Feb. 29, 2016 — Last week during the Republican presidential debate from the University of Houston, Donald Trump made reference to “loving” a Bloomberg Poll forecasting the candidates’ prospects for the upcoming Super Tuesday primaries. But the poll does little to provide much useful information.
Bloomberg News and the Purple Strategies consulting firm again teamed up to release a political survey. But this online poll, which questions 1,254 respondents over the Feb. 22-24 period in the seven “SEC Primary” states – the name given for Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, all that are holding primary elections on March 1 and most of which belong to the Southeastern Conference collegiate sports league – as one unit. Therefore, the conclusions reflect a region result that has no relevance in how people in the individual states will vote or apportion delegates.
Trump mentioned it in the debate because the data finds him leading his Republican competitors region-wide, 37-20-20-8-6 percent over senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, and Gov. John Kasich, respectively, but does little to portray anything of significance since the states are not voting as a unified block.
While Trump may like the final conclusion, it only tells us he is no where near majority support throughout the region, and that we are likely to see the top three candidates gaining significant numbers of delegates on their way to the next grouping of state voting on March 8 and 15.
Rep. Salmon to Retire
When veteran Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Mesa) finally decided he would not challenge Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary this year, there seemed no question as to whether the congressman would remain in the House. Yesterday, however, Salmon made the surprising announcement that he would not seek re-election, thus making his AZ-5 seat the 42nd open district in the 2016 election cycle.
This is the second time Salmon will retire from the House. First elected in the 1994 Republican landslide that brought the party to majority status for the first time in a 40-year period, the congressman kept his self-imposed three-term limit, and did not seek re-election in 2000. Instead, he ran for governor two years later and lost a close 46-45 percent race to then-Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano (D). Six years later, Gov. Napolitano, after winning re-election in 2006, would later become President Obama’s secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. He would return to Congress in the 2012 election, and now leaves after just two more consecutive terms.
Salmon, who says he wants to leave office to spend more time with family, isn’t doing so because he couldn’t win another term. He didn’t even have an announced opponent, either for the Republican primary or general election. His geographically small, square-like congressional district that sits just east of downtown Phoenix and the city of Tempe, covering parts of Mesa, Gilbert, and Chandler, will remain in Republican hands. In fact, after Salmon announced his retirement, state Senate President Andy Biggs (R) made a public pronouncement of candidacy, and did so with Salmon’s endorsement.
The Arizona filing deadline is June 1, so Biggs can expect several prospective Republican candidates to join him in the race. There will also be further speculation that Rep. Salmon will now jump into the Senate race against McCain, since he no longer risks his House seat.