Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 23, 2014

December 22, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Pennsylvania Senate

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Pennsylvania Senate

Toomey is up for re-election in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., the former president of the conservative Club for Growth, is seeking re-election in a state that hasn’t picked a GOP nominee for president since 1988.

So will Toomey — who has been endorsed for re-election by this outside group — moderate his votes or platform to appeal to the political center of the Keystone State ahead of 2016? It’s one of the most interesting questions of the 2016 cycle  — and it’s just one reason why the Pennsylvania Senate race tops Roll Call’s list of the Top 10 Races to Watch in 2016.

Full story

How Jeb Bush Affects the Florida Senate Race

How Jeb Bush Affects the Florida Senate Race

Rubio is a Florida Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential exploration roiled Capitol Hill last week. Back in his home state, pols also had their eye on another Sunshine State Republican, Sen. Marco Rubio, whose own presidential ambitions could kick off a pivotal open-seat race for Senate.

Rubio has expressed interest in running for president, and he’s made clear he will not run for both that office and Senate at the same time. Following Bush’s announcement, Rubio said in a statement that his decision will not be impacted by “who else might be running” for president. Full story

December 18, 2014

Veteran GOP Fundraiser Moves On After 37 Years

Steve Gordon, who helped raise money for high-profile Republicans for nearly four decades, announced Thursday he will turn his focus on issue advocacy.

Gordon served as a fundraiser for Sen.-elect Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who defeated Democratic Sen. Mark Udall last month in the Centennial State.

Full story

December 17, 2014

McSally Win Gives Republicans Another House Seat (Updated)

McSally Win Gives Republicans Another House Seat (Updated)

McSally is a Republican from Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:14 p.m. | Republican Martha McSally has officially defeated Rep. Ron Barber, D-Ariz., after a protracted recount in the Tucson-based 2nd District reaffirmed her lead.

MsSally won the seat by 167 votes, picking up six votes after the recount, according to elections officials. Full story

N.H. Democrats Prep Kelly Ayotte Challenge

N.H. Democrats Prep Kelly Ayotte Challenge

Ayotte is a top target of Democrats in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Hampshire is set to play a far more pivotal role in deciding Senate control next cycle than it did in the midterms.

In 2016, Granite State Democrats are sizing up GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte for a seat vital to winning back the majority. Full story

December 16, 2014

14 Congressional Republicans Jeb Bush Helped Last Cycle

14 Congressional Republicans Jeb Bush Helped Last Cycle

Bush, left, campaigned for Tillis in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday he is exploring a bid for president in 2016 with help from a new leadership PAC.

“In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation,” Bush wrote in a Facebook post. “The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

Full story

Exit Interview: John Barrow Laments Hyper-Partisan Congress

Exit Interview: John Barrow Laments Hyper Partisan Congress

Barrow lost re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Defeating Georgia Rep. John Barrow, the last white House Democrat in the Deep South, may have been one of the House GOP’s biggest feats in last month’s near sweep of the 2014 elections.

In an exclusive exit interview with CQ Roll Call Thursday — hours before Barrow’s final vote of his decade-long Capitol Hill career — he did not rule out a future bid. Full story

House Democratic Losses Deplete Bench of 2016 Senate Recruits

House Democratic Losses Deplete Bench of 2016 Senate Recruits

Jon Tester from Montana is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2016 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sweeping House losses have not only pushed Democrats into a historic minority, they’ve depleted the bench of potential Senate recruits for the 2016 elections.

After losing the majority in the midterms, Senate Democrats are seeking strong recruits for 2016 in hopes of netting the five seats necessary to ensure they win control again. Party officials argue the majority is within reach because many Senate Republicans elected in 2010 are seeking re-election in a presidential cycle in competitive states such as Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Full story

December 15, 2014

Congressman Mum on Illinois Senate Race

Congressman Mum on Illinois Senate Race

Foster is an Illinois Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of three politicians who Democrats say is considering a challenge to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., remained mum about his plans in an interview with CQ Roll Call last week — but he did not rule out the possibility.

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., confirmed he’s been asked “from time to time” by Illinois Democrats about a bid, but he said it’s too early to discuss whether he wants to run for Senate.

Full story

December 12, 2014

Wisconsin Democrat: Russ Feingold Would Clear Primary

Wisconsin Democrat: Russ Feingold Would Clear Primary

Moore is a Wisconsin Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., told CQ Roll Call she thinks former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., will run for Senate in 2016, adding “no one would primary him.”

But if Feingold decides not to rematch Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Moore added, “that’s a different story.” Full story

December 11, 2014

Club for Growth President Steps Down

Club for Growth President Steps Down

Chocola is photographed in his downtown office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, a former Indiana congressman, announced his retirement Thursday from the conservative outside group that often serves as a thorn in the side of Republican leadership.

Former Rep. David M. McIntosh, also a Hoosier State Republican, will take over for Chocola, who led the group for six years. Full story

December 10, 2014

Lame Duck Offers Brief Fundraising Respite, Sort Of

Lame Duck Offers Brief Fundraising Respite, Sort Of

It's the season for a (temporary) break from fundraisers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A handful of Democratic House female members did an absurdly normal thing together one night last week: Instead of splintering off to fundraisers, the group of perennially vulnerable incumbents met for a laid-back dinner at a Thai restaurant on Barracks Row after evening votes.

For a couple of weeks every other December, the lame duck takes hold of (and relieves campaign obligations from) members of Congress. Some rush to pass last-minute legislation, while other lawmakers just catch a breath after having endured months of the campaign ringer.

Full story

Exclusive: DSCC Chairman Makes Recruitment Pitch for 2016

Exclusive: DSCC Chairman Makes Recruitment Pitch for 2016

Tester talks in his Capitol office Tuesday about his role as DSCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester sees a world of opportunity when he looks at the 2016 Senate map — and a mountain of work to capitalize on it.

Democrats are entering an election cycle in the minority for the first time in a decade, yet the field of competitive states provides avenues back to Senate control, particularly with presidential-year turnout that historically favors the party.

In Tester’s first extensive newspaper interview since becoming chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the farmer from Big Sandy, Mont., emphasized the need to motivate voters to turn out and the challenge of recruiting strong candidates in an atmosphere of unlimited outside spending.

“We’ve got to get a good, clear message that focuses on the middle class, we’ve got to have some deliverables that we can talk about, and we’ve got to have good candidates, maybe most importantly of all,” Tester told CQ Roll Call Tuesday from his hideaway office in the Capitol basement. Full story

Congressman ‘Very Interested’ in David Vitter’s Senate Seat

Congressman Very Interested in David Vitters Senate Seat

Fleming in a Louisiana Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Fleming, R-La., is “very interested” in running for Senate in 2016 if Republican Sen. David Vitter is elected governor next year.

Louisiana only wrapped up the 2014 Senate race a few days ago, but soon state operatives may start thinking about another race. Vitter has already announced an exploratory committee to run for governor in 2015. If Vitter wins, Fleming said, he wants to succeed him in the Senate.

“I’m very interested in that possibility,” he told CQ Roll Call Tuesday during votes at the Capitol. “I think that we need, you know, Sen. Vitter is quite conservative, and I think we need to replace a good strong conservative with another conservative.” Full story

December 9, 2014

House Conservative Faces Primary Peril in 2016

House Conservative Faces Primary Peril in 2016

Huelskamp is a Kansas Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of the House’s top troublemakers could be in trouble in 2016.

Kansas conservative Rep. Tim Huelskamp has angered fellow Republicans with his politics and personality in Congress. If he chooses to seek re-election in 2016, some of his detractors see an opportunity to oust him for good in a primary.

This year, Huelskamp’s primary challenger, Alan LaPolice, held the congressman to a 10-point primary win — with the help of some outside spending on the tyro’s behalf. Huelskamp’s opponents saw that as an indication of discontent with the two-term House Republican — and an opportunity.

In 2016, Kansas Republicans say, the congressman will have a far more credible primary opponent. What’s more, the campaign against Huelskamp, according to one person involved in challenging him this year, will likely be more organized and could start as early as next year. Full story

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