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April 24, 2014

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November 7, 2012

Minnesota: Michele Bachmann Squeaks Out a Win

Minnesota: Michele Bachmann Squeaks Out a Win

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) will be returning to Capitol Hill in the 113th Congress, after eking out re-election by a narrow margin against businessman Jim Graves (D).

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Bachmann led Graves by just 3,230 votes — 50.5 percent to 49.5 percent for Graves. That’s a far less comfortable margin than Bachmann, who abandoned a presidential bid earlier this year, is used to. In 2010, she won by nearly 40,000 votes and got 52.5 percent.

In her presidential bid, Bachmann, who is a tea party hero and a lightning rod for the left, posted a surprising win in the 2011 Ames straw poll. But she dropped out of the presidential race in January, after her campaign cratered and she placed sixth in the Iowa caucuses in the state where she was born. Full story

November 6, 2012

Illinois: At Least Three GOP Incumbents Go Down

At least three GOP House incumbents lost their seats in Illinois tonight, according to Associated Press projections.

Here is a roundup of the competitive Illinois House seats as of late tonight:

Illinois’ 8th 

Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated Rep. Joe Walsh (R).

Illinois’ 11th 

Former Rep. Bill Foster (D) over Rep. Judy Biggert (R).

Illinois’ 12th

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart (D) defeated businessman Jason Plummer (R).

Illinois’ 17th 

Former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D) defeated Rep. Bobby Schilling (R).

The only outstanding competitive Illinois race is for the 10th district. Almost 99 percent of precincts were reporting, but it was too close for the AP to call. Democrat Brad Schneider is challenging Rep. Robert Dold (R). Schneider was up by 1 point as this was posted.

The race for the 13th district between Rodney Davis (R) and David Gill (D) was also too close to call.

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

Speaker John Boehner addresses the crowd at the Republican National Committee election night party in D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John Boehner drew a firm line on taxes tonight, saying that Republicans’ retention of the House majority is a sign the public does not want a tax rate hike.

With CNN and NBC projecting that the GOP will retain the House majority, Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) took the stage at the GOP’s victory party in Washington, D.C., to cheer on the crowd.

“The American people want solutions, and tonight, they’ve responded by renewing our majority,” the Ohio Republican said. “With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did not join them onstage, although the official schedule released earlier in the day had listed him as speaking before Sessions.

With Democrats claiming several Tossup Senate seats, the path to victory for Republicans in that chamber is slimming. The presidential contest remains extremely close as well.

Boehner thanked Priebus from the stage nonetheless. He also thanked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who, he said “carried the banner of our party with grace, vision, strength and dignity.”

“We stand ready to work with any willing partner — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — who shares a commitment to getting these things done,” he said. “We’re humbled to have again been entrusted by the American people with the responsibility of leading the People’s House. We’ll never take it for granted, and we won’t let you down.”

Sessions, who introduced Boehner, called the House an “incubator of ideas.”

“We will continue to work with the American people on ideas that will make our country stronger, more competitive and will build back the American dream,” he said.

John Boehner to Address RNC Party

John Boehner to Address RNC Party

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John Boehner will address the crowd at the Republican National Committee party in Washington, D.C., tonight according to a late news release from his office.

The Ohio Republican’s comments will come around 9:50 p.m. at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, after remarks from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas).

Although many elections results should be in by that time, it is unlikely the presidential race will be decided by that hour. As a result, it remains unclear what tack Boehner will take in his speech. In recent interviews from the campaign trail, Boehner has been saying he wants to delay until the new year several issues that Congress could consider during the lame-duck session and that he sees raising tax rates on the highest earners — a stated priority of the Obama administration — as a nonstarter.

House Update: GOP Holds Majority as Incumbents on Both Sides Fall

House Update: GOP Holds Majority as Incumbents on Both Sides Fall

From left: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and DCCC Chairman Steve Israel address the crowd at a Democratic election night party in Washington, D.C. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:45 a.m. | House Republicans were wiped out in the Northeast in Tuesday’s elections, especially in New England, where there won’t be a single GOP Member returning to Congress next year.

A Democratic duo, former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and attorney Ann McLane Kuster, won House seats in New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Reps. John Tierney (D-Mass.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.) fended off tough challenges from GOP opponents. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty narrowly won an open-seat race in Connecticut’s 5th district, holding the seat for Democrats.

In the Empire State, two Republican freshmen lost re-election: Nan Hayworth and Ann Marie Buerkle. Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who won a special election last year, lost her bid for a full term, marking one of her party’s only disappointments in the region.

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

October 31, 2012

Changed Politics and District Haunt Judy Biggert in Illinois

Changed Politics and District Haunt Judy Biggert in Illinois

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

LEMONT, Ill. — Rep. Judy Biggert built a reputation as a genteel Republican willing to work across the aisle during her 14 years in Congress.

But politics has changed, and Biggert has not.

“The last time I went to the Civility Caucus, there were three people there: the two co-chairs and me,”  Biggert recalled to a roundtable of local business leaders last week.

Today, one of those co-chairmen is the head of the organization that has already spent $1.35 million to defeat her next week: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.).

Biggert has never faced a race like this — and it shows. Now there’s a good chance her hesitance to embrace the aggressive tactics of today’s politics could cost her in her race against former Rep. Bill Foster (D). Full story

October 30, 2012

Illinois: Democrats’ Redistricting Crown Jewel Not as Royal as Expected

Illinois: Democrats Redistricting Crown Jewel Not as Royal as Expected

Rep. Jan Schakowsky campaigns with Democratic House hopefuls Tammy Duckworth and Brad Schneider at Harmony Park in Arlington Heights, Ill. (Shira Toeplitz/CQ Roll Call)

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Democratic hopes of winning the House majority have been quashed, but in this northern Chicago suburb’s crowded village hall on a Saturday morning, one can see the glimmer of what might have been.

At this single location, early voters wait an hour to cast ballots in one of three redrawn Congressional districts. The hall serves as a symbol of the extent to which Democrats redrew the lines of the state’s map to their advantage.

Throughout the cycle, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) repeated these words: “The road to the majority runs through Illinois.” But less than week before Election Day, it’s clear that Democrats won’t net the 25 seats needed to regain the Speaker’s gavel, and it’s equally clear they won’t make as many gains in Illinois as they had hoped. Full story

October 26, 2012

Paul Ryan Rallies House Candidates

Paul Ryan Rallies House Candidates

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.), the Republican vice presidential nominee, was scheduled this afternoon at 4:30 p.m. to hold a conference call with top GOP House candidates to give them an update on the state of the presidential race.

The call includes candidates in the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Guns and Vanguard programs, the committee’s recruitment and candidate support initiatives for top candidates.

The race between Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama remains very close less than two weeks before Election Day. Republicans are almost certain to retain control of the House, and Democrats have the edge in their effort to hold the Senate majority.

October 25, 2012

DCCC Outraises NRCC in Pre-General FEC Report

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee outraised the National Republican Congressional Committee by about $2 million, from Oct. 1 to 17.

In its expected pre-general Federal Election Commission filing, the DCCC will report raising $9.5 million. The NRCC will report raising $7.4 million.

Deep in the most hard-fought part of the election cycle, both committees spent extremely heavily but were at parity. The DCCC spent about $26 million while the NRCC spent about the same.

Full story

Nevada: DCCC Launches First IE in New District

Nevada: DCCC Launches First IE in New District

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is targeting Republican Danny Tarkanian in a new ad in Nevada's 4th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched its first independent expenditure advertisement in Nevada’s new 4th district, where a surprisingly competitive race has developed in what had been considered a Democratic-favored seat.

The ad targets Republican nominee Danny Tarkanian’s support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) budget plan and says he supports privatizing Social Security and eliminating the Department of Education. Tarkanian is battling Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D) for the seat. Full story

Connecticut: NRCC Poll Shows Andrew Roraback Up Over Elizabeth Esty

Connecticut: NRCC Poll Shows Andrew Roraback Up Over Elizabeth Esty

Republican House candidate Andrew Roraback led Elizabeth Esty in a recent poll. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Andrew Roraback (R) led former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) by 6 points in Connecticut’s 5th district, according to a National Republican Congressional Committee poll conducted earlier this week.

In a head-to-head matchup, Roraback had the support of 45 percent of respondents, while 39 percent backed Esty.

According to the poll, Esty’s favorability ratings are underwater. Thirty-two percent had a positive impression of her, while 36 percent said they held a negative view. Roraback was rated favorably by 44 percent, while 25 percent said they had an unfavorable view.

Full story

October 24, 2012

DCCC Secures $17M Loan to Fund Races

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today confirmed that it has taken out a $17 million line of credit to help fund the final stretch of the election cycle.

The influx of funds will help finance more media buys in a wide range of close races and, in turn, help balance out the barrage of GOP-aligned outside group dollars flowing into House races. While winning back control of the House remains a steep climb, Democrats aim to at least cut deeply into Republicans’ current 25-seat majority.

The National Republican Congressional Committee declined to comment on whether it has secured a loan.

Full story

October 18, 2012

Rhode Island: Brendan Doherty Cuts Back on TV

Rhode Island: Brendan Doherty Cuts Back on TV

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline is facing a spirited challenge from Republican Brendan Doherty. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 2:45 p.m. | Republican Brendan Doherty has reduced his television advertising reservations for the last weeks of his bid to oust Rep. David Cicilline (D) in Rhode Island’s 1st district.

Providence CBS affiliate WPRI first reported the news of the reservation reduction. The Doherty camp thinned its final two-week buy from $326,000 to $202,000, according to a GOP source. A Democratic source confirmed the cutback to Roll Call. This is not the same sort of ad movement as a committee pulling out of a race, but it does display a change in calculation on the part of the Doherty campaign.

The Doherty campaign could not immediately be reached for comment. Full story

October 17, 2012

NRCC Pulls Final Reservations Out of Philadelphia TV Market

The National Republican Congressional Committee has pulled its remaining reservations out of the Philadelphia television market, according to a Republican source who tracks media buys.

The news is of no dramatic consequence to the House race chess game. Rather, it is a sign of Republican confidence in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s decision to cancel reservations in the same market last week.

The DCCC move effectively pulled the plug on its efforts to unseat Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Jon Runyan (N.J.).

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report. 

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