Maine

House Midterm Outlook: Look for a Democratic Flip
Two weeks out, all signs still point to Democrats taking the House

Former Vice President Joe Biden appears with Nevada Democratic congressional and state candidates in Las Vegas on Saturday for an early vote rally at the Culinary Workers Union Local 226. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS — Are we still headed for a Democratic wave in the House next month? That all depends on how you define a wave. But one thing is clear: Democrats are still likely to flip the chamber even after all the buzz about a post-Kavanaugh Republican bounce.

A wave occurs when a large number of one party’s seats flip to the other party, invariably because of a national political figure (the president, usually) or a national issue. Many competitive seats change hands, and at least a few entrenched incumbents suddenly find themselves in trouble.

November Elections Bring High Stakes for Medicaid
From expansion to work requirements, the future of the program hangs in the balance

What voters do at the polls Nov. 6 will shape access to Medicare in several states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The midterm elections could bring sweeping changes to Medicaid, from possible eligibility expansions to new rules requiring low-income people to work, depending on voters’ choices for governors’ offices and state legislatures across the country.

Medicaid covers more people than any other federally funded health program.

Police Investigate ‘Ricin Letter’ at Sen. Susan Collins’ Home
Maine GOP senator was not at home when authorities arrived

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was not at home in Bangor when the authorities arrived to investigate a suspicious letter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:53 p.m. | Republican Sen. Susan Collins will be able to spend Monday night at her residence in Bangor, Maine, after a suspicious letter was received by her husband there.

“Senator Collins’s husband, Tom Daffron, today received a threatening letter that the writer claimed was contaminated with ricin, a highly hazardous substance which was used in a previous attack against the United States Senate,” Collins spokeswoman Annie Clark said in a statement.

Tuesday Is the Voter Registration Deadline in These States
For Maryland and D.C. residents, it’s the last day to register online

The midterm elections are approaching fast and many voter registration deadlines have already passed. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

If you live in one of 18 states and haven’t registered to vote, you’ve already missed your chance to cast a ballot in the midterm elections on Nov. 6.

Other deadlines are fast approaching. Virginia residents, get your postmarks going. Monday is the last day you can register online, in person or by mail.

You’d Think Samuel Beckett Was In Charge of Our Health Care
Finding a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot

Estragon and Vladimir — above as portrayed in a 1978 French production of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” — were stuck in limbo. After waiting on Congress to act on health care, we all know how they feel, Hoagland writes. (Fernand Michaud/Gallica Digital Library)

OPINION — Finding bipartisan agreement in Congress on a path forward for the Affordable Care Act has been like waiting for Godot. Polls tracking Americans’ views have consistently shown an evenly divided public. No single public policy issue captures the country’s polarization better than the debate that has surrounded this law.

That doesn’t mean we have to settle for “nothing to be done.” Improving health insurance markets is a goal worth pursuing, and Republicans and Democrats at the state level are already showing us the way.

They Channel Out-of-Town Outrage
‘Herd on the Hill’ lives vicariously, delivering letters for people in far-away states

Herd on the Hill delivered over a thousand letters to Sen. Susan Collin, R-Maine, in October. (Courtesy Herd on the Hill)

The president of Herd on the Hill went into a planning meeting and announced the name of her group.

Others gasped and grumbled. No press were allowed in the room.

Two Elections: Democrats’ Chance of Taking the Senate Fading, House Likely to Flip
Senate results in midterms crucial for GOP and Democratic prospects in 2020

The North Dakota Senate race looks all but over for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Rothenberg writes.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The Democrats’ chances of netting at least two Senate seats always seemed like a long shot. But a month ago, the stars looked to be aligning for them. Today, those stars tell a different story.

With the Republican challenger, Rep. Kevin Cramer, opening up a clear lead over Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp, the North Dakota Senate race looks all but over now, according to multiple insiders. That means Democrats will need to swipe at least three GOP seats to take back the Senate — an outcome that currently appears somewhere between unlikely and impossible.

GOP Poll Puts Morrisey and Manchin Almost Even After Kavanaugh Vote
Manchin led Morrisey by 1 point in a poll conducted for the NRSC and Morrisey campaign

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey trailed Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin by 1 point in an NRSC and Morrisey campaign poll of the race. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A new Republican poll of the West Virginia Senate race shows a tighter race between Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin III and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Manchin led Morrisey 41 to 40 percent in the survey conducted for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Morrisey’s campaign and obtained first by Roll Call. 

Grassley Wants to Raise $3 Million for Collins Amid Kavanaugh Backlash
Three progressive groups have raised more than $4 million in what Collins calls ‘quid pro quo’ for her vote

Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, wants to raise $3 million to help re-elect Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley, the Judiciary chairman who helped guide new associate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh through his confirmation process, wants to raise $3 million to support the 2020 re-election campaign of the decisive Republican swing voter, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine.

Collins’ re-election is a far way off considering voters are still roughly a month away from heading to the polls for the 2018 midterms. But a cadre of progressive groups has already crowdsourced more than $4.4 million to bolster Collins’ Democratic opponent in 2020, money it would have used to back Collins had she voted against Kavanaugh, who was confirmed on Saturday on a mostly party line vote, 50-48.

Senate Dems Want Republicans to Take a Position on ‘Junk’
Baldwin hopes to force a vote to overturn Trump administration rule on short-term health care plans

Sen. Tammy Baldwin is leading the charge to reverse the Trump administration’s rule on short-term health insurance plans — or at least to get Republicans on the record. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are planning to force a vote this week on a resolution that would overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of short-term health insurance plans.

Critics call them “junk” plans, since they’re not required to comply with all the regulations of the 2010 health care law.