Election News

Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll

February 28, 2015

The final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference included the annual presidential straw poll.  For the 3rd year in a row, Senator Rand Paul won, earning 25.7% of the 3,007 votes. Governor Scott Walker finished a strong 2nd, at 21.4%, with Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson just about tied for 3rd at around 11.5% each.  

11 Republicans received greater than 1%.  The full list is below, courtesy of The Washington Times.

 



Headlines From Political Wire

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Poll: Clinton Continues to Leads Prospective Challengers

February 26, 2015

Hillary Clinton continues to poll well against her likeliest 2016 opponents, in this February 25 poll from Public Policy Polling shows Hillary Clinton with a 7-10% lead over 9 prospective 2016 challengers. Clinton's lead is 7 points over Paul, Perry and Rubio; 8 points over Carson, Christie & Walker, 9 points over Huckabee and 10 points over Bush and Cruz.

PPP also showed Bush leading Democrats Warren or Biden, indicating a large popularity gap between Clinton and other possible Democratic nominees.

Visit our 2016 polling page to see this and other polls.  If you'd like to see how the polling thus far translates into electoral votes, see Clinton vs. The Republicans for individual maps of Clinton vs. 7 different Republicans. 


Bush, Walker Lead South Carolina Republican Primary Field: Poll

February 19, 2015

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are virtually tied in a new South Carolina poll from Public Policy Polling. These candidates garnered just under 20% support. Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee also had double-digit support. Interestingly, the poll showed that over 60% of voters (regardless of party) didn't want home state Senator Graham to run for president.

Public Policy also surveyed a number of prospective South Carolina general election match-ups. Not surprisingly, the Republican leads in all of these heats. South Carolina has not voted Democratic in a presidential election since 1976.


Poll: Clinton leads in Iowa; Virginia and Colorado Tighter in Some 2016 Match-ups

February 18, 2015

Hillary Clinton has a significant lead in Iowa against all five prospective Republican nominees tested in a new Quinnipiac swing state poll released today (February 18). Quinnipiac also surveyed Virginia where the results were much tighter. There was quite a bit more variability in Colorado, where the results varied significantly based on match-up.

Quinnipiac polled over 1,000 voters in each of the three states, testing Clinton against Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker. The margin of error for each poll was +/- 3%.

Visit our 2016 polls page to see these and other polls. 

 

Iowa

Clinton holds a 10% lead over Christie, Bush and Walker, slightly smaller leads over Huckabee and Paul. There were more undecideds in Iowa than in the other two states while Clinton's total was essentially the same across the board. Obama won Iowa by 6% in 2012.

 

Colorado

Paul and Walker performed best here, both within the margin of error. Christie and Bush performed relatively poorly here. As in the other states surveyed, Clinton's total was fairly consistent regardless of candidate making these polls somewhat a proxy of the current popularity of each Republican in that state. Obama won Colorado by about 5.5% in 2012.

 

Virginia

Bush polled even with Clinton here, the best Republican result in all three states. All five match-ups were within 5%, indicating a very competitive race. In 2012, Obama won the state by 4%. 


NBC News Marist Poll of Early Primary and Caucus States

February 15, 2015

NBC News and Marist are out with polls from the early primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton dominates, with support of 65% or more of Democrats in all three states. The more interesting Republican results are summarized in the table below. Primary and caucus dates courtesy of FrontloadingHQ.

Jeb Bush and Scott Walker had pretty consistent results across the three states and were the only candidates to acheive 10% in all three polls. Bush leads in Iowa, while Mike Huckabee is ahead in Iowa. Lindsey Graham leads in South Carolina, but is a non-factor in the other two polls.  Note that all these leads are well within the margin of error. 


Philadelphia Lands 2016 Democratic Convention

February 12, 2015

Philadelphia has been awarded the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. This will be the third DNC in Philadelphia. The first occurred in 1936, nominating Franklin Roosevelt for his second term.  In 1948, Harry Truman was nominated for his first full term.

The 2016 Republican National Convention will take place a week earlier, in Cleveland Ohio.

With both nominating conventions in July vs. late August (Republicans) and early September (Democrats) in 2012, the general election campaign will be about a month longer than that year. The 2016 presidential election will take place on November 8, 2016


Nebraska Revisiting Split Electoral College Rules

January 31, 2015

Nebraska is again looking to revisit its electoral college allocation rules, the New York Times reports.  Nebraska is one of only two states that does not award its electoral votes on a winner take all basis.  Both Nebraska and Maine award two electoral votes to the popular vote winner, with one electoral vote being allocated based on the popular vote in each individual congressional district.  There are 3 such districts in Nebraska and 2 in Maine, yielding 5 and 4 total electoral votes, respectively.

Only once has this resulted in an outcome different than winner take all. In 2008, Barack Obama won Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, encompassing the Omaha area.  Thus, despite the fact that John McCain won the state by 14%, he won only 4 of the 5 electoral votes in that state.  

Republicans, unhappy with that, want to change the rules.  The current composition of the state legislature, and a pending election season, have added impetus to the effort.

Interestingly, redistricting after the 2010 census made the 2nd district more Republican, making it less likely that the electoral vote would be won by a Democrat in the future. If there was to be an electoral split in 2016, it is perhaps more likely (although still unlikely) that it would come via a Republican winning Maine's mostly rural 2nd district.

For more on the implications of moving from winner take all, see our feature Gaming the Electoral College.

 


Losing a State, Winning the Election

January 5, 2015

This table shows the last time a party’s nominee won the presidential election while losing one of the states that has been competitive in recent elections.    To see the year for other states, or to find out other trivia, see 270toWin Answers.

State Democrat Republican
Colorado 1996 1908
Florida 1992 1924
Iowa 1976 2000
Michigan 1976 2004
Nevada 1976 1908
New Hampshire 1976 2004
North Carolina 2012 1956
Ohio 1960 NEVER
Pennsylvania 1948 2004
Virginia 1996 1924
Wisconsin 1960 2004

Grimm to Resign at end of Current Congressional Term

December 30, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm (R), who won re-election to New York's 11th Congressional District in November, will resign that seat effective at the end of the current Congressional term on January 5, 2015. He will not be sworn in as a member of the 114th Congress term that begins next Tuesday, January 6th, 2015.

Grimm plead guilty to a felony count of filing a false tax return on December 23rd, a result that will likely lead to jail time for Grimm.

Once Grimm leaves office, the seat will be vacant until a special election is held.   By New York law, the governor (Andrew Cuomo (D)) will announce a date for a special election, which will be 70 to 80 days after the date he makes the announcement, but no later than next November's general election.  (This time period was extended from 30 to 40 days in 2011, to provide ample time for overseas military personnel to cast their ballots).

Grimm won a third term in Congress in November, defeating Democrat Domenic Recchia by 13%, a surprisingly large margin in this competitive district.  Absent the incumbent, the special election will likely be hard-fought by both parties.

 


WSJ: Civics Instruction Making a Comeback

December 27, 2014

After years on the back burner, civics education is making a comeback in the nation's schools, according to this article from The Wall Street Journal.   This is reversing a trend toward less social studies education, which may have been triggered in part by federal programs such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, which focused heavily on testing well in math and reading.

The article goes on to say that coalitions in a number of states have launched a movement to require students to pass the U.S. citizenship exam before they can graduate.  While well-intentioned, this may fall into the same trap as other programs that just require rote memorization as opposed to, in this case, learning how to be a better citizen and thinking critically about issues.

 



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