- McConnell Loans $1.8 Million to His Campaign
- What Happened to the GOP Lawsuit Against Obama?
- Begich Holds Double-Digit Lead in Alaska
- Gohmert Says Gays Getting Massages Make U.S. Vulnerable
- Perdue Signs a Woman's Body
Posts in "DSCC"
September 26, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going up with a new TV ad Friday in North Carolina that attacks Republican Thom Tillis on Medicare and continues to push the theme that he cares more about the wealthy.
The spot, provided first to CQ Roll Call, ties the state House speaker to Rep. Paul D. Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal, which would have cut spending on Medicare and used a voucher-like system. Tillis expressed support for certain aspects of the Wisconsin Republican’s plan.
In the ad, an older woman named Marie Grauerholz, says that would be a problem for her.
“I’m not a millionaire and I don’t own a private jet,” she says. “I depend on Medicare. I think the fact that Thom Tillis wants to cut Medicare just shows that he doesn’t know what people in North Carolina are like and what the average person needs.” Full story
September 25, 2014
STATESVILLE, N.C. — The biggest issue in the North Carolina Senate race? It’s not health care, Syrian airstrikes or even the economy.
Often relegated to state and local elections, education has taken a leading role in the race between Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and her GOP opponent, state Speaker Thom Tillis. And in a state steeped in a rich tradition of public schooling, the focus on education is mostly working in Hagan’s favor in this high-stakes race.
At her field office Wednesday evening, Hagan readily brings it up to supporters.
“In the state house, [Tillis] did the tax cuts, then he cut, cut, cut. What did he cut? He cut a half a billion dollars from our education system,” Hagan said. “You know in North Carolina, education has always been a sacred bipartisan priority.” Full story
September 22, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will air a new ad Monday in Colorado attacking GOP Rep. Cory Gardner on birth control.
The 30-second spot, provided first to CQ Roll Call, criticizes Gardner for sponsoring a bill in congress called the “Life at Conception Act,” while saying he believes birth control pills should be available over the counter.
Gardner is challenging Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. Republicans need to win six seats to retake control of the Senate, and with a number of Democratic incumbents up for re-election in more Republican-leaning states, Democrats can ill-afford to lose a purple state like Colorado.
“Gardner is sponsoring a bill to make most common forms of birth control illegal,” a male narrator says in the ad. “Gardner’s bill also makes all abortions illegal, even in cases of rape and incest.” Full story
September 19, 2014
If the campaign committees had their way, Roll Call reporters would be heading to disparate locations during the final stretch of the midterms.
As part of our survey to determine our final campaign stops of the midterms, Roll Call asked top communications aides at each of the four congressional campaign committees for their picks for our next road trip. Not a single one of them chose the same race.
Voting for this round ends Friday at 5 p.m., and two finalists in each category will be announced next week. Until then, here are picks from each communications guru at the House and Senate campaign:
Justin Barasky, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
“There are so many great options where Democratic candidates are clearly contrasting their fight for the middle class with the Republicans allegiance to the Koch brothers, but I would vote for North Carolina where Speaker Tillis’ devastating education cuts are ending his chances.
Brad Dayspring, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee:
“Kansas is lovely this time of year. It’s about time reporters asked the Obama supporting, Reid donating, felon-friendly Democrat Greg Orman a few questions. The first couple should be centered on Orman’s shady business deals with convicted insider trader Rajat Gupta. ” Full story
September 18, 2014
Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee are launching a coordinated radio buy Thursday targeting African-American voters.
The ad continues the barrage of Democratic attacks on Republican Thom Tillis for cuts made to the education budget by the Legislature, where he is speaker. It also takes a swipe at Republicans for passing a law requiring identification to allow people to vote, something Democrats argue suppresses minority voters.
The one minute-long ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, features a conversation between two women. Full story
September 17, 2014
Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton’s campaign kicked off the final sprint to November with advertising designed to soften the image of one of the GOP’s most-touted Senate recruits.
The freshman congressman, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, boasts multiple Harvard degrees, military service and broad support across the GOP spectrum. His political advantages also include a state trending Republican and a midterm cycle featuring a second-term Democratic president with a 31 percent approval rating in Arkansas, according to a recent NBC News/Marist poll.
But Cotton is running against a two-term senator with a respected brand name, which has given Pryor an advantage some of his fellow red-state Democratic colleagues don’t share. Cotton, who was a first-time candidate in 2012 and has represented just a quarter of the state for less than two years, had the added challenge of boosting his relatively low name ID while refining his skills on the stump. Full story
September 16, 2014
Residents of states with competitive House and Senate races may not believe it, but congressional candidate spending has decreased in 2014, according to a review by the Federal Election Commission released Tuesday.
Congressional candidates raised more than $1.1 billion combined in the first 18 months of the midterm elections. Of those funds, candidates spent $767 million as of June 30, which marked the end of the second quarter of the year.
Both of those figures are down from 2012, when candidates had raised $1.2 billion at the same point in the cycle. In fact, this cycle’s total is the lowest amount raised in this period since 2008.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Tuesday it raised $7.7 million in August, topping its Republican counterpart and bringing its total raised for the cycle to more than $111 million.
With spending on independent-expenditure advertising and a field operation picking up, the DSCC ended last month with more than $25 million in cash on hand. Full story
September 15, 2014
As national analysts say the odds are increasingly against them, Democratic senators and senior operatives remain optimistic the party’s most vulnerable incumbents can survive stiff re-election challenges, even in red states where the president’s popularity is sunk.
With his national approval ratings mired in the low 40s seven weeks out from the Nov. 4 elections, Senate Democrats are well aware of the anchor President Barack Obama is proving to be in the midterms. It’s clear party strategists have had to tailor their red-state strategies around that reality on a map already tilted against them, with three principles at the crux of Democrats’ path to defend seats in GOP-leaning and solidly Republican states where the majority will be won or lost.
As Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil outlined in an interview last week with CQ Roll Call, it’s imperative for Democrats in these states to remind voters why they supported the incumbent in the first place, to over-perform generic Democratic numbers and continue to fund persuasion efforts — along with getting out the vote — through Election Day.
“The president’s ratings are a factor in our elections, but they are not the only factor in our elections,” Cecil said, noting the tens of millions of dollars being spent on advertising and the DSCC’s field campaign efforts. Full story
September 10, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going up with a new ad in Iowa attacking Republican Joni Ernst for talking about privatizing social security and tying her to the Koch Brothers.
Ernst faces Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, in one of the most competitive races this cycle. The two are vying for the open seat currently held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
In the ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, a male narrator attacks Ernst as “too extreme.”
“Joni Ernst is talking about privatizing Social Security. Risking it on the stock market,” the narrator says. Full story
August 28, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a new TV ad in Arkansas Thursday that continues a theme of portraying Republican Rep. Tom Cotton as someone voters can’t trust.
The DSCC’s latest spot is part of a total $3.6 million investment to support Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, whose brand has helped make him competitive for re-election in this Republican-leaning state and in a challenging national environment for his party.
The ad targets the freshman congressman on Social Security. It features Brett Smith of Helena, Ark., vocalizing his concern for his retirement.
“I can see my retirement from here, but every time I see Tom Cotton I feel it slipping away,” Smith says in the ad. Full story
August 5, 2014
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
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
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
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.”