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Partisanship Of State Governments From 1992-2013
A New Kind of Population Growth
There is a new trend in America’s population growth. Immigration is the focus of new data from the Census Bureau and has been garnering political steam in Congress. For the first time since the Census Bureau began tracking population growth in 1850, immigration is poised to pass natural increases as the primary driver of population growth in the United States within the next 15 to 25 years. Natural increases are falling behind as the fertility rates decline and baby boomers are aging. Supplementing the aging American population would be the immigration of a younger, more diverse population[...]
How People Register to Vote
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U.S. House: South Carolina-01
Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford (R) beat Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch (D) in yesterday’s 1st Congressional District special election to fill the vacancy created by former Rep. Tim Scott (R). Scott was appointed to the Senate in January of this year to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint (R) who left the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
As the early favorite in the race, Sanford was barely able to overcome his recent legal issues and scandalous past. Sanford, who left the gubernatorial office amid a personal scandal, had lost support from the National Republican Congressional Committee after being accused of trespassing, hurting his campaign in the final weeks. Prior to being governor he actually served in this district but term-limited himself and left in 2001. He was the top vote getter in the Republican primary with 37% of the vote, but needed 50% in order to avoid a runoff. He competed in the runoff on April 2nd, against former Charleston County Councilman Curtis Bostic, and won with 57% of the vote.
The South Carolina Turnout
Last week, the Associated Press (AP) published an article titled, “White apathy, energized black voters doomed GOP’s Romney in 2012 as black turnout hit highs”. The article stated that black Americans voted at a higher rate than any other minority group. The minority makeup, based off of the CNN exit polls, shows that 13% of the 2012 electorate was made up of black or African-American voters, followed by Latino’s making up 10% and Asian Americans making up 3%. The high black turnout led to a polarized presidential election – blacks came out in large support for President Obama and AP states that “white [voters] stayed home”. With the departure of President Obama in 2016, some say this could be the end of the determining black vote… maybe not[...]
Massachusetts Senate Special Election
The special Senate primary election in Massachusetts took place yesterday, with Rep. Ed Markey winning the Democratic Nomination over Rep. Stephen Lynch. This is no surprise; recent polling by Public Policy Polling had Markey leading Lynch 50-36. Markey was the establishment choice, endorsed by the DSCC and former Sen. John Kerry (D), while Lynch ran as the Washington outsider and working class candidate. Rep. Markey is expected to handily win the general election on June 25th.
On the Republican side, three candidates were vying for the nomination. They include former Navy SEAL and private equity investor Gabriel Gomez, State Rep. Dan Winslow and former US attorney and former acting director of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Michael J. Sullivan. Gabriel Gomez will continue on to the general election[...]
Understanding, Embracing and Making the Most Out of Social Media
As a veteran communications executive, I was hesitant at first to embrace social media, and now I eat, sleep and breathe it. While I was overwhelmed at first, by learning the science behind social media (and there is a science to it) and the opportunities it presents, I realized two things: A.) Adapt or be left behind and B.) There is an opportunity here to not just "reach" people but make a serious impression on them[...]
Alaska Legislature Approves Oil Tax Overhaul
Alaska’s legislature adjourned last week following the passage of a contentious bill pertaining to the oil industry, Senate Bill 21. The passage was a crucial victory for the industry, which could now pay severance taxes as low as 14 percent on net oil profits, down from a base rate of 25 percent which increased concurrently with oil prices. When oil prices were at their highest, the government “take”, with all taxes and royalties included, was between 70-80 percent. The tax was a windfall for the state’s general fund, which profited over 8 billion from oil production in FY 2012[...]
Are Capitol Hill’s Issues America’s Issues?
The U.S. Senate reconvened last week after a two-week recess for what could be the most critical four months of the 113th Congress. The top issues up for debate are gun control, immigration reform and solving the debt crisis. If these issues aren’t resolved before the August recess, many think the ability to solve these problems will be extremely unlikely in this Congress, and could be punted down the road for future legislators to solve[...]
Let the Budget Debate Begin…
It has been an exciting few months for the budget wonks here in DC - this was the first time in four years that the Senate passed a budget resolution, which is a big deal considering the last time we passed a budget, the iPad hadn't been invented yet. Additionally, after missing its budget deadline in February, the White House finally released its FY 2014 budget proposal last week. So now that the White House, Senate, and House have all proposed their respective budgets, serious debate can begin on how to move forward. So how does the President's budget stack up? It may not balance the budget in ten years, like the House, but the President's plan offers several good starting points for debate[...]
Budget Proposal Comparison
Two Thumbs Up or Two Thumbs Down for the U.S. Senate?
The U.S. Senate reconvened last week after a two-week recess, for what could be the most critical four months of the 113th Congress. With over a dozen newcomers and nearly half the chamber serving in its first term, the expectations for the Senate at the beginning of the year were cautiously optimistic. The business community was looking to the upper chamber to provide problem solvers, fixers and individuals who could lead a deeply divided Congress into an era of good government and policy reform that would help get the country moving again. Several Senators have risen to the occasion, and although they aren't all headlining the news or regularly in the national spotlight, they have been quietly working behind the scenes and across party lines to get things done. Other individuals, who came into the Senate on an elevated platform with hopes of bringing life to a lethargic legislative process, have fallen short of those too-high expectations. So in honor of the recent passing of movie critic Roger Ebert, below is a film-style critique of some key U.S. Senators based on the first 100 days of the new Congress[...]
Many regarded the 2008 general election as an anomaly. Then to the surprise of many, the general election of 2012 happened – we refer to this as the “new normal ”. Greg Casey, President & CEO of BIPAC, wrote that the new normal can be defined as the winning campaign tactics that recognized the new demographics, new venues, new voices and new values of the successful modern era campaign. Among the new normal crowd were young voters. They provided their influence and their votes in 2008 and again in 2012. This was not the first time we saw this type of political impact. Those voters who were between the ages of 18 to 29 during the 1960’s – current day Baby Boomers – can remember. Though some youth in the 1960’s became less political, it is good to note the youth uprising which left a mark on our current political lives[...]
IL 2 Special Election
Robin Kelly (D), former Cook County Chief Administration Officer, has won the Illinois 2nd District special election. Kelly easily beat opponent Paul McKinley (R), an ex con charged with armed robberies and burglaries, in Tuesday’s special election. The 2nd District is heavily Democratic and Kelly was favored to win.
The real competition for this seat was in the Democratic Primary, where gun control was a major player. Kelly beat out several other well known Democrats, including former Rep. Debbie Halvorson and Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale. Michael Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, spent over $2 million in the primary, supporting Kelly for her pro gun control stance and attacking her opponents[...]
Stakes in the States: Mayoral Rundown
Mayors and mayoral elections often fall below the national radar, even though they are an important part of our state and local governance. As America observes a Congress unable to balance its own budget, heads of municipalities around the country have been making tough decisions and rising to the needs of their constituents for years. Not only have they been struggling to govern in a weak economy, they’ve also been tasked with simultaneously saving and cutting pensions, reducing school budgets while improving education and cutting law enforcement while at the same time keeping their citizens safe. And most recently they’ve had to cope with a lack of federal funding as sequestration cuts have gone into effect.
As of April 2nd, 64 cities already held mayoral elections or appointments this year. Most mayoral offices are elected by voters, but a significant number of mayors are appointed by local councils. There are an additional 607 mayoral elections scheduled to be held in 23 states throughout 2013. Cities like Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland and Houston have elections this year, as well as the country’s two most populous cities – New York City and Los Angeles[...]
2013 Virginia and New Jersey Statewide Candidate Filings
Virginia Republicans wishing to run for Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General needed to file their candidacy for the May 17-18, 2013 Republican primary convention by January 14th. Virginia Republicans decided to change their method of choosing Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General nominees to a closed nominating convention; it was previously an open primary. The Democratic filing deadline, for the three positions was March 28th. Both parties’ gubernatorial nominees’, Terry McAuliffe (D) and Ken Cuccinelli (R), face non-contested primaries – they will go up against each other in the general election on November 5, 2013[...]
2013 Special Elections Update
2013 can hardly be described as an "off" election year. There are four federal special elections scheduled for 2013 (so far), and if you combine the number of primary, runoff and general election dates you will find a total of eight federal election dates on the calendar. Throw in the statewide elections held in VA, NJ, OH and WI and the number of significant election dates increases to 16. To help you keep track of the numerous elections held this year, below is an update on all the special elections scheduled for 2013.
U.S. House: South Carolina-01
A special election in SC's 1st Congressional District is being held to fill the vacancy created by former Rep. Tim Scott (R) who was appointed to the Senate in January of this year. Sen. Scott was chosen to replace retiring Sen. Jim DeMint (R) who left the Senate to head up the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. The primary for the House seat (held Tuesday, March 19th) has provided an enormous amount of entertainment for those following the race closely[...]
2014 Election Outlook
Click here for a printable PDF
Expanding the Playing Field: Engaging with Regulators
It is no secret the 112th Congress was one of the least effective in history. To review the most compelling stats: the 112th passed fewer public laws than any congress on record (starting in 1948), it was also the least popular since approval ratings were tracked, and it was the most polarized congress in U.S. history. The public policy process was dramatically impacted by stagnation on Capitol Hill, resulting in frustration among the business community and anyone advocating for change in DC. Groups began expand the playing field by looking beyond Capitol Hill towards regulatory agencies as well as state and local governments to ensure their voices were heard[...]
While Americans are beginning to get used to the Sequester that went into effect March 1, there are more important deadlines looming on the horizon. The airport security lines have not been more unbearable than usual, the government is still running, and only White House tours have been cancelled. Congress avoided the next fiscal pitfall, passing a Continuing Resolution to keep funding the government through the end of the fiscal year. While the Sequester is more of a slowdown, the March 27 deadline to pass the Continuing Resolution represented a government shutdown in addition to the provisions of the Sequester. If a CR had not passed, hundreds of thousands of federal employees would have face unpaid furlough and several programs and essential government functions could have lost their funding[...]
SC-1 Special Primary Election Recap - UPDATED
The special primary election to fill the vacancy in SC’s first congressional district was held yesterday. Former Rep. Tim Scott (R) was appointed to the U.S. Senate in January following the retirement of Sen. Jim DeMint (R). On the Democratic side, the outcome held no surprises as the only serious candidate was Elizabeth Colbert Busch – sister to comedian Stephen Colbert. Colbert won her primary challenge with 95.9% of the vote[...]
The Catholic Vote
Catholics not only make up the United States’ largest religious group, but they have supported the popular vote winner of every presidential election since 1972. With such a strong track record, Catholics are often seen as a bellwether voting bloc in presidential years. In 2012 President Obama won this group of voters, but to understand how they may vote moving forward, you need to understand their past[...]
Thin Ice Demographic Destiny
America has always been shaped by dynamic demographics. Those seeking religious freedom, escaping potato famines, fleeing tyranny or surviving bondage have created a mix of cultures, ethnicities and beliefs. Our ability to assimilate this diversity remains one of America's unique strengths. In that regard, however, nothing is as predictable as the unpredictability of how these many faces of America eventually carve their niche in American politics.
To many, the 2012 elections was a harbinger of the coming Democratic political dominance. Our nation's largest and fastest growing minority groups, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians, voted overwhelmingly in favor of President Obama and the Democrats, just as they had in 2008. Although Republicans gained strength among white voters, white voters as a percentage of the total vote slipped from 77% in 2004 to 72% in 2012. In a nation trending from 64% white today to 56% white by 2030, traditional wisdom suggests a Democratic demographic dominance is all but certain[...]
The Fastest Growing Group
Since November 7, 2012, the discussion has centered on how Republicans lost the youth, women’s and minority vote. Let’s go one step further; the discussion has been about how Republicans lost Latino voters and how they can gain their trust. Democrats have dominated the Latino vote the past two Presidential Elections. Many have said Obama’s victory was due, in large part, to this group – the minority group that is paving the way for a majority-minority population that should happen around 2043[...]
2014 Open Seats
Click here for the current list of open seats for 2014 due to term limits, retirements and legislators running for Senate.
Stakes in the States
Two weeks ago, the nation's highest court heard arguments against Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act; an issue that is both complicated and sensitive and a ruling that thankfully it's not my job to decide. But, while everyone is talking about the Sequester, I want to take this opportunity to draw your attention to such a noteworthy court case, the impacts it may have on 16 states, and the political implications that could follow.
In Shelby County v. Holder, Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) is being challenged under the claim that it poses an unconstitutional burden on specific states. Section 5 of the VRA requires nine states and cities or counties in seven additional states to "pre-clear" (or get permission) with the Department of Justice or a panel of three federal judges in D.C. before making any changes to their voting process: redistricting, voter ID laws, special election dates, etc. This was put into place in 1965 in order to protect any voters from discrimination based on racial or ethnic background. The Supreme Court upheld the law four years ago but essentially told Congress that it needed to review the legislation and determine if the formula for which states need to be covered, should be updated - the formula is thirty-five years old. Congress, being completely useless these days in passing meaningful legislation, did not heed the Court's suggestion, and as a result, Section 5 of the law is now being challenged. I am no legal expert and could not even begin to weigh in on what the ruling will be or the merits of the challenge, but I do find the potential political implications of the outcome extremely important to consider[...]
Bringing Back the Filibuster
The talking filibuster made its return to the front pages as Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) took to the Senate floor yesterday to block a vote on President Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. It was a rare show of bipartisanship as Paul received support from fellow Republicans and a Democrat as he sought to bring attention to the use of unmanned drones and to find out if the government would use drones in the United States. Just before noon on Wednesday, Paul began his filibuster saying, “I will speak until I can no longer speak.” As it turns out, that was quite a while, finally ceding the floor at about 12:40 a.m. on Thursday. All told, Paul spoke without leaving the floor of the Senate for almost 13 hours.
A Second Term Curse for President Obama?
President Obama’s approval rating has taken a hit following the budget sequester. The cuts that went into effect on March 1st are the primary reason the President’s numbers have dropped from where they were at the end of the February. A very perceptible drop took place from February 28 through the weekend, with a presidential approval rating of 51% on Thursday morning and a low of 46% by March 2nd, according to Gallup. However, Obama’s average crept back up to 49% by March 4th[...]
The Sequestration Obfuscation
Last week, everyone was talking about the pending sequestration when only a handful of people actually understand what it is. I am not one of them. I know just enough to know what I just said. Luckily, I recently had breakfast with former Senator Phil Gramm who wrote the sequestration provisions into The Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985. He and his devoted staff understand the concept. But even they have trouble getting their arms around the current version. And for good reason. The sequestration they wrote was designed to provide an orderly process for enforcing decisions made to control spending. The current sequestration is anything but an orderly process. This sequestration is a scapegoat for a lack of procedural discipline and smokescreen for failed leadership.
The first use of sequestration came not long after it was enacted, cutting an amount roughly proportional to that being forecast today. The sky didn't fall then and it might not fall this time either. A bigger sequestration was triggered again in 1987 but they opted out and because of that we have the deficits and national debt we have today. The fact is no one really knows the effect this sequestration will have on programs, people or long term deficits and debt, but that hasn't stopped the demagogues from making a serious issue into political blame game[...]
Illinois 2nd District Special Primary Election
Cook County Chief Administration Officer Robin Kelly (D) has won the Democratic nomination for the Illinois Second District special election, as expected. The Illinois primary to replace former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) was held Tuesday, February 26. Turnout to the polls was low, due to lack of interest and bad weather (the Chicago area was under a winter weather advisory). The second district is heavily democratic, and Robin Kelly is expected to easily win the general election on April 9th[...]
There’s no going back now
Friday, March 1st is the official day the 2013 automatic spending cuts will take place. The cuts were delayed for two months in the beginning of January and once again face action. In Washington, this is known as sequestration – automatic, across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending due to catastrophic budget deficits.
Update on Senate Retirements
35 Senate seats are up for re-election in 2014 and 5 Senators have already announced their retirement (2R, 3D). This is not surprising in a Congress that currently has an approval rating of 15% and where over a third of U.S. Senators are 65 or older. Age, political stalemate and partisan bickering are sure to be the continuing themes of Senate retirements for the next few years.
West Virginia – Jay Rockefeller (D) does not plan to seek a sixth term to the Senate. Rockefeller was governor of WV prior to being elected to Congress in 1984. He now serves as Chairman of the Commerce Committee and Chair of Finance’s Subcommittee on Health Care. As a 75 year old public servant, the Senator has cited wanting more time to spend with his family. The open seat in WV poses a potential pick-up opportunity for Republicans – Mitt Romney won WV by 26 points last November. The graphic in this article demonstrates how WV has shifted from a blue to a red state over the past 40 years. However, it’s not an automatic lock for Republicans considering the governor’s mansion, the state legislature and the other Senate seat are all in Democratic hands[...]
The Political Process in Washington, DC
The Business Community and The State of The Union Address
President Obama will give his fifth State of the Union tonight at 9pm ET and the business community is looking forward to hearing how Obama will increase American jobs and economy prosperity.
When President Barack Obama addresses Congress, he is expected to lay out how his vision will reduce unemployment, restore economic prosperity for Americans and combat climate change. The President will lay out initiatives on energy, education, manufacturing, and infrastructure – including asking for support in spending on infrastructural improvements and making America attractive for manufacturing. Experts anticipate these initiatives will include offsets to avoid adding to the deficit. In regards to education, Obama is expected to stress the importance of preparing America’s youth for the job market through quality education. The President will also make clear climate change remains a priority of his administration[...]
Breaking It Down: Senate Seniority
Seniority in the U.S. Senate has always been viewed as beneficial. More senior members usually have increased clout in the chamber and higher positions in committees. However, in a year where almost half of the senators have been serving less than six years, lack of seniority and experience can also be a good thing. This is a great time to reach out to the newer members and introduce yourself and your issues[...]
Presidential Primary Changes
The Virginia Legislature is considering a bill that would reduce the number of signatures required for a presidential primary candidate to get on the Virginia ballot. Under the current law, candidates must receive 10,000 signatures, including 400 signatures from each congressional district. The new bill, already approved in the Senate this Monday, would decrease the number of signatures to 5,000, including 200 from each district. The House of Delegates will take up the bill next. This is a response to the 2012 presidential primary where several Republican nominees, including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a resident of VA, failed to get on the ballot. The only two Republicans who submitted enough signatures were Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul[...]
Patrick Names Kerry’s Successor
Yesterday morning, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick named William “Mo” Cowan as John Kerry’s temporary successor in the U.S. Senate, after Kerry was confirmed as Secretary of State in a 94-3 vote. Cowan, Patrick’s former Chief of Staff, is an attorney who resides in Stoughton, MA. He will serve in Kerry’s seat until the special election in June. With the appointment of Mo Cowan there will now be two African American U.S. Senators serving together for the first time in American history[...]
South Carolina 1st Congressional District Candidates
Monday, January 28 at noon, was the filing deadline for those wanting to run for the vacant South Carolina 1st congressional district seat. The seat became available when Governor Nikki Haley (R) appointed former representative Tim Scott (R) to the United States Senate. Former senator Jim DeMint (R) resigned from the Senate after his appointment to become President of The Heritage Foundation[...]
2013: What’s On and Off the Radar?
Although 2013 will be relatively quiet compared to the intensity and chaos of 2012, there are many events that will occur impacting policy and elections in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For an overview of moments that are flying both over and under the radar in 2013, view the graphic below. To see what’s “on the radar”, check out the dates in Blue, and to see what’s “under the radar” see the dates in Red.
Decisions Are Upon Us
“I Have a Voice”
President Barack Obama, our first black President is being sworn in again at the United States Capitol today. If that’s not a dream come true for some, especially those who attended the Freedom March and were alive to witness MLK Jr. “telling them about the dream”, I don’t know what is[...]
Swearing In Day – 98 New Faces
The 113th Congress convenes today for the first time, and begins what will undoubtedly be a tumultuous two years in office. Although party control in both Congressional chambers was unaltered after November’s election, the results of what happened were not status quo. Nearly 100 new faces are being sworn in today making this one of the youngest and most diverse Congresses in history. Below is a profile of the new 113th Congress[...]
December 6, 2012
A Message from BIPAC's President & CEO, Gregory S. Casey
Today I formally announce a transition within the BIPAC political programs team and share publicly that this will be Michael Davis's last week leading BIPAC's Political division. Michael came on board in 2010 to help us establish the Political Programs branch of BIPAC and since that time he and his team have created a strong foundation on which to build. Michael is now departing BIPAC and moving on to seek other challenges, his last official day will be December 13th and he will remain available in an advisory role through February. We want to thank him for his service to BIPAC and the business community and wish him well in his future endeavors[...]
Swing State Presidential Match Ups
Source: Poll Headlines
Election 2012: PreMath, Math, AfterMath
That proverbial Fat Lady will ultimately stroll across the stage, linger for a time, and then retreat to the shadows while the rest of us wonder what just happened in this confounding election cycle. Undoubtedly the most studied campaign in our history, this nationwide contest to pick officeholders will also reshuffle the power structure of Congress as well as the state scene. For one party, the 2016 battleground begins to form almost immediately. As we wait for something definitive to evaluate, here are some factors to consider across the spectrum of races in play[...]
*Note: Posted on October 19, 2012
Swing State Presidential Match Ups
Source: Poll Headlines
Is Big Bird Upstaging an Inevitable Financial Collapse?
We used to talk about the debt as a problem for our grandkids, and then we said it’s not our grandkids so much as it is our kids. It should be obvious now to everyone that it’s not our kids it’s US! According to a member of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, unless and until we do something to fix the fiscal cliff, the debt, and entitlement and the tax reform, the value of everything you own will go down anywhere from 30 to 50% in a relatively short amount of time. This is serious and means suddenly, gas prices go up, prices of clothing go up, the prices of food go up and wages don’t go anywhere. A lot of people might say “that’s what’s going on right now.” Well…take what is going on right now and multiply it that is what is going to happen and everyone knows it[...]
South Carolina Voter I.D. law is upheld by court
A number of states have been attempting to pass election laws requiring voters to show a photo ID when voting. The laws are all backed by Republicans and have been passed in Texas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and South Carolina as an attempt to prevent voter fraud. However, all of them have faced opposition in the courts[...]
Poll of the Week
Presidential match up in Iowa – and the impact of early voting
The Presidential match up in Iowa is extremely close. Four of the last five polls conducted have Obama up marginally and one poll has Romney up by one point. The Real Clear Politics Average has Obama up by a narrow three points (48.6 to 45.4). These numbers are expected to remain close between now and November 6th, however, whichever candidate has the edge on any given day in October could have a significant edge on the other candidate because ballots are already being cast. Due to early voting and the unique processes in place in Iowa, the outcome of this election could be determined before November 6th[...]
Debate Round One: Not Minaj and Carey, But Good Enough
Republicans canceled orders for mass quantities of hemlock by about 9:06 p.m. October 3, 2012, and they might trade their inventory with Democratic operatives who wonder what might play out over the next few weeks. Political bipolar disorder is a dangerous syndrome. Like in ice skating, a sparkling costume with lyrical music will get the crowd’s attention, but then those pesky other judges wave around those paddles, judging on much more than optics. This isn’t over. The map is still a huge challenge for Mitt Romney, who must win at least Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, New Hampshire … or an equivalent from the Democratic column to get to 270 electoral votes. The debate was a horror for President Obama, but scores of his fans were already headed to the polls, in person or by mail, in almost 30 states before the first words were uttered. On mechanics alone, the ground game looks tilted toward the Chicago number mavens, who have far more volunteers and office sites from which to deploy their get out the vote network[...]
*Note: Posted on October 8, 2012
Update in the States
Although most of the country is focused on the Presidential election, there are other races at the state level garnering attention. In 2010 state legislatures saw a huge shift in Republicans’ favor, causing several state legislative chambers to narrowly switch control for the first time in decades. Additionally, redistricting has set up several states to either maintain or lose that control this election cycle[...]
Senate Race of the Week
Control of the U.S. Senate Remains Up In the Air
There are 33 U.S. Senate seats up in 2012 with 11 of those seats being an open seat contest (AZ, CT, AK, IN, ME, NE, NM, ND, TX, VA, & WI). At the start of this election cycle the conventional wisdom was that Republicans were in great position to capture the majority. To do so would require a net gain of four seats to get to 51 seats and thus clear control of the upper chamber. As time marched forward several events have made this task for Republicans much more difficult[...]
"If You Can’t Wait Until November 6"
By early October, every potential voter has been shoved into a particular demographic sector and appealed to accordingly. America has been microtargeted and focus grouped to streamline budget allocations designed to find undecideds. There is still time to reach those who are eligible but not registered. Voter registration is open until at least October 6 everywhere in the country. Early voting starts in all but a handful of states before the end of the month. The presidential campaigns hope to extend any perceived advantage for their post-debate frenzy[...]
*Note: Posted on October 4, 2012
Swing State Presidential Match Ups
Source: Poll Headlines
The Undecided Voter
With less than six weeks to go before Election Day, campaigns across the country are aggressively targeting the 17% of likely voters who are “persuadable”. Political consultants would describe these voters as unengaged, uninformed, non-partisan members of society who don’t pay attention to politics and don’t really care. Even SNL lobbed a punch at undecided voters this past weekend with one actress saying: "Can women vote? Because if not, I've got a big problem with that." And another saying: “Who is the president right now? Is he or she running?”
While there is a layer of truth to many of these assertions, in some swing states the changing economic and political environment is influencing not only who these undecided voters are, but also why they are unable to make up their minds[...]
Poll of the Week
Obama leads among Catholic voters
Catholic voters, a vital swing voter block, have correctly picked the winner of the presidential popular vote in 9 of the last 10 elections and in 2008 accounted for a quarter of the electorate. A new Pew poll has President Obama opening a significant lead among Catholic voters. The survey was conducted from September 12 to 16 and has Obama with 54% and Romney with 39%[...]
Akin Remains on the Ballot
The deadline for Rep. Todd Akin to be removed from the Missouri ballot in his race for U.S. Senate, has now passed. Akin had until Sept. 25th to withdrawal from the race because Missouri’s absentee ballots became available Sept. 26th[...]
Today is National Voter Registration Day!
Poll of the Week
Parents and graduates unsure about jobs
Education is the first stepping stone in achieving the American dream. It is the great equalizer…or so we’ve been told. According to a new Gallup poll, about 98% of parents know their child will graduate from high school this year. They will earn their diploma and move out into the world as adults. However, only 38% of parents are very certain their child will find a good job when he/she graduates. It might be a few months or years before their child literally moves out[...]
September 24, 2012
Poll of the Week
Congressional job approval 20 points below average Last Friday, Gallup released a poll showing the current approval rating for Congress. That number is 13%. Historically congressional job approval rarely gets higher than 50% and the average approval rating is 33%. So, Congress’ approval rating is now 20 points below the average, and according to Gallup is primed to be the lowest it’s ever been in an election year[...]
The “Linda” Senate Races
Two Republican females are running for U.S. Senate in 2012 against not so favorable odds, and they are both named Linda. Linda McMahon is running for Senate in Connecticut and Linda Lingle is running for Senate in Hawaii. Both states are blue… very blue. Hawaii hasn’t elected a Republican to the Senate since 1970, and has never elected a woman to the post. This year that will change because the two candidates running for U.S. Senate in Hawaii are both female. Whether a Republican can win remains to be seen, but Linda Lingle is a former Governor and has won statewide election before. Lingle appeals to Independents and moderate voters from both parties. However, running in Hawaii during a presidential year will be tough since this is President Obama’s home state[...]
“It Gets Late Early Out Here”
If you are of a certain age and/or loved real American baseball, you will recognize this headline as one of Yogi Berra’s famous lines. If you are too young or follow another sport, the phrase should still mean something to you this election cycle. We’re at mid-September, and voters are already casting ballots in a few battleground states. The unusually late conventions are over, with all credible polling giving a boost to President Obama. Major TV ad markets are almost sold out and even more modern communication vehicles, such as target Internet sites, are filled. Congressional primary dates were moved forward this cycle to allow overseas Americans an opportunity to return ballots[...]
Congressional primaries conclude… sort of.
Tuesday marked the end of the congressional primary season as New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware completed their primaries. There is however, one more state to hold its Congressional primary, and that is Louisiana. Louisiana’s primary is unique in two ways: timing and process.
Louisiana holds its primary election on November 6, 2012 when all the other states hold their general elections. Louisiana then has a runoff/general election on December 8, 2012[...]
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