Simone Pathé

DCCC adds six more Trump districts to its 2020 target list
House Democrats are expanding their potential battlefield to 39 seats

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more districts to the list of seats it’s targeting in 2020. 

After gaining a net of 40 seats last fall, the House Democrats’ campaign arm released its initial 2020 target list in January that included 32 GOP-held seats and the open seat in North Carolina’s 9th District, which is holding a special election next month.

Why North Carolina candidates aren’t talking about the ‘bathroom bill’
Modern campaigning allows candidates to tailor messages to different platforms

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — Asked about immigration at a town hall last weekend, Dan McCready talked about securing the border and respecting the law.

He didn’t sound like “an Elizabeth Warren Democrat,” which is how the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to tar him

North Carolina redo election is the last race of 2018 — and the first of 2020
Democrat Dan McCready faces a new Republican opponent in September special election

LAURINBURG, N.C. — Dan McCready is used to this.

“Y’all know this isn’t an easy race for a Democrat,” the candidate for North Carolina’s 9th District said, swatting away an army of gnats swarming attendees at a fish fry Friday night.

Montana’s Steve Bullock warns Democrats they’re at risk of losing to Trump
Two-term governor is the only presidential candidate who’s won statewide in a Trump state

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock delivered a stern warning Wednesday that his fellow Democratic presidential candidates are putting the party at risk of losing to President Donald Trump in 2020.

“We are well on our way to losing this election long before it ever even has really started,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

Small dollars a big deal as GOP sees untapped potential in Trump supporters
Party effort to steer campaigns to new ‘WinRed’ system met with grumbles and suspicion

Convinced there is untapped potential with conservative grassroots donors, Republicans have long bemoaned their lack of a fundraising tool for small-dollar donations as pervasive as the Democrats’ ActBlue. 

But since Republicans rolled out their own centralized platform earlier this year, there’s been grumbling within the party that the effort runs afoul of conservative free-market ideas. 

Corey Lewandowski looking at New Hampshire Senate run
Lewandowski managed Trump's campaign before being fired in June 2016

Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, is considering running for Senate in New Hampshire. 

“The president needs a strong supporter of his on the ticket in New Hampshire,” Lewandowski told Fox News on Thursday. “New Hampshire is a state he lost by 2,700 votes, but having a strong, unified ticket in the state will help him be successful in 2020.”

GOP super PAC investing in North Carolina special election
Congressional Leadership Fund is putting people in the field and ads on the air

The super PAC backed by House Republican leadership is investing resources in North Carolina’s 9th District ahead of next month’s special election. 

Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a field program this week that’s backed by $150,000. That effort, details of which were obtained first by CQ Roll Call, is twofold: It’s designed to persuade swing voters in Mecklenburg County and turn out mid-to-high propensity voters in Union County. CLF will rely on 100 people to knock on more than 75,000 doors.

3 ways Democrats couldn’t escape Congress in Wednesday’s debate
Seven of the 10 candidates on stage have congressional experience

The 10 Democrats on Wednesday’s debate stage were vying for the White House, but with seven of them having congressional experience, much of the evening came back to the legislative branch.

Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Michael Bennet all currently serve in the Senate. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is a four-term member of the House, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee previously served eight nonconsecutive terms in the House. Former Vice President Joe Biden spent 36 years in the Senate — plenty of time to accumulate a record that was the source of frequent attacks Wednesday night.

4 ways the Democratic debate was actually about 2018
Echoes of the midterm elections permeated the first night of the Democratic presidential debate

If you paid attention to the 2018 midterm elections, Tuesday night’s Democratic debate might have brought back some memories.

Ten presidential candidates faced off in the first night of the second series of debates, which aired on CNN. And many of them cited Democrats’ 2018 victories as proof that that candidate had the right stuff to win back the White House next fall.

North Carolina operative charged in connection with 9th District ballot fraud
Leslie McCrae Dowless worked for 2018 GOP nominee Mark Harris

Weeks before voters go to the polls in a redo election, a Republican operative has been indicted in connection with a  ballot fraud scheme that led to last year’s election being invalidated in a North Carolina House district.

The Wake County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. on charges of felony obstruction of justice, perjury, conspiracy to obstruct justice and possession of absentee ballot. Seven other individuals allegedly involved were also indicted.

Exodus at the DCCC: Top aides quit House Democrats' campaign arm
Allison Jaslow, a close ally of Bustos, had started at the committee this cycle

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos announced the appointment of a new interim executive director Monday as she seeks to quell internal jousting between lawmakers and the committee about diversity representation in its upper ranks.

“Today has been a sobering day filled with tough conversations that too often we avoid, but I can say confidently that we are taking the first steps toward putting the DCCC back on path to protect and expand our majority, with a staff that truly reflects the diversity of our Democratic caucus and our party,” Bustos said in a statement.

How Elizabeth Warren learned to be a candidate
Warren took on a Republican in 2012 who wasn’t supposed to win. Can she do it again?

This is the fifth installment in “Battle Tested,” a series analyzing early campaigns of some Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination. Read our earlier pieces on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kamala Harris, and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Democrats were hurting. 

Texas Rep. Pete Olson not running for reelection in 2020
Democrats are targeting Houston-area 22nd District

Texas Rep. Pete Olson will not seek a seventh term in 2020, opening up a Republican-held seat that Democrats have made a top target this cycle.

Olson cited family reasons for his decision, saying in a statement that his wife has “carried the lion’s share” of parenting their two children, and that her mother has health issues “that require more care and attention.” 

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell won’t seek third term in 2020
Republican says vitriol in Congress is overwhelming ability to set policy

Michigan Rep. Paul Mitchell won’t be running for a third term in 2020, saying he’s frustrated with how politics dominates policy in Congress.

Elected to an open seat in 2016, Mitchell is the sophomore representative in GOP leadership. He represents the 10th District, a safe Republican seat that President Donald Trump carried by 32 points.

When congressional staffers are elected officials too
Staffers who wear two hats have to answer to their boss’ constituents — and their own

Sean Scanlon caught the political bug when he was a kid growing up in Guilford, Connecticut. 

Many young people infected with the same passion for politics often face a choice: Do you want to run for office yourself and be a politician? Or do you work in politics behind the scenes?

Mark Sanford considering primary challenge to Donald Trump
Sanford lost his primary in 2018 after Trump came out against him

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, who lost in a 2018 Republican primary after President Donald Trump endorsed his opponent, is contemplating challenging the president.

Sanford will make his decision about running for president over the next month, he told the Charleston Post and Courier Tuesday. He said his goal is to drive a conversation about the national debt and government spending. 

Trump endorses Hagerty in Tennessee Senate race
President’s early involvement could keep other Republicans out

President Donald Trump on Friday tweeted his endorsement of Bill Hagerty, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, for the open Senate seat in Tennessee, likely limiting what could have been a crowded GOP field for the seat.  

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander is not running for fourth term.

Competitive Tennessee Senate primary likely after Haslam decision not to run
Hagerty and Kustoff could run, while Green and Black have passed on the race

Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Wednesday he will sit out the race for Senate this cycle, teeing up a competitive Republican primary in the contest to succeed retiring GOP incumbent Lamar Alexander.

Haslam, 60, described his choice to forgo another bid for public office as “the hardest vocational decision of my life” in a letter published in The Tennessean

North Carolina gears up for competitive special election in 9th District
Voters in the 9th and 3rd districts head to polls on Sept. 10

With the Republican drama in North Carolina’s 3rd District primary runoff now settled, attention in the Tar Heel State shifts to the more competitive of the two House special elections to be held on Sept. 10. 

Voters in the 9th District will choose a new representative in a redo election of last fall’s contest, which was never certified because of ballot fraud connected to the GOP nominee’s campaign. 

End Citizens United names first 12 Republican targets for 2020
Liberal PAC is going after GOP incumbents in House and Senate

End Citizens United, a liberal PAC that was a major player in last year’s midterms, announced Wednesday its top targets for 2020. 

The initial list of targets, dubbed the “Big Money 20” and obtained first by CQ Roll Call, includes 12 Republican incumbents — five senators and seven House members.