Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2014

August 28, 2012

Oklahoma: Rob Wallace, Markwayne Mullin Win Primaries in 2nd District

Former district attorney Rob Wallace (D) and plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin (R) will face off this November in the 2nd district.

Wallace defeated a well-funded seed company owner, Wayne Herriman, for the Democratic nod, 57 percent to 43 percent. Mullin defeated state Rep. George Faught, 57 percent to 43 percent, to become the GOP nominee, according to unofficial results from the Oklahoma Secretary of State.

This marks the second time both pairs of candidates have run against each other. Neither candidate won enough support in the June 26 primary to avoid today’s runoff.

Their victories set up the race for retiring Democratic Rep. Dan Boren’s “Little Dixie” seat in eastern Oklahoma. Roll Call rates the seat as Leans Republican.

The 2nd district overwhelmingly supported Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for the national ticket in 2008. But Boren always won re-election by a comfortable margin.

GOP Delegates Nominate Mitt Romney; Ron Paul Backers Protest

GOP Delegates Nominate Mitt Romney; Ron Paul Backers Protest

(Chris Maddaloni CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney cinched his party’s nomination early this evening, capturing sufficient support among delegates at the Republican National Convention.

The Republican faithful erupted into cheers as Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) announced Romney collected the support of 2,061 delegates. Immediately following, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.) was nominated by acclamation for vice president.

However, the nominations of Romney and Ryan were preceded by an intraparty feud over a new RNC rules package pushed through by party officials and the former Massachusetts governor’s campaign and opposed by some grass-roots conservatives and delegates supportive of Rep. Ron Paul (Texas). Delegates for and against the rules changed tried to shout each other down multiple times.

Still, the fighting ended when the convention program moved on to the roll call vote of nominating delegates. In traditional style, officials announced their delegate tallies, state by state. New Jersey put Romney over the edge, pushing the new nominee past the necessary 1,144 votes around 5:40pm.

Full story

Focus on Economy or Broaden the Message? GOP Poll Has Clues

TAMPA, Fla. — After a few days here talking to GOP insiders, it’s clear that there are quite a few of what I would call nervously optimistic Republicans.

A mix of party professionals and movement-oriented conservatives, these Republicans believe wholeheartedly that Mitt Romney can beat President Barack Obama on Nov. 6, but are worried he won’t do what’s necessary to win. And they tend to have divergent opinions about what “necessary” is. The two most common arguments?  That Romney should go big and broaden his argument beyond simply a focus on the economy and jobs and that he should focus only on the economy and jobs.

A new poll conducted by GOP pollster David Winston for the Republican super PAC American Action Network indicates that both arguments have merit, but that a winning campaign for Romney will include both lines of attack.

The survey’s findings suggest that relentlessly focusing on the economy and jobs gives the Republican presidential ticket its best opportunity to capture independent voters and deflect the central attack being leveled by Obama. However, selecting House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan as his running mate and going on the attack on Medicare has also proved valuable for the GOP, according to a comparison of political messages tested by Winston in this poll.

In the poll, which Winston tells me had a plus-two, self-identified Democratic sample and a plus-three self-identified moderates over conservatives sample, 1,000 registered voters — particularly independent voters — responded more favorably to a jobs-oriented test message than to a message that focuses on saving Medicare in its current form.

Full story

Texas: Federal Court Strikes Down House Map

Texas: Federal Court Strikes Down House Map

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was not happy with today's decision and said he will keep fighting to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As many expected, a three-judge federal court panel in Washington, D.C., ruled this afternoon that the new Congressional map drawn by the Texas Legislature this cycle did not pass muster with the preclearance section of the Voting Rights Act.

This means the 2011 map the Texas Legislature passed into law is not valid and that Texas must start from scratch on drawing a new, long-term map in the 2013 legislative session.

The map that is being used for the fall elections is not this map. The interim map in use was drawn by a court in San Antonio and will remain in place for the upcoming election. Full story

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Looking For a Tail Wind

CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing: Looking For a Tail Wind

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso talks with Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on the floor of the Republican National Convention today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing is being published from the GOP Convention in Tampa, Fla., this week. For more information on signing up to receive this free email, click here.

THE PODIUM: The 2,286 delegates convened at 2 and are about to start the process of officially nominating Willard Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president and Paul Davis Ryan as the party’s candidate for vice president. It’s the convention’s official reason for being, and getting the formalities right out of the way will allow the ticket to start spending the tens of millions already raised specifically for the general election.

After that’s done, the convention will reconvene at 7, with Boehner delivering the opening speech (“Where are the jobs?” he’ll ask, as he always does on such occasions  — heralding the day’s “We built it” theme that Republican small-government is best for the economy.) Other speakers in the first hour include Rick Santorum, talking about welfare to fire up the socially conservative base; the top woman in the House GOP leadership, Cathy McMorris Rogers; and the party’s top African-American congressional recruit, Utah’s Mia Love.

Full story

New Hampshire: State Chairman Weighs In on Politics

TAMPA, Fla. — New Hampshire GOP Chairman Wayne MacDonald expressed optimism on Monday about the prospects for his party’s candidates in the 2012 elections, but he did not rule out a fall scenario in which one of the state’s two Republican Members does not return to Congress next year.

MacDonald had high praise for New Hampshire’s two Republican Congressmen, Reps. Charles Bass and Frank Guinta, but he conceded that the two men are running in a tough political environment. MacDonald said their hard work in the area of constituent service would give them an edge this fall.

“They’re human beings. They’re not laying claim to sainthood,” he said. “They’re not laying claim to having all the answers, but they do work hard. They represent New Hampshire well.”

Full story

Arizona: Jon Kyl Says David Schweikert Broke Ronald Reagan’s ’11th Commandment’

Arizona: Jon Kyl Says David Schweikert Broke Ronald Reagans 11th Commandment

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

TAMPA, Fla. — In the final hours of the Member-vs.-Member race between Republican Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) reiterated his unhappiness with the tone of the campaign.

“I don’t feel good about it because it was turned into such a snarky race. Both Sen. [John] McCain and I felt that we needed to comment on the Schweikert campaign,” he said.

Kyl has been highly critical of Schweikert’s campaign. When asked by reporters if Schweikert broke Ronald Reagan’s “11th Commandment,” Kyl simply said, “Yes.”

Full story

Harry Reid to Headline Mormon Gathering in Charlotte

Harry Reid to Headline Mormon Gathering in Charlotte

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will meet in Charlotte, N.C., next week with Mormon Democrats. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the GOP plans to crown the first Mormon presidential candidate in Tampa, Fla., Mormon Democrats, looking to boost their numbers, are set to meet in Charlotte, N.C., next week.

The meeting — which will feature Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.), who is a Mormon — is being hosted by LDS Democrats, an official caucus within the Utah Democratic Party. The caucus was started in 2011 and has attracted more than 2,000 members.

Full story

Orrin Hatch: Republicans Hurt By Todd Akin, Still Have Shot at Majority

Orrin Hatch: Republicans Hurt By Todd Akin, Still Have Shot at Majority

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) conceded in an interview this morning that Rep. Todd Akin’s controversial remarks have endangered GOP prospects in the Missouri Senate race, along with the party’s chances of winning control of the Senate this fall.

“We’re going to take back the Senate, I believe, but it’s going to be very close,” Hatch said this morning. “It could go either way. I have to acknowledge that. The Akin race has hurt us to a degree.” Full story

Missouri: Anti-Abortion Group Launches TV Ad Against Obama

The Susan B. Anthony List, a group that advocates against abortion rights, announced this morning the launch of a television ad airing in Missouri that denounces President Barack Obama’s record on the issue.

The ad features a woman named Melissa Ohden, who tells a story of surviving an abortion.

Full story

Black Caucus Slams Artur Davis Ahead of Speech

Black Caucus Slams Artur Davis Ahead of Speech

Former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis is drawing criticism for his decision to speak at the Republican National Convention. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus are accusing former Rep. Artur Davis of “transparent opportunism” ahead of his speech to the Republican National Convention, scheduled for this evening.

Coming four years after the African-American and former Democrat served as a co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s campaign, Davis’ conversion to the GOP has clearly stung his former colleagues, who sounded off in an open letter released to the media this morning. In 2008, Davis seconded Obama’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The letter, signed by 14 CBC members, accuses Davis of distorting Obama’s record and flip-flopping on “core principles you once held dear.”

“We can only conclude that, rather than a true conversion, your actions are the result of a nakedly personal and political calculation or simmering anguish after failing to secure the Democratic nomination for governor of the State of Alabama in 2010,” the members wrote.

Full story

Connecticut: New Polls Give Parties Mixed Senate, House News

Connecticut: New Polls Give Parties Mixed Senate, House News

Rep. Christopher Murphy is in a more competitive Senate race than once thought. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two polls released today offer mixed news for Republicans and Democrats in competitive Connecticut Senate and House races.

A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee surveying the 5th district House race showed former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D) had a 9-point lead over state Sen. Andrew Roraback (R). Forty-four percent of those polled said they intended to vote for Esty, while 35 percent said they would back Roraback. Full story

August 27, 2012

GOP Sees No More Schedule Changes

GOP Sees No More Schedule Changes

Palm trees blow in the wind and rain outside the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans say they don’t intend any additional changes to the convention schedule as Tropical Storm Isaac heads to landfall along the Gulf Coast.

Republican strategist Russ Schriefer told reporters in a conference call today that the GOP will soon release a minute-by-minute guide to the convention lineup.

He said there are no major changes to the GOP’s message this week, and he spotlighted the speeches of Ann Romney, Chris Christie and Rick Santorum on Tuesday night.

Schriefer said Santorum would talk about the fight to pass welfare reform in the 1990s. Welfare reform has become a key plank in the Romney campaign, keying off the Obama administration showing a willingness to grant flexibility to governors in meeting work requirements. Full story

NRCC Leadership Weighs In on House Races

NRCC Leadership Weighs In on House Races

Rep. Steve Scalise (center), vice chairman for recruitment for the NRCC, talks with reporters at the Westin Tampa Harbour Island on Monday after a briefing on the impact of the Romney-Ryan ticket on House races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — The leadership of the National Republican Congressional Committee briefed reporters this afternoon and gave some hints of its fall campaign strategy.

The committee’s executive director, Guy Harrison, and recruitment chairman, Rep. Steve Scalise (La.), conveyed optimism for the fall, but they also showed some leg on campaign strategy. When asked whether Republicans intended to use House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as a foil in their campaign, Harrison indicated that President Barack Obama, rather, would be their primary target.

“I think people realize that Obama is affecting the economy a lot more than Nancy Pelosi,” Harrison said.

In the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans attempted to tie Democratic candidates to then-Speaker Pelosi to a degree not seen previously in American politics. The tactic proved quite successful.

Harrison was also dismissive of Democratic claims that Rep. Todd Akin’s comments about rape and abortion would cause GOP Congressional candidates political problems. Akin is the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri.

“You’ve seen a majority of our party say it’s important for him to step down,” Harrison said.”If [Democrats] want to talk about that in two months, feel free. We’re going to be talking about the economy.”

Full story

Operation Rescue: No Votes for Mitt Romney Until Todd Akin Gets Cash

The leader of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue wants GOP delegates to hold off on formally nominating Mitt Romney until funding is promised to the Senate campaign of Rep. Todd Akin (Mo.).

“Heaven sent a hurricane to hold off Gov. Romney’s coronation, so today we’re urging pro-life GOP delegates to abstain from any voting on Romney’s nomination until all GOP financial support for Todd Akin is reinstated and details of Romney’s income tax returns in connection with Bain’s Stericycle investment have been made public,” Operation Rescue President Troy Newman said.

Stericycle is a medical waste disposal company in which Bain Capital invested, according to Mother Jones. Other reports have said Romney had no specific connection to the investment in the company. Full story

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