North Dakota

Votes Roll in for Haspel After Expressing Regret Over Enhanced Interrogation
Latest comments seem to be enough to get support from Mark Warner

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, has written a new letter about interrogation programs. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the CIA is making it even more clear that the program sanctioning harsh interrogations during the George W. Bush administration should not have taken place.

Gina Haspel, the current acting director of the agency, expanded upon her testimony in a letter dated Monday to Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee.

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.

11 Almost, Probably, Most Likely Members of the 116th Congress
These candidates in open seats are all but assured of joining the next Congress

The hopes of some congressional candidates have come to a head early. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s spring in Washington, but for several candidates it may as well be fall. With six months left in their campaigns, these 11 candidates are already virtually assured of becoming new members in the 116th Congress — and the roster of such virtual freshmen could get three times bigger, or more, before Election Day.

Members of this unusual political class have the luxury of running for open seats in places where — thanks to demographics and past election results — locking down one party’s ballot line is tantamount to winning in November.

W.Va. Race Offers Hope That GOP Women Will Get Help in Primaries
Small investment for West Virginia candidate seen as early encouraging sign

West Virginia state Del. Carol Miller, who is seeking the GOP nod in the 3rd District, participates in a National Day of Prayer event in Point Pleasant, W.Va., on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — Republicans have a woman problem, and they know it.

While the party is recruiting female candidates, many say that’s not enough. The next step, operatives suggest, needs to be helping the women through GOP primaries. 

Trump Hunkers Down On Haspel Nomination Ahead of Showdown
Pick to head CIA offered to withdraw nomination over the weekend to avoid controversy over torture program

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 05: (AFP OUT) U.S. President Donald Trump crosses the South Lawn after arriving at the White House on May 5, 2018 in Washington, DC. President Trump traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to speak at Public Hall ahead of state primary elections. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump doubled down on his pick to head the Central Intelligence Agency, Gina Haspel, on Monday, even after she expressed concerns over her own nomination stemming from the use of torture tactics in a program she oversaw during the George W. Bush administration.

Haspel, the CIA’s deputy director whom Trump tapped in March to lead the agency, told White House staff she would withdraw her nomination if it would save herself and the CIA the embarrassment of a grilling in the Senate over the anti-terror program she headed, The Washington Post reported.

Analysis: GOP Senate Targets Fade From View
Matchups fizzle in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, may seem like a sitting duck in Trump country, but Republicans don’t like their chances against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When this election cycle began, handicappers repeatedly pointed out that 10 Democratic Senate incumbents from states carried by Donald Trump would be on the ballot in 2018. That count was accurate, and the point behind it obvious — Republicans had a long list of opportunities.

But now even the most partisan Republicans are acknowledging that the list of serious targets is shrinking to five or six states. Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia, North Dakota and Florida are certainly in play, but how are the other competitive Senate races holding up?

GOP Senate Hopefuls in House Nominate Trump for Nobel Peace Prize
Move comes ahead of key primary battles in Indiana, West Virginia

Rep. Luke Messer, R-Ind., is among the House Republicans who’ve nominated President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five incumbent House Republicans running for Senate have co-signed a letter nominating President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s a move that could curry favor with the president and his supporters just a week before pivotal primaries in states such as West Virginia and Indiana, two Trump states where GOP candidates are trying to align themselves with the White House.

Senate Confirms Pompeo With Split Among 2018 Democrats
Final vote came immediately after the Senate limited debate

CIA Director Mike Pompeo won confirmation as secretary of State on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate easily confirmed Mike Pompeo to be the next secretary of State on Thursday, but Democrats in the most competitive 2018 races delivered a split decision on the current CIA director.

The chamber confirmed Pompeo to the top diplomatic post, 57-42, after an identical vote to limit debate on the nomination.

Heitkamp Highlights Family Ties in First TV Ad
North Dakota Democrat is among the most vulnerable senators

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is running for re-election in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is highlighting her family in her first television ad of the 2018 election cycle. The North Dakota Democrat is looking to stress her ties to the state as she bids for a second term.

Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election this year, running in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points in 2016. Watch: Will the Chambers Flip? Redditors Want to Know

Pompeo Confirmation Debate Highlights Another Week of Senate Nomination Feuds
Rules and Administration panel also debating changes to nomination floor procedures

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, left, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, arrives for his confirmation hearing April 12 accompanied by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo seems all but assured to be confirmed as secretary of State this week. The question is how much pain will senators go through along the way.

The way forward should become clear after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee convenes late Monday afternoon to formally vote on advancing Pompeo’s nomination — probably without a favorable review.