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Capitol Ink | More talking points

Trump declares economic ‘boom’ underway as CBO sounds slowdown alarms
Congressional analysts predict slower GDP growth, lower labor force participation

A worker boxes orders at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Robbinsville, New Jersey. President Donald Trump said the U.S. economy is in a “boom” under his watch, but the Congressional Budget Office projects lower labor participation rates and slower GDP growth. (Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Despite warning signs of an economic slowdown, President Donald Trump on Tuesday told an audience of wealthy and influential New York players that the U.S. economy is booming — almost exclusively because of his stewardship.

“Today, I am proud to stand before you as President to report that we have delivered on our promises — and exceeded our expectations. We have ended the war on American Workers, we have stopped the assault on American Industry, and we have launched an economic boom the likes of which we have never seen before,” Trump said at a lunch hour address before the Economic Club of New York, the word “boom” in all capital letters on the White House-released excerpts.

Moneyball, meet politics: Could VAR settle arguments about candidate strength?
Vote Above Replacement puts Klobuchar atop presidential field, Collins way above other senators

Maine Republican Susan Collins, center, outranks the entire Senate on Inside Elections’ Vote Above Replacement statistic, while Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, right, ranks highest among Democratic presidential contenders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In the era of data and metrics and models in political analysis, at least one question still remains: How do we quantify the strength of individual candidates?

Arguing over whether a candidate or incumbent is good or bad is an age-old tradition in the political media and among party operatives. Typically, candidate strength is measured by fundraising or the margin of a win or loss. But that can fail to account for the particular election cycle or the possibility that any candidate running on a particular party’s line in a particular year or state would do just as well.

Impeachment news roundup: Nov. 11
Some in GOP struggle with how — or whether — to defend Trump as Democrats ready to go public with investigation

Then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, third from left, flank presidential adviser Jared Kushner as President Donald Trump speaks during a working lunch with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the White House in September 2017. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images file photo)

The president had first floated the possibility of releasing the transcript late last week.

Trump’s announcement comes as Republicans in Congress continue grappling with how — or whether — they are defending Trump as House Democrats move to the public phase of their impeachment inquiry this week.

Trump declines to endorse Jeff Sessions’ Senate bid — but doesn't deliver death knell
President says of House Democrats in impeachment probe: ‘We're kicking their ass’

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing during his confirmation hearing to be attorney general in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump on Friday declined to endorse Jeff Sessions, the former attorney general he fired after several clashes, as the Alabama Republican seeks the Senate seat he held for decades before joining the administration.

But he also did not demand the former AG end his bid on its first full day, giving Sessions’ campaign life — because of “nice” things the Alabaman said about the president on television. As he departed the White House for fundraisers and an event with black voters, he also told reporters during another wild “Chopper Talk” gaggle he is “kicking their ass,” referring to House Democrats in their impeachment probe.

Tuesday elections show Trump coattails are mostly rural, experts say
POTUS reelection effort hinges out turning out base in greater numbers

President Donald Trump rallied Monday night in Lexington with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, who appears to have lost his reelection bid. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Tuesday’s election results show Republican candidates should be wary of nationalizing their races and the Trump campaign continues to hemorrhage voters that have long been under the GOP tent, political experts and strategists say.

Though analysts still see President Donald Trump as a formidable candidate as he seeks a second term, some say Republican candidates in suburban areas should resist “nationalizing” their races the way Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin did. The Republican state chief executive ran as a true Trump Republican — but appears to have lost his reelection bid to Democratic state Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Lessons from Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia elections may not be what you think
Results from 2019 offer some clues about what may work and not work in 2020

President Donald Trump rallied with Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin the night before Bevin’s loss, but that doesn’t mean Trump hurt him. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

ANALYSIS — Voters in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Virginia were gracious enough to go to the polls on Tuesday and give us some tangible results to chew over with 12 months to go before the 2020 elections. Here are some thoughts.

Kentucky was not an upset. Inside Elections changed its rating on the governor’s race from Lean Republican to Toss-up in mid July after finding Gov. Matt Bevin very vulnerable. So those who were surprised by Democrat Andy Beshear’s declared victory weren’t paying close enough attention.

The most vulnerable 2020 House and Senate incumbents, explained
Political Theater, Episode 99

Oklahoma Rep. Kendra Horn tops the list of most vulnerable House incumbents for the 2020 election cycle. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One year out from Election Day 2020 and Senate Republicans and House Democrats find themselves in parallel universes. The GOP is on defense in Senate races, where more Republicans are on the ballot, and it’s the opposite in the House, where many Democrats who won in hostile territory last year find themselves in tough races. CQ Roll Call’s campaign team, Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin, run through the 10 most vulnerable members of both the House and Senate.

Show Notes:

Shimkus confirms retirement
Illinois Republican said last week he might want to stick around

Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., confirmed plans to retire at the end of his term after briefly reconsidering that decision. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois GOP Rep. John Shimkus said Monday that he will stick with his plan to retire, ending a brief flirtation with an opportunity to pursue a top position on the Energy and Commerce Committee. 

“After weighing the pros and cons, I have decided to reaffirm my plan to retire,” Shimkus said in a statement. 

Trump thrives amid turmoil, and is banking that voters won’t mind
The president admitted of the even more chaotic environment: ‘I sort of thrive on it’

Supporters react as President Donald Trump speaks during a "Keep America Great" campaign rally on Oct. 17 in Dallas, Texas. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s presidency has thrust the United States into plenty of unprecedented territory and it could again if the brash, testosterone-fueled campaign he is sculpting becomes the first featuring an impeached incumbent chief executive.

Political insiders from both parties, echoed by nonpartisan experts, said all summer that forecasting the 2020 presidential race was almost impossible for a raft of reasons. Then came Sept. 24.