Welcome to the Thursday, December 14, 2023, Brew.
By: Juan Garcia de Paredes
Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Queen College Professor Jack Santucci discusses the history of RCV and what comes next for the electoral system in the final episode of our On the Ballot series
- Three early primary state governors have endorsed in the Republican presidential primary
- 54.75% of all state legislators in the United States are Republican, 44.35% are Democratic
Queens College Professor Jack Santucci discusses the history of RCV and what comes next for the electoral system in the final episode of our On the Ballot series
This past week, On the Ballot, Ballotpedia’s weekly podcast covering all things elections and American politics, took a deep dive into ranked-choice voting (RCV), an emergent electoral system that has attracted growing attention in recent years.
Our four-part series took a comprehensive look at RCV, featuring four guests taking on different parts of—and perspectives on—the RCV story:
- In our first installment, which came out on Dec. 6, Ballotpedia Staff Writer Joe Greaney introduced RCV and walked us through this year’s legislation and ballot measures—and what we can expect to see in 2024.
- In our second installment, which came out on Dec. 7, FairVote Director of Research and Policy Deb Otis made her case in support of RCV. Otis discussed how RCV fared in the November elections, highlighted the voting system’s perceived benefits, and addressed some of the most common concerns of voters and policymakers.
- Our third installment, which came out earlier this week, featured Save Our States Executive Director Trent England, who made his case in opposition to RCV. England outlined his major arguments against RCV, cited elections where he says RCV raised voter concerns, and shared ideas for alternative election reform methods.
In our fourth and final episode in the series, which comes out today, Queens College Professor Jack Santucci discusses the origins of RCV in the 1850s and its previous peak in popularity during the Progressive and New Deal Eras.
Santucci also highlights some of the different types of RCV (yes, there’s more than one), and how that might be affecting people’s understanding of whichever form they might be seeing on their ballots. He also shares his views on what’s next for RCV—will it expand or contract?
If you want to learn more about RCV, Ballotpedia recently unveiled a new RCV Info Hub, a resource to address the lack of neutral resources to help voters understand what RCV is, how it’s used, its history, and why people support or oppose its use.
You can listen to our full conversation with Jack Santucci at the link below, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Three early primary state governors have endorsed in the Republican presidential primary
As of Dec. 13, 2023, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley (R), and former President Donald Trump (R) each have endorsements from governors in early-voting states.
Most recently, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) endorsed Haley, her first and only gubernatorial endorsement in the race so far. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) endorsed DeSantis in November 2023, and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) endorsed Trump in January 2023.
Eleven out of 26 Republican governors have endorsed in the presidential primary: Trump leads with seven, followed by DeSantis with two, and Haley with one. Back in June, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb endorsed former Vice President Mike Pence, who ended his presidential campaign in October.
The map below shows an overview of each candidate’s gubernatorial endorsements.
Looking at noteworthy endorsements more broadly, Trump leads with 148 endorsements, followed by DeSantis with 17, Haley with four, and Vivek Ramaswamy with one. Noteworthy endorsers include current and former presidents and vice presidents, current and former party leaders, governors and other state executives, members of Congress, mayors of large cities, and state legislative majority and minority leaders.
The chart below shows an overview of each candidate’s total endorsements.
At this point in the 2020 Democratic primary, there were fewer noteworthy presidential endorsements. A total of 135 noteworthy endorsers had weighed in as of Dec. 13, 2019, compared to a total of 179 this cycle.
The 2020 endorsements were also more evenly spread among the candidates running at the time. The top three most-endorsed candidates at the time were President Joe Biden (D), who had received 52 endorsements, followed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 21, and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) with 16.
The chart below displays the noteworthy endorsement count for each of the Democratic candidates running as of Dec. 13, 2019, who had received at least one noteworthy endorsement.
54.75% of all state legislators in the United States are Republican, 44.35% are Democratic
At the end of November 2023, 54.75% of all state legislators in the United States were Republican, while 44.35% were Democratic. There are 7,386 state legislative seats in the country.
Republicans had a majority in 57 chambers, and Democrats had a majority in 39 chambers. Two chambers (Alaska House and Alaska Senate) were organized under multipartisan, power-sharing coalitions. Control of the Michigan House of Representatives is split after two Democrats resigned after they were elected to other offices. Special elections to fill the two vacant seats will take place on April 16, 2024. Primaries will take place on Jan. 30.
Democrats held 852 state Senate seats and 2,419 state House seats, losing four seats since last month. Republicans held 1,107 state Senate seats and 2,937 state House seats, losing five seats since last month.
Compared to November 2022, Democrats gained four state Senate seats (848 v. 852) and 21 state House seats (2,398 v. 2,419). Republicans gained two state Senate seats (1,105 v. 1,107) and gained 19 state House seats (2,918 v. 2,937).