Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 29, 2015

November 5, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Election Results Capitol Quip!

Vote for Your Favorite Election Results Capitol Quip!

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. Eastern Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Can I borrow that after you’re done with it?
  • You are just proving that money really does influence voters.
  • So a twenty-five cent coin trumps a billion dollars in attack ads?
  • Heads Republicans win; tails Democrats lose.
  • When I gave you a penny for your thoughts, I did not know that this is how you would waste it!

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Nov. 9 and in the following print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 3:25 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

ARLINGTON, Va. — After stringing a hotel ballroom full of supporters along for over four-and-a-half hours — and, himself, being kept in the dark about his professional future by nebulous return results — Sen. Mark Warner made an executive decision to call the still-undecided race in his favor.

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Warner, right, joined on stage by fellow Virginia Democrats Sen. Tim Kaine, far left, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, signals victory as minutes before midnight on Nov. 4 as his wife, Lisa Collis, looks on. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“I think we know about close races in Virginia,” the battle-scarred incumbent — who fell 5 points short of knocking out his predecessor, now-retired five-term Sen. John W. Warner, back in 1996 — joked with guests just minutes before election night furiously ticked to a close.

The 11th hour appearance (literally) was weirdly scored. Who puts the Pitbull-Kesha collaboration “Timber” and Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight” on the same playlist? And the yawning victory party (one bored-to-tears photog played solitaire for two hours straight) transpired regardless of the fact that network news anchors continued reporting that things were too close to call in the contest between Warner and his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie.

Even as the rest of the electoral map broadcast by CNN perilously flooded with red, ardent supporters attempted to keep their cool. Full story

Exit Polls: Congress Not Held in High Regard

Exit Polls: Congress Not Held in High Regard

Voters wait for their turn in one of the voting booths at Eleanor McMain School in New Orleans on Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress, consider the American public skeptical.

In Election Day’s mega-sampling of exit poll data, the public is pretty firm in its disapproval — 78 percent — of how Congress is handling its job. That disapproval rating was split between 52 percent of Republicans surveyed, 45 percent of Democrats and 3 percent other. Full story

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Keeping tabs on the shifting electoral landscape is much easier to do with a drink in your hand. At least that’s what HOH took away from the spirited exchanges we encountered in D.C. on election night 2014. At a watch party in The Jefferson Hotel organized by owner Connie Milstein, guests were greeted with warm smiles and air kisses — and then immediately hustled into a faux voting booth.

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Now that you voted, you can go to the bar!” one of the evening’s bubblier hostesses informed guests who’d just finished casting their ballots for those they’d most like to see run for president during the next cycle. Full story

Clay Aiken Lost! Long Live Clay Aiken!

Clay Aiken won’t be coming to Congress. But that doesn’t mean Clay Aiken is going away, not if Esquire Network’s “four-hour limited documentary series” on the “American Idol” runner-up-turned-wannabe0lawmaker has anything to do with it.

Aiken lost to Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s 2nd District on Tuesday night, 58 percent  to 41 percent. While Aiken’s celebrity profile attracted attention to the race, he faced an uphill battle from the start in a GOP district. He didn’t solidify his hold on the nomination until his primary opponent, Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, died in May. The Nov. 4 GOP tidal wave confirmed Aiken’s runner-up status.

But with Esquire’s documentary, put together by filmmakers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, Aiken is due for another encore in public life. “We were granted incredible access during the making of this documentary, and in turn were able to capture the internal workings of an American campaign – the good, the bad and the ugly,” Simon Chinn said in a statement announcing the series, which is scheduled to air early next year. Ugly? Clay Aiken? Who would have thought?

Related:

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies

Clay Aiken Returns to TV

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Overheard: ‘Enough’ With All This Reflection

“Enough about 2014. Let’s talk about 2016.”

— CNN Anchor John Berman this morning, making sure the nation doesn’t linger too long on an election that we still don’t know the final results of.

November 4, 2014

In the Trenches With Mark Preston: Election Overload Edition

While some Washingtonians blissfully lounged around this weekend, Mark Preston, the Roll Call alumnus now serving as executive editor of CNN Politics, was in the office Saturday morning, all suited up and ready to help demystify the election projections process.

Preston — along with other veteran CNN personalities such as omnipresent anchor Wolf Blitzer, Chief National Correspondent John King, Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist and a slew of others — was on hand for a day-long dry-run featuring every possible voting scenario political prognosticators could throw at the magic wall.

HOH reached out to Preston about what to watch out for on election night.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

MP: Early in the night I think the focus needs to be on North Carolina and New Hampshire, which close at 7:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET, respectively.

If the GOP defeats these two Democratic incumbents, then it is hard to argue that it is not going to be a good night for Republicans. Kansas offers the most suspense, because if independent Greg Orman defeats GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, the pressing question is going to be will Orman align himself with Senate Democrats or Senate Republicans?

If Orman wins, I doubt he will show his cards Tuesday night.

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

MP: No question, Alaska. Not only does it have one of the most competitive Senate races, but it also features a close governor’s race where independent Bill Walker and a Democrat Byron Mallott have formed a unity ticket to try and defeat GOP Gov. Sean Parnell.

Adding intrigue to the governor’s race is that Sarah Palin has endorsed the unity ticket over Parnell, her former lieutenant governor. Alaska is the great unknown in politics; it is a difficult state to accurately poll and it will make staying up late well worth it.

Full story

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

It’s Election Day 2014!

Which means its like Chrismukkah for political reporters who’ve spent several weeks/months/years weathering the avalanche of numbing campaign emails, soldiering through awkward interviews with combative candidates and crisscrossed countless counties to pick potential voters’ brains about what they want from their elected leaders.

Jake Tapper, a one-time Roll Call cartoonist turned host of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” has been in the thick of things seemingly forever.

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the countdown on to another marathon session of gorging on real-time voting returns, HOH quizzed Tapper about the good, the bad and the ugly of midterm mania.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

JT: Too many to count, but if I had to pick three Senate races that I’m really watching intensely, they are Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina. OK, that’s four. And Wisconsin and Florida for governor. But honestly, it’s not fair asking political junkies to pick faves with so many good ones to pick from!

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

JT: Florida, because if the winner has a margin of victory of 0.5 percent or less — which looks to be entirely possible — it goes to an automatic recount. And last time that happened I ended up all but a resident of Tallahassee for more than a month. So in addition to covering an intense race and getting a jump on the recount story, I would have squatters’ rights on a hotel room. (Anyone who lived through that knows the importance — especially for the FSU-Florida game weekend.)

Full story

Scott Rigell Fans Rage Against Sketchy Voting Machines

Voters in Virginia’s 2nd District attempting to return Republican Scott Rigell to Congress next year were met Tuesday with temperamental touchscreens that seemed to have completely different plans.

As shown in an anonymous video recorded on Election Day at Tallwood Elementary School in Virginia Beach, one voter’s repeated attempts to endorse Rigell results is logged each time as a nod to his Democrat challenger, Suzanne Patrick.

According to a Rigell aide, the two-term congressman began receiving concerned calls and texts around 7:45 a.m. from friends who’d had difficulty voting at various polling stations.

An earlier report said election officials were aware of irregularities, presumably caused by poorly handled electronics, at perhaps a dozen locations.

Team Rigell told HOH it’s currently tracking issues at some 40 precincts.

“This is not a partisan matter. This is about our vote,” Rigell told WAVY-TV about the troubling developments. “The stability of that, the integrity of the electoral process is at the very heart of our republic.”

Rigell has been in contact with the Virginia Department of Elections about the mushrooming problem.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Electoral Roller Coaster: Brace Yourself Edition

The problem with most — nay, every — campaign is that there must invariably be a winner and, pardon my French, a loser.

Assuming you and yours do wind up in the latter category this evening (or somewhere down the line), do try and make peace with whatever outcome unfolds.

Far be it from me to begrudge anyone a cathartic pity party. (Go ahead. Give that one-hit wonder Daniel Powter a final spin.)

But don’t wallow too long.

Lest you spend the rest of your days — much like these poor saps — slogging through the emotional quagmire colloquially known as the five stages of grief.

Denial and Isolation

Lying to oneself is rarely a winning proposition.

Just ask grossly disillusioned short-timer Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth. Full story

Electoral Roller Coaster: Ridin’ High Edition

Looking good, champ!

Another grueling race (virtually) in the bag. A big, shiny check-mark for the fabled win column.

There’s nothing wrong with savoring this hard-earned moment — basking in the validation of the citizenry entrusting you to be their white knight here on Capitol Hill.

Unless, of course, one were to get completely carried away and begin behaving like a three-sheets-to-the-wind wastoid barreling through the various stages of drinking.

Euphoria

Momentary adulation does not convey carte blanche to do/say whatever the hell pops into your endorphin-soaked mind.

Loose-cannon campaigner Mike Donnelly can certainly attest to that cold hard reality. Full story

November 3, 2014

Newt, Electing for Some Downtime

With just hours to go until the Election Day buzzsaw officially rips apart half the nation’s hopes and dreams, candidates are hustling to sew up every last possible vote any which way they can.

Louisiana Republican Bill Cassidy, who is hoping to unseat Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., in what’s likely to be a down-to-the-wire challenge, was pounding the pavement in search of support.

 

 

Full story

Integrating Church and State

Integrating Church and State

(Screenshot)

Worried your candidate won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell on Election Day?

The conservative leaders at Champion the Vote suggest you drop to your knees and do what comes naturally.

Why Vote? from Champion The Vote on Vimeo.

The politically-minded nonprofit aims to leverage the collective power of Christian voters (anywhere from 60 million to 90 million, depending on whether you believe their website or the ” target=”_blank”>promotional video) at the ballot box.

“Our nation was founded on Biblical principles, but God has been expunged from our culture, and as a consequence, our nation is in an ethical and moral mess,” the group warns online.

What about races where it comes down to choosing between lesser evils?

“’No’ in authority is perfect,” the calm, collected narrator of the “Why Vote?” spot notes. “Pray about it, and vote the better choice.”

So long, holding your nose. Hello, hailing a direct line to the Almighty.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

Turned On? Tune In! Or Drop Out (Whatevs)

(Screenshot)

Election night 2014 is looking like it’ll be a nail-biter.

With so many variables in play — Will the Affordable Care Act ultimately prove detrimental to Democrats’ professional health? Who will independent candidates caucus with on Capitol Hill? How long (and how many runoffs) before we divine the next Senate majority leader? — one might be tempted to grab a drink, catch a movie and perhaps wait for “The Daily Show” recap on Wednesday, rather than suffer through umpteen hours of wall-to-wall news coverage.

But that’s not how #ThisTown rolls, is it? Full story

November 2, 2014

Democracy Works Its Will | Capitol Quip

Democracy Works Its Will | Capitol Quip

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Election Day! Don’t feel that way? Do feel that way? That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:10 p.m.
Capitol Quip

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