Evan H Jenkins

At the Races: Keystone State Nail-Biter
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns


Mark Your Calendars: The second congressional primaries in the country are in Illinois on Tuesday. Democrats are targeting four GOP-held seats in the state, where EMILY’s List has played an early, influential role backing candidates it thinks will be viable in the general election. But the Prairie State primary that’s received the most attention is actually in a solid Democratic seat. EMILY’s List is involved in this race too (although it took a while for the group to endorse), and it’s quickly become a flashpoint in the fight over the identity of the Democratic Party. On one side is first-time candidate Marie Newman, who’s backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (who carried the 3rd District in 2016), two members of the Illinois delegation (pictured above), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, SEIU and a coalition of reproductive rights and progressive groups.

35th PAC Boosting Morrisey with Digital and Mail in West Virginia
Super PAC attacks Jenkins for being “liberal Democrat”

35th PAC is supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP primary for West Virginia Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP Senate primary is pouring money into mail and digital efforts ahead of the May 8 primary. 

Morrisey is competing against Rep. Evan Jenkins and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to take on Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin in November. 

How Vulnerable Senate Democrats Have Pushed to the Center
Of the 10 running in Trump states, four stand apart for siding with the president

Joe Manchin III voted with the president 71 president of the time last year when his wishes were clear in advance. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If you’re wearing a blue uniform but your game is in a stadium where most of the crowd usually roots for the reds, try accessorizing with as much purple as possible.

That bit of fashion advice is one cheeky way of describing the politically pragmatic behavior of most, but not all, of the 10 Democratic senators hoping to hold their seats this fall in states that went for President Donald J. Trump.

Scott Walker Backs Patrick Morrisey in West Virginia Senate Primary
Morrisey is running for GOP nod to take on Manchin in November

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is picking up the endorsement of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday endorsed West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in his bid for the GOP nomination for Senate. 

“Attorney General Morrisey’s strong, conservative record is exactly what West Virginia needs in its next senator,” Walker said in a statement obtained first by Roll Call. 

Jenkins Leads Morrisey in Internal Poll of West Virginia Primary
Republicans locked in competitive May 8 primary to take on Manchin

West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins led the Republican Senate primary field  in a poll commissioned by his campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

West Virginia Rep. Evan Jenkins led the primary field for the Republican nomination for Senate in an automated poll conducted earlier this month for his campaign.

Jenkins was ahead of his closest opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, 33 percent to 25 percent among GOP primary voters in the six-way matchup, results of which were obtained first by Roll Call.

Democrats Look for Inroads in Trump-Friendly West Virginia
DCCC is targeting two of the state’s three House districts

West Virginia’s 2nd and 3rd districts voted overwhelmingly for President Donald Trump in 2016. (Map courtesy iStock, composition by Chris Hale/CQ Roll Call)

Few states have trended further away from Democrats over the last decade than West Virginia.

President Donald Trump carried the state by 42 points in 2016. Appearing at a rally with the president last year, the state’s governor, who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, switched to the Republican Party.

Senate Match-Ups Yet to Take Shape Ahead of 2018 Primaries
Competitive Republican primaries begin in just four months

The first competitive GOP Senate primaries are in May (Illustration by Chris Hale).

With Ohio’s Josh Mandel ending his Senate bid last week, the one Senate race in which the matchup long looked like a foregone conclusion won’t be a rematch of 2012 after all.

The Republican challenger is still unknown in plenty of other races too, with competitive primaries beginning in just four months.

A Gun Rights Vote Only the GOP Base Can Appreciate
Expansion of concealed carry permission will die in the Senate, but the NRA really wanted the vote

Majority Whip John Cornyn has some doubts that he can get a bill passed that would improve background checks for gun purchasers but doesn’t make it easier for gun owners to carry concealed weapons across state lines. A House bill passed Wednesday would do both. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One government shutdown may be narrowly averted, but another looms right around the corner. The stain of sexual misconduct at the Capitol continues to spread, and an alleged child predator is days away from possibly joining the Senate. Middle East destabilization seems assured as Congress gets its wish to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Public support dwindles daily for a loophole-encrusted, deficit-busting tax package that would be the year’s biggest legislative achievement. The push for presidential impeachment has gone far enough to necessitate procedural pushback in the House.

A week such as this one — already chockablock with headlines touching the Hill — seemed to the Republicans who run the place like an ideal time for making a bold hiding-in-plain-sight move.

At the Races: Moore Problems for GOP Ahead of 2018
GOP leaders struggles with Moore, and Northeastern Republicans face tough tax vote

Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore holds his book titled “Abuse of Power” about the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision at a county GOP meeting in Valley, Ala., back in August. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Keep track of House and Senate races with At the Races! If you want to receive this weekly newsletter, make sure to sign up *here.* And we want to hear from you! Send us an email at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget BowmanThis week…  More women accused Roy Moore of sexual misconduct, Republicans tried to figure out what to do about it, and some vulnerable members faced a tough choice on taxes. Here’s what happened At the Races:

Moore Problems: Allegations of sexual misconduct have upended the Alabama Senate race with GOP candidate Roy Moore accused of sexual assault, and sexual and romantic advances toward teenage girls when he was in his thirties. (Moore has denied any wrongdoing.) 

Super PAC Staffs Up for Morrisey in West Virginia GOP Primary
Morrisey led Jenkins in mid-October poll commissioned by 35th PAC

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is running for the GOP Senate nomination. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC supporting West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in the GOP Senate primary is staffing up for the 2018 contest. 

The hires, shared first with Roll Call, will be announced Wednesday.