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Roll Call Decoder

CQ Roll Call

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Roll Call Decoder

Roll Call Decoder

CQ Roll Call

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About Us

Calling on two decades covering Congress, senior editor David Hawkings translates the place’s sometimes bewildering policy nuances, procedural complexities and political machinations.

Latest Episodes

A Supreme Campaign Issue

For six Democratic senators in rough fights for re-election in Trump states, the coming vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation will be a career-defining moment that cuts both ways. Roll Call political analystNathan Gonzales and his Inside Elections colleague Leah Askarinamexplain the dynamics of each campaign.

14 min2018 JUL 11
Comments
A Supreme Campaign Issue

A Growing Controversy

For decades, passing a farm bill was about building a bipartisan coalition of urban Democrats (focused on food stamp benefits) and rural Republicans (focused on agriculture subsidies.) CQ reporter Ellyn Ferguson explains how that formula is breaking down, how it may yet be revived and why every voter has a stake in the debate.

12 min2018 JUN 27
Comments
A Growing Controversy

Will a Minibus Rescue Hill’s GOP?

Republicans would love to avoid shutdown drama before the midterm but a tight timetable stands in the way. CQ’s appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich explains why the budgetary salvage vehicle is called a “minibus” and why it just might work.

12 min2018 JUN 13
Comments
Will a Minibus Rescue Hill’s GOP?

California's Top Two Primary Looms Over House Democrats

Democrats have a handful of opportunities to takeover House seats in California, but the abundance of candidates and state's top two primary system are complicating the party's efforts in a critical state for the majority. Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales and Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman look back at when the system was installed and ahead to the June 5 primaries and how Democrats are trying to avoid an electoral catastrophe.

14 min2018 MAY 30
Comments
California's Top Two Primary Looms Over House Democrats

There’s (Political) Royalty in Congress, Too

Those entranced by a royal wedding may delight in dynastic aspects of American politics. Election as “family business” has been a Hill staple since the start, and 2018 will continue the tradition. Roll Call managing editor Jason Dick explains how half a dozen families (topped by the Pences of Indiana) want a seat in Congress to remain part of the family trousseau.

15 min2018 MAY 16
Comments
There’s (Political) Royalty in Congress, Too

Of Politicians and Pastors

The House is in search of a new chaplain, after Speaker Paul D. Ryan fired the incumbent with minimal rationalization. Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson explains why this has annoyed so many lawmakers, and not just fellow Catholics of the ousted priest — and what’s behind their need for a full time pastor.

13 min2018 MAY 2
Comments
Of Politicians and Pastors

Use of Force vs. Use of Power

Senators on both sides are pushing to rewrite the law authorizing military force, untouched for 16 years. Even after the Syria strikes the debate is likely to fade fast, White House correspondent John Bennett explains, part of a complex modern war-making power dynamic that favors presidents over Congress.

16 min2018 APR 18
Comments
Use of Force vs. Use of Power

Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations

The midterm elections are still seven months away but both parties are already reserving television ad time for the fall. Even though more voters are moving toward non-traditional ways of watching shows and movies, broadcast television ads are still king in campaigns. In this week’s Decoder, Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales, sitting in for David Hawkings, talks with Republican strategist Paul Winn of Advertising Analytics about the logistics and strategy behind ad reservations.

17 min2018 APR 4
Comments
Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations

What Defines a Political Wave in the House?

With President Donald Trump’s mediocre job ratings, Democrats’ advantage on the national generic ballot and success in special elections in Pennsylvania, Alabama and elsewhere, there’s plenty of talk about a political wave. In this week's Decoder, Roll Call Elections Analyst Nathan Gonzales sits in for David Hawkings and talks to Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg about how many seats Democrats need to win to qualify as a "wave," how upset races materialize in a wave, and how some individual Republicans might survive.

15 min2018 MAR 21
Comments
What Defines a Political Wave in the House?

How We Determine the Wealth of Congress

Each year since 1990 Roll Call has made some attempt to measure the wealth of members on Capitol Hill. In this week’s Decoder, host David Hawkings talks to Wealth of Congress project editor George LeVines about attempting a massive data project when all the figures are vague and imperfect — and why it's so important to forge ahead anyway. Check out the interactive project here:http://www.rollcall.com/wealth-of-congress

12 min2018 MAR 7
Comments
How We Determine the Wealth of Congress

Latest Episodes

A Supreme Campaign Issue

For six Democratic senators in rough fights for re-election in Trump states, the coming vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation will be a career-defining moment that cuts both ways. Roll Call political analystNathan Gonzales and his Inside Elections colleague Leah Askarinamexplain the dynamics of each campaign.

14 min2018 JUL 11
Comments
A Supreme Campaign Issue

A Growing Controversy

For decades, passing a farm bill was about building a bipartisan coalition of urban Democrats (focused on food stamp benefits) and rural Republicans (focused on agriculture subsidies.) CQ reporter Ellyn Ferguson explains how that formula is breaking down, how it may yet be revived and why every voter has a stake in the debate.

12 min2018 JUN 27
Comments
A Growing Controversy

Will a Minibus Rescue Hill’s GOP?

Republicans would love to avoid shutdown drama before the midterm but a tight timetable stands in the way. CQ’s appropriations reporter Kellie Mejdrich explains why the budgetary salvage vehicle is called a “minibus” and why it just might work.

12 min2018 JUN 13
Comments
Will a Minibus Rescue Hill’s GOP?

California's Top Two Primary Looms Over House Democrats

Democrats have a handful of opportunities to takeover House seats in California, but the abundance of candidates and state's top two primary system are complicating the party's efforts in a critical state for the majority. Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales and Roll Call political reporter Bridget Bowman look back at when the system was installed and ahead to the June 5 primaries and how Democrats are trying to avoid an electoral catastrophe.

14 min2018 MAY 30
Comments
California's Top Two Primary Looms Over House Democrats

There’s (Political) Royalty in Congress, Too

Those entranced by a royal wedding may delight in dynastic aspects of American politics. Election as “family business” has been a Hill staple since the start, and 2018 will continue the tradition. Roll Call managing editor Jason Dick explains how half a dozen families (topped by the Pences of Indiana) want a seat in Congress to remain part of the family trousseau.

15 min2018 MAY 16
Comments
There’s (Political) Royalty in Congress, Too

Of Politicians and Pastors

The House is in search of a new chaplain, after Speaker Paul D. Ryan fired the incumbent with minimal rationalization. Roll Call’s Lindsey McPherson explains why this has annoyed so many lawmakers, and not just fellow Catholics of the ousted priest — and what’s behind their need for a full time pastor.

13 min2018 MAY 2
Comments
Of Politicians and Pastors

Use of Force vs. Use of Power

Senators on both sides are pushing to rewrite the law authorizing military force, untouched for 16 years. Even after the Syria strikes the debate is likely to fade fast, White House correspondent John Bennett explains, part of a complex modern war-making power dynamic that favors presidents over Congress.

16 min2018 APR 18
Comments
Use of Force vs. Use of Power

Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations

The midterm elections are still seven months away but both parties are already reserving television ad time for the fall. Even though more voters are moving toward non-traditional ways of watching shows and movies, broadcast television ads are still king in campaigns. In this week’s Decoder, Roll Call elections analyst Nathan Gonzales, sitting in for David Hawkings, talks with Republican strategist Paul Winn of Advertising Analytics about the logistics and strategy behind ad reservations.

17 min2018 APR 4
Comments
Going Behind the Screen about Television Ad Reservations

What Defines a Political Wave in the House?

With President Donald Trump’s mediocre job ratings, Democrats’ advantage on the national generic ballot and success in special elections in Pennsylvania, Alabama and elsewhere, there’s plenty of talk about a political wave. In this week's Decoder, Roll Call Elections Analyst Nathan Gonzales sits in for David Hawkings and talks to Roll Call columnist Stuart Rothenberg about how many seats Democrats need to win to qualify as a "wave," how upset races materialize in a wave, and how some individual Republicans might survive.

15 min2018 MAR 21
Comments
What Defines a Political Wave in the House?

How We Determine the Wealth of Congress

Each year since 1990 Roll Call has made some attempt to measure the wealth of members on Capitol Hill. In this week’s Decoder, host David Hawkings talks to Wealth of Congress project editor George LeVines about attempting a massive data project when all the figures are vague and imperfect — and why it's so important to forge ahead anyway. Check out the interactive project here:http://www.rollcall.com/wealth-of-congress

12 min2018 MAR 7
Comments
How We Determine the Wealth of Congress
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