Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

June 25, 2014

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

Club for Growth Stumbles With Mississippi Senate Loss (Video)

The Club for Growth worked against Sen. Thad Cochran, who won Tuesday's runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Club for Growth, a perpetual thorn in the side of many Republican operatives, took a hit Tuesday in Mississippi, where Sen. Thad Cochran survived a primary challenge despite a significant investment from the anti-tax group.

The Club for Growth’s super PAC arm spent $2.4 million against Cochran, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s a significant chunk of the $3.8 million it’s expended so far this cycle against Republicans.

What’s more, the defeat of state Sen. Chris McDaniel means the club has now failed to topple arguably its top two GOP incumbent targets of the midterm cycle — Cochran and Rep. Mike Simpson. The club spent nearly $500,000 for Bryan Smith, who lost his May 20 challenge to the Idaho Republican.

Full story

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)

Lankford will likely come to the Senate next year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford had momentum on his side Tuesday, when the Republican captured the GOP nomination outright and avoided a costly runoff.

The big surprise? His massive 23-point margin of victory over T.W. Shannon, who had been hailed as a rising GOP superstar.

Shannon, 36, was the youngest person to ever serve as Speaker of the Oklahoma House. He is African-American, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation, and had the support of many of the big national tea party names, including Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. On paper, Shannon seemed like he might follow in the footsteps of another Cruz-backed candidate, Ben Sasse, the 42-year-old GOP Senate nominee in Nebraska who rose from relative obscurity to beat the front-runner with the help of national tea party groups.

But Lankford had a number of advantages from the start in the race to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is leaving Congress at the end of this year.

Full story

June 24, 2014

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Mississippi Runoff Results: Thad Cochran Wins

Cochran won a runoff Tuesday and is favored to win a seventh term. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran overcame the odds Tuesday to win a contentious Republican runoff and is now favored to win a seventh term.

Two weeks after the stunning loss by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., state Sen. Chris McDaniel hoped to become the latest challenger to unseat a sitting member of Congress in a GOP primary.

But, after finishing 1,400 votes behind McDaniel in the June 3 primary, Cochran was able to expand the electorate  — a feat, pro-Cochran Republican insiders cautioned in the days leading up to the runoff, that hadn’t been achieved in Mississippi statewide elections in recent decades. Full story

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Oklahoma Primary Results: Lankford Wins Senate Nomination (Updated)

Lankford is a Republican from Oklahoma. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:54 p.m. | Rep. James Lankford has won the Oklahoma primary, and now the Republican is likely headed to the Senate.

The Oklahoman defeated former state Speaker T.W. Shannon and several lesser-known candidates to win the Republican nomination Tuesday. In the strongly conservative state of Oklahoma, Lankford is all but certain to become the next senator after November.

Lankford is on track to succeed Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who is stepping down at the end of this Congress. Full story

Live Results: Cochran-McDaniel Runoff and Other Races

Join the Roll Call Politics Team for coverage of tonight’s big primary runoff in Mississippi and other races in Florida, Oklahoma, New York and Colorado.

Starting at 7 p.m., we’ll have live results and analysis from the races below. Full story

Charlie Rangel Opponent Calls Him ‘Liability’ for Democrats

Charlie Rangel Opponent Calls Him Liability for Democrats

Rangel faces another tough primary challenge Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat challenging longtime Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., in Tuesday’s primary, called his opponent a “liability” for the party, saying the congressman’s past ethical issues have crippled his ability to be effectively serve.

“Right now, [Rangel] cannot get us to the majority,” Espaillat told Chuck Todd Tuesday morning on “The Daily Rundown” on MSNBC. “I doubt very seriously that any marginal Democrat in a tough race would take his support.”

Espaillat, Rangel and Pastor Michael Walrond will face off Tuesday in a primary in New York’s 13th District, based in Harlem and the Bronx. Last cycle, Espaillat came within 1,000 votes of defeating Rangel.

Full story

June 23, 2014

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Travis Childers Awaits Cochran, McDaniel Primary Finale

Childers is awaiting the Cochran runoff results. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As his two potential Republican opponents duked it out over the past three weeks, former Rep. Travis Childers has been traveling Mississippi and working the phones in preparation for an uphill Senate race.

If state Sen. Chris McDaniel is able to topple longtime Sen. Thad Cochran in the GOP runoff Tuesday, Childers would suddenly be the Democratic nominee in a race that could invite outside spending from both sides and give his party a third possible pickup opportunity as it defends the majority in a lopsided landscape.

But his Tuesday night plans do not involve any sort of watch party as Republican votes roll in.

“I don’t want to be sitting around waiting on their results,” Childers told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview. “I will probably be on the road.”

Full story

6 Things to Watch in Tuesday’s Primaries

6 Things to Watch in Tuesdays Primaries

As part of Tuesday's primaries, Cochran, center, faces a tea-party-challenger in a runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mississippi Republicans and New York Democrats face a similar quandary Tuesday: Hold onto an old political hand and his seniority in Congress, or turn the page to a new era?

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., have challenges from their own party that headline this week’s bevy of primaries — the last crop of contests until later this summer. Beyond the fate of these two longtime pols, Tuesday’s results will test a House GOP program for female candidates in primaries, as well as decide a handful of races in Colorado, Florida and New York.

Here is what to watch for in these contests: Full story

June 22, 2014

Members Rally for Charlie Rangel in Tuesday Primary (Video)

Members Rally for Charlie Rangel in Tuesday Primary (Video)

Charlie Rangel faces another primary challenge on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s become cliché to describe Rep. Charles B. Rangel as being “in the fight of his political life.” ‬

That’s because the New York Democrat’s previous battles have been plentiful and perilous: ethics violations, House censure, and a 1,086-vote margin in last cycle’s primary.

Rangel faces another challenge — a rematch against state Sen. Adriano Espaillat — in Tuesday’s primary. His congressional allies are increasingly confident he will survive this too, but the challenges he faces in his Harlem-based district remain precarious.

“My gut is that the momentum is on Charlie Rangel’s side,” said Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, D-N.Y., said in a Thursday interview with CQ Roll Call.

“If you remember, he was walking with a cane, he had been in and out of hospitals,” she added of his 2012 primary against Espaillat. “This time, he is not sick. He’s the old Charlie, with lots of energy and lots of optimism and lots of hard work.”

Full story

June 21, 2014

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

Iowa GOP Convention Picks Nominee for Top House Race (Video)

An Iowa GOP convention picked a nominee to try to succeed Latham, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Capitol Hill aide David Young won the Republican nomination in Iowa’s 3rd District on Saturday, overcoming five other Republican opponents in an hourslong nominating convention.

Young defeated state Sen. Brad Zaun, 276 votes to 221 votes, in the fifth round of balloting among hundreds of local delegations, according to the Republican Party of Iowa. Young now moves on to face the Democratic nominee, former state Sen. Staci Appel, in November.

Young’s win comes as a relief to Republicans, who hoped the nominating convention would turn out a candidate other than Zaun.

Full story

June 20, 2014

Club for Growth Backs New Hampshire House Candidate

Club for Growth Backs New Hampshire House Candidate

Chocola is the president of the Club for Growth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth PAC has endorsed state Rep. Marilinda Garcia in the GOP primary in New Hampshire’s 2nd District.

Garcia faces former state Sen. Gary Lambert on Sept. 9, and the winner will challenge Democratic Rep. Ann McLane Kuster in November.

“The Club for Growth PAC enthusiastically endorses Marilinda Garcia for Congress,” Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a Friday statement.

Full story

Republicans Angle for Open Oklahoma House Seat (Video)

Republicans Angle for Open Oklahoma House Seat (Video)

James Lankford is running for Senate, leaving an open race for his House seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford’s high-profile bid for Senate in Oklahoma has left a crowded race to replace him in the Sooner State’s 5th District.

Six Republicans will face off Tuesday after struggling to break through airwaves dominated by the primary between Lankford and former Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Like the Senate race, Republicans expect the primary to proceed to an August runoff, which occurs when no candidate gets 50 percent of the vote. The GOP nominee is all but certain to come to Congress and represent this strong conservative district based in Oklahoma City.

Full story

June 19, 2014

Elise Stefanik Leads in New York Primary Poll

Elise Stefanik Leads in New York Primary Poll

Doheny trailed in a new poll. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former White House aide Elise Stefanik is in a strong position to win Tuesday’s GOP primary in an upstate New York district, according to a new poll.

Stefanik led 45 percent to 37 percent for businessman Matt Doheny in the automated poll conducted by Republican firm Harper Polling. The poll follows more than $1 million in outside spending in the 21st District on Stefanik’s behalf.

Doheny is slightly better known in the district, but 41 percent of respondents had a negative view him while 39 percent viewed him favorably. Nearly half of all those surveyed, 49 percent, said they had a positive image of Stefanik while 29 percent had a negative opinion of her. Full story

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Republican Calls for Recount in Targeted California Race

Miller, a California Republican, is retiring. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Lesli Gooch’s campaign called for a recount Wednesday evening in California’s 31st District, a top pick-up opportunity for Democrats in 2014.

“We have been in consultation with campaign attorneys and polling data experts over the past several days. They feel a recount is warranted and have identified precincts that will be recounted,” Gooch’s campaign said in a news release.

Gooch trails Democrat Pete Aguilar for second place by 209 votes and therefore faces long odds to victory in the recount. Her campaign had until Wednesday to determine whether to call for a recount — a costly endeavor they must pay for out of pocket.

In California’s primary, the top two vote recipients proceed to the general election, regardless of party. Democrats need Aguilar to advance to the general election to have any shot at competing here this fall, as businessman Paul Chabot has already secured the first-place spot in the top-two primary.

Full story

Senate Majority Might Not Be Decided Until December

Senate Majority Might Not Be Decided Until December

The Senate majority could be decided late in Louisiana if Landrieu's race goes to runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For all the money spent on the November elections, control of the Senate might not be decided until a Saturday three weeks before Christmas.

Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., hopes to win re-election outright on Nov. 4 in a jungle primary against a handful of challengers. But winning a majority of the vote in a multi-candidate field would be a significant feat, and the campaigns of both Landrieu and her leading Republican opponent, Rep. Bill Cassidy, are undoubtedly preparing for an extended, one-on-one race.

If a Dec. 6 runoff coincides with a 50-49 Republican advantage in the Senate, consultants in and out of the state warn of an unprecedented onslaught of spending from party committees and outside groups in a race that could become more about the national parties than the two candidates on the ballot.

“Mary kind of becomes a pawn in a much, much bigger game,” said Dane Strother, a Democratic media consultant and Baton Rouge native who’s worked on previous Landrieu campaigns. “The entire force of national politics will land on Louisiana. They’ll buy every radio ad, every TV ad, inundate with direct mail. It will be a war.” Full story

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