Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 22, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

June 24, 2014

Live Results: Cochran-McDaniel Runoff and Other Races

Join the Roll Call Politics Team for coverage of tonight’s big primary runoff in Mississippi and other races in Florida, Oklahoma, New York and Colorado.

Starting at 7 p.m., we’ll have live results and analysis from the races below. Full story

Charlie Rangel Opponent Calls Him ‘Liability’ for Democrats

Charlie Rangel Opponent Calls Him Liability for Democrats

Rangel faces another tough primary challenge Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat challenging longtime Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., in Tuesday’s primary, called his opponent a “liability” for the party, saying the congressman’s past ethical issues have crippled his ability to be effectively serve.

“Right now, [Rangel] cannot get us to the majority,” Espaillat told Chuck Todd Tuesday morning on “The Daily Rundown” on MSNBC. “I doubt very seriously that any marginal Democrat in a tough race would take his support.”

Espaillat, Rangel and Pastor Michael Walrond will face off Tuesday in a primary in New York’s 13th District, based in Harlem and the Bronx. Last cycle, Espaillat came within 1,000 votes of defeating Rangel.

Full story

June 23, 2014

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Childers is awaiting the Cochran runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As his two potential Republican opponents duked it out over the past three weeks, former Rep. Travis Childers has been traveling Mississippi and working the phones in preparation for an uphill Senate race.

If state Sen. Chris McDaniel is able to topple longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP runoff Tuesday, Childers would suddenly be the Democratic nominee in a race that could invite outside spending from both sides and give his party a third possible pickup opportunity as it defends the majority in a lopsided landscape.

But his Tuesday night plans do not involve any sort of watch party as Republican votes roll in.

“I don’t want to be sitting around waiting on their results,” Childers told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview. “I will probably be on the road.”

Full story

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 22, 2014

Members Rally for Charlie Rangel in Tuesday Primary (Video)

Members Rally for Charlie Rangel in Tuesday Primary (Video)

Charlie Rangel faces another primary challenge on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s become cliché to describe Rep. Charles B. Rangel as being “in the fight of his political life.” ‬

That’s because the New York Democrat’s previous battles have been plentiful and perilous: ethics violations, House censure, and a 1,086-vote margin in last cycle’s primary.

Rangel faces another challenge — a rematch against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat — in Tuesday’s primary. His congressional allies are increasingly confident he will survive this too, but the challenges he faces in his Harlem-based district remain precarious.

“My gut is that the momentum is on Charlie Rangel’s side,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a Thursday interview with CQ Roll Call.

“If you remember, he was walking with a cane, he had been in and out of hospitals,” she added of his 2012 primary against Espaillat. “This time, he is not sick. He’s the old Charlie, with lots of energy and lots of optimism and lots of hard work.”

Full story

June 19, 2014

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Miller, a California Republican, is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Lesli Gooch’s campaign called for a recount Wednesday evening in California’s 31st District, a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in 2014.

“We have been in consultation with campaign attorneys and polling data experts over the past several days. They feel a recount is warranted and have identified precincts that will be recounted,” Gooch’s campaign said in a news release.

Gooch trails Democrat Pete Aguilar for second place by 209 votes and therefore faces long odds to victory in the recount. Her campaign had until Wednesday to determine whether to call for a recount — a costly endeavor they must pay for out of pocket.

In California’s primary, the top two vote recipients proceed to the general election, regardless of party. Democrats need Aguilar to advance to the general election to have any shot at competing here this fall, as businessman Paul Chabot has already secured the first-place spot in the top-two primary.

Full story

June 16, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren is in demand on the 2014 campaign trail for Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., endorsed Rep. John F. Tierney’s re-election bid at a campaign rally in the Bay State’s 6th District Monday, calling the House Democrat a “tireless champion for Massachusetts families.”

“I had the chance to work closely with Congressman Tierney on consumer protection issues years before I ran for the Senate, and I’m very glad to work as his partner in Congress today,” Warren said in a release. “Throughout his career, he has fought hard to strengthen our schools, to improve access to high-quality, affordable education, and to make the kinds of investments that grow our economy in the 6th District and across the Commonwealth.”

Tierney faces a primary in September against veteran Seth Moulton and attorney Marisa DeFranco. Moulton has raised more money than Tierney — one of only a few challengers to bring in more bucks than an incumbent this cycle — although the congressman has more cash in the bank.

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 10, 2014

Maine Primary Results: Cain, Poliquin to Face Off in November

Maine Primary Results: Cain, Poliquin to Face Off in November

In the Maine Primary, Cain ran for the Democratic nod. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Emily Cain, the new Democratic nominee, will face former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, in the targeted race for Maine’s 2nd District in November.

Cain defeated fellow Democratic state Sen. Troy Jackson, 72 percent to 28 percent, with 61 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. She raised more money than Jackson, making her large margin of victory unsurprising.

Poliquin defeated Raye, 55 percent to 45 percent, with 61 percent of precincts reporting, according to the AP. This was Raye’s third attempt to win this seat — he lost in both 2002 and 2012 to Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud. Michaud is vacating the seat to run for governor.

Full story

Virginia Primary Results: Don Beyer Wins Democratic Nod

Virginia Primary Results: Don Beyer Wins Democratic Nod

In Virginia's primary, Beyer ran for the Democratic nod. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Virginia Lt. Gov. Don Beyer handily defeated a crowded Democratic primary field Tuesday night in a win that will almost certainly send him to Congress next year in this Arlington-based district.

In a crowded field, Beyer defeated his next closest primary opponent, state Del. Patrick Hope, 45 percent to 20 percent, with 67 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.

He is now the favorite to succeed retiring Rep. James P. Moran in this district, which voted for President Barack Obama with 68 percent in 2012.

But Beyer’s win was largely overshadowed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary defeat in Virginia’s 7th District. Cantor lost to a underfunded tea party opponent David Brat by a large margin.

Full story

Live Coverage: June 10 Primaries

The 2014 primary season rolls on Tuesday with races in Arkansas (runoff), Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Virginia, and the Roll Call Politics Team has you covered on results and analysis.

Starting at 6:30 p.m., follow the action below the jump with Emily Cahn, Alexis Levinson, Stu Rothenberg and Nathan L. Gonzales (see poll closing times here). Full story

June 9, 2014

Tuesday Primaries: Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham Face Tepid Opposition

Tuesday Primaries: Eric Cantor, Lindsey Graham Face Tepid Opposition

Cantor, the House Majority Leader, is on the primary ballot Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Lindsey Graham — two of  the most recognizable names in Congress — face primary challenges Tuesday from their right flank.

“I feel good,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said in a brief interview Thursday at the Capitol. “[We're] running like we’re behind and got a lot of energy. Just got to run through the tape.”

Both Cantor and Graham are poised to defeat their party foes, but their margins will reveal insight into their political positions in their respective states.

Full story

June 6, 2014

In California’s 31st District, Democrats Hold on to Second Place

In California’s 31st District, Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar maintained a 181-vote lead over Republican Lesli Gooch Friday, after the San Bernardino County Elections Office released an updated vote tally.

Aguilar currently leads Gooch, 17.36 percent to 17.01 percent. Gooch knocked into Aguilar’s lead by two votes on Friday.

It is unclear how many ballots have yet to be counted in the 31st District race. But Gooch’s campaign manager said the candidate is not conceding, offering a stinging criticism of the National Republican Congressional Committee for not helping their campaign.

“The NRCC did nothing,” said campaign manager Jeff Stinson. “The NRCC has failed this campaign. Not only that, they failed the party because they did not step in when they could have. A dollar would have won this seat. That’s an embarrassment to the party.”

In California, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. GOP businessman Paul Chabot is in a secure first-place position, so Democrats need Aguilar to maintain his second-place spot or else get shut out of the general election.

Full story

June 5, 2014

Democrats Claim Victory in California’s 31st District Primary

Democrats Claim Victory in Californias 31st District Primary

In California's 31st District, Miller is retiring, leaving a competitive race for his seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:18 p.m. | Democrats have claimed victory in California’s 31st District primary, with the party’s candidate holding on to a 183-vote lead ahead of the third-place Republican, and more ballots yet to be counted.

Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar, a Democrat, maintained his second-place standing in the top-two primary Thursday, after state election officials tallied more than 30,000 outstanding mail-in ballots.

“I am honored that Inland Empire families have given me the chance to move on to the November election and ultimately represent them in Congress,” Aguilar said in a statement shortly after results were released.

He currently leads former Capitol Hill aide Lesli Gooch, a Republican, 17.35 percent to 17 percent.  But there are about 5,200 provisional and other “emergency” ballots yet to be tallied in San Bernardino County. Officials have not set a date to count those ballots.

Jeff Stinson, Gooch’s campaign manager, said Gooch will “absolutely not” concede the race until all of the remaining ballots are counted.

Full story

June 4, 2014

Wendy Greuel Concedes California House Contest

Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu is poised to become the next member of Congress from Hollywood’s House seat — California’s 33rd District.

Lieu advanced to the general election Tuesday, and in November he will face a Republican opponent in a strong Democratic district.

In California’s primary, the two highest vote recipients regardless of party advance to the general election. Full story

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