At the Races: 362 Days to Go

Our weekly roundup of Roll Call’s top campaign stories and more

It was folly for Republicans to believe Roy Moore could have been coaxed into exiting the Alabama Senate race, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
It was folly for Republicans to believe Roy Moore could have been coaxed into exiting the Alabama Senate race, Shapiro writes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted November 9, 2017 at 4:17pm

We’re officially one year out from the 2018 midterms. (Hard to believe, right?) There are a lot of House and Senate races to watch, and you can keep track of them all with At the Races. Each week we’ll round up our top stories and bring you some new content, like the Reader’s Race (scroll down for more on that). Make sure to sign up *here* to receive the newsletter next Thursday. We want to hear from you! Email us at with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. — Simone and Bridget

This week… Voters went to the polls, Martha McSally discussed her Senate run, three Republicans retired and Utah got a new congressman. Here’s what happened At the Races:

Starting Gate

So you want to know what Tuesday means? Democrats had a good night Tuesday. But does that mean Nov. 6, 2018 is going to be a great night? Hard to say. One person who should be worried? Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock, whose 10th District went for Hillary Clinton by 10 points and Gov.-elect Ralph Northam by 13 points. Seven GOP delegates in her area lost.

“Comstock’s got a full on fire on her hands,” one GOP strategist in Virginia said Wednesday morning.

Comstock will be hard to knock off, but she was already #6 on our list of the most vulnerable incumbents (scroll down for more on that).

We dove into Tuesday’s results more with David Hawkings on the Big Story Podcast.

Bookmark this: Data reporter Sean McMinn put together this handy guide to every 2018 election. Dates, names, race ratings, what to watch — it’s all here.

Nah, nah, nah, nah?  Which lawmakers could say goodbye to Congress next year? Most of the 10 most vulnerable House members are Republicans, and the wealthiest member of Congress came in at #1. On the Senate side, nine of the 10 most vulnerable senators are Democrats, but we think the most vulnerable senator is actually a Republican.

#AZSEN: GOP Rep. Martha McSally told her House colleagues that she’s planning to run for Senate in Arizona now that Sen. Jeff Flake is retiring. But she’s already facing criticism from conservatives.

Judge for yourself: Judge Russell Fagg won’t have to report his fundraising until the end of January — seven months after he first started testing the waters for a Senate bid in Montana. Presidential candidates have been doing it for years, but House and Senate candidates are increasingly using exploratory committees to delay having to register with the FEC.

Curtis-y of Utah:John Curtis, the popular mayor of Provo, won the special election to replace GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz in Utah’s 3rd District. Where will he fit into the GOP conference (and what’s the deal with his sock collection)? More on Curtis here.

The Count : 17

The number of lawmakers who aren’t running for re-election (and aren’t seeking higher office) grew by three this week… so far. Virginia GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who is term-limited as Judiciary Committee chairman, announced Thursday he would retire. New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo, one of the last remaining members of the class of 1994, cited his term-limited subcommittee chairmanship and the disappearance of political “middle ground.” His exit makes the 2nd District more competitive. Texas Republican Ted Poe said he wanted to spend more time with his 12 grandchildren

Keep track of who’s leaving Congress here

Nathan’s Notes

By now you’ve heard about Danica Roem, the openly transgender candidate who unseated a conservative Republican in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Earlier this week, Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales wrote about a so-called “push poll” in the race that stirred up some controversy. Nathan explains why the term “push poll” should be banned.

Candidate Confessions

We often join Nathan when he interviews candidates, so each week we’ll bring you a fun fact from those conversations. This week, we’ll leave you with Nathan’s takeaways from interviewing 16 candidates in 2 days.

Reader’s Race

Each week we’ll also take a deeper dive into a House or Senate race, or even just a primary. We’ll unpack the drama and get you up to speed. Here’s the fun part: You get to decide which race you want to read about. Every week, you’ll have two choices to vote on. But since this is our first week, we want your suggestions. Respond to this email or send us a note at

Photo Finish

 New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, a Democrat, jumps on stage after winning Tuesday night.


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