Simone Pathé

Democratic 2020 hopefuls aim political firepower on Barr
California’s Eric Swalwell calls for Barr to resign over handling of Mueller report

Democrats looking to succeed President Donald Trump picked up a new target on Thursday: Attorney General William Barr. 

As 2020 candidates continued to read a redacted copy of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, it was Barr — as much as Trump — who was in the crosshairs in the hours after the report’s release.

What candidates running to replace Trump are saying about Barr and Mueller report
Attorney general reiterates decision that president’s actions did not qualify as obstruction

Presidential hopefuls on Thursday quickly denounced Attorney General William Barr and renewed calls for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who entered the presidential race last week, called on Barr to resign, saying he should never have been confirmed and should have recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. 

Club for Growth backs a woman in 17-person North Carolina primary
Celeste Cairns is one of three women running for GOP nod in safe seat

The Club for Growth PAC backed accountant Celeste Cairns in the crowded primary for North Carolina’s 3rd District on Wednesday, elevating one of three women seeking the nomination in this safe Republican seat. 

Seventeen Republicans are vying for the nomination for the eastern North Carolina seat that has been vacant since Walter B. Jones died earlier this year. A candidate must win at least 30 percent of the vote in the April 30 primary to avoid a runoff in July. 

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Democrats launch Tax Day ad attack aimed at GOP overhaul
Effort on Facebook signals 2018 messaging on tax law is here to stay for 2020

To coincide with Tax Day, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is rolling out digital ads on Monday attacking 12 Republicans for the GOP tax plan that passed during the 115th Congress.

The new Facebook ads, obtained first by Roll Call, signal Democrats will continue to use the 2017 tax overhaul, which passed with only Republican votes, as a key part of their economic message heading into 2020, when the party will be trying to protect their midterm gains and expand the map by investing heavily in such places as Texas.

Iowa’s Dave Loebsack will not run for re-election in 2020
Democrat’s retirement opens up a competitive seat

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack will not seek an eighth term in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Announcing his retirement Friday evening, Loebsack said he’d originally planned to serve no more than 12 years. But that changed when Trump was elected. 

With less Lululemon and less partisan sniping, campaign staffers adjust to the Hill
Some 2018 campaign staffers are working on the official side for the first time

While some Hill aides flock to New Hampshire and Iowa to staff Democratic presidential teams, plenty of others have been making the opposite transition.

These staffers worked on 2018 House and Senate campaigns and now find themselves immersed in the official side in Congress. Cycling on and off the Hill every two years is common. But for those who have never held official-side jobs before, the first 100 days of the 116th Congress have been an interesting transition period.

Your email address could be worth $8 to a political campaign
With emphasis on small donors, Democrats are under pressure to grow email lists

With Democrats up and down the ballot eschewing corporate PAC money, and the Democratic National Committee setting a grassroots fundraising threshold to get onto the presidential debate stage, connecting with small donors is more important than ever. 

Email remains one of the best ways to do that, and with the emphasis on small donors, Democratic candidates are under even more pressure to grow their distribution lists.

Only 13 Mainers gave $200 or more to Susan Collins in latest quarter
Four-term GOP senator is likely facing her most competitive re-election next year

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, one of the most vulnerable Republican senators in 2020, raised more than $1.1 million in itemized contributions during the first three months of the year. But less than 1 percent of that money came from her home state.

Collins raised $9,200 from 17 itemized donations from Maine during the first three months of 2019. Those came from 15 Pine Tree State residents. Thirteen Mainers gave $200 or more this quarter, while two gave less than $200 this quarter but have given more than $200 to Collins in the aggregate. 

Here are the 8 Republicans who broke with their party on Obamacare lawsuit
Democrats sought to put GOP colleagues on record with symbolic vote

Democratic congressional campaigns have already made health care an early focus of their 2020 messaging, and House Democrats bolstered that effort Wednesday with a symbolic vote that sought to once again put Republicans on record on the issue.

Eight Republicans sided with Democrats on the nonbinding resolution, which the House adopted, 240-186. The measure condemned the Trump administration’s support for invalidating the 2010 health care law in its entirety. The Department of Justice, in a new filing last week, backed a Texas judge’s decision to strike down the law. 

How an Indiana and a Minnesota district explain the 2020 House battlefield
Democrats are optimistic about Indianapolis suburbs and doubtful about the Iron Range

Redistricting is just around the corner, but already the House battlefield doesn’t look like what it did less than a decade ago. 

Demographic shifts have led to partisan realignments — accelerated in some places by President Donald Trump — and that’s created a different map than existed in 2012, when the current congressional lines in most states first went into effect.  

Mueller report isn’t changing 2020 campaign dynamics — yet
Conclusions have emboldened some Republicans, but Democrats still aren’t talking about Russia

As news of the just-completed Russia investigation engulfs Washington, not much has changed on the campaign trail — for either party.

The full report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has yet to see the light of day. And with the 2020 elections more than a year and a half away, plenty could change between now and then. But so far, the calculation on both sides isn’t too different from the past two years.

Even congressmen can’t pump their own gas in New Jersey
Gottheimer manned the squeegee at recent ‘Josh on the Job’ tour

Even a congressman can’t pump gas in New Jersey — the last state in the country where drivers can’t fuel up their own vehicles. 

Although the advisory for Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s March 16 “Josh on the Job” event at a Rochelle Park Amoco station said he’d be pumping gas for Jersey drivers, the sophomore Democrat was resigned to squeegeeing windshields.

Karen Handel wants a 2020 rematch for the Georgia 6th seat
The former GOP congresswoman lost by 1 point last fall to Lucy McBath

Former GOP Rep. Karen Handel announced on Monday she’s running for her old seat in Georgia’s 6th District in 2020.

Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath defeated Handel by 1 point last fall to flip the longtime Republican-held seat, which Democrats had spent millions of dollars trying to do in the 2017 special election. With the help of outside spending from national GOP groups, Handel — a former Georgia secretary of state — defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff that year in the most expensive contest in House race history.

‘Bless Her Heart’: NC Republican makes her first ad all about AOC
The Michele Nix ad may preview what’s to come in 2020, as Republicans take aim at the rising Democratic star

North Carolina Republican Michele Nix, one of 17 Republicans running for the nomination in North Carolina’s 3rd District special election primary, has made New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the focus of her first ad.

The ad could be a preview of what’s to come in 2020, as the freshman Democrat solidifies her place as the new boogeywoman in campaign messaging from Republicans.

House GOP is down to 13 women. Will North Carolina special elections boost their ranks?
Of the 27 Republicans running in 3rd or 9th districts, seven are women

With two special elections in North Carolina this year, Republicans have a chance to send to Congress some company for West Virginia Rep. Carol Miller, the only female GOP lawmaker in the House freshman class.

The number of Republican women in the chamber is at a new low with just 13 in the 116th Congress, down from 23 the previous session. About 100 GOP women ran for the House in the 2018 cycle, but many of them struggled to get through primaries. 

Meet the 12 GOP senators who voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency
Group includes conservatives worried about precedent and a moderate facing a tough re-election

Twelve Senate Republicans rebuked President Donald Trump on Thursday by voting to block his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

The group includes moderate senators — including one up for re-election in 2020 — and conservatives who balked at the president circumventing Congress. Trump declared a national emergency last month after lawmakers failed to appropriate his desired funds for a border wall. (Six of the 12 Republicans who joined every Democratic senator in supporting the resolution serve on the Appropriations Committee.)

Former Indiana Democratic Sen. Birch Bayh dies at 91
Bayh was considered the father of Title IX

Former Indiana Sen. Birch Bayh, the man behind the landmark Title IX legislation, died Thursday morning from pneumonia at the age of 91.

Besides serving in the Senate for three terms, the liberal Democrat was also the father of former Indiana Gov. and Sen. Evan Bayh, who lost a comeback Senate bid in 2016. 

Can Republicans make up any ground in New England in 2020?
Only real pickup opportunities for party are in Maine and New Hampshire

The prospects for a Republican rebirth in New England in 2020 are dim.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, the only New England Republican left in Congress, is likely facing her most competitive re-election next year.

DCCC wastes no time launching positive ads on HR 1 passage
Democrats view legislation as key campaign message even if it won't pass the Senate

Immediately after the House passed Democrats’ political money, ethics and voting overhaul on a straight party-line vote, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched digital ads praising the legislation in 44 districts where its incumbents may be facing tough re-elections.

The early digital spending, shared first with Roll Call, underscores how important Democrats view the political optics of HR 1, which is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate.