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

June 25, 2012

Michigan: Democratic Poll Shows Gary McDowell Within 2 Points of Dan Benishek

Updated 5:33 p.m. | A new Democratic poll of Michigan’s 1st district showed former state Rep. Gary McDowell (D) within 2 points of freshman Rep. Dan Benishek (R).

Benishek barely leads McDowell, 40 percent to 38 percent, with 22 percent of respondents undecided, according to a survey paid for by House Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, and released to Roll Call.

The poll is the most recent indication Democrats can compete in the northern Michigan House district this cycle. It’s one of the must-win seats for House Democrats if they want to make inroads into the GOP’s 25-seat majority this November. Full story

Missouri: John Brunner Poll Has Him Up Big

A poll released by Missouri Senate candidate John Brunner showed him up by 20 points over his competitors in the GOP primary.

In a horse race matchup among likely primary voters, Brunner led with 40 percent, followed by former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and Rep. Todd Akin with 20 percent each. Nineteen percent of respondents were undecided.

A spokesman for the Brunner campaign said it was a clean ballot test — that is, respondents weren’t given any additional information before being asked their candidate preference. Full story

Barack Obama Pens Short Fundraising Email for DCCC

Barack Obama Pens Short Fundraising Email for DCCC

(Saul Loeb/Pool/AFP)

President Barack Obama threw House Democrats a bone today by penning a fundraising pitch for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In a 53-word email titled “This matters,” Obama made the pitch to donate to the House Democrats’ campaign arm ahead of the quarterly reporting deadline on June 30.

“If you’re with me, then I need you right now,” Obama wrote. “We’re just days away from the mid-year fundraising deadline — this is the biggest test yet of our commitment to win in 2012. We can’t fall short on this one.” Full story

June 23, 2012

Illinois: Local Democrats Pick Bill Enyart for Nomination

Democrats selected retired Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart today  to be their new nominee for Congress in Illinois’ 12th district.

“Maj. Gen. Bill Enyart has devoted his entire life to Southern Illinois values of service, hard work and integrity,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said. ”As the new Democratic nominee, he brings the experience and deep commitment to family, community and the Southern Illinois way of life.”

Democrats were forced to find a new candidate after their nominee dropped out of the race after the primary, citing health reasons. Local party officials, including retiring Rep. Jerry Costello, solicited applications for a replacement nominee. Full story

June 22, 2012

New York: Report Says Andrew Cuomo Endorses Charlie Rangel

New York: Report Says Andrew Cuomo Endorses Charlie Rangel

Rep. Charlie Rangel (above) was endorsed by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Powerful New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) today endorsed New York Rep. Charlie Rangel’s re-election bid,  the Empire State political blog Capital Tonight reports.

Rangel, facing a daunting Democratic primary challenge on Tuesday in the reconfigured 13th district, is seen by New York Democratic insiders as increasingly vulnerable as the result of a lackluster campaign.

There’s a growing sense among New York politicos that the 82-year-old Democratic icon, who was first elected in 1970, could well be unseated. His top competitor is ambitious state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, who, if elected, would become the first Dominican-American Congressman. Also on the ballot are Clyde Williams, a former national political director at the Democratic National Committee, retired business executive Joyce Johnson, and frequent candidate Craig Schley.

The winner of the Democratic primary is almost certain to be the winner of the general election in November, given the heavy Democratic lean of the Harlem-anchored district.

Arizona: Trent Franks and Club for Growth Engage Over Arizona Senate Race

The Club for Growth and Rep. Trent Franks (R) are currently engaged in a proxy war over the Arizona Senate GOP primary.

Franks has endorsed real estate investor Wil Cardon, while the club is backing Rep. Jeff Flake in the GOP race to succeed retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R).

Franks appeared in a new Cardon television ad calling a recent ad from the club “absolutely false.”

The club responded swiftly.

“The facts in our ads are entirely accurate: Wil Cardon did support a massive tax increase, and Cardon is a leading member of a liberal organization that wants to raise gas taxes and backs a cap-and-trade energy scheme,” Club for Growth Communications Director Barney Keller wrote in a statement. “Trent Franks is a good man and it’s a shame that he is allowing his personal bitterness at the Club for Growth PAC’s support of Jeff Flake over him in the U.S. Senate race to cloud his judgment about liberal Wil Cardon.”

At issue is Proposition 400, a 2004 extension of a half-cent transportation sales tax in Maricopa County. A spokeswoman in the Cardon camp told Roll Call that Cardon does not support tax increases from Capitol Hill but does support voters’ right to approve such action via referendum.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Republican. Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

South Carolina: Gov. Nikki Haley Endorses Tom Rice in GOP Race

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) today endorsed Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice in his contentious Tuesday runoff election against Lt. Gov. André Bauer for the GOP nomination for the state’s new 7th Congressional district.

“I and other members of the Reform Movement watched for years as Andre Bauer sided with the establishment and undercut the conservative agenda. Now he says he’s a conservative,” Haley wrote on her Facebook page. “Where was he when we needed help fighting the Obama stimulus? He was one of its biggest cheerleaders.”

“We don’t need another self-interested career politician in Washington,” she added. “Michael and I completely support Tom Rice — an accountant and tax attorney — as we continue to focus on jobs and the economy for this growing and important new district and our state,” she said. Michael Haley is the governor’s husband.

The winner of the GOP runoff will face the winner of the Democratic runoff between attorney Preston Brittain and economist and former Georgia state Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu.

South Carolina: Judge’s Ruling Leads to Democratic Runoff in 7th District

There’s a new twist in the ongoing battle for South Carolina’s 7th Congressional district, which has been full of intrigue, profanity and legal action.

A state circuit court’s ruling today means there will now be a Democratic primary runoff on Tuesday between attorney Preston Brittain and economist and former Georgia state Rep. Gloria Bromell Tinubu.

The South Carolina State Election Commission disqualified ballots cast for state Rep. Ted Vick (D) in the June 12 primary. Vick had earlier dropped out of the race after being arrested, but his name was left on the ballot.

Discounting the votes cast for Vick, Bromell Tinubu received more than 50 percent of the ballots cast and, thus, became the nominee. But the court’s decision forced the SEC to count Vick’s votes, meaning no candidate received more than 50 percent of ballots cast, prompting a runoff.

“Election officials are now making final preparations for the Republican and Democratic Runoffs to be held next Tuesday, June 26, 2012,” the SEC said in a statement today.

Brittain is supported by the Democratic establishment and is seen as having a chance, if very slim, of winning the new Republican-leaning seat if he is the nominee. Democrats and Republicans in the state believe it is certain to be won by the GOP nominee if Bromell Tinubu is the Democratic nominee.

In the GOP runoff, former Lt. Gov. André Bauer faces off against Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice.

By Joshua Miller Posted at 2:34 p.m.
House 2012, S.C.-7

Pollster Alan Secrest Going Out of Business

Updated 6:48 p.m. | A well-known Democratic pollster alerted his clients last week that he is going out of business — less than five months before Election Day.

“Our financial circumstances have left us no choice but to discontinue this work and close our business,” Alan Secrest wrote Thursday in an email to clients. “It has been our pleasure to serve you, and I wish we could continue. But we cannot.”

It’s highly unusual for a pollster from any party to close down shop, especially so close to an election. During the course of his decades-long career, Secrest’s clients included Democrats from all ends of the ideological spectrum, including hundreds of Congressional races around the country.

Offering his apologies, Secrest explained that he cannot offer refunds to his current clients.

“All remaining funds have gone to taxes, salaries, bills and there are simply no assets available with which to continue to operate,” he said. “Certainly this is not the path we would have chosen, but that is the most straight forward assessment of our circumstance.”

Full story

June 21, 2012

Florida: Adam Putnam Endorses Ron DeSantis

Congressional candidate Ron DeSantis, in a competitive open-seat race for the GOP nomination in the 6th district, today picked up the endorsement of former Rep. Adam Putnam, the Sunshine State’s  commissioner of agriculture.

“Ron DeSantis is a true conservative we can trust to reform Washington, D.C. I’m happy to endorse Ron because I know that he understands we need to get our economy going again by reducing the reach of government and lowering the burden it places on our job creators and innovators,” Putnam said.

“Trying to reform Congress is a job I’m all too familiar with, and we need dedicated conservatives like Ron to stand up for our values now more than ever,” he added. Full story

Indiana: Oops, Richard Mourdock’s Multiple Choice SCOTUS Response

At least one candidate is prepared for however the Supreme Court rules next week on the health care overhaul law — although Indiana’s GOP Senate nominee, Richard Mourdock, probably didn’t want the world to know it.

Mourdock’s campaign uploaded four videos to respond to the high court’s imminent decision — and each one has a different answer depending on the ruling.

Uh, oops. The Supreme Court isn’t supposed to rule on the law until Monday at the earliest. Full story

Montana GOP Launches TV Ad for Denny Rehberg

The Montana Republican Party has launched a TV ad that highlights Rep. Denny Rehberg’s independence from the GOP on Capitol Hill.

The message comes on the heels of Rehberg’s latest ad that also sought to differentiate the Congressman from the rest of his Republican colleagues and spotlight his standing for Montanans ahead of his party. It’s also a response to a recent ad against Rehberg by the state Democratic Party.

Rehberg is challenging Sen. Jon Tester (D) in one of the most competitive races in the country.

Full story

Wisconsin: Tammy Baldwin Launches First TV Ad in Senate Race

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) launched her first television advertisement this week in her bid for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat. Baldwin has bought television time from today to Monday at the cost of about $125,000, according to a GOP source who tracks ad buys.

The 30-second spot, which is playing statewide, depicts Baldwin as a bipartisan leader who worked in the House to protect jobs in Wisconsin’s paper industry from unfair practices by Chinese businesses.

“In Wisconsin, we lead the entire nation in paper industry jobs,” Baldwin says in the ad. “But China, they lead the world in cheating. And it’s costing us jobs in Wisconsin.”

Full story

Florida: Bill Nelson Up in New Poll

In a new poll, two-term Sen. Bill Nelson led likely GOP nominee Rep. Connie Mack IV by 4 points in a Florida Senate matchup.

Nelson topped Mack 43 percent to 39 percent in the poll of registered — not likely — Florida voters. Nelson led among independent voters by 11 points, 44 percent to 33 percent.

Forty-four percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Nelson and 26 percent had an unfavorable opinion of him. Full story

Virginia: George Allen First on TV in Senate Race

Updated 12 p.m. | George Allen, the former Virginia governor and Senator running to reclaim his former seat on Capitol Hill, launched the first two TV ads of the highly competitive open-seat race.

Largely out of the spotlight since his upset re-election loss in 2006, the ads focus solely on Allen’s character as the campaign works to reacquaint voters with him. There is nothing in the ads about his past work; policy stances; his opponent, former Gov. Tim Kaine (D); or President Barack Obama, all of which Allen often mentions on the stump.

Full story

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