Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

October 1, 2012

Colorado: Steelworkers Back Pace, Appear In New Ad

The United Steelworkers Union today endorsed Sal Pace, the Democrat who is running against Rep. Scott Tipton (R) in the state’s 3rd district. And Pace went up with a new ad, his campaign’s third, that features a local steelworker.

“Sal Pace has always fought to keep good-paying jobs right here in Colorado,” said the union’s Bob LaVenture in a statement announcing support for Pace. “Our action will extend to reaching out in our Pueblo neighborhoods and community to advocate his candidacy for family-supportive industrial jobs.” Full story

North Carolina: DCCC Cancels Yet Another Week of Ads for Larry Kissell

North Carolina: DCCC Cancels Yet Another Week of Ads for Larry Kissell

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee hasn't aired any TV ads to help boost vulnerable Rep. Larry Kissell in North Carolina. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It looks more and more like Nov. 6 will be curtains for North Carolina Democratic Rep. Larry Kissell.

Today the independent expenditure arm of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee canceled a third week of advertising in Kissell’s 8th district. Roll Call has learned that more than $180,000 worth of advertising in the Charlotte media market from Oct. 16-22 was canceled by the DCCC.

The move is as clear a sign as any that national Democrats, who have not yet aired any TV advertisements for the vulnerable incumbent, no longer see the race as winnable.

Kissell faces Republican Richard Hudson, a former aide on Capitol Hill, on the ballot next month. The 8th district was redrawn to be substantially more Republican during redistricting, which was controlled by the GOP-majority state Legislature. Full story

Daily Ad Track

A little over a month out from Election Day, television ads are increasingly negative. Over the weekend, Democrats and Republicans alike used tracker video, humor and even Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) to hammer away at the opposition.

Massachusetts’ 6th

A new ad from former state Senate Minority Leader Richard Tisei (R) against Rep. John Tierney (D) essentially gives voters in the Democratic district permission to cross the ballot because of Tierney’s ongoing ethical issues. The ad assumes the viewer knows Tierney’s problems; it is part of a $600,000 buy over 15 days in the heavily saturated Boston media market. It debuted before Sunday’s New England Patriots-Buffalo Bills game.

New York’s 24th

Former Rep. Dan Maffei (D) is up with an ad tying Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to Akin, who became a national figure with his “legitimate rape” comment. It is reasonable to assume that Akin will probably surface in other Democratic advertisements. The Maffei campaign did not immediately respond to a query on the buy information behind this advertisement.


Full story

Texas: Francisco Canseco Internal Poll Showed Him With 10-Point Lead Over Pete Gallego


Texas: Francisco Canseco Internal Poll Showed Him With 10 Point Lead Over Pete Gallego

Rep. Francisco "Quico" Canseco's campaign released a poll that showed him with a lead over state Rep. Pete Gallego. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco’s (R) campaign released an internal poll today that showed he had a 10-point lead over state Rep. Pete Gallego (D).

The poll, conducted Sept. 23-25, showed Canseco up over Gallego 47 percent to 37 percent. Eight percent said they would support “other” and 8 percent were undecided.

Forty percent of respondents had a favorable impression of Canseco, while 31 percent viewed him in a negative light. As one would expect in a race with an incumbent, Gallego lags behind in name identification. But like Canseco, he has a net favorable rating. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed viewed him favorably, while 27 percent viewed him unfavorably.

A source in the Gallego campaign seemed surprise with the poll and said their own internal polling shows “a tight race.”

Full story

Voters Blame Both Parties for Big Money in Politics

Democrats enjoy no advantage over Republicans when it comes to public opposition to big money in politics, but the issue resonates with key voting blocs, according to a new survey of voters in 54 battleground House districts.

“Candidates avoid this issue to their detriment,” said David Donnelly, executive director of the Public Campaign Action Fund, which backs a campaign finance overhaul. “There’s an incredible opportunity to be leaders on this issue, on what has become a leaderless field.”

The poll released today found that more than half of voters surveyed “overwhelmingly” believe that money corrupts politics, and 78 percent want Congressional candidates to propose ways to “dramatically reduce the amount of money in politics and super PACs.”

The poll was the third in a series by Public Campaign Action Fund and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner conducted for the Democracy Corps, a nonprofit run by Democratic strategists James Carville and Stanley Greenberg.

A striking finding, Greenberg said, was that a full 43 percent of respondents said neither Democrats nor Republicans would do a better job “cleaning up corruption in Washington, D.C.,” an option not even offered by the poll, which instead asked voters to choose between the parties.

“I’m struck by the fact that the Democrats have no advantage on the question of changing the corruption in Washington,” said Greenberg, CEO of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

But Greenberg said linking policy issues to political corruption intensified voter responses, particularly among seniors, independents and suburban voters. For example, 55 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who backed the plan to partially privatize Medicare offered by GOP vice presidential candidate and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

But asked in a follow-up question whether they would vote for that candidate if he or she backed Ryan’s Medicare plan and “took thousands in campaign donations from insurance executives, lobbyists and PACs,” a full 70 percent of voters answered “less likely.”

“If you’re looking for an extra shot, this is where your extra shot is on that issue,” Greenberg said, describing the issue’s potential resonance in battleground House districts.

September 30, 2012

Roy Blunt: Missouri Senate Race Is More About Senate Majority Than Todd Akin

Roy Blunt: Missouri Senate Race Is More About Senate Majority Than Todd Akin

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Missouri GOP Sen. Roy Blunt today offered a lukewarm defense of his decision to campaign for embattled Senate nominee Rep. Todd Akin, saying the debate in the Show-Me State is more about who should control the Senate.

In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Blunt said that Republicans still have a 50-50 chance of retaking the Senate and that the Missouri race to unseat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill will “largely become a debate about the majority in the Senate.”

In August, Blunt called on Akin to step out of the race after the conservative lawmaker defended his opposition to abortion in cases of rape and incest by erroneously saying that a woman’s body is able to prevent pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” But last week, after Akin let a state deadline to withdraw from the ballot pass without resigning the nomination, Blunt said he would work to elect him.

“I think anybody else would have been a candidate that clearly would have won, and Todd very well may win,” Blunt told CNN. “He’s on a ticket at a time when people look at a Senate that’s not doing its work, and the only way to change that is to change the majority in the Senate.”

When accused by co-panelist Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) of flip-flopping and now endorsing Akin’s candidacy, Blunt attempted to clarify: “What I said was that the national issues are big enough that we need to have a discussion of these issues rather than those that Todd managed to bring to the table.”

September 28, 2012

Iowa: Leonard Boswell Files Lawsuit Against Former Primary Foe

Iowa: Leonard Boswell Files Lawsuit Against Former Primary Foe

Rep. Leonard Boswell is in a very competitive race against a fellow Member. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) will sue liberal activist Ed Fallon over his recent bribery accusation, the lawmaker’s aide confirmed today.

Earlier this week on his website, Fallon accused Boswell of “sending an aide to bribe me with the offer of an $80,000 a-year job to not run against him.”

Boswell spokesman Kevin McTigue confirmed to Roll Call in an email that the lawsuit was “being filed today” in response.

The timing is less than convenient for Boswell, who faces Rep. Tom Latham (R) in a highly competitive race for the 3rd district. Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup. Full story

Maine: DSCC Moves in With Ad Buy

Maine: DSCC Moves in With Ad Buy

National Democrats have bought TV time in Maine, ostensibly to help boost former Gov. Angus King, an Independent. (Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has bought $410,000 worth of television time in Maine, where a political triangle in the Senate race has created an unpredictable dynamic.

The DSCC ad was not immediately available, but the committee is likely to use the Oct. 2-12 buy to directly target Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R), who has been climbing in the polls in the race for the seat of retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe (R). The DSCC ad is not expected to mention either former Gov. Angus King (I), who is expected to caucus with Democrats, or state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee. King is the frontrunner but has seen his lead shrink in the past few weeks as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have spent money on advertising. Full story

New Mexico: Could Third-Party Candidate Play Senate Spoiler?

New Mexico: Could Third Party Candidate Play Senate Spoiler?

In a new poll, former Rep. Heather Wilson was in a virtual tie with Rep. Martin Heinrich.(Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:45 p.m. | A new poll conducted for former Rep. Heather Wilson (R) shows the New Mexico Senate race could be more competitive than currently believed — if a third-party candidate does well on the November ballot.

In the survey, Wilson was in a virtual tie with Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who took 43 percent to Wilson’s 42 percent. But Independent American Party candidate Jon Barrie took 9 percent, and 6 percent of respondents were undecided. The poll, conducted by GOP pollster Glen Bolger, was in the field Tuesday through Thursday and sampled 500 likely voters. The margin of error was 4.38 points.

Full story

Massachusetts: New GOP Poll Has Richard Tisei Leading John Tierney

Massachusetts: New GOP Poll Has Richard Tisei Leading John Tierney

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

A new Republican poll commissioned by YG Action Fund, a super PAC created by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), found Republican Richard Tisei leading Rep. John Tierney (D) in Massachusetts’ 6th district.

The poll, in the field Sept. 25-26 and conducted by respected GOP firm North Star Opinion Research, found Tisei ahead of Tierney 45 percent to 37 percent. An August poll conducted by the same company found Tierney ahead of Tisei 45 percent to 43 percent. Negative advertising against both candidates has been plentiful in the district over the past month. Full story

Nebraska: Bob Kerrey Targets Deb Fischer on Balanced Budget Amendment

Looking to make up ground, Democratic Nebraska Senate nominee Bob Kerrey attacked Republican candidate Deb Fischer on her support of a balanced budget amendment in their second debate today.

“I do worry about this balanced budget amendment,” said Kerrey, a former Nebraska governor and U.S. Senator. “It’s going to have a terrible impact on Nebraska.”

“We are not going to be able to invest in our universities. We are not going to be able to provide the Pell grants that our students need. We are not going to be able to have the kind of research that needs to occur to develop” partnerships with private-sector businesses, he said. Full story

Daily Ad Track

All over the country, biographical television spots are giving way to negative attack ads.

The Susan B. Anthony List announced Thursday the initiation of a $150,000 TV ad campaign against President Barack Obama in Ohio. It intends to include in that campaign an ad it previously aired in Missouri, which featured an abortion survivor.

But the ad that caught our attention was a negative spot from Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

Here are some of our other favorite ads from today:

Florida 18

The West spot sparked a frenzy on Twitter this morning. Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil tweeted, “FL Rep. Allen West attacks his opponent for fighting in a bar. Has he met #FLSencandidate Connie Mack??” Bar brawls have surfaced in a Florida Senate race ad as well.

Meanwhile, supporters of House Democrats are going negative on West. House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, announced it was increasing its investment in the district to more than $1.5 million. This comes after the news that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was canceling a week of airtime starting Oct. 9.

Full story

California: AFSCME Hits Dan Lungren, Chamber Slams Ami Bera

Outside groups continue to rain dollars on California, the new home of Congressional competition.

This week the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a national labor union both hit the airwaves with significant buys in California’s 7th district. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees dropped $800,000 on an ad that ties Rep. Dan Lungren (R) to Wall Street.

Lungren is among several Golden State incumbents in competitive races this year. Roll Call rates his race a Tossup.

Full story

Florida: New Allen West Ad Blasts Patrick Murphy for Arrest

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) today released a blistering contrast ad against his Democratic opponent, businessman Patrick Murphy. The 30-second spot compares what West and Murphy were both doing on Feb. 16, 2003.

The ad zooms across a satellite map of the United States to southern Florida. “That night, South Beach, Miami: Patrick Murphy is thrown out of a club for fighting, covered in alcohol and unable to stand,” the narrator says. “Murphy then confronts and verbally assaults a police officer.”

Murphy’s mugshot, in which he appears quite discombobulated, appears on screen.

Full story

By Joshua Miller Posted at 9:14 a.m.
Ads, Fla.-18, House 2012

September 27, 2012

Dueling Internal Polls in Iowa and Pennsylvania House Races

Dueling Internal Polls in Iowa and Pennsylvania House Races

A Democratic poll showed Rep. Steve King in a competitive race in Iowa. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

‘Tis the season for dueling internal polls.

In Iowa, former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack (D) released a survey today showing her trailing Rep. Steve King (R) by 2 points in the first public poll of this race in several weeks.

A few hours later, the conservative group American Future Fund put out a poll showing King ahead by several points, 48 percent to 41 percent. Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican. Full story

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