Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 31, 2014

Posts in "Race Ratings"

August 21, 2012

Pennsylvania: Kathy Boockvar on the Air Against Mike Fitzpatrick

Attorney Kathy Boockvar (D) will start airing advertisements today in her bid to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The $38,000 buy will run an introductory, semi-biographical spot this week.

“It’s just common sense — work together, make smart decisions and improve our bottom line,” Boockvar says in the spot. “That’s what I’ve done at work, as a mediator and at home, as a wife and mother. And it’s what I’ll do in Washington.”

Fitzpatrick is seeking re-election in the competitive 8th district. The seat represents Democrats’ best shot to pick up a seat this November in Pennsylvania, although Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

The Congressman has a major financial advantage over Boockvar. He reported $1.2 million in the bank at the end of June, while the Democrat had $421,000 in the bank at the same time.

August 20, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin Stands Up Piers Morgan

In the most recent chapter of the bizarre saga surrounding embattled Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Senate GOP nominee ducked out of a prime-time interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, leading the host to dub him “a gutless little twerp.”

Akin had been attempting a restorative media tour today, agreeing to be interviewed earlier by conservatives Mike Huckabee and Sean Hannity. But facing pressure from top GOP leaders, as well as from some of the hosts themselves, the Missouri Republican — who said Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy — apparently got cold feet.

“Congressman, you have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it because if you don’t keep your promise to be on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain, a gutless little twerp,” said Morgan, who showed an empty chair throughout his program. Full story

Indiana: Senate Majority PAC Boosts Joe Donnelly With $500K Buy

Indiana: Senate Majority PAC Boosts Joe Donnelly With $500K Buy

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic super PAC is set to swoop into Indiana on Tuesday to boost Rep. Joe Donnelly with a $500,000 ad buy for the increasingly competitive Senate race.

Majority PAC will air this spot targeting Donnelly’s Republican opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, on Social Security:

Full story

Missouri: What Happens if Todd Akin Drops Out

Missouri: What Happens if Todd Akin Drops Out

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Rep. Todd Akin (R) does drop his Missouri Senate bid within the next 24 hours, as the GOP establishment is pressuring him to do, at least his timing will be impeccable.

Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.

This statutory fact alone is why Republicans — from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — are coalescing around a 24-hour ultimatum. Full story

Missouri: Pressure Builds for Todd Akin to Step Aside

Missouri: Pressure Builds for Todd Akin to Step Aside

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6 p.m. | Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin apologized for his controversial remarks about “legitimate rape” today, as top Republicans ramped up calls for him to step aside as the GOP nominee.

In the clearest sign yet that pressure is being exerted on Akin to leave the race, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) issued a statement saying the Congressman has 24 hours to make a decision on what’s “best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about” and to “carefully consider” his options. A GOP source also confirmed that the NRSC is prepared to pull its $5 million ad reservation if Akin does not drop out of the contest.

“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Cornyn said. Full story

Republicans Pile On Criticism of Todd Akin’s Rape Comment

Republicans Pile On Criticism of Todd Akins Rape Comment

Sen. Scott Brown (above) called on Rep. Todd Akin to relinquish his Senate nomination after his controversial remarks about rape. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On day two of the media firestorm around Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) comments about rape, the Republican Senate nominee is discovering that his harshest critics are not Democrats, but members of his own party.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was restrained in her criticism of her opponent this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The incident has breathed new life into her campaign for re-election.

Instead, it is Republicans in tough fall races who are piling on:

Full story

August 19, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Comment Ignites Firestorm

Missouri: Todd Akins Legitimate Rape Comment Ignites Firestorm

Rep. Todd Akin's comments about abortion, even in instances of rape, set off a media firestorm today. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate in Missouri, justified his opposition to all abortion, even in instances of rape, by saying that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy — comments that have set off a media firestorm in an already contentious race.

In an interview with a St. Louis television station posted today, Akin said that female bodies “[have] ways to try to shut that whole thing down” and that only rapists, and not unborn children, should be punished.

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV, in an interview first reported nationally by Talking Points Memo. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Full story

August 16, 2012

Arizona: John McCain Officially Endorses Ben Quayle

Arizona: John McCain Officially Endorses Ben Quayle

Rep. Ben Quayle (above) got the endorsement of Sen. John McCain in his primary against a fellow Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) officially endorsed Rep. Ben Quayle in his Member-vs.-Member primary against fellow Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert on Wednesday.

“I strongly recommend that he be re-elected,” McCain said at a Wednesday news conference.

The Quayle campaign posted the full video online:

Full story

Illinois: New Democratic Poll Shows Robert Dold and Brad Schneider Tied

Illinois: New Democratic Poll Shows Robert Dold and Brad Schneider Tied

Democrat Brad Schneider is challenging Republican Rep. Robert Dold in Illinois' 10th district. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Freshman Rep. Robert Dold (R) and businessman Brad Schneider (D) are in a dead heat in the race for an Illinois House seat, according to a new Democratic poll released today.

Dold and Schneider each received 46 percent in the survey conducted for the Service Employees International Union and House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC.

The 10th district presents Democrats with one of their best pick-up opportunities this fall. Currently, Dold represents the most Democratic district held by a GOP House Member. What’s more, Democrats improved the 10th for their party in their redraw of the state’s Congressional map last year. Roll Call rates the race as Leans Democratic.

Democrats argue the poll is further evidence Dold is in trouble going into November.

“Bob Dold is in serious trouble because he is seriously out of step with Illinois,” said Alixandria Lapp, executive director of House Majority PAC.

Full story

Michigan: DCCC Starts Airing Ads in 1st District

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will air its first spot of the fall election season today, when it targets freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R) with an independent expenditure.

House Democrats beat the National Republican Congressional Committee to the punch in the fall advertisement wars. The NRCC confirmed last week it would start airing advertisements for the fall campaign on Friday in four House districts.

Benishek faces his 2010 opponent, former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D), this November. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

The committee will spend $73,000 to air this spot through Labor Day, according to a source familiar with the buy. This buy is in addition to the DCCC’s $515,000 reservation in television time in the 1st district through Election Day.

August 15, 2012

Minnesota: Rick Nolan Wins Democratic Nod in Comeback Bid

Former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) this evening came one step closer to returning to Congress after a 32-year hiatus when he won his party’s nomination in the 8th district.

Nolan led former state Sen. Tarryl Clark, 40 percent to 32 percent, with 80 percent of precincts reporting.

Nolan’s victory sets him up to face freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) this November. The 8th district is highly competitive, and both parties have reserved millions of dollars in airtime for the Minneapolis market for this contest and adjacent races.

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

Nolan struggled with fundraising throughout the primary but prevailed in part with some financial help from the state party. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party aired almost $160,000 in television spots on Nolan’s behalf.

The party backed Nolan over Clark earlier this year.

August 14, 2012

Wisconsin: Mark Pocan Wins Primary to Succeed Tammy Baldwin

State Rep. Mark Pocan handily defeated fellow state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys tonight. He led 70 percent to 23 percent when the Associated Press called the race.

Pocan was widely expected to win the primary for the Madison-based 2nd district and will almost certainly come to Congress in the fall. The two were vying for a safe Democratic open seat to replace Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D), who is running for Senate.

Connecticut: Linda McMahon, Christopher Murphy Win Senate Primaries

Connecticut: Linda McMahon, Christopher Murphy Win Senate Primaries

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Florida: Connie Mack IV, Bill Nelson to Battle in November

Florida: Connie Mack IV, Bill Nelson to Battle in November

Rep. Connie Mack IV won tonight's Republican Senate primary in Florida. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Connie Mack IV, who had broad support from just about every swath of the Republican Party, easily picked up the GOP nomination for Senate to take on Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in November.

Mack defeated long-shot candidates former Rep. Dave Weldon, retired Army Col. Mike McCalister and activist Marielena Stuart in primary. With 42.7 percent of precincts reporting, Mack had 58.5 percent of ballots cast, according to the Associated Press.

Nelson also easily dispatched a nonserious opponent. The two-term Senator took 79.3 percent of the vote, with 43.1 percent reporting, per AP results.

Mack is seen in both Democratic and Republican circles as a particularly weak candidate. The race in November favors Nelson.

Roll Call rates the Senate race as Leans Democratic. Nelson is widely expected to outperform President Barack Obama regardless of whether he wins the battleground state.

Florida: John Mica Beats Sandy Adams

Florida: John Mica Beats Sandy Adams

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Mica, chairman of the powerful Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, beat tea-party-affiliated freshman Rep. Sandy Adams by a comfortable margin in today’s GOP primary for Florida’s 7th district, situated north of Orlando.

With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Mica had 61 percent of the vote, to Adams’ 39 percent.

The establishment gets a bum rap these days. Time spent in Washington, D.C., is politically pestilent. Earmarks have given way to an age of austerity. Compromise is out. The approval rating of Congress is at 10 percent.

But in today’s Republican Member-vs.-Member race between the establishment and the grass roots, the establishment won.

Despite being a longtime politician in D.C. — Mica was first elected in 1992 — and having a history of earmarking for his district, Mica’s voting record is hued quite red: He is a real conservative. But it was green, not red that kept this from being much of a race.

Mica had a very considerable money advantage going into the primary fight earlier this year, and Adams was never able to close the gap with her own fundraising. Outside groups didn’t come to her rescue in a substantial way either, despite endorsements from tea party heavyweights such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and firebrand Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

“You can have all the grass roots you want, but at some point there is just a money factor that just crushes,” explained one top Florida GOP strategist unaligned in the race. “We reached that point a few weeks ago.”

Mica also started out with a significant advantage in the number of voters in the district who knew who he was. First elected to an Orlando-area seat the same year Bill Clinton was first elected president, Mica is a familiar figure.

“The guy’s been advertising in the Orlando media market for like 20 years,” the strategist said.

Other Republicans watching the race were struck by the disparity in advertising between the two candidates.

“He’s been really strong down the stretch with a lot of TV,” said unaffiliated GOP consultant Tre’ Evers, who is based in central Florida. And Mica had “lined up almost all of the local mayors,” he said.

Adams ran a feisty campaign, but the money gap hampered her ability to paint a full contrast with Mica. She was also impeded by the fact that both are similarly conservative when their voting records are taken in total, Florida GOP insiders said.

The race grew particularly nasty at times, but that didn’t change the underlying fundamentals.

“All she had on him was that he’s served for a long time,” Evers said.

The district is comfortably Republican so Mica is almost certain to be joining the 113th Congress for his 11th term.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...