Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Polls Confirm Key Senate Races are Toss-ups; Walsh’s Appointment Both Helps and Hurts

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads entered into the Senate polling arena in January, contracting with Harper Polling to provide surveys in seven key states. The HP results appear to be in line with other findings, except for one place.

Harper’s Alaska poll (Jan. 20-22; 677 registered Alaska voters) projects Sen. Mark Begich (D) to be trailing two Republican challengers, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and former Attorney General Dan Sullivan, by identical 41-47 percent margins. This is a much different result than found in the Public Policy Polling survey from a little more than a week ago (Jan. 30-Feb. 1; 850 registered Alaska voters), which posted the senator to a 43-37 percent advantage over Treadwell and 41-37 percent against Sullivan. Begich’s troubling factor, detected in both firms’ data, however, is his low 40s standing even when leading.
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Three New Senate Polls Show Rocky Roads Ahead for Incumbents

Colorado

We now have confirming data that Sen. Mark Udall (D) must traverse a rocky political road to secure re-election.

Last December, Public Policy Polling (Dec. 3-4; 928 registered Colorado voters) released a surprising survey that showed the senator leading a potential general election Republican opponent by a mere four points, 46-42 percent. The result occurred when pairing Udall with 2010 Republican nominee and Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck. As you will remember, Buck lost to Sen. Michael Bennet (D) 46-48 percent even though they faced each other during the Republican landslide of 2010.

Yesterday, Quinnipiac University made public their latest Colorado poll (Jan. 29-Feb. 2; 1,139 registered Colorado voters) and the result verified PPP’s pre-Christmas finding. In fact, the current Q-Poll’s 45-42  Continue reading >

Waxman Seat Taking Shape

California Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D) surprise retirement announcement last week undoubtedly caught the Golden State’s Democratic establishment by surprise, but the local pols have quickly regained their bearings.

Two political heavyweights jumped into the race in the past three days, and it is possible that this could be the duo who qualifies for advancement to the general election. Los Angeles city controller and defeated mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel (D) and state Sen. Ted Lieu (D) have both officially entered the congressional race. Feminist Sandra Fluke (D), who came to prominence when Rush Limbaugh attacked her on his national radio program, says she isn’t entering the congressional campaign, but will run for Lieu’s now open state Senate seat.

Already members of the Los Angeles congressional delegation are taking sides, as is former mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA-40) announced her support for Greuel, while Rep. Karen Bass (R-CA-37) will back Sen. Lieu. The  Continue reading >

In Colorado, When You’re Up, You’re Down

Yesterday, we published a piece analyzing the University of New Hampshire’s poll and made special note of their readings for US Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-1) and Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-2). The study results were unusual in the fact that they showed Shea-Porter’s job approval rising, but her ballot test declining, while projecting Kuster in the exact opposite position.

Now, a new poll from Quinnipiac University (Jan. 29-Feb. 2; 1,139 registered Colorado voters) finds Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) in a similar position to Rep. Shea-Porter. The governor’s job approval has expanded to a solid 52:39 percent favorable to unfavorable, which is a strong improvement when compared to the numbers he was posting in the latter part of 2013. Added to his personal favorability of 47:37 percent positive to negative, one would expect that his ballot performance would be likewise improving, yet his standing continues to lag according to this data.

To further explain, while generally holding  Continue reading >

New Hampshire Consistent in its Inconsistency

No state has had more wild political swings than the Granite State of New Hampshire during the past four elections. Over that time, NH voters have turned out a US senator, defeated more members than they have re-elected, and deposed the majority party in five of the past 10 legislative chamber elections. A new early 2014 poll suggests that more upheaval is on the way.

The University of New Hampshire’s polling directors just released a survey completed during the Jan. 21-26 period in which 584 registered Granite State voters were questioned. A total of 304 respondents were in the eastern 1st Congressional District; 280 in the western 2nd CD. As has been the pattern with UNH polls, bizarre results are often produced that many times prove inconsistent with the findings of other pollsters and even their own previous data.

The Senate

The first bit of inconsistency in their latest poll comes in the Senate race. UNH finds  Continue reading >

Money Shows Who the Real Challengers Are

The Federal Election Commission has finally published the 4th quarter 2013 House financial numbers, and through the reports we can begin to ascertain the challenger candidates who are going to put forth serious political efforts later this election year.

Some who were predicted to be strong contenders are proving such:

• In Arizona, former Air Force officer Martha McSally (R), who lost to Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ-2) by just under 2,500 votes in 2012, out-raised the congressman by just over $63,000 in the 4th quarter.

• Democratic former Colorado state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff outpaced incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO-6) by $45,000. Both have posted highly impressive off-year financial numbers. Each  Continue reading >

The Fourteen Key Senate Races

Since venturing into 2014, a new round of US Senate polls came into the public domain giving us a better picture of the current state of political affairs. Now it appears that 14 seats can be considered competitive, or are on their way to becoming so. The early tightness of so many of these campaigns tells us that we are a long way from being able to confidently predict a national outcome.

For Republicans, the first step in achieving their goal of capturing the Senate majority revolves around the ability to convert the three seats from retiring Democratic senators in states that normally elect GOP candidates. Winning the Montana (Rep. Steve Daines), South Dakota (ex-Gov. Mike Rounds), and West Virginia (Rep. Shelley Moore Capito) seats becomes the foundation for the Republican drive to obtain Senate control. Democrats, on the other hand, need merely to re-elect their incumbents.

As we know, the Senate’s partisan division features 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. If we remove the 14 competitive seats from  Continue reading >