Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Archive for September, 2014|Monthly archive page

Ernst By Six in Iowa Senate Race

In Polling, Senate on September 30, 2014 at 10:17 am

The Des Moines Register released its new Selzer & Company political survey and the results provide us with the largest lead for either Iowa Senate candidate in several months. The poll (Sept. 21-24; 800 Iowa adults; 546 likely voters) gives Republican state Sen. Joni Ernst a 44-38 percent advantage over Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1) in what has been a toss-up Senate race since early July.

The move is significant and clearly demonstrates a momentum shift in Ernst’s direction. Selzer also tell us that the negative attacks on both candidates appear to be working. When looking at the personal favorability ratings of each contender, both are in situations where their negatives equal their positive scores. Ernst ratio is 45:44 percent favorable to unfavorable. Braley’s is virtually identical at 42:42 percent.

Selzer & Company is the Des Moines Register’s usual pollster. They have developed a strong record, missing the latest Iowa gubernatorial, Senate, and presidential campaign by an aggregate two percentage points. Like all pollsters, Selzer has missed some, too. In the 2012 Republican presidential caucus, the firm projected Mitt Romney to win the Iowa Caucuses by approximately eight points. The actual result showed former Sen. Rick Santorum Continue reading >

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Two Sleeper Races to Watch

In Governor, House, Polling on September 29, 2014 at 11:42 am

In a normal course of an election cycle, particularly when entering the last month of campaign activity, discussion often turns to sleeper races. Some recent polling data gives us a clue in a couple of cases.

North Dakota – House

In a contest that is on virtually no one’s political board, a new Mellman Group poll for the George Sinner campaign actually shows the Democratic challenger taking a two-point, 40-38 percent, lead over freshman incumbent Rep. Kevin Cramer (R).

The survey (Sept. 20-22; 400 likely North Dakota voters) reveals a shocking turn of events that puts Sinner ahead of newcomer incumbent Cramer. The polling error factor, however, is “4.9 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence”, which is high. This means that the two candidates are running close together, from 2.5 points up to 2.5 points down. Hence, the tandem is about even, which will sound warning bells among Republican national party decision makers. Their solution will be to spend money in order to keep a seat that did not originally appear vulnerable.

It is clear that the Mellman Group, a well-known and respected Democratic Continue reading >

The Colorado Senate Swing

In Polling, Senate on September 26, 2014 at 12:59 pm

The Colorado Senate race is entering a volatile period, because what was becoming a predictable polling pattern has changed. In a two-month period, from mid-July to the middle of September, Sen. Mark Udall (D) had built a small but consistent lead and appeared perched on the cusp of pulling away. Now, however, according to a just released Public Policy Polling survey, the tables have turned.

The latest PPP data (Sept. 19-21; 652 CO likely voters) finds Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO-4) now taking a 47-45 percent lead in the habitually tight Senate contest. In fact, after Sen. Udall led in seven consecutive Continue reading >

Senate: The Latest Trends for Majority Control

In Polling, Senate on September 25, 2014 at 12:05 pm
    Close Senate Races Leaning D:

  • Colorado
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
    Close Senate Races Leaning R:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
    Close Senate Races Leaning I:

  • Kansas
    Flat Tie:

  • Iowa
    Headed to Post-Election Run-off (Dec. 6):

  • Louisiana
    Today’s Count:

  • D: 46
  • Independent/D: 3 (Kansas, Maine, Vermont)
  • Total D/I: 49
  • Total R: 49
  • Undecided: 2 (Iowa; Louisiana)

Continue reading >

The Dems’ Problem

In House on September 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm


DCCC Ad “Failure”

While recent polling numbers are improving for Democrats or their allies in a number of key Senate races (North Carolina, Colorado, Louisiana, and Kansas), a look at the party’s new ad buy in congressional races capsulizes their plight in the House.

While Republicans announced electronic ad Continue reading >

Is New Hampshire Shifting Republican?

In Polling, Senate on September 23, 2014 at 10:14 am

A new Vox Populi poll is either confirming a swing toward the New Hampshire Republican candidates, or is a clear outlier.

According to this new survey research firm’s latest Granite State data (Sept. 15-16; 550 likely New Hampshire voters), former Sen. Scott Brown (R) has now taken a surprising lead over Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), 47-43 percent, a spread close to exceeding the polling margin of error. The totals reach the stated share for each candidate when the respondents leaning to each individual are added.

Since Sept. 10, the results from six polls, via six different pollsters (two of which were polling for a partisan interest), find Sen. Shaheen leading in four of the scenarios and Brown, two. This suggests that Brown has growing momentum because he is now leading or trailing by a smaller number than found in previous studies.

Both Rasmussen Reports and Public Policy Polling for the League of Conservation Voters find the incumbent leading by six points, while the American Research Group posts her to a five-point advantage. The fourth survey, from New England College, gives Sen. Shaheen an 11-point margin. This latter study clearly seems to be an outlier because no other pollster has come anywhere near such a conclusion within the Continue reading >

The State of the Senate

In Senate on September 22, 2014 at 10:34 am

Much has been written about which party will control the US Senate in the next Congress and, with seven pure toss-up races on the political board, there’s plenty of room for conjecture on both sides of the ideological aisle.

Let’s take a look at the aggregate Senate campaign picture, remembering that the Republicans must retain all of the seats they currently possess (15 in this election cycle) and convert six Democratic states just to reach the minimum majority level. Democrats will maintain control if the two parties deadlock at 50-50 (including the Independents who will caucus with one party or the other). The Dems hold power in such a situation because Vice President Joe Biden (D), the constitutional Senate president, will break any tie vote in his party’s favor.

The model also assumes Republican conversion victories in three Democratic retirement seats, Montana (Sen. John Walsh), South Dakota (Sen. Tim Johnson), and West Virginia (Sen. Jay Rockefeller). A three-way contest in South Dakota could Continue reading >

Kansas Senate Maneuverings; Alaska’s Polling Skew; Fox Polling Shows Interesting Data

In Governor, Polling, Senate on September 19, 2014 at 10:34 am

Kansas Senate

As had been predicted by Kansas political observers since the original judicial hearing earlier this week, the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of former Democratic Senate nominee Chad Taylor’s petition to withdraw from the statewide race. Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), who refused to remove Taylor because he is not incapacitated to the point of being unable to fulfill the duties of the office sought as mandated in Kansas election law, says the Democrats have eight days to replace Taylor. The party leadership’s political goal of having Taylor withdraw is to form a united coalition behind Independent candidate Greg Orman who was proving himself stronger than their own nominated contender. Clearly their calculations showed that incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R) had the path to victory in a three-way race.

The Kansas Supreme Court, a panel of six justices (with one vacancy) dominated by former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ (D) appointees, issue rather bizarre language to support their decision. The justices unanimously said that, “[w]e conclude the plain meaning of ‘pursuant to (the law)’ Continue reading >

A Complete Look at New Hampshire Numbers

In House, Polling, Senate on September 18, 2014 at 10:36 am

In a six-day period, seven different pollsters surveyed the New Hampshire electorate, thus providing us a well-researched picture of the state’s political position concerning the increasingly competitive US Senate contest between incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) and ex-Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R). Two other pollsters looked at the state’s pair of congressional campaigns.

Senate

With seven independent polls in the field almost simultaneously between Sept. 10-15, it appears that Sen. Shaheen holds a clear advantage over Brown. Shaheen’s strongest survey is the last one conducted, a New England College Granite State Poll (Sept. 10-11; 630 registered New Hampshire voters) that posts the incumbent to an 11-point, 51-40 percent advantage.

Though the political party division is virtually even, the poll appears to skew a bit left. President Obama’s job approval, according to the NEC data, is 48:48 percent positive to negative. Two of the other pollsters who asked the same question at the same time (Magellan Strategies and CNN/ORC), found much worse numbers that are more consistent with national reports. Magellan rates the president 33:57 percent, while CNN posts him to an even Continue reading >

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