Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

November 7, 2012

New Hampshire: Carol Shea-Porter to Return to Congress

Former Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) defeated Rep. Frank Guinta (R) Tuesday night, according to Associated Press projections.

Shea-Porter was an underdog for most of the cycle — but her hopes were very much tied to President Barack Obama’s performance in the Granite State. Even some Democrats were dubious of her chances of returning to Congress.

But Obama is on track to win by more than 5 points, and Shea-Porter corrected one of her biggest weaknesses in the third quarter: fundraising.

This means that New Hampshire will continue its 18-year tradition of sending two Members from the same party to Congress. But also, New Hampshire will have an entirely female House and Senate delegation, along with a female governor.

Mixed Verdict in New York House Races

Mixed Verdict in New York House Races

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle lost her re-election race Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Both Democratic and Republican Members of Congress were unseated Tuesday night in the House battleground state of New York.

Former Rep. Dan Maffei (D) unseated freshman Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle (R), just two years after Buerkle beat Maffei. With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Maffei had 50 percent to Buerkle’s 42 percent in the 24th district, according to the Associated Press.

Businessman and former Erie County Executive Chris Collins (R) beat Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in the state’s most Republican district, the 27th. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Collins had 51 percent to Hochul’s 49 percent, the AP said.

And freshman Rep. Nan Hayworth (R) was unseated by attorney Sean Patrick Maloney (D) in the 18th district. With 97 percent of precincts reporting, Hayworth had 48 percent to Maloney’s 51 percent, the AP said.

Other incumbents in tough races survived. Freshman Rep. Chris Gibson (R) will be coming back to Congress, despite a more Democratic district. Rep. Bill Owens (D) won a tight rematch against Republican investment banker Matt Doheney. Rep. Tim Bishop (D) won a rematch against Republican businessman Randy Altschuler. And freshman Rep. Michael Grimm (R) won an easy re-election in his Staten Island-anchored district.

Left for Politically Dead, John Tierney Wins 9th Term

Left for Politically Dead, John Tierney Wins 9th Term

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Written off by both parties, buffeted by a tornado of innuendo about his in-laws’ offshore gambling operation and hammered by millions of dollars of outside spending from Republican groups, Democratic Rep. John Tierney defied the odds and won a tight re-election victory Tuesday night in Massachusetts’ 6th district.

He beat former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R), who now joins a big group of Bay State GOP challengers who have fallen short. In fact, no Massachusetts Republican has won a seat in the House since 1994.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press had Tierney taking 48.4 percent to Tisei’s 47.1 percent.

In the final months of the race, the narrative war was largely fought on Tisei’s turf, with ads from both sides focused on Tierney’s in-laws’ legal problems.

But on Election Day, the Tierney campaign — in concert with the state party and Senator-elect Elizabeth Warren’s campaign — pushed hard to turn out Democratic voters, particularly in Gloucester, Lynn and Salem. That well-crafted effort appeared to have paid off, pushing Tierney over the top after trailing in recent polling.

Texas: Francisco ‘Quico’ Canseco Goes Down

Texas: Francisco Quico Canseco Goes Down

(Douglas Graham CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) lost his bid for a second term Tuesday night.

Democratic challenger Pete Gallego was up by more than 5 points at the time the Associated Press called the race.

Throughout the cycle, Texas Republicans were cautiously confident in Canseco’s chances for a second term. But in the past week or so, confidence levels seemed to subside some.

Gallego has, at times, run a disorganized campaign during the past year, but it was enough to win this race.

Iowa: Tom Latham Defeats Leonard Boswell in Member-Vs.-Member Race

Iowa: Tom Latham Defeats Leonard Boswell in Member Vs. Member Race

Rep. Tom Latham won in the 3rd district's Member-vs.-Member race. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Tom Latham (R) defeated his colleague, Rep. Leonard Boswell (D), in their 3rd district matchup tonight.

Latham had an 8-point lead over his Democratic opponent with 93 percent of precincts reporting in the southwestern Iowa district, according to the Associated Press.

A top ally of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Latham raised considerably more money than Boswell did. But the Democrat had a geographical advantage in this Tossup race, with more of his old district included in the new one.

Boswell’s defeat marks the first Member to lose to a colleague tonight.

In Ohio, Rep. Jim Renacci (R) leads Rep. Betty Sutton (D) in the 16th district by a slim 4-point margin, but with only 57 percent of precincts reporting. The Associated Press has not called that race yet.

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin Wins Senate Race

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin Wins Senate Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrat Tammy Baldwin made history tonight, winning in Wisconsin to become the first openly gay candidate elected to the Senate.

In one of the most expensive and bruising races in the country, Baldwin defeated former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R), the establishment favorite who narrowly won a four-way August primary.

Baldwin was able to ride the coattails of President Barack Obama, who won the Badger State, after mounting an extraordinarily effective media strategy that turned the tables on Thompson early in the general election. Her team was able to take Thompson’s high statewide name recognition and popularity and flip it on its head. She spent millions of dollars to paint the former Health and Human Services secretary as an out-of-touch Washington lobbyist who was “no longer for” Wisconsin.

Both Thompson and Baldwin were more unpopular with Wisconsin voters than they were popular in the closing days of the race, but clearly Badger State voters decided the Republican’s branding of Baldwin as “too extreme” was less damaging than the Democrat’s attack of Thompson.

“We nominated more women candidates than ever. We placed confidence every day and we never let up and now Joe Donnelly and Tammy Baldwin and Tim Kaine … they’re all coming to join us in the Senate,” Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) told a ballroom of supporters, well before the Wisconsin race was even called.

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.

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