Category Archives: Election Analysis

Poll Shows Hillary Lacking Trust
Among Likely Voters

May 4, 2015 — Rasmussen Reports (RR) went into the field this week to query one thousand randomly selected likely voters (April 27-28) about Hillary Clinton in order to determine if the current controversy surrounding her is changing perceptions. Specifically tested was the speculation that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in (legally) undisclosed foreign donations, and whether such action affected her decision-making and actions as Secretary of State.

The results can’t be considered encouraging for her. A whopping 63 percent of the respondents say they believe that “some actions Secretary Clinton took were influenced by donations made to the Clinton Foundation.” According to RR, 42 percent said it is “very likely” that the donations influenced her official decisions. Conversely, only 12 percent said such is “not at all likely” and 30 percent believe it is “unlikely” that money to the foundation played a role in how she handled her cabinet position.

Additionally, a majority of those polled, 51 percent, say they “do not trust” the former First Lady as compared to 37 percent who do. Not surprisingly, 89 percent of those saying they don’t trust Clinton believe that the donations influenced the execution of her official duties. But, perhaps more troubling, 34 percent of the segment saying they do trust her also believe the money drove at least some of her actions as secretary of state.
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Walker’s Momentum Continues
in Latest Presidential Poll

April 30, 2015 — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been quiet during the past month, but if the new Iowa Public Policy Polling presidential nomination survey (April 23-26; 462 likely Iowa Republican caucus attenders; 469 likely Iowa Democratic caucus attenders) is any indication his momentum continues, nevertheless.

Walker, who reportedly will announce his presidential candidacy next month, tops this poll of likely Iowa Caucus attenders with 23 percent preference from the sample group respondents. Continuing his upward move since making his own presidential announcement on April 13, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio jaunts into second place but remains a full 10 percentage points behind Gov. Walker.

Jeb Bush, in another disappointing showing, places third at 12 percent, with former Arkansas governor and 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) rounding out the group in double-digits. Both of these men tie with 10 percent support. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the other formally announced participant among the tested group of nine candidates and potential contenders, scored eight percent.

Another eight individuals, including 2012 Iowa Caucus winner Rick Santorum, were not included on the ballot test question, but PPP did survey their personal approval ratings.
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Nevada Looks to Change
Presidential Nominating System

April 29, 2015 — Majority state legislative Republicans, led by Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, are moving a bill to change Nevada’s presidential nominating system from a caucus to a primary. A companion measure has been introduced in the state Senate.

The initiative, if both houses pass and Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) signs the bill(s) into law, is quite significant considering Nevada is one of just four states the Republican National Committee sanctions for voting prior to March 1, 2016. The measure(s) would schedule the new Republican primary for Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016, just ahead of the Saturday (Feb. 27, 2016) South Carolina primary and behind the first-in-the-nation New Hampshire primary that is tentatively targeted for Tuesday, Feb. 9. The nation’s first caucus vote, held in Iowa, is scheduled to occur on or around Feb. 1, 2016.

The legislators do not appear to be attempting to aid any one particular candidate, though the candidates with more in the way of campaign financial resources should benefit to the detriment of those depending upon a strong grassroots precinct organizations. Rather, their stated goal is to increase voter participation and avoid what state Republican Party chairman Michael McDonald said hurt the state in 2012.
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Another Potential GOP Candidate Moves Toward the Presidential Race

April 28, 2015 — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s (R) last-minute appearance at the Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Las Vegas this weekend accomplished several goals.

First, considering the mixed messages emanating from several meeting attenders and the governor’s spokespeople as to whether or not he has decided to enter the presidential race, Snyder has managed to make himself, at least in the short-term, part of the presidential conversation.

Second, he clearly scored political points with the group when telling of his “Michigan Story,” a recitation of his record since becoming governor of the economically troubled state in 2011 that included his handling of the Detroit financial collapse.

Third, just before the meeting he formed a federal PAC entitled “Making Government Accountable: The Michigan Story,” his version of the type of entity presidential candidates create to pay for the extensive travel required of national contenders and for purposes of self-promotion.
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The Manchin Reverberations

April 22, 2015 — Now that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has ended speculation about re-running for governor in his home state next year, a game of political musical chairs will soon begin in West Virginia. But, more importantly, the Manchin decision to stay where he is and seek re-election in 2018 vastly improves Democratic prospects of re-taking the Senate.

With the Republican legislature beginning to move legislation that would take Senate appointment power away from the governor, it was becoming apparent that Manchin vacating the seat would very likely allow Republicans a prime conversion opportunity in a 2017 special election. Effectively, such a move would have increased the number of seats Democrats need for a return to Senate majority status from 4 or 5, to 5 or 6. The lower number represents the required conversion total if a Democrat holds the White House in 2016, while the larger number comes into play if the eventual GOP presidential nominee wins. Obviously, it is in the party leaders’ interest to keep Manchin where he is, and they no doubt weighed in heavily upon him.

Since Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) is ineligible to seek re-election next year, we now have a competitive open seat gubernatorial race. Though Democrats have lost virtually everything they once held – all but Manchin’s Senate seat and this governor’s office – a West Virginia open statewide race can certainly be competitive.
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