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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:25:55 +0000

Last Build Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2017 17:25:55 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:56:21 +0000

Guns N’ Roses — Patience

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Voting Rights Roundup: Supreme Court agrees to take landmark case on partisan gerrymandering

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:14:59 +0000

Leading Off ● Gerrymandering: On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal this fall of a lower court ruling that struck down Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn state Assembly map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Over the past three decades, the high court has repeatedly held that partisan gerrymandering could in theory run afoul of the Constitution, but it has never struck down any maps on these grounds because it’s never been able to decide upon a standard for when to do so. If, however, the Supreme Court changes course and sides with the district court, a ruling in this case could establish a sweeping precedent leading to a wave of lawsuits against partisan gerrymanders nationwide.​ Campaign Action ​Republicans aggressively gerrymandered Wisconsin after they gained full control of the state’s government following the 2010 GOP wave. Their Assembly lines were particularly effective: Republicans won a commanding majority in the chamber in 2012 even as Barack Obama carried Wisconsin by seven points and Democratic legislative candidates won more votes statewide than Republicans did. And as shown in the map at the top of this post, Republicans maintained a lopsided 64-35 majority in 2016, despite the fact that Donald Trump won the state by less than one percent of the vote. While it has regularly invalidated maps for improper racial gerrymandering, the Supreme Court, as noted above, has never struck down a map for excessive partisanship despite 31 years of precedent that partisan gerrymandering could theoretically be unconstitutional. In a 2004 case on this topic, Justice Anthony Kennedy, as the deciding vote, refused to strike down the map at issue on the grounds that it represented an unfair partisan gerrymander. However, Kennedy effectively opened the door for future challengers if they could ever come up with a new standard for evaluating such claims—a standard that would have to satisfy the court’s perennial swing justice. The plaintiffs in Wisconsin have sought to overcome this problem by proposing a mathematical test called the “efficiency gap” that examines how many votes get “wasted” in each election, which we have explained in detail here. Under this test, if one party routinely wins landslide victories in a minority of seats while the other party wins much more modest yet secure margins in the vast majority of districts, that could signify a gerrymander that has gone so far as to infringe upon the rights of voters to free speech and equal protection. Although this test is imperfect, it provides one of many tools a court could use to judge a map’s partisan distortion. [...]



Here's what Georgia might have looked like in 2016 without GOP congressional gerrymandering

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:01:24 +0000

Daily Kos Elections is taking a state-by-state look at the impact of Republican gerrymanders on the 2016 congressional elections. Read why in our introductory post, and click here for entries covering other states.

Georgia supported Donald Trump just 50-45 in 2016 and Mitt Romney 53-45 four years earlier, but following the 2010 census, Republicans efficiently gerrymandered the Peach State to consistently deliver a 10-to-4 GOP majority in the state’s congressional delegation. And even though the Atlanta metro area has seen explosive population growth among African-Americans, Latinos, and Asian-Americans, Republicans also failed to create a new, majority nonwhite district after the 2010 census.

Put another way, Republicans hold 71 percent of the state’s House seats while winning just half the vote at the top of the ticket. And all 10 of those Republican districts are very secure. As the hotly contested special election in the 6th District earlier this week showed, even under the most favorable of circumstances for Democrats, the GOP’s lines all but put victory out of reach.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At the top right, you’ll see a hypothetical map drafted with strictly nonpartisan aims in mind, which you can read more about here. These lines would instead likely lead to a nine-to-five or eight-to-six delegation in favor of the GOP—considerably closer to Georgia’s statewide political makeup. And it’s important to note that this map was not designed to increase Democratic performance—it’s simply a natural outgrowth of what happens when you ignore the purely partisan concerns that motivated GOP mapmakers to draw the lines that they did.

Our proposal (see here for a larger version) would create a geographically cohesive 7th District in Atlanta’s northeastern suburbs that would have voted 60-36 for Hillary Clinton and 53-46 Barack Obama. This very diverse seat would be 25 percent black, 20 percent Hispanic, and 11 percent Asian-American, meaning a person of color would be highly likely to win the Democratic nomination and thus the general election.

Of course, making the 7th bluer means another district has to become redder. Consequently, these lines shift the current 6th District, which is just north of Atlanta, from just a 48-47 Trump win to a 53-42 Trump victory, so under this map, the recent special election likely would never have become competitive. For Democrats, though, that would be a small price to pay in exchange for a solidly blue 7th.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/23

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:00:57 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Friday, Jun 23, 2017 · 3:48:27 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf KS-Gov, KS-03: Ally Mutnick from National Journal recently reported on the lay of the land in Kansas for next year’s elections and gives us a few new tidbits about potential gubernatorial candidates. Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt previously hadn’t ruled out seeking the governor’s office, but Mutnick relays that unnamed GOP operatives say Schmidt is likely to just run for re-election instead. Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder also hadn’t ruled out running for governor before, and Mutnick details that “a source familiar with Yoder’s thinking” indicated there’s a 50-50 chance on whether he jumps into the race, with a decision likely sometime this summer. Yoder’s suburban Kansas City-area 3rd District could become instantly competitive if he runs for governor after the historically red seat flipped from 54-44 Romney to 47-46 Clinton. Kansas’ open-seat race to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Sam Brownback in 2018 has already drawn intense attention from Republicans. Secretary of State Kris Kobach, businessman Wink Hartman, and ex-state Sen Jim Barnett, who was Team Red’s 2006 nominee, have already joined the Republican primary. Furthermore, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has said before that he’s considering it and is seen as a likely candidate. Friday, Jun 23, 2017 · 3:59:19 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MO-Sen: Following a report on Wednesday that influential Missouri Republican mega-donor Sam Fox was trying to lock up donor support for his potential candidacy, GOP state Attorney General Josh Hawley once again refused to rule out running and now says he has “no idea” when he’ll make a decision. Hawley only won his current position last fall, but major state Republicans have already tried to lure him into the race in a snub to Rep. Ann Wagner, who similarly hasn’t ruled it out but is seen as an almost certain candidate. Wagner is a prodigious fundraiser, and regardless of Fox’s efforts to secure donor backing for Hawley, a primary between the two Republicans could quickly become an expensive ordeal. Friday, Jun 23, 2017 · 5:21:09 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf CA-Gov: Republicans landed their first prominent elected official in 2018’s gubernatorial race on Thursday when Assemblyman Travis Allen launched his campaign, but they still face daunting odds in this deep-blue state. Allen is known as an outspoken conservative—for instance, he recently opposed a new Democratic-backed law that treats child prostitutes as victims of sex trafficking rather than criminal offenders by falsely claiming Democrats legalized child prostitution—and his record could make him a poor fit for this progressive state. Allen’s first challenge will be even making it past California’s top-two primary, though. Venture capitalist John Cox is the only other noteworthy Republican in the race, and he has already put $3 million into his campaign, but that only goes so far in this absurdly expensive state. Both Republicans could struggle to get their names out there when much better-known Democrats like Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa have so far dominated the polls. GOP ex-Assemblyman David Hadley previously formed an exploratory committee while he considers the race, but a each additional Republican candidate running increases the chance of splitting the GOP vote and sending two Democrats to the general election. Friday, Jun 23, 2017 · 5:40:59 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf ID-Gov: Boise School Board member and businessman A.J. Balukoff has previously said he was considering mounting a second campaign for governor next year after he was the unsuccessful 2014 Democratic nominee, and Balukoff now says he will likely decide this fall whether to[...]



Morning Digest: Nevada Democrats land their first major candidate in pivotal 2018 gubernatorial race

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:01:25 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● NV-Gov: On Thursday, Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak announced he was running for governor in 2018, making him the first prominent candidate from either party to jump into the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. Sisolak serves as chairman of the seven-member commission in a county that covers the greater Las Vegas area and over two-thirds of the Silver State's population, giving him a prominent springboard for higher office.​ Campaign Action ​Sisolak's commission record will also give opponents chances to attack him, though, particularly over a controversial $750 million hotel tax to pay for part of a new $1.9 billion football stadium to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. However, Sisolak starts the race with over $3 million in cash on hand since he can transfer leftover funds from his 2016 re-election campaign to a statewide contest. Democrats regained both legislative chambers in 2016 amid Hillary Clinton's 48-46 victory statewide, and they quickly set about passing an ambitious progressive agenda only to see Sandoval veto measures such as a Medicaid buy-in health care public option and automatic voter registration. Consequently, if Democrats win the gubernatorial race next year for the first time since 1994, they could gain unified control over state government for the first time in over a quarter century, meaning the stakes are enormous in this evenly divided swing state. Despite those high stakes, this race has been surprisingly slow to develop. Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt is widely expected to run and appears to be his party's front-runner at the moment, but he has yet to even acknowledge publicly that he's actively considering it. Laxalt released a poll in early June that had him leading Sisolak 46-37, but with practically no other polling of the race, it's hard to know where things stand. It's not even certain that both men will win their respective parties' nominations, since Republican state Treasurer Dan Schwartz has previously said he was considering it, while wealthy Democratic businessman Stephen Cloobeck has reportedly been quite interested too. [...]



Steve Sisolak becomes first major Nevada Democrat to kick off a 2018 gubernatorial campaign

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:30:50 +0000

On Thursday, Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak announced he was running for Nevada governor in 2018, making him the first prominent candidate from either party to jump into the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval. Sisolak serves as chairman of the seven-member commission in a county that covers the greater Las Vegas area and over two-thirds of the Silver State’s population, giving him a prominent springboard for higher office.

Sisolak’s commission record will also give opponents chances to attack him, though, particularly over a controversial $750 million hotel tax to pay for part of a new $1.9 billion football stadium to bring the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. However, Sisolak starts the race with over $3 million in cash on hand since he can transfer leftover funds from his 2016 re-election campaign to a statewide contest.

Democrats regained both legislative chambers in 2016 amid Hillary Clinton’s 48-46 victory statewide, and quickly set about passing an ambitious progressive agenda only to see Sandoval veto measures such as a Medicaid buy-in health care public option and automatic voter registration. Consequently, if Democrats win the gubernatorial race next year for the first time since 1994, they could gain unified control over state government for the first time in over a quarter century, meaning the stakes are enormous in this evenly divided swing state.

Despite those stakes, this race has been surprisingly slow to develop. Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt is widely expected to run and appears to be his party’s front-runner at the moment, but he has yet to even acknowledge publicly that he’s actively considering it. Laxalt released a poll in early June that had him leading Sisolak 46-37, but with practically no other polling of the race, it’s hard to know where things stand. It’s not even certain that both men will win their respective parties’ nominations, since Republican state Treasurer Dan Schwartz has previously said he was considering it, while wealthy Democratic businessman Stephen Cloobeck has reportedly been quite interested too.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/22

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:01:05 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Thursday, Jun 22, 2017 · 6:46:53 PM +00:00 · David Jarman Seattle, WA mayor: This week saw two different polls about the primary election fields for the Seattle mayoral race, with completely different sets of results, reflecting the unsettledness of the race after incumbent mayor Ed Murray’s surprising decision to drop out shortly before the filing deadline. (The August 1 election is non-partisan and the top two finishers will advance to November.) The SurveyUSA poll, taken for KING-TV, finds ex-mayor Mike McGinn (who presumably has the most name rec of any contender) in the lead at 19, followed by ex-US Attorney Jenny Durkan at 14, activist Nikkita Oliver at 9, state Sen. Bob Hasegawa at 8, state Rep. Jessyn Farrell at 6, and activist Cary Moon at 3. On the other hand, a poll from Wilson Strategic taken for Washington State Wire — which only sampled landlines, meaning that the poll probably skews very old and misses McGinn and Oliver supporters — puts Durkan in first at 30, followed by Hasegawa at 9, McGinn at 6, Moon at 4, Oliver at 3, and Farrell at 2. The poll also asks about Murray, and 22 percent of respondents say they’d vote for Murray if he were running, with 46 percent sticking with their previous choice. The SurveyUSA poll similarly found that 33 percent would vote for Murray if he were on the ballot, with 50 percent saying 'other candidate.'  Why is that last question relevant? Murray, despite his dropout, is now interested in running a write-in bid, and is taking the idea seriously enough to commission his own poll this week about it. Murray says he’ll decide next week whether to proceed, no doubt aware that his poll results still won’t reflect the actual difficult practicalities of running a write-in bid in a city of 650,000. Murray, however, is now free of the main problem that forced him out of the race; the plaintiff in the lawsuit alleging that Murray sexually abused him in the 1980s withdrew his case last week. Thursday, Jun 22, 2017 · 6:57:00 PM +00:00 · David Nir ND-Sen: When we last checked in with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp back in March, she said she'd decide whether to seek re-election "this summer." Well, it's officially summer, but now a new report from Politico's Burgess Everett says Heitkamp is still "months away" from making any sort of announcement. Based on her comments to Everett, Heitkamp sounds quite torn, but she did raise $1.6 million in the first quarter of the year—a very large sum for tiny North Dakota, and not the kind of haul that suggests an imminent retirement. Meanwhile, the guy that Republicans had once viewed as their top hope, Rep. Kevin Cramer, now says he's "50-50" on running and had previously said he might not make up his mind until the end of the year. But Cramer, thanks to repeated foot-in-mouth incidents, has seen his star dim, and he's really not doing anything to endear himself to his fellow party members. Cramer told Everett, "I have the luxury of never having to say: 'I'm not running.' So that will frustrate people for a long time." It sure will! Indeed, Republicans have already expressed worries that Cramer's dithering will dissuade other candidates from entering the race. And whether he does or doesn't go for it, whoever runs for the GOP will consequently have a shorter runway thanks to Cramer's delay. It's almost the best-case scenario for Heitkamp, who is almost assuredly the only person who could hold this seat for Democrats. Thursda[...]



Morning Digest: Democrats lead in the first independent poll since Virginia's gubernatorial primary

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:01:04 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● VA-Gov: Quinnipiac is out with their first post-primary poll of the Virginia governor's race, and they have Democratic nominee Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie 47-39. Back in April, Quinnipiac gave Northam a larger 44-33 edge in what was then a hypothetical matchup. This poll gives Democratic incumbent Terry McAuliffe, who is termed out of office, a 47-37 approval rating, though that's also a drop from his 52-32 score two months ago. Campaign Action ​We've only seen a few polls here recently. The only other independent poll we've seen in months, an Abt Associates poll for the Washington Post in May, gave Northam a 49-38 lead. Shortly after the primary, Gillespie's team released a Public Opinion Strategies poll giving him a 46-45 lead over Northam. Days later Harper Polling, a GOP group that doesn't seem to have been polling for a client, showed a 46-46 tie. Democrats have plenty of reasons for optimism, especially with Trump likely to be a drag on Gillespie in a state that backed Clinton 50-44. However, we still have relatively little data to work with, and both parties are certain to spend heavily here. And no matter what, wary Democrats should remember that polls gave Team Blue clear leads in the 2013 gubernatorial race and the 2014 Senate race, but the Democrats only narrowly won each race. It's far from guaranteed anything like that will happen this fall, but it's a good incentive for Democrats not to take anything for granted. [...]



Quinnipiac gives Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam a 47-39 lead in this fall's governor's race

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:56:06 +0000

Quinnipiac is out with their first post-primary poll of the Virginia governor’s race, and they have Democratic nominee Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie 47-39. Back in April, Quinnipiac gave Northam a larger 44-33 edge in what was then a hypothetical matchup. This poll gives Democratic incumbent Terry McAuliffe, who is termed out of office, a 47-37 approval rating, though that’s also a drop from his 52-32 score two months ago.

We’ve only seen a few polls here recently. The only other independent poll we’ve seen in months, an Abt Associates poll for the Washington Post in May, gave Northam a 49-38 lead. Shortly after the primary, Gillespie’s team released a Public Opinion Strategies poll giving him a 46-45 lead over Northam. Days later Harper Polling, a GOP group that doesn’t seem to have been polling for a client, showed a 46-46 tie.

Democrats have plenty of reasons for optimism, especially with Trump likely to be a drag on Gillespie in a state that backed Clinton 50-44. However, we still have relatively little data to work with, and both parties are certain to spend heavily here. And no matter what, wary Democrats should remember that polls gave Team Blue clear leads in the 2013 gubernatorial race and the 2014 Senate race, but the Democrats only narrowly won each race. It’s far from guaranteed anything like that will happen this fall, but it’s a good incentive for Democrats not to take anything for granted.

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Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett launches GOP primary campaign against Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:00:41 +0000

On Tuesday, Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett announced that he would seek the GOP nomination for governor of Iowa next year. Thankfully, Corbett does not appear to have broken out into song this time, but we have a long campaign ahead of us. Corbett will face incumbent Kim Reynolds, who became governor last month when incumbent Terry Branstad resigned to become ambassador to China, in the GOP primary.

Corbett, who served as speaker of the state House in the 1990s, is arguing that there has been a “lack of leadership” in state government, a shot at both Branstad and Reynolds. While Reynolds recently became Iowa’s first GOP governor not named Terry Branstad since 1983, the former lieutenant governor has Branstad’s support for 2018, and Corbett’s allies hope that what they’ve termed as “Branstad fatigue” extends to her. However, it’s unclear if enough GOP primary voters are actually exhausted with Branstad and Reynolds. As mayor, Corbett has pushed for union-friendly agreements, which also could be a huge liability with conservatives.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/21

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 13:01:04 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 4:18:56 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Special Elections: Via Johnny Longtorso: South Carolina HD-48: This was a Republican hold. Bruce Bryant defeated Democrat Bebs Barron Chorak by a 61-39 margin. This seat went 59-35 for Donald Trump in 2016, and 63-36 for Mitt Romney in 2012. South Carolina HD-70: This was a Democratic hold. Wendy Brawley beat Republican Bill Strickland by a 78-22 margin. This seat went 70-27 for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and 74-25 for Barack Obama in 2012. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 4:41:08 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Charlotte, NC Mayor: After a rough first year in office, Mayor Jennifer Roberts faces two prominent challengers, Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles and state Sen. Joel Ford, in this September’s Democratic primary. Roberts’ campaign is out with an early June survey from Lake Research Partners giving her a 35-21 lead over Lyles, with Ford at 15. In Charlotte primaries, a candidate needs to take more than 40 percent of the vote to win the nomination without a runoff. The poll gives Roberts a 64-25 favorable image with primary votes, while results were not released for Lyles and Ford. The campaign also says they did not poll hypothetical general election matchups with GOP City Councilor Kenny Smith. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 4:55:46 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AL-Gov: GOP state Auditor Jim Zeigler has said that he won’t decide on a bid until after this September’s likely GOP Senate runoff, but that didn’t stop him from forming an exploratory committee this week. Zeigler was one of Gov. Robert Bentley's loudest intra-party critics before Bentley resigned in disgrace in April, and he has a reputation for picking fights with powerful Alabamians. Earlier this year, Zeigler also self-published a novel titled, "The Making of the People's Governor 2018." The tome's description states that, "Several of the usual suspects ran for governor with no track records of having stood up against the abuses of the Bentley administration. But one candidate had stood up in the Bentley years and, in 2018, stood out from the rest." Republican Kay Ivey, who became governor after Bentley left, has yet to announce her 2018 plans, but a number of other Republicans are already running. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 5:15:10 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer LA-01: On Wednesday, Republican House Whip Steve Scalise’s condition was upgraded from serious to fair. Last week, Scalise was badly wounded when he was shot by a man named James Hodgkinson at batting practice session being held by the congressional Republicans' baseball team, and Scalise underwent several surgeries over the following few days. Four others—two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer, and a lobbyist—were also injured. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 6:20:47 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-Sen: The GOP field to face Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is still taking shape, and Republicans are waiting to see if either Reps. Lou Barletta or Mike Kelly get in. However, it doesn’t look like we’ll see a primary between both congressmen. Several GOP sources tell the National Journal’s Kimberly Railey that Barletta and Kelly wouldn’t run against one another, though it’s unclear which House member is more likely to get in; it’s also very possible both decide to sit the contest out. For his part, Kelly says he’ll decide by the end of this summer, while Barletta has yet to lay out a timeline. Four Republicans are currently in, and state GOP sources tell Railey that real-estate developer Jeff Bartos “has so far waged the most professional and aggressive camp[...]



Morning Digest: Democrat Jon Ossoff loses intensely contested special election in Georgia

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 12:00:56 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading off ● GA-06, SC-05: In a disappointing result for Democrats, investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide Jon Ossoff lost the hotly anticipated special election runoff for Georgia's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday night by a 52.1-47.9 margin to Republican Karen Handel, a former secretary of state. At the same time, in another special election that had received far less attention, Republican Ralph Norman, a former state representative, defeated tax expert Archie Parnell, the Democratic nominee, in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District by a far closer-than-expected 51-48 spread. This seat, which is in the northern part of South Carolina, went in the wrong direction last year, going from 55-44 Romney to 57-39 Trump. But the opposite was true in Georgia's 6th, which Democrats hoped offered a potential pickup opportunity because Trump only carried this affluent, well-educated district in the Atlanta suburbs 48-47—a huge drop from Romney's 61-38 win here four years earlier. Thanks to an early endorsement from Daily Kos, Ossoff caught fire with progressives nationwide, who were eager to send a message to Trump and filled Ossoff's coffers with unprecedented sums of money. That enthusiasm, combined with a disciplined campaign by Ossoff, allowed him to win 48 percent of the vote in the April primary, when all candidates from all parties ran together on a single ballot. Handel, as the runner up with 20 percent, advanced to the second round and was able to consolidate almost all of the GOP vote that had gone to her rivals. Polls regularly showed Ossoff with a small edge, but in its waning days, the race appeared to tighten into a dead heat. While countless post-mortems will be written about this race, in the end it's simply likely that this district's historical Republican lean—there had never been a close House race here before, ever—was too much to overcome. But even though Ossoff and Parnell both fell short, these contests once again fit into a pattern we've seen in special elections across the country ever since Trump's election: Democrats have been outperforming Obama's 2012 numbers in seats where Trump improved on Romney, while taking a comparable amount of support as Clinton in seats where she did better than Obama. [...]



Democrat Jon Ossoff loses to Republican Karen Handel in closely watched Georgia special election

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 03:42:26 +0000

In a disappointing result for Democrats, investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide Jon Ossoff lost the hotly anticipated special election runoff for Georgia's 6th Congressional District on Tuesday night by a 52.6-47.4 margin to Republican Karen Handel, a former secretary of state. At the same time, in another special election that had received far less attention, Republican Ralph Norman, a former state representative, defeated tax expert Archie Parnell, the Democratic nominee, in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District by a far closer-than-expected 51-48 spread.

This seat, which is in the northern part of the state, went in the wrong direction last year, going from 55-44 Romney to 57-39 Trump. But the opposite was true in Georgia’s 6th, which Democrats hoped offered a potential pickup opportunity because Trump only carried this affluent, well-educated district in the Atlanta suburbs 48-47—a huge drop from Romney's 61-38 win here four years earlier. Thanks to an early endorsement from Daily Kos, Ossoff caught fire with progressives nationwide, who were eager to send a message to Trump and filled Ossoff's coffers with unprecedented sums of money.

That enthusiasm, combined with a disciplined campaign by Ossoff, allowed him to win 48 percent of the vote in the April primary, when all candidates from all parties ran together on a single ballot. Handel, as the runner up with 20 percent, advanced to the second round and was able to consolidate almost all of the GOP vote that had gone to her rivals. Polls regularly showed Ossoff with a small edge, but in its waning days, the race appeared to tighten into a dead heat.

While countless post-mortems will be written about this race, in the end it's simply likely that this district's historical Republican lean—there had never been a close House race here before, ever—was too much to overcome.

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It's okay to be disappointed, but don't get discouraged

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 02:48:20 +0000

There are a hundred perfectly logical reasons why the results in Georgia and South Carolina (and Montana and Kansas) are good, even great news for Democrats going forward. The margin shifts have been remarkable and point toward Democrats having a very good chance to take back the House of Representatives in 2018. We have the energy, we have the momentum, we have the driving purpose on our side. And a deeply unpopular president helps too. But none of that is making me feel any better at the moment and I bet you’re feeling the same way.

Losing sucks. Losing by much less than you would have expected still sucks. It’s okay to be disappointed that all the money and volunteers hours and effort put into electing Jon Ossoff failed. But what we can’t let that do is affect all of the hard work that needs to happen between now and November 2018.

In sports, coaches and athletes celebrate a win or feel a loss until midnight, and then they put it away and it’s on to the next game. Since we’re not multi-millionaire professional athletes, I’m going to give everyone an extra day if they want. Let out all that frustration (safely!) that things are really bad right now and 45 percent of the country just doesn’t seen to care. It’s ridiculous that so many Republicans would rather see liberals lose while America burns than do anything to stop it. It is so freaking annoying that we lose race after race by 3-6 points, seemingly no matter how GOP the district was beforehand.

Get that all out of your system, and then pick yourself up and get back to work. However you’ve been getting involved (your local party, Indivisible, Swing Left, an issue groups, a union) get right back to it. There is a ton of work to be done, and sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves isn’t going to save America from Donald Trump. We, getting back to the grindstone and organizing and volunteering and giving money, are going to do it.

I’ve got another sports saying for you: first you lose big, then you lose small, then you win small, then you win big. And we’re losing small right now, but soon enough, we’re going to start winning small. And then in 2018 we’re going to win big. 

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Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #7

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 02:12:18 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 2:19:16 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser We kick off round #7 of tonight’s special election liveblog with undoubtedly disappointing news: the Associated Press has called GA-06 for Republican Karen Handel. Though the margin should narrow somewhat, Democrat Jon Ossoff trails Handel by a 52-48 margin with 81% of precincts reporting. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 2:29:45 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser With both of tonight’s congressional special elections having been officially called, we are going to call it a night here at Daily Kos Elections. Lost in the understandable disappointment over GA-06 is the fact that a dark-red district in upstate South Carolina (SC-05) only went to the GOP tonight by a mere three points (51-48). There will be a plethora of hot takes and tea leaf reading in the coming days, no doubt. But, as the flurry of recruitment over the past few months can attest, 2018 has started in earnest. To say nothing of the fact that there is much left to ponder in 2017 (Virginia and New Jersey, we are looking in your direction). As has been the case since our inception, elections are what we do, and what we are intensely passionate about. If you’ve stuck with us all night, you probably feel the same way. We hope you will continue to make Daily Kos Elections a vehicle by which you can stay informed about the coming campaign cycle. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #6

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 01:36:20 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:43:06 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser We have one race in the books, and one race remaining to be called, as we are midway through the evening. In SC-05, the AP has already called the race for Republican Ralph Norman. However, and this is important: he only defeated Democrat Archie Parnell by a 51-48 margin (with 99% reporting). Why is that relevant? Because this is a district that Donald Trump carried by a 57-39 margin just a few months ago. Meanwhile, in GA-06, with about half of the precincts in, Republican Karen Handel holds a 53-47 lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff. However, the most Republican-friendly county (Cobb) is mostly in, while far less of Democratic-leaning DeKalb County has reported. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:46:53 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: We just had another healthy drop of precincts, this time from Fulton County. These had the effect of stretching out Karen Handel’s lead fractionally. The raw vote lead now is nearing 11,000, which still amounts to a 53-47 margin. We are now at 65 percent of all precincts reporting. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:53:40 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: We have a definite good news/bad news scenario in the latest drop of numbers. The good news is that Democrat Jon Ossoff has moved within 8000 votes of Karen Handel courtesy of the latest batch of numbers. The bad news is that the movement is because of DeKalb reporting almost all of its precincts plus its mail-in tally. While Ossoff did well among the 7400 mail-in votes in DeKalb, it was not enough to really make a huge dent in Handel’s lead. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 2:03:10 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: Cobb emptied about half of what it had remaining, and that pushed Handel back out to a lead of about 10,000 votes (52-48). However, we still don’t have the mail-in vote for either Fulton or Cobb, which leaned heavily Democrat (even in GOP-friendly Cobb County) last time around. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #5

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 01:07:12 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:13:17 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser As we kick off round 5 of the liveblog, we have two fresh updates, both occurring within the last minute or so. In GA-06, a fresh batch of GOP-friendly Cobb County arrived, which has pushed Karen Handel out to a 52-48 lead over Jon Ossoff overall. The raw vote margin now stands at 5200 votes. Meanwhile, in SC-05, the Associated Press has called that special election (to replace GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney) for Republican former state legislator Ralph Norman. However, it is worth noting that Norman currently leads 52-48, in a district that was carried by Donald Trump by 18 points, and in which Mulvaney routinely won over the past few cycles by dominant margins. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:22:05 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser One thing that must be noted tonight, since we have two case studies here to peruse: the turnout disparity between GA-06 and SC-05 tonight is simply bonkers. Already, GA-06 has reported 163,000 votes tallied, and we may only be about 2/3 of the way through the counting. Meanwhile, with only a handful of precincts left to count in SC-05, the total turnout is sitting at….right around 78,000 votes.  Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:33:16 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: Cobb County just dropped another load of GOP-friendly ballots. The bad news for Democrats is that pushes Karen Handel’s lead out to a 53-47 lead, or a raw vote margin of 9300 votes. The good news for Democrats is that means that Cobb is now nearly spent (only 11 precincts to go). Meanwhile, half of Dem-friendly DeKalb County is still out there, as are many Dem-friendly patches of Fulton County. The math is certainly getting tougher for Ossoff, but there is genuine reason to assume that the margin will close as the night wears on. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:35:39 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: Also worth noting: no mail-in ballots have been counted as of yet. In April, in a lighter turnout primary, the Democra[...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #4

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:41:23 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:45:56 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser For those just checking in, here is where we stand in the (still) early stages of this special election night: In GA-06, with mostly early votes in plus a handful of precincts, Democrat Jon Ossoff remains in front by 0.8 percent, a lead in terms of raw votes of just about 1200 votes. Meanwhile, in a comparably low turnout affair in SC-05, Democrats are clearly overperforming. With 44 percent of precincts reporting, Democrat Archie Parnell still clings to a 50-49 lead over Republican Ralph Norman, who came into Election Night as a heavy favorite. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:53:53 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser SC-05: A big jump in precincts reported out of South Carolina, and the news is “good” for the GOP. Republican nominee Ralph Norman, a former state senator, now leads Democrat Archie Parnell. But given that this was a district carried by Donald Trump by an 18-point spread, Norman’s 52-47 lead has to be considered vastly underwhelming. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:55:10 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: Meanwhile, GOP-friendly Cobb County reports its first election day tallies on the night, and that is enough to push Republican Karen Handel into a very narrow lead. With 127,000 votes tallied, Handel’s lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff is 466 votes. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:06:35 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: A bigger chunk of Fulton County has now chimed in, adding 12,000 votes to the tally. The precincts were good ones for Karen Handel, allowing her to edge out to a larger (51-49) lead over Jon Ossoff. The raw vote margin, as of now, stands at a little over 2300 votes. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 1:07:43 AM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf The liveblog continues here. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #3

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 00:16:29 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:23:46 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: Here is where we are in the Atlanta ‘burbs: all the in-person early vote has been counted, but no mail-in votes or election day precinct votes have been counted by the counties as of yet. The in-person early vote gives Democrat Jon Ossoff a 51-49 edge over Republican Karen Handel. Now, Ossoff did considerably better in the early vote in Round One, but we already knew for a variety of studies that the GOP definitely made early voting a point of emphasis this go-round. What this means for tonight’s totals is that we are still very much in “wait and see” mode. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:26:28 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser SC-05: Meanwhile, in the race to replace GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney, the early numbers are very good for the Democrats, but there is a note of caution. With 35% of the vote reporting, Democrat Archie Parnell holds a rather shocking 52-48 lead over Republican Ralph Norman. However, and this is important: the counties reporting the higher vote counts now are the more blue-friendly portions of the district. There is a lot of red turf still out there. That said, Parnell is doing particularly well thus far on red turf, running as much as a dozen points ahead of Clinton’s 2016 performance. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:29:59 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: We have our first completed precincts of the night, coming out of Fulton County. They leaned slightly to Handel, but not enough to change the overall margin (which remains a 51-49 Ossoff lead). Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:35:40 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: The Fulton ballots are somewhat of a mix thus far—Ossoff doing well in some pockets, slightly worse in others. The net result is a slight fade in his advantage. It is a 50/50 race now, though Ossoff does retain a lead of just 865 votes. Wedn[...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #2

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 23:41:28 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 11:45:29 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser We are still very early in the evening, with only the early votes in from one of GA-06’s three counties, and only one PRECINCT in from SC-05. As we stand right now, Republican Karen Handel holds a 51-49 lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff in GA-06. Meanwhile, the lone precinct in SC-05 gives Democrat Archie Parnell a lead, but it’s too early to even talk about that race yet. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:06:36 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: The other two counties of the Georgia 6th have now chimed in with their in-person early votes. As expected, Democrat Jon Ossoff did very well in DeKalb county (winning the early vote 60-40), and trailed in Cobb, albeit somewhat narrowly (55-45). The overall result now puts the Democrat out in front narrowly, with a 51-49 lead over Republican Karen Handel. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:09:16 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser SC-05: Meanwhile, in South Carolina, with 15 percent of precincts in the race is a little closer than might’ve been thought. Republican Ralph Norman leads over Democrat Archie Parnell, but the margin is just three points (51-48). However, a note of caution: from the very early returns, we know that some of Parnell’s best turf is among the 1/7 of precincts that have already chimed in with their results. Wednesday, Jun 21, 2017 · 12:17:19 AM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf The liveblog continues here. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 and SC-05 special election liveblog #1

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 22:57:56 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 7 PM ET in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where a special election is being held to replace former Republican Rep. Tom Price, who resigned to join Donald Trump’s cabinet. This suburban Atlanta seat has been in GOP hands since its creation in 1992, and Mitt Romney won it 61-37 in 2012. However, it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Polls show an incredibly tight race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This is the most expensive House race in American history. To help you follow along tonight, we have the results for each of GA-06’s counties for both the 2016 presidential election and for the April all-party primary. Tom Bonier of TargetSmart has put together a viewing guide to give us an idea of what the early vote totals will mean for Ossoff’s chances. In April, the early vote was disproportionately Democratic, but there’s no guarantee it will be again. There is also a special election in South Carolina’s 5th District to replace Republican Mick Mulvaney between Republican Ralph Norman and Democrat Archie Parnell in this 57-39 Trump seat. Results: GA-06: AP (by district, by county, by precinct) | SC-05: AP (by district, by county), Secretary of State Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 11:28:16 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser As we await the first returns from both GA-06 and SC-05, it is worth remembering that just because the polls have closed, it doesn’t mean that you should expect immediate results. We just double-checked, and in April, the first returns in GA-06 were recorded at 7:50 PM ET. Also, a few precincts saw their closing times extended by a half hour. So...for now...patience is required. Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 11:36:35 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser SC-05: The Palmetto State wins the battle of “who will be the first race to report tonight.” It’s a tiny number (a total of just under 600 votes), and as such, not even worth reporting on the margins yet. But they earn the right to say “FIRST!” Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 11:38:12 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser GA-06: And, right on cue, Fulton County reports most of its early votes (the in-person early vote...not the mail-in vote). Of those 72,000 votes, Republican Karen Handel leads Democrat Jon Ossoff by a 51-49 margin.  Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 11:56:34 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf The liveblog continues here. [...]



Georgia's 6th: Another district that never should have been competitive

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 19:07:20 +0000

Here we are again! Another major competitive House special election that never should have been on the table. This should have been another ho-hum, dull, unremarked-upon election that quietly slots in the next in a line of Republicans into a longtime GOP-held seat.

But not now. Not this year. We have what looks to be a tight election on our hands in what was assumed to be a safe blood-red district but a few short years ago. And it’s all part of a trend: Democrats are showing up en masse.

We’ve had enough special elections to confidently say that overall, Democrats are doing as well as or better than Clinton this year. (See the data here.) You can see this plotted in the figure above. Districts with blue arrows show where the Democrat in the special election outperformed Hillary Clinton’s margin. Those with red arrows show the opposite. 

It’s not just that Democrats are tending to outperform Clinton: they’re also, on average, doing about as well as or better than President Obama in 2012. Below, we’ll show you just why that means Republicans should be feeling queasy about 2018.

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Democrats reportedly land major recruit against vulnerable Nevada GOP Sen. Dean Heller in 2018

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 18:55:54 +0000

Sound the alarms! Politico and other news outlets are reporting that unnamed insiders close to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen relay that she plans to run for Senate next year against Republican incumbent Dean Heller in Nevada. Rosen has yet to confirm it publicly, but will reportedly announce after the second quarter ends in late June. Rosen only won her first term 47-46 last year against flawed GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian in the open 3rd District in Las Vegas’ southern suburbs, which flipped from 50-49 Obama to 48-47 Trump in 2016. However, her victory in that heavily contested race made Rosen one of just four non-incumbent Democrats to win a congressional race in Trump territory last year, meaning she has just the sort of strong campaign skills that Democrats will need against Heller in 2018. Heller is the only Republican incumbent facing re-election in 2018 in a state that voted for Hillary Clinton after she won the Silver State 48-46, likely making it the single best chance for a Democratic pickup in a year where the rest of the map will largely force Team Blue to play defense. After being appointed to the Senate following disgraced GOP ex-Sen. John Ensign’s resignation in 2011, Heller only won a full term by a slim 46-45 plurality in 2012, which has left Democrats eagerly anticipating the opportunity for years to oust him in 2018. It’s difficult to say just how endangered Heller is next year though, since publicly available polling has been nearly nonexistent. A recent PPP survey found Heller trailing a generic Democratic opponent 46-39, but of course “generic Democrat” is sort of a Rorschach test where voters can envision the perfect challenger, unlike any imperfect actual nominee. The more important result from that poll is likely Heller’s approval rating, which was underwater at just 44 percent compared to 50 percent disapproval. Heller’s likely support for passing Trumpcare when the GOP plans to hold a vote soon could give Democrats a major opening again him in 2018, especially since Heller has backed phasing out popular Medicaid expansion in his own state. After a career in technology and leading her synagogue, Rosen would be running for higher office less than a year into her first term. Consequently, voters might not look too kindly upon a candidate seeking a promotion so soon into her first stint in public office. However, she would be far from the first House member to do so and win. Like Rosen would be attempting, Arkansas GOP Sen. Tom Cotton and Montana GOP Sen. Steve Daines both successfully captured Senate seats from the other party in 2014 despite having served just a single House term and not having held elected office before that. On the other hand, ex-Rep. Rick Berg lost in North Dakota as the 2012 Republican Senate nominee with just one House term under his belt. Politico also reports that Rosen has the support of former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid, who retired from office last year yet still wields immense influence in Nevada Democratic politics, while the Nevada Independent relays that she’s the first choice of the DSCC too. This unfolding support from key establishment Democrats could be persuading other potential Democratic Senate candidates to reconsider their plans. Ex-state Treasurer Kate Marshall had previously indicated she was thinking about it, but the Independent also reported Marshall now says she believes Rosen will be the party’s standard-bearer [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/20

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 13:01:01 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 3:39:50 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MI-Sen: At a recent state GOP event, Republican ex-state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Young jumped the gun on his official announcement and declared that he was running for Senate against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow next year. Young stepped down from the bench in April after nearly two decades in office, and he could be a formidable contender after having won three nonpartisan statewide races over Democratic opposition. Despite Trump winning Michigan by a razor-thin margin, Stabenow is by all accounts a strong favorite to win a fourth term in 2018. While Young’s outspoken conservative record might help endear him to GOP primary voters, he’ll face a daunting task persuading swing voters to ditch the longtime incumbent. While Young has the highest profile so far, he isn’t the only candidate in the Republican primary. Businesswoman Lena Epstein, who was the Trump campaign’s state co-chair, had previously announced her candidacy, although Republicans might prefer someone with more of a track record in electoral politics like Young. If Young were to pull off the upset against Stabenow, he would become the first African American to represent Michigan in the Senate. Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 4:04:05 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf FL-07: Republicans intend to make first-term Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy one of their top offensive targets in 2018, and Steven Lemongello from the Orlando Sentinel gives us the name of a new potential candidate with his report that GOP state Rep. Mike Miller is considering running, though there’s no word from Miller directly. Republican state Sen. David Simmons had previously said he was “98 percent headed towards a run,” and he also recently reaffirmed his interest in the race. Team Red had represented this territory in Orlando’s northern suburbs for over two decades until 2016, but the 7th District flipped from a razor-thin Obama victory to a 51-44 Clinton edge last year. Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017 · 4:39:11 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Idaho, the 26th state we’ve done. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.​ Idaho is one of the reddest states in the nation, and that didn’t change in 2016. Donald Trump carried the state 59-27, a similar margin as Mitt Romney’s 65-33, though third party candidates did relatively well here. The GOP has controlled both chambers of the legislature for decades, and that’s not changing anytime soon. Team Red holds a 59-11 supermajority in the state House, and a 29 to six Senate edge. Each of the Gem State’s 30 legislative districts has two state representatives and one state senator. The two House members are each elected every two years: Candidates must choose whether to run for the A or B seat. The two House seats, as well as the Senate seat, have identical boundaries. Senators also serve two years. Trump carried the same 26 districts that Romney took. Trump did notably lose support in LD-34 in the[...]



Morning Digest: Trumpcare savior Tom MacArthur draws his first major Democratic House challenger

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 12:01:11 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● NJ-03: Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur received heaps of scorn after he helped save Trumpcare from the brink of death, and on Monday he just drew his first noteworthy Democratic challenger in 2018 when national security expert Andrew Kim kicked off his campaign. A veteran and Rhodes Scholar, Kim previously served on the National Security Council as the director for Iraq under Obama. He declared his reason for running for the House was MacArthur's Trumpcare amendment that would allow insurers to charge sick people more for premiums than healthy ones.​ Campaign Action ​New Jersey's 3rd Congressional District spans from Philadelphia's eastern suburbs to the Jersey Shore, and the historically Republican seat flipped from 52-47 Obama to 51-46 Trump while MacArthur easily won re-election last year. The incumbent is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and will assuredly have as much money as he needs in this district, which covers two of the most expensive media markets for TV ads in the country. However, with Trumpcare already sparking a public opinion backlash nationally, MacArthur may have just seriously endangered his re-election prospects after his amendment was instrumental to securing the bill's passage in the House. Kim might not have the Democratic primary to himself though, which would be a vast turnaround for Team Blue compared to 2016, when a weak perennial candidate won the nomination. Locally prominent civil rights attorney Katherine Hartman previously filed the paperwork to run so she could raise money while considering a campaign, but she has yet to make a formal announcement that she's in the race. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/19

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:00:54 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Monday, Jun 19, 2017 · 2:37:37 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf Gerrymandering: On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a ruling that struck down Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn state Assembly districts late last year for unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering, which we detailed extensively here. The Supreme Court has previously held that partisan gerrymandering could theoretically be unconstitutional, but has never before invalidated any particular map because it hasn’t agreed upon a standard for when to do so. Expected to be argued late in 2017, this case could subsequently set a landmark precedent against partisan gerrymandering if the plaintiffs prevail, leading to a wave of lawsuits against congressional and legislative maps nationwide. Monday, Jun 19, 2017 · 3:04:31 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf KS-Gov: Last Friday, Republican former state Sen. Jim Barnett announced he would run for the governor’s office again in 2018. Barnett was Team Red’s nominee in 2006, but lost by a 58-40 landslide against Democratic incumbent Kathleen Sebelius during that year’s Democratic wave. The former state senator has been out of office since 2010, but he stated that he supports Medicaid expansion and distanced himself from unpopular outgoing GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s “dismal” fiscal policies, which have wreaked havoc on the state’s finances. Barnett could consequently capitalize on growing outrage within the GOP against the Brownback faction’s ultra-conservative radicalism, but it’s unclear if most primary voters are ready yet for a move toward the center. Wealthy businessman Wink Hartman and Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has supported Brownback’s agenda every step of the way, are both already running in the primary, while Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer has previously said that he’s considering it. Monday, Jun 19, 2017 · 3:21:12 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf VA-Gov: Fresh off of last week’s Virginia primary elections, both the RGA and the DGA have given $1 million to their respective gubernatorial nominees, ex-Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie and Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. What little polling we have seen has generally shown a competitive race in this swing state, which backed Hillary Clinton by a modest 50-44, we can likely expect the national parties to invest considerably in this race going forward since it’s one of just two gubernatorial contests taking place this November. Monday, Jun 19, 2017 · 3:39:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits the halfway point with West Virginia, the 25th state we’ve done. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.​ Democrats won control of the state legislature in the 1930s, and they held both chambers even as West Virginia began favoring GOP presidential candidates. As recently as 2012, Democrats won a 54-46 majority in the state House and a 24-10 Senate edge even as Mitt Romney was carrying the state 62-36. However,[...]



New Jersey GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur gets his first major Democratic opponent over Trumpcare amendment

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:45:30 +0000

New Jersey Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur received heaps of scorn after he helped save Trumpcare from the brink of death, and on Monday he just drew his first noteworthy Democratic challenger for 2018 when national security expert Andrew Kim kicked off his campaign. A veteran and Rhodes Scholar, Kim previously served on the National Security Council as the director for Iraq under Obama. He declared his reason for running House was MacArthur’s Trumpcare amendment that would allow insurers to charge sick people more for premiums than healthy ones. The 3rd Congressional District spans from Philadelphia’s eastern suburbs to the Jersey Shore, and the historically Republican seat flipped from 52-47 Obama to 51-46 Trump while MacArthur easily won re-election last year. The incumbent is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and will assuredly have as much money as he needs in this district, which spans two of the most expensive media markets for TV ads in the country. However, with Trumpcare already sparking a public opinion backlash nationally, MacArthur may have just seriously endangered his re-election prospects after his amendment was instrumental to securing the bill’s passage in the House. Kim might not have the Democratic primary to himself though, which would be a vast turnaround for Team Blue compared to 2016, when a weak perennial candidate won the nomination. Locally prominent civil rights attorney Katherine Hartman previously filed the paperwork to run so she could raise money while considering a campaign, but she has yet to make a formal announcement that she’s in the race. [...]



Donald Trump lost just one seat in West Virginia's entire state legislature

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 15:44:27 +0000

Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits the halfway point with West Virginia, the 25th state we’ve done. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.​ Democrats won control of the state legislature in the 1930s, and they held both chambers even as West Virginia began favoring GOP presidential candidates. As recently as 2012, Democrats won a 54-46 majority in the state House and a 24-10 Senate edge even as Mitt Romney was carrying the state 62-36. However, the GOP finally flipped both chambers in the 2014 wave (though it was a party switch that gave them the Senate). Last year, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 69-26, his best state outside of Wyoming, and Team Red currently holds a 64-36 state House edge and a 22-12 Senate majority. Interestingly, Democrat Jim Justice also won the governor’s office last year, though he had a very Trumpesque appeal despite his party affiliation. Several Democrats still hold very red turf, but not nearly as many as just a few years ago. It only takes a simple majority of both chambers to override the governor’s veto. We’ll start with a look at the state House, which is up every two years. The state House is divided into 67 different districts, and they can have anywhere between one and five representatives. Clinton carried exactly one seat in either chamber, taking the Charleston-area’s HD-37 64-30, though this was still a big drop from Obama’s 71-26 win here in 2012. Clinton lost three state House seats that had backed Obama: One of these Obama/Trump seats has a Democratic member, while the other two are represented by the GOP. Interestingly, Clinton’s second-best seat has a GOP member. HD-67, located in the Eastern Panhandle, went from 52-46 Obama to just 48-46 Trump, but Republican Riley Moore won his first term 51-49. The reddest seat with a Democratic representative is HD-20 in the southern part of the state. This Coal Country district went from 70-28 Romney to 82-16 Trump, but Democratic incumbent Justin Marcum won a third term 67-33. (This is an early contender for reddest seat held by a Democrat anywhere in the country.) Another 13 Democrats come from seats where Trump won at least 70 percent of the vote. Almost every Democrat represents a seat that backed Trump by double digits … though that’s mainly because Trump won 63 of the 67 seats by double digits. [...]



Supreme Court will hear Wisconsin partisan gerrymandering case that could set a landmark precedent

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 13:32:54 +0000

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal this fall of a lower court ruling that struck down Wisconsin’s Republican-drawn state Assembly map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Over the past three decades, the high court has repeatedly held that partisan gerrymandering could in theory run afoul of the constitution, but it has never struck down any maps on these grounds because it could not decide upon a standard for when to do so. If the high court upholds this ruling, it would establish a sweeping precedent that could lead to a wave of lawsuits against widespread partisan gerrymanders nationally. Republicans aggressively gerrymandered Wisconsin after they gained unified control of state government in the 2010 midterm wave. Their Assembly lines were so effective that Republicans won a commanding majority in the chamber in 2012 even as Obama won Wisconsin by 7 points and Democratic legislative candidates won more votes statewide than Republicans did. As shown in the map at the top of this post, Republicans maintained a lopsided 64-35 majority in 2016 even as Donald Trump barely won the state. While it has regularly invalidated maps for improper racial gerrymandering, the Supreme Court, as noted above, has never struck down a map for excessive partisanship despite 31 years of precedent that partisan gerrymandering could theoretically be unconstitutional. In a 2004 case on the same topic, Justice Anthony Kennedy, as the deciding vote, refused to strike down the map in question on the basis that it represented an unfair partisan gerrymander. However, Kennedy effectively opened the door for future challengers to come up with a new standard that could satisfy the court’s perennial swing justice. The plaintiffs in Wisconsin have sought to overcome that problem by proposing one such mathematical test called the “efficiency gap” that examines how many votes get “wasted” in each election, which we have explained in detail here. Under this test, if one party routinely wins landslide victories in a minority of seats while the other party wins much more modest yet secure margins in the vast majority of districts, that could signify a gerrymander that has gone so far as to infringe upon the rights of voters to free speech and equal protection. Although this test is imperfect, it provides one of many tools a court could use to judge a map’s partisan distortion. [...]



Morning Digest: Despite GOP gerrymanders, 2014 shows how Michigan Democrats could make gains in 2018

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 12:00:57 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Michigan, a state that unexpectedly—and distressingly—flipped from blue to red last year. As a bonus, we've also calculated the 2014 election results for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, and secretary of state for each state House, state Senate, and congressional district. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.​ Campaign Action ​The GOP had complete control of Michigan's state government when it was time to redraw its state legislative lines for the decade, and it shows. In 2012, even as Mitt Romney was losing the state by a wide 54-45 margin to Barack Obama, he still carried 21 of 38 state Senate seats and 57 of 110 state House seats. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump's narrow 47.6-47.4 victory over Hillary Clinton last year was enough to allow Trump to win even more legislative districts. Trump traded one Romney Senate seat for three Obama districts, and just three Romney state House seats for 13 Obama districts. The GOP holds a 27-11 Senate supermajority and a formidable 63-47 House edge. (Daily Kos Elections assigns all vacant seats to the party that last won them; right now, two of those Democratic state House seats are vacant.) The Senate is only up in midterm election cycles, while the House is up every two years. We'll start with a look at the Senate. In 1983, two members of the Democratic majority were recalled after they backed a tax increase, and they were replaced with Republicans early the next year. The move gave the GOP control of the Senate, and they've held it ever since. During the 2006 Democratic wave, Team Blue came relatively close to winning the chamber back, but the GOP still held a 21-17 majority despite a 54-46 statewide popular vote edge for Democratic candidates; the 2010 and 2014 GOP waves gave Team Red the supermajority they enjoy today. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 21:31:14 +0000

Alvvays — “In Undertow”

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Voting Rights Roundup: New lawsuit could invalidate Pennsylvania GOP's congressional gerrymander

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:08:16 +0000

Leading Off ● Pennsylvania: A group of Pennsylvania voters and the League of Women Voters filed a lawsuit in state court Thursday arguing that the congressional map Republican legislators passed in 2011 amounted to a partisan gerrymander in violation of the state constitution’s guarantees of free speech and equal protection. If the court strikes down this map, Pennsylvania could have to draw new districts for the 2018 cycle, which would almost certainly result in more Democrats getting elected to the House.​ Campaign Action ​As shown in the map at the top of this post, the GOP’s brazenly tortured lines have produced a stable 13-to-5 Republican congressional majority in what is otherwise an evenly divided swing state. That Republican advantage persisted even when Obama carried Pennsylvania by 5 points—and Democratic House candidates won more votes statewide than Republicans—in 2012, and it held fast in 2016 when Trump narrowly won the state. As we have demonstrated, this Republican gerrymander likely cost Democrats up to four seats in both 2016 and 2012, making it one of the most effective GOP gerrymanders nationally. The plaintiffs in this new suit point to several statistical tests to argue that Republicans could not have possibly passed the map that they did without intending to favor their own party. These tests include the “efficiency gap,” which is at the center of ongoing litigation over Wisconsin’s GOP-drawn state Assembly map, as well as one called the “mean-median district test,” both of which we have previously explained in detail. The plaintiffs have also put forth computer-simulated nonpartisan plans to buttress their claim that any efforts by mapmakers to adhere to traditional redistricting criteria alone (like compactness) were statistically unlikely to produce such a GOP-leaning map. While these tests have yet to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down partisan gerrymanders for violating the federal constitution, plaintiffs are hoping that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where Democrats gained a majority in 2015, will ultimately give them a more favorable outcome under the state constitution. And while Republicans remain firmly in control of the legislature, if the state courts invalidate the existing congressional map, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf could veto any potential Republican replacement, prompting the court itself to draw much fairer lines. Naturally, Republicans have already attacked this lawsuit by pointing out the map passed with some Democratic votes. However, that argument cynically omits the fact those Democratic legislators cravenly favored the map to protect powerful Democratic incumbents whose districts were drawn to help Republicans in neighboring seats, not because they thought the map didn’t favor the GOP. (This is also a good reason why you should never, ever vote for the other side’s gerrymander.) There’s still a long way to go before this case reaches a conclusion, and of course we can’t know if even a Democratic-majority state Supreme Court would produce a favorable ruling. (The lower court is dominated by Republicans.) However, if this case proceeds quickly enough through the system, and the plaintiffs do [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/16

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:00:56 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Friday, Jun 16, 2017 · 4:04:33 PM +00:00 · David Jarman Seattle, WA Mayor: We have our first financial reports since the Seattle mayoral race was dramatically remodeled with the withdrawal of incumbent Ed Murray, and a number of new high-profile candidates jumping in at the last minute. As expected, ex-U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, who’s the most business-connected candidate, raised the most money, at $190,000. More surprising is two activists who haven’t held office before are in second and third place. Cary Moon is in second at $80,000 (though $40,000 of that is self-funding), and Nikkita Oliver is at $50,000 (as the preferred candidate of city councilor Kshama Sawant’s dedicated cadre of lefties, she has the most donors of any candidate, at 822). Ex-state Rep. Jessyn Farrell, who recently gave up her seat because she couldn’t fundraise while the legislature was in special session, is at $45,000. Oddly, the best-known name in the field, ex-mayor Mike McGinn, lags behind at $27,000, suggestive of his youthful base having gravitated to Oliver. That leaves one other candidate, state Sen. Bob Hasegawa, who hasn’t raised anything other than a $6,000 loan. But Hasegawa’s in better shape than that makes it look for two reasons. Hasegawa hasn’t given up his legislative seat, so he can’t fundraise yet, and he probably has a lot of labor money about to come his way once the session is over. Hasegawa also has the endorsement or co-endorsement of every legislative district-level Democratic organization (in other words, the activist rank-and-file) that has endorsed so far. Friday, Jun 16, 2017 · 4:32:26 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Specials: Via Johnny Longtorso, we have the results of a Thursday race in Tennessee: Tennessee HD-95: Republicans held on to this one. Kevin Vaughan defeated Democrat Julie Byrd Ashworth by a 62-35 margin. Independents Robert Schutt and Jim Tomasik pulled in the remaining 3 percent of the vote. This seat went 76-23 for Mitt Romney in 2012, and Daily Kos Elections' preliminary calculations have it voting for Trump by 68-29 in 2016. While Team Blue didn’t come close to winning, that’s still a solid overperformance in this very red suburban Memphis seat. You can find our continuously-updated chart tracking the Trump-era special elections.  Friday, Jun 16, 2017 · 5:59:24 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Michigan, a state that unexpectedly—and distressingly—flipped from blue to red last year. As a bonus, we’ve also calculated the 2014 election results for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, and secretary of state for each state House, state Senate, and congressional district. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here. The GOP had complete control of Michigan’s state[...]



Republicans gerrymandered the hell out of Michigan, but there's hope for Democrats in 2018

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:00:21 +0000

Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Michigan, a state that unexpectedly—and distressingly—flipped from blue to red last year. As a bonus, we’ve also calculated the 2014 election results for U.S. Senate, governor, attorney general, and secretary of state for each state House, state Senate, and congressional district. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here. The GOP had complete control of Michigan’s state government when it was time to redraw its state legislative lines for the decade, and it shows. In 2012, even as Mitt Romney was losing the state by a wide 54-45 margin to Barack Obama, he still carried 21 of 38 state Senate seats and 57 of 110 state House seats. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump’s narrow 47.6-47.4 victory over Hillary Clinton last year was enough to allow Trump to win even more legislative districts. Trump traded one Romney Senate seat for three Obama districts, and just three Romney state House seats for 13 Obama districts. The GOP holds a 27-11 Senate supermajority, and a formidable 63-47 House edge. (Daily Kos Elections assigns all vacant seats to the party that last won them; right now, two of those Democratic state House seats are vacant.) The Senate is only up in midterm election cycles, while the House is up every two years. We’ll start with a look at the Senate. In 1983, two members of the Democratic majority were recalled after they backed a tax increase, and they were replaced with Republicans early the next year. The move gave the GOP control of the Senate, and they’ve held it ever since. During the 2006 Democratic wave, Team Blue came relatively close to winning the chamber back, but the GOP still held a 21-17 majority; the 2010 and 2014 GOP waves gave Team Red the supermajority they enjoy today. All 11 of the Senate Democrats represent seats that backed both Clinton and Obama, while four of the 27 Republicans hold seats that went for Clinton. The Republican in the bluest seat is Dave Hildenbrand, whose Grand Rapids-area SD-29 went from 53-46 Obama to 54-39 Clinton. Republican state Sen. Marty Knollenberg is the only Republican in the chamber to represent a Romney/Clinton seat. His SD-13, located in suburban Detroit’s Oakland County, went from 50-49 Romney to 50-44 Clinton. An additional three Republicans hold Obama/Trump seats. [...]



Morning Digest: Canova, pushing conspiracies about Seth Rich, seeks rematch with Wasserman Schultz

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:00:55 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. Leading Off ● FL-23, FL-Sen: On Thursday, law professor Tim Canova announced that he would launch a primary challenge to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Last year, Canova ran against Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down as head of the Democratic National Committee last August amid controversy, in South Florida's safely blue 23rd Congressional District. Canova raised an insane sum from fellow Bernie Sanders backers who wanted to take their anger out on Wasserman Schultz over her perceived favoritism toward Hillary Clinton during the presidential primaries. However, the well-connected Wasserman Schultz defeated Canova 57-43. (In between his two House bids, Canova didn't rule out a primary bid against Sen. Bill Nelson, but that won't be happening now.)​ Campaign Action ​Canova did give Wasserman Schultz the closest race of her career, but he still fell far short. That primary took place just weeks after Wasserman Schultz left the DNC after WikiLeaks released unflattering emails stolen from the committee—at a time, in other words, when her image was at its most tarnished. But with the scandal long since faded, it's tough to see how Canova could finish the job two years later. Moreover, while Canova tried to frame his contest as a battle between the progressive grassroots and a corrupt establishment, he himself has since become a peddler of revolting conspiracy theories. Prominent conservatives like Sean Hannity have worked themselves into a feverish froth of late insisting—without any actual evidence—that DNC staffer Seth Rich might have been murdered last year because he leaked DNC data to Wikileaks. The D.C. police and Rich's family say that Rich's death was the result of a botched robbery, but that hasn't stopped Hannity from arguing that there's something else at work—and Canova's followed suit. Stunningly, back in January, Canova posted on Facebook that Rich "may have been the Wikileaks source of the leaked DNC emails. He was gunned down, assassinated under suspicious circumstances just days after publication of those leaked emails. Wikileaks has offered a substantial reward to help in the homicide investigation, which appears to be completely dormant." And Canova hasn't let it go. In March, he followed up with a since-deleted tweet declaring, "We need open nonpartisan investigation of @DWStweets lies & rigging against @SenSanders, total failure DNC 2010-16, murder of Seth Rich, etc." Rich's parents have repeatedly begged people to stop dragging their son through the mud to advance their own agenda, and we can only hope that Canova will listen and stop spreading these lies. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/15

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:00:52 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Thursday, Jun 15, 2017 · 3:39:23 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CA-Gov: State Treasurer John Chiang, a Democrat, is out with a survey from Goodwin Simon Strategic Research that shows him in fourth place in next year’s top two primary, but arguing that he has a path to get to the general election. The poll has Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has consistently led in the polls, taking first place with 26 percent. They show a very tight race for second, with Democratic ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at 12, Republican businessman John Cox at 11, and Chiang at 10. The gubernatorial field is far from settled and no one has begun advertising on TV yet. Thursday, Jun 15, 2017 · 4:05:34 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer ID-01, ID-Gov: On Thursday, ex-state Sen. Russ Fulcher dropped out of the GOP primary to succeed retiring Gov. Butch Otter and announced that he would instead run to succeed Rep. Raul Labrador in the House. Labrador, who announced last month that he was giving up his very red western Idaho seat to run for governor, quickly endorsed Fulcher’s bid for his district. Fulcher ran in the 2014 primary against Otter and did unexpectedly well, holding the incumbent to a 51-44 victory. Fulcher announced last August that he would run for governor again, but his fundraising never took off. Labrador appeals to the same sort of anti-establishment voters that Fulcher needed, but he has a much-bigger profile. The two are also political allies, so it’s not a surprise that Fulcher decided to succeed Labrador rather than try and beat him. Fulcher will face attorney David Leroy, a former lieutenant governor who lost a very tight 1986 gubernatorial general election, in the primary for Congress, though other Republicans may be interested. Thursday, Jun 15, 2017 · 4:55:28 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MN-Gov: The large Democratic race to succeed retiring Gov. Mark Dayton got even larger on Thursday when state Rep. Paul Thissen, a former speaker and minority leader, announced that he would run. Thissen ran for governor in 2010 and dropped out after he did not receive the state party endorsement before the primary, though he took a surprisingly strong third place. Thissen says that he plans to once again abide by the state party’s endorsement. (It's common for Minnesota candidates in both parties to drop out of the race if someone else gets their party’s endorsement, though some do decide to skip the convention entirely and just run in the primary.) Thissen became state chamber’s minority leader in 2011 and took the speaker’s chair after Team Blue took control in 2012. Thissen helped Dayton pass several progressive policies, including legalizing same-sex marriage and the creation of the state insurance exchange. However, the GOP retook the state House in 2014 and held it in 2016, and some Democrats may blame Thissen at least in part for the party’s recent problems. A number of Democrats a[...]



Corey Stewart concedes tight GOP primary, but he's not done making life difficult for Ed Gillespie

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 18:56:53 +0000

Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart’s nasty pro-Trump and pro-Confederate campaign almost was enough for him to upset ex-Republican National Committee head Ed Gillespie in the Tuesday GOP primary for governor of Virginia, but Stewart still fell short 44-43. Stewart initially refused to concede or endorse Gillespie on election night, but he changed his tune the next day. Stewart acknowledged his defeat to the Washington Post and said he would back the GOP ticket. But while Stewart has backed off from his Tuesday night declaration that “[t]here is one word you will never hear from me, and that’s ‘unity’,” he’s still not ready to make life easy for Gillespie. Stewart told the Post that he hasn’t spoken to Gillespie yet, and while there was no question he’d vote for him, “The real question is, will he support my supporters. Unless he stands up and takes clear positions on defending our heritage and our history, supporting the president, cracking down on illegal immigration, those who supported me are not going to go with him.” Stewart ever-so-helpfully added, “This isn’t old-style politics anymore. I just can’t tell 155,000 folks to go ahead and vote for Ed despite the fact that he’s not a fighter.” Well, at least Stewart didn’t call Gillespie a “cuckservative” this time. Gillespie spent the primary trying to avoid talking about either Donald Trump or the recent push in several Southern cities, including Charlottesville, to take down monuments to the Confederacy. That strategy almost cost him the primary, and he’d rather avoid lurching to the right in a state that voted against Trump 50-44. But Stewart may very well be right that a large chunk of his pro-Trump supporters won’t come out for Gillespie in November if he doesn’t do a lot more to appeal to them. Gillespie himself is hoping to turn the page on the primary as quickly as possible, and he’s out with a Public Opinion Strategies poll arguing that he has a good shot in November. The survey, which was conducted last week, has Gillespie leading Democrat Ralph Northam 46-45. There has been very little general election polling, but the most recent numbers have looked very bad for Team Red. In April, Quinnipiac gave Northam a 44-33 edge, while a May Abt Associates poll have the Democrat up 49-38. Of course, as wary Democrats will remember, polls gave Team Blue clear leads in the 2013 gubernatorial race and the 2014 Senate race, but the Democrats only narrowly won each race. As for Stewart, we may not have heard the last of him this cycle. Stewart told the Washington Post that he would take “a few weeks, a couple months maybe” to decide if he would challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine next year. And just in case there was any doubt what kind of campaign Stewart would run, he said that, “If I announced I was running for another office right now, it would be a headline in The Washington Post: ‘Stewart clobbered by Confederate wife.’” Lovely guy. [...]



Democrat pushing hateful Seth Rich conspiracy theory to run against Wasserman Schultz again

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:03:03 +0000

On Thursday, law professor Tim Canova announced that he would launch a primary challenge to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Last year, Canova ran against Wasserman Schultz, who stepped down as head of the Democratic National Committee last August amid controversy, in South Florida’s safely blue 23rd Congressional District. Canova raised an insane sum from fellow Bernie Sanders backers who wanted to take their anger out on Wasserman Schultz over her perceived favortism toward Hillary Clinton during the presidential primaries. However, the well-connected Wasserman Schultz defeated Canova 57-43. (In between his two House bids, Canova didn’t rule out a primary bid against Sen. Bill Nelson, but that won’t be happening now.) Canova did, though, give Wasserman Schultz the closest race of her career, but he still fell far short. That primary took place just weeks after Wasserman Schultz left the DNC after WikiLeaks released unflattering emails stolen from the committee—at a time, in other words, when her image was at its most tarnished. But with the scandal long since faded, it’s tough to see how Canova could finish the job two years later. Moreover, while Canova tried to frame his contest as a battle between the progressive grassroots and a corrupt establishment, he himself has since become a peddler of revolting conspiracy theories. Prominent conservatives like Sean Hannity have worked themselves into a feverish froth of late insisting—without any actual evidence—that DNC staffer Seth Rich might have been murdered last year because he leaked DNC data to Wikileaks. The D.C. police and Rich’s family say that Rich’s death was the result of a botched robbery, but that hasn’t stopped Hannity from arguing that there’s something else at work—and Canova’s followed suit. Stunningly, back in January, Canova posted on Facebook that Rich “may have been the Wikileaks source of the leaked DNC emails. He was gunned down, assassinated under suspicious circumstances just days after publication of those leaked emails. Wikileaks has offered a substantial reward to help in the homicide investigation, which appears to be completely dormant.” And Canova hasn’t let it go. In March, he followed up with a since-deleted tweet declaring, “We need open nonpartisan investigation of @DWStweets lies & rigging against @SenSanders, total failure DNC 2010-16, murder of Seth Rich, etc.” Rich’s parents have repeatedly begged people to stop dragging their son through the mud to advance their own agenda, and we can only hope that Canova will listen and stop spreading these lies. [...]



Trump just raised $800,000 for a top architect of his healthcare repeal. Let's make 'em both pay.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 15:57:30 +0000

Donald Trump, as often noted, relishes punishing his enemies and disdains helping his allies, but he actually did lift a very short finger last weekend for the man who shocked the corpse of Trumpcare back to life with an amendment that would allow insurers to charge as much as they like to people with pre-existing health conditions. Trump didn’t have far to go, though: He headlined a fundraiser for GOP Rep. Tom MacArthur at Trump’s own golf course in Bedminster—conveniently located in MacArthur’s home state of New Jersey—that, according to Politico, raised $800,000 for the congressman. What's remarkable about this, though, is not just that Trump did something for someone not named Donald Trump but that MacArthur doesn't actually need the cash: He's worth over $50 million! He is, however, potentially vulnerable next year, in large part because of the key role he played in advancing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. In fact, several different Democrats are considering bids against MacArthur, who skated by with little opposition last year. But even though MacArthur willingly walked the plank for Trump, this won’t be an easy race. For starters, New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, which is located east of Philadelphia in the southern part of the state, moved against the Democrats in 2016: Barack Obama carried it 52-47 four years ago, but Trump won it 51-45. And between his own personal wealth and Trump’s largesse, MacArthur will have all the resources he needs for his re-election campaign. But that’s where we come in. While we likely won’t know who our challenger will be for some time, we can act now to make sure that Team Blue’s candidate has a fully stocked war chest for the general election. And you can do that by giving to ActBlue’s Democratic Nominee Fund for New Jersey’s 3rd District. All donations will be held in escrow for now, and just as soon as the primary’s over, they'll immediately get wired to the Democratic nominee. Trump wants to take health care away from 23 million Americans, and MacArthur's played a critical role in helping to make that happen. Let’s make them both pay the price: We can take MacArthur’s seat and Trump's precious House majority. Please donate $3 now to help defeat Trumpcare architect Tom MacArthur in 2018. [...]



Morning Digest: Gunman attacks GOP baseball practice, badly injuring Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 12:00:45 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.

Leading Off

LA-01: In a horrific attack early Wednesday morning, a gunman opened fire at a batting practice session being held by the congressional Republicans' baseball team, badly wounding GOP Rep. Steve Scalise. Four others—two Capitol Police officers, a congressional staffer, and a lobbyist—were also injured. Doctors treating Scalise, the third-ranking Republican in the House, say he remains in critical condition after being operated on and will require further surgery.

The shooter, James Hodgkinson, was shot by police and died from his wounds. Hodgkinson, a home inspector from Belleville, Illinois, frequently wrote letters to the editor and posted on social media about his liberal political views, including his support for Bernie Sanders and his hostility toward Donald Trump. Law enforcement officials have not commented on a possible motive yet.

Lawmakers also announced that the annual Congressional Baseball Game, a bipartisan tradition dating back over a century that pits a team of Republicans against a squad of Democrats, would be played as scheduled on Thursday.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/14

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 13:00:54 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 2:37:35 PM +00:00 · David Nir Horrific news: Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, was shot at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., when a gunman opened fire near a Y.M.C.A. on Wednesday morning, a congressional official said. Representative Mo Brooks told CNN that “at least five” people were injured — including two law enforcement officers and a congressional aide — while members of a Republican congressional baseball team were practicing. Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican of Texas, said in a statement that one of his aides was shot. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 5:08:43 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf NJ-Gov: Quinnipiac gives us the first poll of New Jersey’s November general election since last week’s gubernatorial primary, and they have nothing but stellar news for Democrats. Democratic ex-Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy trounces Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno by a brutal 55-26 margin, which is a very modest improvement for Murphy from their May survey, where he led 50-25. Donald Trump’s abysmal 66-28 disapproval rating and outgoing GOP Gov. Chris Christie’s even more horrific 81-15 disapproval spread in Quinnipiac’s latest survey are undoubtedly doing Guadagno no favors in this Democratic-leaning state. Murphy has so far dominated in every poll, but no other outfits aside from Quinnipiac appear to have released any surveys here. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 5:34:47 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AZ-02: Physician Matt Heinz, announced on Wednesday that he will run for House against Republican Rep. Martha McSally once more after he was the unsuccessful 2016 Democratic nominee. Heinz, who served in the state House from 2009-2013, previously ran for this seat in 2012 in a primary challenge to Democratic then-Rep. Ron Barber, but fell far short. National Democrats largely left Heinz to fend for himself last year as his relatively modest fundraising did not appear to inspire confidence. His 57-43 loss to McSally even as the 2nd District flipped from 50-48 Romney to 50-45 Clinton could consequently leave Democrats inclined to look elsewhere. Nonetheless, Heinz did release a PPP survey last month to argue for his campaign’s viability that had him beating McSally 48-44, while the incumbent sported a poor 53-40 disapproval rating. That poll came hot on the heels of another PPP release in May that gave McSally a truly awful 56-35 disapproval rating. If these numbers are accurate, it’s possible that Heinz could very well reverse his fortunes in 2018 with Trump’s unpopularity weighing down congressional Republicans and McSally’s gung-ho approach to passing Trump’s health care bill. McSally is a prodigious fundraiser and seen as a GOP rising star, but her nascent vulnerability [...]



Democrats get their first high-profile 2018 gubernatorial candidate in ruby-red Alabama

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 20:14:55 +0000

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb jumped into the 2018 gubernatorial race on Tuesday, giving Democrats their first high-profile candidate against recently elevated Republican Gov. Kay Ivey. Cobb’s name came up as a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2010 and 2014, but she refused to run in both of those races. She previously won election statewide to serve on to Alabama’s Court of Criminal Appeals from 1994 to 2006, and Cobb narrowly ousted appointed GOP state Supreme Court Chief Justice Drayton Nabers by 51-48 during the 2006 Democratic wave year in what became an expensive race. However, Cobb chose not to seek another term on the state’s high court in 2012 and even resigned early in 2011, allowing then-Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint a Republican replacement. She later authored an editorial unloading on the unseemly role that fundraising played in judicial elections in which she bashed trial lawyers and labor. Cobb more recently backed then-Sen. Jeff Sessions’ nomination to become attorney general. Those actions could make Democrats reluctant to support Cobb, but their weak bench in this deep-red state doesn’t leave many alternatives. It’s unclear if Ivey will seek a full term as governor or if she’ll make it past her many primary foes if she does run, but Alabama Democrats are nonetheless hopeful that they can gain traction thanks to disgraced ex-Gov. Bentley’s scandals and corruption elsewhere in the GOP-dominated state government. Ex-state Agriculture Commissioner Ron Sparks, who was the 2010 Democratic nominee, and party-switching former Rep. Parker Griffith, who was Team Blue’s 2014 nominee, have both said that they’re thinking about running again too. [...]



Colorado Democrat Joe Neguse joins the race for Jared Polis' open House seat

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:38:28 +0000

On Tuesday, Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Executive Director Joe Neguse, who narrowly lost the 2014 race for secretary of state, jumped into the Democratic primary for the open and reliably blue 2nd Congressional District. Neguse, who reportedly was considering running for governor a few months ago, also announced that he was resigning from his current post. Neguse ran a credible statewide campaign in 2014, and he should have the resources to run a competitive race for this Boulder-area seat. Neguse entered the race with endorsements from Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs and state Sen. Stephen Fenberg, both of whom had been mentioned as possible candidates to succeed gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis. Neguse’s parents came to the United States as refugees from Eritrea; if Neguse wins this contest, he will be the first Eritrean-American member of Congress, as well as Colorado’s first black member of Congress. Several other notable Democrats are also eyeing this district, which also includes Fort Collins. Shaun McGrath, who served as the regional Environmental Protection Agency administrator until Trump took office and previously was deputy director for the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, said on Tuesday that he expects to decide “next few days or so.” McGrath was also a Boulder city councilor from 2003 to 2009, and he spent the final 18 months of his tenure as mayor. Two prominent gun-safety advocates, Ken Toltz and Shannon Watts, have also expressed interest in running, and other local Democrats may be eyeing this seat. Clinton carried this seat 56-35, and it’s tough to see the GOP winning it anytime soon. However, several non-Some Dude Republicans have expressed interest in running here. Ex-Fort Collins Councilor Gino Campana, ex-state House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso, and ex-state Rep. B.J. Nikkel all tell the Coloradoan that they’re considering. [...]



Transgender woman wins Democratic primary to take on GOP sponsor of Virginia 'bathroom bill'

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:49:02 +0000

While many eyes were on Virginia's gubernatorial primaries Tuesday night (and understandably so, what with the record-breaking Democratic turnout and the GOP coming astoundingly close to nominating a Confederate apologist), dozens of other candidates were battling to appear on the ballot this fall, too. The many House of Delegates primary contests settled yesterday received less fanfare but are no less important to Democratic success in the Commonwealth.

Democrats entered the evening in a great place: No matter who won, 53 excellent Democratic candidates would be vying for GOP-held seats this fall. (Republicans, on the other hand, are trying to flip a mere six Democratic seats.)

Now that the primaries are settled, we know that more than half of this fall's Democratic challengers are women—and one woman in particular is guaranteed to get under her GOP opponent's skin in a way no other candidate could.

Democrat Danica Roem emerged from a four-way primary with a healthy victory, earning her the right to take on GOP Del. Bob Marshall in the 13th State House District this fall.

Roem is a transgender woman. Marshall happens to be most virulently anti-LGBT and right-wing lawmaker in the House of Delegates. (Sen. Dick Black [R-Plastic Fetus] contests Marshall's spot as the craziest right-winger in the entire General Assembly.)

Just how anti-LGBT is Marshall, you ask? Well …

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Democrat Matt Heinz will challenge GOP Rep. Martha McSally again in 2018 in Arizona's 2nd District

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:44:32 +0000

Physician Matt Heinz, announced on Wednesday that he will run for House against Arizona’s 2nd District Republican Rep. Martha McSally once more after he was the unsuccessful 2016 Democratic nominee. Heinz, who served in the state House from 2009-2013, previously ran for this seat in 2012 in a primary challenge to Democratic then-Rep. Ron Barber, but fell far short. National Democrats largely left Heinz to fend for himself last year as his relatively modest fundraising did not appear to inspire confidence. His 57-43 loss to McSally even as the 2nd District flipped from 50-48 Romney to 50-45 Clinton could consequently leave Democrats inclined to look elsewhere. Nonetheless, Heinz did release a PPP survey last month to argue for his campaign’s viability that had him beating McSally 48-44, while the incumbent sported a poor 53-40 disapproval rating. That poll came hot on the heels of another PPP release in May that gave McSally a truly awful 56-35 disapproval rating. If these numbers are accurate, it’s possible that Heinz could very well reverse his fortunes in 2018 with Trump’s unpopularity weighing down congressional Republicans and McSally’s gung-ho approach to passing Trump’s health care bill. McSally is a prodigious fundraiser and seen as a GOP rising star, but her nascent vulnerability appears to have sparked far more Democratic interest in challenging her next year compared to 2016. Ex-state Rep. Bruce Wheeler and Tucson Hotel Congress operations manager Billy Kovacs had previously joined the race, while former 1st District Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and ex-Defense Department assistant secretary Mary Sally Matiella have both said that they’re considering it. Several other noteworthy Democrats are reportedly interested too. [...]



Morning Digest: Ralph Northam wins Democratic nod while Ed Gillespie squeaks past Corey Stewart

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:01:05 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard. leading off ● VA-Gov: On Tuesday, both parties held primaries for this November’s race to replace termed-out Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated ex-Rep. Tom Perriello 56-44. But the GOP contest was unexpectedly a cliffhanger, with ex-Republican National Committee head Ed Gillespie, who was Team Red’s 2014 Senate nominee, defeating Prince William County Supervisor Corey Stewart just 43.7-42.5. Campaign Action While Perriello quickly endorsed Northam on Tuesday night, Stewart took a very different approach. Stewart told his supporters following his defeat, “There is one word you will never hear from me, and that’s ‘unity’,” and he continued by declaring, “We’ve been backing down too long. We’ve been backing down too long in defense of our culture, and our heritage and our country.” While Stewart’s margin of defeat appears to be just outside the margin needed for a recount, Stewart’s team did not concede, and they told the Washington Post that they want to wait for the absentee votes to be counted before assessing their options. We’ll start with the GOP primary, which we and almost every other observer expected to be a blowout win for Gillespie. Gillespie, who impressed Republicans by almost defeating Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in 2014, held a massive fundraising edge over both Stewart and state Sen. Frank Wagner, who took just 14 percent of the vote. Indeed, from April 1 to June 1, Gillespie outspent Stewart $1.7 million to $402,000, and Stewart had little cash left over for the homestretch. Stewart, who served as the head of Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign for much of the 2016 cycle, tried to link himself to Trump and framed Gillespie as an ally of “the Bush family and other establishment Republicans who hurt the Republican brand so badly that we got Barack Obama.” That’s actually one of the nicer things Stewart said about Gillespie. In addition to referring to Gillespie as a "cuckservative" without any prompting on Reddit, Stewart's allies altered real news headlines on Facebook to attack Gillespie. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Virginia gubernatorial primary liveblog thread #3

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:05:04 +0000

Tonight, voters in Virginia will cast ballots in the Old Dominion’s primaries for this November’s statewide elections. Both parties have contested races for the positions of governor and lieutenant governor, which are both open. The marquee race is the Democratic gubernatorial primary, a matchup between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and ex-Rep. Tom Perriello. Our guide to all the key contests can be found here. The polls closed at 7 PM ET and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We’ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter. Results: State (Democratic, Republican)| AP (by state, by county) Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 1:12:13 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (D/R): For those just checking in, here is an update on the night thus far. On the Democratic side, the AP has already called the gubernatorial primary for Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, who holds a 55-45 lead over former Rep. Tom Perriello. The real nail-biter, meanwhile, is on the GOP side. There, former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (who nearly won a Senate seat here in 2014) clings to a lead of just 1500 votes over county council chairman (and Trump-ist blowhard) Corey Stewart, with over 90 percent of precincts reporting. Turnout was heavy, and particularly so on the Democratic side. With still a number of precincts to report (many on D-friendly turf), the Democratic turnout is easily outpacing the GOP turnout, with 453,000 votes counted on the Dem side versus 322,500 on the Republican side. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 1:26:02 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (R): We’ve now crept up to 93% of precincts reporting, and the raw vote margin has only changed a tiny bit. Ed Gillespie continues to hold on by his fingernails, with a lead of just 1588 votes (or 0.47 percent) over Corey Stewart. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 1:30:10 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser For what it’s worth (and, come November, it could be worth quite a bit), but the turnout disparity tonight between the Democratic and Republican primaries continues to grow. At last check (94% reporting), there have been just under 487,000 votes on the Democratic side, versus 342,500 on the Republican side. In other words, 59 percent of the votes cast tonight were for Democratic gubernatorial candidates. That might be expected when one side is expected to be close while the other is expected to be a wipeout, but there was reason to believe beforehand that both primaries tonight could get interesting. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Virginia gubernatorial primary liveblog thread #2

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:11:16 +0000

Tonight, voters in Virginia will cast ballots in the Old Dominion’s primaries for this November’s statewide elections. Both parties have contested races for the positions of governor and lieutenant governor, which are both open. The marquee race is the Democratic gubernatorial primary, a matchup between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and ex-Rep. Tom Perriello. Our guide to all the key contests can be found here. The polls closed at 7 PM ET and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We’ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter. Results: State (Democratic, Republican)| AP (by state, by county) Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 12:16:36 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (D/R): A little more than an hour into the vote count, here is where we stand: The Associated Press has already called the Democratic primary for Governor for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. He turned back a spirited challenge from former Rep. Tom Perriello. With nearly two-thirds of the vote in, Northam leads Perriello 56-44. Meanwhile, on the GOP side, the race is far closer, but it is also reasonably stable. As has been the case since the early going, former RNC head Ed Gillespie leads Prince William county council chairman Corey Stewart 44-42, with a raw vote margin that now stands at around 5000 votes. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 12:19:16 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser One thing that could speak to a larger national issue, and is certainly worth noting now that we have a fairly significant share of the vote in: Democratic primary turnout is annihilating GOP turnout. With both parties looking at roughly 2/3 of their votes already tabulated, Democratic gubernatorial turnout is sitting at just over 291,000 votes cast. GOP turnout, meanwhile, despite an equally competitive contest, is sitting at just a shade under 216,000 votes. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 12:23:56 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-LG (D/R): Much like in the gubernatorial races, the Democratic race for Lt. Governor has a clear leader, while the GOP side is still way too close to call. On the Democratic side, attorney Justin Fairfax has a 49-39 lead over Susan Platt. Meanwhile, in the unusually nasty GOP primary (with allegations of rumor-mongering that actually landed in court!), state senator Jill Vogel still clings to a tiny 42-41 lead over fellow state senator Bryant Reeves. The raw vote margin there is a mere 2900 votes. Wednesday, Jun 14, 2017 · 12:28:38 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (R): Well, for the moment, we got ourselves a race. Corey Stewart’s home county (Prince William) came in for him, and it came in huge. On the strength of a 60-31 win in his home base, Stewart has pulled within 1500 votes of former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie. In fairness, it is not just Prince William[...]



Daily Kos Elections Virginia gubernatorial primary liveblog thread #1

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 22:58:00 +0000

Tonight, voters in Virginia will cast ballots in the Old Dominion’s primaries for this November’s statewide elections. Both parties have contested races for the positions of governor and lieutenant governor, which are both open. The marquee race is the Democratic gubernatorial primary, a matchup between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and ex-Rep. Tom Perriello. Our guide to all the key contests can be found here. The polls closed at 7 PM ET and we'll be bringing you tonight's results as they come in. We’ll also be covering the returns closely on Twitter. Results: State (Democratic, Republican)| AP (by state, by county) Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017 · 11:10:01 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser The polls have now closed in Virginia. Give Virginia’s electoral apparatus credit...they are definitely in the top quartile of states when it comes to counting votes. So, unless it is super-close tonight, this may not be an extremely late night! Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017 · 11:15:45 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (D): And we have our first votes on the Democratic side, as four precincts have chimed in. But let’s be very clear—these are small precincts. How small? All four combined for a whopping 160 votes. The leader, if that matters at this point (spoiler alert: it doesn’t) is former Rep. Tom Perriello, who holds a 59-41 lead over Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017 · 11:18:10 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (R): Similarly early, we have some very preliminary numbers on the Republican side of the ledger. More votes (over 800 total), but still too early to make any type of assumptions. For what it is worth, 2014 Senate nominee and former RNC bigwig Ed Gillespie leads county commissioner (and apparent Trump wannabe) Corey Stewart by a 47-44 margin. Tuesday, Jun 13, 2017 · 11:29:45 PM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA-GOV (D/R): Getting a slightly faster clip in counting now, as both the Democrats and the Republicans have between 8-9% reporting, and about 20,000 votes tallied in each primary. On the Democratic side, there has been a lead change, as Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam now holds a very slight 52-48 lead over Tom Perriello. On the Republican side, after a brief moment where Corey Stewart took the lead, Ed Gillespie has pulled back ahead. Gillespie holds a modest 45-42 edge. Tue[...]



New poll shows Georgia special election tied, but Jon Ossoff stays positive down the stretch

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:48:27 +0000

Last month, SurveyUSA released a poll showing Democrat Jon Ossoff with a giant 51-44 lead over Republican Karen Handel in the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, though at the time we strongly advised caution because other polls at the time had shown a much tighter race. Now SurveyUSA has apparently returned to earth, with a new poll conducted for local news station WXIA that finds Ossoff and Handel tied at 47 apiece. Among those who've already voted—fully 45 percent of the sample—Ossoff has a 57-38 advantage. This time, though, it may be SurveyUSA who's understating things. The last five polls, and seven of the eight conducted since the April primary, have all found Ossoff ahead. But the range has been quite scattered, with Ossoff up by as little as 1 to as many as 7. The one thing we do know for sure is that Republicans have never released a single poll, and now we're just a week away from the election. That means, of course, a final flurry of TV ads, and there's a striking contrast between the closing spots from each campaign. Handel, sitting alone at a table in a restaurant, mostly berates Ossoff, whom she says "doesn't live here," "doesn't share our values," and has "raised millions outside of Georgia from Nancy Pelosi and outsiders who just don't share our priorities." Ossoff, however, stays positive, criticizing wasteful government spending and encouraging voters to visit his website to learn about his plans. He doesn't make any reference to Handel whatsoever. Wonder who’s feeling confident. In a separate ad, Ossoff addresses some attacks leveled against him, and he does so smartly. Rather than repeat his critics’ accusations—a mistake campaigns often make—he simply says, "Let's put this to rest once and for all: I want to see ISIS destroyed." He spends the rest of the spot inveighing against the terror-state with a calmness and gravitas that politicians twice his age often lack. The GOP, however, remains in permanent attack mode. The NRCC finds a bunch of reg'lar folks (funny, all older white people) to call Ossoff a liar who lacks experience and will be a Pelosi toady. (Once again, someone specifically berates him as "childish," an oddly specific word we've heard in multiple Republican ads. It somehow must have tested well in a focus group.) The Congressional Leadership Fund, by contrast, accuses Ossoff of dodging a debate on CNN, which is amusing because it's Handel who's been AWOL throughout the campaign. One week! Click here to make GOTV calls for Jon Ossoff! [...]