● House: House Republicans just narrowly passed their Trumpcare bill on Thursday, voting to kick tens of millions off of their insurance and make health care unaffordable for countless Americans. Daily Kos Elections mapped out the 2016 presidential election result for all 217 House Republicans who voted in favor of the bill here.
Of the 23 members who hold districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, 14 Republicans voted for the bill, as did another 10 of those whose seats Trump won with less than 50 percent (excluding districts in Utah, where conservative independent Evan McMullin drew substantially from Republicans). Democrats need to gain exactly 24 Republican-held seats while defending all 194 of their own to capture control of the House in 2018, and these 24 Trumpcare supporters will likely be prime targets.
This second map, which is at the top of this post, illustrates how every House Republican member voted and whether their district favored Clinton or Donald Trump in 2016. Only 11 of the 20 Republicans who voted no came from districts that Trump carried, even fewer than the 14 in Clinton seats who favored the bill.
Finally, this chart shows the 2016 and 2012 presidential results and the 2016 House results for the 24 Republicans who voted yes in seats where Trump got less than 50 percent of the vote, aside from Utah. Ranking the districts from Trump's worst to best margin, the Republican in the bluest seat to support the bill was Rep. Carlos Curbelo, whose heavily Cuban-American Miami-area Florida 27th District favored Clinton by a staggering 57-41.
● AZ-Sen: On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema appeared to announce that she would seek re-election to the House rather than challenge GOP Sen. Jeff Flake. However, as KPNX’s Brahm Resnik notes, Sinema didn’t actually say she wouldn’t run for the Senate. In fact, when she was directly asked in the interview if she would run for the Senate she only said “I'm running for re-election.” Resnik further reports that, on Thursday, Sinema representatives called state Democrats concerned that she wouldn’t run against Flake to reassure them that “nothing’s changed.” And in a text message exchange later that day, Sinema told Resnik, “I've said what I always say. I'm currently running for re-election.” Note the word “currently.”
Grand Canyon State Democrats may need to put up with Sinema’s games, because it’s unclear who they’d field if Sinema (actually) decides not to run. In fact, until Thursday, Sinema was the only notable Democrat we'd even heard seriously mentioned for this race. When it looked like Sinema was out. Roll Call's Andrew Breiner wrote that state Rep. Randy Friese's name was "being floated," though it's unclear if he's interested. Friese was a trauma surgeon who operated on then-Rep. Gabby Giffords and others after they were shot in early 2011 in Tucson. Friese got into politics a little while later and narrowly unseated a GOP incumbent to win a Tucson-area state House seat in 2014.
● WV-Sen: We'd only offhandedly heard GOP Rep. David McKinley even mentioned as a possible candidate against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, but apparently, he's been thinking about it. On Thursday, McKinley told Roll Call's Simone Pathe that he'd likely announce next week if he would run for the Senate. GOP leaders reportedly want Rep. Evan Jenkins to run, though they don't seem opposed to state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
● FL-Gov: Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran said a few months ago that he wouldn't decide whether he would seek the GOP nomination for governor until after the 2018 legislative session ends next spring, and he's not switching up that timeline in a new Tampa Bay Times interview. However, Corcoran says he will set up a committee to raise money this summer for a possible bid. While there's been some speculation that Corcoran could run for attorney general or for the U.S. Senate, Corcoran unambiguously said that he'll either run for governor or for nothing in 2018.
State Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has been raising money for the GOP primary for years, and he's planning to announce he's in later this month. Polls find Corcoran with little name recognition statewide, and if he's serious about running, he'll need to raise a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time in order to get his name out. As we've noted before, Corcoran is very close to the Koch brothers' political network, and they may be interested in opening their wallets for him.
However, there's one wealthy Republican whom Corcoran very much cannot count on for help. While termed-out Gov. Rick Scott doesn't have a great relationship with Putnam, he's come into conflict with Corcoran numerous times during this year's legislative session. An unnamed Scott ally even told Politico in March that "[y]ou can be sure that if Richard runs for governor, Rick will get Trump to drop the boom on him at just the right time and ruin his chances with Republicans. The governor takes this stuff personally." Scott reportedly has been searching for a wealthy candidate similar to himself to run to succeed him, but it's unclear how his quest is going.
● IA-Gov: On Thursday, state Sen. Nate Boulton announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for governor of Iowa. Boulton, a labor attorney by trade, only won elected office for the first time last year, but he made a name for himself by vocally opposing the GOP legislature's drive against collective bargaining and to weaken legal protections for injured workers.
Iowa Starting Line has written that Boulton is very close to both labor and trial lawyer groups, two influential constituencies that should help him raise money for a crowded primary and competitive general election. Boulton represents a Des Moines-area seat and some observers worry that a candidate from the state's largest city could have difficulty appealing to rural voters, so it's no surprise that Boulton mentioned in his announcement video that he hails from the small town of Columbus Junction in the southeastern corner of the state.
● VA-Gov: Ex-RNC head Ed Gillespie is the only GOP candidate with much money available, and with less than six weeks to go before the primary, he's putting it to use. Gillespie is out with his first TV spot, where he calls for "major tax cuts." The campaign did not reveal the size of the buy, only calling it a "significant" statewide buy.
● AL-02: Last cycle, GOP Rep. Martha Roby turned back a primary challenge from an underfunded local tea party leader 66-28, but she found herself in hot water with the grassroots months later. Roby announced that she wouldn't vote for Trump after the Access Hollywood tape was released, and angry conservatives launched a write-in campaign against her. Roby ended up winning her uncompetitive general election just 49-41, with the rest of the vote going to write-ins. Roby will likely need to be on guard for another primary in 2018, and she may have her first notable opponent soon.
This week, state Rep. Barry Moore filed with the FEC to set up a campaign, though he has yet to announce he's running. However, Moore may not be an ideal challenger. In 2014, Moore was charged with lying to a grand jury in a corruption investigation aimed at then-Speaker Mike Hubbard. Moore was found not-guilty on all counts later that year, but recordings played during the trial seemed to show him passing along a threat from Hubbard to politicians in the town of Enterprise to kill an agreement with the state unless one of them dropped his primary campaign against Moore. (Hat-tip Politics1)
● CA-34: This week, Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez ahead of the June 6 all-Democratic general election for this safely blue seat. Gomez already had the support of much of California's Democratic establishment even before the April primary, so Brown's move is hardly a surprise. Gomez faces former Los Angeles Planning Commissioner Robert Lee Ahn.
● GA-06: Democrat Jon Ossoff is up with a new positive ad ahead of next month's special election. Ossoff sits at a kitchen table and tells the audience that deficits are hurting the economy. Ossoff pledges to cut wasteful spending, reduce the deficit, and prioritize local high tech and biotech research. The commercial seems aimed at voters who usually back Republicans but don't like Trump.
● IL-06: Democrat Kelly Mazeski, a member of the Planning Commission in the small village of Barrington Hills, announced that she would challenge Republican Rep. Peter Roskam on Thursday morning. Mazeski used her opening statement to hit Roskam for backing Trumpcare, noting that she survived breast cancer and that her daughter has a rare medical condition.
This ancestrally red suburban Chicago seat swung from 53-45 Romney to 50-43 Clinton, but Roskam, who won 59-41, is a strong fundraiser who won't be easy to beat. Mazeski ran for the state Senate last cycle but lost 59-41, and we'll need to see if she has the resources to run a strong campaign. Ex-Naperville Unit District 203 school board member Suzyn Price and 2016 nominee Amanda Howland are already running, and other Democrats are considering.
● MT-AL: The DCCC recently announced that they would air TV spots ahead of the May 25 special election, and they're out with their first commercial against Republican Greg Gianforte. The commercial echoes the ones Democrats ran against Gianforte in last year's race for governor, which he lost 50-46. The narrator argues that Gianforte, whom he describes as a "millionaire from New Jersey," went to court to keep the public off his land, and even "funded groups working to sell off our public lands."
● NC-09: While Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger had little trouble winning the general election in this conservative suburban Charlotte seat last year, his primary was another story altogether. Court-ordered redistricting gave Pittenger a seat that was about 60 percent new to him, but perhaps more importantly, his former real estate company had been under investigation by the FBI and IRS for over a year in connection with loans he made to his first congressional campaign in 2012. But on Thursday, the government announced that they had closed their investigation without any charges. Pittenger only won his three-way 2016 primary by 142 votes, but he'll probably have a much easier time in 2018 without this hanging over him.
● UT-03: A few days ago, Y2 Analytics released a poll of a hypothetical GOP primary that gave Utah Valley University President Matt Holland a clear lead. Holland hadn't actually expressed interest in running to succeed departing Rep. Jason Chaffetz, and he tells the local CBS affiliate that he's "completely surprised" he's been mentioned. However, Holland didn't rule out a campaign, saying he "believe[s] in public service" and "I'd never rule it out for me or for anybody that cares about our country."
So far, no notable Republicans have announced that they'll run here. Chaffetz himself has hinted he'll resign before his term expires, and if he does, Utah legislators would need to clarify the state's vague special election law and decide how the parties would pick their nominees.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.