Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Posts in "Fla.-18"

November 8, 2012

Handful of House Races Still Uncalled

The 113th Congress isn’t set yet. The winners in six House races remain unclear.

Here’s an update on those races:

  • In Arizona’s 2nd district, retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally (R) led Rep. Ron Barber (D), but there are early ballots and provisional ballots left to be counted. Both parties felt confident that the outcome of this race would be in their favor, but it might take a while to find out who is right. “It’s just gonna drag on there for a week or two,” one Arizona Democratic political insider said.
  • In Arizona’s new 9th district, former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) led ex-Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker (R) by about 2,700 votes, but many, many ballots remained to be counted, and the race has not yet been called by the Associated Press.
  • In California’s 7th district, physician Ami Bera (D) led Rep. Dan Lungren (R) by the slimmest of margins — 184 votes, according to the AP. A margin like that could make this race ripe for a recount, which must be requested by one of the candidates. Full story

November 7, 2012

Allen West May Fall Short

Allen West May Fall Short

Rep. Allen West may lose his re-election bid in Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) may narrowly lose his re-election bid, burned by his own hot rhetoric — which his opponent turned against him — and burdened by GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s weaker-than-expected showing in Florida.

In one of the costliest, nastiest and hardest-fought Congressional campaigns in the country, businessman Patrick Murphy led the freshman 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to the Associated Press. The race has not yet been officially called for Murphy, and 2,456 votes separate the two candidates with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

Full story

November 6, 2012

No Surprises in Florida House Races

Every House race but one has been called in the Sunshine State, and there have been no surprises.

But firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) remained locked in a razor-tight contest with businessman Patrick Murphy (D) in Florida’s 18th district. With 96.4 percent of precincts reporting, West led with 50.2 percent to Murphy’s 49.8 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Here are other competitive race results, as reported by the AP:

  • Freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R) beat former state Sen. Al Lawson in the Panhandle 2nd district by a comfortable 5-point margin.
  • Freshman Rep. Daniel Webster (R) held off a challenge from former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, beating her by 3.6 points.
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) easily beat former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D) by more than 7 points.
  • Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) beat former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) in the open 22nd district, reconfigured to be significantly more Democratic.
  • Embattled Rep. David Rivera (R) lost to Democrat Joe Garcia in the Miami-area 26th district.

October 18, 2012

Daily Ad Track

Here’s what cut through the ad clutter today:

California 30

The Berman-Sherman race has officially gone, like, mega-ballistic.

Two new ads from the costliest Member-vs.-Member race in the country were released on Wednesday, as Democratic Reps. Howard Berman and Brad Sherman once again laid into each other. Berman’s campaign used clips from their debate last week, when Sherman wrapped his arm around Berman and the two had to be separated, as they were on the verge of engaging in a physical altercation.

Full story

October 2, 2012

Florida: DCCC Cancels Buy Against Allen West

Florida: DCCC Cancels Buy Against Allen West

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has cut its advertising in Florida’s 18th district, the home of a fiercely competitive race between Rep. Allen West (R) and Democrat Patrick Murphy.

The independent expenditure arm of the DCCC had originally reserved about $96,000 in the West Palm Beach media market from Oct. 16-22. That reservation has now been canceled, a Democratic source familiar with the buys told Roll Call today.

The move comes after House Majority PAC, the Democratic-aligned third-party group, boosted its presence in the district from about $1 million to about $1.5 million.

Full story

Daily Ad Track

In our unscientific ad-track survey from today, we caught almost no new advertisements that could be classified as positive. Lots of cookie-cutter negative ads are surfacing, slamming the other campaign over Medicare, Congressional pay raises and information that appears culled from opposition research. Grainy footage and clipped out-of-context sound bites are also increasingly common.

Full story

September 28, 2012

Daily Ad Track

All over the country, biographical television spots are giving way to negative attack ads.

The Susan B. Anthony List announced Thursday the initiation of a $150,000 TV ad campaign against President Barack Obama in Ohio. It intends to include in that campaign an ad it previously aired in Missouri, which featured an abortion survivor.

But the ad that caught our attention was a negative spot from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

Here are some of our other favorite ads from today:

Florida 18

The West spot sparked a frenzy on Twitter this morning. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil tweeted, “FL Rep. Allen West attacks his opponent for fighting in a bar. Has he met #FLSencandidate Connie Mack??” Bar brawls have surfaced in a Florida Senate race ad as well.

Meanwhile, supporters of House Democrats are going negative on West. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, announced it was increasing its investment in the district to more than $1.5 million. This comes after the news that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was canceling a week of airtime starting Oct. 9.

Full story

Florida: New Allen West Ad Blasts Patrick Murphy for Arrest

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) today released a blistering contrast ad against his Democratic opponent, businessman Patrick Murphy. The 30-second spot compares what West and Murphy were both doing on Feb. 16, 2003.

The ad zooms across a satellite map of the United States to southern Florida. “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand,” the narrator says. “Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Murphy’s mugshot, in which he appears quite discombobulated, appears on screen.

Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 9:14 a.m.
Ads, Fla.-18, House 2012

September 25, 2012

Florida: DCCC Cancels Week of Airtime in Allen West Race

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a week of airtime in Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) district starting Oct. 9, according to multiple sources tracking the buy.

Democrats cite a substantial House Majority PAC buy — $1 million over a few weeks including Oct. 9 — as the reason they pulled their reservation in the West Palm Beach market that week.

It’s almost never a good sign when a committee cuts airtime for a candidate. The cancellation comes on the heels of the DCCC’s move to cancel a second weeklong buy for Rep. Larry Kissell’s (D-N.C.) tough re-election bid.

But unlike Kissell’s bid, the Florida race remains competitive — at least compared with other Democratic pickup opportunities (Roll Call rates it as Leans Republican). And the DCCC has given no other indication that it’s ready to give up on the race, either. Full story

September 18, 2012

Florida: DCCC to Launch First Ad Against Allen West

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm on Wednesday is launching its first television ad of the election cycle against firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) in Florida’s newly configured 18th district.

The 30-second spot hews to the standard Democratic line of attack, knocking West for voting in favor of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would fundamentally change the way future seniors interact with Medicare. The Wisconsin Republican is GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“I have to say it as it is,” West says in a clip at the beginning of the ad.

“But what’s behind the talk?” a female narrator asks. “Allen West voted for Paul Ryan’s plan that would essentially end Medicare,” she says. “And leave seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.”

“Behind Allen West’s talk,” the narrator intones at the end of the spot, “a plan that ends Medicare and overwhelmingly benefits the rich.”

West faces political newcomer Patrick Murphy (D) in a battle that, at its essence, will be a referendum on the Congressman.

The DCCC ad, unlike some of Murphy’s most memorable ads, hits West for his votes, not his words.

The new spot is backed by about $250,000 on broadcast television in the West Palm Beach media market.

Roll Call rates the 18th district race as Leans Republican.

July 9, 2012

Florida: Allen West Challenger to Post $500,000 Quarter

Patrick Murphy, the likely Democratic nominee in Florida’s 18th district, raised an impressive $508,000 in the second quarter of 2012 in his bid to unseat outspoken GOP Rep. Allen West. Murphy’s campaign will announce the numbers later today.

The businessman, a former Republican, ended June with just less than $1.3 million in cash on hand. He ended March with just more than $1 million in the bank.

West ended March with more than $3.3 million in cash on hand. He does not appear to have released his second quarter numbers yet. Filings are due to the Federal Election Commission on Sunday.

Roll Call rates the race for Sunshine State’s 18th district as Leans Republican.

May 11, 2012

Florida: Democratic Poll Shows Allen West Tied With Patrick Murphy

Florida: Democratic Poll Shows Allen West Tied With Patrick Murphy

A poll released Thursday by Rep. Allen West's Democratic opponent showed the race as a dead heat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll released Thursday by Congressional candidate Patrick Murphy (D) found him tied with Republican Rep. Allen West 45 percent to 45 percent in a horse-race matchup. Ten percent of the likely voters polled were undecided. Murphy is challenging West in Florida’s newly configured 18th district.

The survey conducted by longtime Florida pollster Keith Frederick found that West, one of the 112th Congress’ most outspoken Members, has 83 percent name recognition in the district. The polling memo released publicly did not include Murphy’s name ID. Both decided to run for the newly-configured seat after redistricting; both were previously running in Florida’s 22nd district.

The survey found presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama in the district. In a ballot test, Romney led with 49 percent to Obama’s 46 percent. Four percent were undecided.

Full story

April 12, 2012

Florida: Allen West Challenger Raises $350,000 in First Quarter

Businessman Patrick Murphy, the Democrat challenging outspoken Florida Rep. Allen West (R), pulled in $350,000 in the first three months of this year, his campaign said. Murphy ended the quarter with more than a million dollars in the bank.

“I am humbled by the support that I have received from contributors big and small,” he said in a statement. “Our campaign is growing every day, in part because the residents of the 18th district need a leader who is going to be a responsible, reasonable voice. They want someone who can not only get to work, but work together.”

West, who courted controversy in recent days by claiming there were scores of Communists in Congress, is one of the best fundraisers in the chamber.

In the off-cycle year of 2011, he raised $5.8 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.

Roll Call rates the 18th district race as Leans Republican.

April 11, 2012

Florida: Allen West Claims Communists in Congress

Florida: Allen West Claims Communists in Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Rep. Allen West (R) said Tuesday that “he’s heard” scores of Democratic Members of Congress are communists, according to the Palm Beach Post and confirmed by West’s campaign to Roll Call.

“I believe there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party: It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” West said at an event Tuesday, according to a partial YouTube video and his campaign manager, Tim Edson, who was there. West was responding to a question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists?”

“He stands by his words,” Edson said. But Edson and West’s office clarified what he meant. Full story

February 8, 2012

Florida: West Challenger Follows Him to New District

Democratic businessman Patrick Murphy, who had been running in Florida’s 22nd district, announced today he would follow in the footsteps of freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) and run in the proposed 18th district.

“Allen West abandoned his constituents to find supposedly safer political ground. Today, our campaign is putting Mr. West on notice: There is no safe district he can run to,” Murphy said in a statement.

“I have spoken to local and national Democratic leaders, as well as local activists and the support for me continuing my campaign against Allen West is overwhelming,” he added. Murphy and former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel were vying for the Democratic nomination to take on West, who recently announced he was running in a district composed of mostly new territory.

In an interview with Roll Call on Tuesday, West was asked about the potential of Murphy following him to the new district.

“That would be a very dangerous thing,” West said. “If he goes back and studies Hannibal, you may not want to follow a very savvy person that just avoided an ambush because obviously they got something that’s waiting for you.” Full story

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