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

Posts in "DCCC"

November 21, 2014

New DCCC Chairman Rides on Air Force One

New DCCC Chairman Rides on Air Force One

Luján was named DCCC chairman on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Four days after being named chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján was among several lawmakers who flew to Las Vegas Friday on Air Force One with President Barack Obama for an immigration event.

Obama, who unveiled an executive action on the issue Thursday night, was set to speak at a high school “to talk about the actions that he’s taken,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters during the flight. Full story

DSCC Announces 2016 Staff Roster

DSCC Announces 2016 Staff Roster

Tester was appointed DSCC chairman Nov. 13. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced on Friday its top staffing decisions for the 2016 cycle.

Many of the key staffers have previously worked for incoming DSCC Chairman Jon Tester of Montana, who is tasked with helping win back a Democratic majority. The party would need to net five seats to ensure a majority if Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu loses the runoff next month in Louisiana.

“This is an experienced team with a long history of winning incredibly tough races,” Tester said in a statement.

November 20, 2014

Democrats Look for Comebacks From Members Ousted in 2010

Democrats Look for Comebacks From Members Ousted in 2010

Murphy, a Democrat, is a former member from Pennsylvania. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats are looking to two former members — both of whom lost re-election in 2010 — as potential recruits for 2016, according to three senior House Democratic operatives.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recruitment officials have discussed ex-Reps. Patrick J. Murphy of Pennsylvania and Michael E. McMahon of New York as potential candidates this cycle.  Full story

Kelly Ward Will Stay on as DCCC Executive Director

Kelly Ward Will Stay on as DCCC Executive Director

Ward is the first to remain in the job for more than one cycle. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newly minted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján said Kelly Ward will stay on as executive director of the committee for the second straight cycle.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call earlier this week, Luján said he hoped Ward would stay for another stint at the top of the committee tasked with helping Democrats regain a majority of seats in the House. On Thursday, Luján announced Ward had accepted the position, and noted she is the first person to spend two consecutive cycles as a DCCC leader.

“Kelly Ward brings infectious energy, unrivaled determination and key strategic insights to her job, and I am so pleased that she has agreed to stay on at the DCCC,” Luján said in a news release. “After working with Kelly for the past two years, I’ve been so impressed with her ability to both develop the strategy and operationalize the day-to-day work needed to aggressively take the fight to Republicans, and we’re lucky to have her lead our team.”

Full story

November 18, 2014

New DCCC Chairman Eyes Current Executive Director

New DCCC Chairman Eyes Current Executive Director

Ward served as the DCCC's executive director in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Incoming Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján said Tuesday he hopes the current Executive Director, Kelly Ward, will stay on for the 2016 cycle.

House Democrats endured sweeping losses in 2014, but Ward earned top praise from Luján, who said she is respected by the caucus.

“I have tremendous respect for Kelly Ward,” Luján told CQ Roll Call in a Tuesday interview. “It’s been an honor working with her throughout the years, getting to know her, she reaches out to members, she respects members, and I think she’s incredible. So someone like Kelly, if not Kelly herself is someone that I hope that we would serve.”

Full story

The One-Term Caucus? Top House Targets in 2016

The One Term Caucus? Top House Targets in 2016

Poliquin arrives last week for check-in for new members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

They haven’t even been sworn in yet, but these members start off the cycle as underdogs in their quests for re-election in 2016.

Most of 2016′s initial targets are incoming Republicans, swept into office in a GOP midterm wave. They will represent districts Democrats carried with big margins in presidential election years — seats the newly minted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján will probably want back. Only one vulnerable Democrat made this list.

What’s more, the window for either party to oust these freshman could close quickly. It’s easier to defeat an incumbent in their first re-election, before they solidify a stronghold on the seat.

In alphabetical order, here are the incoming members who start the 2016 cycle as underdogs:

Full story

November 17, 2014

Pelosi Chooses Ben Ray Luján as DCCC Chairman (Updated)

Pelosi Chooses Ben Ray Luján as DCCC Chairman (Updated)

Luján will lead the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | In a shock to her caucus, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi selected Rep. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico as chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for the 2016 cycle.

Luján will lead his caucus’ political arm and all aspects of the campaign to take back the gavel: fundraising, messaging, recruiting and getting out the vote.

The choice is Pelosi’s lone decision, but it was a total shock to most Democrats on Capitol Hill.

“I am pleased recommend to our colleagues Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, a dynamic and forward-looking leader with a fresh energy and ideas that demcorats need for victory in 2016,” Pelosi said in a Monday news conference. “He has bold vision and determined leaership to deliver wins in difficult districts. I am confident [he] will prove a tireless champion.”

Full story

November 13, 2014

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi Meets With 5 Potential DCCC Chairmen

Pelosi is a California Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has met with five possible contenders to run the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in 2016, according to her office, though she has not decided whom she will ultimately select.

On Thursday, Pelosi met with Reps. Jared Polis of Colorado, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Joaquin Castro of Texas. Also per her office, Pelosi had a meeting Tuesday with Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida, and she met Friday with Rep. Donna Edwards of Maryland.

A number of those members have been publicly angling for the role, including Frankel and Edwards — who spent the final days of the 2014 cycle on the trail with House candidates.

Full story

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

Democrats Eyeing 5 House Race Rematches in 2016

House Democrats want Horsford to run for the Nevada seat he lost this month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There’s no rest for the weary at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has yet to name the new committee chairman for 2016, but the DCCC is already getting a jump on recruiting during the final days of New York Rep. Steve Israel’s tenure.

On Thursday morning, Israel held the first 2016 recruitment meeting since Election Day. He named two northeastern congressional districts as top targeting opportunities, and party strategists are readying for at least five rematches from 2014, according to a committee aide. Full story

November 11, 2014

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

How Elise Stefanik Became the Youngest Woman Ever Elected to Congress

Stefanik leaves the Capitol Hill Club with aide Anthony Pileggi. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep.-elect Elise Stefanik’s path to victory in New York reflected the trajectory of the midterms nationally, as Republicans invaded Democratic territory to make double-digit gains in the House.

But in so many other ways, Stefanik’s dominant win was of her own making.

Stefanik defeated a wealthy Democrat, Aaron Woolf, by more than 20 points in a district the president carried just a couple years ago. At 30 years old, she’s the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, and New York Republicans now tout her as the future of their party.

But that’s nowhere close to where Stefanik started the cycle in the upstate wilderness. Full story

November 10, 2014

How Republicans Caught Their White Whale: John Barrow

How Republicans Caught Their White Whale: John Barrow

Barrow lost re-election last week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This is the first in a five-part series examining the campaigns behind the cycle’s most fascinating races.

Republican Rick Allen and his team gathered around a table at the Hilton Garden Inn in Augusta, Ga., Tuesday night, waiting for results to come in. They weren’t optimistic.

Allen faced the ultimate political survivor, Rep. John Barrow, the sole remaining white Democrat in the Deep South.

Just before Election Day, Democrats’ polling showed Barrow consistently ahead. Allen’s campaign didn’t have internals to counter; the last time they polled the race was more than a month ago.

Even more discouraging, Barrow was known for squeaking out wins, even as GOP presidential candidates carried the 12th District by double-digits. Republicans had tried to oust Barrow before, and many operatives were convinced he would escape their grasp again.

But as soon as the early returns trickled in, it was clear: Republicans had finally nabbed their white whale. Barrow not only lost — he was defeated by a stunning 10-point margin.

Full story

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

House Republicans Win Largest Majority in Decades

House Republicans Win Largest Majority in Decades

Boehner's majority increased on Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans shellacked Democrats for the second time during President Barack Obama’s administration Tuesday night, upsetting several members as a count of Democratic losses climbed into double digits.

As of 1:30 a.m. — with a number of races in California, New York and Arizona outstanding — Republicans had gained a net 13 seats, putting them on track to win their largest majority since 1949. The losses more than erased Democrats’ 8-seat gain in 2012, and leaves the party at a huge disadvantage going into a presidential cycle.

As a result, Democratic operatives are increasingly resigned to the notion they will not gain House control until new maps are drawn in 2021.

Full story

November 4, 2014

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 1, 2014

Last Chance: 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents

Last Chance: 10 Most Vulnerable House Incumbents

Enyart is the most vulnerable House incumbent. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What a difference a year makes.

Not a single name on Roll Call’s first edition of this cycle’s 10 most vulnerable House members graces the final list before Election Day. The reasons are plenty: some retired, some won primaries, others lost.

Just three Republicans made the final list — and every one has personal political problems. It’s a difficult year to be a Democrat, and the remaining seven members on the list are running in competitive or conservative districts.

This list could easily have been extended to include several more members: Reps. Ron Barber, D-Ariz.; John Barrow, D-Ga.; Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y.; Julia Brownley, D-Calif.; Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.; Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn.; and Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.

Here are the 10 most vulnerable House members, ranked in order of likelihood to return next Congress:

Full story

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