Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2015

Posts in "Debates"

November 11, 2015

The Trump Way on Immigration Suits Republicans, Poll Shows


Republicans need to make gains with Hispanic voters in 2016, but that reality is complicated by the fact that more adults support Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on immigration, a new Economist Group/YouGov Poll finds.

A whopping 49 percent of Republicans and independents who lean to the GOP say Trump is the presidential candidate who can best handle the issue — well ahead of Marco Rubio with 10 percent GOP support, Ted Cruz with 7 percent and Jeb Bush at 5 percent.

Full story

Winners and Losers in Tuesday’s GOP Debate

Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio (L) and Donald Trump (R) confer during a break in the Republican Presidential Debate hosted by Fox Business and The Wall Street Journal November 10, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. AFP PHOTO / JOSHUA LOTT        (Photo credit should read Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Rubio, left. and Trump confer during a break in Tuesday’s debate. (Joshua Lott/AFP/Getty Images Photo)

Tuesday night’s Republican presidential debate was relatively free of the rough and tumble personal attacks of the previous ones but did illuminate some of the deep divides among Republicans over immigration, the economy and national security.

In the end, the debate will do little to shake up the field but it could give change the narrative about one-time front-runner former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush from nervous donors concerned about a campaign on the ropes to one of fighting back.

Full story

November 10, 2015

What to Watch for in Tuesday’s GOP Presidential Debate

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28:  Presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R) (R-FL) speaks while Jeb Bush looks on during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado.  Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Bush, left, has promised to be more bold while an ascendant Rubio will be a target. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images File Photo)

Following the last Republican debate, one hosted by CNBC that resulted in the rousing of the distrust in the media felt by some of the Republican Party’s base, all eyes now move to the Fox Business Network on Tuesday night to see if they can manage the large cast of candidates any better.

Here is what a few seasoned Republican operatives say they are looking for in the debate, which will air at 9 p.m. EST.

Full story

October 29, 2015

The Winners and Losers of the CNBC Debate

BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28:  Presidential candidates Sen. Marco Rubio (R) (R-FL) speaks while Jeb Bush looks on during the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado.  Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rubio, right, turned the tables on an attack by Bush. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz delivered the strongest performances in Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, a group of GOP strategists told CQ Roll call, and should see a bounce in their poll numbers between now and the next faceoff in two weeks.

“Rubio delivered yet another solid performance in which he demonstrated what a good candidate he is. And how formidable he could be in November,” said Jason Roe, who has managed and advised congressional campaigns, including that of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas.

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October 27, 2015

Candidates All Face Challenges Heading Into Third GOP Debate

Republican presidential hopefuls  Ben Carson and Donald Trump participate in the Republican Presidential Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California on September 16, 2015. Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump stepped into a campaign hornet's nest as his rivals collectively turned their sights on the billionaire in the party's second debate of the 2015.  AFP PHOTO / FREDERIC J. BROWN        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Carson has surged past Trump in polls in the early voting state of Iowa. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The horse race that is the 2016 presidential campaign remains a long one. But Republican strategists maintain that several White House hopefuls have serious ground to cover in Wednesday’s third GOP debate lest they get left behind in the dust.

Virtually all the Republican strategists and consultants surveyed by CQ Roll Call had an opinion about what front-runners Donald Trump and Ben Carson could do to distance themselves from the rest of the field. Few seemed invested in what, if anything, those stuck at the “kids table” — that means you, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and one-time Iowa caucus-winner Rick Santorum — could do to salvage their campaigns.

Full story

October 14, 2015

Analysts: Clinton Commanding in First Democratic Debate

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 13:  (L-R) Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley take part in a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and Facebook at Wynn Las Vegas on October 13, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Five Democratic presidential candidates are participating in the party's first presidential debate.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Clinton answers a question while Sanders, left, and O’Malley listen. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Tuesday night’s Democratic debate showed that 2008 helped Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2015.

The experience the former first lady, senator and secretary of State gained debating Barack Obama in their race then gave her a command of the stage Tuesday her four opponents couldn’t match. Full story

October 6, 2015

Sanders to Talk Trade, Wall Street at Democratic Debate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanders looks to go one-on-one with Clinton next week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., said Tuesday he is looking to engage with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on trade and financial issues at the upcoming Democratic presidential primary debate.

Democrats vying for their party’s nomination will face off for the first time in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 13. Though accusations of a fractured party are usually thrown at Republicans, the debate will likely highlight rifts within the Democratic party, and Sanders appears to be looking to utilize those divisions to garner support from the more progressive wings of the party.

Full story

September 17, 2015

GOP Debate: Fiorina’s Breakout Performance at Trump’s Expense

SIMI VALLEY, CA - SEPTEMBER 16:  Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (L) looks on as Carly Fiorina speaks during the presidential debates at the Reagan Library on September 16, 2015 in Simi Valley, California. Fifteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the second set of Republican presidential debates.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Fiorina followed a strong performance in the early debate last month with a stronger one on Wednesday. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After bullying his way through the first Republican presidential debate a month ago, front-runner Donald Trump was clearly the target in Wednesday’s second debate, and most of his opponents tried to take shots at him.

By all accounts, Carly Fiorina followed a strong performance in last month’s undercard debate and made the most of her elevation to the prime-time stage, taking on Trump and scoring a couple mic-dropping moments.

Full story

September 16, 2015

Predictive Markets Still Bullish on Bush


Despite lower poll numbers, Bush holds a significant lead in predictive markets. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

Seasoned political operatives are dismayed at Donald Trump’s staying power in the Republican presidential primary.

But for those Republicans waiting for Trump’s surge to crest and more establishment candidates to rise to challenge him, there’s reason not to dump their Jeb Bush stock.

Full story

August 28, 2015

Drowning in Weak Polling, How Long Can Lindsey Graham Stay in 2016 Race?

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign has had a tough time getting traction so far, and a new Quinnipiac University poll keeps him in the conversation about who might be the first of the 17 Republican presidential candidates to fold.

But do his low poll numbers suggest the end is near?

Full story

August 8, 2015

Rand Paul Makes His Pitch, Brushes Off Indictments

Paul speaks to supporters at the Pints for Liberty event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul speaks to supporters at a “Pints for Liberty” event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


COLUMBIA, S.C. — Sen. Rand Paul’s target audience is unique among the presidential contenders. It skews younger and more libertarian.

That may make the Kentucky Republican the ideal candidate to attend a “Pints for Liberty” event, as he did Friday, but Paul says he also thinks that appeal suits him for a long campaign slog. Full story

August 7, 2015

Party Politics: Washington Watches GOP Candidates Debate

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 06:  Republican presidential candidates (L-R) Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Donald Trump and Jeb Bush participate in the first prime-time presidential debate hosted by FOX News and Facebook at the Quicken Loans Arena August 6, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. The top-ten GOP candidates were selected to participate in the debate based on their rank in an average of the five most recent national political polls.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Donald Trump listen as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers a question at the FOX News-Facebook GOP debate on Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

While the Republican presidential candidates were on stage in Cleveland, several Washington clubs took on the air of sports bars at debate-watch parties scattered across the city.

Roll Call did the bar crawl and hit those at the National Press Club, the Union Pub and Johnny Pistola’s.

Full story

At Debate Night at the Movies, Cheers for Candidates, and the Moderators

UNITED STATES - AUGUST 6: Charleston area Republicans watch the Republican primary debate at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre theater during the Charleston County GOP debate watch party in Mount Pleasant, S.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Charleston area Republicans watch the Republican debate on Thursday at the Mount Pleasant Cinebarre Theater in Mount Pleasant, S.C. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. — It was a full house at a South Carolina movie house Thursday night for a special show: the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 cycle.

The venue was perfect for a show with bombastic businessman Donald Trump.
Full story

August 6, 2015

Democrats Seek to Turn Republican Debate Pain Into Their Gain

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the commercial time between jabs at Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, viewers watching in the Southern Maryland and Washington, D.C., media market will hear from a familiar Democrat.

Kathleen Matthews, the former television anchor turned Democratic candidate to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen as he runs for Senate, purchased ad time on Fox News and other cable networks for an ad she hopes will contrast herself and other Democrats with the mammoth GOP field.

Full story

July 13, 2015

Rick Santorum Undeterred by Debate Format

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters at the Monitor Breakfast (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Rick Santorum speaks to reporters Monday at the Monitor Breakfast. (Courtesy of Bryan Dozier/The Christian Science Monitor).

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is at risk of being excluded when the presidential primary debates kick off next month, but that doesn’t mean he’s worried about his chances in 2016.

“I don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to things that go on this far ahead of a national vote,” the Republican White House hopeful told reporters Monday at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Full story

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