Stephanie Akin

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Veterans Still Outpace Civilians in Congress, But Declines Continue
Midterms saw House increase in Democratic Vets, women with military experience

The number of military veterans in both chambers of Congress will at best remain unchanged despite a midterm cycle featuring dozens of candidates with military experience on both sides of the aisle.

Seventy-four veterans won House seats Tuesday night. Eight others were locked in races still too close to call Wednesday afternoon. In the Senate, a projected win for retired Air Force office Martha McSally in an Arizona race would bring the number of veterans in the next Congress to 17 — the same number that finished the 115th Congress. Even if veterans win all the outstanding races in the House, the percentage of House lawmakers with military experience will remain unchanged: 19 percent. 

Romney Shades Away From Trump as High Profile Senate Role Awaits
Not since Hillary Clinton’s 2000 election has a Senate candidate come with such clout

Mitt Romney easily defeated Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson to clinch an open Utah Senate seat, positioning him to become the highest-profile freshman senator since Hillary Clinton’s successful New York bid in 2000 when her husband was still president.

With his more than 60 percent win, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is poised to fill a power vacuum in the Senate GOP. The party has lost many of its most senior members and moderate voices through retirement, not to mention the death of John McCain. Purists from both parties have looked to Romney as one of the lone — if only — politicians with the clout and gravitas to become both a counterweight to President Donald Trump and a defender of the institution.

Why 2018 Is the New ‘Year of the Woman’
Number of incoming female freshmen lawmakers will exceed 1992 total

Democratic women picked up more than two dozen House seats Tuesday, helping to power both the party’s takeover of the chamber and an election widely considered a watermark in the political representation of women.

They shattered the previous record of 24 women elected during the 1992 “Year of the Woman,” following the previous year’s confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who faced sexual harassment allegations from Anita Hill.

Aftab Pureval Campaign Cleared From Finance Fog, But Will it Matter?
Ohio Election Commission decision dismisses majority of charges against Democratic House candidate

Just days remain for Ohio Democrat Aftab Pureval to recover his momentum after a last-minute decision cleared him from allegations of campaign spending irregularities that overshadowed his bid for a Republican-held House seat.

The Ohio Election Law Commission dismissed Thursday the majority of a complaint that Pureval, a county official, had improperly used his county campaign account to make a $16,400 payment on a poll he used for his congressional bid against Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District, according to local media reports. After a six-hour hearing, the commission could not determine whether a violation had occurred.  

Paid Family Leave Could Make It To Next Congress After Midterm Boost
Elections have seen unprecedented push for paid leave

Vangie Williams, a mother of six, was facing foreclosure and a pile of medical bills for her 2-year-old daughter’s rare lung condition when she wrote to her congressman. She wanted help. But she got a form letter, she recalled.

The experience was one of many that convinced the Virginia Democrat several years later to challenge 1st District Republican Rep. Rob Wittman on a platform that includes paid leave so families caring for sick relatives can avoid some of the impossible financial decisions that she faced.  She and her husband ended up tapping out their retirement accounts and losing their home, she said. 

Democrats Go Back on Air in Ohio’s 1st District
New ad spending comes as GOP questions momentum behind Aftab Pureval

Democrats are going back on the air in support of Ohio’s Aftab Pureval, after Republicans seized on a brief lapse in spending early this week to speculate about the viability of his House campaign. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee renewed its ad reservation in Ohio’s 1st District on Monday night, which would leave a lag of about one day between the time the previous reservation expired and when the new one goes into effect Wednesday morning, spokeswoman Amanda Sherman said. 

Are Democrats Giving Up on Ohio’s 1st District?
Pureval’s campaign has struggled after reports of spending irregularity

Democrat Aftab Pureval captured national attention this summer as a rising star with a shot at unseating longtime Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District. But questions about irregularities in his campaign spending set off a flurry of GOP attacks that may have dented expectations.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s last ad in the Cincinnati-area district expired Monday and other major groups are not active there, said Bob Kish, a consultant for Republican candidates who has access to reports of spending totals that are not publicly available. 

Majority of Republicans Want Legal Marijuana, Poll Shows
Gallup poll finds nearly two-thirds of Americans support legalization of pot, a record high

Almost two-thirds of Americans think marijuana should be legal, according to a Gallup poll released Monday

That represents the highest number in the nearly 50 years since the polling organization began asking about the issue, according to a press release. 

At the Races: 19 Days Left
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

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

Ohio Race Was Worth Millions to Outside Groups in August. Now? Not So Much
Some see opportunities for Democrats in Balderson/O’Connor rematch

The national attention showered on this summer’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District may have moved elsewhere. And the font of spending from outside groups has all but dried up. But the losing Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor has not stopped running. 

That’s what Paul Beck, a longtime campaign observer, noticed when an O’Connor canvasser came knocking on the door of his Franklin County home: It was the candidate’s dad. 

Democratic PAC Pulls Spending From Top Nebraska Pickup Opportunity
Money now going to support Iowa Democrat Cindy Axne

A super PAC tied to House Democratic leadership has pulled its television advertising funding from a competitive Nebraska district, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The money the House Majority PAC had committed to Democrat Kara Eastman’s bid to unseat freshman GOP Rep. Don Bacon in the Omaha-area 2nd District will now go to support Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd, the spokesman said. Election forecasters see that race as a slightly better pickup opportunity for Democrats. 

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

Democrats Double Down After Eight Years Defending Health Care Law
Issue now tops for Democrats in 2018, report finds

Democrats have devoted half their advertising spending in midterm races to health care, according to a report released Monday from a left-leaning group that seeks to protect provisions of Barack Obama’s signature 2010 law. 

The survey of recent polling and advertising spending from Protect Our Care underscore a theme that has emerged across the country as Democrats attempt to shift the narrative on 2010 health care law. After eight years of fending off GOP attempts to “repeal and replace” the provisions of Obamacare, Democrats now see their support of the law as one of their biggest strengths. 

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

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

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. 

Too Much Money Is Too Good a Problem for Democratic Hopefuls
At least 60 candidates raised more than $1 million in third quarter

Record-breaking campaign hauls in House races across the country have left some nominees with an enviable conundrum: How can they possibly spend all the money?

At least 60 House Democratic candidates reportedly raised more than $1 million each in the third quarter of the campaign cycle that ended Sept. 30, eye-popping sums that defy even the most optimistic of projections. But with Nov. 6 less than a month away, some political observers have wondered publicly whether a candidate could have too much cash. 

The Kids Are Alright — And They’re Voting in the Midterms, Study Finds
Report shows young people planning to vote in historic numbers in 2018

Young people, who typically sit out midterm elections, are planning to vote in potentially historic numbers in 2018, according to a report released Tuesday from Tufts University.

People ages 18 to 24 are also receiving more campaign outreach and paying closer attention this year, potentially matching the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to a report from the nonpartisan Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. 

Republican Poll Shows Rep. Don Bacon Has 9-Point Lead in Nebraska House Race
Democrat Kara Eastman considered best chance of picking up Cornhusker seat

A poll conducted for Republican Rep. Don Bacon found he leads by 9 points in a House race Democrats have pegged as their best pick-up opportunity in Nebraska. 

Bacon led Democrat Kara Eastman 49 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 registered voters conducted by Rob Autry and Kayla Dunlap. 

Yvette Herrell Holds Slim Lead in New Mexico Open Seat Race, Republican Poll Finds
Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small hopes to ride enthusiasm wave to capture Republican-leaning district

A poll conducted for Republican Yvette Herrell released Friday found she holds a slight lead over Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small in the race for an open seat in New Mexico’s 2nd District. 

Herrell led 49 percent to 45 percent, within the margin of error and 6 percent still undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 likely voters from The Tarrance Group. The poll was conducted September 30 through October 2 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.