Monthly Archives: September 2015

Vitter Wavering; Leadership Update

Sept. 30, 2015 — The last few released polls have been sending warning signals to Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R) in his quest to win the 2015 open governor’s race. The brand new Clarus Research Group survey conducted for the Louisiana Advocate and WWL-TV (released Sept. 27; 800 registered Louisiana voters) again finds the two-term senator and former House member struggling.

According to the CRG data, Vitter and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards would tie at 24 percent in the Oct. 24 jungle primary, and then advance to the Nov. 21 run-off election. Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle (R) is next with 15 percent, with Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) just behind at 14 percent support. These results are consistent with many other recently released studies.

But, it is the run-off match-ups that are most interesting, particularly in relation to how Sen. Vitter fares. In each instance, the senator would trail his opponent in a head-to-head contest.

Against Edwards, Sen. Vitter falls behind 41-45 percent. If Angelle were to qualify, he would lead Vitter 40-35 percent. Finally, even against Lt. Gov. Dardenne, who has been last in jungle primary polling for months, Vitter would again be behind. In this configuration, Dardenne would actually lead by the largest margin of all, 42-35 percent.

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Succeeding Boehner: What We Know

Sept. 29, 2015 — Much speculation is surrounding Speaker John Boehner’s impending resignation, but what facts are confirmed? Several House members are already testing their viability in potential races for Majority Leader or Whip because, at this time, it appears Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) will run for, and be elected, Speaker.

Boehner will resign the speakership and his OH-8 House seat on Oct. 30. His decision to leave the leadership and congressional position he has held since first winning in 1990, after serving three terms in the Ohio state legislature, is obviously motivated by many factors.

The resignation announcement, however, comes just days after reports surfaced that Democrats were prepared to “save” Boehner in a vote whether to continue his speakership. Since Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) had filed a motion to vacate the chair, a vote would be taken. The Democrats, either delivering the required number of votes to ensure a Boehner win or, more likely, abstaining so that the Speaker’s plurality would become a majority. Such an outcome would have realistically doomed him, leaving him virtually powerless.

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Bloomberg Poll Explains Trump

Sept. 28, 2015 — A new Bloomberg Politics poll conducted by Iowa-based Selzer & Company (Sept. 18-21; 1,001 adults) at least partially explains Donald Trump’s apparent sudden appeal. The poll asks pointed questions about how the respondents perceive various issues, and the results provide supporting data as to why Trump’s message is striking chords with many prospective voters.

In a previous update, we discussed the Bloomberg/Selzer Democratic primary ballot test (375 likely Democratic primary voters – a sample too small to adequately draw national conclusions). This new data reveals that a bare majority would now choose a Dem candidate other than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Additionally, their underlying issue questions provide us a relatively sound base from which to analyze potential voting patterns.

The key questions surround America’s greatness, a subject that has become the theme of Trump’s national campaign. From his slogan “let’s make America great again”, it becomes obvious that Trump no longer thinks the country is heading toward its apex. According to the Bloomberg/Selzer data, the majority of respondents share that opinion. Their question is reproduced below, with response percentages in adjoining parenthesis:

Do you think the United States today is:
• Greater than it has ever been (6%)
• Equally great as it has been in the past (20%)
• Falling behind (47%)
• Failing (25%)
• Not sure (2%)

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New Poll Spells Trouble for Democrats

Sept. 25, 2015 — Bloomberg News released a survey yesterday delivering more bad news to the beleaguered Hillary Clinton campaign. According to their poll of 1,001 adults, 375 of who are likely Democratic primary voters (conducted by Selzer & Company of Des Moines, Iowa; Sept. 18-21), only 33 percent say the former Secretary of State is their first choice to be the party presidential nominee. Vice President Joe Biden follows closely with 25 percent preference, with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I/D-VT) 24 percent nipping at the VP’s heels.

Particularly troubling for Clinton is that a majority of surveyed Democrats, when including minor candidates Jim Webb (former Virginia senator; two percent), and Martin O’Malley (ex-Maryland governor and Baltimore mayor; one percent), are definitively choosing another candidate.

Here, as in many Republican national polls we’ve seen, the 375-person sample size is too small to draw a highly accurate conclusion. Though the results appear in a consistent range with other recent polling, it is not fair to base assumptions on this high-error factor data. But, we do know the internal party trends are now turning against the former New York senator and First Lady, meaning she must somehow launch a new offensive to reverse her momentum slide.

Could Utah be a Conduit for a
Romney Nomination?

Sept. 25, 2015 — Possessing fewer than three million inhabitants, the small state of Utah will command a unique position at the Republican National Convention. As one of only seven Winner-Take-All states, plus the four small territories that will also cast their entire slate (9 delegates apiece) for an individual candidate, the Beehive State delegation (40 delegates) is key to helping determine who becomes the Republican presidential nominee.

Yesterday, state Republican chairman James Evans upped the ante. He suggested that favorite son and 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney could still be nominated next year even if he doesn’t enter the Republican primaries. How? A deadlocked convention could turn to him.

We have discussed the possibility of the Republicans going to a brokered convention for several months. With Donald Trump now the race leader and demonstrating that he can pull in the 30 percent neighborhood, there is little way the international businessman could cobble together a 50 percent coalition. Accounting for polls revealing that at least a quarter of the Republican electorate will vote against him under any circumstance, it becomes mathematically unfeasible for Trump to claim a first ballot victory. And, if Trump can’t get there with a support level greater than any other candidate, then who can?

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