Puna, Hawaii voters not able to cast their ballots in the Aug. 9 primary went to the polls on Friday to complete the statewide electoral process, but before secondary voting even began a surprising new discovery was made. Some 800 votes from Maui were “found” by election officials during the last week, somehow left uncounted during the original tabulation process. These votes, too, were added to the weekend count.
The voters eligible to participate Friday could only possible change one outcome, that of the tight Democratic US Senate nomination campaign between appointed Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI-1). Going into the secondary voting, Schatz held a 1,635-vote lead. At this point, the preliminary final count, including the newly added ballots, actually shows Schatz expanding his lead 134 votes to a spread of 1,769.
Does this mean the contest is finally decided? Possibly, but it depends on how far Rep. Hanabusa wants to go in legally challenging the results. The fact that election officials allowed the original counting to commence, knowing that not all eligible voters had the opportunity to participate, and then extended the voting period after the original results were made public may be cause for a Hanabusa complaint. Her argument could be that voting behavior may Continue reading >
Sen. Lamar Alexander won renomination last night in Tennessee, and while his margin wasn’t razor-thin, his victory percentage was unimpressive. Scoring just 50 percent in his own Republican primary, Alexander out-polled state Rep. Joe Carr’s 41 percent. The remaining five candidates split the outstanding vote.
But the closeness of the contest occurred on the Democratic side, in what will likely be a battle for the right to lose to Alexander in November. Attorney Gordon Ball has been projected the winner, leading attorney Terry Adams by just 1,911 votes statewide.
One thing is clear, however. The statewide turnout overwhelmingly favored Republicans. Approximately 645,000 individuals voted in the Republican primary as compared with just under 240,000 who participated on the Democratic side.
On the other end of the margin perspective, Gov. Bill Haslam (R) cruised to an 88 percent victory. He will face Democrat Continue reading >
Appointed Montana Sen. John Walsh (D), reeling from published reports that he plagiarized his War College thesis, said the effects upon his campaign from the revelation is causing him to end his effort to win election to the seat. Walsh had been appointed in February to succeed Sen. Max Baucus (D), who resigned early to become US Ambassador to China. Walsh had been the state’s sitting lieutenant governor.
Republican nominee Steve Daines, the state’s at-large congressman, now has the opportunity to expand his general election advantage while the Democrats scramble to find a replacement nominee. The party now must hold a statewide nominating convention and do so before Aug. 20 in order to qualify a general election candidate.
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 >
Karl Rove’s right-of-center American Crossroads 527 political organization commissioned Harper Polling surveys in five US Senate campaigns, releasing the data at the end of last week. Though sample sizes and the surveying periods are not available, the ballot tests all appear to be in a range that are consistent with other published results.
In Arkansas, despite several other surveys projecting incumbent Sen. Mark Pryor (D) to be holding a slight lead, Harper shows the two candidates tied at 39 percent.
The Colorado numbers are consistent with virtually all other data that has come into the public domain. Harper posts a two-point race between Sen. Mark Udall (D) and newly nominated Republican Cory Gardner, the 4th District congressman. This poll gives Sen. Udall a 45-43 percent lead.
Though the Louisiana numbers have been close for some time, with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) typically leading but in the low 40s, the Harper data is the first to show 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 >