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August 23, 2014

Posts in "Tossup"

December 11, 2012

GOP Outside Group Makes Issue Ad Buy on Fiscal Cliff

The GOP-aligned American Action Network has launched an online advertising campaign urging Beltway policy insiders to support congressional Republicans during the fiscal cliff debate.

The online digital campaign includes Web videos and search, mobile and display ads. The money behind the buy is in the tens of thousands of dollars. The group’s newest Web video features economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who is associated with AAN’s sister organization, American Action Forum.

Holtz-Eakin is a former Congressional Budget Office director and was a top domestic adviser to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Updated 11:29 a.m. | Crossroads GPS is making an effort on this front as well, with a $240,000 local radio ad buy targeting five Democratic senators who are in races Roll Call rates as Tossups.

Those radio spots are airing in target=”_blank”>Alaska, targeting Sen. Mark Begich; target=”_blank”>Louisiana, targeting Sen. Mary L. Landrieu; target=”_blank”>North Carolina, targeting Sen. Kay Hagan; target=”_blank”>South Dakota, targeting Sen. Tim Johnson and West Virginia, targeting Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

December 3, 2012

Alaska: Treadwell One Step Closer to Senate Bid

Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said at a GOP luncheon in Fairbanks on Friday that he is forming a Senate exploratory committee as he considers whether to challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in 2014, The Associated Press reported.

CQ Roll Call previously reported that Treadwell had begun making calls to line up support for a likely Senate bid. He’s one of many Republicans looking to challenge Begich in the solidly Republican state, and the field is only beginning to take shape.

Begich was first elected in 2008, defeating Republican incumbent Ted Stevens one week after Stevens was found guilty of corruption charges in federal court. That ruling was thrown out five months later. Begich, then the mayor of Anchorage, won by less than 4,000 votes.

Treadwell, who in 2001 was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Arctic Research Commission, was elected lieutenant governor in 2010.

November 29, 2012

South Dakota: Club for Growth ‘Not Focused’ on Rounds

The conservative Club for Growth is taking a hands-off approach to former Gov. Michael Rounds’ Senate bid — at least for now.

“We are not focused on South Dakota’s Senate race at this time, and we do not feel the need to comment on every candidate that announces for office,” said Barney Keller, a spokesman for the group, in response to an email inquiry from Roll Call. “We will continue to watch every race and go through our normal evaluation process.”

That’s good news for Rounds, a Republican who announced his bid against Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., Thursday morning. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

Full story

South Dakota: Johnson Promises ‘Winning Campaign’ Against Rounds

South Dakota: Johnson Promises Winning Campaign Against Rounds

Johnson said he will make a formal announcement regarding his re-election later next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said he will make a “formal announcement later next year” about his re-election in a carefully worded statement from his office released Thursday morning.

“As in past campaigns, I will make my formal announcement later next year,” he said. “But I feel great, still have work to do, and I fully intend to put together a winning campaign in the weeks and months ahead.”

Former Gov. Michael Rounds, a Republican, announced Thursday that he’s jumping into the Senate race.His candidacy immediately makes the race competitive, and Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

“I am here today to ask the people of South Dakota for their support and to allow me to work for them as their United States Senator in 2014,” Rounds said in a statement.

Full story

November 28, 2012

Inside the 2014 Senate Races

Inside the 2014 Senate Races
Roll Call’s initial Senate ratings outlook projects a potentially bullish cycle for Republicans, with an opportunity to recapture the majority for the first time in eight years.

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.

Full story

November 7, 2012

North Dakota: This Might Take a While

Former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) held a slim lead over her opponent, Rep. Rick Berg (R), in the race for North Dakota’s open Senate seat.

Heitkamp led Berg by about 3,500 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press.

Not so fast. Berg’s team announced early Wednesday morning that he wants to wait until the vote canvass finishes next week.

“This is a very close election, which is why North Dakota has a process in place to properly count each ballot and officially certify the result,” Berg spokesman Chris Van Guilder wrote in a press release. “This canvassing process will certify the election and provide an official result. The Berg for Senate campaign will await the results of the canvassing process before making any other announcements regarding the status of the election.”

A Heitkamp spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Nonetheless, the count might not end after the canvass. According to North Dakota election law, there’s an automatic recount if the apparent victor wins by less than 0.5 percent of his or her vote total.

It gets even more complicated. North Dakota is the only state without voter registration, so it’s ripe for legal complaints in a tight race such as this one.

Iowa: Tom Latham Defeats Leonard Boswell in Member-Vs.-Member Race

Iowa: Tom Latham Defeats Leonard Boswell in Member Vs. Member Race

Rep. Tom Latham won in the 3rd district's Member-vs.-Member race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Latham (R) defeated his colleague, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D), in their 3rd district matchup tonight.

Latham had an 8-point lead over his Democratic opponent with 93 percent of precincts reporting in the southwestern Iowa district, according to the Associated Press.

A top ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Latham raised considerably more money than Boswell did. But the Democrat had a geographical advantage in this Tossup race, with more of his old district included in the new one.

Boswell’s defeat marks the first Member to lose to a colleague tonight.

In Ohio, Rep. Jim Renacci (R) leads Rep. Betty Sutton (D) in the 16th district by a slim 4-point margin, but with only 57 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has not called that race yet.

November 4, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

President Barack Obama fires up supporters at a late-night rally in northern Virginia on Saturday. Obama and MItt Romney are barnstorming swing states in the last push to turnout voters on Election Day. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made their closing pitches to swelled crowds of swing state supporters in the final weekend before voters deliver their verdict, while top surrogates hit the Sunday show circuit to spin their map to victory on Tuesday.

Much of the debate in the campaign’s final hours has focused on Pennsylvania, where Romney is campaigning today and where President Bill Clinton will stump for Obama on Monday. Republicans insist their last-minute play for the Keystone State is based on polling showing it’s winnable. But Democrats charge that the move is a sign of desperation from a team whose path to 270 electoral votes is narrowing.

Later today, Romney will stop in Morrisville, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia across the river from New Jersey. The Romney team sought to expand the battleground map with a late multi-million dollar investment on Pennsylvania airwaves, vastly outspending Democrats there in the last two weeks.

“It’s a remarkable juxtaposition here that Mitt Romney will be in the suburbs of Philadelphia today, and, you know, four years ago, Barack Obama was in Indiana,” Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on ABC’s “This Week.” “When you look at where this map has gone, it reflects the — the change and the direction and the momentum toward Governor Romney.  And the fact is that a state like Pennsylvania being in play, a poll out today showing Michigan a dead heat, you know, this — the map has expanded.” Full story

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Race Rating Changes: The Final Push

Supporters of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney listen Sunday during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa. With two days before Election Day, Romney is campaigning in swing states across the country. (Emmanuel Dunando/AFP/Getty Images)

Heading into the final weekend of barnstorming before Election Day, there was a noticeable shift toward the GOP in many key House races while Democrats seem to be getting more good news than bad about the Senate map.

First, the Senate math:

Yes, it’s quite possible (even likely) that Democrats such as Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Bob Casey (Pa.) will have closer margins on Election Day than most expect. But Democrats are likely to hold both seats, and the climb for Republicans to net the four seats they need for an outright majority (if President Barack Obama is re-elected) seems steep heading into election week.

Here’s what we know: Republicans are likely to pick up two Senate seats in Nebraska and North Dakota (although the race there remains close). Those gains are likely to be offset by Democratic pickups in Massachusetts and Maine, where an Independent is poised to win and will likely caucus with Democrats. Assuming Republicans hold their seats in Arizona and Nevada, which seems like a good bet, that’s a zero net gain, leaving the chamber’s makeup at 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans. Full story

November 2, 2012

Indiana: Howey Poll Gives Donnelly Big Edge Over Mourdock

Indiana: Howey Poll Gives Donnelly Big Edge Over Mourdock

Rep. Joe Donnelly led Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock in a new poll. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) led state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) by 11 points in the latest bipartisan survey from Howey Politics Indiana.

Donnelly garnered 47 percent of the vote, while Mourdock had 36 percent in the survey.  A libertarian candidate, Andrew Horning, picked up 6 percent, and 11 percent of voters were undecided.

The new poll comes 10 days after Mourdock’s controversial remark in the candidates’ final debate that pregnancy from rape is something “God intended.” In this new survey, 87 percent of respondents were familiar with that remark.

Full story

Utah: Matheson Trails Love in New Poll

Utah: Matheson Trails Love in New Poll

Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson trails Republican challenger Mia Love in a new poll. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love could be pulling away from Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson in the race for Utah’s 4th district.

Love led Matheson by 12 points, 52 percent to 40 percent, in a new poll conducted for the Salt Lake Tribune. Just 9 percent of Republicans surveyed backed Matheson, which is not enough in a district Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to carry with ease.

However, the Matheson campaign released a poll Thursday night — just hours ahead of the Tribune poll’s release — that showed him ahead by 2 points.

These two polls can’t both be right, but both national parties have been spending here as if the race is close. Full story

November 1, 2012

Virginia: Mitt Romney, George Allen Rally GOP Faithful

Virginia: Mitt Romney, George Allen Rally GOP Faithful

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets the crowd at a campaign stop at the Farm Bureau Center in Doswell, Va. Romney was joined on the stump by Republican Senate candidate George Allen, who is locked in a tight race with Democrat Tim Kaine. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

DOSWELL, Va. — Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and Senate candidate George Allen rallied the GOP faithful today to begin a final joint push across this crucial battleground state.

In the second event of a three-stop tour, several hundred supporters donning stickers for Romney, Allen and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) crowded into the expansive Farm Bureau Center outside Richmond to hear the nominees for president and Senate. Full story

Rape Comment Forces John Koster Into Damage Control

Rape Comment Forces John Koster Into Damage Control

Former state Rep. John Koster has been in damage control mode. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In this election, some candidates have made unguarded comments at off-the-record fundraisers, while others have drawn fire for impolitic comments about women and rape.

Former state Rep. John Koster (R) has managed to do both. Koster, who remains closely tied with Democrat Suzan DelBene in Washington State’s 1st district, has been in damage control mode since Wednesday, when a progressive group released a secretly recorded audiotape of him saying that “the rape thing” does not justify abortion.

In the audiotape, posted on YouTube by the progressive group Fuse Washington, Koster responds to an unseen questioner who asks him: “Is there any time that you would agree with abortion?”

Koster’s reply includes the comment: “On the rape thing, it’s like: How does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime – how does that make it better?”

Full story

Indiana: American Bridge Sends Talking Richard Mourdock Mailers

Some Hoosier voters will hear state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s voice in their mailbox this week.

American Bridge strikes again with a talking mail piece, and this time it features the GOP Senate nominee’s controversial comment from last week’s debate that pregnancy from rape is “something God intended to happen.”

The Indiana Senate race between Mourdock and Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) is one of the most competitive in the country. Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

The $30,000 mail buy will target independent voters, according to an aide from the Democratic group. Here’s a demonstration from American Bridge:

American Bridge issued a similar talking mailer in the Missouri Senate race that quoted Rep. Todd Akin’s (R)  “legitimate rape” comment.

October 31, 2012

Indiana: Dueling Internal Polls Show Different Races

Indiana: Dueling Internal Polls Show Different Races

Rep. Joe Donnelly is running for Senate in Indiana. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s the effect of state Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s (R) week-old debate comment that pregnancy from rape is something “God intended”?

Depends on whom you ask.

Today, Mourdock’s campaign released a second poll showing his race versus Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) as a statistical tie. His own campaign survey showed Mourdock leading Donnelly, 45 percent to 44 percent.

It’s safe to say, Donnelly’s team sees the race differently. His campaign released its own survey today that showed him leading Mourdock, 43 to 36 percent, among 600 likely voters.

Either way, the race for Indiana’s Senate seat remains highly competitive. Roll Call rates it as a Tossup.

Mourdock’s pollster, John McLaughlin and Associates, conducted his campaign poll Oct. 29-30. Donnelly’s pollster, Global Strategy Group, conducted his campaign poll Oct. 28-30.

Both surveys interviewed 600 likely voters and had a margins of error of 4 points.

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