Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for July 8th, 2011|Daily archive page

Tuesday’s California Special Election is Just a Beginning

In House on July 8, 2011 at 11:09 am

The special election to replace Rep. Jane Harman (D), who resigned her seat earlier this year to accept a position with a foreign affairs think tank, will be held this coming Tuesday. Early voting is currently underway and the preliminary numbers surprisingly show Republican ballots almost equaling Democratic absentees according to the first tabulation. It is, of course, unknown for whom each person actually voted, but does provide an indication about the total turnout trend. With a 45-28 percent advantage in voter registration over Republicans, Democrats should easily win this seat. The candidates are Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D) and businessman Craig Huey (R).

Mr. Huey is even a surprise to have advanced into the run-off. In California’s new top-two primary system, political party is irrelevant in terms of qualifying for the general election. In a district such as this, it was originally believed that two Democrats would be squaring off on Tuesday but Huey pulled the upset.

Hahn’s campaign strategy suggests the race is close. She is running attack ads while emphasizing that she serves on the “non-partisan” LA City Council. This is a surprising approach for a candidate running in a district that so favors her own party.

Even if Huey loses but comes close on Tuesday, this race should be a key target in the regular election, assuming the proposed redistricting map is enacted. Under the re-draw, what will be the new 36th district becomes much more Republican than under the current boundaries, suggesting a high degree of competition for next year. So, as in the upcoming NV-2 special election slated for Sept. 13, whoever wins this CA-36 vote on Tuesday will effectively mark the beginning of their campaign season and not the end. We will have much more on this race in our Monday update.
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Tennessee’s Redistricting Could Cause GOP Primary Challenges

In House, Redistricting on July 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

With the Volunteer State’s redistricting process just beginning, rumors are flying that at least two of the state’s four freshman Republicans could be facing serious primary challenges once the districts are re-drawn.

In the Chattanooga-anchored 3rd district, freshman Rep. Chuck Fleischmann may be facing an intra-party challenge from Weston Wamp, son of former Rep. Zach Wamp (R). The latter Wamp served in Congress for 16 years, winning his first election in the Republican landslide year of 1994. He vacated the seat in 2010 for a gubernatorial run, falling in the GOP primary to now-Gov. Bill Haslam.

In the 4th district, which will likely change significantly, freshman Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R) may face stiff competition from state Sen. Bill Ketron in next year’s Republican primary. The new district is likely to be more to Ketron’s liking than are the current boundaries. As a member of the Senate State and Local Government Committee that has jurisdiction over redistricting, he will have a major say as to how the seat is drawn.
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For further detailed insights, to sign up for my daily email updates, or to sign up to track specific issues or industries, please contact me at PRIsm@performanceandresults.com

Disabled Veteran Tammy Duckworth Seeks Office

In House on July 8, 2011 at 8:58 am

In the Chicago suburbs, former 2006 congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth (D), who lost to Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL-6) 49-51 percent in their open seat contest of that year, is again entering elective politics. She will now run in the newly created 8th district in Illinois, which should elect a Democrat in the general election.

Already in the race is former Deputy state Treasurer Raja Krishnamoorthi (D) who is set to report more than $400,000 raised for this campaign. Duckworth was one of the strongest Democratic fundraisers in the nation during the ’06 cycle, attracting more than $4.65 million in her losing House campaign. The new candidate, a disabled Iraq War veteran, recently resigned her position as Assistant Secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to return to Chicago to run for office.
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For further detailed insights, to sign up for my daily email updates, or to sign up to track specific issues or industries, please contact me at PRIsm@performanceandresults.com