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September 22, 2014

Posts in "DCCC"

July 21, 2014

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

The Re Education of Rick Nolan

Nolan came back to Congress in 2012 — three decades after his first stint in the 1970s. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.

But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.

Full story

July 18, 2014

DCCC Adds Congressman to Endangered Incumbent Program

DCCC Adds Congressman to Endangered Incumbent Program

Nolan is a Minnesota Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee moved Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota to its Frontline program — a reflection of growing concern over his re-election prospects.

The Frontline program is for House Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents.

Nolan’s opponent for Minnesota’s 8th District is GOP businessman Stewart Mills. The move came after second-quarter campaign fundraising reports revealed that Mills raised more money than Nolan in April, May and June.

Full story

July 17, 2014

DNC Chair Predicts Party Will Exceed Expectations in 2014

DNC Chair Predicts Party Will Exceed Expectations in 2014

Wasserman Schultz is a Forida Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the strength of individual candidates will help her party outperform expectations in the upcoming midterms.

“Pundits are wildly misinterpreting or over interpreting,” the Florida Democrat said, specifically responding to a projection published by the Washington Post that gives Republicans an 86 percent chance of taking control of the Senate.

“Models don’t elect candidates. Voters do,” she said, speaking at a Thursday morning event organized by centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. Full story

July 16, 2014

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

Steve Israel of New York is the chairman of the DCCC. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats don’t have much in their favor in the upcoming elections — except their bank accounts.

There’s a sour national political environment, a history of the president’s party losing seats in midterms and an unfavorable congressional map drawn mostly by Republicans. But less than four months before Election Day, it’s clear that House Democrats have a major financial advantage among their candidates and committees that is already translating to television airtime for the fall.

On average, Democrats in competitive House races have more than one-third more in the bank than their Republican opponents, according to a CQ Roll Call tabulation of the most recent fundraising reports due Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission. Across 59 House races considered remotely competitive by CQ Roll Call, Democratic candidates and incumbents had, on average, $955,000 in the bank, while Republicans had an average of $667,000 in the bank.

It’s unlikely Democrats can net the 17 seats necessary to take control of the House this November, so party operatives are trying to mitigate any massive losses this year as part of a long-term, multi-cycle plot to win the majority. Meanwhile, Republicans aim to extend their majority to a modern-history record of 245 seats — and they believe the financial gap could leave a handful of seats on the table this year. Full story

July 15, 2014

DCCC Tops NRCC in Second Quarter Fundraising

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee topped its Republican counterpart by $1.3 million in June fundraising and $5.6 million in the second quarter overall, according to figures released Tuesday.

The DCCC’s $10.9 million haul in June was bolstered by digital fundraising efforts tied to the Supreme Court decision on the Hobby Lobby case and Speaker John A. Boehner’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama. The committee ended June with $50.9 million in cash on hand, with four months left to go until the elections.

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $9.6 million in June, according to The Associated Press, and ended June with $42.5 million on hand.

Faced with the cash disparity, the NRCC is making a strong push for members of the House Republican Caucus to pony up their dues to the committee.

NRCC Chairman Greg Walden named Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas, Erik Paulsen of Minnesota and John Shimkus of Illinois as the NRCCs “Battleground Program” chairmen. These members will serve as Walden’s top lieutenants to collect dues from their members.

Democrats hope to cut into the GOP’s 17-seat margin in the House.

June 30, 2014

3 Ways Hobby Lobby Ruling Could Impact 2014 (Video)

The Supreme Court’s narrow Monday decision allowing some companies to not offer contraceptive coverage for employees could have an impact on the November midterms.

The ruling is a polarizing one for Democrats and Republicans — and both sides have already tried to use it to their political advantage.

Republicans mostly support the court’s decision, calling it a win for religious freedom and a major defeat for the president’s health care overhaul law that required company health care plans to cover birth control. Democrats are using the decision to emphasize what they see as the GOP’s unfriendly policies toward women.

That contrast could play out in three key ways in 2014 elections:

Full story

June 27, 2014

Obama Headlines Fundraiser for House Democrats

Obama Headlines Fundraiser for House Democrats

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama declared Thursday at a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that his first two years in office marked the most productive time in Congress since the 1960s.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York, former Vice President Walter Mondale and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., attended the event.

“I love her. I love her because she smart. And she’s tough. And she’s fearless,” Obama said of Pelosi, according to a pool report of the event. “She and I got more done than any Congress since the 1960s … I want her back.”

But House Democrats face a steep climb to take the majority in 2014. They must pick up a net of 17 seats — a costly endeavor.

Full story

June 25, 2014

House Democrats Ante Up for Midterms

House Democrats Ante Up for Midterms

House Democrats' latest dues sheet identifies party's team players (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats’ pressure on caucus members to pay dues early to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is paying off, according to the party’s most recent fundraising document.

The DCCC has raised more than its Republican counterpart so far this cycle, and that’s partly a result of its successful member dues program and the money members have raised on behalf of the committee.

A House Democratic source highlighted to CQ Roll Call that 90 percent of the caucus has paid its dues in some form and that 21 members have paid in full, including five freshmen. Beyond that, on the latest dues sheet — which tracks members’ dues payments and fundraising through May, and is distributed to members’ offices — most of Democratic leadership had met its goals for the cycle in both categories.

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June 23, 2014

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Pick Your Clinton: Democrats Want Duo on Trail

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bill Clinton are exciting Democrats who hope for their help in the midterm elections. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Democrats are gearing up to unleash the Clinton Dynasty.

They hope deploying the popular former White House occupants could help drum up money and hype in what could be a tough election year for the party. Democrats see the power couple as an asset, especially because Republicans have no singular unifying figure who can hit the trail.

But good thing there’s two of them.

Democratic operatives say each half of the Clinton duo appeals to different segments of the electorate — so assignments to races must be deliberate and strategic.

North of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River is former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton territory — replete with voters who have already warmed to electing women to Congress. Former President Bill Clinton, party officials say, plays better in the South and Midwest, where he performed well with traditional Yellow Dog Democrats who relate to the party’s economic message but tend to be more conservative on social issues.

Together, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say there are few areas where the Clinton duo wouldn’t have a positive impact.

“Both Clintons can go into any competitive district in the country and be enormously helpful to Democratic candidates,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel said. “The second Secretary Clinton is ready, we’d love to have her campaigning for House Democrats.”

Full story

June 20, 2014

DCCC Raises $7.3 Million in May

DCCC Raises $7.3 Million in May

The DCCC chairman is Steve Israel of New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.3 million in May, according to a committee aide.

The haul brings the committee’s cash on hand to $45.9 million as many of the cycle’s most competitive House contests switch to general election mode.

Full story

June 11, 2014

Cantor Loss ‘Was a 10 on the Stun Scale’

Cantor Loss Was a 10 on the Stun Scale

Israel was among those stunned by the Cantor loss. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’m giving a speech. I have no time for jokes,” Steve Israel told Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Executive Director Kelly Ward when she emailed to say there were signs something was happening in Virginia’s 7th District.

It was 7:15 p.m. Tuesday and Israel had just left an event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. He passed Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. as she arrived.

The New York Democrat was on his way to address the National Stone, Sand, and Gravel Association, and Ward flagged that with 30 percent of the primary vote in, it seemed House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., might be in peril. He wasn’t interested. Polls, after all, had just closed.Cantor Loss Was a 10 on the Stun Scale

Israel called Pelosi just in case: ”I left a message, which was, ‘You know I’m skeptical, but I just want to flag for you that there are indications Cantor may be in trouble, but I don’t think we should do anything until we establish whether this is a false alarm.’ That’s what I said, ‘false alarm.’”

Full story

June 9, 2014

Ruben Gallego Seeks Arizona’s 7th District (Video Interview)

State Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat, said he’s unsure how much money he’ll need to succeed retiring Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., in the 7th District, according to an interview with CQ Roll Call.

“It’s hard to say,” Gallego said. “It’s not going to be a cheap race. This is a five month race.”

The Democrat is running in a crowded Aug. 26 primary in this Hispanic-majority district based in PhoenixThe Democratic nominee is expected to win the general election in this strong Democratic district.

Gallego’s most formidable opponent is former Maricopa County Board Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a longtime local official backed by Pastor and EMILY’s List. Full story

June 6, 2014

DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to ‘Red to Blue’ Program for 2014

DCCC Promotes Nine Candidates to Red to Blue Program for 2014

The DCCC Chairman is Israel. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in “Red to Blue,” a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.

House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party’s mission. The DCCC released its first round of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.

“All of these candidates have met and surpassed demanding campaign goals, and shown they have a path to victory and have what it takes to win,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them through November to build campaigns that give voice to all the middle class voters left behind by this Republican Congress.”

The following Democratic candidates have been added to the Red to Blue program:

Full story

May 30, 2014

Michigan Officials Won’t Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Michigan Officials Wont Appeal John Conyers Ballot Slot

Conyers will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The state of Michigan will not challenge a federal judge’s order to put Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. on the primary ballot.

“Based on the facts of the judge’s order, the state has decided not to appeal in the Conyers case,” Michigan Department of State spokesman Fred Woodhams said in a written statement.

Last Friday, Conyers’ hopes for appearing on the Aug. 5 primary ballot were all but lost. But then a federal judge ordered the state to put him on the ballot. Earlier this month, a county clerk ruled the 25-term ineligible to appear on Michigan’s 13th District ballot due to problems with his petition signatures. Full story

Republicans Likely to Avert Disaster in New Jersey

Republicans Likely to Avert Disaster in New Jersey

Runyan is retiring from Congress, leaving behind a competitive race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Republicans are on track to get their preferred nominee through the primary in the state’s most competitive House race, thanks to the local political machine and a deep-pocketed candidate.

On Tuesday, Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur, is expected to defeat a spirited challenge from a tea-party-aligned frequent candidate, Steve Lonegan. The stakes for this South Jersey open seat are high: The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and the district includes the pricey Philadelphia media market.

“Tom MacArthur is going to win this race because he is a strong conservative, a successful businessman and has the support of both county Republican organizations and more than 160 locally elected Republicans across the district,” wrote Burlington County GOP Chairman William Layton in a Thursday email.

If things do not go exactly as Republicans plan on Tuesday’s primary with MacAruther, GOP operatives fear they will blow the seat entirely. Democrats hope Lonegan will pull an upset, making the path to victory much easier for their de facto nominee, Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard.

Full story

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