Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Posts in "Calif.-36"

October 14, 2014

The 9 Biggest Candidate Flameouts

The 9 Biggest Candidate Flameouts

Walsh will not run for re-election to a full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Meet the cycle’s biggest candidate disappointments.

They are the congressional hopefuls who just didn’t live up to their hype. Once touted as top recruits, these House and Senate candidates are headed for defeat on Election Day in all likelihood. Some of these candidates tanked so early in the cycle, their races never got off the ground.

The reasons for their declines vary — from poor fundraising and stalking allegations to plagiarism and missteps on the trail. Whatever the reason, don’t expect to see these faces when the 114th Congress is sworn into office next year.

To be sure, there are a few more candidates who could have easily made this list, but they’ve been boosted by districts or states that favor their parties, as well as outside spending keeping them afloat. The prime example is Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, a poor fundraiser who barely won his August primary but is nonetheless in a strong position to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st District, which slightly favors the GOP.

In alphabetical order, here are the rest of the 2014 cycle’s most disappointing candidates:

Full story

September 18, 2014

The ‘Cory Booker of California’ Leaps to Safer Ground

The Cory Booker of California Leaps to Safer Ground

Ruiz is a freshman Democrat from California. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s a story even Hollywood couldn’t concoct.

Once arguably the most vulnerable House Democrat in California, freshman Rep. Raul Ruiz has climbed to safer ground in the final months of the midterms. His position can be chalked up to a series of politically fortunate — albeit grave — events on two separate flights to the Palm Springs-based 36th District.

Ruiz represents competitive territory that President Barack Obama won by only 3 points last cycle. The freshman started the midterms as a top GOP target, and Republicans were confident in their recruit, Assemblyman Brian Nestande.

Then, the completely unexpected happened. Twice.  Full story

June 17, 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.

The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.

But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.

Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.  

But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.

Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:

Full story

June 10, 2014

NRCC Promotes 11 More to ‘Young Guns’

NRCC Promotes 11 More to Young Guns

NRCC Chairman Walden announced a new set of 'Young Gun" candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has elevated 11 more candidates to “Young Gun” status, moving these prospects to the top tier of of their benchmark program for campaigns in 2014.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a Tuesday statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration.”

All of the following, newly-minted Young Gun candidates have recently won their primaries. The NRCC does not publicly pick sides in primaries.

The 11 new Young Gun candidates are:

Full story

June 4, 2014

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Primary Results: California House Races (Updated)

Ose will face Bera, above. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 10:33 a.m., 2:15 p.m. | The race for California’s coveted 31st District remained too close to call Wednesday morning, with just 390 votes separating the second- and third-place finishers.

The results will make or break the race for Democrats, who have invested significant resources in this competitive district and named it one of their top targets of the cycle.

In California, the top two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election.

Full story

May 23, 2014

How the California Governor’s Race May Be a Boon for House Democrats

A controversial Republican gubernatorial candidate in California could cause the GOP headaches in down-ballot House races in a state crucial to the party’s hopes of increasing its House majority.

State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly led Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury official and the establishment-preferred candidate, by 5 points in a poll this month from the Public Policy Institute of California. That has top Republican operatives in California and Washington, D.C., concerned that Donnelly’s controversial comments and ties to the California Minutemen, a group that fights illegal immigration on the border, could mobilize Hispanic and other Democratic-base voters who otherwise might fall off in this midterm year.

Their fear is that the increased turnout to oppose Donnelly could boost the re-election hopes of vulnerable House Democrats and perhaps even improve the party’s chances to add to its ranks in the already Democrat-heavy delegation. A consultant with ties to Kashkari is among the Republicans sounding the alarm. Full story

October 16, 2013

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Ring, Ring: Dems Make It Easy to Call GOP to Complain About Shutdown (Updated)

Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.

This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.

The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.

Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”

Here are the targeted GOP challengers:

Full story

June 5, 2013

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

NRCC Memo: We Will Expand the Playing Field for 2014

Walden heads the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden signaled that he plans to stay on offense in 2014 with the aim of expanding his party’s 17-seat majority.

In a Wednesday memo to the House Republican Conference obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call, Walden says his committee will be “aggressively expanding the playing field” thanks, in part, to Democratic recruitment struggles.

“The question facing Democrats is how, if they are struggling on their home court, will they ever win the Republican-leaning districts they need to regain the majority?” Walden wrote to his colleagues.

He went on to highlight Democratic candidates who dropped their House bids early in the cycle, framing them as recruitment failures. He named-checked former candidates such as hotel magnate Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District and former state Sen. Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd District.

Walden also cited promising polling in a handful of House seats held by Democrats, including:

Full story

March 5, 2013

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

DCCC Announces 26 Members on Frontline Incumbent Retention Program

Israel leads the DCCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel named 26 of his colleagues to the Frontline program, a committee program designed to protect their most vulnerable incumbents.

“We call this program Frontline for a reason – these Members are on the vanguard of protecting and expanding the middle class,” Israel said in a written statement released Tuesday morning.

“While the 2014 campaign will be dominated by a strong offense taking on the Tea Party Republican Congress, our success begins with our Members,” added Israel, a Democrat from New York. “These battle-tested men and women have proven time and again that they can win because no one better reflects the values of their districts.”

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn. will spearhead the program as its chairman. He’s a Frontline alumnus as recently as the 2012 cycle.

Otherwise, the list includes several freshman members and Blue Dog Democrats:

Full story

November 9, 2012

California: Mary Bono Mack Concedes

California: Mary Bono Mack Concedes

Rep. Mary Bono Mack conceded on Friday night. Her husband, Rep. Connie Mack IV, also lost his bid for Senate this week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) today conceded her race to Democrat Raul Ruiz, who joins a large freshman contingent in the state’s Congressional delegation.

Ruiz was leading Bono Mack by 4,679 votes as of Thursday evening, with thousands of absentee and provisional ballots still to count.

“Dr. Ruiz will do a fine job if he is guided as well by the people of the Congressional district as I was. Please give him the opportunity to succeed,” Bono Mack said in a statement.

Ruiz, a physician, was a top recruit of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which launched a media campaign against Bono Mack in mid-September. That set off a spending war among outside groups from both sides, as the district moved squarely onto the competitive playing field. Full story

November 7, 2012

Ann Kirkpatrick Wins in Arizona; Six House Races Still Outstanding

It’s official: Former Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D) is coming back to Congress.

She led GOP rival Jonathan Paton by about 7,000 votes at the time the Associated Press called the race late on Wednesday afternoon.

Redistricting improved the district for Democrats, but Kirkpatrick’s road back to Congress was not assured. She had a strong start to her campaign, but Republicans blitzed Arizona television with negative advertising against her.

In other races that were called Wednesday afternoon, Democrats and Republicans traded gains. Full story

October 30, 2012

California: Raul Ruiz Up 6 Points in Internal Poll

California: Raul Ruiz Up 6 Points in Internal Poll

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll conducted for the campaign of Raul Ruiz found the Democrat up 6 points in his challenge to California Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R).

Ruiz led 48 percent to 42 percent in the Lake Research Partners poll, with 7 percent of voters undecided. The poll was taken of 409 residents of the 36th district who are either likely to vote or have already voted. It was conducted Oct. 20-22 and had a 4.9-point margin of error.

The polling memo stated that both candidates’ unfavorable ratings have increased over the past few weeks, as both sides have stepped up attacks. So, “in the final weeks of the race, it is important for the Ruiz campaign to introduce Ruiz to the 33% of voters who have not already voted and still have no impression of Ruiz,” the memo stated. Full story

House Majority PAC Airs Final Spots in Nine Races

Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC today will announce its final flight of advertisements in nine key races.

According to a copy of the spots provided early to Roll Call, House Majority PAC will target the following districts with six-figure buys:

In Arizona’s 1st district, the Democratic group and EMILY’s List will jointly air “Why” through Election Day in the Phoenix market for $120,000:

In Arizona’s new 9th district, it will join with EMILY’s List to air “About Women” through Election Day in the Phoenix market for $120,000:

Full story

October 22, 2012

California: Crossroads GPS Helping Mary Bono Mack

Republican-aligned Crossroads GPS has added California’s GOP-held 36th district to its target list for television advertising spending over the final weeks of the campaign.

The group is spending a total of $2.2 million on TV this week across nine districts, part of an $8.1 million investment in 11 House races that it announced last week. The addition of Rep. Mary Bono Mack’s (R-Calif.) district increases that number to 12 and is further confirmation that the Palm Springs-based district is one of the top battlegrounds in the country.

Bono Mack is being challenged by physician Raul Ruiz (D).

Full story

October 20, 2012

Bill Clinton to Rally for Southern California House Candidates

Bill Clinton to Rally for Southern California House Candidates

Former President Bill Clinton introduces musician Bruce Springsteen as they campaign for President Barack Obama's reelection during an appearance at Cuyahoga Community College in Parma. Ohio. (Photo by Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Bill Clinton will attend a Southern California rally on Tuesday to formally endorse Democratic Congressional candidates in a region fertile with pickup opportunities for the party.

The former president is scheduled to attend a “California’s Voice” afternoon rally at the University of California, Irvine, a serene, suburban Orange County campus between Los Angeles and San Diego. There he will endorse five candidates either challenging a Republican incumbent or running for an open seat. Full story

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