- Franken Maintains Lead in Minnesota
- Senator's Refusal to Resign Changed South Dakota Politics
- Political Ads Flood the Airwaves
- Bonus Quote of the Day
- Rubio Changes Tune on Immigration
April 12, 2012
Rep. Jeff Flake raised $935,000 for his Senate bid in the first quarter of the year and ended March with about $3 million in cash on hand.
It is a strong quarter, and Flake is the favorite to win the GOP primary. However, real estate investor Wil Cardon has shown a capacity to self-fund and has been on television with ads, including this one currently on the air funded with a $250,000 buy:
House Majority PAC, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, continues to expand its operation, announcing today the hiring of three Democratic operatives.
Gabby Adler and Jarrod Backous join the group as political desks, and Blake Williams will serve as a researcher. The new staffers join Executive Director Ali Lapp, Deputy Director Shannon Roche, researcher Matt Fuentes, finance assistant Kaitlyn Beck and Communications Director Andy Stone, who joined the group three weeks ago from the office of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). Full story
Businessman Patrick Murphy, the Democrat challenging outspoken Florida Rep. Allen West (R), pulled in $350,000 in the first three months of this year, his campaign said. Murphy ended the quarter with more than a million dollars in the bank.
“I am humbled by the support that I have received from contributors big and small,” he said in a statement. “Our campaign is growing every day, in part because the residents of the 18th district need a leader who is going to be a responsible, reasonable voice. They want someone who can not only get to work, but work together.”
West, who courted controversy in recent days by claiming there were scores of Communists in Congress, is one of the best fundraisers in the chamber.
In the off-cycle year of 2011, he raised $5.8 million, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Roll Call rates the 18th district race as Leans Republican.
Mitt Romney will likely pick up two endorsements from national abortion-rights opponent groups today, two days after former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) ended his presidential bid.
The Susan B. Anthony List, which previously endorsed Santorum and had been campaigning for him, announced in a statement this morning that it is backing the former Massachusetts governor. National Right to Life is announcing its presidential endorsement at a press conference this morning at the National Press Club, and it is presumed the group will back Romney. Full story
Publicly meditating on the past is not a normal activity for vulnerable Members looking to get re-elected. But from his safe Louisville-based district, Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth (D) has the luxury of mulling about what could have been.
In an interview with Roll Call on Wednesday, the three-term lawmaker was asked whether the Affordable Care Act — which will be a burden to Democrats for the second consecutive cycle — was worth the political cost.
“Oh, politically? Politically?” Yarmuth paused for a moment. “Big picture, politically, it probably wasn’t worth it. Policy-wise, it was worth it because it’s going to move the country dramatically in the right direction,” he said. “Even if it were to fail [at the Supreme Court], it’s going to move the country dramatically in the right direction.”
It was a frank admission from a member of a class of House Democrats swept into power in 2006 but that lost its majority, in a large part because of the law that became known as Obamacare in 2010.
Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) will report raising a stunning $513,000 in the first quarter, according to numbers obtained by Roll Call.
The three-month haul is about three times what he raised in the prior quarter and marks the first time in nearly three years that he will have posted a stronger quarter than physician Ami Bera (D), a prodigious fundraiser whom Lungren defeated by 7 points in 2010 despite being outspent by $900,000. Full story
April 11, 2012
Real estate investor Mark Meadows, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination in North Carolina’s open and heavily Republican 11th district, is launching a simple biographical TV spot today that hits on potent Republican themes.
“I’m blessed with a business we started from scratch,” Meadows says, looking directly to the camera. “But what I value more is my wife and our two children.”
Continuing to look directly at the camera and backed by light piano music, he discusses themes that are likely to appeal to the conservative district.
“I’m driven by a moral obligation to stop Barack Obama’s assault on our values, to protect marriage between one man and one woman, and repeal Obamacare to preserve your right to see a doctor of your choice,” he says.
First-quarter fundraising numbers continue to trickle in as the Sunday deadline to file reports with the Federal Election Commission approaches.
The first fundraising period of election years offers indications of which candidates are gaining momentum heading into primary season. It’s the last quarterly report before about half the states hold their Congressional primaries.
This is another daily roundup of candidates who released their numbers in the past 24 hours. It’s heavy on Democrats, who are looking to hold the Senate and win back the House majority.
- Arizona: Former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona raised $800,000 in his first full quarter as a candidate. He has $1.1 million in cash on hand. The large amount shows that the fundraising prowess he showed in the fourth quarter was more than just low-hanging fruit.
- Connecticut: Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) brought in $855,000 for his Senate campaign to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I). He will report about $3 million in the bank. Full story
The Senate GOP’s campaign arm reserved approximately $25 million in airtime today in six targeted Senate races — an early and aggressive move for a party looking to regain the majority.
The broadcast, cable and radio buy comes several months before the campaign committees’ independent expenditure arms typically start to reserve air time for the post-Labor Day campaign advertisement blitz.
“This is our first buy, not our last. But this foundation does ensure we will be heard through various channels as the electorate decides who they are going to vote for,” a National Republican Senatorial Committee official told Roll Call. Full story
Florida Rep. Allen West (R) said Tuesday that “he’s heard” scores of Democratic Members of Congress are communists, according to the Palm Beach Post and confirmed by West’s campaign to Roll Call.
“I believe there are about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party: It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus,” West said at an event Tuesday, according to a partial YouTube video and his campaign manager, Tim Edson, who was there. West was responding to a question: “What percentage of the American legislature do you think are card-carrying Marxists or International Socialists?”
“He stands by his words,” Edson said. But Edson and West’s office clarified what he meant. Full story
April 10, 2012
PITTSBURGH — Reps. Mark Critz and Jason Altmire debated for the second time in as many days this evening, striving to define their differences ahead of the April 24 Democratic primary.
In an otherwise tepid exchange, Critz emphasized his support from local labor unions, and Altmire underscored his Congressional voting record as reason to keep him in office.
“Every major union that has endorsed, has endorsed me,” Critz, serving his first full term in Congress, declared. “What that tells people is there are groups that know both of us, and they know they can trust me.”
Altmire, meantime, cited the more than 4,600 votes he’s cast in Congress since his 2006 election.
“Most importantly, I work hard. I show up for work. I travel the district. I’ve never missed a vote,” he said.
But for the most part, the tone was congenial between two House Democrats, who were moved into the same southwestern Pennsylvania district when Republicans redrew the Congressional map last year.
Crowing campaigns are beginning to leak their first-quarter fundraising numbers. Generally, any campaign releasing its fundraising numbers this early is happy with its totals. Reports must be postmarked by midnight Sunday.
“With his extensive private sector experience, his knowledge of economic issues, and his gubernatorial track record, Governor Romney is exactly the kind of leader our country needs to solve our fiscal crisis and restore American prosperity,” he said in a statement.
Toomey also praised former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who dropped out of the race this afternoon.
“I also congratulate Senator Santorum on a hard fought primary race,” he said. “He put up a valiant fight and deserves to be commended for his spirited effort.”
Toomey had a complicated history with Santorum. In 2004, Santorum endorsed then-Sen. Arlen Specter in a GOP primary race against Toomey.
In a Feb. 23 tweet, Toomey said that was “ancient history” and praised Romney’s “pro-growth tax reform plan,” but he had said he would not endorse in the presidential campaign.
Ann McLane Kuster’s campaign released her first-quarter fundraising in her race to displace Rep. Charles Bass (R).
Updated | 2:35 p.m. Former Sen. Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign today at a press conference in Gettysburg, Pa.
“We made the decision to get in this race at our kitchen table, against all the odds,” Santorum said. “And we made a decision over the weekend that while this presidential race for us is over for me, and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting.”
The decision for Santorum comes one week after losing the Wisconsin primary and two weeks before the primary in his home state of Pennsylvania.
Santorum’s exit essentially clears the way for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to become the GOP nominee. Two other candidates are still technically in the race, former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (Texas), but they have won a total of two states. Romney had 661 delegates following his wins on April 3, according to the Associated Press.
“Miracle after miracle, this race was as improbable as any race that you will ever see for president,” Santorum said. “Against all odds, we won 11 states. Millions of voters, millions of votes. We won more counties than all the other people in this race combined.”