Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 1, 2015

October 6, 2014

The Big Campaign Question: Cable or Broadcast?

The Big Campaign Question: Cable or Broadcast?

Think the television ad wars are raging between Democrats and Republicans this fall? Check out the battle behind the scenes between cable and broadcast stations for campaign ad dollars.

For the past three decades, television audiences splintered as cable and alternative viewing habits (Netflix, iPads), broke up the hold the big three channels — ABC, CBS and NBC — once had on the American television-viewing public.

In politics, the difference is simple: Cable offers campaigns armed with micro-targeting data a chance to narrowcast, while broadcast still provides the largest audiences. Today, most political campaigns spend approximately 80 percent of their ad money on television and 20 percent on cable, according to multiple sources. Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 1:55 p.m.
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Dueling Polls Released in Battleground House Race (Updated)

Dueling Polls Released in Battleground House Race (Updated)

Southerland is a Florida Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:07 p.m. | A new internal GOP poll showed Rep. Steve Southerland II had a six-point lead last week over his Democratic rival, attorney Gwen Graham.

Southerland had the support of 45 percent of respondents, while Graham had the backing of 39 percent, according to the congressman’s campaign polling memo, a copy of which was obtained by CQ Roll Call.

The pair are locked in a heated battle for Florida’s 2nd District, based in the Panhandle area.

Full story

How One Vulnerable Republican Responds to the ‘War on Women’

How One Vulnerable Republican Responds to the War on Women

Southerland is one of the House GOP's most vulnerable incumbents this November. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — It took Republican Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis 16 hours to travel from western Wyoming to the Florida Panhandle on Sept. 26 to campaign for her embattled colleague, Rep. Steve Southerland II.

How One Vulnerable Republican Responds to the War on WomenLike other women in her conference, she is spending this pre-election recess fanning out over the country to help House Republicans in competitive races, especially men struggling through what Democrats have deemed the GOP’s “War on Women.”

“I spent the entire day — a long day — traveling, and it means a lot to me to be here for Steve, because I want to serve with him,” Lummis said in a interview here recently week, surrounded by veterans at a small gathering before a Women for Southerland rally.

Southerland faces a fierce re-election fight against Democrat Gwen Graham, an attorney and Florida political scion, in the 2nd District, a region that includes Tallahassee and stretches to the Gulf of Mexico coastline.

Southerland, in particular, has struggled with female voters. Earlier this year, his supporters hosted a male-only fundraiser with an invitation that read, “tell the Misses not to wait up.” Southerland responded to news reports on the event by comparing the event to a lingerie shower.

That’s in part how, on Sept. 27, a handful of female Republican officeholders descended upon Panama City Beach. Besides Lummis, Rep. Martha Roby drove that morning from her home in Montgomery, Ala., with her young daughter to attend the rally. Former Arkansas first lady Janet Huckabee was also in attendance.

Full story

October 3, 2014

Grimes Campaign Used Vehicles Owned By Family Business

Grimes Campaign Used Vehicles Owned By Family Business

(Photo via CQ Roll Call tipster)

A tour bus that roiled Kentucky’s Senate race in August may have been parked after suggestions of impropriety, but smaller vehicles owned by companies associated with Alison Lundergan Grimes’ father have remained on the road for campaign purposes.

Vehicles registered to entities owned by Jerry Lundergan, the former Kentucky Democratic Party chairman, have been spotted at campaign events. The vans sport familiar Grimes logos and signage, like this Black Chevrolet Suburban spotted in a recent parade in Greensburg, Ky.

Full story

Grassley Aide Attempts to Parlay His Boss’s Popularity in House Race

Grassley Aide Attempts to Parlay His Bosss Popularity in House Race

Young, left, and Grassley, right, walk through the Iowa State Fair in August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

FARRAGUT, Iowa — Locked in a highly competitive House contest, Republican David Young is looking to capitalize on some of his former boss’s goodwill in the final days of the race.

Grassley Aide Attempts to Parlay His Bosss Popularity in House RaceThis week Young, ex-chief of staff to Iowa GOP Sen. Charles E. Grassley kicked off a four-day tour of Iowa’s 3rd District with the popular senator in tow — hitting each of the district’s 16 counties to greet voters and drum up support for his bid. It’s a pared-down version of what Iowans affectionately dub, “The Full Grassley,” in which the 81-year-old senator traverses every one of the Hawkeye State’s 99 counties annually.

On Thursday, the tour reached Fremont County, a sparsely populated pocket of farm country in the southwestern corner of the state. About a dozen and a half folks showed up to greet the duo at a dusty and aging Masonic Temple in a town Young joked has “more deer than people.”

Full story

Tillis Ad Hits Hagan on ‘President’s Weakness’ on ISIS

Tillis Ad Hits Hagan on Presidents Weakness on ISISThom Tillis" src="http://atr.rollcall.com/wp-content/uploads/NCPOL14_067_050614-445x298.jpg" alt="" width="445" height="298" />

Tillis is using Obama's ISIS strategy to go after Hagan in the North Carolina Senate race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican Thom Tillis is up with a new ad Friday that ties Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan to “the president’s weakness” on national security and the Islamic State, also called ISIS.

The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, features Nancy Anderson, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and Air Force reserve nurse. Her husband is a retired Air Force major and her two sons serve in the Marines.

“Going to war is hard, but not as hard as sending your kids off to war,” Anderson says, speaking direct to camera in front of a black background as somber music plays.

Full story

October 2, 2014

Kerry Bentivolio to Wage Write-In Campaign

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Bentivolio is a Michigan Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, who lost his Republican primary in his re-election bid, said Thursday he will stage a write-in campaign in November.

In an afternoon phone interview with CQ Roll Call, Bentivolio said he wanted to send a message to his former GOP opponent, businessman and Republican nominee David Trott, who he alleged has continued attacking him, his family and his staff after their Aug. 5 primary.

“After they won the race, they kept up the attacks, but they expanded it beyond me,” Bentivolio said. “After they won the race, they continued to beat up me, my family members, as well as my staff.”

Trott trounced Bentivolio by more than 30 points, and now he’s on track to win Michigan’s 11th District, which located in the towns and exurbs northwest of Detroit. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates the race as Republican Favored.

Full story

Why Vote Counting in Alaska Takes a Long Time

Why Vote Counting in Alaska Takes a Long Time

Begich is facing a competitive re-election challenge. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

An Alaska Senate race has the potential to once again remain undecided well after the election, and this time the wait could keep control of the Senate up in the air until at least mid-November.

December and January runoffs are possible in two other states with Senate races, so it could be even longer before either party can claim a majority of seats in the chamber in the next Congress. Senate Republicans need a net gain of six seats to take control.

But the reason for the holdup in Alaska is, like the state itself, unique. In the Last Frontier State, the regular delay in races being called is largely a product of two confluent circumstances: close contests and an increased emphasis by campaigns on absentee voting, a get-out-the-vote method pushed to help compensate for the state’s travel and voting complications.

The need to encourage absentees is a reality in one of the most topographically challenging states for campaigns in the country. Prop planes are often required for candidates to reach the state’s vast rural areas and even for timely travel between cities close in proximity but separated by mountains or water. And state officials running the election face similar logistical hurdles: All ballots are eventually transported by air to Juneau, a capital only accessible by boat or plane.

Full story

Candidate: Obama Lawsuit Sold Me on Boehner (Video)

Candidate: Obama Lawsuit Sold Me on Boehner (Video)

Allen is a Georgia Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Speaker John A. Boehner can likely count on another vote to keep his gavel — but only if Republican Rick Allen wins his competitive race in Georgia next month.

“Speaker Boehner’s stock went up with me with this constitutional lawsuit [against President Barack Obama], I thought it was time to make a stand,” Allen said in a Sept. 9 interview with CQ Roll Call. “He made a stand, I’m proud of him for it.

Full story

Democrats Continue Personhood Attacks on Cory Gardner

Democrats Continue Personhood Attacks on Cory Gardner

Gardner is a Republican from Colorado. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee aired a new ad Thursday as part of a larger barrage on Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., focused on women’s health issues.

The ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, attacks Gardner for being a co-sponsor of a personhood bill in Congress. Gardner said earlier this year that he had rethought his position on the subject and could no longer support a personhood amendment, which would make abortion illegal.

“But in Washington, Gardner hasn’t changed at all. Cory Gardner is still sponsoring a personhood law to make all abortions illegal,” a male narrator says.

“He’s saying one thing and doing another,” the narrator adds. Full story

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

The 10 Most Vulnerable House Members

Rahall is one of this cycle's most vulnerable House Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With a month to go until Election Day, House Republicans are poised to add at least a handful of seats to their majority in the midterms.

Need proof? Look no further than this month’s list of Roll Call’s 10 Most Vulnerable House Members, plus the four incumbents who got honorable mentions: The majority of the names are Democrats facing slogs to re-election in tough districts.

What’s more, nearly all of the Republicans on the list made it due to isolated issues — like campaign problems, personal and legal missteps — instead of the national political environment.

The list does not include competitive open-seat contests, where Democrats could stave off major losses.

Since CQ Roll Call last published this feature in September, two incumbents — a Democrat and a Republican — dropped to the honorable mention category. Both are still as vulnerable as they were in September, but a few of their colleagues now face greater political peril than they do.

Roll Call will publish this list one more time, in the week before Election Day. For now, here is the updated list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members in alphabetical order:

Full story

October 1, 2014

Bill Clinton Appears in Kentucky Senate Race Ad

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWuMp6TRcYM

Former President Bill Clinton stars in a new ad for Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes’ bid to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The spot marks the former president’s first foray into the 2014 airwaves in a Senate race, the Grimes campaign told WHAS-TV in Louisville, which first reported on the spot. The Kentucky Senate race is rated Leans Republican by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

New Kansas Senate Race Poll Shows Roberts Trailing

New Kansas Senate Race Poll Shows Roberts Trailing

Roberts is a Republican from Kansas. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Independent businessman Greg Orman led Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., by 5 points in a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll released Wednesday.

The poll showed Orman at 46 percent and Roberts at 41 percent.

The Kansas Senate race is unexpectedly competitive this cycle. The last time Kansans elected a senator who was not a Republican was 1932. Full story

Democratic Super PAC Cuts More Ad Time in House Races (Updated)

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Sinema is a freshman Democrat form Arizona. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated Thursday, 2:03 p.m. | House Majority PAC, a super PAC that aids House Democrats, has recently canceled around $1 million in ad reservations in races throughout the Midwest and Northeast.

The shifts indicate Democrats are more optimistic about winning some House races — and have given up hope on others.

These changes were spotted by sources who track media buys and confirmed by a House Majority PAC spokesman, who declined to specify the super PAC’s reasons for moving funds to or from particular House races:

Full story

How to Approve That Political Message (Video)

“I approved this message.”

The words comprising the legal disclaimer — “I’m Candidate X, and I approve this message” — are the bane of political ad-makers and congressional campaigns. But they’re required to include it in every political spot, thanks to a decade-old campaign finance law provision intended to discourage nasty campaign advertising.

“The challenge is you’re dealing with such a limited amount of real estate, 30 seconds,” said Eric Adelstein, a media consultant for Democrats. “People try to be creative in how to incorporate mandatory language into that messaging.”

Full story

By Abby Livingston Posted at 12:55 p.m.
Uncategorized

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