ICYMI: Top stories of the week


By the end of the week, 18 legislatures will be in session

By the end of the week, 18 state legislatures will have begun their regular sessions: sessions in California and Maine began in December with 16 more starting this week. Another 27 legislatures go into session later in January, and two more in February. All 50 states will hold regular sessions this year, with the latest—in Louisiana—beginning in April.

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Ballotpedia’s analysis of 2022 local ballot measures in top 100 largest cities and state capitals

Ballotpedia covered 382 local ballot measures in 39 different states in the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and state capitals. Voters approved 348 (91.1%) of those measures and defeated 34 (8.9%). By comparison, in 2018 and 2020, voters approved an average of 84% of local measures. 

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2022 has second-highest level of recall activity since Ballotpedia began tracking

Throughout 2022 we tracked 250 recall efforts against 419 officials. This is the second-highest number of recall efforts since we began tracking this statistic in 2012. Only 2021 had more recall activity, with 357 recall efforts against 545 officials. 

In 2022, 56 officials (or 13.4% of all officials included in recall efforts) were removed from office via the recall process.

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Biden issued 29 executive orders last year

President Joe Biden (D) issued 29 executive orders in 2022, the fewest any president has issued in the second year of a term since 1994 when Bill Clinton (D) issued one during his second year.

Since taking office on Jan. 20, 2021, Biden has issued 106 executive orders, an average of 53 per year. Since Ronald Regan’s presidency, Biden’s average is the second-highest behind only Donald Trump, who averaged 55.

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94% of incumbents won re-election in 2022

In the 2022 general elections, 94% of incumbents in Ballotpedia’s core coverage scope were re-elected—an increase from the 93% of incumbents who won in November 2020. The incumbent win rate was at or above 90% in all but nine states: Alaska, California, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The lowest overall incumbent win rate was in Virginia with 77%.

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