A look at presidential campaign suspensions in recent cycles

Welcome to the Thursday, September 7, 2023, Brew. 

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

  1. A look at presidential campaign suspensions in recent cycles
  2. Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications
  3. Talking marijuana legalization and federalism in the latest episode of On the Ballot

A look at presidential campaign suspensions in recent cycles 

As of Sept. 6 our count of noteworthy presidential candidates includes three Democrats and 14 Republicans. This tally decreased last month after Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) suspended his campaign on Aug. 29.

Suarez’s campaign lasted 75 days, tying Richard Ojeda’s (D) 2020 campaign as the fourth-shortest noteworthy presidential campaign we’ve followed across the 2016, 2020, and 2024 presidential election cycles. The shortest campaign we covered in that period was Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig’s (D) 2016 presidential campaign, which lasted 63 days. The longest campaign we’ve covered was former President Donald Trump’s (R) 2020 re-election campaign, which lasted 1,383 days from his Jan. 20, 2017, announcement to election day in 2020.

With Suarez’s announcement, August has become the third most active month for presidential campaign suspensions since 2016. The most active months are February (13) and March (8) in the year of the presidential election. In past cycles, presidential primaries have started in February of the presidential election year.

Looking back at this point in the 2020 cycle, 30 noteworthy candidates—27 Democrats and three Republicans—were running. Of those, seven—all Democrats—suspended their campaigns by Sept. 6, 2019.

Twenty-two noteworthy candidates had announced their campaigns at this point in the 2016 presidential cycle—17 Republicans and five Democrats. None had suspended their campaigns by Sept. 6, 2015. The first candidate to do so was former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who suspended his campaign on Sept. 11. On the Democratic side, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb (D), was the first candidate to withdraw on Oct. 20. 

To read more about presidential campaign announcements in the 2020 presidential election cycle, click here. To read more about announcements in the 2016 cycle, click here

Click below for our coverage of this year’s 2024 presidential election. 

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Update on this year’s and next year’s ballot measure certifications

Forty-one statewide measures have been certified for the 2023 ballot in eight states, 11 more measures than the average of 33 certified at this point in other odd-numbered years from 2011 to 2021. 

Six of the 41 measures are citizen initiatives—five statutes and one constitutional amendment. This year’s six citizen initiatives are the most for an odd-numbered year since 12 measures made the ballot in 2011.

The other 35 measures are legislative referrals—measures state legislatures put on the ballot. There were also 35 legislative referrals in 2021.  

Unlike the odd-numbered years from 2013 to 2021, there will be no advisory questions on the ballot in Washington. On April 20, 2023, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a bill eliminating mandatory advisory votes on bills to increase taxes. An average of five advisory votes appeared on the ballot in Washington for each odd-numbered year from 2013 to 2021.

For 2024, 47 statewide measures have been certified in 22 states. That’s one more measure than the average of 46 certified at this point from 2010 to 2022.

Supporters filed signatures for one 2024 veto referendum last week, the Nebraska Education Scholarships Tax Credit Referendum (2024).

From 2010 to 2022, an average of 164 statewide measures were certified for the ballot in even-numbered years. By this time in even-numbered years from 2010 through 2022, an average of 46 statewide measures had been certified. 

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Talking marijuana legalization and federalism in the latest episode of On the Ballot

In this week’s episode of On the Ballot, our host, Victoria Rose, sits down with Vanderbilt Law School’s Professor Robert Mikos, whose research focuses on drug policy and federalism.

Professor Mikos has written extensively on the states’ constitutional rights to legalize marijuana and how federal laws can preempt state marijuana regulations. During the episode, Mikos discusses the past quarter-century of marijuana legalization, diving into how state and local governments have navigated a shifting legal framework and looking at what the implications might be for the growing interest in psychedelic drugs. 

Our conversation with Professor Mikos is especially timely given that today, voters from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), a federally recognized tribe in North Carolina, will vote on a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana. If approved, the EBCI’s 57,000-acre Qualla Boundary in western North Carolina would be the only place in the state where marijuana could be legally purchased and used. 

We previously wrote about this measure in our Aug. 23 edition. For more information about local marijuana ballot measures, click here.

Today, recreational marijuana use is legal in 23 states, as well as DC, and medicinal use is legal in 38 states. California was the first state to make medical marijuana legal in 1996. Colorado and Washington were the first two states to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. 

To learn more about marijuana laws and ballot measures around the country, click here. To listen to our full conversation with Professor Mikos, click the link below. 

New episodes of On the Ballot come out Thursday afternoons, so if you’re reading this on the morning of Sept. 7, you’ve still got time to subscribe to On the Ballot on your favorite podcast app before this week’s episode comes out! 

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