texas

The $100 Jacket Politicians Use to Pretend To Be Normal People

The barn jacket has become the go-to fashion accessory for candidates trying to appeal to the common folk. (Screengrab: David Trone for Congress)

David Trone has never run for office before, but he’s wearing the standard issue uniform of a politician in his first television ads: the barn jacket.  

The wealthy Maryland Democrat thrust himself into the 8th District primary with close to a $1 million ad buy in the expensive Washington, D.C., media market. In the ad, entitled “Bet the Farm,” the owner of the Total Wine & More chain of stores dons a barn jacket to take viewers on a tour of the family farm where he grew up.  

Ted Cruz Might Not Need Trump Supporters

Cruz and Trump embrace at a September rally at the Capitol to oppose the Iran nuclear deal. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is poised to absorb Donald Trump’s supporters when the billionaire exits the race for the GOP presidential nomination, according to one of the campaign’s most common narratives. But how many Trump supporters are open to supporting another candidate?  

The quickest analysis of the Republican race divides candidates into distinct establishment and anti-establishment lanes, including lumping Trump, Cruz and Ben Carson supporters together as a monolithic force that is interchangeable between the candidates.  

Top Races in 2016: The Southwest

Two House races in Arizona are among the most-watched around the country. (Jonathan Gibby/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the sixth in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in 2016. The Southwest region covers Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  

Arizona's 1st District: Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate bid creates an open-seat headache for Democrats. But Republicans have a crowded primary including state Speaker David Gowan, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, and wealthy rancher/2014 candidate Gary Kiehne. Democrats look poised to nominate former GOP state Sen. Tom O’Halleran. The late August primary virtually guarantees the campaign committees will shoulder much of the financial burden in the general election.  

4 Court Cases That Could Impact the 2016 Elections

The court will review whether Virginia lawmakers improperly “packed” minority voters into Scott district to minimize their influence elsewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Breaking news can be hard to predict, except when it’s tied to a controversial court case.  

Candidates and consultants spend their time, energy and dollars staying on message — trying to focus voters on winning issues. But breaking news, even something such as a court decision that can be anticipated, often derails those plans by interjecting a subject that wasn’t in the campaign prospectus into the national conversation. It’s far too early to declare which issues will be decisive in the 2016 elections, but a handful of court cases are likely to become news throughout the next year. That would force candidates for president, the Senate, and the House to respond, creating opportunities for them to shine — or to say something controversial, even stupid.  

House Retirement Rush Still Short of Average

Lummis announced Thursday that she would retire at the end of this term. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

   

In spite of the recent rush of retirement announcements, this Congress is still below the historical average of exits each cycle, which means more House retirements are likely to come.  

Draft Biden Organizer Dismissed Over Past Legal Problems

Biden is getting closer to a decision on whether to run. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Draft Biden PAC is gaining steam and staff in its unaffiliated effort to encourage Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to get into the presidential race, but it recently dismissed one of the group’s initial organizers after his past legal problems came to light.  

Former congressional aide and campaign consultant Carlos Sierra  was national field and political director for Draft Biden , but his resume also includes felony charges in two states. One Democratic insider was interested in getting involved with the Draft Biden effort, but became concerned as it became clear Sierra was involved.  

A Modest Proposal: Timeshare Congressional Districts

In Illinois' 10th District, former Rep. Schneider is trying to win back the seat he lost to Dold after having beaten him two years before. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The sharing economy is all the rage. People are sharing homes and cars, books and tools. Why not congressional districts?  

Republicans and Democrats sink millions of dollars into a quartet of races that regularly flip from one party to the other. Over the last four election cycles, New Hampshire’s 1st District and Texas’ 23rd District have changed hands three times and New York’s 24th District has flipped all four. Illinois’ 10th District flipped back and forth in 2012 and 2014 and could do it again in 2016.  

Voting Rights Act Used to Strike Down Texas Voter ID Law

Veasey celebrated the ruling as a victory for all Texas voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, a federal appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court's ruling that Texas’ strict voter ID law violates Section 2 of the landmark civil rights legislation.  

Texas Rep. Marc Veasey, the lead plaintiff in the original suit brought against the photo ID law, heralded the ruling as a victory for Lone Star minority voters.  

Top Races to Watch in 2016: The Southwest

Kirkpatrick's Senate run sets up a competitive race for her House district. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

   

Editor's note: This is the fourth installment in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races to watch. The Southwest Region includes Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  Arizona’s 1st District:  Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s Senate bid creates an open-seat headache for Democrats. Kirkpatrick managed to win re-election in a terrible Democratic year in 2014, but she has a unique appeal in that district that could be difficult for another Democrat to replicate (and faced an underwhelming GOP nominee). Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain won the district with 51 percent in the 2008 presidential race and Mitt Romney carried it with 50 percent in 2012.  

Top 5 Races to Watch in the Southwest

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The battle for the Southwest really boils down to just one state: Arizona.  

There is a lone congressional district in South Texas worth watching, but the majority of the action in the region is in the Grand Canyon State.