Stephanie Akin

Democratic PAC Pulls Spending From Top Nebraska Pickup Opportunity
Money now going to support Iowa Democrat Cindy Axne

A super PAC tied to House Democratic leadership has pulled its television advertising funding from a competitive Nebraska district, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The money the House Majority PAC had committed to Democrat Kara Eastman’s bid to unseat freshman GOP Rep. Don Bacon in the Omaha-area 2nd District will now go to support Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd, the spokesman said. Election forecasters see that race as a slightly better pickup opportunity for Democrats. 

GOP Ad Defends Rep. David Joyce on Health Care Protections
Ad doubles down on strategy to run Republican as health care centrist

A group supporting Rep. David Joyce is releasing an ad Tuesday touting the Ohio Republican’s commitment to “protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.”

The $125,000 ad buy from Defending Main Street, the political arm of the Republican Main Street Partnership, doubles down on Joyce’s campaign strategy of painting the candidate as an independent voice who has bucked his party on health care and who has “stood up to President Trump.” 

Democrats Double Down After Eight Years Defending Health Care Law
Issue now tops for Democrats in 2018, report finds

Democrats have devoted half their advertising spending in midterm races to health care, according to a report released Monday from a left-leaning group that seeks to protect provisions of Barack Obama’s signature 2010 law. 

The survey of recent polling and advertising spending from Protect Our Care underscore a theme that has emerged across the country as Democrats attempt to shift the narrative on 2010 health care law. After eight years of fending off GOP attempts to “repeal and replace” the provisions of Obamacare, Democrats now see their support of the law as one of their biggest strengths. 

At the Races: You Only Raised $1 Million?
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Fewer White Men Running for Office As Women and Minorities Step Up, Report Finds
Study finds congressional, state legislative races are more diverse in 2018

The 2018 primary season has seen a drastic decline of white men running for office in congressional and state races, as more women and minorities have joined the fray, according to report released Thursday.

There has been a 13 percent drop in white, male Congressional candidates since 2012, and a 12 percent drop in legislative races, the report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign found. 

Too Much Money Is Too Good a Problem for Democratic Hopefuls
At least 60 candidates raised more than $1 million in third quarter

Record-breaking campaign hauls in House races across the country have left some nominees with an enviable conundrum: How can they possibly spend all the money?

At least 60 House Democratic candidates reportedly raised more than $1 million each in the third quarter of the campaign cycle that ended Sept. 30, eye-popping sums that defy even the most optimistic of projections. But with Nov. 6 less than a month away, some political observers have wondered publicly whether a candidate could have too much cash. 

The Kids Are Alright — And They’re Voting in the Midterms, Study Finds
Report shows young people planning to vote in historic numbers in 2018

Young people, who typically sit out midterm elections, are planning to vote in potentially historic numbers in 2018, according to a report released Tuesday from Tufts University.

People ages 18 to 24 are also receiving more campaign outreach and paying closer attention this year, potentially matching the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, according to a report from the nonpartisan Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. 

Republican Poll Shows Rep. Don Bacon Has 9-Point Lead in Nebraska House Race
Democrat Kara Eastman considered best chance of picking up Cornhusker seat

A poll conducted for Republican Rep. Don Bacon found he leads by 9 points in a House race Democrats have pegged as their best pick-up opportunity in Nebraska. 

Bacon led Democrat Kara Eastman 49 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 registered voters conducted by Rob Autry and Kayla Dunlap. 

Yvette Herrell Holds Slim Lead in New Mexico Open Seat Race, Republican Poll Finds
Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small hopes to ride enthusiasm wave to capture Republican-leaning district

A poll conducted for Republican Yvette Herrell released Friday found she holds a slight lead over Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small in the race for an open seat in New Mexico’s 2nd District. 

Herrell led 49 percent to 45 percent, within the margin of error and 6 percent still undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 likely voters from The Tarrance Group. The poll was conducted September 30 through October 2 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

At the Races: The 10 Most Vulnerable Incumbents
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Nebraska Democrat Kara Eastman Within Striking Distance of Rep. Don Bacon, Poll Finds
Omaha District is Democrats’ best takeover opportunity in the state

A poll conducted for Democrat Kara Eastman found she was within four points of incumbent Don Bacon in the race for Nebraska’s 2nd District, her campaign said Thursday. 

Eastman had 45 percent of the vote compared to 49 percent for Bacon, according to the survey of 400 likely voters conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. However, Bacon’s lead falls within the poll’s margin of error. Six percent of voters were undecided. 

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

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. 

McMorris Rodgers, Brown Practically Tied for Washington’s 5th District
Democratic poll shows challenger closing in on highest-ranking woman in Congress

Economist Lisa Brown further closed the gap in her race against longtime incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers according to a poll Brown’s campaign released Tuesday.

Brown had 46 percent of the vote while McMorris Rodgers had 49 percent in the poll conducted by FM3 Research. The margin of error was +/- 4.3 percentage points.

At the Races: Land of 10,000 Races
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Cicilline Announces Bid for Assistant Democratic Leader
Rhode Island lawmaker says he can go "toe-to-toe" with "other side"

Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline will run for assistant Democratic leader next Congress if his party retakes the House, he announced in a letter to his colleagues Thursday.

“We need to make sure that we have a leadership team that can hit the ground running to pass our legislative agenda and to hold President Trump accountable for his actions,” Cicilline wrote. “In committee and on the Floor, I’ve proven that I can go toe-to-toe with the other side of the aisle and that I won’t back down.”

Orrin Hatch Calls Kavanaugh Accuser an ‘Attractive, Good Witness’
Spokesman says Utah Republican uses ‘attractive’ to refer to personalities, not looks

Utah Sen. Orrin G. Hatch said Thursday that Christine Blasey Ford is “attractive” and “pleasing,” but stopped short of saying definitively whether he found her credible, outside the room where Ford was testifying about her alleged assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The Utah Republican, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee which is hearing Ford’s testimony, told CNN it was “too early to say” if Ford is credible, but also added, “I don’t think she’s uncredible. I think she an attractive, good witness.”

Democratic ‘Battleground’ Playbook Calls for Focus on Economy Not Health Care
Pollsters recommend portraying GOP as ‘out of touch’ on economic issues

Democratic House and Senate candidates in battleground states can win key races if they focus on corruption and economic issues, rather than social issues such as health care that have recently dominated dozens of campaigns, according to a Democratic report released Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that we’re seeing signs of a Democratic wave election in battleground states,” said Page Gardner, founder of Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which commissioned the report from polling group Democracy Corps. “The question is what will Democrats do to maximize it. … It’s clearly up to them to take advantage of the mood that is out there.”

Tea Party Pioneer Says Democrats Can’t Match That Wave
Mark Meckler doubts projections of a Democratic midterm surge

Mark Meckler, one of the founders of the Tea Party Patriots, helped harness anger on the right in the 2010 midterms to topple Democratic incumbents and drive out some Republicans from the center in one of the biggest GOP waves in history.

Now the movement has dissipated and control of Congress is again at stake, with an increasing number of political insiders predicting that it could be the turn of progressive Democrats to storm the House.

Democratic Candidate for Tom Rooney’s Florida Seat Dies Unexpectedly
April Freeman was expected to face Republican Greg Steube in November

April Freeman, a Democrat who was running for retiring Rep. Tom Rooney’s Florida seat, has died unexpectedly, according to media reports Monday.

Her husband, David Freeman, told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune that his wife appeared to have had a heart attack Sunday night.

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.