Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014

Alaska Republican Super PAC Launches Another Ad

Alaska Republican Super PAC Launches Another Ad

Dan Sullivan is getting some outside help. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A super PAC supporting Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan is launching a radio ad Friday taking aim at his two leading Senate race opponents.

The 60-second ad from Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values, backed by an $80,000 buy and running statewide, mentions Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and Sullivan’s top opponent in the Aug. 19 primary, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

The ad lands on the airwaves on the heels of an accompanying TV ad from the group. Both label Sullivan a true Alaskan — one of the leading attacks against the native Ohioan — and state he is the only Republican who can defeat Begich. Full story

July 24, 2014

Democratic Poll: Freshman Holds Minor Lead Over Carl DeMaio

Democratic Poll: Freshman Holds Minor Lead Over Carl DeMaio

Scott Peters is a freshman Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., holds a slight lead over his GOP challenger, former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, more than three months from Election Day, in a new poll conducted for House Majority PAC and provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Peters leads DeMaio, 48 percent to 43 percent — slightly outside the survey’s 4.9 point margin of error. The poll was conducted by GBA Strategies and surveyed 400 likely voters via live telephone between July 20-22.

This race in California’s 52nd District, located in and around San Diego, is a top Republican target in November. The National Republican Congressional Committee has touted DeMaio as a top recruit in the district that President Barack Obama won with 52 percent last cycle. 

Here’s the full survey memo:

Full story

Quirky Ex-Senator Stomps on Democrats’ S.D. Hopes

Quirky Ex Senator Stomps on Democrats S.D. Hopes

Johnson is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card — former Sen. Larry Pressler — to help the contest break their way.

Pressler seems to have other plans.

Democrats already faced long odds to hold retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat. Obama lost South Dakota by 18 points last cycle, and the state marks the GOP’s best pick-up opportunity in its 6-seat quest to win the majority.

The front-runner, popular former GOP Gov. Mike Rounds, faces several foes: Democrat Rick Weiland; state Sen. Gordon Howie, a conservative Republican running as an independent; and Pressler, who served three terms as a Republican but is running as an independent.

Democrats held out hope the race would become competitive if Pressler splintered GOP votes from Rounds. But so far, Pressler is doing the opposite — splitting Democrats and extinguishing the party’s remaining hopes of keeping the seat.

“He seems to be veering to the left,” said Ben Nesselhuf, former South Dakota Democratic Party chairman, in an interview with Roll Call. “I like this Larry Pressler a lot more than I liked the one in the mid 1990s. … His message and Rick Weiland’s message seem to kind of overlap.”

Full story

July 23, 2014

Number of Potential Senators in the House Dwindles

Number of Potential Senators in the House Dwindles

Capito is among the House members running for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jack Kingston’s Tuesday defeat in a Senate primary runoff means no more than nine House members could join the ranks of the Senate in the 114th Congress — and that number could shrink again next month.

With 13 members giving up their seats to run for Senate, Kingston became the third House member from Georgia and the fourth nationwide to unsuccessfully seek a Senate nomination. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, who failed in his primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn, and Georgia Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, who failed to advance in the May primary, were the others.

Of the final nine, only Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, is not yet assured of appearing on the November ballot. She faces appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in an Aug. 9 special-election primary. The winner will be favored in the general election.  Full story

Chris McDaniel Finished Mississippi Senate Runoff With $386,000

Chris McDaniel Finished Mississippi Senate Runoff With $386,000

McDaniel had nearly $400,000 left after his runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Chris McDaniel, who may soon launch an official challenge to the results of the Mississippi Republican Senate runoff, still had $386,000 in his campaign coffers a week after the late June election, according to his July quarterly report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

McDaniel, who hoped to use that money for the November general election, instead lost to Sen. Thad Cochran by more than 7,600 votes. But he’s since refused to concede.

Nearly a month later, his campaign continues to allege that Cochran won with illegitimate votes, and his supporters are going through Mississippi election records to determine if enough potentially illegal votes were cast to allow McDaniel to formally challenge the results. Full story

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Fundraising plays a factor in who will serve as Senate majority leader in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Senate Democrats lose the majority, it won’t be for lack of cash-flush campaigns. Facing a daunting map, Democrats turned in solid — sometimes eye-popping — second-quarter fundraising totals for the midterms.

Even with incumbents such as Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska already spending significantly on the airwaves, Democrats running for the party’s most endangered seats also continued to sit on significant war chests primed for a post-Labor Day advertising assault.

With President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the low 40s, an unreliable base turnout in midterms, outside groups unleashing seemingly unlimited resources and Republican challengers staying competitive financially, it will take every penny to ensure Democrats’ losses don’t reach six seats. That threshold would hand the GOP control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

The fundraising reports filed last week by the dozen or so most competitive campaigns offer the last publicly available insight into their financial viability until mid-October, just before the general elections. With a few months to go, this was the first fundraising period that saw numerous candidates eclipse $2 million raised, with several topping $3 million and one even reaching $4 million. Full story

July 22, 2014

Freedom Partners Dives Into North Carolina Senate Race

Freedom Partners Dives Into North Carolina Senate Race

Kay Hagan will seek re-election in North Carolina. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Freedom Partners, a group affiliated with the Koch Brothers, has purchased at least $2.8 million in airtime in North Carolina to boost the GOP’s bid to pick up the state’s Senate seat, two sources told CQ Roll Call.

The airtime will benefit state Speaker Thom Tillis, who faces Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in a competitive race that could determine which party holds the Senate next year.  Full story

Georgia Runoff Results: David Perdue Wins GOP Nod for Senate (Video)

Georgia Runoff Results: David Perdue Wins GOP Nod for Senate (Video)

Perdue won the Georgia Republican Senate nomination Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Businessman David Perdue’s outsider narrative and personal wealth propelled him to the Republican nomination Tuesday in the Georgia Senate race, defeating Rep. Jack Kingston.

Perdue led the 11-term congressman, 51 percent to 49 percent, with 93 percent of precincts reporting when The Associated Press called the race.

After an extra nine weeks were tacked on to the initial May 20 primary, the race is finally progressing to the general election — where Democrat Michelle Nunn has quietly been compiling cash for what will be a pricey contest.

Full story

Georgia Runoff Results for House Races: Ex-Congressman Bob Barr Loses Comeback Bid

Georgia Runoff Results for House Races: Ex Congressman Bob Barr Loses Comeback Bid

Jody Hice defeated Mike Collins, above, for the GOP nod in a Georgia House race. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:52 p.m. | Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk thwarted former Rep. Bobb Barr’s comeback, capturing a decisive win in Tuesday’s GOP runoff.

Loudermilk defeated Barr 70 percent to 30 percent, with 41 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

There is no Democrat running in the 11th District in the fall, making Loudermilk the de facto next member of Congress from this Marietta-based district. He will succeed Rep. Phil Gingrey, who lost a GOP Senate primary in May.

Full story

Live Results: Georgia Runoffs

Follow Tuesday’s action in the Peach State with the Roll Call Politics Team as they track live results and provide immediate reaction and analysis on the Georgia GOP runoff races.

Polls close at 7 p.m.

 

Live Blog Georgia Runoff Races
 

By Cameron Easley Posted at 6:45 p.m.
Uncategorized

Democrats Tout Walsh Bill to Bring Back Jobs — Without Walsh

Democrats Tout Walsh Bill to Bring Back Jobs — Without Walsh

John Walsh was appointed to the Senate earlier this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Politics is overtaking the Senate floor schedule again this week, with a vulnerable Democrat leading the charge on a bill to give tax breaks to employers who return jobs to the United States.

But Sen. John Walsh, the Democrat appointed to fill the term vacated by the departure of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., to be ambassador to China, didn’t appear before an array of cameras Tuesday afternoon with Senate colleagues, automobile and steel workers to tout his legislation.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., a longtime leader on the issue, indicated Walsh had a schedule conflict.

Full story

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., participated in a recent news conference on legislation following the Hobby Lobby decision. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll of likely voters in 12 Senate battleground states suggests a populist economic message and focus on women’s health issues could help Democrats improve their standing with unmarried women voters in advance of the midterm elections.

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps in collaboration with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which focuses on increasing participation among unmarried women voters.

It found that Democratic candidates are currently underperforming with unmarried women voters, beating Republicans among the crucial demographic by just 11 points, compared to a 20-point gap in the 2010 midterms. But the poll also gave Democrats suggestions for messages that are most likely to resonate with this voting bloc.

“The movement in the races and in the states is really about the movement of unmarried women … based on hearing an economic agenda that resonates with their lives,” said Page Gardner, the founder of Women’s Voices Women Vote. Full story

Ron Barber Airs First TV Ad (Video)

Ron Barber Airs First TV Ad (Video)

Barber faces a competitive re-election race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona Rep. Ron Barber is up with his first TV ad for one of the most competitive races in the country.

The 60-second positive spot is narrated by the Democrat’s wife, Nancy, and stresses his political independence and deep ties to the Tucson-based 2nd District. Prior to his service in Congress, Barber was a staffer to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whom he succeeded.

“Ron’s done what’s right for Southern Arizona, not what’s easy,” Nancy says in the ad. “He loves this place, because this is our home.”

Full story

July 21, 2014

Georgia Runoff: Republicans Pick Senate and House Nominees Tuesday

Georgia Runoff: Republicans Pick Senate and House Nominees Tuesday

Kingston is running for Senate in Georgia. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Republicans will pick their nominee for Senate in a runoff Tuesday, ending Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn’s nine-week wait for an opponent in the open-seat contest.

The Senate contest has reverberated around the Peach State, creating three open-seat House races with GOP runoffs that will also be decided Tuesday.

In the statewide race, many Republicans said Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., has a small edge over former Dollar General and Reebok CEO David Perdue. Both of whom have spent millions on the anticipated low-turnout contest, and polls close at 7 p.m.

In May, Perdue came in first in a seven-candidate Republican primary field that included three members of Congress with 31 percent — below the 50 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. Kingston came in second with 26 percent.

Full story

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

The Re Education of Rick Nolan

Nolan came back to Congress in 2012 — three decades after his first stint in the 1970s. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.

But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.

Full story

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