Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 21, 2014

Posts by Bridget Bowman

42 Posts

November 5, 2014

What Happened to the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members? (Updated)

What Happened to the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members? (Updated)

McAllister was defeated Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | Only two of the 10 most vulnerable House members will be returning to Congress next year — and both survivors are Democrats who withstood a Republican wave Tuesday night.

Seven other members on Roll Call’s list will not return to the House for the 114th Congress, while the fate of one lawmaker hangs in the balance as his race is still too close to call.

Full story

What Happened to 2014′s Most Vulnerable Senators?

What Happened to 2014s Most Vulnerable Senators?

Sen. Hagan was defeated Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Three members on Roll Call’s ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators will definitely not be returning to Congress next year, along with a slew of other incumbents.

The fate of two more senators is still unknown, but they also appear to be in trouble. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., faces a difficult December runoff. Votes are also still being counted in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, is trailing his Republican opponent by several points.

Find out who else fulfilled or defied their vulnerable ranking: 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

Roll Call’s Guide to Election Results

Join us Tuesday at 6 p.m. as we kick off Roll Call Presents: Midterm Elections 2014 as the first polls will be closing. You can follow along with Editor-in-Chief Christina Bellantoni and Politics Editor Shira T. Center via the live stream below, and here is a handy cheat-sheet to keep as election results pour in.

As races are called, our CQ counterparts will publish New Member Guide profiles to help you learn about all of the new members. You can also catch up on election news and analysis by checking out Roll Call’s At the Races politics blog and the stories below.

Which races are the most competitive? We have Race Ratings for every seat. Spoiler alert: Republicans are (still) poised to pick up 6 to 8 Senate seats, according to the Rothenberg Political Report.

You can learn which lawmakers are most vulnerable in the House and in the Senate, bid farewell to the members who won’t be returning to Congress for one reason or another, or get to know these members in waiting who are already are on their way to D.C. thanks to uncompetitive races. That’s not to mention all of these 31 memberswho are running unopposed.

Don’t want to stay up? Don’t worry — here’s why Senate control may not be known by Wednesday.

You could ponder these 6 awesome scenarios Bellantoni wrote about in her column Tuesday. Or just click through all of these slideshows:

Roll Call on The Road to Election Day

2014 Campaign

Past Election Nights

Behind the Photos 2014

Mitch McConnell Photos

Mary Landrieu Photos

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Election Day Rituals: Movies, Meals and Mass

Election Day Rituals: Movies, Meals and Mass

DCCC operatives posted winning campaign signs on DNC windows for good luck (Twitter photo from @JesseFFerguson)

At party headquarters on Ivy Street in March, a few Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffers gathered for a good-luck ritual: They posted signs from past special-election victors on windows — and destroyed the losers’ election mailers.

The occasion? The high-stakes special election to replace the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young — though Lady Luck would quickly turn on these staffers. Republicans came from behind to win the appropriately numbered 13th District in Florida.

It’s just one of many superstitious habits saved for an Election Day — and on Tuesday, politicians, operatives and consultants conduct rituals to calm their nerves until polls close and results are released.

Full story

November 3, 2014

The Other House Race in Louisiana

The Other House Race in Louisiana

Graves is one of the top GOP candidates in the crowded race in Louisiana's 6th District. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Though the fate of the “kissing congressman” in Louisiana is garnering some attention outside of the Pelican State, a crowded race to the south with its own colorful characters is wide open — at least on the Republican side.

Ten candidates are vying to replace Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who vacated his seat to challenge vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu. Among them are state lawmakers, a tree farmer and an ex-governor/ex-congressman/felon. Since the Republican candidates are ideologically similar, there is no clear GOP frontrunner heading into Election Day.

“I think you’ve seen that all of the candidates are campaigning as conservatives so it would be difficult to contrast any of the Republican candidates’ policy stances,” Jason Dore, executive director for the Louisiana Republican Party, told CQ Roll Call. Full story

October 31, 2014

How Mary Landrieu and Kissing Congressman’s Fates Are Tied

How Mary Landrieu and Kissing Congressmans Fates Are Tied

Landrieu campaigns at an event for Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, also known as the “Kissing Congressman,” have something in common on Election Day.

Though on opposite sites of the aisle, the two Pelican State incumbents are fighting for their political lives Tuesday. They also have a common goal in attracting moderate voters — and the same adversary in the Louisiana Republican Party.

“Certainly they both need the support of moderates to win,” said Louisiana GOP executive director Jason Doré in a phone interview Wednesday. Full story

The Recount Rules Guide for 2014

The Recount Rules Guide for 2014
(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After the polls close Tuesday, it’s likely at least a handful of House and Senate races will be too close to call.

What would happen next for these tight contests? In most cases, once all the votes are collected and counted, it’s a pesky procedure that keeps candidates and canvassers up at night for days or weeks: the recount.

Recount laws vary by state, so we’ve rounded up what triggers one and any notable fine print in states with anticipated close contests.

ALASKA

Sen. Mark Begich (D) vs. Dan Sullivan (R)
Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Tilts Republican

Trigger: Only an exact tie triggers a recount in the El Dorado of the North. But if the race does not end in a tie, a losing candidate or 10 qualified voters can still request a recount.

Fine Print: In a statewide election, the recount requestor must deposit $15,000 with the recount application, unless the margin is less than 0.5 percent, at which point the state covers the cost. The deposit is refunded if the recount changes the election results.

Full story

October 29, 2014

Ted Cruz Endorses ‘Duck Dynasty’ Kin Over Vance McAllister

Ted Cruz Endorses Duck Dynasty Kin Over Vance McAllister

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has endorsed fellow Republican Zach Dasher, who is challenging embattled Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

In a 55-second video posted Wednesday on YouTube, Cruz voices his support for Dasher, urging Louisianans to vote for the Republican next week. Dasher, a businessman, is related to the Robertson family, who star in A&E’s popular reality show, “Duck Dynasty.”

“Zach Dasher is a conservative with a backbone to stand up to career politicians in both parties to help lead the fight to repeal Obamacare, to stop amnesty, defend our conservative values and turn our country around,” Cruz says.

A number of Republicans jumped into the 5th District race after McAllister, who is married, was caught on camera kissing a married staffer earlier this year and announced he would not seek re-election. Two months later, McAllister, who had won a special election in November, decided to run for a full term despite the scandal. Full story

October 27, 2014

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Launches Ads in Louisiana Race

Duck Dynasty Star Launches Ads in Louisiana Race

Willie Robertson, center, of Duck Dynasty attended the State of the Union earlier this year as a guest of McAllister. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wielding a bible and an AR-15 rifle, the patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan has once again waded into political waters.

Phil Robertson, the head of the family at the center of A&E’s reality show, “Duck Dynasty,” which is filmed in Louisiana’s 5th District, appeared in two new television ads released Monday to support his nephew Zach Dasher, a businessman hoping to oust embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

In one ad dubbed “Believe,” Robertson tells voters, while holding a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other, “Bibles and guns brought us here and bibles and guns will keep us here. Zach Dasher believes in both.” Full story

October 23, 2014

Florida Redistricting Case Heads to State Supreme Court

Florida Redistricting Case Heads to State Supreme Court

Democratic Rep. Corrine Brown's district was one of two declared unconstitutional in the redistricting case. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Florida Supreme Court voted Thursday to hear a case challenging Florida’s congressional map, setting oral arguments for March.

According to The Associated Press, the court ruled 5-2 to take up the case, fast tracking it through the appeals process. Full story

October 16, 2014

How ‘Dr. Dan’ Cured His Campaign Woes

How Dr. Dan Cured His Campaign Woes

Republicans say Benishek is one of the "most improved" candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once a top target for Democrats, Rep. Dan Benishek, a former surgeon turned tea party candidate, has turned a corner in his campaign for a second term, and national Republicans have labeled him one of their “most improved” members of the cycle.

What happened? A combination of staff changes, leveraging his slot on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and a favorable cycle for Republicans gave Benishek a clear advantage in the 1st District.

“It looked as if Michigan’s 1st District was going to be one of maybe the top two or three House races here in Michigan,” said Dennis Darnoi, a Michigan Republican consultant. “It hasn’t really reached the competitive level that, I think, was expected.” Full story

October 8, 2014

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

House Democrats Cut Ad Buy in Michigan

Cannon is challenging Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Democrats have canceled $425,000 in television ad reservations for a House race the party hoped to put in play in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, according to multiple sources monitoring the media market.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had been targeting Republican Rep. Dan Benishek, who is being challenged by Democrat Jerry Cannon. But the DCCC cut airtime in the 1st District from Oct. 21 through Election Day, following a similar cut made by House Majority PAC in September. Full story

October 7, 2014

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Scott's district was ruled unconstitutional. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:28 p.m.| A federal court has ruled Virginia’s congressional map violated the 14th Amendment and instructed the legislature to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries by April 1, 2015.

On Tuesday, three federal judges sided with the plaintiffs, who argued the Republican-led legislature drew Virginia’s 3rd District to pack blacks into the district, thus diminishing their influence in neighboring districts and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The current map will still be in effect for the 2014 elections. The court instructed the legislature to redraw the entire congressional map by April, and there will likely be more legal action before then. Full story

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.

Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.

In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot:  Full story

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