Arizona GOP Rep. Martha McSally (AZ-02) uncorked one of the worst kept secrets of 2018 by announcing her bid for Senate today. Over her two terms, McSally has cultivated a popular profile as a trailblazing fighter pilot and moderate Republican who fought for Pentagon funding for Tucson's A-10 Warthog. It allowed her to win reelection with 57 percent in 2016 while Hillary Clinton carried the district 49 percent to 44 percent.
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa's retirement makes him the fourth Republican from a district carried by Hillary Clinton to not seek reelection in 2018. It's not as much of a game changer as Rep. Ed Royce's was yesterday because Issa was already highly vulnerable after winning by fewer than 1,700 votes in 2016, but it does put Democrats in the driver's seat to pick up the district.
Democrats got a boost they desperately wanted when GOP House Foreign Relations Chair Rep. Ed Royce announced his retirement from California's 39th CD. Royce has held the northern Orange County seat easily since 1992, in part because he's built a deep relationship with immigrant communities in a district that is 29 percent Asian and just 31 percent white. But without Royce, Republicans will struggle to hold the seat.
Republican U.S. Orrin Hatch announced today that he will not seek a seventh term in November, creating a third open seat for Republicans.
The president and GOP members of Congress are like those friends of yours who have an “on-again-off-again” relationship. You never quite know if they are going strong or have broken up — again. This week the GOP couple was in the “on-again stage," heaping praise on one another for passage of the tax reform bill. For much of the year, however, they've been in the “off-again” phase. We all remember the president personally attacking GOP House and Senate leaders after the failure of Obamacare repeal.
Rumors have been swirling around Washington for a few weeks now that Speaker Paul Ryan will hang up the Speaker’s gavel in 2018. The famously wonky Wisconsin-ite is on the cusp of achieving his long-time goal of tax reform, and after that happens, the thinking goes, there’s little left for Ryan to do except for the drudge work like responding to President Trump’s tweets and disciplining sexual harassers.
Democrat Doug Jones’ victory in yesterday’s special election surprised much of the political world, and it has created ripples that will be felt until Election Day in 2018. But, as is often the tendency with upsets, “pundits” were quick to hit cable news channels to make apocalyptic predications about what it all means. This is not to suggest that there aren’t major implications in Jones’ win, but suggestions that Republicans’ house has burned to the ground are overstated.
In a recruiting victory for Democrats, former Gov. Phil Bredesen announced today that he will run for the open seat created by the retirement of GOP U.S. Sen. Bob Corker. Bredesen's announcement puts the race into the Toss Up column, a rating change that has larger implications for the 2018 Senate map.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota announced today that he will resign his Senate seat “in the coming weeks” in the wake of multiple allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior toward women that ranged from unwanted advances to groping. The incidents occurred over a number of years dating back to before he was elected to the Senate. The first allegations came to light three weeks ago and came to a head yesterday when several of his female colleagues called on him to resign. At least 28 of the Senate's 48 Democrats have said that Franken should step down.
This weekend, two very different developments jolted races in Democratic-leaning seats. Late Friday, Buzzfeed News reported allegations that freshman Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen (NV-04) made repeated unwanted sexual advances towards his former campaign finance director. Both Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan have called on him to resign, but so far Kihuen has given no indication of his future plans.