With the plethora of polls providing us snapshots of the various Senate battles around the country, it’s a good time to reflect about where the races stand today.
As we know, Republicans need to convert six Democratic seats to claim the Senate majority so long as they win every state they currently control. Their position is strengthened because they realistically risk only two (Kentucky and Georgia) of the 15 GOP in-cycle seats.
Safe Republican (11): Alabama (Jeff Sessions), Idaho (Jim Risch), Maine (Susan Collins), Nebraska (open: Ben Sasse), Oklahoma (Jim Inhofe), Oklahoma (open: James Lankford), South Carolina (Lindsey Graham), South Carolina (Tim Scott), Tennessee (Lamar Alexander – though he has primary competition on August 7), Texas (John Cornyn), and Wyoming (Mike Enzi).
Highly Likely Republican (2): Kansas (Pat Roberts – facing primary competition on August 5), Mississippi (Thad Cochran).
Highly Likely Democratic (3): Hawaii (Brian Schatz – faces primary competition on August 9), New Jersey (Cory Booker), New Mexico (Tom Udall).
As we enter the primary season’s final stretch, 19 states still have yet to choose their 2014 nominees. The first nine days of August will bring voters to the polls in a half-dozen states with much to be decided.
The most active day is the first Tuesday in August. Four states are holding primaries, featuring one key Senate nomination battle.
In Kansas, Sen. Pat Roberts (R) faces a GOP challenge from physician Milton Wolf. Roberts has made several mis-steps during the campaign, including admitting that he doesn’t own property in his state, possessing a Virginia personalized license plate that identifies him as the Kansas senator, and saying that he returns home, “every time he has an opponent.” Despite the gaffes, Dr. Wolf appears to be a flawed candidate and is not likely to deny Roberts renomination. Continue reading >
Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue is credited with winning an upset victory in the Georgia Republican senatorial run-off because all of the public pollsters save one – Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research (Perdue’s own pollsters) – never projected Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) to be trailing.
While 10 post-primary polls were released and nine of them found Kingston ahead, the cumulative result is not necessarily an example of group inaccuracy. Such was the case, however, in Virginia when no survey firm predicted that David Brat would even come close to defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) in his widely publicized David vs. Goliath campaign, let alone unseat him.
In the Georgia senatorial run-off, it is likely that Kingston was in fact the early post-primary leader because he successfully maneuvered himself to the right of Perdue immediately after the May 20 vote. Additionally, the losing candidates all endorsed him, and the veteran Savannah congressman was the beneficiary of a major multi-million dollar independent expenditure from the US Chamber of Commerce. Continue reading >
Former Dollar General CEO David Perdue came from well behind to defeat Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1) in the US Senate Republican run-off to score what most believe is an upset win for the GOP nomination. He now faces Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn, who won her own primary outright back on May 20.
With just over 480,000 people voting in the run-off contest, Perdue captured 51 percent of the vote. The contest see-sawed early, but Perdue’s dominance in the more populous northern part of the state provided a strong clue that he would prevail in the end. As in the primary election, Kingston ran very strong south of Interstate 16, thus taking virtually all of southern Georgia, but failed to make enough inroads in the central and northern geographic sectors with the exception of the extreme northwestern counties hugging the Tennessee border. Therefore, since both candidates were demonstrating regional strength the campaign became a numbers game, and Perdue’s region was simply larger. Continue reading >
Two new Montana polls were just released into the public domain, and both portend similar results.
According to Public Policy Polling (July 17-18; 574 registered Montana voters), Rep. Steve Daines (R-MT-AL) holds a 46-39 percent advantage over appointed Sen. John Walsh (D). Both men record similar job approval ratings. Sen. Walsh, who was appointed in early February to replace veteran Sen. Max Baucus (D) after the latter had accepted President Obama’s offer to become US Ambassador to China, tallies a 38:37 percent favorable to unfavorable job approval rating. Freshman Rep. Daines is in virtually the same position, though finding himself one point upside down, 39:40 percent.
An internal Harstad Strategic Research poll for the Walsh campaign (released July 17; number of respondents not provided), gives the freshman congressman a 43-38 percent edge over the appointed senator. Though Continue reading >
Tomorrow, Peach State voters head to the polls to finally decide Georgia’s four important federal run-off elections. Concluding what has been a very long and active nomination campaign here, complete with some surprising results from the May 20 primary, the Republican voters will now choose a US Senate nominee and likely pick congressmen in Districts 1, 10, and 11.
This contest has proven to be one of the most interesting of the entire election cycle, and the Georgia race is of foremost consequence in the national Senate picture. In order to gain the majority, Republicans must first secure the two potentially vulnerable seats already within their control: Kentucky (Minority Leader Mitch McConnell), and this race in Georgia. A Democratic conversion in either of these states would likely retain their party’s majority status.
You will remember that this particular Senate campaign originally featured three members of the congressional delegation, a former statewide elected official, and a major business leader who is a cousin to, and who shares the last name with, Continue reading >
Media coverage is increasing in what may be an impending legal challenge to the Mississippi US Senate Republican run-off election result from defeated candidate Chris McDaniel. Yesterday, for example, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), the vice-chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that legal authorities should investigate irregularities surrounding the voting in the June 24 electoral contest, and McDaniel’s own attorney indicated an official challenge is imminent.
Now certified as a 7,667-vote loser to Sen. Thad Cochran, McDaniel has a daunting task before him if he is to achieve his eventual goal of reversing the result.
At the heart of the issue is that many of the new voters who cast ballots in the run-off election did not participate in the Republican primary. Under Mississippi election law, there is no requirement to vote in a primary election prior to being part of the associated run-off. It is illegal, however, for a voter to cast a ballot in a primary of one party and then participate in the run-off of the opposite party. According to the McDaniel campaign, thousands of Democrats voted in their own primary and then appeared at Republican run-off polling Continue reading >