Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2014

Posts in "Washington"

March 19, 2014

Memo to Democrats: Running Toward Barack Obama Might Work

ireland005 031414 445x300 Memo to Democrats: Running Toward Barack Obama Might Work

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Should vulnerable Democratic incumbents in Republican-leaning districts run from President Barack Obama? The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza did a good job of explaining the futility of the strategy in his Tuesday post, “Memo to Democrats: Running from Barack Obama Won’t Work.”

There is an alternative, though in all likelihood few Democrats running in swing states or districts have considered it seriously: Run toward the president. And even though it may sound like political suicide, the strategy has been deployed with success in the past.

In 2004, Republican Dave Reichert was elected to Washington’s 8th District with 52 percent in what was then one of the most competitive seats in the country. He immediately became a Democratic target for the following midterm elections, particularly as President George W. Bush’s job ratings began to slide.

But instead of running as far away from President Bush as possible, Reichert invited him to the district for a fundraiser in mid-June 2006. Full story

September 20, 2013

House Strategists Continue Search for 2014 Candidates

My colleague Kyle Trygstad nearly declared the end to the Senate recruitment season recently, but House strategists on both sides of the aisle still have their work cut out for them.

With a little more than a year before Election Day, Republican and Democratic operatives are searching for quality candidates in more than a handful of districts. Both sides want as many offensive opportunities as possible to keep the other side pinned down in their own territory.

Down 17 seats, Democrats need more GOP takeover opportunities to make up for any losses and so they don’t have to win all of the competitive seats to get back to the majority next November. Full story

July 14, 2013

Top 5 Races to Watch in the West

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

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