Tag Archives: Primary

Post-Debate Poll Shows New GOP Frontrunner Has Emerged

CALIFORNIA, September 18, 2015– On Wednesday, 11 Republican presidential primary candidates took their hard-earned places behind their respective podiums on stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. The first post-debate poll has been released, and Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of HP, is now a front-runner for the Republican nomination.

A strong performance in the first debate on the under-card stage thrust Fiorina onto the main stage for Wednesday’s CNN debate. Many questioned whether or not she’d continue to impress, or if she would buckle under the pressure.

After the debate, those who underestimated Fiorina were silenced. According to Robert Herring, Sr., CEO of One America News Network, the One America News national post-debate poll conducted by Gravis Marketing, a non-partisan research firm, shows it’s all Fiorina coming out of the second debate.

Taken immediately after the debate, the Gravis poll shows Fiorina jumping to first place at 22 percent, tied with Donald Trump. OAN’s previous national poll, conducted on September 3-4, showed the former HP top executive in seventh place with 2.7 percent.

While 33 percent of those polled felt that former HP CEO Carly Fiorina won the debate, only 21 percent said front-runner Donald Trump won the night.


Fiorina also had the highest showing with GOP national voters having a 78 percent more favorable opinion of the candidate post-debate. The less favorable percent came in at 13 percent with 10 percent unchanged. Thirty-three percent of GOP voters polled believed that Fiorina won the debate, the highest of any GOP Candidate.

The poll sampled a random survey of 1,337 registered Republican voters across the U.S. regarding the performance and opinions of the Republicans that took place in the second Republican Primary debate. The poll has a margin of error of ± 3%. The polls were conducted using IVR technology and weighted by gender.

Although it is only the first post-debate poll, Fiornia proved to be the first Republican candidate capable of knocking Donald Trump off his perch. For now, at least.

Who do you think won the debate? Vote in our online poll HERE.

FOLLOW MICHAEL LOTFI ON Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn.

For more election coverage, click here.

Kentucky GOP Approves Caucus, Allowing Rand Paul Presidential And Senate Run

The Republican Party of Kentucky approved a proposal to change its primary to a caucus on Saturday, paving the way for GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul to run for both President and for re-election in the Senate in 2016.

Paul took to his Facebook page, writing, “I applaud the Republican Party of Kentucky on their decision to hold a caucus in the upcoming Republican presidential cycle.”

“The people of Kentucky deserve a voice as the GOP chooses their next nominee, and holding a caucus will ensure that Kentucky is relevant and participates early in the process,” Paul wrote. “I am also grateful for the Republican Party’s trust in me, allowing me to run for re-election to the U.S. Senate and seek the nomination for the Presidency of the United States!”

While the proposal, which passed 111-36, does not change the law that keeps candidates from appearing on two ballots in one election, it does allow Paul to run for the GOP nomination on March 5, and for re-election of his Senate seat on May 17.

The Associated Press noted that this decision by the Kentucky GOP comes with one condition: that the state party, which currently has “less than $170,000 in cash on hand,” receives $250,000 reserved for caucus expenses in its bank account by Sept. 18, presumably from Paul’s campaign.

House Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) endorsed the switch from primary to caucus, and he said that he asked Paul to “defray the cost,” and Paul “indicated he’s going to do that.”

While committee member Troy Sheldon said he thought the proposal was “the best thing for voters,” critics such as Kentucky’s chief election official, Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, said that she thinks the use of a caucus will “disenfranchise over 1.2 million Republican voters,” and that “one candidate should not be able to buy an election.”

After the vote on Saturday, Paul told reporters that he thinks Kentucky’s decision is about more than just him. “It really is about trying to grow the party and I’m thoroughly convinced that were I not in this race that this is just good for the Republican party,” he explained.

For more election coverage, click here.

VIDEO: Sen. Lamar Alexander literally runs away from GOP voters wanting to ask a question

Bristol, Tennessee, August 3, 2014– U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander is currently locked inside the battle of his life. He’s running for a third term in the U.S. Senate, but Alexander’s run has far more riding on it than his own career. In fact, many Tennessee insiders know all too well that Alexander has no plans to actually finish the term– should he win it. Alexander will likely retire so that the Governor and others in leadership can hand pick their very own replacement. After all, politically, Alexander would never survive another election. This will be his last. Rather than go out with a bang, Alexander is simply running away. Literally.

Feeling the heat, Alexander has been purposefully been skipping votes in Washington so State Rep. Joe Carr (R- Lascassas), Alexander’s tea party backed challenger, cannot use his votes against him. That should give outsiders some idea of just how liberal Alexander is. He cannot even vote on a single issue without upsetting Conservatives in his home state.

Local media has criticized Alexander for running away from even his own positions. “When tea party sympathizers say U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander has failed to stand up to liberals and Democrats on the things they care about most, they have a point,” writes Scott Stroud of the Tennessean. “Tea partiers aren’t wrong when they slam Alexander for his reluctance to take a stand.”

Last Friday, Lamar Alexander spoke at King College to the Bristol Chamber of Commerce.

At the event, a college student representing the Real Conservatives National Committee politely asked Alexander if he would answer a question.

Questioner: “Can I ask you a question?”

Alexander: “Yes.”

Alexander then turned his back and ran back to his table where his staffers shielded him from further questions.

Later, Alexander spoke for ten minutes at the event and took no questions.

Follow Michael Lotfi on Facebook & Twitter.

David Brat’s Success Due to 19,000 new primary voters

According to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s pollster, Cantor’s defeat was due to thousands of Democrats in Virginia who voted in Tuesday’s primary.

But according to David Brat’s campaign that wasn’t the case.

“We were polling a universe of people who voted in one of the last three Republican primaries and said that they were likely to vote in this Republican primary,” said John McLaughlin, a New York-based pollster quoted in Campaigns & Elections magazine.

Winner David Brat’s campaign didn’t spend any time targeting Democrats.

Steve Adler, founder of Voter Activation Network (VAN) and  rVotes  said Brat’s campaign used rVotes to expand its universe beyond the traditional Virginia GOP primary voters being targeted by Cantor’s campaign. Adler also said several Tea Party campaigns had donated their data to Brat to allow him to expand his targeting universe.

“Now, suddenly he had access to hundreds if not thousands of different codes,” said Adler. “Funky stuff like anything from ‘voter owns only American cars’ to ‘known patriot group member’ to ‘voter flies a flag’ or ‘voter has an NRA sticker on their car.’ They were aggressively using the system to microtarget.”

Brat paid only $1,500, or 1 percent of his campaign budget, to use rVotes, the targeting software. Cantor, on the other hand, spent more than $5 million on TV ads, consultants, lawyers and fundraising.

McLaughlin pointed out that turn out two years ago was 46,000. Tuesday’s turnout was more than 65,000. “Untold story is who were the 19,000 new primary voters? They were probably not Republicans,” said McLaughlin.

A story in the Washington Post cited that high voter turnout was another thing that did not work in Cantor’s favor.

Brat’s successful strategy is definitely a model for Tea Party and Libertarian activists to use going forward.

LOTFI: Dear Tea Party, On Cantor’s loss- You didn’t build that

VIRGINIA, June 11, 2014- It’s been 24 hours since the polls closed in Virginia, and the political establishment was rocked in what is being called the most earth-shattering defeat in decades.

National Tea Party groups have been fast to speak out and congratulate Brat on defeating Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the GOP’s second most powerful Republican. As is often the case, when a big win is scored, those with large megaphones are always ready to speak up.

“Congratulations to Dave Brat on his huge upset. The statement from the grassroots could not be any clearer. It doesn’t matter what office you hold or how powerful you are. If you lose touch with activists on the ground, then your seat is in danger,” wrote Freedom Works’ Matthew Kibbe. “The grassroots are taking their seat back at the table and returning accountability to Washington. Votes on Capitol Hill will be heard back in the district,” he added. “We are proud to stand with Dave Brat in his election and look forward to working with him to reform Washington, D.C.”

Tea Party Patriots, one of the largest Tea Party groups in the nation, said in a statement: “Dave Brat won tonight in Virginia because he effectively harnessed the outrage at Washington over policies that have not been repetitive of the people …” She added on Twitter: Eric Cantor “lost his election – is the establishment dead? Way to go #teaparty activists in VA. You the grassroots won. #noamnesty won.”

You are proud to stand with Brat? But wait– You didn’t!

They all champion Brat, as if they had been cheering him all along, and yet not one of them gave him a dime. Club for Growth, Madison Project, Tea Party Network (not to be confused with Tea Party News Network), Tea Party Patriots, Tea Party Express— not a single dime. In natural political fashion, never let a tragedy– or victory go to waste. Now, they will all continue to send out newsletters to their massive email lists claiming “See what we did in Virginia! We can take the country back! –Oh, P.S. please donate $10.” In fact, they’ve already started sending them– touting Brat’s victory as a reason to donate more to their respective groups. Why? Again, you all did nothing.

In fact, all of these groups have been collecting millions in donations, and they have not put a single dime into many winnable races.

According to a Washington Post report, the six largest national Tea Party groups have spent more than $37.5 million on the mid-terms so far. However, only $7 million of the spent donations have actually gone directly to candidates. Where did the other $30.5 million go? Well, it goes directly into their family members’ pockets for ‘consulting fees’, giving themselves lucrative benefit packages, paying themselves $272k/year salaries, and even spending $52k in interior decorating fees for one of their fancy Capitol Hill town-homes. How fiscally conservative of them.

Of course, there are fixed and variable costs, and the best talent should be paid what the market demands.

However, three of the largest groups — the Tea Party Patriots, the Tea Party Express and the Madison Project — have spent only 5 percent (some even less) of their money directly on election-related activity during this mid-term election cycle. Two other prominent tea party groups, the Senate Conservatives Fund and FreedomWorks, have devoted about 40 percent. In contrast, the average Super-PAC devotes more than 60% of their funds directly to candidates.

Dear Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin,

If you’re paying yourself $272k/year (plus a $15k/month ‘consulting fee’) and are devoting 5% of total resources to candidates, then what in the hell are you doing to deserve $272k/year + $15k/month? What are you doing with the other 95% of your time and money?

National Tea Party groups are becoming the very monsters they tell you all to fear and hate in their fundraising emails. Their most recent emails and statements should reflect shame and sorrow. They should be apologizing to Brat and countless other candidates they are completely ignoring while convincing millions of people to fund their luxury lifestyles. However, they won’t apologize. Instead, they will simply send more fallicious fundraising emails to capitalize off of Brat’s victory.

These groups did absolutely nothing to help Brat beat Cantor. The local tea party and grassroots activists are 100% responsible for the win.

Donors Beware: Do not be fooled by their emails. Do not let them score millions of your dollars off of Brat’s victory. Give your money directly to a candidate (never to the party) and give to local groups only.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter.

Lindsey Graham secures victory in South Carolina

SOUTH CAROLINA, June 10, 2014– The Palmetto state has spoken, and they have chosen Lindsey Graham. Today’s South Carolina GOP primary was an upset for many Tea Party grassroots activists and leaders hoping to force Graham into a runoff.  With >70% of precincts reporting, the race has been called for Senator Lindsey Graham.

L. Graham (i) 58.6%-125,128 (WINNER)

L. Bright 13.6%-28,954

R. Cash 7.6%-16,289

D. Bowers 7.5%-15,973

N. Mace 6.3%-13,534

B. Connor 5.3%-11,364

B. Dunn 1.0%-2,222

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter.

Who is Dave Brat? Economics Professor, Tenth Amendment Supporter, Tea Party’s Brat Defeats Eric Cantor

VIRGINIA, June 10, 2014– An earthquake just struck establishment Republicans in Washington DC, and no one saw it coming. The GOP’s second most powerful lawmaker, Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was just defeated by David Brat.

A few bullet-points on Brat:

  • Brat is an economics professor and has been teaching at Randolph-Macon College since 1996. The Constitution’s chief architect James Madison served on the board at Randolph-Macon College.
  • Channeling his inner James Madison, Brat says he is a huge proponent of the Tenth Amendment and returning power back to the states in order to fight Washington DC.  Madison and Thomas Jefferson both championed nullification of unconstitutional federal usurpation of power and historically referred to the Tenth Amendment as the “foundation of the Constitution.”
  • Brat first ran for Virginia House of Delegates in 2011 and lost.
  • Brat is married with two children.
  • Brat earned his bachelor’s in business from Hope College. He also attended Princeton Seminary and has a Ph.D. in Economics.

ABC US News | ABC Celebrity News
Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter.


ELECTION DAY: Desperate for a win, Lindsey Graham begging Democrats to vote for him?

SOUTH CAROLINA, June 10, 2014– As they head to the polls, thick, humid air fills the lungs of Palmetto State GOP primary voters today. The question on everyone’s mind is whether or not incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham (R) will be able to avoid a run-off. According to State Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg), Graham’s most serious challenger, Graham has been quietly courting Democrats to vote for him in today’s primary.

Senator Lee Bright asked BenSwann.com, “If his advertisements say he is a conservative, then why does he know he can call on liberals when he could be in trouble?”

Last night, a press release sent out by the Spartanburg lawmaker claims Graham has been courting Democrats while no one is looking.

It reads, in part:

Team Graham is running a quiet campaign to woo Democrats. Publicly, Graham’s Campaign is saturating South Carolina TV stations touting his supposed “conservative credentials” – yet he is simultaneously using web ads and social media to target Democrats to remind them they can vote for him in the Republican primary.

One of Graham’s ads (pictured below) quietly reminds voters that they can cast their vote for him even if they are not Republicans.

Lindsey Graham pushes Democrats to vote for him through quiet ad campaign.
Lindsey Graham pushes Democrats to vote for him through quiet ad campaign.

Many predicted Graham would try such a tactic, and they tried to stop him in court. However, through illegal maneuvers, the state executive committee had the lawsuit dropped.

All running to the right of him, Graham has drawn multiple challengers. Businesswoman Nancy Mace, businessman Richard Cash, veteran and lawyer Bill Connor and State Senator Lee Bright have drawn the most serious attention. However, their efforts may not be enough to unseat one of Washington’s most powerful senators.

The latest poll performed by Clemson University shows Graham at 49%. Meanwhile, Bright, Cash, Connor and Mace garner a collective 15%, of which Bright takes 9%. According to the same poll, in 2013, only 31% of Republicans planned to re-elect Graham. As of the beginning of this month, that number jumped to 46%.

If Graham is not successful in capturing 50% of the vote today, he will be forced into a runoff with the contender who captures the second highest percentage. As of now, that challenger seems to be Bright.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Facebook & Twitter.

VIDEO: Sen. Graham Faces 4th Opponent

Benswann.com was the first to break the news that Lt. Col. Bill Connor was considering running against Sen. Lindsey Graham. This week Bill Connor officially announced his candidacy at a Veteran’s Day event for the Myrtle Beach Tea Party.

According to Connor’s official Facebook page, he is a resident of Orangeburg, S.C. He is a decorated Army Reserve LT. Colonel (Airborne Ranger), and is an expert in counterinsurgency combat.

He served as Senior US Advisor to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where he received the Bronze Star. Connor is a graduate of The Citadel and the University of South Carolina (USC) School of Law. He is a former candidate for S.C. Lieutenant Governor (making the runoff election in the Republican primary 2010.) Connor served as National Security Advisor for presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

Connor told Javan Browder from South Carolina Conservative Dot Com that many factors have led him to enter the race against Graham, such as Graham supporting Obama’s nomination of extreme leftist Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.  Connor adds that defeating Graham must be the top priority of conservatives, not just in SC, but from across the nation.

“It’s not only going to take the support of people here in S.C., but also the support of conservatives in states like California who have little chance of electing a conservative to Congress in their state, but who can send us support and help us defeat Graham,” Connor said.

He added, “This is a nationwide effort, for conservatives to reclaim the GOP.”

Connor is the only candidate who has combat experience and this gives his an advantage over other candidates, even Graham himself.

FitsNews, a political news site in SC, explains Graham’s Achilles’ heel:

“While campaigning for Congress – and on his official website as a then-member of the U.S. House of Representatives during the mid- to late 1990s – Graham repeatedly referred to himself as “an Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm veteran.” He also repeatedly referred to himself as a “Gulf War veteran.”

Graham’s problem? He’s not a Desert Shield veteran, nor is he a Desert Storm veteran, nor is he a Gulf War veteran. While real soldiers were shipping off to fight in these engagements, Graham was a military lawyer whose closest brush with death came in preparing the wills of departing military personnel. Not only did he never see any action, he never even left South Carolina.

Asked to explain himself, Graham told The Hill it was all okay because he “never intended” to lie.”

Graham continues to sink in the polls as candidates chip away at his liberal voting record.

Despite Graham’s dismal voting record and decline in poll numbers, he still has a $7 Million war chest at his disposal. He also has strong support from the Republican establishment that controls South Carolina politics. The former SC GOP’s Chairman Chad Connelly and Graham supporter dropped out of a lawsuit the day before he resigned that sought to close Republican primaries.


The current SC GOP chairman Matt Moore refused to enter back into the lawsuit even though the work was done pro bono. Moore was asked to rejoin the lawsuit by attorney Steven Brown, but Moore told him that he didn’t believe in judicial activism and would not rejoin the lawsuit.


The federal judge (who Graham confirmed) dismissed the case because the SC GOP dropped out as plaintiffs and had no legal standing. Sadly, the attorney handling the case never had the chance to present the concrete evidence that Democrats do in fact manipulate elections because they vote in Republican primaries.


Open primaries help Sen. Graham because Democrats vote for him in the Republican primaries. This audacious move by the SC GOP stacks the deck in Graham’s favor. But despite the assault on the grassroots and tea party from establishment Republicans Graham challengers are optimistic on defeating graham.


Connor is the 4th person to enter into the race to unseat Graham following state Sen. Lee Bright of Spartanburg, businessman Richard Cash of Easley and Nancy Mace of Charleston.

One of the concerns with a crowded race is that it may split the vote and deliver Graham another victory. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. All the challengers are focused on attacking Graham and his record, and not each other.




Polls show Graham extremely vulnerable in South Carolina primary

Sen. Lindsey Graham has represented South Carolina since 1995, but he hasn’t faced re-election since the Tea Party brought principled conservatives and libertarians to the forefront of the Republican Party.  His last election was in 2008, and 2014 is not looking good for the veteran politician.  In a recent poll, Graham won support from under 50% of the state’s Republican voters.

Worse, Graham doesn’t even break 40% among evangelicals, a group who makes up almost 60% of likely primary voters.  Though the highest polling of Graham’s opponents (Lee Bright) currently polls at only 13%, with Nancy Mace at 10% and Richard Cash at 7%, Graham’s position as not only an incumbent, but an incumbent with universal name recognition running against currently-little-known challengers makes the low poll numbers particularly telling.

Graham’s low poll numbers come at a time that many moderate Republicans have been losing reelection bids to principled primary challengers.  2010 brought the first wave of Tea Party victories, and 2012 saw numerous Tea Party candidates winning primary challenges against establishment opponents.  Long time Indiana Senator Richard Lugar lost his primary election to Richard Mourdock, and Ted Cruz famously won both the primary and general elections in Texas.

Graham isn’t the only establishing Republican who will be facing a tough 2014 primary, either.  A recent report has already suggested that John Boehner will retire after the 2014 election, and high profile candidates are staging primaries against establishment backed candidates.  Liz Cheney is running against Mike Enzi in Wyoming and Mitch McConnell is also in a tough battle.

South Carolina’s primary, like the Texas protocol which helped Cruz win, calls for a runoff election in the case of no candidate winning over 50% of the vote.  This means that even if Graham gets more votes than any other candidate in the primary, if he does not break 50% a new election will take place between Graham and his top challenger.  Though the South Carolina GOP has been unsuccessful at closing the state’s open primary system, it is noteworthy that Texas also has a mostly-open primary system.


In a statement regarding Graham’s low poll numbers, primary challenger Lee Bright told BenSwann.com blogger Joshua Cook, “a veteran of two decades, and a darling of the media with 100% name recognition is really in trouble at only 42% in the polls.  It’s embarrassing frankly.”

Lee Bright Pic“The numbers show that Lindsey Graham is out of touch with conservatives. Graham wants to fund Obamacare and bomb Syria.  Graham has it all wrong, and that’s why he’s so vulnerable.  We’re encouraged that even though we were the last to announce, we’re in a strong position.  I’ve been telling our supporters and the media that all we need is a little financial support to retire Lindsey Graham, and this validates that.  We never believed the reports that indicated he was bullet proof.  We knew that was not the case,” Bright said.

Graham will indeed likely receive a high amount of funding from establishment types.  His challengers will need some financial support to increase their name recognition, but the Senator’s positions and willingness to acquiesce to Democrats has made him fundamentally unpopular with the state’s voters.