Morning Briefing: NB Leaders’ Debate and a Shocker in Delaware

Leaders’ Debate in New Brunswick

Yesterday, Abacus Data released a poll of likely voters in northern New Brunswick which showed a close race between the PCs and Liberals.

Last night, the five major party leaders squared off in the first leaders debate of the New Brunswick election.  It is unclear what impact the debate had but by all accounts Mr. Graham and Mr. Alward were the weakest and neither really landed the “knockout” punch.  The most likely winners of the night was NDP Leader Robert Duguay and People’s Alliance Leader Kris Austin who just needed to increase their name recognition.  This means that the momentum the Tories have established is unlikely to be stalled.

Here’s a good summary of the debate – http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nbvotes2010/story/2010/09/14/nbvotes-leaders-debate-cbc-634.html

To watch debate visit http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/News/Canada/NB/ID=1591553700

Election Day is September 27.

Primaries in the United States

Yesterday, a number of U.S. states held their primary elections to select candidates for the November elections.

The most shocking results came from Delaware and New York.  In Delaware, largely unknown Tea Party-backed candidate, Christine O’Donnell defeated long-time moderate GOP Congressman Mike Castle.  In NY, Carl Paladino another Tea Party-backed candidate defeated former US Congressman Rick Lazio for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Some have suggested that these results confirm the on-going anti-establishment, anti-incumbent mood in the country.  But what is more plausible, at least in my mind, is that most Americans are not engaged as turnout levels were quite low across the country.  The Tea Party candidates have been so successful because they have generated excitement among their followers while other Americans have decided to stay home.  This enthusiasm gap is what gives the movement its power.  Unless the moderate majority of Americans engage and participate in the system, the extremes will continue to dominate the primary elections.  The November elections will be interesting and the results could have major consequences for Canada.

Here’s some great reading for a wrap up of what to make of yesterday’s results…

Mark Halperin on what the O’Donnell win means – http://thepage.time.com/halperins-take-what-odonnells-win-means/

Wrap up of Primaries – http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/morning-fix/how-odonnell-won-and-the-rest.html#more

NY Times Story on NY Primaries – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/nyregion/15webnygov.html?_r=1&hp

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David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.

Contact David Coletto:

T: 613-232-2806 x. 248

E: david@abacusdata.ca

W: http://www.abacusdata.ca

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