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July 30, 2014

Posts in "NRSC"

July 29, 2014

NRSC Chairman: Senate Map Has Expanded to 12 States

NRSC Chairman: Senate Map Has Expanded to 12 States

In the 2014 elections, Moran leads the NRSC. (CQ Roll Call)

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran said Tuesday the GOP’s pickup opportunities have expanded to around a dozen states — twice as many as needed to take control of the Senate.

“I think we have a good map in the sense that we have good candidates and good states,” Moran told CQ Roll Call’s Niels Lesniewski. “The map has expanded over time. In my view, [it] started out with six or seven — now 10 or 12.” Full story

July 27, 2014

6 Reasons Senate Republicans Should Be Optimistic — and Concerned About Election Day

6 Reasons Senate Republicans Should Be Optimistic — and Concerned About Election Day

In 2014 Senate races, Republicans are optimistic they can defeat Braley, above, and pick up a seat in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With 100 days to go until Election Day, Senate Republicans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about winning the majority — but they also have grounds for concern.

After coming up short in 2010 and 2012, the GOP is unquestionably well positioned to finish the job this time. Republicans need to match their November 2010 score of six seats to take the majority, and the party has multiple paths to the finish line.

That’s thanks to a successful recruitment push that didn’t conclude until late February, and a playing field naturally tilted in the GOP’s direction — seven Democrat-held seats are in states President Barack Obama lost in 2012, six of those by double digits.

But, as optimistic as Republican operatives are heading into the final stretch, the GOP has reasons to restrain its confidence. With tens of millions of dollars of advertising already spent by outside groups on both sides, just one Democratic incumbent is, at this point, a solid underdog for re-election.

Reasons for Republicans to Be Optimistic Full story

July 24, 2014

Quirky Ex-Senator Stomps on Democrats’ S.D. Hopes

Quirky Ex Senator Stomps on Democrats S.D. Hopes

Johnson is retiring. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

South Dakota Democrats are playing a tough hand in the Senate race, but they thought they could count on a wild card — former Sen. Larry Pressler — to help the contest break their way.

Pressler seems to have other plans.

Democrats already faced long odds to hold retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson’s seat. Obama lost South Dakota by 18 points last cycle, and the state marks the GOP’s best pick-up opportunity in its 6-seat quest to win the majority.

The front-runner, popular former GOP Gov. Mike Rounds, faces several foes: Democrat Rick Weiland; state Sen. Gordon Howie, a conservative Republican running as an independent; and Pressler, who served three terms as a Republican but is running as an independent.

Democrats held out hope the race would become competitive if Pressler splintered GOP votes from Rounds. But so far, Pressler is doing the opposite — splitting Democrats and extinguishing the party’s remaining hopes of keeping the seat.

“He seems to be veering to the left,” said Ben Nesselhuf, former South Dakota Democratic Party chairman, in an interview with Roll Call. “I like this Larry Pressler a lot more than I liked the one in the mid 1990s. … His message and Rick Weiland’s message seem to kind of overlap.”

Full story

July 23, 2014

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Senate Democrats Count on Bulging War Chests for Final Months

Fundraising plays a factor in who will serve as Senate majority leader in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Senate Democrats lose the majority, it won’t be for lack of cash-flush campaigns. Facing a daunting map, Democrats turned in solid — sometimes eye-popping — second-quarter fundraising totals for the midterms.

Even with incumbents such as Sens. Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Mark Begich of Alaska already spending significantly on the airwaves, Democrats running for the party’s most endangered seats also continued to sit on significant war chests primed for a post-Labor Day advertising assault.

With President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the low 40s, an unreliable base turnout in midterms, outside groups unleashing seemingly unlimited resources and Republican challengers staying competitive financially, it will take every penny to ensure Democrats’ losses don’t reach six seats. That threshold would hand the GOP control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

The fundraising reports filed last week by the dozen or so most competitive campaigns offer the last publicly available insight into their financial viability until mid-October, just before the general elections. With a few months to go, this was the first fundraising period that saw numerous candidates eclipse $2 million raised, with several topping $3 million and one even reaching $4 million. Full story

July 18, 2014

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in June

DSCC Raised More Than NRSC in June

Sen. Michael Bennet is chairing the DSCC in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced raising $7.2 million in June — just about a million dollars more than its Republican counterpart.

As the party fights to maintain its majority in the Senate, the DSCC has brought in about $25 million more than the National Republican Senatorial Committee to date this cycle. It raised about $21.7 million total from April through June and had $30.5 million in cash on hand as of June 30. 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

June 10, 2014

Relieved Senate Republicans Look Forward to November

Relieved Senate Republicans Look Forward to November

Tillis avoided a GOP runoff earlier this year — a big boost for Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate primaries of note are nearly done, and Republicans are close to their best-possible scenario of GOP nominees to make a run at the majority in 2014.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was expected Tuesday to become the latest Republican success story of the midterm primaries. His nomination won’t have any bearing on the fight for Senate control, but it’s thematic — along with Ed Gillespie’s long-expected nomination at the Virginia GOP convention over the weekend — of the kind of year Republicans are having at the halfway point.

Outside of Sen. Thad Cochran’s runoff in Mississippi, Republicans continue to emerge from these nomination fights with the candidates they believe are best equipped to compete in an expanded Senate landscape. Now, with fall airtime reservations starting to pick up, the party can mostly look forward to what is still a challenging fight for Senate control in the fall.

“So far so good for Senate Republicans in 2014,” said GOP pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies. “It appears that Republican voters are tired of throwing away Senate seats by nominating unelectable candidates in swing states. Full story

June 6, 2014

Alaska Republican Sees Advantage as First-Time Candidate (Video)

Alaska Republican Sees Advantage as First Time Candidate (Video)

Sullivan visited Roll Call in Washington, D.C., June 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The candidate: Dan Sullivan, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve; formerly commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, state attorney general and George W. Bush appointee.
The member: Sullivan is running in the Republican primary to challenge first-term Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.
The state: Begich, just the seventh senator in Alaska history, in 2008 became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alaska since 1974. In 2012, President Barack Obama improved his performance from 2008, but still took just 41 percent. The race is rated Tossup/Tilts Democrat by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
The candidate’s team: Hans Kaiser of Moore Information (polling); FP1 Strategies (media); Arena Communications (direct mail); Michael Dubke of the Black Rock Group (general consultant); Ben Sparks (campaign manager).

Full story

May 19, 2014

DSCC, NRSC Top $6 Million Raised in April

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee narrowly outraised its GOP counterpart in April, with both bringing in more than $6 million.

The DSCC announced Monday raising $6.3 million and ending last month with $25 million in cash on hand. The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Friday it just eclipsed $6 million for the month and ended April with $19.2 million on hand.

The committees’ monthly reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

The DSCC has now raised more than $80 million for the cycle, about $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC is investing heavily in field operations to motivate its base in this challenging midterm cycle, and this month it began its fall airtime reservations in Alaska, where Democratic Sen. Mark Begich faces a competitive race.

Since Senate Republican hopes of winning the majority increased at the start of 2014, the NRSC said it is outpacing its own election-year fundraising from 2010 and 2012 by about $3 million. Republicans must net six seats to win the majority.

April 9, 2014

DSCC Outraised NRSC in March

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in March, ending the month with more than $22 million in cash on hand for the competitive midterms.

Both the DSCC and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they posted their best fundraising months of the cycle in March. The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $8.1 million last month, bringing its total raised for the cycle to more than $74 million — $21 million more than the NRSC. The DSCC paid off its remaining debt from 2012 last month.

The NRSC announced Tuesday that it brought in $6.4 million and ended March with $15.9 million in cash on hand. It paid off its debt last year. Full story

April 8, 2014

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

NRSC Raised $6.4 Million in March for Elections

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is encouraged by the NRSC's March fundraising. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it raised nearly $6.4 million in March — its best fundraising month of the midterm cycle so far.

The monthly total boosted the NRSC’s fundraising in the first quarter of 2014 to more than $16.4 million. It ended March with about $15.9 million in cash on hand and no debt. Full story

April 7, 2014

Tea Party Tested: In One Month, Establishment on Defense

Tea Party Tested: In One Month, Establishment on Defense

Cochran faces a June 3 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A seven-week gauntlet of Republican Senate primaries kicking off next month will decide the fate of the tea party’s success this year.

If a Republican senator loses a primary this year, it will more than likely occur in a span of nominating contests premiering in one month. Incumbents got the boot thanks to tea-party-backed hopefuls in both 2010 and 2012, and those lesser known Republican nominees went on to both triumphs and failures.

In the third election cycle since the rise of the tea party, fundraising and organization remain significant hurdles for anti-establishment candidates. The outside groups helping to fuel many of the primary campaigns concede they are realistic about their slim chances against incumbents and mainstream Republican candidates.

Still, tea party organizers said they remain hopeful about picking off a few House seats and perhaps a couple Senate seats in their continued pursuit of increased congressional influence.

“Some of our guys could lose, many of them could lose. We understand that,” said Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project, which recruits and supports conservative candidates. “We take calculated risks. We want to see a path, but it’s very much an uphill path in many of these races, especially if you’re going up against an incumbent and even some of the open seats where you’re starting out with a lot less money.”

But, Horowitz added, “on a large scale we have already won by forcing most of the incumbents to embrace, at least publicly, many of our policies.”

The races to watch begin May 6 in North Carolina, followed by Nebraska on May 13, Kentucky and Georgia on May 20, Mississippi on June 3 and South Carolina on June 10. South Dakota’s open seat has also invited a June 3 primary with similar dynamics, but it has drawn less outside interest than the others.

Full story

March 25, 2014

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for ‘Farmer’ Slight

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for Farmer Slight

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, apologized for his critical comments of Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, that were posted online Tuesday by a Republican research group.

Speaking at a fundraiser, Braley, who is running for the Hawkeye State’s open Senate seat, said the Senate could end up with “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” before identifying that person as Grassley.

“I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended,” Braley said in a statement released a couple of hours after the video posted. “I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues.”

The Des Moines Register reported that the video was taken by a donor at a Jan. 23 fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas, before being released Tuesday by America Rising. Braley also told the assembled donors — presumably lawyers — that he is “someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way.”

A Grassley spokesperson responded in a statement pointing to Grassley’s years of service and accomplishments on the committee. Full story

February 19, 2014

DSCC Outraises NRSC in January

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in January by $2 million, according to figures released by the committees.

The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $6.6 million in the first month of the year. The monthly haul brings the committee’s cash on hand to $15 million as of Jan. 31. It also paid down its debt to $2.5 million.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it raised $4.6 million in January and ended the month with more than $10 million in cash on hand. The NRSC carries no debt. Full story

January 31, 2014

DSCC, NRSC Raised $4M in December

The Democratic and Republican Senate campaign arms both raised $4 million in December, according to figures released Friday.

The month ended a strong fundraising year for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which outraised its Republican counterpart by $16 million on the year.

The DSCC, which raised $52.6 million in 2013, paid down its debt to $3.75 million and ended the year with $12 million in cash on hand.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which got off to a slow start in 2013, raised $36.7 million last year and ended December with $8 million on hand and no debt.

Republicans must net six seats to win the majority in November.

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