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Posts in "Colo. Senate"
October 24, 2014
Every week after President Barack Obama delivers his weekly address, the Republicans get a chance to respond. Because they don’t, of course, have a singular figure who would naturally address the nation each week, the speakers vary. So far in 2014, 11 Republican candidates — four House hopefuls and seven vying for Senate seats — have had the honor to take to YouTube and spread their party’s message.
In the fall of an election year, the GOP weekly address is an opportunity for Republicans to showcase some of their hopefuls on the ballot to a broader audience than the candidates can normally reach themselves — because not everyone pays attention to every Senate race, or to New York congressional campaigns.
“The weekly address is a great opportunity to showcase our diverse and talented group of candidates to the country,” said Michael Short, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, which coordinates the speeches. He said the party’s “tremendous slate” allows the GOP to contrast its record with the president’s.
There are some common themes mentioned time and time again: dissatisfaction with the president’s job approval, the desire to expand domestic energy production, repealing the Affordable Care Act and cutting government regulation.
Saturday’s address, posted at 6 a.m., will feature Will Hurd, the GOP nominee for Texas’ 23rd House district.
Here is a summary of the others.
October 15, 2014
So much for a predictable midterm cycle. The past month has left multiple possible outcomes for control of the Senate.
Republican groups are barraging Kansas with resources and advertising to save a three-term incumbent being challenged by an independent in a solidly GOP state. Democrats, lacking much hope for months of holding an open seat in South Dakota, are all of a sudden dropping $1 million in advertising there — and being matched by Republicans — in a last-second Hail Mary that could possibly save its majority.
Just three weeks remain until Election Day, yet control of the Senate remains a dogfight and more than a handful of seats could conceivably go either way. The GOP has at least 10 states to find a path to six Senate seats and the majority, but — while public polling in most states appears to be moving in its direction — at this point the party has only locked up two Democrat-held seats in a favorable national climate.
Making matters more convoluted are the unknowns surrounding independent candidates Greg Orman in Kansas and Larry Pressler in South Dakota, who have yet to say which caucus they would join.
With so many variables and competitive races, plus potential and competitive runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, the outcome of the midterm elections is anyone’s guess.
But as the votes start rolling in, there’s a chance the result will be one of the following three scenarios: Full story
October 10, 2014
Updated, 9:04 a.m. | TOPEKA, Kan. — With less than four weeks until Election Day, the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure arm is shifting resources to increase its investment in six states, including South Dakota and Georgia.
The NRSC has moved $1 million to South Dakota, plus another $1.45 million to Georgia.
In South Dakota, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made a $1 million television ad buy this week, on the heels of tightening poll numbers that showed its candidate, Rick Weiland, gaining ground. In Georgia, a new poll suggests a runoff is likely.
October 9, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s decision Wednesday to drop $1 million into South Dakota, a race previously written off as a Republican win, was just the latest shakeup of the Senate landscape this week.
On Tuesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee cut its financial investment in Michigan, where an open seat and a favorable national environment had created an opportunity for the party.
With the Senate majority at stake, the national campaign committees and their outside-group allies are constantly re-evaluating races and analyzing where their resources are most needed and best put to use. It’s all part of a real-life game of Tetris, as the groups meticulously watch each other’s moves and look to fit their ads and messaging into a larger picture.
Many of the moves by the NRSC, the DSCC and other outside groups likely will fly under the radar over the next 26 days — though with potential runoffs in Louisiana and Georgia, Senate ads actually could be airing on TV into early next year. But others, including spending by the campaigns themselves, will offer definitive signs of a race’s potential competitiveness, as in South Dakota and Michigan.
With less than four weeks to go, here are some big questions about the Senate playing field and where the millions more in spending to come will land: Full story
October 2, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired a new ad Thursday as part of a larger barrage on Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., focused on women’s health issues.
The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, attacks Gardner for being a co-sponsor of a personhood bill in Congress. Gardner said earlier this year that he had rethought his position on the subject and could no longer support a personhood amendment, which would make abortion illegal.
“But in Washington, Gardner hasn’t changed at all. Cory Gardner is still sponsoring a personhood law to make all abortions illegal,” a male narrator says.
“He’s saying one thing and doing another,” the narrator adds. Full story
October 1, 2014
While the structure of the competitive Senate map has finally solidified, plenty of uncertainties remain as the two parties enter the final month of the midterm elections.
The most glaring question mark and startling development over the past several weeks is in Kansas, where Republican Sen. Pat Roberts now ranks fourth on Roll Call’s monthly list of the most vulnerable senators (read the September edition here). This is a state that last elected a Democratic senator in 1932, but ballot maneuverings and Roberts’ own missteps have placed him in the company of the cycle’s most endangered incumbents.
The GOP needs six seats to win the majority, and the party can get halfway there by picking up open seats in West Virginia, South Dakota, and Montana, where retirements hindered Democrats’ ability to hold their ground. Democrats have better odds in the other open seats, with Iowa still hosting one of the most competitive races in the country and Democrats continuing to hold the edge in Michigan.
Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., remains a top target for Republicans. But Democrats are pummeling Republican nominee Thom Tillis on the air, and Hagan is the only red-state Democrat whose positioning has clearly improved in recent months.
The competitiveness of the Senate race in Kansas took most people by surprise, including, it seems, Roberts. The senator entered the general election with a limited political apparatus and less motivation to campaign following his contested primary. That all changed last month, when the Democratic nominee withdrew from the race and Republican efforts to reverse the move failed.
That left independent Greg Orman, who is still an unknown quantity. As Orman introduces himself to the electorate, Republicans’ opposition research on him is still just starting to trickle out. Roberts has brought in a new campaign team, a steady stream of GOP heavyweights is filing through the state to help him out, and at least one outside group has started spending for him on the airwaves.
In a state as Republican as Kansas, that could be enough to save the day. But for now, Roberts is firmly among the 10 Most Vulnerable Senators, ranked below in order of vulnerability: Full story
September 23, 2014
The National Education Association aired a new Spanish-language ad Tuesday targeting the Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado, Rep. Cory Gardner.
Gardner faces Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., in a competitive race and potential pick-up opportunity for Senate Republicans. The GOP needs to win a net of six seats to take control of the Senate.
The NEA ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, features five people speaking directly to camera in Spanish about their dreams for their children to get a good education.
The ad buy is $200,000 and will run for two weeks, according to the NEA, in the Denver and Colorado Springs media markets. Full story
Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.
Last week, thousands of votes were cast to send reporters @cahnemily and @alexis_levinson on the road in our first #RCReadersChoice survey. Two House races and two Senate races lead their packs, and now readers have until Thursday at 5 p.m. for the runoff contest.
On the Senate side, readers can select between Kansas, where GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is unexpectedly fighting for his re-election, and Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is attempting to fend off a strong challenge from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner. In the first round of voting, Kansas was the clear front-runner, and Colorado beat out the North Carolina Senate race by just two votes to make the final round.
The finalist House races are California’s 52nd District, located in San Diego, and Nebraska’s 2nd District, located in Omaha. Both incumbents in these races — Democrat Scott Peters in California and Republican Lee Terry in Nebraska — are on Roll Call’s list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members.
Have an opinion on which race we should cover? Tweet your thoughts @RollCall with #RCReadersChoice. Otherwise, vote below:
September 22, 2014
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will air a new ad Monday in Colorado attacking GOP Rep. Cory Gardner on birth control.
The 30-second spot, provided first to CQ Roll Call, criticizes Gardner for sponsoring a bill in congress called the “Life at Conception Act,” while saying he believes birth control pills should be available over the counter.
Gardner is challenging Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo. Republicans need to win six seats to retake control of the Senate, and with a number of Democratic incumbents up for re-election in more Republican-leaning states, Democrats can ill-afford to lose a purple state like Colorado.
“Gardner is sponsoring a bill to make most common forms of birth control illegal,” a male narrator says in the ad. “Gardner’s bill also makes all abortions illegal, even in cases of rape and incest.” Full story
September 10, 2014
BOULDER, Colo. — Long a flashpoint in the culture wars, marijuana’s growing legitimacy hasn’t yet turned it into a political weapon, even in the marquee races in the first state to legalize the drug.
In Colorado, the issue has barely gotten a mention as Rep. Cory Gardner takes on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, and Republican Rep. Mike Coffman faces a challenge from Andrew Romanoff in one of the country’s hottest House races.
For now, the lawmakers still seem to find pot too hot to handle as a political weapon. Republicans in the state have shifted how they talk about the matter, but Democrats aren’t trying to capitalize on what could potentially become a new wedge issue in their favor this cycle — and in elections to come.
Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have legalized medical marijuana. Only Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, but more are expected to vote on whether to change their laws, including Oregon and Alaska in November, as polls have shown surging support for legalization.
Udall, whose race could decide control of the Senate, said marijuana is now simply a business interest in Colorado.
“We are all together in urging the attorney general to let this experiment unfold,” Udall said in Greenwood Village, Colo., after an event with Denver business interests.
But he hasn’t attacked Gardner’s hard-line record on marijuana, something advocates for legalization call a missed opportunity.
“It seems that many elected officials … still haven’t come to terms with the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue that’s supported by a growing majority of the public,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, a legalization advocacy group. Full story
September 1, 2014
There is a new chart-topper in Roll Call’s latest monthly ranking of the 10 most vulnerable senators.
Montana’s appointed Sen. John Walsh was by far the most endangered incumbent in the chamber at the time of the previous installment in early August, but his decision last month to not seek a full term opened the top slot to a couple other worthy contenders.
August 4, 2014
Three months before Election Day, it’s clear some senators may not return to Congress after the midterms — and that’s mostly good news for Republicans.
The GOP’s path to the Senate majority includes a mix of open seats and targeted Democratic incumbents. The two most vulnerable seats are in South Dakota and West Virginia, where Democratic senators are retiring. Republicans also have opportunities in open seats in Iowa and, to a lesser degree, Michigan.
But even if they are victorious in those states, the GOP must defeat at least two incumbents to reach the net six seats needed for control.
Luckily for Republicans, Democrats make up the vast majority of endangered senators seeking re-election. The GOP has a lengthy catalog of states where it has an opportunity to win, though there is a wide gap betweenthe No. 1 and No. 10 most vulnerable senators — who are ordered by most likely to lose.
Roll Call’s “10 Most Vulnerable Senators” list will be updated monthly ahead of the Nov. 4 elections. For now, here is where the incumbents stand: Full story
July 15, 2014
Democrats want to make Rep. Cory Gardner the next Todd Akin — but it’s not so easy.
The Colorado Republican is challenging Sen. Mark Udall and putting a pivotal race in play for his party, which must net six seats to win control of the Senate. In response, Democrats have focused their attacks on Gardner on women’s health issues — a topic that has proved to be a land mine for some Republican hopefuls in past races.
On Wednesday, the Senate is expected to have a procedural vote on a measure that would effectively nullify the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling, which allowed some employers to not offer birth control coverage in health insurance plans. The vote will likely fail, but it’s given Udall a prime opportunity to serve as one of his party’s top voices on the issue in Washington and home in Colorado.
June 5, 2014
Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., will go on the airwaves starting Tuesday, with a major television buy for his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.
In full, his TV reservations are worth $900,000, according to a Gardner campaign source. Of that sum, about $400,000 will be on broadcast, while $500,000 will be cable. The buy lasts from June 10 through the end of the month.
June 1, 2014
After a relatively unsurprising series of primaries this month, June brings another collection of intraparty contests. More than half of the states will have selected their nominees by the end of the month.
Republicans will pick nominees in key Senate races in Mississippi, Iowa and South Dakota. Down the ballot, House primaries in several open seats will likely determine the future members of Congress from both parties.
Here is Roll Call’s comprehensive look at watch to watch in June. Bookmark this page, and check out our primary map for results from past primaries.
With primaries in eight states, this date marks the busiest night of the cycle.
Alabama: In the 6th District, seven Republicans are running in an open-seat race to replace retiring GOP Rep. Spencer Bachus. This district is located in and around Birmingham. State Rep. Paul DeMarco is the front-runner, followed by Club for Growth-backed surgeon Chad Mathis and businessman Will Brooke. If no candidate garners at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two candidates will continue to a July 15 runoff. Polls close at 8 p.m. EST. (Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Rating: Safe Republican)
California: In this House race battleground, the top-two vote recipients, regardless of party, advance to the general election. Republicans will also pick a gubernatorial nominee who could have an impact down the ballot in November. Polls close at 11 p.m. EST. Here are the primaries to watch in the Golden State: