Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Posts Tagged ‘Rep. Mel Watt’

Upsets Foiled as Incumbents Reign in Primaries

In House on May 7, 2014 at 10:28 am

The first in a series of consecutive May primary weeks went solidly for the incumbents last night, as all US House members facing intra-party challengers, including House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8), rode to victory.

In the preponderance of cases, the incumbents won in the normal landslide proportion one would expect in primary elections. In only three instances, those of representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Walter Jones Jr. (R-NC-3) and David Joyce (R-OH-14), did the incumbents fail to break 60 percent. Speaker Boehner, after campaigning hard and hitting the television airwaves to rebuff his under-financed but creative opponents, scored 69 percent of the vote.

The best news of the evening for Republicans came in North Carolina, where state House Speaker Thom Tillis exceeded the 40 percent threshold to win the party’s US Senate nomination outright. Late polling clearly suggested that Tillis would place first in the field of eight candidates, but questions remained as to whether he would  Continue reading >

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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 >

House: The New Outlook

In Election Analysis on January 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

Since Dec. 17, seven US House members in rapid-fire succession – three Republicans and four Democrats – announced their retirements or resigned from Congress in order to accept an Obama administration appointment. The cumulative effect of the moves changes the projections for Election 2014.

Right now, the House stands at 232 Republicans and 201 Democrats with two vacancies – one from each party. The newest mid-term resignation, from Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC-12) who is leaving his safely Democratic congressional seat for purposes of accepting an appointment to join President Obama’s administration as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, will remain unoccupied until the November general election. The previous vacancy, that of the late Rep. Bill Young (R-FL-13), will be filled in a March 11 special election. The Florida seat appears headed toward consensus Democratic candidate Alex Sink, the former state chief financial officer and defeated 2010 gubernatorial  Continue reading >

Frank Wolf Faces Opposition; A New House Vacancy

In House on December 13, 2013 at 10:24 am

Veteran Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf (R), who is preparing to run for his 18th term in the House, has now drawn a potentially strong re-election opponent. Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D) announced earlier this week that he will challenge the veteran congressman. Though the 10th District is drawn as a discernible Republican seat, Democrats pin their hopes on the facts that Virginia is politically transitioning their way, and that President Obama only lost CD-10 to GOP nominee Mitt Romney by just one point, 49-50 percent. The president carried the state 51-47 percent.

Foust represents the County’s Dranesville District, which begins in the McLean area, runs through Great Falls, and then wraps around to annex the community of Herndon. Supervisor Foust was first elected to the local Board in 2007 and was re-elected with 61 percent of the vote in 2011. He is one of 10 members on the local panel, nine from districts in addition to one Board chairman who is elected county-wide. Foust’s district houses over 77,000 voters, but not all fall into the 10th Congressional  Continue reading >

House Re-Set

In House on July 12, 2013 at 5:45 pm

Completing our two-part series examining the congressional political picture (the July 8 Political Update covered the Senate outlook), today we look at the House.

Currently, 234 Republicans and 201 Democrats comprise the body’s membership. Three seats are slated to soon become vacant: Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) will be sworn into the Senate upon official certification of his late June special election victory; Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL-1) announced his resignation effective in mid-August to accept a position at the University of Alabama; and Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC-12), should he be confirmed, will become the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency thus leaving the House at an undetermined date.

In contrast to the 2012 cycle when 62 seats were open, at this point only 14 members have announced their retirements, accepted new positions, or are running for a different office. Three others: representatives Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Mark Sanford (R-SC-1), and Jason Smith (R-MO-8), have won special elections since the current 113th Congress began making a grand total of 17 seats that have opened, or will open, since the 2012 general election. Of the fourteen currently projected open seats, eight are Republican held and six Democratic.

Toss-Ups

Attributable to a tight national redistricting model, only eight seats are now in this column. Six of those belong to Democrats (representatives Ron Barber (AZ-2), Scott Peters [CA-52), Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Joe Garcia (FL-26), Mike McIntyre (NC-7), and Jim Matheson (UT-4)], while only two are Republican-held [representatives Gary Miller (CA-31) and Mike Coffman (CO-6)]. Therefore, the GOP is in a slightly better position to gain a small number of seats.

The Leans

Both parties have just about an equal number of “lean” seats. Majority Republicans have 18 of their members or open seats rated as Lean Republican, while  Continue reading >

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