Barbara Comstock

How to Read Midterm Polls
CQ on Congress Podcast, Episode 121

A voter arrives at the Philomont, Va fire station in Virginia's 10th Congressional district, Rep. Barbara Comstock's district, on primary election day in Virginia on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While Washington is obsessed with the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, voters — Republicans and Democrats— are more concerned about the economy, says Democratic pollster Brad Bannon, who adds that the positive top-line numbers cloak Americans' continuing economic fears.

Show Notes:

Giffords PAC Airs New TV Ad Against Comstock in Virginia
Second spot is part of $1 million ad campaign against two-term Republican in 10th District

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' PAC is investing $1 million in Virginia’s 10th District against GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock. Giffords is shown here with Jennifer Wexton, Comstock's Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The gun violence prevention group founded by former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is launching its second TV ad against Rep. Barbara Comstock, specifically going after the Virginia Republican’s ‘A’ rating from the National Rifle Association. 

The spot, debuting Wednesday and obtained first by Roll Call, opens with footage of a parent playing with a small child.

Trump Wants to Freeze It. But Federal Pay Isn’t Driving Deficits
‘There’s a misconception that federal employees are all affluent,’ one advocate says

Rep. Barbara Comstock and other vulnerable House Republicans might have difficulty explaining a federal pay freeze to their constituents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Federal worker compensation, repeatedly used as a piggy bank to fund other priorities earlier this decade, is once again in budget cutters’ crosshairs. The latest catalyst is President Donald Trump’s desire to shrink costs associated with the “administrative state,” both by freezing civil workers’ pay next year and making them contribute more to their pensions.

The pay freeze issue is coming to a head as soon as this month, when Congress decides whether to incorporate Trump’s proposal or allow a 1.9 percent boost to federal worker pay next year, as contained in a bipartisan Senate spending package approved on a 92-6 vote last month.

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in 2018 List Remains All-Republican
Iowa Rep. Rod Blum is once again in the top spot

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, remains at the top of the list of vulnerable House members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With Election Day two months away, all 10 of the most vulnerable House members are Republicans, with one new addition.

Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Florida has been replaced on the list by Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder, who even some Republicans acknowledge is in a more tenuous position given his district, voting record and Democratic challenger.

Donald Trump’s Toughest Adversary? That Would Be Donald Trump
The president’s desire to hog the midterm spotlight guarantees a nationalization of the election

President Donald Trump has stated a desire to insert himself into the midterm election process. That could be a problem for Republicans in tough races. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — While President Trump complains about the national media, Democrats, Robert S. Mueller’s Russian “witch hunt” and the political establishment, none of those things is why the November House elections are a major headache for the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

Trump has turned what could have been a challenging midterm election environment into a potentially disastrous one. Through his tweets and statements, the president continues to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on his first two years in office.

One Foot in Congress, the Other in Grad School
Staffers starting your higher education, you’re in good company

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., received his law degree from Georgetown University. Here he is addressing the law center in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As orientation kicks off for graduate school programs, staffers who are going part time and keeping their Capitol Hill jobs begin the balancing act.

Those higher knowledge-seekers are not alone. It’s common for staffers to get degrees on top of work.

Photos From the Campaign Trail: Independence Day Edition
Parades in Virginia and West Virginia as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., chats with Little Miss 4th of July before the start of the July Fourth parade in Ripley, W.Va., on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Soaring temperatures continue to grip the country this week, but that didn’t stop lawmakers and congressional hopefuls from hitting the July Fourth parade circuit Wednesday. And Roll Call’s photographers were there. 

In Virginia’s 10th District, Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock and her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, both marched in the Independence Day parade in historic downtown Leesburg. The Toss-up race between the two is among the most competitive in the country — a must-hold for both parties in their respective quests to retain or win back the House. 

Time Running Out in Ryan’s Quest to Overhaul Welfare Programs
Speaker returns to Jack Kemp roots as he targets SNAP and TANF

In his remaining months as speaker, Paul D. Ryan is making one last push on poverty. Above, Bishop Shirley Holloway helps Ryan unveil his plan for “A Better Way” in Anacostia in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has spent his 20-year congressional career primarily focused on two issues, taxes and poverty. The Wisconsin Republican led a major rewrite of the tax code last year, but when he retires at the end of this term he won’t have many accomplishments to tout on poverty.

The last big win for conservatives in the so-called War on Poverty was the 1996 welfare overhaul, Ryan acknowledged on PBS’ “Firing Line” earlier this month.

Photos of the Week: A Parade, Virginia Holds Primaries and, of Course, the Baseball Game
The week of June 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A Capitol Visitor Center employee stops to smell the long strands of lei draped on Hawaii’s King Kamehameha statue in the Capitol Visitor Center on Kamehameha Day on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

DCCC Adds 10 More Candidates to Red to Blue
Latest additions include winners of recent primaries

The DCCC has named Katie Hill, a Democrat running for California’s 25th District, to its Red to Blue program for promising challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added 10 more challengers Friday to its Red to Blue program for strong recruits.

The eighth round of additions brings the total number of challengers on Red to Blue to 53. Many of the new additions have only recently won primaries.