Special Election

Prepare to Be Disappointed on Election Night
Close races, voting schemes and mail-in ballots could all complicate calling control of Congress on Nov. 6

The race for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith’s Mississippi seat lists among the complicating factors that might impede calling control of the Senate on Nov. 6, Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After two years of campaigning in the latest most consequential election of our lifetimes, election night could be a huge letdown. The disappointment is not about which party prevails Nov. 6, but the reality that a combination of close races and West Coast contests could prevent enough races from being called to determine majorities in Congress until days later.

In the Senate, more than 10 races could finish within single digits, and a handful of those contests look like they’re neck and neck. The close margins could make it difficult for media outlets to project a winner on election night. Since Republicans have just a two-seat majority, every Senate race matters, so anything left uncalled could make it difficult to figure out who will control the chamber next year.

Texas Republican Is on His Fourth Election of the Year
Take Five: New congressman Michael Cloud never left the campaign trail

Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, was sworn in July 10. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

It’s been a long year for Texas Republican Rep. Michael Cloud, who joined Congress in July.

Before he could replace Blake Farenthold — who resigned from Congress amid allegations of sexual harassment — he had to fight through a primary, a primary runoff and a special election. And now the midterms are closing in. 

Democratic Poll Shows Tight Race in Georgia’s 6th District
GOP Rep. Karen Handel faces Democrat Lucy McBath in November

Democrat Lucy McBath, here at an April event in New York City with congressional candidates, is challenging GOP Rep. Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images file photo)

Democrat Lucy McBath, who became politically active after losing her teenage son to gun violence, was in a tight race with Republican Rep. Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District, a poll conducted for the Democrat’s campaign found. 

Handel led McBath 49 percent to 47 percent in the race for the suburban Atlanta seat. Four percent were undecided. Handel, who won a highly publicized special election last year against Democrat Jon Ossoff, is seeking her first full term this November. 

Liberal Health Care Group Launches Seven-Figure Campaign
Will target vulnerable Republicans in more than 20 districts

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., is one of the Republicans being targeted by a liberal advocacy group two months out from the midterms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A liberal health care group is launching a seven-figure campaign targeting more than 20 congressional districts ahead of the midterm elections.

Health Care Voter announced the campaign on Thursday and said it will also release a 50-state voter guide for every candidate for federal office.

Something Old, Something New, Someone Appointed, Neither Blue
Republicans Jon Kyl and Troy Balderson sworn in on Wednesday

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., left, conducts a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Ohio, second from right, before being sworn in on the House floor Wednesday Sept. 5, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Congress grew by two Republicans on Wednesday when Jon Kyl was sworn on the Senate side and Troy Balderson over in the House. 

Shortly after the Senate convened at noon and voted to confirm Elad Roisman to be a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Vice President Mike Pence swore in Kyl, a former Senate minority whip who retired in 2013 but was appointed on Tuesday to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Obama to Kick Off Campaigning in Southern California
Will campaign in Republican districts won by Hillary Clinton

Former President Barack Obama, shown here speaking at the North American Climate Summit in December, will campaign for Democratic candidates in Southern California House races this weekend. (Scott Olson/Getty Images file photo)

Former President Barack Obama will make his first stop on the 2018 campaign trail in Southern California on Saturday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced. 

Obama will campaign with candidates Josh Harder in the 10th District, T.J. Cox in the 21st District, Katie Hill in the 25th District, Gil Cisneros in the 39th District, Katie Porter in the 45th District, Harley Rouda in the 48th District, and Mike Levin in the 49th.

Jones Faces Pressure at Home to Confirm Kavanaugh
Alabama Democratic senator faces re-election in 2020

Sen/ Doug Jones, D-Ala., said he wants confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh delayed. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Doug Jones faces increased pressure to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as he says the hearings should have been delayed.

Jones has previously been pressured by Democratic voters to vote against Kavanaugh’s confirmation, with one woman at a town hall telling him at a town hall last month he could “kiss my ass” if he voted for Kavanaugh’s confirmation, AL.Com reported.

Jon Kyl Appointment Latest Twist in Tumultuous Arizona Politics
Grand Canyon State will have two freshman senators for the first time since 1912

Former Sen. Jon Kyl,  R-Ariz., will be joining Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Say this for Arizona: Its politics are rarely boring.

Add to it now former Sen. Jon Kyl’s appointment to the Senate, the latest chapter in a period of political uncertainty that’s nevertheless a new experience for most Arizonans — at least when it comes to the relative stability of its senators.

Montana Candidates Court Native American Voters — With Good Reason
Native American voters could make a difference in handful of competitive races

Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, left, attended the 100th annual Crow Fair last month. His GOP opponent Matt Rosendale also attended. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

CROW AGENCY, Mont. — The young woman quickly set down the decorations she was mounting on her parade float.

“That’s Tester?” she exclaimed.

Ducey to Appoint Former Sen. Jon Kyl to McCain’s Seat
Kyl reportedly agreed to serve through the end of the year

Former GOP Sen. Jon Kyl is expected to return to the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 1:37 p.m. | Gov. Doug Ducey will appoint former Sen. Jon Kyl to the Senate following GOP Sen. John McCain’s death late last month, he announced Tuesday.

"I kept coming back to one name and on person: Jon Kyl," Ducey said Tuesday. "There is no one in Arizona with the stature of Sen. Jon Kyl. He’s a man without comparable peer.”