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November 28, 2014

Posts in "W.Va. Senate"

November 4, 2014

Why Senate Control May Not Be Known by Wednesday

Why Senate Control May Not Be Known by Wednesday

Landrieu rallies supporters Nov. 2 in Shreveport, La. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There are enough Democratic seats in play for Republicans to secure the Senate majority Tuesday, but there is also a chance the outcome won’t be known for days, weeks or even a couple months.

Needing to net six seats to win back control for the first time since George W. Bush’s second midterm in 2006, Republicans have taken advantage of a Democratic president in a similarly weak political position and have carved a path through 10 states. That means Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell may be celebrating more than his own re-election in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday night.

Still, with runoffs likely in two competitive states, potentially razor-thin margins in a few races and vote-counting complications in Alaska, there are several hurdles to one party having clear control of the Senate by the time the sun rises Wednesday on the East Coast. Full story

November 1, 2014

Final Rankings: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Final Rankings: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators

Pryor, right, canvasses Saturday with an aide in the Little Rock, Arkansas, suburbs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Roll Call’s final ranking of the most vulnerable senators doesn’t vary much from previous versions — the result of an unfavorable national climate for Democrats that has failed to improve.

On the eve of the midterm elections, Senate Democrats are staring down a hole dug by President Barack Obama’s disapproval ratings and an unforgiving map packed with red states. Retirements by a quartet of senators in Republican-leaning or swing states didn’t help, but the seats of at least four incumbents seeking re-election aren’t on much stronger ground.

It’s the reality of what could end up being a dreadful cycle for Democrats. Still, party strategists remain cautiously optimistic they can hold on to a few endangered seats, possibly even pick up a GOP open seat in Georgia and save the majority. Republicans need a net gain of six seats. Full story

October 30, 2014

Where GOP White House Hopefuls Stumped in 2014 (Chart)

Where GOP White House Hopefuls Stumped in 2014 (Chart)

Roberts, left, campaigned with Cruz, right. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:
Full story

October 15, 2014

3 Senate Endgame Scenarios

3 Senate Endgame Scenarios

The winner of the race between Roberts, left, and Orman, right, will play a major role in deciding the Senate majority. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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

July 9, 2014

Shelley Moore Capito Campaigns Amid Father’s Complicated Legacy

Shelley Moore Capito Campaigns Amid Fathers Complicated Legacy

Shelley Moore Capito at a Fourth of July event. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Shelley Moore Capito Campaigns Amid Fathers Complicated Legacy RIPLEY, W.Va.— In Rep. Shelley Moore Capito’s bid for Senate, Republicans and Democrats frequently cite one major political asset: Her middle name.

It comes from her father, the beloved former Gov. Arch A. Moore, Jr., who brought the Mountain State’s infrastructure and education system into the modern age during his two separate tenures in the 1970s and 1980s.

But Capito’s father also holds a complicated place in West Virginia history. In addition to introducing kindergarten to the state and overseeing a massive Interstate construction project, Moore spent over two years in federal prison.  Full story

July 7, 2014

Senate Hopefuls Work Parade Route in West Virginia

Senate Hopefuls Work Parade Route in West Virginia

Miss WV Roadkill waves at fans at the Fourth of July parade. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Hopefuls Work Parade Route in West VirginiaRIPLEY, W.Va. — The country’s “largest small town Independence Day parade” had all the expected: beauty queens, sun-drenched crowds and political glad-handling.

The hardest thing to find on this route? A West Virginian who plans to vote the straight party line this fall.

“I vote for the person, not for the party,” Thomas Lee Stemple, a retired maintenance supervisor and registered Democrat, said a few hours before the parade.

Interviews with West Virginia voters over the holiday weekend showed many of them intend to split their ballots between parties this November. The parade’s two most prominent participants and Senate candidates — Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican, and West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat — used the event to promote their personal brands to voters gathered on the streets of this town north of Charleston.

Capito was the first federal candidate featured in the parade of more than 150 floats.  Full story

May 12, 2014

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

April 3, 2014

Heitkamp Heads to West Virginia for Tennant Campaign

Heitkamp Heads to West Virginia for Tennant Campaign

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who pulled off one of the most unlikely upsets of the 2012 cycle, is heading to West Virginia for the next two days to help a fellow Democratic underdog.

Heitkamp will headline three fundraisers in Morgantown and Charleston on Friday and Saturday for West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat trying to hold one of the party’s most vulnerable open seats. The freshman senator will also join Tennant in meetings with young Democrats and state energy leaders, according to the campaign.

In an interview with CQ Roll Call, Heitkamp said she sees similarities between her own race against Rep. Rick Berg and Tennant’s uphill bid against GOP Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, starting with the voters in both states wanting to know and see their representatives.

“It is very personal, it is very retail. That’s really how I won,” Heitkamp said. “I just got out there and met as many people as I could meet. I told them I was for North Dakota, first and foremost, and it’s always the way it’s going to be. I think it’s how I governed or legislated since I’ve been here, and I think that’s a very strong similarity between West Virginia and North Dakota politics.” Full story

December 5, 2013

Chamber Launches Second Coal Ad This Week

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching its second TV ad this week highlighting a Republican Senate candidate’s support of the coal industry.

The chamber’s latest spot comes to the defense of West Virginia Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is running for an open Senate seat in the Mountain State.

Full story

October 11, 2013

Friday Fundraising Roundup: Senate Candidates Unleash Numbers (Updated)

Updated 4:35 p.m. | A slew of Senate candidate rainmakers released their numbers on Friday — including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his $2.3 million haul.

Here are the noteworthy numbers to surface on Friday:

Senate: 

  • #KYSEN: McConnell raised $2.3 million and will report just under $10 million in the bank in his latest Federal Election Commission report. His GOP challenger, businessman Matt Bevin, raised $822,000 in the quarter. Of that sum, he loaned his campaign $600,000. He had about $165,000 in cash on hand.
  • #IASEN: Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley raised more than $900,000 and had $2.3 million in cash on hand, the Quad-City Times reported.
  • #WVSEN: Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito raised about $777,000 in the third quarter and had about $3.2 million in the bank, according to The Charleston Daily Mail.
  • #MISEN: Democratic Rep. Gary Peters raised more than $1 million in the quarter and had about $2.5 million in cash on hand.

House:

  • #WI01: House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., raised $1.174 million in the quarter and reported $2.6 million in cash on hand, according to Political MoneyLine.

Kyle Trygstad contributed to this report. 

September 26, 2013

EMILY’s List Endorses West Virginia Senate Candidate

EMILY’s List, an organization that backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, has endorsed West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s bid for Senate.

“I wanted to personally let you know that today we’re endorsing Natalie Tennant for the U.S. Senate race in West Virginia,” EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock wrote to the group’s supporter email list. Full story

September 17, 2013

Natalie Tennant Enters West Virginia Senate Race | #WVSEN

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced her campaign for Senate on Tuesday morning, filling in one of the final holes on Democrats’ recruitment map for the 2014 cycle.

Her entrance into the race marks the start of the last chapter of this cycle’s recruitment season for Senate races. Democrats cannot lose more than five seats and retain their Senate majority, but recruitment in three of those open-seat races — South Dakota, West Virginia and Montana — has complicated their efforts until recently. Full story

September 13, 2013

Democrats Land Recruit for West Virginia Senate Race | #WVSEN

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, is expected to roll out her campaign for the open-seat Senate race next week, according to West Virginia MetroNews.

Her candidacy comes as good news for Senate Democrats, who were hunting for a top candidate to run for the competitive seat.

West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio declined to confirm any impending announcement to CQ Roll Call but said Tennant had been widely recruited from within the state to run. A spokesperson for Tennant could not be reached for comment.

Full story

September 11, 2013

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

The Cheap Seats: Senate Majority Determined in Inexpensive States

Getting an ad on the air in a competitive Senate race next year may not break the bank, but that won’t change the unruly amount of money that will be spent.

A Senate playing field (view ratings map) constructed almost entirely of small media markets has several implications for the candidates, campaign committees and outside groups in the most targeted states next year. Above all, it likely guarantees an extended campaign season.

“It means the poor, unfortunate people who live in those states will be subjected to much more ugliness,” as Curt Anderson, a Republican media consultant, put it. Full story

August 12, 2013

Reid: West Virginia Democratic Recruit to Announce ‘Shortly’ #WVSEN

Reid: West Virginia Democratic Recruit to Announce Shortly #WVSEN

Reid assessed his party's recruitment status in a recent interview. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After eight months of searching, have Senate Democrats finally found a recruit in West Virginia? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said yes in a recent interview.

“I think we’re going to be very competitive in — in West Virginia, we have a candidate there who should be announcing shortly,” the Nevada Democrat told a local PBS affiliate about the race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Reid did not divulge the Democrat’s name during the interview on “Nevada Week in Review.” Several Democrats have passed on the race, and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant remains as the only prominent recruit who has not declined to run yet. Full story

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