- GOP Candidates Avoiding Big Gaffes So Far
- Emanuel Trails Badly in Chicago
- Poll Finds Kasich in Close Race
- Clinton, Inc.
- Americans Remain Divided in Supreme Court
July 13, 2014
Mo’ money, mo’ problems? That’s the case for a few deep-pocketed House candidates, whose affluence has become a political issue in the districts they seek this November.
Wealth is commonplace in Congress, where one-third of the members are worth more than $1 million. But this cycle, at least four candidates running in competitive House districts boast a personal net worth in excess of $8 million, according to financial disclosure forms. And in the final months of the midterms, their opponents have found ways to use their means against them.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same playbook that sunk Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Last cycle, Democrats successfully used Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth — along with his career as a venture capitalist — to convince middle-class voters he didn’t have their best interests at heart. Hillary Rodham Clinton, considering a second presidential bid, has also taken heat recently for talking about financial struggles, despite the hefty speaking fees she earns and her relatively newfound riches.
July 12, 2014
Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad Saturday aimed at the Republican vying for Michigan’s open Senate seat.
The Democrat-aligned super PAC’s spot, backed by a nearly $650,000 buy and running for two weeks, features three state residents criticizing former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land on issues including tax breaks for the wealthy and women’s health, while labeling Land a “career politician.” Full story
July 11, 2014
Democrats on Capitol Hill expressed mixed reactions Friday to a new court ruling that declared Florida’s congressional map unconstitutional.
A judge ruled Thursday that the Sunshine State’s 5th and 10th Districts, held by Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster were unconstitutional — effectively tossing out the entire map drawn by Republicans in 2012.
It’s still unclear if this means the map will have be redrawn before November. The Miami Herald reported Thursday night that a new map will not be used until 2016. But Democrats remain hopeful changes could come earlier and are making preparations for the 2014 elections to be waged over new lines in the Sunshine State.
Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor has been buying up fall airtime for a race critical to nearly every hypothetical Republican path to the Senate majority.
The two-term Democrat, who faces the fight of his political life against GOP Rep. Tom Cotton, has so far reserved several hundred thousand dollars worth of TV time for the closing six weeks of the race, according to a media-buying source. The Pryor campaign would not comment on its media strategy, but that’s just an opening salvo in a state already seeing a plethora of spending from outside groups and both campaigns.
Amid a vigorous on-air back-and-forth over tornado disaster relief and religion in the past week, the contours of Pryor’s path to re-election remain unchanged. The Arkansas Democrat is banking that voters’ familiarity with him — and their disbelief that Cotton is on their side — will outweigh the antipathy toward Washington and President Barack Obama.
“Mark’s been around a really long time and his family has been around a long time,” said Sheila Bronfman, a Democratic consultant in Arkansas and longtime ally of the Clintons. “People like him and they trust him. They trust where he comes from and how he was raised, and I just think that’s making a big difference here.”
July 10, 2014
A state judge ruled Thursday two Florida House districts violated the state’s constitution, following a dramatic trial questioning the state’s recently redrawn boundaries following the 2010 U.S. Census.
It is still unclear whether the ruling will affect the 2014 elections.
Judge Terry Lewis ruled the 5th and 10th Districts, held by Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown and Republican Rep. Daniel Webster, respectively, violated the state constitution’s Fair District Amendments. He said the districts violated the 2010 amendments because they are not compact and were drawn to favor the Republican Party. The judge had some strong words for the Republican operatives and consultants that he ruled influenced the redistricting process.
New York Rep. Tom Reed raised more than $660,000 in the second quarter, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call, a strong sum as the top Democratic target defends his upstate district.
Rep. John Barrow, a Georgia Democrat and perpetual GOP target, raised $580,000 in the second quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Barrow’s three-month haul brings his total cash on hand to $1.9 million as of June 30.
One of the most moderate Democrats in the House, Barrow is running for re-election in a district Mitt Romney carried by 12 points in 2012. He faces construction company owner Rick Allen, who earned the GOP nomination in a crowded May 20 primary. Full story
Freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., raised $482,000 in the second quarter of this year, according to her campaign.
She will report $1.47 million in her war chest as she prepares to take on her Republican rival, former Rep. Bobby Schilling, in the 17th District. Full story
California Republican challenger Carl DeMaio reserved $1.2 million in TV airtime for the fall, according to media buy information obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The move sets down a marker for when the race for this Democrat-held seat, a top target of national Republicans, will begin to heat up. The buy begins Sept. 15 and runs through Election Day on both cable and broadcast in the 52nd District, located in and around San Diego.
DeMaio is a top Republican recruit facing vulnerable freshman Rep. Scott Peters, who defeated a GOP incumbent by a slim margin in 2012. The district is one of the most expensive in the country to air TV ads, and Peters’ race last cycle was among the priciest.
Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich., raised $487,000 in the second quarter, a sharp increase from his haul during the first three months of the year.
The second-term Republican, a top Democratic target, had $942,000 in cash on hand as of June 30, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.
Benishek, who had raised just $145,000 in the first quarter, is being challenged by Jerry Cannon, a veteran and former sheriff whom Democrats are counting on to put the 1st District in play.
RIPLEY, W.Va. — At the local Fourth of July parade, Alex Mooney proudly showed off his West Virginia concealed gun permit. The Republican’s campaign colors are blue and gold — echoing the Mountain State’s flagship public college, West Virginia University. In a gold polo shirt, Mooney pointed to his son sporting a WVU baseball cap, standing near the campaign’s pickup truck stuffed with gold balloons.
In a place with a lot of Mountaineer pride, Mooney has outdone them all.
Former Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y., has injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into her campaign to defeat freshman Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.
In addition to raising $256,000, Hayworth loaned her campaign $500,000. The combined haul is three-quarters of a million dollars, according to a campaign spokesman. Full story
A six-week mulligan for the Club for Growth ends on July 15, when voters will pick a GOP nominee in Alabama’s 6th District runoff.
After the club’s preferred candidate did not advance to the runoff, it regrouped by endorsing the second-place primary finisher, conservative activist Gary Palmer. And this time, GOP operatives in the state said the club’s spending could be enough to propel Palmer to victory over his foe, state Rep. Paul DeMarco, in the race to succeed retiring Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus.
“Palmer has benefited from the Club for Growth,” said Bob Kish, a GOP operative who has worked on Alabama races. “I think it’s enough to put Gary over the top.”
July 9, 2014
House Majority PAC announced Thursday it had placed a third round of television advertisement reservations worth $7.3 million.
The super PAC, which aims to elect Democrats to the House, made the reservations across across 13 media markets.
“As races across the country start to shape up, it is clear that we are well-positioned to have a successful cycle,” HMP Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement. “These early reservations will help our dollars go further and secure the air time we will need to pick up seats in November.”
Democrats must pick up a net of 17 seats to win the House majority — a difficult task this cycle. Party organizations, including the congressional campaign committees, are in the process of reserving airtime in many of the most competitive districts for the fall.
A super PAC spokesman declined to specify race targets, noting that many of those markets feature more than one House race.
HMP has now made $20 million in television airtime reservations for the 2014 elections. However, groups often release these reservations to the press as a means to communicate with other party entities about buying television ads in the same races.
These are the markets and values of the reservations:
The fall air wars are amping up in a top House race in Arizona.
Ret. Air Force Col. Martha McSally, a Republican challenging Democratic Rep. Ron Barber, placed television reservations in the Tucson media market for the final weeks of the 2nd District race, according to a campaign source.
The total sum of the McSally buy is $460,000 on broadcast and cable in the relatively inexpensive market.
Additionally, House Majority PAC, a Democrat-aligned super PAC, is upping its own reservation in the district from $140,000 to $440,000, according to a Democratic source watching the Tucson media market.