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October 1, 2012

Voters Blame Both Parties for Big Money in Politics

Democrats enjoy no advantage over Republicans when it comes to public opposition to big money in politics, but the issue resonates with key voting blocs, according to a new survey of voters in 54 battleground House districts.

“Candidates avoid this issue to their detriment,” said David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, which backs a campaign finance overhaul. “There’s an incredible opportunity to be leaders on this issue, on what has become a leaderless field.”

The poll released today found that more than half of voters surveyed “overwhelmingly” believe that money corrupts politics, and 78 percent want Congressional candidates to propose ways to “dramatically reduce the amount of money in politics and super PACs.”

The poll was the third in a series by Public Campaign Action Fund and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted for the Democracy Corps, a nonprofit run by Democratic strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg.

A striking finding, Greenberg said, was that a full 43 percent of respondents said neither Democrats nor Republicans would do a better job “cleaning up corruption in Washington, D.C.,” an option not even offered by the poll, which instead asked voters to choose between the parties.

“I’m struck by the fact that the Democrats have no advantage on the question of changing the corruption in Washington,” said Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

But Greenberg said linking policy issues to political corruption intensified voter responses, particularly among seniors, independents and suburban voters. For example, 55 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who backed the plan to partially privatize Medicare offered by GOP vice presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

But asked in a follow-up question whether they would vote for that candidate if he or she backed Ryan’s Medicare plan and “took thousands in campaign donations from insurance executives, lobbyists and PACs,” a full 70 percent of voters answered “less likely.”

“If you’re looking for an extra shot, this is where your extra shot is on that issue,” Greenberg said, describing the issue’s potential resonance in battleground House districts.

September 28, 2012

Massachusetts: New GOP Poll Has Richard Tisei Leading John Tierney

Massachusetts: New GOP Poll Has Richard Tisei Leading John Tierney

Rep. John Tierney (left) is among the more vulnerable Members on the ballot in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new Republican poll commissioned by YG Action Fund, a super PAC created by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), found Republican Richard Tisei leading Rep. John Tierney (D) in Massachusetts’ 6th district.

The poll, in the field Sept. 25-26 and conducted by respected GOP firm North Star Opinion Research, found Tisei ahead of Tierney 45 percent to 37 percent. An August poll conducted by the same company found Tierney ahead of Tisei 45 percent to 43 percent. Negative advertising against both candidates has been plentiful in the district over the past month. Full story

September 26, 2012

Virginia: DSCC Launches First Ad in Senate Race

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is making its first foray into the Virginia Senate race with an ad accusing Republican George Allen of supporting the privatization of Social Security.

The ad, launched today, is part of the committee’s $8 million reservation of TV time in the state on behalf of Democrat Tim Kaine. Kaine has also received significant support from the Democratic-aligned Majority PAC.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not yet made any independent expenditures in the state but has reserved about $5.5 million of TV time. Republican-aligned groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have spent significant resources to help Allen.

Allen also released a TV ad today featuring a 60-second testimonial from the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq.

The Tossup race between the two former governors is likely to go down to the wire in one of the top presidential and Senate battleground states.

New York: House Majority PAC Ad Hits Chris Collins on Tenure as County Executive

New York: House Majority PAC Ad Hits Chris Collins on Tenure as County Executive

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a third-party group supporting Democrats in Congressional races, today released an attack ad against Republican Congressional candidate Chris Collins, who is taking on Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York’s 27th district.

The 30-second spot hits Collins, the former Erie County executive, for his tenure. “As county executive, Collins gave jobs to his friends,” a male narrator says. “Collins awarded his own company a lucrative county contract and had products manufactured overseas, creating jobs in Korea and China. Jobs we could really use in Western New York.”

Full story

September 23, 2012

NRCC Launches 26 New Ads Backed by $6.3 Million

NRCC Launches 26 New Ads Backed by $6.3 Million

The National Republican Congressional Committee, led by Rep. Pete Sessions (above), is trying to hold the GOP's 25-seat majority in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The partisan ad wars in the battle for control of the House are heating up, as the countdown to Election Day enters the final weeks.

The National Republican Congressional Committee launched a huge new ad blitz backed by $6.3 million.

The NRCC ads are airing Sept. 21-27 against incumbents and challengers from Arizona to West Virginia, with a heavy focus on districts in California and New York. The spots run the gamut from standard GOP attack ad fare — connecting a candidate to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or President Barack Obama — to knocking a Member for their vote in favor of the stimulus or the Affordable Care Act to creative, eye-catching spots. Full story

September 21, 2012

California: House Majority PAC Targets Jeff Denham

California: House Majority PAC Targets Jeff Denham

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned group, is going on the air in California’s 10th district against freshman Republican Rep. Jeff Denham.

The group is launching a Medicare-themed television ad that targets “Denham’s plan” for Medicare and states that his Democratic opponent, astronaut Jose Hernandez, would strengthen the program. The ad hits the Sacramento airwaves Saturday and will run for a week and a half behind a six-figure independent expenditure. Full story

September 20, 2012

DCCC Shifts Resources, Going After Mary Bono Mack

DCCC Shifts Resources, Going After Mary Bono Mack

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is shifting ad dollars to target Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has begun shifting advertising dollars and is now targeting a California Congresswoman not originally included in its television reservations while canceling buys in two districts — one each in Ohio and North Carolina.

The DCCC is set to launch its first independent expenditure advertisement against Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.), but has pulled a week of advertising it had reserved in the districts of Reps. Larry Kissell (D-N.C.) and Michael Turner (R-Ohio). The committee won’t be running any ads in those districts during the week of Oct. 2-8. Full story

September 18, 2012

Daily Ad Track

Beginning today and continuing through Election Day, Roll Call will offer a daily smattering of campaign ads that the Politics Team finds worthy of highlighting. Look for the Daily Ad Tracker most week-day afternoons.

Today’s offering features a collection of television spots launched in House and Senate races and run by candidate’s campaigns, national party committees and third party groups, such as super PACS. The theme of today’s Tracker: “Firsts.” Full story

Florida: DCCC to Launch First Ad Against Allen West

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm on Wednesday is launching its first television ad of the election cycle against firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) in Florida’s newly configured 18th district.

The 30-second spot hews to the standard Democratic line of attack, knocking West for voting in favor of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, which would fundamentally change the way future seniors interact with Medicare. The Wisconsin Republican is GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“I have to say it as it is,” West says in a clip at the beginning of the ad.

“But what’s behind the talk?” a female narrator asks. “Allen West voted for Paul Ryan’s plan that would essentially end Medicare,” she says. “And leave seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry.”

“Behind Allen West’s talk,” the narrator intones at the end of the spot, “a plan that ends Medicare and overwhelmingly benefits the rich.”

West faces political newcomer Patrick Murphy (D) in a battle that, at its essence, will be a referendum on the Congressman.

The DCCC ad, unlike some of Murphy’s most memorable ads, hits West for his votes, not his words.

The new spot is backed by about $250,000 on broadcast television in the West Palm Beach media market.

Roll Call rates the 18th district race as Leans Republican.

September 17, 2012

Republicans Launch New Round of Ads in House Races

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

September 6, 2012

Massachusetts: Super PAC Launches Blistering Attack on John Tierney

A Republican super PAC on Friday will launch a sharp television assault on embattled Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D).

The ad from the YG Action Fund asks what “the truth” is about the eight-term Congressman and tells viewers about the gambling ring of Tierney’s wife’s family.

“What’s the truth about John Tierney?” a female narrator asks, backed by ominous music. “This much we know: His family ran an illegal gambling operation for years. His wife, Patrice, went to jail as Tierney sat silent in court. His own brother-in-law says Tierney knew everything and is a liar.” Full story

September 5, 2012

New York: DCCC Independent Expenditure Targets Chris Gibson

New York: DCCC Independent Expenditure Targets Chris Gibson

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s independent expenditure arm is set to launch a new ad on Thursday knocking freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.).

The ad hits Gibson, who is running for re-election in the newly configured 19th district, for his support for the budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee. Hewing to the standard Democratic line of attack, the ad says Gibson voted to “essentially end Medicare,” quoting an oft-cited Wall Street Journal story from 2011. Republicans argue that Ryan’s plan will preserve Medicare for future generations.

Full story

August 29, 2012

DCCC Starts Ads in Illinois’ 13th District

House Democrats are on the air in Illinois and hitting a GOP candidate in regard to Ryan — jailed former Gov. George Ryan, that is.

Rodney Davis, the GOP nominee in the 13th district, is the recipient of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first independent expenditure in the Land of Lincoln.

The 30-second spot kicks off a $230,000 television buy in the Champaign, Ill., media market.

Full story

August 22, 2012

Montana: DSCC Launches Second Ad Against Denny Rehberg

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee today launched its second TV ad in Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) is fending off a challenge from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) in what is expected to be one of the closest races in the country. Full story

August 16, 2012

Virginia: Outside Group Ad War Continues in Senate Race

The League of Conservation Voters and Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned independent expenditure committee, have teamed up for a $1.6 million ad campaign against Republican George Allen, who is seeking his former Senate seat in Virginia. Full story

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