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Daily Kos Elections



Daily Kos's official elections portal.



Published: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 02:05:32 +0000

Last Build Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 02:05:32 +0000

Copyright: Copyright 2005 - Steal what you want
 



New poll shows former Bernie Sanders staffer leading special election for California House seat

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 23:07:40 +0000

Latino Decisions, which is best known for its national polls of Latino public opinion, has taken a dive into California's majority-Hispanic (and dark blue) 34th Congressional District, which will soon host a special election. Latino Decisions says they conducted the poll independently, but before getting to the horserace, they asked a battery of questions about electoral politics, including whether respondents would prefer "a career politician who is endorsed by the political establishment," and if they think Bernie Sanders would have beaten Donald Trump. Best practices for pollsters, however, dictate that you only ask questions like this after you solicit voters' views on election matchups, because you risk "priming" respondents on other topics, thereby clouding their later answers. It's possible that something like that happened here. Several of Latino Decisions' questions either directly reference Sanders (would you prefer "someone who worked alongside Bernie Sanders in the primary"?) or echo themes he ran on during last year's presidential primary (do you agree that "the Democratic Party establishment has too much control over its nominees"?). On almost all of these questions, the Sanders point of view carried more support, and that's worth flagging because the survey twice refers to one of the candidates in the race, Democrat Arturo Carmona, as a staffer for Sanders. That might explain why, on the 25th question of the poll, Carmona, who has never held or run for office before, leads the way. Here's how the numbers break down, with the poll's description of the four candidates Latino Decisions thinks are "somewhat better positioned" in parentheses: Arturo Carmona: 30 ("former Bernie Sanders campaign deputy") Jimmy Gomez: 19 ("state Assemblyman") Sara Hernandez: 9 ("former city council aide") Yolie Flores: 8 ("former LAUSD board member") Other: 5 Undecided: 31 While Gomez, the only current elected official in the race, isn't especially well-known, it's still surprising to see Carmona so far out in front. We don't have any other polls we can directly compare this one to, but an early PPP survey that tested a hypothetical field that ultimately didn't pan out found Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar, a prominent politician who's been in office for over a decade, led the way in a multi-candidate matchup with just 22 percent. It's certainly possible this poll is on-target, but it's also possible that respondents' positive associations with Sanders helped give Carmona a boost. Latino Decisions explained the focus of its survey by saying they were trying to get a read on the "national mood,” and it may be that running as a political outsider in the Sanders mold would be a winning message for Carmona. But it will still be up to him to raise enough money and get enough support to spread that message, and it will also be on him to withstand any attacks from other Democratic contenders. This race still has a long way to go, and new candidates keep joining, so it's very much in flux, and it'll change even more once campaigns are fully engaged. But to get the most accurate view of the contest, pollsters who investigate it in the future should ask about the horserace right at the start and save topical questions for the back half of their surveys. It’s also worth noting that, if no one takes a majority in the first round of the special election, there will be a runoff between the top two vote-getters, so we’ll want to get a look at potential second-round scenarios, too. [...]



Leading Democrat for Virginia governor raises money from 10 times as many donors as top Republican

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:38:03 +0000

Fundraising reports for statewide candidates in Virginia, which hosts several key elections this year, were due on Tuesday, giving us our first look at the finances of the leading candidates in quite some time. The new filings cover the entire second half of 2016, during which Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam led the field of gubernatorial contenders. Northam and his allied PAC combined to raise $1.6 million from July 1 through Dec. 31 of last year and together have $2.5 million on hand.

Meanwhile, the top Republican in the race, former RNC chief Ed Gillespie, pulled in $1.5 million along with his PAC and has just under $2 million in the bank. These sums were, however, compiled in very different ways. Grotesquely, Virginia has absolutely no limits on campaign contributions, and Gillespie took full advantage: His campaign took in monetary donations from just 532 donors (including a $1.1 million transfer from his PAC). Northam's campaign, by contrast, received 5,828 separate contributions during the same timeframe—over 10 times as many. That kind of grassroots support can make a big difference, especially when it comes time to mobilize volunteers on the ground.

As for the three other Republicans running, they raised much less money. Corey Stewart, the chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors, brought in $505,000, but $378,000 of that was transferred from his supervisor campaign account, meaning only $127,000 came from new donations; he has $402,000 left. State Sen. Frank Wagner reported raising $451,000, but similarly, $200,000 was from his Senate fund, so he really only took in $251,000 in new money and now has $372,000 on hand. Finally, distillery owner Denver Riggleman, who got in late last year, has under $30,000 in the bank.

As for Democratic ex-Rep. Tom Perriello, he only joined the contest earlier this month, so it'll be some time before we get a handle of his fundraising abilities.

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This suburban Kansas City congressional seat swung from 54-44 Romney to 47-46 Clinton

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 17:53:16 +0000

Daily Kos Election’s project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide drops by Kansas, which is now the 49th state we’ve calculated. We’re waiting for North Carolina to assign most of its absentee votes to precincts, which they told us last week should be done “in the next few days.” You can find our complete data set here, which we'll update … well, when North Carolina comes in.

Donald Trump carried Kansas 57-36, which on the surface looks pretty similar to Mitt Romney’s 60-38 win in 2012. However, there was one very noteworthy difference: Hillary Clinton narrowly carried the 3rd District, located in suburban Kansas City, by a 47-46 margin, a huge swing from Romney’s 54-44 win here. Correctly anticipating that this district would be particularly hostile to Trump, national Democrats launched an expensive ad campaign late in the cycle against GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, aka that congressman who took a nude swim in the Sea of Galilee. However, Yoder still prevailed over Democrat Jay Sidie 51-41, though that was a darn sight better for Team Blue than 2014, when Yoder won 60-40, and Clinton’s close win here means the incumbent can’t rest easy in 2018.

Kansas’s other three seats, meanwhile, decisively went for Trump. The Topeka-area 2nd District may be vacant soon, since GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins is considering running for governor next year. However, this district went from 56-42 Romney to 56-37 Trump, so it’s unlikely to be much of a Democratic target. Trump has nominated 4th District GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo to serve as head of the CIA, and if Pompeo is confirmed, there will be a special election to replace him in this Wichita seat. The 4th backed Trump 60-33, a larger margin of victory than Romney’s 60-38 win, so the special won’t be exciting. Finally, the rural western 1st District was little changed, going from 70-28 Romney to 69-24 Trump.

We also have two pieces of housekeeping for the Sunflower State. Mystifyingly, the secretary of state’s office still hasn’t posted official county-level election results online, even though every other state in the union has. The state finally sent us the results by email after multiple official requests, so we’ve posted them here for everyone to access, since Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is obviously too busy chasing voter fraud ghosts to do his actual job.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/18

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 14:00:22 +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, Jan 18, 2017 · 5:51:26 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide drops by Kansas, which is now the 49th state we’ve calculated. We’re waiting for North Carolina to assign most of its absentee votes to precincts, which they told us last week should be done “in the next few days.” You can find our complete data set here, which we'll update … well, when North Carolina comes in. Donald Trump carried Kansas 57-36, which on the surface looks pretty similar to Mitt Romney’s 60-38 win in 2012. However, there was one very noteworthy difference: Hillary Clinton narrowly carried the 3rd District, located in suburban Kansas City, by a 47-46 margin, a huge swing from Romney’s 54-44 win here. Correctly anticipating that this district would be particularly hostile to Trump, national Democrats launched an expensive ad campaign late in the cycle against GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, aka that congressman who took a nude swim in the Sea of Galilee. However, Yoder still prevailed over Democrat Jay Sidie 51-41, though that was a darn sight better for Team Blue than 2014, when Yoder won 60-40, and Clinton’s close win here means the incumbent can’t rest easy in 2018. Kansas’ other three seats, meanwhile, decisively went for Trump. The Topeka-area 2nd District may be vacant soon, since GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins is considering running for governor next year. However, this district went from 56-42 Romney to 56-37 Trump, so it’s unlikely to be much of a Democratic target. Trump has nominated 4th District GOP Rep. Mike Pompeo to serve as head of the CIA, and if Pompeo is confirmed, there will be a special election to replace him in this Wichita seat. The 4th backed Trump 60-33, a larger margin of victory than Romney’s 60-38 win, so the special won’t be exciting. Finally, the rural western 1st District was little changed, going from 70-28 Romney to 69-24 Trump. We also have two pieces of housekeeping for the Sunflower State. Mystifyingly, the secretary of state’s office still hasn’t posted official county-level election results online, even though every other state in the union has. The state finally sent us the results by email after multiple official requests, so we’ve posted them here for everyone to access, since Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is obviously too busy chasing voter fraud ghosts to do his actual job. The second thing to address is the results of tiny Pawnee County, which is divided between the 1st and 4th Districts. Daily Kos Elections always relies on official precinct-level results for split counties, but Pawnee has repeatedly insisted they don’t have their own election results (apparently, Pawnee placed Andy Dwyer in charge back in November), while the secretary of state has not sent them to us despite our requests. Ninety-five percent of Pawnee (pop.: 6,971) is contained within the 1st District, and that section makes up just 0.93 percent of the total population in that district. Rather than let one very small county hold up the entire state possibly forever, we’ve simply assigned 95 percent of Pawnee’s votes to the 1st District and the balance to the 4th. (This is, in fact, more or less how we treat split precincts.) If and when we get Pawnee’s official precinct results, we’ll update our numbers and announce them in the Digest, but no matter what, very little will change in either the 1st or 4th Districts. Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 · 7:50:30 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer CO-Gov: Ex-Sen. Ken Salazar has been m[...]



Morning Digest: South Florida rejected Trump, but downballot Republicans hung on

Wed, 18 Jan 2017 13:00:24 +0000

Leading off

Pres-by-CD: It's cold outside, so our ongoing project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide is heading to Florida where it's warmer. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available.

Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 49-48, just a small shift to the right from Mitt Romney's 50-49 loss to Barack Obama in 2012, but one that made all the difference in deciding Florida's 29 electoral votes. Note that is the first cycle where Florida used its new court-drawn congressional map after the state's previous Republican-drawn map was struck down for violating the state's voter-approved law against political gerrymandering. (Note also that our 2012 numbers for Florida, adjusted retroactively for redistricting, come from the state, so any comparisons between 2012 and 2016 aren't quite apples-to-apples.) Clinton carried the same 13 congressional districts that Obama won while Trump took the same 14 Romney seats, but there were some big swings in both directions.

We'll start with a look at the two Republicans who hold Clinton/Obama seats. Florida's 26th District, which is located around Miami and includes Key West, shifted from 55-44 Obama to 57-41 Clinton. However, that didn't stop Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo from decisively winning a second term by a 53-41 margin in his rematch with ex-Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia. During the 2014 GOP wave, Curbelo unseated Garcia 51.5-48.5 in the old, more conservative version of the 26th.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/17

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 14:00:21 +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, Jan 17, 2017 · 5:19:55 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: It’s cold outside, so our ongoing project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide is heading to Florida where it’s warmer. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 49-48, just a small shift to the right from Mitt Romney’s 50-49 loss to Barack Obama in 2012, but one that made all the difference for deciding Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Note that is the first cycle where Florida used its new court-drawn congressional map after the state's previous Republican-drawn map was struck down for violating the state’s voter-approved law against political gerrymandering. (Note that our 2012 numbers for Florida, adjusted retroactively for redistricting, come from the state, so any comparisons between 2012 and 2016 aren't quite apples-to-apples.) Clinton carried the same 13 congressional districts that Obama won while Trump took the same 14 Romney seats, but there were some notable huge in both directions. We’ll start with a look at the two Republicans who hold Clinton/ Obama seats. Florida’s 26th District, which is located around Miami and includes Key West, shifted from 55-44 Obama to 57-41 Clinton. However, that didn’t stop Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo from decisively winning a second term 53-41 in his rematch with ex-Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia. During the 2014 GOP wave, Curbelo unseated Garcia 51.5-48.5 in the old and more-conservative version of the 26th. Outside groups on both sides spent heavily on this race, but Curbelo decisively outspent his Democratic foe. Garcia narrowly defeated the DCCC’s favored candidate in the primary, and he brought some ethical baggage and strange behavior to the general election: Most notably, Garcia actually said that Hillary Clinton "is under no illusions that you want to have sex with her, or that she's going to seduce you." Team Blue may be able to do much better in the future against Curbelo if they manage to nominate someone else. However, Republicans frequently do well downballot in the Miami area even as traditionally Republican Cuban-American voters have become more hospitable to Democratic presidential candidates. This seat is blue enough that Curbelo shouldn’t be entrenched, but he certainly won’t be easy to beat. The neighboring 27th District, which includes much of Miami, shifted even further to the left: Obama carried the seat 53-46, while Clinton won 59-39 here. Democrats haven’t seriously targeted longtime Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in a long time, and she pulled off a clear 55-45 win last year against Scott Fuhrman, a Democrat who used his personal money to run some ads but had little outside help. However, this was Ros-Lehtinen’s closest race since her initial 1989 special election victory. Ros-Lehtinen is an institution in the Miami area and it will be very difficult for national Democrats to find a viable candidate. However, this seat may be anti-Trump enough that a credible Democrat can at least make the incumbent sweat. Two Republican incumbents lost their seats last year after redistricting made their seats considerably bluer than before. Obama only carried the suburban Orlando 7th District by an extremely tight 49.41-49.37, but Clinton won a convincing 51-44 here. Republican Rep. John Mica couldn’t run quite far enough ahead of Trump and lost 51.5-48.5 to Democrat Stephanie Murphy. But Mica really should be blaming himself, rather than Trump, for his loss. Mica did very little to prepare for a tough race after[...]



Adam Laxalt raises $1.2 million for likely Nevada governor bid as GOP field clears for him

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:16:37 +0000

Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt hasn't publicly said much about his 2018 plans, but all signs point to him running for governor of Nevada. Last month, Sen. Dean Heller decided to seek re-election rather than campaign for the governor's office, and Jon Ralston wrote that Laxalt “indicated” that he might run for the state’s top job even if Heller did too. A little while later, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison also announced that he wouldn’t seek the GOP nod either.  This week, we also learned that Laxalt raised a hefty $1.2 million during 2016, more money than any Nevada Republican has ever raised this far from Election Day: Laxalt could use the money to run for re-election or for governor. Robert Uithoven, a Laxalt consultant, also says that while his 2018 “decision is yet to be made,” Laxalt’s viability for a successful campaign in either office is without question.” Every cycle, there are always plenty of politicians who look poised to run for office but surprisingly back out, so nothing’s guaranteed. But if Laxalt isn’t a gubernatorial candidate, he’s doing a convincing job playing one. While termed-out GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval has a reputation as a moderate, Laxalt has a very different profile. Laxalt became an ardent Donald Trump supporter once Trump wrapped up the GOP nod, and as Ralston put it, the attorney general likes to hold himself out as Nevada's "One True Conservative." Democrats may have an easier time against a creature of the far-right like Laxalt than they may have against Heller or Hutchison, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be a pushover. 2018 will also be the first time that Nevada Democrats have needed to run without Harry Reid and his top aides leading their formidable voter turnout effort.  The Democratic field is also only slowly taking shape here. Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is the only Silver State Democrat to publicly talk about running, and he has about $3 million in the bank that he can transfer to a gubernatorial campaign. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sisolak expects to announce his plans by the end of April. However, state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford hasn’t ruled out his own bid, while rich guy Steve Cloobeck is reportedly trying to convince Ford and Sisolak to defer to him. [...]



Rival drops out and endorses leading Democrat in special election for suburban Atlanta House seat

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:12:01 +0000

One piece just clicked into place for investigative filmmaker Jon Ossoff: On Tuesday, fellow Democrat Josh McLaurin dropped out of the expected special election for Georgia’s 6th Congressional District and endorsed Ossoff, a former staffer for Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson, in his stead. McLaurin, a local attorney and political novice, said he "promised to step aside if a clear frontrunner emerged" in order to maximize the chances that a Democrat would make the runoff, and he called Ossoff precisely that frontrunner.

That's a selfless attitude that the Democratic Party—hell, all humanity—could use more of. As we've noted before, if Rep. Tom Price is confirmed as Donald Trump’s healthcare czar, all candidates from all parties would run on a single ballot in a special election, with the top two vote-getters advancing to a runoff regardless of party if no one clears 50 percent. With too many Democrats in the field, there's a good chance the left-leaning vote could get split and send two Republicans to the second round. McLaurin wisely understood this problem and instead chose to be part of the solution.

However, two other Democrats are still in the race, former state Sen. Ron Slotin and former state Rep. Sally Harrell. But Ossoff's campaign is unquestionably the furthest along: He launched with an endorsement from Lewis (who's been in the news a little bit lately, you might have seen), said he's already secured $250,000 in donation pledges, and is the only candidate to hire professional staff so far, including fundraisers who worked for Deborah Ross' Senate race in North Carolina and a pollster.

Given the compressed timeframes special elections always run on, plus the difficult odds Democrats face in this conservative district, Slotin and Harrell really need to think hard about whether they're helping the party by staying in the race, or whether they'd serve the cause better by following McLaurin's lead.

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For some reason, ex-Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is considering a 2018 comeback bid

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:41:07 +0000

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat who succeeded none other than Barack Obama in the Illinois state Senate, has been mentioned as a possible statewide candidate for a while, but has never gone for it. However, at a recent breakfast honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Raoul didn’t rule out a bid against GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, saying that he doesn’t “ever close any doors.”

Ex-Gov. Pat Quinn, who lost his seat to Rauner 50-46, was also at the event, and Quinn didn’t rule out a comeback. When asked if he’s interested in a rematch, Quinn said he would “take a look at that at the right time.” Just before the 2014 election, Quinn posted an anemic 31-54 approval rating in PPP’s final poll. Quinn also had a turbulent relationship with labor, and he did not please teachers’ unions when he chose former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas, who hails from the Michelle Rhee school of education "reform," as his running mate in 2014. (Case in point: This week, Rauner appointed Vallas to the Chicago State University Board of Trustees and is recommending him to serve as chair.) The Democratic primary to face Rauner may be crowded and if Quinn runs, his name recognition could help him slip through with a plurality. Still, it’s unclear if there is anyone who actually wants Quinn to run again, except for maybe Bruce Rauner.

Two other Democrats were also at the breakfast and publicly confirmed their interest for the first time. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who is probably the only Democrat capable of outspending the wealthy Rauner, said he was “willing to step up because we've got to win.” Businessman Chris Kennedy, a son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, also said he was still considering whether or not to run. Last month, an unnamed Kennedy aide told Politico that Kennedy was planning to announce his campaign after New Year’s Day. However, there were similar reports back in 2009 that Kennedy was about to announce a Senate bid, but he didn’t end up running.

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Which Republicans will step forward to challenge Claire McCaskill? The options are many

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:55:12 +0000

So far, Rep. (and former RNC co-chair) Ann Wagner is the only Missouri Republican to even hint at challenging Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2018: "She's immensely beatable," Wagner opined last year, before offering the requisite pablum about being focused on 2016 her re-election. On paper at least—as a female candidate who lives just a few miles from McCaskill in west St. Louis County and has extensive fundraising experience—Wagner ought to be the GOP establishment's dream candidate. But this being Missouri— the same Missouri where Trump prevailed by nearly 20 points—there's no shortage of other Republicans who could run. Some, like Wagner, we've already discussed, but the National Journal's Kimberly Railey has offered up a few more potential names, including state Attorney General Josh Hawley, Rep. Sam Graves, state Treasurer Eric Schmitt, and state House Speaker Todd Richardson Most of these candidates fall to the right of Wagner, who is already taking intra-party flak after having "un-endorsed" Trump before capitulating and ultimately saying she'd vote for him last year. (In fact, former state party chair Ed Martin tweeted a picture of a "Trump for President" poster over a "Wagner for Congress" sign, with a spray-painted red circle-and-slash symbol defacing Wagner's emblem.) So even if Wagner does run—something that, as it happens, is looking less likely as of last week—there would almost certainly be an opening for a more reliably partisan option. Hawley in particular is especially ambitious: a Yale Law grad, he's served in his current post for just one week and 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.) It probably wouldn't be too far off to consider him a Show Me State version of Ohio "Treasurer" Josh Mandel. Graves, meanwhile, has been in office since 2001 and represents a district that stretches across the entire north of the state, so he'd have a distinct geographic base from which to run in a primary. (Fun fact: Ted Cruz's 2016 campaign manager, Jeff Roe, cut his teeth as Graves' top aide.) The genial, center-right Schmitt hails from suburban St. Louis, where he served two terms in the state Senate in a seat inside the 2nd Congressional District currently represented by Wagner . Richardson, an attorney whose father also led state House Republicans and nearly served as speaker himself, is from the state's rural southeastern corner and, like Schmitt, would be considered a mainstream conservative in Missouri Republican politics. In the past, we've also mentioned Reps. Billy Long and Vicky Hartzler as possibilities, but like this new quartet of candidates, they haven't said anything, either. [...]



This map shows the 60 House Democrats who've said they won't attend Trump's inauguration ceremony

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 18:02:54 +0000

Campaign Action So far, 68 of the 194 Democratic members of the House have announced they will not attend Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony on Friday, with more adding their names to the list with every passing hour. The remaining 126 are either attending or have not made their intentions clear. As shown above, we’ve mapped out the districts of who is and isn’t going, with each district equally sized so that compact urban districts don’t get overshadowed (you can see a larger version here). To find out more about each member and the districts they represent, check out our comprehensive guide to the 115th Congress members and districts, which contains our calculations of the 2016 presidential election results for each congressional district, along with a whole host of other statistics. Using those presidential results, we’ve also mapped out the presidential outcome by district for each member who says he or she will not attend the inauguration (see the graphic below the fold). Overall, those members who are skipping tend to come from relatively safely Democratic districts, though there are some notable exceptions. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, who represents New Hampshire’s 1st District, actually sits in a seat that Trump carried by 48-47, making her the only Trump-district Democrat on the list of no-shows so far. Meanwhile, a couple of Oregon Congress members—4th District Rep. Peter DeFazio and 5th District Rep. Kurt Schrader—both represent very swingy districts that Hillary Clinton only narrowly won, and both also say they won’t be at inauguration. Given the broad range of Democrats who’ve said they’ll be elsewhere on Friday, it won’t be surprising to see a lot more names added to the list as the week progresses, so we’ll be updating this map regularly. Tuesday, Jan 17, 2017 · 11:25:27 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf This story has been updated to reflect that 60 Democrats have now said that they would not attend Trump’s inauguration. Democrats only need 21 more abstainers to break the record set in 1973, when 80 members boycotted Richard Nixon’s re-inauguration. Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 · 4:18:26 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf This story has been updated to reflect that 63 Democrats have now said that they would not attend Trump’s inauguration. Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 · 11:25:15 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf There are now 68 House Democrats who say they won’t attend the inauguration ceremony. [...]



Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's Miami congressional seat shifted from 53-46 Obama to 59-39 Clinton

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:24:19 +0000

It’s cold outside, so Daily Kos Election’s ongoing project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide is heading to Florida where it’s warmer. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 49-48, just a small shift to the right from Mitt Romney’s 50-49 loss to Barack Obama in 2012, but one that made all the difference for deciding Florida’s 29 electoral votes. Note that is the first cycle where Florida used its new court-drawn congressional map after the state's previous Republican-drawn map was struck down for violating the state’s voter-approved law against political gerrymandering. (Note that our 2012 numbers for Florida, adjusted retroactively for redistricting, come from the state, so any comparisons between 2012 and 2016 aren't quite apples-to-apples.) Clinton carried the same 13 congressional districts that Obama won while Trump took the same 14 Romney seats, but there were some notable huge in both directions. We’ll start with a look at the two Republicans who hold Clinton/Obama seats. Florida’s 26th District, which is located around Miami and includes Key West, shifted from 55-44 Obama to 57-41 Clinton. However, that didn’t stop Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo from decisively winning a second term 53-41 in his rematch with ex-Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia. During the 2014 GOP wave, Curbelo unseated Garcia 51.5-48.5 in the old and more-conservative version of the 26th. Outside groups on both sides spent heavily on this race, but Curbelo decisively outspent his Democratic foe. Garcia narrowly defeated the DCCC’s favored candidate in the primary, and he brought some ethical baggage and strange behavior to the general election: Most notably, Garcia actually said that Hillary Clinton "is under no illusions that you want to have sex with her, or that she's going to seduce you." Team Blue may be able to do much better in the future against Curbelo if they manage to nominate someone else. However, Republicans frequently do well downballot in the Miami area even as traditionally Republican Cuban-American voters have become more hospitable to Democratic presidential candidates. This seat is blue enough that Curbelo shouldn’t be entrenched, but he certainly won’t be easy to beat. [...]



Morning Digest: Disgraced Alabama judge Roy Moore considering a second run for governor

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Leading Off

Campaign Action

AL-Gov: The notorious Roy Moore may have been suspended from his job as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, but of course, he's undeterred from pursuing his political future (as well as an appeal of the ruling that removed him from the bench). Moore says that GOP Gov. Robert Bentley's office interviewed him as a possible candidate to replace Sen. Jeff Sessions, assuming Sessions is confirmed as Trump's attorney general, and also adds that his supporters are asking him to run for governor, since Bentley will be term-limited next year.

But Moore, who is now 69 years old, sought the governorship once before, and that adventure didn't go so well. Back in 2010, he earned just 19 percent of the vote in the GOP primary, enough for a weak fourth-place finish. (Bentley ultimately won the nomination in a runoff.) Moore, however, may not have anything better to do. His term on the court is not up until 2019, but he can't run again due to age limits, so if he loses his appeal, another statewide bid might sound like fun.

And in case this all sounds weirdly familiar, this is the second time Moore's been kicked off bench: Back in 2003, Moore got the boot after he refused to comply with a federal judge's order to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from the grounds of the state supreme court. But even though his defiance of the law earned him a national reputation as the "Ten Commandments judge," it evidently didn't endear him to primary voters, so there's no reason to think a second attempt would go any better.

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Nativist hatemonger Laura Ingraham reportedly considering a run against Tim Kaine

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:28:46 +0000

According to unnamed "knowledgeable sources" who've spoken with the right-wing Washington Examiner newspaper, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham is reportedly considering a bid against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine in Virginia next year, though she’s declined to comment. Ingraham is a major Trump booster and fits right in with the president-elect's "movement," as she's an extreme nativist reactionary on the topic of immigration. (She once said that Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration was "not broad enough.")

That could give her a path to the GOP nomination if Republican voters are looking to nominate someone on the "Trump track," though Trump himself only won a narrow 35-32 plurality over Marco Rubio in last year's primary. But that could also set Ingraham on a collision course with a political upstart whose career she's credited with launching: Rep. Dave Brat, the man who unseated Eric Cantor back in 2014. Aside from some ill-considered attack ads run by Cantor, Brat's penniless campaign received its greatest exposure on Ingraham's radio show. (Like Ingraham, Brat is virulently hostile to immigration, and even compared DREAMers who want to serve in the U.S. military to ISIS recruits.)

And Brat could also run for the Senate. Last year, when Virginia Republicans were preparing for a potential special election in the event that Kaine were to be elected vice president, Brat said he'd "consider" the race. That eventually of course did not come to pass, and since Election Day, Brat's been very elliptical about his interest. Amusingly, he claims he's "already won the election" over Kaine because he'd just use the same "outsider" message he rode to victory over Cantor, which demonstrates an apparent lack of understanding about the differences between running in a Republican primary in a conservative district versus a general election in a light blue state, but more power to him.

Be that as it may, there probably isn't room for both Brat and Ingraham in the same contest. And meanwhile, the GOP establishment is waiting to see whether Northern Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock will make a go of it. She'd likely be the party's strongest candidate, but she'd face some difficulty winning the nomination if she faces someone advocating a purer form of hatred. After all, Rubio, whose "base" is pretty much the same NoVa suburbs that Comstock represents, couldn't even carry Virginia.

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As we celebrate Dr. King's legacy, voting rights are more threatened now than in 50 years

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 17:05:05 +0000

The 1965 Voting Rights Act was the crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. By ending the electoral system of racial apartheid across the South, the VRA finally guaranteed that millions of African Americans could exercise the one right that helps them protect every other right. A key way that the law did so was by mandating the creation of majority-minority districts to ensure that non-white voters living in areas with strongly racially polarized voting could elect their preferred candidates. Nonetheless, as we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, the rights of black voters are seriously threatened. Alabama was the epicenter for the battle over civil rights, starting with the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955 and culminating with the marches from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights in 1965. Those marches saw participants brutally beaten by a law enforcement regime determined to maintain white supremacy. In one form or another, those attacks continue to this day: Rep. John Lewis, a legendary civil rights leader who nearly lost his life while marching for voting rights in Alabama, was just subject to a vituperative assault by President-elect Donald Trump, who remarkably claimed that Lewis was “all talk.” And despite the successes of the Voting Rights Act, Alabama still offers a potent example of how black voting power is still under siege. Following the 2010 census, white Republicans controlled the congressional redistricting process across nearly the entire South, and they aimed to draw districts that complied with the VRA as minimally as possible. In multiple states, Republicans even drew racial gerrymanders that went so far that courts ruled them unconstitutional. Alabama’s population is roughly two-sevenths African American, but white Republicans drew a congressional map that elected just a single black representative out of seven, as shown on the above map in the center (see here for a larger version). As the map on the left demonstrates, it was easily possible for Alabama to draw a second majority-minority district to allow black voters to elect their candidate preference, resulting in a congressional delegation that proportionally reflects the state’s racial balance. Alabama is not alone in this regard, as nearly every Southern state could have drawn another congressional district to elect black and Hispanic voters’ candidate preference. America requires major electoral reforms to increase representation of communities of color when a mere 22 percent of House members nationally are not white, compared to 38 percent of the country’s population overall. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/16

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:00:39 +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, Jan 16, 2017 · 8:27:17 PM +00:00 · David Nir VA-Sen: According to unnamed "knowledgeable sources" who've spoken with the Washington Examiner, a right-wing newspaper, conservative radio host Laura Ingraham is reportedly considering a bid against Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine next year, though she declined to comment. Ingraham is a major Trump booster and fits right in with the president-elect's "movement," as she's an extreme nativist reactionary on the topic of immigration. (She once said that Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration was "not broad enough.") That could give her a path to the GOP nomination if Republican voters are looking to nominate someone on the "Trump track," though Trump himself only won a narrow 35-32 plurality over Marco Rubio in last year's primary. But that could also set Ingraham on a collision course with a political upstart whose career she's credited with launching: Rep. Dave Brat, the man who unseated Eric Cantor back in 2014. Aside from some ill-considered attack ads run by Cantor, Brat's penniless campaign received its greatest exposure on Ingraham's radio show. (Like Ingraham, Brat is virulently hostile to immigration, and even compared DREAMers who want to serve in the U.S. military to ISIS recruits.) And Brat could also run for the Senate. Last year, when Virginia Republicans were preparing for a potential special election in the event that Kaine were to be elected vice president, Brat said he'd "consider" the race. That eventually of course did not come to pass, and since Election Day, Brat's been very elliptical about his interest. Amusingly, he claims he's "already won the election" over Kaine because he'd just use the same "outsider" message he rode to victory over Cantor, which demonstrates an apparent lack of understanding about the differences between running in a Republican primary in a conservative district versus a general election in a light blue state, but more power to him. Be that as it may, there probably isn't room for both Brat and Ingraham in the same contest. And meanwhile, the GOP establishment is waiting to see whether Northern Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock will make a go of it. She'd likely be the party's strongest candidate, but she'd face some difficulty winning the nomination if she faces someone advocating a purer form of hatred. After all, Rubio, whose "base" is pretty much the same NoVa suburbs that Comstock represents, couldn't even carry Virginia. Monday, Jan 16, 2017 · 8:46:32 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf International Digest: Daily Kos Elections created an expansive guide to preview key elections around the world in 2017 in our latest edition of the International Elections Digest. Just as with Trump in the U.S., mainstream European political forces have been battling the rise of anti-immigrant far-right parties in recent years, with France, Germany, and the Netherlands all facing critical contests in 2017. Chile, Iran, Kenya, and South Korea all feature important presidential elections, while in total we cover roughly 30 countries, so be sure to check it out. Monday, Jan 16, 2017 · 8:54:46 PM +00:00 · Stephen Wolf Voting Rights Roundup: Stephen Wolf brings us the most-[...]



Morning Digest: Two months after a bruising Senate defeat, Loretta Sanchez loses another race

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:00:18 +0000

Leading off

Where Are They Now?: Despite coming off a 20-year stint representing Orange County in the House, ex-Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez couldn't even win a local party office on Jan. 7. Sanchez, who ran for the U.S. Senate last year and lost to fellow Democrat Kamala Harris 62-38, decided to seek a post as one of the seven female representatives to the California Democratic Party's Central Committee from Assembly District 68. However, Sanchez came in eighth place, falling eight votes short of winning a spot.

Campaign Action

It might be a stretch to call this a rejection of Sanchez, since all seven successful female candidates ran as part of a slate and encouraged their friends and family to back their ticket mates.

By contrast, Sanchez reportedly just came in, gave a short speech, and quickly left, so her heart doesn't seem to have been in this race. (For what it's worth, Sanchez also lost the 68th Assembly District to Harris 57-43 in November.)

But don't feel too sorry for Sanchez. During her Senate campaign, she actively sought out votes from tea party groups, declared that "between 5 and 20 percent" of Muslims "have a desire for a caliphate" and "are willing to use and they do use terrorism" to achieve those ends, demonstrated a "war whoop" to describe an East Indian supporter she once met with, and suggested that President Barack Obama was supporting Harris because they are both black.

And yes, this is the first and probably last time that we dive into a race for a spot on a state party committee.

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International Elections Digest: Netherlands hosts 2017's first major battle against the far right

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 19:00:22 +0000

Welcome to the first International Elections Digest of 2017! In this month's edition, we preview all the major elections on tap for the coming year, worldwide. The Digest is compiled by Stephen Wolf and David Beard, with additional contributions from James Lambert, Daniel Nichanian, and Daniel Donner, and is edited by David Nir. Leading Off ● Netherlands – parliament (March) The Netherlands presents 2017's first major election battle against the tide of radical right-wing populism that has been sweeping Europe in recent years and culminated in the United Kingdom's vote to leave the European Union in 2016. Prime Minister Mark Rutte's center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) currently forms a grand-coalition majority with the social democratic center-left Labour Party. However, polls have long found the two parties poised to suffer massive losses, with Labour near-certain to lose the vast majority of its seats. Those same surveys indicate that the Islamophobic far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) is set to take a possible plurality for the first time. Although establishment-oriented factions (ranging from social democrats to classical liberals to Christian democrats) once long dominated the Dutch political landscape, the last few elections have seen a huge increase in party fragmentation. The mainstream parties have shed significant ground to anti-establishment populists such as the far-right PVV, the left-wing Socialist Party, and the pensioners'-advocacy 50Plus in the center. The Dutch electoral system of proportional representation, which makes it easy for small parties to enter parliament, combined with major pockets of public dissatisfaction with the status quo, could see an astounding dozen or more parties win seats. Several new minor parties could even win a couple of seats each, and it might take four—or more—parties working together to establish a governing majority. Consequently, forming a stable coalition could prove extremely difficult. Right-of-center parties are poised to win a commanding majority of seats, but the mainstream center-right parties are adamantly opposed to inflammatory far-right PVV leader Geert Wilders' Islamophobia, hostility toward immigrants, and his call for the Netherlands to leave the EU. Indeed, Rutte and Wilders are attempting to cast the election as a two-man race between themselves, but there is no rule that requires the leader of the largest party to become prime minister or even a participant in the government. An anti-Wilders coalition could require the current grand coalition to add several more major parties like the Christian Democrats, the neoliberal D66, and possibly even others, making it highly difficult for the several factions to overcome their ideological differences. However, PVV and VVD will likely wind up as the two largest parties, and if PVV finishes first, it might simply be too big for the mainstream parties not to at least include as a junior partner. Even together, though, PVV and VVD would probably fall well short of a majority. The Netherlands could be in for protracted negotiations with the resulting government highly uncertain. And if Wilders winds up as part of a ruling coalition, that could have profound consequences for the country's policies toward European integration, immigration, and multiculturalism in one of the continent's most stalwart bastions of social liberalism. [...]



Voting Rights Roundup: Eric Holder launches unprecedented national Democratic redistricting effort

Sat, 14 Jan 2017 13:59:22 +0000

Leading Off

Redistricting Reform: Former Attorney General Eric Holder formally launched a new redistricting reform effort backed by key party leaders called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The NDRC aims to deploy an entirely new level of resources to prevent Republicans from obtaining the same systematic advantage in congressional and state legislative redistricting following the 2020 census, which the GOP used after 2010 to lock Democrats out of power in Congress and legislative chambers across the country.

Just as Daily Kos Elections itself has proposed, the NDRC plans a multi-step strategy of targeting critical gubernatorial and state legislative races in order to break Republicans’ grip on key state governments. These plans significantly include waging court challenges and using ballot initiatives to directly reform redistricting laws, both of which have often been badly underfinanced.

Combined with President Obama’s plans to reportedly make redistricting a major focus after he leaves office, and former DCCC chair Steve Israel’s recently joining the Democratic Governors Association’s “Unrig the Map” project, Holder’s leadership of the NDRC indicates that national Democrats are dead serious about helping to cure America’s GOP gerrymandering epidemic. That marks a major turnaround from the 2010s redistricting cycle, when Democrats had no national organization comparable to the GOP’s REDMAP project, which Republicans enacted with devastating effectiveness. You can find out more about how you can support the NDRC by visiting their website. They’re also on Twitter and Facebook.

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Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:54:17 +0000

Joe Jackson — "Look Sharp”

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/13

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 14:00:22 +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, Jan 13, 2017 · 4:27:40 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Where Are They Now?: Despite coming off a 20 year stint representing Orange County in the House, ex-Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez couldn’t even win a local party office on Jan. 7. Sanchez, who ran for the U.S. Senate last year and lost to fellow Democrat Kamala Harris 62-38, decided to seek a post as one of the seven female representatives to the California Democratic Party’s Central Committee from Assembly District 68. However, Sanchez came in eighth place, falling eight votes short of winning a spot. It might be a stretch to call this a rejection of Sanchez, since all seven successful female candidates ran as part of a slate and encouraged their friends and family to back their ticket mates. By contrast, Sanchez reportedly just came in, gave a short speech, and quickly left, so her heart doesn’t seem to have been in this race. (For what it’s worth, Sanchez also lost the 68th Assembly District to Harris 57-43 in November.) But don’t feel too sorry for Sanchez. During her Senate campaign, she actively sought out votes from tea party groups, declared that "between 5 and 20 percent" of Muslims "have a desire for a caliphate" and "are willing to use and they do use terrorism" to achieve those ends, demonstrated a "war whoop" to describe an East Indian supporter she once met with, and suggested that President Barack Obama was supporting Harris because they are both black. And yes, this is the first and probably last time that we dive into a race for a spot on a state party committee. Friday, Jan 13, 2017 · 4:49:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer ID-Gov: Another Republican is making noises about running to succeed retiring Republican Gov. Butch Otter. This time it’s developer Tommy Ahlquist, who says he’s “seriously considering” getting in. Ahlquist’s company worked on two major projects in downtown Boise and Ahlquist was a finalist for a post on the state Board of Education in 2014, so he may have the money and connections he’d need to win. So far, Lt. Gov. Brad Little and ex-state Sen. Russell Fulcher, who lost to Otter 51-44 in the 2014 primary, are running for Team Red. Tea partying Rep. Raul Labrador is also considering, and unnamed House members recently told the National Review that he’s told them he’s going to run; Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has also been mentioned as a possible GOP candidate, but he hasn’t said anything publicly. Idaho is a very conservative state, and as far as we know, no notable Democrats have made noises about running yet. Friday, Jan 13, 2017 · 5:01:13 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer KS-Gov: On Thursday, ex-GOP state Rep. Ed O’Malley announced that he had formed an exploritory committee ahead of a possible 2018 bid for this open seat. O’Malley has been out of office for 10 years, but he went on to lead the non-profit group Kansas Leadership Center, which received a $30 million grant from the Kansas Health Foundation when it launched in 2007. However, O’Malley has a reputation as a centrist, which rarely plays well in GOP primaries. Friday, Jan 13, 2017 · 5:15:53 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer PA-Gov: State House Majority Leader Dave Reed is one of the many Republicans who has been mentioned as a possible challenger for Democratic[...]



Morning Digest: Clinton flipped two Pennsylvania House seats, but Trump gained one by far more

Fri, 13 Jan 2017 13:00:25 +0000

Leading Off ● Pres-by-CD: We're pleased to present numbers from Pennsylvania in our ongoing project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Campaign Action Four years after Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney 52-47 in the Keystone State, Donald Trump unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton by a tiny 49-48 margin. Trump carried 11 of the commonwealth's 18 congressional districts, trading two Romney seats for one Obama district. However, the massive swing in Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District towards Trump more than offset his losses in the 6th and 7th Districts. We'll start with a look at the 17th, a Scranton-area seat represented by Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright. Obama won the seat by an easy 55-43 margin, but Trump took it 53-43. We've seen similar shifts in other seats with large white working-class populations, most notably in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Cartwright defeated a perennial candidate 54-46, but he should expect a much tougher re-election campaign in 2018. To the south, Clinton narrowly won two suburban Philadelphia seats that Obama narrowly lost. Clinton took the 6th District, which is represented by Republican Rep. Ryan Costello, 48-46, while Obama lost it 51-48. Clinton also won the 7th, represented by GOP Rep. Pat Meehan, 49-47, an improvement on Obama's 50.4-48.5 loss there four years ago. However, Democrats fielded weak candidates against both Republicans, and each incumbent won with ease. Meehan is flirting with a Senate bid in 2018 and while he could give Democratic Sen. Bob Casey trouble, Team Blue would have a better shot at flipping his seat with him gone. [...]



Hawaii's governor won a massive primary upset. Could he face his own primary challenge?

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 22:16:28 +0000

Perhaps the most shocking election result of 2014 came in Hawaii's Democratic primary for governor, when little-known state Sen. David Ige demolished Gov. Neil Abercrombie by a stunning 66-31 margin. That's the kind of result you usually only see when an incumbent is mired in scandal, but there were none to speak of here. All the more remarkably, Ige was badly underfunded, and even the most astute local observers we spoke to had a hard time identifying just why Abercrombie had grown so unpopular—but indeed he had, and it led to an extraordinary upset.

Could something like that happen again? Ige went on to a comfortable 49-37 win that fall, and polls (like this one and this one) have since shown him slightly above water with voters—not the kind of numbers that suggest a real vulnerability. But Democratic state Sen. Josh Green seems to think there might be an opening, saying on Wednesday that he might run against Ige.

In speaking publicly about his plans, Green identified housing costs, homelessness, and the governor's failure to meet his promise to install air conditioners in 1,000 public schools by the end of last year as his top concerns. But, said Green, "I really do want the administration to succeed because I love what I'm doing," so this might be a way of goading Ige to focus on Green's key issues. It could also be a way to raise his profile, since Green also says he might run for lieutenant governor next year, or for governor in 2022, when Ige would be term-limited.

Green, a physician, has been in the legislature for 14 years, so he doesn't have the classic profile of a junior up-and-comer. But he does have a lot of money in the bank: As of the middle of last year, Green had $507,000 in his campaign account, far more than Ige ($318,000) or the current lieutenant governor, Shan Tsutsui ($239,000). (Tsutsui's unhappy in his current role, and he might run for mayor of Maui in 2018.) In fact, Green's got more on hand more than any other state or local candidate in all of Hawaii, and it sounds like he wants to use it.

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This Scranton-based congressional district swung from 55-43 Obama to 53-43 Trump

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 22:09:35 +0000

Daily Kos Elections is pleased to unveil Pennsylvania for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Four years after Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney 52-47 in the Keystone State, Donald Trump unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton by a tiny 49-48 margin. Trump carried 11 of the commonwealth’s 18 congressional districts, trading two Romney seats for one Obama district. However, the massive swing in Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district toward Trump more than offset his losses in the suburban Philadelphia 6th and 7th Districts. We’ll start with a look at the 17th, a Scranton-area seat represented by Democratic Rep. Matt Cartwright. Obama won the seat by an easy 55-43 margin, but Trump took it 53-43. We’ve seen similar swings in other seats with large white working-class populations, most notably in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Cartwright defeated a perennial candidate 54-46, but he should expect a much tougher re-election campaign in 2018. To the south, Clinton narrowly won two suburban Philadelphia seats that Obama narrowly lost. Clinton took the 6th District, which is represented by Republican Rep. Ryan Costello, 48-46, while Obama lost it 51-48. Clinton also won the 7th, represented by GOP Rep. Pat Meehan, 49-47, an improvement on Obama’s 50.4-48.5 loss there four years ago. However, Democrats fielded weak candidates against both Republicans, and each man won with ease. Meehan is flirting with a Senate bid in 2018 and while he could give Democratic Sen. Bob Casey trouble, Team Blue would have a better shot at flipping his seat with him gone. Both parties spent heavily to try and win the 8th District, a suburban Philadelphia seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick. But despite the swings in the neighboring 6th and 7th Districts, the 8th barely moved from 2012 to 2018: Trump won 48.2-48.0, a very slight improvement from Romney’s 49.4-49.3. Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, who is the retiring congressman’s brother, decisively held the seat for Team Red 54.5-45.5. This district is close enough that it should be a target in the future, but Team Blue needs to find a way to win over the many voters who back Democrats at the top of the ticket but still supports Republicans like the Fitzpatricks downballot. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/12

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:00:23 +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, Jan 12, 2017 · 9:09:05 PM +00:00 · David Nir WV-Sen: For the first time, sophomore Rep. Evan Jenkins, who'd been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate against Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, says he's considering a run, though he didn't offer a timetable for making a decision. No Republicans have yet entered the contest, but another, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, is still not ruling out a bid of his own, and according to unnamed people "people familiar with his thinking" canvassed by The Hill's Timothy Cama, Morrisey is "likely" to go for it. Before narrowly winning his current job in 2012, Morrisey's one prior run for office came in 2000, when he finished a distant fourth in a House primary … in New Jersey. Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 · 9:24:14 PM +00:00 · David Nir CT-Gov: Democrat Dan Malloy has yet to announce whether he'll seek a third term as governor next year, but given his truly disastrous approval numbers (Quinnipiac gave him a scary 24-68 job approval rating last June) coupled with Democratic losses in the legislature last fall that have left the party clinging to an 18-18 tie in the state Senate, plenty of Nutmeg State Democrats would be happy to see him call it a day. And one, in fact, is already giving Malloy a zetz: On Thursday, Middletown Mayor Dan Drew opened an exploratory committee for a 2018 gubernatorial bid. The Connecticut Mirror says that Drew has been "on good terms" with the governor, and Drew himself offered a pretty reasonable explanation for moving forward even without a decision from Malloy, noting he expects it would take a long time to raise enough money to become eligible for matching funds from the state (candidates need to raise at least $250,000 in contributions of $100 or less to qualify). But in a statement announcing his move, Drew also took a jab at Malloy, saying, "For too long, the focus of our government has been to assist people at the very top." That's a somewhat startling tack to take, since Malloy is a strong contender for the most progressive governor in America, but Drew might just be hoping to take advantage of discontent with the incumbent in whatever form it comes in. Malloy responded by saying that he still has not made a decision, nor did he say when he'd make one. Given that it took Malloy 14 months to qualify for public funding in 2014, he's not going to want to wait much longer—nor will his would-be rivals. Thursday, Jan 12, 2017 · 10:06:30 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: We have Pennsylvania for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Four years after Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney 52-47 in the Keystone State, Donald Trump unexpectedly beat Hillary Clinton by a tiny 49-48 margin. Trump carried 11 of the commonwealth’s 18 congressional districts, trading two Romney seats for one Obama district. However, the massive swing in Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district towards Trump more than offset his losses in the suburban Philadelphia 6th and 7th Districts. We[...]



Morning Digest: Despite a huge financial crisis, Alaska's independent governor eyes a second term

Thu, 12 Jan 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Leading Off

Campaign Action

AK-Gov: Independent Gov. Bill Walker, who won office in 2014 with the support of Democrats, has spent his entire tenure warring with legislative Republicans who refuse to face up to Alaska's extraordinary budget crisis, brought on by falling oil prices. Walker's taken the adult approach in trying to fix this multi-billion dollar problem, but that means many of his proposals—such as reinstating an income tax—are bound to be unpopular, perhaps so much so that he wouldn't (or realistically couldn't) run for a second term.

But now, reports the AP, Walker has said he'll "probably seek re-election," though that's not a direct quote, and he didn't offer a specific timetable for making a decision. But the same piece says Walker views his efforts to "fix Alaska" as something "he doesn't expect to finish by 2018," so he certainly sounds ready for more. However, if Walker remains an independent and does run again, Democrats would once again need to ensure they don't have anyone on the ballot, lest they split the vote. And even the smallest diversion could upend the race, since Walker only won by 2 percent two years ago.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/11

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 14:00:20 +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, Jan 11, 2017 · 5:04:40 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer St. Louis, MO Mayor: Candidate filing closed last week for St. Louis’ March 7 Democratic primary. It only takes a plurality to win the nod, and the Democratic nominee should have absolutely no trouble in the April general election. Seven Democrats are running to succeed Mayor Francis Slay, who surprised observers when he announced last year that he wouldn’t seek a fifth four-year term. Elections in St. Louis tend to be racially polarizing, so Alderman Lyda Krewson could benefit from being the only serious white contender.  By contrast, four African American local elected officials are running: Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, who challenged Slay in 2013 and lost 54-44; City Treasurer Tishaura Jones; Alderman Jeffrey Boyd; and Alderman Antonio French, who rose to prominence in 2014 by documenting the protests in nearby Ferguson on Twitter. St. Louis School Board member Bill Haas and ex-Alderman Jimmie Matthews are also in, but the two have earned very little support during their many recent campaigns for various offices. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 5:48:46 PM +00:00 · David Nir Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso recaps Tuesday night's two contested races in Virginia: Virginia SD-22: Republicans held on to this seat, with Mark Peake defeating Democrat Ryant Washington by a 53-40 margin. Independent Joe Hines took the remaining 7 percent. Virginia HD-85: Republicans also held this one. Rocky Holcomb defeated Democrat Cheryl Turpin by a 53-47 margin. The 85th District result wasn't unexpected but nevertheless disappointing for progressives, since Trump only carried the seat by 1 point (he won the 22nd by 15). Still, Democrats managed to halve the margin from the last time they contested the seat back in 2013, when Republicans won 56-44 during that year's regularly scheduled election. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 9:15:27 PM +00:00 · David Nir PA-Sen: Lots of Republicans have expressed interest in challenging Gov. Tom Wolf in 2018, but fewer have talked about running against Sen. Bob Casey, who's also up for re-election next year. Here's one new GOP name, though: State Rep. Rick Saccone, who represents a district near Pittsburgh, says he's "seriously considering" a Senate bid. The only other potential candidates who are looking (or at least, reportedly looking) at Senate runs are wealthy businessman Paul Addis and Rep. Pat Meehan, but both are also in the mix for the gubernatorial race. Given the focus on Wolf, it's easy to conclude Republicans think he's more vulnerable than Casey. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 9:27:02 PM +00:00 · David Nir AK-Gov: Independent Gov. Bill Walker, who won office in 2014 with the support of Democrats, has spent his entire tenure warring with legislative Republicans who refuse to face up to Alaska's extraordinary budget crisis, brought on by falling oil prices. Walker's taken the adult approach in trying to fix this multi-billion dollar problem, but that means many of his proposals—such as reinstating an income tax—are bound to be unpopular, perhaps so much so that he wouldn't (or realistically coul[...]



Morning Digest: Supreme Court puts North Carolina redistricting and special elections on hold

Wed, 11 Jan 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Leading Off

NC State House, State Senate: On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Republican legislators in North Carolina their request for a stay of a lower court decision that had instructed lawmakers to draw new legislative maps and hold special elections using the revised lines this fall. Last year, a three-judge district court panel found that the state's legislative districts violated the constitution by packing black voters into as few seats as possible, thus undermining their political influence, and ordered special elections under new maps as a remedy. Republicans quickly appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, which has now put it on hold while it decides whether to take up the appeal.

Campaign Action

These gerrymandered districts—and the lawmakers they helped elect—will now remain in place, at least until the Supreme Court determines if it will hear the GOP's appeal. (The justices will consider the question on Jan. 19.) It's important to note, though, that this ruling doesn't automatically mean the court will take the case, and if it declines, the lower court's decision will go back into effect.

But if the court does take the case and rule in favor of Republicans, that would be a devastating blow both to voting rights and to Democrats, who are trying to unlock Republicans' veto-proof majorities in the legislature. For more details on this story, Stephen Wolf has a complete run-down.

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Daily Kos Elections Virginia special legislative election liveblog

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 23:55:21 +0000

Polls close tonight at 7 PM ET in Virginia for three special elections to the state legislature. In HD-85 in Virginia Beach, Democrat Cheryl Turpin faces Republican Rocky Holcomb for a seat that Donald Trump carried 47-46. In SD-22 around Lynchburg, Democrat Ryant Washington faces Republican Mark Peake in a seat that Trump took 55-40. The GOP is not contesting the third seat, the heavily Democratic SD-09. Results: State  Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 12:19:11 AM +00:00 · David Nir No votes yet from HD-85, but about 20% of precincts are reporting in SD-22. Peake has a big 49-31 lead on Washington, with independent Joe Hines at 20. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 12:31:23 AM +00:00 · David Nir xOne of the precincts in Virginia's #HD85? MT TRASHMORE https://t.co/0RxZsr8Hl9 pic.twitter.com/2aisnNYDdD— David Nir (@DavidNir) January 11, 2017  It’s a park! And apparently a nice one! Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 12:32:18 AM +00:00 · David Nir With 8 of 18 precincts (44%) now reporting, Holcomb has a 53-47 lead on Turpin in HD-85. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 12:36:10 AM +00:00 · David Nir Now 11 of 18 reporting in HD-85 and it's even closer: 51-49 Holcomb. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 12:49:48 AM +00:00 · David Nir Three more precincts just dropped, and Holcomb’s lead on Turpin widened back out to 52-48, or 180 votes. With just 4 precincts left, it’ll be tough to make up that gap. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 1:05:24 AM +00:00 · David Nir Sigh. 17 of 18 precincts now reporting, and Holcomb’s moved out to a 53-47 lead. This one is over, sadly. Wednesday, Jan 11, 2017 · 1:13:16 AM +00:00 · David Nir With all precincts reporting in HD-85, it’s: Rocky Holcomb (R): 52.9% (3,300) Cheryl Turpin (D): 47.0% (2,934) That’s a disappointing loss for Democrats, but this was always going to be a difficult race. At least it’s a much better result than the last time this seat was contested back in 2013, when Republicans won 56-44—during a regularly scheduled election. [...]



Supreme Court halts special elections for racially gerrymandered North Carolina legislative maps

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 22:13:24 +0000

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Republican legislators in North Carolina their request for a stay of a lower court decision that had instructed lawmakers to draw new legislative maps and hold special elections using the revised lines this fall. Last year, a three-judge district court panel found that the state's legislative districts violated the Constitution by packing black voters into as few seats as possible, thus undermining their political influence, and ordered special elections under new maps as a remedy. Republicans quickly appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court, which has now put it on hold while it decides whether to take up the appeal. These gerrymandered districts—and the legislators they helped elect—will now remain in place, at least until the Supreme Court determines if it will hear the GOP’s appeal. (The justices will consider the question on Jan. 19.) It’s important to note, though, that this ruling doesn’t automatically mean the court will take the case, and if it declines, the lower court’s decision will go back into effect. What will happen next is uncertain. Election law expert Rick Hasen calls the stay “surprising,” since it takes five votes (even on an eight-member court) to grant one. In past cases on racial gerrymandering, the court’s swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, has generally sided with the four-member liberal bloc, but even if he’d joined with the doctrinaire conservatives here, at least one liberal would have had to do so as well in order for the stay to issue. However, we don’t know who voted for the stay or why; it’s possible, for instance, that some justices who are amenable to the racial gerrymandering claims on the merits were uncomfortable with the lower court’s insistence that special elections take place this year. But while it takes five votes to issue a stay, it only takes four votes to decide to hear an appeal, so the three hardcore conservatives only need one ally to make that happen. And they’d have an interest in doing so: If they can delay the matter until a Donald Trump appointee can replace the late Antonin Scalia, the conservatives would have a stronger chance of putting together a majority to overturn the district court. [...]



What kind of candidate will Tom Perriello be now that he's running statewide? Here are three models

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 17:17:39 +0000

On Thursday morning, one-term ex-Rep. Tom Perriello announced a bid for governor in Virginia. This came as an shock to nearly everyone, as the universal assumption had been that Virginia Democrats had coalesced around (critics would say “resigned to”) the nomination of Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, who long ago announced his ambition to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe (reminder: Virginia has a one-term limit on its governor).

Certainly, a candidacy announcement this late (the primary is June 13) is unconventional. But Perriello has long been viewed as unconventional, and as a result, perhaps this quixotic bid shouldn’t be a surprise. Indeed, the biggest question now is exactly what kind of opposition Perriello will offer to the once-presumptive Democratic nominee. Some have argued argued (and this was the social media conventional wisdom upon news of his bid) that Perriello will be the Virginia gubernatorial equivalent of Bernie Sanders. But, a quick look at his two years in the House could lead to a reasonable argument that Perriello, instead, might be the Virginia gubernatorial equivalent of … Joe Donnelly. Or, perhaps, he’s the next Kirsten Gillibrand!

Let’s explore all three options.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/10

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:00:23 +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, Jan 10, 2017 · 7:34:28 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: We hit Maryland for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. Maryland’s was one of the few congressional maps drawn exclusively by Democrats. Hillary Clinton handily carried the same seven congressional districts that Barack Obama took in 2012, while Donald Trump easily won the conservative 1st District along the Eastern Shore. The suburban D.C. 6th District was the closest seat, but it still backed Clinton by a 56-40 margin, an improvement on Obama’s 55-43 win here. Democratic Rep. John Delaney had a close call during the 2014 GOP wave and only won 50-48; however, Delaney won 56-40 last year, matching the top of the ticket. Clinton took at least 60 percent of the vote in the other six Democratic-held seats. While Maryland’s results may not be the most interesting we’ve calculated, there’s one big issue with the state’s data we want to address, and it’s one that applies to other states as well. Maryland, like many states, allows residents to cast ballots before Election Day, both at early voting locations and by traditional absentee voting (we’ll collectively call these both “early votes" for ease). However, in the results they provide to the public, Maryland counties do not assign these early votes to any particular precinct, meaning we don’t know which congressional districts they belong to. It’s a totally shoddy approach, because the state does know which precincts these votes were cast in. How else could they tally the results of House races? For instance, Anne Arundel County (home of Annapolis) is split between four different congressional districts. Election officials naturally have to make sure early votes cast in Anne Arundel are tabulated in the proper congressional district, but they simply don’t make this data public. Unfortunately, Maryland is not the only state that refuses to break out early votes by precinct. But what makes the Old Line State particularly problematic is that its proportion of unassigned early votes is far higher than in any other state where we’ve calculated these results (the same was true in 2012). We've contacted Maryland’s state and county election boards to try to find more precise data multiple times, but we’ve repeatedly been informed that this data does not exist—even though we know it has to. So what do we do? We have a formula we use in every state that has unassigned early votes; it allocates those votes between districts based on the how much of each county is in each district, and how the portion of each county in a given district voted on Election Day (where we do have breakdowns by precinct). This is an imperfect and imprecise method, and we w[...]



Morning Digest: As establishment rallies around Northam, Perriello says he regrets Stupak vote

Tue, 10 Jan 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Leading Off ● VA-Gov: In the wake of ex-Rep. Tom Perriello's surprise entry into this year's Democratic primary for governor, Virginia's political establishment is reaffirming its support for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Nearly all of the state's prominent elected officials had already endorsed Northam's campaign, but to remind folks of where the race stands, Northam is touting the backing of Virginia's entire Democratic congressional delegation—including both senators—save one member. That lone exception is Rep. Gerry Connolly, who declined to endorse either candidate, citing his personal friendship with Perriello (the two were elected to the House in the same year, 2008). Campaign Action Meanwhile, Perriello is seeking to reposition himself for a bid in a state that's a lot more liberal than his old congressional district was. One of Perriello's most problematic votes during his one term in office was for the so-called Stupak Amendment, a piece of legislation that former Blue Dog Rep. Bart Stupak tried to attach to the Affordable Care Act to prevent the federal government from paying for abortions. The move was a dangerous poison pill: Stupak and his allies said they wouldn't support the ACA if the amendment wasn't included, while pro-choice members of Congress said they wouldn't support the ACA if it was. Stupak's proposal didn't make it into the final bill, but it was an affront to reproductive rights advocates and women everywhere. That's why, in a new Facebook post, Perriello now says he "regret[s]" his vote for it, though he says he backed it at the time because he'd promised his constituents that he "would support health care reform only if it was consistent with the Hyde Amendment." (The Hyde Amendment is another piece of federal legislation that also bars federal funds from being used to pay for abortions; Stupak claimed the ACA would create a loophole to Hyde, hence his amendment.) Notably, however, Perriello didn't say in his post whether he still supports Hyde itself, though according to a new interview with the Huffington Post, he has apparently disavowed it. The Hyde Amendment has been a pillar of the anti-abortion movement for over 40 years, but for the first time in 2016, the Democratic platform formally called for its repeal. While it wasn't much remarked on during a presidential race that centered on anything but the actual issues (thanks, email-obsessed media), Hillary Clinton openly campaigned on getting ride of Hyde—and won the commonwealth of Virginia. [...]



Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/9

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 14:00:22 +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, Jan 9, 2017 · 11:09:24 AM EST · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide has arrived in Alabama. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. The GOP-drawn congressional map was designed to create six safely red congressional districts and one heavily Democratic seat, and that’s exactly what it did. Hillary Clinton carried Alabama’s 7th District 70-29, while Donald Trump took at least 63 percent of the vote in each of the other six seats. In fact, depending on how you measure it, GOP Rep. Robert Aderholt’s Alabama’s 4th is likely the most Trumpy congressional district in the nation: This rural northern seat backed Trump 80.34-17.45. While we still have some states left to calculate, it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that any district will give Trump more than 80.34 percent of the vote. However, Texas’ 13th District is also a contender for reddest district in the nation. This seat, located in the Texas Panhandle, supported Trump 79.9-16.9: While Trump won a higher percentage of the vote in AL-04, his margin was slightly larger in TX-13. In 2012, TX-13 was the clear champ for reddest seat in the nation. The bluest seat anywhere will almost certainly once again be New York’s 15th District, a Bronx seat that backed Clinton 94-5. Monday, Jan 9, 2017 · 11:58:55 AM EST · David Nir Special Elections: Johnny Longtorso tees up Tuesday's pair of legislative special election in the Old Dominion: Virginia SD-22: This is the seat left vacant by Republican Rep. Tom Garrett, who was just elected in November; it stretches from Lynchburg to the western edge of Richmond's suburbs. The Democratic nominee is Ryant Washington, a former Fluvanna County Sheriff. The Republican nominee is Mark Peake, an attorney who lost the primary for this seat to Garrett back in 2011. This is a conservative district, having voted 55-40 for Donald Trump last year, 57-40 for Republican Ed Gillespie in 2014's Senate race, and 54-38 for Republican Ken Cuccinelli in 2013's gubernatorial contest. Virginia HD-85: And this is the seat vacated by newly elected Republican Rep. Scott Taylor, located in Virginia Beach. The candidates here are Democrat Cheryl Turpin, a teacher, and Republican Rocky Holcomb, a Virginia Beach sheriff's deputy. This is a closely divided, albeit Republican-tilting, district, having gone 47-46 for Trump, 50-47 for Gillespie in 2014, and 48-46 for Cuccinelli in 2013. Polls close at 7 PM ET, and we’ll be liveblogging the results at Daily Kos Elections. Monday, Jan 9, 2017 · 2:50:18 PM EST · David Nir TX-Sen, TX-16: Did Beto O'Rourke decide that perhaps he's not ready to take a bite of that Brontoburger just yet? Late last week, the [...]



Morning Digest: These six New York congressional districts swung from Obama to Trump

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:02:21 +0000

Leading Off ● Pres-by-CD: Start spreading the news: We have New York! Yes, our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide has arrived in the Empire State. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Campaign Action Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 59-37 in the two candidates' mutual home state, a drop from Barack Obama's 63-35 win over Mitt Romney in 2012. Clinton carried 18 of the state's 27 congressional districts, losing six seats that Obama won four years earlier. Rep. Sean Maloney is the only Democrat who holds a Trump seat, while Rep. John Katko is the only Republican with a Clinton constituency, so we'll start with a look at their districts. Obama carried Maloney's 18th District, located in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, 51-47, while Trump took it 49-47. Republicans didn't seriously target this seat, and Maloney beat his underfunded foe 56-44. However, Maloney pulled off a slim 50-48 win during the 2014 GOP wave, and Republicans may be more inclined to target this seat in the future. Clinton, meanwhile, won Katko's 24th District, which is based around Syracuse in upstate New York, by a 49-45 spread, but that was a much tighter showing than Obama's 57-41 victory. National Democrats hoped that Katko's punishing 59-40 win over incumbent Dan Maffei in 2014 was just a fluke, and both parties spent real money here last year. However, Katko defeated Colleen Deacon, a former district director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, by a huge 60-39 margin. We'll turn next to the five GOP-held seats that swung from Obama to Trump. [...]



Voting Rights Roundup: Courts block key parts of North Carolina GOP's undemocratic power grab

Sat, 07 Jan 2017 13:59:22 +0000

Leading Off ● North Carolina: Democrat Roy Cooper defeated Republican Gov. Pat McCrory last year, breaking the GOP’s chokehold on North Carolina’s state government. Soon thereafter, Republicans lawmakers engaged in an unprecedented and undemocratic power grab that usurped key powers from the governor’s office before McCrory left office on Jan. 1. Among other things, they passed legislation to curtail Cooper’s authority over state and county boards of election and undermine his ability to make appointments to key executive offices, all of which McCrory signed. But those efforts at sabotage are now the target of multiple lawsuits, and many provisions have already been blocked from taking effect. Late last month, a state court judge put a temporary stop to the part of the law revamping the state elections board after Cooper filed a lawsuit alleging a violation of the state constitution’s provisions regarding the separation of powers. On Thursday, a three-judge panel convened by the state Supreme Court upheld that ruling, pending further review. Separately, the state Board of Education (whose members are appointed by the governor) also launched its own suit against a new law that would transfer much of its authority to the state’s newly elected superintendent of public instruction—a Republican, of course. That law has also been blocked from going into effect. Gov. Cooper has promised that more lawsuits will follow, and importantly, Democrats just assumed a four-to-three majority on the state Supreme Court after Democrat Mike Morgan won a crucial judicial race in November, giving the party reason for optimism that such suits might ultimately succeed. Removing Cooper’s powers was nothing short of an attempt to nullify the 2016 election outcome and undermine democracy itself, and North Carolina can expect to remain in the national spotlight as a battleground in the voting wars for some time to come. [...]



Daily Kos Elections weekly open thread

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 23:34:29 +0000

Elvis Costello — “Riot Act”

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/6

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 14:00:20 +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, Jan 6, 2017 · 4:06:12 PM +00:00 · David Nir TX-03: We have our first retirement of the 2017-18 cycle: GOP Rep. Sam Johnson, who’s 86 years old and has represented a seat in the Dallas suburbs since 1991, announced on Friday that he won’t seek re-election. Texas’ 3rd Congressional District is deeply conservative, but it was also very hostile to Trump. After going 64-34 for Mitt Romney in 2012, it gave Trump just a 55-41 win in 2016. More to come. Friday, Jan 6, 2017 · 7:10:22 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: Start spreading the news: We have New York! Yes, our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide has arrived in the Empire State. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 59-37 in the two candidates’ mutual home state, a drop from Barack Obama’s 63-35 win over Mitt Romney in 2012. Clinton carried 18 of the state’s 27 congressional districts, losing six seats that Obama won four years earlier. Rep. Sean Maloney is the only Democrat who holds a Trump seat, while Rep. John Katko is the only Republican with a Clinton constituency, so we’ll start with a look at their districts. Obama carried Maloney’s 18th District, located in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, 51-47, while Trump took it 49-47. Republicans didn’t seriously target this seat, and Maloney beat his underfunded foe 56-44. However, Maloney pulled off a slim 50-48 win during the 2014 GOP wave, and Republicans may be more inclined to target this seat in the future. Clinton, meanwhile, won Katko’s 24th District, which is based around Syracuse in upstate New York, by a 49-45 spread, but that was a much tighter showing than Obama’s 57-41 victory. National Democrats hoped that Katko’s punishing 59-40 win over incumbent Dan Maffei in 2014 was just a fluke, and both parties spent real money here last year. However, Katko defeated Colleen Deacon, a former district director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, by a huge 60-39 margin. We’ll turn next to the five GOP-held seats that swung from Obama to Trump. The 1st District, which covers eastern Long Island, gave Obama a tight 49.6-49.1 victory, but it lurched violently to the right in 2016 and supported Trump 54-42. Team Blue lost this seat in 2014 to Republican Lee Zeldin, but they hoped to retake it last year. However, national Democrats didn’t end up spending much in this expensive district (which falls into [...]



Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke 'very likely' to challenge Ted Cruz for Senate in 2018

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 21:23:04 +0000

Just after the election, Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke said he was considering running for the Senate in the future, either against Ted Cruz in 2018 or John Cornyn in 2020. On Thursday, O'Rourke said it was “very likely that I will run for Senate in 2018” against Cruz.

If he gets in, O'Rourke has a very tough hill to climb. While Donald Trump’s 52-43 win in Texas was the worst GOP performance there in decades, the state is still very red. Democratic turnout also tends to disproportionately drop in midterm elections, though things may be different with a Republican in the White House. O'Rourke represents an El Paso seat that backed Hillary Clinton 68-27, so he doesn’t have much experience winning over the type of crossover voters any Democrat would need to win statewide in Texas.

Still, while O'Rourke would be a massive underdog, his campaign against Cruz may not be quixotic. Cruz’s time in the Senate and his failed presidential bid have made him utterly despised by… well, almost everyone who pays attention to politics. A competent Democrat should be able to raise money from Cruz-hating liberals across the country, though O'Rourke would still need to bring in a ton of cash to win in a state this large and expensive. However, national Democrats need to defend incumbents in plenty of tough races, and they’re unlikely to commit much money to Texas unless they’re convinced they have a solid shot.

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These six New York congressional districts swung from Obama to Trump

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 19:12:18 +0000

Start spreading the news: We have New York! Yes, Daily Kos Elections’ project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide has arrived in the Empire State. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 59-37 in the two candidates’ mutual home state, a drop from Barack Obama’s 63-35 win over Mitt Romney in 2012. Clinton carried 18 of the state’s 27 congressional districts, losing six seats that Obama won four years earlier. Rep. Sean Maloney is the only Democrat who holds a Trump seat, while Rep. John Katko is the only Republican with a Clinton constituency, so we’ll start with a look at their districts. Obama carried Maloney’s 18th District, located in the Hudson Valley north of New York City, 51-47, while Trump took it 49-47. Republicans didn’t seriously target this seat, and Maloney beat his underfunded foe 56-44. However, Maloney pulled off a slim 50-48 win during the 2014 GOP wave, and Republicans may be more inclined to target this seat in the future. Clinton, meanwhile, won Katko’s 24th District, which is based around Syracuse in upstate New York, by a 49-45 spread, but that was a much tighter showing than Obama’s 57-41 victory. National Democrats hoped that Katko’s punishing 59-40 win over incumbent Dan Maffei in 2014 was just a fluke, and both parties spent real money here last year. However, Katko defeated Colleen Deacon, a former district director for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, by a huge 60-39 margin. [...]



Clinton carried this coastal Oregon congressional district by 554 votes

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 17:00:23 +0000

As we do every four years, Daily Kos Elections is calculating the results of the 2016 presidential election for all 435 congressional districts, and this series of posts explores the most interesting results on a state-by-state basis. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Hillary Clinton carried Oregon 52-41, a small drop from Barack Obama's 55-42 win in 2012. Clinton won the same four congressional districts that Obama carried, but one was excruciatingly close.  While Obama took Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio's 4th District 52-45, Clinton defeated Donald Trump here 46.1-46.0, a margin of 554 votes. DeFazio himself easily won re-election 55-40 against Art Robertson in this seat, which includes both liberal Eugene and more conservative areas along the coast and inland. The GOP has never had much luck recruiting a viable candidate against DeFazio, who decisively defeated that very same Art Robertson during the 2010 and 2014 GOP waves, and in 2012 for good measure. But if DeFazio leaves this seat behind, the GOP could make a serious play for it. The 5th District, which is centered around Salem, was close, but Clinton's margin of victory was slightly better than Obama's. Obama won the 5th 50.5-47.1, but Clinton carried it 48.3-44.1. Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader beat an underfunded Republican 53-43, and he also won by double digits against a weak opponent in the 2014 wave. This is another seat that could be competitive if Schrader retires, or if Team Red lands a much stronger opponent. Oregon's other three seats look very safe for the party that holds them. Clinton won the suburban Portland 1st 57-35, and took the Portland-based 3rd 71-22. Trump carried the inland 2nd 57-36. [...]



Join our tour of the worst Republican gerrymanders, with Texas's 35th District!

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 15:00:13 +0000

We're taking a tour of the most outrageous Republican gerrymanders in the nation. Read why in our introductory post, and click here for the full series.

Republicans aggressively gerrymandered Texas again after the 2010 Census, taking what had previously been the Austin-based 25th District and creating a new seat that packed in Democrats in both Austin and San Antonio in order to make the surrounding seats strongly Republican. The current 35th masquerades as a Latino-majority Voting Rights Act-mandated district, but Republicans used this as a façade to pack in as many white Democrats as possible into a seat that backed President Obama by 63-35. The redrawn district didn’t even elect another Latino, since white Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett has been in office since 2005 and last won by 63-32 in 2016.

This district is part of a larger gerrymander that gave Republicans 25 districts to just 11 for Democrats, even when Donald Trump only won Texas by 52-43. We proposed a series of nonpartisan maps for every state, and our map dismantled this district and replaced it with more compact 25th and 35th districts in the Austin area. Our 35th was still dark blue, but the neighboring 25th backed Romney just 51-48 and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. We used the real 35th’s San Antonio portions to raise the Latino vote share in the South Texas-based 23rd and even created a new Latino-majority 27th District in the Rio Grande Valley, turning both Republican-held seats into safely Democratic ones.

That means that this one gerrymandered district alone might have cost Democrats a whopping two to three extra seats in 2016, and helped deprive Texas of two additional Latino members of Congress.

Tell us what you think the district looks like in the comments!

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Morning Digest: Hillary Clinton unexpectedly won three Texas House seats held by Republicans

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:00:23 +0000

Leading Off ● Pres-by-CD: We arrive in Texas for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we're updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Campaign Action Texas's GOP-drawn congressional map was designed to create 24 safely red seats and 11 safely Democratic districts, with only the 23rd District in the western part of the state being truly competitive. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state 57-41 and won those 24 red seats by double digits, while Barack Obama easily carried the 11 Democratic districts; the 23rd backed Romney 51-48. Things were a lot more interesting in 2016, with Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton by a smaller 52.5-43.5 margin, the closest presidential election in Texas in decades. Clinton won all the Obama districts, as well as the 23rd and two solidly Romney seats, the 7th and 32nd. However, the GOP still holds all the districts that Romney won in 2012, while Democrats have all the Obama/Clinton districts. The map at the top of this post, which shows each district as equally sized, illustrates all this, with the three Romney/Clinton districts standing out in pink. We'll start with a look at Texas's 23rd District, which stretches from El Paso to San Antonio and went from 51-48 Romney to 50-46 Clinton. However, the swing wasn't quite enough for Democrats downballot. Republican Will Hurd narrowly unseated Democrat Pete Gallego in the 2014 GOP wave, and he won their expensive rematch by a similarly tight 48-47 margin. [...]



We're the popular party: Senate Democrats won over 23 million more votes than Republicans

Fri, 06 Jan 2017 05:32:20 +0000

As any grade-schooler who’s studied the Constitution can tell you, the United States Senate is an abysmally unrepresentative body. California, the largest state, has 66 times the population of Wyoming, our smallest, yet both are entitled to the same number of senators: two. It’s a statistic that you’re already familiar with, on an intuitive level.

But here’s another way of thinking about the same problem that illustrates it even more vividly. The 48 members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, in their most recent respective elections dating back to 2012, collectively earned 78.4 million votes on their way to victory. Republicans, by contrast, won just 54.8 million votes—even though there are 52 of them.

In other words, Senate Democrats have gotten more than 23.5 million more votes than Republicans. In a head-to-head election, that would amount to a crushing 59-41 margin in percentage terms. But due to a grave injustice designed to perpetuate the power of slave-holders that’s been perpetrated down the generations, the party that’s earned a massive majority of support from the American public is in the minority in the Senate.

Yes, the Constitution was designed this way, but it’s a bad design—one that leaves the country hostage to the views of a tyrannical minority. Combined with the similarly unrepresentative Electoral College and a House that’s been gerrymandered beyond recognition by Republicans, the GOP has an undemocratic hammerlock on America.

But, as you dig deep for the strength to fight this inequity each and every day, remember these numbers. For one thing, they drive Republicans absolutely nuts. Just as Donald Trump hates hearing about how he lost the popular vote, Republicans can’t stand being reminded that their hold on the Senate is due to a series of historical accidents that’s left them with a fraction of the public support Democrats enjoy.

And that’s the other thing to bear in mind: We’re the popular ones. We have to fight against an unjust system to make sure our voices are given their due, but there are more people on our side than theirs—and the votes prove it.

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Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 1/5

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 14:00:21 +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, Jan 5, 2017 · 6:49:16 PM +00:00 · Jeff Singer Pres-by-CD: We arrive in Texas for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Texas’ GOP-drawn congressional map was designed to create 24 safely red seats and 11 safely Democratic districts, with only the 23rd District in the west being truly competitive. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state 57-41 and won those 24 red seats by double-digits, while Barack Obama easily carried the 11 Democratic districts: The 23rd backed Romney 51-48. Things were a lot more interesting in 2016, with Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton by a smaller 52.5-43.5 margin; Clinton won all the Obama districts, the 23rd, and even two solidly Romney seats. However, the GOP still holds all the districts that Romney won in 2012, while Democrats have all the Obama/Clinton districts. We’ll start with a look at Texas’ 23rd District, which stretches from El Paso to San Antonio and went from 51-48 Romney to 50-46 Clinton. However, the swing wasn’t quite enough for Democrats downballot. Republican Will Hurd narrowly unseated Democrat Pete Gallego in the 2014 GOP wave, and won their expensive rematch campaign 48-47. Surprisingly, two other Texas Republicans found themselves in Clinton seats. Romney easily carried the 7th, located in the Houston area, 60-39, but the well-educated seat backed Clinton by a narrow 48.5-47.1. Republican Rep. John Culberson still decisively turned back a challenge from a perennial candidate 56-44, and it remains to be seen if Democrats will be able to field a stronger contender next time.  The 32nd in the Dallas area also wildly swung from 57-41 Romney to 49-47 Clinton. However, Democrats didn’t even field a challenger against longtime GOP Rep. Pete Sessions. Sessions is the former head of the NRCC, and he’s capable of raising as much money as he needs to in order to win. This is another well-educated seat where we’ll need to see if Democrats will be able to take advantage of Trump’s weaknesses, or if The Donald’s 2016 problems don’t hurt the GOP much downballot in future years. None of Texas’ other 33 congressional seats were particularly tight in the presidential race, but a few others did swing noticeably to the left. The Houston-area 2nd District, which is represented by GOP Rep. Ted Poe, went from 63-36 Romney to a more-modest 52-43 Trump. GOP Rep. Michael McCaul’s subur[...]



New Democrat enters race for potentially competitive Georgia House seat, with backing of John Lewis

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 23:39:33 +0000

A fourth Democrat has jumped into expected special election for GOP Rep. Tom Price's suburban Atlanta House seat: Jon Ossoff, a former congressional aide and campaign operative who now runs a documentary film company that investigates crime and corruption. That political background has already proven to be a big boon to Ossoff, as he kicked off his bid with endorsements from Atlanta-area Reps. Hank Johnson and John Lewis, both of whom he's worked for in the past. He also says that donors have pledged $250,000 to his campaign. And he'll need the help if he's to have a shot. As we've noted before, all candidates from all parties will run together on a single ballot in the special election, with the top two vote-getters advancing to a runoff in the likely event no one takes a majority in the first round. Because there are so many Democrats already in the race—including two former state legislators—there's a worrisome chance that they'll split the vote and allow two Republicans to squeeze into the second round. Someone would either need to clear the field or emerge as the only credible Democrat to ensure the runoff is contested, and with his claimed financial strength and his support from Lewis, a civil rights legend, Ossoff may have suddenly become the top contender. And while Georgia's 6th District has traditionally been very conservative, tremendous hostility to Donald Trump saw him carry the district by just a 48-47 margin, so Democrats could have an opening if they don't botch the runoff. Meanwhile, oddly enough, there's still only one Republican who's declared for the race, state Sen. Judson Hill, though plenty of others are considering, including Price's wife, state Rep. Betty Price, and former Secretary of State Karen Handel. What could be keeping them? Well, while Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to do whatever Donald Trump demands of them, Price could face some ugly confirmation hearings for Health and Human Services secretary thanks to allegations that he may have engaged in insider trading based on secret information he learned as a member of Congress. It could be that his fellow Republicans are waiting to make sure he's safely ensconced as Obamacare Destroyer-in-Chief before sticking their necks out, lest they risk his taint. [...]



Former Rep. Tom Perriello makes surprise entry into Virginia governor's race

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 22:37:47 +0000

In an extremely unexpected development on Thursday, former Rep. Tom Perriello announced his entry into Virginia's gubernatorial race, a contest where Democrats had long ago thought they'd cleared the field for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. The news, which was first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday night, came as a particular surprise because there'd previously been no suggestion that Perriello, who served a single term in Congress and has been out of office since losing re-election in 2010, was even looking at the race. Indeed, he'd spent the last two years in Africa as a special envoy and expressed no interest in trying to reclaim his old House seat when it came open in 2016. But now Perriello is back, and Virginia Democrats will face a contested primary with some unusual contours. Northam, a former state senator, has the backing of almost the entire Democratic establishment in the state, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe and both Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and he's identified himself as a "moderate." He also was reportedly the target of a GOP effort in 2009 to get him to switch parties and hand power to  Republicans in the closely divided Senate, though this never came to pass. But Northam's shown some real moxie, too. Democrats credited him with drawing national attention to a GOP attempt five years ago to force women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion—an insultingly invasive process that Northam, a physician, made a point of identifying by its true nature, making the first person to say the word "transvaginal" on the floor of the state Senate. (Republicans wound up dropping that provision.) Perriello's politics are even harder to pin down. During his lone term in the House from 2009 to 2010, Perriello compiled the 15th-most conservative voting record among Democrats according to DW-Nominate, a widely respected measure of lawmaker ideology, but he also represented a conservative seat that John McCain had won, so he was in-step with his district. But Perriello was also unusually vocal in his support for big-ticket legislation that the Democrats passed that session, including the Affordable Care Act and cap-and-trade—bills that many Democrats tried to hide from. At the same time, though, he was an NRA supporter and voted for the Stupak amendment, which sough to prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for abortions. While many pundits were quick to try to portray this newly engaged battle as some sort of stereotypical fight between the party's establishment and progressive wings, this race defies easy categorization. Perhaps more importantly, we have no idea how serious a campaign Perriello will be capable of running. Northam declared for this race all the way back in February of 2015 and had $1.4 million in his campaign account as of the middle of last [...]



Clinton carried all five of Connecticut's congressional seats, but two were tight

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 21:00:19 +0000

As we do every four years, Daily Kos Elections is calculating the results of the 2016 presidential election for all 435 congressional districts, and this series of posts explores the most interesting results on a state-by-state basis. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Hillary Clinton carried Connecticut 55-41, a small drop from Barack Obama's 58-41 win in 2012. However, though Clinton swept all five of the Nutmeg State's congressional districts, two of them were a lot tighter than they were four years ago. While Obama carried the 2nd District, located in the eastern part of the state, 56-43, Clinton won it just 49-46. Democratic Rep. Joe Courtney easily dispatched an unheralded Republican opponent 63-34, but the GOP may try to put up a tougher fight in the future.  There was a similar shift in the 5th, which includes Danbury, New Britain, and most of Waterbury. Obama carried the seat 54-45, but Clinton won it only 50-46. However, Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty beat Republican Clay Cope, a first selectman from the small town of Sherman who had little money or outside help, by a clear 58-42, though she could likewise become a GOP target. Donald Trump also did much better than Mitt Romney 1st and 3rd Districts, though both seats are still quite blue. Clinton carried the 1st, which includes Hartford, 59-36, while Obama took it 63-36. Clinton won the 3rd, which includes New Haven, by a 56-40 margin, a drop from Obama's 63-36.  The 4th District, which includes Bridgeport and several of Connecticut's affluent New York City suburbs, was the one seat where Clinton did better than Obama in 2012: She took it 60-37, while Obama won it 55-40. The 4th was in Republican hands until Democratic Rep. Jim Himes beat incumbent Chris Shays in 2008, but the GOP shouldn't plan on getting it back anytime soon. [...]



In a surprise, three Texas House Republicans now sit in seats carried by Hillary Clinton

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 19:48:17 +0000

We arrive in Texas for our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for all 435 congressional districts nationwide. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by.

Texas’s GOP-drawn congressional map was designed to create 24 safely red seats and 11 safely Democratic districts, with only the 23rd District in the western part of the state being truly competitive. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried the state 57-41 and won those 24 red seats by double digits, while Barack Obama easily carried the 11 Democratic districts; the 23rd backed Romney 51-48.

Things were a lot more interesting in 2016, with Donald Trump defeating Hillary Clinton by a smaller 52.5-43.5 margin, the closest presidential election in Texas in decades. Clinton won all the Obama districts, as well as the 23rd and two solidly Romney seats, the 7th and 32nd. However, the GOP still holds all the districts that Romney won in 2012, while Democrats have all the Obama/Clinton districts. The map at the top of this post, which shows each district as equally sized, illustrates all this, with the three Romney/Clinton districts standing out in pink.

We’ll start with a look at Texas’s 23rd District, which stretches from El Paso to San Antonio and went from 51-48 Romney to 50-46 Clinton. However, the swing wasn’t quite enough for Democrats downballot. Republican Will Hurd narrowly unseated Democrat Pete Gallego in the 2014 GOP wave, and he won their expensive rematch by a similarly tight 48-47 margin.

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This Northern Virginia Republican won re-election even as Trump lost her seat 52-42

Thu, 05 Jan 2017 19:00:19 +0000

As we do every four years, Daily Kos Elections is calculating the results of the 2016 presidential election for all 435 congressional districts, and this series of posts explores the most interesting results on a state-by-state basis. You can find our complete data set here, which we’re updating continuously as the precinct-level election returns we need for our calculations become available. You can also click here to learn more about why this data is so difficult to come by. Hillary Clinton did well in Virginia—perhaps with an assist from Sen. Tim Kaine—winning 50-45, a slightly larger margin of victory than Barack Obama's 51-47 over Mitt Romney. Note also that is the first cycle where Virginia used its new court-drawn congressional map after the state's previous Republican-drawn map was struck down as an impermissible racial gerrymander. (Note that our 2012 numbers for Virginia, adjusted retroactively for redistricting, come from the state and don't factor in third party candidates, so any comparisons between 2012 and 2016 aren't quite apples-to-apples.) Clinton carried five of Virginia's 11 congressional districts, one more than Obama. The sole Romney/Clinton seat was the 10th District, a very well-educated and affluent seat located in Northern Virginia: Romney won it 51-49, while Clinton took it by a wide 52-42. However, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in a very expensive race despite Donald Trump's problems here. Comstock is a potential candidate against Kaine in 2018, and her ability to win under tough conditions is one reason why plenty of Republicans want her to run. Republicans hold the six Romney/Trump seats, while Democrats have the four Obama/Clinton districts, but there are some results worth noting. Trump carried the 2nd District, which is based around Virginia Beach, 49-45, a bit better than Romney's 51-49 win here. Republican Rep. Scott Rigell chose to retire, and Republican Rep. Randy Forbes decided to run here after redistricting made his seat safely blue. However, Forbes didn't represent any of the new 2nd, and he badly lost the primary to Del. Scott Taylor. Democrats were unable to recruit a credible candidate amidst all the chaos, and Taylor beat a perennial candidate in the general 61-38. This seat is still competitive enough that it could be in play in a good Democratic year if Team Blue can field a serious contender. The 7th District, which is based in the Richmond suburbs, shifted a little in Team Blue's direction. Romney took it 56-44, while Trump won it by a smaller 51-44. Republican Rep. Dave Brat, who famously unseated then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary, is probably safe for a while, though this[...]