2018

How Joe Barton Struck Out
Retiring Texas Republican was thwarted by his own political instincts

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, faces retirement after a sex scandal. His career in Washington had already reached its peak. (CQ Roll Call)

Leadership be damned, Rep. Joe L. Barton thought. He knew he was right, and as soon as he was convinced of that, hardly anything in the world could move him.

Just a few months into his first term, the Texas Republican was angling for something between protest and revolution. House Democrats had voted to declare themselves the winner of a contested Indiana House race — in Republicans’ eyes, a theft. While his own party’s leadership urged restraint, Barton fumed.

Abuse Allegations Loom Over Minnesota Race to Replace Ellison
Female candidates dominate 5th District Democratic-Farmer-Labor primary

Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison vacated his 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic candidates running for Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota’s deep-blue 5th District are pushing voters to the polls Tuesday, as abuse allegations against the congressman threatened to send them off-message in the campaign’s closing hours.

The three front-runners for the Democratic-Farmer-Labor nod in Tuesday’s primary declined to take sides when asked at a candidate forum Monday about allegations that Ellison physically abused a former girlfriend — which he has denied. The six-term congressman vacated the 5th District seat to run for state attorney general. 

Latino Voters Angry at Trump But Not Mobilized, Democratic Report Finds
Blue candidates need clear message to court Latino votes in midterms, according to study

Latino voters’ anger at Trump administration policies could be an opening for Democrats in 2018 a new report finds. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats have a chance to win big in this year’s midterms by channeling Latino voters’ anger at President Donald Trump’s immigration and health care agenda, according to the findings of a Democratic-funded study released Tuesday.

But first, they’ll have to convince Latinos their vote will mean something.

Podcast: A Supreme Campaign Issue
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 14

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., left, and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh meet in McConnell's office in the Capitol on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, the day after President Donald Trump nominated Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/POOL)

For six Democratic senators in rough fights for re-election in Trump states, the coming vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation will be a career-defining moment that cuts both ways. Roll Call political analyst Nathan Gonzales and his Inside Elections colleague Leah Askarinam explain the dynamics of each campaign. 

Watch: Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

Podcast: Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 7

The Capitol dome is seen in a reflection on a television news camera outside the Capitol on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Podcast: How We Determine the Wealth of Congress
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 5

California Rep. Darrell Issa is the wealthiest member of Congress according to Roll Call's Wealth of Congress study. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Podcast: A Map Puts Pennsylvania on Political Center Stage
Roll Call Decoder, Episode 4

Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., runs past Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., on the House steps as members of Congress leave for the 4th of July recess following the final votes of the week in the Capitol on Thursday, June, 29, 2017. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The state’s Democratic congressional roster could grow by half a dozen, a huge boost for the party’s bid to take back the House this fall, thanks to new district lines drawn by the state’s highest court. Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman explains the party’s boosted targets for opportunity now that one of the nation’s most partisan gerrymandered maps has been re-colored in purple.

Show Notes:

Pelosi: ‘I Would Rather Pass Gun Safety Legislation Than Win the Election’
Minority leader doesn’t want to wait until Democrats possibly take the majority for action

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said it is important to pass gun safety legislation as soon as possible in the wake of the Florida mass shooting Wednesday that left 17 dead. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says her interest in gun violence prevention is so great that she prioritizes legislative action on it over one of her top goals — taking back control of the House in the 2018 midterm elections.

“I would rather pass gun safety legislation than win the election,” the California Democrat said Thursday.

Capitol Ink | Baby New Year

Flake Gives Anti-Trump Speech on Senate Floor