Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 18, 2014

September 17, 2012

DSCC, NRSC Fuel Battle for Indiana Senate Seat

The Hoosier State officially became a Senate battleground last week as both parties dropped six-figure ad buys into the race.

During the weekend, the National Republican Senatorial Committee bought $650,000 worth of airtime for a week-long buy to boost its nominee, state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Roll Call confirmed.

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September 16, 2012

Nancy Pelosi Maintains House in Play

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an interview that aired this morning pushed back  against the growing consensus that Democrats have a difficult path ahead to win back control of the House of Representatives.

“So we have the message, we have the messengers, we have the money, we have the mobilization,” Pelosi said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have a very excellent chance to take back the House.”

Democrats need 25 seats to gain control of the House.

Anchor Candy Crowley asked Pelosi if she agreed with a recent Roll Call story that stated that Democratic House chances are “theoretically possible but unlikely.”

“No. I think that, first of all, I don’t know what the source of that is,” Pelosi said. “But I do know what the source of our confidence is, and that’s the quality of our candidates. They’re just great, the fact that they are strong in terms of their grassroots mobilization and their resource raising and the rest.”

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September 14, 2012

South Dakota: Mike Rounds Explores 2014 Senate Bid

Former Gov. Mike Rounds (R) is making moves to challenge Sen. Tim Johnson (D) in 2014.

Even though there are 53 days to go before Election Day, Rounds opened an exploratory committee to examine a Senate race more than two years away, according to the Argus Leader.

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September 13, 2012

Mitt Romney Pitches for NRCC

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney tonight pitched National Republican Congressional Committee supporters to give to the campaign committee and help the GOP keep control of the House.

Blaming President Barack Obama and his “liberal allies” for pushing the country “backward,” Romney asked for supporters to donate “$10 or more” in an email titled “Cleaning House.” Full story

Democrats Claim Advantage in House Races

Democrats Claim Advantage in House Races

(Bill Clark CQ/Roll Call File Photo)

Medicare. Medicare. Medicare.

Despite the steep uphill battle Democrats have in taking back the House, in a briefing today with reporters, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) was bullish about his party’s chances for winning the chamber.

And you can probably guess why.

“Paul Ryan has become a downballot disaster for Republicans across the country,” he said in a pen-and-pad briefing with the Washington, D.C., press corps at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

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Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

Kentucky: Mitch McConnell Hires Jesse Benton as 2014 Campaign Manager

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) today announced he has hired Jesse Benton to manage his 2014 campaign.

Benton, who has deep ties to the tea party movement in Kentucky and around the country, led Rep. Ron Paul’s (R-Texas) White House bid and managed now-Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) general election campaign in 2010.

If McConnell accrues any political vulnerability on his right flank in Kentucky — and Bluegrass State GOP political operatives believe he doesn’t have much right now — having Benton as his top campaign aide is likely to help significantly reduce the threat of a serious primary challenge. But the move does more than just help in the primary. Full story

September 12, 2012

Nebraska: Deb Fischer, Bob Kerrey Commit to Third Debate

State Sen. Deb Fischer (R) and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D) have agreed to a third debate, according to the Associated Press.

The debate will take place on Oct. 1 and will air statewide on public television, radio and online.

The pair have squared off once before. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce will host the second debate on Sept. 28 in Omaha; it will be broadcast on an affiliate the following Sunday.

Roll Call rates this race as Likely Republican.

North Carolina: GOP Super PAC Boosts Anti-McIntyre Ad Buy

The Republican-aligned YG Action Fund, a super PAC formed by former aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), boosted its TV advertising against Rep. Mike McIntyre (D) on Tuesday by almost $200,000.

The group now has $734,000 backing its TV spot in the Raleigh-Durham media market from Sept. 7 through Oct. 12.

The current spot — and others could be rotated in — is entitled “Two Mikes.”

Full story

New Jersey: Shelley Adler Pokes Fun at Jon Runyan

Attorney Shelley Adler (D) has put up an off-beat television ad poking fun at Rep. Jon Runyan’s (R) past as a professional football player. Adler is looking to unseat Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd district.

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California: Scott Peters Launches First TV Ad

In a top pickup opportunity for Democrats in California, San Diego Port Commissioner Scott Peters (D) launched the first television ad of his bid to defeat Rep. Brian Bilbray (R).

The clever ad features young children sitting around a boardroom table arguing, screaming and pounding their fists. Full story

Pennsylvania: Mark Critz Airs First Spot Against Keith Rothfus

Rep. Mark Critz (D) hit the airwaves for the first time today in his heavily targeted race to fend off a challenge from attorney Keith Rothfus (R).

The spot focuses on Critz’ conservative credentials, highlighting his opposition to President Barack Obama’s energy policies.

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Pennsylvania: Mike Fitzpatrick Airs First TV Spot

Updated | 2:06 p.m. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) will air his first television advertisement of the general election today against his opponent, attorney Kathy Boockvar (D).

Fitzpatrick’s first spot focuses on his daughters.

“As parents, my wife and I worked to give our kids a strong future,” Fitzpatrick says. “But if our country doesn’t change course, our kids won’t have the same opportunities we had.”

Full story

Massachusetts: John Tierney Ahead by 12 Points in Independent Poll

Massachusetts: John Tierney Ahead by 12 Points in Independent Poll

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. John Tierney (D-Mass.) led his Republican challenger, former state Sen. Richard Tisei, by 12 points in a new independent poll. But Tierney, who has suffered politically from revelations about his wife’s family’s gambling ring, is burdened with some significant weaknesses, the survey showed.

Tierney got 46 percent compared with Tisei’s 34 percent in the WBUR poll of likely voters that included leaners conducted by the MassINC Polling Group. Eleven percent were undecided, and 7 percent said they would vote for the Libertarian candidate.

When leaners were not included, Tierney’s lead over Tisei was 7 points.

But red flags abounded for the eight-term Congressman in this poll. Only 35 percent of those polled had a favorable opinion of him — a low number for a longtime Member — while 30 percent had an unfavorable view. Twenty-one percent had heard of him but were undecided, and 10 percent had never heard of him. Full story

House Majority PAC Hits Six Districts With Negative Ads

A Democratic super PAC will blitz six House districts with $2.2 million worth of television advertisements starting today.

House Majority PAC’s buy targets competitive races in California, Iowa, North Carolina, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin with tailored spots for each race.

The spending spree marks this super PAC’s largest flight of advertisements yet in the 2012 cycle. Most importantly for Democrats, the spots will help the party stay competitive on the air in races where Republicans already reserved a significant amount of ad space.

Full story

September 11, 2012

Oklahoma: Markwayne Mullin Treated for Tear in Esophagus

Plumbing company owner Markwayne Mullin made an unexpected trip to the hospital over the weekend to treat “a small tear” in his esophagus, according to the 2nd district GOP nominee’s Facebook page.

“I’m feeling much better now and the Doctors and Nurses are doing a great job,” Mullin wrote on Sunday. “I’ll be in the hospital until about the end of the week as they keep an eye on me but then I’ll be back on the campaign trail.”

Mullin faces former Assistant District Attorney Rob Wallace (D) in an open-seat race generated by Rep. Dan Boren’s (D) retirement.

Mullin is favored to win the seat despite his brief break from the campaign trail.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican.

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