Author Archives: Jim Ellis

A Trio of House Happenings

In honor of Independence Day, this will be the last Political Update for this week. The normal schedule will resume Monday, July 7. Enjoy the holiday!

http://youtu.be/rhAE9VtJ7Co

MI-3

The gloves are officially off in the western Michigan Republican primary challenge to Rep. Justin Amash. Businessman Brian Ellis released a new ad featuring former Marine combat veteran Ben Thomas.
 Continue reading >

Louisiana: McAllister Back in the Game, Landrieu Teetering

Scandal-tainted Rep. Vance McAllister (R), who announced that he would not run for a second term after he was videotaped kissing a woman other than his wife soon after his election to the House, has done an about-face. The freshman congressman now says he will run for re-election.

McAllister, winning the late 2013 special election to replace resigned Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) with an outsider’s campaign momentum and Willie Robertson’s help, the latter of Duck Dynasty fame (the district’s most famous resident), easily defeated state Sen. Neil Riser (R) in the special run-off election, 60-40 percent, despite the entire Louisiana Republican political establishment supporting the state legislator. After McAllister quickly found himself in personal trouble and stated he would not run in the regular 2014 election, all eyes again turned toward Riser. Now that the senator has decided not to run for Congress again, McAllister has re-entered the political picture.
 Continue reading >

New Poll: Bentivolio Languishing in MI-11

A new National Research, Inc. internal poll (June 23-24; 400 likely MI-11 GOP primary voters), commissioned by challenger David Trott’s campaign, projects that freshman Rep. Kerry Bentivolio is an incumbent in serious jeopardy of losing re-nomination in the Aug. 5 Michigan Republican primary.

According to this data, Bentivolio only scores 19 percent in hard support, as compared to Trott’s 33 percent. A May Target Insyght/Michigan Information & Research Service automated poll revealed the opposite result, however. This survey posted Bentivolio a virtually identical 33-21 percent lead over Trott. Even if the latter poll is the more accurate, the congressman is in deep political trouble. Any incumbent consistently below 40 percent support on ballot test questions, especially within his own political party, is usually headed for defeat.

Kerry Bentivolio is what can be described as an “accidental congressman.” Running as a Tea Party challenger from the right to then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Livonia), Bentivolio suddenly found himself as the only Republican on the ballot when the incumbent failed to properly qualify.  Continue reading >

Why New Mexico Matters

The first benchmark in the 2016 presidential contest could actually come later this year in New Mexico. While it is still very uncertain as to who will be the next Republican presidential nominee, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez may already own the inside track to becoming the GOP’s Vice Presidential nominee. Assuming she’s re-elected this year, it’s hard to imagine a female Hispanic governor from one of three legitimate swing states – at a time when Republicans are in desperate need of increased support from women, Hispanics, and voters from marginal political states –  Continue reading >

Hagan Struggles in North Carolina

The conservative Civitas Institute tested the North Carolina electorate (National Research, June 18-19 & 22; 600 registered North Carolina voters – live calls, 25 percent cell phone users) and found that Sen. Kay Hagan (D) is leading her Republican opponent, state House Speaker Thom Tillis, but her advantage is tentative.

The 42-36 percent result again posts Hagan in the low 40s, very bad territory for any incumbent. The fact that she has a six-point edge over Tillis is obviously an improvement from her prior poll standing, but this probably has more to do with an unpopular state legislature than Tillis, personally. It appears the House Speaker’s numbers always tumble when this legislature is in session, as it is now. The fact that he is one of the body’s key leaders, however, is a major negative, so Tillis’ ballot test deficit certainly cannot be discounted.

Sen. Hagan is generally considered to be the most vulnerable of all Democratic incumbents standing for re-election. She represents one of only two states that changed its 2008 vote away from Barack Obama, and doesn’t have the president on the ballot with her as she did six years ago to maximize the important minority voter  Continue reading >