Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 30, 2015

Posts in "Senate 2012"

November 6, 2012

Indiana: Joe Donnelly Defeats Richard Mourdock

Joe Donnelly

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) has defeated state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) tonight, handing Senate Democrats another pickup, according to the Associated Press.

Until recently, Republicans believed they would keep the Indiana seat given the Hoosier State’s strong GOP base. But Democrats spent early and often to boost Donnelly, and polls showed a tied race by Labor Day.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Mourdock made a political mistake that might have cost Republicans this seat. In his final debate with Donnelly, Mourdock said he believed pregnancy resulting from rape is something “God intended.” Full story

Ohio: Sherrod Brown Holds On to Senate Seat

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) will return to Congress for a second term, according to the Associated Press. He defeated state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R).

Thanks to inroads the GOP made during the 2010 midterms, Brown was viewed as one of the most vulnerable incumbents this year. But his political skills proved dogged, and he seemed to have the upper hand for most of the cycle.

Debbie Stabenow, Bob Casey Will Return to Senate

Democratic Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.) and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) will return to the Senate, according to Associated Press projections.

Stabenow seemed vulnerable early in the cycle. But her opponent, former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R), was never able to recover from a controversial television ad. President Barack Obama also proved to have strong coattails in Michigan, and the race was soon moved out of competitive categories.

Casey, however, got his scare at the end of the cycle. His self-funded opponent, Republican Tom Smith, was able to narrow the margin but couldn’t get across the finish line.

Connecticut: Christopher Murphy Defeats Linda McMahon

Rep. Chris Murphy

(Bill Clark/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) defeated former WWE CEO Linda McMahon for Connecticut’s open-seat race tonight, according to the Associated Press.

The race was of great concern to national Democrats early in the fall, but all along they insisted that when the party competed with McMahon’s personal spending on the TV airwaves, Murphy would get breathing room.

McMahon went to extraordinary efforts to tie herself to President Barack Obama, but that effort proved unsuccessful. This was her second run for the Senate. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) defeated her in 2010. For the two runs, McMahon ultimately spent nearly $100 million from her personal fortune.

 

 

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson Easily Wins Re-Election, Defeats Republican Connie Mack IV

Sen. Bill Nelson

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D) easily won a third term tonight, beating Rep. Connie Mack IV (R), according to the Associated Press.

Nelson, who has managed to sustain a strong bipartisan appeal in Florida despite voting with Democrats most of the time in Washington, D.C., was always favored in his race with Mack.

The Congressman, son of former Florida Sen. Connie Mack III, was a weak candidate who at times seemed more focused on bashing Florida’s top political reporters than painting a contrast with Nelson. And he never raised the kind of money he would have needed to compete in the state’s exorbitantly expensive media markets.

The Senator, meanwhile, just kept plodding along and used his substantial war chest to hammer Mack in TV ads.

It’s not yet clear whether President Barack Obama will win the Sunshine State tonight, as he did in 2008. But, in polling, Nelson has always significantly outperformed Obama in the state. Nelson’s margin was likely among unmarried white women and independent voters, groups in which he comfortably ran ahead of the president.

Independent Angus King Wins Maine Senate Race

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Popular former Maine Gov. Angus King (I) tonight comfortably won the Pine Tree State’s open Senate seat, currently held by moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, who is retiring.

The Associated Press called the race. King beat Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D).

King hasn’t said with which party he will caucus, but he is widely expected to cast his vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The National Republican Senatorial Committee spent a not insignificant amount of money against King, lobbing potent attack ads his way. National GOP third-party groups also tried to knock King down and boost Summers.

Full story

Senate Update: Democrats Retain Majority

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

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

K Street Lobbying for Votes

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.

Full story

Daily Ad Track

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.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OInCUFQUqk&feature=plcp

November 5, 2012

Andrew Cuomo Clears Way for Statewide Voting for Displaced New Yorkers

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.

Full story

Candidates Make Last-Minute Loans to Campaigns

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:

Senate races:

  • 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.

House races:

Hawaii: President Barack Obama Makes Closing Argument for Mazie Hirono

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.”

Full story

Massachusetts: New Poll Finds Senate Race Very Close

Sen. Scott Brown had a slim lead over his Democratic opponent in a poll released just before Election Day. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Full story

November 4, 2012

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 3, 2012

New Jersey to Allow Voting by Email, Fax

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.

Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...