Justin Worland

Mitt Romney Weaknesses Play Into Democrats’ National Narrative

“He spent his whole adult life ... making money as a hedge fund manager, working through the Cayman Islands, doing tax shelters,” says a woman interviewed on the street for a campaign ad. “And I’m really concerned that he hasn’t released any of his financial records.”

The video looks and sounds like a spot attacking presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney; but it’s not. Instead, the Wisconsin Democratic Party Web video takes on GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde, a wealthy businessman whose vulnerabilities closely mirror Romney’s.

DSCC Chairwoman Patty Murray Confident, Won't Provide Odds

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (Wash.) expressed confidence in her party's ability to hold the majority this fall, but also bemoaned the influence of outside of money in Senate campaigns.

"Despite the difficult and very tough map and despite the fact that everybody wrote off our chances when I took on this task almost two years ago, we are doing really great and I feel confident going into the election," Murray told reporters this morning. "The only thing that stands between me and a long good night of sleep is the outside money that is coming from Karl Rove and the right-wing billionaires that are funding these races and campaigns across the country."

Wisconsin: Kelda Helen Roys and Mark Pocan Exchange Criticism Over Ad

Wisconsin Assemblyman Mark Pocan (D) changed tactics in his race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in Wisconsin's second district, launching a new television ad that defends his record and seeks to discredit criticism leveled by his primary opponent.

State Assemblywoman Kelda Helen Roys (D) wasted little time before responding. Her campaign called the spot as a "false, negative attack ad" that went against Pocan's promise to run a clean campaign. Pocan had previously devoted his television advertising time to highlighting his accomplishments.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hits the Airwaves in Five States

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has hit the airwaves in Florida, Montana, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin with television ads targeting Democratic Senate candidates.

The chamber is also targeting independent Senate candidate former Gov. Angus King in Maine. The ads criticize the candidates on a range of issues, including support for the Affordable Care Act, proposals to increase taxes and votes on energy issues.

Wisconsin Senate Primary Attracts Star Musician Power

Rock musician Ted Nugent and country music star Rodney Atkins are scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to headline events for GOP Senate primary candidates.

Nugent is set to perform Thursday for former Gov. Tommy Thompson; Atkins is scheduled to perform for businessman Eric Hovde on Aug. 1. The campaigns hope to translate the musicians’ star power into enthusiasm as the campaign for the primary nomination enters its final weeks.

Wisconsin: Negative Ads Dominate Airwaves

Congressional candidates and outside groups in Wisconsin have picked up the pace of TV and radio attack ads as the state's primaries loom three weeks away.

Roll Call counted 10 attack ads released in the past 11 days, including three spots released today.

Wisconsin Candidates Battle to Proclaim Identity

There isn’t much that distinguishes Wisconsin state Reps. Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys — at least on paper. But in the race between the two Democrats to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D), there is growing support and momentum behind Pocan, who, like Baldwin, is openly gay.

Pocan has served 14 years in the state Assembly and has support from the party establishment and unions. He remains the frontrunner with three weeks to go before the Aug. 14 primary.

Wisconsin: Tommy Thompson Outraises Mark Neumann

Updated 3:30 p.m. | Former Gov. Tommy Thompson outraised his competitors for the Republican nomination for Wisconsin’s open Senate seat with an $834,000 haul. Former Rep. Mark Neumann raised $733,000 and businessman Eric Hovde took in $237,000.

Despite Thompson’s apparent financial advantage, Neumann and Hovde have assets that are not clear from the total raised. Hovde is independently wealthy and has spent millions of his own money on his campaign. Neumann, who is set to up his investment on television advertising, has the backing of outsiders such as the Club for Growth, which has spent heavily to support him.

Wisconsin: Hovde, Thompson Respond To Criticism With New Ads

A busy week in Wisconsin's GOP primary for the state's open Senate seat concluded with new defensive ads from former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde. Thompson's ad counters allegations that he supported President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law, while Hovde attacks former Rep. Mark Neumann, another GOP candidate, on fiscal issues.

The conservative Club for Growth unveiled an ad earlier today that attacked both Hovde and Thompson as part of a nearly $600,000 broadcast and cable buy in the Badger State. The group endorsed Neumann last September.

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Hits Tommy Thomspon, Eric Hovde in New Ad

The Club for Growth launched a large broadcast and cable ad buy today throughout Wisconsin targeting current GOP Senate primary frontrunners former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde.

By taking on both frontrunners, the club reaffirmed its support for former Rep. Mark Neumann, despite his low numbers in recent polls. Many observers have said that dividing support among Thompson's various challengers would only elevate the former governor above the fray of other candidates.

Wisconsin: Club for Growth Going Up With Senate Ad Buy

The Club for Growth will go up with a sizable ad buy in the competitive Wisconsin Senate GOP primary Friday, according to sources with knowledge of the race.

The club endorsed former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) in September and has attacked former Gov. Tommy Thompson, who began the Senate race as the frontrunner due to his high name identification, from the right.

Wisconsin: Marquette Poll Suggests Tommy Thompson, Eric Hovde Lead GOP Primary

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde hold solid leads over their opponents in the race for the GOP nomination for Wisconsin's open Senate seat, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released today. The survey is the latest in a string of news suggesting that Hovde and Thompson are the race's frontrunners.

The poll, which surveyed 432 likely GOP voters, shows Thompson leading Hovde with support from 35 percent of likely voters compared with Hovde's 23 percent. Former Rep. Mark Neumann and state Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald remained in a distant third and fourth place, respectively. Twenty-five percent of of likely voters said they remained undecided. The GOP primary portion of the poll had a margin of error of 4.8 points.

FEC Gridlock No Help to Obama Campaign

Four years ago, President Barack Obama ran on a platform of change that included overhauling the campaign finance system.

But, as in many policy areas, Obama’s big plans for campaign finance reforms never quite panned out. Despite repeated pleas to Obama from watchdog groups to strengthen or even appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission, the president had other priorities. Now Obama, swamped by unrestricted spending on behalf of his GOP opponent, has asked the FEC for help. But some reform advocates say it’s too little, too late.

Wisconsin: Pocan and Roys Launch First Major TV Ads

Wisconsin Democratic Assembly members Mark Pocan and Kelda Helen Roys launched their first major TV ads this week in the race to succeed Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in the state's 2nd district. The spots for both candidates are positive portrayals of themselves and both avoid taking on their opponent directly.

Pocan's ad, which is part of a more than $55,000 broadcast and cable buy, portrays the him as someone whose political leadership has been influenced by his own experience with business.

Arizona: Jeff Flake Slams Wil Cardon on Report of Hiring Illegal Immigrants

Rep. Jeff Flake launched a new television advertisement today accusing his Senate Republican primary opponent, businessman Wil Cardon, of employing illegal immigrants at his business.

The ad, part of a $200,000 statewide broadcast and cable television buy, follows similar allegations published in a report in the Arizona Republic last week. Immigration has been a prominent issue in Arizona's GOP Senate primary, with Cardon frequently accusing Flake of supporting "amnesty."

Wisconsin: EMILY's List Takes On Senate Frontrunners

Women Vote!, the independent expenditure arm of EMILY's List, released its first television ad in Wisconsin this cycle in support of Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) with a $400,000 broadcast television buy.

The ad, which will air in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau, targets GOP Senate candidates businessman Eric Hovde and former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

DSCC Files FEC Complaint Against Independent Groups

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that conservative independent outfits 60 Plus Association, American Crossroads, and Americans for Prosperity have violated federal election law by primarily working to influence federal elections while not disclosing their donors.

“Respondents are raising and spending millions of dollars to accomplish their major purpose of influencing federal elections, while hiding their funding sources. By operating in secret, they have violated and continue to violate the Federal Election Campaign Act,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote in the complaint.

Wisconsin: Eric Hovde Poll Shows Narrowing Senate Primary Field

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson and businessman Eric Hovde are locked in a close two-way race for the GOP Senate nomination in Wisconsin, according to an internal poll conducted for the Hovde campaign by polling firm On Message Inc.

The poll showed Thompson and Hovde at the top of the primary field, receiving support from 34 percent and 29 percent of likely Republican voters, respectively. Former Rep. Mark Neumann received support from 16 percent of respondents while Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald did not crack the 10 percent mark.

Wisconsin: Pat Toomey Endorses Mark Neumann for Senate

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) endorsed former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) today in his campaign for Wisconsin's open Senate seat. Toomey is the fifth GOP Senator from the party's more conservative wing to endorse Neumann.

"Congressman Mark Neumann is a man of courage and principle, and I am proud to endorse him in his run for the U.S. Senate," Toomey said in a press release. “In this era of skyrocketing deficits and stagnant economic growth, Mark is exactly the kind of leader we need in Washington."

Jim DeMint PAC to Go Independent, Increase Fundraising

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) is cutting official ties to his Senate Conservatives Fund leadership PAC to allow the fundraising outfit to form a super PAC. While DeMint may continue to attend fundraisers for the new super PAC — named Senate Conservatives Action — campaign finance laws prohibit him from asking donors for money directly.

The new structure will allow the group to raise and spend unlimited funds to support reliably conservative Senate candidates. It also ends the $5,000 limit on individual contributions. The group has raised $17 million since 2009, $8 million so far this year, under the limitations governing politicians' PACs.