Campaigns

Faced with ‘electability’ question in 2020, women point to 2018 wins
Six women are running for president, but men continue to lead in recent polls

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of six Democratic women running for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

FAIRFAX, Va. — Amanda Bean is ready for a woman to take on President Donald Trump, and she has no patience for questions about whether a female candidate can win the White House.

“Everybody’s asking that, but it’s pathetic that we’re still asking,” Bean said after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of six women in a field of 23 Democrats seeking the presidential nomination, held a town hall here Thursday. “We should be so far past this point.”

De Blasio makes it 23
New York mayor says ‘it’s time to put working people first’ in campaign launch

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio holds up a copy of “One NYC 2050” as he speaks about the city’s response to climate change in April. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images file photo)

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday announced he is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, making him the 23rd major candidate in the race to take on Donald Trump.

In a campaign video, de Blasio says he has taken Trump on before and he’s ready to do it again.

Abortion politics: Will Doug Jones’ opposition to Alabama ban hurt him?
Jones is a top GOP target, but state ban with no rape exception could also fire up Democrats

Sen. Doug Jones has spoken out against a bill in Alabama that would essentially ban abortion. It could both hurt and help his election chances, strategists say. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Abortion politics could put pressure on endangered Alabama Democratic Sen. Doug Jones as his state pushes the strictest limits in the country, while presidential contenders seek to use new state abortion bans to rally core supporters.

Conservative state legislatures around the country have pushed curbs on abortion this year in an effort to turn back the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision guaranteeing a national right to abortion.

Grasswho? Members raised hundreds of thousands, almost none from small donors
Democrats tout small-dollar contributions as grassroots support, but several raised less than $400 that way

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., received less than $200 in donations too small to require the donor’s name to be disclosed, a metric some tout as an indicator of grassroots support. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have long touted the importance of raising small amounts of money from a large number of donors as a sign of political strength on the campaign trail and in Congress.

But recent campaign finance disclosures show some lawmakers — from both parties — raised next to no money from so-called small donors in the first three months of 2019 for their campaign accounts. The names of contributors giving less than $200 in the aggregate do not have to be included in reports to the Federal Election Commission, but the total received from all those “unitemized” contributions is disclosed.

What can we learn from the North Carolina redo election?
September vote could signal whether rough GOP seas have calmed since November

Republican state Sen. Dan Bishop’s campaign in North Carolina’s 9th District redo race could be a barometer for the GOP’s fate in 2020 campaigns, Gonzales writes. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

By now, most journalists, handicappers, and party operatives are trained to restrain themselves when applying special election results to future general election forecasts.

But the redo election in North Carolina’s 9th District provides a unique opportunity to learn about the present political environment and how it’s changed since November.

Republicans avoid primary runoff in North Carolina redo
Dan Bishop will face Democrat Dan McCready in September

State Sen. Dan Bishop easily crossed the threshold needed to avoid a primary.  (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

State Sen. Dan Bishop has won the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 9th District, avoiding a runoff and kicking off the general election in this year’s most competitive special election.

He’ll next face Dan McCready, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and has amassed a large campaign war chest. National groups from both sides are already eyeing this race, with Republicans hoping to keep a longtime GOP seat in their column and Democrats hoping a Marine veteran will help them grow their House majority. 

Martha McSally: Short general election was key factor in 2018 loss
Appointed after loss, Arizona Republican is running for remainder of McCain’s term

GOP Sen. Martha McSally is a top Democratic target in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Republican Martha McSally said Tuesday that her unsuccessful Senate run in 2018 came down to one major factor: She ran out of time.

“We didn’t get a chance for [voters] to get to know me, what I’ve done all my life, what I did in the House,” McSally, a former fighter pilot, told reporters Tuesday. “We were very aware of these challenges at the time but we ran out of airspeed and altitude. And we weren’t defined and resilient enough.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket'
Presidential hopeful turned down network offer of televised town hall

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., torched Fox News on Twitter and in an email to supporters Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren inveighed against Fox News on Tuesday, calling the conservative network a “hate-for-profit racket.”

“Fox News invited me to do a town hall on their network. I turned them down,” Warren wrote in an email to supporters.

The Pennsylvania special election you haven’t heard about
Voters in 12th District will pick a replacement for Tom Marino next week

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., resigned in January shortly after being sworn in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It wasn’t that long ago that a special election in Pennsylvania attracted national attention and millions of dollars. But this year, the race in the state’s 12th District has flown under the radar.

Voters head to the polls next Tuesday to replace Republican Tom Marino, who resigned just shortly after the new Congress began. This election hasn’t captured the national spotlight — a marked shift from 14 months ago, when the special election in Pennsylvania’s old 18th District grabbed headlines. Democrat Conor Lamb pulled off an upset there even though President Donald Trump carried the district by 20 points in 2016.

Steve Bullock announces presidential run
Montana governor touts record of winning in a Trump state and taking on dark campaign money

Montana Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock won re-election in 2016 while Donald Trump was winning his state in a landslide. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock became the 22nd major Democratic candidate for president when he announced his entry into the race on Tuesday.

The two-term governor, who won re-election in 2016 while Donald Trump was winning the state by 20 points, made his announcement in a video that touted his electability and promised to take dark money out of politics.

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. 

Democratic female freshmen signal Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t represent them
Democrats with military, CIA backgrounds unite to fundraise for each other

Democratic House freshmen banding together to help each other raise money to keep their seats in 2020 are, from left, Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin, and Chrissy Houlahan, along with Rep. Elaine Luria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five freshman Democratic women in the House want the world to know that the newcomers receiving the most attention so far in the 116th Congress aren’t reflective of the women who ran and won in tough districts last fall.

At an event to tout their formation of a joint fundraising committee to tap each other’s donors (and hopefully bring in more), the five, all with military or intelligence backgrounds, never mentioned New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name.

Tax law hits 2020 Democratic presidential contenders unevenly
Returns show that despite similar incomes, Booker paid more, Gillibrand less

Income tax paid by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband increased by more than $14,000 because of the 2017 tax overhaul, a CQ Roll Call analysis found. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who’ve released last year’s tax returns thus far are well-off enough to represent less than one-fifth of the taxpaying public, with incomes ranging from $100,000 to $2 million.

But their experiences are probably typical of many voters in similar circumstances: married couples with young children tend to do well under the 2017 tax law, though it helps to reside in lower-tax states.

Valerie Plame, famed ex-CIA operative, running for House seat in New Mexico
In run-up to Iraq war, a Bush administration official exposed her undercover agent status

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame plans to run for the open seat in New Mexico’s 3rd District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame, who was famously outed by a State Department official in the George W. Bush administration, is running for the open seat in New Mexico’s 3rd District, she announced  Thursday.

Plame is one of many Democrats who have announced an interest in the seat being vacated by Rep. Ben Ray Luján, a member of House Democratic leadership, who is running to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Udall.

Iowans prep for fierce 2020 fight — and not just for the White House
All four House districts will be contested, in addition to competitive Senate race

Iowa Democratic Rep. Cindy Axne is a top Republican target in 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowans are used to the spotlight in presidential election years, and with the number of Democrats eyeing the nomination approaching two dozen, it may be difficult this year to travel in the state without running into a candidate or the media entourage that comes with them.

But for Iowa voters, the more intense political battles in 2020 might actually be further down the ballot.