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October 21, 2014

Posts in "Primaries"

June 1, 2014

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

Cheat Sheet: House and Senate Primaries in June

McDaniel is challenging Cochran in the June primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.

Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.

Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.

June 3
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.

Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)

California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State:

Full story

May 31, 2014

Iowa Senate Primary Becomes 2016 Battleground

Iowa Senate Primary Becomes 2016 Battleground

Perry supports a candidate for Senate in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQRoll Call File Photo)

The campaign trail in Iowa this week might look a little familiar: As Mitt Romney and Texas Gov. Rick Perry stump around the state, former Sen. Rick Santorum’s face is plastered on the local airwaves.

The 2012 presidential primary is long gone, but a couple of the GOP’s future presidential hopefuls are using the Senate primary in the crucial nominating state to their advantage.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has backed the GOP front-runner, state Sen. Joni Ernst. Romney, who is not expected to run in 2016, has also given her his support. Meanwhile, Perry has endorsed former District Attorney Matt Whitaker. Santorum is supporting radio host Sam Clovis. A fourth candidate in the race, former energy executive Mark Jacobs, does not have any endorsements from likely presidential candidates.

The contest marks a rare opportunity for 2016 hopefuls: There hasn’t been an open-seat Senate race in the Hawkeye State in three decades. By backing a Senate candidate, presidential prospects can cement relationships with them and their staff that could be valuable next cycle — no matter if their chosen Republican wins or loses.

“The caucuses are an activist-driven process and activists put a premium on who stands with them,” said Republican radio host Steve Deace, who has endorsed Clovis.

“After all,” he added, “if you’re going to ask activists to stand with you, they’ll want to know if you stood with them.” Full story

May 30, 2014

Eric Cantor Brings in Bucks for Primary Challenge

Eric Cantor Brings in Bucks for Primary Challenge

Cantor faces a primary challenge in in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Recent fundraising reports filed Thursday for June 10 primaries give a glimpse of where those races stand, 10 days in advance.

On June 10, there will be House primaries in Maine and Virginia, where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor faces his most serious primary threat yet — although most Republicans expect him to prevail with a large margin. 

Here’s what the reports, which cover the fundraising period from April 1 to May 21, show:

Full story

May 29, 2014

Alabama Candidate Makes Fun of His Cooking in New Ad

Five days before the primary, surgeon Chad Mathis has released a positive spot in an open Alabama House race that features his kids playfully making fun of his cooking.

“Dad’s not a great cook, but he’d be a great congressman,” said Mathis’ daughter, Abby, in the ad — her name written in font similar to the widely-ridiculed Comic Sans. Mathis’ campaign says the ad is a five-figure digital buy and will air online as preroll on YouTube videos.

GOP operatives said the positive spot is a change of tone for Mathis, one of seven Republicans running in the open 6th District primary. They say Mathis has received heat in the district for negative campaign tactics, taking shots at almost all of the other Republicans running in this race to replace retiring Rep. Spencher Bachus. Full story

May 28, 2014

Ad Deluge Intensifies in Final Week Before Iowa Senate Primary

Former energy executive Mark Jacobs has debuted two more ads in the final days before the GOP’s primary for Senate in Iowa.

Jacobs, a multimillionaire, has used his personal wealth to boost his campaign coffers, allowing him to spend more than his opponents. He faces State Sen. Joni Ernst, who is widely regarded as the front-runner, along with radio host Sam Clovis and former District Attorney Matt Whitaker.

Jacobs’ first new ad touts his position as an “outsider,” not a “Washington politician,” who has “real world, common-sense experience.”

The second trumpets his support for a balanced budget amendment, and attacks congress for “not doing the job they were elected to do.” Full story

May 27, 2014

Texas Runoff Results: First Incumbent of 2014 Loses Re-Election (Updated)

Texas Runoff Results: First Incumbent of 2014 Loses Re Election (Updated)

Hall lost re-election Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 

Updated 11:42 p.m. | Rep. Ralph M. Hall, R-Texas, lost his bid for an 18th term Tuesday night, making him the first incumbent to not win re-election in 2014.

Attorney John Ratcliffe defeated Hall with 52 percent of the vote. Hall had 48 percent when the AP called the race with 66 percent of precincts reporting.

Ratcliffe is all-but-certain to hold this seat for Republicans in the fall. Full story

Mitt Romney Endorses Ex-Staffer’s House Bid

Mitt Romney Endorses Ex Staffers House Bid

Mitt Romney endorsed one of his former campaign aides. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney has endorsed former Bush administration aide Elise Stefanik’s bid for an open House seat less than a month before her competitive primary.

Stefanik worked on Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign assisting his running mate, Rep. Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., with debate preparations. Ryan endorsed Stefanik earlier this year. Full story

First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesday’s Texas Runoff (Video)

First Incumbent Could Lose in Tuesdays Texas Runoff (Video)

Hall has said this will be his final re-election bid. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Could Ralph Hall be saying goodbye to Congress Wednesday morning? It’s fight night in Texas and that’s the biggest question of Tuesday’s runoff.

Most of the political excitement in the Lone Star State is expected to take place in state races. Even though tea-party-aligned candidates hit recent road blocks in GOP primaries in federal races, anti-establishment conservative candidates are expected to dominate state-level politics Tuesday evening in Texas.

But in that shadow, there are a few House race runoffs with the potential to impact Capitol Hill — especially in Texas’ 4th District. After Republican Rep. Ralph M. Hall failed to win the majority of the vote in the March primary, he faces the fight of his career to return to Congress.

Lone Star State polls close at 9 p.m. EST (this cycle’s complete political calendar is available on CQ Roll Call’s Primary Chart).

Full story

May 23, 2014

Judge Orders Conyers on Primary Ballot (Updated)

Judge Orders Conyers on Primary Ballot (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:47 p.m. | A federal judge has ruled that 25-term Democratic Rep. John Conyers Jr. shall appear on his party’s Aug. 5 primary ballot.

A U.S. district judge in the Eastern District of Michigan decided Friday to grant an injunction ordering the state to put him on the ballot.

Earlier Friday, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson had ruled the longtime lawmaker ineligible, according to The Detroit News.

“As Secretary Johnson implicitly acknowledged in her ruling today, if the signatures excluded pursuant to the Registration Statute may not be excluded from Mr. Conyers’ total — and this Court holds that they may not be — then Mr. Conyers has enough signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot,” Judge Matthew F. Leitman wrote. “He shall be placed on the ballot.” (The full opinion is here.)

Leitman was nominated to the federal bench last year by President Barack Obama. He was confirmed in March 2014.

A local county clerk had previously decided Conyers, 85, was ineligible. The secretary of State decision on Friday was the result of a Conyers campaign appeal.

But the Conyers campaign had also appealed to federal court on the constitutionality of the state’s law requiring campaigns’ petition circulators be registered voters. That’s what tripped up the longtime lawmaker’s bid. Full story

Gwyneth Paltrow, Mr. Spock Pick Sides in Beverly Hills House Race

The old slogan for MGM during the 1940s was that the studio had “more stars than there are in the heavens.”

The same could be said of the fresh fundraising reports from the upcoming primary in California’s 33rd District — which covers Beverly Hills and Malibu. Dozens of Hollywood stars and executives donated during the past six weeks in this race to replace retiring Rep. Henry A. Waxman.

There are at least six serious candidates running for the seat, and all filed pre-primary reports by Thursday’s deadline. These are the final comprehensive campaign financial reports ahead of the June 3 primary. The top-two finishers will proceed to the general election.

These reports reflect spending and fundraising from April 1 to May 14. Stars crowded the race’s first quarter reports as well.

Here is a rundown of 33rd District reports and other high profile June 3 House races: Full story

May 22, 2014

Another McDaniel Supporter Arrested in Connection to Photographs of Cochran’s Wife (Video)

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel weighed in Thursday on the illegal photographing of Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife, now that multiple McDaniel supporters have been arrested in connection to the incident.

Mark Mayfield, the vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, was arrested Thursday along with Richard Sager, The Clarion-Ledger reported. Last week, blogger Clayton Kelly was arrested after allegedly posting online images of Rose Cochran, who suffers from dementia, that were taken at the nursing home where she lives.

The connections to the McDaniel campaign has raised some issues for the challenger since Kelly’s arrest was first reported over the weekend. The Clarion-Ledger has a photograph of McDaniel with a group of volunteers, including Mayfield, and Kelly had written about his support for McDaniel on his blog.

Still, McDaniel continues to deny any connection to the alleged crimes.

Full story

Challenger Spends $2.6 Million to Unseat Fellow Democrat

California congressional contender Ro Khanna has already spent more than $2.6 million in his challenge to Democratic Rep. Michael M. Honda, according to a pre-primary report filed with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.

The Democrat’s spending ahead of the June 3 top-two primary left him with just more than $1 million in cash on hand for the general. In California, the two top vote recipients advance to the general regardless of party, and Honda and Khanna are both expected to move on in the 17th District.

Khanna’s spending is more than double the $1.1 million Honda spent for the election cycle to date, according to reports filed with the FEC. Honda slightly outraised Khanna in the April 1 to May 14 pre-primary period, as Honda raised $182,000 and Khanna brought in $141,000.

Full story

Club for Growth Endorses in Two Georgia Runoffs

The Club for Growth endorsed two House candidates facing primary runoffs in Georgia Thursday, two days after the Peach State primaries.

The club endorsed former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk in Georgia’s 11th District and surgeon Bob Johnson in Georgia’s 1st District.

Loudermilk, who has the support of a number of different tea party organizations, faces former Rep. Bob Barr in the July 22 GOP primary runoff to replace Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey, who lost a GOP Senate primary in Georgia. Johnson faces state Sen. Buddy Carter in a runoff in the race to replace GOP Rep. Jack Kingston, who advanced to a runoff of his own in the Republican Senate primary.

The club’s financial might could help push Loudermilk and Johnson over the finish line in July in these contests, which have thus far been marked by low fundraising.

Full story

What Amounts to Victory in November for House Democrats Still Unclear

What Amounts to Victory in November for House Democrats Still Unclear

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New York Rep. Steve Israel pushed back Wednesday on House Republicans’ newly revealed ambitious goals for the midterms, but what amounts to victory for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman remains unclear.

On Tuesday, Oregon Rep. Greg Walden, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, underscored the GOP’s offensive position this cycle by announcing it aims to expand the party’s House majority by 12 seats in November. A day later, Israel fired back, making public a massive DCCC polling project that promised to address the party’s turnout concerns.

The reality facing Democrats in this challenging midterm cycle is that any loss of seats will make it that much taller of a climb for the majority in a potentially favorable 2016 and beyond — while possibly even putting the party back where it started in the wake of the 2010 Republican wave.

“Let’s talk as we get deeper into the cycle,” Israel said Wednesday at a briefing with reporters. “I still believe it’s too early to say what a victory is.”

“Greg Walden can spend all his time looking into a crystal ball,” he added. “I’m spending all my time looking at polling data.” Full story

May 21, 2014

Still No Clarity in Iowa Republican Senate Primary

Still No Clarity in Iowa Republican Senate Primary

Harkin's seat is an attractive pickup opportunity for Republicans. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With less than two weeks until Iowa’s congressional primaries, it’s still unclear whether a Republican Senate candidate can clear the 35 percent vote threshold needed to win the nomination outright.

In an attractive pickup opportunity for national Republicans, there are four major candidates seeking the nomination for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin. The leading contenders are state Sen. Joni Ernst, who has the tacit support of the governor and earned national attention with an ad about castrating hogs, and Mark Jacobs, a self-funding former energy executive. Radio host Sam Clovis and former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker round out the top four.

A recent poll found Ernst with 31 percent support — in the lead and within striking distance of the nomination. But Jacobs, who outspent Ernst by more than 5 to 1 through March, has dominated his opponents on the airwaves, and a potential late surge by Clovis could spread the vote around and force the nomination process to a convention, where anything can happen.

“I think either Ernst or Jacobs will get to 35 percent,” said Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Iowa Republican Party and editor-in-chief of The Iowa Republican politics blog. But, he continued, “Clovis has plenty of room to grow” and can improve his standing if he is more “aggressive in drawing distinctions between himself and the other candidates” and seizing the “social conservative mantle.” Full story

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