DSCC

Contenders for McCain‘s Arizona Senate seat huddle with Sen. Chuck Schumer
Rep. Ruben Gallego and astronaut Mark Kelly are among the possible candidates

Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., confirmed he has met with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ahead of a possible run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The three top Democratic Party contenders considering a challenge to appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona have met with Sen. Chuck Schumer, one of the potential candidates confirmed Monday.

“He knows that Arizona is a swing state and he’s talking to a couple of candidates here in Arizona,” Rep. Ruben Gallego said in an interview with KTVK. “He’s very realistic about what we need to do to win this state and I made a good case for why I’d be the best candidate should I decide to run.”

STEM group launches ‘Draft Mark Kelly’ effort in Arizona
314 Action is urging former astronaut to challenge appointed Sen. McSally

Mark Kelly, the husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is being encouraged to run for Senate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

314 Action, a group that backs candidates with scientific backgrounds, is launching a new effort Wednesday to encourage former astronaut and Navy veteran Mark Kelly to run for Senate in Arizona. 

Kelly, who is married to former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is among a handful of potential Democratic challengers to appointed Sen. Martha McSally. The race is expected to be a top party target in 2020, and 314 Action is hoping a show of support will bolster Kelly’s decision to run.

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. 

Scott Fairchild Named DSCC Executive Director
Fairchild is incoming chairwoman Cortez Masto’s chief of staff

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., is the incoming DSCC chairwoman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is bringing her chief of staff over to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, naming Scott Fairchild on Friday as the committee’s new executive director.

Democrats are largely on offense in the 2020 cycle, but they will have to protect vulnerable incumbents including Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. Democrats are defending 12 seats while Republicans are defending 22.

Catherine Cortez Masto Becomes First Latina to Lead DSCC
A Nevada Democrat will be returning to the leadership table

Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, left, seen here campaigning in October with now Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen, is expected to be announced as the next leader of the DSCC. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Nevada senator is once again a key member of Senate Democratic leadership.

First-term Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto was announced as the next chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Thursday, becoming the first Latina to lead the committee.

Let Beto O’Rourke Keep His Money
Claims that Texas Democrat’s fundraising is robbing from other candidates are exaggerated

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for Senate is helping Democrats in many indirect ways, Gonzales writes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’m old enough to remember when some Democrats and reporters suggested that Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke donate his Senate campaign money to other candidates and causes.

But the latest Quinnipiac University survey found the congressman within 5 points of Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, clearing him, it would seem, to just spend it on his own race. It was ridiculous to suggest he give away his hard-earned cash in the first place.

Democrats Spin McConnell Entitlement Comments Into Political Messaging
McConnell says Republicans cannot tackle program on their own but Democrats warn of GOP action

Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., says a vote for the GOP is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, spinning Senate Majority McConnell’s comments that Republicans can’t execute that goal on their own. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats are spinning comments Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently made on overhauling entitlements to craft a political message that electing Republicans will lead to cuts in safety net programs. 

“Sen. McConnell gave the game up in his comment yesterday,” Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said on a press call Wednesday. “It was very clear from what he said that a vote for Republican candidates in this election is a vote to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That’s what he said.”

The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018: Heidi Heitkamp Moves to Top Spot
North Dakota Democrat tops Roll Call’s latest list of endangered Senate incumbents

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., tops the list of most vulnerable Senate incumbents. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats continue to dominate the latest list of the most vulnerable Senate incumbents two months out from Election Day, with North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp moving into the top spot.

Heitkamp displaces Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, who nevertheless remains the most vulnerable incumbent on the Republican side and the only GOP senator running in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Six Months Out: The 10 Most Vulnerable Senators in 2018
Nevada Republican Dean Heller remains in top spot

Sen. Dean Heller is the only Republican running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senate Democrats are still defending 10 states that President Donald Trump won in 2016, but six months out from Election Day, the most vulnerable senator remains a Republican.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller no longer faces a primary threat, but he’s the only Republican up for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton won, and in this national environment that’s a tricky place to be.

DSCC Hires New Field Director
Lauren Brainerd coordinated campaigns in Virginia

A sign at a polling station in Gallant, Ala., during last year’s Senate special election in Alabama. Victories in Virginia last year and recent special elections indicate Democrats have momentum heading into the November midterms. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee announced Monday that a veteran of recent successes in Virginia will be leading the group’s field program this year.

Lauren Brainerd, who was most recently the campaign director for the Virginia Democratic Party, will be the DSCC’s new field director, according to an announcement shared first with Roll Call. Brainerd oversaw last year’s campaigns for statewide office in the Old Dominion, including the gubernatorial race. She also oversaw campaigns for the state House of Delegates, where victories (the party won 15 seats) signaled Democratic energy heading into the 2018 midterms.