Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 7, 2015

Posts in "NRSC"

January 21, 2015

Grassley Preps 2016 Re-Election

chuck grassley

Grassley talks on the phone in his Hart Building office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Grassley doesn’t plan to be caught flat-footed if he faces a competitive, expensive re-election battle in 2016.

In a Wednesday interview with CQ Roll Call, the Iowa Republican said he began work on his campaign last year, and there will be more involvement from the national party than in his past efforts, given the exploding costs of campaigns. Full story

January 8, 2015

Rob Collins Heads Downtown, Joins S-3

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fresh off a tour of duty at the National Republican Senatorial Committee that saw the GOP net nine seats and take control of the Senate, Rob Collins is joining an old friend in the lobbying world.

Collins will be a senior principal at the S-3 group, the boutique firm announced Thursday morning. Collins led the NRSC through the 2014 cycle during the chairmanship of Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan.

“I couldn’t be more excited for Rob to join our firm. He is a game-changer and a super thoughtful strategist who knows D.C. and all of the players. He will add tremendous value for our clients and causes,” said S-3 Co-Founder and Managing Partner John Scofield, who was a senior aide at the House Appropriations Committee before leaving the Capitol for the government affairs realm.

Full story

January 4, 2015

Exclusive: NRSC Names Senior Staffers

nrsc

Wicker is the chairman of the NRSC in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Senatorial Committee will announce its senior staff for the 2016 cycle Monday, according to a release provided first to CQ Roll Call.

Last year, Senate Republicans netted nine seats to take control of that chamber for the first time since 2006. Several of the top staffers are staying on from last cycle, while others come from the other side of the Capitol.

Full story

December 23, 2014

10 Races to Watch in 2016: Illinois Senate

mark kirk

Kirk, left, is running for re-election in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., is adamant he will seek re-election in the Land of Lincoln, giving forceful declarations of his intentions to national and local press.

Privately, Democrats and Republican operatives express concern about Kirk’s ability to withstand the strenuous task of a statewide campaign. Kirk suffered a stroke in January 2012 that left him with some mobility challenges.

Full story

December 16, 2014

14 Congressional Republicans Jeb Bush Helped Last Cycle

jeb bush

Bush, left, campaigned for Tillis in September. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday he is exploring a bid for president in 2016 with help from a new leadership PAC.

“In January, I also plan to establish a Leadership PAC that will help me facilitate conversations with citizens across America to discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation,” Bush wrote in a Facebook post. “The PAC’s purpose will be to support leaders, ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.”

Full story

December 8, 2014

Democratic Staffer Killed During Louisiana Canvass, Ernst Hires New Spokeswoman

A staffer for the Louisiana Democratic Party died Saturday while canvassing for Landrieu. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SeDestini Fields, a staffer for the Louisiana Democratic Party, died at 11 a.m. on Dec. 6 after a motorist struck her while she was canvassing for the Pelican State’s runoff elections, officials announced in a statement.

Fields, 23, was struck by a pickup truck at while working to get out the vote in Shreveport, La., for Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

Landrieu, who lost to now Sen.-elect Bill Cassidy, asked for prayers for Fields’ family during her concession speech, The Times-Picayune reported.

Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 2:05 p.m.
NRSC, Shop Talk

November 24, 2014

Roger Wicker Looks for Fast Start at NRSC

roger wicker

Wicker sat down in his office on Nov. 19 for an exclusive interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Twenty-one Republican senators up for re-election in 2016 filed into the National Republican Senatorial Committee on the morning of Nov. 19 to meet with party strategists about campaign preparations.

Leading the confab with the incumbents and their chiefs of staff were incoming NRSC Chairman Roger Wicker, the Mississippi senator elected to the position a week earlier, and Ward Baker, the 2014 political director who was promoted to executive director for the new cycle. Unlike the past four NRSC administrations, this one is charged with defending a Senate majority.

Later that day, in his first newspaper interview since being elected chairman, Wicker spoke candidly about the challenges ahead. He declined to detail the meeting but said, “I guarantee you the issue of fundraising arose.” While Republicans are primed to net nine seats in 2014 with a win next month in Louisiana, the party faced two noteworthy hurdles in the midterms: a late organizational start and being significantly outraised by Democrats.

With Baker in place — about two months earlier than when Rob Collins took the helm of the committee in 2013 — Wicker already has avoided the first issue. Now, his goal is to overcome the financial disparity.

“It’s all about putting together a good staff and fundraising,” Wicker told CQ Roll Call. “And getting the right message, and more fundraising. And it all comes back, every other day, to fundraising — then spending it smart.” Full story

November 14, 2014

Mark Kirk: ‘No Frickin’ Way Am I Retiring’

mark kirk

Kirk says he'll run for a second term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has a message for anyone who doubts his will or appetite for a second term.

“No frickin’ way am I retiring,” he told CQ Roll Call in an exclusive interview Thursday from his Capitol Hill office, following some speculation in local press over the senator’s future and his shifting political operation. “With all this rehab, for me just to walk was a huge effort. I had to re-learn how to walk again after the stroke. And all the rehab and all the effort shows the mental determination times 10 to keep serving.”

In an extended interview, Kirk sought to dispel any notion he’s ready to leave the Senate — or that he lacks the stamina to seek re-election after suffering an ischemic stroke in January 2012. Kirk said he feels great, and any opponents who question his fitness to serve will regret it.

“That would not be taken well by the people of Illinois, who would not like that kind of attack,” Kirk said. “That would be an advantage to me if they did that.”

Full story

November 13, 2014

Senate Republicans Elect NRSC Chairman (Updated)

nrsc chairman

Wicker is a Republican from Mississippi. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:05 p.m. | Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker will chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2016 cycle, when the party will likely be defending a 54-seat majority.

Senate Republicans chose Wicker over Nevada Sen. Dean Heller in a closed-door meeting Thursday morning to elect the conference’s leaders in the next Congress.

“This was a race between friends, a contest decided among friends, and we began it and ended it that way,” Wicker said. “So, I congratulate him on a very fine race.”

Full story

November 12, 2014

How David Perdue Knew He Would Win

The morning after he won Georgia’s open Senate seat, Republican David Perdue was asked on “Fox & Friends” how he avoided a runoff when every available poll had shown a tight race.

It was the question of the day in the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity — where millions of dollars poured in from both sides during the final month of the contest, yet the Republican emerged with an unexpectedly large 8-point victory.

His answer indicated the Perdue campaign may have been the only ones not in the dark.

“Our pollster, Chris Perkins, had it pegged all along,” the former corporate CEO and first-time candidate responded. Full story

November 7, 2014

Debate Coaches, Media Training, Tech: How GOP Did It

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.”

Full story

November 6, 2014

Senate Democrats Saw GOP Wave Before Election Night

senate races 2014

The executive directors of the Democratic and Republican Senate campaign arms broke down the results of Tuesday’s midterm elections Thursday at the Election Impact Conference hosted by CQ Roll Call, giving a candid assessment of the factors that led to Republicans taking control of the Senate for the first time since 2006.

Guy Cecil, who ran the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the past two cycles, said top-level Democrats knew about a week before Election Day the tide had moved against them and said they were bracing for losses across the board as results came in Tuesday night.

“We had hopes we could stem the tide, but it became clear to us that it would be difficult to do,” Cecil told the audience.

Full story

Script Will Be Flipped in 2016 Senate Majority Battle

senate races 2016

Johnson is one of several Republicans running in competitive states in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After securing control of the Senate Tuesday, Republicans are already staring down a daunting map for 2016.

The majority of the Senate battleground in the next election cycle will be fought on Republican turf, with the GOP defending 24 seats to the Democrats’ 10. There is more trouble for the party beneath those raw numbers; only two Democratic seats are in competitive states, while more than half a dozen Republican incumbents face re-election in states President Barack Obama carried at least once.

Republicans appear to have put themselves in as strong a position as possible, coming out of the midterms with potentially a 54-seat majority. But the next electoral fight for the Senate fundamentally looks nothing like 2014: Democrats are on offense, the playing field is packed with pricey media markets and every race is positioned down-ballot from a presidential contest.

“I think attention will turn to it as soon as the dust settles from this cycle,” Republican pollster Dan Judy said of 2016. “The environment will certainly be tougher for us with a lot of competitive seats to defend in swing states, but I’m hopeful that a Republican majority for two years will allow us to advance a constructive agenda that our incumbents can run on in 2016.”

Full story

November 5, 2014

Wicker, Heller Both in for NRSC Chairman

Wicker in interested in the NRSC chairmanship. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is joining Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., in the race to chair the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2016 cycle.

Wicker confirmed his interest late last night at a GOP election night watch party in Union Station, as Republicans secured the majority for the first time in eight years.

“I’d like to try,” Wicker told CQ Roll Call. “It’s going to be a tough cycle.” Full story

A Day in the Life of Rob Collins, on the Brink of the Majority

senate republicans

Collins served as executive director of the NRSC during the 2014 midterms. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

At the tail end of an hour-long press briefing at the National Republican Senatorial Committee less than three weeks before the elections, Executive Director Rob Collins threw out a prediction: The GOP would win the majority on election night.

Republicans were favored to pick up at least a handful of seats, but with a couple possible runoffs and some tight races, forecasting clear control of the chamber by the end of Election Day was a ballsy declaration.

In his office a little while later, Collins laughed as he noticed his quote popping up in stories online. He wouldn’t have said it if he didn’t think it was possible, but Collins went out on a limb mainly because he didn’t want his customary level-headed analysis of the Senate playing field misinterpreted as pessimism about his party’s chances.

“I think people like that I don’t bullshit them,” Collins said. But, he added, “I felt like, boy, I better end this on a note of confidence, or they’ll say, ‘Collins was a little iffy on that whole thing.’ So yeah, we’ll win on election night — it’s totally possible.” Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...