At the Races: I Will Survive - The Dan Lipinski Story
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns


This week … general election matchups were set in Illinois, Mississippi got a new senator and California primary fields took shape.

At the Races: Keystone State Nail-Biter
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns


Mark Your Calendars: The second congressional primaries in the country are in Illinois on Tuesday. Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in the state, where EMILY’s List has played an early, influential role backing candidates it thinks will be viable in the general election. But the Prairie State primary that’s received the most attention is actually in a solid Democratic seat. EMILY’s List is involved in this race too (although it took a while for the group to endorse), and it’s quickly become a flashpoint in the fight over the identity of the Democratic Party. On one side is first-time candidate Marie Newman, who’s backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (who carried the 3rd District in 2016), two members of the Illinois delegation (pictured above), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, SEIU and a coalition of reproductive rights and progressive groups.

In Like a Conor Lamb
Democrats are over the Moon (Township) over the returns in Pennsylvania

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., at Wednesday's anti-gun violence rally at the Capitol, in animated. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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As Democrat Conor Lamb zeroed in on an unlikely victory in the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, his likely future colleagues back in Washington could hardly contain their glee. 

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One Gun Control Bill Has 60 Votes in the Senate — Now What?
Current floor schedule may prevent timely consideration of legislation

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Gun-related legislation backed by President Donald Trump now has enough support to clear the Senate, increasing pressure on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to schedule a vote on the measure.

The bill from Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of Texas and Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., that would enforce existing law related to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System has 60 additional cosponsors as of Friday, an aide confirmed.

At the Races: Here We Go — 5 Days Until PA-18
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

House Majority PAC Reserves $43 Million in Airtime for Fall
Democratic super PAC’s initial reservations in 33 media markets

House Majority PAC is reserving nearly $1.8 million in the Denver media market, which could be used in the race against Colorado GOP Rep. Mike Coffman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority PAC, the group that helps House Democrats, is making $43 million in TV reservations in 33 media markets for the final weeks of the 2018 campaign.

These initial reservations will be placed over the course of the month, which is the earliest the super PAC has booked time for the fall.

At the Races: The Wheels on McDaniel’s Bus Go ’Round and ’Round
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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

This week … Chris McDaniel launched another Senate primary run in Mississippi, voters picked their candidates in Arizona, and underdog Democrats used the gun debate to make their mark.

Decision Time in the Desert: Former state Sen. Debbie Lesko won the GOP primary Tuesday in the special election to replace GOP Rep. Trent Franks (who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations). She’s in a strong position heading into the April 24 special election, since President Donald Trump carried the seat by 21 points. Lesko will face emergency room physician Hiral Tipirneni, whom Democrats see as a strong candidate. So Lesko might not want to get too confident. Nathan Gonzales shifted this race rating from Solid Republican to Likely Republican, because, well, special elections have been pretty crazy this cycle.