Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

October 17, 2012

Nebraska: John McCain, Joe Lieberman Pick Their Horses

Nebraska: John McCain, Joe Lieberman Pick Their Horses

Nebraska Senate candidate Deb Fischer was endorsed by Sen. John McCain today. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) weighed in on the Nebraska Senate race today, with respective endorsements of GOP hopeful Deb Fischer and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D).

“I’m proud to support Deb Fischer in this important election for U.S. Senate,” McCain said in a release on Fischer’s campaign website. “She has the character and commitment to change Washington.”

“She will work to eliminate wasteful spending, balance the budget, and grow the private sector economy,” McCain’s statement continued. “Facing an ever-growing debt, we need fiscally conservative leadership like Deb’s in the U.S. Senate to get our nation back on the right track.” Full story

NRCC Pulls Final Reservations Out of Philadelphia TV Market

The National Republican Congressional Committee has pulled its remaining reservations out of the Philadelphia television market, according to a Republican source who tracks media buys.

The news is of no dramatic consequence to the House race chess game. Rather, it is a sign of Republican confidence in response to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s decision to cancel reservations in the same market last week.

The DCCC move effectively pulled the plug on its efforts to unseat Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Jon Runyan (N.J.).

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report. 

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith Takes Advantage of National Trends With Deep Pockets

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith Takes Advantage of National Trends With Deep Pockets

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo) Democratic Sen. Bob Casey (above) has watched his lead over former coal company owner Tom Smith shrink in recent months. A Quinnipiac University poll showed the Democrat with a 3-point lead this week — down from 19 points in June.

SHELOCTA, Pa. — Atop hundreds of acres of lush farmland, a bold white sign directs visitors to the “Smith Complex” — the hilltop home of wealthy former coal company owner Tom Smith.

The rise of Smith’s campaign against Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) is, indeed, complex.

While some of his fellow Republican Senate nominees sunk in September, Smith shrank Casey’s lead down to low single digits. A Quinnipiac University poll showed the Democrat with a 3-point lead this week — down from 19 points in June. Full story

Daily Ad Track

The news on the TV advertising front today has more to do with resource strategy rather than content. As time runs out to book TV reservations, what is most interesting today is where committees and super PACs are spending, rather than the actual ads.

Here is what cut through the clutter:

Full story

Connecticut: Christopher Murphy, Linda McMahon Still in Statistical Tie

Connecticut: Christopher Murphy, Linda McMahon Still in Statistical Tie

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll showed Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) had a narrow, within-the-margin-of-error lead over former WWE CEO Linda McMahon in the open-seat race to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Murphy got 46 percent, while McMahon had 44 percent. Eight percent of respondents said they remained undecided. The poll was conducted by Siena Research Institute.

One eyebrow-raising point of the poll’s implementation is that it took place over 10 days — far longer than most conventional polls. That 10-day window is a highly fluid point in the race  — including two debates and massive television advertising saturation.

Full story

Ohio: Jim Renacci Attacks Betty Sutton on Cash for Clunkers

Ohio: Jim Renacci Attacks Betty Sutton on Cash for Clunkers

Rep. Jim Renacci, a former car dealership owner, faces Rep. Betty Sutton, the sponsor of Cash for Clunkers, in Ohio's 16th district. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

CANTON, Ohio — The auto industry reigns in this northeastern corner of the Buckeye State, and three years after Congress passed Cash for Clunkers, the issue persists on the campaign trail.

So it’s serendipitous that a former car dealership owner, freshman Rep. Jim Renacci (R), faces the program’s chief sponsor, Rep. Betty Sutton (D), in the 16th district.

“As a car dealer, of course I saw car sales go up for the two months the programs was in place,” Renacci said in a Tuesday afternoon interview. “But for the next five months, I saw new car sales go down. That’s a problem. All we did was pull sales forward.”

The Cash for Clunkers program, passed in 2009 with bipartisan support from Ohio Members, gave drivers up to $4,500 to buy a new fuel-efficient car by trading in their used vehicle. Renacci shut the doors on his Chevrolet dealership in nearby Wadsworth during his 2010 bid for Congress. Full story

Democratic PAC Targets Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, California

The Democratic-affiliated group House Majority PAC today announced four new ads fulfilling an earlier-announced buy.

Three of the ads begin airing today, while one begins airing Thursday.

In its first foray into Indiana’s open 2nd district, House Majority PAC hits former state Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) on her position on women’s health care. She is favored in her race against Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen (D).

This ad, which begins today, is backed by $175,000 over one week in the South Bend media market: Full story

October 16, 2012

DCCC’s Latest Round of TV Buys Includes First Spending for Louise Slaughter, Kathy Hochul

The independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today made a new round of television ad buys in seven districts, including two New York seats where the DCCC has not previously purchased air time.

With three weeks to go before Election Day, the DCCC and the National Republican Congressional Committee have been shifting money away from races that appear less competitive and toward ones that now pop a little brighter on the committees’ radars.

According to a Democratic source with knowledge of the buys, the DCCC has placed new advertising dollars on broadcast TV in the following districts: Full story

John Boehner to Boost Candidates in Iowa, Illinois

John Boehner to Boost Candidates in Iowa, Illinois

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John Boehner will be in Iowa campaigning for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday, and he also plans to fundraise for two House challengers while he’s in the state.

Ben Lange and John Archer, who are running against Democratic incumbents in Iowa’s 1st and 2nd districts, respectively, will get a boost from the Speaker.

The Ohio Republican will start the day with a fundraising luncheon in Davenport for Archer, a lawyer who is running against Rep. Dave Loebsack (D). The event will be held at the Davenport Country Club, and donations range from $250 to $1,000 a person, according to the Quad-City Times. Full story

Missouri: Claire McCaskill Internal Poll Shows 14-Point Lead

Missouri: Claire McCaskill Internal Poll Shows 14 Point Lead

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new internal poll from Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign showed her with an expanding lead over GOP Rep. Todd Akin.

The poll had McCaskill leading by 14 points, 52 percent to Akin’s 38 percent, a substantial increase over the last internal numbers released from the same pollster, which showed her with a 9-point lead.

The tracking survey, which pollster Kiley & Co. said was finished this evening, suggested McCaskill’s campaign is succeeding in driving up the unfavorable perception of Akin. Her campaign has launched an aggressive effort to attack the Republican on an assortment of policy issues, highlighted by last week’s ads that featured victims of sexual assault criticizing Akin’s position against emergency birth control.

Full story

California: Brad Sherman Up Big in Internal Poll

California: Brad Sherman Up Big in Internal Poll

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

California Rep. Brad Sherman led by 25 points in an internal poll released today and taken just after his infamous debate with fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.

The poll illustrated that the heated event apparently has had little effect on this costly Member-vs.-Member race, at least in the immediate aftermath. The poll found Sherman ahead 51 percent to 26 percent, with 24 percent undecided. That’s not far from where the Sherman campaign’s internal polling had the race in July. Full story

Crossroads GPS Announces $5 Million Ad Buy in Seven States

Karl Rove’s powerful Crossroads GPS is set to go on the air for one week to attack a half-dozen Democratic Senate candidates and one Democratic-leaning Independent, at a total cost of $5 million.

According to the group, the ads will run against Rep. Joe Donnelly in Indiana, former Gov. Angus King in Maine, Sen. Jon Tester in Montana, Rep. Shelley Berkley in Nevada, Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota, former Gov. Tim Kaine in Virginia and Rep. Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin.

“From tax hikes to reckless spending, these liberal politicians are rubber-stamps for the out-of-touch policies which have resulted in an anemic economy and fewer jobs,” Crossroads GPS Director of State and Regional Media Relations Nate Hodson said in a statement. “Crossroads hopes to prevent the higher taxes and more government these politicians support from continuing to hinder the economic recovery we need.”

Roll Call has learned the $5 million buy breaks down as follows (with links to the spots as posted online): Full story

Daily Ad Track

About a month ago, Roll Call published a story about how operatives adjusted their TV messaging in anticipation of ad inundation. This week, the New York Times and Ad Age have stellar pieces that dig deep into the economic implications of the nationwide ad blitz. Each article explains how it is getting harder and harder for ads to break through the clutter.

Here are the ones that are worth highlighting in that endeavor today:

Wisconsin Senate

This spot, courtesy of the Service Employees International Union, is one of the best ads of the cycle. Sure, it makes a point that surfaces in a lot of ads — a politician puts his personal gains over those of his home district or state. But what separates this ad from all of the others is how the images and depressing narration are set to an almost sarcastic sounding version of the University of Wisconsin fight song “On Wisconsin.” SEIU put $600,000 behind the ad.

Full story

California: NRCC On the Air for Mary Bono Mack

California: NRCC On the Air for Mary Bono Mack

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee hit the airwaves this week on behalf of California Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

It’s the committee’s first independent expenditure in this competitive race. The 36th district was not among either national party committee’s original TV reservations, but the race has now emerged as a battleground.

The NRCC ad ties physician Raul Ruiz to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Medicare cuts and job losses. “Raul Ruiz might be a doctor, but Nancy Pelosi is already writing his prescriptions,” the ad’s announcer says. Full story

Rand Paul Enters Fray in Missouri, at Least a Little

Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) PAC is adding Missouri to the list of states where it has created an ad against Democratic Senators opposing his effort to curb U.S. aid to Egypt, Libya and Pakistan.

The ad against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) circulated on YouTube today. It could be a small boon for the beleaguered campaign of challenger Rep. Todd Akin (R). Paul has previously put up similar ads with money behind them targeting Senators in West Virginia, Ohio and Florida.

Full story

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