Tags: Rick Berg

The Post-Akin GOP Outlook for the Senate . . . Doesn’t Look That Bad!


Argh. What are the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and grassroots Republicans and conservatives, supposed to do, now that Todd Akin has exponentially complicated the effort to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and win the three (or four, if Romney doesn’t win) seats needed to take over the Senate?

All they have is Nebraska, where state senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in a seat where incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring, and North Dakota, where Rick Berg is up 9 on in a seat where incumbent Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring . . .

and Montana, where Rep. Denny Rehberg has a small but consistent lead over incumbent Jon Tester . . .

and Wisconsin, where Tommy Thompson has an increasing lead over Tammy Baldwin to fill the Senate seat occupied by the retiring Herb Kohl . . .

. . . but they have to make up the likely loss in Maine, where either a Democrat or a Democratic-leaning independent is likely to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe . . . and they need to keep Sen. Scott Brown in office in Massachusetts, where the latest poll has him . . . er, only up by 5 . . .

. . . and they have to hold Indiana in a presidential year, when Rasmussen has Republican Richard Mourdock slightly ahead . . . and make sure that Sen. Dean Heller keeps his consistent lead in Nevada . . .

and . . . hey, wait a minute . . . Connie Mack looks pretty competitive against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida . . . George Allen remains neck-and-neck with Tim Kaine in Virginia . . .

. . . what’s this? Could incumbent Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown really be tied with GOP challenger Josh Mandel in Ohio, as Rasmussen suggests? And what’s this eye-popping suggestion that in Connecticut, “former wrestling executive Linda McMahon holds a narrow lead over Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race. A new telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut shows McMahon with 49 percent of the vote to Murphy’s 46 percent . . .”

Gee, suddenly the outlook for Republicans in the Senate races doesn’t look so bad anymore, does it?

Tags: Connie Mack , Dean Heller , Deb Fischer , Denny Rehberg , George Allen , Josh Mandel , Linda McMahon , Richard Mourdock , Rick Berg , Scott Brown , Senate Republicans , Tommy Thompson

‘I know I’ve disappointed you with a vote here or there.’


Nine-term incumbent Democrat congressman Earl Pomeroy wants to introduce himself to his constituents:

Pomeroy’s closing argument: Next year, Republicans will “kill the farm bill, privatize Social Security, or take away the prescription drug benefit.” Apparently in Pomeroy’s world, Barack Obama will not have a veto, starting in January 2011.

I like the mournful, sad, long guitar chord in the background, a dirge for Pomeroy’s House career.

Rick Berg for North Dakota: Because he’ll never offer such a self-pitying ad.

Tags: Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

His Name Is Earl, and He Can Start in January


Say Anything notices that Rasmussen has the latest sign that North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy should be looking at other employment opportunities in January.

UPDATE: Elsewhere, Monmouth finds Republican Andy Harris up 11 points on incumbent Democrat Frank Kratovil in Maryland’s 1st congressional district.

Tags: Andy Harris , Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

The Big DCCC Advertising Wave Gets Smaller


Hmm. Over at Say Anything, they notice…

Tonight comes word that said “triage” has happened. The DCCC had scheduled several big-money ad buys with media outlets in the state, but now those ad buys have been canceled.

From the Berg campaign via emailed press release:

“We are going to have to win these races one by one,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, conceding that the party would ultimately cut loose members who had not gained ground.

North Dakota television stations confirmed today that the DCCC television buy for the weeks of 9/27 and 10/5 have been canceled in North Dakota.

Oh, I’m sure the DCCC canceled the ads because they’re so confident. Why, look at the polls…

… Oh.

Tags: Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

Guy in Office for 30 Years Calls His Rival a ‘Career Politician’ for Spending 26 Years in State Legislature


Democrat Earl Pomeroy hits his GOP opponent, Rick Berg, for being a “career politician” because he’s been a state legislator for 26 years.

Of course, as a state legislator, Berg serves for 80 days every two years and when interim sessions are required.

And Pomeroy became a state legislator . . . 30 years ago.

And became state insurance commissioner in 1985. And he’s been in the U.S. Congress for 18 years. But he insists the other guy is a career politican.

I like this cheery video from a local skeptic of the ad:

Does Pomeroy really think North Dakotans will forget he’s been in office since January 1993?

Tags: Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

Hey, Look, Rick Berg’s Ahead Again. What a Surprise.


Because North Dakota’s House district encompasses the entire state, and because Rasmussen polls the state fairly regularly, the race between incumbent Democrat Earl Pomeroy and GOP challenger Rick Berg is becoming one of the most frequently polled House races in the country.

The results are pretty consistent. Here’s the latest:


Republican challenger Rick Berg remains slightly ahead of incumbent Democratic Congressman Earl Pomeroy in the race for North Dakota’s only U.S. House seat.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely North Dakota voters shows Berg with 53% support, his best showing in the contest to date, while Pomeroy picks up 44% of the vote. One percent (1%) favor some other candidate in the race, and three percent (3%) are undecided. 

Tags: Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

The Good News for Republicans in the Latest Fund-Raising Numbers


Looking around some more House races, there are a bunch of GOP challengers who are fundraising powerhouses similar to North Carolina’s Ilario Pantano, who’s outraising a longtime incumbent almost 2 to 1.

In Ohio’s 1st congressional district, Steve Chabot has more cash on hand than Democratic incumbent Steve Dreihaus. Republican Steve Stivers (yes, there are a lot of Steves in Ohio) has a nearly $300,000 cash-on-hand edge over the incumbent, Mary Jo Kilroy.

The self-financing of Rich Iott in Ohio’s 9th district is keeping him close to Marcy Kaptur, and Tom Ganley has self-financed his way to a big advantage in the 13th district over Betty Sue Sutton.

In an open-seat race in Pennsylvania’s 6th district, Pat Meehan is outpacing Democrat Brian Lentz. Between his $300,000 or so in self-financing and his $300,000 or so in donations, and his pre-existing name recognition, I have little doubt that former Philadelphia Eagle Jon Runyan will be able to keep pace with Democratic incumbent Rep. John Adler.

When Cory Gardner has more than three-quarters of a million cash-on-hand, I figure he’ll be able to keep pace with Rep. Betsy Markey – it’s large, rural, GOP-leaning district in Colorado. Similarly, North Dakota’s a pretty inexpensive state, so Rick Berg’s $752,000 should provide a good bang for the buck up against incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy, with his $1.7 million.

Then there are bits of news like this: “North Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Elaine Marshall has less than $200,000 in campaign cash. That’s $6 million less than her Republican opponent, Sen. Richard Burr.”

Tags: Cory Gardner , Jon Runyan , Pat Meehan , Rich Iott , Richard Burr , Rick Berg , Steve Chabot , Steve Stivers , Tom Ganley

Earl Pomeroy Is in Trouble, and President Obama Can’t Save Him


In North Dakota, Republican challenger Rick Berg continues to lead Democrat incumbent Rep. Earl Pomeroy:

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in North Dakota shows Berg with 51% support to Pomeroy’s 44%. Just one percent (1%) prefer some other candidate in the race, while five percent (5%) are undecided.

These findings are little changed from a month ago.

Obviously, things can change between now and November, but this is not a state where the economy can turn around quickly (unemployment is already among the lowest in the nation), and it’s not a state where Obama can fly in and rally the base (his approval is at 41 percent here), and none of his policies are that popular here:

Opposition to the health care law in North Dakota remains higher than it is nationally. Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters in the state favor repeal of the measure, while 31% are opposed. This includes 49% who Strongly Favor repeal and 21% who Strongly Oppose it.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of North Dakota voters oppose a U.S. Justice Department challenge of Arizona’s new immigration law. Only 17% think the challenge is a good idea. Seventy-one percent (71%) say U.S. troops should be sent to the Mexican border to help prevent illegal immigration.

Just 30% of voters in the state believe it is possible for the United States to win the war in Afghanistan; 38% do not.

When you’ve trailed five straight months . . . well, the voters are trying to tell you something.

Tags: Barack Obama , Earl Pomeroy , Rick Berg

The Young Guns Come to Washington


Just returned from an NRCC event showcasing their “Young Guns,” chatting with top-tier GOP House challengers like Jackie Walorski and Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Rick Berg of North Dakota, Jim Renacci of Ohio, Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin, and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

Perhaps what is most striking about them comes from a comment by Walorski, that all of their stories have certain common themes: Until recent years, most never expected to run for Congress; most are watching what’s occurring in Washington in disbelief; most are from fairly conservative districts where a Democrat won in recent cycles by running against past Republican failures and pledging to govern as a moderate; and most describe the voters in their district as mad as hell.

Walorski said she knew there had been a titanic shift in the district’s politics while campaigning in recent weeks, when she experienced “senior citizens reach out and grab you, and hold on to you as they’re talking, in Democratic communities.” She said that the health-care bill was particularly worrying seniors in her district, and the economy worried everyone in her district.

I asked minority whip Eric Cantor what indicators he’s watching to get a sense of how 2010 will play out. He noted the intensity of the tea-party protests and constituents showing up at town-hall meetings across the country; the notable swing in independents since 2008; and the palpable frustration on both sides of the aisle with the sensibility that “Washington knows best.”

I also asked whether the special election in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district, where Democrat Mark Critz won rather handily, suggested that the GOP had overestimated  its momentum this year.

“We have some work to do, and we have five months to do it,” he said, noting that the Young Guns had attracted NRCC support by meeting particular thresholds in fundraising, new media, grassroots organizing, and having various operations in place. “The benchmarks vary widely from district to district,” Cantor said, “You’re not going to need the same level of fundraising if you’re running in North Dakota’s at-large district than if you’re running in, say, southeastern Pennsylvania outside Philadelphia.”

Cantor noted that the PA-12 race was ranked about 60th on their list of competitive House races, so there is much lower-hanging fruit before the GOP in November. 

Tags: Cory Gardner , Eric Cantor , Jackie Walorski , Jim Renacci , Larry Bucshon , Lou Barletta , Rick Berg , Sean Duffy

One 24-Point Swing and North Dakota’s a Tight Race Again


In North Dakota, Democrat Earl Pomeroy trails Republican Rick Berg by the widest margin yet, 9 percentage points.

No help from the top of the ticket, where Republican governor and senatorial candidate John Hoeven leads the Democrat by a mere 72 percent to 23 percent.

Tags: Earl Pomeroy , John Hoeven , Rick Berg

Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review