The Daily Brew: Primary day tomorrow in Virginia-margin of control in each chamber is one seat


The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Monday, June 10, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Virginia state legislative primaries take place Tuesday
  2. One of five Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary elections
  3. Presidential candidates must qualify for first Democratic debate this week
  4. Upcoming events

Virginia state legislative primaries take place Tuesday

A busy period of elections ends Tuesday as Virginia holds legislative primaries for both the state Senate and the House of Delegates.

Virginia has been under divided government since 2002. Gov. Ralph Northam is a Democrat while Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. If Republicans retain control of the Senate or the state House, Virginia will remain under divided government. If Democrats win both chambers of the legislature, they will have a trifecta and full control of the government during redistricting.

Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 51-49 majority in the state House. Fifteen incumbents—nine Democrats and six Republicans—face primary challengers.

According to data from the state Department of Elections and local parties, there will be at least 16 primaries for state Senate seats and at least 19 primaries for seats in the state House. Virginia uses a unique primary system in that local parties can hold party caucuses or nominating conventions in place of primary elections to select their nominees. In a caucus or convention, party members or delegates meet and choose a nominee according to defined rules. Ballotpedia has determined that parties in at least 28 districts in Virginia are selecting their state legislative nominee via convention in 2019.

Ballotpedia has identified 12 primaries as battleground races this year—seven seats held by Democrats and five held by Republicans. There are six battleground primaries each in the Senate and House. In all but one race, the incumbent is seeking re-election. 20 incumbents faced at least one primary opponent In the four House of Delegate elections since 2011. Four incumbents lost – meaning 16 incumbents80%—won their primary. In the two state Senate elections since 2011, five incumbents faced at least primary challenger and four of those, or 80%, won the primary.

This election will take place using court-ordered state House district maps redrawn by a special master earlier this year, which changed the boundaries of 25 districts. Under the old maps, Hillary Clinton won 51 districts in 2016 while Donald Trump won 49. Under the new maps, Clinton would have won 56 districts (7 currently held by Republicans) while Trump would have won 44 (none currently held by Democrats).

Click here to learn more about Virginia’s Democratic primaries  

Click here to learn more about Virginia’s Republican primaries

One of five Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary elections

Primary elections in four Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia were canceled because two candidates or less filed to run for election. Of the 17 seats up for election in those districts, the outcome in six has already been decided since only one candidate is running for each seat.

In the school districts we cover in Kansas, one primary election will take place on August 6 for an at-large seat on the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education. School board president Sheril Logan faces three challengers for the at-large seat she has held since 2011.

Of the 20 school district seats in Kansas we’re covering, 14 feature incumbents running for re-election. Four of them are unopposed. General elections will be held on November 5.

Ballotpedia covers the 200 largest school districts in the nation and those districts that overlap with the 100 largest cities by population in the United States. All of the Kansas school districts covered are in the area surrounding Wichita. These five Kansas school districts served a combined total of 71,240 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

From 2014 to 2016, Ballotpedia analyzed school board election statistics in America’s 1,000 largest school districts. We found that:

  • between 32 percent and 36 percent of elections were unopposed each year, and
  • incumbents who sought re-election won between 81 percent and 83 percent of the time.

Click the link below for more findings from that analysis.

Learn more

Presidential candidates must qualify for first Democratic debate this week

Democratic presidential candidates have until June 12 to qualify for the first set of presidential debates held on June 26-27 in Miami, Florida. This will be the first of 12 Democratic primary debates scheduled for the 2020 presidential election.

Thirteen candidates have already qualified under both criteria and seven others have met the polling threshold only. Four notable candidates have not yet announced whether they have met either criterion.

No more than 20 candidates—10 per night—will participate in these debates. The Democratic National Committee announced last month that the candidates will be divided into two groups—those above and those below a polling average of 2 percent. These two groups will be randomly and equally divided between both nights of the debate to avoid one debate being classified as an undercard event.

Candidates can qualify by receiving 1 percent support or more in three national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—publicly released since January 1, 2019. Any candidate’s three qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.

Candidates may also qualify for the debate by providing verifiable evidence that they received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 donors per state in at least 20 states.

In the event that more than 20 candidates qualify, preference will be given to those who have reached both the polling and fundraising thresholds. The following chart shows which Democratic presidential candidates have qualified for the debate and by which method.

Click here to learn more about the first set of Democratic presidential debates—and the link below to subscribe to our free Daily Presidential News Briefing newsletter about the 2020 presidential campaign.

Subscribe to the Daily Presidential News Briefing

Upcoming events

This month Ballotpedia is hosting the following events. I’d love for you to join us!

June 20th: Join us for a discussion about fear in politics with Dr. Stevan Hobfoll as we discuss his new book Tribalism: The Evolutionary Origins of Fear Politics

Grab a spot→

June 26th: With the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus, Ballotpedia is taking a deep dive into how the case has impacted unions across the United States.

Register here→