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- Quote of the Day
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- Exit Polls Show Big Wins by Trump and Sanders
Nearly every member of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline Program for vulnerable members voted Thursday for a Republican bill that would add bureaucratic security checks for Syrians and Iraqis hoping to enter the U.S. as refugees.
In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, Democratic strategists say the vote was good politics for those 13 Democratic incumbents, who represent competitive districts of varying degrees. The vote gave them an opportunity to appear tough on national security, an issue they often struggle with.
The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.
The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month’s worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.
Updated 12:26 p.m. | One of the House’s most vulnerable members is shedding staff at a rapid clip, just months after he arrived in Congress.
Three top-level staffers in Rep. Brad Ashford’s office have left since his swearing-in on Jan. 6. The exits include Ashford’s chief of staff and two communications directors, who departed over the past few weeks. All are frustrated with what was described as the Nebraska Democrat’s unwillingness to fundraise for an ultra-competitive re-election campaign.
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.
They haven’t even been sworn in yet, but these members start off the cycle as underdogs in their quests for re-election in 2016.
Most of 2016’s initial targets are incoming Republicans, swept into office in a GOP midterm wave. They will represent districts Democrats carried with big margins in presidential election years — seats the newly minted Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján will probably want back. Only one vulnerable Democrat made this list.
What’s more, the window for either party to oust these freshman could close quickly. It’s easier to defeat an incumbent in their first re-election, before they solidify a stronghold on the seat.
In alphabetical order, here are the incoming members who start the 2016 cycle as underdogs:
Think being a Washington politician gets a bum rap? It’s not so easy being a politician from Phoenix, Springfield, Des Moines, Lincoln or Raleigh, either. Just ask Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, Illinois state Rep. Mike Bost, Iowa House Rep. Pat Murphy, Nebraska state Sen. Brad Ashford or North Carolina Speaker Thom Tillis.
With extensive voting records, state legislators hoping to capture national offices have seen their records used against them in close races, as their opponents use their votes to paint them with the same brush any incumbent is accustomed to.
The two speakers, Tillis and Tobin, have been targeted especially hard. Full story
Less than two weeks to go before Election Day, a new poll shows Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb., trails his Democratic opponent by a 5-point margin.
In the survey conducted by a Democratic firm for the United Transportation Union, Terry trailed Democratic state Sen. Brad Ashford, 46 percent to 41 percent. A libertarian candidate, Steven Laird, drew 6 percent, while 7 percent remained undecided.
Even worse for Terry? The poll found the eight-term Republican is less popular than President Barack Obama in the Omaha-based 2nd District. According to the poll, 39 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Obama, while 34 percent had a favorable view of Terry. Full story
It’s the Willie Horton ad of 2014.
The National Republican Congressional Committee went up with an ad Friday tying the Democratic nominee in a competitive Nebraska House race to Nikko Jenkins, a former inmate convicted of murdering four people after his early release from jail.
It’s an ad reminiscent of the Willie Horton spot former President George H.W. Bush ran in 1988, tying his Democratic opponent to a convicted murderer who raped a woman while on a weekend pass from prison.
Republicans hope the Nikko Jenkins ad in the Omaha-based 2nd District will turn things around for Rep. Lee Terry, one of just two GOP House incumbents in a race rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
OMAHA, Neb. — Mention Rep. Lee Terry’s name in this town, and almost everyone has an opinion about the embattled Republican.
“I know I was not happy with the shutdown and his comments,” said Patrick Ryan, a veteran of the Air National Guard turned Burke High School social studies teacher, before a Friday night football game. “I was kind of taken aback by it, thinking it was kind of arrogant considering the kind of job he’s in.”
“There’s a litany of times when he has literally stuck his 10.5 [size shoe] in his mouth,” state Sen. Bob Krist, a Republican backing Terry’s Democratic opponent, told CQ Roll Call in his colleague’s kitchen on Sunday morning. “Which time do you want to apologize for?”
“Don’t get him started,” said a woman seated at the bar at The Drover on Oct. 3, an old school downtown steakhouse, pointing to her husband, who regurgitated an unprompted verbatim account of the exact words dogging Terry’s quest for a ninth term.
More than a year ago, when the federal government shuttered and federal employees — including active military service members and civilian contractors — feared they wouldn’t get their paychecks, Terry was adamant he would keep his own.
“Dang straight,” Terry told the Omaha World Herald for an Oct. 4, 2013, story. “I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”
He’s apologized for the remarks, but the 16-year incumbent can’t seem to get out from underneath them. It’s an example of how just a few ill-suited words can ruin a congressional career — and the key reason Terry is struggling for re-election in this GOP-leaning district against state Sen. Brad Ashford.
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:
With a month to go until Election Day, House Republicans are poised to add at least a handful of seats to their majority in the midterms.
Need proof? Look no further than this month’s list of Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable House Members, plus the four incumbents who got honorable mentions: The majority of the names are Democrats facing slogs to re-election in tough districts.
What’s more, nearly all of the Republicans on the list made it due to isolated issues — like campaign problems, personal and legal missteps — instead of the national political environment.
The list does not include competitive open-seat contests, where Democrats could stave off major losses.
Since CQ Roll Call last published this feature in September, two incumbents — a Democrat and a Republican — dropped to the honorable mention category. Both are still as vulnerable as they were in September, but a few of their colleagues now face greater political peril than they do.
Roll Call will publish this list one more time, in the week before Election Day. For now, here is the updated list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in alphabetical order:
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
Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.
Last week, thousands of votes were cast to send reporters @cahnemily and @alexis_levinson on the road in our first #RCReadersChoice survey. Two House races and two Senate races lead their packs, and now readers have until Thursday at 5 p.m. for the runoff contest.
On the Senate side, readers can select between Kansas, where GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is unexpectedly fighting for his re-election, and Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is attempting to fend off a strong challenge from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner. In the first round of voting, Kansas was the clear front-runner, and Colorado beat out the North Carolina Senate race by just two votes to make the final round.
The finalist House races are California’s 52nd District, located in San Diego, and Nebraska’s 2nd District, located in Omaha. Both incumbents in these races — Democrat Scott Peters in California and Republican Lee Terry in Nebraska — are on Roll Call’s list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members.
Have an opinion on which race we should cover? Tweet your thoughts @RollCall with #RCReadersChoice. Otherwise, vote below:
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:
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced Friday its latest round of candidates in “Red to Blue,” a program that targets open-seat races and districts held by Republicans.
House Democrats must pick up 17 seats to win control of that chamber — a daunting task in a midterm election. Offensive opportunities, like those in the Red to Blue program, are vital to the party’s mission. The DCCC released its first round of 35 Red to Blue candidates earlier this year.
“All of these candidates have met and surpassed demanding campaign goals, and shown they have a path to victory and have what it takes to win,” DCCC Chairman Steve Israel said in a statement. “I look forward to working with them through November to build campaigns that give voice to all the middle class voters left behind by this Republican Congress.”
The following Democratic candidates have been added to the Red to Blue program: