At the Races

GOP Super PAC Dings Nebraska Democrat on Medicare-for-All
Kara Eastman is taking on GOP Rep. Don Bacon in 2nd District

Kara Eastman is the Democratic nominee in Nebraska’s 2nd Disrict. (Courtesy Kara Eastman for Congress)

The Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a new television ad knocking Democrat Kara Eastman over her support for a Medicare-for-All proposal, a sign Republicans view the attack as a salient one in the competitive Nebraska district. 

The 30-second ad, which launches in the Omaha media market Tuesday, will run for roughly two weeks. Eastman is taking on Republican freshman Don Bacon in the 2nd District, which President Donald Trump carried by by 3 points in 2016. 

Lori Trahan Wins Democratic Primary in Massachusetts’ 3rd District
Opponent Daniel Koh conceded after recount for Niki Tsongas’ open seat

Lori Trahan is the apparent winner of the Democratic primary in Massachusetts’ 3rd District after a recount. (Courtesy Lori Trahan for Congress)

Lori Trahan, a onetime aide to former Rep. Martin T. Meehan, is poised to go to Congress from Massachusetts’ heavily Democratic 3rd District after winning the Democratic primary in a recount Monday.

Trahan had a 139-vote advantage when second-place finisher Daniel Koh conceded to her hours before a 5 p.m. deadline.

EMILY’s List to Spend $37 Million in 2018 Cycle
Pro-abortion rights group is looking to play in roughly 30 House races

EMILY’s List trained thousands of women looking to run for office, many of whom were energized by the Women’s March in 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 4:04 p.m. | EMILY’s List, a group that backs female Democrats who support abortion rights, said it expects to spend more than $37 million this election cycle, which includes the $14 million it already spent in Democratic primaries. 

Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, told reporters in a briefing Monday that the group plans to play in more than 30 House districts to help Democrats net the 23 seats needed to win a chamber majority. 

Indicted GOP Rep. Chris Collins to Stay on November Ballot, Report Says
Collins represents the most Republican district in New York

New York GOP Rep. Chris Collins was arrested last month for insider trading. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Indicted GOP Rep. Chris Collins will remain on the ballot in November, The Buffalo News reported Monday, setting up a potentially competitive race in a deep red district in Western New York.

Collins will face Democratic Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray in November in a district President Donald Trump won by 24 points in 2016. Collins’ recent indictment for charges relating to insider trading have shaken up the race. Collins initially said he would run for re-election, but reversed course under pressure from local and national party leaders. 

Cramer Counters Health Care Attacks With New Ad
North Dakota Republican is on defense in Senate race over pre-existing conditions

Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., is challenging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., in a high-profile Senate race. Here, the two attend an event with National Guardsmen in Bismarck, N.D., in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer is taking to the airwaves to combat Democratic ads that spotlight the Republican Senate candidate’s health care positions.

The new Cramer ad features images of three Democratic spots — two of them from outside Democratic groups and one from Democratic incumbent Heidi Hetikamp’s campaign. Cramer has been calling on Heitkamp to take down her own campaign’s ad, saying she is citing inaccurate information about how his health care votes would have affected people with pre-existing conditions.

GOP Super PAC Continues Attacks on Maine’s Jared Golden
CLF has reserved $3.1 million in 2nd District to defend Poliquin

(Screenshot/Youtube/Congressional Leadership Fund)

A Republican super PAC tied to House leadership is launching its fourth ad against Maine Democrat Jared Golden on Friday.

The fight to hold on to the 2nd District, where GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin is running for a third term, is a top priority for Republicans. Congressional Leadership Fund has now reserved $3.1 million for the seat, among the most it’s reserved in competitive districts around the country. 

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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, Bridget Bowman and Stephanie Akin

GOP Outside Money, Gerrymandering Worry DCCC Chairman
Rep. Ben Ray Luján still confident Democrats will win back the House

New Mexico Democratic Rep. Ben Ray Luján chairs the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján expressed confidence Thursday his party will take control of the House, but he remains concerned about the impact of outside Republican money and gerrymandered districts.

“As far as what keeps me up at night, Republicans have committed what seems like unlimited amounts of money to these elections,” the New Mexico Democrat told reporters Thursday. “We’re seeing Super PAC after Super PAC on the Republican side continue to tear in.”

Democratic Poll Shows Tight Race for Ross’ Seat in Florida
Trump carried the 15th District by 10 points in 2016

Florida Rep. Dennis Ross is not running for re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Kristen Carlson narrowly led Republican Ross Spano, well within the margin of error, in a poll of Florida’s open 15th District commissioned by her campaign. 

Carlson led Spano 48 percent to 47 percent, with 5 percent of likely voters undecided.

Missouri Senate Candidates Spar Over Tax Returns
Hawley is calling on McCaskill to release her husband’s returns

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is running for a third term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Missouri Republican Senate nominee Josh Hawley is calling on Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill to release her family’s tax returns, after both released their own returns Wednesday. 

Hawley, the state attorney general, released nearly 60 pages of his and his wife’s tax returns since they file jointly. McCaskill released two pages of her own return (she and her husband file their taxes separately), but Hawley said that wasn’t enough.

New Jersey Democrat Uses McCain in Latest Ad
Late GOP senator introduced Tom Malinowski at 2013 confirmation hearing

New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski is hoping to convey his bipartisan experience in his latest TV ad by including  footage of the late Sen. John McCain introducing him at a Senate confirmation hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In his quest to defeat a five-term Republican congressman, New Jersey Democrat Tom Malinowski is turning to the late Sen. John McCain

Malinowski’s latest ad, obtained first by Roll Call, opens with the Arizona Republican senator introducing him to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2013, praising his work to end torture when he worked at Human Rights Watch. 

New Hampshire’s 1st District Set for History-Making Race
Democrat Pappas and Republican Edwards face off in a contest of firsts

Chris Pappas won the Democratic nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st District on Tuesday. (Courtesy Chris Pappas for Congress)

Chris Pappas, a member of New Hampshire’s executive council, has won the Democratic nomination for the state’s swing 1st District, defeating a better-funded candidate who only recently moved to there.

He starts the general election to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter as the slight favorite against Republican former police chief Eddie Edwards. In a contest of firsts, Pappas would be the first openly gay representative from the Granite State, while Edwards would be the state’s first African-American member of Congress.

Fresh Faces Running in New Hampshire District for First Time in Over a Decade
Neither Carol Shea-Porter nor Frank Guinta will be on the ballot this year

Eddie Edwards, Republican candidate for New Hampshire’s 1st District, would be the first African-American nominee in the district. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For the first time in over a decade, the race for New Hampshire’s 1st District will feature two fresh faces. 

Tuesday’s primaries in the Granite State — the last competitive primaries of 2018 — will determine those new candidates. And both the Democratic and Republican contests may offer some final insight into what each party has been searching for in its nominees this year.

Democratic Poll Shows Neck-and-Neck Race for DeSantis’ Florida Seat
Democrat Nancy Soderbeg was essentially tied with Republican Michael Waltz

Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis is vacating his 6th District seat for a gubernatorial run, and the race to replace him could be competitive, a new Democratic poll showed. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrat Nancy Soderberg and Republican Michael Waltz were essentially tied in a poll commissioned by the Democrat’s campaign in an open Florida district that President Donald Trump carried by double digits.

Waltz led Soderberg 47 percent to 46 percent in the 6th District poll, shared first with Roll Call. Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research surveyed 400 likely voters from Sept. 4-6, with 31 percent reached by cell phone. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

Democratic Poll Shows Tight Race in Georgia’s 6th District
GOP Rep. Karen Handel faces Democrat Lucy McBath in November

Democrat Lucy McBath, here at an April event in New York City with congressional candidates, is challenging GOP Rep. Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District. (Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images file photo)

Democrat Lucy McBath, who became politically active after losing her teenage son to gun violence, was in a tight race with Republican Rep. Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th District, a poll conducted for the Democrat’s campaign found. 

Handel led McBath 49 percent to 47 percent in the race for the suburban Atlanta seat. Four percent were undecided. Handel, who won a highly publicized special election last year against Democrat Jon Ossoff, is seeking her first full term this November.