Special Election

Karen Handel Concedes in Race for Full Term in Georgia’s 6th District
Handel came to Congress after expensive special election last year

GOP Rep. Karen Handel lost her bid for a full term in Georgia’s 6th District. (By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats this week did what they failed to do in last year’s expensive special election: flip Georgia’s 6th District. 

Republican Rep. Karen Handel, who won that June 2017 special election to fill the open seat in the Atlanta suburbs and was running for her first full term this year, conceded Thursday morning to gun control activist Lucy McBath.

The Replacements: Trump Has No Shortage of Candidates to Follow Sessions
A Mueller probe skeptic and several GOP senators all make the list

Then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., endorses Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee for president during a campaign rally at Madison City Schools Stadium in Madison, Ala., on Feb. 28. 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There is no shortage of candidates to replace Jeff Sessions as attorney general, and President Donald Trump could even again turn to the Senate.

Sessions and Trump clashed almost from the start, with the president even admitting he gave the former Alabama lawmaker the job out of a sense of loyalty. Sessions was the first GOP senator to endorse Trump’s 2016 White House candidacy. As Democrats warn of a constitutional crisis, the president will get to pick a nominee this time for other reasons.

5 Surprises from the 2018 Midterm Elections
From the Indiana Senate race to the Atlanta suburbs, a scattering of the unexpected

Republican Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, by nearly double digits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most midterm elections have dozens of individual House and Senate races that remain unpredictable right up until — and after — the polls close on Election Day. The 2018 cycle was no different, with 22 House and three Senate races still uncalled by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

But each year, there are a few races that experts thought they had a handle on, only to be flummoxed by the results.

Mississippi Senate Special Election Advances to Runoff
Hyde-Smith failed to surpass 50 percent of the vote

Mississippi Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith will advance to a runoff against former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith failed to secure more than 50 percent of the vote on Tuesday night. That means the contest to fill the remainder of former Sen. Thad Cochran’s term will advance to a runoff later in the month.

With 79 percent of precincts reporting, former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy led Hyde-Smith 40.8 to 40.7 percent. Republican state Sen. Chris McDaniel trailed with 17 percent. 

Tina Smith Wins Minnesota Special Election for Franken Seat
Democrat beats a Republican from a hockey family, which means something in Minnesota

Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., will serve out the remaining term of her predecessor, Al Franken. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic-Farmer-Labor Sen. Tina Smith won the special election in Minnesota on Tuesday night, less than a year after she was appointed to the seat. She’ll fill out the remainder of former DFL Sen. Al Franken’s term, which expires in 2020.

With 50 of precincts reporting, Smith led Republican state Sen. Karin Housley 56 percent to 39 percent according to The Associated Press.

5 Reasons Why Democrats Are Poised to Take Over the House
Money, Trump and a few unexpected breaks have boosted party’s chances

Harley Rouda, a Democrat running for California's 48th Congressional District, speaks during his campaign rally in Laguna Beach, Calif. in May (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

At the start of this election cycle, historical trends suggested Democrats were likely to make gains in the House. Two years later, they appear to be on the verge of taking over the chamber. A few surprising developments helped them get there.

While President Donald Trump has attempted to deflect blame should Republicans lose House control Tuesday, he has certainly been a factor in this year’s contests. That’s typical for midterm elections — the president’s party has lost an average of 33 seats in 18 of the last 20 midterms.

5 Things That Defined the Fight for the Senate
Democrats still largely on defense, but battlefield shifted some this cycle

Former state Rep. Mike Braun defeated two congressmen in the Indiana Senate Republican primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The battle over Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s confirmation threw a wildcard into the race for Senate control. But the contours of the fight for the chamber aren’t much different from a year ago: Democrats running for re-election in states President Donald Trump carried by wide margins in 2016 are in trouble heading into Election Day.

Democrats are defending 26 seats — 10 of them in states that backed Trump — while Republicans are only defending nine. Given that imbalance, it’s no surprise that Trump’s effect on Senate races has been different from his influence on the fight for control of the House, where he’s put GOP incumbents on defense.

How the ‘No Corporate PAC’ Pledge Caught Fire
Three-quarters of Democratic challengers in top races are rejecting corporate PAC money

Democrat Andy Kim rejected corporate PAC money early on in his campaign. (Simone Pathé/CQ Roll Call)

Andy Kim never expected to run for the House. Certainly not against the 19th wealthiest member of Congress.

When he was first considering a bid for New Jersey’s 3rd District, the former national security official didn’t like the questions corporate political action committees wanted candidates to answer. Already troubled by money in politics, Kim decided to reject corporate PAC money.

Welcome to the Marvel Political Universe
Presidential and midterm elections are now surrounded by lead-in elections

Girls dressed as characters from “Thor,” pose during an event near the Capitol reflecting pool hosted by Awesome Con in 2014. The U.S. election system is starting to take on aspects of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a constant churn of smaller narratives setting up bigger chapters. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The American election system has become its own version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Presidential elections every four years used to be the tentpole movie that everyone went to see. Midterms, off-year special elections, primaries — those were for the real political geeks out there. Not anymore. 

National Democrats Invest in Minnesota Senate Race
DSCC makes six-figure independent expenditure for Sen. Tina Smith

Minnesota DFL Sen. Tina Smith, here at an early voting rally September at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is running to fill out former DFL Sen. Al Franken’s term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is making a six-figure independent expenditure for Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith — its first investment in a race that’s long leaned in the Democrats’ favor. 

Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has also invested $400,000 in mail and digital advertising in the race.