James B Renacci

Ratings Change: Two Top Senate Races Shift Out of Toss-Up
North Dakota Moves to Tilts Republican, West Virginia Moves to Tilts Democratic

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp has seen her state shift further to the right since her narrow win in 2012, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When it comes to political handicapping, the easiest thing to do would be to put all of the most competitive contests into the Toss-up category and declare them too close to call. Or to argue that because Donald Trump was elected president against the projections, it’s not worth rating any races at all.

But that’s not particularly helpful to people looking for some direction and distinctions in congressional elections.

Ohio’s Jim Renacci Echoes Trump on Harley Davidson
Former Harley Davidson dealer features motorcycles prominently in his ads

Rep. Jim Renacci, a former Harley Davidson dealer, is running against Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ohio Republican James B. Renacci, a former Harley Davidson dealer, is trying to ride President Donald Trump’s protectionist trade measures to victory in the Ohio Senate race.

The recent trade dispute with Harley Davidson is just the latest example.

House Budget Resolution May Have Short Lifespan
Republicans are already downplaying its chances on the House floor

House Budget Chairman Steve Womack is expected to being markup of the fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Amid virtually no interest from the Senate, Democrats in either chamber, and even other House Republicans, Budget Chairman Steve Womack is apparently pushing forward with a fiscal 2019 budget resolution this week.

The Arkansas Republican plans to begin the markup Wednesday and continue on Thursday, according to sources. The not-yet-introduced budget plan is even likely to get out of committee, based on discussions with panel members — but as to where it goes from there, prospects don’t look bright.

After Montana, Senate Matchups Nearly Set for November Battles
Biggest question marks in Arizona and Wisconsin

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is likely to face state Auditor Matt Rosendale or former district judge Russ Fagg in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After a year and half of wondering which senators might retire, if the parties would land star recruits, and how messy primaries would play out, the matchups in nearly all of the most competitive Senate races will be set after the votes are counted in Montana on Tuesday.

Republicans in Big Sky Country are likely to select either state Auditor Matt Rosendale or former district judge Russ Fagg to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, leaving just a couple of unknowns on the broader Senate map, five months before Election Day.

Voters Challenge Ohio Congressional Map as Partisan Gerrymander
Supreme Court expected to rule on similar cases before term ends in June

Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty represents the 3rd District, which the lawsuit says is “shaped like a snowflake.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Civil rights groups and Ohio voters filed a lawsuit Wednesday challenging the state’s congressional districts as unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court readies decisions in similar cases about whether maps can be rejected if they entrench an advantage for one party.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeks a new congressional map for Ohio. But it almost certainly comes too late in the 2018 election cycle to affect districts ahead of the November vote. Ohio already held its primary election under the current map on May 8.

At the Races: 6 Months to Go
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Nevada Republican Dean Heller remains in top spot

Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are still defending 10 states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but six months out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator remains a Republican.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller no longer faces a primary threat, but he’s the only Republican up for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won, and in this national environment that’s a tricky place to be.

Balderson and O’Connor to Face Off in Ohio Special Election for Tiberi Seat
Establishment GOP candidates win in 12th and 16th districts

The nominees for the special election to fill the seat of former Rep. Pat Tiberi are now set. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio Republican state Sen. Troy Balderson and Democrat Danny O’Connor, the Franklin County recorder, will face off in the August special election to fill former GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi’s seat in the 12th District.

Balderson won the GOP primary with 29 percent of the vote, finishing narrowly ahead of Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan, who had 28 percent. The fight between them had become a traditional Republican proxy war.

Jim Renacci to Face Sherrod Brown in Ohio Senate Race
GOP congressman easily wins primary Tuesday night

Ohio Rep. James B. Renacci won the GOP nomination for Senate on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Ohio Rep. James B. Renacci won the Republican nomination for Senate on Tuesday night to take on Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in November.

He finished first in the five-candidate field with 47 percent of the vote, ahead of Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons, his closest challenger, who took 34 percent. 

5 Things to Watch on Primary Day This Tuesday
Nasty GOP Senate primaries remain ugly until the end

Former Indiana state Rep. Mike Braun, right, and Rep. Todd Rokita, speaking, are running for the GOP nomination for Senate, along with Rep. Luke Messer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Tuesday marks the first big primary day of 2018. Voters go to the polls in Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Most of the exciting action is on the Republican side. In all of those states (except for North Carolina), Democratic senators are trying to hold on to seats in territory President Donald Trump won in 2016, which means the GOP primaries are high-stakes contests. (More on that below.)