Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2015

July 20, 2012

California: GOP Polls Find Competitive House Races

California: GOP Polls Find Competitive House Races

Polls conducted for two California Republicans found close races in Democratic-leaning districts that rank among the GOP’s targets for November.

According to memos released by their campaigns, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) trailed Rep. Lois Capps (D) by 2 points in the 24th district, and Long Beach City Councilman Gary DeLong (R) trailed state Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D) by 3 points in the 47th district. Full story

GOP Strategists: Mitt Romney Should Embrace Bain

GOP Strategists: Mitt Romney Should Embrace Bain

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mitt Romney might or might not cave and release more than the two years of tax returns he’s promised; and whatever his decision, it might or might not damage his White House prospects.

The more than half-dozen Republican strategists I spoke with in the days since President Barack Obama accelerated his attacks on the presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s business career were split on how much influence this issue would have outside the Beltway among the voters who will decide the presidential election. Voters are notorious for ignoring “game-changing” campaign attacks that Acela Corridor experts are convinced will have a major effect. Full story

July 19, 2012

NRCC Tops DCCC in June Fundraising

UPDATED at 11:59 a.m. on Friday, July 20, 2012 | The National Republican Congressional Committee narrowly outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in June. The NRCC posted $10.7 million in receipts compared with the DCCC’s $10.5 million.

The NRCC ended June with $41 million in cash on hand while the DCCC closed the month with $33.2 million in the bank.

The Republican committee’s fundraising total was bolstered last month by donations from top party leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (Ohio). Boehner transferred $2.1 million to the NRCC in June.

In May, the DCCC raised more than the NRCC, a flip from April, when House Republicans had the money edge.

In more detailed numbers provided by the committees to Roll Call on Friday morning, it appears the DCCC and the NRCC raised almost exactly the same amount in the second quarter. The DCCC beat the NRCC by only $16,000, pulling in $23.685 million to the NRCC’s $23.669 million.

Washington: Tight Race for Second in 1st District

Three Democrats are in a close battle for second place in the all-party primary for Washington’s 1st district, a poll released today found, with ballots hitting voters’ mailboxes by the end of this week.

Snohomish County Councilman John Koster, the lone Republican, took 36 percent in the poll conducted by Seattle-based consulting firm Strategies 360. Full story

New Hampshire: Tim Pawlenty to Fundraise in August

New Hampshire: Tim Pawlenty to Fundraise in August

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Barring any unforeseen schedule changes or major Romney campaign decisions, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will head to Manchester for the state GOP Ice Cream Social on Aug. 11.

It is an interesting selection of a headliner. Pawlenty is at the center of speculation to be presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president. Only about two weeks ago, fellow VP contender Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio) also traveled to New Hampshire for a state party event.

By all accounts, New Hampshire will be a central battleground in the presidential race in the fall.

According to the state GOP Facebook invite, tickets for the Pawlenty event will cost $20.12.

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

Maine Dem Nominee Cynthia Dill to Patty Murray: Help!

(Joshua Miller/CQ Roll Call)

Maine state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the Democratic nominee for Senate, penned a letter today to Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, asking for a meeting and an endorsement.

“With an open U.S. Senate seat at stake in Maine, we trust Democrats in Washington will act to preserve its ‘true blue’ majority by endorsing the candidate with the greatest respect for the Democratic Party and its platform,” Dill wrote. “With this historic opportunity to turn Maine’s red seat blue and ensure a progressive agenda this November, the DSCC must not abandon its principles and supporters.”

The DSCC has been absent from the Maine Senate race. Former Gov. Angus King (I), a prohibitive frontrunner in the open-seat race, is considered likely to caucus with Democrats. And in a race with a serious GOP candidate, any boost to the Democratic nominee could hurt King, a popular two-term former governor. Full story

Donald Trump Donates to NRSC Again

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) has a generous friend at Trump Tower.

Donald Trump cut a $30,800 check to the NRSC in May, online finance records show.

The real estate mogul has been helpful to Senate Republicans before. In the 2010 cycle, he gave about the same amount to the NRSC, plus hosted a fundraiser for the committee at Trump Tower in New York City a few weeks before Election Day.

“We’re big fans of his and we’re thankful for his support,” NRSC Executive Director Rob Jesmer said.

Online records show Trump also cut checks this cycle for Linda McMahon, a Republican seeking Connecticut’s open Senate seat, and appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R), who is seeking a full term in Nevada.

Trump donated to a couple of House Republicans, too, including Reps. Allen West (Fla.) and Peter King (N.Y.).

DSCC Raised $8M in June

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced today that it raised $8 million in June, ending the month with $31.4 million in cash on hand. Full story

July 18, 2012

Illinois: Tammy Duckworth Fundraises for Nominee in 12th

Just how confident is Iraq War veteran Tammy Duckworth (D) that she will defeat Rep. Joe Walsh (R)? She’s fundraising — for another candidate.

Duckworth penned a campaign plea for retired Maj. Gen. William Enyart, the new Democratic nominee in the 12th district. Local Democrats selected Enyart after their original nominee dropped out of the race in May for health reasons.

In an email from, Duckworth thanked her supporters and donors before making the pitch for her “personal friend.” Full story

Texas: Tom Leppert Backs David Dewhurst Over Ted Cruz

Texas: Tom Leppert Backs David Dewhurst Over Ted Cruz

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst received the backing of a former contender for the GOP nomination for Senate, Tom Leppert. (Pat Sullivan/Associated Press)

Tom Leppert, former contender for the GOP nomination for Senate and the former mayor of Dallas, endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) for Senate this week.

“We must elect leaders who have the experience of creating jobs and dealing with the fiscal issues facing our nation — leaders with a practical understanding of what makes our country work,” Leppert said in a statement released by the Dewhurst campaign. “David Dewhurst has that experience and it is for that reason that I endorse David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate.”

Dewhurst, the establishment favorite, faces a tough GOP primary runoff against tea party darling Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general.

The runoff is set for July 31.

Illinois: Timothy Johnson Noncommittal on Nominee for His Seat

House Republicans have rallied behind their new 13th district nominee, Rodney Davis, except for the Member vacating the seat.

Rep. Timothy Johnson (R) declined to say whether he’s backing Davis when Roll Call questioned him between floor votes on Wednesday.

“I’m not doing interviews right now,” Johnson said before walking away. He did not return a follow-up interview request placed with his staff. Full story

Michigan: Members Choose Sides in Hansen Clarke-Gary Peters Race

Michigan: Members Choose Sides in Hansen Clarke Gary Peters Race

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A few House Democrats have picked sides in the approaching primary between Reps. Gary Peters and Hansen Clarke, according to their finance reports.

Democratic Reps. John Larson (Conn.) and Norm Dicks (Wash.) donated to Peters through their committees. Democratic Reps. Marcia Fudge (Ohio) and Mike Honda (Calif.) gave to Clarke through their campaigns.

Michigan lost a House seat because of population loss, and Republicans in the Legislature dismantled the Detroit area seats in their redraw of the Congressional map last year, prompting the Clarke and Peters matchup.

The two lawmakers will face off Aug. 7. The winner of the primary in the Democratic stronghold will likely be the next Member of Congress for the 14th district.

Chris Christie Misses House Republican Meeting

So much for House Republican’s touted guest at today’s conference meeting: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t make it.

The popular Garden State Republican was across town at a fundraiser for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He couldn’t make the trip to the Capitol Hill Club in time before the House Republicans adjourned their meeting, a National Republican Congressional Committee aide said.

Christie was supposed to aid House Republican leadership’s call to its caucus to pay dues to the NRCC’s Battleground program.

Christie addressed House Republicans twice before. He spoke to the caucus in September 2010 and during its retreat at the start of this session of Congress.

New York: NRCC Ties Kathy Hochul to Obama in New Push

New York: NRCC Ties Kathy Hochul to Obama in New Push

(Courtesy National Republican Congressional Committee)

The message is pretty clear.

On a billboard truck that has been driving around freshman Rep. Kathy Hochul’s upstate New York district, there’s a huge cartoon image of the Democratic Congresswoman and President Barack Obama side by side, and next to the word “Obamacare.”

It’s part of a paid political theater effort the National Republican Congressional Committee is launching today in an attempt to tie Hochul — generally well-liked — to Obama, who is very likely to lose the GOP-leaning district in November.

The weeklong effort is backed by five-figures worth of spending, but may be extended.

Full story

Florida: Vern Buchanan Up in GOP Poll

Florida: Vern Buchanan Up in GOP Poll

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A new survey from Republican pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies found Rep. Vern Buchanan (R) comfortably ahead of his Democratic opponent in Florida’s newly configured 16th district.

In a horse-race matchup, Buchanan led Democrat Keith Fitzgerald by 22 points, 54 percent to 32 percent. It’s the same lead Buchanan had in a March poll conducted by Bolger.

Full story

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