Keystone XL Pipeline

The Political Turnpike Runs Through Pennsylvania
Resignations, retirements and redistricting scramble the midterm calculus

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If you’re confused about what comes next in Pennsylvania, even after this week’s primary elections set the midterm slate, don’t worry. That just means you’re paying attention. 

Opinion: Is It Too Early for North Carolina Democrats to Get Their Hopes Up, Again?
After years of dashed dreams, progressives are back to seeing blue

The Rev. William Barber hosts a “Moral Monday” in Raleigh in 2016. With efforts like Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign gaining steam in North Carolina, progressives are once again seeing blue at the end of the tunnel, Mary C. Curtis writes. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In 2008, Barack Obama’s slim North Carolina victory in his first presidential run had Democrats in the state celebrating in the present and dreaming of a blue future in what had been considered a (relatively) progressive Southern state. Boy, were those dreams premature.

But 10 years later — after new redistricting and voting rules solidified GOP control in both the state and U.S. House delegations and a bill on LGBT rights made the state a poster child for conservative social policies — Democrats are again seeing light at the end of a deep-red tunnel.

Podcast: Keystone Races Now Set in Keystone State
Political Theater, Episode 19

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington holding signs during the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Women were big winners in Tuesday's primaries as they are poised to change the midterm dynamics in states like Nebraska and Pennsylvania, explains Roll Call senior political reporter Bridget Bowman.

Show Notes:

Women Poised to Break Through Pennsylvania’s All-Male Delegation
But further campaign-trail challenges still remain for many

Protesters march down Independence Avenue in Washington holding signs during the Women’s March on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after the President Donald Trump’s inauguration. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania holds the distinction of having the largest all-male congressional delegation, but that is likely to change next year following Tuesday’s primaries.

Eight women won their primary races in the Keystone State on Tuesday — seven Democrats and one Republican, who was the lone candidate in the contest. Two female candidates were in races that were too close to call at press time.

November House Matchups Almost Set in Pennsylvania
Democrats eye several pickup opportunities under new congressional map

A cutout of Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., at a protest outside his town hall meeting in Bensalem, Pennsylvania., in August 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Pennsylvania hosted its first primaries Tuesday under a new congressional map, solidifying general election matchups in an important swing state. And the Keystone State appears set to add at least one woman to its all-male congressional delegation in the next Congress.

Democrats view Pennsylvania as key to their effort to flip 23 seats and win back the House, eyeing between three and five pickups in the state alone. Tuesday’s primaries set the stage for some competitive races in November, as well as likely new members of Congress in some of the open seats. 

Rep. Lou Barletta Wins Pennsylvania GOP Senate Primary
Congressman will face off against Sen. Bob Casey in November

Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., won Tuesday’s GOP Senate primary in Pennsylvania. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Lou Barletta won the Republican Senate primary in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, advancing to a November matchup against Democratic incumbent Bob Casey.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Barletta had 61 percent of the vote to 39 percent for state Rep. Jim Christiana, according to The Associated Press. 

4 Things to Watch During Tuesday’s Primary Elections
Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Idaho and Oregon will be hosting primaries

Voters head to the polls for primary elections in four states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Four states will host primary elections Tuesday, setting up matchups for several key races this fall. 

Pennsylvania, Idaho and Nebraska all have House primaries to watch. And the Keystone State’s new congressional lines will be tested for the first time. The state’s Supreme Court tossed out the old map earlier this year, deeming it an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. 

Pennsylvania Remapped: Primaries Enter New Territory
Keystone State is hosting several competitive House primaries

After losing a special election in March, Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone seeks another shot at the House on Tuesday from the new 14th District. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images file photo)

Tuesday’s primary elections in Pennsylvania will be the first contests under the state’s new congressional map, and they will set the November matchups in a state that has seen a surge of House candidates.

Ninety-four people — 59 Democrats and 35 Republicans — filed to run for Congress in the Keystone State this cycle. The high number of candidates is due in part to several open-seat races.

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.

Fiercest Fight of the Midterms May Be the One for Maps
Democrats hope to wrest back control of the redistricting process from Republicans ahead of 2020 census

Shirley Connuck, right, of Falls Church, Va., holds up a sign representing a district in Texas, as the Supreme Court hears a case on possible partisan gerrymandering by state legislatures on Oct. 3. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The congressional maps are all but set for the 2018 elections. But for those on the front lines of a simmering battle over the next decade of elections, the results are about more than who will control the next Congress.

This year’s election season could reveal just how much the current districts have entrenched an advantage for one political party over the other, whether courts will step in to stop state lawmakers from creating such partisan districts, and which party will control crucial local offices ahead of a nationwide redistricting based on the 2020 census.