Rod Blum

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.

Rep. Blum to Host Trump in Iowa
Comes as Iowa farmers are reeling from Trump’s trade policies

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, will host President Donald Trump . (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Facing a competitive race for re-election, Republican Rep. Rod Blum will host President Donald Trump in Dubuque, Iowa, on Thursday.

Blum announced in a tweet that Trump would visit his hometown for a roundtable.

Iowa Rep. Blum Spends Big on Taxpayer-Funded Mass Mailings
Republican is fighting to hold onto hotly contested seat

Rep. Rod Blum, R-Iowa, spent more on taxpayer-funded “franked” mailings than any other House member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Rod Blum, an Iowa Republican waging a tough battle for re-election, has spent more on taxpayer-funded mass mailings to constituents than any other House representative.

Blum spent more than $400,000 in taxpayer money on mass mailings and mass communications to his district from January of 2017 through March 31, according to expense records reviewed by the Associated Press.

Millennials Could Shake Up Congress Next Session
15 face primary elections Tuesday

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., is currently the youngest member of Congress, one of the oldest collections of lawmakers in recent history, according to the Congressional Research Service. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Millennial candidates could change the age makeup of Congress, currently one of the oldest ever.

With an average age of 58 in the House and 62 in the Senate, this Congress is the oldest of any in recent history, according to a report by Congressional Research Service.

Iowa Democrats Pick 2 Women in Competitive House Races Against Blum, Young
Abby Finkenauer, Cindy Axne both avoid runoffs in Hawkeye State

Reps. Rod Blum, center, and David Young, right, here with fellow Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King at an event on the Hill in January, are facing competitive re-election races once again. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Iowa Democrats are targeting two Republican congressmen this fall, and they chose two women as their nominees in the 1st and 3rd districts in Tuesday’s primaries. No woman has ever been elected to the House from the Hawkeye State. 

President Donald Trump carried both districts in 2016, but Democrats believe a favorable national environment and strong challengers could make these Republicans vulnerable.

4 Things To Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries
Eight states will have primary contests

Democratic candidates in California’s 39th District — Mai Khanh Tran, left, Andy Thorburn, second from right, and Sam Jammal — talk with “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” correspondent Ashley Nicole Black after an informal candidate forum in Rowland Heights on May 19. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Eight states are hosting primaries Tuesday, but all eyes will be on California — where the threat of Democrats getting shut out of a few top pickup opportunities they hope will help them win back the House looms large.

Several matchups will also be decided in competitive general election contests in Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico and Montana.

Rating Changes in 19 House Races, All Toward Democrats
In total, 68 GOP-held seats are now rated competitive

New Mexico Democrat Xochitl Torres Small is running for the seat GOP Rep. Steve Pearce is vacating to run for governor. The 2nd District race is now rated Leans Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Despite forecasts of a blue tsunami, it’s still not guaranteed that Democrats will win back the House majority. But the playing field of competitive House races is expanding and shifting to almost exclusively Republican territory.

After the latest round of changes, Inside Elections now has 68 Republican seats rated as vulnerable compared to just 10 vulnerable Democratic seats. And there are at least a couple dozen more GOP-held seats that could develop into competitive races in the months ahead.

Liberal Group Targets Swing Districts Over Tax Overhaul
Six-figure ad campaign airs in Iowa, Maine and Washington districts

Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., is having an ad in her district criticizing the new tax law for which she voted. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A liberal outside group is targeting incumbent Republicans for their vote in support of the tax legislation that was passed last year.

Tax March, a liberal group critical of the law, said the ad was part of a six-figure ad campaign.

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents
Republicans fill out the list

As he was for much of 2016, Iowa Rep. Rod Blum is back at the top of the list of most vulnerable incumbents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

With the House GOP on defense in a difficult national environment, the 10 most vulnerable incumbents six months out from Election Day are all Republicans.

Republicans have pickup opportunities in November, but this is a ranking of the incumbents most likely to lose, not of seats most likely to flip — so there are no open seats on the list.

Kudlow: GOP Will ‘Come Out Ahead’ in Midterms Despite Trade War Worries
Proposed tariffs could just be a bargaining chip for China talks, new Trump aide says

A woman with her daughter casts her vote in North Las Vegas on Election Day 2016. President Trump’s new top economic aide says Republicans will do fine in November if the economy remains strong. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican candidates will likely not be hindered by the tariff tit for tat between Donald Trump and China that some warn could start a global trade war as long as the U.S. economy remains strong, the president’s new chief economic adviser said Wednesday.

Lawrence Kudlow, a former Reagan aide who started last week, also suggested Trump’s proposed steel and aluminum tariffs could be little more than a move to get China to the negotiating table over its trade practices. And he suggested a U.S. trade deal with Canada and Mexico could be near.