TRAD

4 House Races Remain Uncalled, Previously Projected Race in California Narrows
GOP Rep. Valadao was winning by 4,000 votes on Election Day; now he’s up by less than 1,000

Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., was declared the winner of his race against TJ Cox on Election Day. But his lead has dwindled to less than 1,000 votes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two weeks have gone by since the midterm elections, but officials have yet to determine the winner in four House races. And the results of a California House race that was called on election night has now been thrown into question.

House Democrats have long since passed the threshold for a majority that they haven’t held since 2010. They currently have 232 seats called in their favor with the potential to win some of those five not-yet-called races. They’re likely to finish around 234 with a 33-seat majority.

Schumer Asks if Acting AG Talked to White House About Russia Probe Details
Senate Democratic leader requests review by Justice Department inspector general

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., has  questions about contacts between the White House and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker about the Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer wants to know if the acting attorney general talked to the White House about the special counsel investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Specifically, the New York Democrat is asking Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz about contacts between Matthew G. Whitaker and other parts of the Donald Trump administration about the work of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team.

Ben McAdams Claims Victory Over Mia Love
Incumbent GOP rep hasn’t conceded; votes in the Utah’s 4th District to be certified Tuesday

Ben McAdams, Democratic candidate for Utah's 4th Congressional District, said his lead after the latest ballot tally is insurmountable. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Having secured a 739-vote lead as ballot counting in Utah finally draws to a close, Democratic challenger Ben McAdams declared victory over Republican Rep. Mia Love in a news conference Monday night. 

“We have looked at the numbers and the number of votes that are outstanding and we are confident at this point in the results of this election,” McAdams said.

A Mississippi Senate Flip? Probably Not
Absent reliable data, Democratic chances there should be taken with skepticism

Appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is in the Mississippi Senate runoff with former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy, a Democrat. Is the race close? That depends on your definition of close, Rothenberg writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Alabama Democrat Doug Jones demonstrated last year that candidates matter and that on the rarest occasions — such as when the majority party’s nominee is accused of sexual misconduct by many women — voters in federal races veer from their partisan loyalties. But Jones’s win was the exception, not the rule, and it shouldn’t obscure the difficulty Mississippi Democratic Senate hopeful Mike Espy faces in a runoff in one of the most Republican and conservative states in the entire country.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the Mississippi Senate runoff “has turned into an unexpectedly competitive contest.” That’s hard to challenge, since expectations are a matter of opinion, as is competitiveness. But until I see hard evidence that Democrats have a realistic shot at the seat, count me as skeptical that the Mississippi seat is in play.

On ‘Medicare-for-All,’ Democrats Tread Lightly
It polls well. But Dems say the proposal isn’t ready for floor action

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., founded the Medicare-for-All Caucus earlier this year. She pushed back on the idea that single-payer health care is unpopular in suburban parts of the country. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Progressives in the House are calling for a vote on a single-payer “Medicare-for-all” bill in the next Congress, but the expected chairmen who will set the agenda for next year say they have other health priorities.

Still, the progressives’ push could earn more attention over the next two years as Democratic candidates begin vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020. A handful of potential presidential candidates expected to declare interest have already co-sponsored “Medicare-for-all” legislation, an issue that was also a flashpoint in Democratic primaries over the past year.

Pelosi Endorses Hoyer, Clyburn for Nos. 2 and 3 Leadership Positions
“House Democrats must show … we are prepared to govern and get the job done”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is endorsing Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., to be majority leader and James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., to be majority whip. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Monday endorsed her top two deputies, Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland and James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, to remain in their respective Nos. 2 and 3 leadership positions in the majority. 

Hoyer, the current minority whip, is running for majority leader and Clyburn, the current assistant Democratic leader, is running for majority whip. Both are running unopposed after Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette dropped out of the whip race Monday.

Top Trump PAC to Flood Mississippi Airwaves Ahead of Senate Runoff
Cindy Hyde-Smith faces Mike Espy in last undecided Senate race of the cycle

Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., is in a Nov. 27 special election runoff with Democrat Mike Espy. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A top super PAC aligned with President Donald Trump is infusing the Mississippi Senate special election runoff with nearly $300,000 to help Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Hyde-Smith will face former Democratic Rep. Mike Espy, who also served as Agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, in the Nov. 27 runoff. Neither cleared 50 percent in the Nov. 6 jungle primary, which saw two Republicans and two Democrats run together on the same ballot.

Black Voters Propelled Blue Wave, Study Finds
African-Americans increasingly associate GOP with Trump, racist rhetoric

Members-elect, front row from left, Kim Schrier, D-Wash., Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., Abby Finkenauer, D-Iowa, Sharice Davids, D-Kan., Haley Stevens, D-Mich., and other members of the incoming freshman class, pose for a photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic wins in the 2018 midterms were driven largely by African American voters — particularly black women — who increasingly associate the GOP with President Trump’s perceived hostility toward people of color and immigrants, according to an analysis released Monday.

The report by the NAACP, the racial justice nonprofit Advancement Project, and the political action group African American Research Collaborative found that across competitive elections 90 percent of black voters supported Democratic House candidates, compared to 53 percent of voters overall. It also found 91 percent of black women, 86 percent of black men and 50 percent of white voters believe Trump and the GOP are using toxic rhetoric to divide the nation.

16 Pelosi Opponents Sign Letter Saying They Won't Vote For Her for Speaker
Opposition could spell trouble for Pelosi in speaker election on the floor

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., pictured speaking to reporters in the Capitol on November 15, 2018, is one of 16 Democrats who signed a letter saying they will not vote for Nancy Pelosi for speaker. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:53 p.m. | Sixteen Democrats have signed a letter released Monday saying they will vote against Nancy Pelosi for speaker.

While the opposition would appear to be more votes than the California Democrat can afford to lose in a floor vote, two of the signees — Ben McAdams of Utah and Anthony Brindisi of New York — are in races that have yet to be called. 

Buck Stops Here? Not So Much for President Trump
Fox interview shows how he practices the art of distance and wiggle room

President Donald Trump leaves after chairing a United Nations (U.N.) Security Council meeting on September 26, 2018 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

ANALYSIS | Most of Donald Trump’s predecessors endorsed the notion of the buck stopping “here,” meaning on their desks. But for the 45th president, the buck often stops elsewhere.

Trump sat down with Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace for a 15-minute interview that aired Sunday. Even though the sit-down in the White House’s Roosevelt Room was relatively brief, the president showed several times how just about everything political is fungible — especially when the stakes are high for himself.