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

August 3, 2012

West Virginia: Nick Rahall Way Up in Democratic Poll

West Virginia: Nick Rahall Way Up in Democratic Poll

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

Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) led his Republican challenger, state Del. Rick Snuffer, by 28 points in a new Democratic poll.

In a horse-race matchup, Rahall, seeking his 19th term in the House, pulled 62 percent to Snuffer’s 34 percent. According to a polling memo released by Democratic firm Anzalone Liszt Research, which conducted the survey, ”Rahall leads every gender, age, and geographic subgroup — including men and women, Independents, and in the Charleston/Huntingdon and the Bluefield/Beckley media markets.”

The poll found 64 percent of likely voters in the 3rd district had a favorable view of Rahall, while 30 percent had an unfavorable view of him. Snuffer’s favorable/unfavorable numbers were not released.

Full story

August 2, 2012

House Majority PAC Makes More TV Reservations

The House Majority PAC, a super PAC created to support Democrats in House races, announced today that it has made $2.5 million more in television purchases for the fall campaign.

The advertising targets Republican incumbents and bolsters Democratic candidates. GOP Members in the markets include: Reps. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Brian Bilbray (Calif.) and Francisco “Quico” Canseco (Texas).

  • Palm Springs, Calif.: $285,000
  • Rochester, N.Y: $255,000
  • San Antonio: $415,00
  • San Diego: $1.2 million
  • Syracuse, N.Y.: $175,000

These buys are in addition to a previous announcement of $16 million in reservations.

Tennessee: Chuck Fleischmann Wins Primary

Tennessee: Chuck Fleischmann Wins Primary

CQ Roll Call File Photo

Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann won his contested primary tonight, dispatching dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield and 25-year-old Weston Wamp.

With 100 percent of precincts in the 3rd district reporting, Fleischmann got 39.1 percent to Mayfield’s 31 percent and Wamp’s 28.7 percent, according to the Associated Press.

The race presented some significant challenges for Fleischmann, a freshman. A lot of the redrawn seat was new turf to him, and both his opponents started with names that were familiar to voters. Mayfield was the longtime spokesman and CEO of a popular milk and ice cream company. Wamp is the son of former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), Fleischmann’s predecessor.

Mitt Romney’s Camp Dismisses Tax Analysis, Dings Jim Messina

Mitt Romneys Camp Dismisses Tax Analysis, Dings Jim Messina

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney’s campaign ripped a tax analysis that found his proposals would raise taxes on the middle class as “a joke” on a conference call with reporters today, while also suggesting that President Barack Obama’s campaign chief broke the law while he was a White House aide.

Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom dismissed the study by the Tax Policy Center, questioning its authorship and its methodology. But the campaign didn’t release new details of Romney’s plan to defend against the analysis, suggesting instead that the study failed to properly take into account the dynamic effects on the economy from lowering tax rates. A campaign aide said on the call that Romney’s tax proposal is a set of “parameters” that would guide the writing of a tax reform bill in the future, instead of a fully fleshed out plan. Full story

California: GOP Poll Finds 9th District Race a Dead Heat

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.) and his Republican challenger, Ricky Gill, are in a dead heat in the 9th district, according to a poll conducted for Gill and the National Republican Congressional Committee. Full story

August 1, 2012

Michigan: Rick Santorum Endorses Pete Hoekstra in Senate Race

Michigan: Rick Santorum Endorses Pete Hoekstra in Senate Race

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) on Wednesday backed former Rep. Pete Hoekstra in his bid against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D).

Santorum’s endorsement comes a few days before Michigan’s Republican Senate primary, which is set for Tuesday. Hoekstra’s main competition in that race is charter schools executive Clark Durant. Republicans expect Hoekstra to win the nomination, but Durant has garnered endorsements from several nationally recognized conservatives, including Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).

“It is clear that the people of Michigan have tremendous choices in the Republican primary that [would all] be superior to Debbie Stabenow, but there is only one candidate with a proven track record of conservative leadership,” Santorum said. “That is Congressman Pete Hoekstra.”

The winner of the GOP primary has a tough battle ahead. Roll Call rates this Senate race as Likely Democratic.

California: Jerry McNerney Leads Ricky Gill by 16 Points in Own Poll

California: Jerry McNerney Leads Ricky Gill by 16 Points in Own Poll

A poll conducted for Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney found him comfortably ahead of his GOP challenger in his California district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A poll conducted for Rep. Jerry McNerney found the Democrat ahead of his Republican challenger, Ricky Gill, 49 percent to 33 percent.

McNerney led Gill by 24 points among “decline to state” voters, according to the polling memo from Lake Research Partners. The firm conducted the poll of 504 likely voters from July 8-11, and it had a 4.4-point margin of error. Its sample included 45 percent Democrats, 38 percent Republicans and 18 percent DTS or other voters.

This is one of a number of competitive races in California this cycle. Roll Call rates it as Leans Democratic.

Rhode Island: David Cicilline Goes Up With First TV Ad

Rep. David Cicilline (D) went on the air with a positive TV ad that stresses his office’s work in constituent services.

The buy is at least five figures and will be on broadcast television during the Olympics.

Full story

Arizona: Ron Barber Up Over Martha McSally in Internal Poll

Arizona: Ron Barber Up Over Martha McSally in Internal Poll

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

An internal poll that Rep. Ron Barber’s (D-Ariz.) campaign released today showed the incumbent has a solid lead over retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally as they head into the fall election.

Barber has the support of 53 percent of respondents, while 40 percent said they backed McSally. Both are their parties’ likely nominees.

Full story

New York: DCCC Poll Has Bill Owens Up 12 Points Over Matt Doheny

Updated, 6:25 p.m. A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee found vulnerable Rep. Bill Owens (D) ahead of Republican Matt Doheny by 12 points in a horse-race matchup.

In a head-to-head ballot test in the newly configured 21st district, Owens got 50 percent to Doheny’s 38 percent. Green Party candidate Donald Hassig pulled 4 percent, while 8 percent were undecided.

Redistricting did no favors for Owens, who won in 2010 against Doheny and a third candidate with only 48 percent of the vote. The partisan tilt of the upstate district remained about the same: tossup territory. Full story

DSCC Chairwoman Patty Murray Confident, Won’t Provide Odds

DSCC Chairwoman Patty Murray Confident, Wont Provide Odds

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) expressed confidence in her party’s ability to hold the majority this fall, but also bemoaned the influence of outside of money in Senate campaigns.

“Despite the difficult and very tough map and despite the fact that everybody wrote off our chances when I took on this task almost two years ago, we are doing really great and I feel confident going into the election,” Murray told reporters this morning. “The only thing that stands between me and a long good night of sleep is the outside money that is coming from Karl Rove and the right-wing billionaires that are funding these races and campaigns across the country.”

Full story

July 31, 2012

Georgia: Ninth District Race Heads to Runoff

Updated 11:56 p.m. | The Republican primary is not over in a key Congressional race in Georgia.

In the new ultra-Republican 9th district, neither radio talk-show host Martha Zoller or state Rep. Doug Collins came close to the 50 percent necessary to avoid a runoff in a three-way race.

With 90.6 percent of precincts reporting, Collins had 41.9 percent, Zoller had 41.3 percent and retired educator Roger Fitzpatrick was a distant third with 16.9 percent.

With support from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), Zoller cast herself as the insurgent candidate against Collins, who is close with Gov. Nathan Deal and the Atlanta Republican establishment.

Even though Zoller was a terrible fundraiser, insiders believe she was boosted by her longtime presence on airwaves in the district. Her radio show was broadcast to most of what became the 9th district, anchored in Hall County in northeastern Georgia.

The winner of the Republican primary is widely expected to be elected in November, given the deep red hue of the district.

The primary runoff will be held Aug. 21.

Updated 11:56 p.m.

State Rep. Lee Anderson and businessman Rick Allen are headed for an Aug. 21 GOP runoff to see who will take on vulnerable Rep. John Barrow (D) in the reconfigured 12th district.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Anderson had 34.2 percent, followed by Allen with 25.7 percent. Attorney and retired Navy fighter pilot Wright McLeod came in third with 24.8 percent and attorney Maria Sheffield got 15.3 percent.

Anderson was likely helped by his base and his name ID as an elected official.

It’s unclear who has the edge in the runoff.

Roll Call rates the general election race as a Tossup.

Minnesota: Mark Dayton Endorses Rick Nolan in 8th District

Gov. Mark Dayton (D) endorsed former Rep. Rick Nolan (D) in his comeback bid in the 8th district.

“I am proud to endorse and I enthusiastically support Rick Nolan for Congress,” Dayton said in a statement. “We need more than a ‘good vote’ in a Congress. We need a proven leader who can get past the partisan gridlock and get things done.”

Nolan is engaged in a spirited primary with former state Sen. Tarryl Clark. The winner will face Rep. Chip Cravaack (R) in the fall. Clark picked up an endorsement from President Bill Clinton last week.

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

Ohio: Steven LaTourette Jolts GOP; Democrats Are Hopeful

Ohio: Steven LaTourette Jolts GOP; Democrats Are Hopeful

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Both parties scrambled Tuesday to assess their prospects in the 14th district in the wake of Rep. Steven LaTourette’s surprise retirement.

With the GOP Congressman’s decision to delay his retirement long enough to avoid a special primary, Republicans were confident that they could choose a successor capable of holding the moderately GOP-leaning district in November.

But Ohio Democrats are moving to replace their nominee, Dale Blanchard, with a top-tier contender, and whether they’re successful could determine their ability to put this winnable seat in play.

The district’s county GOP chairmen are expected to select a ballot replacement. If LaTourette’s retirement is official on or just after Aug. 8, county GOP leaders would have until the middle of this month to make their choice. Full story

Texas: House Runoff Roundup

Updated 12:07 a.m.| Next to the Senate GOP runoff, the most closely watched race in Texas was the Democratic runoff over who would challenge Rep. Francisco “Quico” Canseco (R) in the fall.

State Rep. Pete Gallego defeated former Rep. Ciro Rodriguez in the Democratic runoff for the Texas 23. The Associated Press called the race with 84 percent of precincts reporting, as Gallego had 53.6 percent.

It is an enormous relief to national Democrats. While Rodriguez is personally popular, Democrats were concerned about his ability to run a serious campaign in the fall. Democrats said they were prepared to invest in the race but acknowledged it would have been a drain on resources that could be deployed elsewhere.

Gallego ran a flawed campaign in the primary. He brought in new team early in the runoff. The move worked.

Democratic Races

  • Texas 33: State Rep. Marc Veasey defeated former state Rep. Domingo Garcia. Veasey will almost certainly be coming to Congress in November.
  • Texas 34: Attorney Filemon Vela defeated former Congressional staffer Denise Blanchard. Filemon will most likely be coming to Congress in the fall.

Republican Races

  • Texas 14: State Rep. Randy Weber defeated Pearland City Councilwoman Felicia Harris. Weber will face former Rep. Nick Lampson (D) in the fall. Roll Call rates that race as Likely Republican.
  • Texas 25: Former Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams defeated tea party candidate Wes Riddle. Williams will most likely be coming to Congress in the fall.
  • Texas 36: Former Rep. Steve Stockman appeared to defeat financial adviser Stephen Takach. With 74 percent of precincts reporting, Stockman had 55 percent, indicating that he will most likely be returning to Congress in the fall.

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