Tag Archives: Presidential Primary

Ariz. Sec. of State Calls for End to Taxpayer-Funded Presidential Primaries

Republican Arizona Secretary of State Michelle Reagan is reportedly working with legislators on a bill that would end taxpayer funding of presidential primaries in the state.

According to The Associated Press, Sec. Reagan’s elections director Eric Spencer said that ending taxpayer-funded primaries would save the state $10 million. He also argued that the legislation is necessary because independent voters are required to fund the Democratic and Republican parties’ primary contests but are not allowed to participate in them.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Spencer told The Arizona Capitol Times, “We want to return this to the political parties to run. And we believe that that’s a core function of a political party, to vet their nominees.

The Arizona State Legislature slashed the Sec. of State’s budget by $6 million in 2015 to apply it to the upcoming presidential primary election.

The Arizona Republic’s Laurie Roberts wrote, “Adding to reasons why the GOP and Democrats don’t need party welfare? Fully a third of Arizona’s voters can’t even participate in the presidential primaries. Independents now comprise the largest and fastest growing voting bloc in the state yet they can’t vote in a presidential primary. They are, however, expected to pick up a share of the tab.

[RELATED: Commission on Presidential Debates Preps for Possible Third-Party in 2016 Debates]

Inevitably, [ending taxpayer funding of primary elections] would mean there would be caucuses instead of presidential primaries in Arizona, because the parties could not afford to administer presidential primaries on their own,” said Ballot Access News’ Richard Winger, an election law expert.

In July of last year, the Truth in Media Project released a Consider This video highlighting the fact that independent voters now outnumber those who identify as Republicans and Democrats. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.


Gallup Quits Presidential Primary Horse Race Polling, Will Continue Issue-Based Polls

Top pollster Gallup will not be conducting presidential horse race polls during the 2016 primary season and may also abandon them for the general election. Instead, the company will focus on polls that test voters’ opinions on key issues.

According to Politico, the shift in priorities follows Gallup’s poor 2012 polling performance in which its polls overestimated Mitt Romney’s level of support. Politico’s Steven Shepard characterized Gallup as “the country’s gold standard for horse-race election polling ever since its legendary founder, George Gallup, predicted Franklin Roosevelt’s landslide reelection in 1936,” emphasizing the historic nature of the company’s current transition, which comes as many top pollsters question the usefulness of modern presidential horse race polls for applications such as narrowing down the participants in presidential debates.

[RELATED: DONEGAN: If GOP Debate Stage Can Fit 11, Let Third Parties In General Election Debates]

Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport said that “to date” his company has decided to abandon presidential primary horse race polling for the 2016 season and it has not yet decided whether to do them for the general election. “We believe to put our time and money and brainpower into understanding the issues and priorities is where we can most have an impact,” said Newport.

The New York Times notes that Newport told a gathering of reporters and pollsters in June of 2013 that “there is something going on in the industry, and Gallup was at the bottom of that [in 2012],” referring to the changing nature of polling as voters shift from using land lines to smartphones and web technology at varying rates across different demographics.

Though Gallup is reportedly beginning to experiment with internet and smartphone-based polling, questions remain about the effectiveness of such methods. Consequently, Newport said that for this election cycle the focus will be on “understanding where the public stands on the issues of the day, how they are reacting to the proposals put forth by the candidates, what it is they want the candidates to do, and what messages or images of the candidates are seeping into the public’s consciousness.

Pew Research Center also appears to be shifting away from horse race polling, as the nonprofit pollster has not conducted a traditional horse race poll so far during this presidential cycle. Carroll Doherty, director of political research at Pew Research Center, confirmed the change and said, “We’re not going to track the horse race in the same way we have in the past.

Rutgers professor and former American Association for Public Opinion Research president Cliff Zukin told Politico, “In this case, the problem is both cause and effect. The difficulty in doing this well has caused major players to not participate. That means there’s even less legitimacy [in presidential horse race polling] because people who know how to do this right aren’t doing it.

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Rand Sounds Off On Indefinite Detention- Next POTUS Must Support the Entire Bill of Rights

Kentucky Senator and possible presidential candidate Rand Paul met potential voters at Fulchino Vineyard in Hollis, New Hampshire on Saturday, March 21st. Republican New Hampshire State Senator Kevin Avard, a Paul supporter, emceed the event that attracted over 100 “First in the Nation” primary voters.

The potential GOP field seeking the party’s nomination is expected to be wide. With Chris Christie, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham making recent visits to the state, Paul presented his case with what he says sets his campaign apart from others: a strict adherence to the entire Bill of Rights. Paul stated that, as a group, elected GOP lawmakers support the 2nd amendment but that wasn’t enough.

“But you want to defend the whole Bill of Rights. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t support the 1st amendment. You can’t defend the 2nd amendment if you don’t defend the 4th amendment,” Paul said.

Regarding the 4th amendment, Paul turned to the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Indefinite Detention” clause found in section 1021 which reads:

c) …. The disposition of a person under the law of war… may include the following:
(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force…

Paul said: “We now have a law on our books called ‘Indefinite Detention.’ An American citizen can be detained without a trial… You want to know what the President said? He said ‘I’m signing this, I’m troubled by this, but I’m signing this but look at me, I’m a good man and will never use this.’ We won’t get into the discussion of whether that is true or not but the thing is laws are not about one individual, but who comes after them.”

When asked for comment, PANDA (People Against National Defense Authorization Act) Jason Casella  had this to say about Paul’s remarks: “Though it’s excellent to see the Indefinite detention provisions and laws of war now contained in the NDAA are finally a topic of discussion for presidential hopefuls, the rest of the country has been taking action for years. It remains to be seen if the discussion moves to action in the 2016 races, but time and again it has been proven that if the people of America want their rights protected, it will be the people themselves to do it.”

Some of Senator Paul’s potential primary opponents have also weighed in on the NDAA:

Ted Cruz (S-TX), also a vocal opponent of the provision, stated this in his reasoning for voting against the 2014 NDAA:

“I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.”

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on U.S. citizens suspected of having ties with Al Qaeda under NDAA section 1021 guidelines: “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.” (Source)

NH State Senator Kevin Avard had this to say about Senator Paul’s presentation:

“We need to be the party that defends not only the 2nd amendment but the 1st and 4th and 5th, meaning all the Bill of Rights and reach out to all groups in our society. National defense is the highest priority but so also is our national debt which is as much a part of our security.”

The most recent poll (NBC News/Marist) taken in New Hampshire has Senator Paul in 3rd place at 14% behind current Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker at 15% and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 18%.

While the Senator has libertarian leaning roots, some in the Libertarian Party are split on Paul’s GOP candidacy. According to The Daily Beast, Nevada LP Chair Brett H. Pojunis stated that “‘Libertarian’ is now just a buzzword for Republicans like the Kentucky Senator. If Senator Paul was a libertarian: Well, OK then—join the Libertarian Party!”

With many undecided voters lingering in the Granite State, Paul’s presentation made this impression on NH resident Keith DeSantis:

“Senator Rand Paul emphasized not only the importance of the Bill of Rights, but why the Bill of Rights are important. His platform is focused on defending the entire Bill of Rights, instead of a single right or issue. It’s the message I think that appeals to a lot of people on both sides of the political spectrum.”

Mainstream Media: Rand Paul Is the 2016 GOP Presidential Frontrunner

Ever since Rand Paul became a US senator, rumors have suggested that he might mount a campaign for the presidency in 2016. Initially, corporate mainstream media pundits widely dismissed his views as unpopular and his potential candidacy as doomed for failure. However, in the wake of new polling that places him at the head of the GOP pack and in the best position to take on Hillary Clinton in the general election, a wide range of mainstream media outlets, including Meet the Press, Huffington Post, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, National Journal, Newsmaxand US News and World Reporthave declared that Rand Paul is currently the frontrunner in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

On the July 20 episode of NBC‘s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd succinctly summed up Rand Paul’s claim to frontrunner status, “What gives Paul that label? He has the highest favorable ratings of any potential candidate in the two [early primary] states. He leads the polls in the early horserace, not including the undecided vote, and he runs best against Hillary Clinton.” Todd also pointed to some of Senator Paul’s recent political stances as a rationale for his claim at the top of the Republican pile, “But it’s not just good poll numbers, he’s been very strategic in the past six months. Paul hired Rick Santorum’s former campaign manager. He’s teamed with Democrat Cory Booker on some legislation. And he backs a less active foreign policy that happens to be more popular with the public. This also could mean that Paul will be an early target of uneasy establishment Republicans all of next year.”

In Slate, David Weigel dissented, claiming that Rand Paul’s frontrunner status falls apart when Mitt Romney is included in polls. However, the University of New Hampshire poll that Weigel cited as his sole example is hardly representative of Republican voters nationwide, as former Massachusetts Governor Romney has a second home in New Hampshire, a state that neighbors Massachusetts where he was elected governor, and polls like a local candidate. Eric Levenson at Boston.com also cautioned that one of the poll’s authors, Andrew Smith from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said, “[It’s in] no way indicative of what’s going to happen… A lot of this is name recognition.”

Eric Levenson also pointed out the fact that the University of New Hampshire poll’s question may have caused a bias among participants, “The particular phrasing of the question posed to responders also likely had an impact on Romney’s big advantage. The pollers first asked a bevy of questions and opinions about the expected Republican contestants, including Christie, Ryan, Paul, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and others. The poller then asked a follow-up question: ‘If Mitt Romney were to run for the Republican nomination…’ followed by a list of all those same potential candidates. Specifically calling out Romney before mentioning the other names may have had the effect of highlighting him above others and influencing the response.”

If Rand Paul remains the GOP frontrunner as 2016 approaches, expect establishment Republicans to continue the already-underway barrage of attacks against him. Politico notes that, in recent weeks, several potential 2016 candidates have taken shots at Rand Paul’s foreign policy in what appears to have so far been a failed effort to soften Paul’s lead.