Tags: Shelley Moore Capito

Three House Republicans, Running Strong in 2014 Senate Races


What a mess! The government is shut down, the polling numbers for Republicans are terrible, half the party is at the throats of the other half . . . the hopes for retaking the Senate in 2014 must be lost, right?

In a quartet of polls conducted in the final week of September (before the shutdown) things didn’t look so bad.

Let’s see how bad things look in Alaska . . . 

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for: the Republican 
candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican: 45%

Democrat: 35%

Someone Else: 8%

Not sure: 12%

Well, that’s intriguing. Sure, Mark Begich (D., Alaska) will probably run ahead of a generic Democrat, but the narrative du jour is that the shutdown and fight in Washington is ruining the Republican brand.

“But that’s a generic ballot!” Democrats will object. Up against named challengers . . . Begich leads GOP lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell 43 percent to 42 percent, he leads Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan 43 percent to 41 percent, and he leads 2010 Senate candidate Joe Miller 55 percent to 28 percent.

Then in Louisiana:

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for: the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican: 45%

Democrat: 41%

Someone Else: 4%

Not sure: 10%

Incumbent Democratic senator Mary Landrieu leads Republican representative Bill Cassidy . . . 46 percent to 44 percent. Keep in mind, Cassidy is one of those so-called extremists in the House Republican caucus.

Okay, how about Arkansas?

If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican 40%

Democrat 37%

Someone Else 2%

Not sure 20%

Head-to-head against GOP representative Tom Cotton (an NR favorite), incumbent Democrat Mark Pryor gets 45 percent to Cotton’s 42 percent. Keep in mind, Cotton is also one of those so-called extremists in the House Republican caucus.

A poll conducted on week into the shutdown found:

In the latest survey of 603 likely Arkansas voters, Pryor leads Cotton 42% to 41% with 17% of voters undecided. The poll, which was conducted on Tuesday, Oct. 8, has a margin of error of +/-4%.

Three incumbent Democratic senators in red states, topping out in the mid-40s; two of whom are up against Republican House members. It’s early, but that’s not a great place to be. Of course, Democrats might chalk that up to an anti-incumbent mood.

So let’s peek in West Virginia, where there will be an open-seat race . . . 

Q: If the election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you prefer to vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate?

Republican 48%

Democrat 36%

Someone Else 4%

Not sure 12%

Head to head, Representative Shelley Moore Capito, Republican, leads Natalie Tennant, Democrat, 51 percent to 34 percent. And yes, we have another member of the House Republican Caucus, doing well in a Senate race.

So the mess in Washington might be wrecking the GOP’s image . . . but there’s not yet much evidence that the muck is splashing onto those red state Senate challengers.

(Note: This post was edited after initial posting to reflect the dates of the polls.)

Tags: Senate Democrats , Mead Treadwell , Paul Begich , Tom Cotton , Shelley Moore Capito

Rockefeller Out; Senate Conservatives Fund Seeks New Option


Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, says he won’t run for another term.

For the Republicans, Representative Shelley Moore Capito had already announced her intent to run for the seat in 2014; the Club for Growth turned its collective nose up at her as an option and now the Senate Conservatives Fund — headed by Senator Jim DeMint until he left for Heritage — is singing a similar tune:

“Now that Rockefeller has taken himself out of the race, the door is wide open for Republicans in West Virginia to nominate a true conservative,” said SCF Executive Director Matt Hoskins. “President Obama lost the state by 26 points so there’s no reason a courageous conservative can’t win this race.”

In November, SCF announced it could not support Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate because of her liberal voting record in the U.S. House of Representatives. Just last year, Capito voted for the $1 trillion, budget-busting omnibus spending bill as well as a $2.4 trillion increase in the debt ceiling. Capito has a long history of supporting wasteful earmark spending, union wage mandates, and taxpayer funding for abortion.

“We’re not going to stop looking for a conservative challenger in this race until the primary is over. The voters in West Virginia get to decide who represents them and they should have a conservative choice. If we’re going to save this country, we have to find principled leaders who have the courage to stand up to the big spenders in both political parties. “

The Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to electing conservatives to the U.S. Senate. SCF raised over $25 million in the past two election cycles and helped elect eight U.S. Senators, including Pat Toomey (R-PA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mike Lee (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and Deb Fischer (R-NE).

West Virginia has proven a tough nut to crack for Republicans in statewide races in recent cycles — a disappointing 43 percent in a special Senate election in 2010, garnering 47 percent in a special gubernatorial election in 2011, finishing with 45 percent in 2012’s regular gubernatorial election. However, the state has become reliably Republican in presidential elections, and they picked up a U.S. House seat in 2010, when Dave McKinley beat Mike Oliverio; McKinley won easily with redrawn district lines this November.

Tags: Jay Rockefeller , Shelley Moore Capito , West Virginia

Club for Growth: Capito Is the Wrong Candidate in West Virginia


That didn’t take long; this morning the news broke that Representative Shelley Moore Capito, a West Virginia Republican, was preparing to run for Senate in 2014; hours later, the Club for Growth issues a statement that is distinctly unwelcoming her to the race:

Washington, DC — Today, Club for Growth PAC President Chris Chocola issued the following statement on news that Republican Congresswoman Shelly Moore Capito is running for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia:

“This year, the Republican establishment cheered the U.S. Senate candidacies of Congressmen Denny Rehberg and Rick Berg and former Congresswoman Heather Wilson. All three had the ‘right’ resumes, and all three had no ‘divisive’ primaries. Yet all three lost in races that were thought to be winnable,” ;said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “These three supposedly ‘electable’ Republican candidates also had something else in common: consistent support for bailouts, debt increases, earmarks, and massive expansions of big-government spending programs.”

“Today, along comes Rep. Shelly Moore Capito. Her candidacy will undoubtedly be cheered by the GOP establishment, and dire warnings will be issued against any ‘divisive’ primary challenges, lest other candidates hurt Capito’s chances of winning,” continued Chocola. “The problem is that Congresswoman Capito’s record looks a whole lot like the establishment candidates who lost this year. Congresswoman Capito has a long record of support of bailouts, pork, and bigger government. She voted to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for massive expansions of government-run health insurance, giveaways to big labor, and repeatedly voted to continue funding for wasteful earmarks like an Exploratorium in San Francisco and an Aquarium in South Carolina. That’s not the formula for GOP success in U.S. Senate races.”

“The way back for the Republican Party is the way of Jeff Flake, Ted Cruz, Pat Toomey, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee. All were supported by the Club for Growth PAC and grassroots Republicans. All are consistent supporters of limited government principles. All were winners because they could clearly articulate the pro-growth economic message. They are the future of the Republican Party,” concluded Chocola.

Of course, the Club for Growth had its own trouble with “the formula for GOP success in U.S. Senate races,” as three of its preferred candidates — Connie Mack in Florida, Josh Mandel in Ohio, and Richard Mourdock in Indiana — lost; Jeff Flake in Arizona and Ted Cruz in Texas won. In the House, Club for Growth was seven for seven.

The list of votes that Club for Growth finds objectionable is below:


        Has never voted for a conservative Republican Study Committee Budget (RCV #68, 2001; RCV #79, 2003, RCV #90, 2004; RCV #83, 2005; RCV #156, 2006; RCV #211, 2007; RCV #140, 2008; RCV #189, 2009, RCV #275, 2011)

·        Voted for SCHIP, the massive expansion of government-run health insurance five times, including once in 2007 when she was one of just five Republicans to do so. (RCV #787, 2007; RCV #906, 2007; RCV #1009, 2007; RCV #16, 2009; RCV #50, 2009)

·        Voted for “Cash for Clunkers” (RCV #314, 2009; RCV #682, 2009)

·        Voted for the $300 billion bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (RCV #519, 2008)

·        Voted for the Auto Bailout (RCV #690, 2008)

·        Voted for No Child Left Behind (RCV #497, 2001)

·        Voted for the August 2011 deal that raised the debt limit by trillions of dollars (RCV #690, 2011)

·        Repeatedly voted against blocking “Davis-Bacon” wage requirements (RCV #488, 2007; RCV #807, 2007; RCV #15, 2008; RCV #561, 2008; RCV #122, 2009; RCV #144, 2011; RCV #395, 2011; RCV #414, 2011; RCV #585, 2011)

·        Repeatedly voted for wasteful earmark spending like the Bronx Council for the Arts (RCV #335, 2006), an American Ballet Theatre (RCV #668, 2007), an Exploratorium in San Francisco (RCV #664, 2007), an Aquarium in South Carolina (RCV #669, 2007), and Grape genetics research (RCV #810, 2007)

·        Voted for McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform (RCV #34, 2002)

Tags: Club For Growth , Shelley Moore Capito , West Virginia

GOP’s Capito to Run for Senate in 2014


West Virginia has proven a tough nut to crack for Republicans in statewide races in recent cycles — a disappointing 43 percent in a special Senate election in 2010, garnering 47 percent in a special gubernatorial election in 2011, finishing with 45 percent in 2012′s regular gubernatorial election. However, the state has become reliably Republican in presidential elections, and they picked up a U.S. House seat in 2010, when Dave McKinley beat Mike Oliverio; McKinley won easily with redrawn district lines this November.

This morning, West Virginia Republicans know they’ve got at least one veteran contender in the 2014 Senate race:

West Virginia Republican Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito will announce Monday morning that she is running in 2014 for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Jay Rockefeller. 

Capito has long considered a run for the Senate, and passed on the most recent opportunity following the death of long-time Senator Robert Byrd.  She’s expected to say, among other things, that the timing is now right for her run.The announcement sets up a potential race between two West Virginia political heavyweights. Rockefeller, 75, is serving his fifth term in the Senate.  Prior to that he served two terms as Governor . . .

Rockefeller has indicated that he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but there continues to be speculation that he may retire at the end of this term.

Elected to the U.S. House in 2000, Capito is the first woman elected to Congress from West Virginia “in her own right,” meaning not as a widow of a member of Congress. She has a lifetime ACU rating of 70.27, with a score of 82 in 2011, the most recent completed year.

Tags: Jay Rockefeller , Shelley Moore Capito

In West Virginia, No Gubernatorial Bids for Capito, Raese


Don’t hold your breath while waiting for two of West Virginia’s more well-known Republicans to throw their hats in the ring for the state’s upcoming governor’s race: “Betty Ireland, a former secretary of state, said she spoke with [Rep. Shelley Moore] Capito, R-2nd, and with John Raese, who lost the special election in November to the U.S. Senate to succeed Robert C. Byrd, and both said they weren’t running for governor in 2012.”

Tags: Betty Ireland , John Raese , Shelley Moore Capito

West Virginia Republicans Need a Senate Candidate, Fast


Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia Republican, is expected to announce shortly that she will not be running in her state’s special Senate election.

Capito was the best-known option for Republicans in the state, but her candidacy might have had some flaws. She is an incumbent in a vehemently anti-incumbent year, she has made some pro-choice votes and would be running against a pro-life Democrat, and state lawmakers were facing a last-minute effort to change the law to ensure she could run for the House and Senate simultaneously. Had she run for the Senate and not House reelection, a currently GOP-held, and likely quite safe, House seat would be at risk.

Having said that, Republicans need a candidate to file by Friday.

Tags: Joe Manchin , Shelley Moore Capito

In the First West Virginia Poll, Shelley Moore Capito Clears a Very Low Bar


Rasmussen takes a look at the possible West Virginia Senate race, and finds that

popular Democratic Governor Joe Manchin is the early leader in hypothetical matchups with two of his possible Republican opponents. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in West Virginia, taken Thursday night, shows Manchin with 53% support, while Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito earns 39% of the vote.

Manchin’s early lead isn’t surprising; I’m reminded of this piece in Slate from 2004:

Until 2000, West Virginia had voted Republican in only three of the last 18 presidential elections: 1956, 1972, and 1984. What did those elections have in common? They featured Republican incumbents. West Virginians respect authority: religious, military, and political. That’s why the state’s congressional delegation, led by Sen. Robert Byrd, is so entrenched. West Virginia Democrats stick with the party of their fathers unless the GOP nominates an incumbent president, in which case the authority of the White House trumps the authority of family and party. The exception is 2000, when the guys at the Cargo station gave Bush, a neophyte, the five votes he needed to win the county. Why? “He had his daddy” to guide him, says Robert. They trusted the king’s son.

There are a few rare exceptions, of course; House Democrat Alan Mollohan lost his primary earlier this year.

But keep in mind that in 2006, when Robert Byrd was 89 years old and already frail, the Republican challenger managed only 33.7 percent of the vote and never polled above 34 percent. No Republican got more than 36 percent against Byrd since 1958. The only time Republicans passed 39 percent in a Senate race against either Byrd or Jay Rockefeller was in Rockefeller’s first bid in 1984.

In other words, as modest as Capito’s 39 percent seems, it is probably the best performance for a Republican in a Senate poll in about a generation.

Tags: Joe Manchin , Shelley Moore Capito

Assessing That Potential West Virginia Race . . .


If, indeed, West Virginia has a special Senate election this November, and the competitors turn out to be Gov. Joe Manchin on the Democratic side and Rep. Shelley Moore Capito on the Republican side, the GOP has to feel pretty good about the party’s chances.

Sure, Manchin is relatively popular (hard to tell with so little polling in the state); he would probably be the favorite, but not overwhelmingly so. But this is a year in which the Democrats already have to defend Senate seats in states they never expected — California, Washington, Wisconsin — and so this adds one more battlefront. The DSCC just isn’t going to have enough resources to fight everywhere; Manchin is probably going to be on his own for much of his fight. For what it is worth, Obama is terribly unpopular in the state.

With a Capito-Manchin race, the GOP has at least a decent shot of winning the seat, something they haven’t had in decades of campaigns against Robert Byrd or Jay Rockefeller.

Tags: Joe Manchin , Shelley Moore Capito

GOP Begins Push for Special West Virginia Senate Election


Looks like West Virginia Republicans are starting a new push for a special Senate election this year. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito released the following statement today, regarding an election to fill the remainder of the U.S. Senate term left vacant by the death of Sen. Robert Byrd:

While West Virginians continue to honor the life and legacy of Senator Robert Byrd, the process to select a new U.S. Senator has already begun among our state’s elected officials. The U.S. Constitution places the power of filling a vacancy correctly with the voters while allowing for state legislatures to permit temporary appoints by the Governor.

I am confident that a West Virginian with a distinguished record of public service can be appointed in an open and transparent process to serve on an interim basis until a Special Election can be held. The West Virginia Secretary of State announced that under current election law the Special Election will not take place until the 2012 election cycle. While that may be the correct interpretation of the current law, I do not believe it is the right course for West Virginia.

The power of our vote should never be limited or delayed in selecting our elected officials, and 28 months is too long for any person to serve in an elective office through appointment. I encourage the West Virginia Legislature to amend our state’s election code and allow for a Special Election during the current election cycle on November 2, 2010. For the first time in 26 years, voters may go to the polls this November to select a new U.S. Senator. As this process will create intense speculation on potential candidates, it will ultimately allow for a healthy discussion of the pressing problems facing our state and country. Throughout my almost 14 years in public office, I am constantly reminded that elected officials are caretakers of that office on behalf of the people.

If there is a special election, many Republicans would like to see Capito run.

It appears that this is more than just GOP grousing:

Secretary of State Natalie Tenant has already called on state lawmakers to revise the law to allow for a special election.

“For me, there is a distinct line between how I personally feel and what I can legally do,” Tennant said on her website late last week. “I personally believe that the voters of the state should be allowed to elect a successor to Senator Byrd sooner than November of 2012.”

But as the law is currently written, Tennant has said Gov. Joe Manchin must appoint a successor to serve out the remainder of Byrd’s unexpired term.

By the way, isn’t it refreshing to hear a public official acknowledge that what she wants and what the law requires are two separate concepts?

Tags: Joe Manchin , Robert Byrd , Shelley Moore Capito

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