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Posts in "Senate 2012"
November 6, 2012
Updated 12:37 a.m. | As Election Day folded into Nov. 7, the only question remaining in the fight for the Senate was the size of the Democratic majority.
Democrats were looking at a net gain of two seats, with just two Democratic-held seats and one Republican seat left to be called. That meant the Democratic majority could be no lower than 53-47, exactly where it was at the beginning of the cycle.
“When we started this campaign, no one, and I mean no one gave us a chance. But we went out and built the best Senate campaigns in the history of the country,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) said in a statement. “We recruited some of the highest quality candidates, including a record number of women. Democrats never let up, and now we will retain our majority in the United States Senate.”
The Associated Press called the Wisconsin Senate race after midnight, with Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) topping former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D). That left two Democratic-held seats yet to be called: in Montana, where Sen. Jon Tester (D) faced Rep. Denny Rehberg (R), and in North Dakota, where former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) faced Rep. Rick Berg (R) for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad (D).
Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (R) was looking to hold on against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), even as President Barack Obama carried the state.
Updated 11:25 p.m. | Democrats will retain control of the Senate.
Tim Kaine’s (D) victory in Virginia and Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) re-election took two more pickup opportunities off the map for Republicans and left the GOP without enough states left to complete its quest for the majority.
With the presidential contest now called for President Barack Obama, Democrats would control the Senate even in the event of a 50-50 tie, as Vice President Joseph Biden would cast the deciding vote. Full story
Empty offices. Lobbyists scattered across the country volunteering on campaigns. This is K Street on Election Day.
Take the Podesta Group. Many of the bipartisan firm’s staffers spent the day working at phone banks from Arizona to Virginia or knocking on doors, urging voters to turn out.
“I did phones this morning, then I walked some neighborhoods as well,” said Arlington, Va., resident Josh Holly, a principal at the lobby firm.
On Friday, we noted the 10 toughest ads of the cycle. For our last Daily Ad Track here on Election Day, we take a look at the best ads of the cycle. Some are negative, some are positive, some are defensive. But all cut through the clutter this year:
10. New Hampshire 1
Group sponsoring the ad: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee
Women’s testimonials have cluttered television screens, but there was something about a montage of tough guys with facial hair talking about “women’s medical issues” that made us stop.
November 5, 2012
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed an executive order Monday allowing voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to vote at any polling place in the state, with some limitations.
At a press conference late Monday, Cuomo announced that he would allow voters in affected areas to cast ballots by affidavit for president and statewide races at any polling place in the state. Voters using this option will not be able to vote in local races, including for Members of the House.
Unlike in New Jersey, New York voters will not be allowed to cast absentee ballots by email or fax.
A slew of Congressional candidates dipped into their own wallets over the past week to fund one final push in their campaigns.
Here’s Roll Call’s running tally, according to local reports and online filings with the Federal Election Commission:
- Last week, former Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) guaranteed a $500,000 loan for his campaign against former Gov. Tim Kaine (D). An Allen aide described it as a bridge loan to ensure available funds while the campaign processed credit card donations. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
- Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) made a last-minute, $250,000 loan to aid her bid against Sen. Dean Heller (R). Roll Call rates this as a Tossup.
- Former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R) continued to fund much of her campaign against Rep. Christopher Murphy (D). As of Oct. 17, she had contributed $40 million of her own funds to her race. Roll Call rates this as Leans Democratic.
- Attorney Kathy Boockvar (D) contributed $15,000 to her campaign to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
- Rep. Mark Critz (D-Pa.) loaned his campaign $35,000 on Oct. 25. That’s in addition to the $64,400 Critz, a former House aide, still owes his campaign from his primary against fellow Rep. Jason Altmire (D). Critz faces attorney Keith Rothfus (R) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup.
- Former Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.) contributed $500,000 to his campaign to defeat Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.) in the 11th district southwest of Chicago. A scientist and businessman, Foster has loaned his campaign big bucks in his previous bids. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
- Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.) wrote a check for $100,000 to her campaign on Oct. 29. She faces attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in a race Roll Call rates as a Tossup. She also donated funds to her 2010 bid.
- State Rep. Randy Weber (R) gave his campaign $25,000 to defeat former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas). Weber already loaned his campaign $226,500 earlier this cycle. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) appears to be cruising to victory in the open-seat Senate race in Hawaii, but she’s nonetheless getting a final boost from President Barack Obama.
A new radio ad released over the weekend by the Hirono campaign features Obama expressing support for the Congresswoman, highlighting her connection to his family.
“Years ago, Mazie worked with my late grandmother. So Mazie isn’t just a reliable partner of mine in Washington; she is part of my ohana at home in Hawaii,” Obama said. “Now, I need Mazie’s cooperative style and commitment to middle-class families in the U.S. Senate.”
Sen. Scott Brown (R) led Democrat Elizabeth Warren by 1 point among likely voters in a new poll, casting drops of doubt on the conventional wisdom that Warren had pulled into a comfortable and nearly insurmountable lead in the weeks before Election Day.
While the vast majority of recent reputable polling has shown Warren comfortably ahead of the incumbent, a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll found Brown leading Warren 49 percent to 48 percent among Massachusetts registered voters likely to vote. One percent didn’t know and one percent said they would vote for someone else.
Among all registered voters, Warren led Brown by 2 points.
November 4, 2012
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 3, 2012
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a series of directives late today that will allow voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to cast absentee ballots by email and fax.
Guadagno, a Republican, serves as the state’s top elections official. In one of her new directives, she instructs county clerks to accept absentee voting applications by fax or email up until 5 p.m. on Election Day and to accept ballots themselves electronically until 8 p.m. that day.
Under the directive, all voters displaced by the storm are deemed to be overseas voters under New Jersey law.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said today that the National Guard would be on hand to help ensure a smooth Election Day Tuesday in parts of his state that remain without power after Hurricane Sandy.
“Everybody should be ready to vote on Tuesday, and in fact you can vote beforehand. I’ve order the county clerks’ offices in every county in New Jersey to be open both days of the weekend.” the Republican said. “You don’t have to wait to vote. If you’ve got a little time on your hands, you’re tired of cleaning this stuff up, go there, in person, you’ll get a ballot, you vote, hand it in and you’re done.”
“If you wait until Tuesday, there’s one of three things that’ll happen. First, if your polling place has power, you’ll go and you’ll walk in as normal and vote. If you’re polling place doesn’t have power, we will have a truck there, set up with National Guardsmen guarding it, for you to be able to go in and vote old school, with a paper ballot,” Christie said.
Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State in the George W. Bush administration, today endorsed state Sen. Deb Fischer in the open-seat Nebraska Senate race against former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.).
“Deb Fischer is an effective legislator who will promote economic competitiveness and private sector growth and will change the current standstill in Washington,” Rice said in a news release from the Republican’s campaign. “Her fresh perspective will allow her to be a leader in Congress and I’m proud to stand with her in this important race.”
Fischer, who is in a tightening race with Kerrey, was happy to receive Rice’s backing.
“I have deep respect and admiration for Dr. Rice, and I’m truly honored to have her support,” Fischer said in the release. “Dr. Rice understands the importance of maintaining American exceptionalism by advancing our nation’s domestic and international interests.”
Rice’s endorsement of Fischer comes after Kerrey has racked up several notable endorsements, including former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Fischer is still favored to win the seat, which is being vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). Roll Call rates the race as Likely Republican.
November 2, 2012
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.
November 1, 2012
Nebraskans should send former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) back to the Senate on Tuesday because he has a history of working across the aisle and would help end partisan gridlock, former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel said today in endorsing his former colleague.
Some polls have shown the race between Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer tightening in recent days.
Hagel, who stressed that he is still a Republican, noted that Kerrey has also received endorsements from other Republican former Senators, including Alan Simpson of Wyoming, who co-chaired a commission that proposed cutting the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years. Kerrey has also won the support from New Hampshire’s Warren Rudman, who helped draft the 1980s budget agreement known as the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. Full story
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
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?”