IVN Daily Digest — July 16, 2014

1. California No Party Preference candidate Dan Schnur published an op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News about the growing independent voting bloc and the future of politics.

“Independent voters are not necessarily centrist. In fact, numerous studies have shown that most independents do not significantly differ in their policy positions from more traditional partisans. But, by definition, their willingness to separate from a party that advocates for their preferred policy solutions suggests an openness to compromise that most committed partisans no longer share.”

Dan Schnur was on the 2014 California primary ballot for secretary of state. He received 9.2 percent of the vote, placing fourth overall.

2. A recent Public Policy Polling survey found that 66 percent of Mississippi voters believe the state should keep the open primary.

 

Would you rather Mississippi continue its current open primary system, where voters can choose which party’s primary to vote in, or switch to a closed primary system where voters would have to register with a party to vote in its primary?

Rather continue the open primary system.

66%
66%

Rather move to a closed primary.

21%
21%

Not sure.

13%
13%

The survey results also show that 35 percent of voters in the state think Chris McDaniel should not concede the race and 58 percent think Senator Thad Cochran is the rightful winner of the runoff election.

3. The Washington Post’s The Fix examines the problem with election forecast models looking at the Post’s 2014 election model.

“Models are, by their nature, data driven.  (That’s why models tend to get better the closer the election gets. There’s just more raw material — poll numbers, fundraising numbers etc. — to mine.) Because of that reality, models tend to favor elements of races that can be easily quantified (presidential approval, GDP growth, fundraising) and diminish less easily quantifiable factors like candidate quality and the sort of campaigns being run on the ground.”

The article says that while some election models can incorporate elements that better predict the outcome of elections, there are variables that are either not often quantified or not easily quantified that could show just how well a candidate is doing in an election, including his or her success on the stump, how they come across in ads, how smartly they are spending campaign funds, how cohesive their team is, and how on message they can be.

4. Roll Call’s Beltway Insider examines a prevailing issue in Congress where lawmakers will often choose raising money to keep their jobs over actually doing their jobs.

“The dash for cash is nothing new to elective office, but with the increasing costs of campaigns and the ever-bigger potential threats of outside money flooding into races, lawmakers over schedule their short work weeks in D.C. to hit up stakeholders and lobbyists from dawn until dark.”

Not only is this a lingering problem where lawmakers put appealing to special interests to finance their campaigns for re-election over doing the people’s work, but the increased costs of elections are only exacerbating the issue.

What news stories have you been following?