One of the most intriguing and impressive 2014 congressional candidates is retired Army Lt. Col. Steve Russell (R), the commander of the military operation that captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Russell is a career soldier, author, public speaker, and former Oklahoma state senator now running for the open 5th CD.
In the June 24 Republican primary, Russell placed first in a field of six candidates, garnering 26.6 percent (14,597 votes). Patrice Douglas, state corporation commissioner (an elected position in Oklahoma) was second with 24.5 percent (13,440 votes). The two vie for the party nomination in an Aug. 26 run-off. The winner becomes the prohibitive favorite to win the seat in November and succeed Rep. James Lankford (R-OK-5) who will be moving to the Senate.
Russell placed first but spent the least (just over $171,000) among the top four GOP candidates in the race. His effort was boosted by his local notoriety and a strong and highly targeted grassroots operation. Continue reading >
A race that has attracted little attention so far has the makings of a Democratic sleeper campaign. Certainly, former President Bill Clinton’s intense involvement in the congressional contest raises its level of importance and likely places it as the Democrats’ top southern conversion opportunity.
Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District covers most of the state’s southwestern quadrant, stretching from the Louisiana and Texas borders north to the area beyond the community of Huntsville, which lies Continue reading >
The biggest night of the primary election season to date unfolded last night, and the marquee race featured the quintet of Republican candidates vying for the open Georgia Senate nomination. In the end, with all five individuals at least maintaining a slight chance to advance to the July 22 run-off as the voting day began, is now coming down to a two-way contest between businessman David Perdue (who registered 30 percent) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA-1), who nipped former Secretary of State Karen Handel, 26-22 percent. Representatives Phil Gingrey (R-GA-11) and Paul Broun (R-GA-10) registered only 10 percent apiece. The secondary election winner will face the now-official Democratic nominee, Michelle Nunn, who captured her primary with 75 percent of the vote.
The plethora of pre-election political polls accurately forecast the final order, with the Kingston and Handel pulling away and Perdue finishing first. Rep. Kingston took Continue reading >
Freshman Rep. Vance McAllister (R), who was elected in a November special election in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District to replace resigned Rep. Rodney Alexander (R) but then quickly became embroiled in an extra-marital scandal, announced yesterday that he will not seek a full term this November. He will serve the balance of the current term, however.
Due to his short stint in Congress and his upset of the party establishment candidate, McAllister did not have the internal district support to withstand a scandal. His announcement means that 45 seats will now be open in the 2014 election cycle, though one – the 19th District of Florida – will be filled in a June special election. In addition to the 45 members leaving the House, seven more vacancies, including this Louisiana seat, have been filled in special elections since the beginning of this Congress.
In the special election, McAllister defeated 11 other Republican candidates. Some, such as former Rep. Clyde Holloway (R-LA-8) and Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo, already Continue reading >
In the last week of March, Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA-1) created controversy when saying in what he thought was a private meeting of sympathetic Texas trial attorneys, that the Democrats losing Iowa and the Senate majority would result in a “farmer from Iowa who hasn’t even been to law school” becoming the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Immediately, two outside organizations went on the attack with ads disparaging the mis-stepping congressman, complete with video of his comments. Now, the drivers at the Senate Majority PAC, obviously Continue reading >
With the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee now distributing fundraising materials quoting MSNBC as saying that the Republicans “now have the advantage” in capturing the Senate majority this year, it’s a good time to examine the total national picture.
Recent polling does suggest that the Republicans have greatly improved their chances of converting the six Democratic seats they need to claim majority status. In fact, GOP candidates are now either leading or within the margin of error in nine states, while maintaining a slight advantage in their own two competitive seats (Kentucky and Georgia).
Isolating the various states, we begin with the three open Democratic seats from places that have generally yielded a Republican voting pattern since 2000. Currently, the Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia Continue reading >
Last week, The Polling Company/Women Trend released the results of their study conducted for the Citizens United Political Action Committee (Dec. 6-7; 400 registered Arkansas voters) as reported here. The results gave Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR-4) a rather surprising 48-41 percent lead over two-term incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D).
Yesterday, Public Policy Polling implementing a robo-call survey for the Americans United for Change liberal political organization (Dec. 13-15; 1,004 registered percent voters) finds that the race is tied at 44 percent. This latter data, though better for the senator but by no means a positive finding for any incumbent seeking re-election, is closer to the results produced in earlier polls.
The PPP data also provided some interesting cross-tabs. There is a huge gender gap developing in this race as the surveyors detected women breaking for Pryor 49-37 percent, while male voters prefer the Republican challenger by an even larger 53-39 percent spread. Continue reading >