- Citizens United Case Helped Elect More Republicans
- House Republicans Don't Expect Government Shutdown
- Christie Makes Mexico Trip as Foreign Policy Test
- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
August 25, 2014
The end of the midterm primary season is nigh, and Tuesday marks the penultimate date of intra-party brawls this cycle.
Most notably, Rep. Ann Kirkptrick, D-Ariz., will at last her learn her general election rival as 1st District’s GOP voters pick a nominee in this competitive race. To the west, suburban Phoenix Republicans will nominate their challenger to freshman Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.
Another pair of House contests in Arizona and Oklahoma will almost certainly pick future House members in districts with highly partisan voting populations. EMILY’s List and a GOP effort to help female candidates also have skin in these contests.
Florida polls close at 7 p.m. EST, while Oklahoma’s close at 8 p.m. EST. Arizona latest polls close out the night at 10 p.m. EST. Check out Roll Call’s “At the Races” blog for live results as soon as the first polls close.
Here are the four things to watch on Tuesday evening:
1. Which Republican will Kirkpatrick face this fall?
Rep. Scott DesJarlais has officially won his primary, barely squeaking past state Sen. Jim Tracy, who conceded Monday after more than two tense weeks following Tennessee’s Republican primary in the 4th District.
“A contest would not be the right thing for the Republican party and the conservative cause in Tennessee,” Tracy said in a statement detailing why he decided not to contest the results.
“I have called Rep. DesJarlais to inform him of my decision to concede and congratulated him,” Tracy continued.
Tracy trailed DesJarlais by 38 votes after all of the votes from the Aug. 7 primary were certified.
August 24, 2014
PHOENIX — It’s a dry 108-degree heat this August afternoon, and Tony Valdovinos only prays it gets hotter. The curly-haired field director for Ruben Gallego, a Democrat running in the open House race here, has his reasons.
“We know when it’s hot, we’re the only ones out there,” says Valdovinos, slighting the opposition’s turnout operation as he drives through a wide boulevard en route to an early evening canvass.
In Arizona’s 7th District, a generational party brawl has consumed urban Latino politics, pitting a longtime local pol, former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, against Gallego, a former two-term state representative three decades her junior.
The decisive Democratic primary for retiring Rep. Ed Pastor’s seat is Tuesday, but the race has been culminating for weeks thanks to Arizona’s burgeoning permanent early voter list. In the Valley of the Sun’s prohibitively expensive media market, the victor will be decided by direct mail and, most importantly, a month-long get-out-the-vote push in the late summer heat.
In the weeks leading up to the primary, Gallego’s team expressed more confidence they will prevail. They’re probably right: A high-tech ground game has served him well, even in some of the southwest’s oldest barrios.
August 22, 2014
Updated 6:38 p.m. | Sen. Kay Hagan doesn’t sound thrilled President Barack Obama is coming to town.
The North Carolina Democrat, one of the most vulnerable senators, issued a terse statement about Obama’s veterans policy ahead of his planned Tuesday visit to her home state.
The White House announced late Friday that Obama will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. The appearance gave Hagan an opportunity to criticize the president in the wake of a scandal that has captured national attention. Hagan’s office blasted her statement just 31 minutes after the White House released the schedule.
“The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,” Hagan said.
A state judge upheld the Florida legislature’s newly revised congressional map Friday, ruling the redrawn House districts should apply to the 2016 elections.
“The 2014 elections will have to be held under the map as enacted in 2012,” Circuit Court Judge Terry Lewis wrote in his ruling, siding with Florida lawmakers who argued that applying new district lines to this election cycle would create chaos.
The ruling allows the Aug. 26 primaries to continue as scheduled. Even so, the new map makes minor changes to the state’s House districts and will likely have a minimal effect in 2016 on the congressional delegation, where House Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 17 to 10.
After a week and a half of uncertainty, the Republican nominee to represent Wisconsin’s 6th District will be state Sen. Glenn Grothman.
After the 11 counties in the district verified their vote counts Wednesday, Grothman maintained his lead by 219 votes, or 0.47 percent, but it was unclear whether the second place finisher, state Sen. Joe Leibham, would call for a recount. Full story
Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., went up Friday with her first ad of the cycle, touting her commitment to women’s issues.
“I believe we are strongest when women are in charge of their own decisions,” Brownley says in the 30-second spot, which will air on cable districtwide and was provided first to CQ Roll Call. “That’s why I will always fight for equal pay for equal work, and defend your right to choose.” Full story
Former Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democrat, hopes her community ties and political experience will boost her to victory in Tuesday’s primary in Arizona’s 7th District.
In an interview with CQ Roll Call in Washington, D.C., Wilcox laid out what she believes will be a winning strategy for the primary.
“We’re targeting, we’re making sure that we’re getting the voters out,” said Wilcox in late July. “I know my community. My community has shared with me many of their concerns, and so the message is one that is resonating. And that’s how we win.” Full story
August 21, 2014
South Dakota Democratic Senate hopeful Rick Weiland apparently is not so hopeful.
Republican former Gov. Mike Rounds is the clear front-runner for the state’s open Senate seat, and Weiland accidentally ceded that fact at a debate Wednesday.
“Senator — or, soon-to-be —” Weiland said before catching himself and laughing. “No, not soon-to-be. That’s a good gaffe. I’ll take that back. Soon-to-want-to-be Sen. Mike Rounds.” Full story
A Republican-aligned outside group launched a $1.25 million ad buy Thursday against Alaska Sen. Mark Begich.
Crossroads GPS, the issue advocacy arm of American Crossroads, is hitting Begich on equal pay for women. It’s a strike back on women’s issues after Democrats leveled attacks against Begich’s Republican challenger Dan Sullivan ahead of his primary victory Tuesday. Full story
Freshman Rep. Scott Peters, D-Calif., released his first ad of the cycle Thursday, touting work he’s done that he says has helped “hold Congress accountable.”
The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, is part of a $2.2 million buy on cable, broadcast and online through November.
“Scott Peters kept his promise: blocked congressional pay raises, and helped pass the ‘No Budget, No Pay’ Act, if they don’t pass a budget, they don’t get a pay check,” a narrator says in the 30-second spot.
ADEL, Iowa – When David Young first became Sen. Charles E. Grassley’s chief of staff seven years ago, the senator sat him down for a talk. Young thought he was in for the riot act or a long list of rules.
Instead, as he tells it in the parking lot where people are shucking corn for the Adel Sweet Corn Festival, Iowa’s beloved senior senator recounted some advice he received when he first came to Washington.
“He said, ‘[whatever] your constituents want, anything and everything, you do it,’” Young recalls. “‘If they want you to cut their toenails, you cut their toenails.’”
A few weeks later, Young went out and bought enough toenail clippers for the entire staff as a reminder of their mission. Today, Young recounts that tale as a candidate for Iowa’s open 3rd District. Grassley tells the same story in Young’s first general election radio ad.
Young jokes that he probably needs to start carrying around toenail clippers. “Undoubtedly, someone’s going to come up to me and say, ‘Cut ‘em Dave,’” he jokes, saying he might also need “a 5 gallon Purell pump” to finish the job.
August 20, 2014
Alaska’s newly minted Republican Senate nominee will awake the morning after his primary victory to a negative TV ad from a Democratic super PAC.
Put Alaska First, a group formed to support Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, launched an ad Wednesday against Republican Dan Sullivan targeting his lack of Alaska roots and using a controversial mining project in the state as a wedge issue.
“There’s two things you need to know about Dan Sullivan,” a Dillingham, Alaska, resident says in the ad, which is airing statewide on broadcast and cable. “He’s not from Alaska, and he supports the Pebble Mine.” Full story
State Rep. Pat Murphy, the Democratic nominee in the open-seat House contest to replace Iowa Democratic Senate nominee Bruce Braley, had an 11 point lead over his Republican opponent, according to a poll obtained by CQ Roll Call.
Murphy led businessman Rod Blum 51 percent to 40 percent according to the poll conducted by Myers Research and Strategic Services for Murphy’s campaign. The lead was outside the 4.9 percent margin of error.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The national political tide isn’t looking good for Democrats, but in Illinois this November, down-ballot candidates have an even bigger problem: the drag of Gov. Pat Quinn.
The Land of Lincoln is a hotbed of political activity this cycle, with Democrats defending three freshmen House incumbents and looking to pick-off one more — Republican Rep. Rodney Davis in the ultra-competitive 13th District.
All but one of those races take place outside of Chicago’s Cook County — the last bastion of support for Quinn and one of just three counties he carried in the state when he narrowly won the role in 2010. That geography is bad news for Democrats looking to tamp down losses in the midterms.
There was no clearer example of Quinn’s problems than last week’s Illinois State Fair, where elected officials, political operatives and party insiders from both sides of the aisle descended upon the Springfield fairgrounds for each party’s respective day of rallies.
On Aug. 14, Republicans flocked to the fairgrounds to support Bruce Rauner, the party’s wealthy gubernatorial nominee who rolled up to the rally on his Harley Davidson and then delivered a red-meat speech going after Quinn in front of a fired up crowd of supporters.
It was a stark contrast from Democrats’ gathering the day before, where instead of riling up his base at the fair, Quinn instead hosted a low-key picnic to pose for photos with a more mellow group of supporters, many of whom were bussed in from the Chicago area.