- Pat Toomey Is a Strong Candidate. Will That Be Enough in 2016?
- Both Parties Monitoring Impact of Arizona Redistricting Case
- Long List of Possible Barbara Mikulski Successors
- Mikulski Will Not Seek Another Term (Updated)
- Russ Feingold, Joe Sestak and the Improbable Senate Race Rematch
Posts in "NRCC"
November 10, 2014
This is the first in a five-part series examining the campaigns behind the cycle’s most fascinating races.
Republican Rick Allen and his team gathered around a table at the Hilton Garden Inn in Augusta, Ga., Tuesday night, waiting for results to come in. They weren’t optimistic.
Allen faced the ultimate political survivor, Rep. John Barrow, the sole remaining white Democrat in the Deep South.
Just before Election Day, Democrats’ polling showed Barrow consistently ahead. Allen’s campaign didn’t have internals to counter; the last time they polled the race was more than a month ago.
Even more discouraging, Barrow was known for squeaking out wins, even as GOP presidential candidates carried the 12th District by double-digits. Republicans had tried to oust Barrow before, and many operatives were convinced he would escape their grasp again.
But as soon as the early returns trickled in, it was clear: Republicans had finally nabbed their white whale. Barrow not only lost — he was defeated by a stunning 10-point margin.
November 7, 2014
The sweeping Republican victories were thanks to two years of internal speculation and trying to beat the Democrats “at their own game,” a new GOP memo argues.
“This did not happen by accident,” read a joint memo from the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Democrats expected to win; they bragged that they would win. They would have won, had we not beat them at their own game.”
November 6, 2014
On the heels of winning at least 13 seats for House Republicans, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden officially launched his bid Thursday to serve as chairman for a second term.
Walden had announced this summer he wanted a second stint at the helm of House Republicans’ campaign arm. But in a Thursday letter to the House GOP conference, which was obtained by CQ Roll Call, Walden made his bid official. Walden touted the NRCC’s success as the chief reason for his second campaign.
In the weeks prior to the elections, two other House Republicans — Roger Williams of Texas and Aaron Schock of Illinois — considered challenging Walden. But Williams announced Wednesday he would not seek the job given the GOP’s success, and Walden cites his support in this letter. Schock’s plans are still unknown.
Republicans in the House elect their NRCC chairman. On the Democratic side, the Democratic leader selects the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman.
The full text of the letter is below:
November 5, 2014
Updated 3:17 p.m. | Only two of the 10 most vulnerable House members will be returning to Congress next year — and both survivors are Democrats who withstood a Republican wave Tuesday night.
Seven other members on Roll Call’s list will not return to the House for the 114th Congress, while the fate of one lawmaker hangs in the balance as his race is still too close to call.
November 1, 2014
Not a single name on Roll Call’s first edition of this cycle’s 10 most vulnerable House members graces the final list before Election Day. The reasons are plenty: some retired, some won primaries, others lost.
Just three Republicans made the final list — and every one has personal political problems. It’s a difficult year to be a Democrat, and the remaining seven members on the list are running in competitive or conservative districts.
This list could easily have been extended to include several more members: Reps. Ron Barber, D-Ariz.; John Barrow, D-Ga.; Timothy H. Bishop, D-N.Y.; Julia Brownley, D-Calif.; Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.; Scott Peters, D-Calif.; Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn.; and Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H.
Here are the 10 most vulnerable House members, ranked in order of likelihood to return next Congress:
October 28, 2014
While most Republicans are focused on Tuesday’s midterms, some members are already eyeing another race: The battle to be the next chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The current NRCC chairman, Greg Walden of Oregon, wants to run for another term at the helm of the committee — and House GOP insiders say he’s still their pick. But Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Aaron Schock of Illinois have shown interest in challenging Walden for the chairmanship for the 2016 cycle.
Neither have officially announced, but both men are making waves on Capitol Hill ahead of a post-election, conference-wide vote for chairman. An announcement from Williams might be imminent.
“If we choose to do this, I don’t think anybody will be surprised,” Williams told CQ Roll Call Tuesday. Full story
October 23, 2014
Updated 5:37 p.m. | National Democrats and Republicans will make major television buys in an off-the-radar House race in West Virginia, according to party sources tracking ad buys.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee intends to purchase $600,000 in airtime in West Virginia’s 2nd District, an open-seat race to succeed Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito. The National Republican Congressional Committee will also make a $250,000 buy in Charleston through Election Day. Full story
October 20, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $5 million more than its Republican counterpart in September, as the two committees headed into the final stretch of the cycle.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which is defending a significant majority it’s all but guaranteed to retain, raised $11.4 million in September, according to a committee aide. The DCCC reported earlier Monday raising $16.7 million in September. Full story
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:
The National Republican Congressional Committee is cutting the last two weeks of its television reservations in Maine’s 2nd District, according to a committee spokeswoman.
The NRCC originally reserved $1.6 million for the open-seat race to succeed Rep. Michael H. Michaud, a Democrat who is running for governor. The committee spent $965,000 of that reservation, but will now shift the remaining funds to offensive seats elsewhere.
“We have put Democrats on defense in Maine, and we are increasing our buys in several offensive seats,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek told Roll Call on Monday.
The committee will now add six-figure sums to four other offensive opportunity races: Full story
House Democrats raised $16.7 million in September, according to a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide.
The committee ended last month with $34 million in the bank. Much of that money is currently being spent on television in House races across the country. Full story
October 17, 2014
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.
October 15, 2014
A little more than a month ago, New York’s 24th district was a relatively quiet contest. Now, just a few weeks before Election Day, Rep. Dan Maffei, D-N.Y., is stuck in yet another close campaign.
After weeks of million-dollar airtime wars put the congressman in political peril, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will make a trip to Syracuse to campaign for Maffei next week. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will stop in the central New York district, following Speaker John A. Boehner, who already headlined a fundraiser there.
The district slightly favors Democrats — an advantage that grew after redistricting in 2012. But the district has flipped between parties every cycle, with Maffei losing re-election after a single term in 2010. He won back the seat last cycle, and until recently, it wasn’t clear whether Maffei would be targeted for defeat in the midterms.
But on Sept. 12, the National Republican Congressional Committee swooped into the district to reserve $1.5 million in airtime to help its nominee, John Katko. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee followed suit four days later, spending $859,000.
The investment has proven potent in this district, which is covered by the inexpensive Syracuse media market. Campaigns can make a huge impact in the district without a lot of money — at least compared to other districts. Full story
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel told reporters Wednesday he is “frustrated” that his party’s outside groups have not supported House Democrats on television in the final stretch of the midterms.
Many big Democratic players — such as environmental and labor groups — focused their financial firepower on the Senate, which is in play this cycle. This has caused increased anxiety among House Democrats, who also face losses in 2014.
House Democrats must pick up a net of 17 seats to win control of the House, but it’s increasingly likely the party will lose seats in that chamber this cycle. For the first time, Israel made a public plea to outside groups for their financial help.
October 14, 2014
Meet the cycle’s biggest candidate disappointments.
They are the congressional hopefuls who just didn’t live up to their hype. Once touted as top recruits, these House and Senate candidates are headed for defeat on Election Day in all likelihood. Some of these candidates tanked so early in the cycle, their races never got off the ground.
The reasons for their declines vary — from poor fundraising and stalking allegations to plagiarism and missteps on the trail. Whatever the reason, don’t expect to see these faces when the 114th Congress is sworn into office next year.
To be sure, there are a few more candidates who could have easily made this list, but they’ve been boosted by districts or states that favor their parties, as well as outside spending keeping them afloat. The prime example is Arizona Speaker Andy Tobin, a poor fundraiser who barely won his August primary but is nonetheless in a strong position to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the 1st District, which slightly favors the GOP.
In alphabetical order, here are the rest of the 2014 cycle’s most disappointing candidates: