Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

June 13, 2012

Hawaii: Mazie Hirono, Ed Case Meeting Three Times This Week

The state’s two Democratic Senate candidates are scheduled to debate three times this week, although it could be the last time they meet face-to-face in front of the voters before the Aug. 11 primary.

Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Rep. Ed Case were to appear jointly at an AARP-sponsored issue forum Tuesday morning, at a Hawaii Public Radio debate on Wednesday evening and on PBS Hawaii on Thursday evening. The latter two events were scheduled to be broadcast live.

Case said in a release that Thursday will be the last time they meet because Hirono “has refused all other debates including four primetime statewide debates on our main television stations.”

The winner will face former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) in November in a race Roll Call rates as Leans Democratic.

June 12, 2012

Maine: Charles Summers, Cynthia Dill Win Maine Primaries

Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill (D) won their party primaries in Maine on Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press.

The two will go on to face the race frontrunner, Independent former Gov. Angus King, in the contest to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The Snowe retirement caught Republicans off guard and resulted in a short and scrambled primary. Low voter awareness of the race, a lack of television advertising and the short window made the GOP side highly unpredictable.

Summers defeated former state Senate President Rick Bennett and state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, with 29 percent of the vote, with 75 percent of precincts reporting.

On the Democratic side, Dill defeated former Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap by 44 percent to 37 percent. Dill and Dunlap were not blue-chip recruits. The A team of Democratic candidates avoided the race after King’s candidacy became clear. National Democrats paid scant attention to the primary.

Roll Call rates this race as Leans Independent.

South Carolina: André Bauer, Tom Rice Head to Runoff

South Carolina: André Bauer, Tom Rice Head to Runoff

Former Lt. Gov. André Bauer is headed to a runoff in South Carolina's new 7th district. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 11:59 p.m. | Colorful former Lt. Gov. André Bauer and Horry County Council Chairman Tom Rice are headed to a runoff in the GOP primary in South Carolina’s new 7th district. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Bauer had 32.1 percent and Rice had 27.4 percent, according to the Associated Press. On the Democratic side, long-shot candidate Gloria Bromell Tinubu, an economist, had a much stronger-than-expected showing and squeaked out a victory over the establishment-backed Preston Brittain.

The candidates who didn’t make the GOP cut include attorney Jay Jordan and Chad Prosser, former director of the state’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. GOP operatives in the state widely expected this result. Rice has the edge in the runoff. But Bauer, a through-and-through conservative who marches to his own drum, should not be underestimated. Full story

Virginia: George Allen Wins GOP Senate Primary

Virginia: George Allen Wins GOP Senate Primary

Former Sen. George Allen casts his vote today in northern Virginia. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 9:40 p.m. | Former Sen. George Allen easily won the Virginia Senate Republican primary today, putting him one step closer to reclaiming the seat he lost in 2006.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Allen led with 65 percent, followed by tea party leader Jamie Radtke with 23 percent, state Del. Bob Marshall with 7 percent and minister E.W. Jackson with 5 percent. Full story

Oklahoma: Markwayne Mullin Internal Poll Shows Him Ahead in GOP Primary

A new survey from plumbing-company owner Markwayne Mullin’s campaign shows him leading the GOP field for retiring Rep. Dan Boren’s (D) competitive southeastern Oklahoma seat.

Mullin had 30 percent in the poll, state Rep. George Faught had 15 percent and former state Rep. Wayne Pettigrew had 7 percent. Thirty-four percent of voters were undecided in the survey, which was paid for by Mullin’s campaign.

There’s a good chance the winner of the June 26 Republican primary could come to Congress. Oklahoma’s 2nd district leans Republican, and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won it with 66 percent in 2008 even though Boren has always won re-election by substantial margins.

Full story

Arizona: Trent Franks to Back Wil Cardon

Updated 6:29 p.m.: Rep. Trent Franks (R) will endorse Wil Cardon over fellow Rep. Jeff Flake today in the Republican Senatorial primary.

Franks is scheduled to co-host a campaign style meet-and-greet with Cardon this evening in Phoenix, and earlier today he released a statement that was complimentary of the wealthy businessman and his Senatorial candidacy.

Full story

Montana: Pearl Jam Rocks for Jon Tester

Two lucky Pearl Jam fans and supporters of Sen. Jon Tester (D) will sit in recliners onstage for the famed Seattle rock band’s only non-festival concert in the country this year, set for September.

The Tester campaign announced today that supporters can be “automatically entered for a chance to win the Best Seats in the World by simply donating $10, or any other amount, at” The winner and a guest will also be admitted to pre-show events with Tester and members of the band and will receive travel and hotel accommodations. Full story

New Hampshire: Ex-Sen. John Sununu Could Eye Comeback

Former Sen. John Sununu (R) will headline an afternoon fundraiser on June 23 for the New Hampshire GOP. The appearance has caught notice among Granite State Republicans as a possible first step back into electoral politics, perhaps to challenge to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) in 2014.

Should Sununu run, it would be a rematch of his 2008 race with Shaheen. The former governor beat Sununu after he had served just one Senate term, joining the ranks of many other Democrats who won that year in what was a wave election for the party.

In March, Shaheen’s office confirmed to Foster’s Daily Democrat that she plans to run for re-election, despite raising very little money at this point in her first term.

So far in this cycle, Shaheen has raised about $265,000, and she had about $150,000 in cash on hand at the end of the first quarter.

New Hamsphire is a swing state. Two years after Shaheen beat Sununu by 7 points, Granite State voters supported now-Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R). Sununu is the son of former Gov. John Sununu, an influential figure in New Hampshire Republican politics and top adviser to presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

By Abby Livingston Posted at 12:51 p.m.
New Hampshire

June 11, 2012

Arizona: Jeff Flake Apologizes to Wil Cardon for Mistake in Web Video

Arizona: Jeff Flake Apologizes to Wil Cardon for Mistake in Web Video

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake apologized to his Republican Senate primary opponent for a mistake in a Web ad. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated: 8:03 p.m. | The Arizona Republican Senate primary is getting nasty.

Rep. Jeff Flake has issued an apology to real estate investor Wil Cardon for a Web ad the Flake campaign produced accusing Cardon of failing to file company income taxes.

Full story

Utah: Freedom Path Ad Hits Dan Liljenquist for Missed Votes

A Utah nonprofit organization supportive of Sen. Orrin Hatch is airing a television ad that criticizes his Republican primary opponent, former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, for missing nearly a quarter of the floor votes held during the 2011 legislative session.

The group, Freedom Path, spent $60,000 on the spot, which began running in the middle of last week and is set to run through the end of next week. The primary is scheduled for June 26. Full story

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Launches New TV Ad

Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren launched a new television ad today, highlighting how the sluggish economy has affected many middle-class families.

“You work your heart out to buy a house, then watch its value disappear,” Warren narrates over B-roll of a pipe fitter at work. “You save to put your kids through school, then the debt just about crushes you,” she says to out-of-focus B-roll of what appears to be a family in front of a house.

“Families are getting hammered and Washington’s got it all wrong,” the consumer advocate and Harvard professor says directly to the camera.

“They give out billions to oil companies, the most profitable corporations on earth, then try to slash students loans and Medicare. We’re supposed to help our kids and honor our parents,” she says over images of her on the trail with senior citizens and children.

“I’m Elizabeth Warren and I approve this message. We can make this right,” she says.

Full story

North Dakota: New Poll Shows Kevin Cramer Surge for House Seat

Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer (R) could upset his party-backed opponent in the Tuesday primary for North Dakota’s open at-large seat, a new poll suggested.

Cramer led fellow Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, 60 percent to 21 percent with 19 percent undecided, in a Mason-Dixon poll sponsored by the local Valley News Live/KFYR-TV. The poll surveyed 625 likely voters from June 4 to 6. It had a margin of error of 4 percent.

A Cramer victory would make history in North Dakota GOP politics. It’s rare for anyone to mount a significant challenge against the GOP’s endorsed candidate in a primary — let alone win the GOP nod.

Full story

Massachusetts: Scott Brown Launches New TV Spots Featuring His Wife


Sen. Scott Brown (R) is set to launch two new television ads today featuring his wife, journalist Gail Huff, who is a familiar voice to most Boston-area TV viewers. In the ads, Huff delivers a softer, family- and female-friendly portrait of Brown.

“I was a reporter on Boston TV for many years,” Huff says to camera in the first ad, entitled “Dad.”

“I don’t know how many husbands would want their wives getting up at 1:30 in the morning to go to work,” she says to footage of her on local TV. “Scott did all the morning routine: get the girls up, get them fed, get them dressed, get them off to school. He did everything with the kids, and he was the one that was always there during the day,” she narrates to footage of Brown doing laundry and bills and to photos of Brown with his children when they were younger.

“If the kids had a problem,” Huff says, “they didn’t call me, they called Dad, because Dad was the one that was always there. And he still is.”

Full story

Hawaii: Linda Lingle Launches Own Cable TV Channel

Hawaii: Linda Lingle Launches Own Cable TV Channel

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) today launched her own cable television channel, which is dedicated solely to providing information about her Senate campaign and the issues facing Hawaii.

LL2012 can be found on digital channel 110 for Oceanic Time Warner subscribers. According to the cable company, this is the first time a U.S. political candidate has used a dedicated cable channel, the campaign said. Full story

June 10, 2012

Wisconsin Recall Offers Strategic Lessons for Mitt Romney

Wisconsin Recall Offers Strategic Lessons for Mitt Romney

In five months, Republicans will learn whether Gov. Scott Walker’s victory foreshadowed something big for the party beyond Wisconsin.

But even if the June recall election proves less than a broad political harbinger, the Republicans’ rare opportunity to test-run their voter turnout operation this close to November could pay important tactical dividends in key battleground states that could decide the presidential race.

Before all of the votes were tallied last Tuesday, top Republican strategists were already crunching the data, and they believe what they learned on the ground in Wisconsin can help them elsewhere.

“We never dubbed it a dry run … But there is no better testing ground than an election,” said Rick Wiley, the Republican National Committee political director. “Now we have strategy teams in D.C. and Boston looking at how things are performing.” Full story

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