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

July 31, 2012

Democratic House Majority Super PAC Releases Polls Showing Leads in Utah, Maryland

Democratic House Majority Super PAC Releases Polls Showing Leads in Utah, Maryland

Rep. Jim Matheson (right) leads Mia Love in Utah's 4th district race, according to a poll released by the House Majority PAC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, released two polls this morning that indicate Democrats are well-positioned in high-profile races in Utah and Maryland.

In the tossup race for Utah’s 4th, 51 percent of respondents said they would vote for Rep. Jim Matheson (D), while 33 percent supported Mia Love (R). In the Maryland 6th district survey, businessman John Delaney (D) had the support of 44 percent of those polled, while 42 percent said they would vote for Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R). The difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

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Rising Star Julian Castro Gets Prime Speaking Slot at DNC

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro will deliver the keynote address on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention, making him the first Latino to receive that assignment.

Castro will share the Sept. 4 speaking duties in Charlotte, N.C., with first lady Michelle Obama. President Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will speak Wednesday night, followed on Thursday by Vice President Joseph Biden and President Barack Obama.

Castro’s prominent role, announced today by the the convention committee, is the latest evidence that Castro and his twin brother, state Rep. Joaquin Castro, are rising stars in the Democratic Party.

Joaquin Castro, who is running to replace retiring Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas), did not face a runoff today and is likely headed to Congress next year.

“Having both the First Lady and Mayor Castro speak on the opening night of our convention will bring together two incredible leaders whose life stories both embody the promise of America, that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can make it,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the convention chairman.

Presidential Campaigns Launch New Apps

Want to be the first to know who Mitt Romney chooses as his vice presidential running mate? Starting today, there’s an app for that.

Want to get the details on volunteer opportunities for President Barack Obama’s campaign? There’s an app for that, too. Full story

New York: GOP Poll Shows Chris Gibson Ahead by Double Digits

New York: GOP Poll Shows Chris Gibson Ahead by Double Digits

Rep. Chris Gibson is one of several New York freshmen who are vulnerable. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Freshman Republican Rep. Chris Gibson led Democrat Julian Schreibman by 17 points in the reconfigured 19th district in upstate New York, according to a new GOP poll. Gibson got 53 percent to Schreibman’s 36 percent, with 10 percent of likely voters undecided about the race.

A memo about the poll, conducted by respected Republican firm Public Opinion Strategies and obtained by Roll Call, also found the GOP leading the generic Congressional ballot. Full story

July 30, 2012

California Poll: Brian Bilbray, Scott Peters Tied in 52nd District

California Poll: Brian Bilbray, Scott Peters Tied in 52nd District

Rep. Brian Bilbray tied with his Democratic opponent for California's 52nd district in a recent poll. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll conducted for San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters found the Democrat tied with Rep. Brian Bilbray (R) in the 52nd district.

Peters and Bilbray both took 40 percent, including those only leaning toward either candidate, with 19 percent undecided. This is a top pickup opportunity for Democrats, who need to capitalize in California for a chance at the House majority.

Both parties’ House campaign committees have reserved about $1.6 million in fall TV time in San Diego. Full story

Arizona: Martha McSally in D.C. for NRCC Candidate School

Arizona: Martha McSally in D.C. for NRCC Candidate School

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally posted on her Facebook page over the weekend that “the entire AZ Republican Congressional delegation will host a meet and greet” for her Wednesday evening. She added that her campaign’s goal is to raise “another $315k” by Sept. 1.

“I arrived this evening in D.C for four days … [National Republican Congressional Committee] candidate school plus meetings with many people, members of Congress, and organizations,” she also wrote.

McSally is the presumptive GOP nominee to challenge Rep. Ron Barber (D) in the fall in the race for the new 2nd district.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Democratic.

Michigan: Nancy Cassis Will Not Support Kerry Bentivolio if He Is Nominee

NOVI, Mich. — Former state Sen. Nancy Cassis will not support her primary opponent if he wins the 11th district Republican nomination next week.

“Not after what I’ve seen,” she told Roll Call over a late breakfast at Big Boy restaurant last week. “I couldn’t in good conscience.”

Cassis is running a write-in campaign to defeat Kerry Bentivolio, an Iraq veteran and reindeer rancher who is the only Republican on the Aug. 7 primary ballot. They are running in the 11th district in the suburbs and exurbs west of Detroit.

Former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R) prompted the divisive primary earlier this summer when he filed faulty ballot petitions and did not have enough signatures to make the ballot. A few weeks later, McCotter resigned from Congress. Full story

Breaking: Steven LaTourette Won’t Seek Re-Election

Breaking: Steven LaTourette Wont Seek Re Election

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 7:25 p.m. | Nine-term Ohio Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette will not run for re-election in November, a Republican source confirmed to Roll Call.

The news, which came as a surprise to political observers from Washington, D.C., to Ohio, was first reported by the Columbus Dispatch. The report said he was leaving over a dispute about future committee assignments. LaTourette is considered a close confidant of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

LaTourette is expected to make his retirement announcement Tuesday at a 10 a.m. press conference at his district office in Painsville. A GOP source said the Congressman will have the option to not submit his official letter of retirement to Ohio’s governor until after Aug. 8. That would avoid having another primary and allow the GOP replacement nominee to be chosen by a group of party officials from each county in the district.

LaTourette’s reconfigured 14th district slightly leans Republican, and the seat could be in play this fall depending on the strength of the candidate who replaces him on the ballot. Ohio’s primary was in March and therefore party nominee have already been set. The Democratic nominee in the district is Dale Blanchard, who does not appear to have filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Texas: Dueling Final Polls in Senate Runoff

Texas: Dueling Final Polls in Senate Runoff

Supporters of Ted Cruz remained confident heading into Tuesday's Texas Senate runoff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Come Wednesday morning, at least one pollster will have some explaining to do about final numbers heading into Tuesday’s Texas Senate runoff.  That’s because the last surveys released over the weekend showed both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz ahead.

A Dewhurst poll conducted last week showed him ahead of Cruz by 5 points. Then Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, released an automated survey that showed Cruz up by 10 points.

Cruz has steadily built momentum since the late May primary, and most observers of the race believe he will win — probably by a comfortable margin. Sources in the Cruz camp were confident going into the weekend, saying their polling has held steady since Roll Call obtained a late June internal survey that showed Cruz in the lead.

Full story

North Carolina: GOP Poll Shows Mike McIntyre With Small Lead, Well Under 50 Percent

North Carolina: GOP Poll Shows Mike McIntyre With Small Lead, Well Under 50 Percent

Rep. Mike McIntyre (left) is among the most vulnerable House Democrats this cycle. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable North Carolina Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) had a slight edge over state Sen. David Rouzer, his Republican opponent, according to a new poll conducted by the Rouzer campaign.

In a matchup among likely voters in the reconfigured 7th district, McIntyre pulled 44 percent to Rouzer’s 40 percent. Fifteen percent were undecided.

Redistricting made the 7th significantly more favorable to Republicans and made McIntyre one of the more vulnerable incumbents in the House. Full story

Missouri: McCaskill Trails All Republicans in Latest Poll

Missouri: McCaskill Trails All Republicans in Latest Poll

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is just that, according to a new poll released this weekend by two Missouri media outlets.

In horserace matchups, McCaskill trailed all three of her serious Republican primary opponents.

Businessman John Brunner, who has put millions of his own money into the race, did the best against McCaskill, garnering 52 percent to the Senator’s 41 percent. Former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman pulled 49 percent to McCaskill’s 41 percent. And Rep. Todd Akin got 49 percent to McCaskill’s 44 percent. Full story

July 27, 2012

North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp Leads Rick Berg in Poll

North Dakota: Heidi Heitkamp Leads Rick Berg in Poll

A new Democratic poll shows Rep. Rick Berg (R) trailing former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D). (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) led Rep. Rick Berg (R) 50 percent to 44 percent in a Senate race poll conducted for the North Dakota Democratic Party. Full story

Wisconsin: Kelda Helen Roys and Mark Pocan Exchange Criticism Over Ad

Wisconsin Assemblyman Mark Pocan (D) changed tactics in his race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in Wisconsin’s second district, launching a new television ad that defends his record and seeks to discredit criticism leveled by his primary opponent.

State Assemblywoman Kelda Helen Roys (D) wasted little time before responding. Her campaign called the spot as a “false, negative attack ad” that went against Pocan’s promise to run a clean campaign. Pocan had previously devoted his television advertising time to highlighting his accomplishments.

“He’s been telling voters that he was going to run a clean campaign and he caved,” said Roys campaign manager Rick Coelho. “It fits in with our core message that he caves when the going gets tough.”

The Pocan campaign said that it stands by the ad and responded to the Roys campaign in a statement to Roll Call.

“Our ad speaks for itself. Mark is running a positive campaign about providing real results to Wisconsinites,” said campaign manager Dan McNally in the statement. “We hope it sets the record straight after Rep. Roys’ attacks on his strong record as an effective progressive.”

Full story

Texas: Dewhurst, Cruz Launch Final Push in Senate Race

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are playing to their strengths in the final stretch before Tuesday’s GOP Senate runoff.

According to recently filed Federal Election Commission reports, Dewhurst has loaned his campaign an additional $8 million since his pre-runoff report. That brings his loan total to $24.5 million, according to the Houston Chronicle. Dewhurst’s personal fortune was always his greatest strength and he has proven willing to spend generously.

Part of that money will go toward a new television ad featuring Gov. Rick Perry (R).

Full story

100 Days From Election Day: Not What it Used to Be

100 Days From Election Day: Not What it Used to Be

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Nov. 6 elections will be just 100 days away.

But that milestone has become something of a misnomer in an era when two states conduct elections strictly through the mail, voters increasingly vote absentee and many states allow early in-person voting that continues to grow in popularity.

As a country, we’ll collectively be glued to our television screens (or mobile devices) on the evening of Election Day to find out who won the White House and the battle for Congress. But to a significant degree, the outcome could be decided long before then, particularly in a few of the states that really matter.

Full story

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