Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 25, 2015

April 26, 2012

North Carolina: Mark Meadows Picks Up Jeff Duncan Endorsement

Real estate investor Mark Meadows, the apparent frontrunner in the crowded GOP primary in North Carolina’s open 11th district, picked up the endorsement of Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) today.

“Mark Meadows will fight for what’s right, because he understands that higher taxes and more regulations are not the way to solve our country’s problems,” Duncan said in a statement released by the Meadows campaign. “Conservatives of Western North Carolina should send Mark Meadows to Congress. We need his help.”

Duncan’s spokesman confirmed the endorsement. Duncan, along with Reps. Tim Scott, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney, make up a group of strongly conservative freshman Republicans from the Palmetto State. Full story

Arizona: NRCC, DCCC Going on the Air in Giffords Special (Updated)

Updated 6:40 p.m. | The National Republican Congressional Committee will begin a $150,000 ad buy beginning Friday in the Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a GOP source confirmed to Roll Call.

The party’s nominee is veteran Jesse Kelly. He will face former Giffords staffer Ron Barber, who went up on the air the day after the primary earlier this month. Kelly narrowly lost to Giffords in 2010. Much of Barber’s political inner circle was involved in Giffords’ campaign that year, and he has the support of the ex-Congresswoman and her husband.

The House campaign committees, as well as outside groups, have been closely watching and preparing for the race and will play dominant roles in the June 12 special election.

Full story

Florida: Vern Buchanan Has 22-Point Lead in GOP Poll

Florida: Vern Buchanan Has 22 Point Lead in GOP Poll

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) led former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald (D) by more than 20 points in a GOP poll of 16th district voters obtained by Roll Call.

The three-term Congressman led 58 percent to 36 percent. Six percent of the 400 likely voters polled were undecided in the survey conducted by respected GOP pollster Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies. Full story

Utah: Orrin Hatch Picks Up Chamber Endorsement

Utah: Orrin Hatch Picks Up Chamber Endorsement

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Although Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) still has to get through his primary challenge from state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, he picked up a big endorsement Wednesday. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the group is endorsing Hatch in his re-election bid. Full story

Mitch Daniels: No One Should Rule Out VP Bid

Mitch Daniels: No One Should Rule Out VP Bid

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) said no one should ever turn down an offer for the vice presidential nomination, which is why he hopes no one ever asks him to join the national ticket.

“The one thing I don’t think you should say is, if asked to serve the country, ‘No’. I don’t think anybody should say that,” Daniels said in a wide-ranging interview with Roll Call.  “But other than that, [I] don’t want to, don’t intend to, hope not to,  don’t expect to, and I think there are better choices.”

Days after Mitt Romney became the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president, several of the most-mentioned vice presidential contenders told media outlets that they’re not interested in the gig — statements widely interpreted by insiders as political deflection. Daniels came close to shutting the door himself last weekend, telling “Fox News Sunday” that, if asked to be Romney’s running mate, he’d urge the White House hopeful to reconsider.

But on Wednesday afternoon, during an interview with Roll Call in his expansive office at the state Capitol, Daniels explained his own ambitions in more detail.

Full story

April 25, 2012

California: Internal Poll Shows Close 2nd District Race

An internal poll commissioned for Democratic activist Norman Solomon in California’s open 2nd district found him in position to advance beyond the June 5 primary, with several other Democrats close behind.

The race to replace retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D) will most likely be between two Democrats under California’s new top-two primary format, in which two candidates no matter their party may advance to the general election. Full story

Arizona: Richard Carmona Poll Shows Competitive Race

Arizona: Richard Carmona Poll Shows Competitive Race

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A poll done for former Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) shows the Arizona Senate race is competitive for Democrats this fall, an argument national party strategists have been working to make.

The Anzalone Liszt Research survey found Rep. Jeff Flake (R) ahead of Carmona 43 percent to 39 percent in a general election matchup. The poll did not test Carmona against Flake’s GOP primary rival, real estate investor Wil Cardon.

Carmona, who has never run for office before, had a much lower name identification than Flake, who was first elected to the House in 2000. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed were able to identify Carmona, while 48 percent said they knew who Flake was. Full story

Texas: GOP Senate Candidates Place Major Ad Buys

Texas: GOP Senate Candidates Place Major Ad Buys

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz has spent more than a half-million dollars on his Senate bid and has support from outside groups. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The air war in the Texas Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) has ramped up. With the primary on May 29, April was when most Texas political observers expected ad spending to begin in earnest. The campaigns have not disappointed.

A source who closely watches Lone Star State media buys says the campaigns have cumulatively spent the following in the GOP primary:

Full story

Jim DeMint: No ‘Silly’ Endorsement Forthcoming

Jim DeMint: No Silly Endorsement Forthcoming

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As it became increasingly clear this month that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would win GOP presidential nomination, several elected Republicans and party bigwigs who had steered clear of the volatile 2012 primary officially backed his candidacy, leading journalists and other political observers to joke about the late endorsements on Twitter with hash tags such as #profilesincourage.

During a brief interview Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Jim DeMint indicated a desire to avoid the “profiles in courage” ridicule, telling Roll Call that he would stick by his vow not to endorse in a primary contest that is still technically under way. The South Carolina Republican and tea party favorite chuckled that it would be funny for him to officially back Romney only now that it is obvious he is going to be the nominee against President Barack Obama. Full story

Reports: Newt Gingrich Preparing to End Campaign

Reports: Newt Gingrich Preparing to End Campaign

(Bill Clark/ CQ Roll Call)

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) is preparing to end his now-longshot bid for the presidency, according to multiple reports.

Senior campaign aides told Fox News that Gingrich will formally exit the race for the Republican nomination on Tuesday. Gingrich indicated he was on his way out while speaking with reporters in Cramerton, N.C., this morning, just hours after former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney swept five primaries and was anointed the “presumptive nominee” by the Republican National Committee. Full story

Indiana: Richard Mourdock Spot Hits Home for Dick Lugar

Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock’s new TV spot targets Sen. Dick Lugar’s longevity in Congress, with less than two weeks before the GOP primary.

“When Dick Lugar moved to Washington, he left behind more than his house. He left behind his conservative Hoosier values,” an announcer says. “Lugar’s been in Washington 36 years. That’s too long. Time for a change.”

The ad is airing exactly 13 days ahead of the competitive May 8 primary, as both campaigns upped their presence on the airwaves. The spot also comes one day after Lugar started to air a spot featuring his political ally, popular Gov. Mitch Daniels (R).

April 24, 2012

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic Women Look to Her Future

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic Women Look to Her Future

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If there was any message to take from this year’s EMILY’s List dinner, it was that former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ (D-Ariz.) political career is not over.

Female Democratic candidates who back abortion rights, and those who support their campaigns, paid tribute to Giffords at the group’s annual dinner. Amid tears and a sisterly tone, speakers repeatedly alluded to Giffords’ political future.

Full story

Mitt Romney Accepts GOP Nomination

Mitt Romney Accepts GOP Nomination

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Mitt Romney effectively accepted the Republican nomination for president this evening, as he cruised to victory in five primaries and padded his delegate lead over the two other GOP candidates left in the race.

During a speech delivered in Manchester, N.H., where the former Massachusetts governor launched his 2012 campaign nearly one year ago, Romney focused his fire on President Barack Obama with contrasting rhetoric clearly intended to introduce himself to a general election audience and set the tone for the November contest.

The address appeared to serve as an unveiling for a number of themes likely to re-emerge throughout the campaign against Obama, and Romney attempted to turn the president’s “fairness” message against him, arguing that the commander in chief’s dismal record has led to a condition of “unfairness” for millions of Americans.

Among the more memorable lines from Romney’s speech: “A better America begins tonight” and “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”

Full story

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith, Tim Murphy Win GOP Primaries

Pennsylvania: Tom Smith, Tim Murphy Win GOP Primaries

Rep. Tim Murphy (above) easily beat Evan Feinberg in the GOP primary for Pennsylvania's 18th district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former coal company executive Tom Smith defeated a crowded GOP field tonight for the right to face an uphill battle against Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) this fall.

After spending $3 million of his own money, Smith defeated the state GOP’s endorsed candidate, businessman Steve Welch, who also boasted the support of Gov. Tom Corbett (R). Full story

Pennsylvania: Critz Upsets Altmire in 12th District

Pennsylvania: Critz Upsets Altmire in 12th District

Rep. Mark Critz spent $100,000 of his own money in his bid to win Pennsylvania's 12th district Democratic primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mark Critz came from behind to defeat his Democratic colleague, Rep. Jason Altmire, in Pennsylvania’s redrawn 12th district tonight.

Altmire called to concede to Critz, according to a Critz spokesman.

Democrats initially viewed the redrawn 12th district as favorable to Altmire because it included more than 60 percent of his current territory plus his hometown area. But in the low-turnout race, Critz’s support from organized labor proved pivotal, especially in his base of Johnstown. Full story

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