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Ex-Rep. Issa gets confirmation hearing, muddling potential comeback
California Republican indicated he might run in California's 50th District against incumbent GOP Rep. Hunter

Former Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., will sit for his confirmation hearing on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Rep. Darrell Issa will finally appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for a confirmation hearing Thursday on his nomination to be director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, casting uncertainty on his contingent plan of mounting a congressional comeback.

The California Republican, who represented San Diego County in the House for 18 years before retiring in January, was nominated by President Donald Trump for the administrative post last Sept. 19 — exactly a year before his confirmation hearing, scheduled for Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

9 things I think I think after the North Carolina redo election
GOP efforts to hold 9th District unlikely to be replicated in other suburban races

Outside Republican groups helped Dan Bishop over the finish line in North Carolina’s 9th District, but replicating that effort in similar districts will not be possible, Gonzales writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nearly a year after the two parties fought to a draw in North Carolina’s 9th District, Republican Dan Bishop and Democrat Dan McCready ended with another close race. Bishop prevailed 51 percent to 49 percent, with absentee ballots remaining to be counted.

A win is better than a loss (and the result affects the fight for the majority), but the overall lessons from the race should not be dramatically different whether a candidate finishes narrowly ahead or behind. And even if the results aren’t predictive, there are implications for the 2020 elections.

Rating changes in four House races, but Flores’ seat isn’t one of them
Outlook shifts toward Democrats in Texas and Iowa races, and toward GOP in one California contest

Texas Rep. Bill Flores is not seeking a sixth term in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not a question of if more House Members will retire; it’s a question of when and where.

On Wednesday, Rep. Bill Flores became the fifth Texas Republican to announce he will not seek reelection or another office in 2020. Of the 13 members retiring in 2020, 11 are Republicans and two are Democrats. And more exits are likely to come, considering that, on average, 23 members have retired each election cycle, going back to the 1970s.

Progressive group spending $100,000 to pressure McConnell, vulnerable GOP senators on election security
Facebook ads, billboard in majority leader’s hometown and call-in campaign among tactics

Progressive activists are pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to pass $600 million in election security funding with a billboard in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9. (Courtesy Stand Up America)

A national progressive group is spending over $100,000 on a campaign to pressure Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republican senators to pass a bill to provide $600 million in election security funding.

The group, Stand Up America, has rented a billboard alongside the Kennedy Bridge near McConnell’s office in downtown Louisville, Ky., from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9 that includes an image of McConnell’s face and the message, “Tell Mitch McConnell: Stop blocking election security funding.”

Inside Elections poll: Democrat McCready leads GOP’s Bishop in NC redo election
8 percent ‘unsure’ as vote nears for seat left vacant since 2018 election was thrown out

Democrat Dan McCready, who narrowly lost last year’s election in North Carolina's 9th District only to have the results thrown out amid fraud allegations, held a narrow lead over Republican Dan Bishop in an Inside Elections poll less than two weeks before the redo election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Dan McCready has a narrow advantage over Republican Dan Bishop heading into the final days of the Sept. 10 redo election in North Carolina’s 9th District, according to a new bipartisan poll for Inside Elections

The survey, conducted from Monday through Wednesday by Harper Polling and Clarity Campaign Labs, showed McCready ahead of Bishop, 46 percent to 42 percent, with two third-party candidates receiving a combined 3 percent. Some 8 percent of voters were “unsure” and the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.19 percentage points.

Isakson’s decision adds competitive seat to 2020 Senate battleground
Republicans still favored to hold both Senate seats in Georgia

The resignation of Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., sets up another election in Georgia in 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson’s resignation adds another seat to the 2020 Senate battleground and gives Democrats another takeover opportunity in their road to the majority.

According to state law, GOP Gov. Brian Kemp will appoint a senator, who will then stand for election in November 2020 to fill the remainder of Isakson’s term. Isakson was most recently reelected in 2016, 55 percent to 41 percent, and would have been up again in 2022.

Trump vulnerability in a primary is more fiction than fact
President has solid GOP support, a huge cash advantage, and it’s already late in the process

Former Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina is considering a challenge to President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford is seriously considering challenging President Donald Trump in the primary, even though he called the idea “preposterous” on many levels. It’s a rare moment when you should take a politician at his word.

Even if you look past the huge hurdles of the president’s popularity among the Republican base and the humongous fundraising advantage, the anti-Trump movement is simply running out of time, and it’s arguably too late to mount a serious presidential campaign at all.

Trump missing an opportunity to burnish his legacy with gun law
If anyone in GOP can stand up to the NRA, it's the outsider president

President Donald Trump has not been clear about what changes he would seek to gun background checks, but he has the political capital in the GOP to stand up to the NRA if he wants a new gun law to be part of his legacy. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump has forgotten who holds the power within the Republican Party.

There’s a perception that the National Rifle Association has an impenetrable lock on base Republican voters and thus is holding GOP members of Congress captive. But Trump is the one person who has the capital with the GOP base to oppose the NRA and get something done on guns. And the president is missing an opportunity to add a legacy item to his time in office and even help his chances of winning a second term.

Hickenlooper says he’ll give ‘serious thought’ to Senate run after dropping presidential bid
Colorado and national Democrats see former governor as best chance to capture Gardner’s seat

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, shown in Iowa on Saturday, announced Thursday he is ending his bid for the presidency. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and said he will consider a run against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in a battleground state Democrats need to win to take control of the upper chamber.

“People want to know what comes next for me,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

GOP will need more than promoting their preferred opponent to affect Democratic primaries
Republicans appear to be taking a page from Democrat Claire McCaskill’s winning 2012 Senate campaign

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill ran ads during her 2012 reelection campaign that called Republican Todd Akin’s stances too conservative. But the spots were designed to help him win the GOP nomination because she considered him a weaker challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic state senator bragged this week about drawing the attention of national Republicans in the competitive race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. But Erica Smith shouldn’t wear the attacks as a badge of honor. And if Republicans really want to make an impact, they’re going to have to spend a lot more money.

“The @NRSC has purchased a billboard attacking me in Raleigh — calling me ‘too liberal,’” Smith tweeted Monday, referring to the National Republican Senatorial Committee effort. “I am the only candidate that they are spending money against — it shows you who @ThomTillis is worried about. Can’t attack @CalforNC bc no one knows what he stands for.”