IVN Article: South Dakota Voters Lose Choice At Ballot Box

Posted by Andy Smith on March 26, 2015 at 4:47 PM

IVN Covers South Dakota Election Law

Independent Voter Network (IVN) has published an article detailing the passage and opposition to South Dakota's SB 69, which was signed into law by Governor Dennis Daugaard on March 20.

SB 69 is drawing severe criticism from Independent organizations and activists, including The Centrist Project, for its restrictions against voters registered with a political party from signing Independent nominating petitions. Supporters of the bill have argued that it represents an effort to establish consistency for candidates of all political affiliations, while opponents argue that it will ultimately eliminate the competition for the two parties.

You can read the full article here:

http://ivn.us/2015/03/26/south-dakota-voters-lose-choice-at-ballot-box/


South Dakota Bill Limits Voter Choice & Ballot Access for Independents

Posted by Pamela Peak on March 23, 2015 at 3:47 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2015

The Centrist Project Calls on South Dakota Legislature, Governor to Revisit Law Restricting Voter Choice and Ballot Access for Independents

Legislation to improve ballot access for Independents does the opposite when an amendment removed two critical words from the bill

 

Washington, DC — The Centrist Project calls on the South Dakota Legislature and Governor Dennis M. Daugaar to revisit Senate Bill 69 which restricts ballot access for Independent candidates, thanks to little discussed amendments that overturn the legislation’s intent.

Senate Bill 69 (SB69) intended to “revise certain provisions regarding elections and election petitions” at the request of the State Board of Elections. Senator Ernie Otten (R-6th District) added Amendment 69ca which struck out two words – “may not” – and as a result, prohibited any party affiliated voter from signing a ballot access petition for an Independent candidate. In effect, this bill prevents any registered party voter from supporting independent candidates to gain access to the ballot and limits voter choice. Another amendment, 69fe, increases the difficulty for an Independent candidate to gather the requisite signatures to be included on the ballot. The amendments appear to be a clear response to prevent future Independent candidates from challenging party candidates.

“For voters, by virtue of your membership in a party, either active or lapsed, your electoral rights have been truncated,” said Centrist Project Founder Charles Wheelan, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College and the bestselling author of Naked Economics and The Centrist Manifesto. "This bill forces voters to drop their party affiliation if they want to support an independent candidacy.  That's not a choice that any voter should be forced to make” Wheelan said.

The legislation is out of step with the choices American voters crave. Over 42% of the American electorate have declared themselves Independents or unaffiliated with the major parties. The growing bloc of Independent and centrist voters threaten the stranglehold the two parties have over our political system, and parties can fight back by rigging election rules and campaign finance laws in their favor.

In 2014, The Centrist Project supported Senator Larry Pressler in his bid to represent South Dakota in the U.S. Senate as an Independent. When Pressler’s polling numbers reached 32% of South Dakota voters, both major parties poured in millions of dollars to counteract his candidacy, ensuring an Independent didn’t win the seat. SB69’s amendments appear to be another effort to protect the major parties influence over who can get on the ballot and limit voter options for electing Independents,” Wheelan said.

SB69 includes another amendment, 69fe, to modify the number of signatures required for Independents, from 1% of the total votes cast in the previous gubernatorial election, to 1% of the number of voters registered with no party affiliation. At face value, this drops the number of required signatures.  In reality, it dramatically increases the number of man hours required to collect signatures because finding people “qualified” to sign will be much more difficult. Of the total number of registered voters in South Dakota, 110,000 are qualified to sign, around 20% of the voting population across the entire state. The change represents a large hurdle for an Independent candidate without the backing of the party machinery to help with collecting signatures.

"I am sure that this bill, if well known, would be unpopular with South Dakota voters, because it takes important rights away from voters and reduces voter choice - no voter would be in favor of that. This bill provides further evidence that both major parties are willing to do anything, including taking away important voting rights, in order to defend their position, and it will only add to voter disillusionment of the two major parties" said Pamela Peak, Executive Director of The Centrist Project.

The Centrist Project 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 closely divided, the election of a few pragmatic, moderate Independents who band together as a coalition would have a disproportionate impact on the chamber.  Independents can support the strongest policies for America, without worrying about towing their party line. Together, they can break the partisan deadlock that grips Congress and will help move America forward, putting us on a path to fiscal responsibility, environmental responsibility, social tolerance, and good governance.

“The Centrist Project is about fighting back against the extremists in both parties,” said Wheelan.  “Instead of throwing up our hands at the dysfunction and partisanship, we’ve found a way for Americans who are fed up with the extreme right and the extreme left to do something constructive about it.”

For more information about The Centrist Project visit www.centristproject.org and join the effort.

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ABOUT THE CENTRIST PROJECT

The Centrist Project is a 501(c)4 membership organization focused on 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. The Centrist Project Voice is a separate segregated fund (SSF) of The Centrist Project. It is the nation’s first PAC to promote centrist candidates regardless of their party affiliation.  Visit www.centristproject.org for updates on our progress to end gridlock in Washington and to join the effort.

CONTACT

Pamela Peak, Executive Director

312.848.9726 | press@centristproject.org | @CentProj

www.centristproject.org


Welcome to the Era of "Tom and Jerry" Politics

Posted by Pamela Peak on March 23, 2015 at 1:53 PM

Sometimes the cat chases the mouse, sometimes the mouse chases the cat, but nothing really happens.

The Republicans "won" the Senate in 2014. Do you remember what a big deal that was purported to be? How’s that working out for us? And if we are being honest, do we think anything would be different if the Democrats held control? Of course not. We have a systemic problem.  

...I watched a lot of “Tom and Jerry.” The only other recurring character was a housekeeper, who would appear every so often with a broom and whack both of them. It’s time for America’s disaffected independents, the largest and fastest-growing segment of the electorate, to pick up a broom. How else are things going to change?

Read Charlie Wheelan's full US News & World Report Article HERE>.


Thank You For Changing American Politics: An Open Letter To Our Supporters

Posted by Pamela Peak on November 05, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Fellow Centrists,

While last night did not deliver wins for all of our candidates, there is much to celebrate as a result of our efforts this election cycle. I encourage you to take 1 minute to watch this VIDEO message from our founder, Charlie Wheelan, to thank YOU for helping change American politics.

We taped this before election night to prove a point: we’re in this for the long haul. Change doesn’t happen overnight but we made great inroads in 2014. Together, we woke America up to the possibility that there is a way to fix Washington. We endorsed and supported five centrist candidates for US Senate, including three running as Independents without the benefits of a big-party label. We raised nearly $150,000 in early stage funds to fuel their campaigns months before the national media even took note. We mobilized supporters through events, social media, and the press, showing that Centrists across the country are a transformative force in politics. We reached more than 200,000 moderates in key states – like Kansas, South Dakota, and Georgia – reminding them to vote. And we created a national centrist movement that we will grow toward 2016 and beyond until our system is fixed. Thank YOU.

Charlie Wheelan provided his perspective on the mid-term elections in US News & World Report this morning. The two parties are in trouble. He asks, “When will the elections look more like the electorate?” That’s where our work comes into play. Read his full column HERE>

The big takeaways from Election 2014:

  • Lesson number one from our work for Independents Greg Orman of Kansas and Larry Pressler of South Dakota: Credible independent candidates can get traction in statewide races. We will see more of them. Voters are fed up with the two-party status quo and will embrace a candidate who vows to get things done and work against partisanship.
  • Lesson number two: Come Election Day, the parties will fight back mercilessly. Like any duopoly with a stranglehold on power, the two parties are going to hang on tight, even as the proportion of Americans who support one party or the other steadily dwindles. Something has to change. With 42 percent of Americans now identifying as independents, elections need to look more like the electorate.

It’s not all about who won or lost on election night. We’re in this for the long haul to change American politics. Our goal is to enable the election of 5-7 U.S. Senators who support fiscally prudent and socially tolerant policies, irrespective of their party affiliation. This powerful coalition becomes the swing votes for all major legislation facing our country, empowering the political middle which represents the largest portion of our electorate. That’s how we get beyond a system hijacked by partisan extremists and get back to governing. It will take a few election cycles – but we’re on our way with your help.

Our sincere thanks & stay centered,

The Centrist Project Team


Senator Angus King Endorses Larry Pressler for Senate

Posted by Pamela Peak on October 29, 2014 at 1:02 PM

SENATOR ANGUS KING (INDEPENDENT-MAINE) ENDORSES FORMER SENATOR LARRY PRESSLER IN SOUTH DAKOTA RACE

Press Announcement – For Immediate Release

Sioux Falls, SD, October 28 2014 – Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today endorsed former Senator Larry Pressler in the South Dakota US Senate race. Senator King said in part, “I proudly endorse Larry Pressler to serve in the United States Senate as an Independent who will build bridges between Democrats and Republicans…Larry doesn't need this job; he's seeking it as a true patriot who wants to help his state and country in a tough time.”

King went on to say that an Independent can be very influential in the Senate: “I want to assure the people of South Dakota that in my first-hand experience, an independent can be effective in the Senate--by working across the aisle and finding areas of common ground.”

Senator King, a former Governor of Maine, is currently serving in the US Senate and caucused with the Democrats. He has recently also endorsed Senator Lamar Alexander (Republican-Tennessee). There has been speculation that he might caucus with the Republicans in a new Senate.

Senator King served as the 22nd Governor of Maine from 1995 to 2003. As an Independent, he won the most coveted committee assignments in the US Senate. He is a member of the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on the Budget; the Committee on Rules and Administration; and the Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Pressler said, “I consider Senator King one of the most powerful and influential Senators in the Senate today. He has a reputation as a fiscal conservative and he was a pro-small business Governor of Maine.”

“It is one of the great honors of my life to be endorsed by Senator King,” said Senator Pressler.

Senator Angus King’s full endorsement of Senator Pressler is as follows:

On November 4th, South Dakota has a chance to bring real change to Washington. Let’s face it, the Congress is broken, and we need people who want to change the culture, who are not driven by partisan politics, and who have the experience and know-how to make the Senate work like our founders intended. 

Larry Pressler was there when the Senate actually functioned--people from different parties came together, wrote legislation, and sent bills to the President's desk. I proudly endorse Larry Pressler to serve in the United States Senate as an Independent who will build bridges between Democrats and Republicans, who will work to find common ground in even the most partisan debates, and who will stand up for what is right. Larry doesn't need this job; he's seeking it as a true patriot who wants to help his state and country in a tough time.

I want to assure the people of South Dakota that in my first-hand experience, an independent can be effective in the Senate--by working across the aisle and finding areas of common ground.

I know that Larry will put people ahead of politics and problem-solving ahead of gridlock. Most of all, he will bring South Dakota’s Independent spirit back to Washington, and put your priorities first. 

-Senator Angus King, United States Senator, Maine


Centrist Candidates in 2014 Midterms Poised to Give Power Back to the Middle

Posted by Pamela Peak on October 27, 2014 at 4:00 PM

THE CENTRIST PROJECT VOICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 27, 2014

 

Centrist Candidates in 2014 Midterms Poised to Give Power Back to the Middle

Independent Senators to Address Important National Issues as Power Brokers Between The Major Parties

 

Washington, DC –The Centrist Project Voice, with less than two weeks until the November 4, 2014 Midterm elections, today announces a 10-day effort to “give power back to the middle.” These grassroots activities, driven by The Centrist Project Voice staff and volunteers include -- fundraising, social media and press endorsements, and get-out-the-vote events.

This effort represents the 40% of US citizens that see themselves as moderates. According to polls, this group of pragmatists welcomes compromise in Congress on the serious issues that face our country. However, with Congress increasingly controlled by extreme members of the two major parties, little progress on these issues has been achieved.

The Centrist Project Voice, in a sustained effort over the next two weeks and in subsequent elections, aims to carry independent and moderate Senate candidates to victory. By sending a group of centrist leaders to the upper chamber, the organization is confident a coalition can be created to push both major parties to pass legislation that represents moderates.

With just two new independent Senators joining Angus King in the middle -- such as Greg Orman of Kansas and Larry Pressler of South Dakota -- the three could form a coalition to drive compromise on important legislation. While each may caucus with a major party to capture committee assignments and impact the legislative agenda, the three could pool their votes on any single issue or bill regardless of party affiliation, forming the most powerful, sought after voting block in the Senate.

Of importance to moderates, according to The Centrist Project’s research, are the following national issues – debt and deficit reduction, entitlement reform, environmental responsibility, healthcare cost containment, and K-12 education improvements. Also important is a pragmatic approach to governing.

Additional independent Senators, fortified by support from other Democrat or Republican moderates, in subsequent years could improve their collective position as power brokers to drive progress on these important issues. As such, The Centrist Project Voice plans to support candidates in the 2016 and 2018 elections that are ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans.  

The Centrist Project predicts that four or five independent Senators in 2016 could establish a group with votes to approve important policy. This scenario would “give power back to the middle” -- back to those increasingly disenchanted with the currently paralyzed political system.

This sustained effort by the Centrist Project Voice in the next ten days, and over the next four years, combined with efforts of similar groups like IndependentVoting.org, can enable the organization to reach its goals. But not without the support of the 40% of 2012 voters that considered themselves moderates according to exit polls.

The organization urges all moderates to get involved in The Centrist Project and similar organizations, and become part of the solution. Even a modest individual affiliation by a large group of moderate citizens can send Senators to Washington that offer a pragmatic approach to solving the important issues of today and the future.

Supporting Quotes

“If there were just four or five centrist senators, then neither traditional party would have a majority – and that handful of centrist senators would hold the swing votes on every issue facing the Senate. This centrist bloc would give power back to the middle.” Charles Wheelan, The Centrist Project founder, policy fellow at Dartmouth College, and author of the 2013 book The Centrist Manifesto.

“Independent voters – 42% of the country - are pushing back against the limits of partisan politics by pushing for systemic reforms like open primaries. And independent Senate candidates are championing those reforms, looking to upset the balance of power on Capitol Hill. Whatever the outcome on election day, America's second political war for independence has begun.” Jacqueline Salit, President of IndependentVoting.org, author of the 2012 book Independents Rising: Outsider Movements, Third Parties and the Struggle for a Post-Partisan America

About The Centrist Project Voice

The Centrist Project Voice was formed to support candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans. These candidates embody the Centrist Principles -- fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, social tolerance, economic opportunity and pragmatic governance -- as foundational public policy approach to draw from the best of both parties and break the partisan deadlock.

In the 2014 Midterm elections, The Centrist Project Voice supports the following candidates for the Senate -- Greg Orman (I-KS), Larry Pressler (I-SD), Michelle Nunn (D-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jill Bossi (I-SC).

 

Additional References

 

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

 

Keywords - #KSSen, #SDSen, #SCSen, #GASen #MESen #SCSen #CenterStands

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The Centrist Project Voice Announces Results of Drive to Support Moderate Candidates

Posted by Pamela Peak on October 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM

THE CENTRIST PROJECT VOICE

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 15, 2014

 

The Centrist Project Voice Announces Results of Drive to Support Moderate Candidates

Campaign Support and Possible Swing Votes in Senate Correlates with Improved Polling

 

Washington, DC – The Centrist Project Voice today announces preliminary results of their drive to support the campaigns of five moderate candidates in the 2014 Senate midterm elections.

Since the July 9 announcement of campaign support -- including Greg Orman (I-KS), Larry Pressler (I-SD), Michelle Nunn (D-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Jill Bossi (I-SC) -- grassroots efforts have entailed fundraising, social media and press endorsements, and get-out-the-vote events.

Individual campaigns are receiving greatest results from fundraising, social media, and press efforts provided by The Centrist Project Voice members and volunteers. It is estimated this campaign support is correlated with higher polling results of Orman, Pressler, and Nunn since July 9.

Further evidence of the success in Q3 includes:

  • Strong Quarter of fundraising efforts – over $100,000 raised for support of endorsed candidates
  • Elevated social media engagement – Nearly doubled Facebook followers versus in last 3 months. Many posts in excess of 100’s of  Likes, Comments, and Shares
  • Effective press outreach – numerous references and requests from media to cover moderate candidates’ campaign efforts

Importantly, one message included in all campaign support efforts -- ‘a group of Independents in the Senate can change the political landscape’ -- is amplifying Orman and Pressler’s polling results.  By tying the two races together, increasingly voters and media see the impact a consortium of Independents could have in the Senate -- forcing Democrat and Republican cooperation.

  • “If there were just four or five centrist senators, then neither traditional party would have a majority – and that handful of centrist senators would hold the swing votes on every issue facing the Senate,” wrote Charles Wheelan, The Centrist Project founder and policy fellow at Dartmouth College, in his 2013 book The Centrist Manifesto.

Two Independents already reside in the Senate -- Angus King (ME) and Bernie Sanders (VT). Furthermore, many voters in Kansas and South Dakota are beginning to realize a vote for Greg Orman or Larry Pressler is more than just effective representation of their state’s issues, but also a means to end partisan deadlock in the Senate and advance the important national issues of today and the future.

With successful preliminary results of the effort, The Centrist Project believes a sustained multi-year effort to empower moderate political leaders will address important national challenges -- stagnant economy, unsustainable debt and entitlement programs, costly healthcare delivery, and a struggling education system.

Background Information

Research has found that Democrats and Republicans in Congress are moving further apart and listening to the most polarized segments of the electorate. Additional polls show Americans are not as divided and would welcome pragmatic problem solving in Washington where representatives meet halfway to mitigate contentious disputes rather than hold out for personal and party gains.

The Centrist Project was formed in July 2013 to support candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans. These candidates embody the Centrist Principles -- fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, social tolerance, economic opportunity and pragmatic governance -- as foundational public policy approach to draw from the best of both parties and break the partisan deadlock.

Additional References

 

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

 

Keywords - #KSSen, #SDSen, #SCSen, #GASen #MESen #SCSen #CenterStands


INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES DISRUPT US SENATE FIGHT FOR MAJORITY

Posted by Pamela Peak on October 09, 2014 at 6:29 PM

THE CENTRIST PROJECT VOICE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2014

 

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES DISRUPT US SENATE FIGHT FOR MAJORITY

NATIONAL MEDIA EXAMINES CONSEQUENCES OF KANSAS AND SOUTH DAKOTA MID-TERMS

Washington, DC – The national media is taking notice of mid-term Senate races where independent candidates are disrupting major party nominees.  The Atlantic, CBS, Huffington Post, NBC, NY Times, and Washington Post all report that frustrated voters are increasingly turning to centrist candidates that can set aside partisan politics to focus on solving problems.

  • Jonathan Marin, NY Times, writes -- “In an election year shaped by voter anger toward the political establishment, the outcome of an unusually large number of close Senate and governor’s races could be determined by the outsize role of third-party candidates.” [Long Shots Loom as Spoilers in Tight November Races Across Nation, 9/29/14]

Campaigning on a commitment to drive progress on issues of critical importance to the American people, these candidates are promoting to their freedom from major party influences. As a result, a few are surging in the polls as front-runners and serious contenders. This has the major party candidates on their heels.

Regional media is taking note as well reporting the number of moderate voters is on the rise due to dissatisfaction with the major parties.

  • Chapman Rackaway states in The Atlantic -- "You just have the sense—I see it every time I talk to people—that politics is broken. When someone reinforces that, saying, 'Yes, both parties are the problem,' that really resonates with people right now." [The Mystery Candidate Shaking Up Kansas Politics, 9/27/14]

With two Independent US Senators, a third or fourth could lead to a consortium of centrist power and change the political landscape. This could drive additional support for independent candidates in subsequent election cycles.

“This is a critical moment in American politics,” says Charles Wheelan, founder of The Centrist Project, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College, and the bestselling author of Naked Economics. “Independent candidates in Kansas and South Dakota have a strong appeal to voters. Sending a leader to Washington that puts constituents ahead of partisanship drives a strong message to Congress, one that mandates cooperation across the aisle to solve problems not currently addressed.”

The Centrist Project Voice, as an advocate for candidates subscribing to centrist principles has endorsed three independent candidates for US Senate – Greg Orman (Kansas), Larry Pressler (South Dakota), and Jill Bossi (South Carolina):

  • "Like The Centrist Project and its members, I believe we need problem solvers, not partisans, in Washington,” said Greg Orman, an Independent U.S. Senate candidate in Kansas and co-founder of the Common Sense Coalition.
  • “We are on the verge of something truly historic,” said Larry Pressler. “It has been decades since this kind of reform-minded movement has organized. The fact that it is coming from both sides of the aisle makes it all the more remarkable.”
  • “Receiving this endorsement is an important acknowledgement of what my campaign stands for and what we are trying to do for the State of South Carolina and America”, said Jill Bossi, candidate for Senate from South Carolina.

For more information on these endorsements, see Breaking News: The Centrist Project Voice Endorses a Wide Portfolio of Moderate Candidates.

Additional US media reports on the surge of independent candidates include:

Kansas

South Dakota

 

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

 

Keywords - #KSSen, #SDSen, #SCSen, #CenterStands


Press Release: Pressler Surges in SD Senate Race; National Movement Underway For Senate Control

Posted by Pamela Peak on October 03, 2014 at 11:57 AM

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

October 3, 2014

 

INDEPENDENT CANDIDATE LARRY PRESSLER GAINING IN SOUTH DAKOTA SENATE RACE.

 NEW NATIONAL MOVEMENT UNDERWAY TO DETERMINE SENATE'S BALANCE OF POWER.

 

Washington, DC — Two new polls show Independent candidate Larry Pressler, of South Dakota, surging in the polls in his bid to return to the U.S. Senate. A Nielson Brothers Polling/Northern Plains News poll shows former U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler making substantial gains on Republican front-runner Mike Rounds and nearly tied with Democrat Rick Weiland. A SurveyUSA poll shows that Pressler, a former three-term Republican U.S. Senator, is the only candidate in his race gaining ground with voters across the political spectrum. Pressler is a strong contender to win the election, appealing to voters fed up with partisan bickering, who are turning to Pressler at the expense of the major party candidates.

 

"Our message of ending the poisonous partisan gridlock in Washington is resonating across South Dakota,” said Pressler. Pressler has pledged to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans.

 

The NBP/NBN poll shows Pressler's support has increased from 14 to 24 percent – a 10 point gain from the last NBP/NBN poll conducted in late July. In those same polls, both Rounds and Weiland dropped four points, from 43 to 39 percent and 30 to 26 percent. Similarly, SurveyUSA has Pressler at 25 percent and gaining, with the leading candidate, Republican Mike Rounds, at 39 percent and falling. Pressler is nearly tied with 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


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