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Posts in "House 2014"
September 30, 2014
For months, Republicans feared outside groups would skip over House races this cycle, saving their cash for the battle over Senate control.
But the conservative cavalry has finally arrived.
Republican groups — which have mostly sat on the sidelines in House contests this cycle until recently — have reserved nearly $12 million on the television airwaves in competitive races through Election Day, according to two sources tracking ad buys in House contests across the country. The reservations, placed over the last two weeks, are a mix of GOP pickup opportunities and defensive ground.
The reservations include:
ST. GEORGE ISLAND, Fla. — Former Florida First Lady Adele Graham is not happy with her daughter’s political rival, Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II.
Graham and her husband, ex-Sen. Bob Graham, have been a pervasive presence on the campaign trail in support of Democratic attorney Gwen Graham’s bid to unseat Southerland in his 2nd District in the Florida panhandle.
A Republican-aligned outside group is airing a TV ad slamming New York Rep. Timothy H. Bishop on his support for the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrat is locked in a challenging re-election campaign against Republican Lee Zeldin.
This is American Action Network’s first independent expenditure TV ad of the general election. It’s running on cable and online, and is part of AAN’s $1.2 million IE campaign in New York’s Long Island-based 1st District.
“Tim Bishop thinks Obamacare is a damn good idea?” says a man named John from Setauket, N.Y. “We think it’s a damn bad idea.” Full story
September 29, 2014
In response to a poll released last week by Republicans showing a tight race, Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson’s campaign on Monday released a poll of its own from early September that had found the incumbent with a wider lead.
The three-week-old survey, shared first with CQ Roll Call, showed the Democratic incumbent up 53 percent to 29 percent over state Sen. Torrey Westrom. Westrom’s poll, conducted Sept. 21-23 by the Tarrance Group, found Peterson with a 5-point lead.
The Peterson poll also showed the incumbent with a 58 percent favorable rating, with just 19 percent viewing him unfavorably. That survey of 405 likely voters was conducted by Global Strategy Group from Sept. 4-7 with a 4.9-point margin of error. Full story
The political action arm of the conservative Club for Growth is launching a TV ad Tuesday attacking embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.
The 30-second spot, which is backed by a “six-figure buy,” starts out with media coverage of the married congressman being caught on camera kissing a staffer, but quickly pivots to his voting record. The “Kissing Congressman” has been attempting to move past the scandal, including debuting an ad that features McAllister with his wife. Full story
September 28, 2014
Flights home from Washington, D.C., a six-figure salary and the House gym: They’re all perks of the congressional gig.
They’re also political collateral in more than a dozen House races this cycle.
In political ad after political ad, challengers are taking aim at incumbents for accepting “perks” in a Congress mired in gridlock. Incumbents feel the heat, emphasizing their own commitment to ending taxpayer-funded congressional benefits.
The irony, of course, is that the winning challengers will have access to the same salary and benefits as soon as they’re sworn into office in January. But operatives from both parties argue the message remains potent in a political environment where Congress is unpopular.
“Look, if you were any other person on the planet and you didn’t do your job and you still got paid and all the perks that came with it — the only other place you can do that is Wall Street, and they’re not so popular themselves,” said Democratic consultant Travis Lowe, who has made ads attacking GOP incumbents and their perks this cycle. “So of course, it hits a chord.”
September 26, 2014
A new campaign poll from Democrat Patrick Henry Hays showed him ahead of his Republican opponent by 3 points in one of his party’s top House targets in Arkansas.
Hays, the former mayor of North Little Rock, had a small lead over banker French Hill, 44 percent to 41 percent, according to the poll conducted by Global Strategy Group and paid for by Hays. That’s within the poll’s 4.8 percent margin of error.
Hays and Hill are vying for Arkansas’ 2nd District, an open-seat race because GOP Rep. Tim Griffin is leaving Congress to run for lieutenant governor. The district voted for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney by a 12-point margin last cycle, and the race is rated a Leans Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
September 25, 2014
House Majority PAC will start airing advertisements Friday targeting an open seat in Maine, suggesting Democrats are concerned the race could become more competitive than initially anticipated.
HMP, a super PAC aiding House Democrats, laid down a $270,000 buy on broadcast television in the Bangor and Portland markets, according to spokesman Matt Thornton.
Thornton said the buy aims to get their candidate “across the finish line safely” — and before other groups start spending there.
Maine’s 2nd District features an open seat race between state Sen. Emily Cain, a Democrat, and former state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, a Republican. The race is currently rated a Leans Democratic contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Updated 3:49 p.m. | A Democratic super PAC has cut a television ad reservation for the party’s best offensive opportunity in Michigan, according to two sources who monitor media buys.
House Majority PAC’s cancellation could be a sign Democrats are no longer optimistic their nominee, retired Army Maj. Gen. Jerry Cannon, can defeat Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Mich.
In June, HMP — a super PAC that boosts House Democrats — reserved $375,000 for the district, according to The Washington Post. A Republican source said the reservation was for Sept. 23 through Oct. 13 in the Marquette and Traverse City media markets.
But this week, HMP went dark in Michigan’s 1st District.
September 24, 2014
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will make a campaign stop in Bakersfield, Calif., on Oct. 7 to campaign for Amanda Renteria, a former Senate chief of staff and top Democratic recruit this cycle.
Biden’s visit to the Central Valley, which Renteria announced on Facebook, will come less than a month before Election Day, when the Democrat will face off against freshman Republican Rep. David Valadao. Democrats are hoping the vice president’s appearance will gin up excitement for the contest and motivate the base to turn out.
The district voted for President Barack Obama by an 11-point margin in 2012, making it a top pick-up target for Democrats this year.
September 23, 2014
The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $730,000 in television airtime in the Omaha, Neb., media market to help one of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to two sources tracking media in the 2nd District.
The reservation, which was placed via an independent expenditure Tuesday evening and runs through Election Day, is a sign Republicans think Rep. Lee Terry is in trouble — or will be soon. Earlier on Tuesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aired its first ad hitting Terry in the same market.
Terry’s re-election prospects have dimmed in recent months. Public polling shows the incumbent locked in a dead heat with the Democratic nominee, Brad Ashford, helping to put the congressman on Roll Call’s list of the 10 Most Vulnerable Members. Full story
Updated 5:36 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is removing a television ad that aired in a southern New Jersey House race — a change caused by incorrect information in the GOP nominee’s personal financial disclosure forms, according to a committee aide.
The ad, which is still online, features a Phoenix fireman accusing the Republican nominee, Tom MacArthur, of dishonest tactics as an insurance executive.
MacArthur is running against Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard, the Democratic nominee, in a competitive race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Jon Runyan in the 3rd District.
Here is the ad:
Freshman Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., released a new ad Tuesday, attacking his GOP opponent on the Chicago airwaves.
Schneider and former Rep. Bob Dold, a Republican, are locked in a rematch in the 10th District, located north of Chicago. The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
The Democrats’ spot, provided first to CQ Roll Call, is backed by a six-figure buy on the Windy City’s broadcast stations paid for by the candidate and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Some things anyone can see, like Bob Dold and the Republicans in Washington,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot. “Dold and the Republicans voted to end the Medicare guarantee, voted to allow oil drilling in Lake Michigan, and want to raise the retirement age for Social Security. They even voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”
House Majority PAC has canceled a large television reservation in a competitive upstate New York district, the super PAC spokesman confirmed to CQ Roll Call.
The cancellation could be a sign the Democratic super PAC is throwing in the towel on The Empire State’s 21st District. The television buy, scheduled for Oct. 7 through 20 and totaling $300,000, is in a district that is considered a top pickup opportunity for Republicans.
No matter how cluttered the airwaves become this fall with political ads, there are some television shows during which campaign operatives don’t dare air their spots.
Earlier this week, Roll Call detailed campaigns’ favorite shows and programs to buy political ad time. Here’s a look at the handful of shows political operatives avoid for a variety of reasons.