tossup

Democrats Get Preferred Candidates in House Races in Texas
GOP sees mixed fortunes for establishment candidates in runoffs

Air Force veteran Gina Ortiz Jones won the Democratic nomination for Texas’ 23rd District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

General election matchups in Texas were set following Tuesday’s runoffs, including a few expected to be competitive in the fall. 

Democrats saw new opportunities in the Lone Star state after Hillary Clinton carried three Republican-held seats in 2016. Each of those races on the Democratic side went to a runoff after no one took more than 50 percent of the vote in the March 6 primary. A slew of Republican retirements sparked crowded GOP primaries, which led to runoffs in five open seats. The winners of most of these contests are likely to come to Congress from the Republican-leaning districts.

Former Rep. Bentivolio Suing Opponent to Defend Military Record
Michigan Republican seeking $10 million from rival in race for Trott’s seat

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich. is running for his old seat in Michigan's 11th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, running for his old seat in Michigan’s 11th District, is suing one of his fellow GOP primary challengers for $10 million for allegedly defaming his military record by questioning its authenticity.

Bentivolio and his lawyer are claiming that Rocky Raczkowski — another Republican in the crowded primary field for what could be one of the nation’s most hotly contested House races in November — has a history of waging a “malicious defamation campaign … telling multiple third parties that Bentivolio’s military record is fraudulent and fake,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

Heitkamp Highlights Family Ties in First TV Ad
North Dakota Democrat is among the most vulnerable senators

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is running for re-election in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp is highlighting her family in her first television ad of the 2018 election cycle. The North Dakota Democrat is looking to stress her ties to the state as she bids for a second term.

Heitkamp is one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election this year, running in a state President Donald Trump carried by 36 points in 2016. Watch: Will the Chambers Flip? Redditors Want to Know

Here’s What Tonight’s Arizona 8th Special Election Means for 2018
Race to replace Rep. Trent Franks in the 8th District is Tuesday

Voters in Arizona’s 8th District will choose between Republican Debbie Lesko and Democrat Hiral Tipirneni on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The special election in Arizona’s 8th District will set the stage for a hotly contested Senate race and a handful of competitive House races in the Grand Canyon State. And both parties are watching for indications of what’s to come in November.

More than 150,000 people have already voted in the contest to replace Republican Rep. Trent Franks, who resigned in December amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Democrats are hopeful they can make the race close even though President Donald Trump carried the suburban Phoenix-based district by 21 points in 2016. And Republicans know analysts will be looking at the outcome for signs of a potential blue wave.

Young Kim Launches First TV Ad in California’s 39th District
Kim is the first Republican in the crowded race to go on the airwaves

Former California Republican Assemblywoman Young Kim is running for the open 39th District seat. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo).

Congressional hopeful Young Kim is the first Republican to go on the airwaves in the crowded race for California’s 39th District, launching a television ad Thursday. 

The spot, shared first with Roll Call, highlights the former assemblywoman’s ties to the man she is hoping to replace — retiring GOP Rep. Ed Royce. Kim worked for the congressman for two decades 

Planned Parenthood, Other Groups To Spend $30 Million on Midterms
Progressive coalition to target young and minority voters in Florida, Michigan, and Nevada

Liberal groups are hoping to turn out enough voters in (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A coalition of liberal organizations that includes the political arm of Planned Parenthood rolled out a $30 million program Monday to mobilize “infrequent voters” to cast ballots for progressive candidates in the  midterm elections.

Infrequent voters include people of color, women and young people, the coalition says in a joint news release.

Rosen’s First Major Digital Ad Buy Targets Latino Voters
Nevada Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller

The new digital ad by Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., says she “didn’t back down” in her fight to protect “Dreamers.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Rep. Jacky Rosen’s Senate campaign announced its first major digital buy Friday, launching ads in both English and Spanish aimed at Latino voters. The freshman Democrat is challenging Republican incumbent Dean Heller in a race that could be one of her party’s best pickup opportunities in the Senate.

The digital ads, shared first with Roll Call, focus on Rosen’s background and her support for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. The ads include a 30-second video and a shorter 15-second version, in both languages.

Tariffs Could Complicate Key Senate Races
Some Democrats already criticizing GOP opponents over tariffs’ impact

A John Deere tractor sits in a field near Salem, Ind. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The potential for a trade war with China is already complicating some key Senate races ahead of the November midterms, especially for Republicans hoping to expand their majority.

President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports sparked retaliatory threats from China. The country vowed to slap tariffs on top U.S. exports that also come from states with some of the most competitive Senate contests.

Rating Change: Florida Senate Race Shifts to Toss-Up
Florida Gov. Rick Scott formally announces challenge to Sen. Bill Nelson

Now that Gov. Rick Scott has officially announced his Senate campaign, Florida is poised to host a costly race with national implications, Gonzales writes. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s plans have been talked about for so long that it would have been shocking if he hadn’t announced his challenge to Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson on Monday. And now that the Republican governor is officially in, the Sunshine State is poised to host an expensive race with national implications.

Of course, Democrats are confident about Nelson’s re-election chances. But this will be a race unlike any other the senator has faced. Scott, who is personally wealthy, could not only invest tens of millions of dollars of his own money into the campaign, but also utilize national fundraising contacts as a former chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Hawley Dings McCaskill Over Gorsuch Vote in New Web Ad
Missouri GOP Senate hopeful says incumbent puts party ahead of state

A vote against Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation last year is becoming an issue in the Missouri Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is launching a new digital ad Friday, foreshadowing one of his arguments in his campaign for Senate against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill: her vote against Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last year. 

Only three Senate Democrats voted to confirm Gorsuch, who was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the seat left open after Justice Antonin Scalia died. In a new ad, Hawley’s campaign accuses McCaskill of putting the Democratic Party base ahead of Missouri voters by her vote against Gorsuch.