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Posts in "Leans Democratic"
December 18, 2013
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.
August 20, 2013
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
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
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.
June 12, 2013
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.”
February 27, 2013
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
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.”
February 7, 2013
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.”
February 6, 2013
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
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.”
January 28, 2013
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.
Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., will kick off his re-election bid with $3.6 million in the bank, according to a copy of his fundraising report obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The Senate Finance Committee chairman raised $610,000 during the final three months of last year. His year-end report, which will be filed on the Jan. 31 deadline, showed he spent $121,500 during the same period.
Baucus’ big number comes as welcome news for Democrats, who face a difficult map in 2014. The six-term senator represents one of seven seats up this cycle in a state that the president lost.
January 7, 2013
Former Rep. Denny Rehberg told the Billings Gazette last week that he will not run for office again.
After six terms in the House, the Montana Republican lost his challenge to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in November. It was Rehberg’s second Senate defeat, after challenging Democratic Sen. Max Baucus in 1996.
“I made the determination before [the 2012 race] that it would be up or out,” Rehberg said in an interview with the newspaper. “As it turned out, it was out.”
Baucus is up for re-election again this cycle and is definitely running. Tester survived by 4 points in the 2012 election, despite a 13-point victory in the state by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
January 2, 2013
Updated 8:01 p.m. | For a brief period on Wednesday it appeared Republicans could count Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn., out of the race against Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., in 2014.
“No, that’s ridiculous,” Paulsen said, when Minnesota Public Radio asked him about running. However, the MPR report was updated later with a clarification from the congressman’s office. His use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t in reference to the Senate race after all. It had to do with his vote on the fiscal cliff deal. Here’s MPR’s update:
Paulsen’s office says his use of the word “ridiculous” wasn’t about running for Senate. A spokesman says Paulsen used the word in the context to the preface of the question that mentioned Paulsen’s “no” vote on the fiscal cliff deal before asking whether he was running for Senate.
Republicans have talked up Paulsen, as well as his colleague Rep. John Kline, as potential Franken challengers. Neither Republican has ruled out a bid publicly.
Meanwhile, Kline “continues to keep all options on the table,” according to his spokesman, Troy Young.
In 2008, Franken won one of the closest Senate races in decades following a lengthy recount. He has indicated that he plans to seek re-election next year.
CQ Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.
November 29, 2012
Outgoing Rep. Frank Guinta, R-N.H., will consider running statewide in 2014, perhaps challenging Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
“My name comes up for Senate, House and governor,” Guinta told Roll Call Thursday in a phone interview. “Obviously, it’s nice to be thought of in that way. Quite frankly, at this point, it’s something that I will focus on sometime next year.”
But two well-placed New Hampshire GOP sources noted that Guinta, the former mayor of Manchester, expressed a particular interest in the Senate race. Roll Call rates the contest as Leans Democratic.
Republicans view the seat as enticing because the party not controlling the White House historically picks up seats in midterm elections. What’s more, the Granite State has proved itself as the ultimate barometer of Congressional races, electing a new set of House Members in three of the past four cycles.
Guinta emphasized that he thought it was too early to select a race, but said he plans to “see how things play out and keep options open.”
“I’m certainly going to take some time in 2013 to assess and make a determination at some point if I would run,” Guinta said.