Abortion

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.

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.

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.”

That Minnesota Blue Dog Still Does Hunt
Collin Peterson, the last Democrat who can hold his Trump seat, isn’t giving up

Rep. Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., right, tours Simply Shrimp, which raises saltwater shrimp, with owner Paul Damhof in Blomkest, Minn., last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BLOMKEST, Minn. — Rep. Collin C. Peterson shed his sport coat to inspect some shrimp. 

It was 86 degrees on a recent Thursday in the calf-barn-turned-tank room, where the son of two dairy farmers is raising saltwater shrimp in the middle of rural Minnesota. 

Midterm Elections Hold Ultimate Verdict on Kavanaugh
McConnell asserts confirmation process driving up Republican enthusiasm

The final verdict on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh may be delivered in the midterm elections. (POOL PHOTO/SAUL LOEB/AFP)

Even before Saturday’s Senate vote made Brett Kavanaugh a Supreme Court justice, senators from both parties said voters soon would deliver the final verdict on President Donald Trump’s divisive appointment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in an interview with Roll Call a month ahead of Election Day, said the contentious debate about the confirmation process was driving up base enthusiasm for the 2018 midterm elections.

Kavanaugh Confirmation Solidifies Supreme Court Tilt to the Right
Bitterly divided chamber votes in rare Saturday session to end long fight

The Senate confirmed Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on a rare Saturday session and amid a Capitol awash in protests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court on Saturday might close one of the Senate’s most bitter and divisive chapters, but the resulting discord is bound to reverberate for years at the high court, in the halls of Congress and at the ballot box.

The 50-48 vote gives President Donald Trump his second Supreme Court appointment in as many years and solidifies the court’s conservative tilt for decades. The confirmation battle at first raged over the court’s ideological balance, then turned to questions of temperament, truthfulness and how the Senate handled allegations of sexual misconduct in the “Me Too” era.

Yvette Herrell Holds Slim Lead in New Mexico Open Seat Race, Republican Poll Finds
Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small hopes to ride enthusiasm wave to capture Republican-leaning district

Republican Yvette Herrell is running for an open seat in New Mexico’s 2nd District. (Courtesy photo/National Republican Congressional Committee)

A poll conducted for Republican Yvette Herrell released Friday found she holds a slight lead over Democrat Xochitl Torres-Small in the race for an open seat in New Mexico’s 2nd District. 

Herrell led 49 percent to 45 percent, within the margin of error and 6 percent still undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 likely voters from The Tarrance Group. The poll was conducted September 30 through October 2 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percentage points.

Outside Money Fuels Court Fight Amid Calls for Kyl Not to Vote
Kavanaugh denounced money spent against him, but lots is being spent on his behalf

From left, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Vice President Mike Pence, and then-former Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who was Kavanaugh's sherpa at the time, meet in McConnell's office in the Capitol on July 10, 2018, the day after President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh denounced the “millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups” during his testimony Thursday about sexual assault allegations, but he didn’t mention the millions spent by groups backing him.

The Judicial Crisis Network, the leading conservative nonprofit that is running advertisements in support of Kavanaugh’s confirmation, has spent about $12 million on the effort, according to sources familiar with the group — already more than the $10 million it spent in last year’s confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch.

Democratic Women in Congress Launch Campaign to Recruit More Female Candidates
Elect Democratic Women would raise money for pro-choice women in potential swing districts

Lois Frankel, D-Fla, center, shown here with, from left, Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,  will chair a new organization geared toward recruiting pro-choice Democratic women to run for office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A group of female Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Thursday to recruit pro-choice women to run for office, a campaign they tied to efforts to peg 2018 as the second “Year of the Woman.”

Elect Democratic Women will be chaired by Florida Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel and raise money for female candidates within the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committees “Red to Blue” program, which seeks to identify and funnel support to candidates with a strong shot of unseating Republican incumbents.

As Trump Waffles, House Republicans Confident They’ll Avert Shutdown
Still president, conservatives wary of GOP leaders’ government funding strategy

Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is confident there will not be a government shutdown despite President Donald Trump’s mixed signals on the matter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Republicans prepare a legislative strategy with President Donald Trump seemingly on board, only for the president to catch them off guard with a last-minute tweet suggesting his opposition to the plan.

That scenario has played out a few times this year as lawmakers debated immigration and appropriations bills. And it could realistically happen again next week as Congress plans to pass legislation to avert a government shutdown that Trump has already signaled he might force.