Welcome to the Thursday, November 4, 2021, Brew.
By: Cory Eucalitto and David Luchs
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- A look at Candidate Connection survey responses from 2021 election winners
- New York voters reject three proposed constitutional amendments
- The latest election results
Glenn Youngkin, Michelle Wu, and other Nov. 2 election winners completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey
So far, we’ve counted 79 winners of Nov. 2 elections who completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. This includes Glenn Youngkin (R), the winner of Virginia’s gubernatorial election, and Michelle Wu, the winner of Boston’s mayoral election.
Our Candidate Connection survey allows voters to readily access candidates at all levels of government—from governors like Youngkin, mayors like Wu, all the way down to local school boards— and get the information they need to feel confident they’re picking the best candidate for the role.
The Candidate Connection survey includes more than 30 questions, with candidates selecting the questions they feel will best represent their views to voters. In 2020, 4,475 candidates completed the Candidate Connection survey.
The three snippets below are just a sampling of the answers candidates have given to the survey. Explore more surveys for yourself through our interactive tool.
In the meantime, here’s a sample of what Virginia, Boston, and Falcon School District 49, Colorado, voters heard from their candidates.
Youngkin, in response to “What characteristics or principles are most important for an elected official?”
“I’m not a politician, but politicians certainly spend a lot of time talking about solving problems. We need elected officials who can lead with character and integrity. We need leaders who don’t just talk about solving problems but have actually done it. We need elected officials who are guided by principles not the special interests they’re indebted to. When you’re elected to office you work for the people.”
Wu, on one of the “main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”
“This moment is a call to action. To me, that means thinking big about how to build a more resilient, healthy, and fair Boston, and then having the courage and political will to fight for all of our families. We can make real investments in education, food access, and good jobs. We can build wealth in our communities by closing the racial wealth gap and supporting small businesses and local entrepreneurship.”
In the special general election for Falcon School District 49, Colorado (near Colorado Springs), both incumbent Ivy Liu and challenger Tammy Harold completed the survey. Liu defeated Harold to win re-election. As of 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 3, Liu had 63.9% of the vote to Harold’s 36.1%.
Liu, on one of the “main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”
“Education should consist of academic skills such as math, reading, and writing, along with science and history. Every child should learn the founding principles, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Education should also include art, music, PE, and other fun topics. All education should be free from infusion of toxic ideologies such as Critical Race Theory and age-inappropriate sex education.”
Harold, on one of the “main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?”
“Student Success – We have had some lost learning over the last year and we need to concentrate on academic growth for all students and close the achievement gaps of our struggling groups. We need to provide professional development for our teachers and the best curriculum and educational tools; and concentrate on the whole student. Mental, social and behavioral support for the complex environment facing our students.”
New York voters reject redistricting, voting procedure proposals
New York was one of six states with statewide ballot measures Tuesday.
Voters in New York rejected three constitutional amendments and approved two. One of the rejected measures, Proposal 1, addressed redistricting policies. The other two, Proposals 3 and 4, addressed voting policies. Here’s a summary of the three that failed.
- Proposal 1, with 55.8% voting “No,” would have changed the vote thresholds for adopting redistricting plans when one political party controls both legislative chambers, among other changes. Currently, a 10-member redistricting commission is responsible for designing congressional and state legislative maps and submitting them to the New York State Legislature for an up-or-down vote. If control of the legislature is divided, the legislature may adopt maps with a majority vote. If a single party controls the legislature, the legislature may adopt maps with a two-thirds vote. The ballot measure would have repealed the higher vote threshold for adopting redistricting plans when the legislature is controlled by a single party, allowing the legislature to adopt plans with a majority vote under any type of control.
- Proposal 3, with 57.7% voting “No,” would have removed the requirement that persons register to vote at least 10 days before an election. This would have authorized the state legislature to pass a statute requiring a period less than 10 days, including allowing for the possibility of same-day voter registration. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have same-day registration provisions enabling voters to register and vote simultaneously.
- Proposal 4, with 56.5% voting “No,” would have authorized the state legislature to pass a statute for no-excuse absentee/mail-in voting. Twenty-seven states have provisions allowing voters to request an absentee/mail-in ballot without an excuse.
Between 1995 and 2020, New York voters rejected six of 25 (24%) constitutional amendments before them. At the 2021 election, voters rejected three of five amendments (60%).
Wednesday’s election updates: from New Jersey governor to Virginia House
Here’s the latest on some of the battleground races we hadn’t called as of yesterday’s Brew:
Virginia House of Delegates
Democrats lost their majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, based on unofficial election returns. As of 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 3, with four races still uncalled, Republicans had won 50 seats in the House of Delegates to Democrats’ 46. All four uncalled races were in districts with Democratic incumbents. Media outlets project a 51-49 balance.
Among the races that have so far been called, five seats have flipped from Democrat to Republican and none have flipped from Republican to Democrat. If Democrats win all four uncalled races, control of the chamber will be split 50-50. Otherwise, Republicans will win a majority.
Regardless of who wins control of the House, Virginia will be under divided government following the 2021 elections because Glenn Youngkin (R) won the gubernatorial election and the state Senate, which was not up for election, has a Democratic majority.
Attorney General of Virginia
Jason Miyares (R) defeated incumbent Mark Herring (D) in the Virginia attorney general election. Herring, first elected in 2013, was running for a third consecutive term. The last Virginia attorney general to win a third consecutive term was Abram Penn Staples (D) in 1945. Because Glenn Youngkin (R) also won the gubernatorial election, Republicans will gain a triplex in Virginia as a result of the 2021 elections. With New Jersey’s post-election triplex status undetermined, Republicans have 21 triplexes to Democrats’ 15, with whichever party wins the New Jersey gubernatorial election set to pick up one more triplex.
Governor of New Jersey
As of 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Nov. 3, New Jersey’s gubernatorial election remained too close to call. Incumbent Phil Murphy (D) led Jack Ciattarelli (R) 50.03% to 49.22% with 90% of the expected vote in, a margin of 19,440 votes out of more than 2.4 million cast. Murphy would be the first Democratic governor of New Jersey to win re-election since Brendan Byrne (D) in 1977, while Ciattarelli would be the first Republican to win a New Jersey gubernatorial election since 2013. A win for Murphy would preserve New Jersey’s Democratic trifecta and a win for Ciattarelli would break it.
Texas House of Representatives District 118 (special election)
John Lujan (R) defeated Frank Ramirez (D) 51.2% to 48.8% in a special general election for District 118 in the Texas House of Representatives, flipping the seat from Democratic to Republican control. The district, located in San Antonio, voted for Joe Biden (D) in the 2020 presidential election by a 14-point margin and for Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016 by a 15-point margin. As of Nov. 2, there have been 65 state legislative special elections in 2021. Three, including this election, resulted in a seat flipping from Democratic to Republican control and two resulted in a seat flipping from Republican to Democratic control.
Des Moines City Council Ward 1
Indira Dixon Sheumaker defeated incumbent Bill Gray and Marcus Coenen in the general election for the Ward 1 seat on the Des Moines, Iowa, city council. Dixon Sheumaker received 46.4% of the vote to Gray’s 36.3% and Coenen’s 16.8%. Gray was first elected to the council in 2014. In a statement following her win, Dixon Sheumaker said she had campaigned on a “platform centered on Defunding the Police for Safety and Justice.”
Mayor of Minneapolis
Incumbent Jacob Frey (D) defeated 16 other candidates to win re-election as mayor of Minneapolis. Voters could rank up to three candidates on the ballot under Minneapolis’ ranked-choice voting system. If no candidate won more than 50% of the first-choice vote, candidates who were mathematically unable to win were eliminated and their voters’ votes redistributed to their second, then third choice. Frey defeated Katherine Knuth (D) 56.2% to 43.8% in the second round of vote tallying.
Among the major issues in the race, which took place the year after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, was the city’s approach to policing. Frey opposed and Knuth supported Question 2, a proposed charter amendment that would have replaced the city police department with a department of public health. Voters rejected Question 2, also by a 56.2% to 43.8% margin.
Minneapolis Question 3
Voters approved Question 3, a charter amendment authorizing the city council to enact rent control policies, by a 53.2% to 46.8% margin. Both Jacob Frey (D) and Katherine Knuth (D) supported the amendment.
Click here for more details, including the latest on school board elections.