Simone Pathé

Florida Senate Race Advances to Hand Recount
Deadline for recount is Sunday at noon

Florida’s Senate race is proceeding from a machine recount to a hand recount, the Secretary of State announced Thursday.

It’s the latest development in the drawn-out race between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and his Republican opponent, Gov. Rick Scott, whose margin remains under the 0.25 of a percentage point that automatically triggers a hand recount. 

At the Races: The Wave Is Still Coming
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Poliquin Loss Wipes Out New England Republicans in the House
Jared Golden defeated Bruce Poliquin in ranked-choice voting

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s loss under the state’s new ranked-choice voting system on Thursday likely means the end of New England Republicans in the House. 

It’s the first time in over 100 years an incumbent has lost Maine’s 2nd District. Poliquin is still pursuing his legal challenge to the ranked-choice voting system in federal court, but Democrat Jared Golden won more than 50 percent after state election officials tabulated the ranked-choice votes on Thursday afternoon.

Maine’s Bruce Poliquin Loses in Ranked-Choice Voting
Democrat Jared Golden claimed lead after third-party candidates eliminated

Democrat Jared Golden has defeated Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting for a congressional race, according to state election officials.

The Democrat won just over 50 percent of the vote in the ranked-choice tabulation, meaning he’ll be the next congressman from the 2nd District unless Poliquin’s legal challenges to the voting system prevail. 

Democrats Look for New DCCC Chair to Protect Majority
For the first time, competitive race will decide next head of campaign arm

For the first time, House Democrats are competing in an open race to lead the party’s campaign arm next cycle. And the new leader’s responsibilities will include something no predecessor has faced in a decade: protecting their chamber majority.

The race to chair the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is currently a four-way contest between Reps. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, and Denny Heck and Suzan DelBene of Washington. The DCCC chairmanship was an appointed position until 2016, after Democratic losses led to demands for changes at the committee. Current DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján is running for assistant Democratic leader.

How House Majority PAC Helped Deliver a Democratic Majority
Super PAC led coordination efforts among Democratic IE groups

In the dog days of summer, before many Americans were tuning into the midterm elections, the leading Democratic super PAC dedicated to winning the House convened a giant meeting with dozens of outside groups.

That laid the foundation for an unprecedented coordination effort among Democratic independent expenditure groups that spent over $200 million in more than 70 House races, overwhelming Republicans and helping deliver a Democratic majority.

Following GOP Losses, Emmer Poised to be Next NRCC Chairman
Minnesota Republican hasn’t yet laid out specific priorities to win back House

Less than a week after losing over 30 seats in the House, the chamber’s Republicans have coalesced around the next person to lead their campaign committee.

Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer is running unopposed Wednesday to be the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, replacing Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers. Along with California Rep. Mimi Walters, whose race has not yet been called, Emmer was one of two deputy NRCC chairs during the 2018 cycle.

Poliquin Sues to Stop Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting
Poliquin could lose his narrow lead under new system

Maine Rep. Bruce Poliquin has sued state Attorney General Matthew Dunlap seeking an injunction to stop the tabulation of ballots under the state’s ranked-choice voting system, which is being used in his race against Democrat Jared Golden in the 2nd District.

Since no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, the state’s ranked-choice voting system kicked in last week. This year is the first time it’s being used at the federal level in Maine, and the 2nd District will likely be the first House race in the country to be decided under this process.

League of Women Voters, Common Cause File Suit to Remove Scott From Recount Process
Nelson also called on Scott to recuse himself from any role in recount

Common Cause Florida and the League of Women Voters of Florida have filed a lawsuit to keep Republican Gov. Rick Scott from having any involvement in the recount of the Senate race.

Scott is currently leading Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in that race by just over 12,000 votes, a margin that has triggered a statewide recount.  

Richard Ojeda, West Virginia’s Trump-voting Democrat, Announces Presidential Bid
Retired army major lost his bid for 3rd District last week

On the heels of his losing congressional bid in West Virginia, state Sen. Richard Ojeda has filed to run for the Democratic nomination for president.

Speaking to his supporters via Facebook Live from the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon, Ojeda laid out an anti-corruption platform and promised to fight for the working class.

Meet Carol Miller. She Could Be the Only New Republican Woman Coming to Congress Next Year.
The GOP’s only new woman, so far, will represent West Virginia’s 3rd District

Among the 33 new women elected to the House this week, only one is a Republican. 

Carol Miller, the majority whip in the West Virginia state House and daughter of a former Ohio congressman, won the Mountain State’s 3rd District seat Tuesday night, defeating Democratic state Sen. Richard Ojeda.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Sues Broward County Election Supervisor
Scott’s lead over Nelson has shrunk since Tuesday

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has a dwindling lead over Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, took legal action Thursday night against Broward County for failing to provide information about ballots that have been counted.

He and the National Republican Senatorial Committee sued Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, while Scott also called for a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation into Broward County’s handling of ballots. 

Karen Handel Concedes in Race for Full Term in Georgia’s 6th District
Handel came to Congress after expensive special election last year

Democrats this week did what they failed to do in last year’s expensive special election: flip Georgia’s 6th District. 

Republican Rep. Karen Handel, who won that June 2017 special election to fill the open seat in the Atlanta suburbs and was running for her first full term this year, conceded Thursday morning to gun control activist Lucy McBath.

The Midterms' Most Memorable Moments
Political Theater, Episode 44

Every campaign season is defined by moments when the big picture starts to come into focus. A parade outside Kansas City where Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder is confronted about gun violence. A pizza parlor in New Jersey becomes an overflow town hall. Roll Call politics reporters Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman and elections analyst Nathan Gonzales discuss such moments during the 2018 midterms, as well as how to address the dreaded election hangover we’re all suffering.

 

How Minnesota Told a Bigger Story About 2018 Midterm Partisanship
Republicans flipped two seats, but lost two incumbents

Despite losing control of the House, Republicans won both of their best pick-up opportunities, two open seats in Minnesota where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016.

Former Duluth police officer Pete Stauber won the northeastern 8th District, where Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan did not seek re-election. Jim Hagedorn won the southern 1st District, which DFL Rep. Tim Walz vacated to run for governor. 

Jon Tester Ekes Out Third Term in Montana
Trump helped nationalize the race for GOP challenger

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester prevailed in a tight re-election race, securing a third term in a state President Donald Trump carried by 21 points in 2016.

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Tester led Republican state Auditor Matt Rosendale 49 percent to 48 percent when The Associated Press called the race Wednesday. Libertarian candidate Rick Breckenridge, who had appeared to endorse Rosendale last week, finished with just under 3 percent.

The Candidates Mattered. But Opinions About Trump Mattered More
Different outcomes in the House and Senate mostly about the president

Both parties had something to celebrate after Tuesday’s midterm elections, depending on where they looked. But that split outcome — with Democrats winning the House, and Republicans gaining seats in the Senate — underscores the extent to which opinions about President Donald Trump shape today’s politics.

Republicans largely prevailed at the Senate level because they were running in red states where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016. The House saw the opposite outcome, but the reason was the same. Republicans largely struggled because they were running in places where Trump was unpopular.

Democrats Flip Sanford Seat in Coastal South Carolina
GOP nominee was panned for voicing support for offshore drilling during primary

Democrat Joe Cunningham’s win in South Carolina’s 1st District is a blow to Republicans who thought they’d hold on to the coastal seat even after South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford lost a GOP primary earlier this year. 

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cunningham led GOP state Rep. Katie Arrington 51 percent to 49 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Mississippi Senate Special Election Advances to Runoff
Hyde-Smith failed to surpass 50 percent of the vote

Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith failed to secure more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday night. That means the contest to fill the remainder of former Sen. Thad Cochran’s term will advance to a runoff later in the month.

With 79 percent of precincts reporting, former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy led Hyde-Smith 40.8 to 40.7 percent. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel trailed with 17 percent. 

Tina Smith Wins Minnesota Special Election for Franken Seat
Democrat beats a Republican from a hockey family, which means something in Minnesota

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Tina Smith won the special election in Minnesota on Tuesday night, less than a year after she was appointed to the seat. She’ll fill out the remainder of former DFL Sen. Al Franken’s term, which expires in 2020.

With 50 of precincts reporting, Smith led Republican state Sen. Karin Housley 56 percent to 39 percent according to The Associated Press.