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July 29, 2014

Posts in "Senate 2014"

January 10, 2014

Cornyn Goes Up With New TV Ad

Judging by his second ad, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas is running against President Barack Obama instead of his primary challenger, Rep. Steve Stockman.

The new spot hits Obama and portrays Cornyn as the conservative counter to an “astonishingly liberal” president. The ad makes no mention of Stockman.

“He stands up to Obama, everyday. Pushes back,” the narrator says of Cornyn.

The buy size is “well into the six figures” and is a “substantial statewide buy,” according to a Cornyn aide.  Full story

January 9, 2014

Alaska Super PAC Hits Begich in 3 Radio Ads

An Alaska-based super PAC supporting one of Democratic Sen. Mark Begich’s Republican challengers is launching its first three ads of the campaign on Friday.

The radio ads are an opening salvo for the group, Alaska’s Energy/America’s Values, which backs former Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. The group spent about about $12,000 to air the ads over the next five days in Anchorage and Matanuska Valley.

While the buy size isn’t significantly large, the messaging offers a strong hint of the TV ads that are likely forthcoming. Each of the three 60-second ads mentions Begich’s support of Obamacare. One also notes the incumbent’s support of Obama’s appointees, including Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and questions where he stands on an oil tax rewrite referendum in the state this year. Full story

Lamar Alexander Launches First TV Ad

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., launched the first TV ad of his re-election campaign on Thursday, reminding voters of his conservative principles and years of fighting on behalf of the state.

As he seeks a third term and fends of a GOP primary challenge, the Alexander campaign is pushing out the ad statewide. The 60-second spot will hit the airwaves on Monday and run for four weeks, according to an Alexander consultant, who would not reveal the exact buy size.

“To that land where politics too often doesn’t work, Tennessee sends Lamar Alexander,” the ad’s announcer says to kick off the ad. “Conservative, honest, smart. Lamar Alexander is Tennessee.”

Full story

January 8, 2014

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

Jack Kingston Raised $880K in 4th Quarter

(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston will file yet another strong fundraising period when fourth-quarter reports are due at the end of the month.

Kingston, one of the three Republican congressmen running for the state’s open Senate seat, pulled in $880,000 from September through December, according to figures first obtained by CQ Roll Call. He ended the year with $3.4 million on hand after raising a total of $4.2 million for the cycle.

It’s the best quarter of the cycle for Kingston, who brought in just more than $800,000 in the third quarter. None of the other Republicans in the deep primary field have released their fourth-quarter fundraising numbers. Full story

January 6, 2014

Enzi Encourages Prayers for Cheney Family After High-Fives on Senate Floor (Video)

Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., sought to tamp down the upbeat reception he received on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, emphasizing the severity of the medical situation that prompted Liz Cheney to drop her primary challenge in the Wyoming Senate race earlier in the day.

“Not many of them knew the reason that she was pulling out, so I asked for them to support her and her family with their prayers,” the Wyoming Republican told reporters outside the chamber.

A few minutes earlier, a group of senators greeted Enzi on the floor with high-fives.

Full story

Why It Didn’t Work for Liz Cheney

Liz Cheney cited family health concerns as her reason for dropping out of the Wyoming Senate race, but her exit Monday came after months of struggling to gain traction in a Republican primary challenge to Sen. Michael B. Enzi.

Nearly six months after announcing her first bid for public office, the campaign of the former State Department official and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney had grabbed more headlines for causing intrafamily drama than for offering a decisive argument for her candidacy.

Cheney would have had another eight months to argue her case, but among the many reasons her campaign hadn’t erupted with support already was the fact that Wyoming voters simply still like Enzi. Now it will never be known whether she could have overcome that.

“It was never about people not liking Liz or the Cheney family,” said Joe Milczewski, a former campaign manager for the other Wyoming senator, Republican John Barrasso. “But voters like Sen. Enzi, they’ve pulled the lever for him two or three times before, and nobody likes to have to pick between two friends.” Full story

January 2, 2014

Tillis Drops First Ad of Midterm Cycle in North Carolina Senate Contest

State Speaker Thom Tillis, one of a handful of Republicans looking to take on Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in the midterm elections, released his first ad of the cycle, Tillis’ campaign announced Thursday.

“Obamacare is a disaster, but the president won’t admit it. The debt is out of control, and neither party has stopped it,” Tillis says in the 30-second spot. “Kay Hagan has enabled the president’s worst ideas. She refuses to clean up his mess. So you and I have to clean up hers.”

Full story

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: North Carolina Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: North Carolina Senate

Hagan is vulnerable in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This cycle’s best bellwether for Senate control is North Carolina, where Sen. Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is seeking re-election in this increasingly frequent battleground state.

Senate Republicans must pick up a net of six seats to win control, and the Tar Heel State has served as that chamber’s best barometer in recent cycles. Since 2000, the party of North Carolina’s Senate victor has picked up seats across the country.

That’s what happened in 2008, when Hagan defeated then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole, and Democrats picked up several Senate seats on the coattails of President Barack Obama’s first election. Hagan won’t have that benefit in 2014, when the president’s poor approval rating will not help her re-election efforts. Full story

December 31, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Kentucky Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Kentucky Senate

McConnell has primary and general challenges in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There isn’t too much to see in Kentucky, really. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election only features a primary fight for the future of the Republican Party and a well-connected Democrat who’s benefiting from an entire party’s interest in taking him out.

The messaging in the race shifts fast enough to cause whiplash. As the top target of both national Democrats and the tea party, McConnell has been charged for being both the biggest obstructionist in Congress and for failing to obstruct President Barack Obama’s agenda enough. Full story

December 30, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Arkansas Senate

Pryor is a top Senate GOP target in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a year with a few contenders, Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor is widely considered the most vulnerable Democrat up for re-election. For Republicans, his seat is a must-win for the party to recapture the Senate majority.

With the president’s job approval rating dropping and southern Democrats disappearing from the congressional ranks, Pryor’s successful bid for a third term would be the ultimate proof that Senate elections are truly a choice between the two candidates on the ballot and the quality of the campaigns.

First elected in 2002, Pryor remains as the last Democrat from a congressional delegation filled with them just a few years ago. With the unpopularity of the president in Arkansas and Pryor’s vote in favor of the president’s health care overhaul law, Republicans believe they have a good shot at a clean sweep in the state’s federal races next November thanks to freshman Rep. Tom Cotton’s candidacy. Full story

December 29, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Alaska Senate

Begich is vulnerable in 2014. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There is so much to like about the 2014 Alaska Senate race, starting with the fact that there is a competitive race there at all.

In 2008, Mark Begich became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from Alaska since 1974. Without that upset victory over an incumbent Republican senator — who was convicted on corruption charges, which would later be thrown out, a week before the election — it’s highly unlikely Democrats would be competing in this solidly Republican state. Full story

December 27, 2013

The Best Congressional Campaign Ads of 2013 (Video)

Political ad makers were a busy bunch in 2013 — and the election year had not even started yet. Several competitive Senate races and special elections in the House meant the airwaves were already crowded.

Here’s Roll Call list of the top five most memorable congressional campaign advertisements of 2013:

5. “A Walk”

The Race: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sponsored this spot in the special election for South Carolina’s 1st District. Now-Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., waged a comeback bid to succeed now-Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in this GOP-friendly district. Sanford’s well-documented personal foibles appeared to make this race against the Democratic nominee, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, somewhat competitive. This DCCC spot cleverly references — but never specifically mentions  — Sanford’s extramarital affair in 2009. Instead, the ad plays on the infamous hike on the Appalachian Trail that the former governor never took. Full story

December 26, 2013

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Mississippi Senate

Most Fascinating Races of 2014: Mississippi Senate

Cochran faces his toughest re-election battle in 30 years. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The race for Senate in Mississippi boasts nearly every facet of the national GOP divide in a state already struggling with its sense of conservatism.

Six-term Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., announced earlier this month that he would seek re-election, setting up a primary against a tea-party-backed challenger, state Sen. Chris McDaniel. Influential national conservative groups — Senate Conservatives Fund, the Club for Growth and the Madison Project — had already backed McDaniel.

But Cochran remains beloved by a certain class of Mississippi operatives who plan to put up a fierce fight to save him. GOP lobbyist Henry Barbour encapsulated that sentiment in September, when he warned McDaniel not to run. Full story

December 20, 2013

DSCC Outraised NRSC in November

The National Republican Senatorial Committee boosted its war chest in November but was again outraised by its Democratic counterpart, according to figures released this week.

The NRSC announced Friday that it raised $3.2 million in November and increased its cash on hand to $6.4 million. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — with help from its best fundraising asset, President Barack Obama — previously announced bringing in $5.1 million and ending the month with $12 million on hand.

That brings the DSCC’s fundraising edge over the first 11 months of the year to $16 million. The DSCC is still $5 million in debt, while the NRSC has no remaining debt from last cycle.

Republicans must net six seats to win back the majority in the 2014 midterms, when most of the competitive seats are held by Democrats.

December 19, 2013

Scott Brown: New Hampshire Move Is ‘Strictly Personal’

Scott Brown: New Hampshire Move Is Strictly Personal

Brown has moved to New Hampshire. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott Brown said goodbye to Massachusetts on Thursday, confirming in a statement released to the press that he is moving to New Hampshire.

The Republican has been flirting with a Senate bid in the neighboring Granite State for months. But in the statement published by WMUR, Brown called his move to the Granite State “strictly personal” and said he had “nothing to announce with regard to my future political plans.” Full story

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