Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 20, 2014

November 7, 2012

In Senate, Republicans Hold Arizona; Democrats Keep New Mexico

In Senate, Republicans Hold Arizona; Democrats Keep New Mexico

Rep. Jeff Flake will succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two Congressmen from different parties are moving up to the Senate.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R) is set to represent Arizona in the Senate, while Rep. Martin Heinrich (D) is set to be New Mexico’s newest Senator, according to an Associated Press projection.

In Arizona, Flake was up over his Democratic rival, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D), by more than 6 percent with 63 percent of precincts reporting. In New Mexico, Heinrich was up more than 6 points over former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) with 66 percent of precincts reporting.

Full story

Democrats Take Victory Lap in D.C.

Democrats Take Victory Lap in D.C.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a packed ballroom of a Capitol Hill hotel, a gleeful Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) addressed cheering supporters in celebration of a political reality few thought likely two years ago: He is still the No. 1 leader in the Senate.

Reid took the stage here at the Liaison Capitol Hill hotel just minutes after both CNN and NBC News called the presidential race for Barack Obama and seconds after Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.), who pumped her fists in the air and waved.

Murray took the job no one wanted: defending 23 Democratic-held seats. With the assist of gaffe-prone Republican candidates in key races, the Washington Democrat succeeded and it could pay huge dividends for her future within the caucus.

“Whenever there’s been something that’s hard to do, we [look] to Patty. And she delivers,” Reid said to cheers. “I am so satisfied, proud, elated and feel so, so much in debt to Patty Murray, with her many … responsibilities.

“There is no one who has ever done a better job of running the [Democratic] Senatorial Campaign Committee than Patty Murray.”

Murray touted the success of Democratic women especially in maintaining the party’s majority in the Senate. Though the Associated Press had not called the race yet, Murray said that Democratic candidate and Rep. Tammy Baldwin had defeated Republican former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

“Harry Reid, I am proud to tell you, you will be Majority Leader!” Murray yelled to the crowd.

Reid also took a less-than-subtle jab at Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), opening his remarks with a taunt, claiming that this result was what happens when one party says its No. 1 goal is defeating the president.

There are still several races that are too close to call, but several Democratic aides circulated through the press room at the hotel touting exit polls in Nevada that indicated the Hispanic vote was even greater this year than it was in 2010, when Reid eked out a victory over tea-party-backed Sharron Angle. Operatives were keeping information on the tight Montana Senate race between incumbent Sen. Jon Tester (D) and challenger Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) close to the vest.

November 6, 2012

New Hampshire: Ann McLane Kuster Defeats Charles Bass

New Hampshire: Ann McLane Kuster Defeats Charles Bass

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Attorney Ann McLane Kuster (D) did this year what she could not do in 2010: She defeated Rep. Charles Bass (R).

Kuster was up over Bass by a 9-point margin at the time the Associated Press called the race.

The pair faced off in 2010, with Bass winning a squeaker. Kuster began her 2012 campaign almost immediately after that race wrapped up.

Of the two New Hampshire House seats, this was always considered the more likely Democratic pickup. Much rode on the presidential campaign here, and President Barack Obama carried the state again.

The race for New Hampshire’s 1st is another 2010 rematch. That contest between Rep. Frank Guinta (R) and former Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D) remains too close to call.

No Surprises in Florida House Races

Every House race but one has been called in the Sunshine State, and there have been no surprises.

But firebrand Rep. Allen West (R) remained locked in a razor-tight contest with businessman Patrick Murphy (D) in Florida’s 18th district. With 96.4 percent of precincts reporting, West led with 50.2 percent to Murphy’s 49.8 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Here are other competitive race results, as reported by the AP:

  • Freshman Rep. Steve Southerland (R) beat former state Sen. Al Lawson in the Panhandle 2nd district by a comfortable 5-point margin.
  • Freshman Rep. Daniel Webster (R) held off a challenge from former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings, beating her by 3.6 points.
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) easily beat former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D) by more than 7 points.
  • Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel (D) beat former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner (R) in the open 22nd district, reconfigured to be significantly more Democratic.
  • Embattled Rep. David Rivera (R) lost to Democrat Joe Garcia in the Miami-area 26th district.

Illinois: At Least Three GOP Incumbents Go Down

At least three GOP House incumbents lost their seats in Illinois tonight, according to Associated Press projections.

Here is a roundup of the competitive Illinois House seats as of late tonight:

Illinois’ 8th 

Veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) defeated Rep. Joe Walsh (R).

Illinois’ 11th 

Former Rep. Bill Foster (D) over Rep. Judy Biggert (R).

Illinois’ 12th

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart (D) defeated businessman Jason Plummer (R).

Illinois’ 17th 

Former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D) defeated Rep. Bobby Schilling (R).

The only outstanding competitive Illinois race is for the 10th district. Almost 99 percent of precincts were reporting, but it was too close for the AP to call. Democrat Brad Schneider is challenging Rep. Robert Dold (R). Schneider was up by 1 point as this was posted.

The race for the 13th district between Rodney Davis (R) and David Gill (D) was also too close to call.

Georgia: John Barrow Survives

Georgia: John Barrow Survives

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Barrow proved tonight he is the survivor’s survivor.

Drawn into a strong Republican seat during redistricting and hammered relentlessly for months by local and national Republicans, the Blue Dog Democrat managed to pull out a strong victory tonight, beating Republican Lee Anderson.

With 94 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said the incumbent took 54 percent to Anderson’s 46 percent. Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 11:16 p.m.
Ga.-12, House 2012

Virginia: George Allen Concedes to Tim Kaine

Virginia: George Allen Concedes to Tim Kaine

George Allen kisses his wife, Susan, during his concession speech at the Virginia Republicans' election night party in Richmond. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Former Sen. George Allen (R) has conceded to former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb (D).

The two men, fond of each other personally, were vying for a Senate seat that was central to GOP plans to take control of the Senate.

At the time of Allen’s concession, Kaine was leading by about 1 point and the presidential contest was almost completely tied.

Claire McCaskill Wins Re-Election Against Todd Akin

Claire McCaskill Wins Re Election Against Todd Akin

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), a crafty politician and tireless campaigner, won re-election tonight, beating Republican Rep. Todd Akin.

Akin’s candidacy, despite being a Republican in a red state, was irrevocably harmed when he told a local TV host that the “legitimate rape” of a woman rarely leads to pregnancy.

With 39 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press had McCaskill with 51 percent of the vote to Akin’s 42 percent.

McCaskill is widely credited with helping Akin win a competitive primary by airing “attack” ads against him that actually boosted him among the conservative GOP electorate. Akin made his harmful comments about rape after his primary win.

Full story

Rhode Island: David Cicilline Gets Second Term

Rhode Island: David Cicilline Gets Second Term

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Cicilline (D) hung on to win a second House term, according to the Associated Press.

Cicilline was in electoral trouble from the early days of his tenure in 2011. Rhode Islanders were furious with him when it was revealed he left the city of Providence in dire financial straits as mayor.

Republicans were bullish on their recruit, former State Police Superintendent Brendan Doherty. The National Republican Congressional Committee dedicated a great deal of money and attention to the race.

But the heavily Democratic nature of the district was enough to carry Cicilline over the finish line. At the time the Associated Press called the race, Cicilline was up by 9 points. He is on track to improve on his 6-point margin of victory in 2010.

Tar Heel Blues for North Carolina Democrats

Tar Heel Blues for North Carolina Democrats

Rep. Larry Kissell (above) lost to former Congressional aide Richard Hudson. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Carolina Democrats are having a very, very bad night. Running in a redrawn Congressional map favoring the GOP, at least three Democratic Congressmen will not be coming back to Capitol Hill. The only bright spot for Democrats: Rep. Mike McIntyre’s race remained too close for the Associated Press to call as of 10:10 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell (D) lost to former Congressional aide Richard Hudson (R). With 68 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press said Hudson had 58.4 percent to Kissell’s 41.6 percent. Kissell, a lackluster fundraiser and campaigner, always had a steep path back to the House. After the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee abandoned him, not fulfilling reservations it had to advertise on TV for him, his fate was all but sealed. Full story

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

John Boehner: A Republican House Means No Tax Rate Hikes

Speaker John Boehner addresses the crowd at the Republican National Committee election night party in D.C. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John Boehner drew a firm line on taxes tonight, saying that Republicans’ retention of the House majority is a sign the public does not want a tax rate hike.

With CNN and NBC projecting that the GOP will retain the House majority, Boehner and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (Texas) took the stage at the GOP’s victory party in Washington, D.C., to cheer on the crowd.

“The American people want solutions, and tonight, they’ve responded by renewing our majority,” the Ohio Republican said. “With this vote, the American people have also made clear that there is no mandate for raising tax rates.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus did not join them onstage, although the official schedule released earlier in the day had listed him as speaking before Sessions.

With Democrats claiming several Tossup Senate seats, the path to victory for Republicans in that chamber is slimming. The presidential contest remains extremely close as well.

Boehner thanked Priebus from the stage nonetheless. He also thanked GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.), who, he said “carried the banner of our party with grace, vision, strength and dignity.”

“We stand ready to work with any willing partner — Republican, Democrat or otherwise — who shares a commitment to getting these things done,” he said. “We’re humbled to have again been entrusted by the American people with the responsibility of leading the People’s House. We’ll never take it for granted, and we won’t let you down.”

Sessions, who introduced Boehner, called the House an “incubator of ideas.”

“We will continue to work with the American people on ideas that will make our country stronger, more competitive and will build back the American dream,” he said.

Meet the New Members of the 113th Congress

Last Updated: Nov. 20

The 113th Congress will have many new Members when it convenes in January. We’ll update this list with links to new Members’ bios as races are called. See Roll Call’s full list of 2012 election winners here. Full story

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Loses Re-Election Bid to Elizabeth Warren

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Loses Re Election Bid to Elizabeth Warren

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lightning didn’t strike twice in Massachusetts for Sen. Scott Brown (R).

The Associated Press called the race for Elizabeth Warren (D), a Harvard University professor, consumer advocate and first-time political candidate, around 10 p.m. She had 53 percent of votes to Brown’s 47 percent, with 47 percent of precincts reporting.

The Bay State’s junior Senator won an improbable special election victory in January 2010 that shocked the political world. The results this evening, in deep-blue Massachusetts, proved decidedly less of a jolt. Full story

Maryland: Redistricting Ends Roscoe Bartlett’s House Career

Maryland: Redistricting Ends Roscoe Bartletts House Career

John Delaney (left) defeated Rep. Roscoe Bartlett in Maryland's redrawn 6th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maryland Democrats succeeded tonight in their effort to redistrict Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) out of office.

Businessman John Delaney (D) defeated Bartlett, according to the Associated Press.

Bartlett was possibly the biggest loser in redistricting. State Democrats dramatically redrew his rural seat to incorporate suburban Washington, D.C., areas. Bartlett fought hard to hold his seat, but national Republicans never came to his aid on any substantial level.

The map that ended Bartlett’s career was so controversial that it was put to a ballot referendum tonight.

Indiana: Joe Donnelly Defeats Richard Mourdock

Indiana: Joe Donnelly Defeats Richard Mourdock

Rep. Joe Donnelly won the Indiana Senate seat tonight. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Joe Donnelly (D) has defeated state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) tonight, handing Senate Democrats another pickup, according to the Associated Press.

Until recently, Republicans believed they would keep the Indiana seat given the Hoosier State’s strong GOP base. But Democrats spent early and often to boost Donnelly, and polls showed a tied race by Labor Day.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Mourdock made a political mistake that might have cost Republicans this seat. In his final debate with Donnelly, Mourdock said he believed pregnancy resulting from rape is something “God intended.” Full story

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