Archive for the ‘2014 Elections’ Category

Will These Governors Survive the Midterm Elections?

July 29, 2014

By Nick Blazer, Manager, Social Media Services and the 2014 Elections Project

blog-electionsIt has been a little over a month since the last round of gubernatorial primary elections and some of the biggest question marks in 2014 are finally reaching the primary election milestone this year. Six races with August primaries are listed below and in every race a governor is defending his incumbency for a second term in office. Additionally, in every race below at least one source rates the race as a toss-up this year. The one August primary to watch closely is the Hawaii primary on August 9: Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) may be the only governor to lose in a primary race this year. In addition, pending the results of the August primaries, Hawaii and Connecticut are potential rematches from 2010; and if former State Representative Jonathan Pelto (I) qualifies for the ballot in Connecticut, both races feature an independent candidate whose presence could impact the outcome of the already-competitive elections.

For more news about the races, chart listings of the gubernatorial candidates and more information, check out http://2014governorsraces.com.

Connecticut

Governor Dan Malloy (D) is seeking re-election to a second term and is unchallenged for the Democratic nomination. State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R) and former Ambassador Tom Foley (R) are competing for the Republican Party nomination. In addition, former State Representative Jonathan Pelto (I) is running as an independent; he is formerly a Democrat. If Tom Foley wins the party nomination, the race will be a rematch from the 2010 gubernatorial election.

The overall outlook for this race from major ratings outfits is a toss-up. Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics (Sabato’s Crystal Ball, now in partnership with Politico) and Real Clear Politics rate this race as a toss-up. FiveThirtyEight forecast the odds of the race in favor of the Republican nominee, while the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Political Report view this contest as leaning Democrat. Furthermore, if Jonathan Pelto qualifies for the ballot as an independent, he adds another variable to the race as a candidate that could draw away votes – particularly Democratic votes (as a former Democrat) – from the other candidates.

There are two polls to draw data from in recent months – one released by Quinnipiac University in May and a new poll (as part of a nationwide series) released this past weekend by YouGov (in partnership with CBS News and the New York Times). The YouGov poll does not utilize traditional polling methods – the polls were conducted online and do not utilize probability sampling (meaning a random sample representative of the general population) – and does not have a margin of error. That said, if it is an indicator of the race, Tom Foley possesses a clear advantage. In addition, the Quinnipiac survey was published before most of the Republican primary candidates withdrew from the race.

The two existing general election scenarios appeared as competitive races in the May Quinnipiac poll. In a repeat general election match between Governor Malloy and Tom Foley, the two tied at 43%. In a race between Governor Malloy and John McKinney, Governor Malloy maintained a four-point advantage at 44% to 40%. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.4%. YouGov reported a completely different picture after the span of a few months: Tom Foley held a nine-point advantage over Governor Malloy at 42% versus 33% for outright voters, although the distance narrows to 48% versus 41% respectively when respondents leaning toward a particular candidate are factored in.

Governor Dan Malloy held the high ground in campaign funds in the last campaign finance report in June, in part due to public financing. Governor Malloy, State Senator McKinney and former Ambassador Foley committed to and qualified for public financing, but Governor Malloy was the only candidate to receive his funds in the reporting period. State Senator McKinney and former Ambassador Foley had to wait until July to receive their funds and received $1.35 million. In addition, since Governor Malloy is not challenged for the party nomination, he will only receive one round of financing; the Republican nominee will receive a second round for the general election. Governor Malloy concluded the reporting period with $6,364,628 in cash on hand; Tom Foley ended with $17,062 in cash on hand; John McKinney finished with $18,300 in cash on hand; and former State Representative Jonathan Pelto raised $7,235 and ended June with $7,177 in cash on hand.

The Connecticut primary election will be held on August 12.

Florida

Governor Rick Scott (R) is seeking re-election to a second term. He is contested by Yinka Adeshina (R) and Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder (R) for the Republican Party nomination. Former Governor Charlie Crist (D) and former State Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich (D) are competing for the Democratic Party nomination.

Real Clear Politics, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the Rothenberg Political Report, the Cook Political Report and FiveThirtyEight all view this race as a toss-up. This is also indicated by polling data for the past few months as Governor Scott and former Governor Crist poll close to one another and oscillate back and forth between leads. Four polls published in July are perfect examples of this – two conducted by SurveyUSA, one by Quinnipiac University and the YouGov online survey mentioned above.

On July 9, SurveyUSA reported 45% of respondents supported Governor Rick Scott and 43% preferred Charlie Crist; thirteen days later, the trend reversed in another SurveyUSA poll and Charlie Crist moved up to a six-point advantage at 46% versus 40%. A day later, Quinnipiac University published its results and indicated Charlie Crist held a five-point advantage at 45% versus 40%. Finally, the data by YouGov run against these findings: Governor Scott polled at 43% and Charlie Crist at 38% with respondents who intend to vote for the candidates. The five-point advantage remains in place when respondents who lean toward a candidate are factored in, as 48% of respondents support Governor Scott and 43% back former Governor Charlie Crist. Both SurveyUSA polls have a margin of error of +/- 4.2%; Quinnipiac University’s survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%; and the YouGov poll does not have a margin of error since it was conducted online.

In the reporting period of July 12 through July 18, Governor Rick Scott raised $200,696 and his independent political committee Let’s Get to Work raised $21,000. Charlie Crist raised $192,446 and his independent political committee Charlie Crist for Florida raised $221,600. Finally, Nan Rich raised $12,097, while her independent political committee Citizens for a Progressive Florida PC did not report funds and filed for a waiver.

The Florida primary election will be held on August 26.

Hawaii

Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) is seeking re-election to a second term. He is challenged by State Senator David Ige (D) and Van Tanabe (D) for the Democratic Party nomination. Former Lieutenant Governor James “Duke” Aiona (R), Charles Collins (R) and Stuart Gregory are seeking the Republican Party nomination. In addition, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (I), a 2010 Democratic primary candidate, is running for governor as an independent. If Governor Abercrombie and former Lieutenant Governor Aiona win their respective party nominations, the race will be a rematch from the 2010 gubernatorial election.

The average of the ratings for this race is leaning Democrat, although Governor Abercrombie may not win the Democratic nomination. Sabato’s Crystal Ball, the Rothenberg Political Report and the Cook Political Report view this race as leaning Democrat, while Real Clear Politics rates it as a toss-up.

A slightly different picture emerged from the June Honolulu Civil Beat Poll, where Duke Aiona polled either favorably or competitively in the two general election scenarios. State Senator David Ige held a clear advantage over Governor Abercrombie at 48% versus 37% in the Democratic primary election. In the two likely general election scenarios, former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona held a six-point advantage over Governor Abercrombie (33% versus 27%) and tied with State Senator Ige (31%). In both scenarios more than a fifth of respondents were undecided and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann attracted more than 15% of support. The poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 3%, while the subset of Democratic primary voters has a margin of error of +/- 3.6%. Finally, the YouGov online survey questioned respondents about a rematch between former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona and Governor Abercrombie. The poll reported 37% of respondents supported Duke Aiona, while 34% backed Governor Abercrombie. When the respondents who lean toward a candidate are factored in, both candidates receive a three percent boost in support. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

Governor Neil Abercrombie raised the most funds in the first half of the year and held the largest amount of cash on hand in the mid-year (January 1 – June 30) campaign finance reports. He also spent more ($2,051,369) than the sum of his opponents’ fundraising totals. Governor Abercrombie raised $885,601 and ended the period with $1,042,582 in cash on hand; State Senator David Ige raised $242,724 and concluded with $92,004 in cash on hand; former Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona raised $360,902 and finished with $203,489 in cash on hand; and former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann raised $159,000 and ended with $167,842 in cash on hand.

The Hawaii primary election will be held on August 9.

Kansas

Governor Sam Brownback (R) is seeking re-election to a second term. He is contested by Jennifer Winn (R) for the Republican Party nomination. State House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D) is uncontested for the Democratic Party nomination.

The overall outlook for this race is leaning Republican, though it might be closer to a toss-up. FiveThirtyEight, the Rothenberg Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball forecast this race in favor of the Republican Party. The Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics disagree, rating this contest as a toss-up. In addition, a large number of current and former Republican officials recently crossed party lines and endorsed Paul Davis.

Furthermore, recent polls reflect a change in public sentiment, as Paul Davis and his running mate Jill Docking (D) are ahead of Governor Brownback and Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer (R) in the polls. Two SurveyUSA polls, conducted for KSN-TV in June and July, reported a six- and an eight-point advantage respectively for the Davis-Docking ticket. In June, Davis and Docking polled at 47% versus Brownback and Colyer’s 41%, while in July the gap widened to 48% versus 40% respectively. The margin of error for the June poll is +/- 3.1% and the margin of error for the July poll is +/- 2.9%. The recent YouGov online survey runs against these figures, as the data places Governor Sam Brownback in a solid lead. The poll reported 47% of respondents preferred Governor Brownback, compared to 37% for State House Minority Leader Davis. When the respondents who lean toward a candidate are factored in, Governor Brownback receives a five percent boost in support, while Paul Davis receives a three percent boost in support.

Campaign finance reports, which cover January 1 through July 24, were recently due. State Representative Paul Davis raised $1,121,980 and ended the period with $1,324,702 in cash on hand. Jennifer Winn raised $13,596 and ended the period with $338 in cash on hand. Governor Sam Brownback raised $1,244,282 and ended the period with $2,365,373 in cash on hand.

The Kansas primary election will be held on August 5.

Michigan

Governor Rick Snyder (R) is seeking re-election to a second term. He is challenged by former Congressman Mark Schauer (D). Both individuals are uncontested for their respective party nominations.

The race ratings for the Michigan gubernatorial race vary. The Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics view this race as a toss-up, while the Rothenberg Political Report leaves open the possibility of a toss-up with slight favorability toward the Republican Party. Sabato’s Crystal Ball describes the outcome as leaning Republican, while FiveThirtyEight forecast the contest with odds heavily in favor of the Republican Party.

The polling data for July shows Governor Snyder has a close lead over former Congressman Mark Schauer. Mark Schauer tied with Governor Snyder at 40% in Public Policy Polling’s (PPP) survey conducted at the end of June and published on July 1. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%. The mid-July polls released by Vanguard Public Affairs / Denno Research and NBC News / Marist showed Governor Snyder with varying leads. Vanguard Public Affairs revealed 45% of respondents supported Governor Snyder and 35% backed Mark Schauer, with a margin of error of +/- 4%. The NBC News / Marist poll uncovered a much smaller advantage, as 46% of registered voters preferred Governor Snyder and 44% picked former Congressman Schauer, with a margin of error of +/- 3.3%. Epic-MRA’s poll, conducted for the Detroit Free Press and WXYZ-TV and published on July 17, indicated a three-point advantage for Governor Rick Snyder at 46% versus 43%. This poll has a margin of error of +/- 4%. Lastly, YouGov’s online survey showed 42% of respondents back Governor Snyder, compared to 39% of respondents who support Mark Schauer. If respondents who lean toward a candidate are factored in, both candidates receive a four percent boost in support.

The campaign finance reports for the first half of the year were due last week. Governor Rick Snyder holds the advantage in funds; he raised $3.3 million and possesses more than $4.6 million in cash on hand. Mark Schauer raised $1.8 million and received $990,000 in public financing; in addition, he possesses more than $2.4 million in cash on hand.

The Michigan primary election will be held on August 5.

Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker (R) is seeking re-election to a second term. He is challenged by State Representative Brett Hulsey (D) and former Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce Mary Burke (D) who are seeking the Democratic Party nomination. Governor Walker is uncontested for the Republican Party nomination.

The ratings for the Wisconsin gubernatorial race vary. The Cook Political Report and Real Clear Politics view this race as a toss-up, while the Rothenberg Political Report rates it as leaning Republican. Sabato’s Crystal Ball describes the outcome as likely Republican, while FiveThirtyEight forecast the race with odds heavily in favor of the Republican Party. Despite the majority of these predictions, the data in the latest poll from Marquette University Law School indicates a competitive race. Governor Walker held a single-point advantage to Mary Burke at 47% versus 46%, with a margin of error of +/- 3.5%. However, when the results of the poll were narrowed to likely voters in the general election, the results flipped to a single-point advantage in favor of Mary Burke at 47% versus 46%, with a margin of error of +/- 4.3%. The poll did not question respondents about State Representative Brett Hulsey.

In the YouGov online survey, 46% of respondents picked Governor Walker, while 43% chose Mary Burke. If respondents who lean toward a candidate are accounted for, Governor Walker receives a one percent boost in support and Mary Burke receives a three percent boost in support, leaving Governor Walker with a one-point advantage.

Campaign finance reports were due for the campaigns on July 21 and covered January 1 through June 30. Governor Scott Walker held the cash advantage for the general election, while Mary Burke held the cash advantage for the Democratic primary election. State Representative Brett Hulsey raised $2,488 and concluded the period with $946 in cash on hand; Mary Burke raised $3,649,307 and concluded the period with $2,556,644 in cash on hand; and Governor Scott Walker raised $8,292,465 and concluded the period with $7,596,484 in cash on hand.

The Wisconsin primary election will be held on August 12.

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Nick Blazer is Manager of Social Media Services and the 2014 Elections Project.

Regulation Déjà Vu

June 5, 2014

By John Howell, Esq., Vice President

SRegulatory Activity Overloadummer is approaching and state legislative sessions are winding down. But, for those who focus on state regulations, the “high season” is still very much underway. And, it all has to do with state elections.

With 36 gubernatorial elections in November, along with high profile issues such as hydraulic fracturing, health care, network neutrality, privacy of information, and a myriad of environmental issues dotting the regulatory landscape, the second half of 2014 is shaping up to be a heavy period of regulatory activity.

We often observe a spike in regulatory activity following legislative sessions. The reasons run the gamut from implementing rules in response to the passage of new laws to more strategic reasons such as regulatory agencies’ desire to maintain independence and authority in the absence of legislative scrutiny. Regardless of the reason, there is no “summer lull” in state regulatory activity. In fact, we are again seeing a sizable uptick in activity through our Regulatory Forecasting and RegulationALERT services and that is in keeping with the historical trend for a midterm election year.

Using a constant issue set as the basis, here is what we have observed:

In 2009, the year preceding the last midterm election, our regulatory services team observed a 27% spike in the regulatory activity between the first half of the year against the second half. In the first half of 2009, our team monitored 738 new proposed regulations while in the second half of 2009 that number jumped to 928 for a total of 1666 first published regulations followed in 2009.

The spike in new regulatory activity continued into 2010 as we monitored over 3,100 new proposed regulations, an increase of nearly 100% against 2009.

Following the elections in 2010, the rate of regulatory activity continued to be strong. Over 1,120 new regulations were first published in the year after which the activity leveled off towards the latter half of 2011 through the first half of 2013.

Now, four years later with another midterm election on the horizon, our regulatory team witnessed a 44% increase in regulatory monitoring activity in the second half of 2013. In the first half of 2013 we monitored 679 new proposed regulations while in the second half of 2013 the number increased to 976 regulations.

In 2014, we are again witnessing close to a 100% spike in activity as compared to the same period in 2013. In this midterm election year, there have been over 1,200 new proposed regulations so far.

As Yogi Berra said so famously, “it’s déjà vu all over again”.

Adding dimension to the impact midterm elections have on regulatory activity will be the results themselves – particularly at the gubernatorial level. Past elections have demonstrated that the re-election of an incumbent governor, regardless of party, often leads to an additional spike in regulatory activity immediately following the election that carries through into the following year.

Conversely, newly elected governors, regardless of party, tend to move in a more deliberate fashion. Administrative priorities involved with taking office as well as the need to establish goals, objectives and new regulatory priorities are the likely driving factors. Therein lies the challenge as new priorities also generate new issues and concerns for those who monitor regulatory activity ranging from having to gain additional subject matter expertise to establishing new relationships with staff.

If 2010 was any lesson to us, we are staring at a sustained period of increased regulatory activity which could last through the first half of 2015.

Exciting times, indeed.

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John Howell is Vice President of Regulatory Services at Stateside Associates. With substantial policy and legal experience, Mr. Howell guides Stateside Associates’ regulatory counsel and provides clients with hands on Regulatory Issue Management support from strategic planning, regulatory advocacy, and working with groups of state and local officials.

Election 2014: Spotlight on the Gubernatorial Races

May 7, 2014

By Nick Blazer, Manager, Social Media Services and the 2014 Elections Project

2014 Gubernatorial RacesWhile national pundits keep their eyes fixated on the Congressional elections, 2014 is the critical year for state elections in the United States. There are 36 gubernatorial seats up for grabs and 29 out of the 36 governors are seeking another term. This is in addition to the 31 attorneys general elections and over 6,000 state legislative elections—many of which will determine legislative majorities for 2015 and beyond. Not since 2010 has there been so much potential for great change in the political landscape after the November elections.

The gubernatorial election season officially kicked off in March with the Texas and Illinois primary elections. April featured a brief pause in primary elections for the gubernatorial races, but the cycle accelerates in May with a wave of primaries. The Ohio primary election was held yesterday, May 6; the Nebraska primary is next week on May 13; and Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Oregon and Pennsylvania will hold primary elections on May 20 (in addition, the following states held or will hold primary elections in May, but will not elect a governor in 2014: Indiana and North Carolina: May 6; West Virginia: May 13; Kentucky: May 20). Also, Texas will hold a primary runoff election on May 27, but the gubernatorial candidates were set in the March primary election. Since the field is about to narrow in a number of the key races, this is as good of a time as any to provide a brief update on the gubernatorial candidates in nine of either the most competitive races or stated party target states this year.

More campaign updates like this one, including information on the latest polls and news headlines plus searchable elections charts for all of the candidates, can be found on our companion elections websites 2014governorsraces.com and 2014attorneysgeneral.com. As the election season kicks into overdrive, more and more updates will be posted on a daily basis, so be sure to check back for all of the latest elections news.

Arkansas

The Arkansas gubernatorial race remains competitive. Governor Mike Beebe (D) is term-limited. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson (R) and Curtis Coleman (R) are vying for the Republican Party nomination and former Congressman Mike Ross (D) and Lynette Bryant (D) are competing for the Democratic Party nomination. Asa Hutchinson and Mike Ross are the front-runners of the respective primary races.

The results of an April 29 poll by Talk Business Research and Hendrix College and released on May 5 revealed strong support for Asa Hutchinson in the Republican primary election. The poll reported 70% intended to vote for Asa Hutchinson, 20% intended to vote for Curtis Coleman and 10% were undecided.

On the general election front, the latest poll performed by Public Policy Polling and released at the end of April reported Asa Hutchinson moved into an eight-point lead over Mike Ross, to the tune of 46% versus 38%. Mike Ross still held an advantage over his other potential rival Curtis Coleman (43% vs 33%). The growth in support for Hutchinson is a new development. The two front-runners ran neck-and-neck throughout the month of April. The New York Times / Kaiser Family Foundation poll conducted in mid-April placed Hutchinson at 41% and Ross at 40%, while a Talk Business/Hendrix College poll conducted at the beginning of April showed Ross at 44% and Hutchinson at 43%.

The two front-runners received help from big names in the last three weeks. Former President Bill Clinton (D) recently appeared at a fundraiser to help Mike Ross build his war chest; he also endorsed Mike Ross earlier this April. In addition, the National Rifle Association endorsed both Mike Ross and Asa Hutchinson.

Mike Ross possessed the largest amount of cash on hand in the latest official fundraising reports and raised the most money in the month of March. This could change when the results of the April report appear later this month. Ross raised $222,274 and possessed $2,050,015 cash on hand, while Hutchinson raised $200,079 and held $1,243,409 in cash on hand. Curtis Coleman raised $38,345 and held $16,446 in cash on hand.

The Arkansas primary election is May 20.

Colorado

Governor John Hickenlooper (D) is seeking re-election in 2014. He will face one of four possible Republican candidates in the general election. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez (R), Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R), former State Senator Mike Kopp (R) and former Congressman Tom Tancredo (R) are competing for the party nomination.

The field of Republican candidates narrowed between a mid-March and mid-April poll: the Colorado Republican Party Convention in conjunction with the state filing deadline reduced the field of primary candidates to just four Republicans. Bob Beauprez and Tom Tancredo qualified by submitting signatures, while attendees at the Republican Party Convention approved Scott Gessler and Mike Kopp.

Quinnipiac University surveyed the playing field in mid-April and discovered Governor Hickenlooper remains secure against all four of his opponents, placing at 47%+ support against each one with a minimum of a seven-point advantage. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo was his closest competitor in the poll – Governor Hickenlooper held a seven-point advantage at 47% versus 40%. In addition, more than half of respondents reported not knowing enough about Secretary of State Scott Gessler, former State Senator Mike Kopp and former Congressman Bob Beauprez to voice a favorable or unfavorable opinion about the three candidates. The Republican candidates may be able to reduce Governor Hickenlooper’s lead as their visibility increases. The results of this survey are similar to the results released by Public Policy Polling in mid-March where Governor John Hickenlooper held roughly the same amount of support. It should be noted that despite the Governor’s consistent advantage in the polls, the Republican candidates increased support since mid-March as well.

According to the newest campaign finance reports, Governor Hickenlooper raised the most money in the first quarter and has the largest war chest. Governor Hickenlooper raised $984,564 and possesses $1.65 million in cash on hand. Former Congressman Bob Beauprez raised more than $443,000 and holds more than $118,000 in cash on hand. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo raised more than $279,000 and possesses $111,000 in cash on hand. The results for Secretary of State Scott Gessler and former State Senator Mike Kopp have yet to be released.

In recent news, three of the four Republicans debated on April 24 and May 3. Former Congressman Tom Tancredo skipped both debates. Additionally, Steve House, a former candidate in the race, endorsed Bob Beauprez.

The Colorado primary election is June 24.

Florida

Governor Rick Scott (R) is seeking a second term. He is challenged by former State Senator Nan Rich (D) and former Governor Charlie Crist (D) who are seeking the Democratic Party nomination. Former Governor Crist is the Democratic front-runner.

While the Florida gubernatorial election is still competitive and Governor Scott just kicked off his re-election campaign, Charlie Crist is the front-runner as indicated by most polls released in the past month. The newest results unveiled on May 4 by SurveyUSA, which conducted the poll on behalf of WFLA-TV, show Charlie Crist at 44% compared to 41% for Governor Rick Scott. This is within the margin of error (+/- 4.3%). However, this is substantially different compared to the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released on April 30 and conducted in late April. Charlie Crist placed at 48% compared to Governor Scott’s 38% within the sample population and was well outside of the margin of error (+/- 2.6%).

Five days earlier, Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. revealed the results of a poll conducted in mid-April and the two candidates tied at 42%. In addition, the favorability, unfavorability and neutrality ratings for name recognition of Charlie Crist and Governor Rick Scott were very close in each category. Rasmussen Reports conducted a poll from April 21-22 and revealed its findings on April 24: Charlie Crist led Governor Scott at 45% vs 39%. Finally, SurveyUSA surveyed Floridians in mid-April and reported on April 15 that Charlie Crist ranked at 46% compared to Governor Scott at 41%. Again, Crist consistently appears to be the front-runner, but the numbers oscillate too much to provide a clear idea by how much. They may also reverse now that Governor Scott can fully focus on his re-election campaign.

The Florida primary election is August 26.

Georgia

Governor Nathan Deal (R) is defending his seat in 2014. He is challenged by former Dalton Mayor David Pennington (R) and State School Superintendent John Barge (R) in the Republican primary election and will face State Senator Jason Carter (D) in the general election. Jason Carter is the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter (D).

Governor Nathan Deal polled at a four-point advantage in support over State Senator Jason Carter in two April surveys. SurveyUSA interviewed Georgia residents on behalf of WXIA-TV in late April and discovered 41% of respondents backed Governor Deal while 37% supported State Senator Carter. Additionally, 64% of respondents who were likely to vote in the Republican primary supported Governor Deal, while 11% chose David Pennington and 10% selected John Barge. Earlier in the month, Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone questioned Georgia voters on behalf of WSB-TV. The poll reported 43% supported Governor Deal and 39% supported State Senator Carter. Also, the results were within the +/- 4% margin of error.

There will be a Republican primary debate on May 14, but Governor Nathan Deal declined to join due to outstanding commitments.

The Georgia primary election is May 20.

Illinois

Governor Pat Quinn (D) is defending his seat against Bruce Rauner (R) in the general election. The Illinois primary election occurred on March 18 and Bruce Rauner defeated three other rivals for the Republican nomination.

Rasmussen Reports conducted the only major poll since the March 18 primary election. Rasmussen surveyed likely Illinois voters in mid-April and discovered 43% of respondents sided with Bruce Rauner, while 40% backed Governor Pat Quinn. It is within the margin of error (+/- 4%).

In recent news, the federal government is examining the contracts and payments for Governor Pat Quinn’s $55 million anti-violence program and this drew an attack from his opponent. Bruce Rauner’s political action committee dedicated to the adoption of term limits in Illinois filed its petition for a constitutional amendment with 591,092 signatures. Governor Pat Quinn publicly sided with the idea of term limits in late April. Lastly, Governor Quinn and Bruce Rauner squared off in a debate on April 11 and traded jabs over the topic of education.

Campaign finance reports filed in April indicate Governor Pat Quinn holds close to $9 million in cash on hand and he raised close to $5 million in the first quarter. Bruce Rauner raised more than $9 million in the first quarter, of which $5.3 million was self-funded, and spent more than $8 million in the same time frame. This was necessary due to the Republican primary; Rauner faced three other opponents, while Governor Quinn coasted to victory and only spent $631,000 in the first quarter.

The general election is November 4.

Maine

Governor Paul LePage (R) is seeking a second term. He is challenged by Congressman Mike Michaud (D) and former 2010 rival Eliot Cutler (I). Governor LePage narrowly defeated Cutler in 2010.

Maine is one of the most competitive gubernatorial races out of the 36 at the moment in terms of poll results. In a recent Rasmussen Reports survey unveiled on April 29 and conducted in late April, Governor LePage and Congressman Michaud tied at 40% and Eliot Cutler ranked at 14%. This is a shift from the Pan Atlantic SMS Group survey in early April, where Governor LePage placed at 39%, Congressman Michaud at 37% and Eliot Cutler at 20%.

As of the April campaign finance reports, Congressman Mike Michaud holds $813,000 in cash on hand and raised $462,000 in the period between January 1 and April 22. Governor Paul LePage possessed $618,000 in cash on hand and raised $123,000 since January 1. Eliot Cutler raised more than $389,000 from January 1 and April 22, although more than $200,000 was self-funded. The campaign held $109,000 in cash on hand.

The Maine primary election is June 10.

Ohio

Governor John Kasich (R) is running for re-election. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald (D) defeated Larry Ealy in the Democratic primary election and will face Governor Kasich in the general election.

Governor Kasich’s position appears strong in the latest poll and he received an apparent boost in support between the February and April polls. A SurveyUSA poll conducted on behalf of WCMH-TV in late April reported Governor Kasich held a ten-point lead over Cuyahoga County Executive FitzGerald at 46% versus 36%. This is a three-point growth from the Quinnipiac University survey conducted in February where Governor Kasich polled at 43% and Ed FitzGerald ranked at 38%. Also, while a majority of voters did not approve of Governor Kasich’s performance, more respondents approved (46%) than disapproved (39%) in the April poll.

Governor John Kasich possesses more than $8.5 million in cash on hand as of the last campaign finance report. Governor Kasich raised more than $1.4 million between January and the middle of April. His rival Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald raised $642,000 and held more than $1.5 million in cash on hand during the same fundraising period. Also, Governor Kasich spent $475,000 on television commercials between January and mid-April.

The general election is November 4.

Pennsylvania

Governor Tom Corbett (R) is running for re-election in 2014. He was challenged by Bob Guzzardi (R) until very recently in the primary election. The Democratic field features four contenders: State Treasurer Rob McCord (D), former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Katie McGinty (D), Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D) and former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue Tom Wolf (D).

The last major poll to question respondents about hypothetical races between Governor Corbett and the Democratic candidates was conducted in February, so the jury is out on this front. However, new surveys in April did take the pulse of the competition between the Democrats and “Teflon Tom” is the front-runner despite attacks made by his three rivals throughout April. A late April The Morning Call / Muhlenberg College poll discovered Tom Wolf clocked in at 38% of support in the Democratic primary election, while Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz placed at 13%, State Treasurer Rob McCord ranked at 11% and Katie McGinty polled at 2%. The number of undecided primary voters was 33% of respondents, so it is possible one of these candidates might surge forward for a surprise upset in the impending primary. The results are similar to the Franklin & Marshall College Poll released at the beginning of April. In the survey of registered Democrats, the poll reported 33% of respondents favored Tom Wolf, 7% favored Congresswoman Schwartz, 6% backed State Treasurer McCord, 4% sided with Katie McGinty and 4% chose some other candidate.

In recent news, Governor Corbett will no longer face Bob Guzzardi in the Pennsylvania primary election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned a ruling made in a lower court that allowed Guzzardi to remain on the ballot. The Fix at the Washington Post still lists Governor Corbett as the most vulnerable governor up for re-election in 2014. Leaders in the Pittsburgh region endorsed Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, State Treasurer Rob McCord received an endorsement from The Philadelphia Inquirer, the largest newspaper in Pennsylvania. Rob McCord was also endorsed by 30 Pennsylvania mayors in April. Lastly, Tom Wolf was just endorsed by John Hanger, a former Democratic candidate who dropped out of the race in March.

Attacks on front-runner Tom Wolf are a common theme in the last few weeks. Congresswoman Schwartz called out Tom Wolf’s campaign for plagiarism in his “Fresh Start” plan in April and these claims turned out to be true. The candidates are also very active over Pennsylvania’s airwaves and Tom Wolf is the main target. A controversial ad aired by Rob McCord against Wolf has since been criticized by State Senator Bob Casey and former Governor Tom Rendell. The two called on McCord to pull the ad from the airwaves. Lastly, there was a debate between the Democrats on May 1. The topic was supposed to be education, but Tom Wolf’s rivals seized the opportunity to launch attacks. In spite of the efforts, he still leads the candidates the latest poll and earned the nickname “Teflon Tom.”

Finally, Tom Wolf posted the largest coffers at the beginning of April. He possessed more than $7 million in cash on hand. Governor Corbett reported more than $5.9 million in cash on hand and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz posted more than $5.1 million in cash on hand. Rob McCord entered April with $3.6 million in cash on hand while Katie McGinty held $1.6 million in cash on hand. Allyson Schwartz was the largest fundraiser ($1,554,892), but Tom Wolf was the largest spender ($5,358,259). He used much of these early funds to purchase advertisements and these ads arguably gave him the early boost in the polls and perpetual front-runner status.

The Pennsylvania primary election is May 20.

Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker (R) is seeking a second term. He is challenged by four Democrats seeking the party nomination: former Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce Mary Burke (D), Assemblymember Brett Hulsey (D), Marcia Mercedes Perkins (D) and Hariprasad Trivedi (D).

The dynamics of the race changed slightly in April. Mary Burke was the front-runner for the Democratic Party nomination, but Assemblymember Brett Hulsey joined the race in late April, so this may change. Nonetheless, Governor Walker is still in the lead when compared to Mary Burke, although the distance narrowed since March. Public Policy Polling conducted a poll in mid-April and reported 48% of respondents would vote for Governor Scott in the fall, 45% would vote for Mary Burke and 7% were not sure. The results were just shy of the margin of error (+/- 2.9%) In the same poll, half of respondents approved of Governor Walker’s job performance while 47% disapproved. In late March, Marquette Law School surveyed Wisconsinites and reported 47% of respondents backed Governor Walker while 41% sided with Mary Burke. The poll also reported an equal amount of respondents – 47% – approved and disapproved of Governor Walker’s job performance. Lastly, Human Events and Gravis Marketing questioned Wisconsinites on March 17 and reported 49% of respondents would vote for Governor Walker, 44% for Mary Burke and 7% were unsure.

In recent news, The Daily Beast and U.S. News & World Report printed pieces on Mary Burke’s bid to beat Governor Walker. Assemblymember Brett Hulsey joined the race in late April with the intent “to make this race more interesting” and will need to collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot by the June 2 deadline. His first plan to attack his rival involved hiring an individual to follow Mary Burke in a chicken suit and he may follow through with this. He drew attention to himself this past weekend when he protested at the Republican Party Convention by dressing as a Confederate soldier. The Wisconsin Republican and Democratic Parties were critical of his actions. Lastly, Governor Scott Walker officially launched his re-election campaign in mid-April. Time Magazine also added him to their 2014 “The 100 Most Influential People in the World” list.

The Wisconsin primary election is August 12.

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Nick Blazer is Manager of Social Media Services and the 2014 Elections Project.