- McConnell Campaign Manager Quits Amid Scandal
- Obama Weighs Delay in Action on Immigration
- Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
- Neck-and-Neck in Arkansas
- Judge Dismisses McDaniel Challenge
Posts in "Likely Democratic"
November 28, 2012
But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.
That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.
Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.
November 5, 2012
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) appears to be cruising to victory in the open-seat Senate race in Hawaii, but she’s nonetheless getting a final boost from President Barack Obama.
A new radio ad released over the weekend by the Hirono campaign features Obama expressing support for the Congresswoman, highlighting her connection to his family.
“Years ago, Mazie worked with my late grandmother. So Mazie isn’t just a reliable partner of mine in Washington; she is part of my ohana at home in Hawaii,” Obama said. “Now, I need Mazie’s cooperative style and commitment to middle-class families in the U.S. Senate.”
October 26, 2012
Updated 10:31 a.m. | Col. Mark Kelly, the husband of retired Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), wrote an email Friday evening that was critical of retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, the Republican running for the House seat formerly held by his wife.
Kelly has backed McSally’s Democratic opponent, Rep. Ron Barber, since his first run for Congress in a June special election to replace Giffords.
According to an email sent to Barber’s list of supporters, a comment McSally made to the Washington Post sparked Kelly’s ire.
“We are rugged individuals,” she told the Post. “We elect unique people to represent us in this district — Mo Udall, Jim Kolbe, Gabby Giffords. I resemble Gabby Giffords more than the man who worked for her, although I am grateful for his service.”
In an email with the subject line “I cannot believe this,” Kelly proceeded to express outrage at McSally for comparing herself to Giffords.
“Martha McSally is no Gabby Giffords. Time and time again, she has refused to give a straight answer when asked directly about the most important issues facing Southern Arizona,” he wrote.
October 12, 2012
Sen. Bob Casey (D) led his opponent, former coal company owner Tom Smith (R), by 10 points in a new Philadelphia Inquirer survey released today.
Casey scored 48 percent, while Smith had 38 percent, in the bipartisan poll.
These new numbers represent the first-term Senator’s strongest lead in a public poll during the last month. Other recent surveys showed a much tighter race — although some of those polls were from firms such as Susquehanna Polling and Research, which often works with Republicans.
Still, as the Inquirer noted, Casey’s margin has been cut in half since its August poll. He’s also fallen under 50 percent.
Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.
Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, and National Research Inc., a GOP firm, conducted the survey of 600 likely voters Oct. 4-8. The margin of error was 4 points.
October 9, 2012
A new poll conducted for Rep. Martin Heinrich showed the Democrat’s lead over former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) has widened to at least 12 points in their battle for New Mexico’s open Senate seat.
The latest figures show Heinrich leading Wilson 55 percent to 42 percent in a two-way contest. The poll also accounted for Independent American Party candidate Jon Barrie. In a three-way contest, it showed Heinrich leading Wilson 51 percent to 39 percent, with Barrie receiving 8 percent of the vote.
The poll was conducted Oct. 4-7 by GBA Strategies. It included 600 likely voters, reached on landlines and cellphones, whose party affiliations reflected the likely electorate in New Mexico. There was a 4-point margin of error.
Roll Call now rates New Mexico’s open-seat Senate race as Likely Democratic.
October 4, 2012
What a difference two years makes. At this point in 2010, as the GOP wave began to build, political handicappers and political operatives alike were trying to keep up with the number of newly competitive races moving onto the rapidly expanding House battleground. The same was true at this time in 2006 and 2008, when we were attempting to size up the coming Democratic waves.
Fast-forward two years, and a month before Election Day we are taking House races off the board, as it becomes clear to both parties that contests they hoped to put in play just haven’t materialized this cycle. We expect there may be a few less competitive races that begin to move in the competitive direction, but that hasn’t happened to a large extent at this point.
There is other significant movement in a handful of House races that we now rate as more likely than not to switch hands. GOP Reps. David Rivera (Fla.) and Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.) are in races that look to be increasingly uphill. Both face rematches from 2010 (although Rivera’s troubles have much more to do with his own ethics problems than the strength of his Democratic challenger).
In Senate race moves, we are moving two Democratic-held seats virtually off the board. Republicans always knew that Hawaii was going to be a tough race considering the overwhelming Democratic tilt of the state. But former Gov. Linda Lingle was the best possible candidate they could have gotten. However, it’s clear that the race really never got off the ground. Lingle would have had to run a flawless campaign AND Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) needed to stumble. Neither happened, and the race is now off the board. Full story
October 3, 2012
The National Republican Congressional Campaign is going up on TV in Arizona’s 2nd district, making a play for the seat Rep. Ron Barber (D) won in a special election earlier this year.
The NRCC has placed a six-figure buy in the Tucson media market in support of retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally (R), according to several sources who monitor media buys. The broadcast buy is $255,000 and will last from October 5-18.
This news comes hours after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced it was confident enough in the race to pull a week’s worth of advertising in Tucson and a day after House Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democratic House candidates, went into the market.
The House Majority PAC spot was a negative spot that links McSally to Wall Street. The NRCC ad is expected to be a negative portrayal of the incumbent. Barber has already been through the ringer with negative ads from the special election race, so it will be interesting to see how, or whether, these numbers move over the next couple of weeks. Full story
October 1, 2012
The National Republican Congressional Committee ceased its advertisements in the 1st district last week, according to two Democratic sources monitoring ad buys in the state.
The ads had targeted Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley.
“We believe Ben Lange is in a strong position, and we are watching this race very closely,” NRCC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said. “Make no mistake, Braley is a gamble Iowans can’t afford.”
The GOP campaign committee has invested $400,000 in the race since it started airing spots there in September. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not spent any funds there on Braley’s behalf.
The northeastern Iowa district is the most Democratic in the state. Roll Call rates the race as Likely Democratic.
September 24, 2012
There was bad news today for North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell (D) out of Washington, D.C.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a second week of advertising in Kissell’s 8th district. Roll Call has learned that the DCCC’s independent expenditure arm canceled a reservation for advertising in the Charlotte media market from Oct. 9-15. This comes after the DCCC canceled a reservation from Oct. 2-8, as first reported by Roll Call.
The DCCC, which has not yet advertised for Kissell in the district, has reservations for the remainder of the cycle in the district — a significant sum. But those buys could be canceled, too. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been on the air advertising against Kissell since Sept. 7. Full story
September 20, 2012
Not everyone thinks Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) is a political goner. There are some signs his re-election race could be competitive.
This week, Now or Never Super PAC dropped $810,000 worth of television advertisements into the 8th district to boost Walsh’s uphill re-election bid against Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D).
For more than a year, there was consensus among Democrats and, privately, Republicans that Walsh stood very little chance of winning the redrawn, Democratic-leaning district. The controversial conservative barely won a first term, and now he’s facing one of Illinois Democrats’ most-beloved candidates.
The super PAC’s spot “displays a positive side of the Congressman,” according to a press release. Walsh attracted a fair amount of poor press during this term for a six-figure child support lawsuit eventually settled outside court.
“Joe Walsh is a different kind of Congressman,” the spot says. “He turned down his Congressional health care and pension so the taxpayers didn’t have to foot the bill.”
September 17, 2012
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hosted a fundraiser last Thursday evening on behalf of Democratic House candidate John Delaney.
Delaney is challenging Rep. Roscoe Bartlett for Maryland’s 6th district, and the Pelosi fundraiser is a sign of national Democrats’ determination to take the seat. In redistricting, Democrats dismantled Bartlett’s western Maryland district, adding liberal areas of the state around the Washington, D.C., suburbs that made re-election for the 10-term Congressman increasingly difficult.
That said, Bartlett has a rare across-the-aisle popularity among Democrats. Many state and national Democrats privately profess a personal affinity for him, but publicly, they are working overtime to help Delaney.
August 25, 2012
Thanks to heavy and effective television advertising and a disciplined campaign, former WWE CEO Linda McMahon has pushed her Senate race against Rep. Chris Murphy (D) from Likely Democratic to Leans Democratic.
At the beginning of this cycle, many Washington Republicans wrote off her campaign. National Republicans now compliment her campaign’s execution over the past year. They make no pretense that this race is on par with tossups in Virginia or Massachusetts, but insist it is much more competitive than it seems on the surface. Full story
August 14, 2012
Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon has won the GOP nomination in the race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), while Rep. Christopher Murphy won the Democratic nomination, according to the Associated Press.
Murphy had 68 percent of the vote at the time the Associated Press called the race, defeating former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz, who had 32 percent.
McMahon had 75 percent of the vote, putting her 50 points ahead of her Republican rival, former Rep. Christopher Shays.
From the beginning of the cycle, McMahon and Murphy were expected to win their parties’ nominations. Going forward, Murphy is the undisputed frontrunner in the fall.
Recently, though, national Republicans have begun to pay more attention to the Connecticut Senate race.
This is McMahon’s second GOP Senate nomination. She lost the general election to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) in 2010.
August 13, 2012
If it were up to former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.), he might envision a different path to the Senate than challenging Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D) this November.
The newly minted Republican nominee has said repeatedly he supports repealing the 17th amendment, which allows the direct election of Senators, according to interviews he gave in the last year.
August 1, 2012
Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Wednesday backed former Rep. Pete Hoekstra in his bid against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).
Santorum’s endorsement comes a few days before Michigan’s Republican Senate primary, which is set for Tuesday. Hoekstra’s main competition in that race is charter schools executive Clark Durant. Republicans expect Hoekstra to win the nomination, but Durant has garnered endorsements from several nationally recognized conservatives, including Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
“It is clear that the people of Michigan have tremendous choices in the Republican primary that [would all] be superior to Debbie Stabenow, but there is only one candidate with a proven track record of conservative leadership,” Santorum said. “That is Congressman Pete Hoekstra.”
The winner of the GOP primary has a tough battle ahead. Roll Call rates this Senate race as Likely Democratic.