Monthly Archives: July 2014

Franken Tops 50 Percent – With an Asterisk

In a great many election years, a surprising Senate candidate often comes from nowhere at the beginning of the cycle to score an upset win. The 2010 Republican landslide, for example, produced Wisconsin businessman Ron Johnson (R), a virtual unknown at the campaign’s outset, who would eventually unseat then-Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI). Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D), viewed as a heavy underdog to then-at-large Rep. Rick Berg (R) when their two-way contest began, overcame an early polling deficit to claim her Senate seat in the presidential election year of 2012.

In looking at the 2014 field of candidates, many people were speculating that the under-the-radar candidate best possibly positioned to score an upset is Minnesota businessman Mike McFadden (R) who is challenging first-term Sen. Al Franken (D). Though Franken has not yet appeared in a politically endangered position, we must remember that his 2008 campaign was so close that it took nine months to finally determine that the former actor-comedian scored a 312-vote victory (from more than 2.88 million ballots cast) over then-Sen. Norm Coleman (R). Additionally, the  Continue reading >

Colorado’s First Post-Primary Data

Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) performance in office has led many political observers to predict that the Centennial State’s gubernatorial contest will drive voter turnout in 2014, and not national politics. Making the situation even more interesting, the first post-primary Rasmussen Reports poll (June 25-26; 750 likely Colorado voters) finds Hickenlooper and former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-CO-7) running neck and neck, falling into a flat tie with the results projecting both men tallying 44 percent support.

Rasmussen went into the field just a day after Beauprez claimed the Republican nomination. Despite winning the GOP primary, the former congressman received only 30 percent of the Republican vote, so it is doubtful that a post-nomination bump has artificially inflated Beauprez’s total against Hickenlooper.

The governor, his administration, and the Democratic legislature have taken major legislative steps in the areas of gun control, agriculture, energy, marijuana, and government spending, moving the state decidedly leftward. Enough opposition voters responded to the initiatives with a backlash of activity, first by successfully  Continue reading >

A Trio of House Happenings

In honor of Independence Day, this will be the last Political Update for this week. The normal schedule will resume Monday, July 7. Enjoy the holiday!

http://youtu.be/rhAE9VtJ7Co

MI-3

The gloves are officially off in the western Michigan Republican primary challenge to Rep. Justin Amash. Businessman Brian Ellis released a new ad featuring former Marine combat veteran Ben Thomas.
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Louisiana: McAllister Back in the Game, Landrieu Teetering

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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New Poll: Bentivolio Languishing in MI-11

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 >