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August 27, 2014

Posts in "IEs"

August 12, 2014

This Fall’s House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

This Falls House Ad Wars Have Officially Started (Video)

Grimm is one of the NRCC's first targets with an independent expenditure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The flood gates opened Tuesday when the House campaign committees began the barrage of fall television advertisements.

Exactly a year ago, CQ Roll Call predicted the House’s fall campaign ad wars would begin as early as mid-August, creeping back a few weeks from the traditional start around Labor Day. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and several top tier House candidates rolled out their first television spots of the cycle.

To be sure, some House candidates and outside groups have already been airing general election spots. But these new television ads mark the committee’s first major independent expenditures of the season — and the start of the campaign airwaves war that will only intensify through November.

Full story

July 21, 2014

The Re-Education of Rick Nolan

The Re Education of 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 16, 2014

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

House Democrats Bank on Fundraising in 2014

Steve Israel of New York is the chairman of the DCCC. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Democrats don’t have much in their favor in the upcoming elections — except their bank accounts.

There’s a sour national political environment, a history of the president’s party losing seats in midterms and an unfavorable congressional map drawn mostly by Republicans. But less than four months before Election Day, it’s clear that House Democrats have a major financial advantage among their candidates and committees that is already translating to television airtime for the fall.

On average, Democrats in competitive House races have more than one-third more in the bank than their Republican opponents, according to a CQ Roll Call tabulation of the most recent fundraising reports due Tuesday to the Federal Election Commission. Across 59 House races considered remotely competitive by CQ Roll Call, Democratic candidates and incumbents had, on average, $955,000 in the bank, while Republicans had an average of $667,000 in the bank.

It’s unlikely Democrats can net the 17 seats necessary to take control of the House this November, so party operatives are trying to mitigate any massive losses this year as part of a long-term, multi-cycle plot to win the majority. Meanwhile, Republicans aim to extend their majority to a modern-history record of 245 seats — and they believe the financial gap could leave a handful of seats on the table this year. Full story

July 7, 2014

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Déjà Vu in Minnesota Senate Race?

Franken is seeking re-election in Minnesota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Al Franken knows the story — just not from this side.

In 2008, a first-time candidate dogged by his career history faced a formidable incumbent dragged down by an unpopular second-term president. The result: now-Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., defeated then-Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, in a shockingly close race that only ended after a months-long contentious recount and legal battle.

Now Coleman’s hand-picked candidate wants to return the favor in 2014. Franken will face a wealthy investment banker and first-time candidate, Mike McFadden, in November — and this time, he’s the senator battling an unpopular president’s drag on the ballot.

Full story

May 30, 2014

DSCC Reserves $5.5 Million in TV Airtime for Kay Hagan

DSCC Reserves $5.5 Million in TV Airtime for Kay Hagan

Hagan is seeking re-election in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm has reserved $5.5 million in airtime for Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., according to a source with knowledge of the reservation.

Hagan’s re-election bid is one of the most competitive and expensive races in the country. She faces North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.

The DSCC has reserved airtime in at least four other states with competitive Senate races: Alaska, Colorado, New Hampshire and Arkansas.  This marks the DSCC’s first airtime reservation in the Tar Heel State.

 In North Carolina, the DSCC reserved airtime starting Sept. 16 and running through Election Day. The amount of money spent will increase each week, from $376,000 the week of Sept. 16, to $1.2 million in the final week before the election.

Full story

May 13, 2014

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Sasse prevailed over two Republican rivals in the Nebraska Senate primary race Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse pulled off a victory in Nebraska Tuesday night, winning the Republican Senate primary to become the nominee and likely the next senator from the Cornhusker State.

Sasse, president of Midland University and a former Bush administration official, bested former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and banker Sid Dinsdale to win the nomination for this open seat. Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring.

Sasse had 44 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race just before 10 p.m. Dinsdale was in second at 26 percent, followed by Osborn with 23 percent.

Sasse benefited from massive spending by outside groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Those groups did a lot of the dirty work, running a barrage of negative ads bashing first Osborn and, later, Dinsdale, while Sasse’s own campaign only ran positive spots about the candidate.

With Sasse’s nomination, the tea party will claim its first big win of the cycle. Tea-party-aligned groups like the Madison Project — along with the club and SCF — backed him, along with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who traveled to Nebraska to rally for Sasse alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

There is no serious Democratic contender. The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Super PAC Touts Joe Baca as ‘Reagan Fiscal Conservative’

Super PAC Touts Joe Baca as Reagan Fiscal Conservative

Baca hopes to again be a member of the California delegation. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A super PAC in California backing former Rep. Joe Baca sent three mailers in the district touting Baca’s credentials for his comeback bid for a Southern California open seat.

The mailers, obtained by CQ Roll Call, tout Baca endorsements — including some who are backing multiple candidates in the race — and one even paints the Democrat as a “Reagan Fiscal Conservative.” That mail piece features a letter written and signed by Baca, alongside an image of President Ronald Reagan.

Baca is one of four Democrats running in the June 3, top-two primary, which also includes three Republicans. Democrats are heavily targeting the seat, which is open with the retirement of GOP Rep. Gary G. Miller.

Full story

May 5, 2014

Exclusive: EMILY’s List Blankets California House Contest

Exclusive: EMILYs List Blankets California House Contest

Waxman is retiring, leaving an open race for his Hollywood-area House district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

EMILY’s List will launch a six-figure campaign this week to promote former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel’s bid for a House seat in California.  

The group, which supports Democratic women who back abortion rights, will begin sending mail on Tuesday and later launch targeted radio ads to boost Greuel over the more than one dozen candidates running in California’s 33rd District.

The Hollywood-area seat is open this cycle because Rep. Henry A. Waxman, D-Calif., is retiring.

Full story

February 7, 2014

Jesse Ferguson Named DCCC Independent Expenditure Director

Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman Steve Israel announced Friday that Jesse Ferguson, a longtime staffer, will be the committee’s independent expenditure director in 2014.

This position is tasked with spending tens of millions of dollars late in the campaign. But, like other IE directors, campaign finance law will prohibit Ferguson from directly coordinating with committee staff.

“Jesse Ferguson has a relentless approach to strategizing and winning tough campaigns making him an excellent leader of the IE team,” Israel said. “Jesse has an unmatched understanding of the 2014 battlefield and the experience to elect problem solving Democrats to Congress.” Full story

September 13, 2013

Conservative PAC Wades Into Alabama Special | #AL01

Citizens United Political Victory Fund, a PAC that supports candidates who embody conservative principles, announced on Friday that it will run a $25,000 radio ad in support of Quin Hillyer, a candidate in Alabama’s upcoming 1st District special election.

The 30-second radio ad, which will run up until a day before the Sept. 24 primary, features former Sen. Rick Santorum touting Hillyer’s conservative values. Santorum endorsed Hillyer’s campaign early in the special election.

“Hi, this is Senator Rick Santorum and I’m proud to support a true conservative – Quin Hillyer for Congress – because he shares my values,” Santorum says in the ad.

September 5, 2013

Special-Election Candidates Start Buying TV Time in Mobile | #AL01

Wells Griffith, a Republican candidate in Alabama’s 1st District special election, went up with his first television ad on Thursday, less than a month before the Sept. 24 primary.

The 30-second “positive” spot will air on broadcast and cable stations throughout the district, and highlights Griffith’s ties to the 1st District, where his family has owned a full-service gas station for generations. The campaign spent $12,500 on the ad, according to a source with knowledge of ad buys in the district.

Full story

June 5, 2013

Conservative Group Launches Second Attack Against Pryor #ARSEN

Senate Conservatives Action will launch Wednesday the second in a series of three TV ads in Arkansas against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

The latest ad, “Deciding Vote,” features a North Little Rock business owner directly criticizing Pryor for his vote to support the health care law. It’s a line of attack Pryor will likely see for the next 17 months and one Republicans believe can move votes in this GOP-trending southern state. Full story

May 9, 2013

Remainders: Recruitment Season

Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Thursday …

  • Following a couple of Senate recruitment setbacks for both parties this week, Shira Toeplitz posted a timeline of when candidates announced their Senate bids in the 2012 cycle for comparison.
  • Kyle Trygstad looked into whether former Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., will jump into South Dakota’s open Senate race now that Democrat Rick Weiland announced his candidacy. It wouldn’t be the first time Herseth Sandlin and Weiland have faced off in a primary.
  • Missouri state  Speaker Pro Tem Jason Smith, a Republican, released his first ad in the special election to fill former Rep. Jo Ann Emerson’s seat.
  • The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a new program to cultivate strong candidates in targeted districts for 2014. The DCCC has tapped eight Democratic candidates for the program so far.

What we’re mulling on Thursday … Full story

April 4, 2013

NRSC to GOP Consultants: Got Any Better Ideas?

Want a lucrative consulting contract from the National Republican Senatorial Committee or one of their top candidates this cycle? First, a few questions.

After tensions between GOP officials and consultants bubbled over in 2012, top NRSC aides are in the process of revamping their relationship with the hired hands who might work with their spending arm and candidates this cycle.

On Tuesday, NRSC Political Director Ward Baker sent the following memo to more than 250 GOP consultants and vendors:

TO: Prospective Vendors

FROM: Ward Baker

DATE: April 2, 2013

RE: NRSC IE Program Revitalization

Victory in 2014

The NRSC is full steam ahead prepping and planning for victory in 2014 to take back the majority in the U.S. Senate. Part of that preparation is revitalizing and reimagining the IE program to ensure wins in crucial battleground states. We believe this can be accomplished through new ideas and innovative strategies from not only the new leadership at the NRSC, but from you as well.

Full story

November 2, 2012

Utah: Matheson Trails Love in New Poll

Utah: Matheson Trails Love in New Poll

Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson trails Republican challenger Mia Love in a new poll. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love could be pulling away from Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in the race for Utah’s 4th district.

Love led Matheson by 12 points, 52 percent to 40 percent, in a new poll conducted for the Salt Lake Tribune. Just 9 percent of Republicans surveyed backed Matheson, which is not enough in a district Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to carry with ease.

However, the Matheson campaign released a poll Thursday night — just hours ahead of the Tribune poll’s release — that showed him ahead by 2 points.

These two polls can’t both be right, but both national parties have been spending here as if the race is close. Full story

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