Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Kasich Falls Into Tie in Ohio Governor’s Race

In Governor, Polling on April 18, 2014 at 10:43 am

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been, possibly until now, performing well in his early re-election bid. A new poll taken for the Ohio Democratic Party, however, suggests the race has tightened to the point of being a virtual tie.

Public Policy Polling (April 14-15; 1,050 registered Ohio voters), surveying for the ODP, finds the governor falling into a tie at 44 percent with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D), but the study may be slightly skewed.

Looking at the PPP cross-tabs allows us to glean some key information. Most notably, the poll skews female because women comprise 53 percent of the respondent pool compared to their 51 percent share of the Ohio population at large. Since the female vote tips toward FitzGerald, the overall ballot test is likely distorted by a slight margin.

The poll’s gender segmentation is significant because the divisions here are not as stark as found in most studies of this race and others. Here we find that women break only 45-43 percent in FitzGerald’s favor, far closer than a normal Democrat-Republican split. This should be good news for Gov. Kasich.
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Why You Won’t See Sebelius Running in the Kansas Senate Race

In Polling, Senate on April 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

According to the New York Times, unnamed Democrats are floating the name of outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius as a potential opponent to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) later this year. For many reasons, such a move will not happen.

As we know, Sebelius announced earlier in April that she will be leaving her position. President Obama already has appointed a successor, subject to Senate confirmation. She leaves office bearing the brunt of what has gone wrong with the Affordable Care Act implementation, particularly relating to the disastrous registration process on the official healthcare website.

According to the Times analysis, Roberts is viewed as potentially vulnerable. This may be true in the Republican primary, because he faces a spirited challenge from physician Milton Wolf, but it is hardly the case in rock-ribbed Republican Kansas when considering the general election.

Public Policy Polling had already tested Sebelius as a potential opponent to the senator, giving us insight into her strength on the ballot. She has a strong history as a  Continue reading >

Dems Hit Tillis in NC Senate Race

In Polling, Senate on April 16, 2014 at 7:56 pm

It is becoming clear who the Democrats don’t want Sen. Kay Hagan to face in November. The Senate Majority PAC, conducting an independent expenditure operation in the North Carolina Senate race, just unleashed a major attack ad against state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Cornelius). This is their second wave of commercials that individually targets Tillis.

The Tar Heel State race is one of the key contests that will likely determine which party captures the Senate majority. Sen. Hagan seeks a second term after defeating then-Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) in the 2008 general election, but is having a difficult time breaking away from the pack in this campaign. Poll after poll shows the incumbent lagging slightly behind all of her Republican opponents, even though virtually all of them have low name identification. Clearly, a sitting senator trailing candidates such as Heather Grant, an Iraq war veteran and nurse, while only consistently scoring in the low 40 percentile range is cause for concern.

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