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

July 16, 2012

Maine: Democratic Poll Shows Mike Michaud Way Up

Maine: Democratic Poll Shows Mike Michaud Way Up

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll from Maine Rep. Mike Michaud (D) shows him leading his GOP challenger, state Senate President Kevin Raye, by 32 points. In a horse-race matchup among likely voters, Michaud led Raye 62 percent to 30 percent, with 8 percent of those polled undecided.

In a polling memo from Democratic firm Normington, Petts & Associates, which conducted the survey for Michaud, pollster Jill Normington noted that Michaud is well-liked. Fifty-one percent of those polled had a favorable impression of Michaud, while only 21 percent had saw him unfavorably.

The Raye campaign knocked the release of the poll.

“It appears as though the Michaud campaign needs a little comic relief,” said Raye adviser Kathie Summers-Grice. “Any time Mike has a bad fundraising quarter, it’s duck and deflect and let’s throw something out there.” Full story

Florida: Connie Mack IV Beefs Up Fundraising Team

Florida: Connie Mack IV Beefs Up Fundraising Team

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Connie Mack IV (R) has hired veteran Washington, D.C., fundraisers in an effort to bolster his Senate prospects, hoping to capitalize on recent polls that have shown him running competitive with Sen. Bill Nelson (D).

According to Republican sources, Mack, at the urging of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has hired well-known fundraiser Jim McCray to handle his national fundraising and has brought on Michael Gula and Jonathan Graham of Gula Graham to handle his political action committee fundraising. Among its other Congressional clients, the Gula Graham Group has long been been retained by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to run his PAC fundraising. McCray, meanwhile, has worked on multiple GOP presidential campaigns. Full story

Wisconsin: Tommy Thompson Outraises Mark Neumann

Updated 3:30 p.m. | Former Gov. Tommy Thompson outraised his competitors for the Republican nomination for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat with an $834,000 haul. Former Rep. Mark Neumann raised $733,000 and businessman Eric Hovde took in $237,000.

Despite Thompson’s apparent financial advantage, Neumann and Hovde have assets that are not clear from the total raised. Hovde is independently wealthy and has spent millions of his own money on his campaign. Neumann, who is set to up his investment on television advertising, has the backing of outsiders such as the Club for Growth, which has spent heavily to support him.

Full story

Michigan: Nancy Cassis Banks Second Congressional Endorsement

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) backed former state Sen. Nancy Cassis (R) in the 11th district Monday, marking the write-in candidate’s second Congressional endorsement.

Cassis faces an uphill climb to defeat reindeer rancher Kerry Bentivolio, the only Republican on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

Full story

Pennsylvania: Democratic Poll Shows Mark Critz With Single-Digit Lead

Pennsylvania: Democratic Poll Shows Mark Critz With Single Digit Lead

A new Democratic poll shows Rep. Mark Critz with a slim lead over his GOP opponent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new Democratic poll showed Rep. Mark Critz (D) leading his GOP opponent, attorney Keith Rothfus, by a slim 6-point margin in the competitive southwestern Pennsylvania district.

Critz led Rothfus, 44 percent to 38 percent, in the survey conducted for House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, and the SEIU.

Republicans plan to target the elusive 12th district after several unsuccessful attempts to pick it up in recent years. Last year, Keystone State GOP officials redrew the Congressional boundaries and made Critz’s district more conservative.

This survey marks the second Democratic poll showing Critz ahead since the April primary. The Critz campaign released its own poll from mid-June showing the Congressman with a 10-point lead.

Benenson Strategy Group conducted the House Majority PAC and SEIU poll of 400 likely general election voters from July 9 to 11. The survey had a margin of error of 4.9 points.

Roll Call rates this race as a Tossup.

Sheldon Adelson Gives $5 Million to YG Action Super PAC

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson gave $5 million to YG Action Fund, a super PAC run by two former top aides to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

The donation helped YG Action Fund achieve its best fundraising quarter since opening shop last year. The super PAC raised just more than $5.3 million from April through June.

The money came just in time for the group to spend more than $500,000 to boost Richard Hudson, a former House chief of staff, in the runoff for North Carolina’s 8th district on Tuesday. Full story

July 14, 2012

Rhode Island: Gemma Draws Ire of Fellow Dems in Race Against Cicilline

Updated 4:16 p.m. | Businessman and Congressional Democratic candidate Anthony Gemma has asserted that he will support fellow Democrats Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse and Rep. James Langevin, according to The Providence Journal.

“‘He is planning to vote for Senator Whitehouse’ and will back Langevin, too, said Gemma spokesman Alex Morash,” writes The Journal.

Gemma, appeared on The Buddy Cianci radio show and lashed out at those in the Rhode Island Democratic establishment who have chosen to support Cicilline over him. The exchange begins around 5:45 here.

“I’m going to be honest with you … I’m frustrated with Sen. [Sheldon] Whitehouse, that he has not stepped up and done what’s right for me, and his constituents are telling him in droves that I am the right candidate and know it for a fact,” he said.

Full story

July 13, 2012

Arizona: John McCain to Endorse Ben Quayle

Arizona: John McCain to Endorse Ben Quayle

Rep. Ben Quayle (above) will get the endorsement of Sen. John McCain in his primary against a fellow Republican Member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. John McCain has informed Rep. David Schweikert that he will endorse Rep. Ben Quayle in their Member-versus-Member Republican primary in Arizona, according to a Schweikert source.

Schweikert did not seek McCain’s endorsement. Those in the Schweikert camp are under the impression that Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) helped facilitate the endorsement. The Hotline first reported the news.

Full story

Wisconsin: Hovde, Thompson Respond To Criticism With New Ads

A busy week in Wisconsin’s GOP primary for the state’s open Senate seat concluded with new defensive ads from former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson’s ad counters allegations that he supported President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law, while Hovde attacks former Rep. Mark Neumann, another GOP candidate, on fiscal issues.

The conservative Club for Growth unveiled an ad earlier today that attacked both Hovde and Thompson as part of a nearly $600,000 broadcast and cable buy in the Badger State. The group endorsed Neumann last September.

Thompson’s ad pushes back on claims that the former governor once supported the Affordable Care Act, an allegation that has been perpetuated by the Club for Growth and others. The ad, which a GOP operative said is part of a more than $125,000 buy, shows Thompson wearing a leather jacket while riding a motorcycle through a rural area.

Full story

Arizona: Jon Kyl, John McCain Endorse Jeff Flake

Arizona: Jon Kyl, John McCain Endorse Jeff Flake

Sen. John McCain threw his support behind Rep. Jeff Flake, who is running to join McCain in the Senate next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jeff Flake got about as big of a boost as one can get in Arizona Republican politics. In Phoenix today, GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain endorsed the six-term Congressman, who finds himself in an unexpectedly competitive primary in his bid for Senate.

Kyl, the retiring Senate Minority Whip whose seat Flake is seeking, has particular credibility with Arizona conservatives and his endorsement could be helpful. McCain’s backing could also be useful — he easily won re-election in 2010 after trouncing former Rep. J.D. Hayworth in the GOP primary.

“It’s been a tremendous honor serving Arizona in the United States Senate. It’s important to me that my successor listen to the citizens of Arizona and work hard on their behalf,” Kyl said in a statement. “My choice is Jeff Flake. Jeff is an honest, thoughtful conservative, and he’s already proven that he is an effective reformer. Jeff will fight for what’s right.”

“It’s not easy for one man to make a difference in Washington, but Jeff Flake has,” McCain added. “Jeff stood up to congressional leaders in the House when they were spending too much. They tried to punish and silence him, but Jeff Flake persisted. Eventually, they came around to his way of thinking, and there are no more earmarks in Congress.”

Full story

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Hits Tommy Thomspon, Eric Hovde in New Ad

The Club for Growth launched a large broadcast and cable ad buy today throughout Wisconsin targeting current GOP Senate primary frontrunners former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

By taking on both frontrunners, the club reaffirmed its support for former Rep. Mark Neumann, despite his low numbers in recent polls. Many observers have said that dividing support among Thompson’s various challengers would only elevate the former governor above the fray of other candidates.

Full story

Hawaii: Fundraising, Dueling Polls in Senate Race

In their potential showdown for the Hawaii’s open Senate seat, Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) and former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) have in the last two days announced their second-quarter fundraising and released dueling polls.

Lingle raised more than $1.1 million in the second quarter, outpacing Hirono, who brought in $941,000 from April to June and had $2 million in cash on hand as of June 30. Lingle did not release her cash-on-hand total. Full story

July 12, 2012

Harry Reid: Shelley Berkley Will Be Fine

Harry Reid: Shelley Berkley Will Be Fine

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (second from left) continued to assert his confidence in Rep. Shelley Berkley's (left) Senate campaign, despite an ethics investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reiterated on Thursday that he is unconcerned about the viability of the Senate candidacy of Rep. Shelley Berkley, despite the Ethics Committee launching a formal investigation of his fellow Nevada Democrat.

“Frankly, I think it’s good that this is all coming out in the open,” Reid said of the investigation while on a conference call with reporters. Full story

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Florida: Sandy Adams Gets Sarah Palin Nod

Sarah Palin made her first House endorsement of 2012 today in a Member versus Member race. (Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)

Sarah Palin today endorsed Florida Republican Rep. Sandy Adams in her Member-vs.-Member GOP primary brawl with 10-term Rep. John Mica. It is the former vice presidential candidate’s first House endorsement this cycle.

Adams, a freshman, has strong tea party support in the Sunshine State’s 7th district, a seat north of Orlando where both Members are running as a result of redistricting. Mica, the chairman of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has locked up a solid chunk of establishment backing.

The former Alaska governor’s endorsement goes a few steps beyond a boilerplate statement and knocks Mica. Full story

Maryland: Redistricting Map Critics Meet Referendum Threshold

Maryland’s controversial redistricting map will be put to the voters in a referendum this fall.

Enough signatures were validated Wednesday afternoon to meet the legal threshold of about 56,000 signatures to put the map on the ballot when voters go to the polls in November, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. The referendum awaits official certification from the board and that process is not complete.

If the referendum is certified by the board, it is uncertain what will happen if voters strike down the new Congressional boundaries map. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) told the Baltimore Sun that even if voters overturn the map, he would send a new one to the Legislature with only “marginal” changes.

The map was considered one of the ugliest in the country. Democrats and Republicans alike howled over the boundaries after its October release. The most common derogatory description for the new lines was “Rorschach test.” Roll Call rated Rep. John Sarbanes’ (D) 3rd district as one of the five ugliest districts in the country.

But it is the 6th that was affected the most politically. Maryland Democrats went into redistricting with the intent of picking up another seat in the delegation, and they likely will accomplish that goal in the fall elections. Lawmakers redrew Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s district (R) so dramatically that his once-safe seat now favors the  Democrats.

Even Democrats critics of the overall map emerged, most notably Rep. Donna Edwards. But it was Republican state Del. Neil Parrott who led the referendum effort.

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