conservatives

Their Districts Are at Risk. But They Still Vote ‘No’ on Climate Action
High waters and toxic blooms haven’t scared these lawmakers

Storm surge and waves from Hurricane Michael batter homes in the Florida Panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Oct. 10. (Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

He lives just half a mile away from the beach in Sarasota, Florida, but Len Seligman, a local musician, has barely enjoyed the sun and sand by the waterside recently, discouraged by the stench of dead fish and other marine animals washed ashore, poisoned by toxic algal blooms.

“In the last few months, there have only been a few days that it’s been tolerable,” the 63-year-old retired computer researcher said. “You just can’t breathe when the red tide is bad.”

NewDemPAC Helps Candidates Navigate Trump, Raise Money
Political arm of New Democrat Coalition has endorsed 38 recruits

NewDemPAC has endorsed Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Dave Brat in the 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With 38 endorsed candidates, the political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is hoping to play a significant role helping Democrats win the House majority next month, and in doing so, grow their own business-friendly caucus. 

The coalition’s political action committee, founded in 2005, got involved in races earlier than ever before this cycle — at times choosing favorites in competitive primaries. It also hired a political director for the first time and has been able to help raise more than $2 million for candidates from members and donors.

Lindsey Graham Sees Big Election Night for Senate Republicans
Speaking at Heritage Foundation, Mitch McConnell was predictably more reserved

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is upbeat about the chances for big Senate Republican wins on Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Lindsey Graham is very bullish on the chances of Republicans expanding their Senate majority on Election Day in three weeks.

“We’re off to the races. Everything is breaking our way,” the South Carolina senator said Tuesday night. 

Botched Heitkamp Sexual Assault Ad ‘Desperate’ Move, Cramer Says
Survivor names published without consent

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., attends a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Dirksen Building titled "Implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act," on October 2, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans in North Dakota shook their collective heads after Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign ran an ad in local newspapers naming sexual assault and domestic abuse victims without their consent in an open letter to her opponent — and, in some cases, listed names of women who said they have never been sexually mistreated.

“This is what happens when desperate people do things for their own personal political gain,” Rep. Kevin Cramer, the GOP nominee challenging Heitkamp, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “She proved a point that her personal politics matter more than someone’s personal pain.”

At Debate, Spanberger Reminds Brat He’s Not Running Against Pelosi
Democrat is challenging two-term Republican in Virginia’s 7th District

Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., and Abigail Spanberger, his Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District, shake hands Monday after a debate at the Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Va. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At her first and likely only public debate with Virginia Rep. Dave Brat on Monday, Democrat Abigail Spanberger felt the need to remind the Republican congressman that he is running against her, and “certainly not” against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Abigail Spanberger is my name,” the Democratic challenger in Virginia’s 7th District said to punctuate her closing statement.

Breaking the Midterm Mode: Both Parties Make it About Trump
2018 provides yet another departure from political norms

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is among the Democrats whose re-election prospects could be hurt by the nationalizing of the midterms, Rothenberg writes. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — For decades, the rule of thumb for campaigns during midterm elections has been the same: When the president is popular, the president’s party tries to nationalize the election, and the opposition attempts to localize it. On the other hand, when the president is unpopular, his party’s nominees try to localize while the opposition tries to make the election a national referendum on his performance. Perhaps not surprisingly, 2018 has broken that mold.

Both sides are trying to nationalize the November election.

Impeachment or Bust? Democrats Have Few Options on Kavanaugh Inquiries
Lawsuits, possible House probes expected, but party largely staying mum for now

Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee ponder their next move during a session on the nomination of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Sept. 28. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett M. Kavanaugh looked bewildered. Sen. Kamala Harris looked perturbed but determined. It was hour ten of the then-Supreme Court nominee’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee early last month, and the California Democrat seemed to have him backed into a corner.

Harris, a former prosecutor, was very much back in a courtroom. She was trying to get her witness, Kavanaugh, to reveal the name — or names — of anyone at the Washington law firm of Trump’s personal attorney with whom she alleged he had discussed special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his ongoing Russia election meddling investigation the president almost daily refers to as a “witch hunt.”

Why Pelosi Is Likely to Be Speaker Again if Democrats Win Back House
There’s no obvious field of candidates ready to challenge her

It’s hard to see Nancy Pelosi stepping down if the Democrats take back the House next month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — “You can’t beat somebody with nobody.”

That political axiom explains in just six words why Nancy Pelosi is likely to be elected speaker if Democrats retake the House in November. No one has announced plans to challenge the California Democrat, and it’s unclear if anyone will after the election.

Three States Get Ready to Vote on Abortion
Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia have measures on the ballot

Students protest abortion outside the Supreme Court in June. When voters in three states go to the polls this November, they’ll see abortion initiatives on the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Oregon, Alabama and West Virginia voters will face separate ballot initiatives next month aimed at restricting abortion access in those states.

These initiatives fit into a larger fight over abortion that continues to heat up. Anti-abortion advocates hope that changes at the state level can be used as test cases and later implemented more broadly, while abortion rights advocates hope to defeat them. A particularly contentious ballot initiative can be used as a messaging move to drive voters to the polls in tight elections such as this fall’s West Virginia Senate race.

Why Trump Spent His Friday Night in Deep-Red Southwest Ohio
Rep. Steve Chabot won re-election by 18 points in 2016. Now he faces a closer race

President Donald Trump speaks to supporters at a rally at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pa., on Wednesday night. Two days later, he took his campaign road show to Ohio. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump took his campaign road show to Ohio on Friday, a state that is a microcosm of the fight his Republican Party faces in next month’s midterm elections.

On the one hand, a recent Suffolk University-Cincinnati Enquirer poll showed a boost in Republican support and enthusiasm for Trump — and, he hopes, GOP candidates by extension. But on the other, those same surveys suggest the overall electorate in the Buckeye State is more likely to vote for Democratic candidates than Republican ones.