Monthly Archives: May 2014

A Night for Incumbents

Now that the May 6 primaries are over, we see more verification that federal incumbents are returning to pre-2006 victory percentages, despite almost universally negative opinions about Washington.

As we all know, poll after poll is showing record disapproval of Congress, as an institution and pertaining to the leadership of both parties, but challenged incumbents in early primaries are recording stellar electoral results, nonetheless.

Below is the list of incumbents challenged in their own primaries on Tuesday night, along with their impressive victory percentages in most instances.

Indiana

  • District 3: Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) – 81% against two opponents
  • District 4: Rep. Todd Rokita (R) – 71% against one opponent
  • District 5: Rep. Susan Brooks (R) – 73% against two opponents
  • District 7: Rep. Andre Carson (D) – 89% against three opponents
  • District 8: Rep. Larry Bucshon (R) – 75% against one opponent
  • District 9: Rep. Todd Young (R) – 79% against two opponents

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Upsets Foiled as Incumbents Reign in Primaries

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 >

Today in North Carolina*

*News update at bottom of post.

Today is primary day in North Carolina, and Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling just released their last poll for the Republican nomination race. Previously, PPP projected state House Speaker Thom Tillis to be exceeding the 40 percent threshold required to claim the nomination without a run-off (46 percent), but they now detect a weakening position.

According to their latest data (May 3-4; 925 NC Republican primary voters), Tillis would garner exactly 40 percent of the Republican primary vote, compared to physician Greg Brannon’s 28 percent, and Charlotte pastor Mark Harris’ 15 percent. In a potential run-off between Tillis and Brannon, the speaker’s lead is only six points, as the candidates register a 46-40 percent split.

It’s not surprising to see Tillis taking a hit. All of the candidates, including incumbent Sen. Kay Hagan (D), are launching attacks and attempting to deny Tillis the nomination for their own political reasons.

All late polling slots Tillis in first place and Brannon in second. The question to be answered when votes are counted tonight, is whether the North Carolina state legislative  Continue reading >

The Georgia Five Jockey for Position in Senate Race

The open Georgia Senate race continues to be one of the most intriguing campaigns in the nation. While legacy contender Michelle Nunn – the daughter of former Sen. Sam Nunn (D) – is the consensus Democratic candidate, the Republican nomination is far from settled but clear trends are developing.

Two polls were just released. The first, from the conservative Insider Advantage research firm (April 27-29; 737 Georgia Republican primary voters) gives former Dollar General CEO David Perdue, the cousin of former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), a slight lead with 22 percent support among the polling respondents. Climbing to second place is former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who notches 21 percent. Savannah Rep. Jack Kingston is third with 17 percent, Athens Rep. Paul Broun fourth at 14 percent and Marietta Rep. Phil Gingrey drops to the bottom but still posts a competitive 12 percent.

Upon seeing these numbers, Rep. Kingston countered by publicizing his own McLaughlin & Associates poll taken within the same time period as Insider Advantage’s but with a smaller sample size (April 28-29; 400 Georgia Republican primary voters).  Continue reading >

More Ballot Petition Signature Trouble; Reversals of Fortune

In 2012, then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11) became a victim of political chicanery when certain campaign staffers filed fraudulent ballot petition signatures on his behalf. Disqualifying the invalid signatures denied McCotter a ballot position. He later resigned his seat, and the abuse of the candidate qualification procedure cost him his political career.

Under Michigan law, candidates for the US House of Representatives must obtain 1,000 ballot petition signatures from legally qualified voters in the particular voting district. Candidates are allowed to file no more than 2,000 total signatures.

Now it appears another signature controversy is budding, this time involving veteran Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit). Originally elected in 1964, Conyers is the second longest-serving member in the entire House. According to his Democratic primary opponent, Rev. Horace Sheffield, several unregistered voters may have circulated the congressman’s petitions. Another Michigan requirement demands that all ballot petition circulators must also be registered to vote in the particular district. If an unregistered voter circulates, the entire petition becomes  Continue reading >