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Posts in "Oregon"
September 23, 2014
With six weeks to go, the fight for control of the Senate is down to five states, four of them currently held by Democrats.
Republicans must win only two of those contests to guarantee the 51 seats they need to control the Senate for the last two years of Barack Obama’s presidency. And they need to win only one of the Democratic states if they hold the only GOP seat at serious risk.
While things could still change — and national polls continue to show an environment that may produce a substantial GOP wave in the House and Senate — the Senate battle has boiled down to two reliably red states and three swing states.
June 9, 2014
With pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby’s Republican nomination in Oregon, national GOP strategists believe they have pulled another state onto the Senate playing field. But she still starts the general election as a considerable underdog against Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.
Wehby, a first-time candidate, does not have a legislative voting record to be dissected, but she faced a series of dramatic headlines about police reports and allegations of harassment from a former husband and boyfriend that came to light in the final days of the primary.
While Wehby is recovering from the Republican race, Merkley is using his financial advantage to hit the airwaves to define himself (in a 30-second ad titled “Fighter”) and to define Wehby as a national Republican (in a 30-second ad titled “Republican Agenda”). Full story
May 29, 2014
One hidden lesson from the recent Senate primary in Oregon: Always be nice to the lowest staffers in your office, because you never know where they might end up.
Back in 1998, Rob Collins was a young staff assistant on Capitol Hill working for Republican Rep. Frank Riggs. The congressman’s district director, Jason Conger, would call in to D.C. from northern California in order to talk to the chief of staff, and Collins was the one who patched him through. Full story
February 20, 2014
For Republicans in D.C., the Affordable Care Act is a black and white issue — you are either for it or against it. And they are all against it. But for many GOP legislators and candidates outside the Beltway, the politics of Obamacare is much more complicated.
In Oregon, state Rep. Jason Conger has been on the defensive for his votes to set up a state insurance exchange, Cover Oregon, as he seeks the GOP nomination in the U.S. Senate race.
According to The Oregonian, at least one of Conger’s opponents has attacked him for voting in favor of Cover Oregon, which had some well-publicized website difficulties. Of course, Conger didn’t let the charges go unanswered.
“Legislators don’t get to vote on federal law,” Conger responded in the article, saying that it wasn’t true his votes were the “equivalent of Obamacare.”
Conger isn’t the only candidate wrestling with the issue. Full story
January 8, 2014
As speaker of the state House, Thom Tillis is one of the most powerful politicians in North Carolina. But you wouldn’t know it from the Republican’s first ad in the U.S. Senate race.
“In the private sector, businesses are built on accountability,” Tillis says. “But accountability is a foreign language in Washington.” He goes on to couple Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan with President Barack Obama in the ad titled, “Let’s Clean Up Her Mess.”
July 14, 2013
Even in good Republican years, the West has proved to be something of a Democratic firewall. But in 2014, Republicans will likely need to win a big Senate race in Alaska to have any chance of flipping the chamber. And if the GOP were to suffer a three- or four-seat loss in California House seats, it might well put its control of the U.S. House in jeopardy.
Here are the top five races to watch in the West next year:
Alaska Senate. Defeating Democratic Sen. Mark Begich is crucial for Republicans if they plan on being in the majority in the Senate. The GOP will have a primary, but as long as the party does not nominate Joe Miller again, the party should be in the ballgame on Election Day. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Tossup/Tilt Democrat. Get the full Rothenberg Political Report analysis here ($).
California’s 52nd District. Democratic Rep. Scott Peters defeated GOP Rep. Brian Bilbray last year in a San Diego-area district, but he is already a Republican target. Former San Diego City Councilman Carl DeMaio is running close to Peters, and the race has hardly started. DeMaio, who is openly gay, is running as a new kind of Republican, but Democrats plan to tell another story. Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating: Lean Democrat. Full story