Cory Eucalitto

Cory Eucalitto is a managing editor at Ballotpedia and can be reached at

Bullock is 21st Democrat to qualify for second 20-person set of debates

Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s campaign announced on June 18 that he had met the polling threshold to participate in the second set of Democratic presidential primary debates. The two CNN-hosted debates will take place July 30 and 31 in Detroit, Michigan.
Bullock is the 21st candidate to meet at least one of the two criteria to qualify, but no more than 20 candidates—10 per night—can participate. His qualification will trigger tie-breakers to the final candidate list.
The first set of rules to qualify are:
  • Receive 1% support or more in three national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—publicly released between January 1, 2019, and 14 days prior to the date of the debate.
  • Receive donations from at least 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.
The tiebreaker will be decided according to the rules below, in order of preference:
  • Candidates who have reached both the polling and grassroots thresholds;
  • Candidates with the highest polling averages; and
  • Candidates with the highest number of contributions.
Four noteworthy Democratic candidates have met neither the polling nor fundraising criteria for the July 30 and 31 debates: Michael Bennet, Mike Gravel, Seth Moulton, and Wayne Messam.
Bullock is one of four noteworthy Democratic primary candidates who did not qualify for the first set of debates taking place June 26 and 27 in Miami, Florida. The others are Gravel, Moulton, and Messam.

All in one place: 2020 presidential campaign logos

Twenty-one notable elected officials and public figures—19 Democrats and two Republicans—have entered the 2020 presidential race or formed an exploratory committee as of April 18.
From now through the November 3, 2020, presidential election, Americans will see each campaign’s logo in television ads, on yard signs, in mailers, and more. Campaign logos are the visual centerpiece of a presidential candidate’s branding strategy.
We’ve compiled each notable campaign’s logo in one place.
Of the 21:
  • Nine feature only the candidate’s first name.
  • Nine feature only the candidate’s last name.
  • Three feature both the candidate’s first and last name.

Previewing 2019’s state legislative elections

State legislative offices are up for regular election in seven chambers across four states this year. General elections in Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia are scheduled for November 5, while general elections in Louisiana are set for November 16.
The chambers with the closest margins of partisan control are in Virginia, where Republicans hold two-seat advantages in both the state House and Senate.
Louisiana State Senate and House of Representatives
Louisiana’s state legislators are elected to four-year terms. Both chambers have term limits that prevent a state legislator from serving for more than three terms, or 12 years, in a particular chamber. The chambers last held elections in 2015. As of March 2019, here is the partisan balance of the chambers:
  • Democrats: 14
  • Republicans: 25
  • Democrats: 37
  • Republicans: 62
Louisiana is currently under divided government with a Democratic governor.
Mississippi State Senate and House of Representatives
Mississippi’s state legislators are elected to four-year terms. The chambers last held elections in 2015. As of March 2019, here is the partisan balance of the chambers:
  • Democrats: 19
  • Republicans: 33
  • Democrats: 46
  • Republicans: 73
Mississippi is currently one of 22 Republican trifectas.
New Jersey General Assembly
New Jersey’s state representatives are elected to two-year terms. The New Jersey General Assembly last held elections in 2017. The New Jersey State Senate is not holding elections in 2019. Senators began four-year terms after being elected in 2017. As of March 2019, here is the partisan balance of the chamber:
  • Democrats: 54
  • Republicans: 26
New Jersey is currently one of 14 Democratic trifectas.
Virginia State Senate and House of Delegates
Virginia’s state senators are elected to four-year terms. The Virginia State Senate last held elections in 2015. Virginia’s state representatives are elected to two-year terms. The Virginia House of Delegates last held elections in 2017. As of March 2019, here is the partisan balance of the chambers:
  • Democrats: 19
  • Republicans: 21
  • Democrats: 49
  • Republicans: 51
Virginia is currently under divided government with a Democratic governor.

Special election to complete term of Walter Jones in NC-3 scheduled

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has announced dates for a special election to represent North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District. The winner of the election will complete the term of former Rep. Walter Jones (R), who passed away on February 10, 2019.
Six Republicans have already declared their intention to run for the seat. Jones faced two opponents in the May 2018 Republican primary but was unopposed in the general election last year.
The filing deadline to run in the special election is March 8, and primaries are scheduled for April 30. There are two possible schedules beyond that, depending on whether a primary runoff is required.
If no candidate receives more than 30 percent of the vote in either party primary, runoff elections will take place on July 9. In this scenario, the general election will be held on September 10. However, if no primary runoffs are required, the general election will be held on July 9.
The special election is one of two special elections currently scheduled to complete a term in the U.S. House in the current Congress. The second is in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District on May 21, 2019. A third special election, in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, is also set to take place in 2019. The North Carolina State Board of Elections will meet on March 4 to set the calendar for that election.
There is currently one special election scheduled to complete a term in the U.S. Senate. It is in Arizona, where voters will choose someone to complete the term that former Sen. John McCain (R) was elected to in 2016. McCain passed away on August 25, 2018. The special election is scheduled for November 3, 2020.

Local and special state legislative elections set for Tuesday

Elections are taking place in a number of states on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. They include:
  • Four state legislative special elections are happening across the Kentucky State Senate and Minnesota, Rhode Island, and Texas House of Representatives.
  • Municipal elections are scheduled in Tampa and St. Louis. Tampa voters are electing a new mayor and members to all seven of its city council seats. St. Louis is holding primaries for 15 city council seats.
  • The Los Angeles Unified School District is holding a special election to fill a vacancy on the Board of Education. Heading into the special election, the board is split 3-3 between members supported by United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and those supported by the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA).
  • Ten local ballot measures are on the ballot in California across the counties of Los Angeles, El Dorado, Fresno, and Sonoma.
Follow Ballotpedia on Tuesday night to learn the results.

How states fill current and upcoming supreme court vacancies

There are two current vacancies on state supreme courts, with another three planned based on scheduled retirements.
The current vacancies are in Kentucky and South Dakota, and the pending vacancies are in Arizona, North Carolina, and Virginia.
States fill their supreme court vacancies in a number of ways. Here’s how the states with current or upcoming vacancies fill unexpected openings:
  • Kentucky, South Dakota, and Arizona: a successor is chosen by the governor from a list of names compiled by a nominating commission. They are among the 24 states that use this form of assisted appointment for their court of last resort.
  • North Carolina: vacancies are filled by the governor, without him or her having to choose from a list supplied by a commission. It is one of four states that fills vacancies by gubernatorial appointment.
    • This year, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) chose sitting justice Cheri Beasley to fill the vacant chief justice position. She will take the seat on March 1.
  • Virginia: vacancies are filled by a majority vote of the House of Delegates and state Senate. It is one of two states that fills vacancies this way.
    • On February 14, 2019, the General Assembly appointed Virginia Court of Appeals Judge Teresa M. Chafin to fill a vacancy on the court. She will join the court on September 1.

Seattle sends out campaign finance vouchers, one of two connections between the city’s 2019 elections and ballot measures

Seattle, Washington, is holding elections for seven of the nine seats on its city council on November 5, 2019. Two previously-approved ballot measures will play out with this November’s elections. Let’s explore how they played out.

The two ballot measures: the City of Seattle Restrictions on Campaign Finance and Elections Initiative (2015) and the Seattle City Council Districts Proposition (2013).

On Tuesday, Seattle planned to send all eligible voters four $25 vouchers that they may give to a candidate or candidates of their choosing, provided the candidate adheres to certain campaign contribution limits. Creation of the voucher program was part of Measure No. 122, the City of Seattle Restrictions on Campaign Finance and Elections Initiative, which voters approved in 2015 by a vote of 63 percent to 37 percent.

This year is the second time that the city has sent the vouchers. The program debuted in 2017.

The seven seats up for election this November are the city’s seven geographically-drawn districts; the other two are at-large seats. This year marks only the second time that voters will elect city council members by district, rather than at-large, seats.

Charter Amendment 19, the Seattle City Council Districts Proposition, was approved by voters 66 percent to 34 percent in 2013. The amendment changed the form of the city council from nine at-large positions to seven positions elected according to geographic districts and two at-large positions.

Municipal elections of some kind will be on the ballot in 66 of America’s 100 largest cities in 2019.

Read about both Seattle measures below.


Woodall (R) is third U.S. House incumbent who won’t run for re-election. How many seats without incumbents flipped in 2018?

U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (R) recently announced that he would not seek re-election to Georgia’s 7th Congressional District when his current term ends. Woodall had the closest election of his career in 2018; he defeated Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) by 433 votes.

He is the third member of the U.S. House to make such an announcement, behind Reps. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.).

What happened in Congressional districts with retiring incumbents in the 2018 elections?

Fifty-two incumbents did not run for re-election to the House in 2018, leaving open seats to be filled in the November elections: 18 were Democrats and 34 were Republicans.

Thirteen of the 52 districts changed party hands: 10 seats flipped from Republican to Democrat, and three seats flipped from Democrat to Republican.

Forty-six total seats changed party hands in November, giving Democrats a net gain of 40 seats.

Click below to stay on top of the list of Congressional incumbents not seeking re-election in 2020.

Three years ago, presidential candidate field thins

Early 2016 primaries and caucuses three years ago beginning February 1, 2016, prompted a wave of candidates to withdraw from the presidential election that month.
From February 1 through February 20, seven Republicans and one Democrat dropped out of the presidential race. Below is a look at the timeline of the early 2016 primaries and caucuses, and the candidates who dropped out of the race in their aftermath.
February 1, 2016: Iowa caucuses
Winners: Clinton (D), Cruz (R)
Dropped out:
Martin O’Malley (D)
Mike Huckabee (R)
Rand Paul (R)
Rick Santorum (R)
February 9, 2016: New Hampshire primaries
Winners: Sanders (D), Trump (R)
Dropped out:
Chris Christie (R)
Carly Fiorina (R)
Jim Gilmore (R)
February 20, 2016: South Carolina Republican primary
Winners: Clinton (D), Trump (R)
Dropped out:
Jeb Bush (R)

Richard Ojeda suspends 2020 presidential campaign

Former West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda (D) suspended his 2020 campaign for President of the United States on Friday. Ojeda served in the West Virginia State Senate from 2016 through 2019. He lost a bid to represent the state’s 3rd Congressional district in 2018 to Carol Miller (R).
Ojeda was one of nine Democratic elected officials or notable public figures that had filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission or announced exploratory committees.
Ojeda is the first to suspend a campaign.
The others still running:
* Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced that he was running for president on January 23, 2019.
* Julian Castro, a former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and San Antonio mayor, formally announced his candidacy on January 12, 2019.
* John Delaney, a former U.S. representative from Maryland, filed to run for president on August 10, 2017.
* Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. representative from Hawaii, announced that she had decided to run for president on January 11, 2019.
* Kirsten Gillibrand, a U.S. senator from New York, announced that she was running for president on January 15, 2019.
* Kamala Harris, a U.S. senator from California, announced that she was running for president on January 21, 2019.
* Elizabeth Warren, U.S. senator from Massachusetts, announced she had formed an exploratory committee on December 31, 2018.
* Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur from New York, filed to run for president on November 6, 2017.
As of January 24, 2019, 479 candidates had already filed with the FEC to run for president.