Our top 15 stories of 2023 for BP’s 15th anniversary

Welcome to the Monday, March 6, Brew. 

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Introducing our top 15 most interesting and consequential political stories of 2023

Introducing our top 15 most interesting and consequential political stories of 2023

In the context of politics, odd-numbered years—like 2023—are sometimes called off-cycle election years. At first blush, the expression makes sense—there are fewer elections compared to congressional midterm or presidential election years. But the expression is also something of a misnomer, suggesting there’s not much going on in politics.

Over the next week, we’re going to dedicate the Brew to detailing the top 15 most interesting and consequential political stories we’re following this year. We’ll take a deep dive into U.S. Supreme Court cases, statewide ballot measures, state legislative, mayoral, and school board elections, and more. There’s a lot to look into.

Today, we’ll briefly outline the 15 stories. The rest of the week, we’ll go into expanded detail on each one.

Without further ado, here are the 15 important political stories we’ll cover over the next week, along with a short explanation for why each one made our list: 

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court election – The April election will determine ideological control of the court. Wisconsin voters will also decide three ballot measures – ones that could affact turnout.
  • Merrill v. Milligan – Will decide whether Alabama’s 2021 congressional redistricting plan violated the Voting Rights Act.
  • Moore v. Harper –  Will decide whether state courts may exercise oversight of state legislatures’ regulation of federal elections.
  • Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard – Will decide whether universities may use race as a factor in admission decisions.
  • Start of presidential debates – The GOP candidates first debate will be in August in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, site of the 2024 Republican National Convention. 
  • 2024 ballot measure certifications – Ohio voters are already set to decide measures on abortion and marijuana. More issues in more states will make their way to the ballot in the months ahead.
  • Virginia General Assembly elections  – A possible bellwether for 2024, Republicans are defending the 52-48 House majority they won in 2021 while Democrats are seeking to maintain a 22-18 Senate majority. In the background: how the outcome of those races affects the national prospects of Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R).
  • Kentucky gubernatorial election – Gov. Andy Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman are the only Democrats holding statewide office. There will be a competitive Republican primary for the GOP gubernatorial nomination.
  • Louisiana gubernatorial election – An open race with no incumbent as Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is term-limited.
  • San Antonio May abortion and marijuana 2023 ballot measure – A charter amendment that tackles marijuana law, abortion laws, no-knock warrants, chokeholds, and more. Putting all these separate issues into one measure is a first-of-its-kind approach.
  • Assessing the 2024 congressional election landscape – Keeping a close eye on retirements, recruitment, and retention in the House and Senate.
  • School board recalls – School board recall elections have taken on a bigger role in the national political discussion. 
  • Memphis, Tennessee mayoral election – Against the backdrop of the Tyre Nichols’ killing, 12 candidates have declared their candidacy.
  • Election administration legislation activity –  More than 2,500 bills were introduced in the 2022 state legislative sessions. Election administration remains a busy topic in state legislatures, with legislators from both parties introducing bills to shape how America governs its elections. 
  • School board elections – Ballotpedia is covering elections for 8,750 school board seats in 3,211 school districts across 28 states – 36% of all school board elections this year. We are also covering all school board elections in ten states: Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.

With so much to cover, we’ll include three to four expanded versions of the above stories in each issue this week. We’ll kick things off tomorrow with a preview of the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election and a rundown of state legislative elections in Virginia, Kentucky, and Louisiana.

In the meanwhile, click the link below to read our full press release explaining more about our top 15 political stories to watch. See you tomorrow!
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