Wednesday’s Campaign Round-Up, 11.14.18

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items from across the country.

* In the latest “red” to “blue” flip in the U.S. House, Rep. Jeff Denham (R) has lost his seat in California’s 10th congressional district, falling to first-time candidate Josh Harder (D). There are still two more undecided races in California, and as of last night, both are in districts that also appear poised to flip in Democrats’ favor.

* According to a report in Roll Call, when the new Congress convenes in January, 73% of House Republicans will be serving in the minority for the first time. (They’re not going to like it.)

* Voter turnout in Montana was higher in this year’s midterms than in the 2016 presidential election cycle. As things stand, it’s the only state that can make that boast.

* As of this morning, the Democratic lead in the U.S. House popular vote stood at 7.1%, though it may yet inch higher. For comparison purposes, note that in 2010 – which was widely seen as a GOP “wave” cycle – Republicans won the U.S. House popular vote by 6.6%.

* Senate Democrats formally elected their leadership team for the next Congress. It’s a 10-member group of senators representing a variety of positions, but it’ll be led by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

* As for Senate Republicans, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was re-elected this morning as Senate Majority Leader, while John Thune (R-S.D.) replaces John Cornyn (R-Texas) as Majority Whip. The party’s term-limits policy prevented Cornyn from keeping his post.

* Orientation is currently underway for new senators, and Florida’s Rick Scott (R) is participating, despite the fact that the votes in his race are still being counted. The Washington Post  reported, “Scott’s attendance on Capitol Hill this week is without recent precedent.”

* Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) is the clear favorite in Mississippi’s U.S. Senate runoff election, but it’s worth noting that the National Republican Senatorial Committee is launching a television ad campaign in the state, starting tomorrow. The election is in two weeks.

* And in Vermont, where Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) easily won re-election last week, the senator received some additional good news yesterday: a federal prosecutor announced yesterday that Jane Sanders will not face charges stemming from her controversial tenure as president of the now-defunct Burlington College.