At the Races

Democratic PAC Pulls Spending From Party’s Best Opportunity in Nebraska
Kara Eastman’s 2nd District race against Republican Don Bacon rated Lean Republican

Kara Eastman, Democratic candidate for Nebraska’s 2nd District. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

A Democratically-aligned super PAC has pulled its television advertising funding from the competitive district encompassing Omaha, Nebraska, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The money the House Majority PAC had committed to support Democratic candidate Kara Eastman in Nebraska’s 2nd District will now go to support Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd, the spokesman said. Election forecasters have seen that race as a slightly better pick-up opportunity for Democrats. 

Some Wealthy Republicans Give Themselves Q3 Campaign Cash Bumps
Select GOP candidates under pressure to dip into own accounts

Indiana Republican Mike Braun loaned his campaign more money during the third quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have long been frustrated that a handful of candidates in tight races who could afford to loan their campaigns more of their own money had not done so.

A few of those GOP nominees changed that during the third quarter, dipping into their personal resources to give their campaigns a cash infusion. The third quarter ended Sept. 30, with fundraising report filings required by Monday at midnight. 

GOP Poll Shows Close Race for Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District
Republican incumbent is still 2 points behind Democrat Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is facing a competitive re-election race in Iowa’s 1st District against Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll for Rep. Rod Blum has found the vulnerable Iowa Republican narrowly trailing Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District.

The poll, conducted by The Polling Company, showed Finkenauer leading Blum 45 percent to 43 percent, within the 4.9 percentage-point margin of error. Four percent of respondents backed a third-party candidate, while 6 percent were undecided. 

Porter Knocks Walters on GOP Tax Overhaul in Joint TV Ad With DCCC
Walters voted for the bill, while some other California Republicans opposed it

California Democrat Katie Porter is challenging GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrat Katie Porter is going on offense against Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, launching a new television ad highlighting the congresswoman’s support for last year’s GOP tax overhaul and tying her to President Donald Trump. 

Walters, who’s in her second term representing California’s 45th District,  backed the GOP tax measure, which some of her fellow Golden State Republicans opposed because it limited the deductions for state and local taxes. And now Porter is highlighting that vote in a negative spot, which is a joint ad with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Could Republicans in Competitive Districts Pursue NRCC Top Job?
NRCC head has usually been someone who can travel, fundraise for others

California Rep. Mimi Walters may be interested in chairing the NRCC if the position is open. First, she has to win re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With many Republicans conceding their poor prospects of holding the House next month, attention outside the conference is beginning to turn to who will helm its campaign committee for the next cycle. 

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who’s running for a fifth term in a safe Republican seat, is the current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It’s not uncommon for there to be turnover at the end of a cycle, and it’s largely understood Stivers is unlikely to remain in charge should the GOP lose its majority.

‘Treason’ Accusation Punctuates Heated Arizona Senate Debate
Democrat Sinema condemns Republican McSally for smear tactics

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., faces Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most contentious moments of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night involved Republican Martha McSally accusing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of “treason,” bringing a more predictable back-and-forth to a dramatic end.

Over the course of the hourlong debate — their only scheduled one — the two congresswomen running to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake split over health care, immigration, and the Supreme Court’s newest justice. Sinema stressed that she would be independent of her party, while McSally touted the accomplishments of GOP-controlled government.

MacArthur Narrowly Ahead in New Jersey’s 3rd District, Poll Shows
After easily winning re-election in 2016, two-term incumbent faces close contest

GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur was ahead by 4 points in his campaign’s polling of New Jersey’s 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur narrowly led his Democratic opponent in the Republican campaign’s polling of the 3rd District.

MacArthur led Andy Kim 44 to 40 percent in the survey from National Research Inc. Kim was a National Security Council staffer under former President Barack Obama

At the Races: You Only Raised $1 Million?
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Fewer White Men Running for Office As Women and Minorities Step Up, Report Finds
Study finds congressional, state legislative races are more diverse in 2018

A marcher at the Woman’s March on Washington holds a sign in Spanish that reads “Woman’s rights = Human rights” on Jan. 21, 2017 one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call)

The 2018 primary season has seen a drastic decline of white men running for office in congressional and state races, as more women and minorities have joined the fray, according to report released Thursday.

There has been a 13 percent drop in white, male Congressional candidates since 2012, and a 12 percent drop in legislative races, the report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign found. 

At the Races: What Does All the Health Care Talk in Campaign Ads Mean?
Decoding Democratic and Republican messaging over health care topics

With less than a month before the midterms, Democrats and Republicans are blanketing the airwaves with ads about one of the most heated topics in American politics — health care.

Since health care can be confusing on its own, it gets even more confusing when roped into talking points for the two major parties. 

Democratic Activists Could Tip the Scale in Close Races — But Then What?
Grassroots groups have been organizing on the ground for nearly two years

Protesters wave to cars outside of GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office in Utica. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

UTICA, N.Y. — On this particular Friday, the protesters outside of Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office were having trouble holding onto their signs. 

The wind whipped around them as a dozen activists did what they had done every Friday for the last 18 months: stand on the grass between French Road and the small brick office building and hold signs in opposition to the first-term GOP congresswoman.

GOP Poll Puts Morrisey and Manchin Almost Even After Kavanaugh Vote
Manchin led Morrisey by 1 point in a poll conducted for the NRSC and Morrisey campaign

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey trailed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin by 1 point in an NRSC and Morrisey campaign poll of the race. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican poll of the West Virginia Senate race shows a tighter race between Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Manchin led Morrisey 41 to 40 percent in the survey conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Morrisey’s campaign and obtained first by Roll Call. 

Bost and Kelly Essentially Tied in Democratic Poll of Illinois’ 12th District
Having trailed by 9 in July, Kelly now down 1 in new poll

Democratic polling gave GOP Rep. Mike Bost a 1-point lead over Democrat Brendan Kelly. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Democratic polling of Illinois’ 12th District gave GOP Rep. Mike Bost a 1-point lead over Democrat Brendan Kelly, an improvement for Kelly since a July survey of the race. 

Bost led Kelly 46 to 45 percent in the survey commissioned by End Citizens United.

Neck-and-Neck Race in Virginia’s 10th District, Comstock Poll Shows
Comstock led Wexton 48 to 47 percent among likely voters

Polling from Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock’s campaign shows a tight race in the 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New polling from Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock’s campaign shows a closer race in the 10th District than recent public polling would suggest.

Comstock led Democratic state Sen. Jennifer Wexton 48 to 47 percent in the survey by McLaughlin & Associates. Only 5 percent of voters were undecided.

GOP Super PAC Makes First Expenditure in Minnesota Pickup Opportunity
Congressional Leadership Fund targets DFL nominee Dan Feehan in 1st District

Congressional Leadership Fund is airing its first ad attacking Dan Feehan, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee in Minnesota's 1st District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The super PAC tied to House Republican leadership is turning its attention to Minnesota’s 1st District, one of the GOP’s few pickup opportunities this cycle.

Congressional Leadership Fund is going up with its first TV ad on Wednesday, attacking Democratic-Farmer-Labor nominee Dan Feehan, an Iraq veteran and former deputy assistant Defense secretary for readiness.