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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a new TV ad Thursday slamming former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., over his connections to outsourcing.
The spot, shared first with CQ Roll Call, states that Brown, who is challenging New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, received a “sweetheart deal” from a company that outsources jobs after leaving the Senate in 2013 and connects it to his voting record.
“In the Senate, Brown voted to protect tax breaks for companies that move American jobs overseas, just like the one he works for,” the announcer says. Full story
A Republican-aligned outside group is airing a TV ad slamming New York Rep. Timothy H. Bishop on his support for the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrat is locked in a challenging re-election campaign against Republican Lee Zeldin.
This is American Action Network’s first independent expenditure TV ad of the general election. It’s running on cable and online, and is part of AAN’s $1.2 million IE campaign in New York’s Long Island-based 1st District.
“Tim Bishop thinks Obamacare is a damn good idea?” says a man named John from Setauket, N.Y. “We think it’s a damn bad idea.” Full story
In response to a poll released last week by Republicans showing a tight race, Minnesota Rep. Collin C. Peterson’s campaign on Monday released a poll of its own from early September that had found the incumbent with a wider lead.
The three-week-old survey, shared first with CQ Roll Call, showed the Democratic incumbent up 53 percent to 29 percent over state Sen. Torrey Westrom. Westrom’s poll, conducted Sept. 21-23 by the Tarrance Group, found Peterson with a 5-point lead.
The Peterson poll also showed the incumbent with a 58 percent favorable rating, with just 19 percent viewing him unfavorably. That survey of 405 likely voters was conducted by Global Strategy Group from Sept. 4-7 with a 4.9-point margin of error. Full story
Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar called his bid for California’s 31st District the Democrats’ best chance to pick up a Republican seat in the midterms.
“It is the most Democratic seat held by a Republican in the nation,” Aguilar told CQ Roll Call in a July 16 interview. “And the Republican decided to retire. So this is a great opportunity, Democrats’ best opportunity for a pickup.” Full story
Minnesota Democrats think Rep. Collin C. Peterson is nearly unbeatable in the 7th District. For the first time in more than a decade, that theory is about to be put to the test.
Peterson is one of just a handful of House Democrats representing a decidedly Republican district, but he has won re-election even in GOP wave years. In 2012, presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried the conservative, rural district by 10 points as the Democratic lawmaker won his race by a 25-point margin.
This year, Peterson faces his most formidable challenger in several cycles. Though the Democrat remains the front-runner, Republican state Sen. Torrey Westrom brings a compelling life story as the first blind member of the legislature, and more political experience than any of Peterson’s recent opponents.
“We’re paying attention,” Peterson told CQ Roll Call in a recent interview. “We’ve never been targeted before, so we’re not exactly sure what’s going to happen.”
Minnesota Republicans and Democrats agree on one point, at least: Westrom has a good shot at ending up in Congress.
It’s just not clear when.
PHOENIX — Once known for her progressive politics, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has coasted to the center in her first re-election.
The freshman bills herself as bipartisan, and now party operatives — even Republicans, privately — view her as the safest of the state’s three vulnerable Democrats. But that’s also because she’s lucky: A brutal Republican primary is bound to leave her future foe broke and bruised 10 weeks before Election Day.
“I’m working to make it cool to compromise in Congress,” Sinema tells 30 mostly baby boomers at a Thursday lunch with the Phoenix West Rotary Club. “I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but I’m working on it.”
Sinema started her elected career nearly a decade ago at the state House, 10 miles away from this Sheraton conference room.
Some of her first political experience came working for Ralph Nader’s spoiler 2000 presidential bid. She tried her own third party attempt in a losing race for the state House as an independent affiliated with the Green Party two years later. She finally won the seat as a Democrat in 2004. Full story
Minnesota Democrats have two problems: The 8th District has changed, and Rep. Rick Nolan doesn’t want to.
The Gopher State Democrat returned to Congress in 2012 after a three-decade hiatus. This November, Nolan faces first-time candidate and wealthy businessman Stewart Mills in a historically strong Democratic district that encompasses Minnesota’s Iron Range.
But the district has become increasingly competitive in recent years, and sources from both parties question Nolan’s willingness to adapt to the requirements of a high-stakes, 21st century re-election campaign. Democrats highlight Nolan’s strong retail campaign skills and say they admire his principles — but others say a modern re-election requires more than that.
Senate Majority PAC launched a TV ad Saturday aimed at the Republican vying for Michigan’s open Senate seat.
The Democrat-aligned super PAC’s spot, backed by a nearly $650,000 buy and running for two weeks, features three state residents criticizing former Michigan Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land on issues including tax breaks for the wealthy and women’s health, while labeling Land a “career politician.” Full story
Updated June 4, 1:00 a.m. and 5:12 a.m. | Joni Ernst has won the Republican nominee for Senate in Iowa, boosting the GOP’s hopes of picking up this a competitive, open seat in 2014.
Ernst, a state senator, scored a decisive victory over her three major opponents, leading with 53 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race at 10:52 p.m. She easily surpassed the 35 percent threshold she needed to win the nomination outright and avoid a convention. Full story
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
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
Updated, 3:31 p.m. | Rep. Bruce Braley is up with a new ad for his Senate bid touting his career as a lawyer — a résumé that’s caused the Democrat some grief in his bid for the competitive, open seat in Iowa.
In his 30-second spot, the congressman casts his oft-maligned profession as one of fighting for people and helping them solve their problems.
“Equal justice under the law is what this country is built upon, is one of the things that motivated me to want to become a lawyer, and fight for people,” Braley says in the ad, which shows footage of him talking to a variety of people in Iowa.
“You have to get to know people to be an effective voice for what they care about,” he says. “I’ve spent my lifetime trying to be the voice for someone who has a problem that they can’t solve by themselves.” Full story
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
Maine’s Angus King, one of two independents serving in the Senate, is endorsing two colleagues on Friday: New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Maine Republican Susan Collins.
Collins, who lost to King in the 1994 gubernatorial race, is a solid favorite for re-election, despite the fact President Barack Obama carried Maine by double digits in both 2008 and 2012.
“I think she’s one of the Senate’s MVP’s — smart, tough, and always willing to listen,” King said in a statement shared with CQ Roll Call. “In my book, she’s a model senator and I’m delighted to support her re-election.”
Despite Collins’ advantage, the endorsement, which was first reported by the Associated Press, is nonetheless noteworthy because King caucuses with Senate Democrats. Collins is being challenged by Democrat Shenna Bellows, who released a statement Friday noting that King gave her a heads-up about his endorsement.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed a virtually tied race for Senate in Colorado.
Democratic Sen. Mark Udall led his GOP challenger, Rep. Cory Gardner, by a single point — 45 percent to 44 percent — in the survey. That split was within the poll’s margin of error of 2.7 points.
This survey was the first independent, live-interview poll conducted in the race since Gardner announced his candidacy in March. Until then, Udall had not attracted any top-tier opposition, but Gardner’s entrance into the race immediately made the contest more competitive.