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September 26, 2012
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) has decided to wade into the Missouri Senate race in support of GOP Rep. Todd Akin.
DeMint is joining former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, a fellow social conservative who sought the Republican presidential nomination this year, in endorsing Akin’s controversial candidacy.
In a statement released through Santorum’s Patriot Voices PAC, DeMint and Santorum made a fundraising appeal for the beleaguered Republican Senate candidate. Full story
A Public Opinion Strategies poll released last night by Mia Love’s campaign showed the Republican pulling out to a double-digit lead over Rep. Jim Matheson (D) in Utah’s 4th district.
The Saratoga Springs mayor led 51 percent to 36 percent, with 13 percent undecided. Love’s pollster had found Matheson ahead in July with 51 percent, so the new poll indicates a dramatic shift in the race. Previous public polling had also shown Matheson with a signficant lead. Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is making its first foray into the Virginia Senate race with an ad accusing Republican George Allen of supporting the privatization of Social Security.
The ad, launched today, is part of the committee’s $8 million reservation of TV time in the state on behalf of Democrat Tim Kaine. Kaine has also received significant support from the Democratic-aligned Majority PAC.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee has not yet made any independent expenditures in the state but has reserved about $5.5 million of TV time. Republican-aligned groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS have spent significant resources to help Allen.
Allen also released a TV ad today featuring a 60-second testimonial from the mother of a Marine killed in Iraq.
The Tossup race between the two former governors is likely to go down to the wire in one of the top presidential and Senate battleground states.
House Majority PAC, a third-party group supporting Democrats in Congressional races, today released an attack ad against Republican Congressional candidate Chris Collins, who is taking on Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) in New York’s 27th district.
The 30-second spot hits Collins, the former Erie County executive, for his tenure. “As county executive, Collins gave jobs to his friends,” a male narrator says. “Collins awarded his own company a lucrative county contract and had products manufactured overseas, creating jobs in Korea and China. Jobs we could really use in Western New York.”
A new internal poll released Tuesday night by the Senate campaign of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona showed the Arizona race to be in a statistical tie. Rep. Jeff Flake is the Republican nominee and has, until recent weeks, been considered a likely bet to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R).
Flake led Carmona by 1 point in the poll. Forty-four percent of those surveyed said they backed Flake, while 43 percent backed Carmona. Three percent said they supported a libertarian candidate.
Flake and Carmona have net positive ratings. Thirty-eight percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Flake, while 32 percent had an unfavorable impression of him. As for Carmona, 34 percent viewed him positively, while 15 percent had a negative view of him.
The poll was conducted by Anzalone Lizst Research from Sept. 18-23. The live-interview survey included 600 likely voters. The margin of error was 4 points.
September 25, 2012
Hours after the deadline passed for Republican Rep. Todd Akin to drop out of the Missouri Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, the Show-Me State’s current GOP Senator announced that he would back Akin’s candidacy.
“From Governor Romney to the county courthouse, I’ll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement issued late Tuesday. Blunt said that despite some policy disagreements, “he and I agree the Senate majority must change.”
Akin faced a concerted push from Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney, to drop out of the Senate race after winning the nomination because of concerns that he would have no chance to prevail in November, in what could be a critical contest for GOP efforts to retake the Senate. Full story
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a week of airtime in Rep. Allen West’s (R-Fla.) district starting Oct. 9, according to multiple sources tracking the buy.
Democrats cite a substantial House Majority PAC buy — $1 million over a few weeks including Oct. 9 — as the reason they pulled their reservation in the West Palm Beach market that week.
It’s almost never a good sign when a committee cuts airtime for a candidate. The cancellation comes on the heels of the DCCC’s move to cancel a second weeklong buy for Rep. Larry Kissell’s (D-N.C.) tough re-election bid.
But unlike Kissell’s bid, the Florida race remains competitive — at least compared with other Democratic pickup opportunities (Roll Call rates it as Leans Republican). And the DCCC has given no other indication that it’s ready to give up on the race, either. Full story
A new GOP poll shows a dead heat between Rep. Mark Critz (D) and attorney Keith Rothfus (R) in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Both candidates scored 38 percent in the survey paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee and the GOP nominee. Twenty-four percent of respondents reported they were undecided.
Party committees, candidates and outside groups have barraged the airwaves in the district. But in the past few weeks, Democratic groups accounted for more airtime.
Republicans say Rothfus improved his position in the race despite the Democratic ad campaign. In July, Rothfus trailed Critz by 15 points in a similar survey from the NRCC and his campaign. This summer, a trio of Democratic surveys also showed Critz holding a smaller 6 to 10 point lead over Rothfus.
The new numbers underscore the competitiveness of the race. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.
The McLaughlin & Associates survey tested 400 likely general election voters in the 12th district from Sept. 19 to 20. The margin of error is 4.9 points.
The survey showed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney leading President Barack Obama in the district, 53 percent to 39 percent, with 9 percent undecided.
View the full polling memo below: Full story
The rate of new political television advertisements has accelerated. And, more and more, campaigns are trading accusations about the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the ads.
Some of what was unveiled today:
On Monday afternoon, Democratic nominee Rep. Christopher Murphy’s campaign went up with an ad that hammered GOP nominee and former WWE CEO Linda McMahon on women’s issues.
The ad shows a stream of women giving testimonials about how McMahon has demeaned women during her tenure at the professional wrestling company. The clips go on to explain how McMahon will side with “extreme” Republicans on medical coverage of mammograms and contraception.
Less than 22 hours later, McMahon was up with a strikingly direct response ad. What it lacks in gimmicks, graphics and humor, it delivers with simplicity. Buy information was not immediately obtainable, but sources say the Murphy and McMahon buys are serious.
“Murphy calls me anti-woman,” McMahon says. “But Chris, take a look, I am a woman. A pro-choice woman. My company offered excellent benefits that included mammograms and access to birth control.”
Rep. Todd Akin reaffirmed for the final time today that he will be the irrevocable Republican Senate nominee in Missouri, despite the best efforts of national Republicans to get him to step aside after he made now-infamous comments about “legitimate rape.”
At a press conference in St. Louis, where he didn’t take any questions, Akin pledged to push forward in the face of today’s 5 p.m. CDT deadline to remove himself from the ballot.
National Republicans have refused to support Akin ever since he made the widely publicized comments about rape in August, with both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican National Committee saying they will stay out of the race as long as he stays in.
Akin faces Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill, who began the cycle as one of the most vulnerable Senators up for re-election. With it now clear that Akin will be on the ballot in November, Roll Call is changing its race rating for the Missouri Senate race from Tossup to Leans Democratic. Full story
The Service Employees International Union has canceled a previously scheduled television ad buy in support of businessman Jamie Wall’s (D) challenge of Rep. Reid Ribble (R).
Roll Call has learned from a source monitoring Wisconsin advertising markets that the union will no longer follow through with its approximately $130,000 reservation in the Green Bay media market, which covers the 8th district. But the same source noted that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is still scheduled to go on television in Green Bay on Oct. 9.
The House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, had previously canceled a $130,000 television ad-buy reservation in mid-September.
Staffers for Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) have been caught on tape engaging in conduct often viewed as offensive by Native Americans.
WCVB in Boston released video this morning showing Greg Casey and Jack Richard, Brown’s deputy chief of staff and constituent service counsel, respectively, engaging in tomahawk chops and chanting ”war whoops” during a rally this week in Boston, according to the TV station.
The video shows the two staffers and other Brown supporters mixed among a crowd of supporters for Brown and his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren.
A new Democratic poll shows Reps. Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) tied in their race for Iowa’s redrawn 3rd district.
Both Members earned 45 percent in the survey paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released today.
Earlier this cycle, local operatives wrote Boswell off because of Latham’s hefty cash advantage. But the race has become increasingly competitive in recent months, much like every other House race in the Hawkeye State.
The poll had the race as a dead heat, even though respondents viewed Latham in a more positive light. Thirty-nine percent viewed Latham favorably, while only 34 percent viewed Boswell favorably.
In the same poll, President Barack Obama leads GOP nominee Mitt Romney, 52 percent to 45 percent.
The Benenson Strategy Group poll interviewed 400 likely voters in the district from Sept. 18- 20. The margin of error was 4.9 percent.
Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.
September 24, 2012
Republican Sen. Scott Brown today launched an attack ad against Elizabeth Warren, his Democratic opponent, about her claims of Cherokee heritage. Warren later hit back with an ad of her own.
Brown’s spot, his first to go negative, spliced together a series of TV news reports about the revelation that Warren, a Harvard University professor and consumer advocate, claimed Native American ancestry intermittently during her academic career. Full story
There was bad news today for North Carolina Rep. Larry Kissell (D) out of Washington, D.C.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a second week of advertising in Kissell’s 8th district. Roll Call has learned that the DCCC’s independent expenditure arm canceled a reservation for advertising in the Charlotte media market from Oct. 9-15. This comes after the DCCC canceled a reservation from Oct. 2-8, as first reported by Roll Call.
The DCCC, which has not yet advertised for Kissell in the district, has reservations for the remainder of the cycle in the district — a significant sum. But those buys could be canceled, too. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been on the air advertising against Kissell since Sept. 7. Full story