Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for July, 2014|Monthly archive page

Russell Shows Strength in Oklahoma; Four New Arkansas Polls Show No True Leader

In House, Polling, Senate on July 31, 2014 at 9:55 am

One of the most intriguing and impressive 2014 congressional candidates is retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell (R), the commander of the military operation that captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Russell is a career soldier, author, public speaker, and former Oklahoma state senator now running for the open 5th CD.

In the June 24 Republican primary, Russell placed first in a field of six candidates, garnering 26.6 percent (14,597 votes). Patrice Douglas, state corporation commissioner (an elected position in Oklahoma) was second with 24.5 percent (13,440 votes). The two vie for the party nomination in an Aug. 26 run-off. The winner becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the seat in November and succeed Rep. James Lankford (R-OK-5) who will be moving to the Senate.

Russell placed first but spent the least (just over $171,000) among the top four GOP candidates in the race. His effort was boosted by his local notoriety and a strong and highly targeted grassroots operation.
 Continue reading >

A Snapshot of Senate Races

In Senate on July 30, 2014 at 9:57 am

With the plethora of polls providing us snapshots of the various Senate battles around the country, it’s a good time to reflect about where the races stand today.

As we know, Republicans need to convert six Democratic seats to claim the Senate majority so long as they win every state they currently control. Their position is strengthened because they realistically risk only two (Kentucky and Georgia) of the 15 GOP in-cycle seats.

  • Safe Republican (11): Alabama (Jeff Sessions), Idaho (Jim Risch), Maine (Susan Collins), Nebraska (open: Ben Sasse), Oklahoma (Jim Inhofe), Oklahoma (open: James Lankford), South Carolina (Lindsey Graham), South Carolina (Tim Scott), Tennessee (Lamar Alexander – though he has primary competition on August 7), Texas (John Cornyn), and Wyoming (Mike Enzi).
  • Highly Likely Republican (2): Kansas (Pat Roberts – facing primary competition on August 5), Mississippi (Thad Cochran).
  • Highly Likely Democratic (3): Hawaii (Brian Schatz – faces primary competition on August 9), New Jersey (Cory Booker), New Mexico (Tom Udall).
  • Likely Democratic (3): Minnesota (Al Franken), Oregon (Jeff Merkley),  Continue reading >

Online Polling Project Across 50 States Yields Surprising Results

In Polling on July 29, 2014 at 12:31 pm

YouGov, an international Internet pollster, has been surveying campaigns and corporate marketing programs in many regions around the world. While most are skeptical of Internet polling, as they should be, YouGov’s highly sophisticated and targeted approach has enjoyed a better than average record in terms of projecting political victories around the world.

YouGov and the New York Times recently partnered to conduct a simultaneous 50-state US polling project. The results were released yesterday. By and large, the vast majority of their polls track with what we have seen from other survey research firms over the past months. The YG/NYT project polled the key statewide campaigns in every state, and then asked a generic party question about US House preference.

Here, we highlight some of the surprise findings:

Alaska: The Last Frontier polls were very different from the preponderance of other polling from this electorate. While the Senate race has been tight for months, this YouGov survey of 452 registered Alaska voters gives Sen. Mark Begich (D) a 46-35 percent advantage, adjusting for leaners as  Continue reading >

First General Polls from Georgia; A Look at Nebraska, New York House Races

In Election Analysis on July 28, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Georgia Senate

The first two Georgia Senate general election polls have been released, and it’s not particularly surprising that we already have a conflict. The Peach State campaign has already witnessed more than its fair share of controversy and surprise happenings. Now two pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Landmark Communications, surveyed the electorate immediately after the July 22nd Republican run-off election and found very different results.

Rasmussen Reports (July 23-24; 750 registered Georgia voters) began polling the day after businessman David Perdue scored an upset win over Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the Republican run-off. The firm finds the new GOP nominee leading Democrat Michelle Nunn 46-40 percent, at least one point beyond the polling margin of error.

But, Landmark Communications, in data released on July 25 (also 750 registered Georgia voters), finds Nunn claiming a four-point advantage, 47-43 percent. This  Continue reading >

Entering Primary Season’s Final Stretch

In Governor, House, Senate on July 25, 2014 at 11:57 am

As we enter the primary season’s final stretch, 19 states still have yet to choose their 2014 nominees. The first nine days of August will bring voters to the polls in a half-dozen states with much to be decided.

August 5

The most active day is the first Tuesday in August. Four states are holding primaries, featuring one key Senate nomination battle.

In Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts (R) faces a GOP challenge from physician Milton Wolf. Roberts has made several mis-steps during the campaign, including admitting that he doesn’t own property in his state, possessing a Virginia personalized license plate that identifies him as the Kansas senator, and saying that he returns home, “every time he has an opponent.” Despite the gaffes, Dr. Wolf appears to be a flawed candidate and is not likely to deny Roberts renomination.
 Continue reading >

Digging Deeper into Polling Results

In Governor, Polling, Senate on July 24, 2014 at 11:57 am

Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue is credited with winning an upset victory in the Georgia Republican senatorial run-off because all of the public pollsters save one – Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (Perdue’s own pollsters) – never projected Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) to be trailing.

While 10 post-primary polls were released and nine of them found Kingston ahead, the cumulative result is not necessarily an example of group inaccuracy. Such was the case, however, in Virginia when no survey firm predicted that David Brat would even come close to defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) in his widely publicized David vs. Goliath campaign, let alone unseat him.

In the Georgia senatorial run-off, it is likely that Kingston was in fact the early post-primary leader because he successfully maneuvered himself to the right of Perdue immediately after the May 20 vote. Additionally, the losing candidates all endorsed him, and the veteran Savannah congressman was the beneficiary of a major multi-million dollar independent expenditure from the US Chamber of Commerce.
 Continue reading >

Perdue Notches Upset in Georgia Senate Win; House Results

In House, Senate on July 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm

Georgia Senate

Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue came from well behind to defeat Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the US Senate Republican run-off to score what most believe is an upset win for the GOP nomination. He now faces Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, who won her own primary outright back on May 20.

With just over 480,000 people voting in the run-off contest, Perdue captured 51 percent of the vote. The contest see-sawed early, but Perdue’s dominance in the more populous northern part of the state provided a strong clue that he would prevail in the end. As in the primary election, Kingston ran very strong south of Interstate 16, thus taking virtually all of southern Georgia, but failed to make enough inroads in the central and northern geographic sectors with the exception of the extreme northwestern counties hugging the Tennessee border. Therefore, since both candidates were demonstrating regional strength the campaign became a numbers game, and Perdue’s region was simply larger.
 Continue reading >

Daines Up in Montana; Hayworth Rebounding in NY; Oklahoma Tightens

In Governor, House, Polling, Senate on July 22, 2014 at 10:28 am

Montana Senate

Two new Montana polls were just released into the public domain, and both portend similar results.

According to Public Policy Polling (July 17-18; 574 registered Montana voters), Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT-AL) holds a 46-39 percent advantage over appointed Sen. John Walsh (D). Both men record similar job approval ratings. Sen. Walsh, who was appointed in early February to replace veteran Sen. Max Baucus (D) after the latter had accepted President Obama’s offer to become US Ambassador to China, tallies a 38:37 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval rating. Freshman Rep. Daines is in virtually the same position, though finding himself one point upside down, 39:40 percent.

An internal Harstad Strategic Research poll for the Walsh campaign (released July 17; number of respondents not provided), gives the freshman congressman a 43-38 percent edge over the appointed senator. Though  Continue reading >

The Georgia Run-Offs

In House, Senate on July 21, 2014 at 10:17 am

Tomorrow, Peach State voters head to the polls to finally decide Georgia’s four important federal run-off elections. Concluding what has been a very long and active nomination campaign here, complete with some surprising results from the May 20 primary, the Republican voters will now choose a US Senate nominee and likely pick congressmen in Districts 1, 10, and 11.

Senate

This contest has proven to be one of the most interesting of the entire election cycle, and the Georgia race is of foremost consequence in the national Senate picture. In order to gain the majority, Republicans must first secure the two potentially vulnerable seats already within their control: Kentucky (Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), and this race in Georgia. A Democratic conversion in either of these states would likely retain their party’s majority status.

You will remember that this particular Senate campaign originally featured three members of the congressional delegation, a former statewide elected official, and a major business leader who is a cousin to, and who shares the last name with,  Continue reading >

%d bloggers like this: