Monthly Archives: July 2014

Russell Shows Strength in Oklahoma; Four New Arkansas Polls Show No True Leader

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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A Snapshot of Senate Races

With the plethora of polls providing us snapshots of the various Senate battles around the country, it’s a good time to reflect about where the races stand today.

As we know, Republicans need to convert six Democratic seats to claim the Senate majority so long as they win every state they currently control. Their position is strengthened because they realistically risk only two (Kentucky and Georgia) of the 15 GOP in-cycle seats.

  • Safe Republican (11): Alabama (Jeff Sessions), Idaho (Jim Risch), Maine (Susan Collins), Nebraska (open: Ben Sasse), Oklahoma (Jim Inhofe), Oklahoma (open: James Lankford), South Carolina (Lindsey Graham), South Carolina (Tim Scott), Tennessee (Lamar Alexander – though he has primary competition on August 7), Texas (John Cornyn), and Wyoming (Mike Enzi).
  • Highly Likely Republican (2): Kansas (Pat Roberts – facing primary competition on August 5), Mississippi (Thad Cochran).
  • Highly Likely Democratic (3): Hawaii (Brian Schatz – faces primary competition on August 9), New Jersey (Cory Booker), New Mexico (Tom Udall).
  • Likely Democratic (3): Minnesota (Al Franken), Oregon (Jeff Merkley),  Continue reading >

Online Polling Project Across 50 States Yields Surprising Results

YouGov, an international Internet pollster, has been surveying campaigns and corporate marketing programs in many regions around the world. While most are skeptical of Internet polling, as they should be, YouGov’s highly sophisticated and targeted approach has enjoyed a better than average record in terms of projecting political victories around the world.

YouGov and the New York Times recently partnered to conduct a simultaneous 50-state US polling project. The results were released yesterday. By and large, the vast majority of their polls track with what we have seen from other survey research firms over the past months. The YG/NYT project polled the key statewide campaigns in every state, and then asked a generic party question about US House preference.

Here, we highlight some of the surprise findings:

Alaska: The Last Frontier polls were very different from the preponderance of other polling from this electorate. While the Senate race has been tight for months, this YouGov survey of 452 registered Alaska voters gives Sen. Mark Begich (D) a 46-35 percent advantage, adjusting for leaners as  Continue reading >

First General Polls from Georgia; A Look at Nebraska, New York House Races

Georgia Senate

The first two Georgia Senate general election polls have been released, and it’s not particularly surprising that we already have a conflict. The Peach State campaign has already witnessed more than its fair share of controversy and surprise happenings. Now two pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Landmark Communications, surveyed the electorate immediately after the July 22nd Republican run-off election and found very different results.

Rasmussen Reports (July 23-24; 750 registered Georgia voters) began polling the day after businessman David Perdue scored an upset win over Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the Republican run-off. The firm finds the new GOP nominee leading Democrat Michelle Nunn 46-40 percent, at least one point beyond the polling margin of error.

But, Landmark Communications, in data released on July 25 (also 750 registered Georgia voters), finds Nunn claiming a four-point advantage, 47-43 percent. This  Continue reading >

Entering Primary Season’s Final Stretch

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.

August 5

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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