Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Daines Up in Montana; Hayworth Rebounding in NY; Oklahoma Tightens

Montana Senate

Two new Montana polls were just released into the public domain, and both portend similar results.

According to Public Policy Polling (July 17-18; 574 registered Montana voters), Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT-AL) holds a 46-39 percent advantage over appointed Sen. John Walsh (D). Both men record similar job approval ratings. Sen. Walsh, who was appointed in early February to replace veteran Sen. Max Baucus (D) after the latter had accepted President Obama’s offer to become US Ambassador to China, tallies a 38:37 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval rating. Freshman Rep. Daines is in virtually the same position, though finding himself one point upside down, 39:40 percent.

An internal Harstad Strategic Research poll for the Walsh campaign (released July 17; number of respondents not provided), gives the freshman congressman a 43-38 percent edge over the appointed senator. Though  Continue reading >

The Georgia Run-Offs

Tomorrow, Peach State voters head to the polls to finally decide Georgia’s four important federal run-off elections. Concluding what has been a very long and active nomination campaign here, complete with some surprising results from the May 20 primary, the Republican voters will now choose a US Senate nominee and likely pick congressmen in Districts 1, 10, and 11.

Senate

This contest has proven to be one of the most interesting of the entire election cycle, and the Georgia race is of foremost consequence in the national Senate picture. In order to gain the majority, Republicans must first secure the two potentially vulnerable seats already within their control: Kentucky (Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), and this race in Georgia. A Democratic conversion in either of these states would likely retain their party’s majority status.

You will remember that this particular Senate campaign originally featured three members of the congressional delegation, a former statewide elected official, and a major business leader who is a cousin to, and who shares the last name with,  Continue reading >

Two Upset Winners

Igniting strong momentum from their respective second-place finishes in primary elections, Baptist pastor Mark Walker and Alabama think tank founder Gary Palmer won major upset victories last night in their respective North Carolina and Alabama Republican congressional run-off elections.  

Both secured local and national conservative support, attracted endorsements from defeated primary opponents, and converted new voters with strong grassroots efforts, a combination that worked seamlessly to outpace establishment-backed opponents.

AL-6

Palmer defeated state Rep. Paul DeMarco by a whopping 64-36 percent margin.  Palmer had finished 13 points behind DeMarco in the June 3 Republican primary, but with all but one of the defeated candidates endorsing him, in addition to many conservative movement organizations both nationally and in Alabama, the second place primary finisher easily overtook the youthful state legislator in last night’s vote.  

While DeMarco had a clear financial advantage and backing from business associations and the NRA, Palmer had the decided edge in the field.  His stronger  Continue reading >

Two House Nomination Run-offs Play Out Today

AL-6

Retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus’ (R) replacement, for all intents and purposes, will become known tonight. Having voted 74.3 percent for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, suburban Birmingham’s 6th District ranks as the eighth most Republican CD in the country. Therefore, the general election campaign will not prove much of a test for whomever becomes the GOP nominee – either state Rep. Paul DeMarco (R) or Alabama Policy Institute founder and president Gary Palmer (R) – opposing trucking industry analyst Avery Vise (D).

Originally, seven GOP candidates fought for the two run-off spots on June 3, ending with DeMarco placing first with 33 percent and Palmer, in his first attempt in running for public office, garnering 20 percent to secure second position. Four of the five candidates – all but the last place finisher – eliminated in the June 3 primary have each endorsed Palmer. Large segments of the national and local conservative movement are also backing the policy center founder including the Club for Growth and the Family Research Council leadership. DeMarco scores support from the NRA and a large  Continue reading >

Two Florida Congressional Districts Ruled as Illegal

A north Florida circuit court judge who briefly came to fame during the George W. Bush/Al Gore 2000 post-election counting process, has declared Florida congressional districts 5 (Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville) and 10 (Rep. Dan Webster, R-Orlando) illegal per the criteria adopted in the state’s 2010 redistricting ballot initiative. The Democratic legal challenge was launched soon after the lines were enacted in 2011, but technicalities pertaining to the plaintiff’s discovery motions here and in federal court delayed the process until now. Additionally, the US Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby County decision changed the legal situation.

Democratic Judge Terry Lewis, who issued a pro-Bush presidential recount decision 14 years ago, ruled that the two districts fail the compactness criteria as outlined in the voter-passed proposition. Should the entire appellate process, including final review by the Florida State Supreme Court, uphold the Lewis decision districts 5 and 10 will be re-drawn. The tangential changes stemming from altering those boundaries could conceivably affect all of north and central Florida.

Judge Lewis ruled against the Democratic  Continue reading >