tossup

Opinion: Where Will GOP Be When the Crazy Train Comes Off the Rails?
Republicans blaming Nancy Pelosi and Democrats will only get them so far

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan and the Republicans can’t keep blaming Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats while ignoring President Donald Trump, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

If you want to know how Republicans will campaign in the 2018 midterm elections, you don’t have to wait. House Speaker Paul Ryan gave an early preview Monday night at a rally for Karen Handel, the Republican candidate in the runoff for Georgia’s 6th District seat. 

If you’re just tuning in to the race, Handel is a former Georgia secretary of state and would be the first Republican woman elected to Congress from the Peach State. She is running against Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old Democrat and former Hill staffer who nearly won the seat outright last month, when he received 48 percent of the vote. The suburban district is wealthy, highly educated, and newly politically turbulent. The longtime GOP stronghold went for President Donald Trump by just 1 percent in November.

2018 Campaigns Already Racing to Define Health Care Bill
Groups focused on the midterms leaped into action after vote

Both parties are wasting no time in their post-health care vote messaging. Here, Lillian Potter-Saum listens to West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III at a town hall meeting in Martinsburg, W.Va., in March. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Health care is likely to be a central issue in the 2018 election cycle, and that messaging began within minutes of Thursday’s vote on the Republicans’ overhaul bill.

Now the race is on for both parties to sway voters. 

Opinion: How Jon Ossoff Became the Face of the Anti-Trump Fight
Liberal blog Daily Kos led the way in resistance to president

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff’s rise to national prominence happened largely thanks to the efforts of the liberal blog Daily Kos, Patricia Murphy writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In the days after Donald Trump was inaugurated in January, liberals in America were depressed, despondent, and asking themselves what to do next. David Nir, the political director of the liberal blog Daily Kos, had an answer and that answer was Jon Ossoff.

Nir and the Daily Kos team had been crunching the numbers from Trump’s election since the day after it happened. Which districts did Trump underperform in? Where were the opportunities for Democrats? They quickly noticed that in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which Mitt Romney won by 23 points in 2012, Trump had won by just a point and a half. Could Rep. Tom Price be vulnerable the next time around?

All Eyes on Turnout in Georgia Special Election
Jon Ossoff thinks outright victory on Tuesday is ‘within reach’

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff speaks to campaign volunteers Monday before they head out to canvass the 6th District, one day before the special election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ROSWELL, Ga. — Morning rain showers with scattered afternoon thunderstorms. That’s the forecast for Election Day in the House district that’s set for one of the most closely watched special elections ever. 

In the final hours of the race to fill Georgia’s 6th District seat, only one thing mattered to the leading candidates: turnout. 

Ossoff Not Getting Much Cash From Liberal Hollywood
Celebrity supporters include Jane Fonda and Wonder Woman

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff poses for a selfie with campaign volunteers as they head out to canvass the 6th District on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans have tried painting Georgia Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff as a “darling of out-of-touch Hollywood celebrities,” but that’s largely an exaggeration, according to his latest campaign finance reports.

His Federal Election Commission filings show most celebrities who gave to the Democratic front-runner in Tuesday’s 6th District special election are not big-name Hollywood donors.

Red Alert: GOP Chances Slide in Two Special Elections
Georgia’s 6th and Kansas’ 4th move in Democrats’ direction

Democrat Jon Ossoff, right, raised an eye-catching $8.3 million in the first quarter for his campaign for Georgia’s 6th District open seat. (Courtesy Jon Ossoff for Congress Facebook page)

Republicans might be riding high after Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the Supreme Court, but reality could come crashing down on the GOP in two upcoming special elections. 

On April 18, voters will go to the polls in Georgia’s 6th District, vacated by Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price. Donald Trump narrowly carried the district over Hillary Clinton in the suburban Atlanta seat last fall, but it’s a traditionally Republican seat.

Walz’s Governor Run Creates Vulnerable Open Seat for Democrats
But Minnesota DFL may still have a chance to hold on

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz is vacating his 1st District in order to run for governor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It could be a rough round of midterm elections for Republicans next year but Democratic-Farmer-Labor Rep. Tim Walz gave them a little gift by vacating Minnesota’s 1st District in order to run for governor.

The six-term congressman won re-election narrowly, 50.3-49.6 percent, last fall in a race that received little national attention. But Donald Trump simultaneously carried the rural district, 53-38 percent over Hillary Clinton and nearly dragged Walz’s GOP opponent across the finish line.

How Pat Toomey Won
Pennsylvania senator’s road to re-election started long before 2016

Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, left, seen here campaigning in State College, Pa., in August, was aided in his successful re-election effort by a shift in his image over the past six years. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Patrick J. Toomey’s re-election campaign started a day after he took office in 2011, almost six years before he would actually face voters. The freshly elected Republican senator met at noon in the bowels of the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, across the street from Union Station, with two of his top political lieutenants.

The trio needed figure out as soon as possible how the Republican could possibly win another statewide election in Pennsylvania.

Democrats Hold Harry Reid's Nevada Senate Seat
Cortez Masto wins open seat contest in Nevada

Catherine Cortez Masto, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Nevada, delivers her victory speech at the Nevada Democrats' election night watch party at the Aria Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas after defeating Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., to fill Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's seat on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On what was otherwise a rough night, retiring Minority Leader Harry Reid has at least one reason to smile.

Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto will keep the Senate seat he’s vacating in Democratic hands, The Associated Press projects.

Ayotte Concedes New Hampshire Senate Race
Democrat Maggie Hassan beat the incumbent by a fraction of a percent

Gov. Maggie Hassan has declared victory in the New Hampshire Senate race though her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, is not conceding. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan is set to become the next senator from New Hampshire, as Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte conceded the race Wednesday. 

Hassan led Ayotte 48 percent to 47.9 percent with 100 percent of precincts reporting, a difference of 716 votes, according to The Associated Press, which has not yet called the race.