Author Archives: Jim Ellis

New Senate Developments in Georgia, Iowa

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA-10)

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA-10)

Georgia

As expected, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA-10) did officially announce his senatorial campaign becoming the first official candidate vying to replace retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R). Several more Republicans are predicted to follow, but one who was considered a virtual certainty to run may not be so inclined.

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA-6) was originally telling potential supporters that he was “90 percent sure” he would enter the open Senate race. Now, according to key Georgia political operatives, the reported chances of Price actually getting into the race appear closer to 50/50.

On the other hand, the prospects of both Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-GA-11) and Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) moving toward running statewide appear to be improving. It would not be surprising to see the three Republican   . . . Continue reading >

New Iowa Data

Public Policy Polling went to Iowa to test the potential Senate candidates and confirmed what Harper Polling had previously concluded: the Democrats are generally in better position statewide; Rep. Steve King (R-IA-4) is the stronger Republican primary candidate; and Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA-3) fares better than King against all Democratic potential contenders.

PPP’s poll (Feb. 1-3; 846 registered Iowa voters; 326 self-identified “usual” Republican primary voters) shows similar levels of strength when comparing Democrats Tom Vilsack, the former governor and current US Agriculture Secretary, with Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1).

Vilsack would defeat King 49-39 percent, and Braley outpaces his Republican congressional colleague by a similar 49-38 percent. But against Rep. Latham, the margins tighten. Vilsack tops the Des Moines area Congressman 46-42 percent, and Braley only has a 44-41 percent lead.

A third Democrat, defeated one-term Gov. Chet Culver, who is publicly considering seeking a re-match with five-term Gov. Terry Branstad (R), is weaker in the statewide Senate contest. He leads King 48-41 percent, but trails Latham 41-45 percent.

In the Republican primary, King would place first in a four-way race at 41 percent, followed by Latham with 22 percent. If Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and ex-gubernatorial  Continue reading >

Broun In, Westmoreland Out in Georgia Senate Race

© 2013 Google

© 2013 Google

The Georgia Senate picture is becoming clearer as one Republican congressman is prepared to make public his intention to run statewide, while another is saying that he will stay in the House.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA-10) is expected to announce his Senate candidacy later today, becoming the first official candidate in the open seat race. He should be able to attract strong grassroots and Tea Party support for his effort. Broun was first elected in a July 2007 special election to replace the late Rep. Charlie Norwood (R), defeating the favored establishment Republican primary candidate.

Conversely, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3), citing his enhanced position within the House leadership, says he will not enter the campaign to succeed the retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R).
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Tagg — Not It!

The latest Massachusetts US Senate special election developments show that Republicans are continuing to experience political freezer burn in the harsh New England winter. The battle lines are quickly being drawn for the campaign that will yield a replacement for newly confirmed Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yesterday, Taggart “Tagg” Romney, son of former Bay State governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, joined the group of prominent Republicans who will not become senatorial candidates. Following former Sen. Scott Brown’s decision not to run are ex-Gov. Bill Weld and former state senator and congressional candidate Richard Tisei, in addition to the younger Romney. Kerry Healey, who was Mitt Romney’s lieutenant governor, was said to be considering the race but she has taken no definitive steps to enter the contest. It is likely that the Republicans will be left with only a second-tier candidate.

There is news on the Democratic side, too. Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone said he will not challenge Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA-5) or Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA-8) for the Democratic senatorial nomination. The move virtually assures that the two congressmen will be the only top Democrats in the race. Considering the situation on the Republican side, it further appears that the April 30 Democratic primary will ultimately determine the next senator. All early signs point to Rep. Markey being a huge favorite to win the party nomination, and now the seat.
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The First Iowa Poll

Rep. Tom Latham | Rep. Steve King

Rep. Tom Latham                                  Rep. Steve King

Harper Polling surveyed the field in Iowa, and found that early suppositions pertaining to next year’s open Senate race may already be proving true. Many believe, that on the Republican side, Rep. Steve King (R-IA-4) has an advantage for the nomination but Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA-3) is a better general election candidate. The Harper numbers show such a conclusion.

According to their Jan. 29 poll of 523 registered Iowa voters, Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1) leads King 39-33 percent, but trails Latham 33-36 percent. In the statewide Republican primary, though understanding that the sample size is a very low 200 registered Republicans, King has a 46-29 percent advantage over Latham if the two were to face each other in a stand-alone battle.

Adding two other potential Republican candidates, former gubernatorial contender Bob Vander Plaats and state senator and former congressional candidate Brad Zaun, King also places first. He would lead this field 35-22-20-3 percent over Latham,  Continue reading >