NRCC Chairman Walden is making a fundraising swing through Illinois (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden is making a campaign swing through Illinois on Friday, headlining fundraisers benefiting four Republican challengers and one of the party’s most vulnerable members.
Walden will host separate fundraising events for all five Republicans in a state the party views as an opportunity to add to its House majority. That includes helping two former members ousted by Democrats in 2012 make it back to Capitol Hill in 2015.
“Chairman Walden is looking forward to highlighting our offensive opportunities in Illinois,” NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “Illinois is a competitive battleground state where Democrats will be forced to spend big money to defend their members.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee announced on Thursday 36 candidates who have achieved the committee’s “On the Radar” status.
This ranking is the first of three levels of the committee’s fundraising and infrastructure program. Earning this status means the NRCC “will help to provide candidates and their campaigns the tools they need to run successful, winning campaigns against their Democratic opponents,” according to an NRCC release.
The final level is “Young Gun” status.
“These 36 candidates all provide a stark contrast to their liberal opponents, whose support of ObamaCare and this Administration’s big-government, job-destroying agenda has taken a toll on the American people,” NRCC Chairman Greg Walden said in a statement.
Four of those rated are former members who lost re-election bids in 2012: former Reps. Robert Dold and Bobby Schilling of Illinois, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire and Nan Hayworth of New York.
Some of the other challengers are running in the same districts. Full story
Israel is the chairman of the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Updated 3:09 p.m. | Ring, Ring: It’s the voters.
This week, House Democrats have started a round of automated phone calls that allow recipients to connect directly to the campaign offices of their Republican opponents. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will target 16 GOP challengers in competitive districts with the calls, according to a party source.
The political benefits of this tactic are unclear. But it has the potential to be pretty annoying.
Callers are read a negative profile of the Republican that accuses him or her of supporting the shutdown. Then the caller is given the option to be transferred to the GOP candidate’s campaign to tell their office that “the shutdown is hurting our families” and the candidate “shouldn’t be part of the problem.”
The candidate:State Rep. Mike Bost, a Republican The member: Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, a Democrat. The district: Illinois’ 12th District is located in the southwest corner of the state and is one of the most competitive congressional districts in Illinois. President Barack Obama won the district by a slim 2-point margin in 2012. The candidate’s team: Julie Wadler (fundraising), Ben Burger, SRCPmedia (media), Tarrance Group (polling).
Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, who garnered YouTube fame when his heated “Let my people go” floor speech on the state House floor went viral, said he could show that same passion in Congress, should he be elected next fall.
Bost is challenging freshman Rep. Bill Enyart, D-Ill., in the competitive 12th District next year. Last cycle, Enyart defeated his Republican opponent by a 9-point margin.
But many Republicans lamented that their nominee for this race last cycle was lackluster. They believe Bost — who has represented a large chunk of the district over his 20 years in the state legislature — will have a better shot in 2014.
Walden heads the National Republican Congressional Committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden signaled that he plans to stay on offense in 2014 with the aim of expanding his party’s 17-seat majority.
In a Wednesday memo to the House Republican Conference obtained exclusively by CQ Roll Call, Walden says his committee will be “aggressively expanding the playing field” thanks, in part, to Democratic recruitment struggles.
“The question facing Democrats is how, if they are struggling on their home court, will they ever win the Republican-leaning districts they need to regain the majority?” Walden wrote to his colleagues.
He went on to highlight Democratic candidates who dropped their House bids early in the cycle, framing them as recruitment failures. He named-checked former candidates such as hotel magnate Jim Graves in Minnesota’s 6th District and former state Sen. Staci Appel in Iowa’s 3rd District.
Walden also cited promising polling in a handful of House seats held by Democrats, including:
At least three GOP House incumbents lost their seats in Illinois tonight, according to Associated Press projections.
Here is a roundup of the competitive Illinois House seats as of late tonight:
Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated Rep. Joe Walsh (R).
Former Rep. Bill Foster (D) over Rep. Judy Biggert (R).
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart (D) defeated businessman Jason Plummer (R).
Former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D) defeated Rep. Bobby Schilling (R).
The only outstanding competitive Illinois race is for the 10th district. Almost 99 percent of precincts were reporting, but it was too close for the AP to call. Democrat Brad Schneider is challenging Rep. Robert Dold (R). Schneider was up by 1 point as this was posted.
The race for the 13th district between Rodney Davis (R) and David Gill (D) was also too close to call.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky campaigns with Democratic House hopefuls Tammy Duckworth and Brad Schneider at Harmony Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. (Shira Toeplitz/CQ Roll Call)
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Democratic hopes of winning the House majority have been quashed, but in this northern Chicago suburb’s crowded village hall on a Saturday morning, one can see the glimmer of what might have been.
At this single location, early voters wait an hour to cast ballots in one of three redrawn Congressional districts. The hall serves as a symbol of the extent to which Democrats redrew the lines of the state’s map to their advantage.
Throughout the cycle, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) repeated these words: “The road to the majority runs through Illinois.” But less than week before Election Day, it’s clear that Democrats won’t net the 25 seats needed to regain the Speaker’s gavel, and it’s equally clear they won’t make as many gains in Illinois as they had hoped. Full story
The Democratic House Majority PAC will launch three new ads today, giving a final boost to two Democratic Congressmen and a candidate running in an open seat.
The first spot is in Illinois’ open 12th district, represented by retiring Democratic Rep. Jerry Costello. It highlights the contrast between the Republican nominee, businessman Jason Plummer, and the Democratic nominee, retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart. The ad, backed by $125,000 from today through Nov. 6 on broadcast television in the Paducah, Ky., media market, paints Plummer as someone who “praises” a plan that would “end Medicare.”
The second spot is in Massachusetts’ 6th district, where eight-term Democratic Rep. John Tierney faces an uphill battle against former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R). The ad attempts to tie Tisei to the tea party as well as the Medicare changes in the budget of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The spot is backed by about $320,000 on broadcast television in the Boston media market over a week beginning today.
The third spot is in New York’s 1st district, where Rep. Tim Bishop (D) faces a rematch with businessman Randy Altschuler (R). The ad hammers on Altschuler’s outsourcing business. The spot begins today and is backed by $500,000 on targeted cable in the expensive New York City media market.
The independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today made a new round of television ad buys in seven districts, including two New York seats where the DCCC has not previously purchased air time.
With three weeks to go before Election Day, the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee have been shifting money away from races that appear less competitive and toward ones that now pop a little brighter on the committees’ radars.
According to a Democratic source with knowledge of the buys, the DCCC has placed new advertising dollars on broadcast TV in the following districts: Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee and other GOP-aligned outside groups launched a new round of television advertising over the weekend in a bevy of House races.
With seven weeks to go until Election Day, the NRCC on Sunday released 10 new TV ads — six in districts the group is working to hold and four in districts the GOP hopes to pick up. Democrats must score a net gain of 25 seats in November to wrestle back control of the House majority. Full story
Just how confident is Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) that she will defeat Rep. Joe Walsh (R)? She’s fundraising — for another candidate.
Duckworth penned a campaign plea for retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the new Democratic nominee in the 12th district. Local Democrats selected Enyart after their original nominee dropped out of the race in May for health reasons.
In an email from VoteVets.org, Duckworth thanked her supporters and donors before making the pitch for her “personal friend.” Full story
Every Democratic nominee running in a competitive Illinois House district was invited to participate in a party-organized fundraiser held Friday at Chicago’s Wrigley Field — except for emergency room physician David Gill.
Gill’s exclusion from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee event signals that House Democrats have yet to commit to putting resources behind his bid for the open 13th district.