Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 18, 2014

Posts by Alexis Levinson

165 Posts

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

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 10, 2014

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

December 6, 2014

Louisiana Runoff Results: Mary Landrieu Loses

Louisiana Runoff Results: Mary Landrieu Loses

Cassidy was elected to the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:23 a.m. | Republicans capped their Senate sweep Saturday night, when Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., defeated Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in a Senate runoff.

Cassidy, a doctor who still practices, was leading Landrieu, 65 percent to 35 percent when the Associated Press called the race 30 minutes after polls closed. Republicans also retained two House seats in additional runoff races.  Full story

December 5, 2014

3 Things to Know About the Louisiana Runoff

3 Things to Know About the Louisiana Runoff

Landrieu rallies supporters in Shreveport, La. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

If you haven’t been paying attention to the Louisiana Senate runoff, we don’t blame you. The race between Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu and Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy could have been a defining contest that determined which party held a majority in the Senate.

Instead, Republicans swept the Senate in November, and the Louisiana race has become an afterthought.

To be sure, Landrieu has a history of pulling off unlikely wins. But when voters go to the polls Saturday, she is expected to follow suit of most southern Democrats who faced re-election this year. Democrats have been dramatically outspent in the runoff, and Landrieu trails in polls.

In addition to Landrieu’s race, voters in The Pelican State will also cast ballots Saturday in 5th and 6th District races. House Republicans are expected to retain both seats.

Polls close at 9 p.m eastern. Here’s what you need to know before that happens: Full story

December 3, 2014

Congressman Considering Rob Portman Challenge in 2016

Congressman Considering Rob Portman Challenge in 2016

Ryan is a Democrat from northeast Ohio. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan said he is considering a challenge to Republican Sen. Rob Portman in 2016.

“We’re certainly looking very closely at it,” the Democrat told CQ Roll Call in a Wednesday phone interview.

Earlier this week, Portman announced he would seek re-election, foregoing a bid for president. His declaration marked good news for Senate Republicans, who view him as the top contender to keep his seat in the GOP’s hands in 2016. Portman boasts a formidable fundraising network and, as of the end of September, had $5.5 million in his campaign coffers.

Ryan had $441,000 as of his most recent filing but said he felt he could compete with Portman. Full story

December 2, 2014

Rand Paul Adviser Talks 2016 Plans

Rand Paul Adviser Talks 2016 Plans

Paul is a Kentucky Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced Tuesday he will seek re-election to the Senate, while weighing a run for president as well.

That decision will likely come in early spring, said Paul adviser Doug Stafford in an afternoon conference call with reporters.

Earlier Tuesday, one of Paul’s Republican colleagues in the Senate, Rob Portman of Ohio, announced he would not run for president, citing his Senate duties. Stafford brushed off such concerns on Paul’s part. Full story

November 20, 2014

Congressman to Consider John McCain Primary Challenge

Congressman to Consider John McCain Primary Challenge

Schweikert could challenge McCain in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., plans to keep his options open for 2016, saying he would consider future runs — including a primary challenge to Sen. John McCain — after the holidays.

“My wife and I made an agreement that we would wait until after the holidays, and then we would have a family meeting,” Schweikert told CQ Roll Call in between votes Tuesday, his wife by his side. “The whole thing: whether you’re gonna run at all over again, do you weigh options for other things.”

Full story

November 19, 2014

Huelskamp Open to Moran Primary Challenge

Huelskamp Open to Moran Primary Challenge

Huelskamp, center, is a Kansas Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., is not ruling out a primary challenge to Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., in 2016.

“We haven’t decided what we’re doing yet, so that’s a good question,” Huelskamp told CQ Roll Call when asked if he was considering a Senate bid.

Asked if he thought he would be competitive in the primary, Huelskamp, “We’ve done very well with conservatives. But now, that’s a long time down the road.”

“I don’t know if he has even announced that he’s running again,” he added in between Tuesday votes on Capitol Hill.  Full story

November 13, 2014

Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman

Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman

Tester will chair the DSCC for the 2016 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester was appointed chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2016 cycle.

Senate Democrats are coming off a brutal cycle, in which Republicans won back the majority for the first time since 2006 and could have a nine-seat net gain. But the Senate should be in play next cycle, with a far more favorable map for Democrats than in 2014.

At a news conference following an extended Democratic meeting in the Capitol, Tester said his role will be “going out and finding candidates that can lead, that can win, that can advocate for the middle class in their elections.” Tester said he will continue to focus on his job as senator and still has a farm to keep up back home.Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman Full story

How Thom Tillis Defeated One of 2014′s Best Campaigns

How Thom Tillis Defeated One of 2014s Best Campaigns

Sen.-elect Thom Tillis is a North Carolina Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call).

It’s rare a losing campaign has no regrets. But to the last person, Democrats involved in Sen. Kay Hagan’s re-election say they would not have done anything differently.

Hagan ran one of the best campaigns of the cycle, defying headwinds of an unpopular Democratic president in a state that elected Mitt Romney in 2012. But on Election Day, it was not enough, and she fell to Republican state Speaker Thom Tillis by 1.7 points.

“Except for if I could have run this race during a presidential year,” Hagan’s campaign manager, Preston Elliott, told CQ Roll Call. “Maybe I would have moved Election Day to August.” Full story

November 10, 2014

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

Ernst is the senator-elect from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.

Roll Call has compiled a list of the cream of the crop of 2014. Many faced long odds, crowded primaries, an unpopular president and millions in targeted attack ads. But through all that and more, these campaigns ably managed the curves of the cycle — and all but one were victorious.

In alphabetical order by candidate, here are the best congressional campaigns of the midterms: Full story

November 7, 2014

Ed Gillespie Concedes Virginia Senate Race to Mark Warner

Ed Gillespie Concedes Virginia Senate Race to Mark Warner

Gillespie conceded the Virginia Senate race Friday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Update 2:03 p.m. | Republican Ed Gillespie conceded the Virginia Senate race Friday, declining to contest Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s tight lead.

By Friday, Warner led by just 17,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting. But with canvassing ongoing since Wednesday, media outlets had yet to call the race.

“If I believed there were any conceivable way we could find a viable path to win through a recount, I would fight,” Gillespie told supporters. Full story

November 4, 2014

Republicans Sweep the Senate (Updated)

Republicans Sweep the Senate (Updated)

McConnell won re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Updated Nov. 5, 7:23 a.m. | Republicans swept the Senate races Tuesday night, and come January, they will control the chamber for the first time in eight years.

Democratic incumbents fell right and left, even in seats that they had originally been favored to win. President Barack Obama’s poor approval rating — 42 percent in the last nationwide Gallup poll — dragged down candidates across the country in the face of a Republican wave.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who cruised to victory in his own re-election, is set to become the next majority leader, with a gain of at least seven seats — one more than the GOP needed.

As results were still pouring in, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran credited the GOP’s recruiting, encouraging and training its candidates.

“They are why we have the ability to deliver a majority, this evening, of Republicans to the United States Senate,” the Kansas Republican said. Full story

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