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April 20, 2014

Posts in "Wisconsin"

March 20, 2013

Wisconsin: Ryan’s Former Democratic Foe Explores Rematch

Wisconsin: Ryans Former Democratic Foe Explores Rematch

Zerban has filed an exploratory committee to challenge Ryan, above, again. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Rob Zerban announced Wednesday that he is preparing for a rematch with Republican Rep. Paul D. Ryan in Wisconsin’s 1st District.

Ryan defeated Zerban, a former catering company owner, by 12 points last November, when the House Budget Committee chairman simultaneously ran for vice president and re-election. Still, the last election was the “closest challenge” of Ryan’s congressional career, according to Zerban’s campaign.

The 1st District includes competitive territory, but Ryan has easily held the seat since he first won it in 1998. One of Ryan’s greatest campaign strengths is his fundraising. In the 2012 cycle, he raised nearly $5 million and spent nearly $6.7 million.

But facing Ryan — and his national profile — also proved lucrative for Zerban, who spent nearly $2.4 million. Full story

November 4, 2012

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

Presidential Campaigns Make Closing Arguments in Sprint to Election Day

President Barack Obama fires up supporters at a late-night rally in northern Virginia on Saturday. Obama and MItt Romney are barnstorming swing states in the last push to turnout voters on Election Day. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney made their closing pitches to swelled crowds of swing state supporters in the final weekend before voters deliver their verdict, while top surrogates hit the Sunday show circuit to spin their map to victory on Tuesday.

Much of the debate in the campaign’s final hours has focused on Pennsylvania, where Romney is campaigning today and where President Bill Clinton will stump for Obama on Monday. Republicans insist their last-minute play for the Keystone State is based on polling showing it’s winnable. But Democrats charge that the move is a sign of desperation from a team whose path to 270 electoral votes is narrowing.

Later today, Romney will stop in Morrisville, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia across the river from New Jersey. The Romney team sought to expand the battleground map with a late multi-million dollar investment on Pennsylvania airwaves, vastly outspending Democrats there in the last two weeks.

“It’s a remarkable juxtaposition here that Mitt Romney will be in the suburbs of Philadelphia today, and, you know, four years ago, Barack Obama was in Indiana,” Romney senior adviser Ed Gillespie said on ABC’s “This Week.” “When you look at where this map has gone, it reflects the — the change and the direction and the momentum toward Governor Romney.  And the fact is that a state like Pennsylvania being in play, a poll out today showing Michigan a dead heat, you know, this — the map has expanded.” Full story

October 1, 2012

People for the American Way Airs Hispanic Ads in Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia

People for the American Way will launch a $1 million Hispanic ad campaign during the next five weeks in a trio of unexpected battleground states.

Ohio, Wisconsin and Virginia are known for their competitive presidential politics — but not for their strong Latino voting populations. PFAW is betting that, in a tight race, these votes will prove pivotal.

The liberal group’s first spot, “Somos El 47 percent,” targets GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s surreptitiously recorded comments to a private fundraiser in Florida last May. The campaign includes television, radio and direct mail.

“Mitt Romney recently said that 47 percent of us are dependent on the government, and that we think of ourselves as victims,” according to a PFAW translation of the 30-second Spanish spot. “He also said that we come here for a free deal.”

Many well-funded Democratic groups have been on the air for months with Spanish-language ads in key presidential states with burgeoning Latino voter populations, such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

Relatively, the trio of states receiving PFAW’s new campaign have smaller Latino voting populations, with estimates in the single digits. But historically, all three states have featured close presidential campaigns. In 2004, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) carried Wisconsin by about 12,000 votes.

September 25, 2012

Wisconsin: SEIU Backs Off 8th District

The Service Employees International Union has canceled a previously scheduled television ad buy in support of businessman Jamie Wall’s (D) challenge of Rep. Reid Ribble (R).

Roll Call has learned from a source monitoring Wisconsin advertising markets that the union will no longer follow through with its approximately $130,000 reservation in the Green Bay media market, which covers the 8th district. But the same source noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is still scheduled to go on television in Green Bay on Oct. 9.

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, had previously canceled a $130,000 television ad-buy reservation in mid-September.

Full story

September 19, 2012

Virginia: Tim Kaine Leads George Allen in Two Polls

Virginia: Tim Kaine Leads George Allen in Two Polls

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two new polls released Wednesday showed former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) had a lead outside of the margin of error in his campaign against former Gov. George Allen (R) for Virginia’s open Senate seat.

A new Washington Post poll showed 51 percent of likely voters said they supported Kaine, while 43 percent backed his Republican rival. The economy was the dominant issue on respondents’ minds.

Both men have left favorable impressions on registered voters, each topping 50 percent in their favorability ratings.

Thirty-two percent of registered voter respondents identified themselves as Democrats, while 24 percent stated they were Republican. Thirty-five percent were independent.

A Quinnipiac/New York Times/CBS poll, also released Wednesday, showed almost the exact same results in Virginia. In that poll, Kaine led Allen 51 percent to 44 percent. Full story

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin Moves Up in Polling

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin Moves Up in Polling

(Tom Williams CQ/Roll Call File Phorto)

Two polls released Wednesday show Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) has made progress in her race against former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R) for the state’s open Senate seat.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed Baldwin leading Thompson by a 9-point margin. Fifty percent of likely voters said they favored her, while 41 percent said they backed Thompson. It is a complete reversal from Marquette’s mid-August poll, which showed Thompson with a 9-point lead. Republicans contend that this latest Marquette poll oversamples Democrats. Full story

August 29, 2012

Paul Ryan Revs Up Home State Crowd at Brats and Beer Event

Paul Ryan Revs Up Home State Crowd at Brats and Beer Event

Rep. Paul Ryan and his wife, Janna, wave to the crowd at a Wisconsin event at the Republican National Convention. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Rep. Paul Ryan, the Republican vice presidential nominee, dropped by a Wisconsin delegation party today, just a few hours before he will formally accept his nomination and address the national GOP convention.

Ryan stepped on stage, which is already set up for a Kid Rock concert tonight, and surprised the home state crowd that was munching on brats, sipping beer and swaying to the tunes of the Swinging Bavarians.

Standing alongside his wife, Janna, the native of Janesville thanked the delegation for making the trip down and pumped up the crowd with brief remarks. Full story

August 14, 2012

Wisconsin: Mark Pocan Wins Primary to Succeed Tammy Baldwin

State Rep. Mark Pocan handily defeated fellow state Rep. Kelda Helen Roys tonight. He led 70 percent to 23 percent when the Associated Press called the race.

Pocan was widely expected to win the primary for the Madison-based 2nd district and will almost certainly come to Congress in the fall. The two were vying for a safe Democratic open seat to replace Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D), who is running for Senate.

August 11, 2012

Wisconsin: Paul Ryan Still Heavily Favored Over Rob Zerban Back Home

As Rep. Paul Ryan embarks on a national campaign, he will still have to run for re-election for his House seat.

Wisconsin law allows Ryan to seek both the vice presidency and another term in the House, and that is the understanding of what he will do, according to a Congressional campaign spokesman.

Ryan’s 1st district includes Republican pockets in the southeastern part of the state, and he won re-election last cycle by a 2-to-1 margin. The district was improved for him in redistricting. All of these points indicate that his re-election race should not be competitive, and Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.

But even before Ryan was picked as the vice presidential nominee, Democrats were making noise about giving him more of a race than he’s used to. He has a wealthy Democratic opponent, Rob Zerban, who has worked relentlessly to convince the political establishment that this is a real race. His argument is that Ryan has not had a serious opponent in years and that there is an opportunity for an organized Democrat to force an upset. Full story

Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan as Running Mate

Mitt Romney Picks Paul Ryan as Running Mate

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:19 a.m. | Mitt Romney has tapped Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, his campaign announced Saturday morning.

Official word of the pick came via a press release a little after 7 a.m. titled “Mitt Romney & Paul Ryan: America’s Comeback Team.” The pick was first reported in the wee hours of Saturday morning by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who cited three sources.

The announcement will come Saturday morning in Norfolk, Va., in front of the USS Wisconsin. The event is the first stop of a multiday campaign bus tour for Romney and his newly minted running mate.

Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has taken on an increased national profile as the architect of the GOP’s budget plan that proposes dramatic reforms to entitlement programs.

His stock as a VP pick rose in recent weeks as a chorus of conservatives, including the Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal, publicly encouraged Romney to make a bold choice with Ryan. The pick is viewed as likely to energize the Republican base. Full story

July 27, 2012

Wisconsin: Kelda Helen Roys and Mark Pocan Exchange Criticism Over Ad

Wisconsin Assemblyman Mark Pocan (D) changed tactics in his race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in Wisconsin’s second district, launching a new television ad that defends his record and seeks to discredit criticism leveled by his primary opponent.

State Assemblywoman Kelda Helen Roys (D) wasted little time before responding. Her campaign called the spot as a “false, negative attack ad” that went against Pocan’s promise to run a clean campaign. Pocan had previously devoted his television advertising time to highlighting his accomplishments.

“He’s been telling voters that he was going to run a clean campaign and he caved,” said Roys campaign manager Rick Coelho. “It fits in with our core message that he caves when the going gets tough.”

The Pocan campaign said that it stands by the ad and responded to the Roys campaign in a statement to Roll Call.

“Our ad speaks for itself. Mark is running a positive campaign about providing real results to Wisconsinites,” said campaign manager Dan McNally in the statement. “We hope it sets the record straight after Rep. Roys’ attacks on his strong record as an effective progressive.”

Full story

July 24, 2012

Wisconsin: Negative Ads Dominate Airwaves

Congressional candidates and outside groups in Wisconsin have picked up the pace of TV and radio attack ads as the state’s primaries loom three weeks away.

Roll Call counted 10 attack ads released in the past 11 days, including three spots released today.

Most of the ads focus on the race for the state’s open Senate seat. Ads from both sides of the aisle have targeted the GOP primary’s perceived frontrunners, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

The Club for Growth and former Rep. Mark Neumann, who is also competing in the GOP primary, have been especially critical. Majority PAC, which supports Democrats running for the Senate, and EMILY’s List targeted Hovde and Thompson in hopes of aiding presumptive Democratic nominee Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Full story

July 16, 2012

Wisconsin: Tommy Thompson Outraises Mark Neumann

Updated 3:30 p.m. | Former Gov. Tommy Thompson outraised his competitors for the Republican nomination for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat with an $834,000 haul. Former Rep. Mark Neumann raised $733,000 and businessman Eric Hovde took in $237,000.

Despite Thompson’s apparent financial advantage, Neumann and Hovde have assets that are not clear from the total raised. Hovde is independently wealthy and has spent millions of his own money on his campaign. Neumann, who is set to up his investment on television advertising, has the backing of outsiders such as the Club for Growth, which has spent heavily to support him.

Full story

July 13, 2012

Wisconsin: Hovde, Thompson Respond To Criticism With New Ads

A busy week in Wisconsin’s GOP primary for the state’s open Senate seat concluded with new defensive ads from former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson’s ad counters allegations that he supported President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law, while Hovde attacks former Rep. Mark Neumann, another GOP candidate, on fiscal issues.

The conservative Club for Growth unveiled an ad earlier today that attacked both Hovde and Thompson as part of a nearly $600,000 broadcast and cable buy in the Badger State. The group endorsed Neumann last September.

Thompson’s ad pushes back on claims that the former governor once supported the Affordable Care Act, an allegation that has been perpetuated by the Club for Growth and others. The ad, which a GOP operative said is part of a more than $125,000 buy, shows Thompson wearing a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle through a rural area.

Full story

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Hits Tommy Thomspon, Eric Hovde in New Ad

The Club for Growth launched a large broadcast and cable ad buy today throughout Wisconsin targeting current GOP Senate primary frontrunners former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

By taking on both frontrunners, the club reaffirmed its support for former Rep. Mark Neumann, despite his low numbers in recent polls. Many observers have said that dividing support among Thompson’s various challengers would only elevate the former governor above the fray of other candidates.

Full story

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