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October 31, 2014

Posts in "Senate 2014"

May 13, 2014

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary (Video)

Sasse prevailed over two Republican rivals in the Nebraska Senate primary race Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse pulled off a victory in Nebraska Tuesday night, winning the Republican Senate primary to become the nominee and likely the next senator from the Cornhusker State.

Sasse, president of Midland University and a former Bush administration official, bested former state Treasurer Shane Osborn and banker Sid Dinsdale to win the nomination for this open seat. Republican Sen. Mike Johanns is retiring.

Sasse had 44 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race just before 10 p.m. Dinsdale was in second at 26 percent, followed by Osborn with 23 percent.

Sasse benefited from massive spending by outside groups like the Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund. Those groups did a lot of the dirty work, running a barrage of negative ads bashing first Osborn and, later, Dinsdale, while Sasse’s own campaign only ran positive spots about the candidate.

With Sasse’s nomination, the tea party will claim its first big win of the cycle. Tea-party-aligned groups like the Madison Project — along with the club and SCF — backed him, along with Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who traveled to Nebraska to rally for Sasse alongside former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

There is no serious Democratic contender. The race is rated Safe Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Cotton Internal Poll Finds Senate Race in Dead Heat

Cotton Internal Poll Finds Senate Race in Dead Heat

Cotton is challenging Mark Pryor in a top Senate race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton’s Senate campaign is pushing back on recent polls showing the Republican trailing Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor.

In an internal poll conducted for Cotton by OnMessage Inc., Cotton and Pryor are in a dead heat. It found the freshman lawmaker taking 42 percent of the vote to Pryor’s 40 percent, with 12 percent undecided. Full story

Begich Could Benefit From a Ballot Initiative Bounce

Begich Could Benefit From a Ballot Initiative Bounce

Begich is seeking re-election in Alaska. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is all of a sudden the likely beneficiary of a legislative blunder that may send more voters to the polls this fall.

Begich’s midterm electorate is expected to expand as a result of the Republican-controlled state Legislature’s failure to gavel out by its April 20 deadline, an error — or conscious decision, depending on whom you ask — that has been the talk of Alaska political circles for the past few weeks. It automatically shifted to the general election three ballot initiatives on marijuana, the minimum wage and the environment — issues that could draw to the polls voters more likely to also support the Democratic incumbent.

Winning re-election in Alaska, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2 to 1, is more than a base-turnout game for Begich. It will also require the first-term senator to persuade enough independents and Republicans to support him over his GOP opposition.

Begich was elected in 2008, just days after Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted in federal court on corruption charges, helping boost the then-Anchorage mayor to a winning margin of less than 4,000 votes. Democrats in the state see the ballot initiative moves as similarly beneficial.

“No Democrat in Alaska wins by much statewide,” said state Senate Minority Leader Hollis French, a Democrat running for lieutenant governor. “You need some miracle to win, and this might be just enough of that final boost to carry over the line.” Full story

Nebraska Primary, West Virginia Primary: A Fight Night Preview

Updated, 11 p.m. | Tea party-versus-the establishment is the theme Tuesday night as voters head to the polls in two of the hottest GOP primaries of the year: open-seat contests for party nods in Nebraska Senate and West Virginia’s 2nd District.

Here’s a recap of the night:

Nebraska Senate Race: Sasse Wins Republican Primary

Tea Party Candidate Wins Republican Nod for Capito Seat

Nebraska Primary: Lee Terry’s Close Call

Full story

May 12, 2014

Sullivan Touts Military Service in Latest TV Ad

Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan released his latest TV ad on Monday, a 30-second spot highlighting his military service and pushing the message that the state “needs a fighter again.”

The 30-second spot, running on broadcast stations, never mentions Democratic Sen. Mark Begich. But the incumbent’s photo is briefly plastered on screen alongside President Barack Obama.

“As a Marine, I learned that talk is cheap and results are what matter. But that’s not how they operate in Washington,” Sullivan says as the two Democrats’ photos appear. Full story

Capito Leaves Vacuum in Race to Replace Her

Capito Leaves Vacuum in Race to Replace Her

Republicans hope to find the right candidate Tuesday to replace Capito, who is running for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is a safe bet to win the Republican Senate nomination Tuesday in West Virginia, but what happens to her 2nd District seat is far more unsettled.

Capito’s reluctance to anoint a successor has unleashed a gold rush for Republicans in the district, where the president took just 38 percent of the vote in 2012. Seven GOP candidates are running for the party nod in a nasty, disorganized May 13 primary, which has left presumptive Democratic nominee Nick Casey free to spend the past year fundraising and quietly campaigning.

Even as the odds favor Capito’s Senate run on Tuesday and in November, the seven-term congresswoman leaves behind chaos and uncertainty — and even a Democratic opening — in the race to replace her. Observers from both parties agreed: This seat is in play for Democrats, and it shouldn’t be. Full story

Is Sid Dinsdale the Next Deb Fischer in Nebraska?

Is Sid Dinsdale the Next Deb Fischer in Nebraska?

Sasse is the frontrunner heading into Tuesday's primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

History could repeat itself in Nebraska on Tuesday as voters choose a Republican Senate nominee among three legitimate contenders.

In 2012, now-Sen. Deb Fischer pulled off an unlikely, come-from-behind victory in a GOP primary she was trailing heading into the final week. Fischer had less money and was less well-known, but she rose to the top after two other candidates spent the campaign aggressively bashing each other.

Two years later, Sid Dinsdale, the president of Pinnacle Bank, has run third in the Senate primary. But as outside groups supporting Midland University president Ben Sasse and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn have relentlessly attacked their leading opposition, Dinsdale saw a spike in his poll numbers.

“Dinsdale spent enough money … that with the negatives that the other two have given each other, he’s been able to rise up and become a very serious factor,” said Chris Peterson, an unaligned Nebraska Republican consultant. Full story

Kingston Hits Obama, Lauds Georgia Military Bases

Kingston Hits Obama, Lauds Georgia Military Bases

Kingston released a TV ad with one week to go in Senate primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston’s latest TV ad ahead of next week’s Republican Senate primary takes a shot at President Barack Obama over military cuts and touts his own support for the state’s many military installations.

In the opening seconds of the ad, Kingston says the president “has it all wrong” by “growing government with wasteful spending while drastically cutting our military.”

Kingston utilizes the ad to highlight his opposition to an unpopular president, while also giving a specific example of how the state benefited from his many years in Congress — something he has been attacked for. Full story

May 9, 2014

Attack of the Babies in Georgia Republican Senate Primary (Video)

Attack of the Babies in Georgia Republican Senate Primary (Video)

Kingston speaks to attendees at a law enforcement cookout in Georgia last month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston is up with a new TV ad targeting David Perdue, the front-runner for the Republican Senate nomination.

The ad uses the Perdue campaign’s baby imagery from previous ads to attack the former Dollar General and Reebok CEO’s past business dealings. Both are among the top three contenders, along with former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel, to advance beyond the May 20 primary into the runoff.

“Perdue chewed up businesses,” the narrator says, as a toddler eats cake. “8,000 jobs were lost, he took a million-dollar bonus, and also millions more from Obama’s stimulus.” Full story

Sasse Launches Closing Argument TV Ad

Sasse Launches Closing Argument TV Ad

Sasse is airing his final TV ad before Tuesday's primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ben Sasse’s final TV ad ahead of Tuesday’s Republican Senate primary in Nebraska touts his big-name endorsements, his opposition to the Affordable Care Act and his campaign’s decision not to run negative advertising.

The spot lands amid a crush of ads run by outside groups backing Sasse and one of his opponents, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, in the final week before the May 13 primary.

Sasse’s spot is running statewide on broadcast and cable, part of a 1,500-point buy for the final week of the campaign, according to a campaign spokesman. Full story

Campaign Spot-Light: The Only Job Worse Than Being an Incumbent, Cheap Dads and Alligator Wrestling (Video)

Welcome to the second edition of Roll Call’s feature that highlights the most interesting political ads of the week.

Here is what cut through the clutter:

What’s Worse Than Being an Incumbent? Bein’ a Trial Law-yur

The first half of the montage features ads attacking tea party challengers as “trial lawyers.” Incumbents and friendly super PACs are making the calculation that labeling a tea party insurgent as a “trial lawyer” is a more lethal attack line than “Washington insider.”

Full story

May 8, 2014

Sid Dinsdale Fires Back in TV Ad (Video)

The latest tea party target is wasting no time in responding to recent attacks.

Nebraska Republican Senate hopeful Sid Dinsdale is firing back at outside groups hitting him on the airwaves in the final days before the primary. According to his campaign, Dinsdale will be on the air tonight with a response TV ad. The campaign declined to provide specifics on the buy.

“Desperate Washington special interests are spending dark money falsely attacking Sid Dinsdale and his family, telling you who to vote for,” the ad’s narrator says. “Nebraskans are self-reliant people who don’t need to be told what to do from special interests.”

Full story

Outside Groups Target Dinsdale Ahead of Nebraska Primary

Five days before the Nebraska Republican Senate primary, outside groups are beginning to train their sights on self-funding banker Sid Dinsdale, who has run third in the polls.

Dinsdale faces Midland University President Ben Sasse and former state Treasurer Shane Osborn in the May 13 primary in this safe Republican seat; the winner of the GOP primary will likely be the next senator from Nebraska.

A TV ad released Thursday by the Club for Growth, which is backing Sasse, attacks Dinsdale for being too liberal, saying he donated money to Democrats and said the Affordable Care Act had some “good aspects.”

“That’s really liberal,” the narrator says. “That’s the real Sid Dinsdale.” Full story

Alison Lundergan Grimes Launches First TV Ad

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, launched her first TV ad of the cycle on Thursday.

The 30-second spot, backed by a six-figure buy and running statewide, highlights the Kentucky secretary of State’s efforts to improve voting procedures for the state’s overseas military servicemembers. Full story

May 7, 2014

New Senate TV Ad Pokes Fun At Crying Babies

New Senate TV Ad Pokes Fun At Crying Babies

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., has debuted a new ad making fun of a spot from his Senate primary foe, businessman David Perdue, that portrays members of Congress as a pack of crying babies.

In Perdue’s ad, four crying babies wear shirts bearing the names of his four major opponents in the Senate race.

Gingrey, an OB-GYN, begins his own ad with a clip of Perdue’s ad, showing a baby meant to represent Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and a baby meant to represent Karen Handel, the former Georgia secretary of State.

In the spot, Gingrey dismisses the spot as too “clever” by half.

“You deserve better than politics as usual,” he says, speaking to the camera. “Having delivered over 5,200 babies, I understand, when it’s time, it’s time. And the time to stop Obama is now.”

Full story

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