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- Democrats Look for Comebacks From Members Ousted in 2010
- Kelly Ward Will Stay on as DCCC Executive Director
- Congressman to Consider John McCain Primary Challenge
- Josh Holmes, the Mastermind of Team Mitch
Posts in "NRCC"
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:
October 13, 2014
House Majority PAC, a super PAC that boosts House Democrats, recently delayed a week’s worth of advertising in New Jersey’s 3rd District in the final stretch of the campaign.
Democrat Aimee Belgard and Republican Tom MacArthur are running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Jon Runyan in one of a few races left on the map where Democrats remain on offense. The district, which is reached via the pricey Philadelphia media market, is rated Tilts Republican by The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
House Majority PAC moved a massive broadcast television reservation for the week of Oct. 14, pushing it back and splitting it in half over broadcast airwaves for the two final weeks of the midterms, according to the super PAC’s Executive Director Ali Lapp. She told CQ Roll Call it is undetermined if the group will follow through with its Philadelphia ad reservation through Election Day.
October 10, 2014
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is cutting its ad reservations for the last two weeks of the campaign in a race that represents one of its top offensive opportunities this cycle.
According to a committee aide, the DCCC has pulled $1.4 million in airtime in Colorado’s 6th District, where Republican Rep. Mike Coffman is facing off against former state Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
The committee will partner with Romanoff in ads next week, said the aide, but the DCCC’s portion of the buy was not immediately available.
“This is still a very winnable race, and Romanoff is well-funded and in a competitive position to bring it across the finish line,” said the aide, who stressed the committee still views the race as top target. Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled its broadcast television for the final two weeks of the campaign in northern Virginia’s 10th District race — a sign the GOP is confident they will keep this highly competitive seat.
In the race to replace retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va., the NRCC cut $1 million in the pricey Washington, D.C. market, according to a Republican tracking media buys, who confirmed the move is a reaction to Democrats moving money out of the race earlier this week.
The shifts signals the Republican nominee, Barbara Comstock, is in a strong position to defeat the Democratic nominee, John Foust.
“Barbara Comstock is a terrific candidate who has worked very hard and put together a fantastic campaign and is in a great position to win on Nov. 4th,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek when reached for comment.
October 9, 2014
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.
September 30, 2014
For months, Republicans feared outside groups would skip over House races this cycle, saving their cash for the battle over Senate control.
But the conservative cavalry has finally arrived.
Republican groups — which have mostly sat on the sidelines in House contests this cycle until recently — have reserved nearly $12 million on the television airwaves in competitive races through Election Day, according to two sources tracking ad buys in House contests across the country. The reservations, placed over the last two weeks, are a mix of GOP pickup opportunities and defensive ground.
The reservations include:
September 23, 2014
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
Splish, splash. It sounds like Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., is stuck doing the dishes.
The reason? He lost a bet over rounding up National Republican Congressional Committee dues to his Washington, D.C., roommates, all fellow Republican members, a Capitol Hill GOP operative tells CQ Roll Call.
The wager was laid in July after NRCC Chairman Greg Walden named Shimkus, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Reps. Kevin Brady of Texas and Erik Paulsen of Minnesota as chairmen of the party’s “Battleground” fundraising drive. The roomies decided the loser each fundraising period would be on the hook for the chores.
The four roommates’ push so far has rounded up more than $25 million in member pledges and dues, according to an NRCC aide. Walden described the foursome’s efforts as “above and beyond” expectations, and said in a statement that “thanks to their efforts” the GOP will grow its majority.
September 20, 2014
The House Democratic political arm far outpaced Republicans in August, just as both parties prepared to unleash their war chests for the midterms.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more money than its GOP counterpart every month this cycle — but August marked an especially brutal thrashing. Last month, the DCCC raised more cash than the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee by more than two-to-one. Full story
September 19, 2014
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden called a 245-seat House majority an “aspirational” but “achievable” goal for the midterms — a more reserved prediction for his party than in previous comments.
“I think going into this cycle we are still poised to get to 245. It is an aspirational goal but also an achievable goal,” Walden told reporters Friday morning at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. ”We’ll know in 46 days, but I will tell you that we have every confidence we will pick up seats.”
In May, NRCC Chairman Greg Walden set a goal for House Republicans to gain 11 seats on Election Day, calling the effort the “Drive to 245.” But fewer than seven weeks before the midterms, it’s clear Republicans would likely have to win nearly every competitive open or Democrat-held seat to achieve this.
Currently, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates nine Democratic-held seats as a Tossup or Tilt Democratic.
If the campaign committees had their way, Roll Call reporters would be heading to disparate locations during the final stretch of the midterms.
As part of our survey to determine our final campaign stops of the midterms, Roll Call asked top communications aides at each of the four congressional campaign committees for their picks for our next road trip. Not a single one of them chose the same race.
Voting for this round ends Friday at 5 p.m., and two finalists in each category will be announced next week. Until then, here are picks from each communications guru at the House and Senate campaign:
Justin Barasky, communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee:
“There are so many great options where Democratic candidates are clearly contrasting their fight for the middle class with the Republicans allegiance to the Koch brothers, but I would vote for North Carolina where Speaker Tillis’ devastating education cuts are ending his chances.
Brad Dayspring, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee:
“Kansas is lovely this time of year. It’s about time reporters asked the Obama supporting, Reid donating, felon-friendly Democrat Greg Orman a few questions. The first couple should be centered on Orman’s shady business deals with convicted insider trader Rajat Gupta. ” Full story
September 16, 2014
Residents of states with competitive House and Senate races may not believe it, but congressional candidate spending has decreased in 2014, according to a review by the Federal Election Commission released Tuesday.
Congressional candidates raised more than $1.1 billion combined in the first 18 months of the midterm elections. Of those funds, candidates spent $767 million as of June 30, which marked the end of the second quarter of the year.
Both of those figures are down from 2012, when candidates had raised $1.2 billion at the same point in the cycle. In fact, this cycle’s total is the lowest amount raised in this period since 2008.