Montana Senate Moves to Lean Republican

Stuart Rothenberg July 24, 2014 · 2:00 PM EDT

As Roll Call was preparing to post my column yesterday on the Montana Senate race and recent Democratic polls showing the contest “closing,” a report surfaced in the New York Times about appointed Senator John Walsh’s plagiarism in his master’s thesis.

The Walsh story is a huge one and undoubtedly affects the Democrat’s already uphill bid.

Walsh, who didn’t dispute the heavily documented charge, said “I don’t want to blame my mistake on PTSD” before going on to suggest that post-traumatic stress disorder may have been a factor.

The defense is likely to only raise other questions about his Senate bid, keeping him on the defensive.

“John Walsh is a decorated war hero, and it’s disgusting that Steve Daines and Washington Republicans are going to try denigrate John’s distinguished service after multiple polls show him gaining,” a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman said in a ridiculously obvious effort to create a new narrative following the news.

In fact, it was members of the local and national media who pounced on the story, recognizing how serious it would be to Walsh’s reputation and campaign effort.

The Democrat already was an underdog against Republican Rep. Steve Daines, and the new controversy, following an earlier one about an Army Inspector…

Montana Senate: A Real Race or Simply Manufactured Buzz?

Stuart Rothenberg July 24, 2014 · 1:59 PM EDT

Maybe you believe in coincidences. I usually do — but not four months from an election.

Almost simultaneously, two different memos appeared from Democratic pollsters insisting the Montana Senate race has closed and the outcome of the contest is very much in doubt.

One memo, by North…

‘Simple’ Doesn’t Equal ‘Easy’ in N.H. Senate Race

Stuart Rothenberg July 23, 2014 · 12:11 PM EDT

Having written about House and Senate races for the past 30 years, I’ve seen plenty of press releases, polling memos and campaign strategy emails. But rarely have I received anything as silly as a July 9 press release from New Hampshire Republican Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown’s campaign, which…

GOP Can’t Catch a Break in Congressional Baseball Recruitment

Nathan L. Gonzales July 22, 2014 · 10:23 AM EDT

Phil Berger Jr.’s loss in last week's Republican runoff in North Carolina’s 6th District was about more than an establishment favorite getting knocked off by an anti-establishment challenger.

He could have been a key player for Republicans in future Roll Call Congressional Baseball Games.