Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 19, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

December 17, 2014

N.H. Democrats Prep Kelly Ayotte Challenge

N.H. Democrats Prep Kelly Ayotte Challenge

Ayotte is a top target of Democrats in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Hampshire is set to play a far more pivotal role in deciding Senate control next cycle than it did in the midterms.

In 2016, Granite State Democrats are sizing up GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte for a seat vital to winning back the majority. Full story

December 16, 2014

Exit Interview: John Barrow Laments Hyper-Partisan Congress

Exit Interview: John Barrow Laments Hyper Partisan Congress

Barrow lost re-election in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Defeating Georgia Rep. John Barrow, the last white House Democrat in the Deep South, may have been one of the House GOP’s biggest feats in last month’s near sweep of the 2014 elections.

In an exclusive exit interview with CQ Roll Call Thursday — hours before Barrow’s final vote of his decade-long Capitol Hill career — he did not rule out a future bid. Full story

House Democratic Losses Deplete Bench of 2016 Senate Recruits

House Democratic Losses Deplete Bench of 2016 Senate Recruits

Jon Tester from Montana is the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in the 2016 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sweeping House losses have not only pushed Democrats into a historic minority, they’ve depleted the bench of potential Senate recruits for the 2016 elections.

After losing the majority in the midterms, Senate Democrats are seeking strong recruits for 2016 in hopes of netting the five seats necessary to ensure they win control again. Party officials argue the majority is within reach because many Senate Republicans elected in 2010 are seeking re-election in a presidential cycle in competitive states such as Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Full story

December 15, 2014

Congressman Mum on Illinois Senate Race

Congressman Mum on Illinois Senate Race

Foster is an Illinois Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One of three politicians who Democrats say is considering a challenge to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., remained mum about his plans in an interview with CQ Roll Call last week — but he did not rule out the possibility.

Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., confirmed he’s been asked “from time to time” by Illinois Democrats about a bid, but he said it’s too early to discuss whether he wants to run for Senate.

Full story

December 12, 2014

Wisconsin Democrat: Russ Feingold Would Clear Primary

Wisconsin Democrat: Russ Feingold Would Clear Primary

Moore is a Wisconsin Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., told CQ Roll Call she thinks former Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., will run for Senate in 2016, adding “no one would primary him.”

But if Feingold decides not to rematch Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Moore added, “that’s a different story.” Full story

December 10, 2014

Exclusive: DSCC Chairman Makes Recruitment Pitch for 2016

Exclusive: DSCC Chairman Makes Recruitment Pitch for 2016

Tester talks in his Capitol office Tuesday about his role as DSCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester sees a world of opportunity when he looks at the 2016 Senate map — and a mountain of work to capitalize on it.

Democrats are entering an election cycle in the minority for the first time in a decade, yet the field of competitive states provides avenues back to Senate control, particularly with presidential-year turnout that historically favors the party.

In Tester’s first extensive newspaper interview since becoming chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the farmer from Big Sandy, Mont., emphasized the need to motivate voters to turn out and the challenge of recruiting strong candidates in an atmosphere of unlimited outside spending.

“We’ve got to get a good, clear message that focuses on the middle class, we’ve got to have some deliverables that we can talk about, and we’ve got to have good candidates, maybe most importantly of all,” Tester told CQ Roll Call Tuesday from his hideaway office in the Capitol basement. Full story

December 8, 2014

What’s Next for Michelle Nunn?

Whats Next for Michelle Nunn?

What's the next move for Michelle Nunn? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Michelle Nunn strolled through the Capitol basement last week alongside outgoing Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Michael Bennet — just a month after her loss in the Georgia Senate race.

Nunn, the former CEO of the Points of Light Foundation and daughter of a revered former senator, was the party’s top recruit in 2014. Despite an 8-point loss to Sen.-elect David Perdue, the first-time candidate had brought in more than $14 million by the end of the campaign and her retail skills were polished enough to impress operatives in both parties.

Her overall performance was strong enough to keep her at the top of the list of potential candidates for any statewide race in Georgia in the next few years, according to multiple Democrats in the state. Her level of interest in a future bid remains unknown, but Bennet told CQ Roll Call not to read too much into Nunn’s visit to Capitol Hill last week, including speculation she’s considering a next-cycle challenge to Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

“We had talked after the campaign was over about her just coming for a visit, and that’s what it was, just a friendly visit,” Bennet said. “I can tell you what we didn’t talk about: The subject of 2016 did not come up in the conversation at all.” Full story

December 4, 2014

Pennsylvania Democrats Hesitate on Sestak Senate Bid

Pennsylvania Democrats Hesitate on Sestak Senate Bid

Toomey is a Pennsylvania Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been more than four years since former Rep. Joe Sestak narrowly lost his bid for Senate — and the Pennsylvania Democrat hasn’t stopped running since. After his 2010 loss to Republican Patrick J. Toomey, Sestak continued to traverse the state to raise cash before officially filing for a rematch against the senator in September.

“We’ve done 400 events in two years for other candidates,” Sestak said in a Wednesday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. “I’ve put a quarter-million miles on my car.”

Keystone State Democrats laud Sestak for coming within 2 points of defeating Toomey in an otherwise miserable year for the party. But some privately question whether he’s the party’s best bet for a high-stakes Senate race. Full story

December 3, 2014

Democratic Leaders Court Candidate for House Rematch

Democratic Leaders Court Candidate for House Rematch

House Democrats are recruiting Cain for another bid. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:22 p.m. | Former Maine state Sen. Emily Cain is on Capitol Hill this week being recruited by House leadership to run again in 2016.

According to a Democratic source, Cain is meeting Wednesday and Thursday with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján to discuss a potential rematch with GOP Rep.-elect Bruce Poliquin.

Poliquin beat Cain by 5 points in the open-seat race for the 2nd District, located in the northern half of the Pine Tree State.

Full story

November 24, 2014

Democrats Announce Finalists for 2016 Convention (Updated)

Democrats Announce Finalists for 2016 Convention (Updated)

Columbus, Ohio, is one of three possible locations for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:15 p.m. | The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that Philadelphia, New York and Columbus are the three finalists to host its 2016 national convention.

Two cities, Phoenix and Birmingham, Ala., were knocked from contention after party officials conducted a series of visits to assess whether they could withstand the thousands of elected officials, delegates and media expected for the event. A final decision on location will come early next year.

Democrats also narrowed down the timing for the convention: It will be held during the week of July 18, July 25 or Aug. 22 of 2016. Full story

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

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 19, 2014

Democrats Win 2 Contested California House Contests

Democrats Win 2 Contested California House Contests

Bera is a California Democrat. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 7:53 p.m. | In a boost for California Democrats, Reps. Jim Costa and Ami Bera will return to Congress in January, after The Associated Press called both races Wednesday night.

Costa, a Central Valley-based Democrat, defeated little-known Republican, Johnny Tacherra, by a 1,319-vote margin.

In the Sacramento-based 7th District, Democratic Rep. Ami Bera defeated former Rep. Doug Ose, R-Calif., by 1,432 votes after Sacramento County released another batch of ballots Wednesday.

The calls come more than two weeks after Election Day, as the counties in both districts slowly counted thousands of mail-in and provisional ballots.

Their victories serve as welcome news for House Democrats, who lost 12 seats in the midterms — and perhaps one more. The race for Arizona’s 2nd District will proceed to a recount in December. 

Full story

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

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