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Posts in "Minn.-8"
September 3, 2014
Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members.
Since this feature last published in August, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., lost his primary by a wide margin, while Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., barely survived his, defeating his primary foe by 38 votes.
That opened up two spots in the Top 10 — and there are a plethora of choices this cycle to fill their spots, plus more honorable mentions below.
House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority. But most of the names below are Democrats, symbolic of a cycle increasingly favorable to Republicans.
For now, here are the 10 most vulnerable House members in alphabetical order:
July 21, 2014
Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.
The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.
But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.
July 18, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee moved Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota to its Frontline program — a reflection of growing concern over his re-election prospects.
The Frontline program is for House Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents.
Nolan’s opponent for Minnesota’s 8th District is GOP businessman Stewart Mills. The move came after second-quarter campaign fundraising reports revealed that Mills raised more money than Nolan in April, May and June.
July 13, 2014
Mo’ money, mo’ problems? That’s the case for a few deep-pocketed House candidates, whose affluence has become a political issue in the districts they seek this November.
Wealth is commonplace in Congress, where one-third of the members are worth more than $1 million. But this cycle, at least four candidates running in competitive House districts boast a personal net worth in excess of $8 million, according to financial disclosure forms. And in the final months of the midterms, their opponents have found ways to use their means against them.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same playbook that sunk Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Last cycle, Democrats successfully used Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth — along with his career as a venture capitalist — to convince middle-class voters he didn’t have their best interests at heart. Hillary Rodham Clinton, considering a second presidential bid, has also taken heat recently for talking about financial struggles, despite the hefty speaking fees she earns and her relatively newfound riches.
June 17, 2014
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:
June 5, 2014
It’s a bio spot explaining why he decided to run for political office. Mills describes his “Hunting Camp Doctrine,” a family rule that if you complain about something, then it’s your responsibility to fix it.
“Well I’m fed up with Washington, the bickering, the debt, Obamacare,” Mills says in the 30-second ad. “Instead of complaining, I’m going to fight to fix it.”
May 29, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has reserved $43.5 million in television airtime in dozens of targeted House districts this fall — a signal the party is attempting to play defense and offense in a challenging midterm cycle.
The money is split across 36 districts, including 17 pickup opportunities, according to a DCCC aide. More districts and more money could be added to the reservations as the cycle progresses, the aide said.
The DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank at the end of April and has raised more than its Republican counterpart by large margins this cycle. The committee ended April with an $11 million cash-on-hand advantage over the National Republican Congressional Committee.
These ad reservations give insight into which members Democrats see as vulnerable, and which seats the DCCC sees as the best possibility to take in November. They also signal to outside groups where the the party might need help on the airwaves this fall.
However, parties can cancel or change these reservations until shortly before the advertisements air in most cases.
Here are the districts where the DCCC has reserved airtime:
May 19, 2014
Minnesota Republican Stewart Mills went up on air Monday with a bio spot touting his commitment to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Mills, whose family owns a popular hunting and sporting goods chain in the Midwest, says in the 30-second spot that he helps run the business’ healthcare program for the companies’ “thousands of employees” and therefore knows the healthcare overhaul needs to be replaced. Full story
May 12, 2014
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Monday unveiled the first round of House GOP candidates elevated to “Young Gun” status.
The NRCC’s Young Guns program is the highest designation for recruits in either open-seat races or in districts where the GOP is on offense. The program allows the party to communicate to donors and the political world who are the most organized recruits of the cycle.
Candidates earn this status by demonstrating “their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks,” according to a news release.
“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day,” Walden said in a 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.”
The new Young Guns are:
April 18, 2014
House Majority PAC, a super PAC with the aim of electing House Democrats, announced its first round of television reservations for the fall.
The reservations, totaling about $6.5 million, are for “the final weeks of the election in 24 districts,” a news release stated.
The super PAC during the 2012 cycle made its first round of reservations in early July in partnership with the Service Employees International Union.
“By placing these reservations early, we will make our dollars go further and ensure we have the air time to effectively fight back against the flood of Koch brothers’ dollars,” House Majority PAC Executive Director Alixandria Lapp said in a statement.
The super PAC is on offensive in six Republican-held districts and on defense in 18 Democratic districts. Often, releasing ad reservations to the press is a means to telegraph to allies, like the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, how outside groups intend to spend money.
Below is a breakdown of the buys, categorized by offensive and defensive targets:
November 21, 2013
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.
This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.
The final level is “Young Gun” status.
“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.
Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts.
October 16, 2013
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:
August 5, 2013
The National Republican Congressional Committee has made a small television buy likely intended to target Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn.
The $24,800 worth of airtime in the Duluth, Minn., market is for a spot slated to run Aug. 6-12, confirmed two media-buying sources not associated with the NRCC to CQ Roll Call.
October 30, 2012
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:
October 29, 2012
Updated 11:55 a.m. | With a week to go before Election Day, two competing polls from Minnesota’s 8th district show vastly different pictures of the tossup race between Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) and former Rep. Rick Nolan (D).
An internal poll conducted by Cravaack’s campaign showed the Republican incumbent ahead of Nolan by 10 points. The poll of 400 likely voters had Cravaack with 50 percent of the vote to Nolan’s 40 percent. The poll’s margin of error was 4.9 points and it was conducted Oct. 24 and Oct. 25.
At the same time, a Public Policy Polling survey of 1,020 likely voters showed Nolan in the lead with 48 percent to Cravaack’s 44 percent, just slightly outside of the 3.8 point margin of error. The poll was conducted Oct. 25 and Oct. 26.