Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 22, 2014

Posts in "Leans Democratic"

April 2, 2014

Long Island Republican Airs First TV Ad

Long Island Republican Airs First TV Ad

Zeldin launched his first TV ad Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New York state Sen. Lee Zeldin launched his first TV ad of the 2014 campaign on Wednesday, a positive spot that highlights his legislative and military careers.

Zeldin, a top Republican recruit, is running in a competitive June 24 primary to take on Democratic Rep. Timothy H. Bishop in the Long Island-based 1st District. A Zeldin campaign source characterized the airtime purchase as “a substantial six-figure buy” on Fox News.

The spot highlights his family and career, and a female narrator promises that he will fight to “repeal and replace Obamacare.”

 

Full story

March 26, 2014

Braley’s Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Braleys Opponent? Two Seem Most Likely From Crowded Field

Iowa Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Bruce Braley doesn't know yet which Republican candidate he'll be facing in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Residing outside of the competitive Senate landscape’s top tier most of this election cycle, Iowa Republicans believe they are finally gaining some momentum for the state’s open seat, particularly by avoiding a nominating convention.

The release Tuesday of a video taken of Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley’s remarks at a Texas fundraiser was just the cherry on top of an already renewed sense of optimism among Republicans that the party will put up a competitive nominee. Several things still need to go the GOP’s way for success in November, but Republican insiders in the state see positive signs.

Along with President Barack Obama’s approval ratings in the Hawkeye State falling to 36 percent in a Des Moines Register poll taken last month, the crowded and unproven Republican primary field is beginning to shake out, and the party’s chances of nominating a candidate in the primary — and dodging a potentially debilitating convention — are improving.

“I think the notion of a convention choosing our Senate nominee gets more remote by the day,” said one veteran Iowa Republican operative without ties to any of the campaigns. Full story

March 25, 2014

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for ‘Farmer’ Slight

Bruce Braley Apologizes to Grassley for Farmer Slight

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, apologized for his critical comments of Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, that were posted online Tuesday by a Republican research group.

Speaking at a fundraiser, Braley, who is running for the Hawkeye State’s open Senate seat, said the Senate could end up with “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee,” before identifying that person as Grassley.

“I apologize to Senator Grassley and anyone I may have offended,” Braley said in a statement released a couple of hours after the video posted. “I respect Senator Grassley and enjoy our working relationship even though we disagree on some issues.”

The Des Moines Register reported that the video was taken by a donor at a Jan. 23 fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas, before being released Tuesday by America Rising. Braley also told the assembled donors — presumably lawyers — that he is “someone with your background, your experience, your voice, someone who’s been literally fighting tort reform for 30 years in a visible and public way.”

A Grassley spokesperson responded in a statement pointing to Grassley’s years of service and accomplishments on the committee. Full story

January 16, 2014

Shaheen Reports $1.1 Million Raised Last Quarter

Shaheen Reports $1.1 Million Raised Last Quarter

Shaheen will seek re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., raised $1.1 million in the final quarter of 2013 and will report $3.4 million in the bank to kick off her re-election year.

Full story

December 18, 2013

Poll: Braley Leads in Iowa Despite Disapproval for Obama

Despite poor approval ratings for the president in Iowa, the Democratic candidate for Senate led all of his potential Republican opponents in a poll released Wednesday.

Quinnipiac University’s latest poll found that Iowa Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley would defeat each of the six Republicans tested for this open-seat race. His closest competitor was former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, whom Braley led 43 percent to 40 percent.

Full story

August 20, 2013

Braley Hires Top Operative as Senate Race Campaign Manager | #IASEN

Braley Hires Top Operative as Senate Race Campaign Manager | #IASEN

Braley is the front-runner for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a Senate victory already under her belt this cycle, top Democratic operative Sarah Benzing is headed home to Iowa to manage the Senate campaign of Rep. Bruce Braley.

Most recently, Benzing led Edward J. Markey’s victorious campaign in the June special election for Senate in Massachusetts. But she’s worked for Braley before as campaign manager on his first election to Congress seven years ago and later as his chief of staff. She will officially rejoin Braley on Sept. 3 for his campaign for the competitive open-seat race in 2014, according to a news release obtained by CQ Roll Call.

“Sarah Benzing is the best campaign manager in the country, period,” Braley said in a statement. “I’m so proud to have her return to lead my campaign team.” Full story

July 25, 2013

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bear’s | The Candidate #IASEN

Matt Whitaker on Football, Geography and Bears | The Candidate #IASEN

Whitaker will run for Senate. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Every year, scores of congressional candidates visit the CQ Roll Call offices to meet with reporters and Contributing Editor Stuart Rothenberg. This feature, “The Candidate,” will ask these congressional hopefuls five questions about their campaigns. Responses and questions have been edited and condensed.

The candidate: Former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, a Republican
The member: Retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa
The state: This will be Iowa’s first open-seat Senate race since 1974. The state is a perennial battleground.
The candidate’s team: Jeff Roe of Axiom Strategies (general consultant), Terry Nelson of FP1 Strategies (media), Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (pollster), Jeff Livingston (finance).

1. You’re one of several candidates vying for the nomination. How can you distinguish yourself in such a crowded primary?

I think there’s two things that are going to help us in this campaign. One is that I’m a full-spectrum conservative that appeals to a broad section of Republican primary voters. At the same time, we have geography in both central and eastern Iowa, which I have spent a lot of time in. So stances on issues, along with geography, are what make me a competitive candidate. Full story

July 10, 2013

Republican Joins Crowded Senate Primary #IASEN

State Sen. Joni Ernst appears set to join the crowded GOP primary field for the Senate seat in Iowa.

On Wednesday, a campaign website set up for Ernst went public ahead of a formal announcement. First reported by the Des Moines Register, Ernst says on the site, “Washington has failed us. We need and deserve better leadership. And that’s why I am running for U.S. Senate.”

Reached by phone, Ernst told CQ Roll Call she had no comment at this time but might have one “later next week.” Meanwhile, media consultant Todd Harris tweeted that he has joined her team.

Full story

June 12, 2013

Top GOP Recruit Won’t Challenge Rahall #WV03

Top GOP Recruit Wont Challenge Rahall #WV03

Rahall is a top GOP target in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican state Sen. Bill Cole announced on a local radio show this week that he will not run against Rep. Nick J. Rahall II, D-W.Va., in the 3rd District.

“While I believe that now is the time for a new kind of leader to represent the 3rd District of West Virginia, I believe that I have an obligation to continue to serve those who put their trust in me by electing me to the state Senate,” Cole said later in a news release. “It is for that reason alone that I have decided not to run for a national office at this time.”

Cole’s decision is a blow for Republicans, who had been recruiting Cole since April. Rahall tops the National Republican Congressional Committee’s target list in 2014. Full story

February 27, 2013

Montana: Baucus Gets Second GOP Challenger Thursday

Montana: Baucus Gets Second GOP Challenger Thursday

Baucus will acquire his second Republican challenger this week. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A second Republican challenger to Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will officially announce his candidacy Thursday.

State Rep. Champ Edmunds will formally enter the race to challenge the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee at a press conference at Bitterroot Motors in Missoula at 2:30 p.m. ET, according to a release.

Edmunds, a Missoula banker and former Navy submariner, joins former state Sen. Corey Stapleton in what’s expected to be a crowded GOP primary for the chance to take on Baucus, who is seeking a seventh term. Full story

February 8, 2013

Iowa: King Waits on Senate Bid, Disputes Criticism on Viability

Iowa: King Waits on Senate Bid, Disputes Criticism on Viability

King has been criticized by some conservatives, but it doesn't appear that it will keep him out of the race for Senate. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

BALTIMORE — Rep. Steve King hinted Friday that a run for the Iowa Senate may be imminent, but said he does not want to announce in the wake of GOP strategist Karl Rove’s attacks on him.

Since American Crossroads President Steven Law attacked him in The New York Times last weekend, King, a Republican, said he continues to consider a run to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

“It’s under deliberation of course, and it’s something that I had been looking at before Tom Harkin announced his retirement and now that that has happened, of course it accelerated the decision making process,” King said as he was leaving a Heritage Foundation-sponsored retreat for conservative Republicans in Baltimore.

“I don’t want to step into this thing and make an announcement in the face of the issue that Karl Rove has raised,” he continued. “We’ve got to decide first who’s going to nominate people for public office in America: Somebody outside the state with a big checkbook, or the people of Iowa.”

Full story

February 7, 2013

Iowa: Braley Announces Bid for Senate

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, told supporters Thursday he is running for Senate.

The four-term congressman’s entrance into the race gives Democrats a top-tier candidate to hold the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who announced last month he will not seek a sixth term.

“It’s a big responsibility to represent the people of Iowa in the United States Senate, especially after Tom Harkin has shown us how for the last 30 years,” Braley said in the email. “But, if you are willing to help me, I’m ready to go.”

Full story

February 6, 2013

Montana: Stapleton Announces Challenge to Baucus

Former Montana state Sen. Corey Stapleton announced Wednesday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, giving the six-term incumbent his first major Republican opponent.

“I want to make life better for Montanans, for all of us — our kids, our grandkids,” Stapleton said in a video posted to his campaign website. “That’s why I’m running for the United States Senate.”

Stapleton, a financial adviser, finished second last year in the seven-candidate Republican primary for governor. In 2012, Republicans lost both the governor’s race and the party’s challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, disappointments for the GOP in a state the party carried handily at the presidential level.

Baucus, 71, is one of six Democrats in the Senate seeking re-election in a state the president lost. Still, Tester held off a strong challenge from then-Rep. Denny Rehberg last year, and Baucus was sitting on a $3.6 million war chest as he began the 2014 cycle.

Stapleton is a Naval Academy graduate and served two terms in the state Senate, including stints as minority leader and chairman of the Legislative Campaign Committee.

Roll Call rates this races as Leans Democratic.

Joshua Miller contributed to this report.

January 29, 2013

Iowa: Club for Growth Mum on King’s Potential Senate Bid

Iowa: Club for Growth Mum on Kings Potential Senate Bid

Rep. Steve King is rumored to be looking at the competitive Iowa Senate race. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth has championed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, as one of its most ardent House conservatives.

So what does the deep-pocketed and influential group think about King running for Senate in 2014? Not much, yet.

“In general, we don’t take stands on potential Senate races,” spokesman Barney Keller said Tuesday. “When there’s a field, we’ll take a look at the race.”

Full story

January 28, 2013

Iowa Senate Race Now Leans Democratic

Iowa Senate Race Now Leans Democratic

Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley is considering a 2014 Senate bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tom Harkin’s retirement makes the Iowa Senate seat more competitive by virtue of the six-term Democrat’s departure. Couple that with the Hawkeye State’s competitive nature, and this race could be one of the most targeted of the 2014 cycle.

Accordingly, CQ Roll Call now characterizes the Iowa Senate race as Leans Democratic, after previously rating the contest as Likely Democratic.

Harkin was favored for re-election, thanks in part to the $2.7 million he had in the bank. Today, the seat is in play — although it does not yet join the most competitive echelon of 2014 Senate races.

For this race to become a top target in 2014, the GOP must circumvent a divisive primary.

Full story

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