In Governor, House, Primary, Senate on August 6, 2014 at 9:57 am
Bentivolio Defeated; Amash Wins; 14th Tight
Freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Milford), a Tea Party favorite tabbed as an “accidental congressman” when he was elected in 2012 – after then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia) was disqualified from the ballot – lost his bid for renomination last night, as predicted. Attorney David Trott, brandishing endorsements from virtually all key state Republican leaders and overwhelming the incumbent in fundraising, won a huge 66-34 percent win in the 11th District that ended Bentivolio’s ill-conceived congressional career. Trott now faces former State Department official Bobby McKenzie, who barely won (671 vote margin) the Democratic primary against three opponents. Trott is the clear favorite to carry the open seat in November.
In the other incumbent challenge, controversial Tea Party-backed Rep. Justin Continue reading >
In House on August 5, 2014 at 6:43 pm
The sprawling Kansas 1st Congressional District, which consumes all of the western part of the state and stretches almost all the way to Topeka, could be the scene of an upset in tonight’s Republican primary according to some local political observers. Two-term Rep. Tim Huelskamp is being challenged by former school superintendent Alan LaPolice.
Though the challenger had only raised $137,000 through the June 30 financial disclosure deadline, the local farm groups and many in the solar wind energy industry are actively involved in trying to unseat the incumbent. Huelskamp, the victim of Speaker John Boehner’s show of party discipline in the former’s freshman year, was removed from the Agriculture Committee. The action left the region uncovered on the panel, something unheard of for a representative from this agriculture dominated district.
Huelskamp has been one of the vocal members of the Tea Party caucus openly critical of the GOP leadership. Whether he is toppled tonight remains to be seen, and the congressman is still the favorite to win, but it does add another bit of intrigue into what will already be an exciting night most specifically in Kansas and Michigan.
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In Governor, House, Primary, Senate on August 4, 2014 at 2:17 pm
Voters in six states go the polls this week to choose their fall nominees. Most of the primary action is on the Republican side, but that all changes as the weekend approaches in the Aloha State of Hawaii. There, Democrats may deny a sitting governor re-nomination, will settle a tough Senate primary, and choose a fall candidate for the open Honolulu House seat. More on this state later in the week. Same for the Senate and House situation in Tennessee, which holds its primary on Thursday.
Four primaries, in Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Washington are scheduled for tomorrow, and all but the Show Me State feature important contests. Missouri has neither a Senate nor a governor’s race this year, and no House incumbent faces serious nomination competition.
But, the climate is much different in Kansas, where the Republican split between moderates and conservatives is more pronounced than in virtually any state, and Michigan where establishment Republicans Continue reading >
In House, Polling on August 1, 2014 at 11:13 am
A series of polls were just released in anticipation of Tuesday’s Michigan primary. The state features some of the most important establishment versus Tea Party races, and the results could have a definitive impact upon national politics.
A new Strategic National poll (July 29; 532 likely MI-3 GOP primary voters) still finds Tea Party-backed Rep. Justin Amash (R) holding a healthy lead over primary challenger Brian Ellis (R), an area businessman, but each candidate’s ability to turn out his vote will likely be the determining factor. According to Strategic, Amash continues to lead Ellis 51-31 percent, a 20-point margin that has been relatively consistent. But the challenger has the stronger turnout mechanism, the backing of virtually the entire Republican establishment, and the Michigan Right to Life organization.
The 3rd District is anchored in the Grand Rapids metropolitan area. Amash was first elected in 2010. Prior to running for Congress, he spent one term in the state Continue reading >
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.
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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.
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.
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In House, Polling, Senate on July 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm
Scandal-tainted Rep. Vance McAllister (R), who announced that he would not run for a second term after he was videotaped kissing a woman other than his wife soon after his election to the House, has done an about-face. The freshman congressman now says he will run for re-election.
McAllister, winning the late 2013 special election to replace resigned Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) with an outsider’s campaign momentum and Willie Robertson’s help, the latter of Duck Dynasty fame (the district’s most famous resident), easily defeated state Sen. Neil Riser (R) in the special run-off election, 60-40 percent, despite the entire Louisiana Republican political establishment supporting the state legislator. After McAllister quickly found himself in personal trouble and stated he would not run in the regular 2014 election, all eyes again turned toward Riser. Now that the senator has decided not to run for Congress again, McAllister has re-entered the political picture.
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In House, Polling, Primary on July 1, 2014 at 10:15 am
A new National Research, Inc. internal poll (June 23-24; 400 likely MI-11 GOP primary voters), commissioned by challenger David Trott’s campaign, projects that freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio is an incumbent in serious jeopardy of losing re-nomination in the Aug. 5 Michigan Republican primary.
According to this data, Bentivolio only scores 19 percent in hard support, as compared to Trott’s 33 percent. A May Target Insyght/Michigan Information & Research Service automated poll revealed the opposite result, however. This survey posted Bentivolio a virtually identical 33-21 percent lead over Trott. Even if the latter poll is the more accurate, the congressman is in deep political trouble. Any incumbent consistently below 40 percent support on ballot test questions, especially within his own political party, is usually headed for defeat.
Kerry Bentivolio is what can be described as an “accidental congressman.” Running as a Tea Party challenger from the right to then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia), Bentivolio suddenly found himself as the only Republican on the ballot when the incumbent failed to properly qualify. Continue reading >
In Governor, House, Senate on June 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm
Voters will be casting ballots in six states, and the Mississippi Republican run-off contest between Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel gains top national billing. Most polling suggests that McDaniel, who placed first in the primary with 49.4 percent of the vote, is favored to capture the party nod. His victory would unseat a veteran Republican senator who was first elected to Congress in 1972.
Another US House special election will be decided today as GOP businessman Curt Clawson is poised to win Florida’s 19th Congressional District, left vacant by freshman Rep. Trey Radel’s (R) resignation. Clawson, armed with $2 million of personal money and strong backing from various Tea Party groups, easily won the Republican nomination on April 22. The former Purdue University basketball player will cruise to victory against Democrat April Freeman in the safely Republican seat anchored in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area. He will be sworn into office later this week, and then immediately begin running for a full term. Continue reading >