Joe Manchin III

Senate Scrambles for Next Move With Kavanaugh Nomination in the Balance
Growing number of senators say accuser, judge should be able to have say

The Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh hung in the balance on Monday as senators sorted out the chamber's next move in light of sexual assault allegations against the judge. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The most important of those voices was Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who said Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor, deserves to be heard after coming forward publicly with the allegation over the weekend.

“So I will continue working on a way to hear her out in an appropriate, precedented and respectful manner,” Grassley said in a news release.

Surprisingly, the Senate Is Now in Play
Despite heavy odds stacked against them, Democrats are in the hunt

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., must win her Arizona Senate race for Democrats to have a chance at winning back the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — I have argued repeatedly that while the House is up for grabs — and indeed likely to flip to the Democrats in November — the Senate is not in play. I now believe that it is, so I must revise and extend my remarks.

Only about three weeks ago, I reiterated my view that Democrats didn’t have a path to a net gain of two Senate seats, which they need for a chamber majority. But a flurry of state and national polls conducted over the past few weeks suggest Democratic prospects have improved noticeably, giving the party a difficult but discernible route for control.

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018: Heidi Heitkamp Moves to Top Spot
North Dakota Democrat tops Roll Call’s latest list of endangered Senate incumbents

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., tops the list of most vulnerable Senate incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats continue to dominate the latest list of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents two months out from Election Day, with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp moving into the top spot.

Heitkamp displaces Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who nevertheless remains the most vulnerable incumbent on the Republican side and the only GOP senator running in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

With Kavanaugh Hearings Underway, Supreme Court Ads Fill the Airways
Advertising, direct mail and fundraising continues on both sides

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, arrives for his Senate Judiciary confirmation hearing Tuesday in the Hart Building. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In Washington, all eyes may be on Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings, but people who would rather watch “Bachelor in Paradise” won’t be able to escape the Supreme Court debate either.

That is especially true in some key states, where interest groups on both sides of the aisle have continued to spend on advertising seeking to influence senators who have not announced their positions on whether they will support President Donald Trump’s second nominee for the nation’s highest court.

It’s Kavanaugh Week on the Hill. Here’s What to Expect
Labor Day weekend screeches to a halt with confirmation hearing for Trump’s Supreme Court pick

It’s the big week for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearing starts Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Brett Kavanaugh starts his confirmation hearing Tuesday with a clear political path to the Supreme Court, if he can avoid a major misstep when Democrats press him on controversial topics like abortion rights, health care and the criminal investigations swirling around President Donald Trump.

The grilling won’t change minds on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which appears on track to approve Kavanaugh with an 11-10 party-line vote. Instead, Democrats will aim to sway a handful of centrist senators who aren’t on the committee but could cast key confirmation votes on the Senate floor — as well as residents in their states.

Here Are the Senators Attending John McCain’s Funeral
List includes 14 Republicans and 10 Democrats

At least 24 senators will attend the funeral service Thursday of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in Phoenix. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At least 24 current U.S. senators will attend Sen. John McCain’s memorial service Thursday in Phoenix, his office said.

The service, which will begin at approximately 10 a.m. local time, follows a procession from the Arizona state Capitol, where visitors on Wednesday could observe McCain’s casket draped in the American flag.

West Virginia Supreme Court Keeps Don Blankenship Off Senate Ballot
After losing GOP primary, Blankenship has tried to run under Constitution Party

Don Blankenship lost West Virginia’s Republican Senate primary in May. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a bright spot for Republican Patrick Morrisey’s Senate bid, the West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the secretary of state’s decision that former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship cannot run for Senate under the Constitution Party line. 

Blankenship finished third in May’s GOP Senate primary but has tried to run as a third-party candidate. 

Is the Senate Up for Grabs Yet?
The map and demographics still give the edge to Republicans

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., talks with constituents before a parade at Crow Fair in Crow Agency, Mont., on August 19, 2018. Tester is being challenged by Republican Matt Rosendale for the Senate seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — President Donald Trump’s problems continue to mount, raising more questions about turnout and how independent voters and college-educated women will vote. But the Senate map remains daunting for Democrats, and the polarized nature of our politics continues to limit Democrats’ Senate prospects.

While handicappers generally label Nevada as a toss-up and the early polls are tight, the Democratic nominee, Rep. Jacky Rosen has an edge over incumbent Republican Dean Heller in a state that went narrowly for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Republican Infighting Over Abortion Almost Sends Spending Bill Off the Rails
Drama unfolded as senators neared passage of a $856.9 billion funding package

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., says fellow Republicans tried to block him on abortion. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 5:47 p.m. | Not long after their plans were nearly derailed Thursday over a dispute about Planned Parenthood funding, Senate leaders got a final vote on a $856.9 billion funding package.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Rand Paul had fumed that his fellow Republicans were blocking a long-sought amendment to keep taxpayer dollars from going to abortion providers.

After Tough Tuesday, No Mention of Former Aides at Trump Rally
President appeared less animated than during previous campaign stops

President Donald Trump speaks at a rally on Tuesday in Charleston, West Virginia. Paul Manafort, his former campaign manager and a longtime political operative, was found guilty in a Washington court earlier in the day on federal charges.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As Donald Trump began to speak Tuesday evening at a political rally in West Virginia, there was a problem with his microphone. In a way, it was a fitting moment near the end of a very rough day for the president.

Trump lost Tuesday on optics alone. And the fallout from two dramatic court scenes could deliver him legal and political headaches — though he has a certain Teflon quality that allows him to absorb negative developments and retain support of around 40 percent of the U.S. electorate.