Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2015

August 24, 2015

Open Governor’s Race Could Lure Heidi Heitkamp Home to North Dakota

Heidi Heitkamp is considering a second run for governor next year in North Dakota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Heidi Heitkamp is considering a second run for governor next year in North Dakota. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The announcement Monday by North Dakota’s popular Republican governor, Jack Dalrymple, that he will not seek re-election in 2016 might be enough to lure one of the state’s senators home from Washington.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., had begun to mull the possibility of a second run for the job well before Dalrymple’s announcement, and the possibility of her candidacy was talked up by leaders at the Democratic Governors Association in February.

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How Elijah Cummings Could Shake Up Maryland’s Senate Race

With his Baltimore activism and roots, Cummings would be a formidable force in the Maryland primary. (File Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

With his Baltimore activism and roots, Cummings would be a formidable force in the Maryland primary. (File Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Updated: 5:50 p.m. | After months of flirting with the notion of running for Maryland’s open Senate seat, it seems that Democratic Rep. Elijah E. Cummings might be ready to take it for a first date.

Next month, according to The Washington Post and confirmed to CQ Roll Call by a Cummings aide, the 10-term representative from Baltimore will hold a fundraiser at Nationals Stadium in Washington when his hometown Orioles are in town.

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August 22, 2015

For Rand Paul, a Kentucky Caucus Is a Major Victory

Paul is a Kentucky Republican. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Republicans in the Bluegrass State will allow Rand Paul to both seek reelection and run for president. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Kentucky Republicans voted Saturday to approve a presidential caucus – a major victory for Sen. Rand Paul that will allow him to continue his quest for the Republican presidential nomination and run for re-election to the Senate next year.

The Kentucky Republican Party Central Committee approved the March 5 caucus by a 111-36 vote, with the caveat that Paul must put up half of the nearly $500,000 he promised to pay for it by Sept. 18.

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August 21, 2015

Some in Kentucky Wary of Rand Paul’s Senate Insurance Plan

Paul will spend the weekend convincing Republicans to allow him a back-up if the presidency doesn't work out. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans in Paul’s home state tell the presidential hopeful that if he wants a caucus, he’ll have to pay for it. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

While Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been campaigning for the Republican nomination for president, his supporters back home have been quietly wrangling the state party to get him an expensive insurance package that could possibly let him fall back on his seat if his upward ambitions are not successful.

The problem? Insurance policies are pricy, and to some on the Kentucky Republican Central Committee, the premium for Paul’s — in the form of a caucus system that would allow him to go around the rules against being on the same primary ballot for two different offices — seems pretty high.

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August 20, 2015

Poll: House Incumbents Who Oppose LGBT Rights Lose Support

Democrats want to target Garrett for his opposition to LGBT rights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats want to target Garrett for his opposition to LGBT rights. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A set of polls conducted for the Human Rights Campaign found incumbents would imperil their re-election chances if they oppose a bill that bans discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

The polling, shared first with CQ Roll Call, found that in six districts held by Republicans, voters would be less likely to support the GOP incumbent if they opposed the Equality Act. A seventh poll conducted in a competitive seat held by a Democrat found the same result. The Equality Act is a bill introduced in July that would “extend existing non-discrimination laws to protect [LGBT] people.”

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August 19, 2015

National Republicans Ramp Up ‘Kander Pander’ Campaign

 

Republicans are hoping to flip a charge being used against Blunt on Democrat Jason Kander. (File Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Republicans are hoping to flip a charge being used against Blunt on Democrat Jason Kander. (File Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican Sen. Roy Blunt seeks re-election next year, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander — the Democrat running against him — has sought to present Blunt to voters as man whose “constituency is Washington,” not Missourians like them.

To combat Kander’s charge, Republicans are trying to flip it against him – accusing him of being the one who is cozy with the lobbyists and special interests he says on the campaign trail he will resist if elected. Full story

Republicans Spending Early to Boost Chances to Keep Senate

Kirk has spent some of his campaign's cash on an early bio ad to aid his re-election hopes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kirk has spent some of his campaign’s cash on an early bio ad to aid his re-election hopes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As Republicans look to defend their newfound Senate majority in 2016, early television and digital spending has more than quadrupled from this same point last cycle, a CQ Roll Call analysis shows.

More than a year out from Election Day 2016, Republican incumbents and GOP-aligned outside groups have shelled out at least $13.3 million to boost their re-election prospects and attack potential Democratic challengers in Senate contests across the map. That’s seven times more than the $1.9 million Republicans spent by this point last cycle — when the GOP was looking to win the Senate majority for the first time since 2006.

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August 18, 2015

Uncertainty Reigns as Court Takes Over Virginia Redistricting

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott's 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Federal judges will now decide how to unpack blacks from Scott’s 3rd District (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

The same federal three-judge panel that has twice ruled that Virginia’s congressional map unconstitutionally packs blacks into the 3rd District will now be responsible for remedying the injustice it found.

How will the court arrive at a new map for the 2016 elections?

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Edwards Touts Poll Showing Lead Over Van Hollen

Edwards is competing against Van Hollen in Maryland's competitive Democratic primary. (File Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Edwards claims a 5-point advantage over Van Hollen in Maryland’s competitive Democratic Senate primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While her Maryland Senate campaign has yet to gain steam in the race for cash, Rep. Donna Edwards wants voters there to know she is leading her fellow Democratic candidate, Rep Chris Van Hollen, in a newly released poll.

On Monday, the Edwards campaign unveiled internal polling it commissioned from the Global Strategy Group that showed her with a 5-point lead over Van Hollen.

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Ahead of Obamacare Repeal Rollout, Walker Stocks Up On Advisers Familiar With Capitol Hill

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker sets out to unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare, he’s been staffing up from Capitol Hill.

The Wisconsin governor has brought on Andrew Shaw as domestic policy director, the campaign told CQ Roll Call. Shaw has worked since January as the policy director of the conservative Republican Study Committee in the House, where he was involved in efforts by Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, and the RSC members to repeal the 2010 health care overhaul law.

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NRCC Goes On Air, Online Targeting Three House Democrats

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ashford is the target of GOP ads in his Omaha-based House seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee will go up with television and digital ads in three districts this week targeting Democratic incumbents the committee hopes to pick off in 2016, according to a source with knowledge of the buys.

The NRCC will spend a combined six-figure sum on a month’s worth of ads hitting Democratic Reps. Scott Peters, Brad Ashford and Rick Nolan on national security issues, according to the source. The early buy is a sign Republicans will still play offense against vulnerable House Democrats in 2016, even as the GOP defends a number of seats Democrats often carry in presidential cycles.

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August 14, 2015

Democrats Courting ‘Gold Standard’ to Unseat Young in Iowa (Updated)

Democrats want to wait for the strongest candidate to challenge Young. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Democrats want to wait for the strongest candidate to challenge Young. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photos)

Updated Aug. 17, 11:11 a.m. | Democrats are getting a candidate in Iowa’s only tossup congressional election — just not the one they’re ready for.

Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer announced Monday he’s challenging freshman Rep. David Young in the 3rd District.

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Graham Looks at Early States as ‘the Way Forward’

GREENVILLE, S.C. At a Republican primary debate watch party in suburban Charleston last week, there was something missing: any sign of support for home-state Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Graham, the well-known national security hawk, was relegated to an earlier panel for lower-profile presidential candidates that he came to call the “happy hour” debate” by the rules set by Fox News, so perhaps the absence of supporters with buttons and bumper stickers was not surprising.

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August 13, 2015

Campaign Finance Reform PAC Wants to Be a Player in 2016

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Bennet is one of two Senate race endorsements End Citizens United PAC has made so far this cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new campaign finance reform political action committee expects to be among the top five outside groups to assist campaigns this cycle. 

End Citizens United PAC has raised more than $2 million from its online supporters since it formed in March and says it’s on track to raise $25 to $30 million to funnel through a yet-to-be-created independent expenditure arm.

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August 12, 2015

Two Democrats Get J Street Help in Maryland Senate Race

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Edwards and Van Hollen are running for Senate in 2016. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly File Photo)

Ever since the major Democratic contest between Reps. Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen began for Maryland’s open Senate seat, both campaigns have been wondering who the major liberal Jewish lobby organization J Street would end up helping in the race.

On Wednesday, they got their answer: Both.

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