At the Races

Supreme Court delays redrawing of Ohio and Michigan House districts
Lower-court rulings found partisan gerrymandering, ordered new maps within months

The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold orders from lower courts for Michigan and Ohio to redraw their congressional maps.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Supreme Court on Friday put a hold on lower-court decisions mandating that Ohio and Michigan draw new congressional maps this year.  

Federal three-judge panels had struck down portions of Michigan’s map and all of Ohio’s map as partisan gerrymanders in separate cases earlier this spring. The court ordered Michigan to draw a new map by Aug. 1, while the Ohio was given a June 14 deadline.

Who is Rep. Chip Roy?
Texas freshman who blocked disaster bill is a top Democratic target in 2020

Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway talk in the House chamber on Feb. 5 before President Donald Trump delivered his State of the Union address. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 6:03 p.m. | Rep. Chip Roy’s decision to stall a disaster aid bill Friday is bringing new attention to the conservative freshman whom Democrats are looking to unseat in 2020. 

The Texas Republican blocked a request to pass the $19.1 billion package by unanimous consent, raising concerns that the funds were not offset and that the package lacked money to process migrants at the southern border. 

The fight for intern pay moves to 2020 campaigns
Eight presidential candidates have committed to paying interns, raising hopes that down-ballot candidates will follow

American University student Rolando Cantu will start a $15-an-hour internship in New Hampshire for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in June. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

It’s early enough in the 2020 campaign season that many candidates haven’t hired any interns.

But if the early months of the crowded presidential race are any indication, one thing is already clear: More of those offers will come with an actual paycheck. 

An ‘obvious trap’? Democrats weigh political cost of impeachment
Vulnerable Democrats may be more open to impeachment but aren’t ready to go there yet

Democrat strategists who’ve worked on competitive House races largely agree that impeachment is a losing issue for the party trying to hold the House in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional Democrats have a decision to make: Where are they going on impeachment, and at what political cost?

A group that has been pushing since 2017 for President Donald Trump’s impeachment will be airing ads this weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire urging Democratic leaders to take action. 

Republican Fred Keller wins Pennsylvania special election
State lawmaker was heavily favored given 12th District’s GOP lean

Pennsylvania state Rep. Fred Keller, who won Tuesday’s special election in the 12th District, joined President Donald Trump onstage at a rally Monday in Montoursville. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A former factory manager who hasn’t gone to college is now headed to Congress.

Republican state Rep. Fred Keller easily defeated Democrat Marc Friedenberg in a special election Tuesday in Pennsylvania’s 12th District. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Keller led the Penn State professor, 67.8 percent to 32.2 percent.

These two Democratic presidential contenders voted for a gas tax increase
Both Sanders and Biden voted for the last federal gas tax hike 26 years ago

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, here at the Exxon gas station at Second and Massachusetts Avenue Northeast in Washington in 2007 for a news conference on price-gouging at the gas pumps, voted for a federal gas tax increase in 1993 — the last time it was raised. (CQ Roll Call file photo)

When he meets with Democratic congressional leaders Wednesday, a key question will be whether President Donald Trump backs an increase in the federal gas tax the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been pressing him to support.

Trump reportedly backed an increase in private meetings before, but the 2020 election could be a reason for hesitation.

3 things to watch in Pennsylvania’s 12th District special election
Vote in GOP-dominated district could signal party strength in 2020

Republican Fred Keller speaks during a rally Monday in Montoursville, Pa., as President Donald Trump looks on. Keller is the favorite in Tuesday’s special election in the 12th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Voters head to the polls Tuesday in Pennsylvania’s 12th District to choose a new congressman, and Republican state Rep. Fred Keller is strongly favored in the deep-red district.

The race to replace GOP Rep. Tom Marino, who resigned in January, hasn’t garnered much national attention given the district’s partisan lean. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the contest Solid Republican.

Republican group launches PAC to increase GOP diversity
Catalyst PAC will promote non-white, LGBTQ, or religious or ethnic minority candidates

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., attended a kickoff event for a new PAC seeking to support more diverse Republican candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans seeking to increase their party’s diversity in Congress and challenge a media portrayal of the conservative movement as “bigoted” launched a PAC on Monday to support candidates “as diverse as our nation.”

That’s the goal that Catalyst PAC describes on a website soliciting contributions to support candidates who “look a little different from what’s thought of as the ‘traditional’ Republican.”

Faced with ‘electability’ question in 2020, women point to 2018 wins
Six women are running for president, but men continue to lead in recent polls

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is one of six Democratic women running for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

FAIRFAX, Va. — Amanda Bean is ready for a woman to take on President Donald Trump, and she has no patience for questions about whether a female candidate can win the White House.

“Everybody’s asking that, but it’s pathetic that we’re still asking,” Bean said after Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of six women in a field of 23 Democrats seeking the presidential nomination, held a town hall here Thursday. “We should be so far past this point.”

Republicans avoid primary runoff in North Carolina redo
Dan Bishop will face Democrat Dan McCready in September

State Sen. Dan Bishop easily crossed the threshold needed to avoid a primary.  (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

State Sen. Dan Bishop has won the Republican nomination in North Carolina’s 9th District, avoiding a runoff and kicking off the general election in this year’s most competitive special election.

He’ll next face Dan McCready, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and has amassed a large campaign war chest. National groups from both sides are already eyeing this race, with Republicans hoping to keep a longtime GOP seat in their column and Democrats hoping a Marine veteran will help them grow their House majority. 

Martha McSally: Short general election was key factor in 2018 loss
Appointed after loss, Arizona Republican is running for remainder of McCain’s term

GOP Sen. Martha McSally is a top Democratic target in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Arizona Republican Martha McSally said Tuesday that her unsuccessful Senate run in 2018 came down to one major factor: She ran out of time.

“We didn’t get a chance for [voters] to get to know me, what I’ve done all my life, what I did in the House,” McSally, a former fighter pilot, told reporters Tuesday. “We were very aware of these challenges at the time but we ran out of airspeed and altitude. And we weren’t defined and resilient enough.”

The Pennsylvania special election you haven’t heard about
Voters in 12th District will pick a replacement for Tom Marino next week

Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., resigned in January shortly after being sworn in. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It wasn’t that long ago that a special election in Pennsylvania attracted national attention and millions of dollars. But this year, the race in the state’s 12th District has flown under the radar.

Voters head to the polls next Tuesday to replace Republican Tom Marino, who resigned just shortly after the new Congress began. This election hasn’t captured the national spotlight — a marked shift from 14 months ago, when the special election in Pennsylvania’s old 18th District grabbed headlines. Democrat Conor Lamb pulled off an upset there even though President Donald Trump carried the district by 20 points in 2016.

3 things to watch in the redo primary for North Carolina’s 9th District
Dan Bishop could win GOP nod even if he doesn’t clear 30 percent

State Sen. Dan Bishop may not need to cross 30 percent to avoid a runoff in North Carolina’s 9th District GOP primary. (Courtesy Bishop for Congress)

The race for North Carolina’s 9th District is the 2018 election that just won’t end. Tuesday’s Republican primary will go a long way toward determining where this competitive special election is headed next. 

It all started with Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger. Just over a year ago, he became the first incumbent of the cycle to lose. He lost his primary to Mark Harris, who’d come within 133 votes of knocking him off in a recount two years earlier. Harris then faced Democrat Dan McCready, a solar energy financier and Marine veteran. 

Democratic female freshmen signal Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t represent them
Democrats with military, CIA backgrounds unite to fundraise for each other

Democratic House freshmen banding together to help each other raise money to keep their seats in 2020 are, from left, Reps. Mikie Sherrill, Abigail Spanberger, Elissa Slotkin, and Chrissy Houlahan, along with Rep. Elaine Luria. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Five freshman Democratic women in the House want the world to know that the newcomers receiving the most attention so far in the 116th Congress aren’t reflective of the women who ran and won in tough districts last fall.

At an event to tout their formation of a joint fundraising committee to tap each other’s donors (and hopefully bring in more), the five, all with military or intelligence backgrounds, never mentioned New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez by name.

Tax law hits 2020 Democratic presidential contenders unevenly
Returns show that despite similar incomes, Booker paid more, Gillibrand less

Income tax paid by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and her husband increased by more than $14,000 because of the 2017 tax overhaul, a CQ Roll Call analysis found. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — The 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who’ve released last year’s tax returns thus far are well-off enough to represent less than one-fifth of the taxpaying public, with incomes ranging from $100,000 to $2 million.

But their experiences are probably typical of many voters in similar circumstances: married couples with young children tend to do well under the 2017 tax law, though it helps to reside in lower-tax states.