In 2012, then-Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI-11) became a victim of political chicanery when certain campaign staffers filed fraudulent ballot petition signatures on his behalf. Disqualifying the invalid signatures denied McCotter a ballot position. He later resigned his seat, and the abuse of the candidate qualification procedure cost him his political career.
Under Michigan law, candidates for the US House of Representatives must obtain 1,000 ballot petition signatures from legally qualified voters in the particular voting district. Candidates are allowed to file no more than 2,000 total signatures.
Now it appears another signature controversy is budding, this time involving veteran Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit). Originally elected in 1964, Conyers is the second longest-serving member in the entire House. According to his Democratic primary opponent, Rev. Horace Sheffield, several unregistered voters may have circulated the congressman’s petitions. Another Michigan requirement demands that all ballot petition circulators must also be registered to vote in the particular district. If an unregistered voter circulates, the entire petition becomes Continue reading >
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been, possibly until now, performing well in his early re-election bid. A new poll taken for the Ohio Democratic Party, however, suggests the race has tightened to the point of being a virtual tie.
Public Policy Polling (April 14-15; 1,050 registered Ohio voters), surveying for the ODP, finds the governor falling into a tie at 44 percent with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D), but the study may be slightly skewed.
Looking at the PPP cross-tabs allows us to glean some key information. Most notably, the poll skews female because women comprise 53 percent of the respondent pool compared to their 51 percent share of the Ohio population at large. Since the female vote tips toward FitzGerald, the overall ballot test is likely distorted by a slight margin.
The poll’s gender segmentation is significant because the divisions here are not as stark as found in most studies of this race and others. Here we find that women break only 45-43 percent in FitzGerald’s favor, far closer than a normal Democrat-Republican split. This should be good news for Gov. Kasich. Continue reading >
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.
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. Continue reading >
Two days ago, a pair of polls were released into the public domain projecting that Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA-6) is faring well against Sen. Mary Landrieu (D). Yesterday, Public Policy Polling publicized a counter-study showing the senator to be in much better political shape, thus calling the Republican data into question. Why the stark difference? We’ll explain shortly.
The two Republican polls were conducted by OnMessage for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and Harper Polling for a conservative website. The OnMessage data (Aug. 12-15; 800 registered Louisiana voters) gave Sen. Landrieu only a 45-41 percent advantage over Rep. Cassidy. HP (Aug. 14-15; 596 registered Louisiana voters) found even better results for the Baton Rouge congressman, actually placing him ahead of the incumbent on a 47-45 percent count.
The PPP data (Aug. 16-19; 721 registered Louisiana voters) forecasts quite a different take. According to these results, Sen. Landrieu has a comfortable lead over Rep. Cassidy, 50-40 percent, when the two are paired in a hypothetical post-primary December 2014 run-off election.
Seeing Democratic and Republican pollsters surveying the same race at the same time but arriving at drastically different conclusions happened relatively frequently during the last election cycle. Particularly in the presidential campaign, we often saw the Republican data placing GOP nominee Mitt Romney in much better position against President Obama than was actually the case.
The chief reason for the past projection disparity was the turnout screening mechanism used in qualifying those who constituted the various sampling universes, and such is undoubtedly the case with these conflicting Louisiana numbers.
In the presidential year, the Democratic pollsters were much closer to accurately forecasting the participation model in what will prove to be the higher turnout year of 2012. Now heading into the mid-term cycle, where voting participation is always lower than in presidential elections, it may be the GOP numbers that yield the more accurate prediction.
As we know, who turns out always determines an election winner, and no one suggests that election year 2014 will be any exception to that rule. Defining the most Continue reading >