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April 18, 2014

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November 5, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Defends Hagan on TV

A Democrat-aligned super PAC is coming to the defense of North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan, who was hit last week in a TV ad from a conservative outside group.

Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad today that attempts to debunk the attack ad from Americans for Prosperity, which slammed the Democrat over her support for the health care law. The new spot, backed by a $400,000 buy, also highlights Hagan’s record, calling her an “independent senator working to help balance budgets and create jobs.”

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November 4, 2013

Alabama Special Election Is Proxy Battle for National GOP

With one day until the special-election runoff in Alabama’s 1st District, conservative groups are making a final push to affect the GOP contest that has become a national bellwether for Republicans.

Business groups are trying to boost former state Sen. Bradley Byrne over Dean Young, a tea-party-backed businessman who’s already made some controversial comments. Over the weekend, Ending Spending Inc., a PAC launched in 2010 by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, spent $102,000 in ads to promote Byrne, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“Who can you trust with your money? Career politician Dean Young started numerous PACs, then paid most of the money raised to his own company,” says the ad.

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October 31, 2013

New Hampshire Braces for Ayotte Race in 2016

New Hampshire Braces for Ayotte Race in 2016

Ayotte is serving her first term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there’s anything to be gleaned from this week’s edition of Roll Call’s “Farm Team” series, it’s that the most exciting Senate race of 2016 could take place in New Hampshire.

Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte is not even halfway through her first term, but Granite State Democrats are already sizing up their 2016 recruiting field — and state tea party activists are making noise about a primary challenge. Full story

October 30, 2013

House Candidate Removed From EMILY’s List Website (Updated)

Updated 3:24 p.m. | EMILY’s List has removed attorney Jessica Ehrlich from its online page of favored candidates — an ominous sign for the Democrat running in the highly competitive special election for Florida’s 13th District.

In May, EMILY’s List put Ehrlich “On the List” — a designation that often serves as a precursor to a candidate receiving a full-blown endorsement from the influential organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights.

Her absence from the website suggests that some Democrats are dropping their support of Ehrlich, who is on her second bid for the district. On Wednesday morning, former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink announced her candidacy. Sink is another favorite of EMILY’s List.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel issued a statement crowing about Sink’s entrance into the race on Wednesday morning, but it fell short of a full endorsement. Full story

October 21, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Ad Hits Congressman for Shutdown Vote

A Democratic super PAC hit the airwaves Monday with an ad attacking Rep. Steve Southerland II, criticizing the vulnerable Florida Republican for voting against last week’s bill that ended the government shutdown.

House Majority PAC, which aims to support House candidates, put $70,000 behind the two-week ad television buy.

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Club for Growth Boosts Senate GOP Primary Challenger on TV

The Club for Growth will hit the Mississippi television airwaves Tuesday to boost a GOP primary challenger to Sen. Thad Cochran.

The conservative group’s ad — which comes from its political action arm — declines to mention Cochran, who has not yet announced whether he is seeking re-election. Instead, it introduces his challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel, to the state and sells him as “the new strong, conservative leader Mississippi needs in the U.S. Senate.”

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October 7, 2013

John Cornyn Airs First Re-Election Campaign Spot

Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn may not have a serious primary rival yet in his reliably Republican home state of Texas — but he’s running campaign ads as if he did.

On Monday Cornyn aired his first spot of the cycle, called “Conservative Like Texas.” His campaign made an initial buy of “several hundred thousand dollars,” according to a Cornyn source.

“Our John Cornyn, conservative like you, like Texas,” the narrator declares in the spot.

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September 26, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses West Virginia Senate Candidate

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, has endorsed West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s bid for Senate.

“I wanted to personally let you know that today we’re endorsing Natalie Tennant for the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock wrote to the group’s supporter email list. Full story

September 25, 2013

Social Conservatism Rebounds in Special-Election Primary | #AL01

An under-the-radar Alabama special election might have paved the way for one of the most outspoken, socially conservative Republicans yet to ascend to the House: businessman Dean Young.

“This race shows that this is the Deep South, and that social conservatives win races down here,” said Alabama Republican consultant Bob Kish. “This isn’t North Carolina or Virginia. This is the Deep, Deep South where people go to church twice a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays, so it’s pretty conservative society.”

On Tuesday night, Young and former state Sen. Bradley Byrne made it into a GOP runoff for the 1st District nomination. Byrne, a 2010 gubernatorial candidate, had the most money and highest name identification of the nine Republicans running in the primary and took 35 percent. But Young stunned Republicans by garnering 23 percent and earning the second spot on the Nov. 5 runoff ballot.  Full story

September 23, 2013

Republican Eyes Primary Challenge to NRCC Chairman | #OR02

Updated 6:23 p.m. | Klamath County Commissioner Dennis Linthicum, a Republican, announced last week that he is eyeing a primary challenge to longtime Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

The Oregonian has been named a top target of the Club for Growth, which placed the eight-term Republican on a list of GOP members it is seeking to primary in 2014.

A Club for Growth spokesman said the group had spoken with Linthicum over the phone, but has yet to have a formal meeting with him.

“We are watching the race,” Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller said about whether the group is considering endorsing Linthicum in a primary.

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September 11, 2013

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.

A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.

“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story

September 5, 2013

TV Ad Targets McConnell on Obamacare Defunding | #KYSEN (Video)

TV Ad Targets McConnell on Obamacare Defunding | #KYSEN (Video)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund is upping its ante against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by launching a TV attack ad statewide.

The ad is aimed at urging the Kentucky Republican to lead an effort that seeks to tie upcoming spending bills to a push by rank-and-file Republicans to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law. Critics of that effort, including some GOP leaders, have said demanding that Obamacare be defunded as part of the spending bill debate would only shut down the government, while mandatory spending on the health care law would continue.

McConnell himself has said that shutting down the government will not accomplish the goal of stopping Obamacare.

The ad is backed by $340,000 and is running on broadcast and cable TV statewide Sept. 6-17, according to the SCF, which announced the ad buy on Thursday. It’s a follow-up to a similarly themed radio ad that the group launched last week. All told, the SCF has dumped nearly $400,000 into the race in the past two weeks. Full story

August 26, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses Michelle Nunn for Georgia Senate | #GASEN

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, announced on Monday that it endorsed nonprofit leader Michelle Nunn for Senate from Georgia.

Nunn is seeking retiring GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss’ seat. She is the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga.

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August 23, 2013

Republican Readies Primary Challenge to Boehner Ally (Video)

The candidate:  Attorney Bryan Smith, a Republican
The member: Smith is challenging Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho.
The district: Idaho’s 2nd District is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/CQ Roll Call. The district incorporates Boise but also includes much of the Gem State’s potato production.
The candidate’s team: Cold Spark Media’s Nachama Soloveichik and Mark Harris (general consultants) and Carrie Brown (campaign manager)

Attorney Bryan Smith earned the Club for Growth’s first major endorsement of the 2014 cycle, but he said he made the decision to challenge one of Speaker John A. Boehner’s top allies in Congress independently of the cash-flush, conservative group.

“People that I know apparently had submitted my name and then I did get a call from the Club for Growth,” Smith said in a Monday interview at the CQ Roll Call offices. “I did go back and interview with them. But I made the decision independent from the Club for Growth.” Full story

August 21, 2013

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

FreedomWorks, a national organization aligned with the tea party, took its second shot at Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, this summer as part of a digital advertisement campaign targeting several GOP senators.

The Facebook spots link to a letter that notes “a number of Senators have joined Mike Lee’s efforts to defund ObamaCare.” The Utah Republican’s efforts are essentially a defacto threat to shut down the government if funding for the 2010 health care law is not eliminated.

“Now some are getting cold feet,” FreedomWorks continued. “Senator John Cornyn – one of the original supporters – has bowed to the Republican Establishment and no longer wishes to help Senator Lee. Why is Senator Cornyn withdrawing his support for Mike Lee?”

FreedomWorks Vs. John Cornyn: Round 2 | #TXSEN

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