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Posts in "DCCC"
June 11, 2014
“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.
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.’”
June 9, 2014
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 Phoenix. The 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
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:
May 30, 2014
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
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.
May 29, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.
The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.
The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.
These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.
However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.
Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:
Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., could be in a heap of political trouble this year — again.
Earlier this month, Terry posted a lackluster primary performance, winning his party’s nod by just 8 points over a lesser-known competitor. Since then, a conservative spoiler has entered the November race with Terry and the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Brad Ashford.
That’s made Terry’s re-election a headache for national Republicans. They fear this candidate might peel off Terry’s votes to clear a path for the Democrat to win. Full story
May 22, 2014
New York Rep. Steve Israel pushed back Wednesday on House Republicans’ newly revealed ambitious goals for the midterms, but what amounts to victory for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman remains unclear.
On Tuesday, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, underscored the GOP’s offensive position this cycle by announcing it aims to expand the party’s House majority by 12 seats in November. A day later, Israel fired back, making public a massive DCCC polling project that promised to address the party’s turnout concerns.
The reality facing Democrats in this challenging midterm cycle is that any loss of seats will make it that much taller of a climb for the majority in a potentially favorable 2016 and beyond — while possibly even putting the party back where it started in the wake of the 2010 Republican wave.
“Let’s talk as we get deeper into the cycle,” Israel said Wednesday at a briefing with reporters. “I still believe it’s too early to say what a victory is.”
“Greg Walden can spend all his time looking into a crystal ball,” he added. “I’m spending all my time looking at polling data.” Full story
May 20, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $3 million more than its Republican counterpart in April, according to House political operatives.
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $4.1 million last month and will report $32.3 million in the bank. CQ Roll Call reported Monday the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.1 million and had $43.3 million in cash on hand.
The committees’ monthly reports are due today to the Federal Election Commission.
The DCCC has two strong fundraising draws: President Barack Obama’s personal fundraiser appearances and House Democrats’ strong online fundraising operation.
May 14, 2014
Democrats may have reason for concern about a replay from 2012, when the party fumbled a sure pickup opportunity in Southern California thanks to the state’s new top-two primary.
According to a poll conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and obtained by CQ Roll Call, former Democratic Rep. Joe Baca, who has raised little money and is not backed by the national party, is gaining on the two Democratic front-runners in the 31st District open-seat race. With a 5-point rise since last month, Baca is now tied for third with attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes, behind Republican businessman Paul Chabot and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, who is backed by the DCCC.
Chabot led the primary field among likely voters with 23 percent, followed by Aguilar with 15 percent, and Reyes and Baca with 13 percent apiece. Should the three top Democrats splinter the vote nearly evenly in the primary, there is a possibility one of the other Republicans finishes second — again.
“This dynamic leaves the door open for a scenario in which two Republicans clear the primary and Democrats are shut out of the general election, as they were in 2012,” pollsters for California-based Tulchin Research wrote in a memo.
The pollsters found Baca was unlikely to finish in the top two, but “this development has further diluted the Democratic vote…”
May 12, 2014
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is a safe bet to win the Republican Senate nomination Tuesday in West Virginia, but what happens to her 2nd District seat is far more unsettled.
Capito’s reluctance to anoint a successor has unleashed a gold rush for Republicans in the district, where the president took just 38 percent of the vote in 2012. Seven GOP candidates are running for the party nod in a nasty, disorganized May 13 primary, which has left presumptive Democratic nominee Nick Casey free to spend the past year fundraising and quietly campaigning.
Even as the odds favor Capito’s Senate run on Tuesday and in November, the seven-term congresswoman leaves behind chaos and uncertainty — and even a Democratic opening — in the race to replace her. Observers from both parties agreed: This seat is in play for Democrats, and it shouldn’t be. Full story
May 8, 2014
Six House Democrats facing competitive challenges in November voted Thursday evening in favor of creating a special committee to re-investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Five of the seven Democrats who voted with the GOP are part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program, which supports the party’s most vulnerable incumbents. Full story
The hours are punishing, the travel is relentless and sometimes — no matter how politically shrewd or hardworking a person is — he or she can completely fail on the national stage by nearly no fault of their own.
So who would want to run a House campaign committee, again?
Quite a few Democrats. One of the most intense guessing games currently in the caucus is who will serve as the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“If you are looking to get a seat at the table, and right now no one is getting up, then the DCCC post might be the only opening,” former DCCC spokesman Doug Thornell said. “It’s probably the toughest, most thankless job in leadership. But if you excel, a lot of doors open.”
The position offers an opportunity to win the loyalty of incoming freshman that can translate into support for a future House leadership bid.
But more importantly, Democrats bet that next cycle — 2016 — will be a good one, thanks to improved party performance in presidential years and the possibility of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the top of the ticket.
Dozens of plugged-in Democratic operatives weighed in to CQ Roll Call on likely contenders. But the caucus leader, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, will make the final selection. And if Pelosi is no longer in leadership, the race for DCCC chairman could completely change.
To compare, House Republicans elected their campaign committee chairman. Insiders say the current National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden of Oregon will stay for a second term.
Here’s a rundown of the likely candidates for the Democratic field: Full story
May 5, 2014
With a recruit now on board, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named Florida’s 13th District to its Red to Blue program, with an “Emerging Races” designation.
Democrats shocked House race observers as the Florida filing deadline closed May 2, unveiling Col. Ed Jany as the party’s candidate to challenge Republican Rep. David Jolly. Because of a voter registration issue, Jany will appear on the ballot as an independent — but, Jany has the full backing of the DCCC and no other Democrat is running.
“In just a few short days in the race, Colonel Ed Jany’s campaign has already generated enthusiasm among Pinellas County voters, and his strong start and the fundamentals of this district have earned him a spot on the Emerging Races program,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement.
The DCCC uses the Red to Blue program’s Emerging Races designation to highlight “candidates and districts that are making themselves competitive by running smart campaigns which are becoming increasingly competitive,” according to its website. Israel recently named Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Md., as chairwoman of the Red to Blue program. Full story
May 2, 2014
Updated 2:48 p.m. | Democrats have landed a last-minute recruit, Col. Ed Jany, a registered Democrat, to challenge Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., this fall.
The party recruited Jany to run after Jolly won a high-profile special election in Florida’s competitive 13th District earlier this spring.
However, in a strange twist, Jany will not appear on the ballot on the Democratic party line because he just registered as a Democrat last fall — switching from the GOP. Because of the “Charlie Crist Rule,” as one party strategist called it, or “Sore Loser Law,” a candidate must be registered with a party a year before filing for office from that same party.
Since Jany falls short of that requirement, he must run as a Non-Party Affiliated candidate in the general election. Full story