Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2014

Posts in "Fla.-2"

August 14, 2014

New Democratic Poll Shows Florida Congressman in Peril

New Democratic Poll Shows Florida Congressman in Peril

Steve Southerland is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A new Democratic poll shows Gwen Graham with a slight lead over Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., but still within the margin of error.

Graham, the likely Democratic nominee, had the support of 45 percent of survey participants, while Southerland trailed with 43 percent. Eleven percent of respondents were undecided.

Ocean Champions, an environmental group that endorses Democratic candidates, commissioned the poll.

The margin of error is 4.4 points, which means the survey reinforces the view of many national operations hold on Florida’s 2nd District race: It’s a dead heat. The race is rated Tossup/Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and Southerland is on Roll Call’s most recent list of the 10 Most Vulnerable MembersFull story

August 12, 2014

This Fall’s House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

This Falls House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

Grimm is one of the NRCC's first targets with an independent expenditure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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.

Full story

July 29, 2014

Congressman Says Gwen Graham’s Dad ‘Not on the Ballot’

Congressman Says Gwen Grahams Dad Not on the Ballot

Southerland faces a tough re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., said he isn’t buying the hype around his opponent, attorney Gwen Graham, the daughter of Bob Graham, a former senator and governor.

“The Grahams aren’t from Northwest Florida,” Southerland said in a recent sit-down interview with CQ Roll Call. “They’re a South Florida family.”

“We respect the Graham name,” the two-term Republican continued. “We respect greatly the governor’s service and the senator’s service, but unfortunately, he’s not on the ballot.”

National Democrats have touted Graham as one of their best recruits this cycle, saying she’ll be able to close the deal with voters in Florida’s 2nd District, thanks in part to her father’s legacy. Southerland’s re-election is quickly becoming one of the most competitive House races in the country, and it’s ratedTossup/Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Democrats also boast Graham is better equipped than their 2012 nominee, Al Lawson Jr. Southerland disagreed. Full story

July 28, 2014

Campaign Spotlight: Father Pitches Best (Video)

Campaign Spotlight: Father Pitches Best (Video)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

How does a female Democratic candidate in the South distance herself from President Barack Obama? Call on Dad.

Attorney Gwen Graham released a pair of ads Monday morning that did just that. Her father, former Sen. Bob Graham, made her case to voters.

Graham wasn’t the first. Two other candidates, nonprofit executive Michelle Nunn and Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, produced ads featuring their well-known politician fathers.

Here is a look at all three ads: Full story

July 9, 2014

Florida House Candidate Posts Another Big Fundraising Quarter

Florida House Candidate Posts Another Big Fundraising Quarter

Graham, Democrat, is challenging Southerland, above. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham, a Democrat, raised $563,000 in the second quarter, adding to her war chest as she gears up for a competitive race in Florida’s 2nd District, according to numbers provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Graham’s haul brings her total cash on hand to $1.57 million in her race against GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II. At the end of the first quarter in March, Graham reported $1.4 million in the bank.

Southerland has yet to release his second-quarter numbers, which cover the period between April 1 and June 30. They are due to the Federal Election Commission on July 15. Southerland ended March with $1.18 million in the bank — a cash-on-hand disadvantage compared to Graham.

Full story

June 17, 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:

Full story

June 12, 2014

Challenger Goes on TV in Targeted Florida Race

Challenger Goes on TV in Targeted Florida Race

Gwen Graham, a Democrat, is challenging Southerland, above. ( Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Gwen Graham will begin her television ad campaign next week for her bid to unseat GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II in one of the Sunshine State’s most competitive House races.

The Democrat will spend $100,000 in the Tallahassee and Panama city media markets for two weeks beginning next week, according to a source close to her campaign. Full story

May 29, 2014

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

DCCC Reserves $43.5 Million in TV Airtime for Midterms

Israel is the current chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:

Full story

April 18, 2014

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Where Is Democratic Super PAC Spending Money? These 24 Districts Get Fall TV Reservations

Raul Ruiz, seen here during his 2012 campaign in California, is among the freshmen Democrats getting a boost from a super PAC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:

Full story

April 11, 2014

Gwen Graham Turns in Strong Fundraising Quarter

Gwen Graham, an attorney and daughter of former Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., raised nearly half a million dollars in the first three months of the year for her congressional bid in Florida.

According to figures provided first to CQ Roll Call, the Democrat raised $485,000 in the first quarter and had $1.4 million in cash on hand at the end of March.

Graham is challenging GOP Rep. Steve Southerland II in Florida’s 2nd District, a top target for national Democrats.

Full story

March 3, 2014

Democrats Announce House Targets for 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

December 17, 2013

Democrats Avoid Primary for Southerland Seat in Florida

Florida Democrat Al Lawson will not run for Congress in 2014, clearing the way for attorney Gwen Graham to cruise to the party’s nomination in the competitive race against Republican Rep. Steve Southerland II, according to The Tallahassee Democrat.

Lawson told the paper in a Tuesday story that he still has “too much debt from two previous congressional campaigns to run again this year.”

Lawson, a former state senator, has strong name identification that would have helped him win the primary. But Florida Democrats were grim about his chances in the general election. He came up short as the Democratic nominee in 2012 against Southerland.

Full story

October 21, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Ad Hits Congressman for Shutdown Vote

A Democratic super PAC hit the airwaves Monday with an ad attacking Rep. Steve Southerland II, criticizing the vulnerable Florida Republican for voting against last week’s bill that ended the government shutdown.

House Majority PAC, which aims to support House candidates, put $70,000 behind the two-week ad television buy.

Full story

October 3, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Democratic Super PAC Slams GOP in Shutdown Ads

Coffmann is a top Democratic target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, announced Thursday it will unleash a major advertising campaign against nine House Republicans over the shutdown.

The total buy is for a “mid-six figure” sum, according to the political action committee’s spokesman. It will run web and TV ads against Republican Reps. Mike Coffman of Colorado’s 6th District, Steve Southerland II of Florida’s 2nd, Joe Heck of Nevada’s 3rd and David Joyce of Ohio’s 14th.

The buy will also include a “Google and Bing search advertising campaign,” according to a news release, that will target those four Republicans members plus five more:

  • Rep. Gary G. Miller of California’s 31st District
  • Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois’ 13th District
  • Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania’s 8th District
  • Rep. Michael G. Grimm of New York’s 11th District
  • Rep. John Kline of Minnesota’s 2nd District

The television ads targeting Coffman, Southerland, Heck and Joyce can be seen after the jump.

Full story

September 19, 2013

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

House Republicans Raise $3 Million for Vulnerable Members

Coffman is one of House Republican's most vulnerable members. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will announce it has raised $3 million total for the 20 vulnerable incumbents through its Patriot program, according to figures provided first to Roll Call.

On Thursday, House Republican leaders hosted their second “Patriot Day” of the cycle — a fundraising event that contributed to that $3 million total. The Patriot program provides resources to the party’s most vulnerable House members for their re-election efforts, including fundraising and communications support.

Republican incumbents in the Patriot program include: Full story

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