Press Release: Pressler Surges in South Dakota Senate Race; New National Movement Underway

Posted by Pamela Peak on September 19, 2014 at 3:59 PM

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 19, 2014

 

Independent Candidate Larry Pressler Surges in South Dakota Senate Race.

 New national movement taking hold that will determine the Senate’s balance of power.

 

Washington, DC — A new SurveyUSA poll shows Independent candidate Larry Pressler surging ahead in his race to represent South Dakota in the U.S. Senate. Pressler, a former three-term Republican U.S. Senator, is the only candidate in his race gaining ground with voters across the political spectrum. The new poll indicates that many South Dakota voters, fed up with partisan bickering, are turning their frustration into support for an Independent candidate at the expense of the two major party candidates. Pressler is finding strong appeal for his commitment to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans.

 

According to the poll, 21 percent of the state’s Republicans, and 29 percent of the state’s Democrats, support Pressler’s candidacy. 31 percent of independents support Pressler – with independents comprising more than one-sixth of the state’s voters. Overall, Pressler is polling at 25 percent and gaining, with the leading candidate, Republican Mike Rounds, at 39 percent and falling. The same survey shows Pressler is only three percentage points behind Democratic rival Rick Weiland.

 

“This is a critical moment in American politics,” said Charles Wheelan, founder of The Centrist Project, and a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College and the bestselling author of Naked Economics. “Electing Senator Pressler would be a definitive statement from South Dakota voters that they are fed up with politics as usual and that across the country, voters will elect candidates who put their constituents ahead of partisanship. This race warrants national attention – it will be a major factor in determining the power balance in the Senate” said Wheelan.

 

Pressler’s race is emblematic of a growing movement in American politics. Voters, frustrated with the increasing political polarization in Congress, are increasingly turning to candidates such as Larry Pressler in South Dakota and Greg Orman in Kansas; moderate centrists willing to work for the best policies rather than be beholden to party extremes. Both Pressler and Orman are gaining rapidly in recent polls, with credible chances at winning their elections.

 

“These races are the ones to watch carefully in 2014. Each race has the ability to transform American politics, starting a historic movement” Wheelan said. Wheelan notes that in a tightly divided Senate, it only takes 4-5 Independent and centrist Senators to band together to be the decisive votes on the critical policy issues of our time. In doing so, the parties would have to come toward the middle, away from their extremes, in order to pass legislation. In turn, other centrists will be encouraged to run, catapulting the movement forward, and helping to end the partisan gridlock dominating politics today.

 

For Pressler, Wheelan points out that “his past seniority will be important if he won election again. With Senate control up for grabs he would be sought, as an independent, by both major parties for his vote on key issues. As a deciding vote, policies would have to be more moderate and centrist to win approval,” said Wheelan.

 

The Centrist Project Voice is the nation’s first political action committee endorsing candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans. The Centrist Project Voice is designed to empower the neglected but growing political middle by channeling the support of centrist Americans from across the country to a handful of key U.S. Senate candidates. With control of the Senate up for grabs in 2014, the election of but few pragmatic moderates who band together as a coalition would have a disproportionate impact on the chamber as a whole. To that end, The Centrist Project Voice endorsed the following candidates running for U.S. senate seats this fall:  Larry Pressler of South Dakota, Greg Orman of Kansas, Susan Collins of Maine, Michelle Nunn of Georgia, and Jill Bossi of South Carolina.

 

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ABOUT THE CENTRIST PROJECT VOICE

The Centrist Project Voice is a separate segregated fund (SSF) of The Centrist Project. It is the first PAC to promote centrist candidates regardless of party affiliation. The Centrist Project is a 501(c)4 membership organization focused breaking the gridlock in Washington by changing political incentives and helping elect responsible leaders. Its Centrist Principles include fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, social tolerance, economic opportunity and a pragmatic approach to solving policy challenges. More information about the Centrist Project Voice and its endorsed candidates is available at www.centristproject.org/featured_candidates. More information about The Centrist Project is available at www.centristproject.org

 

CONTACT

To speak with Charles Wheelan or the candidates endorsed by the Centrist Project Voice please contact:

Pam Peak, Executive Director

312.848.9726

press@centristproject.org

@CentProj


Pay Attention to the Kansas Senate Race

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on September 09, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Greg Orman, an independent centrist candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas, has just gotten a huge break in that race.  The Democratic candidate has abandoned the race, leaving Orman in a head-to-head race with three-term Republican incumbent Pat Roberts.  Polls now show Orman with a narrow lead in that race.  (See the most recent poll results here.)  This race is much bigger than Kansas.  Orman, who is a smart and pragmatic candidate, has the potential to inspire other likeminded centrist candidates in future Senate races.  

The Centrist Project has endorsed Orman from the beginning, hoping for exactly this kind of dynamic.  Anyone who wants to change American politics needs to pay attention to this race, as I argued in my recent US News & World Report post:  "Kansas could be the loose thread that turns into a major political unraveling in America."  Read the full post here.

And spread the news about Greg Orman in Kansas!


VT Senator Jim Jeffords Dies. We need more like him.

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on August 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Former Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords died on Monday at age 80.  He was first elected as a Republican but later left the party in 2001, which cost the Republicans control of the Senate.  Jeffords was a pragmatic moderate who did not fit into a Republican Party that was drifting right.  He, and later Olympia Snowe of Maine, were New England Republicans, committed to using government to solve problems in fiscally responsible ways.  That breed of Republican continues to disappear.

Here is a full obituary.


Michelle Nunn Has a Surprise Opponent: She Can Win With Our Help

Posted by Pamela Peak on July 24, 2014 at 5:18 PM

Big news! Jack Kingston, the presumed victor for the Georgia Republican runoff, lost to his opponent, businessman David Perdue. This was a long, bitter, divisive fight. It's good news for Michelle Nunn.

Kingston had been the favored candidate from the second a runoff was announced. He was the establishment candidate, favored by Republicans as the best choice to beat Nunn in November. His loss is a win for Nunn, and polls consistently show Michelle leading David Perdue. Yet – the race will still be a close one. That’s why Michelle needs our help.

We endorsed Michelle because we feel she is the kind of collaborative leader we need more of in Washington. She will work to end partisan bickering and put the American people first. You can learn more and support her candidacy here: https://centristproject.nationbuilder.com/michelle_nunn

Read more about the race: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/georgia-election-2014-michelle-nunn-david-perdue-jack-kingston-109252.html?hp=l3


Yes, top two primaries are a great innovation

Posted by Charlie Wheelan on July 23, 2014 at 10:06 AM

I was pleasantly surprised to see NY Senator Chuck Schumer's support for top-two primaries in a recent New York Times op-ed.  I agree with his logic; the evidence so far from California, which has adopted this system, is encouraging.

A top two (or "open" or "nonpartisan") primary pits all candidates against one another in a primary election, regardless of party.  The top two finishers face each other in the general election.  This could be a Republican and a Democrat, or two Democrats, or a Republican and an Independent.  (You get the idea.)  The important point is that candidates are urged to reach a broad swath of voters in the primary rather than pandering to the most extreme members of either party, as is customary in a traditional primary.

As Schumer explains in the piece, "Primaries poison the health of that system and warp its natural balance, because the vast majority of Americans don’t typically vote in primaries. Instead, it is the 'third of the third' most to the right or most to the left who come out to vote — the 10 percent at each of the two extremes of the political spectrum. Making things worse, in most states, laws prohibit independents — who are not registered with either party and who make up a growing proportion of the electorate — from voting in primaries at all."

Instead, top two primaries force candidates to compete for voters in the middle.  California has adopted this mechanism, and the evidence so far suggests it has had a moderating effect not just on the kinds of candidates who win, but also on the behavior of politicians once in office.

We worship innovation every else in life.  Why not in politics?  The top-two primary is not just fancy political theory; it is an idea that has already been implemented in some states and ought to be tried in many others.  If the primaries play a role in polarizing politics, then let's fix the primaries.


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Jill Bossi of South Carolina for U.S. Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:04 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Jill Bossi for U.S. Senate from South Carolina

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Jill Bossi of South Carolina in her campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

Read More →


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Greg Orman of Kansas for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:03 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Independent Greg Orman for U.S. Senate from Kansas

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Independent Candidate Greg Orman of Kansas in his campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

Read More →


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Larry Pressler of South Dakota for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Larry Pressler for U.S. Senate from South Dakota

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Larry Pressler of South Dakota in his campaign to return to the U.S. Senate. 

Read More →


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Michelle Nunn of Georgia for Senate

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Michelle Nunn for U.S. Senate from Georgia

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed Michelle Nunn of Georgia in her campaign for the U.S. Senate. 

Read More →


Breaking News: Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins of Maine

Posted by Andy Smith on July 09, 2014 at 10:02 AM

July 9, 2014

The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins for U.S. Senate from Maine

Candidate Decries Partisanship and Focuses on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine in her reelection campaign. 

Read More →