Author Archives: Jim Ellis

New Senate Data Show Tight Races in Three States

Georgia

The Georgia Republican senatorial run-off enters the stretch drive and a new poll suggests that the two candidates, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) and businessman David Perdue, are headed for a photo finish.

Insider Advantage, polling for Morris News and Atlanta TV-5 (July 7-9, 1,278 likely Georgia Republican run-off voters), finds the two candidates separated by just two points, 43-41 percent (in Kingston’s favor). Immediately after the primary, it was the Savannah congressman who jumped out to as much as a double-digit lead over Perdue, but now multiple research services are projecting a much closer contest, if not a dead heat.

The election is scheduled for July 22, so the final days will feature hot and heavy campaigning. Kingston has been a prolific fundraiser and attracts outside support from a major US Chamber of Commerce media buy of just under $800,000 for the run-off alone. Perdue is hammering the 10-term representative over his many votes as a  Continue reading >

New Hampshire Poll Shows Electorate Predictably Unpredictable

Since 2006, voters in no other place have created more pronounced political swings than in the Granite State of New Hampshire. Seven statewide or federal district incumbents have been defeated during that period, as opposed to only six who have been re-elected. In federal campaigns, the record is just three incumbent wins and seven defeats.

The University of New Hampshire and WMUR-TV have just released another Granite State poll (June 19-July 1, 669 New Hampshire adults; 263 likely voters in NH-1; 246 likely voters in NH-2) that suggests the 1st congressional district electorate is again primed to oust an incumbent.

According to UNH, former Rep. Frank Guinta (R-NH-1), elected in 2010 and defeated in 2012, holds a 46-43 percent lead over Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1), elected in 2006, defeated in 2010, and re-elected in 2012. Against Republican Dan Innis, the former UNH business school dean, the congresswoman posts a 45-38 percent advantage. Should Guinta win re-nomination, this will be the third consecutive election in which Shea-Porter  Continue reading >

McDaniel’s Mississippi Senate Challenge

Media coverage is increasing in what may be an impending legal challenge to the Mississippi US Senate Republican run-off election result from defeated candidate Chris McDaniel. Yesterday, for example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that legal authorities should investigate irregularities surrounding the voting in the June 24 electoral contest, and McDaniel’s own attorney indicated an official challenge is imminent.

Now certified as a 7,667-vote loser to Sen. Thad Cochran, McDaniel has a daunting task before him if he is to achieve his eventual goal of reversing the result.

At the heart of the issue is that many of the new voters who cast ballots in the run-off election did not participate in the Republican primary. Under Mississippi election law, there is no requirement to vote in a primary election prior to being part of the associated run-off. It is illegal, however, for a voter to cast a ballot in a primary of one party and then participate in the run-off of the opposite party. According to the McDaniel campaign, thousands of Democrats voted in their own primary and then appeared at Republican run-off polling  Continue reading >

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 >