Rep. Jeff Flake will succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two Congressmen from different parties are moving up to the Senate.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is set to represent Arizona in the Senate, while Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is set to be New Mexico’s newest Senator, according to an Associated Press projection.
In Arizona, Flake was up over his Democratic rival, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D), by more than 6 percent with 63 percent of precincts reporting. In New Mexico, Heinrich was up more than 6 points over former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) with 66 percent of precincts reporting.
Republicans are spending big in their effort to defeat Richard Carmona, who is running for the Senate in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
During the final week of the Arizona Senate race, supporters of Rep. Jeff Flake (R) and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) are expected to spend almost $7.5 million, according to a Republican source who tracks media buys.
Both sides are investing heavily, although Republicans are slated to outspend Democrats by about a 2-to-1 margin. But the Democrats are packing a punch with this new spot:
Republican sources interpret the heavier GOP spending in the final week as a lack of Democratic confidence Carmona’s ability to defeat Flake. But Democratic sources say the Republican spending advantage is a sign of concern on the GOP side.
This is, perhaps, the best ad of the entire cycle from former state Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R). He is giving Rep. John Tierney (D) a very serious challenge, but we cannot imagine a better way to close out a campaign in the overloaded Boston TV market, even if it is a small cable buy:
The Arizona Senate race has taken a nasty and personal turn in the final days, highlighted by increasingly sharp barbs between GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D).
The spat caps a tumultuous year for the Arizona delegation and politics in the state, and there is little to indicate relationships will improve in the next Congress — especially if Carmona wins the Tossup race.
Carmona faces Rep. Jeff Flake (R) in the race to replace Kyl, who is retiring. But recently Kyl and McCain have played starring roles in battering Carmona, while Flake is hardly in the fray at all. Full story
One of the most common Republican ad trends this cycle is featuring elderly relatives — usually parents — defending the candidate’s Medicare credentials. Rep. Joe Walsh (R) is taking another tack: In his newest ad, his son Joey defends his honor in light of a new ad from veteran Tammy Duckworth’s (D) campaign about child support problems.
Rep. Jeff Flake is the second Arizona Republican in a month to deliver the GOP’s weekly address.
The move appears to be an effort to boost Flake’s Senate campaign and to present a national face of fiscal conservatism.
“My wife, Cheryl, and I celebrated some great news this week. We became grandparents for the first time. Aiden Jeffrey Flake was lucky enough to be born in the greatest country in the world,” he said. “While it will be years before he is ready to start school, his share of the national debt is already over $50,000.
“If we continue along our current budget trajectory, our grandson is simply not going to have the same opportunities that my grandparents created for me,” said Flake, who has used this personal story previously in the campaign.
He is locked in a Tossup race against former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. This is an open seat created by Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R) retirement.
Flake’s fellow Arizonan, House candidate Vernon Parker, delivered the GOP address in late September. He is in a Tossup race against former state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) in Arizona’s 9th district.
The news on the TV advertising front today has more to do with resource strategy rather than content. As time runs out to book TV reservations, what is most interesting today is where committees and super PACs are spending, rather than the actual ads.
The most noteworthy television ads today all dealt with negativity — how to dish it out and how to respond. The toughest ad we saw came from the Democratic House Majority PAC. The ad in the Colorado 6th House race is one of the toughest we have ever seen.
Here is what else that cut through the clutter:
As we noted Thursday, campaign ads took a nasty turn this week. The sharpest turn in the last 36 hours has been in Arizona. Wednesday night’s debate between former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R) was a cordial affair. The next morning, the Flake camp dropped an anvil on Carmona with an ad featuring one of his former supervisors harshly criticizing him.
Carmona’s team reacted quickly — issuing a statement Thursday afternoon, and by the evening, they had a new TV ad posted on YouTube.com. According to a campaign source, the ad was put together Thursday, but the Carmona campaign anticipated the attack and was prepared.
Campaigns often pretape rebuttal ads weeks or months in advance in anticipation of specific negative attacks. This was the case with this September ad from Rep. Mike Coffman (R) in Colorado’s 6th.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending an additional $673,000 on the Arizona Senate race in support of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona’s bid against Rep. Jeff Flake (R).
This is an extension of the committee’s independent expenditure investment, bringing the total to about $1.6 million in the state. The new buy will last Oct. 16-22. The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure arm has spent about $1.1 million in Arizona.
This is the DSCC ad for Carmona that the money is supporting:
Rep. Dan Benishek increasingly looks like he won't return for the 113th Congress. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
One year ago it would have been hard to picture both the Arizona and Connecticut open-seat Senate races as Tossups with less than a month to go before Election Day. But funny things can happen to the Senate battleground map based on candidates and the campaigns they run — just ask Republicans this cycle about Missouri.
The open-seat Senate races in the Nutmeg State and the Grand Canyon State are thousands of miles apart, yet share some distinct similarities. Both feature House Members who began the race as the heavy frontrunner and challengers who have surged based on the strength of their campaigns. Those challengers will still have to overcome a heavy partisan disadvantage at the presidential level, but that prospect seems to be increasingly possible. Therefore, we are moving both races into the tossup column, even though in both races, the party that currently holds the seat still has a very small advantage. Full story
This week marks the point where campaigns begin to unleash their devastating ads — the ones they have planned to use all along if necessary but have held back for timing. On Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and others went there with a series of ads featuring survivors of sexual assault criticizing Rep. Todd Akin (R). It turns out, it was only the beginning.
Here are the newest ads in this vein to cut through the clutter.
There is no doubt momentum has been with former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) in his Senate bid against Rep. Jeff Flake (R). But all along, Arizona Republicans insisted that a negative barrage was coming Carmona’s way and that there was plenty in his record that could come into play. The negative ads against Carmona began a few weeks ago, but this new one from the Flake campaign is simple and brutal. This is part of a major statewide broadcast, cable and radio buy.
Rep. Jeff Flake (R) and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) engaged in a vigorous but respectful debate Wednesday night in their closely watched contest to replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R).
The contest has in recent weeks moved to the forefront of battleground races that could determine which party will control the Senate in the next Congress.
Right off the bat in his opening statement, Flake sought to counter to Carmona’s biography by accusing his foe of being unwilling to take concrete positions on issues.
“My opponent has a great résumé, but a résumé is not a plan,” Flake said. “He’s been running for nearly a year now, and we still don’t know where he stands on the major issues of the day.”
Carmona repeatedly referred to a national “infrastructure” that provided him opportunities for education and to move up the socioeconomic ladder. The term was as much of a subtle criticism of Flake as it was about the American Dream — the underlying charge being that Flake’s fiscal conservatism will inhibit Arizona from obtaining its share of federal infrastructure funds. Full story
A second Republican poll today showed Rep. Jeff Flake (R) leading former surgeon general Richard Carmona (D) in the open-seat Senate race in Arizona.
Flake takes 47 percent to Carmona’s 41 percent, with undecided voters accounting for 12 percent in the survey paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure unit.
The survey marks the second GOP poll and third internal poll released today. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a survey showing Carmona with a 4-point lead. But Flake’s own campaign polling gave him a 6-point lead in surveys taken the same days, Oct. 7-9.
Regardless, the dueling numbers are a sign of an increasingly competitive race. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
In the NRSC’s IE poll, respondents reported a more favorable impression of Flake. Forty-five percent deemed Flake favorable, while 36 perent gave Carmona a favorable rating.
GS Strategy Group conducted the poll of 500 likely voters Oct. 8-9. The margin of error is about 4.4 points, according to the polling memo obtained by Roll Call.
President Barack Obama isn’t the only Democrat running this year that’s benefiting from appearances by Bill Clinton.
For the past month, since his well-received speech at the Democratic National Convention, the former president has hit the campaign trail for Obama. He has said his top goal is returning Obama to the White House, but he’s also finding time in the final push before Election Day for some downballot Democrats who also find themselves in close races and could use the boost Clinton can provide. Full story