Leonard Lance

Red-State Democrats Zero In on Opioid Epidemic
Issue could buoy vulnerable incumbents in West Virginia, Missouri

Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Manchin III are two vulnerable Democrats looking to highlight their work on opioids. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Vulnerable red-state Democrats are highlighting their work to address the opioid crisis in an effort to hold on to their congressional seats, even as it remains unclear whether the Senate will take key action before the midterm elections.

While the opioid epidemic is a priority for much of Congress, candidates in especially hard-hit states, such as West Virginia, have made it a core issue in their re-election bids.

Democratic Candidates Walk Political Tightrope on Drug Prices
Pharmaceutical industry employs many potential voters in some districts

Making the cost of prescription drugs an issue may be complicated for Democrats running in areas that are big pharmaceutical hubs. (John Moore/Getty Images file photo)

Democrats working to regain control in Congress this fall are making the cost of prescription drugs a centerpiece of the party’s message. The path to a majority, however, runs through some places where the pharmaceutical industry employs a lot of potential voters.

Southern California, New Jersey, and the Philadelphia suburbs are among the areas where Democrats have the strongest chances to turn red House seats blue. Yet since these states are some of the biggest pharmaceutical hubs in the United States — the industry estimates it directly employs 44,000 people in Pennsylvania, 65,000 people in New Jersey, and 131,000 in California — candidates there tread a little more cautiously on the issue of drug prices.

Donald Trump’s Toughest Adversary? That Would Be Donald Trump
The president’s desire to hog the midterm spotlight guarantees a nationalization of the election

President Donald Trump has stated a desire to insert himself into the midterm election process. That could be a problem for Republicans in tough races. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

OPINION — While President Trump complains about the national media, Democrats, Robert S. Mueller’s Russian “witch hunt” and the political establishment, none of those things is why the November House elections are a major headache for the Republican Party. Donald Trump’s biggest problem is Donald Trump.

Trump has turned what could have been a challenging midterm election environment into a potentially disastrous one. Through his tweets and statements, the president continues to make the 2018 midterm elections a referendum on his first two years in office.

Obamas Announce First Round of Endorsements
Includes alumni of his administration

Former President Barack Obama, made his first round of endorsements in the 2018 election cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former President Barack Obama  waded into the 2018 elections and endorsed a slew of candidates across the country, including some who served in his administration.

Obama and former first lady Michelle made their announcement on Wednesday and said the former president would also focus on redistricting.

House Backs Suicide Hotline Bill; Could Lead to 3-Digit Dial Code
Measure designed to streamline aid for mental health crisis prevention

Rep. Chris Stewart is sponsoring legislation to streamline the suicide prevention hotline. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo.)

The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is headed for an overhaul, with passage of a House bill Monday. The bipartisan proposal would move towards creating a new national three-digit dialing code — similar to 911 — to be used for a mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline.

The House passed the bill by an overwhelming, 379-1, margin. Michigan Republican Justin Amash cast the lone nay vote against the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah. 

House Republicans Increase Messaging Votes Ahead of August Recess
GOP leaders prepare for break by seeking contrast with minority party

Rep. Tom MacArthur, R-N.J., sees value in some of the messaging votes the House will take up before the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The House floor is seeing an uptick in messaging bills as Republicans prepare for a monthlong district work period in a midterm year when they are defending most of the seats in play.

Case in point was a resolution the House adopted Wednesday expressing support for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and rejecting calls to abolish the agency — a stance some progressive Democrats are pushing.

Democratic House Challengers Raise More Than Senate Candidates
New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill raised $1.9 million in second quarter

New Jersey Democrat Mikie Sherrill raised nearly $1.9 million in the second quarter in her quest to flip a longtime GOP House seat. (Courtesy Mikie Sherrill for U.S. Congress)

It used to be normal for fundraising by Senate candidates to dwarf that of House candidates. Not this year.

New Jersey’s Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat trying to flip a longtime Republican stronghold, raised nearly $1.9 million during the second quarter of the year.

Malinowski Neck-and-Neck With Lance in Internal Poll
Clinton narrowly carried five-term GOP incumbent’s district in 2016

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance is a Democratic target this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new poll by New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski showed him narrowly leading five-term Republican Rep. Leonard Lance in the 7th District. 

Malinowski, the former assistant secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, led the incumbent, 47 percent to 45 percent, in the survey obtained first by Roll Call. Seven percent of likely voters were undecided. 

Congressional Campaigns Weaponize Family Separation Policy
Democrats hope to bludgeon GOP while vulnerable Republicans try to distance themselves

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, seemingly changed his position on child separation at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Candidates in both parties who are running in tight races want to weaponize the policy of separating child migrants from their parents at the U.S-Mexico border.

In Texas’ Senate race, Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, whose district includes El Paso, staged a march to the border crossing in Tornillo, where children of migrant families from Central America are being held. He was joined by Texas' Democratic candidate for governor Lupe Valdez.

Congressional Leadership Fund Increases Fall Ad Reservations
GOP super PAC reserves TV times in three more districts

CLF has increased its ad reservations in Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick’s district from $1.4 million to $4.1 million. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC aligned with House GOP leadership, on Monday stepped up its initial ad reservations for the fall. 

CLF’s new $15 million in TV reservations comes after the GOP super PAC had already reserved $38 million in 20 districts in April. The second round of spending includes broadcast and cable TV reservations in three new districts and increased reservations in seven specific districts and one media market.