Special Election

Republicans With Fundraising Struggles Have Outside Help — For Now
GOP groups had previously warned lawmakers to step up their game

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., has been outraised by his Democratic opponent, Katie Hill, but Congressional Leadership Fund is still spending for him in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scores of Republicans were once again outraised by their Democratic opponents in the recently concluded third quarter. And GOP outside groups now have to decide how to best allocate their finite resources with less than three weeks to go until Election Day. 

The two major Republican groups that spend in House races — the National Republican Congressional Committee and the House leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund — have already begun to move money to different races, as have their Democratic counterparts, in an end-of-cycle process known as “triage.”

Is Beto O’Rourke the Next Jon Ossoff?
Democrats can’t seem to help falling for white, Southern men in unlikely races

Democrat Beto O’Rourke historic fundraising numbers set off alarm bells in the GOP that the Texas Senate race was not one to be ignored, Murphy writes. Above, O’Rourke arrives for a rally in Lockhart, Texas, on Oct. 1. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There have been so many glowing profiles of Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic Senate hopeful in Texas, that there is a running joke  among journalists about the ingredients for a perfect O’Rourke piece. The short version goes something like this: He looks like a Kennedy! He’s got tons of cash! He’s a Democrat in a Red State! Let’s do this thing!

The one detail that’s almost always missing in those profiles is reality — namely, the fact that O’Rourke could run a perfect race against Sen. Ted Cruz and will still probably lose based solely on the fact that far more Republicans are likely to vote in Texas this November than Democrats. Although twice as many Texans (about 1 million) voted in the Democratic primary this year compared to 2014, 1.5 million votes were cast in the Republican primary. Even as the state’s demographics are changing, the math for Texas Democrats still doesn’t look good.

Swift Winds From the West
Tay and Ye meet again, on the political stage

Taylor Swift endorsed former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign for Senate in an Instagram post this week. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TAS file photo)

It’s been almost 10 years since Kanye West and Taylor Swift began to bicker. Remember? Beyoncé had just made one of the best music videos. OF. ALL. TIME. Here’s the timeline from then until now — the moment the Swift-Kanye conflict broke the fourth wall and entered DUH, DUH, DUH!

The Political Theater.

Could a Blue Wave Drown New York Republicans, Again?
Democrats are targeting all nine GOP-held seats in Empire State this cycle

GOP Rep. John J. Faso talks to a constituent at a senior picnic in Poughquag, NY. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

POUGHQUAG, N.Y. — Rep. John J. Faso describes himself as a “pragmatic conservative” who can work across the aisle to get things done.

“I don’t want to go to Washington just to be part of some chorus appearing on TV, on cable news, talking about ideological divisions,” the New York Republican said in an interview here last month after meeting with seniors.

The Ghosts of Impeachment Haunt the Kavanaugh Fight
Ken Starr, David Schippers, even Kavanaugh himself were key players in impeachment of Bill Clinton

Senate staffers watch from their offices as police begin to arrest protesters opposed to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the atrium of the Hart Building on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

Washington is doing its best to prove the William Faulkner maxim that “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Labor Group Targets Minority Voters With Six-Figure Ad Buy in Battleground States
Get-out-the-vote campaign is the biggest investment in African American, Hispanic voters in AFL-CIO history

A voter enters the polling station at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, to vote in the special election to fill Jeff Sessions’ seat in the U.S. Senate. In the foreground is a historical marker noting a 1963 civil rights march to the courthouse to register African-American women as voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The AFL-CIO federation of labor unions launched a massive get-out-the-vote campaign targeting minority voters this week, making it the latest group to increase its investment in non-white communities in the lead-up to the 2018 midterms. 

The $600,000 in radio advertisements on African-American and Spanish-language programs represents the biggest media investment in minority communities in AFL-CIO history, representatives said. 

Pete Aguilar Announces Bid for Democratic Caucus Vice Chair Against Katherine Clark
Democrats have their second contested leadership race for the 116th Congress

Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., is running for Democratic Caucus vice chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats officially have their second contested leadership race, with California Rep. Pete Aguilar announcing Tuesday that he plans to run for Democratic Caucus vice chair. 

Aguilar will face Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark, who announced her plans to run for the position in July.  

GOP Congressman Jokes Ruth Bader Ginsburg Groped by Abraham Lincoln
Joke did not go over well amid controversy that Supreme Court nominee sexually assaulted someone as a teenager

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., joked during an election debate that Abraham Lincoln groped Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

South Carolina GOP Rep. Ralph Norman opened an election debate Thursday by cracking a joke that attempted to play off the controversy over the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

It did not go over well, according to a report from The Post and Courier.

Prepare to Be Disappointed on Election Night
Close races, voting schemes and mail-in ballots could all complicate calling control of Congress on Nov. 6

The race for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s Mississippi seat lists among the complicating factors that might impede calling control of the Senate on Nov. 6, Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After two years of campaigning in the latest most consequential election of our lifetimes, election night could be a huge letdown. The disappointment is not about which party prevails Nov. 6, but the reality that a combination of close races and West Coast contests could prevent enough races from being called to determine majorities in Congress until days later.

In the Senate, more than 10 races could finish within single digits, and a handful of those contests look like they’re neck and neck. The close margins could make it difficult for media outlets to project a winner on election night. Since Republicans have just a two-seat majority, every Senate race matters, so anything left uncalled could make it difficult to figure out who will control the chamber next year.

Texas Republican Is on His Fourth Election of the Year
Take Five: New congressman Michael Cloud never left the campaign trail

Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, was sworn in July 10. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a long year for Texas Republican Rep. Michael Cloud, who joined Congress in July.

Before he could replace Blake Farenthold — who resigned from Congress amid allegations of sexual harassment — he had to fight through a primary, a primary runoff and a special election. And now the midterms are closing in.