dscc

Martha McKenna Returns to DSCC to Lead Independent Expenditure Program
In 2012, she became the first woman to lead a Senate committee’s IE arm

Democratic campaign consultant Martha McKenna, seen here in her Baltimore dining room in 2015, will return to the DSCC as IE director. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic strategist Martha McKenna is returning to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to lead its independent expenditure efforts for 2018.

McKenna held the role for the 2012 cycle, when she was the first woman to head a Senate committee’s IE arm, and again for the 2014 cycle. She served as political director for the DSCC for the 2008 and 2010 cycles. Before that, she spent a decade at EMILY’s List.

Democrats Have Some Work to Do With Black Women
African-American female turnout could be key in midterms, as it was in Alabama

Supporters of Alabama Democrat Doug Jones celebrate his victory over Republican Roy Moore at his election night victory rally in December. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After African-American women played a key role in Doug Jones’ victory in the Alabama Senate race last month, Democrats are working on more effective messaging for them in hopes they will do the same thing in midterm races.

To have a chance to win, the Jones campaign had hoped for a turnout among African-Americans comparable to their percentage of the Alabama population — around 27 percent. But black voters made up 29 percent of the election electorate, exit polls showed, a slightly higher percentage than the black turnout in the state for President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election.

Poll: Dianne Feinstein Vulnerable to Insurgent Democrats in 2018
Less than half of California voters back longtime senator

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., could face a tough challenge from the left in her bid for a sixth term in 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein could face a stiff series of obstacles as she vies for re-election in California in 2018.

Six years after receiving the most popular votes in any senatorial election in U.S. history, the five-term Democrat has seen sliding favorability ratings as liberals in the Golden State hammer her for not being tough enough standing up to President Donald Trump.

Will Seniority Matter in the California Senate Race?
State Sen. Kevin de León a credible challenger to Sen. Dianne Feinstein

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein is running for a fifth full term but faces a challenge from the left. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is facing one of her most credible Democratic challengers yet. So she is readying her case to voters that her power in the Senate means she can effectively fight for California — and against President Donald Trump.

But will that argument work?

Van Hollen Confident Dems Will Invest in Alabama Special Election
'We have a terrific candidate' in Doug Jones, Maryland senator says

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the DSCC, said he thinks Doug Jones will energize voters to turn out, but “I’m not sure, after a bitter Republican primary, that’s going to be the case on the Republican side.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Chris Van Hollen believes Democrats will invest in their candidate in the Alabama special election to fill the remaining term of former Sen. Jeff Sessions, President Donald Trump’s attorney general.

And as the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which will fight to retain current and capture new Senate seats in 2018, Van Hollen’s word carries considerable weight.

Democrats Hope for ‘Perfect Storm’ in Alabama Senate Race
Doug Jones touted as party’s strongest candidate in years

Doug Jones chats with attendees before a Democratic Senate candidate forum in Decatur, Ala., on Aug. 3. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP, File Photo)

As Republicans gear up for a grueling primary runoff in the Alabama special election Senate race, Democratic candidate Doug Jones has the race to himself. And Democrats see Jones as their best hope for victory in a ruby-red state.

But that’s a tall order for Jones.

Democrats Zero In on Heller as Senate Starts Health Care Votes
‘The attack ads write themselves on this,’ party operative says

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller faced strong criticism by Democrats after his vote Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

By NIELS LESNIEWSKI and BRIDGET BOWMAN

Perhaps no senator has a bigger bull’s-eye on his back after a ‘yes’ vote Tuesday in favor of opening the debate on rolling back the 2010 health care law than Dean Heller of Nevada.

Attention Shifts to Josh Hawley in Missouri Senate Race
State attorney general seen as top contender against McCaskill

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, right, is a potential challenger to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. He’s seen here last November with the state’s junior senator, Roy Blunt. (Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images file photo)

With Republican Rep. Ann Wagner opting against a Senate run in Missouri, attention has shifted to the state’s Attorney General Josh Hawley as a potential contender to take on incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill.

Wagner’s decision, first reported by the Washington Examiner on Monday, was a surprise to operatives watching the race, since the third-term congresswoman had been signaling that she would challenge McCaskill.

Health Care Ads Running This Recess
Outside groups keep up the pressure on air and online

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller will continue to be the target of health care-related ads during recess. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is launching geo-targeted and candidate-specific Google search and display ads on the Republican health care bill over the July Fourth recess as part of an ongoing six-figure digital ad buy.

The holiday recess isn’t a typical time for expensive TV buys since many families go away or are spending time outdoors. But plenty of groups will be advertising over the congressional recess — mostly online, but some on TV — on the GOP health care proposal ahead of anticipated Senate action when Congress returns July 10. 

Democrats Stick to Health Care Message Amid Russian Intrigue
Party sees health care as more salient campaign issue

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., says health care is the issue that concerns her constituents the most, adding that she has gotten “zero questions about Russia.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite the daily drip about Russia and the Trump administration, national Democrats who hope to exploit Republicans’ vulnerabilities in 2018 are focusing their messaging squarely on health care before the July 4 recess.

Just minutes after former FBI Director James B. Comey concluded his testimony Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee — in which he said the president lied to the America people — the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted out a release.