Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 19, 2014

Posts in "Tossup"

February 12, 2014

Conservative Group Ups Spending to $2.6M Against Landrieu

Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group backed by Charles and David Koch, launched yet another stinging TV ad Wednesday against Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.

It’s the group’s latest ad targeting the Louisiana Democrat on President Barack Obama’s health care law. The group spent $750,000 on its latest three-week flight and has now spent $2.6 million in the state so far this cycle, according to AFP spokesman Levi Russell.

“Dear Miss Davis, we can no longer offer you the same policy,” one announcer says in a series of supposed notices sent by insurance companies. “Your doctor is no longer in the network, due to the Affordable Care Act.”

Full story

February 7, 2014

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh Appointed to Replace Baucus

Montana Lt. Gov. John Walsh Appointed to Replace Baucus

Walsh, far right, visited the Capitol in November along with West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Win or lose in November, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the next senator from Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his former running mate to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate early after being confirmed Thursday as ambassador to China.

Walsh was already running for the seat, but he’ll now run as the incumbent senator. That change could provide some inherent advantages in his quest to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable seats.

“I wanted to appoint someone who I truly believed would wake up each and every day wanting to put Montana and Montanans first,” Bullock said in a Friday news conference to announce the appointment. Full story

February 6, 2014

Montana Gov. Going ‘Through a Process’ to Replace Max Baucus (Updated) (Video)

Montana Gov. Going Through a Process to Replace Max Baucus (Updated) (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:15 p.m. | The Senate’s confirmation Thursday of Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., as ambassador to China immediately sets off the need for an appointment to replace him.

The onus falls on Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, who must choose someone to fill out the remaining year of Baucus’ term. The governor has scheduled a press conference for Friday at noon ET.

Lt. Gov. John Walsh, who was elected on the same ticket as Bullock in 2012, is already running for Senate. While he’s the odds-on favorite to be appointed, his selection to replace Baucus is no sure thing.

An ally of the administration confirmed to CQ Roll Call that Bullock “has gone through a process, been very hands on, but kept it really close to him and top aides — he’s watched failed appointments in the past and he’s not the kind of guy to make stupid errors.

“He’s a lawyer and he’s thorough,” the source continued. “I don’t think anyone would be surprised if Bullock picks someone close to him — his lieutenant governor or someone from the cabinet — but I would be surprised if he does it without having spent a great amount of time weighing pros and cons.” Full story

February 5, 2014

Pryor Launches TV Ads Aimed at Cotton Record

Pryor Launches TV Ads Aimed at Cotton Record

Sen. Mark Pryor launched two TV ads Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor’s campaign launched two TV ads Wednesday going directly after his Republican opponent’s legislative record on Medicare.

The Democrat’s ads, airing statewide behind a “substantial” six-figure buy, feature one woman in each looking at their computers and highlighting what they had read about Rep. Tom Cotton.

The ads fit into the theme Democrats have pushed from the outset of the campaign — that Cotton has been “reckless and irresponsible” during his first term in the House. That messaging continued last week when Cotton voted against the farm bill conference report. Full story

February 4, 2014

Super PAC TV Ad Touts Dan Sullivan in Alaska

An Alaska-based super PAC formed to support the Senate campaign of Republican Dan Sullivan launched a TV ad Tuesday that paints him in the mold of Ronald Reagan and longtime Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Sullivan, a former state attorney general and commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, is vying for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, who defeated Stevens in 2008. Begich is a top target of national Republicans, who are hoping to net six seats this fall to regain control of the Senate.

The ad, from Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values, is backed by a $41,000 buy and will air statewide this month, according to a release shared first with CQ Roll Call. It starts off with the voices of Reagan and Stevens before cutting to a clip from Sullivan’s campaign announcement press conference in October. Full story

January 9, 2014

Alaska Super PAC Hits Begich in 3 Radio Ads

An Alaska-based super PAC supporting one of Democratic Sen. Mark Begich’s Republican challengers is launching its first three ads of the campaign on Friday.

The radio ads are an opening salvo for the group, Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values, which backs former Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. The group spent about about $12,000 to air the ads over the next five days in Anchorage and Matanuska Valley.

While the buy size isn’t significantly large, the messaging offers a strong hint of the TV ads that are likely forthcoming. Each of the three 60-second ads mentions Begich’s support of Obamacare. One also notes the incumbent’s support of Obama’s appointees, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and questions where he stands on an oil tax rewrite referendum in the state this year. Full story

January 3, 2014

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Florida’s 13th District

 

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Floridas 13th District

Jolly, left, and Peters, right, are Republicans. (CQ Roll Call composite)

The competitive composition of Florida’s 13th District makes this race fascinating, but it’s also the first big contest on the calendar for 2014. This special election will serve as a test balloon for the parties to check their messaging with a split electorate months ahead of Election Day.

Longtime Rep. C.W. Bill Young’s death has spurred the first competitive race for the western Florida district in a few decades. Young carried the district easily, but President Barack Obama narrowly won the seat with 50 percent in 2012.

Full story

December 30, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Pryor is a top Senate GOP target in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a year with a few contenders, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor is widely considered the most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election. For Republicans, his seat is a must-win for the party to recapture the Senate majority.

With the president’s job approval rating dropping and southern Democrats disappearing from the congressional ranks, Pryor’s successful bid for a third term would be the ultimate proof that Senate elections are truly a choice between the two candidates on the ballot and the quality of the campaigns.

First elected in 2002, Pryor remains as the last Democrat from a congressional delegation filled with them just a few years ago. With the unpopularity of the president in Arkansas and Pryor’s vote in favor of the president’s health care overhaul law, Republicans believe they have a good shot at a clean sweep in the state’s federal races next November thanks to freshman Rep. Tom Cotton’s candidacy. Full story

December 29, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate

Begich is vulnerable in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There is so much to like about the 2014 Alaska Senate race, starting with the fact that there is a competitive race there at all.

In 2008, Mark Begich became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alaska since 1974. Without that upset victory over an incumbent Republican senator — who was convicted on corruption charges, which would later be thrown out, a week before the election — it’s highly unlikely Democrats would be competing in this solidly Republican state. Full story

December 12, 2013

Super PAC Ad Targets Landrieu Challenger in Louisiana

Super PAC Ad Targets Landrieu Challenger in Louisiana

Landrieu is vulnerable in 2014. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 9:31 a.m. | A Democrat-aligned super PAC has booked airtime in Louisiana, where Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is facing one of the toughest re-election races in the country.

Senate Majority PAC’s first ad in the Bayou State criticizes GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy for voting to raise the retirement age, “to raise Medicare costs $6,000 per year” and to shut down the federal government.

Watch the ad here:

Full story

December 11, 2013

Landrieu’s First TV Ad Highlights Her Obamacare Fix

Landrieus First TV Ad Highlights Her Obamacare Fix

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

Louisiana Sen. Mary L. Landrieu launched the first TV ad of her re-election campaign on Wednesday, highlighting her bill that would allow individual health care plan holders to keep their insurance under Obamacare.

The ad is an effort to defend the third-term Democrat from GOP attacks over the president’s health care law that have already hit the Bayou State airwaves — with more sure to come.

“Thousands of Louisianians and millions of Americans that carried individual policies will now have an opportunity to keep those health care plans,” Landrieu campaign manager Adam Sullivan said in a statement. “The President made a promise, and Sen. Landrieu is working to make sure it is kept and will continue her legislative efforts to fix and improve the Affordable Care Act.”

According to a release, the ad, backed by a $250,000 buy, will air in the Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Alexandria, Shreveport and Monroe media markets.

Watch Keeping the Promise here: Full story

December 5, 2013

Democratic Super PAC Drops Major Buy in North Carolina

Democratic Super PAC Drops Major Buy in North Carolina

The latest ad targets Tillis. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While Democrats up for re-election are facing heat over Obamacare, a Democratic-aligned super PAC launched a TV ad targeting the leading Republican in the North Carolina Senate race on the issue of health care.

According to a Republican tracking ad buys, Senate Majority PAC is spending $736,000 over the next two weeks across four media markets to defend Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan and criticize her top Republican challenger, state Speaker Thom Tillis. Full story

December 2, 2013

Another Potential Opponent Instead Backs Cassidy in Louisiana

A second Republican state legislator who previously considered a Senate bid of his own in Louisiana has instead endorsed the campaign of GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Cassidy’s Senate campaign announced Monday that state Sen. Elbert Guillory had joined state Rep. Alan Seabaugh as the latest potential foe to get behind his challenge to Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu — a top target of national Republicans.

Guillory gained some national attention this spring after switching parties. He had joined the Democratic Party in 2007, but he switched back to the GOP in May and became Louisiana’s only black Republican state senator. Full story

November 27, 2013

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan Helps Dan Sullivan

In Alaska, Dan Sullivan Helps Dan Sullivan

Begich has a tough re-election battle ahead in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Alaska Republican primary ballot next year will be a tale of two Dan Sullivans.

Former state Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan, a first-time candidate, announced a challenge last month to Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan, the better-known of the two, is running for lieutenant governor.

The presence of more than one Dan Sullivan is causing some confusion in polling on the two races, but it may not necessarily have negative repercussions for either candidate in the Aug. 19 primaries. While there will undoubtedly be plenty of advertising in this inexpensive state over the next nine months, any lingering confusion could conceivably provide the Senate candidate a few extra points of support. Full story

November 5, 2013

Illinois Democrat Estimates $2.5 Million Race for Top Competitive Seat (Video)

The candidate: Former chief judge Ann Callis, a Democrat
The member: Freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, a Republican
The district: Mitt Romney narrowly won this district with 49 percent of the vote.
The candidate’s team: Marshall Cohen (manager), Travis Lowe and Clare Gannon of Three Point Media (media), Jason McGrath and Mike Bocian of GBA Strategies (polling), Emily Parcell and Beth Hernandez of The Pivot Group (mail)

Former chief judge Ann Callis said she will need to raise $2 million to $2.5 million to wage a competitive campaign in the 13th District next year, according to an Oct. 10 interview she gave CQ Roll Call.

Callis is seeking to oust freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., in the competitive district that split nearly evenly between the two presidential candidates. Davis first faces a primary against former Miss America Erika Harold. Full story

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