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August 1, 2015

Posts in "Minn.-8"

February 12, 2015

Exclusive: DCCC Announces 14 Incumbents in Frontline Program

dccc

Luján, right, is a Democrat from New Mexico. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will announce Thursday the first 14 members who will join its Frontline program for the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, according to an early copy of a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The incumbents represent competitive districts, making them likely GOP targets in 2016. The Frontline program,which Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich., is chairman of,  provides these members with fundraising and organizational support for their re-elections.

Full story

November 10, 2014

The Best Congressional Campaigns of 2014

best congressional campaigns

Ernst is the senator-elect from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As a national Republican wave crested on Election Day, there were several campaigns in both parties that stood out as outstanding operations.

The GOP expanded its House majority and obtained control of the Senate. As a result, more Republican campaigns emerged deserving of the spotlight. But there were also several Democratic operations worthy of recognition.

Roll Call has compiled a list of the cream of the crop of 2014. Many faced long odds, crowded primaries, an unpopular president and millions in targeted attack ads. But through all that and more, these campaigns ably managed the curves of the cycle — and all but one were victorious.

In alphabetical order by candidate, here are the best congressional campaigns of the midterms: Full story

October 24, 2014

DCCC Spends to Boost Five Incumbents

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Rahall is receiving a boost from national Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added an additional $1.3 million in ad buys Friday in five districts to boost incumbents with increasingly challenging re-election races.

The cash injection comes 11 days before voters head to the polls and signals House Democrats are increasingly fearful they could see double-digit losses on election night.

Here are the five districts where the DCCC is adding airtime:

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October 21, 2014

House Democrats Boost Incumbents With TV Money

This is the first time Democrats are spending on Loebsack's race. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats continue to bolster their incumbents, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee expanding its defensive spending.

Most notably, the DCCC is spending more in support of Democratic Reps. Collin C. Peterson in Minnesota and Dave Loebsack in Iowa, races that are only in recent days coming to the forefront of the House map.

Here are the changes, made as both parties re-evaluate their chances with two weeks to go until Election Day:

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October 20, 2014

For House GOP, a Wave … Or a Trickle?

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Kirkpatrick is one of the most endangered Democrats this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Republicans are on track to make gains this cycle, but two weeks before Election Day, it’s still unclear whether the party will procure a wave of double-digit gains in their quest to extend the majority.

Members of Congress and operatives alike note this is a toxic time for Democrats on the ballot that should result in huge losses for the president’s party. But a race-by-race evaluation of the House map shows Republicans are more likely in a position to pick up a net of around six seats this cycle.

“After two successful cycles for House Republicans, the playing field confines the upper limits of pickups that can be had,” said Brock McCleary, a Republican pollster.

Public surveys show President Barack Obama’s unpopularity, as events in the Middle East and Ebola on the home front drag down Democrats coast to coast. House Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans this cycle.

But this midterm is shaping up to be one of the most perplexing in recent memory. Both parties are on offense, and both parties are on defense. In private polling, dozens of races are too close to call. Given the unpredictability, it’s also possible the next 14 days could exacerbate Democratic losses.

Here’s why most political operatives estimate Republican will have a net gain in the mid-single digits:

Full story

October 6, 2014

DCCC Cuts Airtime in 8 TV Markets

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has started to pull back its advertising buys in several congressional districts around the country, according to an aide.

At this point in the cycle, the cancellations — also known as “triage” — serve as a signal the party does not see a path to victory for these candidates or races. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, has already pulled some of its buys in the same districts.

For now, House Democrats are only canceling airtime reservations in open-seat races or offensive opportunities. In some cases, the DCCC is still airing advertisements in some of the affected races for the next couple weeks.

In addition to the cancellations, the DCCC is also moving money to other districts, including other open-seat opportunities, districts held by Democrats and one GOP incumbent target.

House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority, but it’s more likely they will lose seats in November. These cuts allow the DCCC to use the party’s resources in other reasons where the party has a higher likelihood of winning.

The cancellations include:

Full story

September 3, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Coffman is one of the most vulnerable members. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Welcome to the general election: Labor Day has passed, nearly every primary has finished, and Roll Call has revised its monthly list of the 10 most vulnerable House members.

Since this feature last published in August, Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Mich., lost his primary by a wide margin, while Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., barely survived his, defeating his primary foe by 38 votes.

That opened up two spots in the Top 10 — and there are a plethora of choices this cycle to fill their spots, plus more honorable mentions below.

House Democrats must net 17 seats to win the majority. But most of the names below are Democrats, symbolic of a cycle increasingly favorable to Republicans.

For now, here are the 10 most vulnerable House members in alphabetical order:

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July 21, 2014

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

rick nolan

Nolan came back to Congress in 2012 — three decades after his first stint in the 1970s. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.

The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.

But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.

Full story

July 18, 2014

DCCC Adds Congressman to Endangered Incumbent Program

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Nolan is a Minnesota Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee moved Rep. Rick Nolan of Minnesota to its Frontline program — a reflection of growing concern over his re-election prospects.

The Frontline program is for House Democrats’ most vulnerable incumbents.

Nolan’s opponent for Minnesota’s 8th District is GOP businessman Stewart Mills. The move came after second-quarter campaign fundraising reports revealed that Mills raised more money than Nolan in April, May and June.

Full story

July 13, 2014

Rich Candidates, Poor House Districts

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Poliquin is running for Congress in Maine. (Meredith Dake/CQ Roll Call)

Mo’ money, mo’ problems? That’s the case for a few deep-pocketed House candidates, whose affluence has become a political issue in the districts they seek this November.

Wealth is commonplace in Congress, where one-third of the members are worth more than $1 million. But this cycle, at least four candidates running in competitive House districts boast a personal net worth in excess of $8 million, according to financial disclosure forms. And in the final months of the midterms, their opponents have found ways to use their means against them. 

If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same playbook that sunk Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign. Last cycle, Democrats successfully used Romney’s estimated $250 million net worth — along with his career as a venture capitalist — to convince middle-class voters he didn’t have their best interests at heart. Hillary Rodham Clinton, considering a second presidential bid, has also taken heat recently for talking about financial struggles, despite the hefty speaking fees she earns and her relatively newfound riches.

Full story

June 17, 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC ads

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 5, 2014

Minnesota Challenger Airs New TV Ad in Targeted House Race

Stewart Mills, a Republican businessman running against Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., went up with his second ad of the cycle.

It’s a bio spot explaining why he decided to run for political office. Mills describes his “Hunting Camp Doctrine,” a family rule that if you complain about something, then it’s your responsibility to fix it.

“Well I’m fed up with Washington, the bickering, the debt, Obamacare,” Mills says in the 30-second ad. “Instead of complaining, I’m going to fight to fix it.”

youtu.be/kjZ29wqCgrc

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May 29, 2014

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

May 19, 2014

Minnesota Republican Challenger Airs First TV Ad

Nolan is facing a competitive GOP challenge. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minnesota Republican Stewart Mills went up on air Monday with a bio spot touting his commitment to replace President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Mills is challenging Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan for a northern Minnesota-based seat in a race rated Leans Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Mills, whose family owns a popular hunting and sporting goods chain in the Midwest, says in the 30-second spot that he helps run the business’ healthcare program for the companies’ “thousands of employees” and therefore knows the healthcare overhaul needs to be replaced. Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 12:23 p.m.
Ads, House 2016, Minn.-8

May 12, 2014

Meet the NRCC’s New Young Guns

Dold, seen at the Capitol in 2012, was selected to be of the NRCC's Young Guns this cycle. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden on Monday unveiled the first round of House GOP candidates elevated to “Young Gun” status.

The NRCC’s Young Guns program is the highest designation for recruits in either open-seat races or in districts where the GOP is on offense. The program allows the party to communicate to donors and the political world who are the most organized recruits of the cycle.

Candidates earn this status by demonstrating “their ability to build a formidable campaign structure and achieve important goals and benchmarks,” according to a news release.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in a position to win on Election Day,” Walden said in a statement. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama Administration.”

The new Young Guns are:

Full story

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