Abortion

On Health Care, Dems Go From Running to Baby Steps
Incremental measures will dominate action on the health law in a largely gridlocked Congress

House Democrats plan to bring administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what critics call “sabotage” of the law’s insurance exchanges. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections all but ended the Republican push to repeal the 2010 law known as Obamacare, but as a defining issue for Democrats in their takeover of the House, health care will likely remain near the top of lawmakers’ policy and political agenda.

Newly emboldened Democrats are expected to not only push legislation through the House, but use their majority control of key committees to press Trump administration officials on the implementation of the health law, Medicaid work requirements, and insurance that does not have to comply with Obamacare rules.

Women Won at the Ballot in Record Numbers. Here’s What’s Next
4 things we’ll watch as the ‘Year of the Woman’ matures

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton watches election returns as campaign staffers yell out returns in the campaign's war room on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Historic wins for women in the midterm elections drove home the interpretation that 2018 was, indeed, the “Year of the Woman.” But it remains unknown whether women’s political capital will continue to rise.

The 101 women and counting who won House races face numerous obstacles to standing out in a divided Congress where seniority often plays more of a role in determining political power than success at the ballot box or legislative ingenuity.

Trump Country Democrats Hold Their Own
Trump’s policy agenda was not a winning message for Republican challengers

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois was one of nine Democrats who have held onto their seats in districts Donald Trump won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Of the 12 Democrats running for seats in districts won by Donald Trump in 2016, nine had claimed victory by Wednesday afternoon.

Democrats were aided by flawed opponents who ran on Republican legislative priorities that poll poorly among independent voters — including the 2017 tax bill and the prolonged push to strip protections for patients with preexisting conditions from the 2010 health law.

Romney Shades Away From Trump as High Profile Senate Role Awaits
Not since Hillary Clinton’s 2000 election has a Senate candidate come with such clout

Republican Senate candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann greet supporters as he leaves his election night party on Tuesday in Orem, Utah. Romney won the election to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. (George Frey/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney easily defeated Salt Lake County Councilwoman Jenny Wilson to clinch an open Utah Senate seat, positioning him to become the highest-profile freshman senator since Hillary Clinton’s successful New York bid in 2000 when her husband was still president.

With his more than 60 percent win, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee is poised to fill a power vacuum in the Senate GOP. The party has lost many of its most senior members and moderate voices through retirement, not to mention the death of John McCain. Purists from both parties have looked to Romney as one of the lone — if only — politicians with the clout and gravitas to become both a counterweight to President Donald Trump and a defender of the institution.

Why 2018 Is the New ‘Year of the Woman’
Number of incoming female freshmen lawmakers will exceed 1992 total

Hotel workers finish hanging a Jennifer Wexton campaign sign on stage for the Virginia Democrat’s election night party in Dulles, Va. on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic women picked up more than two dozen House seats Tuesday, helping to power both the party’s takeover of the chamber and an election widely considered a watermark in the political representation of women.

They shattered the previous record of 24 women elected during the 1992 “Year of the Woman,” following the previous year’s confirmation fight over Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who faced sexual harassment allegations from Anita Hill.

Democrats Score Oklahoma Upset Despite Deep-Red Struggles
Kendra Horn pulled off a surprise victory in Oklahoma City-anchored district

Rep. Steve Russell, R-Okla., lost to Democrat Kendra Horn on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As Democrats struggled in deep red districts Tuesday night, Kendra Horn pulled off a surprise upset in Oklahoma. She defeated Republican Rep. Steve Russell in the 5th District, which includes Oklahoma City.

President Donald Trump won Russell’s district by nearly 14 points in 2016, and the race wasn’t considered a potential Democratic pickup. Russell, who was first elected in 2014, did not communicate to the National Republican Congressional Committee that he was in any trouble, according to a source with knowledge of the conversations.

Bob Menendez Survives Senate Scare in New Jersey
Republican challenger Bob Hugin spent $36 million of own money

Sen. Robert Menendez won re-election in New Jersey on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite running under an ethical cloud, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez won a third full term in New Jersey, dispatching a Republican challenger who self-funded his campaign.

With 18 percent of precincts reporting, Menendez narrowly led former pharmaceutical company executive Bob Hugin 51 percent to 46 percent when The Associated Press called the race.

Amy McGrath’s Millions Weren’t Enough to Unseat Andy Barr
Democrat raised millions of dollars and national attention

Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr won re-election Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Kentucky Republican Andy Barr has survived a competitive challenge from Marine veteran Amy McGrath, who raised record sums of money as a House candidate and whose viral videos captured national attention. 

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Barr led McGrath 51 percent to 48 percent when The Associated Press called the 6th District race. 

This Is Jackie Speier’s Survival Guide, Timed for Election Day
‘Undaunted’ comes out Nov. 6

Rep. Jackie Speier's, D-Calif., new book comes out on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jackie Speier is no stranger to political violence. During the Jonestown massacre of 1978, cult members shot her at point-blank range — and that was just the beginning.

Death threats. Scars. A male colleague at the statehouse who, after hearing her speak on abortion, told her menacingly, “Jim Jones didn’t finish the job.”

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents on Election Day
Iowa’s Rod Blum gives up the top spot but remains vulnerable

Pennsylvania Rep. Keith Rothfus claims the top spot in Roll Call’s final list of the most vulnerable incumbents of the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Heading into Election Day, Republicans once again occupy all 10 spots of Roll Call’s list of most vulnerable House incumbents, but for the first time this cycle, Iowa Rep. Rod Blum is not leading the pack.

While President Donald Trump won Blum’s 1st District in 2016, operatives from both parties have consistently identified the two-term congressman as the incumbent most likely to lose this cycle — until the past month.