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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 03:09:31 +0000

Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2017 03:09:31 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Daily Kos Elections French presidential election first round open thread

Sun, 23 Apr 2017 17:00:46 +0000

On Sunday, voters in France will participate in the first round of their pivotal 2017 election to succeed retiring center-left Socialist President François Hollande. In the all but certain event that no candidate wins a majority, France will hold a May 7 runoff between the top two finishers.

Polling shows a tight four-way race, with centrist former-Socialist Emmanuel Macron and far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen typically vying for first and second, but with conservative Republicans candidate François Fillon and insurgent radical-leftist Jean-Luc Mélenchon often close behind. While those same polls show Macron easily beating all comers and even Mélenchon defeating both Le Pen and scandal-plagued Fillon in a hypothetical runoff, the four candidates’ close levels of support and the large number of voters who aren’t firmly decided could still lead to an upset that produces a disastrous runoff combination.

Voting ends between 1 PM and 2 PM ET, and the Interior Ministry will publish official results here (in French). See Daily Kos Elections International’s recent preview for more in-depth background.

Sunday, Apr 23, 2017 · 7:06:37 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf

Update: Initial official projections indicate Macron and Le Pen will advance to a runoff. They show Macron coming in first with 23.7 percent, Le Pen in second at 21.7 percent, and Fillon and Mélenchon vying for third place with 19.5 percent each.

Fillon has already conceded and endorsed Macron, as did Socialist nominee Benoît Hamon, who is projected to have come in fifth with just 6.5 percent.

Macron starts out ahead of the May 7 runoff with a dominant 64-36 polling lead over Le Pen in the HuffPost Pollster average.

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Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 22:01:10 +0000

KISS — “I Wanna Rock ‘N Roll All Night”

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Voting Rights Roundup: Georgia lawmaker admits GOP gerrymandered the 6th District to stop Democrats

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 20:33:29 +0000

Leading Off ● Georgia: Gerrymandering is a seedy business where legislators often go to extremes to hide their true motivations: maximizing partisan advantage for their own party. But every so often, someone on the inside will let the mask slip and acknowledge the truth. As Democrats continue to give Republicans the fight of their lives in the special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, a historically Republican seat in the northern Atlanta suburbs, state Sen. Fran Millar said the quiet part out loud at a Republican breakfast meeting right before last Tuesday’s primary: "I’ll be very blunt: These lines were not drawn to get Hank Johnson’s protégé to be my representative. And you didn’t hear that. They were not drawn for that purpose, OK? They were not drawn for that purpose." Campaign Action Millar is referring above to Democratic nominee Jon Ossoff, who previously worked for Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson and just advanced to a hotly contested June runoff in a seat that has been Republican for decades. He’s also absolutely right: As Daily Kos Elections has demonstrated, the district’s current boundaries played an instrumental role in ensuring that Georgia Democrats hold just three congressional districts in the Atlanta area instead of the four that simple math suggests they ought to hold. It’s also not hard to feel that there’s a racial element to Millar’s remarks: Johnson, who serves the neighboring 4th District, is African-American, while the 6th has always been represented by white Republicans. Referring to Ossoff as Johnson’s “protégé” sounds like yet another attempt to suggest he doesn’t “belong” in the 6th District. And Millar deserves no benefit of the doubt: Three years ago, he vowed to shut down early voting in DeKalb County (where part of the 6th is located) because it was “dominated by African American shoppers and it is near several large African American mega churches.” Millar’s admission that Republicans intentionally drew the 6th District to ensure that they would win it does more than just expose the GOP’s flagrant efforts to twist the democratic process to its own benefit. It could also potentially come back to bite Republicans in court. Several major cases currently working their way toward the Supreme Court could finally result in the justices imposing limits on gerrymandering for partisan gain. By admitting what the GOP’s motivation was in drawing the 6th, Millar may have just handed opponents of gerrymandering a smoking gun. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/21

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 13:00:41 +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, Apr 21, 2017 · 2:58:41 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CA-Sen: Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has given every indication that she plans to seek another term next year, but she has yet to definitively say she’s in. On Thursday, Feinstein told the Los Angeles Times that she wouldn’t announce her 2018 plans until some family healthy issues are resolved; the senator did not say anything further on what those issues were. Friday, Apr 21, 2017 · 3:13:12 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Sen: Longtime GOP Rep. Fred Upton didn’t rule a Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow in late January, but he’s apparently in zero hurry to make a decision. Upton insists that his team has done no polling and adds, “I guess at some point we’ll consider it, but we don’t have any timeline” to decide. Upton raised just $190,000 over the first three months of 2017, though he likely has the D.C. connections to bring in a whole lot more if he feels like it. The only other Republicans we’ve heard express interest are former state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, who said in February that he’d decide by the summer, and racist asshole Ted Nugent. Friday, Apr 21, 2017 · 3:34:54 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Gov: In early April Thursday, Ann Arbor businessman Shri Thanedar set up a campaign committee to allow him to raise money for a bid for the Democratic nomination, though Thanedar has yet to say anything publicly. Thanedar has attracted some attention in the business world, and he was named 2016 Entrepreneur of the Year by the major finance group Ernst and Young. Thanedar also earned some local headlines late last year when he gave his employees a collective $1.5 million bonus. If Thanedar gets in, he will have an interesting story to tell on the campaign trail. Thanedar, who grew up in poverty in India, moved to the United States for graduate, and made a fortune in Missouri after buying a small chemical testing laboratory. However, Thanedar launched a risky and expensive expansion project at the exact wrong time, and the Great Recession devastated him and his company. Thanedar moved to Michigan in 2010 and founded a new company, which did well; Thanedar is no longer its CEO after selling off his majority share late last year. Right now, ex-state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer looks like the Democratic frontrunner, with ex-Detroit health director Abdul El-Sayed running what looks like a longshot bid. Rep. Dan Kildee is also considering, though he recently reaffirmed that he doesn’t know when he’ll decide. Friday, Apr 21, 2017 · 4:03:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer OK-Gov: On Thursday, state House Minority Leader Scott Inman announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination to succeed termed-out GOP Gov. Mary Fallin. Inman joins ex-state Sen. Connie Johnson, who lost a 2014 Senate race to Republican James Lankford 68-29, in the primary. Ex-Attorney General Drew Edmondson, who narrowly lost the 2010 gubernatorial primary, is also considering. Oklahoma is a very red state, but Democrats hope they’ll have an opening next year. Inman, who is termed-out of his Oklahoma City-area seat, has focused much of his criticism of Fallin on her support for income-tax cuts, and NewsOk says “he's known for his fiery yet eloquent debates on the House floor.” In his kickoff, Inman took issue with Fallin’s “failed leadership,” and argued that “trying to cut our way to prosperity doesn't work.” Friday, Apr 21, 2017 · 4:53:40 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AK-AL: Rep. Don Young is the House’s longest serving Republican, and he wants to keep that title for a while longer. Young, who has represented the entire state since 1973, announced on Thursday that he would seek yet another term. Alaska is usually a relia[...]



Morning Digest: Jennifer Wexton kicks off bid against Barbara Comstock in anti-Trump Virginia seat

Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:01:15 +0000

Leading Off ● VA-10: The DCCC and EMILY's List have reportedly been trying to convince state Sen. Jennifer Wexton to challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia's 10th Congressional District, and on Thursday, Wexton announced she was in. Campaign Action Wexton attracted national attention in early 2014 when she was the Democratic nominee for a special election to the state Senate that would help decide control of the chamber. While Obama had carried that Northern Virginia district 59-39, Team Blue was worried that weak turnout in a January special election would give the GOP the chance to flip it. In the end, Wexton won 53-38, and she was re-elected decisively the next year. Wexton is not up for re-election until 2019, so she doesn't need to sacrifice her seat to run for the House. Comstock's very affluent and well-educated Northern Virginia seat reacted badly to Trump, swinging from 51-49 Romney all the way to 52-42 Clinton. However, Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in an expensive race, and she's a tough fundraiser who won't be easy to unseat. But if Democrats want to flip the House, they need to get through a lot of tough incumbents in competitive seats. And if Trump remains unpopular, Comstock may have a very difficult time distancing herself far enough from the White House. Wexton doesn't have the Democratic field to herself. Ex-Obama Veterans Administration senior advisor Lindsey Davis Stover; Army veteran Daniel Helmer; and teacher Kimberly Adams, a past president of the Fairfax Education Association, all jumped in before Wexton made her announcement. Wexton has more name recognition than any of them and almost certainly more connections, but she wouldn't be the first favored candidate to surprisingly lose a nomination. Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe has also been reportedly mulling a bid, and if she's still interested, she may be able to give Wexton a race. Virginia also allows local party leaders to choose their nominees through means other than a primary, which could complicate things. However, while Bennett didn't rule out a rematch with Comstock earlier this month, she tells the Loudoun Tribune that she won't run. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/20

Thu, 20 Apr 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 Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 · 3:34:30 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer VA-10: The DCCC and EMILY’s List have reportedly been trying to convince state Sen. Jennifer Wexton to challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, and on Thursday, Wexton announced she was in. Wexton attracted national attention in early 2014 when she was the Democratic nominee for a special election to the state Senate that would help decide control of the chamber. While Obama had carried that Northern Virginia district 59-39, Team Blue was worried that weak turnout in a January special election would give the GOP the chance to flip it. In the end, Wexton won 53-38, and she was re-elected decisively the next year. Wexton is not up for re-election until 2019, so she doesn’t need to sacrifice her seat to run for the House. Comstock’s very affluent and well-educated Northern Virginia seat reacted badly to Trump, swinging from 51-49 Romney all the way to 52-42 Clinton. However, Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in an expensive race, and she’s a tough fundraiser who won’t be easy to unseat. But if Democrats want to flip the House, they need to get through a lot of tough incumbents in competitive seats, and if Trump remains unpopular, Comstock may have a very difficult time distancing herself far enough from the White House. Wexton doesn’t have the Democratic field to herself. Ex-Obama Veterans Administration senior advisor Lindsey Davis Stover; Army veteran Daniel Helmer; and teacher Kimberly Adams, a past president of the Fairfax Education Association, all jumped in before Wexton made her announcement. Wexton has more name recognition than any of them and almost certainly more connections, but she wouldn’t be the first favored candidate to surprisingly lose the nomination. Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is also reportedly mulling a bid, and if she’s still interested, she may be able to give Wexton a race. Virginia also allows local party leaders to choose their nominees through means other than a primary, which could complicate things. Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 · 4:14:23 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-Sen: While GOP Gov. Rick Scott is widely expected to challenge Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, he’s in absolutely no hurry to make his plans official. In fact, Scott says he won’t make a decision (or at least a public decision) until next year. Scott has no shortage of the money and name recognition, and he can afford to wait a while before getting in. However, in the oft chance that Scott backs down, he’ll leave other potential Republican candidates with a lot less time to organize a campaign. Thursday, Apr 20, 2017 · 4:35:32 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NM-Sen, NM-Gov: While GOP Lt. Gov. John Sanchez originally sounded interested in running to succeed his termed-out boss, Gov. Susana Martinez, his attention seems to have shifted to a possible Senate bid against Democratic incumbent Martin Heinrich. Local political analyst Joe Monahan notes that Sanchez has been picking fights with Heinrich, and he reportedly told a local group of Republicans that he went to D.C. and met with Sens. Marco Rubio, John McCain, and Ted Cruz. Sanchez also reportedly said that he’s consulted with none other than Kellyanne Conway, who has worked with him in the past. New Mexico backed Clinton 48-40, and Heinrich doesn’t look very vulnerable. Sanchez ran for this seat in 2011 but dropped out long before the primary after he raised very little money. Businessman Mick Rich recently kicked off his own Senate bid, and he may be able to do some self-funding. Monahan speculates that Rich may as well switch to the gubernatorial race if Sanchez runs for Senate, because the GOP is havin[...]



Victory! Court strikes down Texas's GOP-drawn state House gerrymander over racial discrimination

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 21:32:55 +0000

Late on Thursday, a federal district court struck down the state House map that Texas Republicans drew in 2011 on the grounds that it intentionally engaged in racial discrimination in violation of the Voting Rights Act, the 14th Amendment, and the “one person, one vote” principle. This major voting rights victory could subsequently result in Republican legislators having to draw a new map for the 2018 elections that would give black and Latino voters the ability to elect their preferred candidates in more districts, most likely Democrats. Thursday’s ruling follows two separate recent court decisions that invalidated the Texas GOP’s congressional map and strict voter ID law, and all three crucially held that Republicans intentionally racially discriminated. This illicit racial intent could be grounds for forcing Texas to seek Justice Department approval for all new voting-law changes for up to ten years, which it previously had to do until the Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is unlikely to block new oppressive voting laws, a future Democratic administration could. Making matters more complicated, federal courts had blocked the 2011 map from taking effect in full, imposing temporary changes ahead of the 2012 cycle that still largely left the original gerrymander in place. However, Republican legislators later passed a new plan in 2013 to make most of those changes permanent. That means there will have to be a separate legal challenge to that plan too since it’s the one currently in existence, but that litigation should be much easier and quicker if Thursday’s ruling against the original 2011 map stands. Absurdly, this case has been ongoing ever since 2011, and litigants completed their arguments all the way back in 2014. Plaintiffs had rightly been outraged that the court was dragging its feet on issuing its ruling. Republicans have potentially gotten away with an illegal racial gerrymander for a majority of this decade, demonstrating how it pays to illegally gerrymander, since the court of course can’t invalidate the last three election results held under the existing map. There’s still a long way to go before this litigation concludes, and it infuriatingly still might not be over in time to affect the 2018 elections. This ruling will also have to survive a likely appeal to the Supreme Court, but given swing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s frequent recent hostility to racial gerrymandering, there’s a good chance of success. If the plaintiffs ultimately prevail, Texas could end up with new state House districts that increase representation for black and Latino voters, and consequently Democrats too. [...]



State Sen. Jennifer Wexton kicks off bid against Rep. Barbara Comstock in anti-Trump Virginia seat

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 15:44:27 +0000

The DCCC and EMILY’s List have reportedly been trying to convince state Sen. Jennifer Wexton to challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District, and on Thursday, Wexton announced she was in.

Wexton attracted national attention in early 2014 when she was the Democratic nominee for a special election to the state Senate that would help decide control of the chamber. While Obama had carried that Northern Virginia district 59-39, Team Blue was worried that weak turnout in a January special election would give the GOP the chance to flip it. In the end, Wexton won 53-38, and she was re-elected decisively the next year. Wexton is not up for re-election until 2019, so she doesn’t need to sacrifice her seat to run for the House.

Comstock’s very affluent and well-educated Northern Virginia seat reacted badly to Trump, swinging from 51-49 Romney all the way to 52-42 Clinton. However, Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in an expensive race, and she’s a tough fundraiser who won’t be easy to unseat. But if Democrats want to flip the House, they need to get through a lot of tough incumbents in competitive seats, and if Trump remains unpopular, Comstock may have a very difficult time distancing herself far enough from the White House.

Wexton doesn’t have the Democratic field to herself. Ex-Obama Veterans Administration senior advisor Lindsey Davis Stover; Army veteran Daniel Helmer; and teacher Kimberly Adams, a past president of the Fairfax Education Association, all jumped in before Wexton made her announcement. Wexton has more name recognition than any of them and almost certainly more connections, but she wouldn’t be the first favored candidate to surprisingly lose the nomination. Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe is also reportedly mulling a bid, and if she’s still interested, she may be able to give Wexton a race. Virginia also allows local party leaders to choose their nominees through means other than a primary, which could complicate things.

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Morning Digest: Hillary Clinton's persecutor-in-chief decides he's had enough of the glare

Thu, 20 Apr 2017 12:00:54 +0000

Leading Off ● UT-03 On Wednesday, five-term Rep. Jason Chaffetz surprised his colleagues and other Utah Republicans when he announced that he wouldn't seek re-election, nor would he run for anything else in 2018. Democrats in particular will be glad to see the House Oversight Committee leave D.C. Chaffetz delighted in aggressively looking into Hillary Clinton's emails, and he clearly relished the chance to do more "investigating" after the election. However, after Trump became president instead, Chaffetz showed absolutely none of the zeal he had when going after Clinton, and he has instead given Trump almost a complete pass. Instead, Chaffetz has tasked himself with doing what Trump wants and has been looking into unfavorable leaks against the new administration. However, we may not have seen the last of Chaffetz, since the congressman notably did not rule out a 2020 gubernatorial bid as he was announcing his retirement. With Chaffetz exiting Congress, the floodgates are now likely to open for prospective GOP candidates in what has long been one of America's reddest House districts. Trump only won the overwhelmingly Mormon Provo-area 3rd District by 47-24 over conservative independent Evan McMullin, with Clinton actually coming in third at 23 percent. However, many Mormon Republicans rejected Trump despite sticking with the party downballot, and the district has backed previous GOP presidential nominees by lopsided majorities, meaning the action to succeed Chaffetz is likely going to be confined to the Republican side. A former Republican congressional aide, McMullin himself had said in March that he was considering a run against Chaffetz, and an unnamed source close to him tells Buzzfeed that McMullin's still interested. However, it's unclear if McMullin would run as an anti-Trump Republican or remain an independent. A few Republicans quickly expressed interest in running for this seat. State Sen. Deidre Henderson, who used to be Chaffetz's campaign manager, says she's "seriously considering a run." Provo Mayor John Curtis says that Chaffetz's decision caught him by surprise, and that he'll consider. State Rep. Dan McCay also said he was looking at "the opportunity." [...]



Notorious Alabama judge Roy Moore is one of the many Republicans eyeing 2017 Senate race

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 21:43:34 +0000

Earlier this week, Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey rescheduled the special election for the Senate seat now held by appointed GOP Sen. Luther Strange from 2018 to 2017. The party primaries will be Aug. 15, with a Sept. 26 runoff for contests where no candidate takes a majority of the vote, and the general election will be Dec. 12. The filing deadline is May 17, though the state parties can pick an earlier date. Strange has attracted scorn from fellow Republicans for accepting an appointment from then-Gov. Robert Bentley, even as Strange’s attorney general’s office was investigating Bentley for covering up a sex scandal, and he’s not going to get a free pass through the primary. The only question is, how many Republicans will challenge him this fall.

On Tuesday, state Rep. Ed Henry entered the race hours after the special was rescheduled. Henry led the charge to impeach Bentley before the governor resigned in disgrace last week, and he’s almost certainly going to focus on Strange’s very sketchy appointment. Henry also was a co-chair of Donald Trump’s Alabama campaign, and he declared that “Trump's going to need help draining the swamp.”

Several other Republicans have made noises about getting in. On Wednesday, suspended state Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore said he would decide in the next week. Moore made national headlines in 2015 for defying orders from federal courts to recognize same-sex marriage, and just before his press conference, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the decision that suspended him until his term expires. Unsurprisingly, Moore casted himself as a martyr, and he’s reportedly very popular in this very conservative state.

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Voters just say no to Trump

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:49:07 +0000

This is an ordinary special election for a vacant House seat:

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This is a special election on Trump:

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Any questions? 🍳

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NFL player-turned civil rights lawyer aims to give Texas Republican Pete Sessions a tough race

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 17:57:52 +0000

After Texas’ 32nd Congressional District swung from 57-42 Romney all the way to 49-47, Democrats became a lot more interested in targeting longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, and they got their first candidate this week. Colin Allred, who played for the Tennessee Titans before becoming a civil rights lawyer, announced on Wednesday that he was in.

Allred certainly cuts a different profile than plenty of other politicians, and his football career at Hillcrest High School (which is in the Dallas-area district) and at Baylor could be an asset if he runs. Allred went on to serve as a special assistant to the Housing Department while Julian Castro was secretary during the later Obama years; Castro is well-connected in national and Texas politics and if he’s close to Allred, he could help him raise money.

Allred may not be the only Democrat who runs, but he lost one possible primary foe this week. While Dallas school board member Miguel Solis expressed interest in running back in February, he also announced on Wednesday that he wouldn’t run. However, the Dallas Morning News says that Ed Meier, a nonprofit executive and former Hillary Clinton policy advisor, is one of "several Democrats [who] are considering campaigns,” though Meier doesn’t appear to have said anything publicly yet. The Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston also recently mentioned Children's Medical Center senior vice president Regina Montoya as a potential candidate, though there’s no word on how interested Montoya is.

Despite this seat’s apathy to Trump, this won’t be an easy race. This seat, which includes some of Dallas’ more conservative neighborhoods (including the home and painting studio of George W. Bush) as well as the suburbs of Richardson and Garland, is still very friendly to the GOP overall. As a former chair of the NRCC, Sessions also will have no problem raising money. But Sessions hasn’t faced a serious Democratic opponent since he defeated Democrat Martin Frost in their 2004 incumbent vs. incumbent fight, and he’s not always been the most disciplined person in the world.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/19

Wed, 19 Apr 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, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:17:22 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf UT-03: Five-term Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz announced that he would not seek re-election in Utah’s Provo-based 3rd District, nor would he run for anything else in 2018. Chaffetz has previously been mentioned as a potential 2020 gubernatorial candidate. The heavily Mormon 3rd District backed Donald Trump by 47-24 over conservative independent Evan McMullin, with Hillary Clinton actually coming in third at just 23 percent, so it’s overwhelmingly likely to remain in Republican hands. However, Democrats will undoubtedly be delighted that the House Oversight Committee chairman will be stepping down after he has infamously refused to investigate Trump despite previously aggressively looking into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:52:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf NM-Sen: Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich looks like a strong favorite to win a second term thanks in part to Hillary Clinton winning this blue-leaning state by 48-40 in 2016, but Republicans have landed their first challenger after Albuquerque construction company owner Mark Rich announced his candidacy on Tuesday. Rich has never run for office before, but is potentially wealthy enough to do some self-funding. Despite vigorously contesting this seat when it was open in 2012, national Republicans have made little noise about trying to oust Heinrich in 2018, and it remains unclear if any more-prominent Republicans will jump into the race. Retiring Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry didn’t rule out a statewide bid in January, but he might find the open governor’s race a more appealing target. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:06:15 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf NV-Sen: Democratic Rep. Dina Titus has been considering whether to take on Republican Sen. Dean Heller in 2018, and she recently told the Nevada Independent that she would decide by early summer. Titus is so far the only prominent Democrat to publicly express interest in a Senate bid, but her recent fundraising report seemed to augur against running. She raised just $70,000 in the first quarter and had only $274,000 on hand, which is far short of the pace needed to make the switch from her safely Democratic Las Vegas House district to the Senate. While it wouldn’t be unheard of for a House member to kick things into high gear only after launching a Senate bid, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Titus ultimately stays put. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:18:09 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso gives us the results for that other all-party primary in Georgia: Georgia SD-32: This one will be going to a May 16 runoff between Democrat Christine Triebsch and Republican Kay Kirkpatrick, who pulled in 24 and 21 percent of the vote, respectively. Republicans took the third, fourth, and fifth place spots: Roy Daniels got 15 percent, while Gus Makris and Matt Campbell both got 10 percent. The other four candidates all hit single digits. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:34:04 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer UT-Sen: Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch is saying through both words and fundraising that he at least plans to run for an eighth term next year, but he may need to get through a primary. Derek Miller, the CEO of World Trade Center Utah and a former chief of staff to Gov. Gary Herbert, reiterated to Roll Call that he’s still “very seriously” considering, and expects to decide in the fall. Miller said he didn’t actually have anything specific to criticize Hatch on, but argued that aft[...]



Morning Digest: Ossoff takes first in special election, forcing runoff with Handel

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 12:01:11 +0000

Leading Off ● GA-06: In a result few imagined possible just three months ago, Democrat Jon Ossoff took first place by a wide margin on Tuesday in the special primary election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, forcing a runoff on June 20 with former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who led a badly fractured GOP field. As of this writing, Ossoff had won 49 percent of the vote compared to 20 for Handel. Campaign Action For decades, Republicans have dominated this conservative district in the northern Atlanta suburbs that Newt Gingrich once represented: Tom Price, who vacated this seat earlier this year to join Donald Trump's cabinet, won re-election in November by 23 points, and Mitt Romney did the same four years earlier. But Trump himself turned out to be deeply unpopular in this affluent, well-educated area and only carried the district by a slim 48-47 margin, according to data first released by Daily Kos Elections. That one result—the only close election in Georgia's 6th since forever—gave Democrats a glimmer of hope that perhaps they could put this seat in play. That they did, and exceeded all expectations. Ossoff, an investigative filmmaker who had previously served as a congressional aide, entered the race in January, making a big splash with the endorsement of civil rights legend John Lewis, who represents a nearby seat. Soon after, he earned the support of Daily Kos, whose community shot him on to the map with an unprecedented infusion of over $400,000 in just a week—all in small donations. That kicked off an amazing positive feedback loop: Ossoff earned a big round of media coverage, which helped him raise more money, build up a national profile, and garner more endorsements … which in turn won him still more press attention, brought in more cash … you get the idea. Ultimately, Ossoff raised a mind-blowing $8.3 million dollars ($1.5 million of which came from Daily Kos), with an average contribution of just $42. Those numbers crushed the rest of the field, which was badly fractured between 11 different Republican candidates. In fact, things got so dicey in the final weeks that the GOP spent millions attacking Ossoff on the airwaves (trying to tie him to Nancy Pelosi, Osama bin Laden, and Han Solo) because they feared he might capture a majority of the vote on Tuesday and win the election outright. That didn't happen, but Ossoff came remarkably close, and now he'll have the chance to go mano-a-mano with Handel. [...]



Jon Ossoff takes first in special election, forcing a runoff for a seat the GOP's held for decades

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 04:30:14 +0000

In a result few imagined possible just three months ago, Democrat Jon Ossoff took first place by a wide margin on Tuesday in the special primary election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District, forcing a runoff on June 20 with former Secretary of State Karen Handel, who led a badly fractured GOP field. As of this writing, Ossoff had won 49 percent of the vote compared to 20 for Handel. For decades, Republicans have dominated this conservative district in the northern Atlanta suburbs that Newt Gingrich once represented: Tom Price, who vacated this seat earlier this year to join Donald Trump's cabinet, won re-election in November by 23 points, and Mitt Romney did the same four years earlier. But Trump himself turned out to be deeply unpopular in this affluent, well-educated area and only carried the district by a slim 48-47 margin, according to data first released by Daily Kos Elections. That one result—the only close election in Georgia's 6th since forever—gave Democrats a glimmer of hope that perhaps they could put this seat in play. That they did, and exceeded all expectations. Ossoff, an investigative filmmaker who had previously served as a congressional aide, entered the race in January, making a big splash with the endorsement of civil rights legend John Lewis, who represents a nearby seat. Soon after, he earned the support of Daily Kos, whose community shot him on to the map with an unprecedented infusion of over $400,000 in just a week—all in small donations. That kicked off an amazing positive feedback loop: Ossoff earned a big round of media coverage, which helped him raise more money, build up a national profile, and garner more endorsements … which in turn won him still more press attention, brought in more cash … you get the idea. Ultimately, Ossoff raised a mind-blowing $8.3 million dollars ($1.5 million of which came from Daily Kos), with an average contribution of just $42. Those numbers crushed the rest of the field, which was badly fractured between 11 different Republican candidates. In fact, things got so dicey in the final weeks that the GOP spent millions attacking Ossoff on the airwaves (trying to tie him to Nancy Pelosi, Osama bin Laden, and Han Solo) because they feared he might capture a majority of the vote on Tuesday and win the election outright. That didn't happen, but Ossoff came remarkably close, and now he'll have the chance to go mano-a-mano with Handel. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #8

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 04:10:04 +0000

Votes are still being tallied in the special election in Georgia’s Congressional District, which looks like it will head to a June 20 runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. However, we’re still waiting to see what the final margins are. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:15:57 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser So, as we now head past midnight on the East Coast, here is where we stand in the suburbs of Atlanta: After dancing just above the magic 50 percent threshold (where a victory is assured without a runoff), a chunk of Fulton County’s walk-up vote finally pushed Democrat Jon Ossoff below the magic number. He currently sits at 49 percent, well ahead of second-place Republican Karen Handel, who is at 19 percent. The combined GOP vs. Democratic vote is close to even (50-49 R). Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:32:11 AM +00:00 · David Beard Turnout for this race has been extremely impressive for a special election. In the 2014 midterm election for this seat, just over 210,000 votes were cast. We’re currently at over 183,000 and like to get close to 200,000 by the time all the votes are counted. That’s quite rare for a special election in April of an off-year. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 4:50:40 AM +00:00 · David Beard There are still a handful of Fulton County precincts out, but there’s no telling when those will actually come through, and they shouldn’t change the final result significantly. The headline is that there’ll be a runoff for this seat June 20th between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. That’s it for us tonight, but check back tomorrow and in the weeks ahead for much more on this race and we head into round two. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #7

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 03:25:01 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:35:17 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Those of you still with us know that we have been transported to a circle of hell where Fulton County wrestles valiantly with what is apparently 1996-era technology to close out this primary day in GA-06. At last check, “technical difficulties” are what is keeping Fulton County from reporting the balance of their results. After a monstrous early vote for Democrat Jon Ossoff, the walk-up vote began to, as expected, erode his huge lead. The only intrigue by the middle of the evening was if Ossoff could avoid a runoff entirely by staying above 50 percent. As of right now, he is doing just that: he sits at 50.32 percent of the vote. However, with Cobb County (still the most Republican part of the district and DeKalb County (now considered the “Democratic” part of this historically red district) already booked, we wait on the part of the district in Fulton County, which was expected to be downright swingy. The expectation is that Ossoff will likely dip below 50, based on how the walk-up vote has behaved to date. But he has almost certainly outshined his polling, which largely had him at 45 percent or below. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:43:19 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser File under “oh, dear lord, we’re never going home tonight”: xJUST IN: Rare data error from one of the cards means Fulton Co. will have to manually go through hundreds of cards to find the culprit.— WSB-TV (@wsbtv) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:45:48 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Team Ossoff has issued a statement as we still eagerly await the balance of the returns in Fulton County: xOssoff campaign mgr @KeenanPontoni issues statement at 11:36 pm: pic.twitter.com/7CBNX8yw2P— Robert Costa (@costareports) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:52:44 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Amid reports via Twitter that Fulton County might (!) have found the defective data card, we are also seeing reports that Jon Ossoff is about to take the stage at his victory party. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:57:38 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Finally, we have an update in Fulton County. And, a[...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #6

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:43:46 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 2:50:46 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser If it seems like it got real quiet there for a while, it is because...well...it got real quiet for a while. In the past half hour, exactly TWO precincts have been tallied. Both were in Cobb County, which closes the books on the most GOP-friendly county in the district. Their final contributions dropped Jon Ossoff’s totals slightly, as he went from 50.4% overall down to 50.3%. To reset the evening, the early vote, as expected, went strongly for Ossoff (62%). But, as many folks around here cautioned, the day-of vote was more heavily Republican, in part because the multi-candidate field gave GOP voters cause to wait till the last minute. So, as the evening has dragged on, Ossoff’s totals dipped to their present status. The wild card is what remains: Fulton County. The part of the county in the 6th district split relatively evenly between Trump and Clinton in November. But Ossoff needs more than Clinton’s share from November to stay above 50 percent. Maddeningly, in nearly four hours of counting, less than one-quarter of the Fulton County precincts have been tallied. So...we wait. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:18:58 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Heh. If you are wondering why we’ve been waiting over an hour without a single precinct reported, wonder no more: xFrom our onsite reporter: Fulton County is having technical difficulties. They are on the phone with tech support.I'm not joking.— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 3:26:34 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill New thread here. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #5

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:07:10 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 2:12:12 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Three hours into the counting, here is where we stand: The good news for Jon Ossoff is that he is still just above the 50 percent threshold he needs to win without a runoff, with more than half of the precincts reporting (111/210). The bad news for Ossoff is that his most favorable turf (DeKalb County) has reported completely at this point. Therefore, it is highly likely that those numbers will recede. The bottom line now is that a runoff between Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel (who has a solid edge in second place) seems like the likeliest outcome. But there is a lot of Fulton County left to count, which split pretty evenly between the two parties in November. So...as they say...stay tuned! Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 2:14:52 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser One other item of (modestly) good news for Ossoff: the most recent vote dump (which brought Ossoff down slightly to 50.4 percent) was from GOP-friendly Cobb County. What that means is that Cobb County is also nearly spent, at this point.  Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 2:44:54 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill New thread here. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #4

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 01:29:15 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:31:18 AM +00:00 · David Nir So far, 67 of 210 Election Day precincts have been counted, along with most of the early vote. Ossoff is 54, Handel 18, and the rest of the GOP field in single digits. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:41:25 AM +00:00 · David Nir Meanwhile... xGOP VA Del. Jackson Miller gave up his seat to run for clerk in swingy Prince William County, lost 54-46 https://t.co/XsPpZmQ5v4— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:42:46 AM +00:00 · David Nir Some more votes just dropped in Cobb County, the most conservative county in the district. Ossoff is now at 50.8%, just above the 50% mark he’d need to avoid a runoff. Handel is at 18. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:48:13 AM +00:00 · David Nir Sorry, check that: Virginia GOP Del. Jackson Miller also filed to run for re-election, though this loss is a black mark for him, and his state House seat is a potential Dem pickup target. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:53:09 AM +00:00 · David Nir Ossoff just ticked up to an even 51.0 percent with 46% now reporting, but most of the remaining vote is on unfriendly turf, so it’ll be difficult for him to stay above 50. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:57:46 AM +00:00 · David Nir And now a new dump from Republican-leaning Cobb County puts Ossoff at just 50.1%. Exactly 50% of Election Day precincts are reporting. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 2:03:35 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser It’s worth considering what still is outlying. Right now, the ballgame is in Fulton County. All but a handful of the outstanding precincts are located there. However, there is one potential wildcard: The DeKalb County website shows that no mail-in votes have been tallied there, as of yet. Could that be another potential boost for Ossoff? He needs it to avoid a runoff, in all probability. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #3

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:48:37 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:50:22 AM +00:00 · David Nir So far, just 9 of 210 precincts, plus most (or perhaps all) of the early vote has been counted. Ossoff is at 61%, while Handel is at 15, and the other Republicans are in single digits. The Election Day vote is going to be a lot redder than what’s been counted so far, so strap in tight. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:05:55 AM +00:00 · David Nir We’re up to 9% of E-Day precincts reporting (plus the early vote), and it’s now Ossoff 58, Handel 15. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:11:14 AM +00:00 · David Nir 20% reporting now: Ossoff 57, Handel 16, rest of GOP in single digits (as they’ve been all night). Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:22:23 AM +00:00 · David Nir The NYT has a useful feature called “how the vote came in” that shows you how the vote has trended over the course of the night. You can see how the early vote favored Ossoff, while the E-Day vote is more Republican: Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:27:53 AM +00:00 · David Nir We’re now up to 32% of Election Day precincts reporting, along with the vast majority of the early vote. Ossoff is down to 54, and Handel is up to 18. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 1:30:13 AM +00:00 · Barbara Morrill New thread here. [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #2

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 00:09:43 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:10:35 AM +00:00 · David Nir xOur own @DavidNir is about to come up on @BuzzFeedNews' live #GA06 Periscope coverage! https://t.co/EyRcYZuF1V— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:14:46 AM +00:00 · David Nir Only a handful of votes have been tallied so far—about 9,400 early votes in DeKalb County, the bluest in the district. Apparently, memory cards need to be driven from poll sites to county offices, and, well… x@DKElections Good thing all the major roads in the area are in good order and uncongested.— Henri (@henkkuli) April 19, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:24:08 AM +00:00 · David Nir About 12,000 votes (almost certainly early votes) just dropped in Cobb County, the most Republican part of the district. Ossoff is at 57% in this batch. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:29:30 AM +00:00 · David Nir Now we have 30,000 early votes from Fulton County, which was very evenly split in last year’s presidential election. Ossoff is at 61% in this batch. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:33:02 AM +00:00 · David Nir The tally so far, from all three counties in the district, puts Ossoff at 62% of the early vote. It appears that almost all (but perhaps not 100%) of the early vote has been tabulated. Handel is second with 14, and no one else is in double digits. Remember, from here on out, the results will almost certainly get redder. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:35:24 AM +00:00 · David Nir Right now, the consensus among prognosticators is that Ossoff’s share of the early vote (62%) is good. However, while it was necessary for him to have done this well in the early vote in order to have a chance at an outright win tonight, it is not sufficient. There are a lot more ballots left to be counted, and he’ll have to hold his ground. Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:38:04 [...]



Daily Kos GA-06 special election liveblog thread #1

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:58:42 +0000

Polls close 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. All the candidates compete on one ballot. If one candidate wins a majority of the vote, he or she wins the seat outright; otherwise, the two contenders with the most votes—regardless of party—will advance to a June 20 runoff. There isn’t much doubt that Democrat Jon Ossoff will take first place, but Democrats hope that he’ll win outright. Several Republicans are competing for the second-place spot, with polls showing ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel and wealthy businessman Bob Gray locked in a close contest, while former state Sens. Judson Hill and Dan Moody are also in contention. Mitt Romney won this suburban Atlanta seat 61-37 in 2012, but it swung sharply against Trump, who carried it by just 48-47. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 11:01:23 PM +00:00 · David Nir Here we go! Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 11:09:21 PM +00:00 · David Nir While we wait for results to come in, here are the 2016 presidential results for the parts of the three counties that make up GA-06: County Clinton Trump Total Clinton% Trump% Cobb  (pt.) 39,375 54,310 98,688 39.90% 55.03% DeKalb  (pt.) 42,160 28,093 73,901 57.05% 38.01% Fulton  (pt.) 73,542 77,619 158,657 46.35% 48.92% Total 155,077 160,022 331,246 46.82% 48.31% Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 11:13:47 PM +00:00 · David Nir xChart of aggregate @DailyKos fundraising for Jon @Ossoff. Total: $1.47 mil from 115K donations, $13 average. Donations/day on bottom #GA06 pic.twitter.com/8QRIjaWjcw— Daily Kos Elections (@DKElections) April 18, 2017 Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 11:21:46 PM +00:00 · David Nir We also put together a guide on what to expect with tonight’s results. The most important takeaway: The first votes counted will be early votes and absentee ballots, and they will almost certainly be more favorable to Ossoff than the Election Day vote. So please, please don’t get too excited by the first returns you see. We’re likely in for a long night. Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 11:50:02 PM +00:00 · David Nir About 9,400 early votes have been reported in DeKalb County, but again, don’t get excited. Ossoff is at 71% in this batch, but this is the bluest county in the district, and the early vote is going to favor him (as compared with the Election Day vote, which will get counted later). Wednesday, Apr 19, 2017 · 12:07:05 AM +00:00 · David Nir x(Not fun) #GA06 fact: Poll workers have to collect and drive memory cards from voting machines to county offices. Takes time.— Katie Foody (@katiefoody) April 18, 2017 [...]



The Georgia special election is tonight! How we got here, and what to expect

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 22:38:16 +0000

Polls for the special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District close at 7 PM ET tonight, and what a remarkable, unexpected journey it’s been. Just a few months ago, almost no one imagined that Democrats could be competitive in a House seat that Republicans have held for decades. Yet now all eyes are on the Atlanta suburbs—and Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old investigative filmmaker and former congressional aide who has the chance to pull off one of the most stunning electoral upsets of all time. So how on earth did we get here? First, let’s talk about what we can expect tonight. While many voters have cast their ballots today, voting has actually been underway for several weeks, thanks to in-person early voting stations and absentee balloting. So when the first results start to trickle in tonight, they will almost certainly reflect those early and absentee votes. This is really important: Those votes will almost certainly be more favorable to Ossoff than the Election Day vote. We know this for two reasons. One, Democrats in general are more likely than Republicans to cast ballots early, and two, analysts examining early voting statistics have broadly concluded that Democrats have returned far more ballots in the early vote than they traditionally do in this district. So please, please don’t get overly excited by the first batches of votes we see, since later updates will likely tilt toward the Republicans. We likely have a long night ahead of us. So what will the final results ultimately look like? In all my years of handicapping elections, I’ve never come across one as confounding as this. Special elections, as prognosticators like to say, are always special: Turnout is almost always lower than usual, and predicting who will actually show up to vote is much harder than it is for, say, a presidential race. And making matters much more challenging this time is the fact that Democratic enthusiasm is through the roof, so much so that pollsters themselves have admitted they aren’t sure how to capture it. Still, we’re trying our level best. Daily Kos Elections aggregated all of the limited public polling available—and we’ll be honest: some of these outfits don’t have great reputations—and found Ossoff leading the way with an average of 42 percent. That’s well below the 50 percent he’d need to win outright and avoid a June 20 runoff, but don’t take that number as any kind of gospel. Earlier this week, Politico reported that pollsters on both sides say that, if anything, they are likely underestimating Ossoff’s strength. If in fact lots of newly energized voters—the kind that pollsters are most likely to miss—show up at the polls, then a first-round knockout blow is indeed possible. [...]



Alabama Republicans mull bids against Luther Strange after Senate election rescheduled for 2017

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 20:59:52 +0000

On Tuesday, Alabama GOP Gov. Kay Ivey announced that she was rescheduling the special election for the final years of ex-Sen. Jeff Session’s Senate term from 2018 to 2017. The party primaries will be Aug. 15, with a Sept. 26 runoff for contests where no candidate takes a majority of the vote, and the general election will be Dec. 12; the winner will serve out the rest of the term, which ends in early 2021. The 2018 date was set by then-Gov. Robert Bentley, who resigned in disgrace last week after using state resources and state personnel to try and cover up a sex scandal.

The decision to move up the special is likely bad news for GOP Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to his new job by Bentley in early February. As we’ve detailed before, as state attorney general, Strange was tasked with investigating Bentley and his coverup. But after Donald Trump announced that Sessions was his choice to head the Justice Department, Strange very much wanted Bentley to appoint him to the Senate. But just before Election Day, Strange had requested that the state legislature halt its impeachment proceedings against Bentley “until I am able to report to you that the necessary related work of my office has been completed.”

Since Strange was aware that accepting a Senate appointment from the man he was investigating would look very bad, he belatedly insisted that he never actually said he was investigating the governor, and claimed he had only asked the legislature to suspend its impeachment proceedings because there were "some common players involved" in another investigation. However, after Strange was appointed, the new state attorney general acknowledged that his office had been investigating Bentley the whole time, something Strange belatedly admitted as well. This ugly story may have been old news in 2018, when Strange originally was supposed to face the voters, but it will be a lot more fresh in August and September.

Still, Strange won’t go down without a fight.

(image)



A crowded primary awaits both parties to succeed Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 19:56:46 +0000

Last week, Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy announced that he would not seek a third term next year. Malloy’s decision wasn’t a massive surprise, especially since the incumbent has posted poor approval ratings for years as he’s struggled with the perception that the state has not recovered well from the Great Recession. Still, it may take a while for the Democratic contest to replace him to take shape. One of the big questions hanging over the Democratic primary is what Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a former state comptroller, will do. Wyman herself deflected questions about her 2018 plans after Malloy made his announcement, and according to Hearst Connecticut Media, an unnamed “person familiar with Wyman’s plans” says that she hasn’t ruled out seeking a promotion. State Comptroller Kevin Lembo has expressed interest in running, but last year, he unequivocally said that he’d support Wyman if she ran. Jonathan Harris, a former West Hartford mayor, has also talked about running, and on Monday, he stepped down from his position as commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection to “to pursue other professional opportunities.” However, Harris also says that he won’t run if Wyman does. Several other Democrats are also making noises about getting in, and they may not be so deferential to Wyman. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew formed an exploratory committee months ago, though he hasn’t declared that he’s in yet. Chris Mattei, a former federal prosecutor who is best-known for successfully prosecuting ex-GOP Gov. John Rowland in 2015 for hiding campaign work from election officials, told CT News Junkie on Thursday that he would decide within days. On Monday, CT Post reported that Mattei could set up his own exploratory committee as soon as this week. But wait… there’s more! New Haven Mayor Toni Harp only said on Thursday that she’s “not considering a run at this time,” which is of course far from a no. Back in November, Harp’s team launched a PAC, and the group’s top strategist acknowledged that he hoped she would run for governor in 2018. Rep. Elizabeth Esty has ruled out a bid, though the Hartford Courant writes that there’s no word if her husband, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Dan Esty, is interested. Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney has expressed interest, while state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. reportedly is likely to get in. Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim also sounds interested, but given his seven-year stint in jail for steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of perks, he's not exactly an appealing candidate. The CT Mirror name-drops Attorney General George Jepsen, but there’s no word if he’s looking at a run. Connecticut is a reliably blue state in federal elections, but it has a long history of voting for GOP governors, and Team Red hopes that Malloy’s unpopularity will give them an opening. House Minority Leader Themis Klarides is the latest Republican to express interest, while Hartford Business name-drops her Senate counterpart, Len Fasano. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan each kicked off bids before Malloy made his decision not to run public, while former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker; Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; businessman Steve Obsitnik; attorney Pete[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/18

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 13:00:49 +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, Apr 18, 2017 · 2:54:43 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer GA-Gov: GOP Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle filed to set up a gubernatorial campaign earlier this month and, while he didn’t say he was running, it looks like we won’t need to wait long for that announcement. Cagle’s team is spreading word of a big event April 30 (featuring a “surprise musical guest”), that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes will be his campaign kick off. That’s probably the case, unless Cagle plans to announce nothing except that he’s written a musical tribute to the people of Georgia. We’re only half-joking: Cedar Rapids Mayor and possible Iowa GOP gubernatorial candidate Ron Corbett did almost that exact thing in February. Tuesday, Apr 18, 2017 · 3:25:15 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MD-06: A few days ago, Democratic Rep. John Delaney confirmed that he was “absolutely considering” a bid against GOP Gov. Larry Hogan, and promised he’d have “something formal to say on the matter” in June. If Delaney runs for governor, he’ll leave behind Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, which is anchored around Montgomery County in suburban D.C. Clinton carried this affluent seat 56-40, and Democrats should be favored to keep it. One Democrat is already laying the groundwork to run for Delaney’s seat if he doesn’t. State House Majority Leader Bill Frick has already set up a campaign committee to begin raising money. Frick made it clear that he wouldn’t run against Delaney if the incumbent sought re-election; instead, Frick said that the GOP would target an open seat, and that “[i]t is critical Democrats field a strong candidate in 2018.” Delaney did have an unexpectedly close call during the 2014 GOP wave, and last cycle, Republicans did land a wealthy candidate against Delaney, so Frick is correct that this isn’t a seat that Democrats can completely take for granted. Still, it’s tough to see an area this anti-Trump flipping with Trump in the White House, and Frick is almost certainly trying to raise money early to deter a credible primary challenge. However, Frick may end up needing to fight his way through an expensive race regardless. Back in 2012, after state Democrats redrew this seat to elect a Democrat, then-state Senate Majority Leader Robert Garagiola entered the race as the frontrunner. However, a wealthy candidate by the name of John Deleney decisively outspent Garagiola and won the primary 54-29. Montgomery County doesn’t lack Democrats who are capable of self-funding a campaign, and one possible contender has expressed interest. Liquor store magnet David Trone ran for the neighboring 8th District last cycle, and spent more than $13 million of his own money to lose the primary 34-27 to now-Rep. Jamie Raskin. Trone says he’s “focused very heavily” on a possible run for county executive, but he hasn’t declared, and he’s also said that he’d be interested in running for the 6th if its open. And as an aside: Last year, when Delaney faced a re-election challenge from a well-funded GOP rival, he declared that he had “no plans to run for governor,” a statement that some observers interpreted as Delaney ruling out a [...]



Morning Digest: Georgia's hotly anticipated House special election is finally upon us

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:00:48 +0000

Leading Off ● GA-06: A few final polls of Tuesday's special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District all point to a runoff—if, of course, pollsters are accurately forecasting the universe of voters likely to show up. That's no easy task for any special election, but particularly for one where Trump may be disproportionately juicing turnout for one side.​ Campaign Action ​Democrat Jon Ossoff's high-water mark is 45, which he sets in two polls, one from Landmark Communications and the other from Revily Research, a firm we've never heard of before. (Landmark is a GOP firm but polled on behalf of WSB-TV, a local news channel, while Revily's interest in this race is unknown.) Strangely enough, both outfits also have Republican Karen Handel in second place with the exact same share of the vote, 17. Meanwhile, Republican pollster Clout Research (formerly known as Wenzel Strategies) dissents a little bit. They find Ossoff at 41, but more interestingly, they have Republican Bob Gray at 17 and Handel at 15. That's the first time any pollster hasn't showed Handel in second place. This points to something weird, though: the tremendous consistency we've seen across almost all the polling of this race. For such a difficult-to-model election, we ought to be seeing much more variation. The Daily Kos Elections aggregate of all available polls finds Ossoff at 42, with Handel at 16 and Gray at 12, though for all we know, all this data could be wrong. In a rundown on the massive get-out-the-vote operations all candidates are waging, Politico's Elena Schneider reports that pollsters on both sides think Ossoff "may be slightly closer to the 50-percent threshold" than their numbers indicate because they aren't properly capturing Democratic enthusiasm. We could, in other words, have something of a mirror-image of November's polls on our hands. We'll find out for sure very soon. The polls close at 7 PM ET on Tuesday, and Daily Kos Elections will be hosting a liveblog to track the returns as the come in. Note: If someone takes a majority in the all-party primary, they win outright, but if no one wins a majority, then the top-two candidates regardless of party will advance to a June 20 general election. [...]



DNC, DCCC, DSCC: How to decipher the alphabet soup of Democratic Party organizations

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 14:21:09 +0000

It’s not unusual to see confusion about the roles that various Democratic Party campaign committees play, though it seems to have peaked recently following Democrat James Thompson’s unexpectedly close loss in the special House election in Kansas’ dark-red 4th Congressional District, based around Wichita. What I’m talking about, more than anything, is cries of “WHY DIDN’T THE DNC DO ANYTHING ABOUT THIS RACE?!?”

That’s kind of like coming across the scene of a bus accident, and asking “WHY ISN’T THE COAST GUARD COMING TO THE RESCUE?!?” There are certainly valid reasons to critique the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the ways it does business, but the committee’s non-involvement in a House race isn’t one of them. It isn’t their jurisdiction—that’s simply something they don’t, by definition, do.

If you’re interested in having your comments about dysfunction by Democratic organizations taken seriously, it helps to at least have some knowledge of where to correctly point your finger. With that in mind, let’s take a few minutes to review the alphabet soup of organizations in Washington that raise money for, and spend money on, Democratic candidates.

The DNC (Democratic National Committee) is the presidential committee. It raises money, primarily, for the presidential race every four years. It oversees the primary/caucus process, setting rules and coordinating debates (though, of course, the state parties have large—probably too large, given the amounts of chaos that often results—amounts of leeway in terms of when they do things and what kind of format they use).

It organizes and pays for the Democratic National Convention, which in itself is a remarkably large expense. It pays for advertisements and field organization for the Democratic presidential nominee, once the convention is over. The DNC is run by a chair that, if there’s a Democrat in the White House, is picked by the president, and, if not (as we just saw), is elected by DNC members, who are picked by their state parties.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/17

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 13:00:49 +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, Apr 17, 2017 · 5:36:21 PM +00:00 · David Nir Special Elections: Did you know there's a special election taking place in the Atlanta 'burbs on Tuesday? Okay, but this isn't the one you're thinking of: Georgia SD-32: This is a seat located north of Atlanta. It was vacated by Republican Judson Hill, who is running in that other Georgia special election (the one in the 6th Congressional District). Eight candidates filed for the open primary here, including three Democrats: attorney Christine Triebsch, director Exton Howard, and pediatrician Bob Wiskind. Also running are five Republicans: consultant Hamilton Beck, railroad conductor Matt Campbell, physician Roy Daniels, surgeon Kay Kirkpatrick, and tax attorney Gus Makris. If nobody gets a majority, the top two finishers will go to a runoff in May. This seat went 67-31 for Mitt Romney in 2012. We haven't yet calculated the 2016 presidential results for this seat, but there's a good chance that many Republican voters there, like those in the 6th Congressional District, were hostile to Trump and thus gave him a lower share of the vote than Romney won four years earlier. Monday, Apr 17, 2017 · 5:46:30 PM +00:00 · David Nir FL-Gov: Former Democratic Rep. Gwen Graham, who has looked like a very probable gubernatorial candidate for some time, is holding a reception on Wednesday evening with her father, former Gov. Bob Graham, and the invitation promises that the younger Graham "will be sharing some exciting news." However, unnamed aides say Graham will not be announcing a bid for governor, so who knows? Monday, Apr 17, 2017 · 5:51:43 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf ND-Sen: As North Dakota’s lone House member, early Trump-backing Rep. Kevin Cramer quickly became one of the GOP’s top potential recruits to take on Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in 2018, but it appears that his habit of verbally shoving both feet into his mouth—he most recently defended Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s offensively historically illiterate Hitler comment—has sent some anxious D.C. Republicans looking elsewhere. An adviser to state Sen. Tom Campbell says his boss “definitely” will run for Senate or House next year, with a decision potentially coming in a few weeks. Campbell is wealthy and could self-fund seven figures if he does challenge Heitkamp. For his part, Cramer recently said he’s still considering the race, but might not decide for a few more months. However, if someone like Campbell gets in soon and drops $2 million on his campaign as his adviser suggested he might, Cramer could be facing a serious fundraising deficit if he waits too much longer to pull the trigger. Monday, Apr 17, 2017 · 6:22:01 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf NV-Sen, NV-01, NV-04: Despite being the lone Republican facing re-election in 2018 in a state that voted for Hillary Clinton, Democrats don’t appear too eager just yet to jump into the race against Sen. Dean Heller. While Rep. Dina Titus has so far been the only prominent Democrat to publicly consider running, her recent fundraising totals seem to indicate otherwise. Titus br[...]



Morning Digest: Clinton won in 40 of NY's 63 Senate districts, but GOP coalition remains in control

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 12:00:39 +0000

Leading Off ● Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits New York, a heavily Democratic state, but one where a coalition of Republicans and rogue Democrats run the state Senate. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. Campaign Action Hillary Clinton carried New York 59 percent to 37 percent, a drop from Obama's 63-35 win in 2012 but a strong margin nonetheless. Clinton also won 40 of New York's 63 state Senate districts, trading 16 Obama seats for only one Romney district, but still taking a clear majority of the chamber. Democrats, meanwhile, did win a nominal 32-31 majority in the Senate last November. But when the legislative session convened, the Senate's leader was still the same man who was in charge last year, Republican John Flanagan. That's because eight Democrats belong to a renegade group known as the Independent Democratic Conference, which has voted to keep the Republicans in power since the 2012 elections, while a ninth Democrat, Simcha Felder, outright caucuses with the GOP. As a result, the GOP-IDC-Felder alliance holds a huge 40 to 23 majority, with one heavily Democratic seat, SD-30, vacant (we assign any vacant seat to the party that last held it). The entire Senate is up for election every two years. While members of the IDC love to claim that they're true progressives (one member recently had the chutzpah to hand out fliers to angry constituents suggesting that the initials "IDC" actually stood for "Immigrant Defense Coalition"), the coalition has helped the GOP block progressive policies like a state-level DREAM Act, which would provide tuition assistance to undocumented immigrant students. The arrangement has worked quite well for the IDC members, who enjoy committee chairmanships and vice-chairmanships (and salary bumps that come along with them), as well as larger staffs. In 2014, progressives and unhappy members of the Queens Democratic machine made an effort to unseat two New York City-based IDC members, junta leader Jeff Klein and rank-and-filer Tony Avella, in the Democratic primary, but both challenges fell short. However, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talked about how they'd love to have a Democratic Senate, Cuomo has always made it little secret that he's more comfortable with the GOP in charge of the upper chamber, while de Blasio—a supposed progressive expontent—actually endorsed both Klein and Avella. Klein won renomination 67-33, while Avella narrowly hung on. Since then, the IDC has picked up three more members in heavily Democratic New York City seats. We'll start with a look at the districts of those nine renegade Democrats. [...]



Awesome: Samuel L. Jackson records ad for Georgia race, promises 'great vengeance and furious anger'

Sun, 16 Apr 2017 20:25:58 +0000

This is fantastic. On behalf of the DCCC, actor and civil rights activist Samuel L. Jackson has recorded a radio ad encouraging voters to turn out in Tuesday's special election in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, where Democrats are excited about the prospects of investigative filmmaker Jon Ossoff.

The spot is geared toward black voters (Jackson is introduced as a "Morehouse man," a reference to the historically black college in Atlanta he attended), and the script is excellent, though you'll really want to listen to it to get the full Samuel L. Jackson flavor:

"Hi. I'm Samuel L. Jackson. There's a special congressional election on April 18th. What can you do? Go vote! Your vote goes a long way toward setting things right in this country. Vote for the Democratic Party. Stop Donald Trump, the man who encourages racial and religious discrimination, and sexism. Remember what happened the last time people stayed home. We got stuck with Trump. We have to channel the great vengeance and furious anger we have for this administration into votes at the ballot box. Do your friends and family a favor. Hell, do yourself a favor and vote on April 18th, and make sure to vote for the Democratic Party."

Yes, he delivers the bolded line exactly the way you'd hope. Now let's do as the man says and channel those righteous emotions ourselves.

Sign up to make Get Out The Vote calls for Jon Ossoff right here. If you can’t do that, chip in $3 to his campaign.

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Clinton won most of New York's Senate seats, but Republicans and turncoat Democrats are in charge

Sat, 15 Apr 2017 22:03:28 +0000

Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits New York, a heavily Democratic state, but one where a coalition of Republicans and rogue Democrats run the state Senate. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. Hillary Clinton carried New York 59 percent to 37 percent, a drop from Obama's 63-35 win in 2012 but a strong margin nonetheless. Clinton also won 40 of New York's 63 state Senate districts, trading 16 Obama seats for only one Romney district, but still taking a clear majority of the chamber. Democrats, meanwhile, did win a nominal 32-31 majority in the Senate last November. But when the legislative session convened, the Senate’s leader was still the same man who was in charge last year, Republican John Flanagan. That's because eight Democrats belong to a renegade group known as the Independent Democratic Conference, which has voted to keep the Republicans in power since the 2012 elections, while a ninth Democrat, Simcha Felder, outright caucuses with the GOP. As a result, the GOP-IDC-Felder alliance holds a huge 40 to 23 majority, with one heavily Democratic seat, SD-30, vacant (we assign any vacant seat to the party that last held it). The entire Senate is up for election every two years. While members of the IDC love to claim that they're true progressives (one member recently had the chutzpah to hand out fliers to angry constituents suggesting that the initials "IDC” actually stood for "Immigrant Defense Coalition"), the coalition has helped the GOP block progressive policies like a state-level DREAM Act, which would provide tuition assistance to undocumented immigrant students. The arrangement has worked quite well for the IDC members, who enjoy committee chairmanships and vice-chairmanships (and salary bumps that come along with them), as well as larger staffs. In 2014, progressives and unhappy members of the Queens Democratic machine made an effort to unseat two New York City-based IDC members, junta leader Jeff Klein and rank-and-filer Tony Avella, in the Democratic primary, but both challenges fell short. However, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talked about how they'd love to have a Democratic Senate, Cuomo has always made little secret that he's more comfortable with the GOP in charge of the upper chamber, while de Blasio—a supposed progressive exponent—actually endorsed both Klein and Avella. Klein won renomination 67-33, while Avella narrowly hung on. Since then, the IDC has picked up three more members in heavily Democratic New York City seats. We'll start with a look at the districts of those nine renegade Democrats. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 22:00:50 +0000

Elvis Costello — “Lipstick Vogue”

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Voting Rights Roundup: Court rules Texas GOP intentionally discriminated by race with voter ID law

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:10:33 +0000

Leading Off ● Texas: On Monday, a federal district court delivered a big win for voting rights when it ruled that the strict voter ID law that Texas Republicans passed in 2011 intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters. If Monday’s ruling survives appeal, it could serve as grounds for throwing out the law entirely. Campaign Action ​This case could have a further, far-reaching impact as well. Combined with a separate recent decision that struck down the Texas GOP’s congressional gerrymander—which was also found to be intentionally discriminatory—Monday’s ruling could open the way for the courts to require Texas to once again “preclear” all changes to its voting laws with the Department of Justice. Until the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, several predominantly Southern states like Texas with a history of discriminatory election laws had required advance approval from the Justice Department before making any alterations to their voting procedures. If any changes were found to disadvantage minority voters, the federal government could block them from taking effect.  But as soon as they were free of such oversight, these same states rushed to pass a slew of voting restrictions. However, under a separate section of the VRA that is is still in force, judicial findings of intentional discrimination can lead to a jurisdiction getting placed back under preclearance. Indeed, a court recently ordered just this remedy for the Texas city of Pasadena, which had a history of discrimination against Latinos. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a staunch voting rights opponent who is unlikely to block harmful voting laws, a future Democratic administration could do so. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/14

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 13:00:42 +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, Apr 14, 2017 · 8:52:41 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer WI-Sen: While a number of Republicans have expressed interest in challenging Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, no one has taken the plunge yet. Late last year, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga didn’t rule out a bid, and he sounds quite interested now. In a long and mostly positive profile at Oxy, Kooyenga acknowledges that he’s considering, and says he’ll make his decision after the state budget is done in the summer. Kooyenga, a veteran of Iraq, is the vice chair of the state House Finance Committee, and it sounds like he’d have some useful connections if he ran statewide. However, several wealthy Republicans and fellow state legislators are considering, and whomever ends up with the GOP nomination will likely need to get through an expensive primary first. Friday, Apr 14, 2017 · 9:07:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AL-Gov: A few weeks ago, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said that he would probably decide if he’d seek the GOP nomination by the end of April. In the brief amount of time since then Alabama got a new governor, with Robert Bentley finally resigning to avoid serious charges from his attempt to cover up an affair with a staffer, and fellow Republican Kay Ivey becoming the state’s new chief executive. However, the shakeup doesn’t seem to have altered Battle’s plans, since he reiterated that he’ll decide by the end of the month. However, another Republican does sound a bit less likely to run. Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville set up a campaign at the end of March, and said he’d make up his mind in a few weeks. But in a recent interview, Tuberville had nothing but good things to say about Ivey, characterizing her as “a great lady,” and adding that “[s]he has an excellent staff. I know quite a few people on her staff. They will do a really good job. I'm looking for some really good things in the last few weeks from the legislative group, making some moves to make this state a lot better.” Tuberville doesn’t appear to have addressed his own plans and he may still be intending to run for governor, but this isn’t the type of thing candidates usually say about the people they’re trying to unseat. For her part, Ivey maintains that she hasn’t decided if she’ll run for a full term next year. Friday, Apr 14, 2017 · 9:08:25 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf GA-Gov: Georgia’s 2018 election to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Nathan Deal is likely to draw heated interest from candidates, but we can at least cross one big name off the list. First-term GOP Sen. David Perdue seemed quite unlikely to run for governor, although he hadn[...]



Morning Digest: Democrat Dan Malloy will not seek a third term as governor of Connecticut

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 12:00:43 +0000

Leading Off ● CT-Gov: On Thursday, Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy announced that he would not seek a third term next year. While Malloy narrowly won re-election during the 2014 GOP wave, he has posted horrible approval ratings over the last few years. As we've mentioned before, Malloy has suffered from the perception that Connecticut hasn't recovered from the Great Recession as well as its neighbors have. Malloy also has had to deal with ugly headlines from state employee layoffs and from General Electric moving its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston. Malloy is currently trying to convince state employee unions to accept concessions in order to help plug the state's $1.7 billion deficit. Campaign Action Malloy's decision undoubtedly comes as a relief to his fellow Democrats. While Connecticut is a dependably blue state in federal elections, it has been more than willing to send Republicans to the governor's office. Before Malloy's 2010 victory, the last time a Democrat won the governorship was in 1986, when Gov. William O'Neill was re-elected. Republicans will certainly do everything they can to argue that whoever emerges with the Democratic nomination next year will continue Malloy's unpopular governorship, but their job won't be quite as easy without the incumbent on the ballot. Donald Trump lost the Nutmeg State 55-41, and Democrats will try and connect the GOP's gubernatorial nominee to the White House. Republicans were already gearing up for this race before Malloy made his move. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan have each announced that they will run, while former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker; Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton; Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; businessman Steve Obsitnik; attorney Peter Lumaj; and state Sen. Toni Boucher have all formed exploratory committees. There is no clear frontrunner at this point, and it's very possible that there are other GOP candidates considering getting in. It's also possible that some of the people who have formed exploratory committees will end up seeking a different statewide office. [...]



After GOP's close shave in Kansas, the NRCC, NRA, and Donald Trump Jr. are all headed to Montana

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 04:12:11 +0000

It looks like Tuesday night's way-too-close special election in Kansas is already causing palpitations on the right. The Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC with close ties to Paul Ryan, now says it'll spend "at least $1 million" on advertising and GOTV to help Republican Greg Gianforte in next month’s special election in Montana—even though Gianforte’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars and can self-fund all he likes. And that comes on top of $700,000 the group had already thrown in for ads attacking Democrat Rob Quist last month. And that's not all: The NRCC says it's tossing in $273,000 on television and digital ads. And the NRA is chipping in $145,000 on TV, too. Oh, and the GOP is sending Donald Trump, Jr. out to Montana to stump for Gianforte for two days next week. (You think he'll work in a hunting trip, too?) Is it hair-on-fire time for Republicans? Hard to say—we haven't seen any polling in ages, and they may just be acting super-extra-doubly cautious after the embarrassment in Wichita. But this isn't the kind of behavior you see from a party that feels rock-solid about its chances. Let’s give $3 to Rob Quist to keep the GOP’s freak-out freaking! [...]



After the GOP's weak showing in Wichita, Democrat Paul Davis gearing up to seek nearby House seat

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 20:10:02 +0000

After losing the 2014 governor’s race to GOP incumbent Sam Brownback by a heartbreaking 50-46 margin, ex-Kansas House Democratic Leader Paul Davis sounded interested in running to replace the termed-out governor in 2018. However, after 2nd District GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins announced that she would not seek re-election to her conservative Topeka-area seat, Davis began talking about running to succeed her instead. On Thursday, Davis announced that he was forming an exploratory committee for a House bid, though he stopped short of actually declaring. Trump carried the 2nd District 56-37, and a win won’t be easy for any Democrat. However, after Republican Ron Estes only pulled off a 53-46 victory in Tuesday’s special election for the nearby 4th District, which backed Trump by an even-stronger 60-33 margin, a congressional race in Kansas may look a lot more appealing than it once did. Plenty of Republicans have dismissed Estes’ weak showing as a symptom of Brownback’s considerable unpopularity rather than a sign that the GOP brand is in trouble nationally. But even if that turns out to be true, that’s not necessarily a problem for Davis. According to our calculations, Democrat Davis carried this seat 51-45 against Brownback in 2014, so this is a district that was already not inclined to like the governor. Kansas’ horrific budget situation has gotten no better since 2014, and Brownback is probably an even bigger liability for local Republicans than he was back then. Voters tend to be more willing to cross party lines in gubernatorial races than in federal contests, so if Davis decides to run for Congress rather than the governor’s office, he is taking a risk. However, there are two big factors that may make a House bid more appealing. Ex-Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer is already running for governor; while Davis may very well win a primary against Brewer, it makes sense for him to run for the House and allow both Democrats to avoid a competitive intra-party contest. And a month ago, multiple outlets reported that Trump was considering making Brownback his ambassador to the United Nations for food and agriculture. If Brownback resigned, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer would become Kansas’ new Republican governor. While it’s possible that Brownback’s unpopularity would rub off on his old running mate and hurt the GOP at the ballot box in 2018, it’s also possible that voters would decide to give Colyer a chance to turn things around. There’s no guarantee at all that Brownback will be able to escape Kansas before his term ends, but Davis may have decided that running for the House in an open seat was a better bet than possibly running against an incumbent. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/13

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:00:40 +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, Apr 13, 2017 · 3:15:17 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AZ-Gov: David Garcia, the 2014 Democratic nominee for state superintendent of public instruction, kicked off his bid against GOP Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday. Garcia, an education professor at Arizona State University, says he was planning to seek a rematch with Republican Diane Douglas, who beat him in their close 2014 race. However, after Ducey signed a bill last week that expands the state’s charter school program, he switched gears and decided to challenge the governor. While Garcia came close to winning during the GOP wave two years ago, his defeat reportedly surprised local Democrats, who felt Douglas was weak Ducey, the wealthy former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, doesn’t appear to be very vulnerable at this state of the cycle. However, Clinton’s close loss in Arizona has Democrats optimistic about the future, and Team Blue would love to score a big win next year. State Sen. Steve Farley has also expressed interest in running, and he said back in February that he'd decide "probably fairly soon" after Arizona's legislative session ends on April 22. Thursday, Apr 13, 2017 · 3:42:50 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IL-06: During the last round of redistricting, Democratic legislators drew this seat as a GOP vote-sink in order to help Democratic candidates in other suburban Chicago districts, and Romney carried the 6th by a solid 53-45 margin. But this affluent and well-educated seat did not react well to Trump, who lost 50-43 here, and Democrats want to finally give GOP Rep. Peter Roskam a tough race. However, this area remains friendly to the GOP downballot, and Roskam is a strong fundraiser who seems to understand that he can’t take his re-election for granted. Roskam ended 2016 without much money in his war chest, but he brought in a hefty $580,000 during the first three months of 2017. Over at Crain’s Chicago Business, Greg Hinz takes a look at the developing Democratic field. Attorney Amanda Howland, who lost 59-41 last year, says she’s running again. Barrington Hills Planning Commission member Kelly Mazeski, who lost a 2016 state Senate bid 59-41, says she’s exploring and has met with EMILY’s List and the DCCC. Carole Cheney, the district chief of staff to neighboring Rep. Bill Foster, says she’s “likely” to run. However, Hinz says that the DCCC’s preferred candidate is Maura Sullivan, a Marine veteran who went on to be a senior public affairs official at the Defense Department. Sullivan has not said anything publicly yet, and Hinz notes that she lives outside the district in Evanston. Evanston, a famously liberal college town, is located a bit of a ways away from this ancestrally Republican western suburban seat, and the GOP wouldn’t hesitate to portray Hinz as an outsider. In fact, Roskam and his all[...]



Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy announces he won't seek a third term in 2018

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 19:20:18 +0000

On Thursday, Connecticut Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy announced that he would not seek a third term next year. While Malloy narrowly won re-election during the 2014 GOP wave, he has posted horrible approval ratings over the last few years. As we’ve mentioned before, Malloy has suffered from perception that Connecticut hasn't recovered from The Great Recession as well as its neighbors have. Malloy also has had to deal with ugly headlines from state employee layoffs and from General Electric moving its headquarters from Connecticut to Boston. Malloy is currently trying to convince state employee unions to accept concessions in order to help plug the state’s $1.7 billion deficit. Malloy’s decision undoubtedly comes as a relief to his fellow Democrats. While Connecticut is a dependably blue state in federal elections, it has been more than willing to send Republicans to the governor’s office. Before Malloy’s 2010 victory, the last time a Democrat won the governorship was in 1986, when Gov. William O'Neill was re-elected. Republicans will certainly do everything they can to argue that whoever emerges with the Democratic nomination next year will continue Malloy’s unpopular governorship, but their job won’t be quite as easy without the governor on the ballot. Donald Trump lost the Nutmeg State 55-41, and Democrats will try and connect the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee to the White House. Republicans were already gearing up for this race before Malloy made his move. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan have each announced that they will run, while Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst, businessman Steve Obsitnik, attorney Peter Lumaj, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, and state Sen. Toni Boucher have all formed exploratory committees. There is no clear frontrunner at this point, and it’s very possible that there are other GOP candidates considering getting in. Malloy’s move will likely set off a competitive Democratic primary. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew formed an exploratory committee months ago, though he said he was doing it so he could raise money to qualify for matching funds rather than to challenge Malloy. State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, a vocal Malloy critic, also said he’d make a "preliminary decision" this spring a few weeks ago. A few weeks ago, the CT Post reported that state Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., a son of the late Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, was very likely to run if Malloy didn’t. Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney has expressed interest as well, and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim also sounds interested, but given his seven-year stint in jail for steering city contracts in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of perks, he’s not exactly an appealing candidate. We may see plenty of other names come out now that Democrats know this will be an open seat. [...]



Is Ron Estes the biggest loser in Congress? No, but he's awfully close!

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:22:48 +0000

On Tuesday night, Republican Ron Estes beat Democrat James Thompson in a cliffhanger special election in a Kansas congressional district that should never have been remotely close in the first place. Estes won by a 53-46 margin, a difference of just 7 points. By contrast, back in November, Donald Trump carried this same seat, Kansas’ 4th District, by a whopping 60-33 spread—a margin of 27 points.

That means Estes trailed Trump by 20 percent, which is pitiful. But how does that stack up against the rest of the Republican caucus? Well, Daily Kos Elections’ own Daniel Donner literally created a stack so that you can see! Take a peek at it below.

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We just humiliated one Republican in Kansas. Let's go unseat one next door in Nebraska

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 16:00:40 +0000

I’m still boggled by Tuesday night’s special election in Kansas. Democrat James Thompson may not have won, but he held Republican Ron Estes—who was twice elected statewide as treasurer—to a measly 7-point victory in a dark-red district that Donald Trump carried by 27 percent in November! That 20-point swing is just gigantic, but if we can move the vote even half us much elsewhere, a whole lot of other Republicans are going to be in major trouble. And one of them is right across the state line: Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, who faces an exceptionally stiff challenge from Democrat Heath Mello, a former state senator, in next month’s general election. Last week, in the mayoral primary, Stothert took just 43.7 percent to Mello’s 41.4, a mere 2.3 percent margin. For an incumbent seeking re-election, those are worrying numbers. Even more worrying for Stothert, the city of Omaha voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 51-43 spread last year. Naturally there are all sorts of local issues at play in a race like this, but given the national mood, no Republican is safe from Trump—and Mello has been putting the screws to Stothert, demanding she clarify where she stands on Trump's travel ban, his refusal to acknowledge climate change, and his efforts to repeal Obamacare. Stothert, of course, has refused to answer these questions, presumably hoping to just run out the clock before Mello can inflict more damage. We can’t let her get away with that, which is why Daily Kos is endorsing Mello so that he can crank up the heat on Stothert and unseat her on May 9. There’s another factor at play here as well. Omaha makes up almost three quarters of the population in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, a swingy seat that Democratic Rep. Brad Ashford lost by just 1 point to Republican Don Bacon last year. It’s a district that will be high on our target lists next year, and a good showing next month will energize progressives and encourage strong candidates to run against Bacon. So consider this a two-for-one: You can help unseat a Republican now, and help unseat one next year, too. Please give $3 to Heath Mello ASAP so that he can turn Omaha blue on May 9. [...]



Morning Digest: Alabama senator appointed by disgraced ex-governor could be the next to lose his job

Thu, 13 Apr 2017 12:00:47 +0000

Leading Off ● AL-Sen, AL-Gov: After Jeff Sessions resigned from the Senate to become Donald Trump's attorney general in February, then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed fellow Republican Luther Strange to fill the seat. Bentley subsequently set the special election for November 2018 to fill the remainder of Sessions' term, meaning the winner would face another election for a full six-year term in 2020. Alabama Political Reporter now relays that newly-minted Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is considering moving up the special election date to 2017, especially with the new governor's office facing an existing lawsuit over the election timing. Secretary of State John Merrill, another Republican, says that if Ivey wants to hold the special this year, she needs to make her proclamation by May 11 or 12. Campaign Action Many Alabama Republicans are quite upset at how Strange's appointment unfolded, and they have good reason to be. Bentley was facing near-certain impeachment over allegations of abusing his power to conceal an affair with a top staffer, and he finally resigned on Monday as part of a plea deal. As the state's attorney general, Strange had sent a letter to the legislature just before last Election Day imploring it to desist in their investigation into Bentley "until I am able to report to you that the necessary related work of my office has been completed." Legislators complied, seeing as they believed Strange was conducting his own investigation. However, after Trump's presidential victory and nomination of Sessions to become his attorney general, Strange belatedly claimed in December that he never actually said he was looking into the governor, lest he look shady for coveting a Senate appointment from someone he was supposedly investigation. Once Bentley appointed Strange, his replacement as state attorney general confirmed that, oh yeah, Strange's office had been investigating Bentley all along, which Strange later conceded was true. This ordeal angered legislators so much that it reportedly triggered their renewed push to impeach Bentley, an effort which had previously appeared to have lost steam after the scandal initially blew up earlier in 2016. Incredibly, some Republican lawmakers have even claimed that Bentley himself told them that his motivation for appointing Strange to the Senate was because he thought Strange was corrupt and wanted him out of the attorney general's office. The whole affair has left the appointed senator quite vulnerable to a potential primary challenge in this deep-red state. Possible opponents understandably would prefer to face a special primary election sometime over the next few months while the fallout from Bentley's scandal is still fresh, rather than wait more than a full year until the regularly scheduled primary in June of 2018, which would give Strange more time to benefit from his incumbency and for the scandal to fade. W[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/12

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:00:58 +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, Apr 12, 2017 · 4:12:06 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AL-Sen, AL-Gov: After Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned his Senate seat to join Donald Trump’s cabinet in February, then-Gov. Robert Bentley appointed fellow Republican Luther Strange, to fill the seat. Bentley subsequently set the special election for November 2018 to fill the remainder of Sessions’ term, meaning the winner would face another election for a full six-year term in 2020. Alabama Politico Reporter now relays that newly minted Republican Gov. Kay Ivey is considering moving up the special election date instead of waiting, especially with the new governor’s office facing an existing lawsuit over the election timing. Many Alabama Republicans are quite upset at how these events unfolded, and they have good reason to be. Bentley was facing near-certain impeachment over allegations of abusing his power to conceal an affair with a top staffer, and he finally resigned on Monday as part of a deal where he’ll supposedly plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges. As the state’s attorney general at the time, Strange had sent a letter to the legislature just before last Election Day imploring it to desist in their investigation into Bentley “until I am able to report to you that the necessary related work of my office has been completed.” Legislators complied, seeing as they believed Strange was conducting his own investigation. However, after Trump’s presidential victory and nomination of Sessions to become his attorney general, Strange claimed in December that he never said he was actually looking into the governor, lest he look shady for coveting a Senate appointment from someone he was supposedly investigation. Once Bentley appointed Strange, his replacement as state attorney general confirmed that, oh yeah, Strange’s office had been investigating Bentley all along, which Strange later conceded was true. This ordeal angered legislators so much that it reportedly triggered their renewed push to impeach Bentley, an effort which had previously appeared to have lost steam after the scandal initially blew up earlier in 2016. Incredibly, some Republican lawmakers have even claimed that Bentley himself told them that his motivation for appointing Strange to the Senate was because he thought Strange was corrupt and wanted him out of the attorney general’s office. The whole affair has left the appointed senator quite vulnerable to a potential primary challenge in this deep-red state. Possible opponents understandably would prefer to face a special primary election sometime over the next few months while the fallout from Bentley’s scandal is still fresh, rather than wait a [...]



Morning Digest: In huge earthquake, Kansas GOP holds on to dark red House seat by just single digits

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 12:00:42 +0000

Leading Off ● KS-04: In an extraordinary political earthquake, Kansas Republicans held on to a dark red House seat in the Wichita area night by just a single-digit margin on Tuesday night, throwing into question whether the GOP's majority can survive next year's midterm elections. Campaign Action Republican Ron Estes, the state treasurer, had been universally expected to easily win the special election in Kansas' 4th District to replace Mike Pompeo, who left to become Donald Trump's CIA director earlier this year. But instead, Estes found himself struggling in a district that Trump carried by a dominant 60-33 margin and Pompeo won by more than 30 points last year. By contrast, Estes managed just a 53-46 victory over an unheralded Democratic opponent, civil rights attorney James Thompson, who lacked the support of most major national Democratic groups. (The lone major exception: Daily Kos issued a late endorsement and raised over $160,000 for Thompson.) Even fellow Republicans opined that Estes had run a lackluster campaign, and he was hurt by intense energy among Democrats, who were spurred to strong turnout by antipathy toward Trump and Sam Brownback, the state's deeply unpopular governor. A panicked GOP launched a last-minute rescue effort that involved almost six figures in spending from the NRCC, robocalls from Trump and Mike Pence, and a rally with Ted Cruz, and it may have just saved Kansas Republicans from themselves. But this seat should never, ever have been so close in the first place, and the fact that it was should scare Republicans everywhere. Just 83 districts—out of 435—are redder than this one, and compared to Trump's results, Estes' performance was abysmal: His 7-point victory was 20 points worse than Trump's 27-point win just five months ago. No fewer than 75 Republicans won last year by margins of 20 percent or less, so even if Republicans experience a swing against them of "only" half that size, they're still in for a world of hurt. Thompson's strong showing will likely also energize progressives further and boost Democratic recruitment. If you're a would-be candidate in a Republican-leaning district, a result like this gives you a lot of optimism. And it’s also very possible that Republicans in competitive seats may decide that 2018 is a good year to retire rather than face angry voters— which may in turn deter strong GOP recruits from running this cycle. There's a lot of red turf out there that's suddenly looking a lot more vulnerable, and if things keep up, Democrats could very well take back the House in 2018. [...]



In shock political earthquake, Kansas Republicans hold on to dark red House seat by single digits

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 03:45:18 +0000

In an extraordinary political earthquake, Kansas Republicans held on to a dark red House seat in the Wichita area night by just a single-digit margin on Tuesday night, throwing into question whether the GOP's majority can survive next year's midterm elections. Republican Ron Estes, the state treasurer, had been universally expected to easily win the special election in Kansas' 4th District to replace Mike Pompeo, who left to become Donald Trump's CIA director earlier this year. But instead, Estes found himself struggling in a district that Trump carried by a dominant 60-33 margin and Pompeo won by more than 30 points last year. By contrast, Estes managed just a 53-46 victory over an unheralded Democratic opponent, civil rights attorney James Thompson, who lacked the support of most major national Democratic groups. (The lone major exception: Daily Kos issued a late endorsement and raised over $160,000 for Thompson.) Even fellow Republicans opined that Estes had run a lackluster campaign, and he was hurt by intense energy among Democrats, who were spurred to strong turnout by antipathy toward Trump and Sam Brownback, the state's deeply unpopular governor. A panicked GOP launched a last-minute rescue effort that involved almost six figures in spending from the NRCC, robocalls from Trump and Mike Pence, and a rally with Ted Cruz, and it may have just saved Kansas Republicans from themselves. But this seat should never, ever have been so close in the first place, and the fact that it was should scare Republicans everywhere. Just 83 districts—out of 435—are redder than this one, and compared to Trump's results, Estes' performance was abysmal: His 7-point victory was 20 points worse than Trump's 27-point win just five months ago. No fewer than 75 Republicans won last year by margins of 20 percent or less, so even if Republicans experience a swing against them of "only" half that size, they're still in for a world of hurt. Thompson's strong showing will likely also energize progressives further and boost Democratic recruitment. If you're a would-be candidate in a Republican-leaning district, a result like this gives you a lot of optimism. And it’s also very possible that Republicans in competitive seats may decide that 2018 is a good year to retire rather than face angry voters— which may in turn deter strong GOP recruits from running this cycle. There's a lot of red turf out there that's suddenly looking a lot more vulnerable, and if things keep up, Democrats could very well take back the House in 2018. And, just a reminder: There is another special election next week. You can sign up to make calls to Get Out The Vote for Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff here. [...]



Daily Kos KS-04 special election liveblog thread #5

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 02:46:04 +0000

Polls closed tonight at 8 PM ET in Kansas, where a special election is being held to replace ex-Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned to become CIA director. This Wichita-based seat backed Trump by a solid 60-33 margin, but Republicans have made a last-minute move to shore up Republican Ron Estes against Democrat James Thompson. This area rarely votes Democratic, and if Estes underperforms, it could make other Republicans in more vulnerable areas nervous about their own prospects, and encourage other Democrats to run across the nation. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:53:35 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser So, that officially is the ballgame: xBREAKING: Republican Ron Estes wins Kansas special House election to replace GOP's Mike Pompeo, named Trump's CIA director.— The Associated Press (@AP) April 12, 2017 Despite the final verdict, it is hard not to describe this as an extraordinarily bad outcome for the GOP. When all is said and done, they will squeak to a single-digit win in one of their safest districts. There are more than 300 congressional districts less Republican than this one. And James Thompson has much to be proud of. The climate was favorable (what with plenty of Trump angst out there), but he still had to have the biography and the skills to get it there. He just had the best performance for a Democratic candidate in the Kansas 4th in over two decades. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 3:06:00 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser And with only a smattering of precincts to remain (40, in all), and a single digit race seemingly confirmed, we are going to call it a night. This was a humbling night for the GOP, and a reminder that climate (and good candidates) matter. Speaking of climate, and good candidates, we will back here in exactly one week for round #1 of the much-watched special election to replace Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th district. That race, of course, has flown well above the radar, unlike tonight’s shocker. So, we imagine we will see a bunch of you next week! [...]



Daily Kos KS-04 special election liveblog thread #4

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 02:08:29 +0000

Polls close tonight at 8 PM ET in Kansas, where a special election is being held to replace ex-Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned to become CIA director. This Wichita-based seat backed Trump by a solid 60-33 margin, but Republicans have made a last-minute move to shore up Republican Ron Estes against Democrat James Thompson. This area rarely votes Democratic, and if Estes underperforms, it could make other Republicans in more-vulnerable areas nervous about their own prospects, and encourage other Democrats to run across the nation. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:11:52 AM +00:00 · David Nir With 65% of precincts now reporting, Republican Ron Estes has moved out to a lead of 51-47 over Democrat James Thompson. (The site you want to check is the Kansas SoS.) There are probably not enough favorable precincts left for Thompson to make up the difference at this point, but this is a race that should have been called the moment polls closed. The fact that it’s a race is stark-raving insane, and should terrify the GOP. They have a big problem on their hands. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:14:00 AM +00:00 · David Nir A lot of folks have wondered why the DCCC or other DC groups didn’t get involved here earlier. My take: Had the D-Trip started spending money here, it would have instantly nationalized this race and turned it into Ron Estes vs. Nancy Pelosi. That’s a recipe for a guaranteed loss in a district like this one. The only way this race was ever going to be close was via sneak attack. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:24:05 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser Here is what is out—the bulk of the remaining precincts are in Sedgwick (130 of the 139). But, the balance of the rural precincts reporting means that Estes has now edged out to a 52-46 lead (a raw vote margin of 5800 votes). Thompson is highly unlikely to close the gap by enough to even making it into recount territory. But it could close a bit, depending on what parts of the county remain.  Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:28:25 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser xImagine the freakout if the Dems won one of these ~D+15 CDs by only 4 pts: CA-41 (Takano), MA-08 (Lynch), MN-04 (McCollum), TX-20 (Castro)— David Jarman (@DavidLJarman) April 12, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:42:02 A[...]



Daily Kos KS-04 special election liveblog thread #3

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 01:40:07 +0000

Polls close tonight at 8 PM ET in Kansas, where a special election is being held to replace ex-Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned to become CIA director. This Wichita-based seat backed Trump by a solid 60-33 margin, but Republicans have made a last-minute move to shore up Republican Ron Estes against Democrat James Thompson. This area rarely votes Democratic, and if Estes underperforms, it could make other Republicans in more-vulnerable areas nervous about their own prospects, and encourage other Democrats to run across the nation. Results: State | AP (districtwide, by county) Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 1:42:55 AM +00:00 · David Nir At the moment, 43% of votes have been counted and Democrat James Thompson, who has led all night, is clinging to a narrow 50-49 edge. A Libertarian candidate has the balance. But let’s be clear: No matter what happens the rest of the night, this race should never, ever, ever, EVER have been remotely close. This is super-conservative, mega-evangelical, ultra-Republican territory. The GOP should be very afraid. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 1:45:50 AM +00:00 · David Nir With exactly 50% of precincts reporting, Republican Ron Estes has taken his first lead, of exactly 600 votes. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 1:47:59 AM +00:00 · David Nir The good news is that roughly half of the remaining precincts left to be counted are in Sedgwick County, which is home to Wichita and is the bluest county in the district. Thompson is leading 57-41 there. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 1:54:35 AM +00:00 · David Nir With 54% reporting, Estes has moved out to a larger lead of almost 1,000 votes, putting him up 50-48. I repeat: THIS SHOULD NOT BE CLOSE. Republican Mike Pompeo, who last held this seat, won re-election by over 30 points every time. Trump won here by 27. This is stunning. Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 1:56:20 AM +00:00 · David Nir xRural counties in so far showing Estes turnout cut almost in half from Trump turnout. Thompson turnout holding steady near Clinton numbers.— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) April 12, 2017 Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 · 2:01:05 AM +00:00 · David Nir We're at 60%[...]