November 8, 2016
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2014 Illinois Governor Race
Monday, November 3, 2014
Millions across the nation have already voted, and many millions more will cast their vote tomorrow. Dozens of close, exciting elections
will be settled tomorrow night as the votes are counted. As we near the end of this election cycle, I thought I'd offer some things to
consider as the returns come in.
I will be surprised if...
I will NOT be surprised if...
- Democrats gain any Senate seats.
- Nathan Deal has to go to a runoff to win the Georgia governor election.
- Any House race not listed on EP's 2014 House elections page switches parties.
- Neither the North Carolina nor New Hampshire Senate race is won by the GOP
- Both the North Carolina and New Hampshire Senate races are won by the GOP
- Republicans don't win at least half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections.
Three 2014 Flameouts
- Republicans earn the majority in the Senate on Election Day, avoiding the need to win any runoffs.
- Pat Roberts retains his seat in the Kansas Senate election.
- The Florida governor election goes to an official recount before the winner is confirmed.
- Republicans win more than half of the six New England state gubernatorial elections.
- David Perdue wins the Georgia Senate election outright on Election Day.
- Pat Quinn wins the Illinois governor election by 10 times more than the current projected margin (0.6%).
These candidates far underperformed down the stretch, proving early optimism to be misplaced.
- Republican Terri Land held the early lead in the Michigan Senate race, but faded dramatically over the Spring and Summer.
- It looks like Democrat Domenic Recchia, New York CD-11, won't be able to defeat an incumbent House member who faces 20 counts of breaking federal law.
- Democrat Martha Coakley gets a second walk of shame on the flameout list. After losing to Scott Brown in the famous Massachusetts special Senate election in January, 2010, it looks likely she'll fall short in this year's Massachusetts governor election as well.
Later, I'll post more on what to look for once the returns start coming in.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:39am 11/03/14 :: link
Monday, October 27, 2014
Well, the absence of polls on Saturday was more than made up for by yesterday's poll deluge. Almost six dozen polls fill the latest
this morning. The CBS News/NY Times/YouGov collaboration published their third round
of polling. They have been doing extensive work, surveying many races other pollsters largely overlook, and their results contribute greatly to the large number. With all the new
data, I thought today would be a good day for a few lists.
Top six closest Senate races
1. Georgia - EP margin: Nunn +0.3 (DEM Gain)
2. Kansas - EP margin: Orman +0.6 (IND Gain)
3. North Carolina - EP margin: Hagan +1.6 (DEM Hold)
4. New Hamp - EP margin: Shaheen +2.2 (DEM Hold)
5. Iowa - EP margin: Ernst +2.4 (GOP Gain)
6. Colorado - EP margin: Gardner +2.8 (GOP Gain)
Top six closest House races
1 (tie). Arkansas CD-2 - EP margin: Hays +0.3 (DEM Gain)
1 (tie). California CD-7 - EP margin: Ose +0.3 (GOP Gain)
1 (tie). Illinois CD-10 - EP margin: Schneider +0.3 (DEM Hold)
1 (tie). NH CD-1 - EP margin: Shea-Porter +0.3 (DEM Hold)
5. Illinois CD-12 - EP margin: Bost +0.4 (GOP Gain)
6 (tie). California CD-52 - EP margin: DeMaio +0.5 (GOP Gain)
6 (tie). Iowa CD-3 - EP margin: Appel +0.5 (DEM Gain)
Top six closest governor races
1. Wisconsin - EP margin: Burke +0.1 (DEM Gain)
2. Colorado - EP margin: Hickenlooper +0.8 (DEM Hold)
3 (tie). Florida - EP margin: Crist +1.3 (DEM Gain)
3 (tie). Georgia - EP margin: Deal +1.3 (GOP Hold)
3 (tie). Illinois - EP margin: Rauner +1.3 (GOP Gain)
6. Kansas - EP margin: Davis +1.5 (DEM Gain)
The problem with these nail biters, for prognosticators like me, is that they introduce more likelihood of getting the outcome wrong. A classic example of this occurred in 2008. That year, Election Projection correctly projected 48 out of 50 states
in the presidential elections. One of the incorrect picks, North Carolina, was projected to go to John McCain by less than one percent. It ended up going for Barack Obama by less than one percent. So, even though my projection was within a point
or so, I still got it wrong. Oh well...
Come back this evening for a new set of numbers and tomorrow morning for another write up. Tomorrow will be exactly one
week away - anybody else sitting on the edge of their seat?
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:22am 10/27/14 :: link
Saturday, October 25, 2014
As a way to kick off the countdown this morning, I thought we'd catch up on the party switchers we've seen over the last few days. Let's start with the 2014 House elections
. A week ago, thanks to a favorable flip in the Maine CD-2 race
, Republicans were projected to gain a net 9 seats in the lower chamber. That was the largest projected gain they've enjoyed so far this year.
Then came Thursday's update. A not-so-favorable generic congressional preference poll
reduced the GOP's advantage in the House projection adjustment
and caused three seats to move to the blue column. One of them was Maine CD-2, which didn't last long as a projected GOP gain. The second was New Hampshire's 1st District seat
, and the third came from Arkansas' 2nd District
- a rare competitive GOP seat - where Republican French Hill is battling Democrat Patrick Hays for the open seat of retiring Congressman Tim Griffin.
Accounting for these seats moved the projected balance of power in the House to 240 Republicans
and 195 Democrats
. That represents a projected net gain of 6 seat for the GOP - not a wave, to be sure, but still a nice haul given their existing strong majority.
In the Senate, Democrats can claim the only party switcher this week. Democrat Michelle Nunn has performed better than most expected all year and, lately, polls are starting to show her with a small lead in her Georgia Senate election
contest against Republican businessman David Perdue.
A quick perusal of Georiga Senate polls
reveals her improving fortunes. In 12 polls released from early September through the first week of October, Perdue enjoyed the advantage in all but one. However, Nunn is the one on top in 5 of 8 surveys released since then. As a result, she is now projected, by a very narrow 1-point margin, to earn a takeover for Democrats.
Hers is the lone bright blue race on the 2014 Senate election map
. But it is, nevertheless, a bright spot in an otherwise difficult year for Senate Democrats. Republicans boast eight projected takeovers as of today with seats from Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia set to move to the red team if the current numbers hold.
All those projected pickups would give Republicans a 52-seat majority in the Senate - even with Georgia going blue - except for an Independent named Greg Orman. His campaign in Kansas
has been a major thorn in the GOP's side this year. Though it appeared Republican incumbent Pat Roberts was gaining ground after Orman enjoyed a big lead a few weeks ago, the latest Kansas Senate poll
shows Orman maintaining a small but clear lead.
Moving on to the gubernatorial elections, party switchers have abounded this week with at least one showing up each day. On Monday, Republican Tom Foley started off the barrage by moving ahead of Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy in the Connecticut governor election
. Tuesday showed Democrat John Hickenlooper losing ground to Bob Beauprez in Colorado's governor race
Wednesday, it was another Republican challenger's opportunity to push into the lead. This time, Charlie Baker took an unexpected advantage over Martha Coakley in the open Massachusetts governor election
. The next day, Hickenlooper regained the upper hand in Colorado, but Democratic Governor Pat Quinn lost his lead to Bruce Rauner in Illinois
. Finally, on Friday, Republican Sam Brownback, embattled Kansas governor
, fell behind Paul Davis again after a short run on top there.
With the week's dust settled, the projected balance of power among the nation's governorships
now stands at 28 Republicans
, 21 Democrats
and 1 Independent
. Despite nine projected takeovers, that tally represents very little change in the current makeup. Republicans are set to lose a net one chair with the net gain going to Independent Bill Walker in the Alaska governor election
Well, that's enough for today. Don't expect everyday's countdown post to be as lengthy as this one - I had a lot to cover to get us all up to date. However, do expect some electoral observations from me each morning from now until Election Day. So, y'all come back, y'hear?
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:37am 10/25/14 :: link
Monday, September 15, 2014
|This article was published Tuesday, September 9 on PJMedia.com.
How primary results have affected the parties' general election prospects.
Republicans enjoyed a hurricane force wind at their backs going into the 2010 elections. On Election Day, GOP candidates running for seats in the House realized the full potential of the wave they were riding by earning a massive and historic 63-seat net gain. However, Republican candidates vying for their place in the Senate did not. Sure, they did well, picking up six seats in the upper chamber, but they missed out on several additional opportunities.
Amy Walter, National Editor for CookPolitical.com, points out a major reason why. She writes:
|In 2010, in what was a "wave year" just two of the seven toss-up races went to Republicans, though public polling predicted that four of those seven (57 percent) would flip to the GOP. Terrible GOP candidates like Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, and Ken Buck were the real culprits in the GOP underperformance that year.
Party nominees matter - even in wave elections. So, with the primary season drawing to a close, let's take a look at the candidates from each party who made it past the qualifying round and evaluate how those choices impact their party's prospects for success in Senate and gubernatorial elections this November.
Thirty-six Senate seats are up for grabs this year. Twenty-three of them are non-competitive races which the incumbent party is very likely to retain. The remaining thirteen seats are either competitive or non-competitive projected takeovers (South Dakota, for example). Coincidentally, thirty-six governorships, of which 14 are currently competitive, are also on tap. Looking at the primary lineups for these competitive races, we see that they fall into three different categories.
Seven senators, 6 Democrats and 1 Republican, are seeking reelection in competitive races this year. The Democrats are Mark Begich (AK), Mark Pryor (AR), Mark Udall (CO), Mary Landrieu (LA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH) and Kay Hagan (NC). They are joined by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY). Eleven incumbent governors are also facing competitive reelection bids in 2014. They consist of 8 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
Thirteen Senate primary contests from eight different states and twelve gubernatorial primaries in eleven states held primaries that were, well, no contest. I won't list them all here, but it is worthy to note that in some cases - Arkansas GOP Senate, Georgia DEM Senate, for example - having a non-competitive primary meant the nominee was the top choice of the party from the outset. In other cases - Michigan GOP Senate, Montana DEM Senate - the absence of primary competition resulted from the best choice deciding against running.
The first two categories are included for completeness. However, these races are not very useful when evaluating the role of primary voters in their parties' prospects. Their impact is gleaned best from races which featured a primary election in doubt.
Let's take a look at several of these primaries race by race and grade primary voters on whether they have improved or impaired their parties' chances by the choice they made.
Alaska Senate (GOP)
Republicans here are salivating at the opportunity to unseat Mark Begich in this conservative state. Three high profile candidates vied for that honor. GOP voters made the right choice by selecting Former Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Dan Sullivan. While Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell would have given Begich a strong challenge, Republicans avoided a concession by not picking lightning rod Joe Miller. GRADE: A
Georgia Senate (GOP)
Businessman David Perdue and Congressman Jack Kingston got the most votes in the primary election. However, since neither was able to eclipse the requisite 50% +1 to avoid a runoff, Georgia Republicans had to return to the ballot box a month later to finalize their pick. They get high marks for picking Perdue, but the prolonged runoff period subjected the nominee to more intra-party conflict and gave Democrat Michelle Nunn a longer grace period. GRADE: B
Iowa Senate (GOP)
The biggest accomplishment by GOP primary voters here was to avoid having the state convention decide their nominee. Joni Ernst, who has an enviable bio well-suited to run for public office, captured more than enough votes to earn the nomination outright. A convention-brokered selection could have resulted in an untenable general election option. GRADE: A
North Carolina Senate (GOP)
Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan is one of the more vulnerable incumbents in the Senate this cycle, and Tarheel Republicans had at least three viable options who were faring well, pre-primary, against her in the polls. Thom Tillis, the GOP establishment candidate, prevailed, avoiding a potentially damaging runoff in the process. While Tea Party fans aren't as keen on the career politician as they would have been with either physician Greg Brannon or Pastor Mark Harris, Tillis is an electable choice in the general election - and avoiding that runoff is a big positive. GRADE: A-
Colorado Governor (GOP)
Primary voters on the Republican side get high marks for not nominating unelectable Tom Tancredo. They settled on Bob Beauprez, 2006 gubernatorial nominee, by just 3 points over Tancredo in a four-way race. And while Beauprez was not impressive in his failed bid for governor 8 years ago, he has seemed a stronger candidate so far this year. GRADE: A-
Hawaii Governor (DEM)
Democratic voters in the Aloha state made history this year by handing Neil Abercrombie the largest primary defeat of a sitting governor in U.S. history. Judging from pre-primary polling, they made a great move in doing so. As a result, they have improved their chances of keeping this deeply blue state in the fold. State Senator David Ige still trails Republican nominee Duke Aiona, Jr. in the polls (ed. note: not anymore), but he has the potential of staging the comeback Abercrombie could not. GRADE: A+
Illinois Governor (GOP)
Bruce Rauner has the funds to finance his campaign for governor. That's important in a state that contains the expensive Chicago media market. Also, as a political newcomer, he doesn't have the track record the other Republican contenders have. That's likely a good thing as well in this race against a wily, battle-tested incumbent like Democrat Pat Quinn. GRADE: A
Wisconsin Governor (DEM)
Democrats would like to get rid of Scott Walker perhaps more than any other governor. He survived their recall election in 2012 and has taken steps to undermine their power base in the state. Democratic primary voters selected educator Mary Burke to take him on in 2014. Judging from how she is performing in the polls so far, it looks like they have made a good choice. As of this writing, Election Projection shows Burke defeating Walker by a fraction. GRADE: A
That's a lot of good grades! Unlike the Republican primary disasters noted by Walter, this year's primary results show that voters from both parties have done a good job picking the right nominees to make the most of their general election opportunities.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:07pm 09/15/14 :: link
Monday, August 18, 2014
|This article was published on Monday, August 11 on PJMedia.com. It has been edited for currency
A lot of focus this election season is trained on the battle for Capitol Hill. And rightly so, with the majority in the Senate up for grabs and Democrats hoping to avoid another harmful midterm election in the House. But there are also a host of gubernatorial battles being waged this year. In fact, the midterm elections every four years mark a bonanza of statehouse contests. Thirty-six of the nation's fifty states will be choosing their chief executive this November.
In 2010, the last midterm election, thirty-seven gubernatorial elections produced a staggering 17 partisan takeovers - 11 by Republicans, 5 by Democrats, and Independent Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. Add to that count several states in which sitting governors were term-limited, decided against running for reelection or lost their primary, and you have a remarkable statistic. Twenty-six states - over half the states in the country - welcomed a new governor in 2011.
So do we have the same kind of shakeup in store in 2014? Probably not, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of interesting and competitive races to enjoy this year.
Here's a look at a baker's dozen of states which have at least a decent chance of electing a governor from a different party on Election Day. I've ranked them and categorized them according to their level of vulnerability.
Easy Pickup (1 Republican)
Lean Toward Takeover (2 Democrats)
- 1. Pennsylvania - Republican Tom Corbett is struggling mightily under approval ratings that make President Obama's numbers look enviable. Former Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf is the prohibitive favorite to earn the takeover.
True Toss-up (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats)
- 2. Arkansas - If Democrat Governor Mike Beebe were free to run for a third term, this race would not be on this list. As it turns out, however, he is term-limited, and the door is open for a Republican to win the statehouse this year in this ever-reddening state. Asa Hutchinson, former congressman, is the GOP nominee. All three polls taken recently give him leads ranging from 3 to 6 points over Democrat Mike Ross, another former congressman.
- 3. Hawaii - Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie had a treacherous re-election path ahead of him. First, he had to contend with a strong primary challenge from state Senator David Ige. Then, had he survived, he would have faced a daunting three-way race with Mufi Hannemann, former Democratic Mayor of Honolulu, siphoning off votes as an independent. But he didn't survive that primary challenge, and now it is Ige who will have a hard time holding this seat for Democrats. That's because the Republican nominee, former Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, is ahead in the polls. Despite Hawaii's very deep blue hue, Aiona appears well-positioned to earn the governorship.
Lean Toward Hold (4 Republicans, 1 Democrat)
- 4. Illinois - Polls give Republican Bruce Rauner the lead here, but Governor Quinn has a history of finding a way to come out on top. And deep blue Illinois is not the best place for a Republican, even in gubernatorial races. Though Rauner currently leads in the polls, I'm not confident in his chances. One reason: Polls put Republican Bill Brady almost five points ahead of Quinn in 2010. Quinn won by 0.5%.
- 5. Maine - Republican Paul LePage, like Neil Abercrombie, faces a three-way race in his reelection bid this year. But that's not unusual in a state that has given at least 20% of the gubernatorial vote to an independent in all but one election since 1994. Democratic Congressman Michael Michaud is LePage's biggest threat, however.
- 6. Florida - This race is probably the most visible, anticipated and important statehouse election on this year's slate. Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who ran for the Senate as an independent after losing the 2010 GOP Senate primary to Marco Rubio, later switched to the Democratic Party. He is now challenging Republican Rick Scott for a ticket back to the Governor's Mansion. In a major battleground state, this race is truly a toss-up.
- 7. Connecticut - Democrat Dan Malloy won the statehouse here in 2010 by less than one point over Republican Tom Foley. One word tells why this race is on this list in 2014 - rematch. Connecticut is a blue state to be sure, but Foley's likely nomination gives Democrats a headache in the Nutmeg State. The latest polls put Foley in the lead, further illustrating Malloy's difficult road ahead. This one will be close again.
- 8. Michigan - In 2010, Republican Rick Snyder capitalized on term-limited Governor Jennifer Granholm's poor approval ratings to score an open seat gubernatorial takeover. Four years later, Snyder must contend with sub-par approval himself as he faces a strong challenge from former Congressman Mark Schauer.
- 9. Wisconsin - Scott Walker famously survived a recall election in 2012 by a slightly larger margin than he first gubernatorial win in 2010. In 2014, the Republican faces another challenge in this Democratic-leaning battleground state. Educator Mary Burke is the likely Democratic nominee. Polls show Walker and Burke locked in a very close battle. Two surveys were released in July. One gave Walker a one-point lead. The other had Burke up by the same margin.
- 10. Kansas - Even though it is a deep red state, Kansas has a propensity for Democratic governors. Half of the chief executives elected here since 1966 have been Democrats. So, it's not terribly surprising to see this race on the competitive list. What is surprising is that Sam Brownback, who has won two senate races and the 2010 gubernatorial race by an average margin of 36 points, is the vulnerable incumbent.
- 11. Georgia - Republican Governor Nathan Deal hopes Georgia's conservative tilt will overcome the name recognition of his Democratic opponent Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. Deal must also overcome the pall of scandal which clouds further his reelection prospects. For now, he maintains the upper hand, but this race might become a full-fledged toss-up before too long.
- 12. Colorado - Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper enjoyed comfortable leads against a crowded Republican field throughout the primary season. Recently, however, now that Colorado Republicans have settled on former Congressman Bob Beauprez, he has fallen back into a very close battle.
- 13. New Mexico - Republican Susana Martinez made history four years ago becoming the first female Hispanic governor in U.S. history. This year, she's facing a tough reelection battle against New Mexico Attorney General Gary King. Though she still enjoys a "Likely R" label from Charlie Cook, a recent Rasmussen poll shows her exactly tied with King, 43-43.
As things currently stand, Election Projection is projecting Republicans to pick up Arkansas, Hawaii and Illinois and Democrats to gain Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania. That works out to a net change of zero. However, with so many very close gubernatorial contests out there, I'm sure the map will be in constant flux between now and Election Day.
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:37pm 08/18/14 :: link
Monday, July 7, 2014
Today we are exactly 120 days from Election Day, 2014. With Independence Day behind us, the
buildup toward November 4 should be steady from here on in. I hope everyone had a
meaningful and safe July 4 holiday celebrating what is still the greatest country on earth, our United
States of America.
As we kick off this post-holiday summer stretch, I thought it would be a good time to assess the
status of the electoral landscape. Despite the likelihood of strong Republican gains in the Senate,
the political waters remain relatively calm. Democrats still hold a slight advantage in
generic Congressional polling
, making a
wave election in the House of Representatives highly unlikely at this point. Even in the Senate,
where Republicans hope to pick up enough seats to take the majority, Election Projection's summary of
the 2014 Senate elections
them falling just short.
All year, three states have been looking like certain Republican pickups, and nothing in
indicates any change in
that assessment. Republicans should gain all three and raise their seat count in the Senate to
48. But though opportunities abound for additional takeovers, their prospects of getting to
51 - based on recent polling data - is shaky at best.
Arkansas and Louisiana sport a red shade on EP's
Senate projection map
, indicating a
Republican gain, but neither is a sure thing. In
, Republican nominee Tom
Cotton is enjoying the benefit of a partisan Magellan poll and a Rasmussen poll to claim a narrow lead
over Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor. A Magellan poll is also the impetus for Bill Cassidy's
current lead against Mary Landrieu in
Two other juicy targets for the GOP, Mark Begich in
and Kay Hagan in
lead their respective
Republican opponents. Without a less likely victory in a state like
, Republicans must win these
two to reach that coveted 51-seat mark. But it might take even more than that given the
rumblings of a certain southern belle.
Down in Georgia
, it looks like
Congressman Jack Kingston should win the runoff for the GOP nomination against David Purdue.
Trouble is, Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn is
of Kingston right now, and
this race is looking more and more like one Nunn could win.
Not much has changed on the House front over the last several weeks. Come to think of it,
that'll probably be the story all year long - even after the votes have been counted. With the
GOP holding the upper hand by a 234-201 tally, Democrats appear likely to withstand the dreaded
6-year itch without substantial losses in the lower chamber. I've said this before, but it bears
repeating. Legitimate pickup opportunities for either party just aren't that plentiful this year.
The current 2014 House election
projections here at EP have the GOP gaining 3 seats -
North Carolina CD-7
and Utah CD-4
. Democrats are
projected to add four GOP seats to their numbers -
New York CD-11
together, these gains represent a net improvement of one seat for the blue team. Don't be
surprised to see a similar projection here on November 4.
Historically speaking, this should be a very good election for the GOP. However, unless
Republicans can do a better job of connecting Democrats to
President Obama's dismal job approval
articulating a better alternative, it looks like this year might be a golden opportunity largely squandered.
Statehouse races are traditionally less partisan than Senate or House contests. It is much
more likely in today's polarized political world to see a governor than a senator or representative from the
minority party. EP's
2014 governor election
to illustrate that point. Of the three projected Republican pickups, two are in deep blue
states - Illinois
On the other hand, Arkansas'
increasingly Republican lean is a major factor in that state's projected switch to red team.
Democrats will have a very difficult time holding the governorship without an incumbent running.
Two positives are there for Democrats, however. It looks like Pennsylvania Governor Tom
Corbett is on his way out
Struggling against approval ratings even worse than President Obama, Corbett is a heavy underdog at
this point to Democrat Tom Wolf.
And in Maine
, Republican incumbent Paul
LePage isn't in nearly as bad a shape as Corbett, but he's locked in a very tough battle,
nonetheless. Congressman Mike Michaud leads three-way polling over LePage by a small margin
with Independent Eliot Cutler pulling a strong 15% of the vote.
As I mentioned above, Republicans at the present time are projected to win the statehouse in
Illinois and Hawaii. However, this is only July and both those states are heavily
Democratic. I know I claimed that gubernatorial races are less partisan, but party ID still
matters. I have my doubts, especially in Hawaii, that the Republican candidate will maintain the
lead until voting starts.
I took the week off last week for the most part. God willing, it will be the last break for me
between now and Election Day. So look for lots of election coverage here at EP for the
duration. Even if this year turns out to be indeed a status-quo election, there is still plenty of
excitement to be had. And, who knows, a lot of time remains for the political winds to muster a
Look for the next update of the numbers this evening.
posted by Scott Elliott at 12:51am 07/07/14 :: link
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
As promised, here is a link
to the Illinois primary election results. I'll be particularly interested in the GOP gubernatorial race.
The link above is apparently only for Cook County.
posted by Scott Elliott at 6:13pm 03/18/14 :: link
Monday, March 17, 2014
The Land of Lincoln will be holding primary elections tomorrow, Tuesday, March 18. Among the most important contests is the
GOP gubernatorial nomination race. Democrat Pat Quinn is one the more vulnerable incumbent governors up for re-election
this cycle, and a competitive field of Republicans is on the ballot for the right to challenge him.
Businessman Bruce Rauner, who has peppered the airways for months with ads paid for largely from his own wealth, staked out
of sizeable lead in the polls over Christmas and into the new year. However, state Senators Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady are hoping
he peaked too soon. That hope may not be born out tomorrow, though, because the latest WeAreAmerica poll released just
today shows Rauner maintaining double-digit leads over both Illinois legislators.
Polls open early in Illinois tomorrow. Polling hours are from 6 AM local time until 7 PM tomorrow evening. Check back
here for a link to the Illinois Primary Election Results shortly after polls close. Also, check out Election Projection's
Illinois Governor Election
Illinois Senate Election
pages as well as
full lineups of all the
2014 Governor Elections
2014 Senate Elections
projected winners and EP's colorful red and blue maps.
posted by Scott Elliott at 11:15pm 03/17/14 :: link
Monday, February 24, 2014
In states where one party or the other enjoys a substantially larger slice of the electorate, presidential and senatorial candidates from
the minority party rarely have much of a chance of winning statewide races. Republicans in Maryland or New York, for example,
probably won't be sending a senator to Capitol Hill anytime soon. Likewise, the Democratic presidential nominee won't be winning
any electoral votes from Idaho, Utah or Wyoming.
Statehouse races, however, do not always reward the majority party with a victory. In the last decade, Kathleen Sibelius
served as governor of Kansas, Brad Henry won two terms in Oklahoma, and Phil Bredensen took up residence in Tennessee's Governor's
Mansion. They are all Democrats running deep red states. On the other end of the spectrum, Republicans Linda Lingle, Chris Christie, George Pataki and Jim Douglas have steered the Democratic bastions of Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Vermont,
respectively, over the same period.
The 2014 Illinois Governor race may provide another instance of the minority party winning a state's chief executive office.
Democrat Pat Quinn is struggling with low approval numbers, and Illinois is struggling under the dubious distinction of owning the worst
credit rating of any state in the nation. And the GOP is salivating at what they perceive to be an excellent opportunity to install
a Republican as the next governor.
The primary race to decide who that Republican will be promises to be an interesting and exciting - and expensive - contest.
And with Illinois' primary set for March 20, the race is well underway. Four legitimate GOPers are in the running for the
nomination - Illinois State Senators Bill Brady, who narrowly lost the gubernatorial election to Quinn four years ago, and Kirk Dillard,
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and businessman Bruce Rauner.
Using a largely self-funded barrage of ads over the last few months, Rauner has leapfrogged the field and now stands as
the favorite. According to the latest poll, a Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV survey released earlier this month, Rauner boasts a huge
20 point lead over Brady, his nearest competitor. The early primary date means the other three candidates in the race have little
time to make up the deficit.
Assuming Rauner wins the nomination, a recent WeAskAmerica poll indicates he would start the general election campaign in the
lead. In fact, Gov. Quinn has been polling behind the Republicans in this race since November of last year. The only
favorable poll result for the incumbent was a three-point lead in a November Public Policy Polling survey against, ironically,
Rauner. But that lead has turned into an eight point deficit according to the WeAskAmerica poll taken January 30.
Such a result should make it easy to project a Republican takeover at this point. However, given Pat Quinn's reputation as
a tough campaigner who is difficult to close the deal against, I am wary of painting Illinois red. My hunch is that Quinn will prevail
on Election Day, even though he may be trailing in the polls for much of the campaign season. That said, the reality of the
projection business requires me to pick who would win "if the election were held today." With the limited data on hand, that
winner would probably be Bruce Rauner...for now.
Preliminary projection: Weak GOP Gain
You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the
Illinois Governor Election
page for polls, projections and updates. Also, check out the
2014 Governor Elections page for a
summary of all gubernatorial races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Governor map.
posted by Scott Elliott at 10:43am 02/24/14 :: link