Identifying and analyzing emerging trends in campaigns and elections.

Posts Tagged ‘Virginia’

Further Examination of Cantor’s Loss; Two Wildly Divergent Oregon Senate Polls

In Election Analysis, House, Polling, Senate on June 13, 2014 at 2:48 pm

More is being learned about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R) primary election loss in Virginia’s 7th CD. As is true for almost all political outcomes, there is more than one answer to explain this result and, not surprisingly, multiple elements contributed to the final conclusion.

While the immigration issue seems to be taking top billing as the principal reason for Cantor losing, in reality, it likely only played a secondary role. The fact that challenger and victor David Brat used the issue to his advantage – characterizing Cantor as supporting amnesty for illegal aliens – certainly helped color the Majority Leader in a negative light, but such a radical final electoral result cannot simply be explained as an extreme reaction to a controversial issue.

Contrast this outcome with that of Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R) campaign in South Carolina. Graham was more identified with the immigration reform issue, and hails from a more conservative domain than Cantor’s central Virginia congressional district. Yet, the senator won a surprisingly large re-nomination victory on the same  Continue reading >

How Cantor Lost in Virginia, and What’s Next

In Election Analysis on June 11, 2014 at 11:30 am

The irony of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) losing his primary election last night when several hundred miles to the south Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), long known for his trouble within the Republican base, would defeat a field of six opponents with 56 percent of the vote, must be acknowledged. Even as late as yesterday, most people would not have believed such a predicted outcome. Yet, it happened.

Cantor lost for varying reasons. First, his perceived position of supporting amnesty as part of the immigration issue proved a lightning rod against him within the conservative base.

Second, the majority of his central Virginia Republican electorate clearly believed he is part of the problem in Washington.

Third, the campaign strategy of attacking opponent David Brat as a liberal clearly backfired and was ill-advised. It is unlikely that painting someone who hails from the Tea Party as a “liberal” would carry any credence with a voter who pays attention. Knowing that the turnout would be low – and it was, 65,000-plus GOP voters – a  Continue reading >

Challengers Chances in Virginia’s Tuesday Primary; Quiet in South Carolina; First Iowa Numbers

In Election Analysis on June 9, 2014 at 11:31 am

Tomorrow’s Virginia primary is decision day for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s Republican primary challenge. Conservative college professor David Brat has raised over $200,000 with minimal outside support for his effort to dislodge the sitting incumbent, but he is very likely to meet the same fate as the others who have challenged the national Republican leaders.

Earlier in the primary season, senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY; 60 percent of the vote) and John Cornyn (R-TX; 59 percent) were renominated against challengers from the right, as was House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8; 69 percent).

Rep. Cantor is outspending Brat by more than a 20:1 ratio, and has taken a surprisingly active and negative track in this campaign. His strategy is an interesting one in that he is attempting to deflect a hard right offensive by portraying Brat as being insufficiently conservative. Naturally, Brat makes the same argument against Cantor.  Continue reading >

Comstock Takes “Firehouse” Election; A Grimm Situation

In Election Analysis on April 28, 2014 at 10:34 am

The “Firehouse” Republican primary vote in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District occurred Saturday and, as expected, Virginia Delegate Barbara Comstock claimed a majority of the 13,609 voters who participated in the unusual election.

Comstock received 7,337 votes, or 53.9 percent. State Delegate Bob Marshall was a distant second, attracting 3,829 votes (28.1 percent). In high single-digits were businessmen Howie Lind and Stephen Hollingshead. Former Kansas congressional candidate Rob Wasinger and businessman Mark Savitt finished at the bottom, each garnering less than 2.5 percent of the vote.

The firehouse primary concept was a compromise between some local party forces who pushed for a regular primary and those who were supporting a nominating convention. The firehouse primary designated just 10 polling places throughout VA-10, a seat that begins in north and west Fairfax County, annexes Loudoun County, and then travels all the way to West Virginia.

Comstock won seven of the 10 voting locations, including scoring a whopping 91 percent in the Langley polling station, which  Continue reading >

More Official Filings in Virginia, South Carolina

In Election Analysis on April 2, 2014 at 10:06 am

Candidate filing deadlines have now passed in three more states, Virginia, South Carolina, and Colorado, meaning that official candidates exist in 29 states. The Colorado candidate list will become final in the next few days.

Virginia

In the Senate race, Sen. Mark Warner (D) has drawn four opponents, including former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie. Delegates will meet in convention to choose the nominee, which will be Gillespie.

In House races, Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), Randy Forbes (R-VA-4), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA-6), and Morgan Griffith (R-VA-9), all have no major party opponent in the general election. Minor primary or Independent candidates do await the incumbents, however.

Representatives Rob Wittman (R-VA-1),  Continue reading >

The Fourteen Key Senate Races

In Senate on February 3, 2014 at 11:58 am

Since venturing into 2014, a new round of US Senate polls came into the public domain giving us a better picture of the current state of political affairs. Now it appears that 14 seats can be considered competitive, or are on their way to becoming so. The early tightness of so many of these campaigns tells us that we are a long way from being able to confidently predict a national outcome.

For Republicans, the first step in achieving their goal of capturing the Senate majority revolves around the ability to convert the three seats from retiring Democratic senators in states that normally elect GOP candidates. Winning the Montana (Rep. Steve Daines), South Dakota (ex-Gov. Mike Rounds), and West Virginia (Rep. Shelley Moore Capito) seats becomes the foundation for the Republican drive to obtain Senate control. Democrats, on the other hand, need merely to re-elect their incumbents.

As we know, the Senate’s partisan division features 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. If we remove the 14 competitive seats from  Continue reading >

Black Backs Out of Open VA-10 Race

In House on January 23, 2014 at 10:16 am

Late last night, Virginia State Sen. Dick Black, who earlier this month announced his intention to run for the open 10th Congressional District, released a statement saying he has changed his mind about seeking federal office. The move by the Republican is a boon to state Delegate Barbara Comstock, who is gearing up for her own congressional run after winning a difficult re-election campaign to the Virginia House this past November. It was commonly viewed that Black would have an advantage in a district nominating convention, but that Comstock would be the stronger general election opponent to presumed Democratic nominee John Foust, a Fairfax County Supervisor.

Black’s statement reiterated his belief that “… the Virginia Senate (is) in a precarious 20-20 split, with the lieutenant governor as tie-breaker. Because of that, I (Sen. Black) am no longer able to leave the 13th District Senate Seat. Too much is at risk for Virginia, and I must not trigger another costly senate race by stepping down from my seat at this time.”
 Continue reading >

FL-13 Special Election Defined; Owens, Moran to Retire

In House on January 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

The first phase of the special election to replace the late Rep. Bill Young (R) was held last night in Pinellas County, Florida on the western Tampa Bay peninsula. Though the Democratic race was a non-event because former state Chief Financial Officer and 2010 gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink was unopposed, the Republican side featured a three-way race.

Lobbyist David Jolly, a former staff member to Congressman Young, won the nomination securing 45 percent of the vote. Jolly raised the most money (more than $400,000) on the Republican side and enjoyed support from the Young political organization, including the late congressman’s wife, Beverly Young, who voiced her support through a television ad.

Placing second was state Rep. Kathleen Peters who never seemed to get her campaign untracked. She garnered votes from 31 percent of the Republican electorate.
 Continue reading >

Gillespie for Senate

In Senate on January 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm

With optimism growing in national Republican circles that the party can capture the Senate majority this November, former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie is on the verge of announcing a challenge to Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), and may do so as early as this week if not today.

Gillespie, also a former chairman of the Virginia Republican Party and a Capitol Hill staff member beginning his career with former Rep. Dick Armey (R-TX-26) who would later become Majority Leader, may be embarking upon what most believe is a daunting task. But, there are some budding trends that suggest a Warner upset is at least within the realm of possibility.

Though the senator is one of the most well-prepared politicians in the country, if not the best, Virginia is still a state that can swing both ways particularly in low turnout elections. Unquestionably the state is trending toward the Democrats, especially when looking at the elections since 2004 (with the exception of those in 2009 and 2010), but it is not so far beyond the “purple” range as to make a Republican  Continue reading >

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