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February 14, 2016

Posts in "Senate"

February 9, 2016

The $100 Jacket Politicians Use to Pretend To Be Normal People


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The barn jacket has become the go-to fashion accessory for candidates trying to appeal to the common folk. (Screengrab: David Trone for Congress)

David Trone has never run for office before, but he’s wearing the standard issue uniform of a politician in his first television ads: the barn jacket.

The wealthy Maryland Democrat thrust himself into the 8th District primary with close to a $1 million ad buy in the expensive Washington, D.C., media market. In the ad, entitled “Bet the Farm,” the owner of the Total Wine & More chain of stores dons a barn jacket to take viewers on a tour of the family farm where he grew up.

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January 26, 2016

Presented by Proctor and Gamble

Politicians Who Cry Wolf in Fundraising Emails


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Wyden isn’t the only member in a safe race to claim imminent doom in a fundraising email, only a recent offender. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Fundraising emails are mind-numbing. The sheer volume (both in quantity and apocalyptic language) has a way of desensitizing potential donors and reporters alike. But some pleas for money go beyond exaggerating.

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon certainly isn’t the only lawmaker in a safe race to claim imminent electoral doom in a fundraising email, but his campaign is a recent offender.

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January 25, 2016

NRSC Names Huey IE Director


NRSC Senior Advisor Daniel Huey will be the committee’s independent expenditure director for the 2016 cycle. The committee also picked Chelsea Hawker as deputy director for the IE.

“Together with our great candidates and their state-of-the-art campaigns, Daniel and Chelsea’s talent will again prove to be our competitive advantage, said NRSC Executive Director Ward Baker in a release first obtained by Roll Call. “Our committee’s confidence that we will protect the majority stems from having an unparalleled team working relentlessly to elect a group of outstanding candidates.”

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January 14, 2016

Beshear Looks Back, Forward on Kentucky’s Political Landscape


WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 05:  Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (R) talks to reporters after attending a caucus meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)  (C), Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY) and other leaders in the Capitol Visitors Center December 5, 2013 in Washington, DC. While touting his state's healthcare reform success, Beshear told reporters that voters and politicans neet to be patient with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the Healthcare.gov website.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Beshear talks to reporters in 2014 after attending a caucus meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Joseph Crowley to tout his state’s health care reform success. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

In 2014, Steve Beshear sat in the first lady’s box during the State of the Union as President Barack Obama applauded the Democratic governor’s work on health care in Kentucky. Just two years later, Beshear is out of office and feuding with his Republican successor, who vowed to undo his work.

“And if you want to know the real impact this law is having, just talk to Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, who’s here tonight,” said Obama, referencing the Affordable Care Act. “Kentucky’s not the most liberal part of the country. That’s not where I got my highest vote totals. But he is like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth’s families.”

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January 8, 2016

Obama’s Empty Campaign Threat on Gun Control


FAIRFAX, VA - JANUARY 7:  (AFP OUT) U.S. President Barack Obama listens to a question from Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu during  a live town hall event with CNN's Anderson Cooper  (R) at town hall at George Mason University on January 7, 2016 in Fairfax, Virginia. The president this week announced new, relatively mild executive actions to regulate the gun industry.  (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

Obama listens to a question from Pintal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu during a town hall event on Thursday. (Aude Guerrucci/Pool/Getty Images)

In the heat of his push for more gun control, President Barack Obama threatened to withhold support from anyone, including Democrats, who didn’t support “common-sense” changes. But based on the political realities of this cycle, his comments aren’t likely to dramatically impact Senate races.

“Even as I continue to take every action possible as president, I will also take every action I can as a citizen,” Obama wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not support common-sense gun reform.”

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January 4, 2016

Top Races in 2016: Mountain Region


DENVER, COLORADO - NOVEMBER 4: Elections judge Tim Drago of Denver, Colorado collects a ballot from a passing motorist at the Denver Elections Division Building on November 4, 2014. It was the final day that voters could cast and drop off a ballot in a mainly mail-in ballot election year in Colorado. (Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

Elections judge Tim Drago collects a ballot from a passing motorist at the Denver Elections Division Building in Denver on Election Day 2014. (Marc Piscotty/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the seventh in a series looking at the most competitive House and Senate races in 2016. The Mountain Region covers Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.

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January 1, 2016

Top Races in 2016: The Plains States


WEST DES MOINES, IA - NOVEMBER 04:  Supporters celebrate after hearing that Republican candidate Joni Ernst won the U.S. Senate race on election night at the Marriott Hotel November 4, 2014 in West Des Moines, Iowa. Ernst and her opponent Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) were locked in a months-long campaign battle that had them tied in the polls going into election day.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Supporters of Joni Ernst celebrate on Election Night 2014 after hearing that their candidate had won. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the fifth in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in 2016. The Plains Region covers Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

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December 31, 2015

Top Races in 2016: The Midwest


MILWAUKEE, WI - NOVEMBER 4:  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker casts his ballot on election day at Jefferson Elementary School, November, 4, 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Walker is running in a tight race against opponent Democratic candidate for Governor Mary Burke. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker votes in Milwaukee on Election Day 2014. (Darren Hauck/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the fourth in a series of eight regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races for 2016. The Midwest Region covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

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December 30, 2015

Top Races in 2016: The South


ST. PETERSBURG, FL - NOVEMBER 6:  Volunteer David Bowser peeks outside the Pinellas County Democratic Party headquarters November 6, 2012 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Bowser showed up to provide rides to polls for those in need. The swing state of Florida is a hotly-contested battleground that offers 29 electoral votes. (Photo by Edward Linsmier/Getty Images)

Volunteer David Bowser peeks outside the Pinellas County Democratic Party headquarters in St. Petersburg on Election Day 2012. (Edward Linsmier/Getty Images File Photo)

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of looks at the most competitive House and Senate races in the 2016 election cycle.

The South region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

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December 29, 2015

Top Races in 2016: Mid-Atlantic States


PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMEBER 6:   A cardboard sign points to a polling place on November 6, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. U.S. citizens go to the polls today to vote in the election between Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican nominee former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

A cardboard sign points to a polling place in Philadelphia on Nov. 6, 2012. (Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images File Photo)

This is the second in a series of regional looks at the most competitive House and Senate races to watch in 2016.

The Mid-Atlantic region includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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December 23, 2015

Is Stutzman Still the Club for Growth’s Guy?


UNITED STATES - JUNE 18: Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind., speaks with reporters as he leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Since October, Stutzman has had a near-complete overhaul of his campaign team. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Club for Growth endorsed GOP Rep. Marlin Stutzman in the Indiana Senate race this summer, but the congressman was a glaring omission from the anti-tax group’s end-of-the-year fundraising email.

The email from Club President David McIntosh highlighted House candidates Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Duncan of North Carolina, GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis (who is running for the Senate in Florida), as well as Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania. But there was no mention of Stutzman, who has a 93 percent lifetime rating with the Club.

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December 8, 2015

What Does It Take To Crack the Inner Circle of Political Consultants?


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Edwards’ “prostitutes over patriots” ad is credited with helping him beat Vitter (YouTube)

Democrat John Bel Edwards’ “prostitutes over patriots” ad will be remembered as one of the most-hard hitting television spots in campaign history. But did it catch the attention of national Democratic strategists?

Political consulting is a competitive sport with millions of dollars at stake. There is plenty of jockeying to be on top strategists’ unofficial list of approved consultants in order to be recommended to candidates and be in line for independent expenditure work.

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December 6, 2015

Rothenberg’s End of the Year Awards


What if Trump won. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It has been almost 20 years since I started writing a best/worst end of the year column. Since I’m committed to doing them until I finally get one right, here goes this year’s attempt.

Weirdest Political Development of 2015 Full story

December 3, 2015

4 Court Cases That Could Impact the 2016 Elections


UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 2: Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., listens during the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing on "Saving Medicare for Seniors Today and in the Future," in the Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The court will review whether Virginia lawmakers improperly “packed” minority voters into Scott district to minimize their influence elsewhere. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Breaking news can be hard to predict, except when it’s tied to a controversial court case.

Candidates and consultants spend their time, energy and dollars staying on message — trying to focus voters on winning issues. But breaking news, even something such as a court decision that can be anticipated, often derails those plans by interjecting a subject that wasn’t in the campaign prospectus into the national conversation. Full story

December 2, 2015

Who Is the Second Most Vulnerable Senate Incumbent in 2016?


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Johnson’s re-election race, along with those of Ayotte and Toomey, are at the core of the battle for control of the Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

There is little doubt about the identity of the most vulnerable senator seeking re-election next year. It’s Illinois Republican Mark S. Kirk, who hopes to win a second term in a very Democratic state in a presidential year. His prospects are bleak.

But who ranks just behind Kirk as the second most vulnerable senator up next year?

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