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Update 2:03 p.m. | Republican Ed Gillespie conceded the Virginia Senate race Friday, declining to contest Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s tight lead.
By Friday, Warner led by just 17,000 votes with 99 percent of precincts reporting. But with canvassing ongoing since Wednesday, media outlets had yet to call the race.
“If I believed there were any conceivable way we could find a viable path to win through a recount, I would fight,” Gillespie told supporters. Full story
Updated 4:39 p.m. | Democrats picked up their third House seat late Thursday, stemming the party’s losses to 13 seats — for now.
After more absentee and provisional ballots were counted, Democrat Pete Aguilar maintained a lead over Republican Paul Chabot, 51 percent to 49 percent, in California’s 31st District. Aguilar declared victory and Chabot conceded; the seat was open because Republican Rep. Gary G. Miller is retiring.
The Associated Press also called a House race in Maryland’s 6th District in favor of the Democrat. Freshman Rep. John Delaney defeated his Republican opponent, 50 percent to 48 percent, in an unexpectedly close contest.
In Virginia, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by a 16,000-vote margin.
Gillespie announced at a news conference Friday afternoon that he would not contest the results.
Elsewhere, several other races remain too close to call:
Updated Nov. 5, 7:23 a.m. | Republicans swept the Senate races Tuesday night, and come January, they will control the chamber for the first time in eight years.
Democratic incumbents fell right and left, even in seats that they had originally been favored to win. President Barack Obama’s poor approval rating — 42 percent in the last nationwide Gallup poll — dragged down candidates across the country in the face of a Republican wave.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who cruised to victory in his own re-election, is set to become the next majority leader, with a gain of at least seven seats — one more than the GOP needed.
As results were still pouring in, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran credited the GOP’s recruiting, encouraging and training its candidates.
“They are why we have the ability to deliver a majority, this evening, of Republicans to the United States Senate,” the Kansas Republican said. Full story
When the myriad Republican presidential contenders start campaigning for 2016, their journeys might not look much different from this cycle.
From Iowa to New Hampshire, every Republican who is even remotely considering a 2016 bid hit the trail this year to help Senate contenders. What’s more, several competitive Senate races are this year conveniently in states that play host to early nominating contests in 2016.
Joni Ernst, the Republican running for the open seat in Iowa, has had almost every presidential hopeful campaign for her.
Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee in North Carolina, has had visits from even more of them. North Carolina’s legislature voted last year to move the primary to the Tuesday after South Carolina’s contest, placing it in the early group of presidential primary states.
Check out the chart for a full look at who appeared where:
Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie said in an ad airing during “Monday Night Football” that he would oppose legislation forcing the Washington Redskins to change the team name.
“I’ll oppose the anti-Redskins bill. Let’s focus on creating jobs, raising take-home pay and making our nation safer. And let the Redskins handle what to call their team,” said Gillespie, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Gillespie faces long odds to oust Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., next week, and recent polling shows the Republican trailing by double digits. The race is rated Democrat Favored by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.
Gillespie recently cut his ad buys in the Washington, D.C., area — an indication of a campaign struggling for cash. Also, it wasn’t immediately clear if the spot would run elsewhere.
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.
ARLINGTON, Va. — Democratic Sen. Mark Warner emphasized his bipartisan credentials Thursday to the local voters he hopes will re-elect him in November.
“This is gonna be won with Democrats, independents, Republicans and everyone else,” Warner told the crowd at The Spectrum Theatre, part of a six-day, 14-stop tour of the commonwealth that coincides with the release of his first television ad.
The rally’s venue had the feel of a lecture hall, with pull-out desks on each seat. Signs were neatly stacked in a grid along a side wall as Warner spoke on a stage against a backdrop of two large signs and a flag.
Warner is favored to win over likely GOP nominee Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman and George W. Bush adviser. But his race could be more competitive than anticipated, in part thanks to his well-connected foe.
Virginia is a competitive state that’s elected both Republicans and Democrats to statewide office over the past decade. Though Democrats currently control both Senate seats and the governor’s mansion, statewide elections are fiercely contested.
Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia will join the growing chorus of Democrats encouraging former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, according to remarks Kaine is scheduled to give Saturday at a South Carolina event and obtained by CQ-Roll Call.
Kaine joins Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., other elected officials and party operatives, who support the Ready for Hillary operation — a super PAC building a campaign infrastructure if Clinton decides to run in 2016. The super PAC is not affiliated with Clinton.
Updated 3:45 p.m. | Former Virginia Sen. John Warner is crossing party lines to support Democratic Sen. Mark Warner’s re-election campaign this year.
Warner, a former five-term Republican senator, told the Associated Press on Monday he is backing his successor in the Senate over former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie.
Speaking later with CQ Roll Call, John Warner said he encouraged Mark Warner to seek re-election, citing the state’s need for seniority in the Senate.
“I’m not jumping my traces,” John Warner said. “I’m just exercising what I think is a responsible judgment, because Mark Warner is gaining seniority and stature, and has a proven ability to cross the aisle and make things happen.”
The two Warners faced off in a 1996 Senate race, with the incumbent holding on by a 5-point margin. After the loss, Mark Warner went on to win a term as governor in 2001, before running again for the Senate seat of the retiring John Warner.
This is the second time this cycle the former Republican senator has backed a Democratic Senate candidate. Warner contributed to the campaign of Michelle Nunn, the daughter of former Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn, who is running for an open seat in Georgia. Full story
With the stink of their party’s statewide sweep not yet three months old, Virginia Republicans said Ed Gillespie should have little trouble winning the GOP Senate nomination in June and advancing to take on Democrat Mark Warner.
Republicans concede that Gillespie, a former lobbyist and political consultant who announced his candidacy last week, faces a challenging fight against the first-term senator and popular former governor. But getting through the state GOP’s nominating convention, which invites a more conservative swath of the party than a primary and last year produced a surprising result, should not be nearly as significant a hurdle.
As former Gov. Bob McDonnell’s felony indictment Tuesday and a state Senate victory for the Democrats added to Republicans’ woes, elected officials and party insiders said last year’s stinging losses in races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general have left GOP activists clamoring for, above all, a conservative candidate who can raise the kind of money it will take to legitimately compete with Warner.
Gillespie “does have to take [the convention] seriously, but I think people want to win a statewide race in Virginia,” Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., said. “Having lost three races last fall, I think they recognize we need a candidate who is in the hunt when it comes to the last part of the race … and that means somebody who is capable of raising the money.” Full story
Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, announced Thursday that he will challenge Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.
Despite Warner’s inherent advantages in this swing state, Gillespie’s entrance gives Republicans a competent opponent who will be able to raise money and make the race at least one to keep an eye on this year. In a video statement, Gillespie wasted no time in criticizing the incumbent over his fiscal record in the Senate and support for Obamacare. Full story
Senate Democrats’ inability so far to lure top-tier talent to run for their three most vulnerable open seats shifts the spotlight to recruits in its two most promising pickup opportunities — a relative term in this lopsided landscape.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s decision this weekend to eschew a Senate race came as an unexpected boon for the GOP’s hopes of netting the six seats necessary to win the Senate majority next year. Pulling off that feat would be an accomplishment for Republicans, even if they are waging war in friendly GOP territory.
But there is a realistic scenario that could force Democrats to rely on two first-time federal candidates in states where the party has enjoyed little success in recent years. If Montana moves off the competitive playing field and Republicans are also favored to pick up the open seats in West Virginia and South Dakota, the GOP would need to pick up just three more seats from their most promising targets in Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Second quarter fundraising hauls trickled in all week and offer insight into the health of a handful of House and Senate campaigns.
The fundraising deadline was June 30. The reporting deadline is July 15. Here is what we know so far:
Here’s what you may have missed “At the Races” on Monday …
What we’re mulling on Monday …
Virginia Republicans voted on May 17 to hold a nominating convention next year — rather than a primary — to select a challenger to Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
The move, which came at the state party’s annual convention in Richmond, could affect the GOP field that vies for the nomination. Conventions, where only party activists vote, often nominate more conservative candidates than the broader GOP primary electorate. Full story