Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2014

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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

Sen.-elect Tom Cotton, on the trail in Jonesboro, Ark., was a top Republican Senate recruit. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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)

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)

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 Options

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:

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

October 21, 2014

Crossroads Targets Nevada Democrat

Crossroads Targets Nevada Democrat

Horsford is a Democrat from Nevada. ( Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Crossroads GPS, a GOP group, bought $1 million in airtime Tuesday to target Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., an incumbent who was not considered vulnerable until now. Full story

October 16, 2014

How ‘Dr. Dan’ Cured His Campaign Woes

How Dr. Dan Cured His Campaign Woes

Republicans say Benishek is one of the "most improved" candidates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Once a top target for Democrats, Rep. Dan Benishek, a former surgeon turned tea party candidate, has turned a corner in his campaign for a second term, and national Republicans have labeled him one of their “most improved” members of the cycle.

What happened? A combination of staff changes, leveraging his slot on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and a favorable cycle for Republicans gave Benishek a clear advantage in the 1st District.

“It looked as if Michigan’s 1st District was going to be one of maybe the top two or three House races here in Michigan,” said Dennis Darnoi, a Michigan Republican consultant. “It hasn’t really reached the competitive level that, I think, was expected.” Full story

October 7, 2014

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Court Tosses Virginia Congressional Map (Updated)

Scott's district was ruled unconstitutional. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 5:28 p.m.| A federal court has ruled Virginia’s congressional map violated the 14th Amendment and instructed the legislature to redraw the state’s congressional boundaries by April 1, 2015.

On Tuesday, three federal judges sided with the plaintiffs, who argued the Republican-led legislature drew Virginia’s 3rd District to pack blacks into the district, thus diminishing their influence in neighboring districts and violating the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The current map will still be in effect for the 2014 elections. The court instructed the legislature to redraw the entire congressional map by April, and there will likely be more legal action before then. Full story

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

6 Gubernatorial Races With Potential Congressional Consequences

Barber is running as a Democrat in Arizona, where there is a competitive gubernatorial race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The lines separating gubernatorial and congressional candidates on the ballot could blur in several states this cycle, as the top of the ticket proves to be a driving force downballot in a half-dozen states.

Typically, competitive gubernatorial races impact one key factor for victory: turnout. As a result, state parties ramp up their efforts to turn out their base, which could also boost candidates all over the ballot, including congressional races.

Gubernatorial races have less of an impact on Senate contests, where candidates are similarly well known by voters. But they often can make a difference in a close House race.

In alphabetical order, here are six states where the impact of a gubernatorial race could drip down the ballot:  Full story

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