pacs

The Future of Ads Is Digital — But Not Quite the Present
Some say campaigns are still slow to shift to digital-focused strategies

An iPhone captures then-presidential candidate Donald Trump after the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary debate in early 2016. (Meredith Dake-O’Connor/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There were plenty of signs that Democrats found success online this election cycle: catchy videos went viral; a burgeoning army of small-dollar donors produced eye-popping fundraising numbers; and voters targeted online showed up at the polls. 

But for some in the party, their digital efforts left much to be desired. Television ads still dominated campaigns, and Republican outside groups outpaced Democrats in digital ad spending. 

Elise Stefanik Wants to Play in Primaries to Help Republican Women
NRCC Chairman Tom Emmer thinks playing in primaries is a “mistake”

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik is stepping back from her role at the NRCC. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik recruited more than 100 women as the first female head of recruitment at the National Republican Congressional Committee. But only one of them prevailed, with many failing to make it through their primaries.

So Stefanik is stepping back from the NRCC to be involved where she thinks it matters.

Party Leadership Duped Voters With Millions for ‘Dubious’ Midterm Ads, Report Finds
Congress, FEC could close loopholes so voters know who is paying for campaigns, group says

Members-elect from the 116th Congress pose for the freshman class photo on the East Front of the Capitol on Nov. 14. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Newly elected members of Congress benefited from millions of dollars indirectly tied to party leaders in Washington. But much of that money was spent on ads that appeared to be from local groups, according to a study released Thursday.

The tactic is legal, thanks to campaign finance laws that have not been updated since the dawn of the digital age and Supreme Court rulings that have struck down limits on money in politics. But such strategies, laid out in the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center’s “Dodging Disclosure” report, represent the acceleration of “big money trends” that have given deep-pocketed groups outsize influence over elections and made the 2018 midterms the most expensive in American history, the report said.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Successor Announce New PAC to Boost Latino Turnout
Announcement follows reports that Democratic Party was slow to engage Latinos during midterms

Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois and House Democrats hold a rally in June on the steps of the Capitol to call for passage of “The Keep Families Together Act,” that would stop the separation of parents and children at the border of the U.S. and Mexico. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Outgoing Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez and his successor, Rep.-elect Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, will form a political action committee aimed strengthening Latinos’ political clout.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the Progressive Caucus Democrats will raise money for candidates with strong positions on issues of immigration, affordable housing and poverty, ideally from Latino donors.

With an Ambitious Policy Agenda, Pelosi is Poised to Lead the House Again
Calls increased from Democratic incumbents and candidates asking for new generation of leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference in the Capitol on Nov. 7, the day after Democrats had retaken control of the House. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Basking in House Democrats’ midterm election wins, Nancy Pelosi is focused on the planks of the Democratic campaign platform that will become the new majority’s agenda: health care, infrastructure and cleaning up corruption in Washington.

But the California Democrat cannot escape questions about another theme that emerged on the campaign trail — opposition to her leadership.

Scott Taylor Served ‘Poetic Justice’ in Election Loss, Prosecutor Says
Virginia Republican lost House race, but petition signature scam investigation goes on

Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., acknowledged “there's no question” that his re-election campaign was hurt by allegations that his campaign staff forged signatures on a petition to get an independent candidate on the ballot. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A special prosecutor will press on with his investigation into allegations of fraud by Virginia Rep. Scott Taylor’s re-election campaign, but for now, he’s gratified.

“There’s no hurry,” attorney Don Caldwell told the Virginian-Pilot. “It looks to me like there already was some poetic justice served down there in Virginia Beach to Mr. Taylor.”

League of Conservation Voters’ Political Arm Shows Some Midterm Muscle
Super PAC expands into 14 more House races, will spend record $80 million this cycle

Environmental activists protest in front of the White House after President Donald Trump announced he is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accord in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The campaign arm of the League of Conservation Voters says it will spend $80 million before Election Day — a record for the super PAC.

Rollbacks to environmental protections by President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress have created a sense of urgency heading into Election Day, LCV Victory Fund said in a news release.

As House Republicans Brace for Losses, Freedom Caucus Prepares for Growth
Hard-line conservative bloc has been raising millions to help recruit new members

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., was an early recruit of the Freedom Caucus and she is now the group’s only female member. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

At a time when most House Republican factions are preparing to see their ranks shrink regardless of whether their party loses its majority next week, one caucus is expecting its membership to grow.

The House Freedom Caucus, considered the most conservative bloc of Republicans in Congress, is expecting to increase its roster of 35 members to somewhere in the 37-to-40 range, based on the number of incumbent and recruited candidates they predict could lose Tuesday.

GOP Super PAC Goes on Attack in Rural Virginia District
Democrat Cockburn has 3Q financial advantage over GOP’s Riggleman

Democrat Leslie Cockburn is running for the open seat in Virginia’s 5th District. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A super PAC tied to House Republican leadership is going on the air in Virginia’s 5th District, where the GOP nominee for the open seat is being outspent by the Democrat. 

Congressional Leadership Fund is debuting a new ad Wednesday in the Roanoke media market that will run through Election Day. The ad, shared first with Roll Call, seeks to contrast Republican Denver Riggleman and Democratic nominee Leslie Cockburn. The Washington Post first reported Tuesday that CLF was investing in the district. 

GOP Ads Target Young Female Voters on Violence Against Women Act
Winning for Women is behind ads touting Comstock, McSally and Walters

GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock is running for a third term in Virginia’s 10th District. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An outside group dedicated to electing Republican women is launching digital ads urging three lawmakers to support reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which is set to expire in December.

The digital ads, obtained first by Roll Call, target Reps. Mimi Walters of California and Barbara Comstock of Virginia — both facing tough re-elections — and Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona, who’s running for Senate.