Special Election

Analysis: On This Episode of The Trump Show ...
Undermines party, contradicts staff before campaign-style rally

President Donald Trump introduces Ken Wilson, an employee of H&K Equipment, to supporters at a rally at the rental and sales company in Coraopolis, Pa., on Thursday. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is no longer on “The Apprentice,” but on days like Thursday, the president of the United States produces, writes and stars in a White House-based reality show, “The Trump Show,” complete with a boss who undermines his senior staff and congressional allies, prompting them to explain away the antics or ignore them.

The commander in chief started the day by torpedoing with a tweet a key GOP talking point and saying, on his way into the Pentagon for a briefing, that a government shutdown “could very well be.”

At the Races: 2018 Starts in PA-18
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in House and Senate races

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. Subscribe here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week … Trump is wading into another special election, Democrats went after one of their own and Tim Pawlenty said “no thanks” to a Senate run.

Trump Might Avoid Republican Primaries
President tells Reuters he plans to campaign heavily for GOP candidates in midterms

President Donald Trump said he’ll spend “probably four or five days a week” campaigning for Republican candidates in the midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump says that he will campaign frequently for Republicans during the 2018 midterm elections, but might avoid getting involved in primaries.

“I am going to spend probably four or five days a week helping people because we need more Republicans,” he told Reuters. “To get the real agenda through, we need more Republicans.”

The Next Special Election in the Heart of Trump Country
President will travel to Pennsylvania’s 18th District on Thursday

Democrats see Conor Lamb’s moderate profile and background as a Marine and federal prosecutor as an advantage in Pennsylvania’s 18th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

It’s no accident that President Donald Trump will travel Thursday to an equipment manufacturing plant outside of Pittsburgh. And it’s no accident that Pennsylvania Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone will be there too. 

The visit is an official one, but with a political backdrop. H&K Equipment is located in Pennsylvania’s 18th District, where Saccone will face Democrat Conor Lamb on March 13, the first special election of the year.  

Analysis: It’s a Blue House Wave, but Not Yet a Senate One
Rural, Trump-friendly states make for a formidable map for Democrats

Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota are among the Democrats’ many vulnerable incumbents this cycle, which complicates the party’s efforts to retake the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

“The odds are greater than half we will take back the Senate.” — Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Monday night 

Democrats ought to temper their optimism about the fight for the Senate this year.

Democrats See New Opportunity in McSally’s Old House Seat
Democrats see Arizona’s 2nd District as a top pickup opportunity

Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick is running in Arizona’s 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

GOP Rep. Martha McSally’s decision to enter the Arizona Senate race has opened up her hotly contested House seat, giving Democrats even more hope that they can win back the seat in 2018.

Republicans say they still have a chance at holding the 2nd District seat in southern Arizona, especially with the right candidate. But Democrats see energy on their side, fueled in part by a backlash to President Donald Trump. And they are hopeful the race will be an example of a Democrat flipping a seat that Hillary Clinton carried in November.

Tim Pawlenty Not Running for Senate in Minnesota
Republicans saw him as strongest recruit to take on Tina Smith in November

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will not run for Senate in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday he will not run in November’s special election for Senate.

“I am very interested in public service and service for the common good — there are a lot of different ways to do that — but I’ll tell you today running for the United States Senate in 2018 won’t be part of those plans,” Pawlenty told Fox Business. 

What’s Cory Booker Doing Back in Alabama?
Democratic senator will be keynote speaker at the National Baptist Convention USA’s winter meeting

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., campaigned for Sen. Doug Jones in the closing days of the special Senate election in Alabama last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Cory Booker will return to Alabama on Wednesday for the first time since campaigning for Sen. Doug Jones in the state’s Senate election last month.

The New Jersey Democrat is slated to the give the keynote address at the National Baptist Convention USA’s winter meeting in Mobile.

Joe Arpaio Senate Candidacy ‘Won't Last Long,’ Flake Says
Former sheriff fires back, saying Flake didn’t have the ‘guts’ to run again

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has been critical of his own party for nominating controversial conservative candidates for high office. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake on Wednesday dismissed Joe Arpaio’s bid for his Arizona Senate seat in 2018, laughing off the controversial former sheriff as a fringe candidate whose campaign will quickly fizzle.

“You’d better write about it and talk about it fast because it won’t last long,” Flake said in an interview with CNN.

O’Rourke Backs Off ‘Mandatory Year of Service’ Idea After Criticism
‘I made a mistake,’ Texas Democrat challenging Sen. Ted Cruz says

Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas, backtracked Monday on an idea to create a mandatory year of national service for all young Americans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Beto O’Rourke blew out his own match on the idea to introduce a bill making a year of service mandatory for all Americans just days after floating the possibility.

At a town hall outside Dallas last week, the Democratic Senate hopeful proposed a “national service bill” that would require every young person to spend at least a year of service “in a military unit, conservation corps unit, in a medical unit, in a teaching unit — in some way that they’re going to help make this country better and stronger.”