Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Posts Tagged ‘Secretary of State John Kerry’

Voting Rights Act Altered; Markey Wins

In Courts, Senate on June 26, 2013 at 10:31 am

Voting Rights Ruling

The Supreme Court, ruling for the plaintiffs in the Shelby County (AL) case on a 5-4 decision, struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) saying that the formula determining VRA jurisdiction is no longer applicable. In 2006, Congress renewed the Voting Rights Act for the succeeding 25 years but did not change the triggering election. Until yesterday, dropping below the turnout pattern dictated in the 1972 presidential election would bring a municipality, county, or state under VRA coverage. Had the court not acted, that triggering mechanism would have stayed in place at least until 2031, or almost 60 years.

The high court majority members made clear they are not striking down the Act itself, only the formula for determining which jurisdictions will come under federal supervision. Doing so eliminates the Department of Justice’s power to pre-clear election laws after a covered jurisdiction enacts statutory changes. Because the formula is now declared unconstitutional, all of the laws previously denied pre-clearance now take effect. This could greatly change matters in several states, and very quickly. In fact, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), for example, announced that he would immediately begin enforcing the state’s voter identification law that had been previously stayed by the DoJ’s refusal to pre-clear the legislation.

The states that could be most affected by this ruling, even as early as the present election cycle, are the three hearing live redistricting litigation. The trio of states are Florida, North Carolina and Arizona. Depending upon the outcome of the various lawsuits, and yesterday’s ruling that strengthened the plaintiffs hands against their state in all instances, it is possible the congressional and state legislative lines could conceivably be re-drawn before the 2014 election.

Massachusetts

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5), as we’ve been predicting for several weeks, successfully claimed Secretary of State John Kerry’s (D) former Massachusetts Senate seat, but his margin of victory was a bit under what a  Continue reading >

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Massachusetts Senate Snapshot

In Senate on June 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

The long-anticipated special US Senate election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry (D) is being held today, and the final three polls all favor Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) to carry the vote over Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez.

Suffolk University (June 19-22; 500 likely Massachusetts voters) projects Markey to a 52-42 percent advantage. New England College (June 18-20; 579 likely voters) gives the congressman an even wider 56-36 percent majority. Finally, the Western New England University Polling Institute (June 16-20; 503 likely Massachusetts voters) shows a much closer 49-41 percent spread.

There has been no poll throughout the entire special election cycle that projected Markey to be trailing. One survey, a Republican study from McLaughlin & Associates, showed the congressman in the lead at one point, but that is as close as challenger Gomez has gotten.

The Suffolk U. and Western New England polls are clearly more reflective of each other, and in line with the vast majority of surveys commissioned during the previous weeks. The New England College poll appears to be skewed in favor of the Democratic nominee.

Though Gomez conducted a spirited campaign, it is not likely that the magic surrounding former Sen. Scott Brown (R) in his 2010 special election victory will reappear in this battle. There is simply no evidence to suggest that this Republican is close enough to score an upset victory.

Despite Rep. Markey being poised to win the race, his percentage might be below that of usual Democratic performance in Massachusetts. In such an open seat special election race, a Bay State Democratic nominee should finish in the high 50s. By most accounts, Markey will likely score in the low to mid-50s.

The winner of today’s election will serve the balance of Kerry’s term and be eligible to seek a full six-year term in 2014. If Markey does win, as predicted, Gov. Deval Patrick (D) will then schedule a new special election for his 5th Congressional District. Already several candidates are actively campaigning for this post, in anticipation of a Markey win today.

Tagg — Not It!

In Senate on February 5, 2013 at 10:37 am

The latest Massachusetts US Senate special election developments show that Republicans are continuing to experience political freezer burn in the harsh New England winter. The battle lines are quickly being drawn for the campaign that will yield a replacement for newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yesterday, Taggart “Tagg” Romney, son of former Bay State governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, joined the group of prominent Republicans who will not become senatorial candidates. Following former Sen. Scott Brown’s decision not to run are ex-Gov. Bill Weld and former state senator and congressional candidate Richard Tisei, in addition to the younger Romney. Kerry Healey, who was Mitt Romney’s lieutenant governor, was said to be considering the race but she has taken no definitive steps to enter the contest. It is likely that the Republicans will be left with only a second-tier candidate.

There is news on the Democratic side, too. Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone said he will not challenge Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) or Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8) for the Democratic senatorial nomination. The move virtually assures that the two congressmen will be the only top Democrats in the race. Considering the situation on the Republican side, it further appears that the April 30 Democratic primary will ultimately determine the next senator. All early signs point to Rep. Markey being a huge favorite to win the party nomination, and now the seat.
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Scott Brown Won’t Run

In Senate on February 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm

PRIsm FLASH

Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) announced earlier today that he will not become a candidate in the Massachusetts special senatorial election to replace Secretary of State John Kerry.

It is clear from his comments that the prospect of running in 2013, and then again for the full term in 2014 if successful this year, on the heels of a bruising failed re-election campaign last year was too much for Brown and his family, though he continues to express a commitment toward public service. Many people believe he will run for the open governor’s position next year, instead.

Without Brown as the Republican standard bearer, the GOP must turn to alternative candidates. Former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey and ex-state Sen. Richard Tisei are most often mentioned as possibilities. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) and Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8) are competing for the Democratic nomination.

The special general election is scheduled for June 25. Party primaries will occur April 30. Gov. Deval Patrick (D) has appointed his former chief of staff, Mo Cowan, to fill the Kerry vacancy on an interim basis until a new Senator is elected. Cowan has already said he will not become a candidate.

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