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July 5, 2015

Posts in "DSCC"

March 10, 2015

Democrats Line Up Behind Ted Strickland in Ohio Primary (Updated)

Strickland is a Democrat from Ohio. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Strickland is a Democrat from Ohio. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Updated 11:36 a.m. | The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee threw its weight behind former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland Tuesday — a sign the national party is trying to avoid a primary in a key 2016 state.

Strickland currently faces Cincinnati City Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld for the Democratic nod in the Buckeye State. Both hope to challenge GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who is seeking re-election in a state President Barack Obama carried in 2008 and 2012.

Full story

March 3, 2015

Top Democratic Campaign Staffers Chart 2016 Paths

Tester is the chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tester is the chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With Democrats relegated to the minority in both chambers for the first time since 2006, the two top staffers at the party’s House and Senate campaign arms charted a path back to the majority during an EMILY’s List event Tuesday.

Tom Lopach, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and Kelly Ward, who’s holding the same position at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for a second straight cycle, have a similar goal — but starkly different odds of achieving it. Full story

February 25, 2015

Matt Canter Joins Global Strategy Group

Matt Canter, a former top official at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, is joining Global Strategy Group as senior vice president in the political consulting firm’s Washington, D.C., office.

After two cycles at the DSCC, first as communications director and then deputy executive director, Canter is replacing Bill Burton, who left GSG last month to open a California office for SKDKnickerbocker.  Full story

February 20, 2015

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in January

Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is the Chairman of the DSCC (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised more than its Republican counterpart in January, bringing in $4.5 million as it begins its efforts to take control of the Senate in 2016.

Despite being in the minority, the DSCC said this haul is its best ever in the January of a non-election year. The committee had more than $2.6 million in cash on hand and had $15 million in operating debt at the end of the month. Full story

January 27, 2015

Exclusive: DSCC Hires National Political Director, Press Secretary

dscc

Tester is the chairman of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will add Simone Ward and Sadie Weiner to its senior staff roster, according to a Tuesday news release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Ward will serve as the committee’s national political director, and Weiner will take the role of national press secretary.

Full story

December 23, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Illinois Senate

mark kirk

Kirk, left, is running for re-election in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., is adamant he will seek re-election in the Land of Lincoln, giving forceful declarations of his intentions to national and local press.

Privately, Democrats and Republican operatives express concern about Kirk’s ability to withstand the strenuous task of a statewide campaign. Kirk suffered a stroke in January 2012 that left him with some mobility challenges.

Full story

December 10, 2014

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

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 5 a.m.
Democrats, DSCC

December 8, 2014

What’s Next for Michelle Nunn?

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

November 21, 2014

DSCC Announces 2016 Staff Roster

2016 senate races

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 14, 2014

Harry Reid Considers Three Names for Campaign Manager

harry reid

Reid is considering at least three to serve as campaign manager. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering at least three Democratic operatives to manage his re-election campaign in Nevada in 2016, according to a national Democratic source familiar with the discussions.

Preston Elliott, Sarah Benzing and Anne Caprara are all under discussion as top choices to lead a potential Reid bid for a sixth term, the source said.

Reid will be a top target of national Republicans, who have few offensive opportunities on a map far more favorable to Democrats than 2014. In winning back the majority, Republicans picked up eight seats this month and could add a ninth in the Dec. 6 runoff in Louisiana.

Widely considered three of the party’s most talented political hands, the candidates for campaign manager could also have other options for 2016. Full story

By Kyle Trygstad Posted at 3:31 p.m.
DSCC

November 13, 2014

Jon Tester Named DSCC Chairman

Tester will chair the DSCC for the 2016 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Montana Sen. Jon Tester was appointed chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 2016 cycle.

Senate Democrats are coming off a brutal cycle, in which Republicans won back the majority for the first time since 2006 and could have a nine-seat net gain. But the Senate should be in play next cycle, with a far more favorable map for Democrats than in 2014.

At a news conference following an extended Democratic meeting in the Capitol, Tester said his role will be “going out and finding candidates that can lead, that can win, that can advocate for the middle class in their elections.” Tester said he will continue to focus on his job as senator and still has a farm to keep up back home. Full story

By Alexis Levinson Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Democrats, DSCC

November 6, 2014

Senate Democrats Saw GOP Wave Before Election Night

senate races 2014

The executive directors of the Democratic and Republican Senate campaign arms broke down the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections Thursday at the Election Impact Conference hosted by CQ Roll Call, giving a candid assessment of the factors that led to Republicans taking control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

Guy Cecil, who ran the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the past two cycles, said top-level Democrats knew about a week before Election Day the tide had moved against them and said they were bracing for losses across the board as results came in Tuesday night.

“We had hopes we could stem the tide, but it became clear to us that it would be difficult to do,” Cecil told the audience.

Full story

Script Will Be Flipped in 2016 Senate Majority Battle

senate races 2016

Johnson is one of several Republicans running in competitive states in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After securing control of the Senate Tuesday, Republicans are already staring down a daunting map for 2016.

The majority of the Senate battleground in the next election cycle will be fought on Republican turf, with the GOP defending 24 seats to the Democrats’ 10. There is more trouble for the party beneath those raw numbers; only two Democratic seats are in competitive states, while more than half a dozen Republican incumbents face re-election in states President Barack Obama carried at least once.

Republicans appear to have put themselves in as strong a position as possible, coming out of the midterms with potentially a 54-seat majority. But the next electoral fight for the Senate fundamentally looks nothing like 2014: Democrats are on offense, the playing field is packed with pricey media markets and every race is positioned down-ballot from a presidential contest.

“I think attention will turn to it as soon as the dust settles from this cycle,” Republican pollster Dan Judy said of 2016. “The environment will certainly be tougher for us with a lot of competitive seats to defend in swing states, but I’m hopeful that a Republican majority for two years will allow us to advance a constructive agenda that our incumbents can run on in 2016.”

Full story

November 5, 2014

A Day in the Life of Rob Collins, on the Brink of the Majority

senate republicans

Collins served as executive director of the NRSC during the 2014 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At the tail end of an hour-long press briefing at the National Republican Senatorial Committee less than three weeks before the elections, Executive Director Rob Collins threw out a prediction: The GOP would win the majority on election night.

Republicans were favored to pick up at least a handful of seats, but with a couple possible runoffs and some tight races, forecasting clear control of the chamber by the end of Election Day was a ballsy declaration.

In his office a little while later, Collins laughed as he noticed his quote popping up in stories online. He wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t think it was possible, but Collins went out on a limb mainly because he didn’t want his customary level-headed analysis of the Senate playing field misinterpreted as pessimism about his party’s chances.

“I think people like that I don’t bullshit them,” Collins said. But, he added, “I felt like, boy, I better end this on a note of confidence, or they’ll say, ‘Collins was a little iffy on that whole thing.’ So yeah, we’ll win on election night — it’s totally possible.” Full story

November 4, 2014

Why Senate Control May Not Be Known by Wednesday

senate races 2014

Landrieu rallies supporters Nov. 2 in Shreveport, La. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are enough Democratic seats in play for Republicans to secure the Senate majority Tuesday, but there is also a chance the outcome won’t be known for days, weeks or even a couple months.

Needing to net six seats to win back control for the first time since George W. Bush’s second midterm in 2006, Republicans have taken advantage of a Democratic president in a similarly weak political position and have carved a path through 10 states. That means Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be celebrating more than his own re-election in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday night.

Still, with runoffs likely in two competitive states, potentially razor-thin margins in a few races and vote-counting complications in Alaska, there are several hurdles to one party having clear control of the Senate by the time the sun rises Wednesday on the East Coast. Full story

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