Senate races

Senate races

Reid defiant in the face of possible defeat

LAS VEGAS — Despite trailing in the polls going into Tuesday's vote, Harry Reid struck a defiant tone at a his final campaign rally that featured first lady Michelle Obama. 

"I have fought for Nevada my whole life, but you know, I'm not finished fighting," he told a crowd of about 2,000 packed into a high school gymnasium on the city’s north side.

Reid said early voting, which has seen Democrats accumulate a 6,600-vote lead in early counting, "was very good," but urged his supporters to bring friends and family to the polls. "We're heading into that final round, it's right before us," Reid said. "Let’s take no chances.”

Reid's speech was periodically interrupted by chants of "Harry, Harry, Harry," which prompted a bemused smile from the Senate's top Democrat.

Dubbed "the closer" for her ability to win over reticent voters, this was Obama's second campaign visit for Reid this cycle. She told the crowd he was instrumental in helping pass her husband's legislative agenda.

"This election isn't just about all that we've accomplished these last couple years," she said. "This election is about all that we have left to do.

"My husband can’t do this alone," she added. "He needs leaders like Harry Reid."

It was Reid's only public event on the final day before the pivotal midterm election vote. His opponent, Republican Sharron Angle, did not have a public schedule. She has been increasingly wary of the press, which has had to rely on tips from the public in order to find her. Her most recent interview was with local television reporters who tried to corner her coming out of Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport. 

Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Anti-Reid sign


Dems drop $1.5 million in four competitive Senate races

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee dropped almost $1.5 million in spending for four Senate races in the final days of the campaign.

The independent expenditures filed with the FEC today covered weekend ad buys in four competitive races.

The spending included $425,000 against Republican Ken Buck in Colorado; $610,000 against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in Pennsylvania; $270,000 against Republican Dino Rossi in Washington state; and $163,550 against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

In the first three races, polling shows they are too close to call. And Democrats sense an opportunity in Alaska: if Murkowski's write-in bid causes her and Republican nominee Joe Miller to split the GOP vote, it could give Democrat Scott McAdams the win.


Christine O'Donnell takes to airwaves with 30-minute commercial

Delaware Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell (R) will air a 30-minute commercial on the eve of the election and repeat the message Election Day.

The ad will air on a Delaware cable station Monday and Tuesday, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

The video can be seen here.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden heads to Delaware on Monday evening to hold a rally for Democratic candidates. He is scheduled to vote in his home state Tuesday morning. O'Donnell is challenging Democrat Chris Coons for Biden's old seat.

“With Christine surging in the polls and her opponent desperately calling in the Vice-President, the O’Donnell campaign is taking its case straight to the voters by airing a half-hour video feature," O'Donnell campaign manager Doug Sachtleben said of the commercial.

A Monmouth University poll, out Friday, had Coons leading O'Donnell by 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent.


Manchin counters Palin effort with Bill Clinton visit

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin is countering his GOP opponent's visit from Sarah Palin with one from former President Bill Clinton.

Manchin's campaign announced the visit on Saturday, the same day the former Alaska Governor will rally with Republican businesman John Raese.

Clinton will headline a rally for Manchin the day before Election Day. It will be the second campaign visit Clinton has made for Manchin, who has worked to distance himself from the president and the Democratic leadership in Washington.

The popular governor is in a surprisngly tight race with Raese, who has hammered him in campaign ads as a rubberstamp for President Obama and Washington Democrats.

The latest Rasmussen poll in the race puts Manchin ahead by just three.

"The Governor is honored that his friend President Bill Clinton will join him again on the campaign trail,” said Manchin campaign spokeswoman Lara Ramsburg in a statement. “President Clinton connects with West Virginians, and this is truly a great way to ramp up the campaign heading into Election Day. We invite all West Virginians to join us.”


Palin to campaign for Raese in W.Va.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will join rocker Ted Nugent in Charleston, West Virginia Saturday to headline a campaign rally for Republican businessman John Raese.

The Republican's campaign announced late Friday that Palin and husband Todd will join the rally, previously scheduled with Nugent. 

Raese is in a dead heat with Gov. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) ahead of Tuesday, with the latest numbers from Rasmussen putting the Democrat ahead by just three percentage points. 

Raese held a series of campaign events in southern West Virginia Friday alongside Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who said Raese is the key to the GOP retaking the majority in the Senate Tuesday.  


W.Va. Senate nominee Raese says Dem attacks are 'pretty pathetic'

GILBERT, W.Va. — In the stretch run of West Virginia's race for the Senate, Republican John Raese is taking fire for his south Florida home and his wealth, which Gov. Joe Manchin (D) and national Democrats are using to portray him as an out-of-touch millionaire.

One radio spot on high rotation here in southern West Virginia hits the Republican for spending too much time at his Palm Beach property.

The spot, which was funded by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, notes that Raese's Florida driveway "is paved with marble … pink marble."

Democrats are also highlighting the approval Raese won Thursday from officials in Palm Beach to build a large conservatory on his property.  

"If that's all they got, it's pretty pathetic," Raese told The Ballot Box after a meet-and-greet with voters in southern West Virginia on Friday. The Republican dismissed the ads run by the DSCC in the state and said the persistent attacks are not what West Virginia voters are focused on.

"People in this country shouldn't be penalized for success, and people in this country want a better senator than what Joe Manchin is going to be," said Raese. "We talk about the issues, from ObamaCare to cap-and-trade to stimulus, and Joe Manchin and the Democrats talk about driveways."


West Virginia voters torn between liking Manchin, disliking Democrats

GILBERT, W.Va. — There's a thin line between Democrats and Republicans in this state, and several voters are torn over whom to pick as their next senator.

Denver Stacy is a good example.

For all intents and purposes, Stacy is a Republican, but he said he registered as a Democrat "just so I'd have someone to vote for here in Mingo County."

He said deciding whom to vote for in Tuesday's Senate contest was "the hardest decision I've ever had to make."  

"I've always supported Joe Manchin, and he's a good family friend," Stacy said. "But this isn't about Joe. It's about Obama and his policies. It's about [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.]."

Manchin has been battling his party's unpopularity. Manchin was reelected governor with 70 percent, but the president is highly unpopular among the state's voters.