Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for November, 2013|Monthly archive page

A Trio of Incumbents in Jeopardy

In Governor, House on November 27, 2013 at 10:43 am

cornucopiaHappy Thanksgiving from all of us at the PRIsm Information Network. Our Updates will resume on Monday morning, Dec. 2.

Developments occurring this week continue to suggest that three office holders are in serious trouble as they look toward re-election next year – two governors and a congressman:

Pennsylvania

Probably the most vulnerable governor in the country is Pennsylvania’s Tom Corbett (R). Public Policy Polling just released a new survey of the Keystone State electorate (Nov. 22-25; 693 registered Pennsylvania voters; 436 Democratic Pennsylvania primary voters) and finds the governor with a terrible 24:65 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval rating. By contrast, President Obama’s approval index is also upside down but only to a 43:53% extent. The PPP job approval scores always  Continue reading >

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An Electoral College Challenge in California

In Election Analysis on November 26, 2013 at 11:34 pm

If a group of California citizens get their way, massive change will envelop the national presidential election process.

Yesterday, this group of individuals launched the “Make Our Vote Count” campaign by filing a Request for Title and Summary with the California attorney general’s office, attempting to begin the process of qualifying a voter initiative that, if adopted, would cause the state’s 55 Electoral College votes to be awarded on a proportional basis. According to the filing language, the new system would distribute electoral votes to the individual presidential candidates consistent with their statewide vote percentage earned, rounded to the nearest whole number.

From time to time, talk arises about states splitting their Electoral College votes, either as a way to gain partisan advantage or simply to make themselves more important in the general election.

Currently, two entities split their votes: Maine and Nebraska. Both do so in the same manner. The candidate who wins the statewide vote receives two electoral votes. One more is awarded for each congressional district carried. Maine has two CD’s;  Continue reading >

Polls Show Tightening in Michigan, Louisiana

In Senate on November 25, 2013 at 10:36 am

Michigan

Late last week, local Michigan pollster Denno Research released the results of their new poll in conjunction with Lambert, Edwards & Associates, also a Michigan-based firm (Nov. 12-14; 600 registered Michigan voters). They again detect a statistical tie for the state’s impending open US Senate race, projecting Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI-14) to a mere 37-36 percent advantage.

This past July, Denno (July 23-24; 600 registered Michigan voters) contradicted most conventional political analyses. They reported then that the two major party candidates had fallen into a 39-39 percent tie. EPIC MRA, another Detroit area survey research firm, later published confirming numbers (Sept. 7-10; 600 registered Michigan voters; 38-37 percent Democratic edge). Up until that time, Peters was a presumed solid favorite over former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R).

This race is already becoming more competitive than was once believed likely,  Continue reading >

Analyzing Florida Developments

In Governor, House, Polling on November 22, 2013 at 10:55 am

Freshman Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL-19) announced at a news conference, after pleading guilty to cocaine possession, that he is taking an unspecified leave of absence from the House. He made it clear that he is not resigning, but questions are already being raised about potential primary challenges.

Radel was elected from a field of six Republicans, all who were vying to replace  Continue reading >

A Shocking Colorado Poll

In Election Analysis on November 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

Quinnipiac University, fresh from being the closest major pollster in the closing days of the Virginia governor’s race (they projected Terry McAuliffe to be leading 45-41 percent; the final result was 48-45 percent), released a new Colorado survey (Nov. 15-18; 1,206 registered Colorado voters) that produces surprising results.

Up until now, first-term Sen. Mark Udall (D) had been viewed as a prohibitive favorite for re-election. This Q-Poll, however, suggests that competition could be coming his way. According to the data, Udall leads former GOP nominee and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck (R) 45-42 percent. He’s ahead of virtually unknown businessman Jamie McMillan (R) only 43-40 percent. The incumbent expands his edge to five, six, and seven points over state senators Randy Baumgardner and Owen Hill, and state Rep. Amy Stephens, respectively. Clearly, all of these match-ups indicate that Sen. Udall is not yet an electoral cinch.

But, the real eye-opening data relates to opinions of federal leaders and issues, in  Continue reading >

Republican Senate Movement in Hawaii, Mississippi

In Mayor, Senate on November 20, 2013 at 11:28 am

Hawaii

Though America’s 50th state is heavily Democratic, intra-party political developments may yield extra value to Hawaii’s Republican senatorial nomination. A very tough Democratic primary held late in the cycle (Aug. 9) could potentially cause enough partisan upheaval to put the general election in play. Hence, former congressman, Honolulu City councilman, and state Rep. Charles Djou (R-HI-1) is reportedly considering filing as a senatorial candidate.

Djou won a special congressional election in early 2010 to fill then-Rep. Neil Abercrombie’s (D-HI-1) final term in the House when the latter resigned to spend full-time campaigning for governor. In the regular election later in the year, however, he fell to then-state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D), 44-50 percent.

Most analysts and observers expected him to run again in the open 1st District, since incumbent Hanabusa is challenging appointed Sen. Brian Schatz in the  Continue reading >

“Political Outsider” Strategy Wins in Louisiana

In House on November 18, 2013 at 10:55 am

A new national political paradigm may have begun this weekend in northeast Louisiana. There, businessman Vance McAllister (R), who certainly ran as a political outsider but not an overt Tea Party Republican, easily overcame and defeated the GOP establishment candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser.

From the beginning of this special election campaign, the state legislator was viewed as the front-runner. He had strong regular  Continue reading >

Nelson Testing the Gubernatorial Waters?

In Governor on November 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Earlier this year a spate of political rumors abounded that Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D), fresh from his 2012 re-election to a third term, was looking at a 2014 gubernatorial run. Repeatedly denied by Nelson spokespeople at the time but never completely ruled out, more such stories are again surfacing. Now it appears that the senator’s political staffers are calling state Democratic political leaders to seek advice about their boss running for governor.

The Florida gubernatorial race should be one of the most competitive in the country. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) continues to poll badly with job approval ratings in upside down territory. As we all know, Florida performs as the nation’s quintessential swing entity, so all statewide contests have the potential of becoming very close.

Two weeks ago, former Gov. Charlie Crist declared his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Crist was elected state chief executive in 2006 as a Republican. He then filed as a candidate for the 2010 GOP senatorial nomination, but when it became apparent that he would lose the primary to former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, he left the party and ran as an  Continue reading >

NC Senate Race Suddenly Tightens; A VA AG 164-Vote Winner

In Senate, States on November 14, 2013 at 10:51 am

A new North Carolina Public Policy Polling survey (Nov. 8-11; 701 registered North Carolina voters) shows that, despite still being viewed as generally weak and for months viewed as a 2014 Republican candidate recruiting disappointment, the current challengers are pulling into a virtual tie with first-term Sen. Kay Hagan (D).

According to the results, Sen. Hagan actually trails physician Greg Brannon, heavily backed by Tea Party supporters, 43-44 percent. She leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis, the national Republican political committees’ favored candidate, by only 42-40 percent, and scores just a 43-41 percent edge over senior Baptist minister Mark Harris. Against virtually unknown nurse and Army veteran Heather Grant, the senator’s advantage is a mere 43-40 percent.

The new data provides evidence that Sen. Hagan’s political position weakening. In PPP’s October 4-6 poll (746 registered North Carolina voters), the incumbent held a 47-40 percent lead over Speaker Tillis, and similar spreads over Brannon (46-40  Continue reading >

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