Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 217,000 in May, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in professional and business services, health care and social assistance, food services and drinking places, and transportation and warehousing.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the May Jobs report this morning, saying:
To learn more, read the Forbes ongoing story, "Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Added 217K Jobs In May, Unemployment Remains Unchanged At 6.3%" by Maggie McGrath.
By Bo Harmon, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs, BIPAC
A big day of primaries with several BIPAC endorsed candidates doing well. As you know, BIPAC endorses only in competitive races where there is broad consensus at the federal, state and local level that one candidate is the strongest advocate for the business community's policy priorities. Yesterday's results were good news for the business community in those key races where all but one BIPAC endorsed candidate won their primary.
BIPAC Endorsed Candidate Results
In perhaps the most watched race of the day, Senator Thad Cochran and tea-party challenger Chris McDaniel will advance to a run off because neither broke 50% of the primary vote and ended less than 1% away from each other in the final tally. BIPAC and much of the rest of the business community rallied to support Cochran and will now need to redouble their efforts to reelect him. The runoff was a completely unexpected scenario as a little known third candidate in the primary ended up with less than 2% of the vote, but it was enough to hold both Cochran and McDaniel under 50%. The runoff will be held June 24. The winner will face former Democratic Congressman Travis Childers in the general election.
All Incumbents won their primaries and are not expecting difficult general election challenges. Of note, in MS-4: Republican Congressman Steven Palazzo held off a primary challenge from former Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor who had represented the district for many years and switched parties to run for his old seat in the primary. Palazzo won 50-43 with other minor candidates taking the balance.
BIPAC endorsed candidate Joni Ernst overwhelmingly won the Republican nomination against a crowded field including former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs and US Attorney Matt Whitaker. Ernst took over 55% of the vote to Jacobs' 17% and the balance going to the remaining candidates. Clearing the 35% threshold means Ernst wins the nomination outright without having to go to a state nominating convention, which could have presented great uncertainty to the process. Ernst will now face Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in the general election and the race is expected to be one of the most competitive of the cycle.
Congressmen Dave Loebsack and Steve King both won their primaries easily and do not face strong general election challenges.
IA-1: In the Bruce Braley held open seat, Democratic Pat Murphy won the nomination with 37% of the vote over BIPAC endorsed candidate Swati Dandekar and Cedar Rapids Congresswoman Monica Vernon. Murphy has served as Speaker of the Iowa legislature for many years and has compiled a disappointingly anti-business record over that time. He will face Republican Rod Blum in the general election which has the potential of becoming competitive but has been a consistently Democratic district to date.
IA-3: In the Tom Latham open seat, Republicans Brad Zaun and Robert Cramer will advance to a district convention to determination the nomination as no candidate received over 35% of the vote. The business community in Iowa and the district was very split during the primary with no candidate emerging as the consensus business candidate. The eventual nominee will face Democratic nominee Staci Appel in what is expected to be one of the most competitive elections of the cycle.
BIPAC endorsed candidate Steve Daines secured the Republican nomination for Senate to take on Democrat John Walsh who was appointed to the seat upon Max Baucus confirmation as Ambassador. Daines is the current at-large member of Congress and has amassed a strong record of supporting the business community. Daines has maintained a lead in most polls to date and Republicans consider this one of their most likely pick up opportunities.
In the open seat for the state's sole Congressional seat, Republican Ryan Zinke will face Democrat John Lewis, a long time staffer to Sen. Baucus in the general election. The seat is expected to remain in Republican hands and Zinke is expected to have a good working relationship with the business community which split between him and other candidates during the primary.
AL-6: In the six person primary to fill retiring Republican Spencer Bachus' seat, Republicans will face a runoff between Paul DeMarco and Gary Palmer. In such a crowded field, the business community split amongst a number of the candidates, but DeMarco has a strong record as a friend of the business community in the state legislature and was supported by BIPAC's deployment partner Manufacture Alabama. He is expected to be a friend to the business community in Washington in what is the most Republican district in one of the most Republican states in the country.
In California, the top two vote getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election.
CA-7: Rep. Ami Bera (D) and BIPAC endorsed candidate, former Congressman and businessman Doug Ose (R) made it out of with primary, with 47 and 27 percent, respectively. This is a top race to watch going into the general and a good opportunity for the business community to elect a pro-business candidate.
CA-10: Rep. Denham (R), from the 10th district, will face bee farmer Michael Eggman (D) in the general. This could be a race to watch as the general shapes up, but Denham starts out with an advantage.
CA-11: In the 11th district, Rep. Miller (D) is retiring, and the field quickly cleared for state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D). He advanced to the general, along with Republican Tue Phan though DeSaulnier is the easy favorite to win the general in this heavily Democratic seat.
CA-15: BIPAC endorsed candidate Eric Swalwell will face Republican Hugh Bussell who edged out a Democrat who was seeking to upset the incumbent, business friendly Democrat. Swalwell is expected to retain the seat in the general election.
CA-17: Democrats have been dealing with a family feud in the 17th district, with former Obama administration official Ro Khanna (D) challenging sitting Rep. Mike Honda (D). Both advanced to the general, with Honda winning 49 percent of the vote and Khanna pulling in 26 percent. This could become a competitive race, but Honda currently has the advantage.
CA-21: Former Congressional aide Amanda Renteria (D) received 24 percent of the vote and will challenge Rep. David Valadao (R) in the general. Renteria is a top Democratic recruit and this will be a competitive general election race. Valadao has been a great friend to business and has been endorsed by BIPAC this cycle.
CA-25: The race to replace retiring Rep. McKeon (R) led to a competitive primary between three of the candidates, Lee Rogers (D), Tony Strickland (R) and Steve Knight (R). Strickland and Knight will advance to the general election, so the seat is assured to remain republican. The business community is rallying around Strickland, who is now the favorite for the general election.
CA-26: Freshman Rep. Julia Brownley (D) will face off against Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R) in November. A member of the U.S. Navy Reserve and a former prosecutor, Gorell is a formidable challenger and could make this race competitive.
CA-31: The 31st district has been a top target for Democrats, especially once Rep. Miller (R) announced his retirement. With four Democrats on the ballot and two serious Republican contenders, Democrats were worried that once again, the Democrats' votes would be too split and the two Republicans would make it out of the primary. The general election will be Republican businessman Paul Chabot against Democrat Pete Aguilar in this Democratic-leaning district.
CA-33: The 33rd district had a whopping 18 candidates running to replacing outgoing Rep. Waxman (D) in this reliably safe Democratic seat. Former LA Controller Wendy Greuel (D) and BIPAC endorsed candidate, state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) battled it out on the Democratic side while most Republican votes went to Elan Carr. Lieu and Carr will advance to the general election. This is an opportunity for the business community to gain a pro-business candidate in the delegation as Lieu is a pro-business Democrat and was the favorite of the business community to emerge amongst the crowded field.
CA-35: State Sen. Norma Torres (D) and Christina Gagnier (D) won the top two spots in the 35th district to succeed Rep. Negrete McLeod (D). Torres is expected to easily win the general.
CA-36: In the 36th district, Assemblyman Brian Nestande (R) and Rep. Raul Ruiz (D) formalized their general election. Nestande is a great business candidate and Ruiz is vulnerable going into the general. This will be a race to watch.
CA-45: With Rep. Campbell's (R) retirement, the top two spots went to state Sen. Mimi Walters (R) and Democrat Drew Leavens. Walters is the favorite to become the next Congresswoman from the 45th district and would be a good friend to the business community.
CA-52: In the 52nd district, BIPAC endorsed candidate and former member of the San Diego City Council Carl DeMaio (R) became the official challenger to vulnerable Rep. Scott Peters (D). This will be competitive general election and one the business community should pay attention to.
NJ-3: Rep. Jon Runyan (R) is retiring, setting off a competitive Republican primary and general election. In the primary, former Randolph Mayor Tom MacArthur beat former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, a conservative firebrand, 60-40. MacArthur was leading Lonegan in the polls and is the best bet for Republicans to hold this seat. Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard (D) won the Democratic nomination with 84 percent of the vote.
NJ-12: Rush Holt's (D) retirement in this safe Democratic seat led to a four way race in the Democratic primary. The two frontrunners were state Sen. Linda Greenstein and state Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman. Coleman won with 43 percent of the vote and is expected to become the next Congresswoman in the Trenton area district.
Businessman and former state Republican Chair Allen Weh won the Republican nomination to take on Sen. Tom Udall (D). The Senate race is not expected to be competitive, and Tom Udall will keep his seat.
The nominees are officially set for the open U.S. Senate seat due to Sen. Johnson's (D) retirement. Former Gov. Mike Rounds won the Republican nomination, as expected. Rick Weiland is the Democratic nominee. South Dakota is one of the Republican's best chance at a pickup in 2014 and Rounds goes into the general election as the favorite.
All other incumbents easily won their primaries and none anticipate difficult general election battles.
After extensive consultation with our state partners, BIPAC members, state, and local employers and business organizations with operations and employees in these states and districts, BIPAC has issued its next round of candidate endorsements in four U.S. Senate and ten U.S. House races. Each of these candidates are the broad consensus choice of the business community both nationally and at the local level and each are very competitive or highly significant races. If your organization has not been involved on behalf of these candidates to date, we would urge you to consider these as top priority candidates for the business community.
BIPAC will be working with our membership, local business organizations, and our state partners to educate employees in these states and districts on issues important to creating a pro-growth economic climate, how the candidates stand on those issues, and working to create a powerful business-driven grassroots Get Out The Vote effort in each of these races.
We strongly encourage you to join BIPAC and the local business community in each of these races in supporting these candidates as the clear favorite to provide a pro-growth, prosperity and jobs oriented economic climate.
If you have affiliates or employees in these states or districts and would like to join BIPAC's business-driven employee education and GOTV efforts here, please contact Bo Harmon at 202-776-7462.
Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colorado)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Cory Gardner is challenging incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D). Gardner has largely cleared the primary field and has been a friend to the business community in the House. There are few races featuring a greater contrast between the candidates in terms of their orientation towards supporting pro-growth economic policies. Gardner scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record and is working closely with employers in Colorado to expand their operations and create a more comfortable operating environment. Polling shows this race to be a toss-up at this point, so your engagement is important. www.corygardnerforsenate.com
Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)
Primary Election: June 3
State Senator Joni Ernst is running in Iowa's open Senate seat. Ernst is running in a crowded GOP primary and needs to get 35% of the vote in the primary to avoid a convention. Ernst has earned 100% on the Iowa Prosperity Project's 2011 State Senate voting record and 90% on the 2012 State Senate voting record. She has consolidated support within Iowa's business community over the last month and has attracted support from across the ideological spectrum. Both the US Chamber of Commerce AND the Senate Conservatives Fund, typically opposed to each other, are BOTH advertising on her behalf to help avoid a convention selection which would make the candidate selection process completely unpredictable. She is endorsed for both the primary and general elections. www.joniforiowa.com
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia)
Primary Election: May 13 > See Results
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is running in the open West Virginia Senate seat. Capito scored 100% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. She faces Democratic nominee Secretary of State Natalie Tennant in the general election. Polling shows Capito with a double digit lead, making this seat a prime opportunity to move from adverse to business as it was when held by Rockefeller to pro-business as it would be with Capito. www.capitoforsenate.com
Rep. Steve Daines (R-Montana)
Primary Election: June 3
Rep. Daines is running against Senator John Walsh (D). Walsh was appointed to the seat in February, after Senator Baucus resigned to become Ambassador to China. Daines is a pro-business candidate who was been endorsed by BIPAC and the U.S. Chamber in 2012 when running for the at large Congressional seat and has proven to be a strong advocate for the business community during his time in the House. While Baucus was accommodating to some pro-business opportunities, Daines offers the best chance to make this seat reliably pro-business in its orientation. www.stevedaines.com
Don Beyer (D-Virginia 8)
Primary Election: June 10
Don Beyer is seeking the Democratic nomination for the open seat in this safe Democratic seat. Beyer, former Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner, faces several candidates in the primary. Beyer has won the first straw poll in the district and is considered the frontrunner. He demonstrated a welcomed propensity to working with the business community to solve problems and grow the economy during his time as Lt. Governor. With the primary quickly approaching, getting involved with the Beyer campaign during the primary is important. www.friendsofdonbeyer.com
Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida 26)
Primary Election: August 26
Miami-Dade School Board Member Carlos Curbelo is challenging Rep. Joe Garcia (D) in this toss up race. While the general election is expected to be highly competitive, Curbelo also has to make it through a GOP primary featuring former member of Congress David Rivera who lost the seat to Garcia in 2012 following a campaign finance scandal very similar to the one Garcia now faces himself. Curbelo is the frontrunner, and has been endorsed by Jeb Bush, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and most of the Miami area business community. www.carloscurbelo.com
Bob Dold (R-Illinois 10)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
Former Rep. Bob Dold is challenging Rep. Brad Schneider (D). This is a rematch from the 2012 race where Dold lost to Schneider by less than 3,500 votes. Rep. Dold scored 82% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record while Schneider has not been a friend during his time in Congress. BIPAC's state partner, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has also endorsed Dold and is working with BIPAC and local businesses in the district to support his return to Congress. www.doldforcongress.com
Mike Coffman (R-Colorado 6)
Primary Election: June 24
Rep. Mike Coffman faces a competitive general election with likely Democratic nominee former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. This toss up race is a top Democratic target for 2014. Coffman is a good business ally in the House and scored 95% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. During Romanoff's campaign for U.S. Senate last election, he positioned himself distinctly to the left of current Democratic Senator Michael Bennett and actively opposed many key priorities of the Colorado business community. This is one of the most competitive districts in the country and one of the clearest distinctions between a pro-jobs, pro-prosperity consensus building candidate in Coffman and a hard left avowed opponent of the business community. www.coffmanforcongress.com
Andy Tobin (R-Arizona 1)
Primary Election: August 26
House Speaker Andy Tobin is looking to unseat Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D). This is a tossup seat that Kirkpatrick lost in her 2010 reelection bid and won back in 2012. Tobin is a small business owner who has the backing of the local business community, such as the Arizona Restaurant Association. Other Republican candidates include State Rep. Adam Kwasman, and rancher Gary Kiehne. www.andytobin.com
Swati Dandekar (D-Iowa 1)
Primary Election: June 3
Former state legislator Swati Dandekar is running in Rep. Braley's open seat in Iowa 1. This is a safe Democratic seat and the competitive race will be in the Democratic primary. Dandekar has a good working relationship with the business community in Iowa and has been endorsed by John Deere and Rockwell International, two major employers in IA 1. Another leading candidate in the primary is State House Speaker Pat Murphy who has a long legislative record of actively opposing the business community and pro-growth policies. Should Murphy win, he would be very adversarial. www.swatidandekarforcongress.com
Richard Tisei (R-Massachusetts 6)
Primary Election: September 9
Former State Senator Richard Tisei is challenging Rep. John Tierney (D) in a rematch of the 2012 race. The 6th district is Democratic at the Presidential level but was carried by Republicans for Senate and Governor. Tierney barely won in 2012 and remains vulnerable after past ethics troubles. Tierney scored 4% on BIPAC's 112th Congress Voting record and is not a business friendly candidate. Tierney also faces a primary challenger, veteran Seth Moulton in a late primary which make this an even better opportunity to replace him with a business-oriented advocate. www.tiseiforcongress.com
Eric Swalwell (D-California 15)
Primary Election: June 3
Freshman Rep. Eric Swalwell is running for re-election. In 2012, Swalwell defeated incumbent Rep. Pete Stark (D) in the general election. During his brief tenure in Congress, Swalwell has impressed the business community in California and nationally for his willingness to seek consensus solutions and actively bring all sides together for productive legislation. Many BIPAC members with operations in the district are strongly supporting Swalwell's reelection who faces a Republican and Democrat in the June open primary. www.swalwellforcongress.com
Mike Bost (R-Illinois 12)
Primary Election: March 18 > See Results
State Rep. Mike Bost is running to unseat freshman Rep. Bill Enyart (D). This is a competitive race with the district being split pretty evenly between Democrat and Republican. Bost has a background in small business, having worked for Bost Trucking, owned by his father and uncle. He has a 79% (2011-2012) and 100% (2009-2008) rating from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Legislative Ratings. www.bostforcongress.com
Colin Peterson (D-Minnesota 7)
Primary Election: August 12
Rep. Colin Peterson is running for re-election in a tough race. A member of the Blue Dog Coalition, he was first elected in 1990 and is currently the top Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee. Peterson scored 86% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. www.petersonforcongress.com
NOTE: BIPAC will continue to endorse candidates as consensus emerges in primary and general elections amongst its members and the local business community in favor of particular candidates.
Below are the next round of endorsements by the BIPAC Action Fund. The races are varied - from general election Senate races to House primaries in solidly Republican or Democratic districts where a clearly pro-business candidate exists in contrast to others in the race. In all cases, BIPAC has consulted with local business leaders, organizations, and BIPAC members in these states and districts. BIPAC's endorsements represent the consensus agreement of the business community on the ground in these states and districts regarding the strongest candidate to support pro-growth, pro-jobs policies. We strongly encourage all of our members to also support the following candidates and work with us towards their election.
Terri Lynn Land (R- Michigan)
Primary Election: August 5
Former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land, the presumptive Republican nominee is running against Rep. Gary Peters, the likely Democratic nominee for the Michigan open Senate seat. While Michigan went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012, this race is considered a tossup. Polls have the two candidates within 2-5 points from one another. Land has shown impressive fundraising to date and her record as Secretary of State, personal interviews, and history managing a family real estate development company in Michigan has shown her to be a friend of business. She is strongly supported by many of Michigan's leading employers and is the very clear choice of the business community in Michigan. Rep. Peters scored only 8% on BIPAC's 112th Congress voting record. www.terrilynnland.com
Barbara Comstock (R - Virginia 10)
Party Canvass: April 26
Delegate Barbara Comstock is seeking the GOP nomination in this competitive open seat. In the Republican primary, Comstock faces conservative firebrand, state Delegate Bob Marshall. Comstock has a 95% rating from the Virginia Chamber 2013 Legislative Scorecard and is gaining broad national and local GOP and business support for her nomination. The winner of the GOP nomination will face presumptive Democratic nominee Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust. The district has a slight Republican edge, and went to Romney by 1 point in 2012 and Obama by 3 points in 2008. Comstock is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, and many BIPAC members. www.barbaracomstockforcongress.com
Ted Lieu (D- California 33)
Primary Election: June 3
State Senator Ted Lieu is running in the open seat to replace retiring Rep. Waxman. This seat is heavily Democratic and a crowded field of 18 candidates provides an opportunity for the business community to elect a pro-business Democrat, such as Lieu, in the primary. Lieu has received the official endorsement of the Democratic Party and a number of business leaders in the district are supporting Lieu. The endorsement is supported by the CalChamber and the California Prosperity Project, as well as several BIPAC members with operations in the district. www.tedlieu.com
David Valadao (R- California 21)
Primary Election: June 3
Rep. Valadao is a House freshman running for re-election. Valadao is a Republican sitting in a district that President Obama (D) won by 11 points in 2012. The likely Democratic nominee is Amanda Renteria, former Chief of Staff for Senator Stabenow. The 21st district is known for its farming and agriculture, especially dairy, and Valadao has a solid background in dairy farming, as a managing partner of Valadao Dairy, which he started with his brothers. A friend to the business community, Valadao has previously been endorsed by BIPAC. The endorsement is supported by virtually all BIPAC members with California operations, as well as the Cal Chamber and California Prosperity Project. www.valadaoforcongress.com
Brian Ellis (R- Michigan 3)
Primary Election: August 5
Businessman Brian Ellis is challenging Tea Party Rep. Justin Amash in the Republican Primary. Amash has not been a friend to the business community, especially for his part in the Tea Party led government shutdown and efforts to default on federal debt. He also opposed a balanced budget amendment and the Keystone XL pipeline. Ellis has a business and financial services background and the backing of the Grand Rapids business community. This race represents the business community taking an important symbolic stand in favor of pro-business candidates when they mount a primary challenge to non-business oriented candidates. www.ellis4congress.com
Doug Ose (R - California 7)
Primary Election: June 3
Former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is running in the 7th district, challenging Rep. Ami Bera (D). Ose previsouly served 3 terms in the House, first elected in 1998. Also in the race are former congressional aide Igor Birman (R) and 2012 Senate nominee Elizabeth Emken (R). This is one of the most highly competitive general election races in the country. Ose is supported by the California Prosperity Project and the California Business Roundtable as well as several BIPAC members in the district. www.dougose.com
The political landscape has shifted pretty dramatically in just the last 2 months. Since January 1, numerous additional retirements have been announced and several candidates have picked up significant new challengers. There are now 38 House retirements, including several of the Congress' longest serving members, many in districts that will not be competitive in a general election. While some of these districts have heirs apparent, many do not and it is in these primaries that the business community can play an outsized role in selecting pro-business members who will likely hold the seat for a number of years. While the overall electoral direction isn't significantly different, the details are and it is in some of those details that the business community holds additional opportunity.
Many of the House retirements or resignations over the last 8 weeks have come in strongly Democratic leaning districts. Some races already have likely replacements lined up, including long serving members, George Miller (CA-31) and John Dingell (MI-12) (State Senator Mark DeSaulnier in California and Rep. Dingell's wife, Debbie Dingell, in Michigan). Most open seats already have crowded competitive primaries where the business community should engage to elect the most pro-business candidate possible. These include Rob Andrews (NJ-1), Mel Watt (NC-12), Rush Holt (NJ-12), Carolyn McCarthy (NY-4), Jim Moran (VA-8), Gloria Negrete McLeod (CA-35), Ed Pastor (AZ-7), and Henry Waxman (CA-33). None of these seats are likely to switch to Republicans, but several have pro-business Democrats running who can shift the temperament in Congress. In NJ 1, state Sen. Donald Norcross has gathered support from Rep. Andrews, along with other top ranking state Democrats, but faces a primary challenge from Mayor Frank Minor. Both NC-12 and NJ-12 have a large field of Democratic candidates, including several state representatives and senators. Expect both primaries to be competitive. In McCarthy's open seat, Democrats seem to be rallying around Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice, though others are still considering getting into the race, including Nassau Legislative Minority Leader Kevin Abrahams. Moran's open seat in Virginia is another district with an extremely crowded primary. The early frontrunner is former Lieutenant Governor and car dealership owner Don Beyer, a pro-business candidate to watch. The race for McLeod's open seat is just shaping up, but state Senator Norma Torres has already announced her bid. Pastor's open seat in Arizona has gained several candidates, and it is even rumored that Congresswoman Sinema (AZ-9) may switch to the solidly Democratic 7th seat to run in 2014. In CA-33, 2 frontrunners have emerged from the crowded race, former Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel and state Senator Ted Lieu. Ted Lieu has the early backing of the California business community.
In addition, there have been a handful of recently announced retirements (and one resignation) in solidly Republican districts including Trey Radel (FL-19), Cory Gardner (CO-4) and Buck McKeon (CA-25). Radel's Florida seat will be filled by special election, where several candidates have announced, including state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto who has a long record of working effectively with the business community. The race to replace Gardner, who is running for Senate, is still in the early stages, though Ken Buck who was running for Senate, has dropped his bid and will now run for Gardner's seat. McKeon is retiring from Congress and former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R) is running for his seat in this Republican favored district.
In the Senate, a few races have changed dramatically over the past few weeks. Senator Pat Roberts' challenge from physician and Tea Party candidate Milton Wolf became more competitive than expected, though revelations about Wolf mocking autopsy photos on Facebook have kept the race in Roberts' favor. In Mississippi, the Club for Growth, who endorsed state Senator Chris McDaniel, has officially started going after Cochran in the race. This is one of the most competitive Republican primaries to watch for 2014. Colorado Rep. Cory Gardner's (R) announcement that he will challenge Sen. Udall (D) made that race suddenly competitive and one that should be followed closely by the business community. The Virginia Senate race is one that also may move into the competitive category as Republican Ed Gillespie's campaign continues to take shape.
While the broad strokes remain the same - the Republicans have a reasonable shot at taking the Senate majority and are expected to hold the House or possibly extend their majority - the details of who will be sitting in Congress have been shaken up over the past 8 weeks. This shake up presents the business community a number of crowded and competitive primaries in which they can play an important role in shaping the tenor of the next Congress. BIPAC looks forward to working with you to maximize your engagement in any of these races that may be most important to you.
Today we continue our 4 part series in which BIPAC will analyze the upcoming 2014 House crossover districts. House crossover districts are the congressional districts where the U.S. Representative and the presidential candidate voted for by that district are of opposite parties. There are currently 26 House crossover districts or 26 House members whose district voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. There are 15 incumbent Republicans serving in districts President Obama won and 9 incumbent Democrats serving in districts Mitt Romney won. This series will analyze the incumbents, the districts and potential challengers as the political landscape for 2014 continues to evolve and take shape.
To see the full list of House crossover districts visit the BIPAC portal here.
Jeff Denham (R, CA-10)
Rep. Denham is currently serving in his second term and besides his agriculture and military background, is known around town for a very specific issue – making sure federal office space is being used efficiently. Denham ran in the newly created 10th district in 2012, which leaned more Democratic than Denham’s old district, giving Democrats hope at switching the seat. All together, about $12 million dollars was spent on the race, showing how significant it was to both parties. Expect the same in 2014, especially since recent polls show that Denham may be facing backlash for the government shutdown. Right now, Denham’s most formidable opponent appears to be beekeeper and farmer Michael Eggman (D). Eggman has been part of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) effort, Jumpstart, which supports promising candidates for 2014.
Bill Young (R, FL-13)
Rep. Young passed away on October 18, 2013, setting up a special election for the remainder of his term. The moderate Republican with a seat on the Appropriations Committee would have been a tough competitor in 2014, but a special election gives Democrats a much better chance at the seat that went to President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Several potential candidates from both parties are now being mentioned for the seat. Expect this to be a major focus for both parties.
John Kline (R, MN-2)
2012 was one of Rep. Kline’s most competitive elections. He was running in a more competitive district after redistricting and faced a credible challenger, Mike Obermueller (Democratic-Farmer-Labor). However, Kline was able to draw on his reputation for working in a bipartisan manner and experience as Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee to beat Obermueller by over 8 pts. Kline already has challengers for 2014, including Obermueller, who is running again. Kline will be hard to beat, especially with his fundraising numbers; he already has over a million in the bank.
Scott Rigell (R, VA-2)
Currently in his second term, Rep. Rigell is known in Virginia for his pragmatic positions. The 2nd district leans more Republican after redistricting and has a large military presence. Because of this, Rigell has made sure to cater his positions, such as speaking out on sequestration. Due to his more centrist approach, Rigell will be seeing challengers from both sides in 2014. He already has a primary challenger, Kevin Meynardie (R) and on the Democratic side, retired naval officer and former Pentagon official Suzanne Patrick (D) has announced.
Ron Barber (D, AZ-2)
Rep. Barber was first elected to congress in the special election to succeed his boss, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D). In 2012, Barber won a full term to the 2nd district, beating Retired U.S. Air Force combat pilot Martha McSally (R) by less than one point. The 2nd district was drawn more Democratic after redistricting and Barber asserted himself as an independent voice in the House, voting with Republicans on issues important to the 2nd district, such as border control. McSally has already announced she will be running again in 2014, setting up what could be another competitive race.
Nick Rahall (D, WV-3)
Rep. Rahall has served in the U.S. House since 1977. While Rahall has easily won most of his elections, his margins of victory have gotten smaller as West Virginia becomes more conservative. In 2012, the moderate Democrat had to run against an unpopular President Obama in the state, but was able to prevail with strong fundraising numbers and support of the coal industry. Rahall already has a challenger for 2013, state Sen. Evan Jenkins (R). Jenkins was a Democrat, but switched parties to run against Rahall.
Today we continue our four part series in which BIPAC will analyze the upcoming 2014 House Crossover districts. House Crossover districts are the congressional districts where the U.S. Representative and the presidential candidate voted for by that district are of opposite parties. There are currently 26 House Crossover districts or 26 House members whose district voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. There are 15 incumbent Republicans serving in districts President Obama won and nine incumbent Democrats serving in districts Mitt Romney won. This series will analyze the incumbents, the districts and potential challengers as the political landscape for 2014 continues to evolve and take shape.
To see the full list of House Crossover districts visit the Political Analysis page of the BIPAC portal here.
David Valadao (R, CA 21)
Valadao is a House freshman, elected in 2012, who beat his opponent by double digits. He ran in an open seat created when former 21st District Congressman Jim Coston (D) ran in the newly created 16th District. The 21st District is known for its farming and agriculture, especially dairy, and Valadao has a solid background in dairy farming, as a managing partner of Valadao Dairy, which he started with his brothers. Valadao ran ahead of Obama in this district by four points in 2012, and Democrats blame their loss on a weak 2012 candidate who faced fundraising and debt issues. So far no credible opponents for 2014 have surfaced.
Tom Latham (R, IA 3)
Latham was first elected to Congress in 1995, representing the 5th Congressional District. Redistricting put in him the more competitive 4th District in 2012. Instead, he decided to run in the 3rd District, beating Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell. Latham sits on the House Appropriations Committee, which aided him in 2012; he is the only Iowan on the committee. Latham’s 2014 opponents have already popped up, including former State Senator and businesswoman Staci Appel (D) and former factory worker Gabriel De La Cerda (D). This is a district to watch because of the importance of Iowa to presidential elections, as the Iowa caucuses provide the first indicators of which candidate might win the nomination of their party.
Jon Runyan (R, NJ 3)
Runyan, first elected in 2011, is a former football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. He ran ahead of Obama by four points in 2012 in a district that has both blue collar union families and middle/upper class suburban families. The district also has a large military and veteran presence, which Runyan has appealed to in the past years, voting against defense budget cuts and serving on the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. There are no declared opponents for 2014 yet.
Peter King (R, NY 2)
King has been in Congress since 1993 and is known for his moderate to conservative views and his strong support for the U.S. military. The 2nd District has not voted in favor of a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1992, with landslide Democratic wins in ’96, ’00, and ’08. This is a northeast district near the largest city in the country, so it should not be surprising that it supports Democratic presidential candidates, though King ran ahead of Obama by more than ten points. Although he has announced his intention to run for president in 2016, he is still gearing up for reelection in 2014. No Democratic candidates have emerged thus far.
John Barrow (D, GA 12)
Barrow won this district in 2012, which he first won in 2004, by a margin of 7.4% while Mitt Romney won this district by 11.8%. Barrow is a member of the dwindling group of Blue Dogs left in the House. The Blue Dogs are Democrats in the House known for their more conservative stances on issues like taxes and fiscal policy. Barrow’s seat has already been targeted by the NRCC. Georgia’s 12th District has voted for the Republican nominee for President not only in 2012, but for the past three presidential elections. After redistricting, the 12th District became even more Republican and Barrow was expected to face an uphill battle. However, issues with the Republican candidate’s campaign worked in Barrow’s favor, and he was able to pull through a win. Barrow already has competition in 2014, including businessman Rick Allen (R) and House Republican aide John Stone (R). This race will come down to the quality of the candidates and turnout.
Pete Gallego (D, TX 23)
The 23rd Congressional District is a true swing district, evenly split among Democrats and Republicans. In 2012, Gallego, a former Texas state representative, beat incumbent Rep. Francisoco Canseco (R) by 4.7%. A moderate Democrat, he was able to identify with the issues of the district and used his reputation for working effectively in a majority Republican legislature. The 23rd District has the largest border with Mexico of any U.S. district and has a massive oil industry, putting security, immigration and energy issues on the forefront of any campaign here. Gallego already has challengers in 2014, including businessman and former CIA operative Will Hurd (R) and physician Robert Lowry (R).
What is a recall election? It is a procedure that allows citizens to remove and replace an elected official before the end of their term. Recalls can be used to rid the office of a corrupt or incompetent leader, for partisan politics, or removing officials for a policy position. It is estimated that a majority, three-fourths, of recall elections are at city council or school board level, though there have been increasing instances of recalls at the state level. Nineteen states (AK, AZ, CA, CO, GA, ID, IL, KS, LA, MI, MN, MT, NV, NJ, ND, OR, RI, WA and WI) and the District of Columbia currently allow recalls of state officials. In the past three years, several states have seen state elected officials face recalls, including WI, AZ, MI and currently, CO.
State Level Recalls since 2010 (according to National Conference of State Legislatures)
The gun control bills causing such uproar in CO, passed in the 2013 legislative session by the Democratically-controlled CO state legislature, were the first such bills passed in over ten years. This is a hot topic issue in a state that is well known for the Columbine High School and Aurora shootings, but is also known for its bipartisan passion of hunting and sport shooting.
A group behind the recall, the Basic Freedom Defense Fund (501 (c)(4) non-profit), was set up in February in response to the passed gun legislation. The founding members say the main issue is about legislators not listening to their constituents. Originally, four Democrats were targeted to be recalled, including Sen. Evie Hudak (D) of Westminster and Rep. Mike McLachlan (D) of Durango but only the recall attempts for Sens. Morse and Giron gained enough signatures. Former Colorado Springs City Councilman Bernie Herpin (R) is challenging Morse and former police officer Georgia Rivera (R) of Pueblo is challenging Giron.
Money has been pouring into the elections, with Giron and Morse raising nearly a quarter million dollars, and receiving thousands of dollars from Colorado liberal groups. Recall supporters have been sending their funds to the Basic Freedom Defense, and the NRA has helped with mailers and phone banks. According to El Paso and Pueblo county clerks, the elections will cost somewhere between $150,000 and $200,000.
Even if the recall attempts are successful, Democrats will still hold the majority in the Senate, 18-17. However, supporters of the recall still hope this will send messages to legislators in CO and across the country.
This blog part one of a four part series where BIPAC will analyze the upcoming 2014 House Crossover districts. House Crossover districts are the Congressional districts where the U.S. Representative and the presidential candidate voted for by that district are of opposite parties. There are currently 26 House Crossover districts or 26 House members whose district voted for the presidential candidate of the opposite party. There are 15 incumbent Republicans serving in districts President Obama won and nine incumbent Democrats serving in districts Mitt Romney won. This series will analyze the incumbents, the districts and potential challengers as the political landscape for 2014 continues to evolve and take shape.
To see full the list of House Crossover districts visit the Political Analysis page of the BIPAC Portal here.
Gary Miller (R, CA-31)
Rep. Miller was elected to Congress in 1998 and is serving in his 8th term. Miller was reelected in 2012 beating his opponent by 10.4%. What’s unique about Miller’s race is that due to California’s new top-two primary system, Miller ran in the general election against another Republican, making the race less competitive – hence the victory of 10+ points. But, this is a swing district and the President outperformed Miller winning by a margin of 16.6%. As a result, Democratic Party operatives and potential Democratic candidates are honing in on this district as a potential pick up. Several possible challengers have lined up including former Rep. Joe Baca (D) and Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) who was backed by the DCCC in 2012. The two that emerge from the top two primary will face a competitive general election. Miller has even been rumored to be looking at friendlier districts. The issue that will mostly likely define Miller’s reelection chances is immigration – 44% of the 31st district’s voting age population is Hispanic.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R, FL-27)
In 2012, Rep. Ros-Lehtinen was easily reelected for a 12th full term by more than 23 points. However, President Obama also carried the 27th district by more than 6%, demonstrating the swing nature of this district. Despite the Democratic tilt of the 27th, Ros-Lehtinen’s background as the first Cuban-American and Hispanic woman elected to Congress, her leadership prowess as former Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and her ability to reach across the aisle and break with party on issues important to her district has enabled her to remain very popular with voters in Florida. As of today, few challengers are reported for 2014, but because of the demographic and partisan makeup of the district, it is likely we will ultimately see a Democratic challenger. However, the reputation and leadership of the Congresswoman ensures she will likely win reelection regardless of any election challenges.
Erik Paulsen (R, MN-3)
Rep. Paulsen was elected in 2008 and has never won reelection with less than 58% of the vote. The 3rd district supported President Obama in both 2008 with 51% of the vote and again in 2012, edging Mitt Romney out by 4,000 votes. This district (which includes the Mall of America) has a minority population of 17% and, although it tilts conservative, it remains competitive for all candidates on the ballot. While this district would typically be on Democrats’ radars, the popularity of Paulsen on both sides of the aisle coupled with his position on the House Ways and Means Committee make him a lower priority target. Paulsen is frequently considered for statewide office in Minnesota but he chose not to run for Senate in 2014 and is concentrating on business-focused issues and economic policy in the House.
Joe Heck (R, NV-3)
Rep. Heck won election to a second term in 2012 by 7.5% in a district the President carried by a narrow margin of 0.8%. Heck was elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 and was able to hang on in 2012 thanks to a weak Democratic opponent. However, he is actively being targeted in 2014 by the Democratic House Majority PAC primarily because of his stances on immigration and the fact that he lives in a substantially Hispanic district. DNC Committeewoman Erin Bilbray-Kohn (D) has already announced her intention to run. Heck has the support of the NRCC and is part of their 2014 Patriot Program. This help will be needed due to the turmoil and disorganization within the state Republican Party in Nevada. Ultimately, how the immigration debate plays out in the House could define Heck’s reelection campaign.
Ann Kirkpatrick (D, AZ-1)
Rep. Kirkpatrick was first elected to the U.S. House in 2008, lost reelection in 2010, but was victorious again in 2012. She ran in Arizona’s 1st district which was an open seat and won with only 48.8% of the vote with a 3.6% margin of victory (Interesting note: the Libertarian candidate received 6% of the vote). Kirkpatrick has already been targeted by the NRCC and is part of the DCCC’s Frontline Program that protects vulnerable Democrats. In 2012, she benefited greatly from redistricting and high turnout among Native American and Hispanic voters. A Republican challenger has already announced his intention to run – State Rep. Adam Kwasman (R), who managed Jesse Kelly’s failed campaign against Gabby Giffords in 2010. This race will undoubtedly be a close contest.
Collin Peterson (D, MN-7)
Rep. Peterson is a 12-term congressman known as a centrist legislator willing to work across the aisle to get meaningful policy enacted. He won reelection handily in 2012 with a 25.5% margin of victory. His district has some of the most productive farming in the country and was carried by Mitt Romney by nearly 10%. Despite the district supporting Republican gubernatorial and presidential candidates in recent cycles, Peterson has managed to carry this district for two decades. However, Peterson is just shy of 70 years old and his low fundraising reports have sparked rumors covered by National Journal, Roll Call and Daily Kos that he may not run for reelection. He raised about $93,800 in the second fundraising quarter and has just $205,000 cash on hand. As of today, he has not publically announced if he plans to run next year. As ranking member of the Agriculture Committee it is assumed he would like to see a solution to the Farm Bill before leaving Congress. As of today no serious challengers have announced.
Next month will be part two of the four part House Crossover District series.
The economy is always a major headline in elections, especially unemployment rates. When looking at the unemployment numbers for the states that have governors up for reelection in 2014, 14 states currently have unemployment rates higher than the national average of 7.5%. How significantly will these numbers affect the elections? While it is true that several of the nation’s most unpopular governors are on this list, including Chafee (I-RI), Quinn (D-IL) and Corbett (R-PA), other governors with high unemployment rates are relatively popular. Nevada has one of the highest unemployment rates right now with 9.6% unemployment, yet Gov. Sandoval (R) has positive approval ratings. While unemployment rates may not predict the outcomes of races, it is certainly a factor to keep in mind going into the 2014 elections.
There is a time for politics and a time for governing. The time for politics is over the time for governing is upon us.