2018

Trump Praises Gianforte for Physically Assaulting Reporter
‘Any guy who can do a body slam — he’s my guy,’ president says

Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte is running for his first full term this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday praised Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte for physically assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election last year.

Addressing a rally in Missoula on his third trip to Montana this year, Trump at first only alluded to the 2017 incident. “Never wrestle him,” he said after calling Gianforte onstage.

Rosenstein Agrees to Sit for Transcribed Interview With Judiciary, Oversight Leaders
Freedom Caucus, rank-and-file panel members will not be able to participate

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will sit for a transcribed interview with House Judiciary and Oversight committee leaders on Oct. 24. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has agreed to sit for a transcribed interview with leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees Oct. 24, the panels’ chairmen announced Thursday evening.

The announcement comes just hours after House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, an Oversight subcommittee chairman, called on Rosenstein to resign, citing his unwillingness to cooperate with the panels’ investigation.

At the Races: 19 Days Left
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez Solidifies Lead in New Jersey Race
September polls showed a tight race, but incumbent has opened sizable lead over GOP challenger Bob Hugin

Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey appeared to widen his lead over Republican nominee Bob Hugin in a new poll. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez appears to be solidifying his lead over businessman and Republican nominee Bob Hugin, according to a new Monmouth University poll that found the Democratic incumbent leading Hugin by 9 points in a standard midterm voter model.

Nearly half, 49 percent, of the 527 likely New Jersey voters surveyed for the poll released Thursday favored Menendez, while Hugin captured just 40 percent support.

Steven Mnuchin Pulls Out of Saudi Conference, as Pompeo Urges Caution
Secretary of State: ‘We ought to give them a few more days’ to complete Khashoggi investigation

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in July. On Thursday he said he was reserving judgment on what happened to Jamal Khashoggi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 11:55 a.m. | Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has decided, after consultation with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, not to attend a high-profile investors conference in Saudi Arabia, he tweeted Thursday.

The announcement came amid bipartisan outrage over the kingdom’s suspected involvement in the disappearance of a dissident journalist.

12 Ratings Changes for House, Senate and Gubernatorial Races: 4 Toward GOP, 8 Toward Democrats
Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales — an authoritative look at where things stand for 2018

With so many close races in the ever-changing 2018 landscape, Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales has one big question: how long after Election Day will the nation have to wait before knowing which party will control Congress? Watch the video for Gonzales’ analysis, plus a debrief on a handful of ratings changes less than three weeks out, which are listed in full below.

Senate

Nick Saban, Jerry West, Bob Huggins Boost Joe Manchin in West Virginia
Sports legends cut ad for West Virginia Democratic senator

The latest ad from Sen. Joe Manchin III just might get more views in the heart of SEC Country than in West Virginia.

In the video circulated Wednesday evening, Manchin picks up the endorsement of his old friend Nick Saban, the championship-winning football coach at the University of Alabama.

Sherrod Brown: ‘Desperate’ Sexual Assault Claims Won’t Work
Challenger Jim Renacci says, without evidence, that he’s heard accusations from multiple women

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, labeled his midterm election opponent, Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Ohio, “desperate” for levying allegations of sexual assault against him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Sherrod Brown summarily dismissed unsubstantiated allegations of sexual assault levied against him by his opponent in the upcoming midterms, Rep. Jim Renacci, labeling the Ohio Republican’s claims “desperate.”

“Congressman Renacci’s failed and desperate campaign gets worse every day,” Brown’s campaign said in a statement, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

Trump — Again — Threatens to Send Military to U.S.-Mexico Border
And he would, again, face legal hurdles in Congress to deploy active-duty military troops there

President Donald Trump once again floated the legally dicey idea of sending U.S. military troops to the southern border. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday dusted off the cobwebs of an old proposal from April to deploy military troops along the southern U.S. border in an effort to stem illegal crossings by immigrants.

“I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!” the president threatened, if Mexico does not heed his request to stop what he termed an “onslaught” of people crossing the border into the U.S.

Ohio Race Was Worth Millions to Outside Groups in August. Now? Not So Much
Some see opportunities for Democrats in Balderson/O’Connor rematch

Democrat Danny O’Connor says he hasn’t let up the pace of his campaign for Ohio’s 12th District since narrowly losing a special election in August. (Courtesy Danny O’Connor for Congress)

The national attention showered on this summer’s special election in Ohio’s 12th District may have moved elsewhere. And the font of spending from outside groups has all but dried up. But the losing Democratic nominee Danny O’Connor has not stopped running. 

That’s what Paul Beck, a longtime campaign observer, noticed when an O’Connor canvasser came knocking on the door of his Franklin County home: It was the candidate’s dad.