Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

Posts in "Democrats"

July 9, 2014

Freshman Democrat Rakes in More Than $580,000

Freshman Democrat Rakes in More Than $580,000

Kyrsten Sinema announced her most recent fundraising totals. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema raised $582,000 in the second quarter — a hefty sum as the freshman Democrat awaits her GOP opponent in Arizona’s 9th District.

Sinema’s haul left her war chest at $1.59 million as of June 30, the last day of the second quarter.

Two Republicans are running in the Aug. 26 primary: retired Air Force Officer Wendy Rogers and former Arizona State University quarterback Andrew Walter.

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Florida House Candidate Posts Another Big Fundraising Quarter

Florida House Candidate Posts Another Big Fundraising Quarter

Graham, Democrat, is challenging Southerland, above. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham, a Democrat, raised $563,000 in the second quarter, adding to her war chest as she gears up for a competitive race in Florida’s 2nd District, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Graham’s haul brings her total cash on hand to $1.57 million in her race against GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II. At the end of the first quarter in March, Graham reported $1.4 million in the bank.

Southerland has yet to release his second-quarter numbers, which cover the period between April 1 and June 30. They are due to the Federal Election Commission on July 15. Southerland ended March with $1.18 million in the bank — a cash-on-hand disadvantage compared to Graham.

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‘Nicky Joe’ Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand

Nicky Joe Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand

Rahall, center, before he speaks to the crowd at the West Virginia Freedom Festival. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nicky Joe Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand LOGAN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Freedom Festival offered choices for Confederate flag accessories: jewelry, belts, pins and oven mitts. A couple blocks away, in the shadow of a “Hillbilly Mobile Zipline” platform, a Tennessee-based vendor called for a treason trial and eventual public execution of President Barack Obama.

It’s hard to find a Mountaineer who would go that far — but most of them blame Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency for the economic hardship plaguing the state’s coal miners. The anger toward Obama is so widespread that it’s easy to see how it could taint anyone with even the most tenuous ties to him and his administration.

On a hot and clear Saturday afternoon near the Kentucky border, this is Rep. Nick J. Rahall II’s challenge. The November election will be a test of whether the vaunted “Nick Joe” brand can sustain staggering outside spending and a seething hatred for the leader of his party. A Rahall defeat would prove national political forces can reign supreme, anytime or anywhere.

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July 8, 2014

Sean Patrick Maloney Turns in Another Strong Fundraising Quarter

Sean Patrick Maloney Turns in Another Strong Fundraising Quarter

Maloney turned in another strong quarter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., posted another impressive fundraising haul, bringing in $550,000 in the second quarter, according to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call.

The freshman Democrat’s fundraising brings his total cash on hand to $1.75 million as he gears up for a rematch with the Republican he ousted in 2012: former Rep. Nan Hayworth. Full story

July 1, 2014

Democrats Work to Mitigate VA Scandal as Political Issue

Democrats Work to Mitigate VA Scandal as Political Issue

Begich has had to tackle the veterans affairs scandal as he seeks a second term in Alaska. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Politicians have always touted their support for military veterans back home. The willingness to expend federal dollars to provide the best care possible is popular across the partisan spectrum and is rarely cause for controversy.

But the issue has been turned on its head in recent months, with the fallout from the Veterans Affairs scandal prompting even the Obama administration to admit a “corrosive culture” at the VA affecting facilities across the country.

It’s also invited criticism of vulnerable House and Senate Democrats from Republican candidates and outside groups. For Republican challengers and operatives, the VA scandal offers a striking example of federal government mismanagement with a Democrat at the helm and provides another link between Democratic incumbents and President Barack Obama.

“Veterans’ issues tend to be bipartisan, non-controversial and not a big deal in most campaigns — which is why the VA scandal is a problem for Democrats this year,” Republican pollster Dan Judy said. “Democratic candidates in most of the competitive states already have the millstone of President Obama’s unpopularity around their necks, and the VA scandal is only making that weight heavier.”

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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:

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.’”

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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.

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