Special Election

California Democrats Hope to Mitigate Primary Problem
Some lawmakers are concerned they have too many Democrats running

Sam Jammal is one of several Democrats running to replace Rep. Ed Royce in California’s 39th District. (D.A. Banks/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrats know they have a primary problem. 

“Put it this way,” Rep. Raul Ruiz said. “It’s part of my prayers.”

Podcast: It’s the Economy Stupid? Maybe Not​
Political Theater, Episode 6

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. warned House Democrats at their recent retreat not to be complacent about their chances for winning the majority in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Roll Call Political analyst Stu Rothenberg explains why GOP gains in a generic ballot represent just a part of the overall political picture and political reporter Bridget Bowman previews Arizona's upcoming special election.

Show Notes:

DCCC Chairman Coy on Spending in PA Special Election
Luján said the committee is monitoring the race

Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-N.M., leads the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján remains noncommittal on whether Democrats will spend more resources ahead of the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

Democrat Conor Lamb will face GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone in the March 13 election in a district that President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in 2016. The seat was vacated by GOP Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned amid allegations the anti-abortion rights congressman encouraged his mistress to pursue an abortion.

Vern Buchanan’s Son Loses ‘Trump Country’ Florida House Race
Democrats laud win as another harbinger for November

Rep. Vern Buchanan’s son James was running for a Florida House seat vacated by another Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Vern Buchanan’s son on Tuesday lost a special election for a Florida state House seat in a race that attracted national attention.

Democrat Margaret Good defeated Republican James Buchanan by seven points, 52-45, in a state House district that broke strongly for President Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

Some Answers, More Questions for Mysterious Club for Conservatives PAC
Background, finances a tangled web

Club for Conservatives PAC has given to the Senate campaigns of Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photos)

Inflammatory, hyperpartisan fundraising emails are a standard part of the election process, but who’s behind them can sometimes be a mystery. Take the case of a political action committee set up last fall that raised over $160,000 by sending out roughly a dozen emails.

Since its inception in October, the Club for Conservatives PAC has been a confusing web of details. The group’s year-end report with the Federal Election Commission provided more information about its fundraising and spending, but also raised new questions about its operations.

At the Races: Everything's Bigger In Texas
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

Life comes at you fast. GOP Rep. John Culberson is one of the Democratic targets in Texas. Here Culberson embraces new technology at President Barack Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress in 2009. The photo caption in our archives said the congressman was using “an internet-enabled camera to stream live video” and he “was also sending updates to twitter.com from the House floor." (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter. Sign up here. We want to hear what you think. Email us with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman 

DCCC Expands to 101 Targets in 2018
All of the seven new targets are considered solidly Republican districts

Volunteers for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff arrive at his campaign office in Atlanta one day before the April special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee now has more than 100 targets in this year’s midterms, the committee announced Thursday. It has added seven more GOP-held districts to its target list. 

A DCCC memo released Thursday detailing the new targets said the expanded target list is the committee’s most expansive one in at least a decade. Democrats are now targeting 98 Republican seats, and three open Democratic seats, bringing the total to 101. 

Pelosi Immigration Speech Overshadows Democratic Retreat
Minority leader holds floor to talk immigration, while Biden urges party not to get distracted

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears on a TV screen during her House floor speech Wednesday as, from left, DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joseph Crowley and Democratic Caucus Vice Chairwoman Linda T. Sánchez conduct a news conference in the Capitol to open the Democrats’ retreat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

This week’s Democratic retreat was supposed to be an opportunity for House Democrats to fine-tune their message ahead of the November midterm elections.

But House Democrats’ most prominent messenger — and Republicans’ favorite boogeywoman — stole the spotlight, without even attending the major sessions of the opening day of the retreat.

Biden Gives Midterm Pep Talk at Rebooted Retreat
Former vice president says Democrats need to not lose focus on working class

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. speaks during the House Democratic Caucus Issues Conference in the Capitol Visitor Center auditorium on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. took the stage at House Democrats’ retreat on Wednesday to cheers of “Let’s go, Joe!” and a solitary cheer of, “Run Joe, run!”

He dismissed the remark, but told the room he’ll do whatever he can to help Democrats win the House majority in November.

Montana’s Greg Gianforte Ditches ‘No PAC’ Pledge for 2018
Now that he’s in Congress, GOP lawmaker is accepting corporate PAC money

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is accepting PAC money for his re-election race this year, after campaigning on a pledge not to accept corporate PAC donations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After pledging not to take corporate PAC money during his 2017 campaign for Congress, Rep. Greg Gianforte accepted nearly $20,000 in corporate PAC donations during the fourth quarter of 2017.

“I have been taking PAC money,” the Montana Republican said Tuesday.