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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:21:40 +0000

Last Build Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2017 20:21:40 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



International Elections Digest: Spain in crisis after violent crackdown on Catalonia secession vote

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 19:01:16 +0000

The Daily Kos International Elections Digest is compiled by Stephen Wolf and David Beard, with additional contributions from James Lambert, Daniel Nichanian, Daniel Donner, and Julia van Hoogstraten, and is edited by David Nir. Leading Off ● Spain: Catalonia – independence referendum (Oct. 1) & regional parliament (Dec. 21) Catalonia is a wealthy region in northeastern Spain that is home to the city of Barcelona and 7.5 million people. Its residents have a distinct national identity and even their own language, called Catalan, as well as a longstanding desire for greater autonomy. That desire has fueled a growth in support for secession that is now embroiling Spain in its greatest constitutional crisis since the end of Francisco Franco's dictatorship and the country's return to democracy in the 1970s. Campaign Action On Oct. 1, Catalonia's regional government held a disputed independence referendum, even though the Spanish constitution denied it the authority to do so on its own. The national government in Madrid tried to violently halt the vote, with national police forces injuring several hundred protesters and would-be voters. Nevertheless, 2.3 million Catalans turned out to cast ballots, with 89 percent of them favoring independence. However, with only 43 percent turnout amid an opposition boycott, the referendum appeared to lack legitimacy. Indeed, polls have typically shown most Catalans oppose independence but supported holding a referendum. Despite the taint of the referendum itself, Spain's heavy-handed response only engendered media sympathy for Catalonia and may have hardened the resolve of soft independence supporters. Just as he had promised, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont and the majority that supported him in the regional parliament unilaterally declared independence from Spain. In return, conservative Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy used an unprecedented constitutional maneuver to entirely suspend Catalonia's autonomy and have the national government exercise direct control over the region. Rajoy's government dissolved Catalonia's parliament and called for early elections to take place on Dec. 21. The national government also engaged in a fierce crackdown by arresting the officials who facilitated the referendum and participated in the declaration of independence on charges of sedition. Catalonia has thus far avoided more violence but has seen mass demonstrations by both independence supporters and those seeking to maintain unity with Spain. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 22:18:07 +0000

Emitt Rhodes — “You Should Be Ashamed”

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Voting Rights Roundup: Pennsylvania redistricting case could give Democrats much fairer map for 2018

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 20:47:48 +0000

Leading Off ● Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court recently dealt Republican gerrymandering a major setback when it agreed to take jurisdiction over a lawsuit that argues that the state's congressional map is a partisan gerrymander in violation of the state constitution. With Democrats holding a majority on the court, there is a strong chance Pennsylvania could have new congressional districts in time for the 2018 midterms. However, Republicans aren't giving up without a fight.​ Campaign Action ​State Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Republican, engaged in a desperate attempt to drag things out further by trying to get the case moved to federal court on the grounds that the plaintiffs’ demands would supposedly interfere with the 18th Congressional District special election taking place on March 13. That plan quickly fell apart and rightly so, since the plaintiffs' entire case rests exclusively upon state constitutional grounds and would not impose new districts until the November 2018 elections. Moving the case to federal court likely would have delayed its resolution until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the landmark Whitford v. Gill case over partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, which may not happen until June. That would have left Pennsylvania with too little time to produce a new map for 2018. But with the matter back in state court, an appellate-level court will conduct a trial starting Dec. 11 and has until no later than Dec. 31 to report its findings and conclusions to the state Supreme Court, which is seeking to expedite the case so that it can conclude in time for the midterm elections. Although this state-level lawsuit stands by far the best chance of success, it isn't the only one targeting the Pennsylvania GOP's congressional map. There are now two federal lawsuits challenging the GOP's district lines, though they're each making different arguments. The first case was filed in early October, and in an unusual move, plaintiffs there have argued that the map's partisanship violates the Constitution's Elections Clause, something the Supreme Court has never before ruled on. That case is nonetheless slated to proceed to trial on Dec. 5. The second federal lawsuit was just filed on Nov. 9 and relies more on a Whitford-style claim that excessive partisanship violates the First and 14th Amendments. Although this reasoning has yet to persuade swing Justice Anthony Kennedy, it's on much firmer ground given past precedent and Kennedy's own opinions. Nevertheless, both of these federal cases could end up becoming moot, since the state-level case will likely reach a resolution much sooner. On the whole, Pennsylvania stands a good chance of having fairer districts in 2018. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/17

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 14:01:55 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Friday, Nov 17, 2017 · 4:48:24 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Sen, MI-06: On Friday, GOP Rep. Fred Upton announced that he would seek re-election to the House rather than challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow next year. Upton, who has represented the Kalamazoo area since 1987, had spent months mulling a bid for the upper chamber. Over the summer, a "source close" to the congressman even told MIRS News that they were 90 percent sure that he would run, which is another good reminder why you shouldn't count someone as a candidate until they actually announce they're running, no matter how likely their bid appears to be. A few Republicans entered the Senate race while Upton was still debating his plans. Businessman and veteran John James actually led Upton 24-19 in a recent hypnotically GOP primary poll, and former state Supreme Court Justice Robert Young, Jr. has been in for a while. However, neither Republican had much cash at the end of September, though donors may take another look at them now that Upton's finally a no. Venture capitalist Sandy Pensler has also expressed interest. Other Republicans may also come out of the woodwork now as well. As for Upton, he may still have to work hard to win re-election. While his 6th District went from 50-49 Romney to 51-43 Trump, a few Democrats have entered the race against him. Upton has always won re-election by double digits, but if 2018 is a good Democratic year, he could have a much more eventful campaign than usual. Friday, Nov 17, 2017 · 5:24:34 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NJ-Sen: Flame off. Ex-Sen. Bob Torricelli had been making noises about running to replace Sen. Robert Menendez for years, but hours after Menendez's bribery trial ended in a mistrial, he announced he would not be launching a comeback against his fellow Democrat. "The Torch" dropped his re-election bid in 2002 following a series of seamy revelations that he'd accepted lavish gifts from businessman David Chang, so he never exactly was an ideal candidate for this seat. Torricelli insisted on Thursday that he was never interested in challenging Menendez in a primary and would support him if he runs for re-election next year. While Menendez's numbers took a tumble during his trial, New Jersey's powerful Democrat leaders have lined up behind him. Notably, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy has committed to supporting Menendez while South Jersey political boss George Norcross and his brother, Rep. Donald Norcross, are both in his corner as well. Tellingly, no noteworthy Democrats have shown any interest in challenging Menendez in a primary. Menendez himself has not announced if he'll seek re-election, but his adviser Michael Soliman said an announcement is "in the coming weeks" and that "all things indicate to him running for re-election." Menendez's problems may give the GOP an opening in this blue state, but it's not clear who is considering challenging him. Outgoing Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli hasn't ruled it out, though he added that "[a]ny future run for statewide office, however, depends on whether or not the NJGOP is open to rebranding itself." Ciattarelli ran for governor this year and lost the primary 47-31 to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Friday, Nov 17, 2017 · 5:40:36 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-15: On Friday, state Rep. Justin Simmons announced he was dropping his bid for the GOP nomination in this open Lehigh Valley seat. Simmons launched a primary campaign against Rep. Charlie Dent days before Dent announced he was retiring, with Simmons positioning himself as the true-red Trump fan in the contest. But just before he left the race, Dent released several friendly messages Simmons sent him last year, including a request for help with a fundra[...]



Morning Digest: Bob Menendez's trial ends in a mistrial a year away from Election Day

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 13:01:19 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● NJ-Sen: On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez's bribery trial ended with the judge declaring a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. It's unclear if the government will seek a new trial, though GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell called for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate Menendez. Menendez has been under indictment since April of 2015 on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements. Prosecutors allege that Menendez used his office to benefit a friend of his, wealthy eye surgeon Salomon Melgen, who had provided Menendez with lavish gifts, including private air travel. Menendez has maintained his innocence and made it clear for years that he plans to seek re-election in 2018. Menendez remained as feisty as ever after the trial ended, with him accusing the FBI and Department of Justice of being unable to "understand that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up to be a United States senator and be honest." New Jersey's powerful Democratic leaders have been supporting his campaign this whole time, and that hasn't changed. On Thursday, just after the mistrial was declared, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy made it clear that he'd support Menendez if he runs again. For the last two years, Democrats have worried that Menendez would be found guilty and resign while Republican Gov. Chris Christie was still in office, which would allow Christie to appoint a Republican senator in his place. But Murphy will replace Christie in January, and it looks very unlikely that anything could compel Menendez to step down before then. However, if Menendez is the Democratic nominee next year, he could cause his party problems even without a conviction hanging over his head. A recent Quinnipiac poll gave Menendez a negative 31-49 approval rating, while Suffolk gave him a bad 23-47 favorable rating last month. New Jersey is a blue state, but Menendez may have just taken enough damage to put him in danger even in a good Democratic year. Even if Menendez runs and wins, Democrats won't be happy if they need to spend heavily in this expensive state to save him while other incumbents need help. However, it may be just too much to hope that Menendez loses renomination. New Jersey is a state where party leaders still have a great deal of influence in primaries, and as long as Democratic leaders stay with the senator, he won't be easy to beat. It also won't be easy for an outsider to raise the vast sums of money needed to get their name out here. We'll see how things develop, but no matter what happens next, Menendez may be in for some turbulence next year at the ballot box. [...]



This Week in Statehouse Action: November and Everything After edition

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 22:22:08 +0000

On one hand, the Virginia elections were, like, a week and a half ago. (That comes out to approximately three months in Trump Time.)

On the other, with recounts and lawsuits pending in enough races to push Virginia Democrats from their current post-election tally of 49 seats in the House of Delegates to a 50-50 power-sharing arrangement—or even an outright majority in the 100-seat chamber—there’s still quite a lot of statehouse action afoot here. (More on this later.)

Also, everyone and their cat is trying to claim credit for the big wins in Virginia. “Victory has a thousand fathers” or whatever, and pretty much all of the dozens of “outside” groups on the ground can credibly claim a slice of credit for Nov. 7’s successes.

Campaign Action

But what nobody’s talking about is how the existing Democratic Party apparatus—especially the Virginia House Democratic Caucus—facilitated these victories.

  • Virginia’s election laws provide great flexibility in terms of allowing outside groups to share information with campaigns and committees, and the extant party infrastructure helped new organizations avoid duplicating efforts and allowed everyone involved to maximize resources (while reporting all investments and transactions—helpfully easily searchable via the Virginia Public Access Project).

But since Virginia’s election laws are as rare as they are permissive, the myriad groups jockeying to lay a hand on the Old Dominion trophy will have to adjust their tactics to have similar success in other state legislative elections in 2018.

Okay, back to the ongoing action in Virginia.

Rage Against the Voting Machine: Three districts are preventing either political party from feeling satisfied with its numbers in the Virginia House of Delegates. Recounts or legal action are likely or underway in House Districts 28, 40, and 94.

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Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez's trial ends in a mistrial a year away from Election Day

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 21:02:54 +0000

On Thursday, Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez's bribery trial ended with the judge declaring a mistrial after jurors failed to reach a unanimous verdict. It's unclear if the government will seek a new trial, though GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell called for the Senate Ethics Committee to investigate the New Jersey senator. Menendez has been under indictment since April of 2015 on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements. Prosecutors allege that Menendez used his office to benefit a friend of his, wealthy eye surgeon Salomon Melgen, who had provided Menendez with lavish gifts, including private air travel. Menendez has maintained his innocence and made it clear for years that he plans to seek re-election next year. Menendez remained as feisty as ever after the trial ended, with him accusing the FBI and Department of Justice of being unable to "understand that the Latino kid from Union City and Hudson County can grow up to be a United States senator and be honest." New Jersey's powerful Democratic leaders have been supporting his campaign this whole time, and that hasn't changed. On Thursday, just after the mistrial was declared, Gov.-elect Phil Murphy made it clear that he'd support Menendez if he runs again. For months, Democrats have been worried that Menendez would be found guilty and resign while Republican Gov. Chris Christie was still in office, which would allow Christie to appoint a Republican senator for the rest of Menendez's term. But Murphy will replace Christie in January, and it looks very unlikely that anything could compel Menendez to step down before then. However, if Menendez is the Democratic nominee next year, he could cause his party problems even without a conviction hanging over his head. A recent Quinnipiac poll gave Menendez a negative 31-49 approval rating, while Suffolk gave him a bad 23-47 favorable rating last month. New Jersey is a blue state, but Menendez may have just taken enough damage to put him in danger even in a good Democratic year. Even if Menendez runs and wins, Democrats won't be happy if they need to spend heavily in this expensive state to save him while other incumbents need help. However, it may be just too much to hope that Menendez loses renomination. New Jersey is a state where party leaders still have a great deal of influence in primaries, and as long as Democratic leaders stay with the senator, he won't be easy to beat. And it also won't be easy for an outsider to raise the vast sums of money needed to get their name out here. We'll see how things develop, but no matter what happens next, Menendez may be in for some turbulence next year at the ballot box. [...]



Make the GOP pay for cutting taxes for the rich—and trying to repeal health care again

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 19:19:51 +0000

It’s awful enough that House Republicans just passed a bill cutting taxes on big businesses and the ultra-wealthy. It's even more appalling that they’re also increasing the tax burden for many ordinary folks in order to pay for this immoral giveaway.

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But most disgusting of all is the fact that the GOP, at the very last second, wants to use this vehicle to try to wreck Obamacare yet again. Under the latest Republican scheme, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that an astonishing 13 million Americans would have their health coverage eliminated, just so the one percent can buy a second yacht. Enraging doesn’t begin to cover it.

There’s only one thing we can do: Make. Them. Pay.

Democrats need to win 24 seats to take back the House next year, so we’ve identified the two dozen most vulnerable Republicans seeking re-election who voted for this abomination and created a special fundraising page where you can donate to defeat all of them—right now. This page makes use of ActBlue’s district-level “nominee funds,” which hold all donations in escrow until after the Democratic primary; at that point, the cash is transferred in one fell swoop to the Democratic nominee, who can then start using those dollars for his or her general election campaign immediately. If we can build up these funds now, we’ll be able to give our candidates a huge boost at a critical time next year.

So please contribute now. We need to show Republicans that there’s a serious price to pay for what they’ve done, and there’s no better way than by booting them out of office.

Give $1 for each targeted district so that we can terrify Republicans and help Democrats win the House in 2018.

And if you can’t afford to donate, please share this post on Facebook so that we can spread this message far and wide and give people everywhere a way to fight back. Just click the little blue “f” button below the headline of this piece.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/16

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 14:01:11 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 4:32:48 PM +00:00 · David Nir MN-Sen: On Thursday, broadcaster and model Leann Tweeden accused Democratic Sen. Al Franken of forcibly kissing her while rehearsing a skit on a USO tour in 2006 and then later groping her breasts while she slept, a moment captured in a photo. In a statement in response, Franken said, "I certainly don't remember the rehearsal for the skit in the same way, but I send my sincerest apologies to Leeann. As to the photo, it was clearly intended to be funny but wasn't. I shouldn't have done it." We will continue to cover this story as we learn more. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 4:33:48 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NE-Sen: Nebraska Democrats haven't had any luck statewide in years, and GOP Sen. Deb Fischer doesn't look like she'll be in any danger next year. Lincoln City Councilor Jane Raybould, who has little opposition in the Democratic primary, is hoping to change that impression with a new poll from PPP arguing that the incumbent is vulnerable even in this conservative state. The survey gives Fischer a 42-31 lead against Raybould, but also gives Fischer an upside down 35-45 approval rating. Team Blue absolutely would love to put another Senate seat into play, but even in a very favorable environment, it's going to take a huge investment from national Democrats to have any shot here, and that's a lot to ask for when so many Democrats are defending tough seats. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 4:33:59 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-Sen: On Thursday, Rep. Lou Barletta unveiled endorsements from every member of Pennsylvania's House delegation. Barletta is the clear frontrunner in the GOP primary to take on Democratic Sen. Bob Casey. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 4:47:22 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-Gov: Wealthy attorney John Morgan has been considering seeking the Democratic nomination for a long, long, time, and he's going to take a bit longer to make up his mind. Morgan recently said that he'd have a decision sometime in the first quarter of 2018. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 5:03:02 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer GA-Gov: Tech executive Clay Tippins, a retired Navy SEAL, filed paperwork to seek the GOP nomination back in September, and he announced this week that he was running. To say that Tippins starts the contest with no name recognition would be an understatement. A recent primary poll from the GOP group Landmark/ RosettaStone that was not conducted for any client found Tippins taking just 1 percent of the vote, while he also barely registered in released internal polls from primary rivals Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp. We'll see if Tippins has the personal resources and connections to raise the type of money he'll need to get his name out. Thursday, Nov 16, 2017 · 5:17:12 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MS-Gov: Miss odd-numbered gubernatorial election years already? Let's just dive right into 2019! Gov. Phil Bryant will be termed-out, and while there are no shortage of fellow Republicans who could run to succeed him, the list of potential Democratic candidates is much shorter. But Attorney General Jim Hood, who is one of just two Democrats who holds statewide office in the entire Deep South, said on Wednesday that he's considering. Hood said he is "exploring that idea, I am raising money to get in a position where uh we can do that, if that’s what my wife decides we need to do," and expects to decide within the next year. Hood has stubbornly survived in Mississippi as the GOP has won almost every other important office. Hood won re-election 2015 by a 55-45 margin as Bryant [...]



Morning Digest: As their new poll shows Roy Moore cratering, GOP floats zany new scheme to dump him

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 13:01:11 +0000

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

Leading Off

AL-Sen: How much does the NRSC want Roy Moore to just end his campaign? Politico reports that an internal poll for the committee, conducted Sunday and Monday, gives Democrat Doug Jones a stunning 51-39 lead. By contrast, an early October poll gave Moore a 53-37 edge, while a Nov. 6-7 survey, finished the day before the Washington Post first reported about Moore's predatory behavior, had the Republican up 51-42, suggesting the race had been tightening even before Moore's scandal burst loose.

Campaign Action

Politico also writes that the NRSC tested how Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who used to hold this seat, might fare as a write-in candidate, and the results "were not favorable." The NRSC did not identify a pollster, and we're always suspicious when someone says they have poll numbers but won't say where they came from. However, we're inclined to take note of this polling despite the lack of a full disclosure simply because it runs so contrary to the ostensible interests of the group it was conducted for—though obviously the NRSC leaked this in a desperate attempt to pressure Moore.

But this is also is an occasion when we suspect that reality is not quite as bad as this apparently dire data makes it seem. Indeed, another poll indicates that Moore may not be as DOA as the national GOP seems to think (or maybe even hope) he is: The Republican firm Strategy Research, polling on behalf of a local Fox affiliate, gives Moore a 49-43 edge. Strategy Research's last three polls for media clients each gave Moore an 11-point lead, so this actually isn't much of a drop, all things considered. And knowing Moore, he'll readily choose to believe the numbers that look good for him while chalking up anything that looks bad as an establishment conspiracy.

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As a new poll shows Roy Moore cratering, GOP keeps floating zany schemes to keep him off the ballot

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 22:09:40 +0000

How much does the NRSC want Roy Moore to just end his campaign? Politico reports that an internal poll for the committee, conducted Sunday and Monday, gives Democrat Doug Jones a stunning 51-39 lead. By contrast, an early October poll gave Moore a 53-37 edge, while a Nov. 6-7 survey, finished the day before the Washington Post first reported about Moore's predatory behavior, had the Republican up 51-42, suggesting the race had been tightening even before Moore’s scandal burst loose. Politico also writes that the NRSC tested how Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who used to hold this seat, might fare as a write-in candidate, and the results "were not favorable." The NRSC did not identify a pollster, and we're always suspicious when someone says they have poll numbers but won't say where they came from. However, we’re inclined to take note of this polling despite the lack of a full disclosure simply because it runs so contrary to the interests of the group it was conducted for. But this is also is a rare occasion when we suspect that this apparently dire data might not actually be quite as bad as it sounds. Indeed, another poll indicates that Moore may not be as DOA as the national GOP seems to think (or maybe even hope) he is: The Republican firm Strategy Research, polling on behalf of a local Fox affiliate, gives Moore a 49-43 edge. Strategy Research's last three polls for media clients each gave Moore an 11-point lead, so this actually isn't much of a drop, all things considered. And knowing Moore, he’ll readily choose to believe the numbers that look good for him while chalking up anything that looks bad as an establishment conspiracy. And that establishment apparently still hasn't given up trying to find a way, any way, to have a Republican who isn't named Roy Moore in that Senate seat after the Dec. 12 general election. The Washington Examiner's David Drucker reports that "top Republicans in Washington" are considering asking appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who badly lost the September primary to Moore, to resign before the election. The thinking goes that Gov. Kay Ivey could then appoint someone to the seat and thus delay the special election until November of next year. However, Strange emphatically says he'll "serve [my term] out, serve the people of the state, try and get tax reform, and be the best senator I can be," and insists no one has talked to him about stepping down. Yet even if Strange were to play ball, there's a good reason to suspect that local Republicans like Ivey would be a lot less accommodating. As the Montgomery Advertiser's Brian Lyman notes, Moore has a loyal base of Republican primary voters who are very much sticking with him through all of this. While the Mitch McConnells of the universe can safely plot against Moore from D.C., GOP leaders in Alabama actually have to fear the wrath of Moore fanatic fans'—that is, the local leaders who aren't Moore fans themselves. State GOP chair Terry Lathan has even threatened to deny any Republicans who support someone other than Moore a place on future primary ballots, something the state party actually can do, so Republicans planning to run for office in Alabama have a lot of incentive to keep any disgust for Moore they may have to themselves. Ivey in particular could be vulnerable if Moore's base decides she's conspiring against their man. Ivey only became governor in the spring when Robert Bentley resigned due to a sex scandal, and she faces several primary foes next year. The only poll we've seen was an Ivey internal that gave her a wide lead, but she could lose whatever edge she has if she takes part in a McConnell scheme to keep Moore out of the Senate. What’s more, Alabama requires a runoff if no one takes a majority of the vote in a primary, so Ivey can’t ju[...]



DCCC launches first round of 'Red to Blue' program, highlighting key House races for 2018

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:32:52 +0000

On Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is the official party organization devoted to electing Democrats to the House, unveiled the first round of its “Red to Blue” program for the 2018 election cycle, highlighting key races where the committee thinks it has the strongest chance of picking up seats from Republicans next year. The full list of candidates making the DCCC’s initial roster are below: Presidential Margin District Democrat Republican 2016 2012 AZ-02 Ann Kirkpatrick Martha McSally 5 -2 CO-06 Jason Crow Mike Coffman 9 5 IA-01 Abby Finkenauer Rod Blum -4 13 IL-12 Brendan Kelly Mike Bost -15 2 KS-02 Paul Davis OPEN -19 -14 MI-08 Elissa Slotkin Mike Bishop -7 -3 MN-02 Angie Craig Jason Lewis -2 0 NC-09 Dan McCready Robert Pittenger -11 -12 NV-03 Susie Lee PRIMARY -1 1 NY-22 Anthony Brindisi Claudia Tenney -16 0 PA-06 Chrissy Houlahan Ryan Costello 0 -3 Most of these choices are precisely what you’d expect, since they’re top-tier candidates running in competitive districts, along with one important defensive priority in Nevada’s 3rd District. Perhaps the most interesting selection is Dan McCready, an Iraq veteran and executive at a solar energy firm, given that North Carolina’s 9th District wasn’t close on the presidential level in either of the last two elections. But McCready raised much more money in the last fundraising quarter than his GOP opponent, Rep. Robert Pittenger, who is also dealing with a serious primary challenge for the second cycle in a row. As for Paul Davis, the other candidate in a deep red seat, he actually carried Kansas’ 2nd District when he (unsuccessfully) ran for governor in 2014, so Democrats are hoping for a repeat, especially since this seat is now open. But while most of these hopefuls are the only serious contenders running in their respective races, a few are involved in contested primaries: Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona’s 2nd District, Jason Crow in Colorado’s 6th, and Abby Finkenauer in Iowa’s 1st. Kirkpatrick’s inclusion is unsurprising, since she’s a former member of Congress (though she represented a different House seat than the one she’s seeking now) and has swamped her rivals in fundraising since entering the race. Similarly, Crow, an attorney and former Army Ranger, was reported to be a favorite of the DCCC from the moment he kicked off his campaign. He’s also led the pack in fundraising (albeit not to the extent Kirkpatrick has), and more importantly, he’s drawn by far the most fire from Republicans, who appear to fear him the most. Abby Finkenauer’s appearance is somewhat less expected, since she hasn’t raised money like gangbusters (and whether we like it or not, this is a key measure of electability that groups like the DCCC rely on). But she’s a state representative and thus may have deeper ties to her district than her chief primary opponent, former Labor Department official Thomas Heckroth, who only recently moved back to Iowa after living out-of-state for many years. So why would the D-Trip (as it’s colloquially known) want to weigh in on these races? It’s probably not because they’re hoping to influence the outcome of any primaries: Kirkpatrick certainly doesn’t need the help, and Crow and Finkenauer are likely the frontrunners in their contests, too. However, the general elections in all of these districts are all going to be very expensive, and by giving these candidates the committee’s seal of approval now, [...]



After year of speculation, Richard Cordray makes big move ahead of potential bid for Ohio governor

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:28:23 +0000

Richard Cordray, a former state attorney general and the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has kept Ohio Democrats guessing for a over a year about whether he'll resign his post and come back home to run for governor, or stay in D.C. and prevent Trump from appointing a new CFPB who would undermine Cordray's work. Cordray seems to have made his choice, since on Wednesday, he announced he was resigning from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by the end of the month. Cordray did not mention his future plans, but it's unlikely that Cordray is departing from such a high-profile post before his term ends next summer just to spend more time with his family.

If Cordray jumps into the governor's race, he won't have the Democratic primary to himself. Former Rep. Betty Sutton, ex-state Rep. Connie Pillich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley have been running for months, while state Supreme Court Justice Bill O'Neill entered the contest in October despite previously saying he wouldn't run against Cordray. Additionally, talk show host Jerry Springer (yes, that Jerry Springer) and ex-Rep. Dennis Kucinich have left the door open to running. The current Democratic field hadn't raised much money during the first half of 2017, though it's unclear how much uncertainty about Cordray's plans deterred donors.

The Republican Governor's Association has trained most of their fire on Cordray for months, a sign that he's the potential opponent they take the most seriously. The GOP also has their own crowded primary. Polls consistently show Attorney General Mike DeWine, a former U.S. senator who narrowly beat Cordray during the 2010 GOP wave, with a clear lead against Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, and Rep. Jim Renacci.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/15

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:01:45 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 · 4:08:01 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Albuquerque, NM Mayor: New Mexico's largest city held its non-partisan general election on Tuesday, and it was a big win for Team Blue. State Auditor Tim Keller beat GOP City Councilor Dan Lewis 62-38 to succeed GOP Mayor Richard Berry, who is retiring. Eight years ago, Berry won this office with just 44 percent of the vote after two Democrats split the blue vote (the city's electoral rules have changed since then, and now a majority of the vote is needed to win without a runoff), and he was easily re-elected in 2013. However, the area's high crime rate seems to have left him incredibly unpopular. Lewis tried to depict Keller as too weak to fight crime, but it was a tough argument to make at a time when voters were unhappy with the GOP city government that Lewis was a part of. Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 · 4:17:29 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer TN-Sen: Andy Ogles, the former state head of the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity chapter, announced on Wednesday that he was dropping out of the GOP primary. Ogles kicked off his primary bid against Sen. Bob Corker days before Corker decided to retire, but he never attracted much attention once this became an open seat race. The Koch political network never showed much interest in lining up behind Ogles after Corker bailed, and Ogles said on Wednesday that he didn't think he could raise enough money to compete against Rep. Marsha Blackburn and ex-Rep. Stephen Fincher. Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 · 4:25:54 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer  WV-Sen: On behalf of 35th PAC, a super PAC supporting Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, Fabrizio, Lee and Associates is out with a mid-October poll of the GOP primary. They give Morrissey a 40-34 lead against Rep. Evan Jenkins, with 26 percent undecided. The survey also gives Morrissey a 51-13 favorable rating with primary voters while Jenkins, who represents southern West Virginia, has a 39-5 score. This is the first poll we've seen of the primary to face Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. Wednesday, Nov 15, 2017 · 4:41:48 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MA-Gov, MA-Sen: Massachusetts Democrats haven't shown a whole lot of optimism about beating GOP Gov. Charlie Baker next year, and some prominent Democrats have even openly and vigorously praised him. A new poll from MassINC on behalf of the NPR affiliate WBUR won't give Baker's detractors much to celebrate, either. In a hypothetical general election matchup with Newtown Mayor Setti Warren, Baker leads 58-24. Baker beats former state budget chief Jay Gonzalez and environmentalist Bob Massie 59-19 and 60-21, respectively. The survey gives Baker a 67-14 favorable rating, while most respondents have no option of the three Democratic candidates. To put Baker's numbers in perspective, he posts even wider leads than Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat whom only the most dedicated Warren haters and most bored political reporters think is vulnerable next year. MassInc gives Warren a 56-33 advantage over Beth Lindstrom, a former senior aide to Mitt Romney,[...]



Morning Digest: 15 new polls show positive signs for Democrats' chances of taking back House

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:01:17 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● House: The Democratic group Patriot Majority USA has just published a second big batch of House polls conducted by Public Policy Polling, and the numbers look very positive for Democrats. All of the districts tested are held by Republicans, and the results are summarized in the table below: District Democrat %age Republican %age Margin CA-25 Generic Dem 50 Steve Knight 38 12 CA-48 Generic Dem 51 Dana Rohrabacher 41 10 FL-26 Generic Dem 53 Carlos Curbelo 39 14 IL-06 Generic Dem 51 Peter Roskam 41 10 MI-06 Generic Dem 41 Fred Upton 42 -1 MN-03 Dean Phillips 46 Erik Paulsen 42 4 NE-02 Brad Ashford 49 Don Bacon 40 9 NJ-02 Generic Dem 44 Generic GOP 39 5 NJ-07 Generic Dem 42 Leonard Lance 41 1 NJ-11 Generic Dem 46 Rodney Frelinghuysen 44 2 NY-19 Generic Dem 46 John Faso 40 6 NY-22 Anthony Brindisi 47 Claudia Tenney 41 6 TX-07 Generic Dem 49 John Culberson 39 10 TX-32 Generic Dem 48 Pete Sessions 43 5 WI-01 Randy Bryce 39 Paul Ryan 46 -7 (Note: NJ-02 can be found in a separate memo.) As you can see, most of these polls featured generic Democrats rather than actual candidates, so as usual we urge caution in interpreting this data. But the reliance on these unnamed stand-ins reflects a happy problem for Democrats: We have so many races with multiple credible contenders that it simply wouldn’t make sense to pick a single name out of the pile. (And if you’re trying to poll quickly and cheaply in a whole bunch of districts, you also don’t want to ask about every possible candidate.) And those margins, as you can see, represent a very unhappy problem for Republicans. Some particularly stand out, such as the two Texas seats, which are home to longtime GOP incumbents who haven’t ever been seriously threatened. The same is true for Peter Roskam in Illinois, who’s cruised to re-election in his last several races. Overall, these numbers are much better than those in Patriot Majority’s last set of polls taken last month, which largely showed a bunch of very close races in dozen GOP-held seats. PPP polled a different set of districts this time, so we can’t make any direct comparisons, but if these results are in fact reflective of the overall House picture, Democrats should be able to make things competitive next year. [...]



A-OK in Oklahoma: Democrats flip their 14th special election from red to blue on Tuesday

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 05:08:10 +0000

Last week’s landmark Democratic wins for the Virginia House of Delegates were an extremely big deal, but because election season is never over when it comes to state legislative special elections, Team Blue had another chance to deliver even more victories this Tuesday. And they did. Democrats just flipped yet another deep red seat in Oklahoma. This brings the total of Democratic pickups in contested special elections to 14 this cycle—and four of those pickups have been in super-Republican Oklahoma. Tuesday’s flip was in Senate District 37, a seat just west of Tulsa that went 67-27 for Donald Trump in 2016 and 69-31 for Mitt Romney in 2012. Last fall, Democrats spent $200,000 to try to win this seat, only to lose to the GOP by 15 points. This time, Democrat Allison Ikley-Freeman, a therapist at a non-profit community mental health agency who campaigned on ending Oklahoma’s education crisis and expanding access to health care, won 50.3 to 49.7—performing 40 points better than the presidential results just a year ago to secure this victory. This flip follows special election pickups for Democrats in Washington and Georgia just last week, flips in Florida, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma in September, and two more pickups in Oklahoma in July. In May, Democrats flipped another state House seat in New Hampshire and a state Assembly seat in New York. In almost all of these races, the Democrat not only won but also over-performed the presidential numbers in their districts by double digits, by margins that range from 11 percent all the way to 48 percent. And let’s not forget Democrats’ epic wins in Virginia on Nov. 7—15 and counting—as well as at least two pickups in New Jersey.  This feels like old news at this point, but it bears repeating: Republicans at every level of the ballot have been in danger all year and have everything to fear in 2018. There are more state legislative special elections on the horizon—contribute $3 to support Democrat Jen Jordan in Georgia next month! [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/14

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 14:01:45 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 4:26:51 PM +00:00 · David Nir Pub Quiz: Once again, Steve Kornacki and Harry Enten are hosting a political trivia night in New York City on Dec. 18 at 8 PM, and this time, David Nir and Jeff Singer will be there! We’re hoping to put together a DKE team (or teams), so please reach out to davidnir -at- dailykos -dot- com if you’re interested in joining. Let’s win this thing! Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 5:02:55 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Sen, MI-06: GOP Rep. Fred Upton has been publicly debating whether to challenge Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow or seek re-election to his Kalamazoo-area seat, and he told Newschannel 3 that he’d decide in the next two weeks. Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 5:10:19 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel has been talking about launching a GOP primary bid against Sen. Roger Wicker for months, but he’s also left the door open to a run for lieutenant governor in 2019. McDaniel recently told the Clarion Ledger that he’s “come to peace with one of those seats,” and “will make an announcement one way or the other in a matter of weeks.” Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 5:25:20 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NM-Gov: State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn dropped his GOP primary bid to succeed Republican Rep. Steve Pearce last month, but we may not have heard the last of him this cycle at all. Dunn’s son and political adviser says that the commissioner is giving “heavy consideration” to running for governor… as a Libertarian or an independent. Pearce, who faces no credible primary opposition, will already have a tough time winning next year. New Mexico is a Democratic-leaning state, and GOP Gov. Susana Martinez is quite unpopular. If Dunn actually makes good on his threat, it’s almost certainly going to make Pearce’s task even more difficult. Dunn’s camp did not say why he’s considering this move. Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 5:36:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NV-02: This seat, which includes the Reno area and much of rural Nevada, went from 53-45 Romney to 52-40 Trump, and it’s very much a longshot Democratic target. Still, Team Blue has an interesting new candidate against GOP incumbent Mark Amodei. Clint Koble, who served as a state-level Department of Agriculture official during the Obama administration, announced he was in on Monday. Amodei himself has not yet committed to running for re-election, and while he said in September he probably would seek another term, he said he wouldn’t decide until March. Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017 · 5:49:23 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NH-01: Yet another Democrat has joined the race for this open swing seat. Environmental scientist Mindi Messmer, who first told state officials that there was a small cancer cluster that had killed several children in what later was dubbed the “Seacoast Pediatric Cancer Cluster,” announced this week that she was joining the contest. Messmer, who first won a spot in the 400-person state House last year, pledged to make the Trump EPA’s response to the Cluster a focal point in her campaign. Messmer decried the EPA for declaring that the cleanup site was not a public health threat, declaring that, “at a time when the EPA is being dismantled, and environmental policy and regulations are being decimated, I vow to fiercely advocate for evide[...]



Morning Digest: Top Republicans call on Roy Moore to quit Senate race as new allegations mount

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:01:27 +0000

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

Leading Off

AL-Sen: On Monday, following a call from his own party’s leaders that he should drop his Senate bid, a fifth woman stepped forward to accuse Alabama Republican Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. In a statement to the media, Beverly Young Nelson says that when she was 16 years old, Moore, who was in his 30s at the time, offered her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked but then proceeded to park behind the restaurant, lock the car’s doors, and attack her, attemping to pull off her shirt and force her head into his crotch. Moore, she says, finally let her go after she tried to fight him off while in tears. Nelson specifically cited the “courage of four other women that were willing to speak out about their experiences” for inspiring her to speak out.

Campaign Action

That was only the most stunning part of a truly remarkable day. Last week, when the Moore news first broke, Mitch McConnell would only say, "If these allegations are true, he must step aside"—and of course didn't specify how the veracity of the charges might be established. By Monday, though, something had changed: Hours before Nelson’s press conference, McConnell declared, "I believe these women" and added that Moore "should step aside." After Nelson’s address, NRSC chair Cory Gardner took things one step further, saying that if Moore refuses to heed McConnell’s demand and still wins next month’s special election, the Senate should vote to expel him, something that would require the support of two thirds of the chamber.

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Veteran Texas Democrat Gene Green will retire from safely blue Houston House seat

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 22:33:15 +0000

Another senior member of the Texas delegation announced his retirement on Monday, but this time, it’s a Democrat who is calling it quits. Rep. Gene Green, who has represented a safely blue seat in the Houston area since 1993, declared that he would not seek another term. Last cycle, Green faced a primary challenge from ex-Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who was his first credible opponent in decades. Green decisively beat Garcia 57-39, so it’s a bit surprising to see him retire just after all that. Still, Green recently turned 70, so his decision to leave isn’t an utter shock.

Texas’ 29th District, which includes part of Houston and Pasadena, backed Clinton 71-25, and the Democratic nominee should have no trouble winning the general. But Green made his announcement just a month ahead of the Dec. 11 filing deadline, so local Democrats will need to decide pretty quickly. Green, Lloyd Doggett, and Beto O’Rourke (who is leaving the House to run for the Senate) were the last two Caucasian Democrats (known as Anglos in Texas political parlance) to represent Texas in the House, but Latinos make up 73 percent of the district’s residents, so there’s a good chance the seat’s next representative will be Latino. Under Texas election law, if no one takes a majority of the vote in the primary, there will be a runoff.

P.S.: Green is the third House Democrat who has announced so far that he will leave the House without seeking another office (the others are Massachusetts’ Niki Tsongas and New Hampshire’s Carol Shea-Porter.) By contrast, 13 House Republicans are retiring so far.

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Why is Mitch McConnell only now calling on Roy Moore to drop out? Odds are, polling has him spooked

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 18:13:39 +0000

On Monday, following a call from his own party’s leaders that he should drop his Senate bid, a fifth woman stepped forward to accuse Alabama Republican Roy Moore of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. In a statement to the media, Beverly Young Nelson says that when she was 16 years old, Moore, who was in his 30s at the time, offered her a ride home from the restaurant where she worked but then proceeded to park behind the restaurant, lock the car’s doors, and attack her, attemping to pull off her shirt and force her head into his crotch. Moore, she says, finally let her go after she tried to fight him off while in tears. Nelson specifically cited the “courage of four other women that were willing to speak out about their experiences” for inspiring her to speak out. That was only the most stunning part of a truly remarkable day. Last week, when the Moore news first broke, Mitch McConnell would only say, "If these allegations are true, he must step aside"—and of course didn't specify how the veracity of the charges might be established. By Monday, though, something had changed: Hours before Nelson’s press conference, McConnell declared, "I believe these women" and added that Moore "should step aside." After Nelson’s address, NRSC chair Cory Gardner took things one step further, saying that if Moore refuses to heed McConnell’s demand and still wins next month’s special election, the Senate should vote to expel him, something that would require the support of two thirds of the chamber. But while Nelson’s testimony was vividly shocking, it’s unlikely that McConnell actually had a change of heart about Moore's accusers. Rather, it's almost certain that pure political considerations motivated his shift, since politics is the only thing that ever moves McConnell. While we don't know what private data he's seen, two public polls released since the Washington Post's bombshell story came out last Thursday have shown Moore slipping. The latest is from Republican pollster JMC, which tantalizingly finds Democrat Doug Jones leading Moore 48-44, a big turnaround from the 48-40 advantage the firm gave Moore at the start of October. That follows a Friday survey from Opinion Savvy that had the race tied at 46 apiece; at the end of September, they had Moore up 50-45. A third poll from Change Research, a new outfit that only appeared on the scene this year, still has Moore leading by a 48-44 spread, but odds are McConnell's internal polling looks a lot more like JMC's and Opinion Savvy's. To call on his own party’s candidate to drop out when there isn't even a possibility of replacing him on the ballot harkens back to Mark Foley—not coincidentally, another Republican who pursued teenagers—and suggests McConnell is seriously spooked. And that leaves Republicans with choices that range from garbage to junk. McConnell says he's "looking at whether or not there is not someone who can mount a write-in campaign successfully," even though a day earlier, the chair of the Alabama GOP had threatened any Republicans who support a write-in bid by saying they could be denied ballot access in the future. What’s more, if Moore refuses to drop out, there's every chance that a write-in candidacy would only split the right-leaning vote and hand victory to Jones. Indeed, Opinion Savvy actually tested a three-way matchup that included Sen. Luther Strange, whom Moore defeated in the primary: Jones leads Moore 44-41 with Strange taking just 12. There's also precious little time for anyone to mount a serious [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/13

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:01:43 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Monday, Nov 13, 2017 · 4:58:51 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf PA-Sen, PA-Gov: Businessman Paul Addis, who is running in the Republican primary for Senate, has released a mid-September poll from the firm Bellwether that tested next year’s GOP primaries for both Senate and governor. For Senate, Rep. Lou Barletta has an early lead of 22 percent while Addis and the remaining candidates are all "in the low single-digits." For governor, state Sen. Scott Wagner leads by 23-10 against businessman Paul Mango. Bellwether's survey consequently shows both races are still wide open as most voters are undecided, which Addis argues gives him an opening once he can increase his name recognition, but that remains to be seen. Monday, Nov 13, 2017 · 5:10:59 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf CO-Gov: George Brauchler, who serves as the district attorney for several counties in the Denver suburbs, has dropped out of the Republican primary for governor and will instead run for attorney general next year. Brauchler's move is unsurprising after his gubernatorial campaign was circling the drain, with Brauchler having recently lost his campaign manager with no replacement in sight. He also struggled to raise money after bringing in just $100,000 during the third quarter. With Attorney General Cynthia Coffman having recently joined the Republican primary for governor, Brauchler bailing to seek Coffman's now-open position is a logical move. However, after how poorly his campaign for governor went, Brauchler may still struggle in the attorney general's race. Monday, Nov 13, 2017 · 5:13:18 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-18: Over the weekend, Republican delegates selected state Rep. Rick Saccone to be their nominee for the March special election for this Western Pennsylvania seat. (Under Pennsylvania special election law, there are no primaries.) Saccone, a former Air Force counterintelligence agent, defeated state Rep. Jason Ortitay and state Sens. Guy Reschenthaler and Kim Ward. Earlier this year, Saccone kicked off a bid for the GOP nod to face Sen. Bob Casey, but he dropped down after GOP Rep. Tim Murphy resigned in disgrace in October. Saccone’s Senate bid began with him filing what almost resembled a ransom note with the FEC, and things didn’t get any better from there. Saccone had just $52,000 in the bank at the end of September, a weak sum for a House bid, much less a statewide campaign. Maybe Saccone’s House campaign will go better now that he’s the GOP nominee rather than just one of many people competing to face Casey, but he’s sure not impressing us so far. This seat, which includes several of Pittsburgh’s suburbs, backed Trump 58-39, so even if Saccone phones it in, he has room for error. Democrats will pick their nominee on Sunday though a caucus. Monday, Nov 13, 2017 · 5:26:38 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MI-Gov: Former Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak had previously ruled out running for governor next year, but he recently opened the door to a campaign just slightly after receiving encouragement to run. Stupak declared "never say never" and that if there are four serious candidates he could potentially win with just a quarter of the primary vote. The current Democratic field includes former state Senate Mi[...]



Morning Digest: New poll finds Alabama Senate race tied after latest Roy Moore revelations

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:01:27 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● AL-Sen: As Roy Moore grows ever-more berserk in his denials that he preyed on teenage girls and his fellow Republicans sink to stunning new depths to defend his indefensible behavior, we can be quite sure that he's not going anywhere—though just wait until next month. Following the Washington Post's shocking story about Moore, the elections website Decision Desk HQ commissioned pollster Opinion Savvy to immediately go into the field with a new survey of the Dec. 12 special election, and the results are eyebrow-raising.​ Campaign Action ​The poll found Moore tied with Democrat Doug Jones at 46 apiece, but even more meaningful than the toplines are the trendlines: Last month, Moore held a 50-45 lead. Now, polls conducted over just a single night are very liable to miss certain voters and need to be treated with caution, though it appears the Moore news was quick to sink in: Opinion Savvy asked respondents whether they'd heard about the allegations and 82 percent said they had. (Another caveat, though, is that the sort of people more likely to respond to a poll tend to be more politically plugged-in.) Still, Moore's slippage is notable. Opinion Savvy also tested a hypothetical matchup in which Sen. Luther Strange, whom Moore defeated in September's GOP primary, runs as a write-in. In that scenario, Jones would edge Moore 44-41 while Strange garners 12 percent of the vote. In this three-way test, a much smaller proportion of voters say they're undecided or would vote for someone else (3 percent) than in the two-way head-to-head (8 percent), which indicates that undecideds are indeed conservative-leaning, just as you'd expect in Alabama. But by the same token, a portion of Republican voters may belong to the #NeverMoore camp (would they be called ravens? sorry, sorry) and would rather sit this one out if Strange isn't an option—or might even migrate to Jones if the Moore story disgusts them enough. We'll really just have to see how this all develops. Meanwhile, Moore is finally about to run his first TV ad of the general election. (Remarkably, Jones has had the airwaves to himself this entire time.) The spot features some fairly frenetic martial music and an equally frenetic narrator who talks about Moore's commitment to our armed forces. For someone like Moore, the ad's partisan message is both odd—you'd think he'd go for something in his Christian conservative wheelhouse—and oddly weak. While there's an obligatory jab at Barack Obama (he "gutted our military and put our security at risk"), Jones could just as easily say he's "proud of Alabama's role supplying our troops" and that he, too, believes in "a safer America and more jobs for Alabama." It's almost as though Moore is trying to shore up a weakness with security-minded voters … and that may not be his only soft spot. [...]



What garbage! Desperate to rid themselves of sex predator Roy Moore, GOP considers delaying election

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 01:32:40 +0000

This is some seriously dictatorial madness. Panicked Republicans—who had no problem with Roy Moore two days ago, and who don’t even care about allegations that he had sexual contact with teenage girls except inasmuch as it might cause them to lose a critical Senate seat—are now bandying about an absolutely nuclear option: rescheduling next month’s special election in Alabama. For real. The New York Times reports that advisers to GOP Gov. Kay Ivey “have not ruled out” the possibility of a delay but are seeking “reassurances of support from the White House,” meaning they want to know Donald Trump will back Ivey up if she chooses to subvert democracy. And herself. As the Times notes, Ivey already moved the date of this election once—moved it up, from November of 2018 (the month chosen by her disgraced predecessor, ex-Gov. Robert Bentley) to this year. Why did Ivey do this? Her explanation at the time was dead simple: "I promised to steady our ship of state. This means following the law, which clearly states the people should vote for a replacement U.S. Senator as soon as possible." But now, apparently, “following the law” may just get discarded in favor of “saving the GOP’s ass.” How exactly such a move would actually rescue their hindquarters, though, is far from certain. State law makes it impossible to swap candidates less than 76 days before an election, so in theory this would provide Republicans with enough time to pressure Moore to quit and find a replacement. Moore, however, has made it screamingly clear that he has no intention of dropping out, so the state Republican Party would have to forcibly remove him as their candidate—something Alabama’s secretary of state says it can, apparently, do. That would be an extraordinary F-U to the party’s voters, of course, but Republicans have already made it clear that they’re entirely willing to toss out all the rules. And if this doesn’t work, what’s next? Re-run the GOP primary? Pass a bill saying any candidate whose name rhymes with Coy Boor can’t run for office? Simply declare that only Republicans are allowed to hold Senate seats in Alabama? Nuts to that. Republicans are now desperately afraid that Doug Jones will win on Dec. 12, and with reason: A new poll shows Moore slipping into a tie with his Democratic opponent. Republicans have proved they’re willing to bend the law until it breaks in order to cling to power. Whatever garbage they try to pull, we need to fight back immediately, and make them pay the price. Don’t let the GOP get away with banana republic nonsense. Send $3 to Doug Jones right now! This posted has been edited to reflect the fact that the Alabama GOP can remove Moore as the party’s candidate on its own. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 23:31:07 +0000

Oingo Boingo — “Just Another Day”

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Voting Rights Roundup: Virginia elections are a win for voting rights and a blow to gerrymandering

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 22:08:18 +0000

Leading Off ● Virginia: Virginia Democrats scored a sweeping victory in Tuesday's state elections after Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won by an unexpectedly large 54-45 margin over Republican Ed Gillespie to become the state's next governor. Even more shockingly, Democrats gained 15 seats in the heavily gerrymandered state House, shrinking the GOP’s once-dominant majority to just a 51-49 edge, pending recounts (the Republican-held state Senate wasn’t up for election in 2017). These Democratic victories aren't just good news for the party, they are a boon to voting rights themselves on key issues like gerrymandering, felony disenfranchisement, and voter ID. However, these elections also demonstrate just how far Virginia still has to go.​ Campaign Action ​Most importantly, Northam's victory to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe means Democrats will maintain the power to veto election-related legislation that Republicans would try to pass with the one-seat majorities they now have in both legislative chambers. Critically, Northam will be able to block future GOP gerrymanders of state legislative districts after the 2020 census, meaning Virginia could finally have fairer maps for the 2021 elections. This election was consequently the nation's first of many gubernatorial elections that will determine partisan control over large parts of the post-2020 redistricting landscape. While Gillespie was the chief architect of the GOP's national redistricting strategy after the 2010 census, Northam has pledged to support nonpartisan redistricting. However, Virginia still has a long way to go to combat gerrymandering. If Republicans maintain their majorities through the 2021 state elections, they’d be able to delay drawing new congressional lines until 2022 simply by refusing to pass a new map. Such a delay could prove crucial if they can regain the governor's office when Northam faces term limits in 2021, because a unified government would allow the GOP to draw another gerrymander of the congressional map, just as they did in 2012. (Republicans couldn’t pull the same trick with the legislative lines because they have to pass new maps before the 2021 elections, lest they run afoul of the Constitution’s “one person, one vote" requirement.) Furthermore, these elections demonstrate just how powerful of an impact GOP gerrymandering still had even in the face of a massive Democratic wave election. Democratic state House candidates won the popular vote by several points but will likely still fail to win a majority once recounts are over. While some pundits have seized on these Democratic successes to claim that gerrymandering was unimportant, that conclusion is wrong. Instead, these results show that Democrats need a decisive edge in the popular vote just to even come close to tying the chamber despite putting together their best election in decades. Nevertheless, Northam's victory could strike a blow against gerrymandering even sooner than 2021. An ongoing federal lawsuit over racial gerrymandering may invalidate some districts in the state House, while a separate state-level lawsuit will soon go before the state Supreme Court alleging that certain districts violate the state constitution’s requirement of “compactness” in both the House and Senate (whose lines Democrats drew to favor themselves so feebly that they lost the upper chamber in the ver[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/10

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 14:01:48 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Friday, Nov 10, 2017 · 5:29:21 PM +00:00 · David Nir KY-06: Back at the end of May, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said he was contemplating a bid against GOP Rep. Andy Barr and would decide in the next two or three months. That deadline flew by without Gray making up his mind, and in new remarks on Thursday, he seems to have forgotten his timetable altogether, saying only, "When I am prepared to make an announcement, I will let you know." For what it's worth, Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Democrat in Kentucky congressional delegation, says that Gray is still "definitely considering it." But while Gray's been considering, another Democrat, Marine veteran Amy McGrath, has been waging a campaign for months and has met with tremendous fundraising success thanks to a hugely viral kickoff video about her service as a combat fighter pilot. On that strength of that introduction, McGrath raised over three quarters of a million dollars in the third quarter and has $552,000 in the bank, extremely impressive sums for a first-time candidate. Gray is personally wealthy, but he should be asking himself whether an expensive primary battle is what he wants, especially since beating Barr will be a tough task in this 55-39 Trump district. Friday, Nov 10, 2017 · 5:38:06 PM +00:00 · David Nir NH-02: Former state House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan, whose second congressional bid had looked like it was going as feebly as his first, announced on Friday that he was abandoning his campaign against Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster. Flanagan lost last year's GOP primary to former state Rep. Jim Lawrence 37-28 and raised very little money in doing so; this time around, his fundraising was no better, but he claims that's not why he's dropping out. (Our take: shah, right.) Two other Republicans are still running, state Rep. Steve Negron and physician Stewart Levenson, but while Kuster survived a much closer-than-expected race against Lawrence in 2016, it's unlikely that national Republicans will be able to spare a thought for her come the midterms. Friday, Nov 10, 2017 · 5:52:38 PM +00:00 · David Beard LGBTQ Victories: Tuesday night saw win across the country from a variety of candidates, including numerous victorious candidates from the LGBTQ community. Most notable was the breakthrough of at least seven transgender candidates winning elected office, many becoming the first in their respective states to do so. We covered these victories and their possible implications here. Friday, Nov 10, 2017 · 6:03:09 PM +00:00 · Carolyn Fiddler Media: On Friday morning, Daily Kos Political Editor Carolyn Fiddler appeared on The Bill Press Show to talk about Virginia elections and voters rejecting Ed Gillespie’s racist campaign, [...]



Morning Digest: Rocked by sex abuse allegations, Roy Moore insists he's not going anywhere

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:01:15 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● AL-Sen: In a stunning article published Thursday, the Washington Post reported that in 1979, Alabama Republican Roy Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl named Leigh Corfman when he was 32; then as now, such contact would be punishable as a sexual offense under state law (though the statute of limitations has since run out). Now an adult, Corfman says she had kept silent for years until the Post approached her, saying that she could no longer "sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed." The Post also spoke with three other women who say Moore pursued them when they were aged 16 to 18 and he was in his early 30s; while flattered as teenagers, they expressed serious concern now, with one calling Moore's behavior "disgusting." Campaign Action The bombshell revelations prompted panicked D.C. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to call on Moore to drop out of next month's special election for the U.S. Senate, though nearly all qualified their demands by adding Moore should only do so, as McConnell put it, "[i]f these allegations are true." The number two Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, went even further, declaring, "I'm interested in seeing what substantiation there is for the story." It's hard to imagine, though, what sort of evidence these Republicans would accept, short of a confession from Moore himself—and one is most certainly not forthcoming. Moore not only denied all wrongdoing, and not only sought to turn this into a conspiracy by calling the news "a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post," he also went ahead and started fundraising off the scandal, blaming the "Obama-Clinton Machine's liberal media lapdogs" and saying "the forces of evil are on the march in our country." In an era when Republicans reflexively reject anything they don't like as "fake news," this is probably an effective tactic, at least with a certain segment of the population. Indeed, some of Moore's fellow Republicans, especially those in Alabama, are already taking this line. Secretary of State John Merrill suggested he thought it was suspicious that these allegations only surfaced shortly before Election Day, and specifically wondered why a D.C. outlet—and not an Alabama publication—broke the story. Meanwhile, some others are just outright defending Moore's behavior. State Auditor Jim Ziegler offered the most eye-popping defense, saying, "[T]ake Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus." [...]



In the wake of bombshell sexual assault allegations, what can the GOP do about Roy Moore? Not much

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 22:55:44 +0000

In a stunning new article published Thursday, the Washington Post reported that in 1979, Alabama Republican Roy Moore had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl named Leigh Corfman when he was 32; then as now, such contact would be punishable as a sexual offense under state law (though the statute of limitations has since run out). Now an adult, Corfman says she had kept silent for years until the Post approached her, saying that she could no longer "sit back and let this continue, let him continue without the mask being removed." The Post also spoke with three other women who say Moore pursued them when they were aged 16 to 18 and he was in his early 30s; while flattered as teenagers, they expressed serious concern now, with one calling Moore's behavior "disgusting." The bombshell revelations prompted panicked D.C. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to call on Moore to drop out of next month's special election for the U.S. Senate, though nearly all qualified their demands by adding Moore should only do so, as McConnell put it, "[i]f these allegations are true." The number two Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn, went even further, declaring, "I'm interested in seeing what substantiation there is for the story." It's hard to imagine, though, what sort of evidence these Republicans would accept, short of a confession from Moore himself—and one is most certainly not forthcoming. Moore not only denied all wrongdoing, and not only sought to turn this into a conspiracy by calling the news "a desperate political attack by the National Democrat Party and the Washington Post," he also went ahead and started fundraising off the scandal, blaming the "Obama-Clinton Machine's liberal media lapdogs" and saying "the forces of evil are on the march in our country." In an era when Republicans reflexively reject anything they don’t like as “fake news,” this is probably an effective tactic, at least with a certain segment of the population. Indeed, some of Moore's fellow Republicans, especially those in Alabama, are already taking this line. Secretary of State John Merrill suggested he thought it was suspicious that these allegations only surfaced shortly before Election Day, and specifically wondered why a D.C. outlet—and not an Alabama publication—broke the story. Meanwhile, state Auditor Jim Ziegler offered the most eye-popping defense of Moore, saying, "[T]ake Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus." And it doesn't seem like the GOP has any good options even if Moore did want to quit (which would be utterly out of character for him). [...]



This Week in Statehouse Action: The Old Dominion Strikes Back edition

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 21:47:22 +0000

It is a dark time for the Republicans. Although Hillary Clinton had been defeated, Democratic candidates have driven Republican incumbents from their gerrymandered districts and are on their way to Richmond.  ELECTION 2017: A NEW HOPE Okay, so I try not to get personal in this space, but I really can’t help it this time. Bear with me, or just skip down a few paragraphs (I’ll never know!). Interning for the Virginia Democratic Caucus while I was in college is how I got into state politics, and in 2001, I watched over 20 Democratic legislators lose their seats in a single night.  It was jarring and heartbreaking; several of those lawmakers had mentored me, regaled me with stories of legislative feats and parliamentary artistry (God I’m a nerd), or otherwise been very cool to me.  But this dramatic loss sparked my fascination with redistricting and gerrymandering, and it instilled in me a drive to see these ill-gotten GOP gains reversed … somehow, someday. Campaign Action Democrats made gains in the Virginia House all through the Aughts, but then they backslid—along with their counterparts in legislatures all across the country—just in time for the (Ed Gillespie-engineered, incidentally) Great GOP Gerrymandering of 2011. Enter 2017: a year made remarkable, initially, by the sheer level of Democratic engagement in state politics and by the almost absurd numbers of Democrats stepping up to run for the Virginia House of Delegates. Democratic candidates ran in 54 of 66 seats held by Republicans in the state—a number (and proportion) of challengers that had never been seen in my lifetime. But it wasn’t just the number of Democratic candidates that made history this year; it was their diversity, in every sense of the word. When I attended a candidate training in March, I saw remarkably few white dude lawyers, a demographic dominant in many governing bodies. Instead, I saw women and candidates from several different communities of color. When I talked to these hopefuls, I met social workers, teachers, cybersecurity experts, small business owners, journalists, community organizers, veterans … lawyers, too. I’ve got nothing against lawyers. Anyway, fast forward to Tuesday night. Democrats flipped at least 15 seats in the state house—two short of the 17 needed to win an outright majority, and one shy of a 50-50 split, with at least two or three recounts on the horizon that could push Democrats out of the minority for the first time since 1999. Never tell me the odds! Last week, I made my predictions about Virginia House pickups, and I was wrong in the best way. My super-optimistic prediction was eight, and Democrats blew past that fairly early in the night. The last time Democrats picked up more than four House seats in a single night was 1975 (according to Democratic House Leader David Toscano). The most recent four-seat pickup came back in 2007, which was a Very Good Night for Virginia Democrats in that they flipped the state Senate, too. Moreover, that year was a harbinger for the Very Good Night for Democrats at the federal level a year later (so yeah, Nov. 7, 2017, should probably have Republicans scared out of their wits). Anyway, in terms of which districts Democrats flipped, I was actually pretty spot-on.  I called H[...]



Huge: Pennsylvania Supreme Court takes case that could strike down GOP congressional gerrymandering

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 21:35:35 +0000

On Thursday, Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court granted a petition to take jurisdiction over a lawsuit challenging its Republican-drawn congressional map as an illegal partisan gerrymander. A GOP-dominated lower court had previously stayed the lawsuit, but plaintiffs appealed to the high court, whose Democratic majority just expedited the proceedings and gave the lower court a deadline of Dec. 31. If the courts strikes down this map, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf could veto any replacement GOP gerrymander, forcing the courts to draw nonpartisan districts in time for the 2018 midterms and presenting Democrats with opportunities for major gains. As shown in the map at the top of this post, the GOP’s brazenly tortured lines have produced a stable 13-to-5 Republican congressional majority in what is otherwise an evenly divided swing state. That Republican advantage persisted even when Obama carried Pennsylvania by 5 points—and Democratic House candidates won more votes statewide than Republicans—in 2012, and it held fast in 2016 when Trump narrowly won the state. As we have demonstrated, this Republican gerrymander likely cost Democrats up to four seats in both 2016 and 2012, making it one of the most effective GOP gerrymanders nationally. The plaintiffs in this suit pointed to several statistical tests to argue that Republicans could not have possibly passed the map that they did without intending to favor their own party. These tests include the “efficiency gap,” which is at the center of an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case regarding Wisconsin, as well as one called the “mean-median district test,” both of which we have previously explained in detail. The plaintiffs have also put forth computer-simulated nonpartisan plans to buttress their claim that any efforts by mapmakers to adhere to traditional redistricting criteria alone (like compactness) were statistically unlikely to produce such a GOP-leaning map. Most importantly, this lawsuit is relying on state constitutional protections for voters based on freedom of association and equal protection. While these tests have yet to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down partisan gerrymanders for violating the federal constitution, it has little latitude to override the state court’s interpretation of Pennsylvania’s constitution in this matter. Democrats gained a crucial majority on Pennsylvania's Supreme Court in 2015, and while that's no guarantee of victory, it gives the Keystone State a strong chance of a favorable ruling against GOP gerrymandering in 2018 that could produce major Democratic gains. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/9

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 14:01:59 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 · 3:58:54 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer VA-06: Veteran GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte has announced that he will retire from this 60-35 Trump seat in western Virginia. More soon. Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 · 4:39:48 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer VA-06: On Thursday, GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the powerful Judiciary Committee, announced that he would not seek a fourteenth term in Virginia's 6th District, a safely red Shenandoah Valley seat. Like several of his departing Republican colleagues, Goodlatte was serving the final term of his chairmanship. Goodlatte is 65, so he likely could have hung around a bit longer and acquired another good post in Congress if he felt like it. However, while most departing Republicans deny that dealing with Trump has made Congress a less-appealing place, it's tough to deny that he's leading plenty of them to reconsider their place in D.C. It's also worth noting that Goodlatte's announcement came two days after the Democratic victories in Virginia's state election. In any case, Democrats won't miss Goodlatte when he leaves. As Judiciary chair, Goodlatte remained obsessed with investigating Hillary Clinton even after Trump became president. Goodlatte also opposed any attempt to update the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted a key portion of it in 2015. Goodlatte also caused a big headache for his own party early this year when he successfully pushed the GOP caucus to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its independence in a closed-door meeting. Once the plan became public, the House leadership quickly reversed course and killed the Goodlatte rule. Goodlatte has always sailed to victory in his seat, which includes Roanoke, Lynchburg, and much of the Shenandoah Valley. This district went from 60-40 Romney to 60-35 Trump, and according to Miles Coleman, Republican Ed Gillespie carried it 60-39 on Tuesday even as he was losing 54-45 statewide. However, while it's likely that plenty of Republicans will eye this seat, it's not clear how they'll select their nominee. In Virginia, the local parties can nominate their candidates through a traditional primary, though a party convention, or through a so-called "firehouse primary" where voters have a few hours to vote at a limited number of polling places. Thursday, Nov 9, 2017 · 5:05:15 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NH-01: Chris Pappas, a member of New Hampshire's five-person Executive Council, announced on Thursday that he would seek the Democratic nod for this open swing seat. Pappas, whose family runs the prominent restaurant the Puritan Backroom, is considered a rising star in state Democratic politics, and he's been talked about as a potential candidate for[...]



Pennsylvania Democrats flip offices for first time since 1799, and GOP congressmen could be next

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:48:28 +0000

Democrats are targeting three competitive House seats in Pennsylvania's Philadelphia suburbs next year, and Tuesday's local election results give them some very good reasons for optimism. The most eye-popping result was in Chester County, where Democrats unseated the GOP incumbents in the races for treasurer, controller, coroner, and clerk of courts. According to party officials, the last time Democrats won these offices was in 1799 … Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans, that is. Chester County is mostly located in the 6th Congressional District, where Republican Rep. Ryan Costello (a former Chester County commissioner) won re-election against a weak Democratic challenger 57-43 as Clinton was winning his seat 48.2-47.6. Large portions of Chester are also located in the 7th District, a 49-47 Clinton seat held by Republican Rep. Pat Meehan, and the 16th District, where freshman Rep. Lloyd Smucker is more of a longshot target. Local Democrats also had an unusually great night in Bucks County, which makes up the bulk of GOP freshman Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick's 8th District. Democrats won the offices of county sheriff, prothonotary, recorder of deeds, and controller on Tuesday —it's been more than 30 years since Democrats won any countywide office in Bucks other than county commissioner. Fitzpatrick, the brother of outgoing Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick, won an expensive open seat race 54-46 last year, running well ahead of Trump's 48.2-48.0 win. Delaware County has been a reliable blue area in presidential races for years, but local Republicans have still done well down-ballot here. However, Democrats also scored a historic win there on Tuesday when they beat a Republican in a County Council election for the first time ever, though Team Red still maintains a three-to-two edge overall. Delaware is mostly located in Meehan's 7th District, with a portion in the safely blue 1st. One of the challenges Democrats have had in the Philadelphia suburbs for a long time is winning over voters who back Democrats in presidential races but vote Republican down the ballot. Team Blue seemed to break through in 2006 as George W. Bush's unpopularity dragged down the party when they flipped the old versions of the 7th and 8th, though then-GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach defied them in the 6th. However, the 2010 GOP wave gave the GOP their lost seats back, and the Republican legislature proceeded to make the 6th and 7th considerably redder (the 8th mostly was left alone). Democrats hope that Trump's unpopularity will give them a shot at all three seats again even against well-funded Republican incumbents. The fact that local Democrats won local offices that stayed red even through the Bush era is at least a good sign that the voters are not only angry with national Republicans, but that they're channeling their anger out down-ballot. And if voters are really taking their rage at Trump out on Republican coroners, prothonotaries, and recorders of deeds, local GOP congressmen have a lot to worry about. [...]



Transgender breakthroughs highlight Tuesday's extraordinary LGBTQ victories

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 18:01:47 +0000

In 2004, Karl Rove and the George W. Bush campaign team decided that they needed a turnout boost, and that gays and lesbians would be a useful scapegoat in driving their voters to the polls. In the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage in 2003, the issue had risen to the forefront and popular support was still against marriage equality. That year, voters passed bans on marriage equality in 11 states—every single one that put the issue on the ballot. In the years following this public, nationwide, coordinated attack on their rights, gays and lesbians fought back, winning hearts and minds, but also elected office. Now, 13 years later, there is a lesbian Senator from Wisconsin, a bisexual governor in Oregon, and six gay, lesbian, or bisexual members of the House of Representatives. This year may signal a similar electoral awakening among the transgender community. Having been attacked and slandered across the country with fearmongering “bathroom bills,” transgender people and their allies are fighting back and winning elections across the country: Tuesday was the most successful election night for openly transgender candidates in history. Most prominent was the victory of Danica Roem, who will became Virginia’s first openly transgender person to be elected and seated in the state legislature (and was also endorsed by Daily Kos!). Despite what has been widely reported, she’s not the first trans woman to serve in any state legislature—that was Althea Garrison in 1992. Roem defeated Virginia Republican Bob Marshall, one of the most notorious homophobic and transphobic legislators in the country, who repeatedly misgendered her during the campaign. At least seven other openly trans candidates also won office around the country: Andrea Jenkins won a city council seat in Minneapolis, becoming the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the U.S. Phillipe Cunningham, a black queer transgender man, was also elected to the Minneapolis City Council. Tyler Titus won a seat on the Erie School Board, becoming the first openly transgender person elected in Pennsylvania. Lisa Middleton was elected to the Palm Springs City Council, becoming the first openly transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California (and making for an all-LGBTQ city council!) Gerri Cannon was elected to the Somerswoth School Board in New Hampshire. Stephe Kootz won a seat on the Doraville City Council in Georgia, making her the only transgender elected official in Georgia. Raven Matherne was elected to a seat on the Stamford Board of Representatives in Connecticut, becoming the state’s first transgender elected official. [...]



Tuesday was huge, but we still have one more Republican to beat this year: raging bigot Roy Moore

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 17:30:18 +0000

When you’ve delivered a pounding blow to your opponent, there’s only one thing to do next: keep pressing your advantage forward. Tuesday night’s epic victories were sweet indeed, but our work has only just begun. To set our great country back on its rightful path, there are many more elections we must win, and many more Republicans we must strive to defeat. Next among them is Roy Moore, which is why we are proud to endorse Democrat Doug Jones in next month’s special election for the Senate in Alabama. Since you are reading this post, odds are you are already familiar with Moore, who was twice booted off Alabama’s Supreme Court for defying the law, once when he refused to remove a monument of the 10 Commandments from the court grounds and a second time when he tried to resist the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling making same-sex marriage the law of the land. But Moore’s hostility to bedrock American values cannot be repeated often enough. He’s the man who: said that Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison doesn’t belong in Congress because he's a Muslim and compared the Quran to Mein Kampf; claimed that 9/11 was punishment because America had turned away from God; once called homosexuality “abominable, detestable, unmentionable, and too disgusting” in a court opinion; declared that legalizing same-sex marriage was worse than the Dredd Scott ruling that upheld slavery; and said, as recently as last year, that he doesn’t believe Barack Obama was born in the United States … among many, many other wretched things. And atop of his naked bigotry is the cloud of corruption, as Moore has personally collected over $1 million for half a decade’s worth of “part-time” work for his own private charitable foundation. It’s hard to imagine someone less suited to serving in the United States Senate than he. We are exceptionally fortunate that Moore has drawn a stiff challenge from a very worthy opponent. Doug Jones is a former U.S. attorney who served under Bill Clinton and is justly famous for prosecuting the KKK terrorists who dynamited a black church in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963 and murdered four young girls aged 11 through 14. As was so common in the aftermath of white supremacist violence in the South then, the perpetrators escaped justice for decades, but Jones successfully prosecuted two of the killers in 2001 and 2002 and has proudly run campaign ads highlighting this accomplishment. And Jones would serve his constituents well if he ends up in Washington. Remarkably for a statewide candidate running in Alabama, he’s pro-choice, believes we need to address climate change, supports the DREAM Act, and wants to fix Obamacare, not repeal it. But you can bet, with sensible views like these, he's come under heavy fire—and Alabama is still Alabama. It may no longer be possible for any Democrat to win a Senate race here. But we have to try. If an upset were ever going to happen, now would be the time: a strong Democrat, a lunatic Republican, and a political environment that is as hostile to the party in the White House as it gets. And while we can't spare any time dreaming about victory, a win here would shake th[...]



Notorious House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte the latest senior Republican to retire

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 16:41:39 +0000

On Thursday, GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the powerful Judiciary Committee, announced that he would not seek a fourteenth term in Virginia's 6th District, a safely red Shenandoah Valley seat. Like several of his departing Republican colleagues, Goodlatte was serving the final term of his chairmanship. Goodlatte is 65, so he likely could have hung around a bit longer and acquired another good post in Congress if he felt like it. However, while most departing Republicans deny that dealing with Trump has made Congress a less-appealing place, it's tough to deny that he's leading plenty of them to reconsider their place in D.C. It's also worth noting that Goodlatte's announcement came two days after the Democratic victories in Virginia's state election. In any case, Democrats won't miss Goodlatte when he leaves. As Judiciary chair, Goodlatte remained obsessed with investigating Hillary Clinton even after Trump became president. Goodlatte also opposed any attempt to update the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted a key portion of it in 2015. Goodlatte also caused a big headache for his own party early this year when he successfully pushed the GOP caucus to strip the Office of Congressional Ethics of its independence in a closed-door meeting. Once the plan became public, the House leadership quickly reversed course and killed the Goodlatte rule. Goodlatte has always sailed to victory in his seat, which includes Roanoke, Lynchburg, and much of the Shenandoah Valley. This district went from 60-40 Romney to 60-35 Trump, and according to Miles Coleman, Republican Ed Gillespie carried it 60-39 on Tuesday even as he was losing 54-45 statewide. However, while it's likely that plenty of Republicans will eye this seat, it's not clear how they'll select their nominee. In Virginia, the local parties can nominate their candidates through a traditional primary, though a party convention, or through a so-called "firehouse primary" where voters have a few hours to vote at a limited number of polling places. [...]



Morning Digest: Democrats regain total control of Washington's state government in special election

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 13:01:11 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● WA State Senate: One of Tuesday's biggest wins, second only in importance to the Virginia governorship, came in Washington state, where Democrats flipped a crucial state Senate seat that gave them a majority in the chamber and, with it, control of the entire state government. Thanks to a turncoat Democrat named Tim Sheldon, Republicans had clung to a narrow 25-24 majority for years and thus stymied all manner of progressive priorities, even though Democrats have long held the state House and governor's mansion. But late last year, GOP state Sen. Andy Hill died, prompting Tuesday's special election between Democrat Manka Dhingra, the Democratic nominee, and former congressional aide Jinyoung Lee Englund, the Republican candidate, in the state's 45th District in the northeastern Seattle suburbs. This seat shifted sharply to the left last year, as Hillary Clinton carried it by a 65-28 margin following a 58-40 win for Barack Obama in 2012, presenting Democrats with the opportunity they'd been thirsting for for years. But the 45th had always been amenable to Republicans with pragmatic profiles like Hill, so it was by no means a gimme, despite the presidential numbers. And as you'd expect, the GOP was determined to fight like hell to keep it, because it represented the entire ballgame: Win and maintain their roadblock; lose and go home, perhaps forever. As a result, the race became the most expensive in state history, with an astounding $10 million spent by the two campaigns and their allies. But the portents were ominous for Republicans. In the August top-two primary, in which all candidates from all parties ran together on a single ballot, Dhingra led Englund by a sizable 52 to 41 margin. While both candidates advanced to the November general election, Washington's primaries tend to be very strong predictors of the ultimate results, and indeed they were: While many votes remain to be counted, Dhingra leads Englund 55-45, and that advantage is only likely to grow. Englund hasn't yet conceded, but her hopes of pulling this one out are zero. And that means, once the results are certified next month, Democrats will take over the Senate, opening up a world of possibilities. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee says he plans to push for legislation to address climate change, including a cap-and-trade bill and a carbon tax, while state Sen. Andy Billig, who is likely to become deputy majority leader once the handover takes place, says he wants "to pass the biggest jobs bill to ever come out of Olympia." Of course, these audacious plans will still have to contend with narrow majorities and competing interests. But a new day will soon dawn in Washington, a blue state that finally has the government it deserves. [...]



GOP corruption and infighting help propel two Nassau County Democratic women to historic wins

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 22:28:37 +0000

Democratic Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran pulled off a tight 51-48 victory against Republican Jack Martins, a former New York state senator, to win the executive office this large Long Island county. The once dominant Nassau County Republican also suffered a shocking loss in the race to lead Hempstead, a town with a population of 760,000 that was once the center of the powerful GOP machine. Attorney Laura Gillen unseated Supervisor Anthony Santino 51-49 to become the first Democratic supervisor of Hempstead in more than a century. However, the Republicans maintained a narrow edge on the county legislature. The GOP ran things here for decades, and the Nassau party had a huge influence over New York Republican politics. However, corruption and infighting gradually helped weaken what was once one of the most powerful Republican parties anywhere. (For more, check out Steve Kornacki's excellent 2011 article). In 2001, Democrat Tom Suozzi broke the GOP's stronghold on the county executive's office, and won re-election four years later. But in 2009, with the Great Recession hurting Democrats nationwide, the local GOP unexpectedly regained control over Nassau when Ed Mangano unseated Suozzi by 386 votes. Not only did almost no one forecast a Mangano win, but Suozzi himself had $1 million left in his war-chest that likely could have saved him. The state seized control of Nassau’s finances in 2011 and when Suozzi kicked off his comeback attempt against Mangano two years later, he initially looked like the man to beat. However, Suozzi lost 59-41, another defeat that foreshadowed the national Democratic Party's problems for the following year. But last year, Mangano was indicted on federal corruption charges. The county GOP made it very clear that they didn't want Mangano as their nominee again and they consolidated behind Martins, who had lost a congressional race in 2016 to none other than Tom Suozzi. Corruption, unsurprisingly, was a major issue, though Curran focused more on tying Martins to former state Senate Leader Dean Skellos (whose own corruption conviction was vacated last month by an appeals court) more than to Mangano. Martins has seized on the issue, though he emulated Ed Gillespie in Virginia and launched a racist mailer targeting Curran that featuring Latino gang members. In the end, it wasn't enough, and Curran will become Nassau County's first female executive and only the second Democrat in decades. Over in Hempstead, the forces that Kornacki described that helped tear the Nassau County GOP down at the end of the 20th Century repeated themselves. [...]



With one fantastic victory, Democrats flipped the Washington Senate—and turned the whole state blue

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 21:30:49 +0000

One of Tuesday's biggest wins, second only in importance to the Virginia governorship, came in Washington state, where Democrats flipped a crucial state Senate seat that gave them a majority in the chamber and, with it, control of the entire state government. Thanks to a turncoat Democrat named Tim Sheldon, Republicans had clung to a narrow 25-24 majority for years and thus stymied all manner of progressive priorities, even though Democrats have long held the state House and governor's mansion. But late last year, GOP state Sen. Andy Hill died, prompting Tuesday's special election between Democrat Manka Dhingra, the Democratic nominee, and former congressional aide Jinyoung Lee Englund, the Republican candidate, in the state's 45th District in the northeastern Seattle suburbs. This seat shifted sharply to the left last year, as Hillary Clinton carried it by a 65-28 margin following a 58-40 win for Barack Obama in 2012, presenting Democrats with the opportunity they'd been anticipating for years. But the 45th had always been amenable to Republicans with pragmatic profiles like Hill, so it was by no means a gimme, despite the presidential numbers. And as you'd expect, the GOP was determined to fight like hell to keep it, because it represented the entire ballgame: Win and maintain their roadblock or lose and go home, perhaps forever. As a result, the race became the most expensive in state history, with an astounding $10 million spent by the two campaigns and their allies. But the portents were ominous for Republicans. In the August top-two primary, in which all candidates from all parties ran together on a single ballot, Dhingra led Englund by a sizable 52 to 41 margin. While both candidates advanced to the November general election, Washington's primaries tend to be very strong predictors of the ultimate results, and indeed they were: While many votes remain to be counted, Dhingra leads Englund 55-45, and that advantage is only likely to grow. Englund hasn't yet conceded, but her hopes of pulling this one out are zero. And that means, once the results are certified next month, Democrats will take over the Senate, opening up a world of possibilities. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee says he plans to push for legislation to address climate change, including a cap-and-trade bill and a carbon tax, while state Sen. Andy Billig, who is likely to become deputy majority leader once the handover takes place, says he wants "to pass the biggest jobs bill to ever come out of Olympia." Of course, these audacious plans will still have to contend with narrow majorities and competing interests. But a new day will soon dawn in Washington, a blue state that finally has the government it deserves. [...]



Democrats had a truly epic night of wins on Tuesday—and so did Daily Kos-endorsed candidates

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 20:45:35 +0000

Democrats undeniably won huge on Tuesday night, but so did the Daily Kos community. Daily Kos supported a number of candidates and causes in yesterday’s elections—13 in total. Of the 12 Democratic contenders and one ballot measure (to expand Medicaid in Maine), our endorsed candidates were wildly successful. The majority of endorsements Daily Kos made this year were in Virginia, which makes sense, as there was quite a lot going on in the Old Dominion in 2017. We endorsed Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in his race against Ed Gillespie for the governorship; Northam romped to a massive 54-45 percent win over the Republican, and the $65,000-plus our community donated to him through more than 9,000 low-dollar contributions helped support that victory. Daily Kos’ support was not only a rebuke to Gillespie’s odious campaign tactics, which were the most racist and divisive in modern Virginia political history, but we also helped elect a progressive champion in Northam, who will now continue his fight for gun safety, abortion rights, and better education funding while combatting the extreme agenda of legislative Republicans with his veto pen. And having a Democrat in Virginia’s governor’s mansion during the next round of redistricting will prevent another Republican gerrymander of that state’s congressional and legislative districts. Daily Kos also endorsed nine Democratic challengers who ran in Republican-held districts in the Virginia House of Delegates. A record number of Democrats took on Republican incumbents this cycle—54, to be exact, out of the 66 seats held by the GOP. We endorsed nine of these challengers, many of them longer-shot races, but all featuring great candidates committed to bringing diverse perspectives and progressive values to the Capitol. The Daily Kos community supported these candidates to the tune of over $231,000 through more than 50,000 small-dollar, grassroots donations. And beyond dollars, upwards of 1,500 Daily Kos activists signed up to volunteer in these races. This support paid off in a big way. Eight of our nine candidates—Jennifer Carroll Foy, Chris Hurst, Danica Roem, Hala Ayala, Schuyler VanValkenburg, Debra Rodman, Elizabeth Guzman, and Cheryl Turpin all won their races outright, and Donte Tanner, our ninth endorsee, is likely headed to a recount in his race. These challengers were part of the most diverse slate of candidates in the state’s history, and our roster include Virginia’s first transgender lawmaker, its first two Latina lawmakers, and six of the 10 new women lawmakers in the House of Delegates. Cheryl Turpin’s victory in the 85th District brings us particular satisfaction, though. [...]



Democrats kept kicking butt in legislative special elections, too, with five flips on Tuesday night

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 20:10:44 +0000

In addition to all the regularly scheduled elections that took place on Tuesday, nearly three dozen special elections to state legislatures in 10 states were also held—and Democrats kicked some serious ass on that front, too. In all, five GOP-held seats flipped to the Democrats and none went the other way. In addition, Democrats held a difficult seat in Michigan that had flipped from Barack Obama to Donald Trump last year. The biggest of them all, by far, was the race for Washington's 45th State Senate District, which wound up flipping the chamber to Democrats, and with that, control of the entire state government. Because that race was so huge, we’ll address it in depth in a separate writeup, but the other contests are also important. Three of the seats that changed hands were in Georgia, and one was crucial. In the 6th State Senate District, which went for Hillary Clinton by a 55-40 margin, two Democrats beat out a fractured field of five Republicans to advance to a Dec. 5 runoff, guaranteeing the seat will turn blue no matter what—and breaking the GOP's supermajority in the chamber. That second round still matters, though, because attorney Jen Jordan has established herself as the bona fide progressive voice in the race while her opponent, dentist Jaha Howard, was exposed for repeatedly expressing shockingly homophobic and misogynist views on social media. Jordan edged Howard 24 percent to 23 and has the support of most local Democrats (as well as Daily Kos), so hopefully she'll ride to victory next month. (While we're pleased about this outcome, though, we still remain adamantly opposed to top-two primaries because they deprive voters of the chance to vote for candidates from their preferred party—and because next time, it'll be Democrats who get screwed in a situation like this.) Another flip came in the 119th State House District, where software engineer Jonathan Wallace was the only Democrat facing three Republicans. Wallace avoided a runoff by capturing an impressive 57 percent of the vote in a district that Trump won by a sizable 51-44 margin. Finally, in the 117th State House District, Democratic attorney Deborah Gonzalez beat Republican consultant Houston Gaines by a 53-47 margin, picking up a seat that had gone 49-46 for Trump—and one that Democrats hadn't even contested this entire decade. Until last night, Democrats had held just two Trump seats in the entire state House. Meanwhile, Democrats continued to roll in New Hampshire, where they took their fourth state House seat from Republicans this year. [...]



After stunning night, Virginia Democrats could take power in the House. They need help for recounts!

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 17:42:13 +0000

I still cannot—cannot—believe it. Heading into Tuesday, Republicans held a giant 66-34 margin in Virginia’s House of Delegates, a fortress protected by a fiendishly clever gerrymander. Thanks to the strong energy on our side, it was reasonable to think Democrats might nevertheless make some gains, but taking back power? Inconceivable. Well, as a man once said, it turns out that that word evidently doesn’t mean what I thought it means. Democrats wound up putting together their biggest election night in Virginia since 1899, and, as of this moment, they've picked up an astonishing 15 seats in the House. And a huge reason was the role of the Daily Kos community: You gave over $230,000 to the nine Virginia House candidates we endorsed, and amazingly, eight of the nine won. I’ve never been privileged to experience a night like this in the 15 years I’ve been a part of Daily Kos. Oh, and by the by, thanks to this insane surge, Republicans are clinging to just a 51-49 edge in the chamber. But we’re not done yet—oh no. Not only are provisional ballots left to be tallied, but five Republican-held seats are currently within 1 percent, meaning they’re all subject to potential recounts. If we can hold the one seat of these five where the Democrats are leading and change the outcome in one of the other four, that would put Democrats into a 50-50 tie and force the GOP into a power-sharing arrangement; flip two and we’d take the House outright. The Virginia House Democratic Caucus, which masterminded this glorious success, is currently raising funds for all of these recounts. Needless to say, they left everything on the field on Tuesday night, so they're tapped out and badly need our help—recounts are expensive. One seat is all that stands between us and one of the most dramatic electoral turnarounds in living memory, and with it, the chance to stop the GOP from passing more laws that suppress the vote, attack women’s reproductive rights, and enrich the wealthy at the expense of ordinary folks. So please give $3 right away to help Virginia Democrats win their recounts—and take the House back! [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 11/8

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 14:01:40 +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. Sign up here to receive the Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest in your inbox each weekday. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 5:35:24 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AL-Sen: Strategy Research is out with their latest poll of Alabama's Senate special election, this time on behalf of Raycom News Network. Their latest survey's results give Republican Roy Moore a 51-40 lead over Democrat Doug Jones. That margin is identical to the 52-41 edge that Moore attained in their Oct. 23 poll and the 51-40 margin he had in their Oct. 16 survey. Strategy Research has consistently given Moore larger leads than other outfits previously found, but the consensus of polls nevertheless shows Moore with a decisive advantage. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 5:51:45 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA Supreme Court: The three retention elections for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court went as we expected, though one contest was much closer than it looked. Voters voted to retain GOP Chief Justice Thomas Saylor and Democratic Justice Debra Todd 68-32 and 71-29, respectively. (Voters were asked only if they wanted to retain the incumbents or not, rather than given a choice for an alternative candidate.) GOP Justice Sally Mundy held off Democrat Dwayne Woodruff, who sits on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas and played cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, by just 52-48. Mundy had been appointed to the bench last year by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and confirmed by the GOP state Senate. Team Blue will retain their five-to-two majority, which will be incredibly important once legislative redistricting rolls around in 2021. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 5:56:34 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NY Ballot: New Yorkers voted by an astounding 83-17 margin against holding a convention to rewrite the state constitution. Under state law, this question automatically appears on the ballot every 20 years. In 1997, the last time it was up for a vote, "con-con" lost 63-37. While it's universally agreed that the state government is dysfunctional and corrupt, a broad coalition of labor, environmental, and reproductive rights organizations, as well as some conservative groups, opposed this year's proposed con-con, arguing that special interests would be able to hijack the delegate elections and shred important rights found in the constitution. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 6:03:22 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf AZ-Sen: Republican pollster HighGround Public Affairs returned to survey Arizona's 2018 Senate race, and they give Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema a 34-27 edge over former Republican state Sen. Kelly Ward. Sinema expanded her lead from her 32-31 margin in HighGround's August poll, but these results simply aren't that useful given the sky-high share of undecided voters for this open-seat race where ther[...]



Morning Digest: In massive sweep, Democrats rebuke Trump and put up best year in Virginia since 1899

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 13:01:19 +0000

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● Election Night 2017: In an astoundingly enormous night, Democrats utterly crushed Republicans in just about every major race across the country, but the exclamation point came, without any doubt, in Virginia. There, despite much fretting, Democrat Ralph Northam obliterated Republican Ed Gillespie by a dominant 54-45 margin, far exceeding the polls, which averaged out to just a 3-point Northam lead. Not only was this the biggest Democratic win in a governor's race in the Old Dominion since 1985, it showed just how toxic Donald Trump is to suburban voters—and just how badly Gillespie's openly racist message failed. But the victories hardly stopped there. Democrats also held Virginia's two other statewide posts, as Justin Fairfax won the open lieutenant governorship and Mark Herring was re-elected as attorney general, both by 53-47 margins. Downballot, though, was the scene of an even bigger, historic, and downright epic bloodbath, and perhaps the biggest harbinger for 2018. Republicans entered the night with an enormous 66-34 advantage in the Virginia House of Delegates, but Democrats smashed all expectations and had picked up a monster 15 seats by the time we put the Digest to bed—the biggest Democratic year since 1899. That shrunk the GOP's edge to just 51-49, and some late-breaking races could yet go the Democrats' way (though some recounts may also be in store), potentially setting the party up to take over the chamber—an outcome no one could have imagined or dared to predict. Republicans in the U.S. House should be very worried. Oh, but we're not done yet—not at all. Democrats also picked up New Jersey's governorship, with Democrat Phil Murphy socking it to Republican Kim Guadagno by a hefty 56-42 margin, and held both chambers of the state legislature, even picking up a few seats. That once again gives Democrats complete control of state government, the so-called "trifecta," and the chance to enact progressive policies long thwarted by outgoing Gov. Chris Christie. Enjoy the beach! On the mayoral front, Democrats did very well, too. In Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire, Democrat Joyce Craig unseated Republican Ted Gatsas, a longtime incumbent, by a 53-47 spread, giving Democrats the mayoralty for the first time since 2003. Two years ago, Gatsas beat Joyce by 85 votes to win re-election. In St. Petersburg, Florida, meanwhile, Democratic Mayor Rick Kriseman held off Republican Rick Baker, a popular former mayor, winning a second term 52-48. And in Charlotte, North Carolina, Democrat Vi Lyles trounced Republican Kenny Smith 59-41, making her the city's first African-American woman mayor. Finally, in Maine, progressive[...]



Daily Kos Elections Nov. 7, 2017 liveblog final thread

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 04:30:54 +0000

It's Election Day in America! We’ve spent the evening liveblogging the results of all the key races nationwide and tweeting as well. You can also review the top contests on our new election results big board. In addition, we’ve put together a list of key resources you’ll want to keep open as you scan tonight’s returns: Hour-by-hour guide to the major races Cheat-sheet listing all competitive elections, with poll closing times Virginia county benchmarks, to see if candidates are hitting their targets Summary preview of legislative special elections Results: VA (state, AP) | GA | ME | NJ | NY | PA | UT | WA Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 4:40:04 AM +00:00 · David Nir xDAILY KOS BIG BOARD11:30 pm updateLast one of the night - check back in the days ahead for uncalled races https://t.co/AAnmhefAfA pic.twitter.com/MFne7fnOTO— David Beard (@dwbeard) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 4:52:30 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser For those just coming in from apolitical pursuits, you missed, I think it is fair to say, one hell of a night. Let’s recap the highlights: Democrats won the trifecta in Virginia, sweeping all three statewide offices. Ralph Northam’s victory was not an upset, but the margin certainly was: Northam’s 54-45 win was the biggest Democratic margin of victory in over three decades. Democrat Justin Fairfax became the second African-American statewide elected official in Virginia history, defeating Republican Jill Vogel for the post of Lt. Governor by a 53-47 margin. In the attorney general’s race, there will be no need for multi-day hyperventilating for Mark Herring. The Democrat, who needed a recount to win in 2013, was safely re-elected over Republican John Adams (53-47). The upset was not the much-rumored (and totally bogus) Gillespie “surge”, it was the Democrats in the Virginia legislature. Recounts will tell the final story, but Democrats now appear to have gained no less than 15 seats in the House of Delegates, as Donte Tanner appears to have scored a huge upset over Del. Tim Hugo in HD-40. Recounts elsewhere could net two additional seats for the Democrats. If that happens, Democrats may well do the unthinkable, wrest control of the House of Delegates away. Remember, at the start of the day, the GOP held a 66-34 edge in the chamber. Democrats claimed another chamber tonight, as a special election victory for Manka Dhingra in Washington’s 45th Senate district handed control of that chamber to the Democrats. They now have the legislative trifecta in the Evergreen State. Meanwhile, the Democrats got another trifecta, by finally ending the 8-year Chris Christie nightmare in New Jersey. Democrat Phil Murphy scored an easy 56-42 win over Republican Kim Guadagno. Democrats also extended their legislative majorities in both chambers of the New Jersey legislature. Democrats also scored a pair of unex[...]



Democrats gain total control over two more state governments with New Jersey and Washington

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 04:21:34 +0000

After hitting a historic low in the 2016 elections, Democrats have rebounded in a big way at the state level in 2017. With Democratic Phil Murphy’s victory in New Jersey’s gubernatorial contest and Democrat Manka Dhingra’s win in Washington’s pivotal 45th state Senate District, Democrats have gained complete control over both legislative chambers and the governor’s office in two more states, as shown on the map above (see here for a larger version).

Just as importantly, Democrat Ralph Northam won by a surprisingly large margin in the race to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. Even more shockingly, Team Blue’s double-digit gain of seats could even tip the state House of Delegates to a tie or narrow Democratic majority, overcoming an extreme Republican gerrymander that had left the GOP with 66 of 100 seats heading into this election. These Democratic victories denied the GOP its goal of gaining complete control of a key swing state.

These elections set the stage for further Democratic comebacks in the 2018 elections, when the vast majority of state legislative and gubernatorial offices will be on the ballot.

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Daily Kos Elections Nov. 7, 2017 liveblog thread #9

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:56:07 +0000

It's Election Day in America! We'll be liveblogging the results of all the key races nationwide and tweeting as well. You can also track the top contests on our new election results big board. In addition, we’ve put together a list of key resources you’ll want to keep open as you follow the returns: Hour-by-hour guide to the major races Cheat-sheet listing all competitive elections, with poll closing times Virginia county benchmarks, to see if candidates are hitting their targets Summary preview of legislative special elections Results: VA (state, AP) | GA | ME | NJ | NY | PA | UT | WA Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 4:06:16 AM +00:00 · David Nir Just tuning in and need to catch up quickly on all the amazingness? Check out our Big Board! xDAILY KOS BIG BOARD10:30 update Control of House of Delegates looks headed to recounts https://t.co/AAnmhefAfA pic.twitter.com/fmF781z1iN— David Beard (@dwbeard) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 4:20:17 AM +00:00 · David Jarman Washington state Senate: There’s also very good news out of Washington, where the special election in SD-45 decides control of the currently GOP-held Senate. (The GOP had a one seat majority thanks to a rural Dem who caucuses with them. Democratic candidate Manka Dhingra leads Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund 55-45, in this affluent suburban district that’s very blue at the presidential level but likes moderate Republicans at the state level. Washington is a vote-by-mail state where the count takes a long time to complete, but given the size of the margin and the way that (unlike Seattle municipal races) the numbers tend not to budge much as the days of counting go on, this is almost certainly going to go in Dhingra’s favor (and the DLCC has already called the race). This means that Democrats have regained the trifecta in Washington, where they already control the state House and the governor’s chair. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 4:25:05 AM +00:00 · David Jarman Seattle mayor: Seattle’s non-partisan mayoral race was a very civil affair between two different flavors of progressive: former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan and urban planner/activist Cary Moon. Durkan (the more establishment-linked of the two) is winning after the first ballot drop by a large 61-39 margin. Seattle, however, is notorious for the more left-ish candidate closing the gap as the count goes on (as apparently younger voters tend to wait until the end to mail their ballots), so expect the race to get closer. But the gap seems extremely large for Moon to have an[...]



Daily Kos Elections Nov. 7, 2017 liveblog thread #8

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 03:12:46 +0000

It's Election Day in America! We'll be liveblogging the results of all the key races nationwide and tweeting as well. You can also track the top contests on our new election results big board. In addition, we’ve put together a list of key resources you’ll want to keep open as you follow the returns: Hour-by-hour guide to the major races Cheat-sheet listing all competitive elections, with poll closing times Virginia county benchmarks, to see if candidates are hitting their targets Summary preview of legislative special elections Results: VA (state, AP) | GA | ME | NJ | NY | PA | UT | WA Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:16:32 AM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf ME Ballot: The AP has called it for the “Yes” side in Maine’s Question 2, which will make it the first state to expand Medicaid coverage via a ballot initiative. The measure is leading 59-41 with 68 percent of precincts reporting. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:17:13 AM +00:00 · David Nir Man, it's been almost a clean sweep for Democrats. Latest and greatest summary right here: xDAILY KOS BIG BOARD10:00 pm updateShout out to the co-runners of the big board @donnermaps@Tanielhttps://t.co/AAnmhefAfA pic.twitter.com/eQSVpHCNZ9— David Beard (@dwbeard) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:23:55 AM +00:00 · David Nir Outside of Virginia, we’re still keeping an eye on a bunch of races, three of which are classic D vs. R contests: PA Supreme Court, Nassau County, NY executive, and Westchester County, NY executive. There are several mayoral races still up, including Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Toledo, and Seattle, as well as an interesting race for city clerk in Detroit. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:26:13 AM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf PA Supreme Court: With 64 percent reporting, Democrat Dwayne Woodruff leads appointed Republican incumbent Sallie Mundy by just 51-49. Unfortunately, the biggest Democratic strongholds of Philadelphia and Allegheny County have already almost entirely reported. There’s a strong chance Mundy closes the gap once redder areas of the state fully report in. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:31:54 AM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf Westchester County, NY Executive: Democratic challenger George Latimer is holding onto an early 59-41 lead against Republican incumbent Rob Astorino with 22 percent reporting. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:34:30 AM +00:00 · David Nir Um, holy crap. From the executive director of the DLCC: xFlipping 14 seats from red to blue in VA is the biggest Democratic pick-up since 1899.— Jessica Post (@JessicaPost) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:39:36 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA House: Almost inconceivable, but we might be a recount in a race decided by 12 votes away from a Democratic majority in the Virginia House. Sinc[...]



Daily Kos Elections Nov. 7, 2017 liveblog thread #7

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 02:38:20 +0000

It's Election Day in America! We'll be liveblogging the results of all the key races nationwide and tweeting as well. You can also track the top contests on our new election results big board. In addition, we’ve put together a list of key resources you’ll want to keep open as you follow the returns: Hour-by-hour guide to the major races Cheat-sheet listing all competitive elections, with poll closing times Virginia county benchmarks, to see if candidates are hitting their targets Summary preview of legislative special elections Results: VA (state, AP) | GA | ME | NJ | NY | PA | UT | WA Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:41:27 AM +00:00 · David Nir Your quickest summary of tonight’s awesomeness: xDAILY KOS BIG BOARD9:30 pm 20 Blue Checks2 Red Checkshttps://t.co/AAnmhefAfA pic.twitter.com/V0J0GcprOF— David Beard (@dwbeard) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:45:53 AM +00:00 · David Nir VA House: The Democrats who have flipped seats so far in Virginia. Asterisks denote Daily Kos endorsees! HD-02: Jennifer Carroll Foy * HD-10: Wendy Gooditis HD-12: Chris Hurst * HD-13: Danica Roem * HD-21: Kelly Convirs-Fowler HD-31: Elizabeth Guzman * HD-32: David Reid HD-42: Kathy Tran HD-50: Lee Carter HD-51: Hala Ayala * HD-67: Karrie Delaney HD-72: Schuyler VanValkenburg * Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:52:38 AM +00:00 · David Jarman New Jersey legislature: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the carnage downballot in New Jersey as well. In the state Senate, Democrats are currently leading in 4 seats that were GOP-held: by a wide margin in the 7th (which was an open seat), and narrowly in the 11th, 16th, and 25th (which have incumbents). If that holds, that’ll push the Dem edge in the Senate to a whopping 28-12. In the state Assembly (where each district elects two members), there are also four districts where one or both GOP incumbents are losing: the 8th, 25th, 26th, and 40th. (Also, Assembly minority leader John Bramnick is barely hanging on in the 21st.) Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:54:59 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA House: So, here is the situation: the Democrats already have welcomed 12 new members into their caucus next year. Congrats to: Jennifer Carroll-Foy (HD-02), Wendy Gooditis (HD-10), Chris Hurst (HD-12), Danica Roem (HD-13), Kelly Convirs-Fowler (HD-21), Elizabeth Guzman (HD-31), David Reid (HD-32), Kathy Tran (HD-42), Lee Carter (HD-50), Hala Ayala (HD-51), Karrie Delaney (HD-67), and Schuyler VanValkenburg (HD-72). Now, here is where it gets good. There are still a total of seven seats in play, all GOP-held. At last check, the Democrats led in four of them: HD-28 (95% in): Roxann Robinson (R) leads by 138 votes HD-40 (91% in): Donte Tanner (D) leads by 125 votes HD-68 (93%[...]



What an enormous night! Democrats rack up massive victories in Virginia's House of Delegates

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 02:28:52 +0000

Alongside Democrat Ralph Northam’s much-wider-than-expected victory margin in Virginia’s critical gubernatorial race against Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrats have also scored shockingly huge gains in Virginia’s state House of Delegates. So far tonight, Team Blue has picked up an astounding 14 seats, with many gains coming in well-educated suburban seats where Donald Trump has proven toxic. The Democratic flips include: HD-02: Jennifer Carroll Foy * HD-10: Wendy Gooditis HD-12: Chris Hurst * HD-13: Danica Roem * HD-21: Kelly Convirs-Fowler HD-31: Elizabeth Guzman * HD-32: David Reid HD-42: Kathy Tran HD-50: Lee Carter HD-51: Hala Ayala * HD-67: Karrie Delaney HD-68: Dawn Adams HD-72: Schuyler VanValkenburg * HD-73: Debra Rodman * Asterisks denote Daily Kos endorsees—candidates we were very proud to support! Republicans held a massive 66-34 advantage in the House heading into Tuesday night, but we’re not done counting votes yet, and more Democratic wins may be on the way. Stay tuned! Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 3:40:03 AM +00:00 · David Nir Holy smokes: xFlipping 14 seats from red to blue in VA is the biggest Democratic pick-up since 1899.— Jessica Post (@JessicaPost) November 8, 2017 [...]



Daily Kos Elections Nov. 7, 2017 liveblog thread #6

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 02:13:32 +0000

It's Election Day in America! We'll be liveblogging the results of all the key races nationwide and tweeting as well. You can also track the top contests on our new election results big board. In addition, we’ve put together a list of key resources you’ll want to keep open as you follow the returns: Hour-by-hour guide to the major races Cheat-sheet listing all competitive elections, with poll closing times Virginia county benchmarks, to see if candidates are hitting their targets Summary preview of legislative special elections Results: VA (state, AP) | GA | ME | NJ | NY | PA | UT | WA Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:16:31 AM +00:00 · David Nir Democrats have been crushing it across the board, with huge wins in VA-Gov, VA-LG, VA-AG, the Virginia House of Delegates (10 pickups!), NJ-Gov and elsewhere. More to come! Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:19:41 AM +00:00 · David Nir VA House: The districts Democrats have flipped so far: 2, 10, 12, 13, 21, 31, 32, 42, 50 & 51. To put this in context, the next-best year Democrats have had in the last decade (and probably a lot longer) was 2007, when they flipped all of four seats. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:21:50 AM +00:00 · David Nir Chuckle: xNow we have to build a statue of Ed Gillespie, otherwise how will future generations know who lost this election? https://t.co/EsyENT6tKe— Patrick Burgwinkle (@Burgwinkle) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:23:02 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA House: Looks like a few of the races that was on the target list for the Democrats will be going to a recount. In HD-94, Republican David Yancey came from behind to claim a lead of just 48 votes (0.21%), with only absentees left to count. Meanwhile, in HD-40, Democrat Donte Tanner appears to have edged longtime GOP incumbent Del. Tim Hugo. He leads by 125 votes with only absentees left to count. Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:27:58 AM +00:00 · David Nir xI see some commentary on why Gillespie lost that seems disconnected from what just happened.He did really well in white rural Virginia! He's going to outperform Romney, Cucc in all sorts of areas.He was *annihilated* in the suburbs.— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 8, 2017 Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 · 2:31:48 AM +00:00 · Steve Singiser VA House: Three other key races and potential pickups f[...]