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December 1, 2015

Posts in "Massachusetts"

April 10, 2015

Wyden Looks Safe, but Democratic Rift Is Real

Elections 2016

Wyden speaks with reporters as he arrives for the Senate Democrats’ policy lunch on Dec. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Liberal groups have targeted Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden for defeat in next year’s elections unless he sides with them on upcoming trade deals. But any talk about the four-term Democrat’s vulnerability is premature until there is a challenger.

“Secretive Trade Deal Could Pose Problems At Home For Ron Wyden,” a rather alarming Huffington Post headline declared in February. The corresponding story appears to be based on a poll paid for by Democracy for America and a press release circulated to create doubt about the senator’s re-election bid. But the structure of the survey unfortunately doesn’t measure Wyden’s vulnerability.

Full story

October 24, 2014

Race Ratings Changes in New Hampshire, Massachusetts

Steve Southerland

Is the race slipping away from Shaheen? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings in one Senate and one gubernatorial race.

You can read more explanation in the Oct. 24 update for Rothenberg Political Report subscribers ($).

Here are the races: Full story

October 17, 2014

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Ratings Changes

Mark Pryor

Nunn is challenging Perdue for Georgia Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While national polls show a stable landscape, polls in individual races continue to show some movement. That movement leads us to make a number of changes to our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings.

Most of the House changes benefit the GOP, while the Senate and governor changes are far more mixed.

Senate Changes:

  • Georgia (GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss is retiring) from Republican Favored to Leans Republican.
  • Louisiana Senate (Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu) from Pure Tossup to Tossup/Tilts Republican.

(Read more about the Senate changes in the Oct. 17 Rothenberg Political Report ($))

House Changes: Full story

October 3, 2014

Three Election Trends That Could End in 2014

Pat Roberts

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I’m not certain how long a trend has to exist before it earns the status of an immutable political “law,” but three longtime truths are threatened this election cycle. Will all of them fall in November?

Trend #1: One party holds the Pennsylvania governorship for eight years and then loses the office to the other party.

You need to go back to World War II to find a time when Pennsylvania didn’t alternate its top elected office between the two major parties every eight years. Full story

August 21, 2014

Top 5 Races to Watch in New England

John Tierney

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New England hasn’t been fertile territory for Republican candidates of late, but the party has an opportunity to gain House seats in the region this November.

Surprisingly, even though the races have evolved, there is no change to the regional Top 5 Races to Watch list from last summer.

Here are the top five races to continue watching this cycle in New England: Full story

July 11, 2014

Imperfect People Get Elected to the Senate

Elizabeth Warren is a senator from Massachusetts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Warren is a Democrat from Massachusetts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the heat of the campaign, it can be easy to disqualify or dismiss candidates based on unsettling, or sometimes unseemly, revelations. But all you have to do is look at the current lineup of senators to realize that imperfect people win elections.

Connecticut is a great place to start.

In 2010, The New York Times pointed out inconsistencies between Democratic state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s rhetoric and his military service during the Vietnam era. It became a major issue in the campaign, but Blumenthal prevailed, 55 percent to 43 percent, over former wrestling executive Linda McMahon. Full story

April 18, 2014

8 House Race Ratings Changes Boost GOP, Democrats

Dold is waging a comeback bid in Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dold is waging a comeback bid in Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call made ratings changes in eight congressional districts and confirmed our rating in a ninth — Wisconsin’s 6th District — after GOP Rep. Tom Petri announced his retirement.

Here is a link to the Ratings map and a quick rundown of the moves we made, with links to the corresponding analysis. Full story

April 16, 2014

Ratings Change: Massachusetts’ 6th District

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

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

Massachusetts voters haven’t sent a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives from any district in nearly 20 years. Republican Richard Tisei nearly broke that streak in 2012 and is challenging Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., once again in 2014.

Tierney’s vulnerability is specific. Massachusetts’ 6th District voted for Barack Obama with 55 percent in 2012 and 57 percent in 2008. But Tierney nearly lost to Tisei last cycle, 48 percent to 47 percent, with the help from a Libertarian candidate who received 4.5 percent. Full story

November 15, 2013

23 of 25 Vulnerable Democrats Vote in Favor of Upton Bill

Kirkpatrick voted against the Upton bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kirkpatrick voted against the Upton bill. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Virtually every House Democrat listed as vulnerable by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call voted for Republican Michigan Rep. Fred Upton’s Keep Your Health Plan Act.

Two vulnerable Democrats voted against the bill: Ann Kirkpatrick of Arizona and John F. Tierney of Massachusetts.

Overall, 39 Democrats joined with the vast majority of Republicans in order to pass the bill; 23 of those 39 Democrats are rated as vulnerable to some degree. Unlike their fellow delegate Kirkpatrick, Arizona Reps. Ron Barber and Kyrsten Sinema voted for the bill.

What’s also striking about Kirkpatrick and Tierney is how different their districts and political situations are.

Full story

November 7, 2013

For Some Candidates, Home Is Where the Opportunity Is

McAuliffe won the gubernatorial race on Tuesday in Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McAuliffe won the gubernatorial race on Tuesday in Virginia. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

We all know that candidates and members don’t have to live in a House district in order to run or even represent that area. And I’ve written about a number of top-tier Democratic hopefuls this cycle who don’t live in the district where they are campaigning.

But there is a new category of candidate emerging this cycle: candidates who held office in one state but are running in another.

The most high-profile example is former Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown. Brown, who was defeated for re-election in 2012 by Democrat Elizabeth Warren, has not closed the door on running for the Senate in neighboring New Hampshire against incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.

Full story

August 29, 2013

What Happens When Political Spouses Misbehave?

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell has endured weeks of negative headlines as The Washington Post thoroughly examines his relationship with a campaign donor. But as the investigation moves along, his wife, first lady Maureen McDonnell, is coming under increased scrutiny as well.

Depending on the level of the Virginia governor’s involvement and legal jeopardy, his future political career is uncertain. McDonnell is prohibited from seeking re-election this fall but he was on the outskirts of the 2016 presidential discussion before the scandal broke. And he might have the opportunity to run for the U.S. Senate over the next decade, if he so chooses.

If the first lady ends up taking more of the blame for accepting gifts, Bob McDonnell wouldn’t be the first politician with a spouse in legal trouble. Here is a quick look at a few politicians and how their spouses’ legal problems affected their political careers. Full story

July 29, 2013

Former GOP House Candidate Marries Gay Partner

Massachusetts Republican Richard Tisei married his longtime partner earlier this month in the aftermath of losing one of the closest congressional races in the country — and probably just a few months before he begins another House campaign.

In 2012, Tisei came oh-so-close to defeating Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney in Massachusetts’ 6th District. In a race that many Democrats thought was a lost cause by Election Day, the incumbent won 48 percent to 47 percent — a margin of less than 1,000 votes. Full story

July 8, 2013

Top 5 Races to Watch in New England

Ayotte is one of the last Congressional Republicans in New England. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ayotte is one of the last congressional Republicans in New England. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Even in the best of times, New England isn’t particularly friendly to Republicans. Today, the GOP boasts just two members — Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — as the only elected officials at the federal level in the six-state region.

Next year, Republicans will try to climb back to some relevance. Here are the top five races to watch in that region:

Massachusetts’ 6th District: Democrats didn’t expect their own congressman, John F. Tierney, to survive last fall’s election, but he did. Former state Sen. Richard Tisei, a Republican, is on track for a rematch and this cycle, he won’t have to deal with President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren driving turnout for Tierney. Also, Tierney recently attracted a primary challenge from a former Marine, Seth Moulton. This is a Democratic district, but Tierney’s issues and Tisei’s strengths make this uniquely competitive. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Democrat.

Full story

July 1, 2013

RATINGS CHANGE: Massachusetts Senate

Brown's home state of Massachusetts is no longer competitive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brown’s home state of Massachusetts is no longer competitive. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After three consecutive competitive Senate elections in Massachusetts, it looks like we’re in for a dry spell.

Rep. Edward J. Markey, a Democrat, won the June 25 special election by a convincing 10 points, and there is little evidence he will be vulnerable when the seat is up again in November 2014.

Even though the situations are not completely analogous, former Sen. Scott P. Brown’s 2010 special election victory followed by his 8-point loss in the 2012 election demonstrates the difficult task ahead for the GOP in the Bay State. Full story

June 27, 2013

Gomez-Sanford Comparison on Obamacare Fails the Smell Test

You only need to look at the first paragraph of an “opinion” piece on Roll Call’s website to see that it wasn’t worthy of being posted on our website – or anyone’s. I’m not even going to include a link because I don’t want anyone to read it. (Editor’s Note: Here’s the link.)

“What’s the biggest difference between the victorious 2013 House special-election campaign of Mark Sanford and the losing 2013 Senate special-election campaign of Gabriel Gomez? Simply, a willingness to take on Obamacare,” write conservatives Heather R. Higgins and Kellyanne Conway in “Gomez Failed to Make Obamacare an Issue: Will Republicans Learn or Lose?”

That’s the biggest difference, huh? Only if you don’t know anything about politics and your main goal is to push an agenda.

Obviously, the two electorates are fundamentally different in so many ways that the comparison between Sanford’s victory and Gomez’s defeat is laughable. To begin with, President Barack Obama lost South Carolina’s 1st District 58 percent to 40 percent, but carried Massachusetts 60 percent to 37 percent.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Though Conway fashions herself to be a pollster, the op-ed includes no polling to make the case that Obama’s healthcare plan would have been a winning issue, or even an effective one, for Gomez in the Bay State, where the president is quite popular.

I could go through the piece in more detail, pointing out various problems with it, but, quite frankly, it doesn’t deserve that much attention.

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