In 2015 the median net worth of a U.S. Senator was $3.2 million, and for members of the House of Representatives it was $900,000. (Quartz, 2/12/18)

There are 12 foreign born members of the 115th Congress [PEW, 8/21/]

61% of Americans say that more women running for Congress is a good thing. This includes 54% of men and 68% of women; 39% of Rep/Lean Rep and 80% of Dem/Lean Dem. [PEW, 8/22]

To date, 116 Democratic candidates have taken the “no corporate PAC money” pledge. Beyond the value of the pledge in their campaigns, first time candidates have not traditionally been big recipients of corporate PAC money. It is those who are in office who are the primary recipients.

Congress’ approval rating continues at a subterranean level.

  Approve Disapprove
Real Clear Politics 9/5 18.4% 71.6%
Real Clear Politics 8/4 14.8% 73.5%
Real Clear Politics 7/5 15.7% 72%
Real Clear Politics 6/5 16.6% 70.6%
Real Clear Politics 5/1 16.6% 72.6%
Real Clear Politics 4/2 13.6% 75%
Real Clear Politics 3/2 15.8% 72.6%
Real Clear Politics 2/4 16.2% 73.9%
Real Clear Politics 1/4/18 15.8% 72.6%

National polls find Democrats leading on the question of whether folks want Democrats or Republicans to control the Congress after the 2018 elections.

Dem GOP    
52% 38% 8/26-29 ABC/WP (Women favor the Democrats by 58% to 33%. Men are split between the parties.)
50% 42% 8/18-22 NBC/WSJ
49% 38% 8/19-21 Fox News
52% 41% 8/9-12 CNN
49% 37% 7/17-23 Kaiser Family Foundation
51% 39% 7/18-23 Quinnipiac
49% 43% 7/15-18 NBC/WSJ

41% of registered voters believe that the Democratic candidates for Congress are “in the main stream” while 37% believe that the Republican candidates fit that description.

Registered voters believe that the Democratic party would do a better job of
protecting the environment, dealing with health care, dealing with ethics in government, looking out for the middle class and dealing with immigration.

They see the Republican party doing a better job of dealing with the economy, protecting America’s interest on trade issues, dealing with taxes, gun issues, changing how things work in Washington and dealing with illegal immigration. [NBC/WSJ, 8/22/18]

Potential voters were asked, “Which is more important in determining how you may vote? State of the economy and your personal finances or your views on President Trump?”

Democrats Undecided Voters
State of the economy/personal finances 47% 36% 64%
Views on President Trump 34% 59% 17%
[Winston Group, 9/5/18]

The House of Representatives

A second 20-year veteran Democrat member of the House has lost a primary in a safe Democratic district, this time in Massachusetts. Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated Congressman Michael E. Capuano. Capuano was considered to be in the most liberal wing of the party. The district is now majority non-white. There is no Republican running in the district.

The following are a series of statements from a September 7th article
by David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report. As you can see below, WW relies on Wasserman’s analysis of the House for this section of the Watch.

“In November, Americans could elect more than 100 women to the House for the first time in history – and elect more new women to the House than any prior election…”

“Between 30 and 40 new women are poised to enter the House next January, shattering the previous record of 24 set in 1992’s “Year of the Woman”.

“Of the 254 non-incumbent Democratic nominees for the House, an unheard-of 50% are women, compared to 18% of Republicans.”

“Right now, there are 61 female Democrats and 23 female Republicans serving in the House.”

“The House’s burgeoning gender gap isn’t the only demographic chasm on display in 2018; the parties are diverging along racial lines as well…At the moment, 86% of House Republicans are white men, compared to 41% of House Democrats. Our race-by-race analysis suggests that could widen to 87% of Republicans and 37% of Democrats – a massive 50-point divide – come 2019.”

[WW uses David Wasserman and the Cook Political Report for the House chart below. 9/6/18]

  • Democrats 195
  • Republicans 240
  Democrats Republicans
Safe in 2018 182 150
Likely 12 25
Lean 9 27
Tossup 2 28

The Senate

[WW used a combination of the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections to create the Senate chart below.]

Governor Ducey of Arizona has appointed former U.S. Senator Jon Kyl to fill the seat vacated by Senator John McCain. Kyl will serve at least through the end of the current session of Congress and apparently would consider serving until 2020 when a special election will be held to fill the McCain seat. Kyl will not stand for election to the seat.

There have been a few other changes since the last issue of the Watch. Likely Democrat seats grew from 5 to 6, as Manchin moved from Toss-up to Likely. Heitkamp’s position has not improved and Inside Elections has the race as Tilting Republican. On the Republican side there have been no changes.

  • Republicans 51
  • Democrats 47
  • Independents 2
  Democrats Republicans
Seats not up in 2018 23 42
Safe in 2018 16 5
Likely 6
Toss-Ups 4
Arizona (open)
Tennessee (open)