Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

August 21, 2012

Georgia: Doug Collins Wins House Race, Likely Headed to Congress

Georgia: Doug Collins Wins House Race, Likely Headed to Congress

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:32 p.m. | State Rep. Doug Collins won the GOP runoff today in Georgia’s 9th district and is almost certain to be coming to Congress from the ultra-Republican seat in the northeast portion of the state. Close with Gov. Nathan Deal (R) and backed by the Atlanta Republican establishment, Collins easily won the runoff, besting conservative talk radio host Martha Zoller by almost 10 points.

With 98.1 percent of precincts reporting, Collins had 54.6 percent to Zoller’s 45. 4 percent, the Associated Press reported.

With support from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain, Zoller cast herself as the insurgent tea party candidate against Collins, who has establishment roots. Full story

Mitt Romney to Todd Akin: Drop Out of Senate Race

Mitt Romney to Todd Akin: Drop Out of Senate Race

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney today called on Rep. Todd Akin to drop his bid for Senate in the Show-Me State.

“As I said yesterday, Todd Akin’s comments were offensive and wrong and he should very seriously consider what course would be in the best interest of our country,” Romney said in a statement.

“Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race,” Romney said, referring to a joint statement from Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Missouri GOP Sens. Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent.

The pressure from Romney is probably the final twist of the GOP establishment vice trying to squeeze the embattled Congressman from a race that he is no longer seen as able to win after making inflammatory comments about rape. Akin has until 5 p.m. local time today to remove himself from the ballot without penalty.

California: Mark Takano Up by 4 in Internal Poll

In a California House race targeted by both parties, Riverside Community College Board Trustee Mark Takano (D) led by 4 points in a poll conducted for his campaign.

According to a polling memo obtained by Roll Call, the poll, conducted by EMC Research of Oakland, Calif., found Takano ahead of Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione (R), 42 percent to 38 percent, with 20 percent undecided. Tavaglione enjoys a 15-point name identification advantage, 55 percent to 40 percent. Full story

Todd Akin Staying Put, as Top Missouri Republicans Tell Him to Exit

Todd Akin Staying Put, as Top Missouri Republicans Tell Him to Exit

(Christian Gooden/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Associated Press)

Updated 2 p.m. | Rep. Todd Akin said he is staying in the Missouri Senate race despite the national firestorm sparked by his controversial comments about rape and calls from the Republican Party establishment in his own state for him to step aside.

“We are going to continue with this race,” the GOP Congressman told former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in a radio interview this afternoon.

Akin’s decision comes as Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt issued a joint statement with former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and former Sens. Kit Bond, John Danforth and Jim Talent — all Republicans from Missouri — calling on Akin to drop out of the race. Full story

Virginia: Tim Kaine Cites Bipartisan Record in First TV Ad

Updated 2:30 p.m. | Tim Kaine launched the first television ad of his Senate campaign in Virginia today, a positive spot highlighting his record as governor.

The ad is part of the Democrat’s $4.5 million TV time buy placed between now and Election Day. It comes amid a flurry of outside spending — and direct attacks of his record — which his campaign said has already reached $8.5 million worth of advertising against Kaine.

Full story

Pennsylvania: Kathy Boockvar on the Air Against Mike Fitzpatrick

Attorney Kathy Boockvar (D) will start airing advertisements today in her bid to unseat Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R) in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The $38,000 buy will run an introductory, semi-biographical spot this week.

“It’s just common sense — work together, make smart decisions and improve our bottom line,” Boockvar says in the spot. “That’s what I’ve done at work, as a mediator and at home, as a wife and mother. And it’s what I’ll do in Washington.”

Fitzpatrick is seeking re-election in the competitive 8th district. The seat represents Democrats’ best shot to pick up a seat this November in Pennsylvania, although Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

The Congressman has a major financial advantage over Boockvar. He reported $1.2 million in the bank at the end of June, while the Democrat had $421,000 in the bank at the same time.

NRCC Outraised DCCC by $3.5 Million in July

The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by some $3.5 million in July.

The NRCC raised $11.7 million and ended the month with $48.9 million in cash on hand, while the DCCC raised $8.2 million and closed the month with $36.2 million in cash on hand.

Last month, the NRCC topped the DCCC in fundraising. For the cycle to date, the DCCC has maintained the fundraising edge.

August 20, 2012

Missouri: Todd Akin Stands Up Piers Morgan

In the most recent chapter of the bizarre saga surrounding embattled Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Senate GOP nominee ducked out of a prime-time interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, leading the host to dub him “a gutless little twerp.”

Akin had been attempting a restorative media tour today, agreeing to be interviewed earlier by conservatives Mike Huckabee and Sean Hannity. But facing pressure from top GOP leaders, as well as from some of the hosts themselves, the Missouri Republican — who said Sunday that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy — apparently got cold feet.

“Congressman, you have an open invitation to join me in that chair whenever you feel up to it because if you don’t keep your promise to be on the show, then you are what we would call in Britain, a gutless little twerp,” said Morgan, who showed an empty chair throughout his program. Full story

Indiana: Senate Majority PAC Boosts Joe Donnelly With $500K Buy

Indiana: Senate Majority PAC Boosts Joe Donnelly With $500K Buy

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A Democratic super PAC is set to swoop into Indiana on Tuesday to boost Rep. Joe Donnelly with a $500,000 ad buy for the increasingly competitive Senate race.

Majority PAC will air this spot targeting Donnelly’s Republican opponent, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, on Social Security:

Full story

Missouri: What Happens if Todd Akin Drops Out

Missouri: What Happens if Todd Akin Drops Out

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If Rep. Todd Akin (R) does drop his Missouri Senate bid within the next 24 hours, as the GOP establishment is pressuring him to do, at least his timing will be impeccable.

Missouri state law allows a nominated candidate to withdraw his or her bid for office by 5 p.m. on the 11th Tuesday before the election which, as it turns out, is tomorrow. If Akin does drop his bid before tomorrow’s deadline, the state’s GOP central committee would pick his replacement.

This statutory fact alone is why Republicans — from National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) — are coalescing around a 24-hour ultimatum. Full story

DSCC Raised $5.8 Million in July

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raised $5.8 million in July, leaving it with $32.4 million in cash on hand as of July 31.

The DSCC has now raised $83.6 million for the cycle, as the committee looks to hold on to the party’s 53-47 Senate majority.

The DSCC outraised the National Republican Senatorial Committee in June, $8 million to $4.5 million. The NRSC has not yet released its July fundraising figures. Reports are due to be filed today.

Missouri: Pressure Builds for Todd Akin to Step Aside

Missouri: Pressure Builds for Todd Akin to Step Aside

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6 p.m. | Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin apologized for his controversial remarks about “legitimate rape” today, as top Republicans ramped up calls for him to step aside as the GOP nominee.

In the clearest sign yet that pressure is being exerted on Akin to leave the race, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) issued a statement saying the Congressman has 24 hours to make a decision on what’s “best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about” and to “carefully consider” his options. A GOP source also confirmed that the NRSC is prepared to pull its $5 million ad reservation if Akin does not drop out of the contest.

“Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible,” Cornyn said. Full story

Republicans Pile On Criticism of Todd Akin’s Rape Comment

Republicans Pile On Criticism of Todd Akins Rape Comment

Sen. Scott Brown (above) called on Rep. Todd Akin to relinquish his Senate nomination after his controversial remarks about rape. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On day two of the media firestorm around Rep. Todd Akin’s (R-Mo.) comments about rape, the Republican Senate nominee is discovering that his harshest critics are not Democrats, but members of his own party.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) was restrained in her criticism of her opponent this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” The incident has breathed new life into her campaign for re-election.

Instead, it is Republicans in tough fall races who are piling on:

Full story

As Conventions Near, More Speakers Unveiled

As Conventions Near, More Speakers Unveiled

(Douglas Graham CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic National Convention Committee today announced additional speakers for next month’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., where President Barack Obama will be renominated.

The speakers include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel; California Attorney General Kamala Harris; Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper; former Democratic National Committee Chairman and Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine; Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick; Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Full story

Florida: Val Demings Goes Up With First TV Spot

Democrat Val Demings, running against freshman GOP Rep. Daniel Webster in Florida’s 10th district, began airing her first television ad today.

The former Orlando police chief introduces voters to her story and frames herself as beyond partisanship in the spot. It’s a compelling story and the right message for a Democrat in the Republican-leaning district, but her chances of coming to Congress remain something of a long shot.

“My mother wore a maid’s uniform so I could go to college and train to wear a police uniform,” Demings says.

Full story

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