Erik Paulsen

Elise Stefanik Wants to Play in Primaries to Help Republican Women
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer thinks playing in primaries is a “mistake”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is stepping back from her role at the NRCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries.

So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.

Midterms Were a Buffet Election for Democrats, Republicans
Each side can pick what it liked best from the results — and ignore warning signs

Sen.-elect Mike Braun, R-Ind., Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, R-Utah, Sen.-elect Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Sen.-elect Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., and Sen.-elect Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., pose for a group photo in McConnell’s office in the Capitol on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When I was a kid in small-town Oregon, my family would occasionally go to King’s Table, and my sister and I would get free rein at the buffet.

I became famous in my own family for my condiment salad — an impressive collection of bacon bits, croutons, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds and plenty of ranch dressing. Essentially, my strategy involved choosing what looked and tasted good and avoiding anything of nutritional value.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger ‘Disgusted’ By Trump Mocking Unseated Republicans
‘Some of them lost because people, frankly, were voting against the president,’ GOP congressman says

Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger said some Republicans suffered losses on Election Day because of backlash to the president. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump the day after Election Day read off a list of defeated Republicans whose losses he attributed to not embracing his endorsement on the campaign trail, Illinois Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger watched in disgust.

“I wish the president had shown some more grace in that and said ‘Thank you for your service,’ instead of ‘It’s because you didn’t back me,’” the 16th District congressman said in an interview with CNN Tuesday. “I was very disgusted when I heard that.” 

Retiring GOP Congressman: Trump Mocking Defeated Republicans Like ‘Dancing on Somebody’s Grave’
Rep. Ryan Costello has positioned himself as a prominent Trump critic

Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., called President Donald Trump's comments at a press conference Wednesday “deeply offensive.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Retiring Rep. Ryan Costello bristled at the president’s chiding words for Republicans who did not campaign on his support and lost their midterm races, likening it to “dancing on somebody’s grave.”

“It’s highly inappropriate, and it’s deeply offensive,” Costello said in an interview with CNN. “Every single one of those members took tough votes in order to advance a center-right agenda because they believed in it, but they took a lot of heat for it. The president should be thanking them for putting up the tough votes and advancing an agenda which I believe we are better off economically because of a lot of the policies that have been implemented.” 

In Suburban Strongholds, Blue Wave a Republican Wipeout
Democrats expected to hold over two thirds of suburban House seats next year

Democrat Jennifer Wexton, flanked by her mother, Paula Tosini, and husband, Andrew, delivers her victory speech Tuesday night after defeating GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday’s midterm elections have done more than surge Democrats into a respectable House majority: It also wiped out a large chunk of Republicans’ support in suburban strongholds, portending a significant shift in the political alignment of white suburbanites in the Trump era.

Almost all of the House Democratic gains came from the suburbs: They are projected to flip over two dozen seats in primarily suburban districts, sweeping out once-comfortable Republican incumbents including Reps. Pete Sessions in Texas, Peter Roskam in Illinois, and Erik Paulsen in Minnesota.

How Minnesota Told a Bigger Story About 2018 Midterm Partisanship
Republicans flipped two seats, but lost two incumbents

Republican Pete Stauber won Minnesota’s open 8th District, which had been held by DFL Rep. Rick Nolan. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite losing control of the House, Republicans won both of their best pick-up opportunities, two open seats in Minnesota where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016.

Former Duluth police officer Pete Stauber won the northeastern 8th District, where Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Rick Nolan did not seek re-election. Jim Hagedorn won the southern 1st District, which DFL Rep. Tim Walz vacated to run for governor. 

Two Electorates, Two Outcomes
Consensus, bipartisanship could be in short supply

The 2018 midterm showed the divided electorate with its divided outcome. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s rare that both parties can celebrate after an election, but that’s exactly the situation after Republicans gained a handful of Senate seats and Democrats picked up around 30 House seats Tuesday night.

Conservatives, white men (particularly those without a college degree) and pro-Trump voters backed GOP nominees, while women (particularly those with a college degree), minorities and younger voters lined up overwhelmingly behind the Democrats.

The Candidates Mattered. But Opinions About Trump Mattered More
Different outcomes in the House and Senate mostly about the president

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly both lost their bids for second terms Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties had something to celebrate after Tuesday’s midterm elections, depending on where they looked. But that split outcome — with Democrats winning the House, and Republicans gaining seats in the Senate — underscores the extent to which opinions about President Donald Trump shape today’s politics.

Republicans largely prevailed at the Senate level because they were running in red states where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016. The House saw the opposite outcome, but the reason was the same. Republicans largely struggled because they were running in places where Trump was unpopular.

Here’s All the House Republicans That Voters Sent Home
Incumbent losses cut across all factions of the Republican Caucus but most are moderates

Florida Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, pictured at Greenglade Elementary School polling place on Election Day in Kendale, Florida, is one of at least 19 House Republicans to have lost re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated on November 13 at 11:41 p.m. | Voters have sent 23 House Republican incumbents and counting home, as the predicted Democratic wave materialized in the lower chamber’s midterm contests. 

The losses cut across all factions of the Republican Conference but most of the incumbents going home after this term are moderate members. With the number of House Republicans shrinking next year, conservatives are poised to become a larger portion of the conference. 

A Poor Election Night for Republicans in Clinton Districts
GOP-held seats that Clinton won in 2016 mostly swung to the Democrats this year

Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., represented a district Hillary Clinton won by 10 points in 2016. She lost her bid for a third term Tuesday night to Democrat Jennifer Wexton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated Wednesday, 3:06 p.m. | Democrats have won a House majority, boosted by several key pickups of Republican-held districts that backed Hillary Clinton two years ago. 

The party needed a net of 23 seats to take over the chamber.