Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

May 21, 2012

Arizona: NRCC Releases New Negative Ad on Ron Barber

The National Republican Congressional Committee has released a new negative television ad against Democrat Ron Barber in the special election in Arizona’s 8th Congressional district to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).

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Study: Democrats Must Win Moderates to Hold Senate

In a study that could annoy Democrats and perturb proponents of the “base election” theory, a centrist Democratic think tank is arguing that its party’s hold on the Senate hinges on political “moderates.”

Third Way, in a report set for release today, asserts not only that ideological moderates will determine control of the Senate in November, but that Democrats need to win more of these voters in 10 states with tossup Senate contests than do the Republicans. The think tank crunched exit polling data from recent presidential and midterm elections and concluded that Democrats face a significant challenge in their bid to retain their thin, four-seat Senate majority.

“Crucially for Democrats, they must garner a majority of moderates in nine of 10 toss-ups to win, and in seven of those the bar is even higher — Democrats must clear 60 percent [of moderates] to win,” Third Way policy advisers Michelle Diggles and Lanae Erickson write in the think tank’s report.

Third Way classifies 10 Senate races as Tossup; Roll Call currently rates eight races as Tossup.

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May 19, 2012

Illinois: Republicans Pick Davis as Nominee in 13th

Local Republicans selected Rodney Davis, a top aide to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), to be their nominee for the newly open House seat in downstate Illinois.

The 13th district county GOP chairmen picked Davis over three other candidates today, including Rep. Randy Hultgren’s (R-Ill.) chief of staff, Jerry Clarke.

Republicans were forced to pick a new GOP nominee following Rep. Timothy Johnson’s (R-Ill.)  sudden retirement after the March primary. His departure, plus a Democratic redraw of the district’s boundaries last year, make this seat competitive.

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Arizona: New Barber Ad Criticizes Kelly On National Sales Tax

Update | 2:53 p.m. Democrat Ron Barber’s campaign put a new television ad on the air that criticizes his opponent, veteran Jesse Kelly (R), for supporting a national sales tax.

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Connecticut: Linda McMahon Wins State GOP Endorsement

Connecticut: Linda McMahon Wins State GOP Endorsement

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As expected, former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon topped former Rep. Chris Shays in the state convention fight for the Connecticut Republican Party’s endorsement Friday night.

McMahon picked up the support of 60 percent of the delegates at the state convention, while Shays got 32 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. While the margin was significant, most political observers expected McMahon to win, and Shays met the 15 percent threshold to qualify for the primary on Aug. 14.

McMahon and Shays are running to replace retiring Sen. Joe Lieberman (I). McMahon also won her party’s Senate endorsement over former Rep. Rob Simmons in 2010. She went on to lose that race in the fall to now-Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D). Full story

May 18, 2012

Texas: David Dewhurst Puts $6 Million More Into Senate Campaign

Updated: 9:38 p.m. | Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has donated an additional $6 million to his Senate campaign since April 1.

The figure put his total personal donations to the campaign at $8 million, according to a source in the campaign.

The campaign made the announcement in a press release. It also noted that he had received $500,000 in individual contributions in the pre-primary reporting period beginning on April 1. Campaigns must submit federal election finance reports two weeks out from the primary date.

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DSCC Outraised NRSC in April

DSCC Outraised NRSC in April

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, led by Sen. Patty Murray, outraised its GOP counterparts last month. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slightly outraised its Republican counterpart in April, bringing in $4.5 million.

It was the fourth straight month the DSCC bested the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which raised $4.25 million in April. The DSCC ended the month with $25.7 million on hand, compared with $21.6 million for the NRSC.

The DSCC is defending 23 seats — and a four-seat majority — compared with just 10 for Republicans. Roll Call rates eight races as Tossups and six as either Leans Democratic or Leans Republican.

Missouri: Majority PAC on the Air for McCaskill

A pro-Democratic super PAC launched an ad in favor of vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill today. Majority PAC’s ad, titled “Them,” follows the same messaging previous pro-McCaskill spots have used: attacking outside groups that are targeting the Missouri Democrat.

“Why are the corporate special interests attacking Claire McCaskill?”asks a male narrator in the spot. “Because they want to keep getting tax breaks when they ship our jobs overseas. And Claire McCaskill is determined to stop them.”

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Between the Lines: Federal Court to Take Up New Kansas Map

A federal court will take up the new Kansas Congressional map May 29, while the Republican-controlled state House will make a last-ditch effort to rescue the mapmaking process.

The court’s imminent redraw is unpredictable, but it’s likely at least one of the state’s four GOP Members will get a more competitive district under the new map.

The trial marks the beginning of the end of the mapmaking process in Kansas, the last state to finish its decennial redistricting. Republicans control the Legislature and every major office in the state, but GOP infighting halted the redraw process this spring. Full story

New Jersey: David Axelrod to Campaign for Steven Rothman

New Jersey: David Axelrod to Campaign for Steven Rothman

Rep. Steven Rothman (above) picked up support from senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 4:57 p.m. | Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is set to campaign on behalf of Rep. Steven Rothman on Wednesday in his tough 9th district primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell. The Bergen County Record first reported the news.

President Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell earlier this month, and Axelrod’s move to campaign for Rothman sets up a rematch of sorts of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. In that contest, Rothman was an early Obama backer; Pascrell endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Florida: Former Rep. Dave Weldon Jumps Into Senate Race

Former Rep. Dave Weldon (R), a physician who served in Congress from 1995 to 2009, today announced a long-shot bid for Senate in Florida.

“Someone has to do something to provide a Conservative answer to the problems the Administration has created and the current Senate has endorsed,” Weldon said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald. “We can’t keep racking up debt and placing it on the backs of our children. It’s time to stop the spending and balance the budget again. Together, we can change Washington — I helped do it once — and I can help do it again.” Full story

California: Obama Endorses Pete Stark

President Barack Obama today endorsed California Rep. Pete Stark, who is facing a stiff challenge from a fellow Democrat in California’s June 5 all-party primary.

The 20-term Congressman and Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell (D) are likely to advance to the general election in the solidly Democratic 15th district. But Stark’s path to re-election has become less certain in recent weeks after some odd gaffes. Stark has apologized for falsely accusing a San Francisco Chronicle columnist of contributing to Swalwell’s campaign and for claiming that Swalwell had accepted bribes.

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NRCC Pulls in Big Money, Outraises DCCC in April

NRCC Pulls in Big Money, Outraises DCCC in April

The National Republican Congressional Committee, led by Rep. Pete Sessions, outraised its Democratic counterpart in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by about half a million dollars in April.

The NRCC raised an impressive $6.9 million last month and ended April with $31.3 million in cash on hand.

That compares with the $6.48 million raised by the DCCC; it ended the month with $25 million in the bank.

The NRCC is almost $20 million ahead of where it was in cash on hand at this time last cycle.

DCCC Posts Big April Fundraising Haul

DCCC Posts Big April Fundraising Haul

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has turned in top fundraising this cycle under its chairman, Rep. Steve Israel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.48 million in April and ended last month with $25 million in cash on hand.

The DCCC has posted big fundraising figures in recent months, often outraising its counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

A DCCC spokesman said this was their “best April in history.”

By comparison, the DCCC raised just less than $3 million in April of 2006, a year in which they took control of the House, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The NRCC has not yet released its monthly fundraising numbers, which are due to be filed at the FEC on or before Sunday.

Democrats have an uphill climb to net the 25 seats needed to take back the chamber, which they lost in 2010. The first salvo in that effort will come next month in the Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D). Both parties and their allies are spending heavily on the swing seat.

Arizona: New Kelly Ad Hits Barber on Cap-and-Trade

Updated: 10:28 a.m. | Republican Jesse Kelly’s latest TV ad in the hotly-contested Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) hits on a familiar issue from the 2010 elections: Cap-and-trade legislation. The ad criticizes Ron Barber, the Democratic nominee and a former Giffords aide, for supporting the 2009 bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

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