Supporters of Ted Cruz remained confident heading into Tuesday's Texas Senate runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Come Wednesday morning, at least one pollster will have some explaining to do about final numbers heading into Tuesday’s Texas Senate runoff. That’s because the last surveys released over the weekend showed both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz ahead.
A Dewhurst poll conducted last week showed him ahead of Cruz by 5 points. Then Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, released an automated survey that showed Cruz up by 10 points.
Cruz has steadily built momentum since the late May primary, and most observers of the race believe he will win — probably by a comfortable margin. Sources in the Cruz camp were confident going into the weekend, saying their polling has held steady since Roll Call obtained a late June internal survey that showed Cruz in the lead.
Vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is just that, according to a new poll released this weekend by two Missouri media outlets.
In horserace matchups, McCaskill trailed all three of her serious Republican primary opponents.
Businessman John Brunner, who has put millions of his own money into the race, did the best against McCaskill, garnering 52 percent to the Senator’s 41 percent. Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman pulled 49 percent to McCaskill’s 41 percent. And Rep. Todd Akin got 49 percent to McCaskill’s 44 percent. Full story
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.”
On Sunday, the Nov. 6 elections will be just 100 days away.
But that milestone has become something of a misnomer in an era when two states conduct elections strictly through the mail, voters increasingly vote absentee and many states allow early in-person voting that continues to grow in popularity.
As a country, we’ll collectively be glued to our television screens (or mobile devices) on the evening of Election Day to find out who won the White House and the battle for Congress. But to a significant degree, the outcome could be decided long before then, particularly in a few of the states that really matter.
Congressional candidate Weston Wamp (R), the 25-year-old son of former Rep. Zach Wamp (R), went up on television with his final, unique ad.
Wamp, who hopes to unseat freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R) in the state’s redrawn 3rd district, also faces dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield in the Aug. 2 primary. Fleischmann succeeded the elder Wamp, who retired in 2010 to run for governor, and the new 3rd district includes much of the territory he used to represent.
Suzan DelBene has self-funded her campaign to the tune of almost $2 million. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Democrat Suzan DelBene this month donated $900,000 to her campaign in Washington state’s 1st district, according to preprimary reports filed Thursday to the Federal Election Commission.
The former Microsoft executive has given her campaign a total of $1.9 million to date, dwarfing her opponents’ fundraising and allowing her a huge edge in spending. Since mid-June, DelBene has spent $1.3 million on TV and $365,000 on mail, according to figures from her past two FEC reports. Full story
President Bill Clinton has weighed in on yet another Democratic House primary, this time backing Tarryl Clark in Minnesota’s 8th district.
Clark, who lost to Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in 2010, moved to Duluth last year to challenge freshman Rep. Chip Cravaack (R). She faces a competitive Aug. 14 primary against former Rep. Rick Nolan and Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson. Full story
Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) began airing a new ad today, featuring former Boston Mayor Ray Flynn, a Democrat.
“Scott Brown is a person that I have great admiration for,” Flynn says to the camera, sitting in his living room. “I’ve found him to be a regular guy: honest, hardworking. He’s also an independent voice,” he adds, as b-roll of the Senator appears on screen.
“I’m a Democrat, but I’m tired of all the polarization, the pettiness, the bickering,” says Flynn, who served as mayor of the Bay State’s capital from 1984 to 1993. “Scott Brown is a person that you can work with. I mean, I’ve been involved in politics for almost 50 years. That’s the name of the game, electing people you can trust. I think that person really is Scott Brown.”
A source familiar with the buy said the ad was backed by $426,000 on broadcast and cable television statewide, today through Aug. 5. There was also a $25,000 buy on WJAR, the NBC affiliate in Providence, R.I., which reaches a chunk of southeastern Massachusetts, from Aug. 6 through Aug. 12.
Brown is locked in tight race with Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate. In a state that will vote for President Barack Obama, Brown has worked to position himself as a solutions-oriented, independent Senator. Ads like this one would appear to help burnish his bipartisan credentials, especially with an important swing block of blue-collar voters.
Roll Call rates the Massachusetts Senate race as a Tossup.
DETROIT — Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-Mich.) sat in the audience Thursday night, quietly listening to his opponents debate.
Four candidates — including his colleague, Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) — touted their credentials for the seat, while Clarke sat out of the debate, watching among a small crowd in the Wayne State University Law School auditorium.
Last month, Clarke said he would no longer participate in debates because of “racist rhetoric” in the 14th district race. But in a bizarre evening, Clarke appeared at the National Association of Black Journalists forum anyway to promote his struggling candidacy.
“I thought this was the proper forum for everyone to actually compare who we are as people, and for me to be able to address firsthand any issues,” Clarke told reporters afterward. “I felt it was important for me to be here and be available at this one time.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit the airwaves in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin with television ads targeting Democratic Senate candidates.
The chamber is also targeting independent Senate candidate former Gov. Angus King in Maine. The ads criticize the candidates on a range of issues, including support for the Affordable Care Act, proposals to increase taxes and votes on energy issues.
“With so much at stake in this election, the Chamber will continue to execute the largest voter education campaign in our history,” chamber President and CEO Thomas Donohue said in a statement. “We will support candidates who will fight for free enterprise and oppose those who consistently support more government and stand in the way of economic growth and job creation.”
Independent expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show that the chamber spent more than $5.3 million on ad buys and production costs for the series of spots. The group typically spends heavily to defeat Democratic candidates.
The chamber vowed to continue its efforts into the coming months in a press release. Full story
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce began airing an ad this week against Maine Senate frontrunner Angus King (I), knocking him for his financial management of the Pine Tree State during his eight-year tenure as governor.
The Chamber backs Republican Charlie Summers, who faces an uphill battle for the open seat of retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). The effectiveness of the ad in knocking down King — widely liked in Maine — will probably go a long way to determining whether national Republicans make a push for the seat at all this fall.