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December 2, 2015

Posts in "Fla.-2"

November 19, 2015

Vulnerable House Democrats Side With GOP on Refugee Bill

Ashford voted against the  Republican bill to add an extra layer of bureaucratic certification to security checks for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashford voted against the Republican bill to add an extra layer of bureaucratic certification to security checks for Syrian and Iraqi refugees. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nearly every member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program for vulnerable members voted Thursday for a Republican bill that would add bureaucratic security checks for Syrians and Iraqis hoping to enter the U.S. as refugees.

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Democratic strategists say the vote was good politics for those 13 Democratic incumbents, who represent competitive districts of varying degrees. The vote gave them an opportunity to appear tough on national security, an issue they often struggle with.

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November 6, 2015

With the Senate Up for Grabs, All Eyes Are on the Presidential Race

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference before a public signing for his new book "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again," at the Trump Tower Atrium on November 3, 2015 in New York City. According to a new poll, Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, has pulled ahead of Trump with 29% of Republican primary voters.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Democrats think that Trump at the top of the ticket will make their path to control of the Senate easier. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Among those watching the White House race most closely a year from Election Day are those who stand to gain the most from the top-of-the-ticket contest.

House and Senate candidates from both parties know their fates are closely tied to the fortunes of their parties’ respective presidential nominees and the tenor of the national conversation next November.

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July 20, 2015

Florida Legislature Called Into Special Redistricting Session

Graham's district is likely to become more Republican in a mid-decade redraw of Florida's congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Graham’s district is likely to become more Republican in a mid-decade redraw of Florida’s congressional map. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida legislators were notified Monday that a special session will be held Aug. 10 to 21 to approve a new congressional district map.

In a memo to members of the state Legislature, state Senate President Andy Gardiner and state Speaker Steve Crisafulli said a map will be drawn and made public before the legislature convenes for the two-week session, where state legislators will have the ability to debate and amend it.

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July 15, 2015

Florida Redistricting Creates Giant Game of Musical Chairs

Jolly is running for Senate in Florida in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Jolly’s House district is likely to become a Democratic one. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The music has started in a game of musical chairs in Florida that will have sweeping implications for the state’s political landscape.

Republican Rep. David Jolly will likely announce a bid for Florida’s open Senate seat next week, the first implication from the Florida State Supreme Court last week striking down the state’s congressional map. Jolly’s 13th District is likely to favor a Democratic candidate after the map is redrawn, pushing the one-term Republican to enter the already crowded GOP Senate primary to replace GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who is forgoing re-election to run for president.

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February 12, 2015

Exclusive: DCCC Announces 14 Incumbents in Frontline Program


Luján, right, is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce Thursday the first 14 members who will join its Frontline program for the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to an early copy of a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The incumbents represent competitive districts, making them likely GOP targets in 2016. The Frontline program,which Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., is chairman of,  provides these members with fundraising and organizational support for their re-elections.

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December 25, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Florida’s 2nd District

gwen graham

Graham is an incoming freshman from Florida. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep.-elect Gwen Graham, with her famous family name and nimble campaign operation, was one of only two Democrats to oust a Republican incumbent in 2014.

But in 2016, Graham will be a top target for Republicans — and that’s why her re-election is a race to watch this cycle.  Full story

November 10, 2014

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

best congressional campaigns

Ernst is the senator-elect from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.

Roll Call has compiled a list of the cream of the crop of 2014. Many faced long odds, crowded primaries, an unpopular president and millions in targeted attack ads. But through all that and more, these campaigns ably managed the curves of the cycle — and all but one were victorious.

In alphabetical order by candidate, here are the best congressional campaigns of the midterms: Full story

October 20, 2014

For House GOP, a Wave … Or a Trickle?


Kirkpatrick is one of the most endangered Democrats this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are on track to make gains this cycle, but two weeks before Election Day, it’s still unclear whether the party will procure a wave of double-digit gains in their quest to extend the majority.

Members of Congress and operatives alike note this is a toxic time for Democrats on the ballot that should result in huge losses for the president’s party. But a race-by-race evaluation of the House map shows Republicans are more likely in a position to pick up a net of around six seats this cycle.

“After two successful cycles for House Republicans, the playing field confines the upper limits of pickups that can be had,” said Brock McCleary, a Republican pollster.

Public surveys show President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, as events in the Middle East and Ebola on the home front drag down Democrats coast to coast. House Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans this cycle.

But this midterm is shaping up to be one of the most perplexing in recent memory. Both parties are on offense, and both parties are on defense. In private polling, dozens of races are too close to call. Given the unpredictability, it’s also possible the next 14 days could exacerbate Democratic losses.

Here’s why most political operatives estimate Republican will have a net gain in the mid-single digits:

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October 9, 2014

Super PAC Goes Big for Vulnerable Florida Republican

super pac spending

Southerland is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A House GOP super PAC is making a major television buy in the final two weeks of the campaign to boost vulnerable Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla.

The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC affiliated with House GOP leadership, made a $600,000 media buy in the Tallahassee and Panama City television markets in their effort to fend off attorney Gwen Graham, a top Democratic recruit.

The buy includes television and digital advertising. Full story

October 7, 2014

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

elections 2014

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.

Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.

In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot:  Full story

October 6, 2014

Democrats Aim to Boost Black Turnout With Radio in Florida

steve southerland

Southerland is a vulnerable House Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic outside group will start airing a radio ad targeting Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., in his high-stakes race against Democrat Gwen Graham in the 2nd District.

According to information provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call, Ocean Champions, a conservation group that backs Democratic candidates, will begin a $64,000 buy Tuesday that will run 1,300 radio spots in the final month of the campaign. The group will release another spot later in the month.

The contest is one of the cycle’s most competitive, and the race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. On Monday, both campaigns released varied internal polling.

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Dueling Polls Released in Battleground House Race (Updated)

Southerland is a Florida Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:07 p.m. | A new internal GOP poll showed Rep. Steve Southerland II had a six-point lead last week over his Democratic rival, attorney Gwen Graham.

Southerland had the support of 45 percent of respondents, while Graham had the backing of 39 percent, according to the congressman’s campaign polling memo, a copy of which was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The pair are locked in a heated battle for Florida’s 2nd District, based in the Panhandle area.

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How One Vulnerable Republican Responds to the ‘War on Women’

Southerland is one of the House GOP's most vulnerable incumbents this November. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — It took Republican Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis 16 hours to travel from western Wyoming to the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 26 to campaign for her embattled colleague, Rep. Steve Southerland II.

Like other women in her conference, she is spending this pre-election recess fanning out over the country to help House Republicans in competitive races, especially men struggling through what Democrats have deemed the GOP’s “War on Women.”

“I spent the entire day — a long day — traveling, and it means a lot to me to be here for Steve, because I want to serve with him,” Lummis said in a interview here recently week, surrounded by veterans at a small gathering before a Women for Southerland rally.

Southerland faces a fierce re-election fight against Democrat Gwen Graham, an attorney and Florida political scion, in the 2nd District, a region that includes Tallahassee and stretches to the Gulf of Mexico coastline.

Southerland, in particular, has struggled with female voters. Earlier this year, his supporters hosted a male-only fundraiser with an invitation that read, “tell the Misses not to wait up.” Southerland responded to news reports on the event by comparing the event to a lingerie shower.

That’s in part how, on Sept. 27, a handful of female Republican officeholders descended upon Panama City Beach. Besides Lummis, Rep. Martha Roby drove that morning from her home in Montgomery, Ala., with her young daughter to attend the rally. Former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee was also in attendance.

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October 2, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

house races 2014

Rahall is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a month to go until Election Day, House Republicans are poised to add at least a handful of seats to their majority in the midterms.

Need proof? Look no further than this month’s list of Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable House Members, plus the four incumbents who got honorable mentions: The majority of the names are Democrats facing slogs to re-election in tough districts.

What’s more, nearly all of the Republicans on the list made it due to isolated issues — like campaign problems, personal and legal missteps — instead of the national political environment.

The list does not include competitive open-seat contests, where Democrats could stave off major losses.

Since CQ Roll Call last published this feature in September, two incumbents — a Democrat and a Republican — dropped to the honorable mention category. Both are still as vulnerable as they were in September, but a few of their colleagues now face greater political peril than they do.

Roll Call will publish this list one more time, in the week before Election Day. For now, here is the updated list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in alphabetical order:

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October 1, 2014

Florida Family Legacies Clash in Critical House Race

Florida's 2nd Congressional District pits two families against each other. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call)

ST. GEORGE ISLAND, Fla. — Former Florida first lady Adele Graham does not entertain the word “if” in polite conversation, at least when discussing the political future of her daughter Gwen. It’s only “when.”

The wife of ex-Florida governor and senator Bob Graham treats doubt that Gwen Graham will oust Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II with a gentle arm pat and tone of voice usually reserved for obscenity or wearing white after Labor Day.

The Graham family has summoned the force of its political operation behind its eldest daughter to ensure its 50-year Florida political win streak does not end in November. But while the Grahams spent three decades dominating statewide politics, the Southerland family also has deep ties in the district.

“When Grahams run, Grahams win,” the candidate tells her supporters at a Saturday afternoon meet-and-greet on this north Florida coast barrier island.

But this is a tough district and environment for any Democrat, even a political scion. President Barack Obama’s plummeting approval rating make it that much harder this year for House Democratic candidates to gain traction.

Southerland and Mitt Romney each carried Florida’s 2nd District by 6 points in 2012. And geographically, this seat has more in common with Alabama than Miami.

To combat that reality, a Southern Democrat must create an outsized personal brand that will help voters forget any association with the president.

Full story

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