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July 31, 2014

Posts in "On the Trail"

October 20, 2012

Political Stars Light Up Massachusetts Campaign Trail

Political Stars Light Up Massachusetts Campaign Trail

Photo by Tom Williams/ CQ Roll Call

MELROSE, Mass. — Top Senate surrogates descended on Massachusetts this weekend to stump for their party’s candidates and gin up excitement in the competitive Senate race and rough and tumble Congressional contest here.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) this morning stood shoulder to shoulder with Sen. Scott Brown (R) on a stage surrounded by hundreds of sign-waving supporters.

After Brown gave a fiery version of his stump speech, McCain took the microphone. “I’ve been traveling the country for various candidates,” said McCain, who received a hero’s welcome of loud and sustained applause. “This man is the one I want most in the United States Senate working side by side.”

Later, McCain smiled and shook hands on stage with Congressional candidate Richard Tisei, who had spoken earlier. Full story

October 17, 2012

Ohio: Jim Renacci Attacks Betty Sutton on Cash for Clunkers

Ohio: Jim Renacci Attacks Betty Sutton on Cash for Clunkers

Rep. Jim Renacci, a former car dealership owner, faces Rep. Betty Sutton, the sponsor of Cash for Clunkers, in Ohio's 16th district. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

CANTON, Ohio — The auto industry reigns in this northeastern corner of the Buckeye State, and three years after Congress passed Cash for Clunkers, the issue persists on the campaign trail.

So it’s serendipitous that a former car dealership owner, freshman Rep. Jim Renacci (R), faces the program’s chief sponsor, Rep. Betty Sutton (D), in the 16th district.

“As a car dealer, of course I saw car sales go up for the two months the programs was in place,” Renacci said in a Tuesday afternoon interview. “But for the next five months, I saw new car sales go down. That’s a problem. All we did was pull sales forward.”

The Cash for Clunkers program, passed in 2009 with bipartisan support from Ohio Members, gave drivers up to $4,500 to buy a new fuel-efficient car by trading in their used vehicle. Renacci shut the doors on his Chevrolet dealership in nearby Wadsworth during his 2010 bid for Congress. Full story

October 14, 2012

California: Scott Peters Hits the Road in Tight Race

California: Scott Peters Hits the Road in Tight Race

Scott Peters (center), Democratic candidate for California's 52nd Congressional district, shakes hands with supporters at a pre-canvassing labor rally in San Diego on Saturday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — Democrat Scott Peters on Saturday rallied more than 400 labor volunteers who were preparing to canvass for voters across the city to support his bid to oust Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) in California’s newly drawn 52nd district and to help Democrats running in other local races.

Before setting out on a chilly (for this city) morning, state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (I), who made national headlines earlier this year when he left the GOP during his run for mayor, introduced Peters to the large labor council gathering in a parking lot near Qualcomm Stadium, home of the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers.

With early voting under way in the Golden State, it was part of Peters’ initial push in this Tossup race — one that he participated in as he knocked on doors in the company of Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) to ask voters for their support. Full story

October 11, 2012

California: Things Get Touchy at Berman-Sherman Debate

California: Things Get Touchy at Berman Sherman Debate

Rep. Howard Berman (left) speaks during a candidate forum with Rep. Brad Sherman on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Rarely is politics described as a contact sport in the literal sense, but the exception happened today toward the end of a feisty debate between Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman at a community college in the San Fernando Valley.

Things escalated toward the end of the debate, during an argument over Berman’s leadership on the DREAM Act. The debate was held in front of a largely Hispanic crowd of more than 200 enthusiastic Pierce College students and members of the community,  Full story

California: Howard Berman, Brad Sherman Joust on Valley Values

California: Howard Berman, Brad Sherman Joust on Valley Values

Rep. Brad Sherman (right) speaks during a candidate forum with Rep. Howard Berman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

RESEDA, Calif. — There was far more space between the green armchairs that Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman sat in during Wednesday’s debate than there was on the range of issues the two longtime Congressmen discussed.

But in a duel between two incumbents from the same party, it’s not so much the issues that voters will use to set them apart on Election Day but temperament and which Democrat will better represent their values in Washington, D.C. Full story

October 1, 2012

John McCain Hits the Campaign Trail for Fellow Republicans

John McCain Hits the Campaign Trail for Fellow Republicans

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It is a busy week on the campaign trail for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Except this time around, he is hitting the trail in support of others in his party.

On Monday, he endorsed former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in Danbury, Conn., for her Senate bid to replace McCain’s friend, retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), according to the Hartford Courant. McMahon faces Rep. Christopher Murphy in a race that Roll Call rates as Leans Democratic.

Today and Wednesday, McCain will campaign across Florida on behalf of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. That tour will include mostly veterans events in Pensacola, Niceville, Panama City and Tallahassee.

Montana: Jon Tester Rocks Out in Tight Senate Race

Montana: Jon Tester Rocks Out in Tight Senate Race

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jon Tester’s longtime family friend happens to be Jeff Ament, bassist for Pearl Jam, who played their lone nonfestival show of the year Sunday in Missoula to benefit the Democrat’s re-election campaign.

According to the Missoulian newspaper, Tester and Ament rallied hundreds on the University of Montana campus in the afternoon before attending a pre-show fundraising reception. The band also performed on Tester’s behalf in 2005 during his successful challenge to Republican incumbent Conrad Burns.

The Tester campaign released a picture of the Senator with the band and a succinct statement from the Senator: “Rock on. And go vote.”

The Pearl Jam show came two days after GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg’s campaign released a blistering television ad against Tester. The ad paints a picture of Tester not living up to the promises he made during the 2006 campaign, specifically tying Tester to forthcoming environmental regulations that forced the mothballing of a coal-fired power plant in Billings.

Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters on Friday released a Global Strategy Group poll that found Tester ahead with 44 percent, Rehberg with 42 percent and Libertarian Dan Cox with 7 percent. The poll was conducted Sept. 23-25 of 606 likely voters with a 4-point margin of error.

September 26, 2012

Amid Surge, Obama Camp Guards Against Overconfidence

Amid Surge, Obama Camp Guards Against Overconfidence

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Polls continued to shift strongly in President Barack Obama’s favor today, with the president opening up a 6-point lead in the Gallup tracking poll. He has even bigger leads in some polls in key swing states, including in Ohio, where both he and GOP challenger Mitt Romney campaigned today.

Obama jumped to a lead of 50 percent to 44 percent in the seven-day Gallup tracking poll, up from 48 percent to 45 percent Tuesday and a 47-percent tie just a few days ago. The results came as the Obama campaign tried to guard against overconfidence, and the Romney campaign has argued in recent days that most public polls are flawed.

The Romney campaign in the past week had taken solace in the relative closeness of the Gallup poll. Full story

August 29, 2012

Virginia: Tim Kaine Rallies in Charlottesville With Obama, Tom Perriello

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The commonwealth of Virginia is riddled with battlefields from centuries of American conflict, a fact hammered home on the journey here from Washington, D.C., as it passes through the site of the Battle of Chancellorsville and the Battle of the Wilderness, two turning points of the Civil War.

Full story

July 26, 2012

Michigan: Kerry Bentivolio Nabs Rand Paul Endorsement

LIVONIA, Mich. — Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) backed reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio’s (R) bid for the 11th district today.

Paul’s endorsement lends Bentivolio’s campaign additional credibility ahead of the Aug. 7 primary.

Bentivolio is the only Republican on primary ballot, but local GOP officials are supporting former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) as a write-in candidate because they view her as a more viable candidate.

Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) resigned from the 11th district seat earlier this month after failing gather enough signatures to make the ballot.

This marks Bentivolio’s second Congressional endorsement. He already picked up the support of freshman Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

Michigan Republican Reps. Tim Walberg and Mike Rogers backed Cassis.

The district leans Republican, according to Roll Call’s race ratings. But that could change depending on the primary results.

July 25, 2012

Wisconsin Senate Primary Attracts Star Musician Power

Rock musician Ted Nugent and country music star Rodney Atkins are scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to headline events for GOP Senate primary candidates.

Nugent is set to perform Thursday for former Gov. Tommy Thompson; Atkins is scheduled to perform for businessman Eric Hovde on Aug. 1. The campaigns hope to translate the musicians’ star power into enthusiasm as the campaign for the primary nomination enters its final weeks.

“This is a rally, a serious rally, for my friend and the great American blood brother for freedom, U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson,” Nugent says in a voice recording sent to Thompson supporters. “If you want upgraded quality of life for the American dream, vote U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson.”

The Atkins event was described by the Hovde campaign as the kickoff to its get-out-the-vote effort. Full story

July 9, 2012

Rhode Island: Steny Hoyer Campaigns With Vulnerable David Cicilline

Rhode Island: Steny Hoyer Campaigns With Vulnerable David Cicilline

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) toured Rhode Island’s 1st district with Rep. David Cicilline (D) on Friday.

The pair visited “a local manufacturing facility” and participated in a “roundtable discussion” in Pawtucket, according to an email Cicilline campaign manager Eric Hyers wrote to supporters.

Hoyer’s visit appeared to be a sign that establishment Democrats are firmly behind Cicilline, who has a tough re-election campaign ahead of him and faces a primary challenge. Full story

June 9, 2012

The 2012 Campaign Through the Eyes of ‘Walmart Moms’

Forget Seamus, the Ryan budget or even the “War on Women.” Undecided female voters didn’t even mention some of the 2012 cycle’s most-hyped news topics in a pair of  focus groups on Wednesday evening.

Walmart sponsored the 90-minute focus groups, which were organized by a bipartisan team of pollsters: Margie Omero of Momentum Analysis and Alex Bratty of Public Opinion Strategies. Moderators questioned two groups of “Walmart Moms” — self-described undecided voters who shop at the store at least one a month — in Richmond, Va., and Las Vegas.

It’s a surprisingly rare opportunity for inside-the-Beltway reporters to hear out undecided female voters at length. Even on the campaign trail, interviews often last a few minutes with the most quotable participants. Nonetheless, these women are exactly the fought-over voters for whom campaigns clamor in the final weeks of an election.

Full story

May 3, 2012

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Notes Past Loyalty to President Bill Clinton

New Jersey: Steven Rothman Notes Past Loyalty to President Bill Clinton

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. —Rep. Steven Rothman isn’t losing sleep over President Bill Clinton and the possibility that he might endorse Rep. Bill Pascrell in the contentious Democratic primary.

It has been widely noted that the 2008 Democratic presidential primary has come back to haunt several House candidates who backed now-President Barack Obama over then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, as did Rothman. The former president, in some cases to devastating effect, has waded into redistricting-generated Member-vs.-Member Democratic primaries on behalf of the individual who backed his wife for president in 2008.

But Rothman, now embroiled in a bitter primary with 2008 Clinton-backer Pascrell, points to a loyalty to the former president that goes back a decade before 2008, when his political survival was on the line. Rothman emphasized his ”very strong defense of him when I was on the House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment proceedings” in explaining why he doesn’t fear Clinton or expect him to get involved in this race.

Full story

March 26, 2012

Biden Back to Iowa on Wednesday

Biden Back to Iowa on Wednesday

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vice President Joseph Biden will deliver remarks in Iowa on Wednesday for the second time this month.

Biden will speak at PCT Engineered Systems in Davenport about the administration’s efforts to improve the economy and the importance of manufacturing. It’s the third in a series of speeches Biden is delivering on the economy, which kicked off two weeks ago in Toledo, Ohio. Full story

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