Alaska’s actual nickname may be “The Last Frontier” but, in terms of recent political activity, the state is streaking to first place. As you have read in recent previous columns, the early ads coming from outside groups and the major candidates are attempting to cement candidate impressions for the long term. Sen. Mark Begich (D) has been unusually active on the airwaves for an incumbent with an election still eight months away, and now we may have uncovered why.
Yesterday, Rasmussen Reports released a new survey (March 19-20; 750 registered Alaska voters) that shows the incumbent leading only one of the three Republican candidates vying for a shot at opposing him in the general election. Sen. Begich is tied with the contender who seems to be gathering the most inside and outside momentum for the GOP, and surprisingly trails another whose campaign is in the middle of a major shake-up. The only candidate trailing the incumbent is the 2010 Republican nominee who ended up losing the general election to a write-in effort. Continue reading >
Last week, we made mention that 86-year-old former governor and ex-convict Edwin Edwards (D) is making another political comeback by running for the House this year. Edwards’ last year of congressional service was in 1972, when he resigned to begin the first of his four terms as Louisiana governor.
Now, a new automated poll from the local Louisiana Glascock Group consulting firm (released March 20; 718 registered LA-6 voters) finds the former governor leading the jungle primary that will occur concurrently with the Nov. 4 general election. If no candidate receives an outright majority, the top two will advance to a Dec. 6 post-election run-off.
According to the Glascock data, Edwards, possessing 100 percent name identification, draws 43 percent of the respondents’ votes. In second place is Republican state Sen. Dan Claitor with 20 percent, followed by Continue reading >
Today, most political pundits and election handicappers are suggesting that Republicans will successfully wrest the Senate majority away from the Democrats in the November election, but is the GOP victory path really so clear?
To recap the situation for both sides, Democrats are risking 21 of the 36 in-cycle Senate seats, and the Republicans 15. The GOP needs a net conversion of six Democratic seats to claim the majority. Therefore, Democrats can lose five of their own seats and not gain a single Republican state, yet still retain control. Because Vice President Joe Biden (D) breaks any Senate tie vote, the Dems will retain the majority if the partisan division is 50-50.
Building the Republican and Democratic victory models from scratch, the Democrats begin with 34 hold-over seats of the 55 they currently possess. The Republican ratio is 30 (hold-over) to 45 (total seats).
Today, it appears that 10 of the 21 Dem in-cycle seats are well beyond any margin of Continue reading >
When Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) announced last April that he would not seek re-election in 2014, it was assumed that freshman at-large Rep. Steve Daines (R) would enter the race to replace the outgoing incumbent and become the strong favorite.
The Democrats’ plan, however, to neutralize the Republican advantage in Montana is a good one. Instead of finishing his final senatorial term, President Obama appointed Baucus as US Ambassador to China, thus allowing Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to install his lieutenant governor, John Walsh, who was already running for the Senate, as the interim replacement. The move gives now-Sen. Walsh, at the very least, abbreviated incumbent stature and is clearly the best political play the Montana Democrats could make.
In federal office since Feb. 7, the new senator has had some time to begin to decrease Daines’ double-digit polling leads. Rasmussen Reports (March 17-18; 750 Continue reading >
Primary voters went to the polls in the Land of Lincoln yesterday and the predicted winners performed as expected, but several victory margins were a bit of a surprise.
In the governor’s race, businessman Bruce Rauner, who personally spent lavishly on his own campaign, managed to clinch the Republican nomination but the race proved much closer than polling had indicated. Rauner defeated state Sen. Kirk Dillard, 2010 gubernatorial nominee Bill Brady, and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford by a 40-37-15-7 percent split, respectively, far below what late polling was projecting even though the order of finish was correctly predicted.
Dillard, just as he did four years ago, came on strong at the end and came up just short of placing first. In 2010, he finished only 193 votes statewide behind Brady. Last night, Dillard’s deficit was considerably larger, but he still managed to come within three percentage points of winning the election. Continue reading >
Voters in the nation’s second earliest primary state, Illinois, go to the polls tomorrow to choose their party nominees for the fall elections. Though Texas already held its primaries on March 4, its nomination process is not yet complete because the run-off contests are scheduled for May 27. Since Illinois has no secondary election procedure, all nominations will be finalized tomorrow.
The most intense race on the ballot is the governor’s campaign, as four Republicans vie for the opportunity to face vulnerable Gov. Pat Quinn, who continues to poll as the nation’s weakest Democratic incumbent.
Businessman Bruce Rauner, spending copious amounts of his own money on television advertising, is leading his three GOP opponents in all polls and poised to claim victory tomorrow night. Three surveys Continue reading >
This week, events in Alaska’s nationally important Senate race have apparently begun to crystallize. Just as Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) begins an offensive campaign surge, the Republican coalition’s disparate segments are moving to coalesce behind one Continue reading >