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February 1, 2015

Posts in "DCCC"

November 18, 2014

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

October 31, 2014

Senate Democrats’ Super Lawyer Preps for Overtime

Senate Democrats Super Lawyer Preps for Overtime

Elias speaks with Roll Call at Perkins Coie's D.C. office Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As the Senate chamber erupted in applause after the swearing-in of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, Majority Leader Harry Reid eventually looked up and directed his appreciation toward the newest senator’s attorneys.

On that day, more than five years ago, standing alongside his two Franken campaign co-counsels was Marc Elias, the Democrats’ go-to attorney. He’d spent the previous eight months in Minneapolis in a seemingly unending recount and trial that ultimately resulted in a 60th Senate seat for the party.

This cycle, as Franken is favored for re-election and Democrats fight to hold their majority, Elias sat down with CQ Roll Call to chat about Senate races, where exactly he’ll be watching election returns on Nov. 4, which states he’s keeping an eye on for potential recounts and his role in one of the longest recounts in Senate history.

(Join us on Election Night: Live Stream With Analysis, Results and More at RollCall.com)

“It was a very emotional thing,” Elias said of standing in the chamber on July 7, 2009. “Not just because of the fact that Franken was getting sworn-in, but I remember Leader Reid looking up at us, Sen. [John] Kerry and all these other members that I’d been involved with in representing, and it was really a great moment.”

Full story

October 28, 2014

A Darkhorse Emerges for DCCC Chairman in 2016

A Darkhorse Emerges for DCCC Chairman in 2016

Frankel's name has surfaced as a potential DCCC chair. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats have two things on their minds heading into next month: How many seats the party will lose on Nov. 4, and who will be the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee?

Since the spring, speculation swirled around three members: Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Jared Polis of Colorado.

But according to several operatives and members, a couple of other names surfaced in recent weeks — including Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida. The freshman didn’t rule out the gig when CQ Roll Call contacted her office for comment.  Full story

October 27, 2014

Democratic Super PAC Ups Ante Against Michael Grimm

Democratic Super PAC Ups Ante Against Michael Grimm

Democrats are targeting Grimm, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat-aligned House Majority PAC has placed a massive broadcast television buy against New York Rep. Michael G. Grimm for the final week of the campaign.

The group is spending $1.7 million in support of Democrat Domenic M. Recchia Jr. on New York City broadcast, and the  reservation will last until Election Day, according to a spokesman. Combined with a previous cable buy, the super PAC is on track to spend $1.9 million against the legally and politically embattled Republican.

An analysis of ad spending provided by a Democrat monitoring the media market reflects a congressman fighting alone against a Democratic onslaught of advertising in the Staten Island-based 11th District. Full story

Donna Edwards Motivates Volunteers for Virginia Democrat

Donna Edwards Motivates Volunteers for Virginia Democrat

Edwards, right, motivates campaign volunteers for Foust, left, in Manassas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

MANASSAS, Va. — Democrat John Foust’s campaign boasts it has made 960,000 phone calls, knocked on 120,000 doors and registered 1,500 new voters in the quest for Virginia’s open 10th District.

But on a crisp Saturday afternoon in Manassass, just 10 days before Election Day, Foust asked his volunteers for a few more hours of help — and he brought in Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., for some last-minute motivation.

Donna Edwards Motivates Volunteers for Virginia Democrat“John has done everything right,” Edwards told the crowd of about 40 volunteers packed into a Democratic Party of Virginia’s campaign office, which was covered in signs for Foust and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., who is also on the Nov. 4 ballot.

“He has raised the money, he has got the message and right now he’s got the momentum because you’re knocking on doors, and so I just want to thank you,” added Edwards, who made the short trip to Foust’s district with her arm in a sling after dislocating her shoulder the day before.

Foust, a tall, mustachioed and soft-spoken supervisor in Fairfax County, needs the last-minute help.

Full story

October 24, 2014

DCCC Polls Hawaii House Race

DCCC Polls Hawaii House Race

Djou served in Congress for several months in 2010. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new Democratic poll shows the party’s nominee in an open House contest in Hawaii with a 7-point lead over the Republican.

State Rep. Mark Takai, a Democrat, led former Republican Rep. Charles Djou, 49 percent to 42 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Public polling has shown a closer race, either a dead heat or with Djou slightly leading Takai. Both are seeking to succeed Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who lost the primary for Senate earlier this year.

This week, American Action Network, a GOP group, went up with $300,000 on Honolulu broadcast attacking Takai’s past comments on taxes. They hope Djou will upset the Aloha State’s 1st District, which voted for President Barack Obama by a 41-percent margin in 2012.

On Friday, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call to moved the race rating to Leans Democratic.

Full story

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