- Democrats Court Ex-Congressman for Rematch
- Why Even Democrats Love Talking About Joni Ernst
- Senators Confirm Re-Election Bids for 2016
- Jerry Moran Kicks Off 2016 Cycle With $1.4 Million War Chest
- Exclusive: DSCC Hires National Political Director, Press Secretary
October 12, 2012
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.
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:
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.
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.
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
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
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)
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
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:
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:
One year ago it would have been hard to picture both the Arizona and Connecticut open-seat Senate races as Tossups with less than a month to go before Election Day. But funny things can happen to the Senate battleground map based on candidates and the campaigns they run — just ask Republicans this cycle about Missouri.
The open-seat Senate races in the Nutmeg State and the Grand Canyon State are thousands of miles apart, yet share some distinct similarities. Both feature House Members who began the race as the heavy frontrunner and challengers who have surged based on the strength of their campaigns. Those challengers will still have to overcome a heavy partisan disadvantage at the presidential level, but that prospect seems to be increasingly possible. Therefore, we are moving both races into the tossup column, even though in both races, the party that currently holds the seat still has a very small advantage. Full story
RESEDA, Calif. — There was far more space between the green armchairs that Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman sat in during Wednesday’s debate than there was on the range of issues the two longtime Congressmen discussed.
But in a duel between two incumbents from the same party, it’s not so much the issues that voters will use to set them apart on Election Day but temperament and which Democrat will better represent their values in Washington, D.C. Full story
The battle for Minnesota’s 8th district is deadlocked, according to three polls released since Oct. 1, although survey data suggest that the Democratic challenger in this race has the momentum.
The nonpartisan SurveyUSA poll conducted Oct. 7-9 found the contest statistically tied, with former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) garnering 46 percent of the vote to Rep. Chip Cravaack’s (R) 45 percent. The poll surveyed 700 registered voters, including 578 who were also classified as likely to vote, and the poll had a margin of error of 4.2 points.
Of the people who said they would vote for President Barack Obama, 88 percent said they would vote for the officially endorsed Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party candidate, who happens to be Nolan. In the Democratic-leaning 8th district, this could mean trouble for Cravaack, who will need split-ticket voters to tip the scales in his favor.
Bolt down that kitchen sink.
This week marks the point where campaigns begin to unleash their devastating ads — the ones they have planned to use all along if necessary but have held back for timing. On Tuesday, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) and others went there with a series of ads featuring survivors of sexual assault criticizing Rep. Todd Akin (R). It turns out, it was only the beginning.
Here are the newest ads in this vein to cut through the clutter.
There is no doubt momentum has been with former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) in his Senate bid against Rep. Jeff Flake (R). But all along, Arizona Republicans insisted that a negative barrage was coming Carmona’s way and that there was plenty in his record that could come into play. The negative ads against Carmona began a few weeks ago, but this new one from the Flake campaign is simple and brutal. This is part of a major statewide broadcast, cable and radio buy.
Democrat Rob Zerban, who is challenging vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R) in Wisconsin’s 1st district, will travel to Kentucky today for the vice presidential debate, his campaign announced.
Ryan, who is running simultaneously for the House and the White House, is still heavily favored in the race. But Zerban has proven to be a formidable candidate, outraising the well-funded Ryan in the third quarter by more than $200,000, bolstered by the support of liberal groups such as former Sen. Russ Feingold’s Progressives United and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. As Roll Call recently reported, Ryan has made ad reservations in the state to boost his re-election cause.
Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
ENCINO, Calif. — In yet another unprecedented moment in California House races this cycle, 10 Republican members of the state’s Congressional delegation have endorsed Democratic Rep. Howard Berman.
The Foreign Affairs ranking member is running in a highly competitive race against fellow Democratic Rep. Brad Sherman in a San Fernando Valley district that the two were merged into during redistricting. The endorsements are part of Berman’s outreach across the political spectrum in a district where Republicans could make up about a quarter of the vote in November.
According to a release the Berman campaign will roll out today, the Republicans endorsing him are: Reps. David Dreier, Wally Herger, Dan Lungren, Elton Gallegly, Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calvert, Mary Bono Mack and Darrell Issa. Full story