Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

October 14, 2012

California: Scott Peters Hits the Road in Tight Race

California: Scott Peters Hits the Road in Tight Race

Scott Peters (center), Democratic candidate for California's 52nd Congressional district, shakes hands with supporters at a pre-canvassing labor rally in San Diego on Saturday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

SAN DIEGO — Democrat Scott Peters on Saturday rallied more than 400 labor volunteers who were preparing to canvass for voters across the city to support his bid to oust Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) in California’s newly drawn 52nd district and to help Democrats running in other local races.

Before setting out on a chilly (for this city) morning, state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (I), who made national headlines earlier this year when he left the GOP during his run for mayor, introduced Peters to the large labor council gathering in a parking lot near Qualcomm Stadium, home of the National Football League’s San Diego Chargers.

With early voting under way in the Golden State, it was part of Peters’ initial push in this Tossup race — one that he participated in as he knocked on doors in the company of Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) to ask voters for their support. Full story

October 13, 2012

Springsteen to Campaign for Obama in Ohio With Clinton

Bruce Springsteen is set to team up with President Bill Clinton to campaign for President Barack Obama in Parma, Ohio, on Thursday.

Even as October Springsteen appearances have become something of a Democratic tradition since 2004, this was not exactly an expected development. Back in February, Springsteen had expressed a reluctance to campaign and disappointment with some of Obama’s economic policies.

Up until this announcement, Springsteen had been largely quiet about the election. He rarely, if ever, mentioned Obama in recent appearances on his current world tour.

The pairing with Clinton is further evidence that wounds from the 2008 primary have healed. Then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton was forced to cease playing “The Rising” at campaign stops because Springsteen endorsed Obama during one of the most heated moments of that campaign — the lead-up to the Pennsylvania primary.

In the past, Springsteen campaign appearances are as much about organizational strategy as they are about boosting excitement. As Springsteen plays, campaign workers use the opportunity to campaign, register voters and to collect contact information. However, Ohio’s voter registration deadline has passed.

Full story

October 12, 2012

Shot Fired Into Obama’s Denver Campaign Office

Denver police say that a shot was fired into a busy Barack Obama field office earlier this afternoon, according to an account in the Denver Post.

People were inside the office at the time of the incident, but no one was hurt, per a police statement issued to the Post. The shot was fired around 3 p.m. local time, and police have a “possible vehicle of interest” but are not releasing further details pending an ongoing investigation.

The Post has a photo of the boarded-up, large storefront window here, and Sam Levin, a reporter for the Denver Westword, posted a picture of the window to his Twitter account here.

The Obama campaign declined to comment when contacted by Roll Call and referred inquiries to the Denver Police Department.

Massachusetts: Tierney Cuts Back on TV Before Election Day

Massachusetts: Tierney Cuts Back on TV Before Election Day

Rep. John Tierney (left) is among the more vulnerable Members on the ballot in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8 p.m. | Embattled Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) no longer has advertisements on the books for Oct. 23 through Election Day in the pricey Boston market, according to two GOP sources who track media buys.

Tierney’s campaign manager, Matt Robison, confirmed the move but said the campaign would be making additional buys next week. “We’ve relocated some of our resources among weeks based on our communications strategy,” he said.

Media buys are public information, so Tierney’s move means he could be signaling for help from an outside group in the final two weeks. But his shift comes just a couple of days after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee cut $650,000 worth of reservations for that week in the Boston market. Full story

House Majority PAC Releases New Ad Buys in Competitive Races

The Democratic-affiliated group House Majority PAC has made new investments in seven contested Congressional races.

The group made the following new buys from Oct. 17 to 23:

  • $115,000 in California’s 7th district, where Rep. Dan Lungren (R) faces physician Ami Bera (D)
  • $130,000 in Illinois’ 17th district, where Rep. Bobby Schilling (R) faces former East Moline Alderwoman Cheri Bustos (D)
  • $200,000 in Michigan’s 1st district, where Rep. Dan Benishek (R) faces former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D)
  • $175,000 in Indiana’s open 2nd district, where former state Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) faces Iraq War veteran Brendan Mullen (D)
  • $500,000 in Colorado’s 6th district, where Rep Mike Coffman (R) faces state Rep. Joe Miklosi

House Majority PAC also made a new buy for the week before Election Day in Connecticut’s open 5th district, where state Sen. Andrew Roraback (R) faces former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D).

And the group boosted their already hefty buy in New York’s 27th district by $150,000. In that seat, Rep. Kathy Hochul (D) and businessman Chris Collins are squaring off in a competitive and testy contest.

Colorado: Ad Hits Mike Coffman on Stem Cell Opposition

The pro-Democratic House Majority PAC today said it will begin airing an ad against Rep. Mike Coffman, a Republican who is in a tight race with challenger Joe Miklosi for Colorado’s 6th district.

The ad — which features a young-looking man, a little girl and a woman — urges voters to reject Coffman based on his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.

“Next summer, I’m going on a camping trip with my friends,” opens the young man. “On the way home, I’ll be in a car accident, and I’ll be paralyzed for the rest of my life.”  Full story

Connecticut: DSCC Makes Another Buy

Connecticut: DSCC Makes Another Buy

Rep. Christopher Murphy talks with a school group on the West Front of the Capitol. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is making an additional $650,000 purchase of Connecticut advertising time in support of Rep. Christopher Murphy’s (D) open-seat Senate race against former WWE CEO Linda McMahon (R).

The new buy lasts from Oct. 16 through Oct. 22 and will be on broadcast and cable. This builds on the DSCC’s independent expenditure arm’s previous $2.1 million investment in this race, according to a source who tracks Connecticut Senate media buys. Also per this source, the Democratic group Majority PAC has spent $1.1 million.

The ad spending in this race is unlike any other Senate race in the country. Because McMahon is able to self-fund her television advertising to levels that include saturating the expensive New York City media market that covers a significant portion of the Nutmeg State, national Republicans are on the offense here without having to invest a dime.

Democrats have yet to match McMahon on New York broadcast television, although they have been on the air on New York cable. This is among the reasons McMahon has made this contest competitive despite the Democratic lean of the state.

Daily Ad Track

The most noteworthy television ads today all dealt with negativity — how to dish it out and how to respond. The toughest ad we saw came from the Democratic House Majority PAC. The ad in the Colorado 6th House race is one of the toughest we have ever seen.

Here is what else that cut through the clutter:

Arizona Senate

As we noted Thursday, campaign ads took a nasty turn this week. The sharpest turn in the last 36 hours has been in Arizona. Wednesday night’s debate between former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) and Rep. Jeff Flake (R) was a cordial affair. The next morning, the Flake camp dropped an anvil on Carmona with an ad featuring one of his former supervisors harshly criticizing him.

Carmona’s team reacted quickly — issuing a statement Thursday afternoon, and by the evening, they had a new TV ad posted on YouTube.com. According to a campaign source, the ad was put together Thursday, but the Carmona campaign anticipated the attack and was prepared.

Campaigns often pretape rebuttal ads weeks or months in advance in anticipation of specific negative attacks. This was the case with this September ad from Rep. Mike Coffman (R) in Colorado’s 6th.

Full story

Massachusetts: Richard Tisei Outraises John Tierney Again

Massachusetts: Richard Tisei Outraises John Tierney Again

Former state Sen. Richard Tisei outraised Rep. John Tierney (center) for the fourth consecutive quarter. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Tierney (D) raised less than his Republican challenger in the third quarter, Roll Call has learned.

Tierney raised more than $500,000 from July 1 to Sept. 30, while former state Sen. Richard Tisei (R) raised more than $660,000. Tierney, locked in a fierce battle with Tisei for Massachusetts’ 6th district, which is anchored in the North Shore region of the state, has now been outraised by Tisei for four consecutive quarters.

Though the 6th district is reliably Democratic, either candidate could win the race. Tierney has taken a political body blow from the innuendo surrounding his wife’s family’s legal troubles connected to an offshore gambling operation, although he has been accused of no wrongdoing

Tierney, an attorney and member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, ranks on Roll Call’s list of the 10 most politically vulnerable Members of Congress.

Roll Call rates the 6th district race as a Tossup.

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows 10-Point Senate Race

Pennsylvania: New Poll Shows 10 Point Senate Race

A new poll shows Sen. Bob Casey (above) leading opponent Tom Smith by 10 points. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

California: Things Get Touchy at Berman-Sherman Debate

California: Things Get Touchy at Berman Sherman Debate

Rep. Howard Berman (left) speaks during a candidate forum with Rep. Brad Sherman on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

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

Crossroads GPS Launches House Blitz Across the Country

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)

Oklahoma House Candidate to Deliver GOP Address

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

Arizona: DSCC Adds to TV Buys for Carmona

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:

Full story

Ohio: Charlie Wilson Responds With Own Poll in 6th District Race

Ohio: Charlie Wilson Responds With Own Poll in 6th District Race

Former Rep. Charlie Wilson (right) leads in a poll released by his campaign today. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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:

Full story

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