Joe Donnelly

Money Doesn’t Always Buy (Electoral) Love, but It Can Help
Scott and Cisneros spent big on their own campaigns and won, while other self-funders tanked

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who won Florida's Senate race over the weekend, spent at least $64 million of his own money on his campaign. That kind of self-funding doesn’t always pay off though. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The victories of California Democrat Gil Cisneros and Florida Republican Rick Scott are yet another reminder that when it comes to running for public office, having personal wealth can be pretty helpful.

Both candidates spent millions of their own money and ultimately prevailed in races that went on long past Election Day. Cisneros, who won the lottery in 2010, kicked at least $9 million of his own money into his campaign for California’s 39th District, which The Associated Press called in his favor on Saturday.

Cue the ‘Jaws’ Soundtrack, Pelosi Is Hunting for Votes
California Democrat has long displayed a knack for winning tough votes

When it comes to counting votes in Congress, Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly shown she has few equals, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — When Nancy Pelosi’s supporters talk about her strengths for the job of speaker, “counting votes” is usually right at the top of the list. But counting hardly describes the process that Pelosi has deployed for the last 16 years as the Democratic leader in the House to pass more landmark pieces of legislation than any other sitting member of Congress.

Part kindly godmother (think baby gifts and handwritten notes), part mentor, part shark, part party boss, Pelosi’s uncanny ability to move legislation may be the most important, yet least discussed, aspect of the Democrats’ internal debate about who should lead them into the future.

Trump Campaign Tests Out Nickname Game for 2020
NRSC, outside groups leaned into tactic to vanquish Heitkamp, Donnelly in midterms

Expect a batch of new nicknames for President Donald Trump's political opponents as the 2020 campaign heats up. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s campaign team is experimenting in its laboratory with potential nicknames for his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential election.

The president’s trademark campaign tactic from 2016 — the birth year of “Crooked” Hillary Clinton, “Little” Marco Rubio, and “Lyin’” Ted Cruz — became so ubiquitous in his speeches and campaign literature that it spawned an exhaustive Wikipedia list of everyone whose name Trump has manipulated for political gain.

House Republicans to Consider Changing the Way They Select Committee Leaders
Proposal is part of a broader Thursday debate over internal conference rules

Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., left, and Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., want to change the way the House Republican Conference selects its committee leaders. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Update Thursday 5:01 p.m. | House Republicans on Thursday will consider changes to their internal conference rules, with several amendments targeting the process for selecting committee leaders. 

The biggest proposed change comes from Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher, who wants committee members to be able to choose their own chairmen or ranking members. 

5 Surprises from the 2018 Midterm Elections
From the Indiana Senate race to the Atlanta suburbs, a scattering of the unexpected

Republican Senate candidate for Indiana Mike Braun defeated Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, by nearly double digits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Most midterm elections have dozens of individual House and Senate races that remain unpredictable right up until — and after — the polls close on Election Day. The 2018 cycle was no different, with 22 House and three Senate races still uncalled by 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

But each year, there are a few races that experts thought they had a handle on, only to be flummoxed by the results.

Two Electorates, Two Outcomes
Consensus, bipartisanship could be in short supply

The 2018 midterm showed the divided electorate with its divided outcome. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s rare that both parties can celebrate after an election, but that’s exactly the situation after Republicans gained a handful of Senate seats and Democrats picked up around 30 House seats Tuesday night.

Conservatives, white men (particularly those without a college degree) and pro-Trump voters backed GOP nominees, while women (particularly those with a college degree), minorities and younger voters lined up overwhelmingly behind the Democrats.

The Candidates Mattered. But Opinions About Trump Mattered More
Different outcomes in the House and Senate mostly about the president

Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Donnelly both lost their bids for second terms Tuesday night. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Both parties had something to celebrate after Tuesday’s midterm elections, depending on where they looked. But that split outcome — with Democrats winning the House, and Republicans gaining seats in the Senate — underscores the extent to which opinions about President Donald Trump shape today’s politics.

Republicans largely prevailed at the Senate level because they were running in red states where President Donald Trump performed well in 2016. The House saw the opposite outcome, but the reason was the same. Republicans largely struggled because they were running in places where Trump was unpopular.

Democratic House Means More Time for Senate Nominations — And Another Trump SCOTUS Pick?
The Senate will still have plenty to do, even as legislation languishes with divided government

Unlike the House Republicans, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,of Kentucky will have reason to smile after Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is fond of saying that unlike the House, the Senate is in the “personnel business.”

That is only going to be more true in the 116th Congress, with Democrats taking control of the House and chances for legislating likely becoming fewer and further between.

Republicans Maintain Senate Control
Democrats lose seats in Indiana, North Dakota and Missouri

Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, have retained their control of the chamber after the 2018 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans will maintain control of the Senate, but it is still unclear by how narrow a margin.

The Associated Press projects the chamber will remain in Republican hands, with a Democratic takeover blocked after losses in Indiana and North Dakota. Things got worse for Democrats later in the night when they lost Missouri, too. 

Braun Defeats Donnelly in Indiana
Senate contest in the Hoosier State was expected to be close

Mike Braun won a three-way primary in May by casting himself as a businessman outsider in the model of Trump (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Mike Braun has defeated Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, a blow to Democrats trying to maintain their hold on red states that backed President Donald Trump.

With 58 percent of precincts reporting, Braun led Donnelly percent to 54 percent to 42 percent when The Associated Press called the race. Libertarian nominee Lucy Brenton trailed with 4 percent.