Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Cochran Victory Reverses History

Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) amazing comeback victory in Tuesday’s run-off election in Mississippi changed political voting history in three ways.

First, the Cochran campaign and their allies increased the number of voters who participated in the nomination process, something not thought practically possible. In the June 3 primary, 313,483 people voted in the Republican senatorial primary. On Tuesday, 376,323 ballots were cast, meaning a minimum of 62,840 individuals who did not vote in the primary participated in the  Continue reading >

Cochran Defies Pollsters; Lankford, Clawson, Rangel Win

Mississippi

Defying all pollsters’ projections, veteran Sen. Thad Cochran rebounded from his under-performance in the June 3 primary election to win the Mississippi run-off campaign. State Sen. Chris McDaniel came within one-half percent of claiming the Republican nomination in the primary vote, but failed to capitalize on his early momentum.

Virtually all published polling projected the 42-year congressional veteran to be falling significantly behind his Tea Party-backed Republican challenger. Yet, the actual results gave the incumbent a 51-49 percent victory, a margin of 6,373 votes out of the 372,000-plus ballots cast, some 60,000 more than were recorded in the primary. Therefore, the secondary election campaign defied not only the pollsters who almost unanimously predicted a McDaniel win going away, but also voter history that virtually always sees an incumbent lose a run-off election when forced into one. Additionally, this run-off produced more  Continue reading >

Decision Day in Six States

Mississippi

Voters will be casting ballots in six states, and the Mississippi Republican run-off contest between Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel gains top national billing. Most polling suggests that McDaniel, who placed first in the primary with 49.4 percent of the vote, is favored to capture the party nod. His victory would unseat a veteran Republican senator who was first elected to Congress in 1972.

FL-19

Another US House special election will be decided today as GOP businessman Curt Clawson is poised to win Florida’s 19th Congressional District, left vacant by freshman Rep. Trey Radel’s (R) resignation. Clawson, armed with $2 million of personal money and strong backing from various Tea Party groups, easily won the Republican nomination on April 22. The former Purdue University basketball player will cruise to victory against Democrat April Freeman in the safely Republican seat anchored in the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral area. He will be sworn into office later this week, and then immediately begin running for a full term.  Continue reading >

Rep. Rangle Seeks 23rd Term; Tiahrt a Long Shot

Veteran Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY-13) seeks a 23rd term in the House this year, and tomorrow’s New York Democratic primary will determine his fate. Rangel again faces state Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D), the man he beat by just over 1,000 votes in 2012. Both men’s political position appear to have improved in this election. Rangel is past an ethics scandal and Espaillat has earned serious endorsements from key New York City Democratic constituencies.

Siena College released a pre-primary poll (June 14-18; 707 likely Democratic primary voters) posting the congressman to a 47-34 percent lead over Sen. Espaillat at the beginning of the primary campaign’s final week. The result for Rangel is a bit better than one might have expected considering the closeness of the 2012 election.

On a cautionary note, Siena College has badly missed New York City races in the past, suggesting their sample draws may not be particularly accurate. Therefore, these numbers could be inflated. The true answer will become known tomorrow night.

KS-4 – Pompeo vs. Tiahrt

Late last month, former Rep. Todd Tiahrt announced his Aug. 5 Republican primary  Continue reading >

Young, Zaun Battle at Iowa’s GOP Convention

Going into the post-primary Iowa District 3 Republican convention, called to select a nominee because no candidate reached 35 percent in the June 3 primary, we knew that anything could happen. Therefore, it is hard to call former Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) chief of staff David Young a surprise winner, but the new nominee’s previous finish of fifth in the primary election and fourth on the first convention ballot Saturday certainly didn’t make him the favorite.

As so often happens in convention politics, a pattern develops where the early front-runner loses to someone with coalition-forming ability coming from well behind. And this very scenario played out in Des Moines over the weekend.

With 497 Republican delegates voting on the fifth and final ballot, Young scored a 55 percent victory (276-221) over state senator and 2010 congressional nominee Brad Zaun, who landed as the first place-finisher in the primary as well as on four convention ballots. Though Zaun out-polled the other five primary candidates with 24.6 percent of the vote, he was nowhere near obtaining the necessary 35 percent to win the nomination.

For his part, though Sen. Zaun says he will fully support Young in the general election,  Continue reading >