely hamper Republicans’ chances of keeping outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake’s seat red in the general election were Arpaio to win the party’s nomination in the Aug. 28 primary.