Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Romney’s decision to forgo DeMint forum spells out more of his 2012 strategy

Posted on: August 25th, 2011 by Nicolas Mendoza 1 Comment

On Wednesday, Mitt Romney’s campaign announced that the former Massachusetts governor would not be attending a presidential forum hosted by Sen. Jim Demint (R-S.C.). A spokesperson for the Romney campaign told the Washington Post that Romney would be concentrating most of his efforts on campaigning in New Hampshire. (more…)

CO: Post and (believe it or not) a talk-radio show had most primary election impact

Posted on: September 7th, 2010 by Melissa No Comments

Before the memory of the primary elections slips behind us (yes, I know it’s been unforgettable, but still), I wanted to point out the media organ that’s moved off the sidelines to have the second greatest impact on the election.

The Denver Post gets top honors as the most influential media outlet in Colorado, of course, for reasons that are obvious and go beyond the McInnis plagiarism coverage.

But number two is pretty surprising. It’s the Caplis and Silverman show, which airs 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on KHOW 630 AM.

I can’t stand the show sometimes (especially when centrist/right Silverman idles as Caplis acts like a spinmeister for the Republicans), but I mostly like it a lot. And this election season I’ve been floored by the show’s impact, substance, and entertainment-value—on a regular basis.

The show’s string of major hits began in Aug. of 2009 when Scott McInnis inexplicably lashed out at both Caplis and Silverman and claimed to be more generous than they. The bizarre outburst, in which McInnis “went off the rails,” according to The Post, got quite a bit of media attention and in retrospect set the bizarre tenor of the McInnis campaign to come, including his comment on the show in April, also widely publicized, that he’s the kind of person who donates elk meat to folks in need, rather than giving to nonprofit groups.

That info came when McInnis was refusing to talk to The Post, after the newspaper had asked to review his tax returns. So McInnis explained himself on Caplis and Silverman.

In the same elk interview, Silverman became the first in the media to ask McInnis what he did to earn $150,000 from the Hasan Family Foundation, which was mentioned among McInnis’ 2005 income sources in The Post, where it might have died without Silverman. Silverman asked McInnis if he was trying to help the foundation foster a better understanding between U.S. citizens and Muslim cultures. But no no, McInnis eagerly corrected him and said the foundation paid him to “write” articles on Colorado water.

As the primary wore on, all the major GOP players and many Dems were regulars on Caplis and Silverman. In your car on the way home, it was like listening to a mix of live breaking news bits, in-depth discussions of politics and various issues, and five-star drive-time drama and comedy–and tragedy. It felt like a town hall, showing how great talk radio can be. Unfortunately, John Hickenlooper appears to be avoiding the show, after a contentious appearance earlier this year about his charitable contributions, and Michael Bennet didn’t materialize.

“Dan Maes was a frequent guest on the show, and while they didn’t treat him with kid gloves, his accessibility and willingness to step into the arena helped place him on an equal status with McInnis or even above McInnis,” said Westword’s “Latest Word” blogger and media critic Michael Roberts.

I asked Roberts if he agreed with me that Caplis and Silverman, now in its sixth year on the air, deserves the number two spot among media outlets for impact on this year’s primary.

“In terms of that specific primary, I think you can make a very good argument that it was second to The Post, which clearly had the biggest impact,” Roberts told me, adding that Channel 7’s interview with Rolly Fisher was also a major journalistic triumph. “But the Caplis and Silverman show wasn’t one hit or two, but had an impact over the long haul.”

Roberts also thinks that Caplis’ early abandonment of McInnis, days after the plagiarism scandal hit the news, contributed to the conservative rush away from him.

Silverman, who credits producer Brad Lopez for landing great guests, wrote me that regular interviewees Ken Buck and Jane Norton both had “huge” ad buys on their show, “so they must have thought voters were listening.”

“Dan Caplis and I are both trial lawyers so we should have skills at questioning,” writes Silverman, who’s now an unaffiliated voter in contrast to partisan Republican Caplis. “We try to use courtroom etiquette including no interrupting. I fancy myself a political free agent and ask tough but fair questions to Dems and Repubs.”

He continues: “Some talk radio hosts (i.e. Limbaugh) call opposition politicians schoolyard names or otherwise belittle or caricature them. I understand why politicos avoid such shows. We do not do that. Our show is more like a friendly courtroom. Often, Dan and I are on different political sides, so there is usually some balance in the overall experience for the guest and listener.”

Some balance, yes, but no much if you look at the big picture. I mean, the show creates the illusion that the political spectrum in America runs from the center-right (Silverman) to the far-right (social-conservative Caplis). That drives me nuts, as I’ve written previously, and motivates me to find some real balance by listening to progressive David Sirota, who’s doing a great job in the mornings on AM760. But I have to agree with Silverman that pairing Caplis with a guy like Sirota would probably fail—and the number of quality guests would certainly decrease. Still, I’d like to see a talk-show experiment in Denver with a true lefty and Caplis-like righty.

But we have the Caplis and Silverman, and for this year at least, it’s been about as good as you could hope for from a political talk-radio show.

FL: Previewing our coverage of tonight’s primary results

Posted on: August 24th, 2010 by Paul No Comments

We’ve written extensively about many of the races being decided at the Florida polls right now. Tonight, we finally get answers about what it all means. The Florida Independent will be offering team coverage of today’s outcomes all evening long. Here’s a primer on the races we’ve got our eye on:

Rick Scott vs. Bill McCollum

  • The most heated and controversial campaign in the state so far, the battle between Rick Scott and Bill McCollum pits a multimillionaire former health care executive seeking high office for the first time against a former congressman and Florida’s current attorney general.
  • Both are Republicans, both are seeking the party’s nomination in the November gubernatorial race and both have resorted to increasingly vicious TV attacks as the campaign concludes. Recent polls offer conflicting information on who is likely to win.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in, as well as offering firsthand updates from the two candidates’ primary night parties. Click here for all our past coverage of Scott; click here for all our past coverage of McCollum.

Kendrick Meek vs. Jeff Greene

  • Another intense competition, this race for the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination features Miami’s Rep. Kendrick Meek against billionaire latecomer Jeff Greene.
  • Recent polls seem to indicate that Meek, the longtime favorite of Democratic insiders, has built a comfortable lead over Greene, his surprise challenger. Whoever wins faces an uphill battle in the three-way race for the U.S. Senate, as both poll consistently behind Republican candidate Marco Rubio and independent candidate Gov. Charlie Crist.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in. Click here for all our past coverage of Meek; click here for all our past coverage of Greene.

U.S. House District 8 Republican primary

  • The race to square off against firebrand Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, features a bevy of candidates, a host of infighting and disputes between tea party movement activists and the organized, officially recognized Florida Tea Party.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in, and analyzing what they mean for Florida’s tea party. Click here for all our past coverage of the tea party vs. Tea Party controversy; click here for all our past coverage of Grayson.

U.S. House District 24 Republican primary

  • A Republican primary that features dynamics similar to the District 8 race, the winner tonight will face Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-Port Orange.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in.

U.S. House District 17 Democratic primary

  • In the race to replace U.S. Senate candidate Meek in the House of Representatives, several Democrats have a shot, and they’re spending mightily to win the Democratic nomination — and, essentially, in November — in this mostly African-American district.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in; click here for all our past coverage of this race.

U.S. House District 3 Democratic primary

  • Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, has become a controversial figure due to her opposition to Florida’s redistricting amendments, which would mandate changes to her heavily gerrymandered district. Will her position hurt her standing in today’s Democratic primary?
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in; click here for all our past coverage of Brown.

Florida Senate District 8 Republican primary

  • Following on the heels of the now-indicted Jim Greer as Republican Party of Florida chairman, state Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, has a challenge in attempting to repair the party’s tarnished image, and his first step comes in showing he can hang onto his state Senate seat.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in, and will be offering live updates from Thrasher’s victory party, hopefully with his thoughts on the other Republican races playing out throughout the state. Click here for all our past coverage of Thrasher.

Florida House District 67 Republican primary

  • This race could offer a glimpse at which style of conservative candidate is likely to appeal to Republican voters this November, and carries implications for the tea party movement as well.
  • We’ll be covering the results as they come in.

Obviously, as other stories develop we will update the site with that info as well, and we’ll post every story in our Primary 2010 category, so you can get the latest.

Are you a social media junkie? We’ll be tweeting election updates all evening as well via FLIndependent, and we’ll be hash-tagging all our coverage with #FLPrimary. Join in the conversation!

FL: Turnout key to Scott v. McCollum primary

Posted on: August 24th, 2010 by Melissa No Comments

As the polls open in Florida, political pundits agree that turnout could be the key to determining who walks away with the GOP governor’s nomination:

Will Rick’s voters show up?: Turnout could be a major factor in the GOP primary for governor. Rick Scott is hoping thousands of casual voters flock to the polls to oust career politicians. A lower turnout could benefit Bill McCollum, who has the party infrastructure and a stronger base of supporters. A win by Scott tomorrow would set the GOP establishment on fire — it would likely end McCollum’s political career and put his supporters on the spot over who they will back in November. Or how many people sick with the fight will pick third-wheel Mike McCalister?

It makes sense, then, that Tony Fabrizio, GOP pollster and Rick Scott strategist, is predicting a massive rush to the polls:

“Given that as of Saturday, August 21st nearly 520,000 Florida Republicans have already voted by absentee or early vote, we expect overall turnout of at least 1.7 million in the Florida Republican gubernatorial primary,” Fabrizio said. “This would represent roughly 41% of registered Republicans, a 70% increase over the 2006 gubernatorial primary. This is consistent with the increased turnout we have seen in Republican primaries across the country, where outsiders have shocked the establishment candidates.”

That would be an usually high percentage of registered voters for a primary contest, but as Fabrizio notes, not an unheard-of figure for a hotly contested race such as this one.

AZ: McCain persuaded Club for Growth to stay out of primary

Posted on: August 24th, 2010 by The American Independent No Comments

Arizonans also go to the polls today, but the much anticipated GOP Senate primary race between Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) hasn’t materialized into the close contest that many, including McCain, feared it might have. One reason it never got dicey for McCain, however, might have had to do with his efforts to court the Club for Growth, an anti-tax, anti-spending organization with a reputation for purging moderate Republicans, in order to keep the group from picking sides in the race:

McCain sought out leaders of the organization. He knew they might still be unhappy about his vote against the Bush tax cuts and disagreed with him on campaign finance reform. But he argued that, under Obama, government spending was now the big issue, and said that on that issue he had a solid conservative record compatible with theirs.

McCain also knew that Hayworth was handicapped in portraying himself as a small-government conservative because of his record of supporting earmarks as a member of the House. McCain attacked Hayworth as a pork-barrel spender and lobbyist, challenging his posture as a Washington outsider. The Club for Growth stayed out of Arizona.
McCain has shifted far right since returning to the Senate after his failed presidential bid, with journalists and pundits positing no shortage of explanations for the transformation. It’ll be a telling natural experiment to see whether he becomes more receptive to reengaging on his pet bipartisan issues, like immigration reform and climate change, once he puts his primary challenge in the rearview mirror.
(Photo Credit: Lauren Victoria Burke/

FL: Obama no longer shy about Meek

Posted on: August 19th, 2010 by Patrick Caldwell No Comments

Now that Rep. Kendrick Meek’s (D-Fl.) poll numbers are improving in advance of his Aug. 24 Senate primary, President Obama finally decided that it might be a good time to show him some love. After referring to Meek as “the next Senator from the state of Florida” at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach yesterday, Obama made an unannounced stop at Jerry’s Famous Deli in South Beach with Meek and ordered them each a corned beef sandwich. After paying, Obama reportedly joked to his companion, “Don’t say I never gave you anything.”

Obama’s newfound favor for Meek, however, comes at a time when many Democrats are trying to inch away:

Democrats have semi-openly admitted that with Greene as the party’s nominee, they would feel little remorse in casting a vote for Crist — believing that the billionaire businessman is not fit to serve in the Senate. The same cannot be said of Meek.

One Democratic aide who has worked extensively in the state summed up the conventional wisdom thusly: “[We] clearly cannot publicly support Crist but if Meek is the nominee [we] know he… has no shot at winning statewide.”

All this negativity about Meek’s chances coming from Democrats is enough to make one wonder if maybe it’s part of the problem. After all, Democrats do enjoy a sizable lead in voter registration over Republicans in the state of Florida. But Crist is a well-known centrist figure with a lot of cash, and Rubio is raising a bunch of money as well. If Meek is going to have a chance at winning, his team notes, he’ll need some help from the Democratic establishment:

“Democrats who are supporting Crist are making a Rubio win much more likely,” said Steve Murphy who is handling media strategy for Meek. “That will quickly become apparent after Kendrick beats Greene decisively and begins consolidating Democrats. The rest is up to the White House and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee].”

Murphy’s last point may be the most important one in assessing Meek whether Meek will be a serious candidate or a spoiler this fall.

Meek will be heavily outraised and outspent by both Crist ($8 million on hand as of Aug. 4) and Rubio ($4.5 million) even if he is the nominee. Without help — in the form of independent expenditure effort funded by the DSCC — it’s hard to imagine Meek growing his Miami-base enough to become a contender.

(Photo: Flickr CC/ Center for American Progress Action Fund)

Jon Stewart mocks coverage of narratives in primary elections

Posted on: August 16th, 2010 by Luke Johnson No Comments

On The Daily Show Thursday night, host Jon Stewart mocked the obsession of cable news to give a primary evening a narrative. Stewart looked at the theme given by cable news networks and political journalists that primaries in Colorado, Connecticut and Georgia were proxy battles for national political figures such as Sarah Palin, President Obama and former President Clinton. (more…)

CO: Stragglers, others can vote at the polls in mail-in primary Tuesday

Posted on: August 9th, 2010 by Patrick Brendel No Comments

In Colorado, Primary Day is tomorrrow. There will be little real exit polling. There will be no real lines at the polls, no real polling place socializing and no New Black Panther polling place intimidation! Why? Because it’s going to be like Oregon: a mostly mail-in election.

Of the state’s 64 counties, 45 are hosting an all mail-in election; 12 are setting up district polling places, meaning you have to vote at your specificifically designated polling place; and 7 are setting up voting centers, which means you can go to any polling place/voting center to cast your ballot. Even in the mail-in counties, however, you can go Tuesday and cast a ballot, because they’ve made provisions for stragglers.

This is what voting looked like today at the Boulder County clerk’s office, where one of the election judges said they have collected ballots from Democrats, Libertarians and Republicans. According to the county website, there are 64 American Constitution Party voters registered in Boulder County, about the same number before and after right-wing celebrity politician Tom Tancredo announced he would run for governor as an ACP candidate.

Here’s the map of districts put out by the secretary of state. Click on the image to see it at a larger scale.

What county are you living in voter? Did you lose your ballot? Are you registered? Where do you go to vote? The secretary of state’s office has all the details and the staff is good about answering the phone.

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