Kevin Cramer

More Than Just ‘Regular Order’ at Stake in Senate Spending Push
Most vulnerable Senators now have material to take on the campaign trail

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate approval of a $154.2 billion, four-bill spending package this week wasn’t just a banner moment for bipartisanship and the open debate and amendment process senators have been promoting.

There’s also a more practical reason: giving the most vulnerable senators on both sides of the aisle something to crow about on the campaign trail.

Trump Vents Rage at Koch Brothers Again
President dubs Charles Koch’s criticism of tariffs ‘ridiculous’

President Donald Trump is at war with the conservative megadonor Koch brothers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Escalating his feud with the influential conservative donor Koch brothers, President Donald Trump on Thursday dubbed one of them “ridiculous” and suggested he puts foreign workers over American ones.

Trump’s Twitter strike on Charles Koch comes two days after he went to war with the libertarian-leaning megadonors who are powerful in Republican circles by labeling them a “total joke” who are “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”

Trump Goes to War With Koch Brothers
In angry tweets, president dubs conservative megadonors as ‘total joke’ after they pivoted toward bipartisan policies

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk across the South Lawn to Marine One on Friday on their way to Joint Base Andrews. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted influential conservative donors Charles and David Koch, dubbing them a “total joke” who are “against Strong Borders and Powerful Trade.”

The president’s harsh words for the powerful brothers came a day after they signaled an intention to shift away from their practice of pushing for Republican-only bills and policy solutions, saying they would seek and push bipartisan proposals, which is seen as a repudiation of Trump.

Koch Group Declines to Back Republican Cramer in North Dakota Senate Race
Americans for Prosperity will not be spending to support the GOP lawmaker

Americans for Prosperity will not be spending in support of North Dakota GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer’s bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A conservative group affiliated with billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch will not be spending to support Rep. Kevin Cramer in the North Dakota Republican’s bid for Senate, the organization announced Monday. 

Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, said at a Koch network summit in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that the group would not be backing Cramer because he did not align with its policy positions. It would not back Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp either.

RNC Launching ‘Week of Action’ to Test Its Ground Game
Committee expects 4,000 volunteers to make 2 million contacts over the week

Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the RNC has “a record number of staff on the ground and more volunteers than ever before.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With 101 days left before the midterm elections, the Republican National Committee wants to test the strength of its ground game with a “national week of action.”

The committee expects 4,000 volunteers to make 2 million contacts over the week.

VoteVets Launches TV Ad Knocking Cramer on Veterans Issues
Will start airing on broadcast and cable in North Dakota starting Saturday

VoteVets is targeting GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N. D., in a new television ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal veterans group is launching a television ad in North Dakota, criticizing GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer for comments about the military and for votes relating to pay raises for the military and Veterans Affairs funding.

VoteVets Action Fund is launching a $270,000 ad buy on both broadcast and cable networks throughout the state, starting Saturday and running through Aug. 3.

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

GOP Senate Candidate Returns Contributions From Conservative PAC
FEC has questions for Club for Conservatives PAC

The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Club for Conservatives PAC last month with questions about its previously filed reports. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Rep. Marsha Blackburn is locked in a competitive and expensive race for Senate. But the Tennessee Republican’s campaign decided to return a sizable contribution from a political action committee that’s facing scrutiny from campaign finance regulators.

“Club for Conservatives PAC did not meet our standards for transparency,” Blackburn campaign spokeswoman Abbi Sigler said. 

Ratings Change: Two Top Senate Races Shift Out of Toss-Up
North Dakota Moves to Tilts Republican, West Virginia Moves to Tilts Democratic

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has seen her state shift further to the right since her narrow win in 2012, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When it comes to political handicapping, the easiest thing to do would be to put all of the most competitive contests into the Toss-up category and declare them too close to call. Or to argue that because Donald Trump was elected president against the projections, it’s not worth rating any races at all.

But that’s not particularly helpful to people looking for some direction and distinctions in congressional elections.

Trump Hits Heitkamp as High Court, ‘Maxine’ Become Midterm Issues
‘A vote for any Democrat is a vote for Schumer, Pelosi and Maxine,’ president says

President Donald Trump took his midterm campaign tour to North Dakota on Wednesday night, where Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp faces a tough re-election fight. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Just a few days ago, California Rep. Maxine Waters and Supreme Court Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Neil Gorsuch did not feature heavily in Donald Trump’s midterm campaign spiel. But Wednesday night, the president made clear that has changed in a major way.

Air Force One touched down in Fargo, North Dakota, just hours after Kennedy informed Trump during a White House meeting of his decision to retire next month after three decades on the high court. And the president wasted no time in painting North Dakota’s junior senator, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, as an automatic “no” vote on any nominee he picks to replace the “swing vote” justice.