Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for March, 2014|Monthly archive page

The Rogers Seat: Will the GOP Hang On?

In House on March 31, 2014 at 10:02 am

House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers’ surprise retirement announcement is igniting a political scramble in south-central Michigan. The open 8th District in Michigan should remain in Republican hands, but if Democrats can create a political wave in either the governor or Senate race that translates into a turnout driver, then witnessing a competitive open seat campaign here becomes probable.

Rogers who, at the beginning of the election cycle, was widely discussed as the Republicans’ best potential open seat senatorial candidate but instead decided to remain in the House, is moving into broadcast media. At the beginning of next year, he will host his own radio program on the Atlanta-based Cumulus Media network.

The 2011 redistricting plan crafted the 8th as a marginal Republican district but it is much more secure for the party in Rogers’ hands, who for years has proven himself to  Continue reading >

Realignment of the Senior Citizen Voting Block

In Polling on March 28, 2014 at 10:41 am
Embed from Getty Images

In a report issued earlier this week, the Gallup organization, which has been charting partisan affiliation by age since 1992, detected clear voter behavior shifts. Among senior citizens, defined as those in the aged 65 and older group, a plurality is now aligned with the Republican Party. According to Gallup, 48 percent of this  Continue reading >

Does Libertarian Bob Barr Have a Chance in Georgia?

In House on March 27, 2014 at 10:29 am

The race to replace US Senate candidate Phil Gingrey (R) in Georgia’s 11th Congressional District, which includes the city of Marietta, half of Cobb County, and all of Cherokee and Bartow counties, has been quiet so far, but a new poll suggests things will heat up substantially before the May 20 primary.

State Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R) just released an internal Conquest Communications survey (March 20-24; 600 likely GA-11 Republican primary voters) that projects the poll sponsor and former Rep. Bob Barr (R) to be in a tight contest at the top of a crowded field of candidates. According to the Loudermilk data, the two are tied with 12 percent support. Businesswoman Tricia Pridemore, a former Gov. Nathan Deal (R) appointee, trails with four percent, and state House Majority Whip Ed Lindsay records three percent. Two minor candidates follow.

With less than eight weeks remaining in this primary campaign, the candidates will begin to make their moves. In a multi-candidate  Continue reading >

New Mexico Numbers Show Udall, Martinez Strong,

In Governor, Senate on March 26, 2014 at 10:18 am

While most of the recent western political attention has focused on Colorado Sen. Mark Udall (D) – the air wars with Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO-4) and their respective allies have already begun in earnest – little attention is being paid to his cousin, Sen. Tom Udall (D), from the square state directly to the south.

As an incumbent senator in 2014, not receiving any political attention is a good thing. The just-released Public Policy Polling survey (March 20-23; 674 registered New Mexico voters; 327 Democratic primary voters), the first such published New Mexico poll for this election cycle, proves that point for Sen. Udall, but not necessarily for the Democratic gubernatorial candidates.

According to this new data, the senator maintains a very comfortable lead over both of his Republican challengers, former New Mexico GOP chairman Allen Weh, and local Dona Ana Republican Party ex-chair David Clements. With a very strong 52:33 percent  Continue reading >

Alaska: The First Frontier

In Senate on March 25, 2014 at 10:59 am

Alaska’s actual nickname may be “The Last Frontier” but, in terms of recent political activity, the state is streaking to first place. As you have read in recent previous columns, the early ads coming from outside groups and the major candidates are attempting to cement candidate impressions for the long term. Sen. Mark Begich (D) has been unusually active on the airwaves for an incumbent with an election still eight months away, and now we may have uncovered why.

Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released a new survey (March 19-20; 750 registered Alaska voters) that shows the incumbent leading only one of the three Republican candidates vying for a shot at opposing him in the general election. Sen. Begich is tied with the contender who seems to be gathering the most inside and outside momentum for the GOP, and surprisingly trails another whose campaign is in the middle of a major shake-up. The only candidate trailing the incumbent is the 2010 Republican nominee who ended up losing the general election to a write-in effort.
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Edwin Edwards Up in LA-6; Utah House Candidates Battle; Begich Ad Marks a Turn

In House, Senate on March 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

LA-6

Last week, we made mention that 86-year-old former governor and ex-convict Edwin Edwards (D) is making another political comeback by running for the House this year. Edwards’ last year of congressional service was in 1972, when he resigned to begin the first of his four terms as Louisiana governor.

Now, a new automated poll from the local Louisiana Glascock Group consulting firm (released March 20; 718 registered LA-6 voters) finds the former governor leading the jungle primary that will occur concurrently with the Nov. 4 general election. If no candidate receives an outright majority, the top two will advance to a Dec. 6 post-election run-off.

According to the Glascock data, Edwards, possessing 100 percent name identification, draws 43 percent of the respondents’ votes. In second place is Republican state Sen. Dan Claitor with 20 percent, followed by  Continue reading >

The Senate’s Tenuous Balance of Power

In Senate on March 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

Today, most political pundits and election handicappers are suggesting that Republicans will successfully wrest the Senate majority away from the Democrats in the November election, but is the GOP victory path really so clear?

To recap the situation for both sides, Democrats are risking 21 of the 36 in-cycle Senate seats, and the Republicans 15. The GOP needs a net conversion of six Democratic seats to claim the majority. Therefore, Democrats can lose five of their own seats and not gain a single Republican state, yet still retain control. Because Vice President Joe Biden (D) breaks any Senate tie vote, the Dems will retain the majority if the partisan division is 50-50.

Building the Republican and Democratic victory models from scratch, the Democrats begin with 34 hold-over seats of the 55 they currently possess. The Republican ratio is 30 (hold-over) to 45 (total seats).

The Democrats

Today, it appears that 10 of the 21 Dem in-cycle seats are well beyond any margin of  Continue reading >

Sen. Walsh’s First Polling Test in Montana; New NH Data

In Polling, Senate on March 20, 2014 at 11:00 am

When Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) announced last April that he would not seek re-election in 2014, it was assumed that freshman at-large Rep. Steve Daines (R) would enter the race to replace the outgoing incumbent and become the strong favorite.

The Democrats’ plan, however, to neutralize the Republican advantage in Montana is a good one. Instead of finishing his final senatorial term, President Obama appointed Baucus as US Ambassador to China, thus allowing Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to install his lieutenant governor, John Walsh, who was already running for the Senate, as the interim replacement. The move gives now-Sen. Walsh, at the very least, abbreviated incumbent stature and is clearly the best political play the Montana Democrats could make.

In federal office since Feb. 7, the new senator has had some time to begin to decrease Daines’ double-digit polling leads. Rasmussen Reports (March 17-18; 750  Continue reading >

Illinois Results: Tighter Than Forecast

In Governor, House, Senate on March 19, 2014 at 10:24 am

Primary voters went to the polls in the Land of Lincoln yesterday and the predicted winners performed as expected, but several victory margins were a bit of a surprise.

In the governor’s race, businessman Bruce Rauner, who personally spent lavishly on his own campaign, managed to clinch the Republican nomination but the race proved much closer than polling had indicated. Rauner defeated state Sen. Kirk Dillard, 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady, and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford by a 40-37-15-7 percent split, respectively, far below what late polling was projecting even though the order of finish was correctly predicted.

Dillard, just as he did four years ago, came on strong at the end and came up just short of placing first. In 2010, he finished only 193 votes statewide behind Brady. Last night, Dillard’s deficit was considerably larger, but he still managed to come within three percentage points of winning the election.
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