- Citizens United Case Helped Elect More Republicans
- House Republicans Don't Expect Government Shutdown
- Christie Makes Mexico Trip as Foreign Policy Test
- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
October 12, 2012
Sen. Bob Casey (D) led his opponent, former coal company owner Tom Smith (R), by 10 points in a new Philadelphia Inquirer survey released today.
Casey scored 48 percent, while Smith had 38 percent, in the bipartisan poll.
These new numbers represent the first-term Senator’s strongest lead in a public poll during the last month. Other recent surveys showed a much tighter race — although some of those polls were from firms such as Susquehanna Polling and Research, which often works with Republicans.
Still, as the Inquirer noted, Casey’s margin has been cut in half since its August poll. He’s also fallen under 50 percent.
Roll Call rates this race as Likely Democratic.
Global Strategy Group, a Democratic firm, and National Research Inc., a GOP firm, conducted the survey of 600 likely voters Oct. 4-8. The margin of error was 4 points.
October 11, 2012
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. — Rarely is politics described as a contact sport in the literal sense, but the exception happened today toward the end of a feisty debate between Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman at a community college in the San Fernando Valley.
Things escalated toward the end of the debate, during an argument over Berman’s leadership on the DREAM Act. The debate was held in front of a largely Hispanic crowd of more than 200 enthusiastic Pierce College students and members of the community, Full story
The juggernaut GOP-affiliated group Crossroads GPS will soon announce a massive $8.1 million television and radio effort for House Republicans slated to begin Saturday and run for three weeks.
The group will target races in 11 districts from the West Coast to the central plains to just north of New York City.
The targeted seats are:
- California’s new 21st district, where state Assemblyman David Valadao (R) faces Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO John Hernandez (D)
- Illinois’ open 12th district, where retired businessman Jason Plummer (R) faces retired Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart (D)
- Illinois’ 17th district, where Rep. Bobby Schilling (R) faces former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D)
- Indiana’s open 2nd district, where former state Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) faces Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen (D)
- Iowa’s 3rd district, where Rep. Leonard Boswell (D) faces Rep. Tom Latham (R)
- Iowa’s 4th district, where Rep. Steve King (R) faces former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack (D)
- Michigan’s 1st district, where Rep. Dan Benishek (D) faces former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D)
- Nevada’s new 4th district, where businessman Danny Tarkanian (R) faces state Sen. Steven Horsford (D)
- New York’s 1st district where Rep. Tim Bishop (D) faces businessman Randy Altschuler (R)
- New York’s 18th district, where Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) faces attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D)
- New York’s 25th district, where Rep. Louise Slaughter (D) faces Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks (R)
Markwayne Mullin, the GOP candidate running to fill the open seat in Oklahoma’s 2nd district, will deliver the weekly Republican address Saturday.
The businessman and rancher was formally tapped today by Speaker John Boehner (Ohio). He’s the second Congressional hopeful Boehner has selected to give the weekly address this cycle — the other in late September was Vernon Parker, the candidate in Arizona’s 9th district.
“Small businesses continue to struggle in this weak economy, and all the taxing, spending and red tape coming from the Obama administration is only making things worse,” Boehner said in a statement. “Markwayne Mullin has run a business and created jobs, and he understands the need to shut down the jobs-destroying red tape factory in Washington, D.C.”
“If elected,” Boehner continued, “I know he’ll be a strong voice in the House for a smaller, more accountable and less costly government.” Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending an additional $673,000 on the Arizona Senate race in support of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona’s bid against Rep. Jeff Flake (R).
This is an extension of the committee’s independent expenditure investment, bringing the total to about $1.6 million in the state. The new buy will last Oct. 16-22. The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s independent expenditure arm has spent about $1.1 million in Arizona.
This is the DSCC ad for Carmona that the money is supporting:
Former Rep. Charlie Wilson’s (D) campaign released new internal polling numbers today showing him with a 6-point lead over freshman Rep. Bill Johnson (R).
Wilson led Johnson 49 percent to 43 percent in the poll paid for by the Democrat’s campaign.
These numbers come one day after Republicans released their own late-September survey giving the Congressman an 8-point advantage over Wilson. Then again, a mid-September survey from Wilson’s campaign showed a tied race.
Is your head spinning yet? The two polls also paint different pictures of the presidential race in this conservative, coal country district in eastern Ohio:
Wilson’s recent poll showed Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama by a single point, 48 percent to 47 percent, according to a campaign aide. Johnson’s poll gave Romney a larger lead, 53 percent to 39 percent.
In 2008, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) would have won this redrawn 6th district with about 53 percent of the vote.
Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
Anzalone Liszt Research conducted Wilson’s poll of 500 likely general election voters Oct. 8-10. The margin of error is 4.4 points.
See Wilson’s full polling memo after the jump:
One year ago it would have been hard to picture both the Arizona and Connecticut open-seat Senate races as Tossups with less than a month to go before Election Day. But funny things can happen to the Senate battleground map based on candidates and the campaigns they run — just ask Republicans this cycle about Missouri.
The open-seat Senate races in the Nutmeg State and the Grand Canyon State are thousands of miles apart, yet share some distinct similarities. Both feature House Members who began the race as the heavy frontrunner and challengers who have surged based on the strength of their campaigns. Those challengers will still have to overcome a heavy partisan disadvantage at the presidential level, but that prospect seems to be increasingly possible. Therefore, we are moving both races into the tossup column, even though in both races, the party that currently holds the seat still has a very small advantage. Full story
RESEDA, Calif. — There was far more space between the green armchairs that Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman sat in during Wednesday’s debate than there was on the range of issues the two longtime Congressmen discussed.
But in a duel between two incumbents from the same party, it’s not so much the issues that voters will use to set them apart on Election Day but temperament and which Democrat will better represent their values in Washington, D.C. Full story
The battle for Minnesota’s 8th district is deadlocked, according to three polls released since Oct. 1, although survey data suggest that the Democratic challenger in this race has the momentum.
The nonpartisan SurveyUSA poll conducted Oct. 7-9 found the contest statistically tied, with former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) garnering 46 percent of the vote to Rep. Chip Cravaack’s (R) 45 percent. The poll surveyed 700 registered voters, including 578 who were also classified as likely to vote, and the poll had a margin of error of 4.2 points.
Of the people who said they would vote for President Barack Obama, 88 percent said they would vote for the officially endorsed Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate, who happens to be Nolan. In the Democratic-leaning 8th district, this could mean trouble for Cravaack, who will need split-ticket voters to tip the scales in his favor.
Bolt down that kitchen sink.
This week marks the point where campaigns begin to unleash their devastating ads — the ones they have planned to use all along if necessary but have held back for timing. On Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and others went there with a series of ads featuring survivors of sexual assault criticizing Rep. Todd Akin (R). It turns out, it was only the beginning.
Here are the newest ads in this vein to cut through the clutter.
There is no doubt momentum has been with former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) in his Senate bid against Rep. Jeff Flake (R). But all along, Arizona Republicans insisted that a negative barrage was coming Carmona’s way and that there was plenty in his record that could come into play. The negative ads against Carmona began a few weeks ago, but this new one from the Flake campaign is simple and brutal. This is part of a major statewide broadcast, cable and radio buy.
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.