Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 26, 2015

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February 25, 2015

Congressional Republicans All Over CPAC Lineup

Congressional Republicans All Over CPAC Lineup

Zinke is a freshman in the House. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., has only been in Congress for six weeks, but he is already preparing a talk at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference.

Zinke is one of five House GOP freshman slated to speak at the annual conservative confab, according to an agenda distributed by organizers. All told, there are at least 25 current and former members of Congress currently scheduled to speak during the Feb. 25-28 event.

Full story

February 20, 2015

Roll Call’s Guide to the Most Clever Leadership PAC Names

Roll Calls Guide to the Most Clever Leadership PAC Names

Coons is a Delaware Democrat who has a Blue Hen leadership PAC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s in a leadership PAC name? Plenty of dough, as the members who run these personal political action committees have learned. Leadership PACs run by lawmakers pulled in roughly $400 million in the 2014 election cycle, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of data.

Such PACs compete not only for dollars, but for clever names, often concocting elaborate acronyms or catchy regional references to woo potential donors. From the Penguin PAC run by Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, to the Blue Hen PAC run by Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., leadership PACs are named for animals, plants, landmarks, colors and the campaign platforms of the politicians who run them. Full story

February 12, 2015

RNC Media Aide Moves to RSLC for 2016 Cycle

The Republican State Leadership Committee will announce Ellie Wallace as the group’s new communications director, according to information provided first to CQ Roll Call.

“We are excited to welcome Ellie to the RSLC as we prepare for a new election cycle dedicated to electing Republicans at the state level,” said RSLC President Matt Walter in a news release scheduled for wide distribution on Friday morning. “Following the RSLC’s record-breaking 2014 election victories, I am confident Ellie’s communications experience with campaigns around the country will be a valuable contribution to help lead our organization into its next chapter.”

Full story

January 9, 2015

Scramble Starts for Barbara Boxer’s Senate Seat

Scramble Starts for Barbara Boxers Senate Seat

Boxer, center, is a California Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer’s Thursday announcement she will not seek re-election kicked off what will likely be one of the most competitive — and expensive — Senate races of 2016.

Democrats have a deep bench of potential candidates, some of whom are salivating at the opportunity to run for California’s first open Senate seat in 24 years. But with 10 media markets, including four massive ones, seeking statewide office in California is an expensive proposition. Full story

November 24, 2014

Bill Cassidy Utilizes Weekly GOP Address, Again

Bill Cassidy Utilizes Weekly GOP Address, Again

Cassidy gave the weekly Republican address again last weekend. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heading into a Dec. 6 runoff in Louisiana against Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Rep. Bill Cassidy took a second crack at the Republican weekly address to make his case for election to the Senate.

Just as in his first address in June, the doctor by trade recalled interactions with patients as a prominent forum to hear constituent concerns on the direction of the country.

“When my patients tell me about their health concerns,” Cassidy said, “they also tell me they are worried about the economy, their jobs, the direction of our country.” Full story

November 7, 2014

Debate Coaches, Media Training, Tech: How GOP Did It

Debate Coaches, Media Training, Tech: How GOP Did It

The sweeping Republican victories were thanks to two years of internal speculation and trying to beat the Democrats “at their own game,” a new GOP memo argues.

“This did not happen by accident,” read a joint memo from the Republican National Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Democrats expected to win; they bragged that they would win. They would have won, had we not beat them at their own game.”

Full story

November 5, 2014

After GOP Wave, Williams Won’t Challenge Walden for NRCC

After GOP Wave, Williams Wont Challenge Walden for NRCC

Walden is an Oregon Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With House Republicans winning their largest majority since 1929, the posturing to challenge National Republican Congressional Committee Greg Walden may be over.

While there are still some questions whether Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., — or any other House Republican — will challenge Walden, at least one potential contender is out.

Texas Republican Roger Williams sent House Republicans a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter Wednesday saying — in less than clear terms — he would not be challenging Walden to head the NRCC. Full story

What Happened to the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members? (Updated)

What Happened to the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members? (Updated)Vance McAllister" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/McAllister_150_0618141-445x335.jpg" alt="election results" width="445" height="335" />

McAllister was defeated Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:17 p.m. | Only two of the 10 most vulnerable House members will be returning to Congress next year — and both survivors are Democrats who withstood a Republican wave Tuesday night.

Seven other members on Roll Call’s list will not return to the House for the 114th Congress, while the fate of one lawmaker hangs in the balance as his race is still too close to call.

Full story

Still Undecided: 11 House, 2 Senate, 5 Gubernatorial Races (Updated)

Still Undecided: 11 House, 2 Senate, 5 Gubernatorial Races (Updated)Scott Peters" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/peters_272_091814-445x296.jpg" alt="" width="445" height="296" />

Peters is facing his second straight close finish in California. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:36 p.m.| After a night of historic wins by the GOP, there are still a handful of key races around the country — mostly in California — that The Associated Press had not called as of Wednesday.

In California, votes were still being counted in seven races — six involving incumbent Democrats: Ami Bera, Jerry McNerney, Jim Costa, Michael M. Honda, Julia Brownley and Scott Peters; and one open-seat race in California’s 31st District, one of Democrats’ top pickup opportunities. Full story

November 4, 2014

Roll Call’s Guide to Election Results

Join us Tuesday at 6 p.m. as we kick off Roll Call Presents: Midterm Elections 2014 as the first polls will be closing. You can follow along with Editor-in-Chief Christina Bellantoni and Politics Editor Shira T. Center via the live stream below, and here is a handy cheat-sheet to keep as election results pour in.

As races are called, our CQ counterparts will publish New Member Guide profiles to help you learn about all of the new members. You can also catch up on election news and analysis by checking out Roll Call’s At the Races politics blog and the stories below.

Which races are the most competitive? We have Race Ratings for every seat. Spoiler alert: Republicans are (still) poised to pick up 6 to 8 Senate seats, according to the Rothenberg Political Report.

You can learn which lawmakers are most vulnerable in the House and in the Senate, bid farewell to the members who won’t be returning to Congress for one reason or another, or get to know these members in waiting who are already are on their way to D.C. thanks to uncompetitive races. That’s not to mention all of these 31 memberswho are running unopposed.

Don’t want to stay up? Don’t worry — here’s why Senate control may not be known by Wednesday.

You could ponder these 6 awesome scenarios Bellantoni wrote about in her column Tuesday. Or just click through all of these slideshows:

Roll Call on The Road to Election Day

2014 Campaign

Past Election Nights

Behind the Photos 2014

Mitch McConnell Photos

Mary Landrieu Photos

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November 3, 2014

Billionaire Boys Club: Congress’ Top Super PAC Donors

Dubbed the “billionaire election” by some, these midterms have featured more money than ever spent by the wealthiest Americans and less by small donors. Big-spending outside groups are distilling an already elite donor pool even further, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, and the overall number of individual donors has declined for the first time.

Listed below are the top five donors to unrestricted super PACs in both parties, as ranked by the Sunlight Foundation. Not included are contributors to tax-exempt advocacy groups that operate outside the disclosure rules, such as the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch. Full story

November 1, 2014

When Democrats Have Zero Options

When Democrats Have Zero OptionsDoc Hastings" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/hastings-141-112812-445x314.jpg" alt="washington state elections" width="445" height="314" />

Hastings is retiring. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats in Washington’s 4th District don’t have much of a choice on their ballot: a Republican, or another Republican.

The Evergreen State’s primary allows the top two vote recipients to proceed to the general election, regardless of party affiliation. In the open-seat race to succeed Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., Republicans won the top two slots for general election’s mail-in ballot.

So what’s a Democrat to do?

“I haven’t decided yet. I have my ballot in my purse,” laughed Mary Baechler, a Democrat who challenged Hastings in 2012. “You want to help me out with that?”
Full story

October 30, 2014

Tim Bishop in Political Peril — Again

Tim Bishop in Political Peril — Again

Bishop is a Democrat from New York. (Bill Clark/ CQRollCall)

Rep. Timothy H. Bishop’s re-election has once again surged to the top of the cycle’s list of most competitive House races, and Republicans are more optimistic than ever they can defeat the battle-tested New York Democrat.

This cycle features a rematch between Bishop and his 2008 opponent, state Sen. Lee Zeldin, the GOP nominee. Strategists have said internal polling shows the race in a dead heat, and this week, the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call changed the rating of the race to Tossup.

“There’s no such thing as an easy race in New York 1,” Bishop said last week in an interview. “In 2008, very few people knew [Zeldin] at all. He is more well known than he was in 2008, so to that extent, the race is different.” Full story

October 29, 2014

DCCC Books Airtime to Defend 2 More Incumbents (Video)

DCCC Books Airtime to Defend 2 More Incumbents (Video)

Capps, center, is a California Democrat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 3:30 p.m. | The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is spending precious eleventh-hour funds on two more incumbents, Reps. Steven Horsford of Nevada and Lois Capps of California, in the final days of the midterms.

The committee aide confirmed the DCCC will spend $360,000 in the Las Vegas television market to help Horsford fend off a late blitz from Crossroads GPS, a GOP outside group. He represents Nevada’s 4th District. The committee will also spend $99,000 on radio the Santa Barbara-based California 24th District on behalf of Capps.

Here is the Nevada ad:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbwzOQWxbfw&feature=youtu.be

The DCCC also expanded their buys in markets where the party has already made significant investments this fall: Full story

October 27, 2014

‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Launches Ads in Louisiana Race

Duck Dynasty Star Launches Ads in Louisiana Race

Willie Robertson, center, of Duck Dynasty attended the State of the Union earlier this year as a guest of McAllister. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wielding a bible and an AR-15 rifle, the patriarch of the “Duck Dynasty” clan has once again waded into political waters.

Phil Robertson, the head of the family at the center of A&E’s reality show, “Duck Dynasty,” which is filmed in Louisiana’s 5th District, appeared in two new television ads released Monday to support his nephew Zach Dasher, a businessman hoping to oust embattled incumbent Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La.

In one ad dubbed “Believe,” Robertson tells voters, while holding a bible in one hand and a rifle in the other, “Bibles and guns brought us here and bibles and guns will keep us here. Zach Dasher believes in both.” Full story

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