Telling the national GOP to "grow a pair of ovaries", Rep. Martha McSally joined the U.S. Senate race in Arizona Friday. She will compete against former State Senator Kelli Ward and former Sheriff Joe Arpaio for the Republican nomination. The winner will likely face McSally's Democratic House colleague Kyrsten Sinema in November. Incumbent Senator, Republican Jeff Flake is retiring.
California Republican Darrell Issa will not seek reelection, he announced Wednesday. Issa narrowly won reelection in 2016. His roughly 0.5% margin of victory over Democrat Doug Applegate was one of the five closest congressional races in 2016. Hillary Clinton won the district by 7.5%, one of only 23 districts nationwide (7 in California) that elected a Republican to the House while supporting Clinton over Trump in the presidential election.
Sabato's Crystal Ball has moved the 2018 race for the 49th district from Toss up to Leans Democrat.
Serving #CA49 has been the privilege of a lifetime. From the bottom of my heart - thank you - to everyone for your support and the honor of serving you all these years. My full statement on my decision not to seek reelection: https://t.co/zjlkeiqnzs— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) January 10, 2018
Issa is the 2nd California Republican to retire this week. Ed Royce announced his retirement on Monday. That race moved from Leans Republican to Toss Up.
Worth Noting: Ratings for these races assume a Democrat vs. a Republican face off in November. However, California has a non-partisan primary, where all candidates compete on a single ballot, with the top two, regardless of party, moving on to November. Depending on the composition of the ballot it is possible for two candidates from the same party to advance to November, even in swing districts like Royce's 39th and Issa's 49th.
45 members of the House are retiring or seeking another office in 2018. Arizona Rep. Martha McSally will be added to this list Friday if, as expected, Rep. Martha McSally (R, AZ-2) announces her candidacy for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Ohio's Pat Tiberi (R, OH-12) will be removed from the list when he resigns on January 15th.
A new poll from OH Predictive Insights shows a very competitive 3-way race for the Republican nomination in the Arizona U.S. Senate race. Rep. Martha McSally leads with 31%, just ahead of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio at 29%. Former State Sen. Kelli Ward is in 3rd at 25%. In a mid-November poll by the same firm, Ward held an 8 point lead over McSally; Arpaio was not included in that survey.
McSally is the establishment favorite, and her number is little changed from November. Arpaio's share came primarily from Ward; this makes sense in that they both will appeal to many of the same voters. It is also notable that Arpaio & Ward's combined share exceeds 50%, well ahead of McSally. This indicates that a three-way race all the way to the August 28th primary may make McSally's path to the nomination easier than if Arpaio or Ward drop out at some point and endorse the other.
Arpaio just announced his entry to the race yesterday, with McSally expected to officially join the race Friday.
The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that North Carolina's congressional districts must be redrawn in advance of this year's U.S. House elections. The court ruled that "Republican state legislators, seeking to address a racial gerrymander the court struck down in a previous map, put too much partisan intent into their redraw, drawing the lines to guarantee Republican victories in U.S. House races despite North Carolina's more purple political hue."
The court ordered the General Assembly to redraw districts by January 24th, indicating that it would issue its own map if the revision was unacceptable.
The case is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
North Carolina's current congressional districts can be seen on the map below, which is a partial preview of a state page from our soon to be launched updated House map. Each state will have its own map, and there will be a national map that can be zoomed and panned to view any desired region of the country. All the maps will be interactive and will work in conjunction with each other.
Included on the state pages will be information on the incumbent and a race rating for 2018. Additionally, they will show each district's margins from 2016, both from the race for Congress and the presidential election. The results in North Carolina highlight how effective the state legislature's gerrymander was --- none of the 13 districts was decided by less than 12%.
The Republican field in the Arizona U.S. Senate race is expected to add two prominent names this week: Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Rep. Martha McSally. Both present a challenge to the current front-runner, former State Senator Kelli Ward. The incumbent Republican Senator, Jeff Flake, is retiring.
The Washington Examiner reports that "Arpaio, a close ally of President Trump and former sheriff known for his provocative approach to combating illegal immigration, is running for Senate in Arizona." Meanwhile, Politico's Kevin Robillard tweets that Arizona Republican Rep. Martha McSally has "special announcements" set for Friday. It is likely that she will enter the race at that time.
McSally has events scheduled beginning in Tucson then moving on to Phoenix and Prescott. Her 2nd district covers the Southeastern corner of Arizona, including much of Tucson. It was reported in early November that McSally was planning to join the race, so her expected announcement will not be a surprise.
The new entrants set up a three-way battle for the Republican nomination. McSally, in her 2nd term in Congress, is the preferred candidate of the establishment. The conservative Ward has received support from President Trump and an endorsement from Steve Bannon, although she's distanced herself from Bannon in recent days. Arpaio is likely to appeal to many of the voters drawn to Ward. This could actually ease McSally's path to the nomination.
Whomever emerges as the nominee will likely face Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema in the general election. That contest is seen as a toss-up at this time.
McSally's district is also seen as a toss-up. While she won reelection by 14% last November, Hillary Clinton won the district by 5%. It is one of just 23 districts nationwide that elected a Republican to Congress and voted for Clinton over Trump.
Fox News reports that "House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce on Monday became the latest influential Republican lawmaker to announce plans to retire from Congress at the end of his term." Royce is in his 13th term, and represents California's 39th district which sits just east of Los Angeles. He is the first of California's 53 House members to announce they are not seeking reelection this year.
While Royce won reelection by nearly 15% in 2016, the district is one of just 23 nationwide that elected a Republican to Congress and voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Clinton won here by 8.6%. With the incumbent retiring, Sabato's Crystal Ball has moved this race to toss-up from Leans Republican.
Royce brings to 44 the number of House members retiring or seeking another office; that's over 10% of the body's 435 seats.
Florida Republican Rep. Ron DeSantis has joined the state's 2018 race for governor. Incumbent Republican governor Rick Scott cannot run again due to term limits. DeSantis, who is in his 3rd term in the House, was recently endorsed by President Trump for the position.
Congressman Ron DeSantis is a brilliant young leader, Yale and then Harvard Law, who would make a GREAT Governor of Florida. He loves our Country and is a true FIGHTER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2017
DeSantis represents the 6th district, which runs from south of Jacksonville through Daytona Beach to north of Orlando. Both DeSantis and Donald Trump won here by 17 points in 2016, and the district is seen as safe Republican.
The gubernatorial race is one of 36 to be held in 2018. It is considered a toss-up at this point.
43 House members have announced they aren't running in 2018. One of them, Ohio's Pat Tiberi, will be leaving Congress on January 15th. Gov. John Kasich has set August 7th as the date for a special election, which will be preceded by a primary on May 8th.
Mississippi Republican Gregg Harper announced Thursday that he would not seek reelection in 2018. Harper, who is in his 5th term, represents the state's 3rd district, a safe Republican area that Donald Trump won by nearly 25 points in 2016. The district crosses the state, from the border with Louisiana to that with Alabama. It includes part of the Jackson area, as well as Meridian.
Related: Full list of House Retirements
Separately, Ohio Republican Pat Tiberi, who announced this past October that he would leave Congress by the end of January, has set January 15th as his departure date. Gov. John Kasich, who represented the 12th district prior to Tiberi (both of them served nine terms) will set the date for a special election. Donald Trump won this district by about 11% in 2016 and it likely will remain in Republican hands.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Bill Shuster announced Tuesday he will not seek reelection in 2018. Shuster is in his 9th term, and chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Shuster represents Pennsylvania's 9th district, which covers a large part of the south-central part of the state. The seat is safely Republican. Donald Trump won the district by over 42 points in 2016, his largest margin anywhere in the state.
Shuster becomes the third Pennsylvania U.S. House member - all Republicans - to pass on the 2018 race. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) is also retiring, while Rep. Lou Barletta (PA-11) is running for U.S. Senate.
This is the first House retirement announcement of 2018. There are now 41 members on the list of departures, including 27 Republicans and 14 Democrats. One of the Republicans, Ohio's Pat Tiberi, is expected to leave Congress this month.
Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch announced he will retire at the end of this year. The departure opens the door to a likely run by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts governor. Romney reportedly indicated to associates last year that he would enter the race if Hatch chose not to run.
Now in his 7th term, Hatch is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate. He joined in early 1977 after winning in 1976. Only Vermont's Patrick Leahy, who entered the Senate in 1975, has served longer. Leahy was elected to an 8th term in 2016.
Romney would be the prohibitive favorite to win should he choose to run.
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