James Arkin is a reporter for POLITICO focusing on Senate elections. Since joining the POLITICO newsroom in 2018, James was the lead reporter covering the Senate during the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 election cycle, reporting from Washington and more than a dozen states on the most expensive and competitive elections in the country that determined control of the Senate. James broke significant news on candidate recruitment, party strategy, and hundreds of millions of dollars in fundraising and spending. James has interviewed candidates and senators in both parties, writing profiles of important political figures and trend stories about how Senate elections around the country tie back to the important policy fights on Capitol Hill.
In 2020 and 2021, James reported on the ground in Georgia, interviewing the four candidates, dozens of strategists and voters about the two runoff elections that delivered Democrats control of the chamber in 2021. During his time on this beat, James has developed a broad array of sources spanning the ideological spectrum in both parties; he has written analytical stories, deeply reported enterprise pieces and quick-turn breaking news.
Prior to joining POLITICO, James was a congressional reporter with RealClearPolitics. For four years, James wrote deeply reported pieces on the inner workings of the Senate and House of Representatives, breaking news on a variety of major stories in the Capitol, including the end of the bipartisan push for criminal justice reform in the summer of 2016; the efforts by Senators Tim Kaine and Jeff Flake to bring up a vote on an authorization for the use of military force in the war against ISIS; and the growing concern among Republicans over the slow pace of nominations by President Trump. He covered House and Senate campaigns in the 2016 election cycle, writing enterprise reports on different Senate contests, Democrats’ efforts to retake chambers of Congress, and Republican efforts to handle the unorthodox Trump campaign.
In 2017, James closely covered Republicans’ legislative pushes on health care and tax reform, and Democrats efforts to gin up resistance to the GOP efforts. He also closely tracked the approaching of the 2018 midterms, writing about candidate recruitment and burgeoning primary battles.
Before joining RCP, James received a Master’s from the of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a focus in magazine writing and editing. He previously graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Medill with a second major in Political Science. His work has appeared in in print and online for BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, the Columbus Dispatch, the New York Daily News, and the Medill News Service in Chicago and Washington, DC, as well as a variety of sports blogs and websites.
Outside reporting, his interests include spending my time avidly following his favorite sporting teams: The Ohio State Buckeyes, the Northwestern Wildcats, and the Cleveland Indians/Cavaliers/Browns while trying to maintain some hint of optimist, which becomes increasingly difficult with each new season.
Follow James on twitter: @jamesarkin