The House is in session. Senate is in session.

Period Ending June 24, 2016

Back to News

Share this story

This weekly roundup of election news and notes is compiled for Thompson Coburn by the The Ellis Insight.


Republicans: The move to potentially open the GOP convention is gaining some legs. The fact that Permanent Rules Committee chairman Bruce Ash, a supporter of keeping the convention rules consistent, was passed over to lead the convention rules committee suggests that the GOP hierarchy is, at the very least, not preventing the discussion and adoption of rule changes. In Ash’s place, RNC chairman Reince Preibus named former US Rep. Enid Greene Mickelsen (R-UT) and longtime GOP Committeeman and White House aide Ron Kaufman (R-MA) as committee co-chairs. The change proponents want to free the attending delegates of their bound commitments on at least the first ballot. If they are freed, a good chance exists that Donald Trump will be denied the nomination. Thus, we could possibly be headed to a brokered convention after all.

The latest three national polls again show Hillary Clinton even or ahead of Mr. Trump in the presidential contest, with leads of varying degrees. Ipsos Reuters (6/18-22; 1,339 registered voters) finds the former Secretary of State holding a 44-34% advantage with 13% going to “other” candidates. Rasmussen Reports (6/20-21; 1,000 registered voters) comes in with its second consecutive 44-39% margin. In this poll, 11% were recorded as supporting an “other” candidate because RR only gave the respondents the choice between Clinton and Trump. Morning Consult (6/10-15; 3,891 registered voters) finds a much closer race with Clinton and Trump tied at 38% and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson pulling 10% preference.


Arizona: The Behavior Research Center’s Rocky Mountain Poll (6/6-19; 448 AZ registered voters) surveyed the Arizona electorate and produces some good news for Sen. John McCain (R). Though his support total remains low, 40% in this poll, the margin between he and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ-1) is growing. This latest independent data now posts McCain to a nine point edge (40-31%), but with a 29% undecided factor, 13 points higher when compared to their last poll in April. In that study, both McCain and Kirkpatrick scored 42%. Between the two polls the new data projects that Kirkpatrick, in particular, has lost almost a quarter of her support.

Florida: Sen. Marco Rubio (R) reversed course and announced that he will seek a second term in the Senate, after often stating that he would not run again. Party leaders put intense pressure upon him to get into the race, fearing slow-developing GOP campaigns could cost them the Florida seat and possibly the majority. Last week, Rep. David Jolly (R-FL-13) exited the Senate race and returned to seek re-election in his Tampa Bay House district.

Upon the Rubio decision becoming official, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera (R) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL-6) both ended their Senate campaigns with the latter, like Jolly, returning to seek re-election to the House. Businessmen Carlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox, however, pledged to remain in the race and will battle Rubio for the nomination. Mr. Beruff, who calls himself “the Hispanic Donald Trump,” says he will spend as much as $20 million to call Rubio out on such issues as immigration, missing Senate votes, and whether he will serve the full six-year term if re-elected.

Quinnipiac University released a new survey of Florida voters (6/8-19; 975 FL registered voters), and the result gave Sen. Rubio a 47-40% lead over Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL-18) and a 48-40% margin against Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL-9) in hypothetical general election pairings.

Louisiana: GBA Strategies for the Caroline Fayard (D) campaign released its early June poll on 6/15 (500 LA registered voters) and found, like all other early surveys of this race, that state Treasurer John Kennedy (R) claims first place in the jungle primary with 30% of the vote. Democratic Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell is second with 15%. Ms. Fayard, a former White House aide was surprisingly third with 14%, and Reps. Charles Boustany (R-LA-3) and John Fleming (R-LA-4) follow with 11 and 9%, respectively. Louisiana runs its primary concurrently with the general election. If no candidate commands a majority of the vote, and very unlikely such will occur in this race, the top two finishers advance to a December 10 general election run-off.

North Carolina: Raleigh-based Public Policy Polling, as the organization statisticians do every month, conducted another survey (6/20-21; 947 NC registered voters) of the Tar Heel State electorate. Again, they find the race between Sen. Richard Burr (R) and former state Rep. Deborah Ross (D) tightening. Their latest spread reveals a 40-37% margin in the Senator’s favor, with Libertarian Sean Haugh attracting 5% support. We can expect this contest to remain tight until Election Day, with Sen. Burr likely maintaining his small advantage throughout the summer and fall.

Ohio: Quinnipiac University (6/8-19; 971 OH registered voters) again find Sen. Rob Portman (R) and former Gov. Ted Strickland (D) locked in a dead heat. The new numbers, virtually unchanged for months, find the two tied at 42%, apiece.

Pennsylvania: Quinnipiac University also conducted one of their statewide surveys in the Keystone State (6/8-19; 950 PA registered voters) and see Sen. Pat Toomey (R) opening up a more substantial lead over Democratic nominee Katie McGinty. The new numbers find Toomey owning a 49-40% spread, much better than previous Q-Polls and other ballot test data have shown. This could be the result of heavy early advertising coming from Toomey and outside Super PACS, such as the one sponsored from the US Chamber of Commerce, attempting to create a negative image of Ms. McGinty.


FL-6: With Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) leaving the Senate race to return to the House campaign, three of the six GOP contenders immediately dropped out. State Rep. Fred Costello (R), however, was sending signals that he is considering continuing his quest and would oppose DeSantis. He began referring to the Congressman as a “carpetbagger,” but that is only because the mid-decade court redistricting plan drew DeSantis’ home into the 4th District. The remaining 70% of the territory that DeSantis currently represents remains within the new 6th CD. With the Congressman having a large $3+ million war chest left over from his now defunct Senate race, he is in good position to win re-nomination and re-election regardless of who he runs against.

FL-7: The court-drawn redistricting plan made the Orlando-based 7th District about even between the two parties. At the close of filing, the Democrats finally fielded a candidate to challenge veteran Rep. John Mica (R-Winter Park). College professor and former US Defense Department official Stephanie Murphy (D) has declared her candidacy. Rep. Mica begins the race as the favorite, but the addition of the Democratic city of Sanford makes the 7th District much more politically marginal.

FL-19: After saying repeatedly he would get into the congressional race, former state Rep. and congressional candidate Paige Kreegel (R) announced that he will not run for retiring Rep. Curt Clawson’s (R-Bonita Springs/Ft. Myers) open seat. Instead, he endorsed Sanibel Island City Councilman and former candidate Chauncey Goss (R), the son of former Representative and CIA Director Porter Goss (R). Also in the race is former US Ambassador to the Vatican Patrick Mooney (R) and former Maryland congressional nominee Dan Bongino (R), who recently moved to the district. The 19th CD is one of the safest Republican seats in Florida.

ME-2: In a district that could become meaningful in the presidential election – Maine is one of two states (Nebraska is the other) that splits their electoral votes and apportion by congressional district – Democratic challenger Emily Cain, a former state Senator and defeated 2014 congressional nominee, just released her internal Normington Petts poll (6/6-9; 400 ME-2 registered voters). The results project she and Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Oakland/Bangor) are tied at 45% apiece. In 2014, Poliquin scored a 45-40% victory with the Libertarian candidate drawing 10 percent. In this election, there is no independent or minor party candidate. At the end of May, Rep. Poliquin had just about $2 million in the bank while Ms. Cain held slightly under $1 million.

PA-2: Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Philadelphia) was convicted on 22 charges of federal corruption and resigned his seat after the verdict. A special election will likely be called to fill the balance of the current term, but Gov. Tom Wolf (D) may decide to schedule the special cycle concurrently with the regular election. Since state Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Philadelphia) defeated Fattah in the April 26th Democratic primary, he is the Congressman-in-waiting. PA-2 is a solidly Democratic district (Obama ’12: 90.4%).