Abortion

In the West, an outsize role for Texas in the 2020 elections
Battles for Senate and numerous House seats will drive interest in Lone Star State

Sen. John Cornyn’s reelection and a handful of House seats where Republicans have retired make Texas one of the key states to watch next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If there’s an abiding lesson from 2016, it’s that national public opinion in the presidential race is not as important as the votes of individual states. Republican Donald Trump won by taking 304 electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 227, even as Clinton beat him by 2.9 million votes and 2.1 percentage points nationally.

In 2020, Democrats will be looking to recapture states Trump won that went for Democrat Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. And many of those states will also be prime battlegrounds in the fight for control of the Senate, where Democrats need a net gain of four seats to take a majority (three if they win the White House and the vice president can break 50-50 ties), while Republicans need a net gain of 19 seats to retake the House.

Some Democrats see political system overhaul as winning 2020 issue
Bill to revamp campaign finance and voting passed House early, then stalled in Senate

Rep. Max Rose, D-N.Y., talks with the media after votes on Capitol Hill in September. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If Rep. Max Rose’s voters expected the freshman lawmaker from Staten Island, New York, to quiet down this election cycle about a major overhaul of the nation’s political system, they were mistaken.

It was a centerpiece of the Democrat’s campaign-trail mantra in 2018. And now, as one of the most vulnerable incumbents in Congress, he’s not stopping. Neither are many of his similarly situated colleagues.

New York GOP Rep. Peter King announces ‘it is time to end the weekly commute’
Statement to supporters cites bipartisanship and work for victims of 9/11 and Superstorm Sandy

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., announced he will retire rather than seek a 15th term in the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Peter T. King, a 14-term Republican from New York’s Long Island, announced Monday on Facebook he will not run for reelection.

“The prime reason for my decision was that after 28 years of spending 4 days a week in Washington, D.C., it is time to end the weekly commute and be home in Seaford,” King said in a post on Facebook.

Without Beto O’Rourke, Texas Senate primary is ‘wide open’
Crowded field of Democrats vying to take on three-term Republican John Cornyn

After ending his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is not expected to run for Senate in Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s not difficult to find a former presidential candidate who swore off running for Senate and then changed his mind. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper did in August. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio did it too, in 2016.

Just don’t expect former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke to join them after ending his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination

Democrats lean into 2019 victories to build case for 2020
But next year's reality in red states may be more complicated

Democrat Amy McGrath, who lost a House race in 2018, is trying to challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The day after a Democrat declared victory in the Kentucky governor’s race and Virginia voters gave full control of state government to the party’s legislative candidates, national Democrats were eager to spin those victories as a sign of good things to come in 2020.

But the reality in some places, especially longtime red areas, is more complicated.

DCCC’s Lucinda Guinn hopes to turn tragedy and turmoil into triumph
Texas mass shooting, recent committee upheaval strengthen executive director’s resolve

Lucinda Guinn, the first Latina executive director at the DCCC, has tried to emphasize the importance of diversity on campaign staffs throughout her career. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

This summer, Lucinda Guinn was weighing whether to apply to be the next executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It was already several months into the 2020 cycle, and the committee staff was in upheaval.

Then tragedy struck her hometown.

Shimkus ‘reconsidering’ retirement after top GOP committee post opens up
12-termer from Illinois also seems to soften Trump criticism

Rep. John Shimkus may reconsider a decision to retire to pursue the top GOP post on the Energy and Commerce Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, a 12-term Republican who had announced in August he would retire rather than run again in 2020, said Tuesday he is “reconsidering” his decision.

The change of heart comes a day after Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, announced his retirement. Shimkus is third in Republican seniority on the committee, after a former chairman, Michigan Rep. Fred Upton, who would need a waiver from GOP rules to become the panel’s chairman or ranking member in the next Congress.

Katie Hill’s exit shakes up competitive race in Southern California
Expensive special election in Los Angeles TV market would face both parties

California Democratic Rep. Katie Hill has said she plans to resign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Katie Hill’s decision to resign amid allegations of an improper relationship with her staffer has upended the battle to control a competitive district in Southern California.

Republicans believe they can win the 25th District back, especially now that they don’t have to face Hill and her sizable war chest, which was already at $1.5 million on Sept. 30. But Democrats contend that the district will stay in their hands, citing partisan dynamics and demographics of the district.

Candidate’s ex-senator dad lobbies for Chinese tech firm. That could be a problem
Former Sen. Joe Lieberman advising son Matt, and China’s ZTE

Matt Lieberman, son of former Sen. Joe Lieberman, is running for Senate in Georgia.  (Screenshot/Lieberman for Senate/YouTube)

U.S. national security experts of all political stripes agree: Chinese tech behemoth ZTE is a threat.

The company is a leading candidate to provide new markets with 5G networks, a lightning-fast wireless service that will support advanced technological applications.

Key takeaways from the latest House and Senate fundraising reports
Reports provide new clues in competitive races

Democrat Mark Kelly once again outraised Arizona GOP Sen. Martha McSally according to recent fundraising reports. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When it comes to the battle for Congress, fundraising reports can provide clues about who’s in trouble and who’s mounting a strong campaign.

It’s still early in the 2020 cycle, but an analysis of reports for this year’s third quarter in House and Senate races that Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates as competitive sheds new light on where donors in both parties are directing their money. The reports were due by midnight Tuesday.