Bridget Bowman

Mueller report is a reminder that Russian hack hit House races, too
Talks between the DCCC and NRCC about using stolen information stalled in September

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report provided new details Thursday about how Russian agents hacked into Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee computers in 2016, renewing the question of whether the two parties would agree not to use stolen material in future political attacks.

Leaders of the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee came close to such an an agreement in late 2018, but talks broke down.

What candidates running to replace Trump are saying about Barr and Mueller report
Attorney general reiterates decision that president’s actions did not qualify as obstruction

Presidential hopefuls on Thursday quickly denounced Attorney General William Barr and renewed calls for the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s full report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who entered the presidential race last week, called on Barr to resign, saying he should never have been confirmed and should have recused himself from oversight of the Mueller investigation. 

O’Rourke touts Senate run in White House bid — even though he lost
Texan cites battle with Cruz as evidence he can energize Democrats, win over Republicans

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Ruth traveled to Texas last year to knock on doors when former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke ran for Senate. Now she’s concerned he’s repeating mistakes from that race, and she told him so to his face.  

Ruth, who declined to give her last name, told O’Rourke at a town hall meeting Wednesday she did not think he drew enough of a contrast with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, who was narrowly re-elected in November.

No letup in congressional fundraising after ‘green wave’ election
Retirement-watch Republicans and no-corporate-PAC Democrats both stepped up

The race for the White House is already dominating headlines, but new campaign finance disclosures show donors in both parties are also opening their wallets to renew the fight to control the House in 2020.

Presidential campaign years tend to boost fundraising for down-ballot candidates, and early fundraising reports show 2020 is no exception.

Iowa’s Dave Loebsack will not run for re-election in 2020
Democrat’s retirement opens up a competitive seat

Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack will not seek an eighth term in 2020, opening up a potentially competitive district that President Donald Trump carried in 2016.

Announcing his retirement Friday evening, Loebsack said he’d originally planned to serve no more than 12 years. But that changed when Trump was elected. 

Democrats insist they’re united and delivering but obstacles abound
‘The Democratic Caucus is acting,’ Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján says

LEESBURG, Va. — House Democrats gathered here for their annual retreat insist their caucus is unified and prepared to deliver on a slate of 2018 campaign promises that propelled them into the majority. But obstacles lie ahead as they seek to hold the House in 2020.

The two major challenges Democrats face are crafting legislation that unifies the progressive and moderate wings, while also working with Republicans in the Senate and the White House to enact some policies into law.

Bustos to Democrats: ‘We know our job is different this time’
DCCC chairwoman counting on energy, focus, message discipline to ‘lock down’ majority in 2020

LEESBURG, Va. — It’s no coincidence that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairwoman was the closing act at House Democrats’ annual retreat Friday.

Three days of private meetings included strategies for winning 2020 elections and expanding the majority Democrats won last fall. And that means the DCCC has to do its job of protecting vulnerable members and recruiting challengers in winnable takeover districts. 

Pelosi details how Democrats hope to protect and expand House majority
President's favorability this November is key to 2020, but so is ‘fortifying’ freshmen for challenges

LEESBURG, Va. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi guaranteed Thursday that Democrats will maintain and expand their majority in 2020.

The California Democrat claimed at a Politico Playbook event last week that she will have House races won by this November — one year before general election voters go to the polls. Pelosi expanded on that Thursday by saying President Donald Trump’s standing in in the polls later this year will indicate whether Democrats will be successful.

House recruiter to GOP: ‘Do a better job of looking like America’
Rep. Susan W. Brooks putting ‘significant’ emphasis on female candidates, people of color

Indiana Rep. Susan W. Brooks made a point of telling her Republican colleagues this week about several new candidates who are women and people of color.  

“It’s important that we, as a conference, do a better job of looking like America, and better representing the very diverse country that we have,” Brooks, the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment chair, told Roll Call after Tuesday’s meeting of the GOP conference.

EMILY’s List eyes Texas Senate race amid Castro speculation
Pro-abortion rights group is in talks with three potential female candidates

Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro is considering jumping into the Texas Senate race, but he might not have the primary to himself if EMILY’s List gets its way. 

The influential group, which backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, is in talks with three potential candidates: Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, who lost a House race in 2018;  Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards; and former state Sen. Wendy Davis. 

Here are the 8 Republicans who broke with their party on Obamacare lawsuit
Democrats sought to put GOP colleagues on record with symbolic vote

Democratic congressional campaigns have already made health care an early focus of their 2020 messaging, and House Democrats bolstered that effort Wednesday with a symbolic vote that sought to once again put Republicans on record on the issue.

Eight Republicans sided with Democrats on the nonbinding resolution, which the House adopted, 240-186. The measure condemned the Trump administration’s support for invalidating the 2010 health care law in its entirety. The Department of Justice, in a new filing last week, backed a Texas judge’s decision to strike down the law. 

Pollsters prep for more ‘whack-a-mole’ with 2016 in rearview
“Mixed mode” and online surveys expected to become more prevalent

Pollsters gearing up for the 2020 presidential election have an additional task to contend with: convincing a skeptical public that their work is still reliable.

Questions about their methods have dogged them since President Donald Trump’s surprise victory in 2016, although the midterm results helped mitigate some of those doubts.

There are only 4 Latino senators. Will more be joining them after 2020?
Playing field for Latino Senate candidates shifted after developments in Arizona and New Mexico

Activists looking to increase the number of Latino senators are regrouping this week after an Arizona congressman they had backed passed on a Senate run and a seat in plurality-Hispanic New Mexico opened up.

The parallel developments changed the playing field but ultimately kept alive hopes there will be more Hispanic representation in the Senate after the 2020 elections.

Mueller report isn’t changing 2020 campaign dynamics — yet
Conclusions have emboldened some Republicans, but Democrats still aren’t talking about Russia

As news of the just-completed Russia investigation engulfs Washington, not much has changed on the campaign trail — for either party.

The full report by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has yet to see the light of day. And with the 2020 elections more than a year and a half away, plenty could change between now and then. But so far, the calculation on both sides isn’t too different from the past two years.

Ruben Gallego passes on Arizona Senate run
Democrat Mark Kelly is already in the race to take on GOP Sen. Martha McSally

Arizona Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego has decided not to run for Senate against appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally.

A spokeswoman for the Phoenix congressman confirmed his decision to Roll Call, and Gallego told The Arizona Republic he was passing on the race to avoid a divisive primary.  

New York Rep. José Serrano has Parkinson’s, won’t seek re-election
Democrat says disease has not affected his work in Congress, and he will serve the remainder of his term

New York Democratic Rep. José E. Serrano announced Monday that he has Parkinson’s disease and will not seek re-election in 2020.

The 75-year-old said he plans to finish his current term, which is his 15th full one in Congress, as the disease has not yet affected his ability to work.

New Democratic firm aims to fill HR gap for campaigns
Bright Compass will educate and train campaigns on policies to combat harassment and discrimination

When Dallas Thompson signed on as Hillary Clinton’s director of operations in North Carolina in 2016, she quickly recognized that she had a lot to learn about human resources.

Thompson, who had previously worked as a fundraiser, discovered campaigns needed a more sustained human resources infrastructure, including training and services. 

NRCC targeting House Democrats on impeachment
Committee is launching new digital ads in all 55 of its target districts

The National Republican Congressional Committee aims to pin House Democrats on the issue of impeaching President Donald Trump through a series of digital ads launching Friday.

The ad campaign is the latest sign that Republicans will try to tie vulnerable Democrats to their more liberal colleagues to win back the House. 

Meet the 12 GOP senators who voted to terminate Trump’s national emergency
Group includes conservatives worried about precedent and a moderate facing a tough re-election

Twelve Senate Republicans rebuked President Donald Trump on Thursday by voting to block his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border.

The group includes moderate senators — including one up for re-election in 2020 — and conservatives who balked at the president circumventing Congress. Trump declared a national emergency last month after lawmakers failed to appropriate his desired funds for a border wall. (Six of the 12 Republicans who joined every Democratic senator in supporting the resolution serve on the Appropriations Committee.)

No caucus, no problem? Some freshman Democrats avoid ideological groups
Six new Democrats have not joined caucuses with an ideological focus

Joining a caucus with like-minded colleagues is a typical ritual for House freshmen, a chance to form alliances with lawmakers in similar wings of their respective parties. 

But it’s not for everyone. A handful of freshman Democrats have opted not to join any of the party’s ideological groups: the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition, and the centrist New Democrat Coalition.