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

August 29, 2012

Nevada’s Brian Sandoval Embraces Hispanic Outreach Role

Nevadas Brian Sandoval Embraces Hispanic Outreach Role

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

TAMPA, Fla. — Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Tuesday addressed Republican convention delegates in what turned out to be a forgettable speech that was panned by the pundits for its stiff delivery.

But Sandoval, a Hispanic, is a high-ranking soldier in the Republican Party’s effort to woo minority voters. In an interview with Roll Call before his speech, the governor discussed his role in helping GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney close the gap with a voting bloc that could be key to his prospects in Nevada and other states. In fact, Sandoval, who was elected in 2010, appears to be embracing this role.

“I’m reaching out to the Hispanic community and letting them know that if they work hard, there is great opportunity in this country,” Sandoval said. “I hope that I can inspire Hispanics to know that anything is possible.”

Full story

California: Dan Lungren, Ami Bera Tied In Democratic Poll

California: Dan Lungren, Ami Bera Tied In Democratic Poll

A new poll shows Republican Rep. Dan Lungren (above) tied with his Democratic challenged in the race for California's 7th district. (Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic poll released this morning found physician Ami Bera (D) and Rep. Dan Lungren (R) dead even in California’s 7th district.

Both got 47 percent, with 6 percent undecided. It’s their second straight matchup in the Sacramento area, but the district was altered in favor of Democrats during redistricting.

The poll also found President Barack Obama ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 52 percent to 44 percent. Full story

Arizona: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon Win GOP Races; 9th District Battle Set

Arizona: Paul Gosar, Matt Salmon Win GOP Races; 9th District Battle Set

Rep. Paul Gosar won a competitive GOP primary on Tuesday in Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar beat back a competitive GOP primary challenge Tuesday and former Rep. Matt Salmon won the nomination that clears the way for him to return to Congress after a more than decade long hiatus.

The GOP races in the 4th and 5th districts were the two most-watched Republican primaries outside of the blockbuster Member-vs.-Member race involving Reps. David Schweikert and Ben Quayle in the 6th district. Full story

DCCC Starts Ads in Illinois’ 13th District

House Democrats are on the air in Illinois and hitting a GOP candidate in regard to Ryan — jailed former Gov. George Ryan, that is.

Rodney Davis, the GOP nominee in the 13th district, is the recipient of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s first independent expenditure in the Land of Lincoln.

The 30-second spot kicks off a $230,000 television buy in the Champaign, Ill., media market.

Full story

Arizona: David Schweikert Defeats Ben Quayle in GOP Primary

Arizona: David Schweikert Defeats Ben Quayle in GOP Primary

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Schweikert will be returning to Congress and Rep. Ben Quayle will not.

The two Republican freshmen have engaged in one of the nastiest Member-vs.-Member primaries of the cycle. At the time the Associated Press called the GOP primary, Schweikert was leading Quayle, 53 percent to 47 percent.

The two men shared similar political records. In the final stretch, it was a brutal, personal fight.

Full story

August 28, 2012

Arizona: Jeff Flake Defeats Wil Cardon in GOP Senate Primary

Arizona: Jeff Flake Defeats Wil Cardon in GOP Senate Primary

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake is favored to hold a Senate seat for Republicans this fall. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Flake easily defeated real estate investor Wil Cardon in Tuesday’s Arizona Senate GOP primary, setting up a battle with Democrat Richard Carmona this fall.

Flake led Cardon 70 percent to 20 percent with just 15 percent of the vote counted, according to the Associated Press.

A year ago, Flake was the frontrunner to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R). In the spring, Cardon initiated a television ad campaign that at times was highly personal and negative. In the summer, Flake returned the favor and the race became increasingly nasty. Full story

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

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