Tossup

Midterms Wash Away Nearly Half of Climate Caucus Republicans
The bipartisan group has been unable to break the GOP bottleneck on climate change issues

Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., lost his re-election bid to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in a district that covers the Florida Keys and parts of Miami and is prone to damage from sea level rise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus lost nearly half of its Republican members in Tuesday’s elections, including co-founder Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida, posing a setback in efforts to break the GOP firewall on environmental issues.

Still, the group behind the initial formation and growth of the caucus says the loss, which came both through retirements and defeats at the polls, does not signal its end.

5 Surprises from the 2018 Midterm Elections
From the Indiana Senate race to the Atlanta suburbs, a scattering of the unexpected

Republican Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, by nearly double digits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most midterm elections have dozens of individual House and Senate races that remain unpredictable right up until — and after — the polls close on Election Day. The 2018 cycle was no different, with 22 House and three Senate races still uncalled by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

But each year, there are a few races that experts thought they had a handle on, only to be flummoxed by the results.

Braun Defeats Donnelly in Indiana
Senate contest in the Hoosier State was expected to be close

Mike Braun won a three-way primary in May by casting himself as a businessman outsider in the model of Trump (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Mike Braun has defeated Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, a blow to Democrats trying to maintain their hold on red states that backed President Donald Trump.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Braun led Donnelly percent to 54 percent to 42 percent when The Associated Press called the race. Libertarian nominee Lucy Brenton trailed with 4 percent.

Rep. Darrell Issa Resigned to His District Flipping to Democrats
‘Quite frankly, we know the results already,’ retiring California congressman says

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., leaves the House Republican Conference meeting at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington in June 13 (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voting in California’s 49th District is still underway, but Rep. Darrell Issa is already calling it.

Issa said in an interview on Fox News Tuesday that a Democrat, environmental lawyer Mike Levin, will replace him in the next Congress.

Trump PAC Spends More Defending Texas House Seat Than Any Race This Cycle
America First Action has spent $2.6 million to help longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions keep his seat

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is releasing another ad Tuesday in Texas’ 32nd District, where longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions is facing arguably his toughest test for re-election yet against Democrat Colin Allred.

America First Action, the super PAC promoting candidates who support the president’s agenda, has sunk $2.6 million into defending Sessions’ seat. That’s the most the PAC has spent on any race this cycle.

6 Close House and Senate Races That Hurricane Michael Could Hit
Hurricane projections meet 2018 congressional election handicapping

Scott Brazer and his dog Franklin take shelter in a parking garage as Hurricane Michael passes through the area on October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Michael made landfall along the Florida panhandle Wednesday and is expected to wreak havoc on many states and congressional districts as it winds up the east coast of the southern United States.

The Category 4 storm, which President Donald Trump dubbed a “massive tornado” Wednesday (note: the storm is not a tornado), will test the commitment of campaign volunteers in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, where incumbents and newcomers are locked in tight races with the 2018 midterm elections less than four weeks away.

Trump Jr., Top Trump PAC Helping Vulnerable GOP Rep. Pete Sessions
Trump political machine trying to stave off top Dem pickup opportunity in Texas’ 32nd District

Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, is receiving a boost from the Trump political machine as he looks to stave off Democratic challenger Colin Allred in the upcoming midterm elections on Nov. 6. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump political machine is out in full force in Texas’ 32nd District to boost GOP Rep. Pete Sessions as his race against Democratic challenger Colin Allred tightens.

First, Vice President Mike Pence stumped for Sessions there on Monday. Then, the top Trump-aligned super PAC shelled out millions of dollars on airtime for a new ad attacking Allred. And on Wednesday, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., announced he will host a fundraiser in the district for Sessions later this month.

CNN to Host Two Florida Debates, O’Rourke Town Hall Down Election Home Stretch
Florida Sen. Nelson will debate Gov. Rick Scott next Tuesday, Oct. 16

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke speaks during his campaign rally at the Gaslight Baker Theatre in Lockhart, TX on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

CNN will host two Florida debates and a town hall for Texas Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke as campaigns across the country round onto the home stretch before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

The network announced the live events Tuesday.

‘Come On Ted’: Richard Linklater Mocks Cruz’s Embrace of Trump
‘Bernie’ actor Sonny Carl Davis reprises role explaining what ‘Texas tough’ means

Actor Sonny Carl Davis, who made a scene-stealing performance in Richard Linklater’s “Bernie,” explains how a real Texan would react to President Donald Trump’s shots at Sen. Ted Cruz. (FTC PAC)

Is Ted Cruz tough as Texas? Richard Linklater doesn’t seem to think so.

The acclaimed director and Houston native is behind a new ad taunting the Republican senator for his embrace of President Donald Trump despite the men’s bitter rivalry during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries.

Teens Peered in Windows, Left Nasty Note at Rep. Dave Brat’s Home
Four boys who were canvassing for Democrat Abigail Spanberger no longer welcome to work for campaign

Four teenage boys left a note saying “rot in hell” on the front porch of the home of Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four Virginia teenagers were caught on camera lurking around Rep. Dave Brat’s home in the Richmond suburbs, where they left a note on the front porch that read, “Rot in hell.”

The teens were canvassing for the campaign of Brat’s Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District, Abigail Spanberger.