Evan H Jenkins

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

Sinema Breaks Record at ACLI Capital Challenge Race
Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher is fastest member of Congress for second year in a row

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, number 120, watches as Reps. Mike Gallagher and Kyrsten Sinema celebrate their victories at Wednesday’s ACLI Capital Challenge. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was the fastest female lawmaker and set a new course record for her division at the 37th annual ACLI Capital Challenge three-mile race Wednesday.

Sinema finished in 22 minutes and 3 seconds to break the course record of 22:41 held by former Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio.

Drafting Cotton May Not Work Again for Gallagher in ACLI Capital Challenge
Wisconsin Republican won for the lawmakers in last year’s 3-mile race

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher runs twice a week. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

 

Rep. Mike Gallagher has been running along to his “ACLI 2018 Crush Cotton” playlist to prepare for Wednesday’s 3-mile race.

At the Races: 6 Months to Go
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

AT-THE-RACES-LOGO-01

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

Way Out in West Virginia, the Political Vortex
The Mountain State keeps taking the stage for U.S. politics

.

The spectacle of politics and how it fits, or doesn’t, into the nation’s culture. Subscribe to our newsletter here.

West Virginia occupies a unique place in the political universe. A small state, it hosts one of the most tightly contested Senate races of the midterms. But it also finds itself in the political conversation again and again. 

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Nevada Republican Dean Heller remains in top spot

Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are still defending 10 states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but six months out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator remains a Republican.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller no longer faces a primary threat, but he’s the only Republican up for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won, and in this national environment that’s a tricky place to be.

Podcast: Joe Manchin and the Mountain State Midterm Melee
Political Theater, Episode 18

(Manchin, Morrisey, Energy CEO Don Blankenship and Rep. Evan Jenkins (CQ Roll Call)

Patrick Morrisey Wins West Virginia GOP Senate Primary
State attorney general will face Joe Manchin in November

West Virginia Republican Patrick Morrisey, right, attends a campaign event with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., left, at Richwood Industries in Huntington, W.Va., on May 3. Morrisey won the GOP Senate nomination Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III in November in what’s likely to be one of the most closely watched races in the country.

He took 35 percent of the vote in a six-way GOP primary field, besting Rep. Evan Jenkins and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship who finished with 29 percent and 20 percent, respectively. 

5 Things to Watch on Primary Day This Tuesday
Nasty GOP Senate primaries remain ugly until the end

Former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun, right, and Rep. Todd Rokita, speaking, are running for the GOP nomination for Senate, along with Rep. Luke Messer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday marks the first big primary day of 2018. Voters go to the polls in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Most of the exciting action is on the Republican side. In all of those states (except for North Carolina), Democratic senators are trying to hold on to seats in territory President Donald Trump won in 2016, which means the GOP primaries are high-stakes contests. (More on that below.)

Why Don Blankenship Is Still In the Mix on Eve of West Virginia Primary
Three-way Republican contest remains uncertain until the end

West Virginia Republican Senate candidate Don Blankenship, right, talks with James Pendry after a town hall meeting at Macado’s restaurant in Bluefield, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — From the outside, it’s easy to dismiss the candidacy of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

The low-budget ads. The racist comments. The fact that he served a year in prison in connection with a deadly mine explosion and is still on probation.