Jason Kander May Have Made a Big Mistake

Nathan L. Gonzales February 22, 2017 · 9:16 AM EST

Missouri Democrat Jason Kander came close to getting elected to the Senate after he burst onto the scene last year with a memorable campaign ad and a strong challenge to GOP incumbent Roy Blunt. Now Kander is widely viewed as a rising star in the Democratic Party, but his postelection choices may complicate future bids for higher office.

Last year, Kander gained national attention for his ad, “Background Checks,” in which he reassembled a rifle blindfolded. It was one of the most memorable ads of the cycle, if not recent campaign history.

Kander had the momentum in the race against Blunt until the final couple of weeks when Hillary Clinton’s support collapsed and Donald Trump went on to win the Show Me State 57 percent to 38 percent. The top of the ballot was simply too much for Kander to overcome, and he lost 49 percent to 46 percent. 

Despite the defeat, Kander was regarded as a bright spot for Democrats on an election night full of forgettable moments. He’s now viewed as the type of candidate who could lead the party back to majorities in Congress.

Kander leveraged that attention into increasing his national profile with cable news appearances, joining the board of Priorities USA and starting his own voting rights group. But those postelection associations run contrary to…

At DGA, Pearson Quietly Pulling Democrats Back to Prominence

Nathan L. Gonzales February 21, 2017 · 9:15 AM EST

Democratic lawmakers probably wouldn’t recognize Elisabeth Pearson if she walked into their Capitol Hill office, but they might be owing her their jobs before too long. 

As executive director of the Democratic Governors Association and a leading strategist in the party’s redistricting efforts,…

The GOP’s Long-Term Structural Senate Advantage

Stuart Rothenberg February 20, 2017 · 9:30 AM EST

These days, Republicans have a structural advantage in the fight for the House because of how district lines were drawn earlier in the decade. But the party’s current structural advantage in the Senate may be even more important, since it doesn’t depend on state legislators drawing favorable lines,…

The Senate Revolution in North Dakota Will Not Be Televised

Nathan L. Gonzales February 17, 2017 · 1:10 PM EST

Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer’s commitment to radio town halls should keep him connected to his constituents, but it could also help lay the groundwork to challenge a Democratic senator in a top-tier race.

The North Dakota congressman held the most town halls (164) among members of Congress in…

Congressional Republicans Should Be Afraid of Steve Bannon

Nathan L. Gonzales February 14, 2017 · 2:47 PM EST

It’s no secret that Steve Bannon wants to oversee the demise of the mainstream media, but President Donald Trump’s senior adviser probably wouldn’t mind incapacitating the Republican Party in order to remake it into his own image as well. 

Bannon (and Trump, for that matter) referred to the media,…