Republicans Need a Cold Compress With Less Than One Month to Go
Presidential pain still plagues vulnerable incumbents ahead of the midterms

ANALYSIS — Weather metaphors are often used (and overused) in election analysis, but there’s a better way to describe the Republicans’ challenge in 2018. The GOP is dealing with many headaches as it tries to preserve the Republican congressional majorities.

From tension to cluster to migraine, they can vary in frequency and severity. And Republicans’ ability to alleviate them will determine control of the House and Senate in the 116th Congress.

24 House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats, One Month Out
 

Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales has two dozen House race ratings shifts — and they’re all positive for Democrats. Nearly one month from Election Day, Gonzales discusses how it’s more a question of Democratic prospects being good or great in the House than anything else. See below for a full list of all the ratings shifts and watch the video for more analysis. ...
Don’t Sweat the Election Night Surprises
From Nancy Boyda to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, upsets happen for different reasons

What will be the biggest surprise on election night?

It’s a common and valid question, but I’m always a little amused by it.

12 House Ratings Changes: Democrats Are More Likely Than Not to Win Majority
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales — an authoritative look at where things stand for 2018

Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales has a dozen updates to his House ratings, all in favor of Democrats. Watch the video for more on Republicans' efforts this September to discredit Democrats in key races as the midterm election is now just seven weeks away.

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

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.

What 39,000 Words in 15 Profiles Didn’t Tell You About Beto O’Rourke
El Paso politician has had a long rise to a position of national prominence

I’m pretty sure three new profiles of Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke have been published in the time it took me to write this lede. Yet the only thing more remarkable than the sheer volume of stories written about the congressman is that none of them put his 2012 House victory in proper context.

I read more than a dozen profiles, and they most often describe a young, sweaty candidate with Kennedy-esque looks and punk sensibilities as an accidental and almost reluctant challenger to Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. But O’Rourke was never going to be content with being on the El Paso City Council or playing bass for the band Foss.

12 Ratings Changes: Democrats Could Gain Up to 8 Governor Seats in 2018
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales — an authoritative look at where things stand for 2018

Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales has a dozen updates to his ratings for the 36 gubernatorial seats up for election this midterm. Eight of his recent shifts favor Democrats, who are poised to make gains that could be crucial ahead of the 2020 census count and ensuing redistricting fights.

Below are all the ratings changes. You can also explore the map at Roll Call's 2018 Election Guide:

Anti-Trump Fervor Puts Senate in Play
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 119

5 States That Will Decide the House Majority
Watch these states to tell if Democrats are having a good election night

With a growing number of vulnerable House districts, there might be too much to watch for on election night. But by focusing on just a handful of states, you can get a pretty good idea of whether Democrats are having a good enough night to gain the 23 seats necessary to win back the majority.

Competitive races: 5

A Congressional Candidate Plays Softball in an Ad, and I Have Lots of Questions
For starters, why is Ohio Democrat Aftab Pureval wearing jeans?

When I saw Ohio Democrat Aftab Pureval playing softball in a campaign ad, I felt like my years of election analysis and beer-league softball were finally coming together.

Pureval, the Hamilton County clerk of courts, is challenging Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st District. He’s running a competitive race (which we’ve rated Leans Republican) and outraised the congressman through June 30 ($1.6 million to $959,000).

30 House Ratings Shift in Favor of Democrats, 2 Move Toward GOP
This doesn’t mean the majority is lost for Republicans, but they have a lot of fires to put out

Labor Day is supposed to be the official start of general election season, but many of the top House and Senate races are well underway.

In fact, the campaign trail has been so busy that Inside Elections recently issued 32 race ratings changes, most in favor of the Democrat in the race.

House Ratings Change in Favor of Democrats
 

Roll Call elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales is changing the House ratings on more than 30 races, most of them in Democrats' favor. He breaks down which races have changed and why....
Why We’re Not Changing the Rating for Duncan Hunter’s Seat, Yet
It’s already a competitive seat, for one

Whenever a member of Congress is indicted, it’s a good idea to take a long, hard look at their re-election chances. It’s also reasonable to believe their prospects for another term would be diminished and political handicappers would immediately downgrade their race. But it’s not so simple with GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter and California’s 50th District.

When New York Republican Chris Collins was indicted a couple weeks ago, we shifted New York’s 27th District from Solid Republican to Likely Republican. It was an acknowledgment that an indictment at least warrants a district be on the list of competitive races.

We Reviewed Andy Barr, Amy McGrath and Beto O’Rourke’s New Campaign Ads
 

Deputy editor Jason Dick and elections analyst Nathan L. Gonzales watch campaign ads from candidates in Kentucky and Texas and break down what the messaging might mean in the election to come....
Rating Change: Chris Collins’ Arrest Puts Seat in Play
Inside Elections is shifting the rating from Solid to Likely Republican

If Rep. Chris Collins continues to run for re-election, he would do so while facing charges of insider trading and lying to the F.B.I. But just because a member of Congress is indicted, doesn’t mean they can’t win.

GOP Rep. Michael Grimm of New York and Democratic Rep. William J. Jefferson of Louisiana are two recent examples of incumbents who won re-election in the face of significant legal problems.

Congress Isn’t Perfect but the Politicians Aren’t Always to Blame
Fixing the Hill is easier said than done

After 30 years of covering Congress, David Hawkings has a good idea of how Capitol Hill works — or more important, how it doesn’t — and he laid out five key reasons why Congress is broken.

But whether it’s money, maps, media, mingling or masochism, there are no easy solutions. Nor are they entirely the responsibility of the politicians to address.

Ratings Change: Races for 2 GOP Seats Shift to Toss-Ups
Texas’ Pete Sessions and Kentucky’s Andy Barr face strong Democratic challengers

In 2010, Texas Rep. Pete Sessions led Republicans to a historic 63-seat gain in the House and a new GOP majority as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Now, he’s at significant risk of losing his own seat.

Sessions represents the Dallas-area 32nd District, which Hillary Clinton carried by 2 points in 2016. It’s the type of suburban, college-educated area that has been revolting against President Donald Trump since he took office. But for much of the cycle, Sessions benefitted from a fundraising advantage and a competitive Democratic primary, which was only decided in a May runoff.

Democratic Candidates Should Be Bolder on Gun Control, Poll Finds
“The center has shifted on this issue,” gun control advocate says

Gun control has been a third rail of Democratic campaigns, but a new poll suggests that Democratic candidates should embrace a bolder approach to restrictions on guns, even in general elections.

Up to this point, Democrats have been decidedly defensive on guns. The most famous instances of Democratic candidates using guns in television ads include West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III shooting the so-called cap-and-trade bill, former Georgia Rep. John Barrow talking about his granddaddy’s pistol and Missouri Senate candidate Jason Kander assembling a rifle blindfolded. The ads were meant to reassure voters that Democrats didn’t want to take away their guns.

Support for Roe is Up, But Other Abortion Polling Divided and Steady
71 percent think 1973 decision should stand

While recent polling from NBC News/Wall Street Journal showed an uptick in support for Roe v. Wade, other survey data on abortion reflects a remarkably consistent and nuanced approach from Americans on the choice issue that stretches across decades.

The recent survey of 900 registered voters, conducted July 15-18, showed 71 percent believe the 1973 decision, which established a woman’s legal right to an abortion, should be kept in place while 23 percent believe the ruling should be overturned.