Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

Posts in "Likely Republican"

November 12, 2013

New Dem Poll Shows McConnell in Tight Race

New Dem Poll Shows McConnell in Tight Race

McConnell is up for re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

As a new poll showed a tight race in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell held a news conference in Louisville to press for the repeal of the health care overhaul and tie his opponent to the Senate Democrats who voted for it.

The poll, conducted by Democratic firm Lake Research Partners for MoveOn.org’s political action arm, found McConnell and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes tied at 37 percent in a potential general-election matchup. It’s the latest evidence that the Bluegrass State will be among the top races of 2014.

Speaking behind a podium at his campaign headquarters, McConnell said Democrats essentially took a “meat ax” to the country’s health care system with the new law and are now panicked over the repercussions. After referring to the health care website’s troubles, he noted that 15 Democrats up for re-election next year met with the president at the White House last week to discuss the law. Full story

October 18, 2013

Cruz-Aligned Group Endorses McConnell Challenger

Cruz Aligned Group Endorses McConnell Challenger

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Conservatives Fund, a group Sen. Ted Cruz helped raise money for by appearing in an anti-Obamacare ad, has for the second time in two days endorsed a challenger to a Republican senator — this time the minority leader of the Senate.

The move was not surprising — the Jim DeMint-founded group announced Friday that it will support Louisville businessman Matt Bevin’s uphill primary battle against Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. On Thursday, the SCF endorsed state Sen. Chris McDaniel’s primary challenge to Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

The endorsements are the latest addition to an increasingly awkward position for Cruz, the Texas Republican who serves as a vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which supports all incumbents, including McConnell. Full story

October 16, 2013

Challenger Knocks McConnell for Forging Senate Shutdown Deal

Challenger Knocks McConnell for Forging Senate Shutdown Deal

McConnell will seek re-election in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s GOP primary challenger jumped on the news that the incumbent helped craft a deal that would reopen the federal government and extend the debt limit.

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin has criticized McConnell’s conservative credentials and argued that the minority leader had not adequately led the charge to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law. That ultimate effort  prompted the recent budget stalemate, but the urgency of the debt limit led to a bipartisan deal that was announced Wednesday on the Senate floor.

In an extensive statement, Bevin said McConnell “can always be counted on to sell out conservatives.” Full story

October 11, 2013

McConnell Opponent Loans Campaign $600K

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, who is waging a primary challenge to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, loaned his campaign $600,000 in the third quarter to help stay competitive with the well-funded incumbent.

Bevin announced Friday that he will report bringing in $822,000 during the three-month fundraising period from July through September. He had about $165,000 in cash on hand remaining at the end of the quarter, a campaign spokeswoman said.

McConnell released his fundraising tally earlier in the day. He raised nearly $2.3 million and had just under $10 million in cash on hand.

The primary winner will likely face Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has not yet announced how much she raised.

The race is rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

McConnell Raised $2.3M in 3rd Quarter

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continued his torrential fundraising pace in the third quarter, as he fends off re-election challenges from both sides.

The Kentucky Republican, who is seeking a sixth term, announced raising nearly $2.3 million over the last three months and will report having just under $10 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

McConnell’s quarterly total is his best yet, barely edging his second-quarter showing of just more than $2.2 million.

McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement that this is “a presidential-level campaign designed to withstand the millions of dollars in attack ads coming from out-of-state groups and deliver Senator McConnell’s message directly to Kentucky voters.”

The incumbent is facing a primary challenge from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin and a potential general election foe in Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Neither has released their third-quarter numbers yet.

September 20, 2013

Super PAC Ad Ties McConnell Opponent to Harry Reid | #KYSEN

A Kentucky super PAC is hitting the radio Friday to tie Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s likely general election opponent to the leading Democrat in the Senate.

The 60-second ad is backed by a $75,000 buy and is running statewide, according to a spokesman at Kentuckians for Strong Leadership. It touts McConnell’s opposition to Obamacare before making the connection between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

“That’s why Harry Reid personally recruited liberal Alison Grimes to run against McConnell, and now Grimes is raising money with Harry Reid in Las Vegas,” the ad’s announcer says. “The choice is clear: Grimes and Reid, pushing Obamacare on us, while members of Congress get a bailout; or Mitch McConnell, a fighter for Kentucky.” Full story

September 19, 2013

McConnell’s Kentucky Coal Politics Play Out on Senate Floor | #KYSEN

McConnells Kentucky Coal Politics Play Out on Senate Floor | #KYSEN

McConnell is up for re-election in 2014. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., took to the Senate floor Thursday morning to push his Saving Coal Jobs Act toward passage, providing a quick case study in how the minority leader leverages his office to promote his home state during his re-election.

Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., objected to the bill, and McConnell was ultimately unsuccessful. But the back-and-forth set up a helpful contrast for McConnell and national Republicans.

McConnell’s likely general election opponent next year, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, is reportedly scheduled to attend a fundraiser hosted by Reid. Coal could play a central role in the campaign debate next fall, especially in the most politically competitive parts of eastern Kentucky. Full story

September 13, 2013

McConnell Touts Obamacare Opposition in Fundraising Appeal | #KYSEN

With the subject line “I’m Still Fighting Against Obamacare,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell laid out his record of working against President Barack Obama’s health care law in a lengthy fundraising appeal to supporters Thursday night.

In the face of attacks from a Republican primary challenger in Kentucky regarding his conservative credentials, the McConnell campaign distributed the email Thursday night — a day after the Republican leader introduced an amendment to the energy bill that would delay implementation of the individual mandate. He also reminded supporters that he led the effort in 2009 for unanimous GOP opposition to Obamacare. Full story

September 12, 2013

Syria Radio Ad Aired by GOP Georgia Senate Candidate | #GASEN

Georgia Republican Senate candidate Karen Handel launched a radio spot Thursday contrasting her position on intervention in Syria with that of Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee.

Nunn said last week that she would support a “limited, defined and strategic military action” in Syria. After noting in her 60-second spot that she “would vote against the authorization of military force,” Handel refers to Nunn as “just another vote for Harry Reid or Barack Obama.” Full story

September 10, 2013

McConnell Primary Challenger Vows ‘Expensive Race’ (Video)

The candidate: Businessman Matt Bevin, a Republican
The member: Bevin is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The state: Kentucky hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992 or for president since 1996, but McConnell is the top target of national Democrats in 2014. The general election is rated Republican Favored by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
The candidate’s team: Cold Spark Media is doing media and general consulting.

Louisville businessman Matt Bevin’s candidacy added another challenge for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election to a sixth term. As the top target of national Democrats, the Kentucky Republican is also working to hold off Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the likely Democratic nominee.

On one side, McConnell is being hit for being an “obstructionist” in the Senate. But at the same time, Bevin, who announced his bid in July, says McConnell isn’t obstructionist enough. Full story

September 5, 2013

TV Ad Targets McConnell on Obamacare Defunding | #KYSEN (Video)

TV Ad Targets McConnell on Obamacare Defunding | #KYSEN (Video)

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate Conservatives Fund is upping its ante against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by launching a TV attack ad statewide.

The ad is aimed at urging the Kentucky Republican to lead an effort that seeks to tie upcoming spending bills to a push by rank-and-file Republicans to defund President Barack Obama’s health care law. Critics of that effort, including some GOP leaders, have said demanding that Obamacare be defunded as part of the spending bill debate would only shut down the government, while mandatory spending on the health care law would continue.

McConnell himself has said that shutting down the government will not accomplish the goal of stopping Obamacare.

The ad is backed by $340,000 and is running on broadcast and cable TV statewide Sept. 6-17, according to the SCF, which announced the ad buy on Thursday. It’s a follow-up to a similarly themed radio ad that the group launched last week. All told, the SCF has dumped nearly $400,000 into the race in the past two weeks. Full story

August 27, 2013

Two Conservative Groups Target McConnell in Radio Ads | #KYSEN

Two outside groups that support conservative candidates have launched radio ads this week targeting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The Senate Conservatives Fund announced Tuesday that it’s spending nearly $50,000 to run a statewide radio ad for the next two weeks that urges the Kentucky Republican to oppose funding President Barack Obama’s health care law. It’s run similar ads against six other Republican senators, though not all are up for re-election next year.

The Madison Project, which has officially endorsed McConnell’s GOP primary opponent, Matt Bevin, went a step further in its ad, calling on conservatives to “dump” McConnell. The group spent just more than $27,000 on its statewide ad, according to Federal Election Commission filings. Full story

August 22, 2013

McConnell Poll Shows Lead With Tea Party Republicans | #KYSEN

Facing a spirited Republican primary challenge in Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released a poll on Thursday that found he still has the support of more than two-thirds of GOP voters.

McConnell led Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, 68 percent to 21 percent, with 8 percent of voters undecided. Given the six-term incumbent’s superior name ID, his wide lead is not surprising.

But the internal poll offered the incumbent some encouraging numbers among the primary voters likely to be Bevin’s base. According to the campaign’s polling memo, the lead holds up across several several demographic segments of the party, including “very conservative” voters and “Tea Party Republicans.” Full story

August 20, 2013

McConnell Strikes Again on TV Against GOP Challenger | #KYSEN (Video)

In his latest TV ad, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attempts to undercut the credibility of his Republican primary challenger in Kentucky.

Referring to tea-party-backed Louisville businessman Matt Bevin as “Bailout Bevin,” the ad, supported by a six-figure buy, claims Bevin has prevaricated about past tax issues and his connection to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A McConnell news release from this morning states that “it appears the only thing we really know about Matt Bailout Bevin is that he’s not a Kentucky conservative.” Full story

August 2, 2013

Democratic Polls Show Tight Race for McConnell #KYSEN

Democratic Polls Show Tight Race for McConnell #KYSEN

McConnell sent one of his top aides to his campaign this week. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Democratic polls released in the past two days showed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell virtually tied in his re-election race in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who formally launched her challenge to the Republican this week, led 44 percent to 42 percent in a survey conducted by her pollster, Mark Mellman. The poll of 750 likely voters was taken July 20-24.

The Democrat’s 2-point lead was within the poll’s 3.6-point margin of error, but the results indicate at this early point that McConnell has a race on his hands in this Republican-leaning state. Full story

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