ron johnson

The Long, Sophisticated Fight to Come Over the Supreme Court Opening

Kirk is the only Republican senator in a tough re-election race to not take a position on whether Obama should fill Scalia's seat on the Supreme Court or leave it to his successor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Republican and Democratic Senate campaigns have already clashed – fiercely – over when and how to confirm a new Supreme Court justice.  

But those early rhetorical salvos are only the beginning of what will be a sustained effort to take advantage of the court’s sudden opening, one that operatives from both parties say could reshape fundraising, turnout operations and targeted media to diehard partisans and swing voters alike. The blunt message from some of them: The terrain of the 2016 Senate election changed when Antonin Scalia died, and now it’s up to the party committees and their allied campaigns to recalibrate their strategy and tactics or be left behind.  

Supreme Court Opening: A Dilemma for Swing-State Republicans

Portman expressed his condolences, but didn't stake out a position on whether Obama should appoint a successor. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The sudden death of Antonin Scalia and ensuing fight over the process to replace him on the Supreme Court has created a vexing election-year problem for Senate Republicans, who – a mere nine months before November – are now caught between the competing demands of their conservative allies and moderate voters who could make-or-break the party’s already imperiled majority.  

In what might amount to their most high-profile decision of their campaigns, vulnerable Republican incumbents can side either with ideological allies who believe viscerally important issues like abortion-rights, immigration reform, and government overreach are at stake – or with moderates who are more broadly interested in lawmakers who lessen government dysfunction and help get things done.  

GOP Hindu-American Political Arm Emerges for 2016 Elections

Gingrich, third from left, and Sessions, second from right, light candles during the official launch of the Republican Hindu Coalition in Washington. (Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Indian-Americans make up one of the of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population and generally lean Democratic . But Shalabh 'Shalli' Kumar – a wealthy Chicago businessman who immigrated from India nearly 50 years ago – is hoping to change that.  

This year, Kumar founded a new group called the Republican Hindu Coalition to try to consolidate Hindu-American support in key battleground states ahead of the 2016 election for Republicans.  

Two Senate Candidates Buck Parties on Syrian Refugees

Hassan joined GOP governors calling on the federal government to stop accepting refugees from Syria until vetting "is as strong as possible." (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Hampshire's Maggie Hassan has the distinction of being the only Democratic governor so far to call on the federal government to stop accepting Syrian refugees. At the same time, vulnerable Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is one of the few Republicans who is not calling for a halt on Syrian immigrants.  

Hassan, who's waging a competitive Senate contest against GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, echoed the sentiment aired by Republican governors Monday. “The Governor believes that the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria until intelligence and defense officials can assure that the process for vetting all refugees, including those from Syria, is as strong as possible to ensure the safety of the American people," spokesman William Hinkle said in a statement .  

NRSC Relishes Making Russ Feingold Eat His Own Words

Feingold supporters plan a fundraiser for him at 201 Bar on Tuesday.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Supporters of Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold's Senate campaign plan to welcome their candidate back to D.C. next week with a fundraiser at 201 Bar — a spot the former lawmaker once cited as a key place where influence is bought and sold.  

Feingold Outraised Johnson, but Wisconsin Candidates Close in Cash on Hand

Feingold raised more money than Johnson in the third quarter but lags slightly behind in cash on hand. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson will report a third quarter haul of $1.4 million to the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday, his campaign announced. That’s a million dollars less than former Sen. Russ Feingold’s campaign announced on Oct. 1.  

Johnson ends the period with slightly more cash on hand — $3.5 million to Feingold’s $3.4 million.  

Russ Feingold Outpaces Ron Johnson in Second Quarter

Johnson is a Wisconsin Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson raised $2 million in the second quarter, as the Republican prepares for a rematch with former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold in one of the country’s most closely watched races.  

That's less than Feingold's $2.2 million raised, but Johnson’s campaign said it would report $2.75 million in cash on hand, $750,000 more than Feingold. "We're so appreciative to have so many folks on our team who recognize the continued need for honesty, common sense, and real-world perspective in the Senate,” Johnson campaign manager Betsy Ankney said. “We're confident that Ron's support will only continue to grow as the stark contrast in this race becomes more and more clear."  

Johnson Reviewing Options After Obamacare Lawsuit

Johnson is reviewing his options after appeals court ruling. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson isn't ruling out further challenges to the Obama administration's treatment of members of Congress and their staff members under the Affordable Care Act.  

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit on Tuesday agreed with a lower court ruling that the Wisconsin Republican and his Senate counsel lacked standing because neither of them could show an injury from the Office of Personnel Management's determination that federal employees making use of the District of Columbia's health care exchange are eligible for employer contributions. "Respectfully, we do not see how Senator Johnson’s reputation could be sullied or his electability diminished by being offered, against his will, a benefit that he then decided to refuse. He could not be accused of participating in an illegal scheme if he declined to participate," the 7th Circuit opinion said.