independents

They Channel Out-of-Town Outrage
‘Herd on the Hill’ lives vicariously, delivering letters for people in far-away states

Herd on the Hill delivered over a thousand letters to Sen. Susan Collin, R-Maine, in October. (Courtesy Herd on the Hill)

The president of Herd on the Hill went into a planning meeting and announced the name of her group.

Others gasped and grumbled. No press were allowed in the room.

GOP-Held Illinois District Pounded with Outside Money as Election Nears
Six-term incumbent Roskam facing Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., faces Democrat Sean Casten in Illinois’ 6th District on Nov. 6. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outside groups are descending on Illinois’ 6th District just weeks before the midterm elections — and bringing their money with them —  as six-term GOP Rep. Peter Roskam tries to stave off a bid from Democratic environmental entrepreneur Sean Casten.

The Chicago Tribune first reported these figures.

Words and Deeds Can Come Back to Haunt Incumbents in Tight Races
Yoder, McCaskill and others face attacks on past votes, policy positions

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., now finds himself in a “Tilts Democratic” race in Kansas’ 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Incumbency comes with benefits, but in a throw-the-bums-out kind of year, it also offers sitting lawmakers one potential major disadvantage on the campaign trail: a voting record on Capitol Hill.

Political opponents can, and do, weaponize one vote, one position on a hot-button policy such as health care, tax or immigration. They might target a pattern of partisanship or, more importantly this year, support for an unpopular president.

It Turns Out Democrats Are Really Bad at Getting Mad
They’re doing their best scorched-earth impression of Mitch McConnell. It isn’t working

Fight fire with fire, says Hillary Clinton. Civility can wait. But Democrats do a pretty weak impression of Mitch McConnell, Shapiro writes. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

OPINION — Anger in politics is like the porridge in “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” — it has to be just right.

Too little anger breeds a sense of complacency and decreases the urgency of voting. Too much anger produces self-defeating rhetoric that repels the very undecided voters that you are struggling to attract.

6 Close House and Senate Races That Hurricane Michael Could Hit
Hurricane projections meet 2018 congressional election handicapping

Scott Brazer and his dog Franklin take shelter in a parking garage as Hurricane Michael passes through the area on October 10, 2018, in Panama City, Florida. The hurricane made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a category 4 storm. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Hurricane Michael made landfall along the Florida panhandle Wednesday and is expected to wreak havoc on many states and congressional districts as it winds up the east coast of the southern United States.

The Category 4 storm, which President Donald Trump dubbed a “massive tornado” Wednesday (note: the storm is not a tornado), will test the commitment of campaign volunteers in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia, where incumbents and newcomers are locked in tight races with the 2018 midterm elections less than four weeks away.

EMILY’s List Spending Arm Hits North Carolina Rep. Holding in Attack Ad
Pro-choice Democratic group has endorsed Democrat Linda Coleman in North Carolina’s 2nd District

Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., is in a tight race with Democratic opponent Linda Coleman for North Carolina’s 2nd District seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At least one progressive super PAC has jumped into the outside spending battle that’s ramping up in North Carolina’s hotly contested 2nd District, where GOP Rep. George Holding faces a narrowing path to re-election against Democrat Linda Coleman.

WOMEN VOTE!, the independent expenditure arm of the political action committee EMILY’s List, which promotes pro-choice Democratic female candidates for Congress, dropped $406,470 on a new ad attacking Holding for allegedly cozying up to the pharmaceutical industry by giving it a $42 million tax break.

They May Not Like Him, but New Jersey Voters Aren’t Ditching Menendez, Yet
Republican Bob Hugin is spending big, forcing DSCC to invest in deep-blue state

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., speaks to the media at the 43rd annual Hispanic State Parade in North Bergen, N.J., on Sunday. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

NORTH BERGEN, N.J. — Without mentioning him by name, Sen. Robert Menendez got in a dig at his opponent. 

Kicking off the 43rd annual Hispanic State Parade here Sunday, the New Jersey Democrat said he was happy to be here — “not for the first time, as some people are.”

Senate Dems Want Republicans to Take a Position on ‘Junk’
Baldwin hopes to force a vote to overturn Trump administration rule on short-term health care plans

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge to reverse the Trump administration’s rule on short-term health insurance plans — or at least to get Republicans on the record. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are planning to force a vote this week on a resolution that would overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans.

Critics call them “junk” plans, since they’re not required to comply with all the regulations of the 2010 health care law.

Beware Kavanaugh Narratives, Final-Month Musings Unlikely to Change November Outcomes
Despite what you may hear, the House is still poised to flip and the Senate is still not, Rothenberg writes

Supporters stake out their spot for Rep. Beto O'Rourke's Turn out For Texas Rally, featuring a concert by Wille Nelson, in Austin, Texas on Sept. 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

During a brief period when I was working for the political unit of CBS News around the 2006 midterm elections, I attended a pre-election meeting run by Sean McManus and Paul Friedman. McManus was then president of CBS News, while Friedman was vice president.

I remember McManus, who made his mark running CBS Sports, saying he had bumped into a friend or acquaintance who told him the alleged Democratic midterm wave had crested and Republican prospects were rebounding.  

Republicans Need a Cold Compress With Less Than One Month to Go
Presidential pain still plagues vulnerable incumbents ahead of the midterms

President Donald Trump may turn out Democrats better than any Democrat could. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Weather metaphors are often used (and overused) in election analysis, but there’s a better way to describe the Republicans’ challenge in 2018. The GOP is dealing with many headaches as it tries to preserve the Republican congressional majorities.

From tension to cluster to migraine, they can vary in frequency and severity. And Republicans’ ability to alleviate them will determine control of the House and Senate in the 116th Congress.