Subscribe: Swing State Project
http://feeds.feedburner.com/SwingStateProject
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
daily kos  democratic  democrats  district  gop  house  primary  republican  republicans  seat  senate  state  trump  year 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Swing State Project

Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:17:00 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:17:00 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



Voter suppression and anti-union laws work in tandem when the GOP takes over a state's government

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:00:44 +0000

Following the 2016 elections, Republicans gained complete control over the state governments of Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, and New Hampshire. They have swiftly used their newfound power to attempt anti-union legislation in all four states, while Republicans have plotted a slew of new measures intended to make voting more difficult. These aren’t isolated incidents, nor are the two sets of policies unrelated. As Demos’ Sean McElwee details in an extensive recent report, voter suppression, anti-union laws, and gerrymandering are part of a coordinated multi-state effort to eviscerate the Democratic Party’s organizational strength.

Since their 2010 midterm wave election, Republicans gained power in a multitude of states across America. Since that election determined control over redistricting, Republicans were able to implement ruthless gerrymanders that locked Democrats out of power in both Congress and myriad state legislatures. The GOP additionally passed new restrictions on voting itself. Several battleground states in the crucial Midwest also enacted laws that will likely undermine union power by limiting their bargaining rights or their ability to secure dues-paying members.

Taken together, these measures are a nationally planned attack on the Democratic Party’s capacity to organize opposition to Republicans. The GOP intends to make voting more difficult for Democratic-leaning demographics, to have Democratic votes matter less than Republican ones, and to prevent a key progressive constituency from being able to mobilize workers to turn out and vote according to their class interests.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/23

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:00:38 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Thursday, Mar 23, 2017 · 3:08:38 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer AL-Gov: There are plenty of Republicans eyeing this seat next year, but not surprisingly, only a few Democrats have talked about running in this very red state. However, it sounds like one of the people we speculated would run as a Republican is actually a Democrat. Mark Johnston, who recently finished a 26 year stint as the executive director of Camp McDowell, a large camp affiliated with the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, has expressed interest in running for governor, though he didn’t say what party he’d run with. However, the Daily Mountain Eagle identifies Johnston as a Democrat, and in a recent interview with Bham Now, Johnston sure doesn’t sound like a Republican. While Johnston did not say what his party affiliation was, he notably referred to the Republicans in the third person, declaring that if he becomes governor, he “will work with Republicans because I want to.” Bham Now also identified Johnston as “a leader in Alabama’s conservation and nature education communities for decades,” which is also not exactly something you can say about many Republicans. (Hat-tip terjeanderson). A few other candidates have made noises about running as Democrats. State House Minority Leader Craig Ford expressed interest back in October, while ex-state Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb and 2014 nominee and ex-Rep. Parker Griffith, a Democrat-turned Republican-turned independent-turned Democrat, have also talked about getting in. Plenty of Democrats would love for Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox to run, but he’s given no indication that he’s interested. It’s going to be incredibly tough for any Democrat to win next year, but it’s possible Team Blue will have an opening if they can run as an antidote to state GOP corruption. Thursday, Mar 23, 2017 · 3:23:47 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CO-Gov: This week, ex-Sen. Ken Salazar announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for this open seat next year. If Salazar had gotten in, the former secretary of the interior would likely have scared off many other Democratic candidates. However, the longtime political insider could have been vulnerable in a primary, so it’s unlikely he would have cleared the field. Right now, the only two declared Democratic contenders are ex-state Sen. Mike Johnston and businessman Noel Ginsburg, but that may change soon. Rep. Ed Perlmutter has been considering getting in, and his own decision was reportedly dependent, at least in part, on what Salazar did. Now that Salazar had made his plans clear, we may see some movement from Perlmutter sooner rather than later. Former state Treasurer Cary Kennedy, who completed a stint as Denver’s chief financial officer and deputy mayor last year, didn’t rule out a bid in early 2016, and she’s reportedly still considering. State Sen. Michael Merrifield and state Rep. Steve Lebsock have talked about running. We may also see some more Democratic candidates come out of the woodwork now that Salazar is out. Thursday, Mar 23, 2017 · 3:44:02 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer GA-Gov: House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is reportedly planning to run for the Democratic nomination next year, and 2014 nominee and ex-state Sen. Jason Carter has expressed interest in another bid. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that state Rep. Stacey Evans is “seriously” considering, though Evans has yet to say anything publicly. Evans, who is known for trying to restore funding cuts to the HOPE scholarship program, is a Carter ally, and the two are unl[...]



Morning Digest: Washington Democrats might retake the state Senate as soon as this November

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:00:34 +0000

Leading Off

Pres-by-LD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Washington, where one rogue Democrat gives the GOP control of the state Senate and where Democrats have a bare state House majority. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here.

Each of the Evergreen State's 49 legislative districts has two state representatives and one state senator. The two House members are each elected every two years: Candidates must choose whether to run for the position one or position two seat (also known as the A or B seat). The two House seats, as well as the Senate seat, have identical boundaries. Senators are elected to four-year terms, with half the chamber up every two years. Candidates run on one ballot in the August primary and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election in each race.

Hillary Clinton carried Washington 54-38, a similar margin as Barack Obama's 56-41 win four years before, and she took 30 of the 34 legislative seats that Obama won; Trump carried all of the Romney districts. Washington's legislative and congressional lines were drawn up by a bipartisan commission, and they don't seem to have favored either party. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. This district backed Clinton 53-39, just a little to the right of her statewide performance.

But despite Clinton's clear win, Democrats have only a nominal 25-24 majority in the Senate. But state Sen. Tim Sheldon, who has repeatedly been elected as a Democrat, is allied with the GOP, and his vote allows Team Red to run the chamber. The state House has a tiny 50-48 Democratic majority but since there are no defectors, Democrat Frank Chopp sits in the speaker's chair.

We'll start with a look at the state Senate. Seven Republicans hold Clinton seats, while only one mainstream Democrat represents Trump territory. That Democrat is Dean Takko, whose southwestern LD-19 swung from 54-44 Obama all the way to 51-42 Trump. Takko had served as a state representative and was appointed to the Senate in 2015 after the incumbent took another job. Takko won the 2016 election 55-45, and the seat won't be up again until 2020.

(image)



Despite Clinton's easy win in Washington, a rogue Democrat keeps the GOP in power in the Senate

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 18:32:27 +0000

Daily Kos Election’s project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits the state of Washington, where one rogue Democrat gives the GOP control of the state Senate and where Democrats have a bare state House majority. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here.

Each of the Evergreen State’s 49 legislative districts has two state representatives and one state senator. The two House members are each elected every two years: Candidates must choose whether to run for the position one or position two seat (also known as the A or B seat). The two House seats, as well as the Senate seat, have identical boundaries. Senators are elected to four-year terms, with half the chamber up every two years. Candidates run on one ballot in the August primary and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election in each race.

Hillary Clinton carried Washington 54-38, a similar margin as Barack Obama’s 56-41 win four years before, and she took 30 of the 34 legislative seats that Obama won; Trump carried all of the Romney districts. Washington’s legislative and congressional lines were drawn up by a bipartisan commission, and they don’t seem to have favored either party. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. This district backed Clinton 53-39, just a little to the right of her statewide performance. But despite Clinton’s clear win, Democrats have only a nominal 25-24 majority in the Senate. But state Sen. Tim Sheldon, who has repeatedly been elected as a Democrat, is allied with the GOP, and his vote allows Team Red to run the chamber. The state House has a tiny 50-48 Democratic majority but since there are no defectors, Democrat Frank Chopp sits in the speaker’s chair.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/22

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 13:00:40 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Wednesday, Mar 22, 2017 · 6:27:08 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-LD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits Washington, where one rogue Democrat gives the GOP control of the state Senate and where Democrats have a bare state House majority. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. Each of the Evergreen State’s 49 legislative districts has two state representatives and one state senator. The two House members are each elected every two years: Candidates must choose whether to run for the position one or position two seat (also known as the A or B seat). The two House seats, as well as the Senate seat, have identical boundaries. Senators are elected to four-year terms, with half the chamber up every two years. Candidates run on one ballot in the August primary and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election in each race. Hillary Clinton carried Washington 54-38, a similar margin as Barack Obama’s 56-41 win four years before, and she took 30 of the 34 legislative seats that Obama won; Trump carried all of the Romney districts. Washington’s legislative and congressional lines were drawn up by a bipartisan commission, and they don’t seem to have favored either party. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. This district backed Clinton 53-39, just a little to the right of her statewide performance. But despite Clinton’s clear win, Democrats have only a nominal 25-24 majority in the Senate. But state Sen. Tim Sheldon, who has repeatedly been elected as a Democrat, is allied with the GOP, and his vote allows Team Red to run the chamber. The state House has a tiny 50-48 Democratic majority but since there are no defectors, Democrat Frank Chopp sits in the speaker’s chair. We’ll start with a look at the state Senate. Seven Republicans hold Clinton seats, while only one mainstream Democrat represents Trump territory. That Democrat is Dean Takko, whose southwestern LD-19 swung from 54-44 Obama all the way to 51-42 Trump. Takko had served as a state representative and was appointed to the Senate in 2015 after the incumbent took another job. Takko won the 2016 election 55-45, and the seat won’t be up again until 2020. Renegade Democrat Tim Sheldon’s LD-35, which is located west or Tacoma, swung from 51-46 Obama to 47-44 Trump. However, Democrats may have a Sheldon-proof majority a year before the 2018 elections. Last year, Republican state Sen. Andy Hill died of lung cancer, and there will be a special election in November of 2017 for his old LD-45. This seat, which is located east of Seattle, went from 58-40 Obama all the way to 65-28 Clinton, making it the bluest GOP-held seat in either chamber. Republican Dino Rossi, who ran for governor in 2004 and 2008 and the U.S. Senate in 2010, was appointed to replace Hill, but Rossi says he’s not interested in running in the special. Democrats have consolidated behind prosecutor Manka Dhingra, while it’s unclear whom the GOP will field. If Democrats can flip this seat, they’ll have control of the Senate for the first time since Sheldon and now-former state Sen. Rodney Tom launched their coup in late 2012. LD-45 will be up again in the fall of 2018, and Democrats have a few other GOP-held Senate seats they can target next year. LD-30, held by Republican Mark Miloscia (a former Democratic state representative) went from 59-39 Obama to 57-36 Clinton. LD-47, represented by Republican Joe Fain, went from 56-42 Obama to 54-38 Clint[...]



Morning Digest: The one-and-only Sharron Angle launches longshot primary against Rep. Mark Amodei

Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:00:40 +0000

Leading Off ● NV-02: On Tuesday, tea partying ex-Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who is best known for losing the legendary 2010 U.S. Senate race to Democrat Harry Reid, announced that she would challenge GOP Rep. Mark Amodei in the primary for the 2nd Congressional District. Trump carried this northern Nevada seat 52-40, but Angle could give Team Blue an opening if she upsets Amodei. However, Angle lost last year's Senate primary to party favorite Joe Heck by a brutal 65-23 margin, so that's a massive if. Angle is running as a Trump ally but Amodei served as Trump's state chairman, so she'll likely have a tough time portraying the incumbent as insufficiently pro-Donald. Amodei is considering leaving this seat behind to run for state attorney general and Angle would almost certainly have a better shot in a crowded open seat race, but she doesn't seem to have many allies left even in Nevada's far-right political community. Still, even if this bid goes as badly for Angle as her last campaign did, we'll always have our many memories of the former assemblywoman. Angle ran for the last version of this House district in 2006 and almost took the GOP nod, losing the open seat race to now-Sen. Dean Heller just 36-35. Angle rose to national prominence four years later when she rallied support from influential tea party groups to win the primary to face then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who appeared to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in the nation. However, Angle's career soon took off in the wrong direction. Angle made a ton of avoidable mistakes during her Senate campaign, including (but not limited to) telling several Hispanic students that "some of you look a little more Asian to me;" suggesting that Sharia law rather than the U.S. Constitution applied in the cities of Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas (a place that hasn't existed in decades); and falsely saying that terrorists had come to the U.S. through Canada. Angle lost 50-45 but a few months later, she flirted with running for president. Angle soon faded into obscurity and tried to revive her political career last year when she launched her Senate bid at the last minute. But Angle raised almost no money and attracted no major outside help, and she got flattened by Joe Heck. [...]



Infamous 2010 Nevada Senate loser Sharron Angle launches longshot primary against Rep. Mark Amodei

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 15:58:31 +0000

On Tuesday, tea partying ex-Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who is best known for losing the legendary 2010 U.S. Senate race to Democrat Harry Reid, announced that she would challenge GOP Rep. Mark Amodei in the primary for the 2nd Congressional District. Trump carried this northern Nevada seat 52-40, but Angle could give Team Blue an opening if she upsets Amodei. However, Angle lost last year’s Senate primary to party favorite Joe Heck by a brutal 65-23 margin, so that’s a massive if. Angle is running as a Trump ally but Amodei served as Trump’s state chairman, so she’ll likely have a tough time portraying the incumbent as insufficiently pro-Donald. Amodei is considering leaving this seat behind to run for state attorney general and Angle would almost certainly have a better shot in a crowded open seat race, but she doesn’t seem to have many allies left even in Nevada’s far-right political community. Still, even if this bid goes as badly for Angle as her last campaign did, we’ll always have our many memories of the former assemblywoman. Angle ran for the last version of this House district in 2006 and almost took the GOP nod, losing the open seat race to now-Sen. Dean Heller just 36-35. Angle rose to national prominence four years later when she rallied support from influential tea party groups and won the primary to face then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who appeared to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in the nation. However, Angle’s career soon took off in the wrong direction. Angle made a ton of avoidable mistakes during her Senate campaign, including (but not limited to) telling several Hispanic students that "some of you look a little more Asian to me;" suggesting that Sharia law rather than the U.S. Constitution applied in the cities of Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas, (a place that hasn’t existed in decades); and falsely saying that terrorists had come to the U.S. through Canada. Angle lost 50-45 but a few months later, she flirted with running for president. Angle soon faded into obscurity and tried to revive her political career last year when she launched her Senate bid at the last minute. But Angle raised almost no money and attracted no major outside help, and she got flattened by Joe Heck. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/21

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:00:42 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 · 3:55:15 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NV-02: On Tuesday, tea partying ex-Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, who is best known for losing the legendary 2010 U.S. Senate race to Democrat Harry Reid, announced that she would challenge GOP Rep. Mark Amodei in the primary for the 2nd Congressional District. Trump carried this northern Nevada seat 52-40, but Angle could give Team Blue an opening if she upsets Amodei. However, Angle lost last year’s Senate primary to party favorite Joe Heck by a brutal 65-23 margin, so that’s a massive if. Angle is running as a Trump ally but Amodei served as Trump’s state chairman, so she’ll likely have a tough time portraying the incumbent as insufficiently pro-Donald. Amodei is considering leaving this seat behind to run for state attorney general and Angle would almost certainly have a better shot in a crowded open seat race, but she doesn’t seem to have many allies left even in Nevada’s far-right political community. Still, even if this bid goes as badly for Angle as her last campaign did, we’ll always have our many memories of the former assemblywoman. Angle ran for the last version of this House district in 2006 and almost took the GOP nod, losing the open seat race to now-Sen. Dean Heller just 36-35. Angle rose to national prominence four years later when she rallied support from influential tea party groups won the primary to face then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who appeared to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats in the nation. However, Angle’s career soon took off in the wrong direction. Angle made a ton of avoidable mistakes during her Senate campaign, including (but not limited to) telling several Hispanic students that "some of you look a little more Asian to me;" suggesting that Sharia law rather than the U.S. Constitution applied in the cities of Dearborn, Michigan, and Frankford, Texas (a place that hasn’t existed in decades); and falsely saying that terrorists had come to the U.S. through Canada. Angle lost 50-45 but a few months later, she flirted with running for president. Angle soon faded into obscurity and tried to revive her political career last year when she launched her Senate bid at the last minute. But Angle raised almost no money and attracted no major outside help, and she got flattened by Joe Heck. Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 · 4:13:32 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-Sen: On behalf of the conservative Florida Chamber of Commerce, the GOP pollster Cherry Communications takes a look at the hypothetical matchup between Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and GOP Gov. Rick Scott, and gives Nelson a 48-42 lead. This is the third poll we’ve seen this month pitting the two against each other, and the results have been quite consistent so far. A University of North Florida poll gave Nelson a 44-38 edge, while Mason-Dixon had Nelson leading 46-41. It’s always better to have an early lead than an early deficit but as wary Democrats will remember, early polls gave Charlie Crist a double-digit edge over Scott in the 2014 gubernatorial contest, and Scott didn’t lead in any public surveys until early April of 2014. Tuesday, Mar 21, 2017 · 4:22:08 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IN-Sen: Okay, then. A few days ago, freshman GOP Rep. Jim Banks said he would discuss a possible bid against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly with his family in a few months. But on Monday, Banks told Roll Call’s Simone Pathé, “No, I'm not running for Senate next year.” However, a different member of the Hoosier State’s House delegation isn’t sending mixed signals. Rep. Luke Messer recently said that he would decide in a couple of months, but this week, Messer announced t[...]



Morning Digest: Wealthy Trumpesque Rep. Jim Renacci joins crowded GOP primary for Ohio governor

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 12:00:40 +0000

Leading Off

OH-Gov: Rep. Jim Renacci has long been considering seeking the Republican nomination for Ohio's open 2018 governor's race, and he announced that he would indeed run on Monday. Renacci first won election to Ohio's northeastern 16th District in 2010, and the former businessman is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, meaning he has the ability to self-fund millions for a campaign if he chooses to.

In case there were any doubt about whether the congressman would tie himself to Donald Trump, he played up his business background and attacked career politicians in his announcement video, and he has a very Trump-like campaign website name and logo of "Ohio First" in case the comparisons weren't clear enough. Renacci stood out from his fellow Ohio Republicans like term-limited Gov. John Kasich when he fervently supported Trump's campaign last year, which could endear him to primary voters now that Trump remains overwhelmingly popular with Republican partisans.

Should Renacci secure the GOP nomination, he might ironically end up facing a rematch against former Rep. Betty Sutton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. Renacci narrowly defeated Sutton in 2012 after the Republican gerrymander sliced up her old district and placed her in a more Republican-leaning seat with Renacci. The Republican field to succeed Kasich has become fairly crowded with Renacci's entrance. Already running are Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and state Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is also a former senator, while Secretary of State Jon Husted is also seen as a likely candidate.

(image)



Court gives voting rights a major victory by blocking the North Carolina GOP's attempted power grab

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 20:09:49 +0000

After Democrat Roy Cooper ousted then-GOP Gov. Pat McCrory in 2016, North Carolina’s Republican legislature used their illegally gerrymandered majority to engage in a flagrantly undemocratic power grab in a lame-duck session right before McCrory left office. Among their many changes, they removed the governor’s authority to name all members on every state and county elections board to prevent Democrats from gaining control of them. Late on Friday, a state court panel ruled that this change violated the state constitution’s separation of powers, dealing a major victory for voting rights.

Under McCrory, Republicans had used their majorities on the state and county boards to ram through a slew of voter suppression efforts in tandem with a voting law so restrictive that a court said it targeted black voters “with almost surgical precision.” These boards cut early voting hours and limited the locations where it would be offered. They also redrew precinct boundaries and moved polling places away from locations such as college campuses and predominantly black communities. These changes were all part of an attempt to make it more difficult or time-consuming for Democratic-leaning demographics to cast a ballot.

The governor appoints all members of each board under the current law, while their party is limited to a one-seat majority. Republicans had attempted to create even-numbered boards where the legislature would pick half the members and the parties would be evenly divided. Their change also required a supermajority to take action, while they gave Republicans the chairmanships during state and federal election years. Doing so would have allowed Republicans to veto any of Gov. Cooper’s efforts to have the boards undo any of McCrory’s voter suppression efforts, but new Democratic majorities hopefully will now be able to do so soon.

(image)



Republican pollster gives Jon Ossoff some good news in Georgia special election

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 19:17:39 +0000

(image)

On behalf of the blog ZPolitics, the conservative pollster Clout Research is out with its second survey of the April 18 all-party primary for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. The numbers are below, with the results of their February poll in parenthesis:

Investigative documentary maker Jon Ossoff (D): 41 (32)

Ex-Secretary of State Karen Handel (R): 16 (25)

Businessman Bob Gray (R): 16 (11)

State Sen. Judson Hill (R): 9 (9)

Ex-state Sen. Dan Moody (R): 5 (2)

Ex-state Sen. Ron Slotin (D): 3 (not tested in February)

Certified public accountant David Abroms (R): 2 (not tested in February)

Businessman Bruce LeVell (R): 1 (1)

In the likely event that no one takes a majority of the vote in April, the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, will advance to a June runoff. According to this poll, Jon Ossoff looks very well-positioned to reach the runoff, while Karen Handel’s stock has dropped a bit. By contrast, rich guy Bob Gray, a Trump supporter who literally attempted to drain a swamp in one of his ads, could edge out Handel for the second runoff spot.

But there’s one number Democrats will very much like.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/20

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 13:00:43 +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 Monday, Mar 20, 2017 · 3:49:11 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IN-Sen: GOP Reps. Luke Messer and Todd Rokita both sound very interested in challenging Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly next year, and a third member of the House delegation isn’t saying no. Rep. Jim Banks, who was elected last year, declined to rule out a bid back in December before he was even sworn in, but he went silent afterwards. But Banks tells WIBC that, while he’s totally not thinking about the race, he plans to talk about it with his family after everyone’s had time to adjust to his commute to D.C. During his last campaign, Banks earned the support of powerful anti-establishment groups like the Club for Growth, but there’s no guarantee that they’d back him if he ran for the Senate. Monday, Mar 20, 2017 · 3:56:03 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf OH-Gov: Rep. Jim Renacci has long been considering seeking the Republican nomination for Ohio’s open 2018 governor’s race, and he announced that he would indeed run on Monday. Renacci first won election to Ohio’s northeastern 16th District in 2010, and the former businessman is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, meaning he has the ability to self-fund millions for a campaign if he chooses to. In case there were any doubt about whether the congressman would tie himself to Donald Trump, he played up his business background and attacked career politicians in his announcement video, while he has a very Trump-like campaign website name and logo of “Ohio First.” Renacci stood out from his fellow Ohio Republicans like term-limited Gov. John Kasich when he fervently supported Trump’s campaign last year, which could endear him to primary voters now that Trump remains overwhelmingly popular with Republican partisans. Should Renacci secure the GOP nomination, he might ironically end up facing a rematch against former Rep. Betty Sutton, who is seeking the Democratic nomination. Renacci narrowly defeated Sutton in 2012 after the Republican gerrymander sliced up her old district and placed her in a more Republican-leaning seat with Renacci. The Republican field to succeed Kasich has become fairly crowded with Renacci’s entrance. Already running are Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and state Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is also a former senator, while Secretary of State Jon Husted is also seen as a likely candidate. Monday, Mar 20, 2017 · 3:58:09 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NJ-Sen Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez was indicted in April of 2015 on charges of bribery, fraud, conspiracy, and making false statements: Prosecutors alleged 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. However, Menendez’s trial still hasn’t taken place, and state Democratic leaders have signaled that they plan to support his re-election campaign next year. But it doesn’t look like Menendez will be able to run out the clock much longer. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review the senator’s case, and Menendez’s trial remains scheduled for Sept. 6. Monday, Mar 20, 2017 · 4:18:23 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer UT-03, UT-Sen: Evan McMullin, who took 21 percent of the vote in Utah last year as a conservative independent presidential candidate, has expressed interest in challenging GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch in the past. On Friday, McMullin added that “it is possible” he will run against Hatch or GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz in 2018. McMullin didn’t say whether he was considering running as a Republican or an [...]



Morning Digest: The insane saga of Texas Republican Steve Stockman continues with his arrest

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 12:00:48 +0000

Leading Off ● Where Are They Now?: Texas Republican Steve Stockman, who served two short but memorable stints in the U.S. House, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly soliciting money for his bogus charity. If Stockman is convicted, he faces the possibility of jail time. According to prosecutors, Stockman set up a non-profit called Life Without Limits in 2011, a year before he successfully ran to return to the House. An unknown contributor gave the "charity" $350,000, and prosecutors argue that Stockman used donations through his employees to get the money to his bank account and to his campaigns. Even before this, Stockman was… quite the character. Stockman was elected to the House on his third try in 1994, defeating 21-term Democratic Rep. Jack Brooks, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Stockman quickly made his mark when he published an article accusing the Clinton administration of staging the Waco raid on the Branch Davidians as a way to justify a ban on assault weapons. Stockman also sent a letter to his colleagues attacking homosexuality and premarital sex. Stockman also said of the Violence Against Women Act, "It's called a women's act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that—how is that a woman?" Stockman lost his seat the next year to Democrat Nick Lampson 53-47, and his comeback attempts failed in 1998 and 2006. But in 2012, Stockman won the GOP nomination for a new safely red east Texas seat. During the campaign, Stockman hit his primary opponent with fake tabloids blazing headlines like, "Stephen Takach drove family friend into bankruptcy" and "Takach smears Stockman for taking care of his Alzheimer's-stricken father." Stockman also put up signs calling for voters to "Re-elect Stockman," even though he had been out of office for well over a decade. When Stockman got back to the House, he quickly picked up where he left off and threatened to impeach Barack Obama, and also printed bumper stickers declaring, "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted." Stockman faced no credible primary opposition and could have easily secured a second consecutive term in 2014, but instead, at almost the last possible second, Stockman filed to challenge Sen. John Cornyn for renomination instead. Stockman's race began with news that local Texas authorities had recently condemned his campaign headquarters, which housed workers and volunteers in utterly disgusting conditions, and things didn't get any better for him after that. Stockman apparently laid zero groundwork for his campaign against Cornyn, and he raised little money and earned no influential endorsements. Stockman made almost no campaign appearances, stopped showing up to votes, and disappeared from public view for weeks. Stockman's old mug shot from his 1977 arrest for felony possession of Valium surfaced, which led Stockman to deny he'd ever been arrested, even though he'd spoken at length about the incident in the 1990s. Stockman predictably got crushed 59-19 and was out of a job the next year. We thought that was the end of the story of Steve Stockman, but this long and crazy tale clearly isn't over. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Sat, 18 Mar 2017 02:52:55 +0000

Dire Straits— “Sultans of Swing”

(image)



Voting Rights Roundup: Court nullifies Texas' GOP-drawn congressional map over racial discrimination

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:00:34 +0000

Leading Off ● Texas: Last Friday, a federal district court delivered a major victory for voting rights when it finally issued its long-awaited ruling in the lawsuit over the Republican-drawn Texas congressional map (see above; larger version here). The court struck down three districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause, holding that they were intentionally racially discriminatory. This ruling could result in a new map being used in the 2018 elections, with more districts where Latino voters could elect the candidate of their preference (most likely Democrats).​ Campaign Action ​In the three districts struck down by the court, Republicans had either diluted Latino voting strength (so that district would be more likely to elect an Anglo representative), or they had packed Latino voters in (to prevent them from electing their candidate choice in neighboring seats). The invalidated 23rd District spans from El Paso to San Antonio, the 27th covers Corpus Christi and Victoria, and the 35th stretches from Austin to San Antonio. A redrawn map could consequently see considerable changes to these districts and their neighbors. A Latino Democrat could replace Republican incumbents in the 23rd and either the 27th or the Austin-based 10th. The judges additionally faulted Republicans for abusing race when drawing districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically indicate that they would require Republican legislators to draw a new district to elect a Latino candidate. Plaintiffs will undoubtedly press the court to impose such a requirement when they argue for the appropriate remedy. Indeed, Daily Kos Elections itself has previously demonstrated how Republicans could have drawn another seat that would elect Latino voters’ candidate choice in Dallas at the expense of an Anglo Republican, in addition to making the aforementioned GOP-held 23rd and 27th heavily Latino. [...]



Lunatic two-time Texas Rep. Steve Stockman arrested for allegedly making money off bogus charity

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 16:38:18 +0000

Texas Republican Steve Stockman, who served two short but memorable stints in the U.S. House, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly soliciting money for a bogus charity. If Stockman is convicted, he faces the possibility of jail time. According to prosecutors, Stockman set up a non-profit called Life Without Limits in Las Vegas in 2011, a year before he successfully ran to return to the House. An unknown contributor gave the “charity” $350,000, and prosecutors argue that Stockman used donations through his employees to get the money to his bank account and to his campaigns. Even before this, Stockman was… quite the character. Stockman was elected to the House on his third try in 1994, defeating 21-term Democrat Jack Brooks, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee. Stockman quickly made his mark when he published an article accusing the Clinton administration of staging the raid on the Branch Davidians as a way to justify a ban on assault weapons. Stockman also sent a letter to his colleagues attacking homosexuality and premarital sex. Stockman also said of the Violence Against Women Act, “It’s called a women's act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that—how is that a woman?” Stockman lost his seat the next year to Democrat Nick Lampson 53-47, and his comeback attempts failed in 1998 and 2006. But in 2012, Stockman won the GOP nomination for a newly created east Texas seat; during the campaign, Stockman hit his primary opponent with fake tabloids blazing headlines like, “Stephen Takach drove family friend into bankruptcy” and “Takach smears Stockman for taking care of his Alzheimer's-stricken father.” Stockman also put up signs calling for voters to “Re-elect Stockman,” even though he had been out of office for well over a decade. When Stockman got back to the House, he quickly picked up where he left off and threatened to impeach Barack Obama and printed bumper stickers "If babies had guns they wouldn't be aborted." Stockman’s seat was heavily Republican and he faced no credible primary opposition but in late 2013, at almost the last possible second, Stockman filed to challenge Sen. John Cornyn for renomination rather than run for re-election. Stockman’s race began with news that local authorities had recently condemned his campaign headquarters, where housed workers and volunteers in utterly disgusting conditions, and it didn’t get any better after that. Stockman apparently laid zero groundwork for his campaign against Cornyn, and he raised little money and earned no influential endorsements. Stockman made almost no campaign appearances, stopped showing up to votes, and disappeared from public view for weeks. Stockman’s old mug shot from his 1977 arrest for felony possession of Valium surfaced, which led Stockman to deny he’d ever been arrested, even though he’d spoken at length about the incident in the 1990s. Stockman predictably got crushed 59-19 and left the House the next year. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/17

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 13:00:34 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Friday, Mar 17, 2017 · 3:50:59 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso gives us the rundown on a truly messed up Tuesday special election in Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania HD-197: This is an open Democratic seat in Philadelphia that has turned into a big mess for the Democrats. Only one candidate will be on the ballot: Republican Lucinda Little, a clinical research director. The Democrats initially nominated Freddie Ramirez, who was struck from the ballot when it was determined that he didn't live in the district. They then tried to nominate a replacement, Emilio Vasquez, but were denied because it was past the filing deadline. This leaves the Democrats without a candidate on the ballot in a district that is 85 percent Democratic by registration and which gave Barack Obama 97 percent of the vote in 2012. They will attempt a write-in campaign for Vasquez. Friday, Mar 17, 2017 · 3:56:29 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf IL-Gov: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers recently told Politico that he might run for governor in 2018, but hasn’t made a decision yet. However, Summers appears serious enough to have shared an internal poll of a possible Democratic primary matchup with wealthy businessman Chris Kennedy, who is already running, and billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker, who formed an exploratory committee earlier this week. The GQR Research survey finds Kennedy in first with 44 percent, Pritzker at 11 percent, and Summers at 7 percent. The poll did not appear to test Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar, who is also running. The polling memo argues that Summers’ standing improves on the so-called “informed ballot” test, which was taken after respondents were read short positive statements about each candidate. However, whether voters actually get to hear Summers’ message is another matter, since both Kennedy and Pritzker could self-fund millions to air their preferred narratives in TV ads in this expensive state. As the only black candidate, Summers could have a significant advantage among Illinois’ large population of black primary voters, but with so many undecided voters and the candidates’ low name recognition, this primary is still wide open. Friday, Mar 17, 2017 · 3:58:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf MT-AL: Republican Greg Gianforte launched his first ad in the May 25 special election to succeed former GOP Rep. Ryan Zinke, who recently became interior secretary. The spot shows Gianforte outdoors in hunting gear where he promises to protect the 2nd Amendment, Montanans’ right to hunt and fish, coal and timber jobs, and to oppose trade deals that ship jobs to China. There was no word on the size of the ad buy, but the Republican-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund recently put $700,000 behind a segment attacking Democratic nominee Rob Quist. Friday, Mar 17, 2017 · 4:36:15 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Where Are They Now?: Texas Republican Steve Stockman, who served two short but memorable stints in the U.S. House, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly soliciting money for a bogus charity. If Stockman[...]



Morning Digest: New Mexico GOP takes first House majority since Eisenhower in 2014, loses it in 2016

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 12:00:53 +0000

Leading Off ● Pres-by-LD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits New Mexico, where Democrats hold majorities in both chambers. Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 48-40 here, while ex-Gov. Gary Johnson took 9 percent as a Libertarian; as a bonus, we've calculated Johnson's results in each legislative district, as well as in the state's three congressional districts. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. In 1954, during Dwight Eisenhower's rough first midterm election, the GOP lost control of the New Mexico state House. Team Red finally won a narrow 37-33 edge during the 2014 GOP wave, but they didn't get to keep the speaker's chair for long. Democrats won back control last year, taking a 38-32 majority. Clinton carried 45 of the 70 seats, taking four districts that Mitt Romney had carried four years before while losing three Obama seats. In 2011, when it was time to draw new legislative districts, GOP Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the Democratic legislature's proposed maps, and a court ended up drawing the new seats for both chambers. Not surprisingly, the court-drawn state House map doesn't seem to give either party an advantage. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. Because New Mexico has an even number of House seats, we average the Clinton and Trump percentages for the middle two seats to come up with the median. This middle point in the House backed Clinton 49-40, almost identical to her statewide performance. In 2016, crossover voting helped the GOP more than it helped Team Blue, but not enough to allow them stay in power: Nine Republicans represent Clinton turf, while only two Democratic House members hold Trump seats. Democratic state Rep. George Dodge Jr. won the general election without any opposition even as his eastern HD-63 shifted from 50-47 Obama all the way to 51-37 Trump, with Johnson grabbing 10 percent. Candie Sweetser, the other Democrat in a Trump seat, narrowly won an open seat even as HD-32, which is located in New Mexico's southwestern corner, swung from 49-48 Obama to 47-44 Trump. State Rep. Nathaniel Gentry holds the most pro-Clinton seat of any of the nine Republicans. Gentry's Albuquerque-area HD-30 went from 50-44 Obama to 48-37 Clinton, with Johnson taking 12; Gentry won his fourth term 52-48. The entire state House is up every two years, and the GOP will likely try to retake the chamber in 2018 rather than risk needing to wait until 2076. Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention HD-41, which is represented by one of the worst Democrats in the chamber. Clinton carried this seat 64-24, but Democratic state Rep. Debbie Rodella has repeatedly sided with the GOP and voted against measures to make voting easy. Hopefully, someone will challenge Rodella is a primary, because this area can definitely elect a much better Democrat in a general. [...]



New Mexico GOP lost its first House majority since Eisenhower, and it won't be easy to get it back

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 21:43:19 +0000

Daily Kos Election’s project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits New Mexico, where Democrats hold majorities in both chambers. Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 48-40 here, while ex-Gov. Gary Johnson took 9 percent as a Libertarian; as a bonus, we’ve calculated Johnson’s results in each legislative district, as well as in the state’s three congressional districts. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here. In 2014, the GOP won a narrow 37-33 edge in the state House, giving them their first majority here since Dwight Eisenhower was president. However, Democrats won back control last year, taking a 38-32 majority. Clinton carried 45 of the 70 seats, taking four districts that Mitt Romney had carried four years before while losing three Obama seats. In 2011, when it was time to draw new legislative districts, GOP Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the Democratic legislature’s proposed maps, and a court ended up drawing the new seats for both chambers. Not surprisingly, the court-drawn state House map doesn’t seem to give either party an advantage. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. Because New Mexico has an even number of House seats, we average the Clinton and Trump percentages for the middle two seats to come up with the median. This middle point in the House backed Clinton 49-40, almost identical to her statewide performance. In 2016, crossover voting helped the GOP more than it helped Team Blue, but not enough to allow them to stay in power: Nine Republicans represent Clinton turf, while only two Democratic House members hold Trump seats. Democratic state Rep. George Dodge Jr. won the general election without any opposition even as his eastern HD-63 shifted from 50-47 Obama all the way to 51-37 Trump, with Johnson grabbing 10 percent. Candie Sweetser, the other Democrat in a Trump seat, unseated Republican incumbent Vicki Chavez narrowly won an open seat even as HD-32, which is located in New Mexico’s southwestern corner, swung from 49-48 Obama to 47-44 Trump. State Rep. Nathaniel Gentry holds the most pro-Clinton seat of any of the nine Republicans. Gentry’s Albuquerque-area HD-30 went from 50-44 Obama to 48-37 Clinton, with Johnson taking 12; Gentry won his fourth term 52-48. The entire state House is up every two years, and the GOP will likely try to retake the speaker’s chair in 2018. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/16

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 13:00:43 +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 Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 · 3:04:34 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-Gov: Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham has made it clear that she plans to run for the Democratic nomination for a long time, though she said at the end of last year that she was delaying her final decision while her husband underwent treatment for prostate cancer. But this week, Graham said she would make her announcement “soon” as her House campaign transferred $250,000 to an allied state political committee, so there doesn’t seem to be much doubt about what she’ll announce. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King are already in, while a few other Democrats are considering. Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 · 3:34:43 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-18: Republican Brian Mast, a veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, flipped this open South Florida seat last year by a strong 54-43 margin while Trump was carrying it 53-44. However, Mast earned some bad headlines this week when Politico reported that in 2016, he joined the advisory board of a marketing company that is under federal investigation for allegedly making millions off a patent scam. Mast claims he only met World Patent Marketing’s owner, Scott J. Cooper, twice. Mast also insists that Cooper used his image in a promotional video without his knowledge or consent, and also says he didn’t even know he was appointed to the advisory board until the company announced it. However, that February 2016 announcement contained a quote ostensibly from Mast praising World Patent Marketing as " dynamic and forward looking," and an image of Cooper and Mast standing next to a sign for the company. Mast says Cooper, who donated $5,400 to his 2016 joint fundraising committee, “does know me, just like thousands of other people who supported me.” However, Mast doesn't seem to have accused anyone of manufacturing favorable quotes about the company. If Mast does have closer ties to Cooper and World Patent Marketing than he lets on, it could be very bad for him politically. The Federal Trade Commission has accused the company of making promises to customers it doesn’t fulfill and, after “collect[ing] thousands of dollars from consumers and string them along for months or years,” of threatening to take criminal action against people who report them. The FTC also says that “many of Defendants' customers end up in debt or losing their life savings or inheritances, after investing in Defendants· broken promises.” We’ll see if this goes anywhere, but this is potentially a very bad story for a freshman congressman who looked like a tough target at the beginning of the cycle. Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 · 3:49:16 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-Gov: While state House Majority Leader Jake Corman didn’t rule out challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf back in December, the Republican told the Centre Daily Times this week that he’d stay out of the race. Right now, wealthy state Sen. Scott Wagner is Wolf’s only declared opponent, while Rep. Mike Kelly and wealthy businessman Paul Addis are openly considering and plenty of others haven’t ruled out a bid. Thursday, Mar 16, 2017 · 4:51:50 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-18: Mast’s office also emailed a statement declaring, “Congressman Mast never served on the board and has no knowledge of the inner workings of this business.” Thursday, Mar 16, [...]



Morning Digest: Progressives hope to give conservative House Democrat Dan Lipinski a tough primary

Thu, 16 Mar 2017 12:00:59 +0000

Leading Off: ● IL-03: Chicago-area Rep. Dan Lipinski has long been one of the more socially conservative members of the House Democratic caucus. As recently as 2014, Lipinski responded to a candidate questionnaire by saying that he would support an amendment in the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Lipinski hasn't gotten any better in the age of Trump: This year alone, Lipinski was one of just three Democrats who voted in favor of a GOP bill to ban federal funding for abortion services. Lipinski has also voted to overturn an Obama-era Health and Human Services rule that prevented states from withholding funds to Planned Parenthood and other healthcare groups that also provide abortions. Illinois' 3rd Congressional District backed Barack Obama 56-43 and supported Hillary Clinton 55-40, so Lipinski isn't voting with Team Red because he's worried about a GOP opponent. Lipinski has only attracted token primary challenges for the last decade, but that may change soon. Marketing consultant Marie Newman has formed an exploratory committee ahead of a possible bid, and she says she's likely to announce in the spring. Newman has wasted no time arguing that Lipinski is too conservative for his seat, noting that he was one of the few Democrats to vote against Obamacare in 2010. Newman has lined up some well-known local consultants and has ties to anti-Trump groups like Indivisible, which could help her make connections. With progressives infuriated at Trump and donations to anti-Trump candidates high, Newman may be able to haul in the type of cash she'd need to get her name out in the expensive Chicago area. However, even if Newman or another candidate can raise a credible amount of money, Lipinski will not be easy to beat. Back in 2008, Lipinski faced a well-funded primary challenge from Mark Pera, but Lipinski defeated him 54-25. Lipinski has been an ally of Chicago's powerful Democratic machine, and he's also close to local labor groups. Lipinski and his father Bill Lipinski have represented this area for a combined 18 terms, and plenty of voters are still loyal to the family. There are also still many local Democratic primary voters who share Lipinski's views on abortion and won't see them as a liability at all. It's also possible that, even if a majority of Democratic voters have soured on Lipinski, other candidates will run and split the anti-Lipinski vote enough to secure him renomination. But with progressives inflamed at Democrats who are giving Trump any support, there's probably never been a better time to unseat Lipinski. [...]



Conservative Illinois Democrat Dan Lipinski likely to face a primary, but victory won't be easy

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 16:40:34 +0000

Chicago-area Rep. Dan Lipinski has long been one of the more socially conservative members of the House Democratic caucus. As recently as 2014, Lipinski responded to a candidate questionnaire and said he would support an amendment in the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Lipinski hasn’t gotten any better in the age of Trump: This year alone, Lipinski was one of just three Democrats who voted in favor of a GOP bill to ban federal funding of abortions. Lipinski has also voted to overturn an Obama-era Health and Human Services rule that prevented states from withholding funds to Planned Parenthood and other healthcare groups that also provide abortions. Illinois' 3rd Congressional District backed Barack Obama 56-43 and supported Hillary Clinton 55-40, so Lipinski isn’t voting with Team Red because he’s worried about a GOP opponent. Lipinski has only attracted token primary challenges for the last decade, but that may change soon. Marketing consultant Marie Newman has formed an exploratory committee ahead of a possible bid, and she says she’s likely to announce in the spring. Newman has wasted no time arguing that Lipinski is too conservative for his seat, noting that he was one of the few Democrats to vote against Obamacare in 2010. Newman has lined up some well-known local consultants and has ties to anti-Trump groups like Indivisible, which could help make connections. With progressives infuriated at Trump and donations to anti-Trump candidates high, Newman may be able to haul in the type of cash she’d need to get her name out in the expensive Chicago area. However, Lipinski will not be easy to beat. Back in 2008, Lipinski faced a well-funded primary challenge from Mark Pera, but Lipinski beat him 54-25. Lipinski has been an ally of Chicago’s powerful Democratic machine, and he’s also close to local labor groups. Lipinski and his father, Bill Lipinski, have represented this area for a combined 18 terms, and plenty of voters are still loyal to the family. There are also still many local Democratic primary voters who share Lipinski’s views on abortion and won’t see them as a liability at all. It’s also possible that, even if a majority of Democratic voters have soured on Lipinski, other candidates will run and split the anti-Lipinski vote enough to secure him renomination. But with Democratic voters inflamed at Democrats who are giving Trump any support, there’s probably never been a better time to unseat Lipinski. [...]



Here are the governorships the Republicans want to go from blue to red

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 14:00:38 +0000

While Democrats will have a tough time flipping either chamber of Congress next year, the nation’s governor’s offices are a very different story. We recently detailed how it’s Republicans who are far more vulnerable at the gubernatorial level: As shown on the map at the top of this post, Democrats hold just 10 of the 38 states that will elect their governor in 2017 or 2018, and they currently have an incumbent running in six of those races. Fortunately for Democrats, Hillary Clinton won nine of those 10 states, and Pennsylvania just barely supported Donald Trump after backing Barack Obama in 2012. Only three other Democratic states went for Clinton by less than 10 points.

The 2016 presidential election margin in a particular state can serve as a useful indicator of how the parties might perform for governor, particularly when there is no incumbent running. However, voters who supported one party for president are often more likely to split their ticket for the opposite party in state elections than in federal races. Local factors like the incumbent governor’s popularity can matter greatly.

Still, midterm elections almost always see the president’s party lose seats downballot, especially when an administration is deeply unpopular. If the public’s dislike of Trump persists or worsens, Democrats could receive a significant boost as they seek to defend their few vulnerable gubernatorial offices in 2017 and 2018.

​As shown on the map below, Republicans currently dominate at the state level at a rate not seen since practically the Civil War. They simultaneously control both legislative chambers and the governor’s office (known as a legislative “trifecta”) in 25 states outright, plus they have another two where they can override a Democratic governor’s vetoes; these 27 states cover 56 percent of the population.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/15

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 13:00:41 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 · 4:37:05 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IL-03: Chicago-area Rep. Dan Lipinski has long been one of the more socially conservative members of the House Democratic caucus. As recently as 2014, Lipinski responded to a candidate questionnaire and said he would support an amendment in the constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Lipinski hasn’t gotten any better in the age of Trump: This year alone, Lipinski was one of just three Democrats who voted in favor of a GOP bill to ban federal funding of abortions. Lipinski has also voted to overturn an Obama-era Health and Human Services rule that prevented states from withholding funds to Planned Parenthood and other healthcare groups that also provide abortions. Illinois' 3rd Congressional District backed Barack Obama 56-43 and supported Hillary Clinton 55-40, so Lipinski isn’t voting with Team Red because he’s worried about a GOP opponent. Lipinski has only attracted token primary challenges for the last decade, but that may change soon. Marketing consultant Marie Newman has formed an exploratory committee ahead of a possible bid, and she says she’s likely to announce in the spring. Newman has wasted no time arguing that Lipinski is too conservative for his seat, noting that he was one of the few Democrats to vote against Obamacare in 2010. Newman has lined up some well-known local consultants and has ties to anti-Trump groups like Indivisible, which could help make connections. With progressives infuriated at Trump and donations to anti-Trump candidates high, Newman may be able to haul in the type of cash she’d need to get her name out in the expensive Chicago area. However, Lipinski will not be easy to beat. Back in 2008, Lipinski faced a well-funded primary challenge from Mark Pera, but Lipinski beat him 54-25. Lipinski has been an ally of Chicago’s powerful Democratic machine, and he’s also close to local labor groups. Lipinski and his father Bill Lipinski have represented this area for a combined 18 terms, and plenty of voters are still loyal to the family. There are also still many local Democratic primary voters who share Lipinski’s views on abortion and won’t see them as a liability at all. It’s also possible that, even if a majority of Democratic voters have soured on Lipinski, other candidates will run and split the anti-Lipinski vote enough to secure him renomination. But with Democratic voters inflamed at Democrats who are giving Trump any support, there’s probably never been a better time to unseat Lipinski. Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 · 5:11:07 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Staten Island, NY Borough President: If you’re anything like us, when you saw this header you immediately thought, “Which disgraced ex-Staten Island Republican House member is this about?” The answer is Mike Grimm, who was released from prison last April after serving most of his eight-month sentence for tax evasion. In response to a mysterious poll testing Grimm in a hypothetical GOP primary with Borough President James Oddo, Grimm only told the Staten Island Advance that he has “no comment other than, look a lot of people have asked me to run” this year. An unnamed source reports that Grimm has met with Guy Molinari, a former congressman and borou[...]



Morning Digest: Democrats search for a candidate in Virginia seat that swung hard against Trump

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 12:01:03 +0000

Leading Off ● VA-10: This Northern Virginia seat did not react well to Trump last year, swinging from 51-49 Romney all the way to 52-42 Clinton. However, GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in an expensive race, and she won't be easy to beat in 2018. While it's possible that Comstock leaves this seat behind to challenge Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, Comstock hasn't shown much interest publicly in a Senate bid, and Team Blue will need to plan to face her for now. So far, no Democrats have stepped up yet, but that may change soon. The local blog Blue Virginia says that the DCCC is trying to recruit state Sen. Jennifer Wexton, and they also report that she's being encouraged by EMILY's List and members of Virginia's congressional delegation. Patsy Brown, the chair of the Tenth Congressional District Democratic Committee, also tells The Winchester Star that she's spoken to Wexton about a possible bid, but she didn't give any indication about what Wexton is thinking. Wexton was also mentioned for this seat in early 2015, and she didn't rule anything out at the time. However, Wexton was also running for re-election in November of that year, and she never showed much public interest in running for the House. Wexton's Senate seat isn't up again until 2019 so if she wants to challenge Comstock, she won't have another campaign to get through first. Wexton attracted national attention in early 2014 when she was the Democratic nominee for a special election to the state Senate that would help decide control of the chamber. While Obama had carried that seat 59-39, Team Blue was worried that weak turnout in a January special election would give the GOP the chance to flip it. In the end, Wexton won 53-38, and she was re-elected decisively the next year. If Wexton says no to a House bid, Team Blue will keep looking for a candidate, but no other names have surfaced. Brown, the local Democratic chair, says she's interviewed 11 potential candidates (but not Wexton) and that they're all "exploring" a run, but she didn't give any clues about who she spoke to. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/14

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 13:00:42 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 · 3:30:01 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MS-Sen: Last week, state Sen. Chris McDaniel expressed interest in challenging Sen. Roger Wicker in the GOP primary, arguing that Wicker wasn’t “championing conservative reform in D.C.” McDaniel doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry to decide, since he told a local Fox affiliate that he hopes to make up his mind by October. McDaniel launched his campaign against Thad Cochran, Mississippi’s other GOP senator, in October of 2013, and McDaniel only narrowly lost the runoff. However, while Cochran dithered about whether to seek re-election and began his eventual campaign with relatively little money, Wicker has already kicked off his bid for another term and had $1.6 million in the bank at the end of 2016. More importantly, Wicker doesn’t appear to have made many enemies within the GOP. Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 · 3:40:39 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CA-Gov: Back in November, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer didn’t rule out running for governor, but he sounded much more likely to redirect his efforts to opposing Donald Trump’s policies outside of elected office. Still, it’s seems that it’s far too early to cross Steyer off the potential Democratic candidate list, since he recently told Calbuzz that he doesn’t “think I have to make a decision right now.” The race to succeed termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown is already well underway, with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, state Treasurer John Chiang, and ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in for Team Blue. Steyer wouldn’t need to worry about raising campaign cash if he ran, though as other wealthy California candidates have learned the hard way, spending a ton of money doesn’t guarantee victory even in this very expensive state. Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 · 3:56:49 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MI-Gov, MI-AG: This week, EMILY’s List endorsed ex-state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to succeed termed-out GOP Gov. Rick Snyder. However, it’s possible that another prominent female candidate will join the race. Barbara McQuade recently left her post as the U.S. attorney for Eastern Michigan after the Trump White House demanded she resign, and state Democratic Party Chair Brandon Dillon told Politico that plenty of people would like her to run for governor. However, he also notes that McQuade’s name as come up for state attorney general, which will also be an open seat. McQuade said on Monday that she would announce her future plans “in a few days,” though there’s no guarantee that she’s going to say she’s running for office soon. Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 · 4:12:16 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer NY-Gov: Back in 2010, wealthy ex-hedge fund manager Harry Wilson impressed GOP leaders when he only lost the comptroller’s race to appointed incumbent Thomas DiNapoli 51-46, and he’s been mentioned as a potential candidate against Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Wilson says he’s considering and will decide in the fall. A few other Republicans are also talking about getting in. It will be very tough to beat Cuomo in this very blue state, especially since midterms rarely go well for the party[...]



Morning Digest: Court strikes down Texas' GOP-drawn congressional map for racial gerrymandering

Tue, 14 Mar 2017 12:00:42 +0000

Leading Off ● TX Redistricting: Late on Friday, a federal district court finally issued its long-awaited ruling in the lawsuit over Texas' Republican-drawn congressional map (shown here). The court delivered a major victory for voting rights when it struck down several districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause, holding that they were intentionally racially discriminatory. This ruling could result in a new map being used in the 2018 elections that would contain additional districts where Latino voters could elect their candidate preference, and Democrats could consequently gain seats. The court struck down several districts where Republicans had either diluted Latino voting strength so that Anglo candidates could win, or where Republicans had packed Latino voters to prevent them from electing their candidate choice in neighboring seats. A redrawn map could consequently see considerable changes to the invalidated 23rd District, which spans from El Paso to San Antonio, the 27th, which covers Corpus Christi and Victoria, and the 35th, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, along with neighboring seats. Such adjustments could subsequently see a Latino Democrat oust Republican incumbents Will Hurd and Blake Farenthold in the 23rd and 27th, respectively. The judges additionally faulted Republicans for abusing race when drawing districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically indicate that they would require Republican legislators to draw a new district to elect a Latino candidate. Plaintiffs will undoubtedly press the court to impose such a requirement when they argue for the appropriate remedy. Indeed, Daily Kos Elections itself has previously demonstrated how Republicans could have drawn another seat that would elect Latino voters' candidate choice in Dallas at the expense of an Anglo Republican, in addition to making the aforementioned GOP-held 23rd and 27th heavily Latino. Crucially, the court's finding that Republicans intentionally discriminated could be grounds for placing Texas back under Justice Department "preclearance" for voting law changes under the Voting Rights Act. Several predominantly Southern states with a history of discriminatory voting laws previously had to preclear any such changes until the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the VRA in 2013. While a Jeff Sessions-led Justice Department is unlikely to block new oppressive voting laws, a future Democratic administration could. Absurdly, this case has been ongoing ever since 2011, and litigants completed their arguments all the way back in 2014. Plaintiffs had rightly been outraged that the court was dragging its feet on issuing its ruling. Republicans have gotten away with an illegal racial gerrymander for a majority of this decade, demonstrating how it pays to illegally gerrymander, since the court of course can't invalidate the last three election results held under the existing map. Republican legislators will assuredly appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court. However, given a string of recent victories against Republican racial gerrymandering, there is a strong likelihood that the court will uphold part or even all of this decision, meaning Texas could have a new congressional map for 2018. Should the courts impose a remedy that makes the 23rd and 27th districts capable of electing Latin[...]



How strong is the GOP House gerrymander? This metric explains it

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 16:45:40 +0000

Daily Kos Elections extensively uses our calculations of the 2016 presidential election result by congressional district, like those shown above for Virginia. With ticket-splitting rates at historic lows, the presidential results can often be a significant indicator of how future downballot elections might turn out in a particular district, especially when there isn’t an incumbent running.

The presidential results by district are also an invaluable metric for gauging the advantage a map can give a particular party, whether it be from partisan gerrymandering or the state’s underlying political geography. One way we can measure this advantage is by analyzing the partisan leaning of the median district.

What do we mean by median district, and why is it important? We’ll explain it. The way we determine the median district is by calculating the presidential election margin in every district and ranking them from least to most Democratic. Or in other words, we’ll sort them from the district where Donald Trump won by the greatest amount to the one where Hillary Clinton prevailed by the biggest spread. The median district is the one in the middle, where half the districts are more Democratic and half are less.

Take a look at the chart below of Virginia’s presidential results by its 11 congressional districts to see what this looks like in action. Here we’ve ranked every district from Trump’s best to Clinton’s best. The highlighted row indicates the median district, which was Virginia’s 2nd. Trump carried this Virginia Beach district, which is represented by freshman GOP Rep. Scott Taylor, by 3.4 percent, meaning he won six seats by that margin or greater, while he lost the other five. Trump even managed to capture most districts in a state he lost.

(image)



This New Mexico Democrat keeps blocking efforts to expand voting rights. Who will primary her?

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:34:15 +0000

New Mexico Democrats recently introduced two bills to make voting easier. One would have automatically registered any eligible voter who interacted with the state Department of Motor Vehicles unless they opted out, while another would have allowed same-day voter registration throughout the early voting period. However, despite Democratic majorities in both state legislative chambers, each bill failed to even make it out of committee thanks to Democratic state Rep. Debbie Rodella, who echoed Republican talking points while opposing both measures.

Automatic and same-day registration always faced the possibility of a veto from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, but had Democrats successfully demonstrated that the legislature could pass these bills, that would have been encouraging for 2018. Martinez faces term limits next year and Democrats could regain the governor’s office—and with it, unified control over state government. However, even if Democrats prevail in 2018, Rodella could still side with Republicans to block these reforms if she remains on the elections committee.

Rodella’s northern New Mexico 41st State House District overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama by a 74-22 margin, and Hillary Clinton undoubtedly carried it easily too. What’s more, most of its residents are Latino, an often under-represented community that could benefit strongly from automatic voter registration and more generous registration deadlines. There’s simply no excuse for such a heavily Democratic district to have a representative who opposes measures to make voting easier.

Unfortunately, this sort of behavior is nothing new from Rodella, who in 2013 voted with the GOP to thwart a same-sex marriage law in committee. It’s long past time for the 24-year incumbent to go.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/13

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 13:00:35 +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 CA-Sen: On Thursday night, Politico reported that there was "increasing buzz in state Republican circles" that ex-GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in challenging California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year. Schwarzenegger's spokesman did nothing to dispel the chatter, saying that, "Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger's focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California. We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that." Schwarzenegger waited until Sunday to put out a statement saying that, while he was “deeply flattered” he was being asked to run, he was instead focused on redistricting reform, though he didn’t actually outright say he would not run for the Senate. Democrats will certainly be happy if this is the last thing they ever hear about a Schwarzenegger for Senate campaign. While he would have a very tough time winning, Team Blue would be horrified if they had to spend any money in this extremely expensive state. Monday, Mar 13, 2017 · 3:51:32 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf TX Redistricting: Late on Friday, a federal district court finally issued its long-awaited ruling in the lawsuit over Texas’ Republican-drawn congressional map (shown here). The court delivered a major victory for voting rights when it struck down several districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause, holding that they were intentionally racially discriminatory. This ruling could result in a new map being used in the 2018 elections that would contain additional districts where Latino voters could elect their candidate preference, and Democrats could consequently gain seats. The court struck down several districts where Republicans had either diluted Latino voting strength so that Anglo candidates could win, or where Republicans had packed Latino voters to prevent them from electing their candidate choice in neighboring seats. A redrawn map could consequently see considerable changes to the invalidated 23rd District, which spans from El Paso to San Antonio, the 27th, which covers Corpus Christi and Victoria, and the 35th, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, along with neighboring seats. Such adjustments could subsequently see a Latino Democrat oust Republican incumbents in the 23rd and 27th. The judges additionally faulted Republicans for abusing race when drawing districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically indicate that they would require Republican legislators to draw a new district to elect a Latino candidate. Plaintiffs will undoubtedly press the court to impose such a requirement when they argue for the appropriate remedy. Indeed, Daily Kos Elections itself has previously demonstrated how Republicans could have drawn another seat that would elect Latino voters’ candidate choice in Dallas at the expense of an Anglo Republican, in addition to making the aforementioned GOP-held 23rd and 27th heavily Latino. Crucially, the court’s finding that Republicans intentionally discrim[...]



Morning Digest: To run or not to run... that is no longer the question for Ron Kind

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:00:39 +0000

Leading Off ● WI-Gov, WI-03: On Friday, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind announced that he will not run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to the House. Kind frequently flirts with seeking statewide office but, like Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, never actually goes for it. Kind's decision will likely be greeted with relief by House Democrats, since his 3rd District swung from 55-44 Obama to 49-45 Trump and could have been tough to defend without him. However, Democrats looking to take down GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is likely to run for re-election in 2018, probably won't be so happy. Democrats consistently do well in Madison and Milwaukee, but having a candidate who can also carry areas like Kind's southwest Wisconsin seat could make all the difference between a statewide win and a statewide loss. While Democrats would absolutely love to defeat Walker, it's far from clear who they'll run. Ex-state Sen. Tim Cullen recently said that he's likely to get in, but Cullen is a weak fundraiser who has pissed off plenty of Democrats over the years. (Walker once called him "pretty reasonable" in what he thought was a private conversation, which may be the kiss of death in a primary.) State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is considering, and like Kind, she hails from a rural area that swung from Obama to Trump. But Vinehout won just 4 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary to face Walker in the recall election, so she may not have what it takes to run a tough race. Joe Parisi, the executive of Madison's Dane County, didn't rule out a run for governor all the way back in May, but he doesn't appear to have said anything since then. Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, who lost the 2014 attorney general race 52-45, has set up social media accounts ahead of an unnamed statewide bid. The Associated Press also says that Assemblyman Dana Wachs, who like Kind and Vinehout represents Eau Claire, is considering, but he doesn't seem to have said so publicly yet. It's possible that, now that Kind has made his plans clear, some of these people will make their own plans clear, and other names may come onto the radar as well. Whoever steps up to challenge Walker, assuming he goes ahead and seeks a third term, won't have an easy time beating him. Despite his failed 2016 presidential bid, Walker is a tough campaigner, and he will have all the money he could possibly need. But polls last year showed Walker with a weak approval rating, and if the GOP suffers the midterm backlash the president's party usually suffers, the governor will probably feel it. It's very likely that national Democrats will target Walker, but it may be a while before the Democratic field takes form. [...]



Huge: Court strikes down Texas' Republican-drawn congressional map for illegal racial gerrymandering

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 17:43:41 +0000

Late on Friday, a federal district court finally issued its long-awaited ruling in the lawsuit over Texas’ Republican-drawn congressional map shown at the top of this post (see here for a larger version). The court delivered a major victory for voting rights when it struck down several districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause, holding that several districts were illegal racial gerrymanders. This ruling could result in a new map being used in the 2018 elections that would contain additional districts where Latino voters could elect their candidate preference, and Democrats could consequently gain seats.

The court struck down several districts where Republicans had either diluted Latino voting strength so that Anglo candidates could win, or where Republicans had packed Latino voters to prevent them from electing their candidate choice in neighboring seats. A redrawn map could consequently see considerable changes to the invalidated 23rd District, which spans from El Paso to San Antonio, the 27th, which covers Corpus Christi and Victoria, and the 35th, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, along with neighboring seats. Such adjustments could subsequently see a Latino Democrat oust Republican incumbents in the 23rd and 27th.

The judges additionally faulted Republicans for abusing race when drawing districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically indicate that they would require Republican legislators to draw a new district to elect a Latino candidate. Plaintiffs will undoubtedly press the court to impose such a requirement when they argue for the appropriate remedy. Indeed, Daily Kos Elections itself has previously demonstrated how Republicans could have drawn another seat that would elect Latino voters’ candidate choice in Dallas at the expense of an Anglo Republican, in addition to making the aforementioned GOP-held 23rd and 27th heavily Latino.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 01:04:23 +0000

The Notorious B.I.G. — “Hypnotize”

(image)



Voting Rights Roundup: New Mexico House Democrat sides with GOP to kill automatic voter registration

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:06:12 +0000

Leading Off ● New Mexico: Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and New Mexico Democrats recently introduced a plan to automatically register every eligible voter when they obtain a driver’s license, unless they affirmatively opt out. Despite Democratic majorities in both chambers of the legislature, the bill nonetheless died a stunning death in committee late last month when Democratic state Reps. Debbie Rodella and Daymon Ely sided with Republicans to block it. Campaign Action Ely claimed that he voted against the bill because doing so would allow him to re-introduce an amended version, which he later did. However, the revised bill was so watered-down that it effectively was no longer an automatic registration measure whatsoever. This new version, which unanimously passed committee, would simply ask eligible voters if they would like to register when obtaining a driver’s license rather than automatically doing so unless the person opts out. The New Mexico Senate also approved a bill that would change the voter registration deadline from 28 days before Election Day to just three days prior. Moving the date would allow voters to register and cast a ballot on the same day during early voting, which could lead to higher turnout. However, Rodella once again sided with the Republicans on the House elections committee to kill that bill, too, before the full chamber could vote on it. Automatic and same-day registration always faced the possibility of a veto from Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, but had Democrats successfully demonstrated that the legislature could pass these bills, that would have been encouraging for 2018. Martinez faces term limits next year and Democrats could regain the governor’s office—and with it, unified control over state government. However, as these recent votes reveal, Republican opposition isn’t the only thing preventing New Mexico Democrats from passing laws designed to make voting easier. Democrats need to get their own house in order, and that starts with a primary challenge to Rodella, who sits in an overwhelmingly blue district that Barack Obama won by a 74-22 margin and that Hillary Clinton undoubtedly carried easily as well. A strong progressive could assuredly win in this seat. What’s more, most of the residents of Rodella’s district are Latino, an often under-represented community that would benefit strongly from automatic voter registration and more generous registration deadlines. Unfortunately, this sort of behavior is nothing new from Rodella, who in 2013 voted with the GOP to bottle up a same-sex marriage law in committee. It’s long past time for her to go. [...]



Ron Kind will not enter the slowly-forming Democratic primary to face Scott Walker

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 20:46:17 +0000

On Friday, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind announced that he will not run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to the House. Kind frequently flirts with seeking statewide office but, like Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, never actually goes for it. Kind’s decision will likely be greeted with relief by House Democrats, since his 3rd District swung from 55-44 Obama to 49-45 Trump and could have been tough to defend without him. However, Democrats looking to take down GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is likely to run for re-election in 2018, probably won’t be so happy. Democrats consistently do well in Madison and Milwaukee, but having a candidate who can also carry areas like Kind’s southwest Wisconsin seat could make all the difference between a statewide win and a statewide loss. While Democrats would absolutely love to defeat Walker, it’s far from clear who they’ll run. Ex-state Sen. Tim Cullen recently said that he’s likely to get in, but Cullen is a weak fundraiser who has pissed off plenty of Democrats over the years. (Walker once called him “pretty reasonable” in what he thought was a private conversation, which may be the kiss of death in a primary.) State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is considering, and like Kind, she hails from a rural area that swung from Obama to Trump. But Vinehout won just 4 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary to face Walker in the recall election, so she may not have what it takes to run a tough race. Joe Parisi, the executive of Madison’s Dane County, didn’t rule out a run for governor all the way back in May, but he doesn’t appear to have said anything since then. Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, who lost the 2014 attorney general race 52-45, has set up social media accounts ahead of an unnamed statewide bid. The Associated Press also says that Assemblyman Dana Wachs, who like Kind and Vinehout represents Eau Claire, is considering, but he doesn’t seem to have said so publicly yet. It’s possible that, now that Kind has made his plans clear, some of these people will make their 2018 plans clear, and other names may come onto the radar as well. Whoever steps up to challenge Walker, assuming he goes ahead and seeks a third term, won’t have an easy time beating him. Despite his failed 2016 presidential bid, Walker is a tough campaigner, and he will have all the money he could possibly need. But polls last year showed Walker with a weak approval rating, and if the GOP suffers the midterm backlash the president’s party usually suffers, the governor will probably feel it. It’s very likely that national Democrats will target Walker, but it may be a while before the Democratic field takes form. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/10

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 14:01:06 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Friday, Mar 10, 2017 · 8:07:19 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CA-Sen: On Thursday night, Politico reported that there was “increasing buzz in state Republican circles” that ex-GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in challenging California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman did nothing to dispel the chatter, saying that, “Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California. We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.” It’s very possible of course this is all just a move to grab attention. Schwarzenegger, who just finished a short stint as host of “Celebrity Apprentice,” is consistently feuding on Twitter with ex-host Donald Trump. Schwarzenegger has also been speaking out against partisan gerrymandering, and he may be trying to use the prospect of a Senate campaign to get more eyeballs for his cause. But plenty of people thought the action star's first run for office back in 2003 was a stunt, and he ended up serving as chief executive of the nation’s largest state for seven long years. If Schwarzenegger truly is interested in going to the Senate, there are a lot of questions to be answered. Schwarzenegger had a shaky relationship with California Republicans during his governorship, and his feud with Trump won’t help things. The Golden State GOP has a very weak bench and they may consolidate behind Schwarzenegger anyway, but it’s possible he may decide to run as an independent instead. California uses a top two primary system where everyone runs on one June 2018 ballot and the two candidates with the most votes advance to November. Most independents would have a very tough time advancing, but Schwarzenegger certainly wouldn’t lack name recognition. However, the governator would likely have a very difficult time actually winning a general election. Schwarzenegger left office in 2011 during the Great Recession with a horrific 23 percent approval rating as California’s economy was struggling. Voters’ memories may have faded enough to give him the chance to reintroduce himself, but his opponents can certainly run commercials reminding Californians of why they were so glad to see him leave. Feinstein hasn’t announced if she’ll run again, though she’s been holding fundraisers and suggested she’s planning to seek another term. Feinstein has her detractors both insider and outside her party, but her approval ratings are nothing like Gray Davis, the Democratic governor whom Schwarzenegger defeated in the 2003 recall election. It would be very tough for anyone to beat the incumbent in a federal race in this very blue state, especially with a Republican in the White House who is reviled in C[...]



Morning Digest: 2014 tea party favorite Chris McDaniel mulls a primary against Roger Wicker

Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:00:44 +0000

Leading Off ● MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel's ultimately unsuccessful 2014 GOP primary challenge against longtime Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran was one of the craziest races we've ever seen, and we may be getting a sequel. McDaniel tells Breitbart that he's "definitely considering" a primary bid against Sen. Roger Wicker, arguing that Wicker and the rest of the state's congressional delegation have been silent "[r]ather than championing conservative reform in D.C." Back in 2013, McDaniel announced that he would run for the Senate whether or not Cochran sought a seventh term, and he immediately earned support from important tea party-aligned groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. Cochran had always been a reliably conservative senator, but his long tenure, occasional bipartisan actions, and success getting appropriations for his state made him a tempting target. Cochran also hadn't faced a real fight in decades and started with little money, and he never really seemed to understand the direction his party was heading in. Cochran had the support of the state GOP establishment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but McDaniel won by a little more than 1,400 votes in the first round of the primary. McDaniel fell just short of the majority he needed to win outright, but Cochran looked doomed in the runoff three weeks later. However, Cochran ended up pulling off a surprising 51-49 win. Unlike many Southern GOP senators, Cochran had a good relationship with black voters in his state, and his campaign encouraged them to back him in the open GOP primary runoff. The unusual strategy worked to McDaniel's chagrin; the state senator and his allies insisted that Democratic voters had illegally voted in the GOP primary and demanded a new election. Since Thad Cochran is sitting in the Senate right now and Chris McDaniel isn't, you can guess how well that went. If McDaniel challenges Wicker, he will likely have a much tougher time getting traction. Wicker just came off a stint chairing the NRSC, so he should have all the connections he'll need to raise money. Perhaps more importantly, Wicker has had contact with the far-right forces that Cochran ignored for years. Wicker doesn't have the type of relationship with black voters that Cochran had, but it's a lot less likely that he'll be relying on them to save his career. There's also no guarantee that McDaniel will run: Last cycle, he expressed interest in challenging Rep. Steven Palazzo in the primary, but ended up sitting the race out. Still, there's one big orange x-factor out there. Wicker doesn't seem to have alienated Donald Trump, but if that changes and senator finds himself on the wrong end of some nasty tweets, he could get a lot more vulnerable. And while McDaniel backed Ted Cruz in the presidential primary, his ties to neo-Confederate groups and sexist rhetoric (during his radio career, McDaniel uttered such gems as "It's so interesting to see this woman basically using her boobies to—I shouldn't have said that—using her breasts to run for office") make him almost a perfect[...]



Daily Kos endorses Rob Quist, populist outsider, for Montana's special election for the House

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 19:19:24 +0000

The storyline is as clear as they come. Democrat Rob Quist is a born-and-raised Montanan, a well-known musician who’s entertained folks around his state and around the world for decades, and a political newcomer running on the populist values that run deep through Montana’s bloodstream. His opponent in the May 25 special election to replace former Rep. Ryan Zinke, who just trotted off to become Donald Trump’s interior secretary, couldn’t be more different. Republican Greg Gianforte is an ultra-wealthy businessman who ran a failed campaign for governor last year, and a huge reason he lost that race was because he embodied the opposite of those Montana values: Gianforte became justly infamous when it came out that he’d sued the state to block public access to a river along which he owned property—this in a state where reverence for hunting and fishing is paramount. It’s the perfect test, then, of a populist outsider versus an out-of-touch one-percenter, which is why Daily Kos is proud to endorse Quist’s campaign. But this is still Montana, though, an extremely red state that Trump carried by 20 points in November, and it’ll be a very difficult contest to win. Democrats, however, have had success winning statewide here—look at Gianforte’s loss just four months ago—so victory is possible, and it would shock the hell out of the GOP. But Gianforte can flood this race with as much money as he likes, just as he did last year, when he spent more than $5 million out of his own pocket. Fortunately, Montana is a cheap state, and our dollars will go far, though in the face of his opponent’s extraordinary wealth, Quist will need all the help he can get. So please give $3 to Rob Quist today to help him turn Montana blue—and stun Republicans everywhere. [...]



Years after almost toppling Thad Cochran, Chris McDaniel flirts with a primary against Roger Wicker

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 17:20:50 +0000

State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s ultimately unsuccessful 2014 GOP primary challenge against longtime Sen. Thad Cochran was one of the craziest races we’ve seen in heavily Republican Mississippi, and we may be getting a sequel. McDaniel tells Breitbart that he’s “definitely considering” a primary bid against Sen. Roger Wicker, arguing that Wicker and the rest of the state’s congressional delegation have been silent “[r]ather than championing conservative reform in D.C.” Back in 2013, McDaniel announced that he would run for the Senate whether or not Cochran sought a seventh term, and he immediately earned support from important tea party-aligned groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. Cochran had always been a reliably conservative senator, but his long tenure, occasional bipartisan actions, and success getting appropriations for his state made him a tempting target. Cochran also hadn’t faced a real fight in decades and started with little money, and he never really seemed to understand the direction his party was heading in. Cochran had the support of the state GOP establishment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but McDaniel won a little more than 1,400 votes in the first round of the primary. McDaniel fell just short of the majority he needed to win outright, but Cochran looked doomed in the runoff three weeks later. However, Cochran ended up pulling off a surprising 51-49 win. Unlike many Southern GOP senators, Cochran had a good relationship with black voters in his state, and his campaign encouraged them to back him in the GOP runoff. The unusual strategy worked to McDaniel’s chagrin; the state senator and his allies insisted that Democratic voters had illegally voted in the GOP primary and demanded a new election. Since Thad Cochran is sitting in the Senate right now and Chris McDaniel isn’t, you can guess how well that went. If McDaniel challenges Wicker, he will likely have a much tougher time getting traction. Wicker just came off a stint chairing the NRSC, so he should have all the connections he’ll need to raise money. Perhaps more importantly, Wicker has had contact with the far-right forces that Cochran ignored for years. Wicker doesn’t have the type of relationship with black voters that Cochran had, but it’s a lot less likely that he’ll be relying on them to save his career. There’s also no guarantee that McDaniel will run: Last cycle, he expressed interest in challenging Rep. Steven Palazzo in the primary, but ended up sitting the race out. Still, there’s one big orange x-factor out there. Wicker doesn’t seem to have alienated Donald Trump, but if that changes and senator finds himself on the wrong end of some nasty tweets, he could get a lot more vulnerable. And while McDaniel backed Ted Cruz in the presidential primary, his ties to neo-Confederate groups and sexist rhetoric (during his radio career, McDaniel uttered such gems as "It's so interesting to see this woman basically using her boobies to—I shouldn't have said that[...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/9

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 14:00:58 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Thursday, Mar 9, 2017 · 4:28:33 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer IN-Sen: A few Republicans are talking about challenging Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly next year, but Rep. Luke Messer seems to be the most likely to go for it. Messer tells Howey Politics that “we’re probably a couple of months away from making a final decision,” but he took plenty of shots at his would-be opponent. Fellow Rep. Todd Rokita has also expressed interest in a bid, while freshman Rep. Jim Banks didn’t rule it out last year. Howey also mentions ex-Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke as possible candidates, though there’s no word that they’re considering. Trump carried Indiana 56-37, and Donnelly can expect a tough race no matter whom the GOP ends up fielding. Thursday, Mar 9, 2017 · 5:17:16 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MS-Sen: State Sen. Chris McDaniel’s ultimately unsuccessful 2014 GOP primary challenge against longtime Sen. Thad Cochran was one of the craziest races we’ve seen in heavily Republican Mississippi, and we may be getting a sequel. McDaniel tells Bretibart that he’s “definitely considering” a primary bid against Sen. Roger Wicker, arguing that Wicker and the rest of the state’s congressional delegation have been silent “[r]ather than championing conservative reform in D.C.” Back in 2013, McDaniel announced that he would run for the Senate whether or not Cochran sought a seventh term, and he immediately earned support from important tea party-aligned groups like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund. Cochran had always been a reliably conservative senator, but his long tenure, occasional bipartisan actions, and success getting appropriations for his state made him a tempting target. Cochran also hadn’t faced a real fight in decades and started with little money, and he never really seemed to understand the direction his party was heading in. Cochran had the support of the state GOP establishment and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, but McDaniel won a little more than 1,400 votes in the first round of the primary. McDaniel fell just short of the majority he needed to win outright, but Cochran looked doomed in the runoff three weeks later. However, Cochran ended up pulling off a surprising 51-49 win. Unlike many Southern GOP senators, Cochran had a good relationship with black voters in his state, and his campaign encouraged them to back him in the GOP runoff. The unusual strategy worked to McDaniel’s chagrin; the state senator and his allies insisted that Democratic voters had illegally voted in the GOP primary and demanded a new election. Since Thad Cochran is sitting in the Senate right now and Chris McDaniel isn’t, you can guess how well that went. If McDaniel challenges Wicker, he will likely have a much tougher time getting tracti[...]



Morning Digest: With their first choice gone, the GOP searches for a new challenger for Jon Tester

Thu, 09 Mar 2017 13:00:42 +0000

Leading Off

MT-Sen: Rep. Ryan Zinke had looked like the GOP's obvious first choice to challenge two-term Democratic Sen. Jon Tester next year, but now that Zinke's trotted off to become Donald Trump's interior secretary, Republicans need to find an alternative to Plan Z. Of course, there's no shortage of ambitious GOP pols in a state like Montana, but party insiders are reportedly "courting" state Attorney General Tim Fox, who easily won re-election last year. Fox isn't ruling out the prospect, saying only, "It's not my priority at the moment."

Another statewide Republican official who's keeping the door open is Auditor Matthew Rosendale, who says, "We've got plenty of time to talk about the next campaign cycle." But as the AP notes, the Republican who last ran against Tester, then-Rep. Denny Rehberg, had already launched his campaign by this point in 2011, and yet he still lost.

Meanwhile, wealthy businessman Greg Gianforte is seemingly a no—of sorts. Gianforte, who lost a bid for governor last fall, was just chosen by the state GOP to run in the May 25 special election to replace Zinke, and he says he'll seek re-election if he wins. Of course, if he loses the House race, then he could try to make it three in a row with a Senate run next year. Zinke could also conceivably make a late entry: serve a year in DC, then come home to challenge Tester. Of course, he'd be saddled with everything Trump does, and he'd also fall far behind on fundraising, so this would be an unlikely move.

(image)



Lyda Krewson wins Democratic primary for mayor of St. Louis by 888 votes

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 22:28:27 +0000

On Tuesday, Alderwoman Lyda Krewson pulled off a tight victory in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. Krewson defeated city Treasurer Tishaura Jones 32-30, a margin of just 888 votes; Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, who lost to Slay in 2013, and Alderman Antonio French, who became nationally known for chronicling the 2014 Ferguson protests on Twitter, took 18 and 16 percent, respectively. Krewson will face Republican Andrew Jones in the April 4 general election, but she should have little trouble in this heavily Democratic city. In the primary, Krewson had Slay’s backing, while the local SEIU and 2016 Senate nominee Jason Kander backed Jones; Rep. Lacy Clay, who represents the entire city in the House, endorsed Reed. Jones earned some national attention a few weeks before the election when she penned a letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s editorial board explaining that she was skipping their endorsement interview, arguing that the board members were outsiders who didn’t truly understand the city’s problems and saying she was tired of the paper’s “thinly veiled racism and preference for the status quo past.” (The Dispatch ended up supporting French.) Jones’ confrontational style seems to have helped her get more attention than French and Reed, which likely helped her outpace them at the polls. However, she had her detractors as well. Last year, Jones made news when she abruptly walked out on an interview with a local TV reporter over how much her city-owned car cost taxpayers. In any case, after her very close loss, it’s unlikely we’ve heard the last from Jones. Krewson, meanwhile, had looked favored in the limited polling before the election. Krewson was the only major white candidate, while Jones, Reed, and French are all African Americans. St. Louis is a very racially polarized city and elections there often break down along racial lines. As a result, Krewson seems to have benefited from being the only credible white contender, at least to some degree. As the map from Daniel Donner at the top of this post shows, Krewson did indeed carry the wards with the largest white populations, while Reed and Jones split the areas that had a low percentage of white residents. However, the results look more complex when you peel back a layer: In more diverse but still majority- or plurality-white wards, Jones actually won. However, it does seem that Jones, Reed, and French split black voters just enough to deny Jones a win. While Jones won five of the six wards with a black population between 60 and 80 percent, Reed carried five of the seven wards that were over 80 percent black. However, he only took about a third of the vote in each one. (French carried the ward he represents on the Board of Aldermen but nothing else.) In a contest decided by fewer than 900 votes, race does seem to have made the difference, but it wasn’t the only factor [...]



Republicans could see catastrophic losses in 2018's gubernatorial races if Trump sparks a backlash

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 18:24:53 +0000

Republicans now wield more political power than at any point since the 1920s, and retaking Congress in 2018 will likely be tough for Democrats because of some very challenging maps. Democrats hold 25 of the 34 Senate seats up for election next year because they did so well when these states last held elections in 2012, and gaining the three seats they need for a majority would be a herculean task. Meanwhile, Democrats face a heavily gerrymandered House where Donald Trump carried 53 percent of all districts—despite losing the popular vote nationwide—and Republicans hold 55 percent of the seats. However, as shown on the map above, 36 states will also elect their governors in 2018, while two others will do so this November, covering 85 percent of the country’s population. And for Democrats, the the playing field is almost the exact opposite of the Senate’s, because it’s Republicans who have to defend a vast majority of governors offices, since almost all of these states last held elections in the GOP wave year of 2014. Indeed, Republicans hold the governor’s mansion in 27 of these 38 states, amounting to 53 percent of the nation’s population. And 15 of these GOP governors face term limits or have announced they won’t seek re-election, depriving Republicans of the usual benefits of incumbency. By contrast, Democrats control just 10 states covering 31 percent of the population, and only four of those are open seats. (Alaska also has an independent governor who won in 2014 with Democratic support, but he has yet to announce his 2018 plans.) Midterm elections almost always see the president’s party lose seats downballot, especially when an administration is deeply unpopular. If the public’s dislike of Trump persists or worsens, Republicans could consequently see catastrophic gubernatorial losses in 2017 and 2018. And that in turn could have a huge impact on one of the most pressing issues for Democrats everywhere: redistricting. Below, we’ll take a look at the entire gubernatorial landscape, including a rundown of the key states where Democrats have their best pickup opportunities. If you’re looking for races to get involved in this year and next, this guide is a great place to start. [...]



The fight to smash Republican gerrymandering starts this year, in Virginia. Are you in?

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 15:00:38 +0000

Last fall, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by a decisive 50-44 margin in Virginia, but that victory didn’t translate downballot for Democrats. In fact, despite getting whipped at the top of the ticket, Republicans managed to win seven of the state’s 11 congressional races while Democrats took just four, a sad state of affairs you can see illustrated in the map at the top of this post. So how can the same party win 64 percent of a state’s House seats while carrying just 44 percent of the presidential vote? Simple: gerrymandering. Republicans won complete control over Virginia’s state government in 2011, so they alone got to redraw the state’s congressional map after the last census—and they made sure to pack Democratic voters into as few districts as possible while carefully spreading Republican voters just widely enough to ensure GOP control over a majority of seats. It’s a travesty, and one progressives know we can’t let happen again when the next census rolls around in 2020. That’s why Daily Kos is getting involved in Virginia’s elections this year. We can’t wait until the last minute—we have to prepare for the future now, because Republicans are doing the exact same thing. So there are two things we have to do this fall in the Old Dominion in order to have seats at the table for the next round of redistricting: (1) keep the governor’s mansion in Democratic hands and (2) win back seats in the state House. As far as No. 1 goes, Democrats have two strong candidates running for governor: Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and ex-Rep. Tom Perriello, and Daily Kos is not going to take sides in that primary, which isn’t until June 13. But we’re champing at the bit and don’t want to sit on the sidelines for three more months, so we’re asking you to contribute now to a special account set up by the Democratic Governors Association that will deliver all funds (minus ActBlue’s normal processing fees) to the winner of the primary just as soon as it’s concluded. It’ll actually work out perfectly: That infusion of cash will come at a critical time to help our nominee hit the ground running for the general election—and as soon as we know who that person is, we’ll start raising money for him directly. Then there’s the matter of the state House, which Republicans have also gerrymandered to within an inch of its life: They control 66 out of the chamber’s 100 seats—again, despite Trump losing statewide (and Mitt Romney before him, and John McCain before him). But the good news is that Clinton actually won a majority of districts in the state House: 51 in total, and 17 held by Republicans. Democrats have landed challengers in all 17 of those seats, and they’ll be prime targets for us in November. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/8

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 14:00:53 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Wednesday, Mar 8, 2017 · 5:35:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Los Angeles, CA Mayor, CA-Gov: To no one’s surprise, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti easily won a second term on Tuesday, taking 81 percent of the vote against a field of little-known opponents. Turnout in local races has long been abysmal, and only about 11 percent of eligible registered voters cast a ballot in this election. The good news is that two years ago (ironically on another ultra-low turnout citywide Election Day), a ballot measure passed that will permanently move L.A.’s mayoral races to midterm years. Garcetti will serve out a special five-and-a-half-year term, and in June of 2022, there will be a non-partisan primary to succeed him. If no one takes a majority, the top two candidates will face off in November. Garcetti is termed-out in 2022, but there’s no guarantee he’ll stick around that long. Garcetti has long been mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate to succeed termed-out Gov. Jerry Brown, and he’s refused to rule anything out. Now that he’s been re-elected, Garcetti could gear up for a gubernatorial campaign if he’s interested. However, several other Democrats have already been running for months, if not years. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is the only major candidate who hails from Northern California while ex-Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and state Treasurer John Chiang both have similar Southern California bases as Garcetti, and the mayor may just prefer to sit this one out. However, if Sen. Dianne Feinstein ends up not seeking re-election, Garcetti could be one of the first candidates in. Wednesday, Mar 8, 2017 · 5:46:35 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer FL-Sen: Mason-Dixon: Bill Nelson (D-inc): 46; Rick Scott (R): 41 Wednesday, Mar 8, 2017 · 6:07:35 PM +00:00 · David Jarman Los Angeles, CA Measure S: With the foregone-conclusion mayoral race drawing little attention, the most hotly contested item on the ballot in Tuesday’s municipal elections in Los Angeles may have been Measure S. The initiative took aim at sweetheart deals between local officials and real estate developers, but proposed a remarkably broad remedy that would have put a temporary ban on practically all forms of upzoning, potentially driving the city’s housing costs even higher by making it even harder for housing supply to keep up with demand. In the end, voters were leery of the ban's likely effects, votin[...]



Morning Digest: Democratic field grows as ex-Rep. Betty Sutton joins race for Ohio governor

Wed, 08 Mar 2017 13:00:34 +0000

Leading Off

OH-Gov: On Tuesday, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton announced that she would run for governor of Ohio next year. Sutton is the second Democrat to kick off a bid to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. John Kasich, joining state Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni in the primary; a number of other Democrats are also considering.

Sutton represented a Cleveland-area district for three terms, but Republicans drew her into the same conservative seat as GOP Rep. Jim Renacci in 2012. Sutton lost 52-48, running ahead of Obama's 53-45 deficit here. (Renacci is considering running for governor, so we may see a rematch next November.) After that, Sutton received a federal appointment to serve as administrator of the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp., a position she resigned as the Obama administration ended. Sutton has good ties to labor, which could help her in a competitive primary.

(image)



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 3/7

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 14:00:58 +0000

Welcome to the Daily Kos Elections Live Digest, your liveblog of all of today's campaign news. Please note: This is a 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential primary-free zone Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017 · 4:17:52 PM +00:00 · David Nir MT-AL: On Monday, the GOP nominated businessman Greg Gianforte, who lost a bid for governor last year, on their first ballot at their nominating convention for the May 25 special election. Gianforte is extremely rich—he sold a software company to Oracle, reportedly for $300 to $400 million—and plowed over $5 million of his own fortune into his 2016 campaign. But even though Donald Trump carried Montana by 20 points, Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock defeated Gianforte 50-46. In part, Bullock won because Democrats successfully painted Gianforte as a wealthy carpetbagger (DGA ads called him “a millionaire from New Jersey”) who, among other things, had sought to block public access to a river along which he owned property—this in a state with deep reverence for hunting and fishing. That issue won’t go away, though of course, Gianforte can once again flood the Montana airwaves, where advertising is cheap. Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017 · 4:24:12 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer MO-Sen: A number of Republicans have been mentioned as possible candidates against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill next year, and Attorney General Josh Hawley is the latest one not to say no. When asked by KBIA about speculation that he’d run, Hawley only chuckled and stated, “All I’m saying is I’d like to be left alone to do my job that I got elected to do.” As we’ve mentioned before, Hawley was only elected last November, but he’s already shown that he’s very ambitious. In particular, Hawley likes to claim he was deeply involved in winning the Hobby Lobby case that allowed employers to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage if doing so violated the company's "sincerely held religious beliefs." (Reality: He didn't get anywhere near oral arguments before the Supreme Court and was the last attorney listed on the plaintiffs' brief.) Tuesday, Mar 7, 2017 · 4:33:58 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer OH-Gov: On Tuesday, ex-Rep. Betty Sutton announced that she would run for governor of Ohio next year. Sutton is the second Democrat to kick off a bid to succeed termed-out Republican Gov. John Kasich, joining state Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni in the primary; a number of other Democrats are also considering. Sutton represented a Cleveland-area seat for three terms, but Republicans drew h[...]



Morning Digest: Nervous Georgia GOP re-gerrymanders state House to protect vulnerable Republicans

Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:00:37 +0000

Leading Off ● GA Redistricting, GA State House: Late on Friday and without warning, Georgia's Republican-dominated state House rammed through a bill that would re-gerrymander their districts to protect their lopsided majority. Donald Trump won Georgia by just 50-45, but Republicans captured nearly two-thirds of the state House seats in 2016 thanks to their ultra-partisan gerrymander. Apparently even that 118-to-62 majority isn't safe enough for Republicans. Redistricting normally only takes place immediately after the census, and redrawing the lines in the middle of the decade simply because they were at risk of losing seats is nothing short of an attempt to nullify elections. Campaign Action If the similarly GOP-dominated state Senate and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal agree to these changes, Georgia would redraw the lines for eight Republican-held seats and one Democratic district. These changes would reduce the proportion of voters of color in certain districts where these Democratic-leaning voter demographics had threatened to oust Republican incumbents. This new map could even lead to Republicans regaining a veto-proof majority, preventing Democrats from blocking gerrymanders in the 2020s even if Team Blue wins the critical 2018 election to succeed term-limited Gov. Deal. What's more, seven of the nine districts Republicans are trying to fiddle with are in the northern Atlanta suburbs, and two of them are located entirely within the 6th Congressional District, as shown at the top of this post. That's where the upcoming special election to replace Trump's new health secretary, Tom Price, is about to take place. While this effort doesn't directly affect the state's congressional lines, if Republicans are futzing with legislative district borders in this part of the state, it's a sign they're worried about the race for the U.S. House too. Stephen Wolf has more here. Georgia Republicans are no strangers to just this sort of attack on democracy. After they won their first unified control over state government since Reconstruction in 2004, the party swiftly passed a mid-decade gerrymander of the congressional map that almost led to them gaining seats in 2006 even as Democrats picked up scores of seats in other states in that year's anti-GOP wave election. Republicans similarly replaced the court-drawn state Senate map with their own gerrymander to protect their newfound majority in that same election. If these changes become law, expect to see Democrats and civil rights groups launch a barrage of lawsuits challenging these plans as illegal racial or partisan gerrymanders in violations of the Voting Rights Act or the Constitution's Equal Protections Clause. Given the recent string of court victories against racial gerrymandering and the possibility that the S[...]



Ossoff releases first ads, goes right at Trump: 'I'll hold him accountable'

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 22:27:02 +0000

With the April 18 primary now six weeks away, the special election for Georgia's 6th Congressional District is starting to heat up. Signaling some worry about the intense outpouring of enthusiasm for Democrat Jon Ossoff, the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC close to Paul Ryan, launched the first ads of the race last week, a $1.1 million campaign that (seriously) "attacked" Ossoff for dressing up as Han Solo when he was in college. Judging by anecdotal evidence, at least, the effort has some real potential to backfire, as most online comments have been along the lines of, "This guy seems cool—I just donated! #jonshotfirst." Perhaps, though, the ads are faring better with older, Jabba-supporting voters (known to be a very pro-Hutt cohort), since Ossoff responded with a trio of spots of his own. (The reported buy is much smaller, though: just $75,000 so far.) Ossoff's first ad directly pushes back at the CLF's attempt to paint him as inexperienced, with a narrator describing Ossoff as "a national security aide with top secret clearance" who "fought to stop" "waste and abuse by military contractors." The spot adds that in his work as an investigative filmmaker, Ossoff "took on corrupt foreign officials who were stealing U.S. tax dollars and helped send them to jail." Ossoff himself narrates the second ad, laying out his priorities, including fixing Obamacare, because "repealing it makes no sense." At the end, he also goes right at Trump, saying, "When President Trump embarrasses our country or acts recklessly, I'll hold him accountable." The final spot, meanwhile, is focused entirely on Trump. It shows Ossoff in a high-tech command center as a digital clock counts down above him: "Imagine you had thirty seconds to make a life or death decision affecting thousands of Americans," he says. "That's what we expect of our President. Sound judgment. That's why it's so concerning to see President Trump act so impulsively. He's not only embarrassing us on the world stage. He could start an unnecessary war." Concludes Ossoff as the clock strikes zero: "We can't let Donald Trump put us at risk." And the first ad from a GOP candidate has now dropped, too, though it's a weird one. Former state Sen. Dan Moody, who's reportedly putting $300,000 behind this buy, is out with a minute-long spot that looks like a particularly whacked-out nature video, featuring footage of distressed-looking donkeys and elephants. A narrator delivers a meandering, metaphorical discourse on how poorly these animals behave until finally, 41 seconds in, Moody finally appears, shoveling up behind them, because he's "repeatedly proven he's willing to joyfully do the hard stuff." It's a poop-themed ad. We get it. Finally, we also have a new survey of the race, from [...]



Spooked Georgia GOP re-gerrymanders Atlanta suburbs, revealing worries over House special election

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 21:49:41 +0000

Late in the day on Friday and with almost no warning, the Republicans who dominate Georgia’s state House did something altogether remarkable: They rammed through a bill to re-gerrymander their own district lines in order to protect several vulnerable GOP incumbents. The move is amazing for two reasons. For one, Republicans have already gerrymandered the House to within an inch of its life: Even though Donald Trump won just 50 percent of the vote in Georgia last year, the GOP has a 118-to-62 advantage in the chamber. That means they control 66 percent of all seats, though evidently that’s not enough for greedy Republicans. The other takeaway is just as startling. Seven of the nine districts Republicans are trying to fiddle with are in the northern Atlanta suburbs, and two of them are located entirely within the 6th Congressional District, as shown in the map at the top of this post. That’s where the upcoming special election to replace Trump’s new health secretary, Tom Price, is about to take place. While this effort doesn’t directly affect the state’s congressional lines, if Republicans are futzing with legislative district borders in this part of the state, it’s a sign they’re worried about the race for the U.S. House too. And they have reason to be. These Atlanta suburbs districts are home to both a growing mix of black, Latino, and Asian-American voters who are core Democratic-leaning demographics as well as a highly educated white population. These wealthy, educated white voters have long leaned staunchly Republican, but they swung sharply toward Hillary Clinton in 2016, and consequently so did these suburbs. If these districts start voting for Congress and state legislature the same way they did for president in 2016, that could doom many downballot Republicans as we head into 2018. That’s particularly important for the 6th Congressional District, which will hold a special election this year on April 18, with a likely runoff on June 20. This highly educated seat only supported Trump by 48-47 despite favoring Mitt Romney by a 61-37 landslide in 2012. If Democrats hope to take back the House in 2018, districts like this one will make top targets. Can you chip in $3 to help elect Jon Ossoff and aid Democrats in retaking the House? [...]