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August 12, 2014
The flood gates opened Tuesday when the House campaign committees began the barrage of fall television advertisements.
Exactly a year ago, CQ Roll Call predicted the House’s fall campaign ad wars would begin as early as mid-August, creeping back a few weeks from the traditional start around Labor Day. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and several top tier House candidates rolled out their first television spots of the cycle.
To be sure, some House candidates and outside groups have already been airing general election spots. But these new television ads mark the committee’s first major independent expenditures of the season — and the start of the campaign airwaves war that will only intensify through November.
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 10, 2014
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:
June 3, 2014
Updated 11:18 p.m. | Former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur won the GOP nomination to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan in New Jersey, relieving Republicans of a candidate who could have lost the seat for them this fall.
MacArthur defeated that candidate, ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, carrying 60 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race. Lonegan had 40 percent, with 41 percent precincts reporting.
MacArthur will face Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard in November. She ran in largely uncontested Democratic primary. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story
Tuesday is the busiest primary night of 2014, with voters heading to the polls in Alabama, California, Mississippi, Iowa, New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota.
It’s a big night, with the tea party’s last chance to save face in the Mississippi Republican Senate primary, a close contest in Iowa’s Republican Senate primary, plus highly competitive House races in California, New Jersey, Iowa and Alabama.
After the polls close, Roll Call’s Politics Team will have a live blog of the results. In the meantime, here are seven things to watch in Tuesday’s primaries:
June 1, 2014
After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.
Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.
Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.
Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)
California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:
May 30, 2014
New Jersey Republicans are on track to get their preferred nominee through the primary in the state’s most competitive House race, thanks to the local political machine and a deep-pocketed candidate.
On Tuesday, Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur, is expected to defeat a spirited challenge from a tea-party-aligned frequent candidate, Steve Lonegan. The stakes for this South Jersey open seat are high: The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and the district includes the pricey Philadelphia media market.
“Tom MacArthur is going to win this race because he is a strong conservative, a successful businessman and has the support of both county Republican organizations and more than 160 locally elected Republicans across the district,” wrote Burlington County GOP Chairman William Layton in a Thursday email.
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 23, 2014
The old slogan for MGM during the 1940s was that the studio had “more stars than there are in the heavens.”
The same could be said of the fresh fundraising reports from the upcoming primary in California’s 33rd District — which covers Beverly Hills and Malibu. Dozens of Hollywood stars and executives donated during the past six weeks in this race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman.
There are at least six serious candidates running for the seat, and all filed pre-primary reports by Thursday’s deadline. These are the final comprehensive campaign financial reports ahead of the June 3 primary. The top-two finishers will proceed to the general election.
These reports reflect spending and fundraising from April 1 to May 14. Stars crowded the race’s first quarter reports as well.
May 21, 2014
Assistant House Minority Leader James E. Clyburn and 20 other Democratic members are headlining a fundraiser Wednesday for a candidate running in a competitive primary to succeed retiring Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J.
The Capitol Hill cocktail reception will benefit the campaign of New Jersey state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. The Democrats listed on the invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call are mostly Congressional Black Caucus members, including Rep. Donald M. Payne Jr., D-N.J., and CBC Chairwoman Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio.
Two weeks out from the 12th District primary, Coleman is in a dead heat against state Sen. Linda Greenstein, according to a newly-released Monmouth University poll. Two other candidates, state Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula and physicist Andrew Zwicker, lagged far behind. Full story
May 15, 2014
The New Jersey Republican-machine-backed candidate in an open-seat primary led a prominent tea party candidate by 11 points in a Monmouth University Poll released Thursday.
In the race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jon Runyan, former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur, who is backed by the county establishments of New Jersey’s 3rd District, had the support of 46 percent of likely primary voters, while 35 percent backed tea party favorite and ex-Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, the party’s nominee in last year’s Senate special election. Twenty percent of those surveyed were undecided.
The outcome of the June 3 primary is highly consequential to the general. Most New Jersey and national Republican operatives are aiming for a MacArthur victory, fearing that a tea party candidate could lose the seat to Democrats. The Democratic candidate, Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, is a safe bet to win her party’s nomination, and at this point the race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story
March 20, 2014
Updated 4:37 p.m. | New Jersey Republicans avoided a nightmare scenario Wednesday night in the highly competitive, open-seat race for the 3rd District.
Ocean County Republicans endorsed former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur as their preferred nominee. The endorsement comes five days after the Burlington County GOP also backed MacArthur.
In 2008, the two county parties supported different Republicans for the nod and lost the 3rd District. In hindsight, many Garden State Republicans blame the party’s loss on that feud over the GOP nominee. Full story
March 3, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rolled out the first 35 districts of its “Red to Blue” program Monday, highlighting the GOP-held seats the party believes it can flip and open seats it hopes to keep in the Democratic column in the 2014 midterms.
Needing to net 17 seats to win back the House majority, the announcement makes clear where the party believes its most important fights will take place.
“This is our initial roll out,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said Monday morning on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.” “There will be more, and we will have a very competitive battlefield as we go deeper into the cycle.” Full story
February 18, 2014
As eight-term Rep. Rush D. Holt announced on Tuesday his retirement from Congress, New Jersey Democrats looked to the future of his seat.
Like all races in New Jersey, any contender will need the support of the state’s political machine. Typically, a party nominee is decided in the backrooms of New Jersey politics, but a flood of names surfaced as operatives digested the surprise Holt announcement.
At least one New Jersey Democratic operative hoped that the retirement would translate into a female addition to the delegation. Full story