Tossup

Path to defeat Trump ‘doesn’t flow through the coast,’ Bullock tells teachers group
Despite sagging poll numbers, Montana governor forges ahead with 2020 presidential pitch

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, center, greets Randi Weingarten, left, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Darrell Capwell, before a town hall at the AFT on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Montana governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock didn’t qualify for the debate stage in September, and he is polling near the bottom of the 20 remaining White House hopefuls.

But at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bullock said Thursday he can win back Trump voters from the American heartland while retaining support in traditional liberal strongholds. The self-described populist moderate with executive experience spent time taking questions from the audience focused on education issues. 

Democrats line up to challenge David Perdue. But what about the other Georgia Senate seat?
Jon Ossoff announced his candidacy for the Senate on Tuesday

Jon Ossoff is running for Senate in Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Georgia got another Senate candidate Tuesday — a familiar face who’s running in the same race that several Democrats are already running for.

Jon Ossoff, who lost the most expensive special House election in U.S. history, is challenging Republican incumbent David Perdue.

Why talking about Trump isn’t enough to motivate minority voters
DCCC partnered with minority-owned firms to listen to African American voters in North Carolina

Democrat Dan McCready talks with Lauretta Humphrey at Home Game Sports during his education tour in Fairmont, N.C., on Aug. 10. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Democrats are going to flip North Carolina’s 9th District this week, they need minority voters in the rural, eastern part of the district to vote.

That’s why the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which has spent more than a million dollars on this toss-up race through its independent expenditure arm, has also been doing more under-the-radar work to study these voters and find effective ways to talk to them.

GOP poll finds close race for Democratic seat in Houston suburbs
Republican Wesley Hunt led Rep. Lizzie Fletcher by 2 points, survey found

Texas Republican Wesley Hunt is challenging Rep. Lizzie Fletcher in the Houston-area 7th District. (Nathan Ouellette/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Texas Rep. Lizzie Fletcher could be in for a tough reelection fight in 2020, according to a new Republican poll released Thursday. The survey gave GOP challenger Wesley Hunt, a former Army captain, a 2-point lead over the freshman Democrat in the Houston-area 7th District.

Hickenlooper says he’ll give ‘serious thought’ to Senate run after dropping presidential bid
Colorado and national Democrats see former governor as best chance to capture Gardner’s seat

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, shown in Iowa on Saturday, announced Thursday he is ending his bid for the presidency. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and said he will consider a run against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in a battleground state Democrats need to win to take control of the upper chamber.

“People want to know what comes next for me,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

Hickenlooper still fundraising, despite reports he may drop presidential bid
Colorado Democrats have been lobbying former governor to drop presidential bid and run for Senate against Cory Gardner

Democratic presidential candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent out a fundraising email for his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite reports that he is weighing an end to his bid for the White House in order to run for a GOP-held Senate seat.

Before the Wing Ding dinner at the Iowa State Fair last Friday, Hickenlooper jumped into the passenger seat of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s car to talk about his political future, the New York Times reported.

Beto O’Rourke ‘very likely’ to back Democrat over GOP friend Rep. Will Hurd, reversing his 2018 position
Hurd defeated Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by 1,000 votes in 2018 midterms, as O’Rourke declined to endorse her

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke indicated Wednesday that he will “very likely” endorse the Democratic nominee running against his friend Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke will “very likely” support the eventual Democratic nominee challenging one of his best friends in Congress, GOP Rep. Will Hurd. It’s a reversal from O’Rourke’s vow of neutrality in the 2018 midterm elections.

Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer who raised more than $6 million in her failed bid to unseat Hurd in 2018, recently announced she is jumping into the race to challenge Hurd again in 2020. O’Rourke indicated Wednesday that he does not plan to repeat his neutrality vow and, instead, “will be supporting” Ortiz Jones if she emerges victorious from the Democratic primaries.

3 things to watch in the redo primary for North Carolina’s 9th District
Dan Bishop could win GOP nod even if he doesn’t clear 30 percent

State Sen. Dan Bishop may not need to cross 30 percent to avoid a runoff in North Carolina’s 9th District GOP primary. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

The race for North Carolina’s 9th District is the 2018 election that just won’t end. Tuesday’s Republican primary will go a long way toward determining where this competitive special election is headed next. 

It all started with Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Just over a year ago, he became the first incumbent of the cycle to lose. He lost his primary to Mark Harris, who’d come within 133 votes of knocking him off in a recount two years earlier. Harris then faced Democrat Dan McCready, a solar energy financier and Marine veteran. 

Rep. Brindisi fires aide charged with paying 17-year-old prostitute
John A. Stemen, a longtime aide to Rep. Anthony Brindisi, fired over prostitution charge

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, D-N.Y., represents one of the most closely contested swing districts in the country. His aide, John A. Stemen was charged with patronizing a prostitute who was 17 years old. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Anthony Brindisi has fired a longtime aide who was charged with patronizing a prostitute.

John A. Stemen, 57, had worked for Brindisi for eight years in a previous position before the freshman New York Democrat hired him in January as a caseworker in the 22nd District.

DCCC wastes no time launching positive ads on HR 1 passage
Democrats view legislation as key campaign message even if it won't pass the Senate

The DCCC is running positive digital ads in the districts of its 44 Frontline members, including Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, left, and Illinois Rep. Lauren Underwood, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Immediately after the House passed Democrats’ political money, ethics and voting overhaul on a straight party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched digital ads praising the legislation in 44 districts where its incumbents may be facing tough re-elections.

The early digital spending, shared first with Roll Call, underscores how important Democrats view the political optics of HR 1, which is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate.