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A Mississippi Senate Flip? Probably Not
Absent reliable data, Democratic chances there should be taken with skepticism

Appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is in the Mississippi Senate runoff with former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, a Democrat. Is the race close? That depends on your definition of close, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Alabama Democrat Doug Jones demonstrated last year that candidates matter and that on the rarest occasions — such as when the majority party’s nominee is accused of sexual misconduct by many women — voters in federal races veer from their partisan loyalties. But Jones’s win was the exception, not the rule, and it shouldn’t obscure the difficulty Mississippi Democratic Senate hopeful Mike Espy faces in a runoff in one of the most Republican and conservative states in the entire country.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the Mississippi Senate runoff “has turned into an unexpectedly competitive contest.” That’s hard to challenge, since expectations are a matter of opinion, as is competitiveness. But until I see hard evidence that Democrats have a realistic shot at the seat, count me as skeptical that the Mississippi seat is in play.

On ‘Medicare-for-All,’ Democrats Tread Lightly
It polls well. But Dems say the proposal isn’t ready for floor action

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., founded the Medicare-for-All Caucus earlier this year. She pushed back on the idea that single-payer health care is unpopular in suburban parts of the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives in the House are calling for a vote on a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill in the next Congress, but the expected chairmen who will set the agenda for next year say they have other health priorities.

Still, the progressives’ push could earn more attention over the next two years as Democratic candidates begin vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. A handful of potential presidential candidates expected to declare interest have already co-sponsored “Medicare-for-all” legislation, an issue that was also a flashpoint in Democratic primaries over the past year.

Pelosi Endorses Hoyer, Clyburn for Nos. 2 and 3 Leadership Positions
“House Democrats must show … we are prepared to govern and get the job done”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is endorsing Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., to be majority leader and James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., to be majority whip. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday endorsed her top two deputies, Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, to remain in their respective Nos. 2 and 3 leadership positions in the majority. 

Hoyer, the current minority whip, is running for majority leader and Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, is running for majority whip. Both are running unopposed after Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette dropped out of the whip race Monday.

Top Trump PAC to Flood Mississippi Airwaves Ahead of Senate Runoff
Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Mike Espy in last undecided Senate race of the cycle

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is in a Nov. 27 special election runoff with Democrat Mike Espy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is infusing the Mississippi Senate special election runoff with nearly $300,000 to help Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith will face former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy, who also served as Agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, in the Nov. 27 runoff. Neither cleared 50 percent in the Nov. 6 jungle primary, which saw two Republicans and two Democrats run together on the same ballot.

Black Voters Propelled Blue Wave, Study Finds
African-Americans increasingly associate GOP with Trump, racist rhetoric

Members-elect, front row from left, Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Sharice Davids, D-Kan., Haley Stevens, D-Mich., and other members of the incoming freshman class, pose for a photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic wins in the 2018 midterms were driven largely by African American voters — particularly black women — who increasingly associate the GOP with President Trump’s perceived hostility toward people of color and immigrants, according to an analysis released Monday.

The report by the NAACP, the racial justice nonprofit Advancement Project, and the political action group African American Research Collaborative found that across competitive elections 90 percent of black voters supported Democratic House candidates, compared to 53 percent of voters overall. It also found 91 percent of black women, 86 percent of black men and 50 percent of white voters believe Trump and the GOP are using toxic rhetoric to divide the nation.

16 Pelosi Opponents Sign Letter Saying They Won't Vote For Her for Speaker
Opposition could spell trouble for Pelosi in speaker election on the floor

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., pictured speaking to reporters in the Capitol on November 15, 2018, is one of 16 Democrats who signed a letter saying they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:53 p.m. | Sixteen Democrats have signed a letter released Monday saying they will vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

While the opposition would appear to be more votes than the California Democrat can afford to lose in a floor vote, two of the signees — Ben McAdams of Utah and Anthony Brindisi of New York — are in races that have yet to be called. 

Buck Stops Here? Not So Much for President Trump
Fox interview shows how he practices the art of distance and wiggle room

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council meeting on September 26, 2018 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Most of Donald Trump’s predecessors endorsed the notion of the buck stopping “here,” meaning on their desks. But for the 45th president, the buck often stops elsewhere.

Trump sat down with Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace for a 15-minute interview that aired Sunday. Even though the sit-down in the White House’s Roosevelt Room was relatively brief, the president showed several times how just about everything political is fungible — especially when the stakes are high for himself.

Democratic Senators Sue Trump Over Whitaker Appointment
Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Hirono say move violates Appointments Clause

Matt Whitaker was appointed acting attorney general by President Donald Trump after Jeff Sessions was asked to stepped down. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Three Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, asking a federal court to stop him from leading the Justice Department.

Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii argue in the case that President Donald Trump’s move to name Whitaker temporarily as the nation’s top law enforcement official violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

Nevada Is a ‘Blue State’ Thanks to Harry Reid, Democrats Say
Former Senate majority leader’s political machine fully functioning

Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., right, hugs his successor, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., during Reid’s portrait unveiling ceremony in December 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may be retired, but he is not gone from politics, especially in Nevada, where the Democratic operation he built has turned the state blue.

With the help of the state party infrastructure Reid developed, Democrats in the midterm elections on Nov. 6 defeated GOP Sen. Dean Heller, took back the governor’s mansion, and swept new candidates into the statehouse.

Diana DeGette Drops Out of Whip Race, Clears Way for Clyburn
'Many of my supporters have expressed concern about pressure they are receiving to return the three senior leaders to their posts without opposition,' she said

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., has withdrawn from the race for majority whip, leaving Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., running unopposed. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette has dropped out of the race for majority whip, leaving South Carolina Rep. James E. Clyburn running unopposed to retain his No. 3 position in Democratic leadership. 

“Many of my supporters have expressed concern about pressure they are receiving to return the three senior leaders to their posts without opposition,” DeGette said in a statement.  “We have enough work to do without this internal pressure. Therefore, I am withdrawing my bid for Whip at this time.”