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Posts in "Senate 2014"
February 19, 2014
America Rising, a GOP group that procures and publishes research on Democratic candidates, announced Wednesday its first wave of top targets for the midterm elections.
The list of candidates, posted on America Rising’s newly launched website, includes information on almost all of the Democratic House and Senate candidates in the GOP’s top pickup opportunity races in 2014.
“We’ll roll out additional candidates as the map changes and expands, but that’s our initial list of candidates that we have research on,” said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising.
America Rising also zeroed in on seven top targets:
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee outraised its Republican counterpart in January by $2 million, according to figures released by the committees.
The DSCC announced Wednesday it raised $6.6 million in the first month of the year. The monthly haul brings the committee’s cash on hand to $15 million as of Jan. 31. It also paid down its debt to $2.5 million.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced Tuesday it raised $4.6 million in January and ended the month with more than $10 million in cash on hand. The NRSC carries no debt. Full story
February 18, 2014
Asked Tuesday about the possible Republican takeover of the Senate in the November midterms, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney rejected the premise.
“The Democratic Party is not going to lose the Senate, in our view,” Carney said in response to a question from Ed Henry of Fox News about the potential impact on the president if Democrats lose control.
Carney’s confidence isn’t necessarily all that surprising, but the declaration comes as Senate Republicans have grown increasingly confident about their prospects. Facing a map tilted toward the GOP, Senate Democrats can lose no more than five seats net to retain control.
Henry earlier asked whether the president shared the concerns of other Democrats that some are focused too much on 2016 instead of on the midterm elections.
“This is not a campaign briefing,” Carney said.
February 14, 2014
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Friday he told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to mind his own “damn business” when the Nevada Democrat phoned him last year in an effort to influence his appointment to succeed Max Baucus in the Senate.
According to an account in the Helena Independent Record, Bullock told Montana reporters about his terse words with Reid. The phone call occurred before the administration’s announcement that Baucus would be nominated to be ambassador to China.
The Nevada Democrat had a big stake in the electability of Bullock’s pick. Reid’s party can lose no more than five Senate races to maintain his majority leader status, and the open-seat contest in Montana is one of the GOP’s top pickup opportunities in November. Full story
February 13, 2014
Mississippi Conservatives PAC, a super PAC supporting Sen. Thad Cochran’s re-election, is firing back at the senator’s GOP primary opponent, pointing to more than a dozen votes state Sen. Chris McDaniel has missed in the state legislature so that he could campaign.
According to recorded votes in the state legislature, McDaniel is the fifth-most-truant member of the Mississippi state Senate this session, which began on Jan. 7. The four state senators who have missed more votes than McDaniel this session include a lawmaker recovering from surgery, a state senator battling lung cancer, and McDaniel’s own campaign manager, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner.
Of the 14 votes McDaniel has missed, one was a vote to include “In God We Trust” on the state seal. At the time, McDaniel was in Washington, D.C., appearing on GOP commentator Glenn Beck’s The Blaze television network.
The attack on McDaniel’s voting record came just days after the primary candidate told a group of reporters in Washington, D.C., that Cochran “almost never” spends time back home in the Magnolia State.
February 12, 2014
Senate Republican leaders Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas on Wednesday voted to advance legislation that would increase the nation’s borrowing capacity — but not before they spent 40 minutes of the open vote trying to get others to do it for them, likely out of fear of the conservative blowback that came almost immediately.
Earlier this week, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, demanded the 60-vote procedural move, which put McConnell and Cornyn in the uncomfortable position of having to find five Republicans to join Democrats in supporting the debt ceiling measure. By doing so, Cruz gave perfect fodder to tea party groups and candidates, like the Senate Conservatives Fund and McConnell opponent Matt Bevin, against in-cycle Republicans who would need to vote for the bill as opposed to just letting Democrats do it themselves with a simple majority.
Within minutes, the two leaders were getting hit on social media by their opponents.
Americans for Prosperity, a conservative outside group backed by Charles and David Koch, launched yet another stinging TV ad Wednesday against Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.
It’s the group’s latest ad targeting the Louisiana Democrat on President Barack Obama’s health care law. The group spent $750,000 on its latest three-week flight and has now spent $2.6 million in the state so far this cycle, according to AFP spokesman Levi Russell.
“Dear Miss Davis, we can no longer offer you the same policy,” one announcer says in a series of supposed notices sent by insurance companies. “Your doctor is no longer in the network, due to the Affordable Care Act.”
American Crossroads, a Republican-aligned super PAC, launched an ad Wednesday targeting Montana’s newly appointed Democratic Sen. John Walsh.
The ad highlights local TV news coverage of a 2010 investigation by the U.S. Army Inspector General that reportedly concluded Walsh abused government resources. Backed by a $125,000 buy, the ad will air for a week in Missoula, Billings and Helena.
“Walsh was formally reprimanded by the U.S. Army. … If they question Walsh’s ability to lead, Montana voters should too,” the announcer says in the 30-second spot.
February 11, 2014
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is facing a few Republican primary challengers, released his first TV and radio ads of the year on Tuesday.
The ads work to burnish Graham’s conservative credentials with four months left until the June 10 primary. The ads are backed by a six-figure buy and will run statewide for more than a week, according to a release.
The TV ad notes Graham “opposed Obamacare from Day One,” “led the fight on Benghazi,” and is “a conservative leader who gets things done.” Full story
An internal poll conducted for Sen. Lamar Alexander’s campaign shows the Tennessee Republican with a 45-point lead over his highest-tracking primary opponent, according to a memo obtained by CQ Roll Call.
The poll, conducted by North Star Opinion Research, surveyed 600 likely GOP primary voters and found that Alexander enjoys a 67-percent-to-26-percent favorable-to-unfavorable rating.
Meanwhile, tea-party-backed state Rep. Joe Carr is struggling to gain name recognition in the state. Seventy percent of likely Republican voters said they have never heard of Carr, up only 3 points from an August poll. Full story
Rep. Paul Broun, one of several Republicans running in Georgia’s open-seat Senate contest, got an endorsement Tuesday from the Madison Project, a group that seeks to boost tea party candidates into office.
“Congressman Paul Broun is a doctor, soldier, citizen legislator, and proven constitutional warrior,” Madison Project Chairman Jim Ryun said in a news release. “He has been inviolable, while even the fiercest conservative fighters have succumbed to the establishment meat grinder in D.C. Broun is the consummate constitutional champion who puts people and principle before politics. That is why his leadership is needed in the United States Senate, which is full of governing-class elites from both parties who seek endless growth of the federal government.”
Georgia has traditionally been reliable statewide territory for Republicans. But many GOP operatives argue that if Broun wins the Republican nomination, he could jeopardize the party’s control of the Senate seat.
February 10, 2014
The Tea Party Express has endorsed state Sen. Owen Hill in his bid for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the fall.
“I have no doubt that Hill will join the new wave of conservative leaders in the Upper Chamber that have bucked the establishment of both parties to tackle America’s unsustainable debt, crippling taxes, and intrusive, big-government policies,” Tea Party Express Chairwoman Amy Kremer said in a statement.
The backing of the national tea party organization signals Hill’s potential conservative support in the competitive GOP primary, which will be held June 24. Still, none of the contenders so far appear to be giving Udall or national Democrats much of a scare, despite recent polling that indicates otherwise. Full story
Update 6:28 p.m. | It’s officially open political vote season on the Senate floor, and Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., is the latest vulnerable 2014 incumbent to benefit from Majority Leader Harry Reid’s power of the calendar.
The Senate voted Monday evening on legislation championed by Pryor — and co-sponsored by five Democrats who also are in-cycle — to repeal $6 billion in cost-of-living adjustments to military pensions agreed to in the 2013 bipartisan budget agreement. The legislation, which is not offset by spending cuts elsewhere, is unlikely to garner any Republican support in its current form, even though GOP senators moved to open debate Monday. Republicans likely would object to spending increases and to date have not offered Democrats alternatives they would accept. But Reid circumvented a committee markup to bring the bill straight to the floor so Democrats could record an up-or-down vote. The result? Just one of many votes Democratic leaders hope to hold in the months to come to benefit their most embattled members.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has declared his support for Midland University President Ben Sasse’s bid for Senate in Nebraska.
“Ben is just the kind of person we need in Washington,” Coburn told the Lincoln Journal Star in a Sunday story. “He is a totally open and honest guy who is very responsive and responsible. If Ben was running in Oklahoma, I’d vote for him.”
Sasse, a Republican, faces a number of other GOP candidates in the primary, including former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, banker Sid Dinsdale and attorney Bart McLeay, among others. The seat is open because Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., is retiring.
Conservative groups are divided between two Republicans: Sasse and Osborn.
February 7, 2014
Win or lose in November, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the next senator from Montana.
Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his former running mate to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate early after being confirmed Thursday as ambassador to China.
Walsh was already running for the seat, but he’ll now run as the incumbent senator. That change could provide some inherent advantages in his quest to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable seats.
“I wanted to appoint someone who I truly believed would wake up each and every day wanting to put Montana and Montanans first,” Bullock said in a Friday news conference to announce the appointment. Full story