Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 28, 2014

June 18, 2014

Poll: Tight Iowa Senate Race

Poll: Tight Iowa Senate Race

A new poll shows Braley, above, in a tight race with Ernst for Senate in Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A new poll showed Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, with a narrow lead, 44 percent to 40 percent, over his Republican opponent, state Sen. Joni Ernst, in the competitive race for Senate.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, released Wednesday morning, comes a couple weeks after Ernst’s resounding victory in the Republican primary that local operatives say put this race in play. Ernst and Braley are vying for the seat currently held by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who is retiring.  Full story

Lankford Builds Momentum in Oklahoma Senate Race

Lankford Builds Momentum in Oklahoma Senate Race

Lankford is running for Senate in Oklahoma. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Don’t call it a comeback. Rep. James Lankford was always there.

But the Oklahoma Republican’s Senate bid has picked up momentum ahead of Tuesday’s primary, which now looks likely proceed to a runoff, giving Lankford his clearest shot at the open seat.

To win the GOP nod, the two-term congressman must eclipse the national star power of his most formidable opponent, former state Speaker T.W. Shannon, in a battle that also includes former state Sen. Randy Brogdon and several lesser-known candidates. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the primary vote Tuesday, the top two vote recipients head to an August runoff.

Lankford’s recent rise in polls and on the airwaves are signals that scenario, and his chances of taking the nomination, are increasingly likely, according to Sooner State Republicans.

“It seems to me now like Lankford has the momentum,” said Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Dave Weston.

Full story

June 17, 2014

Reinforcements Infiltrate Mississippi Senate Race Runoff

Reinforcements Infiltrate Mississippi Senate Race Runoff

In the Mississippi Senate race, McDaniel received more outside help Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Conservatives Fund launched a new TV ad in Mississippi on Tuesday, becoming the latest outside group to spend significant money on the state’s Republican Senate primary runoff.

With a week to go in the three-week-long race, the SCF’s political action arm expended $210,000 for a spot arguing “it’s time for a conservative change” from six-term Sen. Thad Cochran to state Sen. Chris McDaniel.

 

The outside help comes as both candidates have pushed to raise money of their own for the extended contest. Cochran benefited from a 250-person fundraiser at the National Republican Senatorial Committee last week that provided an $820,000 financial surge. Full story

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

NRCC Reserves $30 Million for TV Ads in 2014

The NRCC Chairman is Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee has reserved $30 million in television airtime this fall, signaling it is preparing to go on offense in 17 districts and defend nine more.

The NRCC has put its marker down in many of the same House districts as its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. It’s a good indicator of which races both parties think will be most competitive in November.

But there are a few competitive districts not included in the NRCC’s initial reservations, such as Iowa’s 3rd District — an open seat currently held by a Republican that is one of this cycle’s few Tossup races.

Also, the NRCC’s television reservations total $13.5 million less than what the DCCC has already reserved for this fall. The committees will likely shift and add more airtime as individual races develop during the rest of the cycle.  

But the DCCC has raised more money than the NRCC this cycle. As of the end of April, the DCCC had $43.3 million in the bank, while the NRCC had $32.3 million.

Here are the districts where the NRCC has already reserved airtime for this fall:

Full story

T.W. Shannon Makes Final Airwaves Push Before Primary

T.W. Shannon Makes Final Airwaves Push Before Primary

Lankford faces T.W. Shannon in the June 24 Senate primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon has debuted two new ads in the last week before the Senate GOP primary: a positive spot touting his credentials, plus an ad featuring former Rep. J.C. Watts, R-Okla.

Shannon and Rep. James Lankford, R-Okla., are locked a tight GOP primary on June 24  that will likely head to an August runoff if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., is stepping down at the end of this Congress, creating this contentious special election for his seat.

In Shannon’s positive spot, provided to CQ Roll Call, Shannon speaks directly to the camera.

“America is at a crossroads,” he says, standing near Route 66. Full story

June 16, 2014

Crossroads Upends New York’s 21st District Primary

Crossroads Upends New Yorks 21st District Primary

Crossroads is spending heavily in New York's 21st District primary against Matt Doheny, above. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In New York’s sprawling 21st District, a recent influx of more than $1 million from outside groups has catapulted a 29-year-old first-time candidate ahead of the two-time nominee in the Republican primary for this coveted seat.

American Crossroads alone has already made more than $750,000 in independent expenditures to boost former White House aide Elise Stefanik’s bid — the group’s only spending in a House primary so far in 2014.

The June 24 Republican primary pits Stefanik against Matt Doheny, a deep-pocketed businessman and repeat candidate.

Early on in the race, Doheny’s familiarity with local voters and track record of self-funding his campaigns gave him an advantage. But two outside groups have flooded the district’s airwaves in a way that sources say has thrown the momentum to Stefanik.  Full story

Lankford Led Shannon in Oklahoma Senate Pre-Primary Fundraising

Lankford Led Shannon in Oklahoma Senate Pre Primary Fundraising

Lankford is running in the June 24 Senate primary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. James Lankford headed into the final three weeks of the Oklahoma Republican Senate primary with more than double the cash on hand of his top opponent, state Speaker T.W. Shannon.

Shannon and Lankford are locked in a tight battle to succeed Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who is resigning at the end of this Congress. The winner of the June 24 primary — or Aug. 26 runoff — will be heavily favored in the November special election to serve out the remaining two years of Coburn’s term.

According to pre-primary reports filed last week with the Federal Election Commission, Lankford had $732,000 in cash on hand as of June 4, while Shannon had $330,000. Full story

NRCC Raises $900,000 at Annual House Leadership Fundraiser

NRCC Raises $900,000 at Annual House Leadership Fundraiser

Cantor helped the NRCC raise nearly $1 million on Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The National Republican Congressional Committee raised $900,000 Monday at its annual House leadership fundraiser in Manhattan, according to a source familiar with the event.

Speaker John A. Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy were all in attendance at the New York City event, held just days before the House GOP conference will hold leadership elections.

Cantor lost his primary in Virginia last week and will step down as majority leader July 31. McCarthy faces Idaho Rep. Raúl Labrador in his bid for majority leader, but he is expected to cruise to victory on Thursday.

Full story

Duck Dynasty Cousin Enters Louisiana House Race (Updated)

Duck Dynasty Cousin Enters Louisiana House Race (Updated)

Duck Dynasty's Willie Robertson, right, attended State of the Union as McAllister's guest this year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:04 p.m. | Businessman Zach Dasher, a cousin of the star of “Duck Dynasty,” announced Monday he will run for Louisiana’s 5th District.

The seat is currently held by embattled GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, who won the district in a special election last November — largely thanks to the local reality television superstar Willie Robertson’s support.

But Dasher said he has the full support of the Robertson family in a Monday morning interview with Louisiana radio show host Moon Griffon.

The news comes as a blow for McAllister, who has waffled in recent weeks about whether he’s running for re-election. Earlier this year, McAllister was caught on video kissing a staffer in his district office — an incident that gave him the title “kissing congressman.

Full story

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren Endorses in Targeted Massachusetts Race

Elizabeth Warren is in demand on the 2014 campaign trail for Democrats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., endorsed Rep. John F. Tierney’s re-election bid at a campaign rally in the Bay State’s 6th District Monday, calling the House Democrat a “tireless champion for Massachusetts families.”

“I had the chance to work closely with Congressman Tierney on consumer protection issues years before I ran for the Senate, and I’m very glad to work as his partner in Congress today,” Warren said in a release. “Throughout his career, he has fought hard to strengthen our schools, to improve access to high-quality, affordable education, and to make the kinds of investments that grow our economy in the 6th District and across the Commonwealth.”

Tierney faces a primary in September against veteran Seth Moulton and attorney Marisa DeFranco. Moulton has raised more money than Tierney — one of only a few challengers to bring in more bucks than an incumbent this cycle — although the congressman has more cash in the bank.

Full story

Kay Hagan Gets Help From EMILY’s List on Airwaves

Kay Hagan Gets Help From EMILYs List on Airwaves

Kay Hagan will get some help from EMILY's List for her re-election campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign will get a boost this week from EMILY’s List independent expenditure arm, which will attack her GOP opponent on the television airwaves.

The North Carolina Democrat faces state Speaker Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, in one of the most competitive and expensive elections this cycle.

The Women Vote! ad attacks Tillis for cuts to education that the state legislature made last year — one of a number of items passed by the Republican-controlled legislature that Democrats have used to attack Tillis.

It features a teacher, speaking about the effects those cuts had on her classroom. Full story

June 13, 2014

Pre-Primary Reports Filed for Charlie Rangel, Mike Coffman and Many More

Pre Primary Reports Filed for Charlie Rangel, Mike Coffman and Many More

Rangel faces a competitive June 24 primary. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fundraising reports filed Thursday by candidates running in the June 24 primaries revealed eleventh hour insight into the financial viability of embattled incumbents and their challengers.

The reports, covering campaign finances from April 1 to June 4, show whether campaigns have money, how quickly they are spending it and how much cash they had for the final stretch.

After a tumultuous week, in which House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his primary, here is a look at the financial side of the races to watch in less than two weeks: Full story

Thad Cochran Rakes in Campaign Cash for Runoff

Thad Cochran Rakes in Campaign Cash for Runoff

Thad Cochran is fundraising for the runoff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Supporters in D.C. and Mississippi have opened their wallets for Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., since he came up 1,400 votes behind his GOP primary challenger last week and was forced into a runoff.

In the eight days since, the six-term incumbent has raised $370,000, according to multiple 48-hour reports filed to the Federal Election Commission as of Friday morning. That includes contributions from supporters back home, lobbyists and his fellow senators, including Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, John Cornyn of Texas and Jerry Moran of Kansas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

And there is more coming in. The NRSC hosted a 250-person fundraiser for Cochran on Tuesday that raised $820,000, a committee official confirmed. Some of those funds are likely reflected in his 48-hour reports. Full story

Indicted Congressman’s Fundraising Tanks

Indicted Congressmans Fundraising Tanks

Michael Grimm is a Republican from New York. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Embattled Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y., is struggling to fundraise for his campaign after a federal indictment, according to reports filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission.

Grimm brought in $47,000 for his campaign between April 1 and June 4, according to his pre-primary fundraising report.

That’s far less than the $144,000 that his Democratic opponent, former New York City Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia Jr., raised in the same period.

Recchia now has a financial advantage over Grimm, banking $1.07 million to Grimm’s $1 million.

Full story

June 12, 2014

Steny Hoyer Surpasses $1 Million in DCCC Dues

Steny Hoyer Surpasses $1 Million in DCCC Dues

Hoyer has anted up for the DCCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., crossed the $1 million mark in dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday, according to two Democratic leadership sources.

Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat, has also raised an additional $2.5 million on behalf of House candidates and incumbents over the course of the cycle. Full story

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