Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

Posts in "W.Va.-3"

November 4, 2014

6 Harbinger House Races for Election Night

6 Harbinger House Races for Election Night

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel will have a bad night if his party loses these races. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats are bracing for losses on Election Day, but just how bad of a night will it be?

A few races will serve as cues throughout the evening, as polls close across the country. They will be harbingers for House Republicans, who are looking at gains anywhere from six to a dozen seats.

Here are the bellwether House races to watch as results come in, in order of poll closing times:
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October 24, 2014

DCCC Spends to Boost Five Incumbents

DCCC Spends to Boost Five Incumbents

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 2, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Rahall is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:

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September 3, 2014

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

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 9, 2014

‘Nicky Joe’ Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand

Nicky Joe Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand

Rahall, center, before he speaks to the crowd at the West Virginia Freedom Festival. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nicky Joe Bets Political Survival on His Local Brand LOGAN, W.Va. — The West Virginia Freedom Festival offered choices for Confederate flag accessories: jewelry, belts, pins and oven mitts. A couple blocks away, in the shadow of a “Hillbilly Mobile Zipline” platform, a Tennessee-based vendor called for a treason trial and eventual public execution of President Barack Obama.

It’s hard to find a Mountaineer who would go that far — but most of them blame Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency for the economic hardship plaguing the state’s coal miners. The anger toward Obama is so widespread that it’s easy to see how it could taint anyone with even the most tenuous ties to him and his administration.

On a hot and clear Saturday afternoon near the Kentucky border, this is Rep. Nick J. Rahall II’s challenge. The November election will be a test of whether the vaunted “Nick Joe” brand can sustain staggering outside spending and a seething hatred for the leader of his party. A Rahall defeat would prove national political forces can reign supreme, anytime or anywhere.

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June 20, 2014

Nick Rahall Opponent Airs Positive TV Campaign

Nick Rahall Opponent Airs Positive TV Campaign

Nick Rahall's opponent, Evan Jenkins, has a new TV ad. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Evan Jenkins, a Republican, debuted a new positive television advertisement Friday that emphasizes the coal industry in his bid to unseat Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., in the 3rd District.

“If Barack Obama had his way, none of this would exist,” Jenkins said in front of a mining operation. “Coal would be out of business, and so would West Virginia.”

The ad makes no mention of the incumbent. The rest of the spot plays up Mountain State imagery and industry.

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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:

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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:

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May 12, 2014

Meet the NRCC’s New Young Guns

Meet the NRCCs 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:

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May 8, 2014

Vulnerable Democrats Vote for Benghazi Committee

Vulnerable Democrats Vote for Benghazi Committee

Barber is one of several vulnerable Democrats who voted with Republicans. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Six House Democrats facing competitive challenges in November voted Thursday evening in favor of creating a special committee to re-investigate the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Five of the seven Democrats who voted with the GOP are part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program, which supports the party’s most vulnerable incumbents. Full story

April 25, 2014

Rahall Picks Up the Pace in a New TV Ad

Rahall Picks Up the Pace in a New TV Ad

Rahall released a new TV ad Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II released an ad Friday that harkens back to the Pace picante sauce commercials from the 1990s.

In the new spot, a group of people sit around discussing the attributes of the 19-term West Virginia incumbent, when one of the men wonders who is paying for the spots attacking him.

“Out-of-state billionaires from New York City,” one of the men replies, alluding to conservative businessmen David and Charles Koch.

The five people in the ad then exclaim, “New York City!?” Full story

April 24, 2014

Super PAC Ties GOP Challenger to Koch Brothers

Super PAC Ties GOP Challenger to Koch Brothers

Rahall faces a competitive race for a 20th term (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aims to elect House Democrats, has a new ad tying a GOP challenger in West Virginia to conservative businessmen David and Charles Koch.

The ad hits state Sen. Evan Jenkins, who is running against Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.V., in one of this cycle’s most competitive House races.

But Jenkins only makes a cameo in the super PAC’s ad. Images of the brothers — who spend heavily in politics — are featured in the spot for 26 seconds in the 30-second spot.

“The Koch brothers wouldn’t be billionaires, if they didn’t get what they paid for,” a narrator said of Jenkins. “In Washington, Evan Jenkins won’t work for us.”

Full story

April 17, 2014

Republican Hits Vulnerable West Virginia Democrat in First TV Spot

Updated 5:48 p.m. | State Sen. Evan Jenkins, a Republican challenging Rep. Nick J. Rahall II in West Virginia, is up with his first ad — an attack on Democrats’ attack on Jenkins.

Dizzy yet? Just wait.

The Jenkins spot seeks to tie Rahall to a flare up between the Jenkins campaign and House Majority PAC, a super PAC dedicated to electing Democrats to the House.

“Nick Rahall, a lying politician, just like Obama,” the male narrator says.

April 9, 2014

Rahall Challenger Raised $200K in 1st Quarter (Updated)

Rahall Challenger Raised $200K in 1st Quarter (Updated)

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is facing a competitive race for a 20th term (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:12 p.m. | West Virginia state Sen. Evan Jenkins raised $200,000 in the first quarter for his bid to unseat 19-term Democratic Rep. Nick J. Rahall II.

The Republican will report about $500,000 in cash on hand as of the end of March, according to figures provided to CQ Roll Call.

Jenkins, a former Democrat, is shaping up as Rahall’s most competitive rival in decades, and the incumbent is already the target of outside spending. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently added Rahall to its incumbent protection program. Full story

March 7, 2014

DCCC Adds Nick Rahall to Incumbent Protection Program

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has named Rep. Nick J. Rahall II of West Virginia to the committee’s Frontline program.

Frontline is a designation for endangered Democratic incumbents.

“As a battle-tested campaigner, Nick Joe Rahall has been the overwhelming choice of southern West Virginians because he stands for commonsense values, will protect Social Security and Medicare and will relentlessly fight for good-paying West Virginia jobs,” Israel said in a release.

“We won’t stand on the sidelines while outside groups spend millions of dollars to deceive voters about an incumbent.”

Full story

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