At the Races

Feinstein ‘Absolutely’ Supports Revisiting Kavanaugh Allegations, She Says in Debate
California Democrat was asked about further investigating sexual assault claims

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., faces fellow Democrat Kevin de Léon in the November general election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Wednesday she “absolutely” supports reopening an investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. 

Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court earlier this month following a heated battle over allegations that he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were in high school. House Democrats have said they might launch investigations into Kavanaugh should they take control of the chamber next month. 

Republicans With Fundraising Struggles Have Outside Help — For Now
GOP groups had previously warned lawmakers to step up their game

Rep. Steve Knight, R-Calif., has been outraised by his Democratic opponent, Katie Hill, but Congressional Leadership Fund is still spending for him in California’s 25th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Scores of Republicans were once again outraised by their Democratic opponents in the recently concluded third quarter. And GOP outside groups now have to decide how to best allocate their finite resources with less than three weeks to go until Election Day. 

The two major Republican groups that spend in House races — the National Republican Congressional Committee and the House leadership-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund — have already begun to move money to different races, as have their Democratic counterparts, in an end-of-cycle process known as “triage.”

NewDemPAC Helps Candidates Navigate Trump, Raise Money
Political arm of New Democrat Coalition has endorsed 38 recruits

NewDemPAC has endorsed Virginia Democrat Abigail Spanberger, who’s challenging GOP Rep. Dave Brat in the 7th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

With 38 endorsed candidates, the political arm of the moderate New Democrat Coalition is hoping to play a significant role helping Democrats win the House majority next month, and in doing so, grow their own business-friendly caucus. 

The coalition’s political action committee, founded in 2005, got involved in races earlier than ever before this cycle — at times choosing favorites in competitive primaries. It also hired a political director for the first time and has been able to help raise more than $2 million for candidates from members and donors.

Democratic PAC Pulls Spending From Top Nebraska Pickup Opportunity
Money now going to support Iowa Democrat Cindy Axne

Nebraska Democrat Kara Eastman is challenging GOP Rep. Don Bacon in the 2nd District. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

A super PAC tied to House Democratic leadership has pulled its television advertising funding from a competitive Nebraska district, a spokesman confirmed Tuesday.

The money the House Majority PAC had committed to Democrat Kara Eastman’s bid to unseat freshman GOP Rep. Don Bacon in the Omaha-area 2nd District will now go to support Cindy Axne in Iowa’s 3rd, the spokesman said. Election forecasters see that race as a slightly better pickup opportunity for Democrats. 

Some Wealthy Republicans Give Themselves Q3 Campaign Cash Bumps
Select GOP candidates under pressure to dip into own accounts

Indiana Republican Senate nominee Mike Braun loaned his campaign against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly more money during the third quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans have long been frustrated that a handful of candidates in tight races who could afford to loan their campaigns more of their own money had not done so.

A few of those GOP nominees changed that during the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, dipping into their personal resources to give their campaigns a cash infusion. Fundraising report filings were due Monday at midnight. 

GOP Poll Shows Close Race for Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st District
Republican incumbent is still 2 points behind Democrat Abby Finkenauer

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, is facing a competitive re-election race in Iowa’s 1st District against Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll for Rep. Rod Blum has found the vulnerable Iowa Republican narrowly trailing Democratic state Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the 1st District.

The poll, conducted by The Polling Company, showed Finkenauer leading Blum 45 percent to 43 percent, within the 4.9 percentage-point margin of error. Four percent of respondents backed a third-party candidate, while 6 percent were undecided. 

Porter Knocks Walters on GOP Tax Overhaul in Joint TV Ad With DCCC
Walters voted for the bill, while some other California Republicans opposed it

California Democrat Katie Porter is challenging GOP Rep. Mimi Walters in the 45th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Democrat Katie Porter is going on offense against Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, launching a new television ad highlighting the congresswoman’s support for last year’s GOP tax overhaul and tying her to President Donald Trump. 

Walters, who’s in her second term representing California’s 45th District,  backed the GOP tax measure, which some of her fellow Golden State Republicans opposed because it limited the deductions for state and local taxes. And now Porter is highlighting that vote in a negative spot, which is a joint ad with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Could Republicans in Competitive Districts Pursue NRCC Top Job?
NRCC head has usually been someone who can travel, fundraise for others

California Rep. Mimi Walters may be interested in chairing the NRCC if the position is open. First, she has to win re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With many Republicans conceding their poor prospects of holding the House next month, attention outside the conference is beginning to turn to who will helm its campaign committee for the next cycle. 

Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, who’s running for a fifth term in a safe Republican seat, is the current chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. It’s not uncommon for there to be turnover at the end of a cycle, and it’s largely understood Stivers is unlikely to remain in charge should the GOP lose its majority.

‘Treason’ Accusation Punctuates Heated Arizona Senate Debate
Democrat Sinema condemns Republican McSally for smear tactics

Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., faces Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the most contentious moments of the Arizona Senate debate Monday night involved Republican Martha McSally accusing Democrat Kyrsten Sinema of “treason,” bringing a more predictable back-and-forth to a dramatic end.

Over the course of the hourlong debate — their only scheduled one — the two congresswomen running to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake split over health care, immigration, and the Supreme Court’s newest justice. Sinema stressed that she would be independent of her party, while McSally touted the accomplishments of GOP-controlled government.

MacArthur Narrowly Ahead in New Jersey’s 3rd District, Poll Shows
After easily winning re-election in 2016, two-term incumbent faces close contest

GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur was ahead by 4 points in his campaign’s polling of New Jersey’s 3rd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur narrowly led his Democratic opponent in the Republican campaign’s polling of the 3rd District.

MacArthur led Andy Kim 44 to 40 percent in the survey from National Research Inc. Kim was a National Security Council staffer under former President Barack Obama

At the Races: You Only Raised $1 Million?
Our weekly newsletter on the latest in congressional campaigns

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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

Fewer White Men Running for Office As Women and Minorities Step Up, Report Finds
Study finds congressional, state legislative races are more diverse in 2018

A marcher at the Woman’s March on Washington holds a sign in Spanish that reads “Woman’s rights = Human rights” on Jan. 21, 2017 one day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. (George LeVines/CQ Roll Call)

The 2018 primary season has seen a drastic decline of white men running for office in congressional and state races, as more women and minorities have joined the fray, according to report released Thursday.

There has been a 13 percent drop in white, male Congressional candidates since 2012, and a 12 percent drop in legislative races, the report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign found. 

At the Races: What Does All the Health Care Talk in Campaign Ads Mean?
Decoding Democratic and Republican messaging over health care topics

With less than a month before the midterms, Democrats and Republicans are blanketing the airwaves with ads about one of the most heated topics in American politics — health care.

Since health care can be confusing on its own, it gets even more confusing when roped into talking points for the two major parties. 

Democratic Activists Could Tip the Scale in Close Races — But Then What?
Grassroots groups have been organizing on the ground for nearly two years

Protesters wave to cars outside of GOP Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office in Utica. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

UTICA, N.Y. — On this particular Friday, the protesters outside of Rep. Claudia Tenney’s office were having trouble holding onto their signs. 

The wind whipped around them as a dozen activists did what they had done every Friday for the last 18 months: stand on the grass between French Road and the small brick office building and hold signs in opposition to the first-term GOP congresswoman.

GOP Poll Puts Morrisey and Manchin Almost Even After Kavanaugh Vote
Manchin led Morrisey by 1 point in a poll conducted for the NRSC and Morrisey campaign

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey trailed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin by 1 point in an NRSC and Morrisey campaign poll of the race. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican poll of the West Virginia Senate race shows a tighter race between Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Manchin led Morrisey 41 to 40 percent in the survey conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Morrisey’s campaign and obtained first by Roll Call.