- Is Georgia Slipping Away for Democrats?
- Hagan Holds Narrow Lead in North Carolina
- Missouri GOP Official Denounces Voter Registration Efforts
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- FitzGerald Punished Employees Without Valid Licenses
August 14, 2014
Updated: 8:18 p.m. | A state judge denied Rep. Colleen Hanabusa’s request to postpone voting in Hawaii’s Democratic Senate primary, where voters in a couple precincts are scheduled to cast ballots Friday.
Hanabusa filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking that special extended voting hours in two precincts on the Big Island be pushed back further. The make-up date was scheduled by the state Office of Elections after a hurricane shut down the precincts’ polling places Aug. 9, when the rest of the state voted.
Currently the primary race is too close to call, with Hanabusa trailing Sen. Brian Schatz by 1,635 votes. The remaining precincts will decide the outcome.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will hold a retreat in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, this weekend with donors to boost two Democratic Senate campaigns: Rep. Gary Peters’ bid in Michigan and Sen. Al Franken’s re-election in Minnesota.
According to an invitation obtained by CQ Roll Call, the Lake Tahoe Retreat runs from Aug. 15 through 17 at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village. The required contribution to attend is $10,000 with checks made payable to Searchlight Lake Tahoe Victory Fund, Reid’s joint fundraising committee. Full story
House Republicans rolled out another round of Young Guns, the party’s designation for top-tier candidates in open and Democratic-held seats.
None of the four Republicans in this round are running in districts where Republicans have much of a shot, according to the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call race ratings.
In order to earn the title of Young Gun, a House Republican candidate must meet internal committee benchmarks, including fundraising. The designation telegraphs to donors and the press which candidates the National Republican Congressional Committee takes seriously.
All the following candidates are in races rated Safe Democratic by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call. Full story
A new Democratic poll shows Gwen Graham with a slight lead over Rep. Steve Southerland II, R-Fla., but still within the margin of error.
Graham, the likely Democratic nominee, had the support of 45 percent of survey participants, while Southerland trailed with 43 percent. Eleven percent of respondents were undecided.
Ocean Champions, an environmental group that endorses Democratic candidates, commissioned the poll.
The margin of error is 4.4 points, which means the survey reinforces the view of many national operations hold on Florida’s 2nd District race: It’s a dead heat. The race is rated Tossup/Tilts Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and Southerland is on Roll Call’s most recent list of the 10 Most Vulnerable Members. Full story
August 13, 2014
With the Democratic Senate primary in Hawaii too close to call and several thousand votes on the line, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, has sued the state’s Office of Elections to postpone Friday’s special election date.
Hanabusa currently trails Sen. Brian Schatz, also a Democrat, by 1,635 votes.
Hanabusa filed the lawsuit with the third circuit court Wednesday, roughly 36 hours before the Friday special election. The two precincts include an estimated 8,000 voters. Full story
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., — Back in their home states for the August recess, the Senate’s two top Democrats said Wednesday they are optimistic about the prospects of maintaining control of the chamber in November.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told a union audience in Nevada that he believed Democrats would keep the Senate if the elections were held today, while also pushing steelworkers to work to get out the vote. And in Springfield, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin spoke to a gaggle of reporters outside the Crowne Plaza Hotel, where Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and other statewide elected officials spoke to mark Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair.
The Senate leaders discussed the state of play with each other as recently as Tuesday, Durbin said.
Democrats face a challenging map and are likely to lose at least three open seats, but they are optimistic about their most-endangered incumbents and not allowing Republicans to pick up an additional three.
“Right now we have 55 seats. We lose six and we lose the majority,” Durbin said. “There are two or three that are tough, tough states, but the rest of them we feel pretty good about.” Full story
The Associated Press has rescinded its call in Wisconsin’s 6th District GOP primary after announcing that state Sen. Glenn Grothman won the GOP race last night.
The race is now too close to call, with Grothman garnering 36.2% of the votes and State Sen. Joe Leibham with 35.8% of the votes. Just 214 votes separate the contenders.
After the AP called the race for Grothman a few hours after the polls closed last night, observers noted that the votes were still not counted in Leibham’s base of Sheboygan. Full story
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee launched a hard-hitting ad Wednesday against the Republican challenger to Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., the first spot of a $9.1 million investment in the state through Election Day.
The spot attacks state Speaker Thom Tillis on education, saying the budget passed by the state Legislature last year had negative impacts. Hagan has leveled similar attacks against Tillis, tying him to laws that emerged from last year’s legislative session.
“House speaker Thom Tillis drew a bull’s-eye on public schools, cutting nearly $500 million,” a female narrator says. At the same time, the narrator says, he gave “tax breaks to yacht and jet owners.” Full story
DES MOINES, Iowa — At the Iowa State Fair, the walk from the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building to the swine barn should take about five minutes.
But with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, it takes 45.
Since the Republican was first elected to the Senate in 1980, Grassley, the Hawkeye State’s senior senator, has never been re-elected with less than 64 percent of the vote. At the Iowa State Fair, it is easy to see why.
On Friday, Grassley could not travel more than 10 feet without people stopping to shake his hand, get a picture or tell him how he great he is. GOP candidates agree with that sentiment: He was at the fair to campaign with Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for Senate to succeed retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
“I’d like to introduce you to someone. This is Joni Ernst, she’s running for Senate,” Grassley says, time and time again. Full story
Updated 6:40 a.m. | State Sen. Glenn Grothman has won the GOP primary by a slim margin in the only open House district in Wisconsin.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the 6th district primary race for Grothman, who garnered 36.2 percent of the vote in the four-way contest to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Tom Petri.
State Sen. Joe Leibham trails Grothman with 35.8 percent — or by 215 votes.
August 12, 2014
Former state Rep. Tom Emmer decisively defeated Anoka County Commissioner Rhonda Sivarajah Tuesday in the GOP primary for Minnesota’s open 6th District, putting him on a near certain path to Congress this fall to succeed retiring Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
Emmer bested Sivarajah, 76.5 percent to 23.5 percent, with 28 percent of precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press.
The flood gates opened Tuesday when the House campaign committees began the barrage of fall television advertisements.
Exactly a year ago, CQ Roll Call predicted the House’s fall campaign ad wars would begin as early as mid-August, creeping back a few weeks from the traditional start around Labor Day. Now the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and several top tier House candidates rolled out their first television spots of the cycle.
To be sure, some House candidates and outside groups have already been airing general election spots. But these new television ads mark the committee’s first major independent expenditures of the season — and the start of the campaign airwaves war that will only intensify through November.
DES MOINES, Iowa – Joni Ernst is a hugger.
At the Iowa State Fair, the GOP’s nominee to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is hugging people she knows, people she’s meeting for the first time, and people who are excited to see her. On Friday, Ernst stops to hug and chat up someone else while Iowa’s three most senior Republican state officials — Gov. Terry Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, and Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey — wait for her at a podium 10 feet away.
“Joni, we love you, honey! Keep up the good work!” shouts a man as she walks the fair with Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa.
Six months ago, Ernst was a second-tier candidate with little money in a four-way Republican primary. Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley had cleared the field, raised money, and seemed likely to keep the seat in his party’s hands.
Then, Ernst made a splashy ad about castrating hogs and a video emerged of Braley derisively referring to Grassley as just “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” Suddenly, Ernst was a contender, and Braley was back on his heels, trying to apologize to the state’s beloved senior senator.
Ernst rode that momentum to a resounding primary victory two months later, and since then, the race has been counted among the most competitive of the cycle. Ernst could well be Iowa’s first female senator if the Hawkeye State voters prefer her farm girl charm over Braley’s record in Congress.
It’s why walking the fair with Braley and Ernst is like experiencing night and day.
PHOENIX — Once known for her progressive politics, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has coasted to the center in her first re-election.
The freshman bills herself as bipartisan, and now party operatives — even Republicans, privately — view her as the safest of the state’s three vulnerable Democrats. But that’s also because she’s lucky: A brutal Republican primary is bound to leave her future foe broke and bruised 10 weeks before Election Day.
“I’m working to make it cool to compromise in Congress,” Sinema tells 30 mostly baby boomers at a Thursday lunch with the Phoenix West Rotary Club. “I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but I’m working on it.”
Sinema started her elected career nearly a decade ago at the state House, 10 miles away from this Sheraton conference room.
Some of her first political experience came working for Ralph Nader’s spoiler 2000 presidential bid. She tried her own third party attempt in a losing race for the state House as an independent affiliated with the Green Party two years later. She finally won the seat as a Democrat in 2004. Full story
August 11, 2014
The Florida Legislature approved a new congressional map Monday evening and sent it to the governor’s desk, although it’s still unclear whether the new House district boundaries will past muster or take effect for the 2014 elections.
The newly passed map only makes minor changes to the congressional districts and is not expected to alter Florida’s congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats, 17 to 10.
There are a number of ways the redistricting chaos could end, but the clock is ticking down to the Aug. 26 primary. Next week, a judge will rule whether the new lines are acceptable, and when voters will head to the polls.
Lawmakers returned to Tallahassee last week under a judge’s order to redraw the Sunshine state’s congressional districts. In July, Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled two districts violated the state constitution, which prohibits drawing districts to favor a political party or incumbent.