Campaigns

Democrats go on defense in crucial heartland House race in Iowa
GOP has sights on Iowa’s 2nd District, which backed Trump in 2016

Former Iowa state Sen. Rita Hart is running for the Democratic nomination for Iowa’s 2nd District after Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack opted against reelection. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

WHEATLAND, Iowa — Republicans sense an opportunity in the rolling corn and soybean fields in southeastern Iowa. But Democrats won’t be giving up their hold on this heartland district without a fight.

Republicans’ path to the House majority runs through the 31 Democrat-held districts that President Donald Trump won in 2016. And one of them, Iowa’s 2nd District, ranks among the GOP’s best pickup opportunities next year because it’s the only one of the 31 without an incumbent defending the seat.

Hickenlooper says he’ll give ‘serious thought’ to Senate run after dropping presidential bid
Colorado and national Democrats see former governor as best chance to capture Gardner’s seat

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, shown in Iowa on Saturday, announced Thursday he is ending his bid for the presidency. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, and said he will consider a run against Republican Sen. Cory Gardner in a battleground state Democrats need to win to take control of the upper chamber.

“People want to know what comes next for me,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. “I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought.”

DCCC adds six more Trump districts to its 2020 target list
House Democrats are expanding their potential battlefield to 39 seats

The House Democrats’ campaign arm is targeting Virginia GOP Rep. Denver Riggleman in 2020. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is adding six more districts to the list of seats it’s targeting in 2020. 

After gaining a net of 40 seats last fall, the House Democrats’ campaign arm released its initial 2020 target list in January that included 32 GOP-held seats and the open seat in North Carolina’s 9th District, which is holding a special election next month.

Why North Carolina candidates aren’t talking about the ‘bathroom bill’
Modern campaigning allows candidates to tailor messages to different platforms

Democrat Dan McCready, who’s running in the redo election in North Carolina’s 9th District, has made health care and education the focus of his campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. — Asked about immigration at a town hall last weekend, Dan McCready talked about securing the border and respecting the law.

He didn’t sound like “an Elizabeth Warren Democrat,” which is how the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to tar him

GOP will need more than promoting their preferred opponent to affect Democratic primaries
Republicans appear to be taking a page from Democrat Claire McCaskill’s winning 2012 Senate campaign

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill ran ads during her 2012 reelection campaign that called Republican Todd Akin’s stances too conservative. But the spots were designed to help him win the GOP nomination because she considered him a weaker challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Democratic state senator bragged this week about drawing the attention of national Republicans in the competitive race for U.S. Senate in North Carolina. But Erica Smith shouldn’t wear the attacks as a badge of honor. And if Republicans really want to make an impact, they’re going to have to spend a lot more money.

“The @NRSC has purchased a billboard attacking me in Raleigh — calling me ‘too liberal,’” Smith tweeted Monday, referring to the National Republican Senatorial Committee effort. “I am the only candidate that they are spending money against — it shows you who @ThomTillis is worried about. Can’t attack @CalforNC bc no one knows what he stands for.”

Hickenlooper still fundraising, despite reports he may drop presidential bid
Colorado Democrats have been lobbying former governor to drop presidential bid and run for Senate against Cory Gardner

Democratic presidential candidate and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake on Friday. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper sent out a fundraising email for his presidential campaign on Tuesday despite reports that he is weighing an end to his bid for the White House in order to run for a GOP-held Senate seat.

Before the Wing Ding dinner at the Iowa State Fair last Friday, Hickenlooper jumped into the passenger seat of Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet’s car to talk about his political future, the New York Times reported.

Trump endorses a Curt Schilling bid for Congress in Arizona: ‘Terrific!’
Former MLB all-star and World Series MVP has said he is considering moving back to home state to run for a ‘blue’ seat

Curt Schilling, right, talks with fellow former Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez and his wife Carolina Martinez at Martinez’s Charity's Feast with 45 in 2017. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images file photo)

Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling can count on the endorsement of President Donald Trump if he decides to run for Congress in Arizona.

The former Major League Baseball player turned conservative talk show host is weighing a congressional run in the Copper State, he told the Arizona Republic this week.

North Carolina redo election is the last race of 2018 — and the first of 2020
Democrat Dan McCready faces a new Republican opponent in September special election

Dan McCready, Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 9th District, talks with a young supporter Friday during a fish fry at the Scotland County Democratic Party headquarters in Laurinburg, N.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

LAURINBURG, N.C. — Dan McCready is used to this.

“Y’all know this isn’t an easy race for a Democrat,” the candidate for North Carolina’s 9th District said, swatting away an army of gnats swarming attendees at a fish fry Friday night.

Tom Harkin makes rare appearance with 2020 contender
Event with Kirsten Gillibrand on disability rights draws former Iowa senator

Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and New York senator and presidential contender Kirsten Gillibrand hug after speaking to reporters Sunday at a community discussion on disability rights at the Holiday Inn in West Des Moines, Iowa. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Bob Raker came to the Holiday Inn’s ballroom Sunday to see a Democratic senator, just not the one running for president.

“Anytime you get to see Sen. Tom Harkin, it’s worthwhile,” said Raker, a 65-year-old retired government worker. Harkin, a five-term senator who retired in 2015, has steered clear of the campaign trail as presidential hopefuls have crisscrossed his home state of Iowa.

Photos from the Iowa Wing Ding
Roll Call photojournalist Caroline Brehman gives us a taste of the Iowa Wing Ding

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., waits backstage before speaking at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa Friday night. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Loebsack backed Obama over Clinton in 2007, but unsure about 2020 field
Retiring seven-term Democrat questions whether his backing would make a difference

Rep. Dave Loebsack speaks with reporters Friday at the pork tent at the Iowa State Fair. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Back in late 2007, Rep. Dave Loebsack’s endorsement provided a boost to Barack Obama’s battle to deny the Democratic presidential nomination to fellow senator Hillary Clinton.

But with 13 current or former House and Senate colleagues vying for president in a crowded 2020 field of two dozen candidates — including Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden — the Iowa Democrat is questioning whether he should wade in at all.

Giffords group launches pro-background check ads focused on Gardner, McConnell
First ads in a new roughly $750,000 buy hit airwaves this weekend

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is the focus of a new ad campaign by the gun control advocacy group Giffords. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

“Instead of making lesson plans, I’m making active-shooter plans.”

That’s what a woman identified as a Colorado schoolteacher named Jody says in a new issue ad campaign starting this weekend by the gun control advocacy group named for former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The group’s aim is to push Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner to back a House-passed gun purchase background check bill.

Locking out ‘Team Mitch’ could cost Twitter
Decision by Republican campaign committees to withhold ad dollars from Twitter could have a tangible effect

Twitter locked out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The decision by Republican campaign committees to withhold ad dollars from Twitter could have a tangible effect.

The Republican National Committee, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign as well as the House and Senate GOP campaign committees took that step in response to the social media platform’s temporary lockout of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign account.

Montana’s Steve Bullock warns Democrats they’re at risk of losing to Trump
Two-term governor is the only presidential candidate who’s won statewide in a Trump state

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is warning Democrats that the policy positions of some of his fellow 2020 hopefuls would will throw the election to President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock delivered a stern warning Wednesday that his fellow Democratic presidential candidates are putting the party at risk of losing to President Donald Trump in 2020.

“We are well on our way to losing this election long before it ever even has really started,” he said in a speech at the National Press Club.

With Iowa State Fair ahead, 2020 Democrats pitch to rural America
A trio of presidential hopefuls rolled out new plans Wednesday

Presidential candidates will be visiting the Iowa State Fair this week, along with the famous butter cow. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As Democratic presidential hopefuls get ready to visit the soapbox at the Iowa State Fair, they’re announcing big plans for investments in rural America.

Three senators seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president are the latest candidates with plans they hope will appeal to rural Iowa caucusgoers. Those include proposals from two members of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.