Poliquin arrives last week for check-in for new members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
They haven’t even been sworn in yet, but these members start off the cycle as underdogs in their quests for re-election in 2016.
Most of 2016′s initial targets are incoming Republicans, swept into office in a GOP midterm wave. They will represent districts Democrats carried with big margins in presidential election years — seats the newly minted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján will probably want back. Only one vulnerable Democrat made this list.
What’s more, the window for either party to oust these freshman could close quickly. It’s easier to defeat an incumbent in their first re-election, before they solidify a stronghold on the seat.
In alphabetical order, here are the incoming members who start the 2016 cycle as underdogs:
The district slightly favors Democrats — an advantage that grew after redistricting in 2012. But the district has flipped between parties every cycle, with Maffei losing re-election after a single term in 2010. He won back the seat last cycle, and until recently, it wasn’t clear whether Maffei would be targeted for defeat in the midterms.
But on Sept. 12, the National Republican Congressional Committee swooped into the district to reserve $1.5 million in airtime to help its nominee, John Katko. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee followed suit four days later, spending $859,000.
The investment has proven potent in this district, which is covered by the inexpensive Syracuse media market. Campaigns can make a huge impact in the district without a lot of money — at least compared to other districts. Full story
Among the new Young Guns candidates is former Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-N.Y. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The National Republican Congressional Committee promoted 11 more candidates to ‘Young Gun’ status Tuesday morning, elevating their campaigns to the highest level of the program that provides organizational and fundraising support in top House contests.
“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:
Former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., announced on Wednesday that she will not seek a rematch with her two-time rival, Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y.
“Serving the people of Upstate New York in Congress has been one of the highest honors of my life,” Buerkle wrote in a morning email to supporters. “While I love Upstate New York and will always remain deeply committed to the people who live here, I have decided that I will not seek election to Congress in 2014.” Full story
Several Senate candidates posted seven-figure hauls on Thursday as second-quarter fundraising announcements trickled in ahead of the July 15 reporting deadline.
Here’s today’s fundraising roundup:
#NJSEN: Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat, raised $4.6 million and will report $4.5 million in cash on hand for his special-election bid.
#NHSEN: Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen raised $1.2 million and will report $2.15 million in the bank.
#SCSEN: Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham reported more than $1.4 million raised in the first quarter. That’s the most the senator has ever brought in during a single quarter, according to his campaign. He will report $6.25 million in cash on hand. Full story
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:
Former Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle is considering a comeback. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
In 2010, Republican Ann Marie Buerkle unseated then-freshman Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei. In 2012, Maffei unseated then-freshmen Rep. Buerkle. And on Sunday, Buerkle floated the possibility of a comeback bid, telling a meeting of the Conservative Party that another run for Congress is “on the table,” according to the Empire State political blog Capital Tonight.
The 2010 race was one of the closest in the country. But the newly configured 24th district, drawn by a federal judge, leans Democratic and Maffei unseated Buerkle without much trouble in November. In the district, President Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney by about 16 points.
It would take a unique set of circumstances for Buerkle, an outspoken conservative, to put the district back in play.
Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle lost her re-election race Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress were unseated Tuesday night in the House battleground state of New York.
Former Rep. Dan Maffei (D) unseated freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), just two years after Buerkle beat Maffei. With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Maffei had 50 percent to Buerkle’s 42 percent in the 24th district, according to the Associated Press.
Businessman and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R) beat Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in the state’s most Republican district, the 27th. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Collins had 51 percent to Hochul’s 49 percent, the AP said.
And freshman Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) was unseated by attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in the 18th district. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Hayworth had 48 percent to Maloney’s 51 percent, the AP said.
Other incumbents in tough races survived. Freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R) will be coming back to Congress, despite a more Democratic district. Rep. Bill Owens (D) won a tight rematch against Republican investment banker Matt Doheney. Rep. Tim Bishop (D) won a rematch against Republican businessman Randy Altschuler. And freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R) won an easy re-election in his Staten Island-anchored district.
Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listen Sunday during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. With two days before Election Day, Romney is campaigning in swing states across the country. (Emmanuel Dunando/AFP/Getty Images)
Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.
First, the Senate math:
Yes, it’s quite possible (even likely) that Democrats such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will have closer margins on Election Day than most expect. But Democrats are likely to hold both seats, and the climb for Republicans to net the four seats they need for an outright majority (if President Barack Obama is re-elected) seems steep heading into election week.
Here’s what we know: Republicans are likely to pick up two Senate seats in Nebraska and North Dakota (although the race there remains close). Those gains are likely to be offset by Democratic pickups in Massachusetts and Maine, where an Independent is poised to win and will likely caucus with Democrats. Assuming Republicans hold their seats in Arizona and Nevada, which seems like a good bet, that’s a zero net gain, leaving the chamber’s makeup at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Full story
More often than not, the newest Republican television ads have accused Democrats of cutting Medicare by $716 billion to help pay for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, otherwise referred to as “Obamacare.”
Democrats have vigorously disputed the charge, which surfaced during Wednesday evening’s presidential debate between Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Some media outlets that submit political attacks to fact-checking reviews have sided with the Democrats on this issue. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from employing this line of attack, which paid dividends in 2010 and might again Nov. 6.
Meanwhile, House and Senate candidates have been running either attack ads or spots responding to attacks.
Here’s what broke through the clutter today:
Paging whomever owns the copyright to the Temptations’ “My Girl”…
Rep. Larry Bucshon (R) was up with this ad that plays over a slightly altered version of the Motown classic in an attempt to tie his Democratic challenger, former state Rep. Dave Crooks, to Obama.
New York 24
How do you respond when accused of being soft on women’s issues? Look directly into the camera and make your case. At least, that’s how Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) is responding to an ad that her opponent, former Rep. Dan Maffei (D), put on the air earlier this week. Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon responded similarly last week.
The Buerkle campaign did not immediately respond to a request for buy information.
A new NRCC ad pushes back against Rep. Mike McIntyre. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 1:10 p.m. | The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a counterpunch ad in North Carolina’s 7th district knocking incumbent Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) for his vote against the controversial budget of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (R), providing a window into how Republicans will fight back against Democratic attacks that GOP candidates want to “essentially end Medicare.”
The new NRCC television ad begins with a short clip of a recent DCCC ad in a TV box in which the narrator said, “David Rouzer’s budget would essentially end Medicare.”
Then a male narrator’s deep voice says, “Hold it!” as those words appear over the TV. “The truth: David Rouzer will preserve, protect and strengthen Medicare. But career politician [Rep.] Mike McIntyre doesn’t want you to know: He voted against giving prescription drug benefits to millions of seniors,” the NRCC narrator says.
“And since Obama’s been president, McIntyre’s voted against every plan to save Medicare from going bankrupt. Isn’t it time Mike McIntyre put seniors before politics? You decide,” the narrator says.
A new poll commissioned by the Democratic-aligned House Majority PAC and the Service Employees International Union found former Rep. Dan Maffei (D) led freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R) by 4 points — within the margin of error — in a recent poll of the Empire State’s newly configured 24th district.
In a horse-race matchup, Maffei pulled 44 percent, Buerkle got 40 percent and Green Party candidate Ursula Rozum received 5 percent. Eleven percent of the likely voters surveyed said they were undecided.