2018 Campaign

Ryan Gives Big Fundraising Boost to Republicans

Speaker Paul Ryan “continued building a campaign war chest for House Republicans ahead a possibly treacherous midterm election, transferring another $1.5 million to the NRCC in July,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“The transfer brought the total the Wisconsin Republican has raised for the NRCC to more than $27 million through July 31, and represented an increase of nearly $500,000 over what he gave to the House GOP campaign arm in July of last year. Of the $60 million the NRCC raised through June 30, Ryan was responsible for more than half — $33 million (the committee ended the first six months of the year with $33.7 million in the bank).”

How Democrats Could Win 50 House Seats In 2018

NBC News: “As Democrats look to the horizon in 2018, they think they see a distant tsunami forming in their favor. Trump has dreadful approval ratings; Democrats are dominating generic ballot tests, which ask voters which party they want to control Congress; and presidents almost always lose a slew of seats in their first midterm elections.”

“The last time a president went into his first midterm election as unpopular as Trump is now was in 1946, when Harry Truman lost 55 House seats. The Senate may be out of reach but Democrats say they can almost feel the House Speaker’s gavel in their hands.”

McGrath Ties Barr to Trump In New Ad

Amy McGrath (D), the Marine veteran running against Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY), has a new ad which ties the congressman to President Trump.

“There are times when politicians might have to make a difficult choice: do you stand with the president, or do you stand with the country? Right now is one of those times. Every Republican congressman and senator has to make a choice. Standing up to the president may not be what they signed up for, but when the president is in solidarity with white supremacists and Nazis, those members of Congress have to stand up and tell him he’s wrong.”

“That’s why I’m running for Congress against Andy Barr in Kentucky. He has yet to condemn the president on anything.”

Playbook: “So far, GOP operatives believe that Trump is his own brand apart from the Republican Party. If that changes, it could be a major drag on GOP incumbents in the 2018 midterms.”

Democrat Runs with Pledge to Vote Against Pelosi

Paul Davis (D) announced his entrance into the race for the Kansas 2nd congressional district with a promise that if elected, “he does not plan to vote for Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the current House Democratic leader and former speaker of the U.S. House when Democrats last held the majority,” the Kansas City Star reports.

Said Davis: “This is a broken Congress right now, and I think the leaders of both political parties bear responsibility for that. And I think that we need new leadership in both political parties.”

The GOP’s Nastiest Senate Primary

Politico: “The slugfest underway between Republican Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita in Indiana isn’t just for the right to compete for possibly the GOP’s best opportunity to seize a Senate seat from Democrats in next year’s midterms.”

“It’s a chance to finally settle the score between two ambitious pols who’ve been vying to outdo one another politically since they graduated from the same small college more than 25 years ago.”

“Yes, this one is personal.”

Economy Could Still Save Republicans in 2018

Dan Balz: “It is remarkable that the president’s average approval rating is below 40 percent at a time when the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low and the stocks have hit record highs this summer, at least until jittery markets reacted to warnings by the president of possible military conflict with North Korea.”

“Democratic strategists are aware of the mismatch between the president’s approval and the state of the economy and hope that the midterm elections will be simply a referendum on the president, as first midterms often are. But if there is no significant economic retrenchment over the coming year, the head winds buffeting Republicans could be reduced.”

Top Trump Donor Ponies Up to Take Out Flake

“One of Donald Trump’s most generous political benefactors is providing a six-figure donation to a super PAC devoted to unseating Sen. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who has been fiercely critical of the president,” Politico reports.

“Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge fund billionaire who was intimately involved in Trump’s rise and helped to bankroll his 2016 campaign, is contributing $300,000 to a super PAC supporting former state Sen. Kelli Ward, who is challenging Flake in a Republican primary next year.”