With Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA-7) Republican primary defeat now settling in, the Republican Conference will meet later today to choose his replacement as Majority Leader. Since Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) is a lock to move into Cantor’s position, the competitive battle for the vacated Whip position is drawing the most interest.
Though Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID-1) is challenging McCarthy, the outcome of this internal race is already a foregone conclusion. The Whip’s campaign features Chief Deputy Majority Whip Peter Roskam (R-IL-6), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA-1), and a late entry, Rep. Marlin Stutzman of Indiana.
The question to be answered is whether the Republican Conference as a whole will simply follow the normal leadership succession with McCarthy and Roskam, or will the most conservative wing stand together and choose someone whom they can claim credit for electing, thus simultaneously paying attention to the right flank and the party’s dominant southern vote base. Continue reading >
Yesterday, we covered several polls that showed incumbents – senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Mark Udall (D-CO) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), in addition to Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) – trailing their challenger opponents (Incumbent Surprises Lining Up, June 16). Today, that trend continues.
The run-off election to decide Mississippi’s Republican senatorial nominee is just a week away, and the polling company inc./Woman Trend for the Citizens’ United organization (June 12-13; 501 likely Mississippi Republican run-off voters) commissioned a survey, which finds challenger Chris McDaniel beginning to pull away from Sen. Thad Cochran. The results yield McDaniel a 52-40 percent margin. If leaners to each candidate are removed, the total becomes 47-37 percent in favor of the challenger.
Some interesting findings are included in the survey report. First, both men brandish a 93 percent loyalty factor within their own voter base. That is, 93 percent of the respondents saying they will vote either for Continue reading >
The irony of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA-7) losing his primary election last night when several hundred miles to the south Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), long known for his trouble within the Republican base, would defeat a field of six opponents with 56 percent of the vote, must be acknowledged. Even as late as yesterday, most people would not have believed such a predicted outcome. Yet, it happened.
Cantor lost for varying reasons. First, his perceived position of supporting amnesty as part of the immigration issue proved a lightning rod against him within the conservative base.
Second, the majority of his central Virginia Republican electorate clearly believed he is part of the problem in Washington.
Third, the campaign strategy of attacking opponent David Brat as a liberal clearly backfired and was ill-advised. It is unlikely that painting someone who hails from the Tea Party as a “liberal” would carry any credence with a voter who pays attention. Knowing that the turnout would be low – and it was, 65,000-plus GOP voters – a Continue reading >
Resuming our reporting after the long three-day Memorial Day weekend, today marks the Texas run-off vote – nominating day for the races that did not return majorities on March 3.
The most notable run-off features venerable Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX-4) who, at 91 is the oldest House member, is fighting to save his political career. Hall has already pledged that the next term, if he’s re-elected for an 18th time, will be his last. In March, the congressman placed first with 45 percent of the vote but failed to achieve majority status. Against him in the run-off election is former US Attorney John Ratcliffe, who recorded 29 percent back in March.
Normally when an incumbent is forced to a run-off, the challenger prevails because already a majority of voters have chosen another candidate. Such may not be the case here, however. The remaining two primary candidates have both endorsed the congressman, and the fact that Hall is the last remaining World War II veteran serving in Washington is weighing upon many voters. The latest poll gave the incumbent a Continue reading >
Entering the final two weeks of the Mississippi primary, a pair of new polls show that challenger Chris McDaniel, a Tea Party supported state senator, has already moved ahead of veteran Sen. Thad Cochran in their Republican primary battle.
The Polling Company, in the field for the Citizens United Political Victory Fund (May 14-15; 505 likely Mississippi Republican primary voters) finds McDaniel ahead on a combined response of 43-39-3 percent over Sen. Cochran and realtor Tom Carey.
The McDaniel vote breaks down with 30 percent saying they will “definitely” vote for him, an additional 10 percent reporting they will “probably” back the challenger, and another three percent replying that they are “leaning” toward voting for him.
The senator’s numbers are similar. His “definite” percentage is 29; with seven percent “probably” voting for him; and another three percent recorded as “leaning” Cochran’s way. Therefore, the hard vote for both candidates is 30-29 percent in favor of McDaniel. Obviously, a veteran incumbent such as Sen. Cochran – originally elected to the Senate in 1978 after six years in the House – scoring only 29 percent on the Continue reading >
With the Georgia Republican Senate primary almost upon us, businessman David Perdue (R) has committed an unforced error. With all polls projecting him advancing to the second round of voting from this Tuesday’s primary, Perdue told a Macon Telegraph editorial board that he would consider increasing revenue as part of the solution to America’s budget problems.
With the five major Republican candidates streaming as far to the right as possible, his statements will be much discussed in the final days of the primary but might not be fully vetted – or absorbed – until the run-off campaign begins.
When asked whether the answer to the budget deficit should be solved by cutting spending or raising revenue, he answered, “both”. According to the Daily Kos Elections blog, Perdue then said, “… here’s the reality: If you go into a business – and I keep coming back to my background, it’s how I know how to relate is to refer back to it – I was never able to turn around a company just by cutting spending. You had to figure out a way to get revenue growing. And what I just said, there are five people in the U.S. Senate who understand what I just said. You Continue reading >