Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for April, 2014|Monthly archive page

Clarity in Georgia, North Carolina Senate Races?

In Polling, Senate on April 30, 2014 at 10:41 am

Two of the more important Senate races in this 2014 election cycle are occurring in Georgia and North Carolina. Both states are in play for the general election; each party holds one of the two seats, both are major targets, and crowded Republican primaries in the pair of places will soon be clarified.

If several new polls are accurate, certain candidates may be breaking away from their respective packs as we approach the May 6 North Carolina primary and the May 20 vote in Georgia. If a candidate exceeds 40 percent of the NC vote, that person is nominated. In the Peach State, it takes the traditional 50 percent plus one vote to claim the nomination outright.

Georgia Primary: May 20 – Run-off, July 22

This is one of two Republican seats, Kentucky (Mitch McConnell) being the other, where Democrats are competitive. The Republican primary features five accomplished candidates, all of whom can construct a reasonable path to victory. A run-off is a virtual certainty here, but many scenarios exist about which two Republicans  Continue reading >

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McAllister Out in Louisiana; A Roundup of Senate Poll Shockers

In Election Analysis, House, Polling on April 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R), who was elected in a November special election in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District to replace resigned Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) but then quickly became embroiled in an extra-marital scandal, announced yesterday that he will not seek a full term this November. He will serve the balance of the current term, however.

Due to his short stint in Congress and his upset of the party establishment candidate, McAllister did not have the internal district support to withstand a scandal. His announcement means that 45 seats will now be open in the 2014 election cycle, though one – the 19th District of Florida – will be filled in a June special election. In addition to the 45 members leaving the House, seven more vacancies, including this Louisiana seat, have been filled in special elections since the beginning of this Congress.

In the special election, McAllister defeated 11 other Republican candidates. Some, such as former Rep. Clyde Holloway (R-LA-8) and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, already  Continue reading >

Comstock Takes “Firehouse” Election; A Grimm Situation

In Election Analysis on April 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

The “Firehouse” Republican primary vote in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District occurred Saturday and, as expected, Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock claimed a majority of the 13,609 voters who participated in the unusual election.

Comstock received 7,337 votes, or 53.9 percent. State Delegate Bob Marshall was a distant second, attracting 3,829 votes (28.1 percent). In high single-digits were businessmen Howie Lind and Stephen Hollingshead. Former Kansas congressional candidate Rob Wasinger and businessman Mark Savitt finished at the bottom, each garnering less than 2.5 percent of the vote.

The firehouse primary concept was a compromise between some local party forces who pushed for a regular primary and those who were supporting a nominating convention. The firehouse primary designated just 10 polling places throughout VA-10, a seat that begins in north and west Fairfax County, annexes Loudoun County, and then travels all the way to West Virginia.

Comstock won seven of the 10 voting locations, including scoring a whopping 91 percent in the Langley polling station, which  Continue reading >

Virginia’s “Firehouse” Primary Tomorrow; Other Primary Developments

In Election Analysis on April 25, 2014 at 11:09 am

A congressional nomination will be decided tomorrow in the Washington, DC suburbs of Northern Virginia. Expectations suggest a limited number of Republican voters will participate in what is termed a “firehouse” primary.

The characteristics of such a voting event are unique. First, only 11 polling places will be open throughout the entire district: just one apiece in Clarke, Frederick, and Prince William Counties, and in the cities of Manassas, Manassas Park, and Winchester. Fairfax County will feature two polling locations, and Loudoun County, a locality housing more than 350,000 residents, will have only three. Instead of voting in one’s own neighborhood as is normally the case, individuals will have to travel, in some instances more than 20 miles, and stand in what could be a long line because there are so few polling places. Thus, participating in this election will take a much greater commitment from every voter than in normal primaries.
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Oklahoma in Flux

In House, Senate on April 24, 2014 at 10:14 pm

A new poll commissioned for a 527 organization supporting former Oklahoma House Speaker T. W. Shannon (R) shows him overtaking Rep. James Lankford (R-OK-5) in the state’s open Republican Senate campaign. Sen. Tom Coburn (R) is resigning at the end of this year, thus adding another senatorial election to the 2014 political calendar. The winner will be eligible to stand for a full six-year term in 2016.

The Oklahomans for a Conservative Future organization’s poll (Public Opinion Strategies, April 21-22; 500 likely Oklahoma Republican primary voters) gives Shannon a 10-point, 42-32 percent lead over Rep. Lankford, representing an incredible swing of 45 points since the first POS poll was taken in February (Lankford then leading Shannon, 51-16 percent).

The survey was fielded after OCF spent $400,000 in media and mail promoting Shannon and depicting Lankford as not being conservative enough for the Oklahoma Republican electorate. As House Republican Policy chairman, the congressman is part of the GOP leadership, a group held in generally low esteem by the  Continue reading >

“The Outsider” is In – In FL-19

In House, Video on April 23, 2014 at 11:09 am

Voters in southwest Florida went to polling places yesterday to nominate major party candidates in the preliminary process to replace resigned Rep. Trey Radel (R). The Ft. Myers anchored seat is safely Republican so last night’s GOP primary is likely definitive in determining who will succeed the deposed congressman.

Businessman Curt Clawson, campaigning as “The Outsider,” outpaced the Republican field of candidates with 38 percent of the vote, just as polling predicted. Above is a Clawson ad that emphasizes his background  Continue reading >

Special Election Today in FL-19

In House on April 22, 2014 at 10:25 am

The eighth special US House election since the inception of the current 113th Congress begins today. Voters in southwest Florida’s 19th Congressional District will choose nominees for the June 24 special general election.

Today’s action is exclusively in the Republican primary as four candidates battle to become the GOP standard bearer, hoping to succeed resigned Rep. Trey Radel (R). The eventual Republican nominee will face public relations executive April Freeman, who is unopposed in today’s special Democratic primary.

The 19th District, anchored in the cities of Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Naples, and Marco Island, is solidly Republican. Mitt Romney defeated President Obama here in 2012 by a solid 61-39 percent count despite losing the state 49-50 percent. Four years earlier, John McCain commanded 57 percent support against then-Sen. Obama’s 42 percent. Prior to Radel winning the newly constructed and re-numbered 19th District in the last general election, the region was consecutively represented by GOP Reps. Connie Mack IV (R-FL-14), Porter Goss (R-FL-14), and Connie Mack III (R-FL-13), since its original creation in 1982.
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Five Key States, Five Key Senate Races

In Polling, Senate on April 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Karl Rove’s right-of-center American Crossroads 527 political organization commissioned Harper Polling surveys in five US Senate campaigns, releasing the data at the end of last week. Though sample sizes and the surveying periods are not available, the ballot tests all appear to be in a range that are consistent with other published results.

In Arkansas, despite several other surveys projecting incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) to be holding a slight lead, Harper shows the two candidates tied at 39 percent.

The Colorado numbers are consistent with virtually all other data that has come into the public domain. Harper posts a two-point race between Sen. Mark Udall (D) and newly nominated Republican Cory Gardner, the 4th District congressman. This poll gives Sen. Udall a 45-43 percent lead.

Though the Louisiana numbers have been close for some time, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) typically leading but in the low 40s, the Harper data is the first to show  Continue reading >

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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