Author Archives: Jim Ellis

“Political Outsider” Strategy Wins in Louisiana

A new national political paradigm may have begun this weekend in northeast Louisiana. There, businessman Vance McAllister (R), who certainly ran as a political outsider but not an overt Tea Party Republican, easily overcame and defeated the GOP establishment candidate, state Sen. Neil Riser.

From the beginning of this special election campaign, the state legislator was viewed as the front-runner. He had strong regular  Continue reading >

Nelson Testing the Gubernatorial Waters?

Earlier this year a spate of political rumors abounded that Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D), fresh from his 2012 re-election to a third term, was looking at a 2014 gubernatorial run. Repeatedly denied by Nelson spokespeople at the time but never completely ruled out, more such stories are again surfacing. Now it appears that the senator’s political staffers are calling state Democratic political leaders to seek advice about their boss running for governor.

The Florida gubernatorial race should be one of the most competitive in the country. Incumbent Gov. Rick Scott (R) continues to poll badly with job approval ratings in upside down territory. As we all know, Florida performs as the nation’s quintessential swing entity, so all statewide contests have the potential of becoming very close.

Two weeks ago, former Gov. Charlie Crist declared his candidacy for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Crist was elected state chief executive in 2006 as a Republican. He then filed as a candidate for the 2010 GOP senatorial nomination, but when it became apparent that he would lose the primary to former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, he left the party and ran as an  Continue reading >

NC Senate Race Suddenly Tightens; A VA AG 164-Vote Winner

A new North Carolina Public Policy Polling survey (Nov. 8-11; 701 registered North Carolina voters) shows that, despite still being viewed as generally weak and for months viewed as a 2014 Republican candidate recruiting disappointment, the current challengers are pulling into a virtual tie with first-term Sen. Kay Hagan (D).

According to the results, Sen. Hagan actually trails physician Greg Brannon, heavily backed by Tea Party supporters, 43-44 percent. She leads state House Speaker Thom Tillis, the national Republican political committees’ favored candidate, by only 42-40 percent, and scores just a 43-41 percent edge over senior Baptist minister Mark Harris. Against virtually unknown nurse and Army veteran Heather Grant, the senator’s advantage is a mere 43-40 percent.

The new data provides evidence that Sen. Hagan’s political position weakening. In PPP’s October 4-6 poll (746 registered North Carolina voters), the incumbent held a 47-40 percent lead over Speaker Tillis, and similar spreads over Brannon (46-40  Continue reading >

Three Key Governor’s Races Narrowing

Now that the 2013 election is complete, the pollsters are back surveying races in states other than New Jersey and Virginia. Today, we cover some interesting numbers being returned in three competitive governors’ races.

Ohio

After seeing strong numbers come from Quinnipiac University in June (June 18-23; 941 registered Ohio voters) for Gov. John Kasich (R), the new Public Policy Polling data brings the race back to earth. Four and one-half months ago, the Q-Poll posted Gov. Kasich to a 47-33 percent lead over Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D). The latest PPP survey (Nov. 5-6; 595 registered Ohio voters) paints a different picture. According to this poll, Kasich and FitzGerald are tied at 41 percent apiece.

The latter data, which is much closer to normal Ohio voting patterns than the earlier Q-Poll, may suggest the pro-Kasich data is an anomaly or simply that the climate has changed during the lagging interval. Most probably, the time scenario is the more accurate.
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A Virtual Dead Heat in Virginia; Texas Candidate Filings

The already ridiculously close race between Virginia Attorney General candidates Mark Obenshain (R) and Mark Herring (D), both state senators, is now down to a virtual tie. As election personnel continue to adjust vote totals, the official state Board of Elections count now shows Democrat Herring taking the lead over Republican Obenshain, the latter who has led most of the way.

The totals now show Herring with 1,103,610 votes and Obenshain claiming 1,103,493 tallies, or 49.89% to 49.88%, this from more than 2.212 million votes cast. The change comes with new vote counts coming from Democratic strongholds in Fairfax County and the City of Richmond. As usual in these types of close elections, uncounted machines or ballots always seem to appear long after Election Day.

Certification of the vote is required on Nov. 25, and if this current count ends up being final expect a very long recount process that will obviously end up in court regardless of which of the two candidates is officially certified. If the margin remains in the 100-vote range, anything can still happen.
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