Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

September 15, 2014

Alison Lundergan Grimes Shoots Skeet in New Ad (Video) (Updated)

Alison Lundergan Grimes Shoots Skeet in New Ad (Video) (Updated)

McConnell, center, is the minority leader. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:57 p.m. | The latest television spot from Alison Lundergan Grimes shows her skeet shooting on a farm as part of the Senate nominee’s attempt to create distance with an unpopular president in the midterms.

The Kentucky Democrat will face Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in November. In the spot, after firing a few rounds at clay pigeons, Grimes looks at the camera and says “I’m not Barack Obama. I disagree with him on guns, coal and the EPA.”

Full story

Democrats Have a Plan to Overcome Obama in Red States

Democrats Have a Plan to Overcome Obama in Red States

Hagan is a North Carolina Democrat seeking re-election this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

As national analysts say the odds are increasingly against them, Democratic senators and senior operatives remain optimistic the party’s most vulnerable incumbents can survive stiff re-election challenges, even in red states where the president’s popularity is sunk.

With his national approval ratings mired in the low 40s seven weeks out from the Nov. 4 elections, Senate Democrats are well aware of the anchor President Barack Obama is proving to be in the midterms. It’s clear party strategists have had to tailor their red-state strategies around that reality on a map already tilted against them, with three principles at the crux of Democrats’ path to defend seats in GOP-leaning and solidly Republican states where the majority will be won or lost.

As Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Executive Director Guy Cecil outlined in an interview last week with CQ Roll Call, it’s imperative for Democrats in these states to remind voters why they supported the incumbent in the first place, to over-perform generic Democratic numbers and continue to fund persuasion efforts — along with getting out the vote — through Election Day.

“The president’s ratings are a factor in our elections, but they are not the only factor in our elections,” Cecil said, noting the tens of millions of dollars being spent on advertising and the DSCC’s field campaign efforts. Full story

September 12, 2014

Polls Show Two Democrats Trailing in New York

Polls Show Two Democrats Trailing in New York

A new poll showed Gibson ahead of his Democratic challenger. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Two new polls showed a duo of House Democrats trailing in competitive races in upstate New York.

In the Empire State’s 19th District, GOP Rep. Chris Gibson leads his Democratic challenger, venture capitalist Sean Eldridge, by 24 points, according to a Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll released Thursday.

North in the 21st District, a similar survey from WWNY-7 News/Siena College showed Republican Elise Stefanik leading Democrat Aaron Woolf by 13 points. Woolf and Stefanik are competing to succeed Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y., who is retiring.  Full story

National Democrats Respond to Thom Tillis Education Ad

National Democrats Respond to Thom Tillis Education Ad

Tillis is the Republican nominee for Senate in North Carolina. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s latest ad in North Carolina continues to pummel state Speaker Thom Tillis on education.

Tillis faces Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., in one of the most competitive Senate races.
The committee’s new ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, is a direct response to one of Tillis’ ads, which was a rebuttal of a DSCC’s ad attacking him on the same issue. The DSCC ad uses video from the Tillis’s ad, Math, where he stood in front of a classroom white board and talked about how often Hagan voted with President Barack Obama. Full story

Michelle Nunn Hits David Perdue on Equal Pay (Video)

Michelle Nunn Hits David Perdue on Equal Pay (Video)

Nunn's Senate campaign launched a new TV ad Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Georgia Democrat Michelle Nunn launched a TV ad Friday asking whether women can trust David Perdue, Nunn’s GOP opponent for the state’s open Senate seat.

The ad, shared first with CQ Roll Call, is part of a continued effort to highlight Perdue’s corporate past. It states Dollar General was sued by female employees for discrimination while he was serving as CEO and that the company paid a multi-million-dollar settlement.

“If David Perdue didn’t do right by women at his company, why would he do right for Georgia?” the ad’s announcer says. Full story

September 11, 2014

Rob Portman Will Look at Presidential Bid After Election

Rob Portman Will Look at Presidential Bid After Election

Portman is a Republican from Ohio. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rob Portman said Thursday he would consider a presidential bid, but only after the elections in November.

“Yeah, I’ll take a look at it after the election,” the Ohio Republican told reporters at the Christian Science Monitor breakfast, when asked if it was still something he was considering. Full story

September 10, 2014

John McCain’s Fall Campaign Schedule Includes Pat Roberts

 

John McCains Fall Campaign Schedule Includes Pat Roberts

McCain stumped for Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie Sept. 3. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Arizona Sen. John McCain is planning a trip to Kansas to assist fellow Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who is locked in a surprisingly competitive re-election battle.

In a brief interview with CQ Roll Call on Wednesday, McCain said he’ll stump for “an old Marine” — Roberts — at one of several stops the former presidential nominee will make across the Senate map over the final eight weeks of the cycle. He’s already been to New Hampshire and Virginia on behalf of Republican challengers, and that’s just the start.

“I’m going to Oregon. I’m going to North Carolina. I’m going to a couple other places,” McCain said. “You know how it is these last couple of months.” Full story

Iowa Poll: Democrat Leads in Top House Contest

Iowa Poll: Democrat Leads in Top House Contest

Young is a Republican running in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A new poll found former state Sen. Staci Appel, a Democrat, with a 6-point lead over GOP nominee David Young in a top-target House contest in Iowa.

Appel leads Young, 40 percent to 34 percent, just outside the poll’s margin of error, with 24 percent of voters undecided, according to the independent survey conducted by Loras College and released on Wednesday. Full story

DSCC Blasts Ernst on Social Security Comments in New Ad

DSCC Blasts Ernst on Social Security Comments in New Ad

Ernst is in one of the cycle's tightest races. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is going up with a new ad in Iowa attacking Republican Joni Ernst for talking about privatizing social security and tying her to the Koch Brothers.

Ernst faces Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, in one of the most competitive races this cycle. The two are vying for the open seat currently held by retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

In the ad, provided first to CQ Roll Call, a male narrator attacks Ernst as “too extreme.”

“Joni Ernst is talking about privatizing Social Security. Risking it on the stock market,” the narrator says. Full story

How to Lose a Primary in 10 Days

How to Lose a Primary in 10 Days

Tierney lost his primary Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

By the time Massachusetts Rep. John F. Tierney knew he had a real primary race on his hands, it was too late.

The nine-term lawmaker lost Tuesday night to fellow Democrat Seth Moulton, an Iraq War veteran who latched onto frustration with Tierney’s past ethical troubles and an anti-incumbent sentiment to win by a stunning 8-point margin.

Multiple Democratic operatives in the Bay State and the District say the race shifted quickly in Moulton’s favor in the final week and a half, as voters ended summer vacations, kids returned to school and the electorate as a whole began to finally pay attention to the race.

By that point, Moulton had been on air for weeks with hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising that Tierney declined to match. Moulton ran spots painting himself as the more electable Democrat in the 6th District, located in the suburbs and towns northeast of Boston. The region’s biggest newspapers, including the Boston Globe, endorsed Moulton, which he touted in his closing ads as a final sell to remaining undecided voters.

“It just moved faster than I think anyone thought it would,” said a Democratic operative privy to internal polling in the contest. “It closed quickly, but that’s what a million dollars in unanswered spending does.”

Full story

How ‘Establishment’ Republicans Got the House Candidates They Wanted

How Establishment Republicans Got the House Candidates They Wanted

Greg Walden, an Oregon Republican, is the chairman of the NRCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Earlier this year, House Republicans had 12 potential problems that stood in the way of extending their majority.

A dozen primaries could ruin the House GOP’s prospects by selecting unpalatable nominees in otherwise competitive races.

But when primary season concluded Tuesday, House Republicans had essentially run the table with their party’s picks, nominating the strongest general-election candidate in nearly every hot race in 2014. Republican and Democratic operatives credit the success to a handful of factors, including intervention from outside groups, self-funding candidates and — in some cases — luck.

Full story

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

Marijuana in Terrapin Care Station, a marijuana dispensary, in Boulder, Colo. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

BOULDER, Colo. — Long a flashpoint in the culture wars, marijuana’s growing legitimacy hasn’t yet turned it into a political weapon, even in the marquee races in the first state to legalize the drug.

In Colorado, the issue has barely gotten a mention as Rep. Cory Gardner takes on Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, and Republican Rep. Mike Coffman faces a challenge from Andrew Romanoff in one of the country’s hottest House races.

Pot Still Too Hot to Handle for Colorado Politicians

For now, the lawmakers still seem to find pot too hot to handle as a political weapon. Republicans in the state have shifted how they talk about the matter, but Democrats aren’t trying to capitalize on what could potentially become a new wedge issue in their favor this cycle — and in elections to come.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have legalized medical marijuana. Only Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana, but more are expected to vote on whether to change their laws, including Oregon and Alaska in November, as polls have shown surging support for legalization.

Udall, whose race could decide control of the Senate, said marijuana is now simply a business interest in Colorado.

“We are all together in urging the attorney general to let this experiment unfold,” Udall said in Greenwood Village, Colo., after an event with Denver business interests.

But he hasn’t attacked Gardner’s hard-line record on marijuana, something advocates for legalization call a missed opportunity.

“It seems that many elected officials … still haven’t come to terms with the fact that marijuana legalization is a mainstream issue that’s supported by a growing majority of the public,” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, a legalization advocacy group. Full story

September 9, 2014

New Hampshire Primary Results: Republicans Pick House Nominees (Updated)

New Hampshire Primary Results: Republicans Pick House Nominees (Updated)

Garcia is a Republican in the 2nd District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Updated 10:32 p.m. | Former Rep. Frank Guinta won the Republican nomination for New Hampshire’s 1st District and will face Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for the third time in as many cycles.

Guinta was leading former University of New Hampshire business school dean Dan Innis, 49 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race for the former member.

The race for the 1st District will likely be the most competitive race in New England, marking the GOP’s best shot at making inroads in the region in a House race. The race is rated Tilts Democratic by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Full story

John Tierney Loses Primary in Massachusetts (Video)

John Tierney Loses Primary in Massachusetts (Video)

Tierney is a Massachusetts Democrat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:52 p.m. | Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., became the cycle’s first Democratic incumbent to lose a primary Tuesday when he fell to a well-funded challenger in the 6th District.

Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton was leading Tierney, 51 percent to 40 percent, when The Associated Press called the race for the challenger.

Moulton now moves on to face former state Sen. Richard Tisei in November in this district, located northeast of Boston. Full story

New Hampshire Primary Results: Scott Brown Wins Senate Nomination (Video)

New Hampshire Primary Results: Scott Brown Wins Senate Nomination (Video)

Brown will face Shaheen in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown locked up the GOP nomination for Senate Tuesday in New Hampshire, defeating several opponents.

The Republican had 49 percent of the vote when The Associated Press called the race with 21 percent of precincts reporting.

Brown, who previously represented neighboring Massachusetts in the Senate, will face incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., in November. Full story

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...