massachusetts

The $100 Jacket Politicians Use to Pretend To Be Normal People

The barn jacket has become the go-to fashion accessory for candidates trying to appeal to the common folk. (Screengrab: David Trone for Congress)

David Trone has never run for office before, but he’s wearing the standard issue uniform of a politician in his first television ads: the barn jacket.  

The wealthy Maryland Democrat thrust himself into the 8th District primary with close to a $1 million ad buy in the expensive Washington, D.C., media market. In the ad, entitled “Bet the Farm,” the owner of the Total Wine & More chain of stores dons a barn jacket to take viewers on a tour of the family farm where he grew up.  

Wyden Looks Safe, but Democratic Rift Is Real

Wyden speaks with reporters as he arrives for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch on Dec. 9, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Liberal groups have targeted Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden for defeat in next year’s elections unless he sides with them on upcoming trade deals. But any talk about the four-term Democrat's vulnerability is premature until there is a challenger.  

“Secretive Trade Deal Could Pose Problems At Home For Ron Wyden,” a rather alarming Huffington Post headline declared in February. The corresponding story appears to be based on a poll paid for by Democracy for America and a press release circulated to create doubt about the senator’s re-election bid. But the structure of the survey unfortunately doesn’t measure Wyden’s vulnerability.  

Race Ratings Changes in New Hampshire, Massachusetts

Is the race slipping away from Shaheen? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, we’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings  in one Senate and one gubernatorial race.  

You can read more explanation in the Oct. 24 update for Rothenberg Political Report subscribers ($).  

Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call Race Ratings Changes

Nunn is challenging Perdue for Georgia Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

While national polls show a stable landscape, polls in individual races continue to show some movement. That movement leads us to make a number of changes to our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings .  

Most of the House changes benefit the GOP, while the Senate and governor changes are far more mixed.  

Three Election Trends That Could End in 2014

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

I’m not certain how long a trend has to exist before it earns the status of an immutable political “law,” but three longtime truths are threatened this election cycle. Will all of them fall in November?  

Trend #1: One party holds the Pennsylvania governorship for eight years and then loses the office to the other party.  

Top 5 Races to Watch in New England

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New England hasn’t been fertile territory for Republican candidates of late, but the party has an opportunity to gain House seats in the region this November.  

Surprisingly, even though the races have evolved, there is no change to the regional Top 5 Races to Watch list from last summer .  

Imperfect People Get Elected to the Senate

Warren is a Democrat from Massachusetts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the heat of the campaign, it can be easy to disqualify or dismiss candidates based on unsettling, or sometimes unseemly, revelations. But all you have to do is look at the current lineup of senators to realize that imperfect people win elections.  

Connecticut is a great place to start.  

8 House Race Ratings Changes Boost GOP, Democrats

Dold is waging a comeback bid in Illinois. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

This week Rothenberg Political Report /Roll Call made ratings changes in eight congressional districts and confirmed our rating in a ninth — Wisconsin’s 6th District — after GOP Rep. Tom Petri announced his retirement .  

Here is a link to the Ratings map and a quick rundown of the moves we made, with links to the corresponding analysis. Races that moved toward Republicans:

Ratings Change: Massachusetts’ 6th District

Tierney is a Democrat from Massachusetts. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Massachusetts voters haven’t sent a Republican to the U.S. House of Representatives from any district in nearly 20 years. Republican Richard Tisei nearly broke that streak in 2012 and is challenging Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., once again in 2014.  

Tierney’s vulnerability is specific. Massachusetts’ 6th District voted for Barack Obama with 55 percent in 2012 and 57 percent in 2008. But Tierney nearly lost to Tisei last cycle, 48 percent to 47 percent, with the help from a Libertarian candidate who received 4.5 percent. The Democrat's wife and brothers in law have been in legal trouble, and that appears to have taken a toll on Tierney’s numbers. The congressman denies any wrongdoing.  

Gay Republican Candidate 'Comfortable' in GOP (Video)

The candidate: Richard Tisei, a real estate broker , former state Senate minority leader and the 2012 GOP nominee in this district. The member: Nine-term Democratic Rep. John F. Tierney, who defeated Tisei in 2012 by about 1 point. Tierney racked up double-digit victories over the past decade or so, but ethical questions (a case since closed by the House Ethics Committee) plunged him into political vulnerability. The district: Massachusetts' 6th stretches from the northern Boston suburbs along the coast to the New Hampshire border and reaches west to include Bedford and the outskirts of Lowell. The candidate’s team: David Paleologus of Dapa Research (polling), Todd Harris and Heath Thompson of Something Else Strategies (media), Gridiron Communications (direct mail), Nathan Wurtzel (fundraising) and  Ryan Gough (campaign manager).

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