2019’s election results in two minutes

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, November 20, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. A summary of this fall’s top 10 elections
  2. State legislators in California, New York receive the highest salaries
  3. Biden leads Democratic presidential candidates in Ballotpedia pageviews for 4th straight week

A summary of this fall’s top 10 elections 

Before the November elections, Ballotpedia compiled a list of the top 10 races to watch in 2019, including races for state executive and legislative offices, municipal elections, and statewide ballot measures. Here’s a quick summary of what happened in those elections. 

  • Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) defeated Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and John Hicks (L) in the state’s gubernatorial election. Beshear’s victory means that Kentucky will go from a Republican trifecta to divided government.

  • Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) defeated state Attorney General Jim Hood (D), Bob Hickingbottom (Constitution), and David Singletary (I) to become governor of Mississippi. Reeves’ win and Republican victories in the state House and Senate preserved the state’s Republican trifecta.

  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) defeated businessman Eddie Rispone (R) in the general election for governor on Nov. 16. Republicans held onto majorities in the state House and Senate, meaning that the state will remain under divided government. 

  • Democrats flipped control of the Virginia state legislature. After new members are sworn in, Democrats will have a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 55-45 majority in the House of Delegates. Heading into the election, Republicans held a majority in both chambers. Democrats will have a state government trifecta in Virginia, as Gov. Ralph Northam (D) was not up for election.

  • Seattle voters elected city council members in seven districts. Three incumbents ran for re-election, and all three won. Five of the seven council races were won by candidates supported by two political action committees—Civic Alliance for a Progressive Economy (CAPE) and UNITE HERE!, which is affiliated with labor groups. 

  • Colorado voters defeated Proposition CC, which would have allowed the state to retain revenue it was, at the time of the election, required to refund under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). 

  • A majority of Pennsylvania electors voted to approve the Pennsylvania Marsy’s Law Crime Victims Rights Amendment. This was a measure to amend the state Constitution to guarantee victims of crimes 15 specific rights. However, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court enjoined the secretary of state from certifying election results, pending a court ruling on whether the amendment violates the state constitution’s requirement that separate amendments receive separate votes.

  • Texas voters approved Proposition 4—a measure to amend the Texas Constitution to prohibit the state from levying an income tax. 

  • Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner and former Texas A&M Board of Regents member Tony Buzbee advanced to a Dec. 14 runoff election for mayor of Houston.

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State legislators in California, New York receive the highest salaries 

There are 7,383 state legislators across all 50 states and the amount each is paid varies from state to state. 

State legislators in California earn the highest base salary among legislators in all 50 states—making $110,459 per year. New Mexico state legislators do not earn a base salary. The March 2019 figures come from survey data collected by the National Conference of State Legislators.

The states with the highest base salaries for state legislators are:

  • California: $110,459

  • New York: $110,000

  • Pennsylvania: $87,180

  • Michigan: $71,685

  • Illinois: $67,836

The states with the lowest base salaries for state legislators are:

  • New Mexico: $0 per year

  • New Hampshire: $200 per two-year term

  • Texas: $7,200 per year

  • South Carolina: $10,400 per year

  • South Dakota: $11,379 per year

The legislators in the five highest-paying states work approximately full-time, while legislators in the lowest-paying states work part-time, or in-between part-time and full-time. Forty-three states also pay legislators a per diem or reimburse certain expenses on days the legislature is in session. Many states tie per diem pay to the federal rate set by the U.S. General Services Administration.

Nineteen states use a commission of some kind to determine the salary of legislators. The powers of these commissions vary from non-binding recommendations to reports that are implemented unless either voted down by the legislature, not approved by the governor, or overturned by citizen referenda. Some states tie legislators’ salaries to those of other state employees while other states allow the legislators themselves to set their own salaries.

Biden leads Democratic presidential candidates in Ballotpedia pageviews for 4th straight week

As we previewed yesterday, 10 Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Atlanta. MSNBC and The Washington Post are hosting the debate beginning at 9 p.m. ET. It will be broadcast by MSNBC and streamed on MSNBC.com, washingtonpost.com, and NBC News’ and The Washington Post’s mobile apps.

We track and report the number of views candidates’ 2020 presidential campaign pages receive to show who is getting our readers’ attention. 

For the week ending Nov. 16, Joe Biden’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 2,448 views, more than any other Democratic candidate. This was the fourth consecutive week Biden’s page received the most pageviews among the Democratic field. Andrew Yang’s page had the second-most pageviews during this week and Elizabeth Warren’s page was third.

The only Democratic candidate to receive more pageviews last week than the week before was Tom Steyer, whose pageviews increased by 11.2%.

Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews among Democratic presidential candidates in 2019 with 141,319. He is followed by Pete Buttigieg, Biden, Kamala Harris, and Warren.

See the full data on all presidential candidates by clicking the link below.