Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Tiahrt Returns for a Kansas Republican Primary Challenge

In House on May 30, 2014 at 11:23 am

The incumbent primary challenges are far from over. Yesterday afternoon, in a move that had been discussed for some time but had not crystallized until the last few days, former Kansas Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R) announced his intent to challenge two-term Congressman Mike Pompeo (R), the man who succeeded him in 2011. Tiahrt left his Wichita-anchored US House seat to run unsuccessfully for the Senate in the 2010 election (lost to then-Rep. Jerry Moran in the GOP primary, 45-50 percent).

In his announcement address before a room full of supporters in Wichita, Tiahrt laid out his differences with the incumbent, and even the House Republican leadership. He expressed disappointment with what he termed as the way Pompeo and the leadership are giving away too much in the national ideological fight. He criticized Pompeo for not fighting hard enough over losing local jobs to other states and countries and cited specific examples, particularly in the local aviation industry.

Tiahrt said Pompeo’s position pushing American military involvement in Syria, his “funding” of Obamacare, and approval of the NSA listening to Americans’ private conversations and reading emails delineate  Continue reading >

Attitudes Toward National Political Candidates Change Dramatically

In Governor, House, Polling, Senate on May 29, 2014 at 10:53 am

Though we are approaching an important primary next Tuesday and charges and counter-charges from candidates and outside groups are penetrating the electronic airwaves across the country, we take a break from that action to review the new Pew Research Center for the People and Press survey. Their data shows an extraordinary change in public attitude toward national political candidates.

As late as 2007, a vast majority of the electorate believed that being a member of the Senate or House proved a better preparatory ground for the presidency than did serving as governor. Just seven years later, today’s respondents now look at Washington experience far more negatively.

According to the results of this late April survey of 1,501 adults that was released in mid-May, the respondents now rate being a governor equal to serving in Washington. Responding to the question, “which better prepares someone to be president, serving as a state’s governor or as a senator or member of Congress”, 44 percent responded governor, the same number who answered congressional service. In 2007, this question drew a 55-24 percent response in favor of Washington service.
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Texas Results: Hall Falls, Dewhurst Crushed

In House, Lieutenant Governor on May 28, 2014 at 10:56 am

Venerable Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-4-R), who at 91 years of age is the oldest member in the history of the House of Representatives, lost his bid for a 19th term last night in the Texas Republican run-off. Hall becomes the first federal incumbent to lose a bid for renomination during this election cycle. Fifty-two other senators and representatives of both parties have been renominated in the early primaries against competition of varying strength.

Former US Attorney John Ratcliffe (R) scored a 53-47 percent victory last night after holding Hall to 46 percent in the primary election. True to form, when an incumbent is forced to a run-off, he or she invariably loses. In this case, because Hall had received endorsements from the losing candidates in the March 4 Texas primary and was drawing renewed respect for his longevity of service, and that he is the last remaining World War II veteran in Congress, many believed he had the opportunity and ability to reverse the normal post-primary electoral trend. But, such was not to be.

As is typical in Texas nominating elections, turnout was extremely low, only 42,139  Continue reading >

Texas Run-Off Finalizes Ballots Today

In House, Polling, Senate on May 27, 2014 at 11:43 am

Resuming our reporting after the long three-day Memorial Day weekend, today marks the Texas run-off vote – nominating day for the races that did not return majorities on March 3.

The most notable run-off features venerable Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX-4) who, at 91 is the oldest House member, is fighting to save his political career. Hall has already pledged that the next term, if he’s re-elected for an 18th time, will be his last. In March, the congressman placed first with 45 percent of the vote but failed to achieve majority status. Against him in the run-off election is former US Attorney John Ratcliffe, who recorded 29 percent back in March.

Normally when an incumbent is forced to a run-off, the challenger prevails because already a majority of voters have chosen another candidate. Such may not be the case here, however. The remaining two primary candidates have both endorsed the congressman, and the fact that Hall is the last remaining World War II veteran serving in Washington is weighing upon many voters. The latest poll gave the incumbent a  Continue reading >

A Democratic House Sleeper in the AR-4 Race

In House on May 23, 2014 at 8:02 am

A race that has attracted little attention so far has the makings of a Democratic sleeper campaign. Certainly, former President Bill Clinton’s intense involvement in the congressional contest raises its level of importance and likely places it as the Democrats’ top southern conversion opportunity.

Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District covers most of the state’s southwestern quadrant, stretching from the Louisiana and Texas borders north to the area beyond the community of Huntsville, which lies  Continue reading >

New Outlook in Georgia Senate Race

In Election Analysis, Senate on May 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

Tuesday’s Georgia primary produced a Republican Senate run-off election that will take us well into summer, and the county vote delineation is providing an early clue as to who will prevail on July 22.

First-place finisher David Perdue, the former Dollar General CEO, is in the far superior position as the run-off begins based upon his performance in the state’s most populous areas. Though the second-place qualifier, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), recorded impressive vote totals in Georgia’s southern sector, the counties and regions he carried have far fewer GOP voters than those in the northern section of the state, particularly in and around the Atlanta metropolitan area. Kingston came within one county of sweeping southern Georgia. Only Grady County, on the Georgia-Florida border with just 1,885 total votes cast, eschewed Kingston in favor of Perdue.

In the key Atlanta area counties themselves, neither Purdue nor Kingston won. In Fulton, Gwinnett, and Forsyth Counties, it was former Secretary of State Karen Handel who placed first. Perdue was second in each of the three entities, with Rep. Kingston a distant third.
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Results and Reverberations from the Biggest Night of the Primary Season

In Governor, House, Senate on May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

The biggest night of the primary election season to date unfolded last night, and the marquee race featured the quintet of Republican candidates vying for the open Georgia Senate nomination. In the end, with all five individuals at least maintaining a slight chance to advance to the July 22 run-off as the voting day began, is now coming down to a two-way contest between businessman David Perdue (who registered 30 percent) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), who nipped former Secretary of State Karen Handel, 26-22 percent. Representatives Phil Gingrey (R-GA-11) and Paul Broun (R-GA-10) registered only 10 percent apiece. The secondary election winner will face the now-official Democratic nominee, Michelle Nunn, who captured her primary with 75 percent of the vote.

The plethora of pre-election political polls accurately forecast the final order, with the Kingston and Handel pulling away and Perdue finishing first. Rep. Kingston took  Continue reading >

McDaniel Overtakes Cochran In Miss. Senate Primary Polls

In Polling, Senate on May 20, 2014 at 10:46 am

Entering the final two weeks of the Mississippi primary, a pair of new polls show that challenger Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party supported state senator, has already moved ahead of veteran Sen. Thad Cochran in their Republican primary battle.

The Polling Company, in the field for the Citizens United Political Victory Fund (May 14-15; 505 likely Mississippi Republican primary voters) finds McDaniel ahead on a combined response of 43-39-3 percent over Sen. Cochran and realtor Tom Carey.

The McDaniel vote breaks down with 30 percent saying they will “definitely” vote for him, an additional 10 percent reporting they will “probably” back the challenger, and another three percent replying that they are “leaning” toward voting for him.

The senator’s numbers are similar. His “definite” percentage is 29; with seven percent “probably” voting for him; and another three percent recorded as “leaning” Cochran’s way. Therefore, the hard vote for both candidates is 30-29 percent in favor of McDaniel. Obviously, a veteran incumbent such as Sen. Cochran – originally elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House – scoring only 29 percent on the  Continue reading >

Big Primary Day Tomorrow

In Primary on May 19, 2014 at 10:49 am

May 20 features six primaries, the largest number of individual nominating elections to be held on a single day so far this year: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Arkansas and Georgia are run-off states. The others will choose all nominees.

Arkansas

Not too much drama coming from the Arkansas primary. Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Rep. Tom Cotton (R) are unopposed for their respective party nominations, and their predicted hard fought general election campaign officially begins Wednesday morning. Same is true for the governor’s race, where ex-representatives Asa Hutchinson (R) and Mike Ross (D) are sure to win their respective primaries.

In the House races, two seats are open. The 2nd District (Rep. Tim Griffin (R) running for lieutenant governor) will likely produce businessman French Hill (R) and former North Little Rock mayor, Patrick Henry Hays (D), advancing to the general election. In the open 4th District (Rep. Cotton running for Senate), former Clinton Administration Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, James Lee Witt, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, despite  Continue reading >

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