- Supreme Court Puts Hold on Same-Sex Marriages in Virginia
- Six Races Will Decide Control of the Senate
- Pryor Touts Obamacare in New Ad
- Is Georgia Slipping Away for Democrats?
October 11, 2012
Democrat Rob Zerban, who is challenging vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) in Wisconsin’s 1st district, will travel to Kentucky today for the vice presidential debate, his campaign announced.
Ryan, who is running simultaneously for the House and the White House, is still heavily favored in the race. But Zerban has proven to be a formidable candidate, outraising the well-funded Ryan in the third quarter by more than $200,000, bolstered by the support of liberal groups such as former Sen. Russ Feingold’s Progressives United and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. As Roll Call recently reported, Ryan has made ad reservations in the state to boost his re-election cause.
Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
ENCINO, Calif. — In yet another unprecedented moment in California House races this cycle, 10 Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation have endorsed Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.
The Foreign Affairs ranking member is running in a highly competitive race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a San Fernando Valley district that the two were merged into during redistricting. The endorsements are part of Berman’s outreach across the political spectrum in a district where Republicans could make up about a quarter of the vote in November.
According to a release the Berman campaign will roll out today, the Republicans endorsing him are: Reps. David Dreier, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Elton Gallegly, Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Mary Bono Mack and Darrell Issa. Full story
October 10, 2012
Rep. Jeff Flake (R) and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) engaged in a vigorous but respectful debate Wednesday night in their closely watched contest to replace retiring Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R).
The contest has in recent weeks moved to the forefront of battleground races that could determine which party will control the Senate in the next Congress.
Right off the bat in his opening statement, Flake sought to counter to Carmona’s biography by accusing his foe of being unwilling to take concrete positions on issues.
“My opponent has a great résumé, but a résumé is not a plan,” Flake said. “He’s been running for nearly a year now, and we still don’t know where he stands on the major issues of the day.”
Carmona repeatedly referred to a national “infrastructure” that provided him opportunities for education and to move up the socioeconomic ladder. The term was as much of a subtle criticism of Flake as it was about the American Dream — the underlying charge being that Flake’s fiscal conservatism will inhibit Arizona from obtaining its share of federal infrastructure funds. Full story
The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $12.4 million in September and ended last month with $29.5 million in cash on hand.
The NRCC ended August with $49.8 million in the bank, meaning it spent much of its money in September working to defend its majority in the House. The GOP is widely expected to hold the chamber but net a loss of a handful of seats.
The DCCC declined tonight to release its fundraising numbers for last month.
A second Republican poll today showed Rep. Jeff Flake (R) leading former surgeon general Richard Carmona (D) in the open-seat Senate race in Arizona.
Flake takes 47 percent to Carmona’s 41 percent, with undecided voters accounting for 12 percent in the survey paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure unit.
The survey marks the second GOP poll and third internal poll released today. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee released a survey showing Carmona with a 4-point lead. But Flake’s own campaign polling gave him a 6-point lead in surveys taken the same days, Oct. 7-9.
Regardless, the dueling numbers are a sign of an increasingly competitive race. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
In the NRSC’s IE poll, respondents reported a more favorable impression of Flake. Forty-five percent deemed Flake favorable, while 36 perent gave Carmona a favorable rating.
GS Strategy Group conducted the poll of 500 likely voters Oct. 8-9. The margin of error is about 4.4 points, according to the polling memo obtained by Roll Call.
The independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee has canceled three weeks of television in the Buffalo media market that would have been aimed at vulnerable Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) after the GOP-aligned American Action Network came into the district with $600,000 worth of television time from Oct. 12 through Election Day.
The NRCC has canceled time from Oct. 16 to Nov. 6 worth about $375,000.
House Democrats cut more than $1 million in television time in the Philadelphia market today in addition to eliminating major reservations in Boston and Chicago, according to a Democrat who tracks media buys.
The Philadelphia cancellation for Oct. 25-29 isn’t good news for two Democratic challengers running in districts covered by that pricey television market: Pennsylvania’s 8th district and New Jersey’s 3rd district.
The elimination comes just a week after the National Republican Congressional Committee cut its big buy in the Philadelphia market, too. It’s a sign these House races aren’t as competitive as party officials anticipate (Roll Call rates both as Leans Republican).
DCCC officials countered that challengers to GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Jon Runyan (N.J.) didn’t need the help.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee kicked off its independent expenditure spending in Virginia today by launching a television ad that criticizes former Gov. Tim Kaine (D) for supporting increased federal spending.
Amid polls showing that women may be drifting away from President Barack Obama, EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock told reporters that women will still help Democrats prevail on Election Day, particularly in key Senate races.
“Women voters are going to vote for Democrats because they know what’s at stake,” Schriock said in a conference call today. The Democratic women’s PAC has shattered its previous fundraising records and will spend more in this election cycle than at any point in its 27-year history, she said.
Schriock assailed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s record on women’s issues, called on Vice President Joseph Biden to challenge House Budget chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) on those issues in Thursday’s vice presidential debate and touted her PAC’s record 2012 spending on behalf of female Democrats.
Romney knows he needs women to win the election and has decided that “his best strategy for getting their votes is to lie to them,” Schriock said. She quoted Romney’s recent statement to the Des Moines Register that “there’s no legislation with regards to abortion that I’m familiar with that would become part of my agenda.” Full story
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) was at work on Capitol Hill today despite the media firestorm that was unfolding around him.
According to parts of a transcript from a more-than-decade-old phone call published by the Huffington Post, DesJarlais, then a doctor, urged a pregnant mistress to get an abortion. The woman was a patient of the conservative anti-abortion doctor-turned-lawmaker.
“You told me you’d have an abortion, and now we’re getting too far along without one,” DesJarlais says at one point. He also suggests heading to Atlanta to “solve” the issue.
“Well, we’ve got to do something soon,” he says. “And you’ve even got to admit that because the clock is ticking right?” Full story
The airwaves in Colorado are ablaze with a duo of new ads in two competitive Congressional districts.
Democratic challenger Sal Pace is attacking a recent ad by Rep. Scott Tipton (R) as the two battle for their state’s 3rd Congressional district. And a new ad from the campaign of Rep. Mike Coffman (R) in the tossup race for Colorado’s 6th district calls statements from Democratic challenger Joe Miklosi’s camp “false” and “misleading.”
The Tipton ad says Pace supported “cutting Medicare by over $70 billion” and that the state lawmaker “cast the deciding vote to raise seniors’ property taxes by $90 million.” It concludes: “Hurting seniors, raising taxes. We can’t afford Sal Pace.” Full story
Freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) recently led his Democratic challenger by a little or a lot, depending on which pollster did the asking.
A new poll commissioned for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found Gibson leading Julian Schreibman 43 percent to 41 percent with 16 percent of those likely voters surveyed undecided. The president led Mitt Romney by 7 points in the poll conducted by Democratic firm Grove Insight.
But a new poll commissioned for the independent expenditure arm of the National Republican Congressional Committee and obtained by Roll Call found Gibson leading Schreibman 47 percent to 39 percent, with 16 percent of those likely voters surveyed undecided. The president led Romney by 3 points in the poll conducted by Republican firm On Message Inc.
The breakdown of those surveyed in the Republican poll: 36 percent Republican, 36 percent Democratic and 25 percent other. The breakdown of those surveyed in the Democratic poll: 32 percent Democratic; 35 percent Republican; 33 percent other.
In 2008, the president would have beaten Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by about 8 points in the district.
Rep. Bill Johnson (R) led former Rep. Charlie Wilson (D) by 8 points in their rematch of the 2010 race, according to a GOP survey released today.
Johnson had 47 percent and Wilson had 39 percent in the survey paid for jointly by the freshman lawmaker and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The results counter Wilson’s own mid-September polling that showed a tied race. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
The 6th district race has become one of the most competitive House races in Ohio, next to the Member-vs.-Member race in the 16th district. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee dedicated additional resources to the 6th district race two weeks ago. Full story
Sen. Claire McCaskill’s Senate campaign went nuclear on Rep. Todd Akin (R) this morning, targeting his comments on “legitimate rape” that turned a sure loss for the Democrat into a likely win.
McCaskill’s strategy had been widely expected ever since Akin declined to drop his Senate bid in the wake of his politically damaging comments.
The McCaskill campaign released three new ads on their website along with contribution tabs involving testimonials from survivors of sexual assault. While the National Republican Senatorial Committee has not committed funds to this race, it did wade into Missouri waters on Tuesday.
Texas State Senate
On Tuesday we highlighted a House ad that featured a rape survivor. There is some reluctance given the seriousness of the topic at hand to call this a trend, but it is even surfacing in some downballot races. Dallas affiliate WFAA flagged an ad being run in a Texas state Senate race by incumbent Sen. Wendy Davis (D). Given the sensitivity of the subject matter, is there a point where such ads could backfire?
In a move that seemed inevitable, the campaign of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) has now released a series of TV ads featuring survivors of sexual assault criticizing GOP challenger Rep. Todd Akin’s views on emergency contraception.
Two of the spots feature women who identify themselves as personally against abortion. One of them, identified as “Diana,” also identifies herself as a Republican.
“In the hospital, I was offered emergency contraception. Because of my personal beliefs, I declined. Here’s what else I believe: No woman should be denied that choice,” she said. ”I’ve never voted for Claire McCaskill, but because of Todd Akin, I will now.”