2018

Three States Pass Sweeping Voting Rights Expansions
Voters approve key referenda in Florida, Michigan and Nevada

Voters arrive at the Old Stone School polling location as a light rain falls in Hillsboro, Va., on Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Voting rights activists are celebrating after voters in three states approved sweeping election reforms in Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Voters in Florida, Michigan and Nevada all passed major reforms to their states’ election systems, which will make voting easier and extend ballot access to millions of new voters.

Capitol Ink | EZ Ballot

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

Senate Starting Campaign Recess Two Weeks Early, Gone Through Midterm Election
Upper chamber reaches agreement on nominations

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, will allow the Senate to depart early for the remainder of the midterm campaign cycle after reaching an agreement with Democrats to speed up consideration on several judicial and executive nominations. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate leaders on Thursday reached an agreement to accelerate consideration of several judicial nominations — a deal that will allow the chamber to depart two weeks early for its midterm campaign recess. 

The Senate will recess through the Nov. 6 election and is scheduled to return the following Tuesday.

How Joe Barton Struck Out
Retiring Texas Republican was thwarted by his own political instincts

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, faces retirement after a sex scandal. His career in Washington had already reached its peak. (CQ Roll Call)

Leadership be damned, Rep. Joe L. Barton thought. He knew he was right, and as soon as he was convinced of that, hardly anything in the world could move him.

Just a few months into his first term, the Texas Republican was angling for something between protest and revolution. House Democrats had voted to declare themselves the winner of a contested Indiana House race — in Republicans’ eyes, a theft. While his own party’s leadership urged restraint, Barton fumed.

Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate 5th District Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

Latino Voters Angry at Trump But Not Mobilized, Democratic Report Finds
Blue candidates need clear message to court Latino votes in midterms, according to study

Latino voters’ anger at Trump administration policies could be an opening for Democrats in 2018 a new report finds. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have a chance to win big in this year’s midterms by channeling Latino voters’ anger at President Donald Trump’s immigration and health care agenda, according to the findings of a Democratic-funded study released Tuesday.

But first, they’ll have to convince Latinos their vote will mean something.

Podcast: A Supreme Campaign Issue
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 14

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meet in McConnell's office in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, the day after President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

For six Democratic senators in rough fights for re-election in Trump states, the coming vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation will be a career-defining moment that cuts both ways. Roll Call political analyst Nathan Gonzales and his Inside Elections colleague Leah Askarinam explain the dynamics of each campaign. 

Watch: Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

Podcast: Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 7

The Capitol dome is seen in a reflection on a television news camera outside the Capitol on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Podcast: How We Determine the Wealth of Congress
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 5

California Rep. Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress according to Roll Call's Wealth of Congress study. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)