July 14, 2016 — Five states have just reported key post 4th of July US Senate polls. From California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and Nevada, new independent data was recorded for very important statewide races.
There is no suspense over which party will win the open Golden State Senate seat. In California’s top-two jungle primary system, Democrats qualified two candidates to advance to the general election for the first time in state history. Either Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) or Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-46) will replace retiring Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) next year.
The California Field poll (June 8- July 2; 956 registered voters) was reported just after the July 4th break, and though it features a very long sampling period, the Senate results are not particularly surprising. Harris, who placed first in the jungle primary with 40 percent of the vote leads the first general election poll with 39 percent as compared to Rep. Sanchez’s 24 percent.
Harris, the more well known of the two having been elected to statewide office, leads among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. If Sanchez is to win, she must to develop a coalition of Southern California voters, Hispanics, and Republicans in order to overtake San Francisco’s Ms. Harris. The Attorney General’s early lead in Los Angeles County is 41-29 percent, while its 36-22 percent in the southern counties outside of LA.
July 12, 2016 — The US Senate campaigns have attracted a great deal of attention in this election cycle, and they are likely to gain even more as the election cycle progresses. Along with the presidency, control of the legislative chamber is at stake and either party can claim a national victory.
At this point, 11 races are in the Toss-up, Lean Republican, or Lean Democratic categories. Interestingly, except for the New Hampshire campaign, the races appear to fall into five neat pairs. Therefore, the following couplings help us view the national Senate picture:
• Illinois and Wisconsin: Incumbent Republicans Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) are clearly in the most vulnerable of political positions. Both senators trail their Democratic opponents, Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL-8) and former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), respectively, in all polls. The Illinois voting patterns are decidedly Democratic, and particularly so in presidential years, and Kirk is behind by mid-single digits in every public poll. It is possible his margin worsens.
The Wisconsin numbers are more erratic, with Sen. Johnson recently trailing from between one to 11 points. It is clear that these two states are the top Democratic conversion opportunities, and both must be won if the party is to re-take the majority they lost in the 2014 election.
June 17, 2016 — As we examine the 2016 political landscape, it appears that Nevada, the small four-congressional district western state of 2.8 million people, will play a defining role in electing a president, determining which party controls the United States Senate, and whether or half of its House seats swing.
The developing Senate contest between Rep. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) and former two-term Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) became official in Tuesday’s statewide primary. Masto and Heck each recorded landslide victories in their respective nomination contests and have now begun the arduous general election campaign. The state also hosts two nationally significant House races.
In the 3rd Congressional District, businessman and frequent candidate Danny Tarkanian upset state Senate Majority Leader Mike Roberson to win the Republican nomination from the politically marginal district that encompasses south Las Vegas and the succeeding territory all the way to the Arizona and California borders. Tarkanian will now face software developer Jacky Rosen (D) in the general election. Until Rep. Heck made his district politically secure, the 3rd delivered victory percentages of only 47.4, 48.1, and 50.4 from 2008 through 2012.
June 16, 2016 — Digging a little deeper for a more detailed look at Tuesday’s primary results:
District of Columbia
In what proved to be a meaningless District of Columbia primary, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton destroyed Sen. Bernie Sanders with a 79-21 percent win from almost 100,000 votes cast.
The contest concluded all primaries and caucuses and sends Clinton to the national convention in Philadelphia with more than enough pledged votes and Super Delegate support to claim an official first ballot victory in late July.
The big news came from the Virginia Tidewater where eight-term veteran Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Chesapeake) suffered a crushing 53-41 percent defeat in his new Virginia Beach district, becoming the cycle’s second special redistricting casualty following Rep. Renee Ellmers’ (R-NC-2) loss last week.
The winner is Virginia Beach first-term state Delegate Scott Taylor (R) who spent less than 20 percent of incumbent Forbes’ $2 million total. The court-ordered mid-decade redistricting plan forced Forbes out of his 4th District. The new CD-4 includes the cities of Petersburg and part of Richmond, which virtually assures the Democrats of victory. Thus, Rep. Forbes decided to move into the open Virginia Beach anchored 2nd District an area that he had never represented in his 15-year congressional career, but which seemed to be his best available chance of prolonging his career.
June 15, 2016 — A review of yesterday’s slate of primaries:
District of Columbia
Yesterday marked the final presidential primary as Democrats trudge to the polls in the District of Columbia. Forty-six Democratic delegates are at stake, 26 of whom are Super Delegates.
But the DC count wouldn’t and didn’t change anything. If Sen. Bernie Sanders had captured the entire slate, it wouldn’t change the final result. That didn’t come close to happening, however, as presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton destroyed Sanders with a 79-21 percent win from almost 100,000 votes cast. Clinton won with the balance of Super Delegates providing her the margin to exceed the 2,383 votes required to secure the party nomination.
The Old Dominion’s unusual nomination system where the party leadership in each district can decide to hold a primary or convention culminated with voting in three CDs yesterday.
The most interesting was in the open Virginia Beach 2nd District where Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA-4) attempted to win re-nomination from a new CD. The court-ordered mid-decade redistricting turned Rep. Forbes’ previous domain into what should now become a decidedly Democratic seat. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Virginia Beach) deciding to retire after three terms gave Forbes the opportunity to jump into an available political situation.
Feb. 26, 2016 — The next presidential voting event occurs this Saturday for Democrats in South Carolina, but that race is close to an end. When Hillary Clinton easily wins the Palmetto State primary, and then launches into a southern Super Tuesday sweep, the nomination will effectively be hers. But, the real action is with the Republicans.
Next Tuesday, March 1, Republican voters in 12 states will go to the polls to possibly begin officially crowning a presidential nominee, at least according to most news stories.
The media is promoting Donald Trump’s Nevada victory as possibly more than it is, however. Though his 46 percent margin was impressive and anyone’s best showing to date, Nevada has just 30 total delegates and the turnout was only about 18 percent of the total registered Republican universe. Therefore, contrary to popular opinion, the GOP nomination campaign is not yet over.