Senate races

Senate races

Mourdock raises $1.6M, nearly doubling Donnelly in Indiana

Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R) raised $1.6 million in the past three months, nearly doubling the $900,000 Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) raised in the same time span.

It's unclear which Senate candidate has the cash-on-hand advantage coming out of the second quarter — Mourdock's campaign said it wouldn't announce how much it has in the bank until later this week. It's also unclear how much of his total Mourdock raised before his early May primary victory over longtime Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), a period in which Tea Party groups and supporters all over the country rallied to him.

{mosads}Mourdock had only $250,000 in the bank as of April 18, when he had to file a pre-primary fundraising report.

Donnelly's campaign told The Hill that his campaign has $1.3 million cash on hand, which could give him a cash on hand advantage, as Mourdock spent heavily to defeat Lugar in the closing days of the campaign.


Mike Huckabee hits Missouri TV in support of Senate candidate Akin

Mike Huckabee, a popular conservative political figure and a host on the Fox News Channel, appears in the first TV ad for Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), who is running for the Republican nomination to Missouri's Senate seat.

The ad began airing statewide Thursday in Missouri, according to the Associated Press.


Toomey weighs in on Wis. Senate primary

Former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) has banked another high-profile endorsement in his primary battle against former four-term Gov. Tommy Thompson, with Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) saying Monday that he backs the conservative congressman.

"During his time in Congress, he fought for fiscal responsibility and common sense — even when that meant taking on members of his own party," Toomey said in a statement. "As a business owner who understands what it takes to create jobs, Mark will fight for hardworking American taxpayers."

Neumann and Thompson are vying to take on against Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) to replace the retiring Sen. Herb Kohl (D). Neumann has found some success running to the right of Thompson, taking 42 percent in a straw poll at the Wisconsin Republican convention in May, versus just 21 percent for the former governor. In addition to Toomey, Neumann has secured high-profile endorsements from prominent conservative lawmakers, including Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), and organizations like the Club for Growth.


Biden to campaign with McCaskill in Missouri

Just days after Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said she would be skipping the Democratic National Convention, the incumbent lawmaker announced Friday she would be campaigning next month with Vice President Biden.

The vice president will attend a fundraiser July 9 in Kansas City, Mo., McCaskill's campaign announced. It will be Biden's first trip to the state as vice president.

"It's always a pleasure to welcome Vice President Joe Biden to the great State of Missouri and I am humbled by his support for my re-election campaign," said McCaskill in a statement.


Former Dem Rep. Obey accuses GOP Senate candidate of McCarthyism

Wisconsin Senate candidate and businessman Eric Hovde's (R) recent remarks to The Hill that Rep. Tammy Baldwin's (D-Wis.) political philosophy is based in "communism" amounts to McCarthyism and should disqualify him from serving in the Senate, according to former Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.).

Hovde told The Hill last week that Baldwin's "philosophy has its roots in Marxism, communism, socialism, extreme liberalism."

Obey, the fiery former head of the House Appropriations Committee, reached out to The Hill with an angry response, comparing Hovde's "shameful comments" to those of former Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.), famous for his anti-communist witch hunts.

"Long before Eric Hovde was born, and long before he moved to Wisconsin to run for U.S. Senate after spending the last 24 years in Washington, D.C., working as a hedge fund banker, Wisconsin had a U.S. senator who, like Eric Hovde, made shameful comments about his opponents. His name was Joe McCarthy and he held the seat that Mr. Hovde is seeking," Obey said in a statement to The Hill. "Either Mr. Hovde's comments represent a viciousness and nastiness that voters are sick and tired of, or they represent an appalling ignorance of Wisconsin history where Bob La Follette founded Progressivism with the belief that government must keep the powerful big boys honest.'

Obey wasn't done.

"Clearly, Hovde's uninformed reading of Wisconsin history — he hasn’t learned the shameful lesson of McCarthyism — disqualifies him to represent the people of Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate," he continued. "I am confident the people of Wisconsin will teach that lesson to him."

Hovde's campaign stood by his comments and attacked Obey.

"The hyper-partisan opinions of a career politician like Congressman Obey who spent 42 years in Congress spending our nation to the brink of an economic collapse are of no concern to our campaign," Hovde spokesman Sean Lansing told The Hill. "His comments seem to be just the latest attempt by the Baldwin campaign to distract Wisconsin voters from her dismal record in Washington."

Obey supports Baldwin's Senate run but has not been involved at all in her campaign.


Sen. Brown retains single-digit lead over Mandel in Ohio

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has a single-digit lead over his GOP rival, state Treasurer Josh Mandel, in a new poll from Public Policy Polling.

Brown leads Mandel 46 to 39 percent, according to the poll, potentially a tight lead considering the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, but in keeping with other recent polling evidence.


Polls: Sherrod Brown, Bob Casey in good shape, Bill Nelson vulnerable

Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are in strong position for reelection, but Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-Fla.) race against Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) has tightened considerably, according to a series of new polls from Quinnipiac University.

Nelson leads Mack by 41 percent to 40, a closer margin than most polls have shown and a sign that the race might be tightening as Mack becomes better-known. President Obama also led Mitt Romney by 4 percentage points in the poll.

{mosads}Both Casey and Brown hold double-digit leads over their opponents, according to the polls. The number is good news for Brown — most other recent polls have shown the race between him and Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) within single digits, and while Mandel has had a few weeks of rough headlines, outside groups have already spent $8 million on his behalf, which had kept the race relatively close. Brown leads Mandel by 50 to 34 percent in the state, wider than Obama's 9-point lead in the poll.

Casey has maintained a strong lead in nearly every public poll of his race, and this is no exception: He leads Republican Tom Smith by 49 percent to 32, while Obama leads Romney by 45 to 39 in the same poll.

The Hill rates the Ohio and Florida races "lean Democratic" and the Pennsylvania race "likely Democratic."

All three polls were of more than 1,200 registered voters, were conducted from June 19-25 and had margins of error of 2.8 percentage points.

This post has been updated.