tossup

Court Finds Two House Districts in Texas Were Illegally Drawn
27th and 35th districts were drawn on the basis of race, judges rule

A federal court found that the drawing of Texas Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s 35th district violated federal law. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A federal panel ruled Tuesday that the drawing of two Texas House districts violated federal law and that the state’s congressional map needs to be redrawn ahead of the 2018 midterms.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel found that the 35th District, represented by Democrat Lloyd Doggett, and the 27th District, represented by Republican Blake Farenthold, were drawn primarily on the basis of race, violating the Constitution and the Voting Rights Act. 

McCaskill Gets Primary Challenger
Former Obamacare marketplace worker running to Missouri Democrat’s left

Missouri Senate candidate Angelica Earl says Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill is too conservative on issues such as health care. (AngelicaforMissouri.com)

A former health care marketplace worker is challenging Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill for the Democratic nomination in 2018, calling the incumbent “too conservative.”

Angelica Earl, a political novice, said she rejects McCaskill’s push for a bipartisan solution to health care. The 31-year-old from St. Louis County said she supports “single-payer health care for all,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer Running for Senate
GOP primary candidates have already been sparring

Indiana Rep. Luke Messer announced he’s running for Senate on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:30 p.m. | Indiana Rep. Luke Messer announced on Wednesday he’s running for Senate.

In declaring his bid to challenge vulnerable Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly, the third-term Republican congressman tweeted, “We’re in!!” with a link to his new campaign site just before noon.

Internal Poll Shows Tight Nevada Race if Titus Challenges Heller
Congresswoman would first face Jacky Rosen in Democratic primary

Nevada Rep. Dina Titus is expected to make her decision on whether to challenge Sen. Dean Heller after the August recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An internal poll shows Nevada Rep. Dina Titus in a tight race against Sen. Dean Heller if she decides to challenge him in 2018.

The 1st District Democratic congresswoman is mulling a run against the vulnerable Republican, but would have to first face off against Rep. Jacky Rosen of the 3rd District in a primary.

Rating Change: Nevada Senate Race Moves to Toss-Up
Feeling pressure from both sides, Dean Heller is more vulnerable

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller faces a credible Democratic challenger in Rep. Jacky Rosen. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the only Republican senator up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton last fall, Dean Heller had a tough task ahead of him next year.

And that was even before he started enduring attacks from within his own party.

One Reason Why Republicans Don’t Have More Women in the Senate
GOP misses a rare opportunity in Missouri

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner, left, and Tennessee Rep. Diane Black at a news conference on Capitol Hill in February. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women make up less than 10 percent of the Republican senators in Congress, and the GOP’s most qualified (and only top-tier) female hopeful just walked off the Senate playing field with nary a protest from Republican leaders.

Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has been one of the worst-kept secrets of the cycle. The third-term congresswoman, a former United States ambassador and onetime co-chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, had $2.8 million in her campaign account at the end of March. She had been doing everything a future Senate candidate was supposed to do, right up until Monday when she announced she was running for re-election to her 2nd District seat instead.

Attention Shifts to Josh Hawley in Missouri Senate Race
State attorney general seen as top contender against McCaskill

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, right, is a potential challenger to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. He’s seen here last November with the state’s junior senator, Roy Blunt. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

With Republican Rep. Ann Wagner opting against a Senate run in Missouri, attention has shifted to the state’s Attorney General Josh Hawley as a potential contender to take on incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Wagner’s decision, first reported by the Washington Examiner on Monday, was a surprise to operatives watching the race, since the third-term congresswoman had been signaling that she would challenge McCaskill.

11 Things I Think I Think After the Special Elections
Lessons from the Georgia and South Carolina races

Jon Ossoff supporters at the Georgia Democrat’s election night watch party are stunned as CNN calls the state’s 6th District race for Republican Karen Handel on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

One of the best parts about covering elections is that there is a final result. What seems like an endless stream of campaigning and ads and analysis finally comes to an end every time with vote tallies to digest until the next round.

President Donald Trump and the Republicans continue to play with electoral fire, but the GOP pulled off two more special election victories; this time in Georgia’s 6th District and South Carolina’s 5th District. As with the previous results in Kansas and Montana, there are enough tidbits in each result to formulate whatever conclusion helps you sleep better at night.

Karen Handel Proves Third Time’s the Charm
Georgia Republican heads to Congress after 2 losing bids for higher office

Karen Handel gives her victory speech to supporters in Atlanta on Tuesday, as her husband Steve Handel looks on. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Republican Karen Handel comes to Congress after a 28-year career with a diverse portfolio of public- and private-sector jobs ranging from overseeing elections as Georgia’s secretary of state to heading the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to serving as the vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which supports breast cancer research.

Handel defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff 52 percent to 48 percent in Tuesday’s 6th District special election runoff to replace former Rep. Tom Price, who vacated the seat to become secretary of Health and Human Services.

Karen Handel Keeps Georgia Seat in GOP Hands
Republican defeats Jon Ossoff in most expensive House election

Karen Handel is the first Republican woman elected to Congress from Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans can breathe a sigh of relief with GOP nominee Karen Handel defeating Democrat Jon Ossoff in the special election in Georgia’s 6th District on Tuesday.

Handel carried 52 percent of the vote to Ossoff’s 48 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. She becomes the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress from Georgia.