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News from the Votemaster            

Poll: Tea Party Supporters Are Conservative Republicans     Permalink

While the media have given the impression that tea party supporters are angry independents who are very unhappy with the health care bill and the Obama administration generally, a new Gallup poll shows otherwise. The poll shows that 80% of the tea partiers are conservative Republicans, 15% are Democrats, and only 6% are independents. This is not entirely surprising since the initial organization and funding for the tea party rallies came from FreedomWorks, a group run by former House majority leader Dick Armey (R). In particular, comparisons between the tea partiers now and Ross Perot's supporters in the 1990s have no validity since Perot really did draw from supporters of both parties. It is probably a given that nearly all tea partiers will vote for Republican candidates in November, but that's hardly a surprise if they are indeed nearly all Republicans.

Buck Leads Norton in Colorado     Permalink

Speaking of FreedomWorks, it has just endorsed insurgent Ken Buck over the establishment favorite, former lieutenant governor Jane Norton, in the Colorado Republican senatorial primary. This race could easily be a replay of Kentucky, where Rand Paul defeated the establishment favorite and Nevada, where Sharron Angle did the same thing. The latest poll in Colorado puts Buck ahead of Norton 53% to 37%. As in the other two races, a Buck win would mean a far-right, inexperienced candidate would be the Republican nominee, generally not as good a prospect as someone with experience running statewide campaigns. The primary is August 10.

Bill Clinton Endorses Romanoff in Colorado     Permalink

If Buck wins his primary, it is not yet sure which Democrat he will face in November. The Democrats are also having a primary, albeit a bit unconventional one. The establishment favorite, backed by Obama and most other party bigwigs is appointed senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Bennet is probably a fairly weak candidate who has never run for any public office until now and hasn't had a high profile as a senator, either. His challenger, Andrew Romanoff, is an experienced politician who was the former speaker of the state house. So the race is not at all the mirror of the Republican battle with a far-left insurgent Democrat battling a mainstream politician. Polling has been scarce in this race and much of what there is comes from either partisan pollsters or the now-discredited Research 2000. Clinton's endorsement could help Romanoff, although it will be widely seen as a thank you for Romanoff endorsing Hillary Clinton in 2008 than genuine support for Romanoff. More important here is that the left is not actively opposing Bennet, as it did Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. While Bennet hasn't made a name for himself, he has voted as a relatively loyal Democrat and generally incumbent senators are not defeated in primaries unless they have really ticked off a major chunk of their base.

McCain Probably Leads Hayworth in Arizona     Permalink

Again, polling has been very scarce in the Arizona Republican senatorial primary, which will be held Aug. 24, and much of what there is again comes from Research 2000. Here is situation is more like Kentucky, Nevada, and Colorado, with a far-right insurgent, J.D. Hayworth, challenging an incumbent, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). But McCain is a far stronger candidate than the other establishment favorites, having already been elected to the Senate four times. Furthermore, he was his party's nominee for President only 2 years ago. That gives him a much deeper pool of support, than Trey Grayson, Kentucky's Secretary of state or Sue Lowden in Nevada, who has never held public office and made some huge blunders during the campaign. Finally, Hayworth is much more bombastic than the Kentucky winner, Rand Paul or the Nevada winner, Sharron Angle. Most likely McCain will survive this one, but without any serious polling data, it is just a guess.

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