Barbara Comstock

Donald Trump’s Toughest Adversary? That Would Be Donald Trump
The president’s desire to hog the midterm spotlight guarantees a nationalization of the election

President Donald Trump has stated a desire to insert himself into the midterm election process. That could be a problem for Republicans in tough races. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — While President Trump complains about the national media, Democrats, Robert S. Mueller’s Russian “witch hunt” and the political establishment, none of those things is why the November House elections are a major headache for the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

Trump has turned what could have been a challenging midterm election environment into a potentially disastrous one. Through his tweets and statements, the president continues to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on his first two years in office.

One Foot in Congress, the Other in Grad School
Staffers starting your higher education, you’re in good company

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt., received his law degree from Georgetown University. Here he is addressing the law center in 2012. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As orientation kicks off for graduate school programs, staffers who are going part time and keeping their Capitol Hill jobs begin the balancing act.

Those higher knowledge-seekers are not alone. It’s common for staffers to get degrees on top of work.

Photos From the Campaign Trail: Independence Day Edition
Parades in Virginia and West Virginia as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., chats with Little Miss 4th of July before the start of the July Fourth parade in Ripley, W.Va., on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Soaring temperatures continue to grip the country this week, but that didn’t stop lawmakers and congressional hopefuls from hitting the July Fourth parade circuit Wednesday. And Roll Call’s photographers were there. 

In Virginia’s 10th District, Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock and her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, both marched in the Independence Day parade in historic downtown Leesburg. The Toss-up race between the two is among the most competitive in the country — a must-hold for both parties in their respective quests to retain or win back the House. 

Time Running Out in Ryan’s Quest to Overhaul Welfare Programs
Speaker returns to Jack Kemp roots as he targets SNAP and TANF

In his remaining months as speaker, Paul D. Ryan is making one last push on poverty. Above, Bishop Shirley Holloway helps Ryan unveil his plan for “A Better Way” in Anacostia in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo

Speaker Paul D. Ryan has spent his 20-year congressional career primarily focused on two issues, taxes and poverty. The Wisconsin Republican led a major rewrite of the tax code last year, but when he retires at the end of this term he won’t have many accomplishments to tout on poverty.

The last big win for conservatives in the so-called War on Poverty was the 1996 welfare overhaul, Ryan acknowledged on PBS’ “Firing Line” earlier this month.

Photos of the Week: A Parade, Virginia Holds Primaries and, of Course, the Baseball Game
The week of June 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A Capitol Visitor Center employee stops to smell the long strands of lei draped on Hawaii’s King Kamehameha statue in the Capitol Visitor Center on Kamehameha Day on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

DCCC Adds 10 More Candidates to Red to Blue
Latest additions include winners of recent primaries

The DCCC has named Katie Hill, a Democrat running for California’s 25th District, to its Red to Blue program for promising challengers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added 10 more challengers Friday to its Red to Blue program for strong recruits.

The eighth round of additions brings the total number of challengers on Red to Blue to 53. Many of the new additions have only recently won primaries. 

At the Races: He’s Off the Trail
Our weekly newsletter on 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 and Bridget Bowman

Why Republicans Aren’t Sweating After 2 Incumbents Lose Primaries
For one, GOP lawmakers who publicly criticize Trump are getting scarcer

Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby was forced into a primary runoff last week, largely over her past criticism of candidate Donald Trump. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The defeat of one of the party’s most notorious political survivors this week wasn’t enough to scare House Republicans.

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, the disgraced former governor, had never lost an election before Tuesday. But his criticism of President Donald Trump did him in.

Wexton Wins Democratic Nod to Take On Comstock in Virginia’s 10th
Democrat Abigail Spanberger will face off against Rep. Brat in 7th District

Virginia Democrat Jennifer Wexton, flanked by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, left, and Sen. Tim Kaine, speaks at her 10th District primary night party at O'Faolin’s Irish Pub in Sterling, Va., on Tuesday. She will next face Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The fall matchup in one of this year’s most competitive House races is now set with state Sen. Jennifer Wexton clinching the Democratic nomination in Virginia’s 10th District on Tuesday night.

Wexton will face Republican incumbent Barbara Comstock, who’s running for a third term in a Toss-up race.

Races to Watch in This Tuesday’s Primaries
Voters in five states head to the polls

South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford faces a GOP primary challenge that’s prompted him to spend money this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Voters in five states head to the polls Tuesday, with most of the action in House primaries.

Republican Rep. Mark Sanford is facing a party challenge for his South Carolina seat. Nominees will be chosen in a half-dozen other competitive House races. And a new voting process will be tested in Maine.