Author Archives: Jim Ellis

New Outlook in Georgia Senate Race

Tuesday’s Georgia primary produced a Republican Senate run-off election that will take us well into summer, and the county vote delineation is providing an early clue as to who will prevail on July 22.

First-place finisher David Perdue, the former Dollar General CEO, is in the far superior position as the run-off begins based upon his performance in the state’s most populous areas. Though the second-place qualifier, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), recorded impressive vote totals in Georgia’s southern sector, the counties and regions he carried have far fewer GOP voters than those in the northern section of the state, particularly in and around the Atlanta metropolitan area. Kingston came within one county of sweeping southern Georgia. Only Grady County, on the Georgia-Florida border with just 1,885 total votes cast, eschewed Kingston in favor of Perdue.

In the key Atlanta area counties themselves, neither Purdue nor Kingston won. In Fulton, Gwinnett, and Forsyth Counties, it was former Secretary of State Karen Handel who placed first. Perdue was second in each of the three entities, with Rep. Kingston a distant third.
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Results and Reverberations from the Biggest Night of the Primary Season

The biggest night of the primary election season to date unfolded last night, and the marquee race featured the quintet of Republican candidates vying for the open Georgia Senate nomination. In the end, with all five individuals at least maintaining a slight chance to advance to the July 22 run-off as the voting day began, is now coming down to a two-way contest between businessman David Perdue (who registered 30 percent) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), who nipped former Secretary of State Karen Handel, 26-22 percent. Representatives Phil Gingrey (R-GA-11) and Paul Broun (R-GA-10) registered only 10 percent apiece. The secondary election winner will face the now-official Democratic nominee, Michelle Nunn, who captured her primary with 75 percent of the vote.

The plethora of pre-election political polls accurately forecast the final order, with the Kingston and Handel pulling away and Perdue finishing first. Rep. Kingston took  Continue reading >

McDaniel Overtakes Cochran In Miss. Senate Primary Polls

Entering the final two weeks of the Mississippi primary, a pair of new polls show that challenger Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party supported state senator, has already moved ahead of veteran Sen. Thad Cochran in their Republican primary battle.

The Polling Company, in the field for the Citizens United Political Victory Fund (May 14-15; 505 likely Mississippi Republican primary voters) finds McDaniel ahead on a combined response of 43-39-3 percent over Sen. Cochran and realtor Tom Carey.

The McDaniel vote breaks down with 30 percent saying they will “definitely” vote for him, an additional 10 percent reporting they will “probably” back the challenger, and another three percent replying that they are “leaning” toward voting for him.

The senator’s numbers are similar. His “definite” percentage is 29; with seven percent “probably” voting for him; and another three percent recorded as “leaning” Cochran’s way. Therefore, the hard vote for both candidates is 30-29 percent in favor of McDaniel. Obviously, a veteran incumbent such as Sen. Cochran – originally elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House – scoring only 29 percent on the  Continue reading >

Big Primary Day Tomorrow

May 20 features six primaries, the largest number of individual nominating elections to be held on a single day so far this year: Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Arkansas and Georgia are run-off states. The others will choose all nominees.

Arkansas

Not too much drama coming from the Arkansas primary. Sen. Mark Pryor (D) and Rep. Tom Cotton (R) are unopposed for their respective party nominations, and their predicted hard fought general election campaign officially begins Wednesday morning. Same is true for the governor’s race, where ex-representatives Asa Hutchinson (R) and Mike Ross (D) are sure to win their respective primaries.

In the House races, two seats are open. The 2nd District (Rep. Tim Griffin (R) running for lieutenant governor) will likely produce businessman French Hill (R) and former North Little Rock mayor, Patrick Henry Hays (D), advancing to the general election. In the open 4th District (Rep. Cotton running for Senate), former Clinton Administration Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) director, James Lee Witt, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination. State House Majority Leader Bruce Westerman, despite  Continue reading >

Fallout from Perdue’s “Get Revenue Growing” Comments in the Georgia Senate Race?

With the Georgia Republican Senate primary almost upon us, businessman David Perdue (R) has committed an unforced error. With all polls projecting him advancing to the second round of voting from this Tuesday’s primary, Perdue told a Macon Telegraph editorial board that he would consider increasing revenue as part of the solution to America’s budget problems.

With the five major Republican candidates streaming as far to the right as possible, his statements will be much discussed in the final days of the primary but might not be fully vetted – or absorbed – until the run-off campaign begins.

When asked whether the answer to the budget deficit should be solved by cutting spending or raising revenue, he answered, “both”. According to the Daily Kos Elections blog, Perdue then said, “… here’s the reality: If you go into a business – and I keep coming back to my background, it’s how I know how to relate is to refer back to it – I was never able to turn around a company just by cutting spending. You had to figure out a way to get revenue growing. And what I just said, there are five people in the U.S. Senate who understand what I just said. You  Continue reading >

Republican Candidates Still in Play in the Most Democratic of Districts

California’s 31st Congressional District, the country’s most Democratic congressional district represented by a Republican, lies in the heart of California’s Inland Empire and it’s an open seat once more. In 2012, President Obama captured 57 percent of the vote here against Republican Mitt Romney. The party registration breaks down 41-34-21 percent, Democratic, Republican, and Declined-to-State (Independent), respectively, according to the pre-primary official totals. Hispanics comprise 42 percent of the total population.

Two years ago, a statistical oddity occurred in the state’s first regular jungle primary. Due to an abnormally low Democratic turnout and because they had the more established candidates, Republicans were able to qualify two candidates for the general election, thus taking a seat right out of the Democrats’ hands. With incumbent Rep. Gary Miller (R) retiring this year, the 31st District again appears primed, at least on paper, for a Democratic conversion. The primary is set for June 3.

A new poll, however, suggests that at least one Republican will advance to the general election, making the Democrats’ victory  Continue reading >

Nebraska, West Virginia Slates Set

The Tea Party and conservative organizations such as the Club for Growth struck gold in the Nebraska Senate primary last night as Midland University president Ben Sasse easily won the GOP nomination to succeed retiring Sen. Mike Johanns (R). The late polling that predicted Sasse pulling away and early front-runner Shane Osborn, the military veteran and former state treasurer, falling all the way to third place proved precisely accurate. Making a charge at the end that was blunted by outside group attack ads in the closing days was wealthy banker and first-time candidate Sid Dinsdale.

Sasse impressively earned 50 percent of the votes, followed by Dinsdale’s distant second-place finish with 22 percent, and Osborn’s 21 percent. Sasse now becomes the overwhelming favorite to win the general election against attorney David Domina, who won the Democratic nomination with two-thirds of the vote.

The governor’s race came down to a one-point margin, as businessman Pete Ricketts slipped past Attorney General Jon Bruning to claim the Republican nomination and an eventual ticket to the  Continue reading >