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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel resigns: Nov. 24, 2014

Obama may appoint replacement during Lame Duck session

Huffington Post:
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down from President Barack Obama's Cabinet, following a tenure in which he has struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team.

Hagel is the first senior Obama adviser to leave the administration following the sweeping losses for Obama's party in the midterm elections. It also comes as the president's national security team has been battered by multiple foreign policy crises, include the rise of the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Hagel agreed to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, an administration official said. The official said both Hagel and Obama "determined that it was time for new leadership in the Pentagon," adding that they had been discussing the matter over a period of several weeks.

Hagel is a Republican who served as senator from Nebraska and became a critic of U.S. involvement in Iraq. Obama nominated him to succeed Leon Panetta as Defense Secretary in his second term. Hagel served in the Vietnam War and received two Purple Hearts.


OnTheIssues comments:

  • This Cabinet shakeup indicates that Obama has a new policy on ISIL in which Hagel just didn't fit in.

  • It is more about anti-terrorism policy than about the midterm elections -- we think the Huffington Post is focusing on politics while this resignation is actually about policy. Hagel is a Republican, and removing the one senior Republican from the Cabinet does not fit with the "midterm election response" theory.

  • On the midterm elections: As of today (Nov. 24) there is only one House race left undecided: AZ-2, Martha McSally (GOP) vs. Ron Barber (Dem), which is being litigated and recounted for the next week or perhaps several weeks.

  • The Louisiana runoff election is coming up in two weeks, on Dec. 6, with one Senate seat and two House seats up for grabs.

  • There are 10 newly-elected Governors nationwide; OnTheIssues has already covered 5 of them (linked below) and the remaining 5 will be posted this week.

  • There are 58 newly-elected House members nationwide (not including McSally); OnTheIssues has already covered 31 of them (linked below) and the remaining 29 (including whoever wins in Louisiana) will be posted by mid-December.

Sources: Huffington Post and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for Cabinet coverage.


What's left undecided? Nov. 6, 2014

Still pending after the Tuesday vote

When is the election over? Well, actually, there is a concrete answer to that, and it is NOT "When the loser concedes" (details on that after the candidate list!) The answer is, "When the board of elections certifies the final results." That might happen shortly after the close of the polls (by a couple of days; but never as soon as the TV networks say!). The dozen races below are not yet completed -- mostly because they were too close to quickly count.

Sometimes, the losing candidate can request a "recount." Each state defines the rules for that, such as "within 1% difference." Several of the close races below might have recounts -- sometimes state law dictates an automatic recount in very close races. Sometimes the losing candidate is required to pay for the recount, if it's not very close (say, above 1% but below 3% difference).

In two states in the list below (Vermont and Louisiana), there was no winner, because state law requires that the winner exceed 50% of the vote. In most races in those states, the winner DID get over 50%, but in the ones listed below, there will be a "runoff" (details and dates below). Georgia was expected to have a runoff in either the Senate or Governor's race or both, but in both of those races the winner got cleanly over 50%.

So are all the elections over except the ones listed below? Well, you probably watched some TV news network report on Tuesday night their definitive checkmarks next to each winners' name -- but those "projections" are entirely up to the rules of the TV station (see details on TV baloney after the list too!) The ACTUAL official winners are being declared, starting today, based on official counts -- see details in California section below -- but in any race that is not very close, the winner is "projected" by TV networks on Tuesday evening after preliminary counting. Our list below is based on The Los Angeles Times' declarations of "winners." For comparison, see ABC-7 L.A.'s list of "races that are still too close to project": ABC-7 omits the following races: AK-Gov; CA-7; CA-9; CA-16; CA-17; CA-26; CA-31; and MD-6 (i.e., those all have projected winners according to ABC, but not according to the L.A. Times). And ABC-7 would ADD the AZ-1 House race and the CT-Governor race to our list -- in other words, there is no real agreement at all, until the official counts are done later this week!

RacePreliminary vote counts
Higher preliminary count and percent listed first; * indicates incumbent; click on links for full issue stances
AK-GovBill Walker (NPA) 107,395 48.0% Sean Parnell (GOP)* 104,230 46.6% (called for Walker, Nov. 16)
AK-SenDan Sullivan (GOP) 110,203 49.0% Mark Begich (Dem) * 102,054 45.3% (called for Sullivan, Nov. 12)
AZ-2Martha McSally (GOP) 94,103 50.3% Ron Barber (Dem) * 92,810 49.7%
MD-6John Delaney (Dem) * 89,811 49.6% Daniel Bongino (GOP) 87,708 48.4% (called for Delaney, Nov. 7)
NY-25Louise Slaughter (Dem) * 93,053 50.2% Mark Assini (GOP) 92,471 49.8% (called for Slaughter, Nov. 13)
VA-SenMark Warner (Dem) * 1,071,283 49.2% Ed Gillespie (GOP) 1,054,556 48.4% (called for Warner, Nov. 7)
WA-4Dan Newhouse (GOP) 55,600 51.0% Clint Didier (GOP) 53,352 49.0% (called for Newhouse, Nov. 8)
    California has numerous unresolved races, so we explored the state's rules for counting votes and for recounts:
  • The "official canvas" (vote counts) must begin by the Thursday following the election (today) and continue at least 6 hours per day until completed.
  • The state can order an "Elections Official-Ordered Recounts" if there's reason to believe the count was mistaken (such as a very close count), but there are no specific percentage guidelines as some states have.
  • A candidate (or any voter) can request a recount but is required to pay the full cost. That request must occur within 5 days of the completion of the vote count (that's next Tuesday, for those that finished today)
CA-7Doug Ose (GOP) 56,284 51.4% Ami Bera (Dem) * 53,273 48.6% (called for Bera, Nov. 19)
CA-9Jerry McNerney (Dem) * 40,244 51.5% Tony Amador (GOP) 37,847 48.5% (called for McNerney, Nov. 8)
CA-16Johnny Tacherra (GOP) 35,207 50.5% Jim Costa (Dem) * 34,471 49.5% (called for Costa, Nov. 19)
CA-17Mike Honda (Dem) * 44,103 52.3% Ro Khanna (Dem) 40,173 47.7% (called for Honda, Nov. 7)
CA-26Julia Brownley (Dem) * 63,811 50.2% Jeff Gorell (GOP) 63,281 49.8% (called for Brownley, Nov. 14)
CA-31Pete Aguilar (Dem) 40,123 51.0% Paul Chabot (GOP) 38,488 49.0% (called for Aguilar, Nov. 7)
CA-52Carl DeMaio (GOP) 72,431 50.3% Scott Peters (Dem) * 71,679 49.7% (called for Peters, Nov. 8)
Vermont election laws specify that when no candidate gets 50% of the vote, that the state legislature decides. That vote will take place in January, when the legislature convenes. The legislature can vote for any candidate, but since the Vermont legislature is majority Democratic and the Democrat won the plurality vote, there is no expectation that anyone other than the incumbent will win.
VT-GovPeter Shumlin (Dem) * 89,883 46.4% Scott Milne (GOP) 87,788 45.3% Dan Feliciano (Lib) 8,468 4.4%
Louisiana election laws specify that when no candidate gets 50% of the vote, a runoff occurs with the top two vote-getters. The runoff vote is scheduled for December 6th. All three of the races will be hotly contested -- with party resources pouring in on both sides.
LA-SenMary Landrieu (Dem) * 618,840 42.1% Bill Cassidy (GOP) 602,439 41.0% Rob Maness (GOP) 202,413 13.8%
LA-5Jamie Mayo (Dem) 67,610 28.2% Ralph Abraham (GOP) 55,487 23.2% Zach Dasher (GOP) 53,627 22.4% Vance McAllister (GOP) * 26,605 11.1%
LA-6Edwin Edwards (Dem) 77,852 30.1% Garret Graves (GOP) 70,706 27.4% Paul Dietzel (GOP) 35,013 13.5% Dan Claitor (GOP) 26,520 10.3%

So what about those well-publicized and well-televised "concession speeches"? At midnight on Tuesday, the Massachusetts Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Martha Coakley announced that she would not be offering any concession speech, and my friends wondered, "What if a candidate NEVER concedes?" Well, that's meaningless -- the concession speeches have no legal significance whatsoever.

For example, in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, Martha Coakley decided not to give a concession speech until 11 AM Wednesday morning, despite losing by nearly 40,000 votes on Tuesday evening. Her opponent Charlie Baker politely withheld his victory speech, but that was just politeness. If Coakley never gave her concession speech, and regardless of whether Baker "declared victory" or not, the state board of elections would have gone about their business, and declared the actual winner on their own schedule. The mainstream media routinely report irrelevant baloney on this point: in the Massachusetts race, for example, the Boston Globe headline read, "Charlie Baker victorious as Martha Coakley concedes in governor’s race," implying that his victory came BECAUSE of her concession, when the facts are otherwise. That article confidently but wrongly asserts that Baker met with outgoing Governor Deval Patrick "after Coakley officially conceded the race." But there is no such thing as an "official" concession -- Baker could have met with Patrick at any time to discuss the transition -- and there is no requirement to "officially" declare anything!

You'll recall that in the Senate Republican primary in Mississippi over the summer, Chris McDaniel refused to concede for weeks, and sued all the way to the state Supreme Court. His opponent went on campaigning in the general election, and the ballots went on getting printed without McDaniel's name, regardless of the lack of a "concession." So next time you hear about "official" concession speeches, be aware that the mainstream media is simply spouting baloney!

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives, Boston Globe (Nov. 5); and Los Angeles Times (Nov. 6).
Click for Gubernatorial winners' list, or Senate winners' list.


Newly-elected members of Congress and Governors: Nov. 4, 2014

Who's new? (Non-incumbent winners)

The list below include races where any non-incumbent won, which means an outsider got elected.

The list is separated into 3 rows: Governors, Senate, and House; and into 2 columns: Republicans and Democrats.

A linked name means OnTheIssues has set up a page detailing the candidate's issue stances; an unlinked name means we will do so shortly.

Check back in coming days as we fill out the list as final results become known, and in coming weeks as we fill out the issue coverage of every newly-elected outsider.

    Newly-elected Democratic Governors:

  • AK: Governor-Elect Bill Walker (R⇒I)
  • PA: Governor-Elect Tom Wolf (R⇒D)
  • RI: Governor-Elect Gina Raimondo (I⇒D)
     

    * Asterisked names indicate those who served previously in the United States House of Representatives

    ** Double-asterisked names indicate those who won special elections and hence will be sworn in immediately, rather than in January

    (D⇒R) and (R⇒D) indicate that the seat changed party control

Click on the newly-elected officials above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming months as we "freshen" their coverage with their actions in office.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives (updated Nov. 7)
Click for Gubernatorial debate coverage, or Senatorial debate coverage.


Attorney General Eric Holder resigns: Sept. 25, 2014

Obama to appoint replacement during Lame Duck session

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, pending confirmation of a replacement. It is likely that President Obama will seek confirmation in the "lame duck" Senate, since Republicans will likely gain seats in the November election. If the confirmation occurs before January 2015, the current Senate, with more Democrats, will vote on confirmation.

OnTheIssues covers other members of Obama's existing Cabinet, including:

Department Current Secretary
Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro
Department of Defense Chuck Hagel
Attorney General Eric Holder
Department of State John Kerry
Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Sources: OnTheIssues Archives
Click for Cabinet coverage.


OnTheIssues Senate prediction: 52-48 GOP takeover: Sept. 18, 2014

Prediction: Independents will change control of the Senate to GOP

As usual, the pundits oversimplify the Senate race by pretending that the Republicans need 6 more seats to take over the Senate (for example, "Republicans need to pick up six seats to flip control of the chamber", Politico, Sept. 14). Our prediction below summarizes how the Republicans will gain control of the Senate with a net gain of only 5 seats or possibly even 4 seats. The key is understanding how independents "caucus" in the Senate, and observing that independents have a uniquely powerful role in the 2014 elections. We'll discuss that below the chart, but first our prediction.

The chart below shows the OnTheIssues prediction for every Senate race in 2014. Astute readers should NEVER accept a "prediction" which does not include details of each race! Many "political models" do so, but without individual race predictions, "predictions" are just random guesses based on whimsy. Real predictions show details, like we do below!

  • Senate is currently divided 53D/45R/2I, and both independents caucus with the Democratic majority.
  • We predict in November one independent victory (Orman in Kansas);
  • Eight Senate seats that switch to Republican;
  • Three Senate seats that switch from Republican (including Orman);
  • A net gain of 5 Senate seats for the Republicans, making the Senate 48D/50R/3I (not enough for GOP control)
  • A controlling majority for the Republican caucus due to Sen. Angus King (I-ME), making the Senate 48D/51R/2I
  • Orman will then, as promised, also caucus with the Republicans, making the Senate 48D/52R/1I
  • Click on a candidate in the chart for their issue stances, or a state name for Senate debate excerpts.
  • Details on our prediction below the chart, plus timing in December, not November!
Red: switch to Republican
Blue: switch to Democratic
White: keep incumbent party
Predicted Winner Predicted Loser
AKSullivan(R) Begich(D)
ALSessions(R) (unopposed)
ARCotton(R) Pryor(D)
& Swaney(G)
COUdall(D) Gardner(R)
DECoons(D) Wade(R)
GANunn(D) Perdue(R)
HISchatz(D) Cavasso(R)
IAErnst(R) Braley(D)
IDRisch(R) Mitchell(D)
ILDurbin(D) Oberweis(R)
& Hansen(L)
KSOrman(I) Roberts(R)
& Taylor(D)
KYMcConnell(R) Grimes(D)
LACassidy(R) Landrieu(D)
& Maness(R)
MAMarkey(D) Herr(R)
MECollins(R) Bellows(D)
MIPeters(D) Land(R)
MNFranken(D) McFadden(R)
& Johnson(L)
MSChilders(D) Cochran(R)
MTDaines(R) Curtis(D)
& Rankin(I)
NCHagan(D) Tillis(R)
& Haugh(L)
NESasse(R) Domina(D)
NHBrown(R) Shaheen(D)
NJBooker(D) Bell(R)
NMUdall(D) Weh(R)
OK-2Lankford(R) Johnson(D)
OK-6Inhofe(R) Silverstein(D)
ORMerkley(D) Wehby(R)
RIReed(D) Zaccaria(R)
SC-2Scott(R) Dickerson(D)
SC-6Graham(R) Hutto(D)
& Ravenel(I)
SDRounds(R) Pressler(I)
& Weiland(D)
TNAlexander(R) Ball(D)
TXCornyn(R) Alameel(D)
VAWarner(D) Gillespie(R)
& Sarvis(L)
WVCapito(R) Tennant(D)
& Buckley(L)
& Lawhorn(I)
WYEnzi(R) Hardy(D)
The count from the list above splits control 50-50, which means Joe Biden (D, V.P.) casts the deciding vote and Senate control stays with the Democrats. That's why all the pundits say that the magic number is 6 for the GOP: So why do the pundits all have it wrong? Because they are not looking at the independents. If Orman wins, there will be three independents in the Senate:
  • Bernie Sanders (I,VT), who currently caucuses with the Democrats;
  • Angus King (I,ME), who also caucuses with the Democrats, but has stated that he is willing to switch;
  • and Greg Orman (I,KS), who has made no promise at all about which party he will caucus with!
We predict that Sen. Sanders will stick with the Democrats no matter what. He has been campaigning recently for President in 2016, as the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton, and we foresee that he will pursue that role--which requires that he become a full-fledged Democrat. So no switch in caucusing.

Sen. King has been unambiguous in his party affiliation (or non-affiliatin, in this case!): "King has maintained that his current work with the Democratic caucus does not bar him from one day possibly allying with Republicans" (Washington Post, April 10, 2014) King's staff says "his guiding principle is, and always will be, to do what is right for Maine" -- by which King means he will caucus with whichever party has the majority. But if the Senate splits 50-50, the GOP can offer King a committee chair of his choice, which would certainly allow King to better "do what is right for Maine" -- we predict that deal will be made.

Orman says pretty much the same thing as King: that he will "caucus with the party that was in the majority as that would be in the best interest for the state of Kansas" (538 blog, Sept. 4, 2014). So Orman will receive GOP offers of the committee assignments of his choice. We would have been confident that Orman would accept a GOP offer, except that the distasteful GOP shenanigans in his Kansas Senate race (see Sept. 3-5 entries below) may push Orman to the Democrats.

Note that if BOTH King and Orman accept GOP offers, the Senate count will be 52-48 in favor of Republicans. In other words, EITHER King or Orman can accept (but we think both will). If BOTH King or Orman caucus with the GOP, then the magic number for a GOP takeover is 4 races, not even 5. If any one of the turn-to-red columns above stays blue, as long as Orman wins, the GOP can STILL make a deal to gain the Senate majority. We predict that one of those scenarios will happen with high likelihood -- leaving Obama with a fully Republican Congress for his last two years.

Now about timing -- the Republicans benefit from electoral quirks on timing also. Louisiana is not holding their general election in November, but rather a "jungle primary" where all candidates of all parties compete. If no candidate gets 50%, a general election of the top two vote-getters is held on Dec. 6th. OnTheIssues predicts that neither Cassidy nor Landrieu will get 50% in November, and that Cassidy will then win the December election. The relevance for Senate control is that after Nov. 4th, if our other predictions are right, the Senate will be split 48D/48R/3I. The Republicans will then pour resources into Louisiana, and Cassidy will likely win because Maness will no longer be in the race. Foreseeing that outcome, the Senate Republican leadership will have one month to cut a deal with Senator Angus King, and another deal with Senator-elect Greg Orman. Those deals will likely be contingent on the outcome of the Louisiana December election; King and Orman will agree to caucus with the GOP only if Cassidy wins. The deals will be announced on Dec. 7, after the Louisiana general election; and if Landrieu wins in December, we will never hear about the deals King and Orman made!

Sources: OnTheIssues archives
Click for issue coverage of all Senate debates.


House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries: Sept. 9, 2014

Primaries in MA, NH, and NY

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
New York Gubernatorial Primary: Rob Astorino (R)
now faces Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
Prof. Zephyr Teachout (D)
New Hampshire Senate Primary: Former Sen. Scott Brown (R)
now faces Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
Former state Sen. Jim Rubens (R)
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith (R)
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Democratic Primary: Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley (D)
now faces Charlie Baker (R)
Treasurer Steve Grossman (D)
Dr. Don Berwick (D)
Massachusetts House 6th district Primary: Seth Moulton (D)
now faces Richard Tisei (R)
John Tierney (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Gubernatorial candidates.


Democratic nominee Chad Taylor (D, KS) withdraws: Sept. 3-5, 2014

Wierdest events of the political season

Sept. 3 afternoon: Chad Taylor's campaign manager conducts a phone interview with OnTheIssues

Sept. 3 evening: Chad Taylor announces his withdrawal.

Sept. 4: "Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee in the upcoming Senate election in Kansas, announced that he was dropping out of the race. This is the biggest political story of the week: the path is now clear for the independent candidate Greg Orman to run against the unpopular Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. Orman is now the front-runner, a change that puts the Democrats squarely in the driver’s seat to retain control of the Senate." (New Yorker magazine)

Sept. 5: "The Senate race in Kansas was shaken up for the second time in two days when Secretary of State Kris Kobach [a Republican] said Taylor had not met the requirements to withdraw from the race and would stay on the ballot. Kobach said Kansas law requires that candidates who want to be removed from the ballot submit a formal letter and also declare themselves 'incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected.' Taylor submitted a letter before the deadline to withdraw, but did not make such a declaration. So he will remain on the ballot, Kobach said." (WIchita Eagle)

Sept. 6: "The National Republican Senatorial Committee is sending staff to counsel Roberts and help oversee his campaign. The committee will also seek to hire a local lawyer in any legal challenge against Mr. Taylor, who had tried to drop off the ballot on the last day candidates were allowed to do so." (New York Times)

Sept. 7: "The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas is expected to file a lawsuit on Monday to keep his name off the November ballot, a party leader said. 'This is the first time I've ever seen the national Democrats work really hard to get a Democrat off the ballot,' Sen. Roberts said. (Reuters)

OnTheIssues summary: To summarize this wierd series of events: Taylor withdrew to help Orman; the Republican secretary of state saw that Robertsw would lose so he disallowed Taylor's withdrawal. Taylor and the Democrats will appeal the ballot ruling, so the national Republicans are sending legal staff to keep the Democrat ON the ballot!

OnTheIssues prediction: Taylor will stay on the ballot, but the heavy news coverage will mean that every Kansan will know the story and not vote for Taylor, as Taylor wishes, making Orman very likely to win. OnTheIssues has the honor, we believe, of being the last interview given in this campaign. That the campaign manager did so, a few hours before announcing their withdrawal, means that Taylor wanted a record of his issue stances -- which implies that Taylor will run again for some office in the future!

Sources: (New Yorker magazine, Wichita Eagle, New York Times, Reuters, and OnTheIssues interview
Click for 2014 Kansas Senate debates.


House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries: Aug. 26, 2014

Primaries in FL, AZ, and OK

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Arizona Gubernatorial GOP Primary: Treasurer Doug Ducey (R)
now faces Fred DuVal (D)
Rep. Frank Riggs (D)
Oklahoma Senate Democratic Primary: State Sen. Connie Johnson (D)
now faces U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R)
Jim Rogers (D)
Florida House 26th district GOP Primary: Carlos Curbelo (R)
now faces U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia (D)
Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R)
Florida Gubernatorial Democratic Primary: Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D)
now faces Gov. Rick Scott (R)
State Senator Nan Rich (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Gubernatorial candidates.


Senate and gubernatorial primaries: through Aug. 23, 2014

Primaries in HI, AK, and TN; plus emergency convention in MT

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Alaska Senate GOP Primary:
Aug. 19 GOP primary
Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R)
now faces Sen. Mark Begich (D)
Tea Party favorite Joe Miller (R)
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R)
Alaska House Democratic Primary:
Aug. 19 primary for At-Large seat
Forrest Dunbar (D)
now faces Rep. Don Young (R)
Frank Vondersaar (D)
Montana Senate Democratic Convention:
Aug. 16 party convention to replace late withdrawal
State Rep. Amanda Curtis (D)
now faces U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R)
and Independent Sam Rankin (I)
Senator John Walsh (D)
(withdrew in wake of plagiarism scandal)
Hawaii Gubernatorial Democratic Primary:
Incumbent concedes defeat in Aug. 9 primary
David Ige (D)
now faces Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R)
Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D)
Hawaii Senatorial Primary:
(including hurricane-delayed balloting on Aug. 15)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D)
now faces Cam Cavasso (R)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D)
Eddie Pirkowski (R)
Tennessee Democratic Senatorial Primary:
Aug. 7 primary
Gordon Ball (D)
now faces Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)
Terry Adams (D)
Also ran: Joe Carr (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Senatorial race updates: Aug. 15, 2014

New candidates in 10 states

OnTheIssues has added coverage for several new Senatorial candidates, or in the case of Montana, won the quickie convention. The new candidates will have their issue stances filled out over the next couple of weeks.

State Race:
(click for debates)
New candidate coverage:
Arkansas Mark Swaney (G)
Delaware Kevin Wade (R)
Hawaii Eddie Pirkowski (R)
Minnesota Heather Johnson (L)
Montana Amanda Curtis (D)
Sam Rankin (I)
North Carolina Sean Haugh (L)
Rhode Island Mark Zaccaria (R)
South Carolina Thomas Ravenel (R)
Tennessee Terry Adams (D)
Gordon Ball (D)
West Virginia Zane Lawhorn (I)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Senator John Walsh (D, MT) withdraws: Aug. 7, 2014

Ends re-election campaign days before deadline, in plagiarism scandal

Under pressure from Democrats, Senator John Walsh of Montana, who has served in office for just six months, said on Thursday that he was dropping his election bid, clearing the path for his party to nominate a new candidate. Walsh, who was appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to his office in February after Senator Max Baucus was named ambassador to China, will keep his seat through the end of this year. Montana Democrats have until Aug. 21 — when statewide candidates are certified on the ballot —to replace him. His withdrawal from the race comes about two weeks after The New York Times reported that in 2007 Walsh had plagiarized large sections of the final paper he completed to earn his master’s degree at the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Monday is the deadline for Montana candidates to withdraw from the general election.

Democrats in Washington and Montana had concluded that Walsh had virtually no chance to win against the Republican nominee, Rep. Steve Daines. He was mum for much of this week, canceling public events and discussing his decision with his family. After initially denying his plagiarism when confronted with evidence outside his office last month, Walsh suggested after The Times published the article that stress from his tour of combat in Iraq had played a part in his appropriating the work of others. Last week, however, he said that the effects of his military service had not played a part, and indicated that he took “full responsibility” for his behavior. Still, the reaction in his home state was swift and negative. Two Montana newspapers published editorials on Sunday urging him to stop campaigning.

Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for 2014 Montana Senate debates.


Rep. Eric Cantor resigns: Aug. 1, 2014

Effective Aug. 18; special election in November

Less than two months after his stunning primary upset and just hours after stepping down as House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor said Thursday that he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives effective Aug. 18. “I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said in an exclusive interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4. By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress. “That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents (because) he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said.

Dave Brat, an economics professor from Henrico County, toppled the incumbent in a Republican primary on June 10. Cantor on Thursday reiterated his support of Brat’s election bid. “I hope he will win,” he said.

McAuliffe said Wednesday that he was “heartsick” over Cantor’s defeat, because coupled with the retirements of Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th, it represents a significant loss of clout for the state’s congressional delegation.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Cantor deserves credit for making a “generous gesture” to his district and eventual successor by resigning early. “At the same time, it’s highly probable that he has a very lucrative deal in the works for his post-Congress life, and he’s eager to get started,” Sabato said. “The Republicans are nearly guaranteed to retain control of the House of Representatives after November, and a former majority leader with good ties to most of his colleagues is a very valuable commodity,” he said.

Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Dave Brat's and Rep. Eric Cantor's issue positions.


Georgia Republican Primary runoff results: July 22, 2014

Tea party wins; incumbents lose in 3 out of 4 runoff races

Race:
(click for debates)
Winner of GOP runoff Loser of GOP runoff Facing Democrat in November
Georgia Senate David Perdue (R)
cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (D)
Rep. Jack Kingston
Incumbent member of House of Representatives
Michelle Nunn (D)
daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn (D)
GA-11 House seat Barry Loudermilk (R)
Tea Party candidate (D)
Rep. Bob Barr
Former member of House of Representatives
No one!
(Democrats did not file a candidate for this seat!)
GA-10 House seat Jody Hice (R)
Tea Party candidate (R)
Mike Collins (R)
Establishment candidate
Ken Dious (D)
GA-1 House seat Buddy Carter (R)
Establishment candidate (R)
Bob Johnson (R)
Tea Party candidate
Brian Reese (D)

Sources: Google News and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Tom Coburn's issue positions.


Gubernatorial race updates: July 13, 2014

New candidates in NY, CA, OK, AK, FL, and AZ (plus HI as of Aug. 9)

OnTheIssues has added coverage for several new gubernatorial candidates based on who won their primaries, or who answered our VoteMatch quiz. The new candidates will have their issue stances filled out over the next couple of weeks.

State Race:
(click for debates)
New candidate coverage: Existing candidates / incumbent:
New York Rob Astorino (R)
Zephyr Teachout (D)
Howie Hawkins (G)
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D, Lt.Gov.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
Oklahoma Joe Dorman (D) Gov. Mary Fallin (R)
California Neel Kashkari (R) Gov. Jerry Brown (D)
Arizona Rep. Frank Riggs (R)
Fred DuVal (D)
JL Mealer (I)
Jan Brewer (R, term-limited)
Arkansas Frank Gilbert (L) Asa Hutchinson (R)
Mike Ross (D)
Florida Alexander Snitker (L for Lt. Gov.) Rick Scott (R)
Charlie Crist (D)
Hawaii David Ige (D, won Aug. 9 primary) Neil Abercrombie (D, lost Aug. 9 primary)
Duke Aiona (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Governor candidates.


Another Tuesday, another primary: June 24, 2014

Primaries in CO, MD, NY, OK, SC, and UT; plus specials in MS and FL

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Colorado Gubernatorial GOP Primary: Bob Beauprez (R) Tom Tancredo (R)
Colorado Senate GOP Primary: Cory Gardner (R) Randy Baumgardner (R)
Owen Hill (R)
Florida Special Election House 19th district : Curt Clawson (R)  
Mississippi Senate GOP Runoff: Thad Cochran (R) State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R)
Oklahoma Senate primary for 2-year term: Rep. James Lankford (R)
Connie Johnson (D)
House Speaker T. W. Shannon (R)
South Carolina Senate Democratic primary for 6-year term: Brad Hutto (D) Jay Stamper (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


House Leadership shakeup: June 10-23, 2014

Majority leader resigns; new GOP leadership elected

  • June 10: Dave Brat (R,VA-7): Won Republican primary: “I plan to cross this entire district and knock on thousands of additional doors and spread this message. That’s how we won the primary and that’s how we’re going to win the election in November.”

  • June 11: Eric Cantor (R,VA-7): Announced his resignation as Majority Leader effective July 31: "[I] suffered a personal setback last night, [but] I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country.”

  • June 19: Kevin McCarthy (R,CA-23) Elected Majority Leader. Asked to respond to grassroots Republicans who felt Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party insurgent should have resulted in a more conservative majority leader, McCarthy said: “They elected a guy who is a grandson of a cattle-rancher, the son of a firefighter; they elected a guy who has only grown-up with the grassroots.”

  • June 19: Raul Labrador (R,ID-1): Lost bid for Majority Leader, as Tea Party candidate: "If you vote for the status quo, you will prove that we are still not listening," Labrador told his colleagues.

  • June 19: Steve Scalise (R,LA-1). Won election as Majority Whip, as the Tea Party candidate: “This is a win for America because were going to be a more united team moving forward.”

  • June 19: Peter Roskam (R,IL-6): Lost bid for Majority Whip, as the moderate candidate: Asked whether he would run again for the position in November, Roskam demurred: “Today is Steve Scalise day, so let's celebrate Steve Scalise."

  • June 23: Speaker John Boehner (R,OH-8): His leadership position is unaffected by the shakeup: "After Cantor’s primary loss and the subsequent change of his top deputies, Boehner has assured colleagues that he will remain in place to provide the conference with stability."

Sources: ABC News (June 11); Idaho Statesman (June 20); The Hill (June 23); MSNBC (June 19), Breitbart.com (June 20); The Guardian (June 19)
Click for issue coverage of all House candidates.


Republican Primaries: June 3, 2014

GOP nominees decided in primaries in Mississippi, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, California, and New Jersey

Sources: OnTheIssues archives and misc. news sources
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.

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