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Posts by Lauren Whittington
March 15, 2013
The Conservative Political Action Conference is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year in a new location: across the D.C. line (but still within the Beltway) at National Harbor, Md. Although it’s a new location, the event remains a central focus this week for the Washington press corps, including team coverage from CQ Roll Call.
The event wraps up Saturday with straw poll results announced around 5 p.m.
Here are some of the highlights of CQ Roll Call’s coverage of the three-day conservative cattle call:
- David M. Drucker is regularly posting on his new “GOPPERS: Inside the Mind of the House GOP” blog, including this scoop on the Republican National Committee revamping its get-out-the-vote program.
- Roll Call’s gossip blog, Heard on the Hill, is also a source of ongoing coverage. HOH features some very choice on-the-ground photos.
- And don’t forget to monitor CQ Roll Call reporters’ Twitter accounts: David M. Drucker, Kyle Trygstad, Jonathan Strong and Heard on the Hill’s Warren Rojas and Neda Semnani
Below are some of the best shots captured Thursday and Friday by our award-winning photographers:
November 15, 2012
Democrat Ami Bera has officially prevailed over House Administration Chairman Dan Lungren, R-Calif., who becomes the 24th House incumbent to lose in the Nov. 6 elections.
The Associated Press called the race Thursday, more than one week after Election Day, with Bera leading by about 5,700 votes. Vote counting has been slow in the Sacramento-area district, where Bera’s lead on election night was only 184 votes.
With the race in the 7th District called, there are now four outstanding House races. They are in California’s 52nd District, Florida’s 18th District, North Carolina’s 7th District and Arizona’s 2nd District. A fifth race in Louisiana’s 3rd district between two GOP members will be decided in a December runoff. Full story
November 4, 2012
Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.
First, the Senate math:
Yes, it’s quite possible (even likely) that Democrats such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will have closer margins on Election Day than most expect. But Democrats are likely to hold both seats, and the climb for Republicans to net the four seats they need for an outright majority (if President Barack Obama is re-elected) seems steep heading into election week.
Here’s what we know: Republicans are likely to pick up two Senate seats in Nebraska and North Dakota (although the race there remains close). Those gains are likely to be offset by Democratic pickups in Massachusetts and Maine, where an Independent is poised to win and will likely caucus with Democrats. Assuming Republicans hold their seats in Arizona and Nevada, which seems like a good bet, that’s a zero net gain, leaving the chamber’s makeup at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Full story
October 11, 2012
One year ago it would have been hard to picture both the Arizona and Connecticut open-seat Senate races as Tossups with less than a month to go before Election Day. But funny things can happen to the Senate battleground map based on candidates and the campaigns they run — just ask Republicans this cycle about Missouri.
The open-seat Senate races in the Nutmeg State and the Grand Canyon State are thousands of miles apart, yet share some distinct similarities. Both feature House Members who began the race as the heavy frontrunner and challengers who have surged based on the strength of their campaigns. Those challengers will still have to overcome a heavy partisan disadvantage at the presidential level, but that prospect seems to be increasingly possible. Therefore, we are moving both races into the tossup column, even though in both races, the party that currently holds the seat still has a very small advantage. Full story
October 4, 2012
What a difference two years makes. At this point in 2010, as the GOP wave began to build, political handicappers and political operatives alike were trying to keep up with the number of newly competitive races moving onto the rapidly expanding House battleground. The same was true at this time in 2006 and 2008, when we were attempting to size up the coming Democratic waves.
Fast-forward two years, and a month before Election Day we are taking House races off the board, as it becomes clear to both parties that contests they hoped to put in play just haven’t materialized this cycle. We expect there may be a few less competitive races that begin to move in the competitive direction, but that hasn’t happened to a large extent at this point.
There is other significant movement in a handful of House races that we now rate as more likely than not to switch hands. GOP Reps. David Rivera (Fla.) and Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.) are in races that look to be increasingly uphill. Both face rematches from 2010 (although Rivera’s troubles have much more to do with his own ethics problems than the strength of his Democratic challenger).
In Senate race moves, we are moving two Democratic-held seats virtually off the board. Republicans always knew that Hawaii was going to be a tough race considering the overwhelming Democratic tilt of the state. But former Gov. Linda Lingle was the best possible candidate they could have gotten. However, it’s clear that the race really never got off the ground. Lingle would have had to run a flawless campaign AND Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) needed to stumble. Neither happened, and the race is now off the board. Full story
August 10, 2012
After weeks and months of speculation about whom Mitt Romney will tap to be his vice presidential running mate, the presumptive GOP nominee will unveil his pick on Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va.
Romney’s campaign released a media advisory just after 11 p.m. tonight announcing that the news would come as the former Massachusetts governor kicks off of his bus tour. Full story
April 30, 2012
Betty White, the 90-year-old actress starring in the hit TV show “Hot in Cleveland,” just waded into the hottest Congressional race in the San Fernando Valley.
White’s endorsement is featured prominently in an ad for Rep. Howard Berman, who is facing off against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman after redistricting. The spot stars White and her “Hot in Cleveland” co-star Wendie Malick, both of whom attest to Berman’s effectiveness in Congress — specifically citing his support for the humane treatment of animals and community safety.
“Thanks to Howard we have hundreds more police officers patrolling Valley streets,” Malick says. “And he has very nice blue eyes,” White adds.
March 26, 2012
Today’s proceedings were more procedural than anything, with both sides in agreement that the case should be heard now and not in three years’ time.
Justices on both the liberal and conservative wings of the court pressed attorneys for ways around an 1867 law that prohibits people from filing a lawsuit against tax provisions until after they have already paid the tax in question. Both sides of the lawsuit agree that an exemption should be granted, but for different reasons, although the court appointed an attorney to defend the notion — held by a lower court — that the case won’t be ripe until 2015.
Tuesday’s arguments over the constitutionality of the individual mandate are expected to be much more heated. Indeed, on this first day there was more drama outside the court than inside the chamber. Full story
March 1, 2012
Maine Rep. Mike Michaud announced tonight that he will not run to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R), a move that all but ensures fellow Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree will enter the race.
Michaud and Pingree had both moved to begin collecting signatures in the hours after Snowe’s surprise announcement on Tuesday, which came about two weeks before the state’s filing deadline. But Michaud, first elected to Congress in 2002, said he is staying put for now. Full story
February 16, 2012
The front page of today’s Roll Call features Shira Toeplitz’s report from the ground in Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, on the Democratic primary between Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich. Their March 6 contest will be the first of 12 Member-vs.-Member races decided this redistricting cycle.
The numbers in the redrawn 9th district, which stretches 120 miles along Lake Erie’s shoreline, favor Kaptur over Kucinich because it takes in more of her current territory. But, as Toeplitz points out, long odds have never stopped the two-time failed presidential candidate and one-time “boy mayor” of Cleveland from running before. Full story
February 11, 2012
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won the non-binding Maine presidential caucuses today, capping off a day on which he also won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll.
Romney took 39 percent of the vote in Maine, where fewer than 5,600 votes were cast, followed by Rep. Ron Paul (texas), who got 36 percent of the vote. Former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) did not compete in the Pine Tree State but got 18 percent and 6 percent, respectively. Full story
February 10, 2012
If you’ve ever been to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C., you know that it’s a virtual treasure trove of political tchotchkes.
The event wraps up tomorrow with straw poll results announced at 4:15 p.m., followed by a speech from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 4:30 p.m.
February 9, 2012
In politics, it’s never too early to speculate about anything. Witness the New York Times’ recent assessment of what the 2016 Democratic presidential field might look like, before Republicans even have a 2012 nominee.
In today’s Roll Call, we look ahead to next cycle and assess the 2014 Senate landscape, as well as who might be tasked with overseeing each party’s Congressional campaign efforts. Full story
February 3, 2012
Much has been written this cycle about the dwindling number of Blue Dog Democrats in the House. The group’s membership bore the brunt of the Democrats’ 2010 shellacking, and so far this Congress seven Blue Dogs have announced they won’t be back or are already gone — four are retiring, one is running for Senate and ex-Reps. Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) and Jane Harman (Calif.) resigned. Three of the four retiring are pictured above.
Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.) became the latest Blue Dog to head for the exit Thursday, when he announced that after recently reflecting on his political career, he had decided he doesn’t want to return to Congress. “I feel very confident there’s going to be 20 others that take our place next year,” he told Roll Call’s Jessica Brady and Daniel Newhauser shortly after releasing his news Thursday. Full story