Weeks Before Election, Trump Still Not Viewed as GOP Leader
Paul Ryan scores higher, but it's still not unanimous

The poll surveyed 1300 U.S. adults including 343 Trump supporters.

If primary elections are generally considered a way to find the two major parties’ standard-bearers, consider that another departure from the norm in 2016.

Only 23 percent of U.S. adults see presidential nominee Donald Trump as the leader of the Republican party, according to a new Economist/YouGov poll. Forty percent see House Speaker Paul D. Ryan as the party’s leader — roughly the same amount as those who said they are not sure.

McCain Blasts Trump for Refusing to Say He'll Accept Election Results
Arizona Republican was the GOP presidential nominee in 2008

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, said a smooth transfer of power after an election is “not just the Republican way or the Democratic way. It’s the American way.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Sen. John McCain blasted Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s assertion that he might not accept the election results, implying that not doing so is disrespectful to the American people.

McCain invoked his own experience as the GOP presidential candidate in 2008, when he lost to Sen. Barack Obama.

Sessions: Trump Will Use 'Legal Rights Like Al Gore'
Trump backers weigh in on his hedge on accepting election results

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, seen here at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, said Donald Trump will use "his legal rights" to contest the results of the election if he feels it's rigged against him. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Some of Donald Trump’s supporters in Congress were quick to downplay the unorthodoxy of the Republican presidential nominee’s refusal during Wednesday night’s debate to say whether he would accept the results of the election.

They suggested that what Trump had in mind wouldn’t be any different from the 2000 election, when the courts intervened in a recount of ballots in the contest between Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

League of Conservation Voters Launch Ad Campaign Against Burr
Group is one of several opposing Burr's environmental stances

Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr is in a tough re-election race against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The League of Conservation Voters is launching a $3 million ad buy in North Carolina that attacks Republican Sen. Richard M. Burr's environmental record. 

The ad says Burr took hundreds of thousands of dollars from oil and energy companies but gave them “billions in tax breaks” and voted “against clean energy jobs.” 

Nasty Women Embrace #NastyWoman
Trump starts a movement with insult of Clinton during debate

Donald Trump might have done Hillary Clinton a favor when he called her a “nasty woman" at the third and final debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump sparked outrage Wednesday night after calling Democratic rival Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” during their third and final debate in Las Vegas.

As they were nearing the end of their 90-minute slugfest, Clinton landed a blow about Trump possibly evading social security taxes. As she continued talking, Trump moved closer to his microphone and said, “Such a nasty woman.”

Kirk Hits Back at Chicago Tribune in Op-Ed
Newspaper had cited his stroke as reason for not endorsing Illinois senator

Illinois Sen. Mark S. Kirk pushed back after the Chicago Tribune cited his health in their endorsement of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Tammy Duckworth. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Illinois Sen. Mark S. Kirk has responded to the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board that cited his stroke as a reason not to endorse him last week.

The Tribune chose to endorse the Republican senator's opponent, Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth. While the editorial said Kirk's 2012 stroke was not disqualifying, “we cannot tiptoe around the issue of Kirk’s recovery and readiness.”

Fewer Election Observers Will Be at Polls
2013 Supreme Court opinion cut power of Justice Department

The Justice Department will send election observers to as many states as it did in 2012, but there won't be as many of them. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Justice Department will dispatch fewer election observers to polls across the country this year because of a Supreme Court decision that eliminated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

The 2013 Shelby County v. Holder ruling will likely reduce the department's ability to identify cases of voter intimidation and other issues at the polls, The Associated Press reported.

Republicans File Ethics Complaint Against McGinty
Filing by Pennsylvania GOP based on hacked email from WikiLeaks dump

Republicans in Pennsylvania allege that Democrat Katie McGinty violated a code of conduct by sending an email from her personal account while serving as the governor's chief of staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania filed an ethics complaint on Wednesday against Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty based on a hacked email that WikiLeaks released.

The state GOP said in a release that, according to emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta that were revealed in a hack, McGinty emailed Podesta seeking campaign advice.

Feingold Gets Hollywood Assist
While Scott Walker to stump with Ron Johnson

Comedian Sarah Silverman, seen here at the Democratic convention in July with Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, called Wisconsin’s Russ Feingold a “progressive rock star.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the Wisconsin Senate race entering the home stretch, former Sen. Russ Feingold is getting star power from Hollywood, while Sen. Ron Johnson is getting help from Gov. Scott Walker.

The Feingold campaign sent a fundraising email under Silverman’s name, in which she calls the Democrat a “progressive rock star” and “one of the very few totally righteous politicians who has always voted on the right side of history.”

Democrats Hit Roy Blunt for Helping a Tobacco Company
End Citizens United releases second ad in $900K Missouri buy

End Citizens United is launching another ad attacking Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt‘s lobbyist connections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

End Citizens United, a Democratic PAC, is launching its second ad Thursday in a $900,000 TV and digital buy targeting Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.

The ad, shared first with Roll Call, attacks the Republican senator for “sneaking a provision to help a tobacco giant into a Homeland Security bill.” The narrator says that Blunt’s wife and son were lobbyists for the company, which paid for Blunt’s weekend trips to a South Carolina resort. 

What We Learned From Wednesday's Debate
How former presidential campaign managers and operatives saw Round 3

Those who have some experience in presidential campaigns said Wednesday's debate did nothing to move the needle in the last 19 days of the presidential campaign. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump did anything to change the trajectory of the presidential race in Wednesday’s third and final debate, most experts said immediately afterward.

Democrat Clinton was poised and prepared while Trump, the Republican nominee, landed a few blows. But Trump's refusal to say whether he would accept the results of the election overshadowed the rest of his performance and reminded people of his erratic nature.

Could Trump Help Turn an Open Virginia Seat Blue?
Both parties paying closer attention to traditionally Republican 5th District

Republican Tom Garrett and Democrat Jane Dittmar are facing off for Virginia's 5th District seat, left open by the retirement of GOP Rep. Robert Hurt. (Photos courtesy campaign websites)

Jane Dittmar had tried to tie her Republican opponent in Virginia’s 5th District to Donald Trump Wednesday, something that most Democratic congressional candidates are doing to their opponents these days.

She wanted GOP state Sen. Tom Garrett to condemn two armed Trump supporters who protested outside her office last week. 

Harry Reid's Last Senate Stand
Silver State election could help swing the Senate back to Democrats

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid speaks about Hillary Clinton and Nevada Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto with campaign staff and volunteers at the Washoe County Democratic Party office in Reno, Nevada. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

HENDERSON, Nev. — Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid isn’t on this year’s ballot, but he has at least one heavyweight bout left in him.

Since returning to his home state over the weekend, the Senate Democratic leader has been the focus of near-constant attention, doing interviews, holding events and rallying the party faithful for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and for Catherine Cortez Masto to succeed him. Nevada has emerged as a critical battleground in the Democrats’ efforts to retake control of the Senate.

Private Prison Companies Continue Giving to Senate Candidates
Geo Group's campaign contributions have increased sixfold since 2012

At this Adelanto, California, facility managed by The GEO Group, Immigration and Customs Enforcement houses an average of 1,100 immigrants awaiting case decisions or deportation. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

The political arm of a controversial company that wants to continue operating private prisons for the federal government has dramatically increased its donations to Senate candidates.

Those donations from the political action committee for the GEO Group, one of the nation’s largest private prison companies, have expanded sixfold this campaign season, compared to the 2012 cycle, from $22,000 to around $136,000. That’s based on a Roll Call analysis of the most recently available campaign contribution data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Merrick Garland Trudges On, Awaiting Supreme Court Action
Judge tends to his day job while quietly preparing for a hearing

Judge Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama in March, but has not received a Senate hearing or confirmation vote since. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For now, Judge Merrick Garland is in limbo. That is, if heaven is serving on the Supreme Court and waiting in limbo involves a bunch of paperwork.

Each morning, Garland does what he’s always done: he goes to work. That’s not so unusual. But these days, when he leaves his quiet Bethesda, Maryland, neighborhood, he’s riding in an SUV with federal agents.