Walsh will not run for re-election to a full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Meet the cycle’s biggest candidate disappointments.
They are the congressional hopefuls who just didn’t live up to their hype. Once touted as top recruits, these House and Senate candidates are headed for defeat on Election Day in all likelihood. Some of these candidates tanked so early in the cycle, their races never got off the ground.
The reasons for their declines vary — from poor fundraising and stalking allegations to plagiarism and missteps on the trail. Whatever the reason, don’t expect to see these faces when the 114th Congress is sworn into office next year.
To be sure, there are a few more candidates who could have easily made this list, but they’ve been boosted by districts or states that favor their parties, as well as outside spending keeping them afloat. The prime example is Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, a poor fundraiser who barely won his August primary but is nonetheless in a strong position to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st District, which slightly favors the GOP.
In alphabetical order, here are the rest of the 2014 cycle’s most disappointing candidates:
Simpson was re-nominated Tuesday and is now favored to win a ninth term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A fierce tea-party-backed primary challenge in Idaho came up short Tuesday, as Republican Rep. Mike Simpson won his party’s nomination and is headed for a ninth term.
With a little help from his friends, Simpson, an appropriator and one of the most targeted GOP incumbents of the cycle, brushed back an effort to oust him by the Club for Growth, which supported attorney Bryan Smith.
Simpson led 63 percent to 37 percent when the Associated Press called the race with 36 percent of precincts reporting. Full story
Smith is challenging Rep. Mike Simpson in the May 20 primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two weeks from the primary, the tea party rival to Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson is up with a new TV ad accusing the eight-term incumbent of supporting “amnesty.”
“Why are the Washington, D.C., special interests spending millions to prop up Mike Simpson?” a female narrator asks in attorney Bryan Smith’s ad. “Because he supports a scheme to give amnesty to illegal aliens.”
Simpson outraised his primary opponent in April. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson out-raised his tea-party-bolstered Republican primary opponent in the final fundraising period of the contest.
According to pre-primary reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission, Simpson raised $193,000 from April 1 to April 30 and ended the month with $566,000 in cash on hand. Attorney Bryan Smith, who is backed by well-financed outside groups like the Club for Growth, raised $104,000 in April and had $231,000 in cash on hand.
Simpson and Smith will face off in a May 20 primary in Idaho’s 2nd District. More than $1 million from outside groups has been spent on the race in support of both candidates.
Welcome to the second edition of Roll Call’s feature that highlights the most interesting political ads of the week.
Here is what cut through the clutter:
What’s Worse Than Being an Incumbent? Bein’ a Trial Law-yur
The first half of the montage features ads attacking tea party challengers as “trial lawyers.” Incumbents and friendly super PACs are making the calculation that labeling a tea party insurgent as a “trial lawyer” is a more lethal attack line than “Washington insider.”
Simpson faces a competitive May 20 primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
A super PAC supporting members of Congress targeted by the tea party is launching its second TV ad in Idaho on Thursday.
Defending Main Street PAC, led by former Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, R-Ohio, has now spent around $500,000 to help Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, who is facing a significant primary challenge.
In the group’s latest ad, a narrator labels Simpson a “conservative fighting for Idaho” and says he “supports tax cuts that lower energy costs and reduce our dependence on oil from hostile nations, while protecting and creating jobs at the Idaho National Labratory.” Full story
Welcome to Roll Call’s new feature to highlight the most interesting campaign ads every week.
In fall 2012, Roll Call ran a similar daily feature highlighting the good, the vicious and the wild of political ads. We planned to bring the feature back this fall, but the early influx of advertising in campaigns this cycle prompted a speedier comeback.
More than anything else, Roll Call seeks to highlight ads that break through the clutter in this new weekly feature. Here are those TV ads from this week:
Conservative groups spent big bucks over the last four years making House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the bogeyman in television ads targeting Democrats.
Now, outside groups backing the two Republicans running in this safe GOP primary are trying to tar the opposition with an association to Pelosi.
The most recent instance of this came this week from a tea party group.
Ad Buyer: Madison Action Fund Ad buy: The group says they put $34,000 behind the spot, which includes Fox News and “some broadcast.” The Race: Attorney Bryan Smith is challenging Republican Rep. Mike Simpson of Idaho. Groups like Madison and the Club for Grown would like to see their candidate, Smith, oust Simpson, a Boehner ally.
In the spot, Simpson “joined Pelosi in voting to take more of your money to fund sex study programs of San Francisco prostitutes.”
But Pelosi also surfaced in an ad from Defending Main Street super PAC, a group that backs Simpson.
Simpson, left, conducts a hearing in early April. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
A super PAC that defends Republican incumbents went up on air Thursday with an ad that both touts Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson’s conservative credentials and attacks the outside groups seeking to oust him in an upcoming primary.
The ad, released by Defending Main Street, seeks to discredit the Club for Growth — the main group attacking Simpson in the May 20 primary. It ties Club for Growth President Chris Chocola to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., a villain to the Republican Party, and questions the club’s priorities.
“His group spends more money trying to defeat Republicans than defeating Democrats,” the narrator accuses, before going on to highlight Simpson’s votes against the Affordable Care Act and his endorsement from the National Rifle Association.
Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, faces a competitive May 20 primary (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The Club for Growth’s political action arm released a TV ad Monday against Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, hitting the eight-term Republican on his vote for the Wall Street bailout in 2008 — a key point of contention for the conservative outside group.
The 30-second spot is a fact-check on Simpson’s claim in a recent ad that he voted to repeal the Troubled Assets Relief Program, better known as TARP. The ad utilizes video footage of Simpson speaking at an event in 2010, telling an audience that he voted for TARP.
Seeking to bolster his conservative record ahead of the May 20 primary, the 30-second ad highlights votes Simpson has taken that tow the conservative line and labels his challenger, attorney Bryan Smith, as a “personal injury lawyer.” The ad is backed by a $27,000 buy on broadcast and cable, according to a Republican source tracking buys in the district.
“There’s no defense for personal injury lawyer Bryan Smith’s attempt to smear Mike Simpson’s conservative record,” the narrator says in ad.
SCF just endorsed Loudermilk, a candidate for the House in Georgia. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Senate Conservatives Fund — an organization that has traditionally supported conservative Senate hopefuls — has backed five House candidates.
On Tuesday, SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins wrote the endorsements, which are part of the organization’s new “House Conservatives Project.”
“These candidates believe deeply in our nation’s founding principles and will be strong voices for freedom in Washington,” Hoskins wrote. “They are strong conservatives who will fight to balance the budget and repeal Obamacare.” Full story
“Mike Simpson has been in the trenches fighting to reform runaway spending and has been a critical voice in passing our plan to balance the budget and pay down our debt,” the Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee said in a statement.