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August 28, 2014

Posts in "DSCC"

August 5, 2014

Senate Democrats Launch First IE Ad of 2014 (Video)

Senate Democrats Launch First IE Ad of 2014 (Video)

Senate 2014: Cotton is the target of the DSCC's first IE ad of the cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched its first independent expenditure ad of the cycle Tuesday, the premiere installment in a $3.6 million buy in Arkansas on behalf of Sen. Mark Pryor.

The ad pushes a theme Democrats have worked for months to sew into the race — that Republican Rep. Tom Cotton can’t be trusted. Full story

August 4, 2014

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Top 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

In 2014 Senate races, Pryor is one of the most vulnerable Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Three months before Election Day, it’s clear some senators may not return to Congress after the midterms — and that’s mostly good news for Republicans.

The GOP’s path to the Senate majority includes a mix of open seats and targeted Democratic incumbents. The two most vulnerable seats are in South Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring. Republicans also have opportunities in open seats in Iowa and, to a lesser degree, Michigan.

But even if they are victorious in those states, the GOP must defeat at least two incumbents to reach the net six seats needed for control.

Luckily for Republicans, Democrats make up the vast majority of endangered senators seeking re-election. The GOP has a lengthy catalog of states where it has an opportunity to win, though there is a wide gap betweenthe  No. 1 and No. 10 most vulnerable senators — who are ordered by most likely to lose.

Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list will be updated monthly ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. For now, here is where the incumbents stand: Full story

July 27, 2014

6 Reasons Senate Republicans Should Be Optimistic — and Concerned About Election Day

6 Reasons Senate Republicans Should Be Optimistic — and Concerned About Election Day

In 2014 Senate races, Republicans are optimistic they can defeat Braley, above, and pick up a seat in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With 100 days to go until Election Day, Senate Republicans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about winning the majority — but they also have grounds for concern.

After coming up short in 2010 and 2012, the GOP is unquestionably well positioned to finish the job this time. Republicans need to match their November 2010 score of six seats to take the majority, and the party has multiple paths to the finish line.

That’s thanks to a successful recruitment push that didn’t conclude until late February, and a playing field naturally tilted in the GOP’s direction — seven Democrat-held seats are in states President Barack Obama lost in 2012, six of those by double digits.

But, as optimistic as Republican operatives are heading into the final stretch, the GOP has reasons to restrain its confidence. With tens of millions of dollars of advertising already spent by outside groups on both sides, just one Democratic incumbent is, at this point, a solid underdog for re-election.

Reasons for Republicans to Be Optimistic Full story

July 24, 2014

Quirky Ex-Senator Stomps on Democrats’ S.D. Hopes

Quirky Ex Senator Stomps on Democrats S.D. Hopes

Johnson is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card — former Sen. Larry Pressler — to help the contest break their way.

Pressler seems to have other plans.

Democrats already faced long odds to hold retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat. Obama lost South Dakota by 18 points last cycle, and the state marks the GOP’s best pick-up opportunity in its 6-seat quest to win the majority.

The front-runner, popular former GOP Gov. Mike Rounds, faces several foes: Democrat Rick Weiland; state Sen. Gordon Howie, a conservative Republican running as an independent; and Pressler, who served three terms as a Republican but is running as an independent.

Democrats held out hope the race would become competitive if Pressler splintered GOP votes from Rounds. But so far, Pressler is doing the opposite — splitting Democrats and extinguishing the party’s remaining hopes of keeping the seat.

“He seems to be veering to the left,” said Ben Nesselhuf, former South Dakota Democratic Party chairman, in an interview with Roll Call. “I like this Larry Pressler a lot more than I liked the one in the mid 1990s. … His message and Rick Weiland’s message seem to kind of overlap.”

Full story

July 23, 2014

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Fundraising plays a factor in who will serve as Senate majority leader in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Senate Democrats lose the majority, it won’t be for lack of cash-flush campaigns. Facing a daunting map, Democrats turned in solid — sometimes eye-popping — second-quarter fundraising totals for the midterms.

Even with incumbents such as Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska already spending significantly on the airwaves, Democrats running for the party’s most endangered seats also continued to sit on significant war chests primed for a post-Labor Day advertising assault.

With President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the low 40s, an unreliable base turnout in midterms, outside groups unleashing seemingly unlimited resources and Republican challengers staying competitive financially, it will take every penny to ensure Democrats’ losses don’t reach six seats. That threshold would hand the GOP control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

The fundraising reports filed last week by the dozen or so most competitive campaigns offer the last publicly available insight into their financial viability until mid-October, just before the general elections. With a few months to go, this was the first fundraising period that saw numerous candidates eclipse $2 million raised, with several topping $3 million and one even reaching $4 million. Full story

July 22, 2014

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Democratic Poll: The Issues That Resonate With Single Women Voters

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., participated in a recent news conference on legislation following the Hobby Lobby decision. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll of likely voters in 12 Senate battleground states suggests a populist economic message and focus on women’s health issues could help Democrats improve their standing with unmarried women voters in advance of the midterm elections.

The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg’s Democracy Corps in collaboration with Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund, which focuses on increasing participation among unmarried women voters.

It found that Democratic candidates are currently underperforming with unmarried women voters, beating Republicans among the crucial demographic by just 11 points, compared to a 20-point gap in the 2010 midterms. But the poll also gave Democrats suggestions for messages that are most likely to resonate with this voting bloc.

“The movement in the races and in the states is really about the movement of unmarried women … based on hearing an economic agenda that resonates with their lives,” said Page Gardner, the founder of Women’s Voices Women Vote. Full story

July 18, 2014

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in June

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in June

Sen. Michael Bennet is chairing the DSCC in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced raising $7.2 million in June — just about a million dollars more than its Republican counterpart.

As the party fights to maintain its majority in the Senate, the DSCC has brought in about $25 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee to date this cycle. It raised about $21.7 million total from April through June and had $30.5 million in cash on hand as of June 30. Full story

July 7, 2014

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Franken is seeking re-election in Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

Full story

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:

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

May 19, 2014

DSCC, NRSC Top $6 Million Raised in April

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee narrowly outraised its GOP counterpart in April, with both bringing in more than $6 million.

The DSCC announced Monday raising $6.3 million and ending last month with $25 million in cash on hand. The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Friday it just eclipsed $6 million for the month and ended April with $19.2 million on hand.

The committees’ monthly reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

The DSCC has now raised more than $80 million for the cycle, about $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC is investing heavily in field operations to motivate its base in this challenging midterm cycle, and this month it began its fall airtime reservations in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich faces a competitive race.

Since Senate Republican hopes of winning the majority increased at the start of 2014, the NRSC said it is outpacing its own election-year fundraising from 2010 and 2012 by about $3 million. Republicans must net six seats to win the majority.

April 9, 2014

DSCC Outraised NRSC in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March. The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $8.1 million last month, bringing its total raised for the cycle to more than $74 million — $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC paid off its remaining debt from 2012 last month.

The NRSC announced Tuesday that it brought in $6.4 million and ended March with $15.9 million in cash on hand. It paid off its debt last year. Full story

March 21, 2014

Obama Warns Donors of Turnout Problems in Midterm Elections

Obama Warns Donors of Turnout Problems in Midterm Elections

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Barack Obama warned Democratic donors Thursday night about dipping turnout in midterm elections, stressing the party’s need to push women and minorities to vote in the high-stakes congressional elections this November.

At a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraiser in Miami, Obama stressed the party gets “clobbered” without these key constituencies, according to a pool report of his remarks.

“During presidential elections, young people vote, women are more likely to vote, blacks, Hispanics more likely to vote. And suddenly a more representative cross-section of America gets out there and we do pretty well in presidential elections,” said Obama. “But in midterms we get clobbered – either because we don’t think it’s important or we’ve become so discouraged about what’s happening in Washington that we think it’s not worth our while.”

Full story

March 5, 2014

Obama Headlines DSCC Fundraiser

President Barack Obama addressed a group of donors Tuesday night at a fundraiser for Senate Democrats, who are hoping to maintain their majority in the upcoming midterm elections.

The Democrats gathered at the home of former Sen. Chuck Robb and Lynda Robb in McLean, Va.  Sen. Michael Bennet, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner attended the event, where tickets ranged from $10,000 to $32,400, a DSCC official said.

According to a transcript of his remarks, Obama stressed the importance of the midterm elections, pledging to “spend a lot of time and energy” supporting Democratic candidates. The president said Democrats must passionately support their candidates, especially since midterm elections typically have lower voter turnout rates.

Referring to the 2010 midterms, when Democrats lost their House majority and a half-dozen Senate seats, Obama said, “We paid a dear price for not paying enough attention to these midterm elections. We cannot repeat the same mistake this year.” Full story

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