Cramer Ahead of Heitkamp in NRSC North Dakota Poll
GOP congressman leads Democratic incumbent by 5 points in Senate race

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer is challenging Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer, who recently entered the North Dakota Senate race, leads Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp by 5 points, according to a poll commissioned by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and shared first with Roll Call. 

First elected in 2012, Heitkamp is among the more vulnerable Democratic senators up for re-election this fall, especially considering President Donald Trump won North Dakota by 36 points in 2016. 

House GOP to Whip Goodlatte Immigration Bill Wednesday
If vote count is positive, leadership intends to bring measure to the floor

Virginia Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte’s immigration bill would go to the House floor soon if Wednesday’s whip check is successful. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Do House Republicans have an immigration bill they could pass before the March 5 expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that would get President Donald Trump’s signature?

The answer to that question will become clear Wednesday as the GOP whip team conducts a formal check on the only House measure that has Trump’s backing. If the whip count is favorable, GOP leaders will bring it to the floor, a House leadership aide confirmed. 

When Is a Whip a Whip? House Democrats Might Not Be Best Ones to Ask Right Now
Mixed messages come from party critical of Trump for being inconsistent

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said she and her leadership team would not whip the vote on the budget deal. Then they started whipping the vote. Sort of. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democratic leaders have spent the past 48 hours opposing the bipartisan budget deal but saying they’re not whipping it, and then kind of, sort of whipping it.

The inconsistent messaging is all the more notable given Democrats’ frequent criticism of President Donald Trump for wavering in his own policy positions.

Podcast: Can The Trump Show Win Over a New Audience?
Political Theater, Episode 4

President Donald Trump speaks during the joint session of Congress to deliver his State of the Union Address in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As President Donald Trump starts his second year in office, he will need Democrats to secure meaningful legislative accomplishments. His first official State of the Union address was a prime-time, nationally televised opportunity to reach across the aisle.

Ben Terris, national political reporter at The Washington Post, discusses with Roll Call whether Trump was able to use his State of the Union to build congressional coalitions, and whether the speech will help or hurt the legislative agenda.

Analysis: The Stunning ‘Role of Government’ Numbers
Trump years have been marked by more preference for government action

President Donald Trump's time in office has been marked by an uptick in support for government action among the public, according to NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

While most people seem fascinated by shifts in presidential job approval and national ballot tests, I’ve always thought that the “role of government” question asked in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

The responses to that question offer interesting insights into how voters see government, which, in turn, affects how they view the two parties and how they behave when the next election rolls around.

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.

Democrats Have Some Work to Do With Black Women
African-American female turnout could be key in midterms, as it was in Alabama

Supporters of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Republican Roy Moore at his election night victory rally in December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After African-American women played a key role in Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race last month, Democrats are working on more effective messaging for them in hopes they will do the same thing in midterm races.

To have a chance to win, the Jones campaign had hoped for a turnout among African-Americans comparable to their percentage of the Alabama population — around 27 percent. But black voters made up 29 percent of the election electorate, exit polls showed, a slightly higher percentage than the black turnout in the state for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election.

Ward and McSally Slam Flake’s Freedom of Press Speech
Ward called it ‘embarrassment to the state of Arizona’

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., arrives in the Capitol on Wednesday before making his floor speech on press freedoms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona’s Republican candidates for Senate slammed Sen. Jeff Flake for his speech criticizing President Donald Trump’s attacks on the press.

Former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who planned to challenge Flake in a primary before he announced he would not seek re-election, called his comparisons to Joseph Stalin “appalling and an embarrassment to the state of Arizona” in a statement.

Trump Might Avoid Republican Primaries
President tells Reuters he plans to campaign heavily for GOP candidates in midterms

President Donald Trump said he’ll spend “probably four or five days a week” campaigning for Republican candidates in the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump says that he will campaign frequently for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, but might avoid getting involved in primaries.

“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” he told Reuters. “To get the real agenda through, we need more Republicans.”

Poll: Dianne Feinstein Vulnerable to Insurgent Democrats in 2018
Less than half of California voters back longtime senator

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., could face a tough challenge from the left in her bid for a sixth term in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein could face a stiff series of obstacles as she vies for re-election in California in 2018.

Six years after receiving the most popular votes in any senatorial election in U.S. history, the five-term Democrat has seen sliding favorability ratings as liberals in the Golden State hammer her for not being tough enough standing up to President Donald Trump.