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Posts in "House 2012"
November 6, 2012
Georgia Democratic Rep. John Barrow proved tonight he is the survivor’s survivor.
Drawn into a strong Republican seat during redistricting and hammered relentlessly for months by local and national Republicans, the Blue Dog Democrat managed to pull out a strong victory tonight, beating Republican Lee Anderson.
With 94 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said the incumbent took 54 percent to Anderson’s 46 percent. Full story
North Carolina Democrats are having a very, very bad night. Running in a redrawn Congressional map favoring the GOP, at least three Democratic Congressmen will not be coming back to Capitol Hill. The only bright spot for Democrats: Rep. Mike McIntyre’s race remained too close for the Associated Press to call as of 10:10 p.m.
Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell (D) lost to former Congressional aide Richard Hudson (R). With 68 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said Hudson had 58.4 percent to Kissell’s 41.6 percent. Kissell, a lackluster fundraiser and campaigner, always had a steep path back to the House. After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee abandoned him, not fulfilling reservations it had to advertise on TV for him, his fate was all but sealed. Full story
Speaker John Boehner drew a firm line on taxes tonight, saying that Republicans’ retention of the House majority is a sign the public does not want a tax rate hike.
With CNN and NBC projecting that the GOP will retain the House majority, Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) took the stage at the GOP’s victory party in Washington, D.C., to cheer on the crowd.
“The American people want solutions, and tonight, they’ve responded by renewing our majority,” the Ohio Republican said. “With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did not join them onstage, although the official schedule released earlier in the day had listed him as speaking before Sessions.
With Democrats claiming several Tossup Senate seats, the path to victory for Republicans in that chamber is slimming. The presidential contest remains extremely close as well.
Boehner thanked Priebus from the stage nonetheless. He also thanked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who, he said “carried the banner of our party with grace, vision, strength and dignity.”
“We stand ready to work with any willing partner — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — who shares a commitment to getting these things done,” he said. “We’re humbled to have again been entrusted by the American people with the responsibility of leading the People’s House. We’ll never take it for granted, and we won’t let you down.”
Sessions, who introduced Boehner, called the House an “incubator of ideas.”
“We will continue to work with the American people on ideas that will make our country stronger, more competitive and will build back the American dream,” he said.
As the disappointing election results were being tallied, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel vowed to operatives at an election night party that Democrats would pick up seats in the House.
The bar is lower than the goal of retaking control of the chamber that leaders have talked up for the past two years. Even as networks were calling the House for Republicans, the New Yorker’s fellow Democratic leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, both maintained that such a victory was in their grasp.
“Yes, we think we’re going to take back the House,” Hoyer said.
Israel was less sanguine, drawing a line not at the 25 seats Democrats needed but at a projection made by his Republican counterpart more than one year ago.
“The Republicans said that tonight they were going to win 16 seats. Wrong! We’re not letting ‘em win 16 seats. We’re stopping them in their tracks. We’re gonna gain seats tonight in the House of Representatives,” Israel said.
But even if the results will be a disappointment for Democrats, both Pelosi and Hoyer praised Israel’s tenure atop the House campaign committee, with Hoyer calling his work “extraordinary” and Pelosi’s a “job well done.”
Pelosi also expressed optimism about how the rest of the evening would play out. “These elections as they unfold across the country will unroll an ever-increasing number of new Democrats who will come to the Congress and join the fight.” The results will exceed “everyone’s expectation and perhaps achieve our drive to 25 [seats],” Pelosi said.
With recent speculation about Pelosi’s future as a backdrop, Hoyer offered lengthy and effusive praise for the Minority Leader.
“We could not have been successful without the leadership, the extraordinary energy, the focus and the extraordinary ability to raise funds for the cause. … I want to congratulate Nancy Pelosi, our leader,” he said.
“I’ve been at this for some period of time. I have never seen anybody with energy, more focus, more self discipline and more effectiveness in conveying the message of our party and ensuring we have the resources to get that message to the American people. Nancy Pelosi, thank you very, very much,” Hoyer said.
Pelosi congratulated Hoyer on winning re-election to his Congressional seat in Maryland.
Kentucky Rep. Ben Chandler, a conservative Blue Dog Democrat, lost tonight to Lexington attorney Andy Barr (R).
With 98.7 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Barr. He took 50.5 percent to Chandler’s 46.8 percent.
Chandler beat Barr by 647 votes in 2010, the third-closest House race in the nation.
But this cycle Barr had a new playbook. He focused, especially in the waning months, on tying Chandler to President Barack Obama — who is deeply unpopular in Kentucky — and focusing on issues related to coal, which is important to a big swath of the newly configured 6th district.
Chandler, for his part, had a similar strategy to 2010, but he started pushing out ads on coal issues after Barr began advertising on the topic. That’s when internal polls began to show Chandler slipping.
And he never recovered.
Chandler could be the first of many conservative Democrats to be defeated tonight.
Speaker John Boehner will address the crowd at the Republican National Committee party in Washington, D.C., tonight according to a late news release from his office.
The Ohio Republican’s comments will come around 9:50 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, after remarks from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas).
Although many elections results should be in by that time, it is unlikely the presidential race will be decided by that hour. As a result, it remains unclear what tack Boehner will take in his speech. In recent interviews from the campaign trail, Boehner has been saying he wants to delay until the new year several issues that Congress could consider during the lame-duck session and that he sees raising tax rates on the highest earners — a stated priority of the Obama administration — as a nonstarter.
Updated 1:45 a.m. | House Republicans were wiped out in the Northeast in Tuesday’s elections, especially in New England, where there won’t be a single GOP Member returning to Congress next year.
A Democratic duo, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and attorney Ann McLane Kuster, won House seats in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Reps. John Tierney (D-Mass.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) fended off tough challenges from GOP opponents. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty narrowly won an open-seat race in Connecticut’s 5th district, holding the seat for Democrats.
In the Empire State, two Republican freshmen lost re-election: Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle. Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who won a special election last year, lost her bid for a full term, marking one of her party’s only disappointments in the region.
Empty offices. Lobbyists scattered across the country volunteering on campaigns. This is K Street on Election Day.
Take the Podesta Group. Many of the bipartisan firm’s staffers spent the day working at phone banks from Arizona to Virginia or knocking on doors, urging voters to turn out.
“I did phones this morning, then I walked some neighborhoods as well,” said Arlington, Va., resident Josh Holly, a principal at the lobby firm.
November 5, 2012
A slew of Congressional candidates dipped into their own wallets over the past week to fund one final push in their campaigns.
Here’s Roll Call’s running tally, according to local reports and online filings with the Federal Election Commission:
- Last week, former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) guaranteed a $500,000 loan for his campaign against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D). An Allen aide described it as a bridge loan to ensure available funds while the campaign processed credit card donations. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
- Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) made a last-minute, $250,000 loan to aid her bid against Sen. Dean Heller (R). Roll Call rates this as a Tossup.
- Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R) continued to fund much of her campaign against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). As of Oct. 17, she had contributed $40 million of her own funds to her race. Roll Call rates this as Leans Democratic.
- Attorney Kathy Boockvar (D) contributed $15,000 to her campaign to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
- Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) loaned his campaign $35,000 on Oct. 25. That’s in addition to the $64,400 Critz, a former House aide, still owes his campaign from his primary against fellow Rep. Jason Altmire (D). Critz faces attorney Keith Rothfus (R) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup.
- Former Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) contributed $500,000 to his campaign to defeat Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) in the 11th district southwest of Chicago. A scientist and businessman, Foster has loaned his campaign big bucks in his previous bids. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
- Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) wrote a check for $100,000 to her campaign on Oct. 29. She faces attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup. She also donated funds to her 2010 bid.
- State Rep. Randy Weber (R) gave his campaign $25,000 to defeat former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas). Weber already loaned his campaign $226,500 earlier this cycle. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
For two years, Democratic leaders have focused on winning the 25 seats necessary for their party to take back the House. But with analysts predicting disappointing results for the number of seats they will pick up in Tuesday’s elections, aides and party operatives are privately lowering expectations about the net gain.
In internal conversations with Democratic lawmakers, leaders are “definitely lowering the expectations,” a senior Democratic House aide said.
The party is expected to net a single-digit number of seats, far from the 25 they need to reclaim control of the chamber.
Democratic aides speaking on background said the elections results will likely be a bitter disappointment, if not a surprise for some. Most Members and professional operatives realized long ago that winning back the House was not in the cards, and one source described complaints that top officials, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), were being unrealistically rosy in their public statements about the state of the races. Full story
Former president Bill Clinton has recorded at least 45 robocalls for House Democratic candidates to use in the final days of their campaigns.
Clinton, who has been an asset for Democratic candidates at every level this cycle, has recorded calls for candidates from Florida to California. Here’s an example of one made for Ami Bera, a physician running against Rep. Dan Lungren (R) in California’s newly configured 7th district.
November 4, 2012
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
November 3, 2012
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a series of directives late today that will allow voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to cast absentee ballots by email and fax.
Guadagno, a Republican, serves as the state’s top elections official. In one of her new directives, she instructs county clerks to accept absentee voting applications by fax or email up until 5 p.m. on Election Day and to accept ballots themselves electronically until 8 p.m. that day.
Under the directive, all voters displaced by the storm are deemed to be overseas voters under New Jersey law.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today that the National Guard would be on hand to help ensure a smooth Election Day Tuesday in parts of his state that remain without power after Hurricane Sandy.
“Everybody should be ready to vote on Tuesday, and in fact you can vote beforehand. I’ve order the county clerks’ offices in every county in New Jersey to be open both days of the weekend.” the Republican said. “You don’t have to wait to vote. If you’ve got a little time on your hands, you’re tired of cleaning this stuff up, go there, in person, you’ll get a ballot, you vote, hand it in and you’re done.”
“If you wait until Tuesday, there’s one of three things that’ll happen. First, if your polling place has power, you’ll go and you’ll walk in as normal and vote. If you’re polling place doesn’t have power, we will have a truck there, set up with National Guardsmen guarding it, for you to be able to go in and vote old school, with a paper ballot,” Christie said.