2016 House Elections

For the House, Stewart Mills

Featured image Power Line helped to launch Stewart Mills’s political career in 2013, when we posted his video letter to senators Franken and Klobuchar. The video was an effective defense of gun rights in general, and the AR-15 in particular. Mills’s family owned Mills Fleet Farm, a chain of rural/exurban Midwestern stores that sell, among many other things, a store brand AR-15. Stewart’s video performance was so good that his friends told »

The 2016 Power Line Picks

Featured image However one feels about this year’s presidential election, I don’t think conservatives can dispute the importance of the congressional races. If Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, a Republican House and Senate will be crucial to thwarting her left-wing designs. If Trump wins, a Republican House and Senate will be crucial to advancing the conservative part of his agenda (if any) and blocking the liberal part (if any). It’s true that »

GOP silent on AFFH, as Democrats target House seats in wealthy suburbs

Featured image The conventional wisdom holds that Republicans will maintain control of the House even if Donald Trump loses the presidential election decisively. However, most of those who subscribe to this view believe that the Democrats have some hope of taking the House. How might the Democrats accomplish this? According to the New York Times, the plan is to target seats held by Republicans in affluent suburbs of big cities. The Times »

Donald Trump’s down ballot impact

Featured image Charlie Cook doubts that a Donald Trump defeat, which he considers quite likely, would have a significantly adverse effect on other Republicans running this year. Writing in the National Journal, Cook states, “even if Clin­ton wins by a much lar­ger mar­gin than, say, Obama’s win over Rom­ney four years ago, I don’t think the down-bal­lot im­plic­a­tions would be that huge.” Cook gives two reasons for this assessment. First, there aren’t »

Unfortunate political news from Tennessee

Featured image I’ve written several times about the Republican primary race in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. In that contest, Grant Starrett challenged incumbent Rep. Scott DesJarlais. I strongly supported Grant and encouraged readers to do the same. On Tuesday, the voters opted for the incumbent. DesJarlais won by about 5,500 votes, 54.5 to 42.7. Though hardly a resounding triumph for an incumbent, it is more than sufficient and, in its own sad »

How to Make Democrats Pay For Weak Foreign Policy

Featured image The foreign policies pursued by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been disastrous, and yet both malefactors seem largely to have skated. That doesn’t mean, however, that Americans are happy with the dangerous policies they have pursued–and which have been resisted by essentially zero Democrats in Congress. This ad by Stewart Mills, a friend of mine who is running in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District against pedestrian incumbent Rick Nolan, beautifully »

Good news from North Carolina

Featured image Two results from yesterday’s North Carolina congressional primaries are worthy of note. First, Rep. Renee Ellmers, who has been a huge disappointment to conservatives, will not return to Congress next year. She was crushed by conservative Rep. George Holding in North Carolina’s 2nd district. Ellmers, by the way, was one of the very few members of Congress who endorsed Donald Trump when the GOP presidential race was still in doubt. »

The Epic Drama of Democratic Fundraising

Featured image I’ve written about the Democratic Party’s formulaic fundraising in past election cycles. They are doing exactly the same thing this year, so evidently it must work. The key to the Democrats’ approach is that it is entirely non-substantive. Emails to the party’s rank and file never mention a fact or an argument, seldom even an issue. The appeal is elemental: there are two teams, Our Team and The Other Team, »

Support Grant Starrett for Congress

Featured image Grant Starrett is running for Congress in Tennessee’s Fourth Congressional District. A year ago, I introduced Grant to our readers and explained why I intend to support him. Grant is a rising conservative star. He’s a graduate of Stanford, where he founded the Stanford Conservative Society and grew it to over 500 members, and of Vanderbilt Law School, where he was president of its Federalist Society. He was the Students »

Democracy, Up Close and Personal

Featured image I live in Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, which has been represented for the last 14 years by my friend John Kline. Colonel Kline has elected to retire at the end of his current term, so the seat will be open in November. Minnesota’s 2nd will be one of the most-watched Congressional races of 2016. The 2nd, once solidly Republican, is now considered a swing district. In 2014, comedian Bill Maher »

Chris Matthews’ wife fails in bid for Congress

Featured image Folks take their leftism seriously in the Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C. where I live. It outweighs celebrity, money, and race/ethnicity. That’s why the race for the Democratic congressional primary in the Eighth District was always going to favor leftist law professor Jamie Raskin. One of his opponents — Kathleen Matthews, wife of Chris and for years a local news anchor — had celebrity (okay, mini-celebrity) status in her favor. »

Harry Reid accused of telling candidate to stand down because “a Muslim can’t win”

Featured image The Washington Post reports that a Muslim Democrat running for a U.S. House seat in Nevada says Harry Reid encouraged him to end his campaign because “a Muslim cannot win this race.” Reid reportedly made this statement during a private meeting last year. Reid’s spokeswoman confirms that the meeting took place but denies that her boss made such a comment. She calls the candidate — Jesse Sbaih — “a liar.” »

Steve Toth for Congress

Featured image Charlie Cook rates Texas’ Eighth Congressional District as the fourth most conservative House district in the country. It went heavily for Ted Cruz in his race 2012 primary race against David Dewhurst. Yet TX-8 is represented by Kevin Brady, recipient of a 55 percent rating this Congress by Heritage Action. Brady, the head of the Ways and Means Committee, was a backer of the disgraceful omnibus spending bill. Brady faces »

In Minnesota, a Candidate Worthy of Your Support: Jason Lewis

Featured image Nowadays, every House and Senate contest is a national race. No matter where you live, the election of conservative candidates nationwide is important to you. Which is why you should care about this year’s race in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District. The seat has been held by Republican John Kline for some years. He is retiring, and the Democrats are determined to pick off the open seat. The 2nd has become »

The world according to the Democratic establishment

Featured image This weekend, a reader from here in the Washington D.C. area found himself seated next to a Democratic fundraiser and operative. This Democrat offered the following opinions. They reflect, I think, how well-connected Democrats read the current political situation: 1. Hillary Clinton is a “gem” who will win 70% of the women’s vote and likely the election because electing the first woman president is “a really big deal.” 2. Democrats »

Paul Ryan should stay away from entitlement reform next year

Featured image I have heard several Republican presidential candidates, including Ted Cruz, publicly wish that the GOP would fight as hard for conservative principles as President Obama fights for radical leftist ones. It’s a good thought, but I wonder whether those expressing it realize the full implications. One crucial way that Obama fought for his radical leftist principles was to conceal them when running for president. For example, he didn’t support gay »

Ryan Zinke for Congress. . .and the Senate

Featured image What’s the most significant development in American electoral politics since the election of President Obama? Some say it’s the deepening division within the Republican Party. Others say it’s the beating Democrats have taken at the state and local level of politics. Here’s a third possibility which is related to the second: the success of Republican Senate and House candidates in Red States. This success is nearly complete in the South »