If you got it, flaunt it. And in campaign fundraising, the best flaunt their numbers early.
There are several days yet until campaigns are required to file their first quarter fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. Typically, only campaigns with hauls worth bragging about release their figures early.
Here’s are the congressional campaign fundraising figures that caught our eye on Thursday:
One of 2014′s most vulnerable Democratic incumbents, Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, is using the media blitz to demonstrate political space between him and Bloomberg.
“I’ve gotten a lot of questions about NYC Mayor gun ad. My response? I don’t take gun advice from the Mayor of NYC. I listen to Arkansans,” Pryor tweeted Monday afternoon.
Bloomberg announced over the weekend that he plans to fund advertisements in 13 states during the Easter recess targeting vulnerable Democratic senators, including Pryor, and Republicans representing competitive states. The goal, according to The New York Times, is to pressure senators he believes could be persuaded to support universal background checks for firearm sales.
Republicans plan to target Pryor's seat. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Two conservative groups, Club for Growth Action and the Senate Conservatives Fund, released a new poll on Tuesday that shows Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., a top target in 2014.
In late January, 53 percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Pryor, while 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him in the Basswood Research poll of likely voters. By mid-March poll, 36 had a favorable opinion of Pryor, while 36 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him.
Both organizations have recently aired paid advertisements against Pryor — this one from the club, and this one from SCF. The distilled message of the ads from both groups was that Pryor was not independent and votes a great deal of the time with Barack Obama.
Both ads were backed by moderate buy sizes, which Democrats argued casts doubt on the big shift in Pryor’s favorability.
Senate Conservatives Action launched a 60-second radio spot Thursday linking Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., to President Barack Obama, who remains deeply popular in the Razorback State.
The conservative, GOP-aligned group’s spot, backed by $35,000 in the Little Rock and Fort Smith markets, will air through March 26. The ad opens with a man and woman watching TV together and disagreeing about what show to watch.
“You think it’s possible for a couple to agree 95 percent of the time?” the woman asks.
“Ninety-five percent of the time?” the man says, chuckling. “No way!”
“Well, Mark Pryor voted with Barack Obama 95 percent of the time,” the woman replies.
Brown voted against the Senate-passed VAWA reauthorization (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Several congressmen running for Senate in 2014 or considering a bid voted against final passage of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization on Thursday.
A majority of House Republicans voted against the Senate-backed version of the bill, S 47, which passed with Democratic support. But those “no” votes, easily packaged into a 30-second TV spot, could pose a political problem for potential GOP Senate candidates down the road in competitive races.
Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia, who is running for the state’s open Senate seat, voted “no.” So did his fellow Peach State Republican Reps. Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, Tom Price and Tom Graves — all potential Senate contenders.
The Club for Growth will launch a television advertisement in Arkansas on Friday targeting Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, who is up for re-election in 2014.
It’s the first cannon shot in what is expected to be a hard-fought and extended war for Pryor’s seat — and control of the Senate
Club for Growth Action, an affiliate of the well-funded anti-tax group, will tie Pryor to an unpopular President Barack Obama in the Razorback State with the six-figure buy.
“He’s the only Arkansan in Congress today who voted for Obamacare,” an elderly-sounding male narrator says over a graphic of darkened figure that eventually morphs into a picture of Pryor. “The only one who voted for the Obama stimulus. He joined Obama to bail out the Wall Street banks.”
“When you vote for Pryor, you vote for Obama,” the narrator says. “It’s that simple.”
Pryor, considered one of the more vulnerable senators facing re-election this cycle, does not currently have a Republican challenger. Washington, D.C., Republicans are recruiting freshman Rep. Tom Cotton to run, but he hasn’t yet said what he is doing.
The Club for Growth backed Cotton in his 2012 House run.
Cotton will have some fundraising help. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Speaker John A. Boehner will attend a Wednesday fundraiser for freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., in Washington, D.C., CQ Roll Call has learned.
With his compelling biography, conservative credentials and fundraising prowess, Cotton is one of the highest-profile members of the freshman class.
“Cotton brings energy and enthusiasm to the House Republican Conference, and he’s definitely someone with leadership potential,” emailed a GOP aide, who confirmed the Boehner event was taking place.
The fundraiser with the Speaker will take place at the Capitol Hill Club on Wednesday evening.
Republicans on the other side of the Capitol complex have been giving Cotton attention too. Despite only having taken the oath of office last month, Republicans are recruiting him to run against Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in 2014. Full story
Maloch is ready to run if Cotton, above, seeks the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Arkansas state Sen. Bruce Maloch, a Democrat, is eyeing Arkansas’ 4th District — but only under one condition.
“If the seat is open, I’d definitely be interested in looking at it,” Maloch said in a telephone interview with CQ Roll Call on Thursday night. But if it’s not, he added, he’s “probably not interested in pursuing it.”
Freshman Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., represents the 4th District. Maloch, like many Razorback State politicos, has heard increasing speculation that Cotton might run against Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor in 2014.
Cotton’s chief of staff, Doug Coutts, did not immediately return a phone call late Thursday. Coutts had no comment on the Senate bid speculation last month.
The National Rifle Association will target several senators up for re-election in 2014, including Pryor. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
The National Rifle Association will launch a print advertising campaign targeting mostly Democratic senators up for re-election in 2014, according to sources close to the group.
On Thursday, full-page ads are scheduled to run in local newspapers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina and West Virginia. They will be supplemented by digital advertising in these states and 10 others, including Alaska, Colorado, Montana, New Hampshire and South Dakota.
Additionally, the group has scheduled full-page ads to run Feb. 25 in regional editions of USA Today, reaching parts of 15 states.
The campaign is estimated to cost north of $375,000, sources said. Full story
Lt. Gov. Mark Darr, a Republican, is planning a Senate bid to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, according to a report in National Journal.
Pryor, a Democrat in a state that has trended very Republican, was uncontested in his 2008 re-election race. How difficult a battle he faces in 2014 will be determined by who ends up as the Republican nominee.
Though it’s still very early, Republican ranks appear thin in the Razorback State. Full story
Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin, who will serve on the Ways and Means Committee in the 113th Congress, will not seek higher office in Arkansas during the 2014 election cycle.
“I am not running for Senate and I am not running for governor in 2014,” he told CQ Roll Call in an interview.
“Being on the Ways and Means Committee is not only one of the best places to be in the House, it’s one of the best jobs in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
Griffin, a freshman who has a long Capitol Hill résumé, has been mentioned as a potential candidate for higher office since he took the oath for Congress in January 2011. But with his appointment to the powerful committee, he’s staying put — for now.
Griffin won re-election in his Little Rock-anchored district this month with 55 percent of the vote.
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., appears to be one of the most vulnerable incumbents in the chamber: In 2011, Pryor voted with President Barack Obama 95 percent of the time; in 2012, only 37 percent of the state Pryor represents voted for Obama.
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.