Author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: National Popular Vote in Colorado—voters to decide in 2020

Today’s Brew highlights the first veto referendum in Colorado in over 70 years + reviews how states set the start of the school year  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, September 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Colorado voters to decide in 2020 whether to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact
  2. Forty states allow local school districts to set school starting dates
  3. FEC only has three members after vice chair resigns

Colorado voters to decide in 2020 whether to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

Colorado voters will decide in November 2020 whether they want the state to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The secretary of state certified a veto referendum August 29. It will be the first veto referendum to appear before Colorado voters since 1932. 

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an interstate agreement to award each member state’s presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote. It would go into effect if states representing at least 270 electoral college vote to adopt it. Fifteen states and Washington, D.C.,—representing a total of 196 electoral votes—have joined the NPVIC. 

The Colorado legislature approved a bill—which was signed by Governor Jared Polis (D)—joining the state to the NPVIC earlier this year. It passed the legislature along party lines, with all yes votes coming from Democrats and all Republicans voting against it. Colorado is one of 14 Democratic trifectas. Thirteen of the 15 states to join the NPVIC and Washington, D.C., were controlled by Democratic trifectas at the time. Two—Hawaii and New York—were controlled by divided governments. 

 Most states currently use a winner-take-all system for awarding their electoral votes in the Electoral College. Under this method, the presidential candidate that receives a plurality of the popular vote in a state receives all of that state’s electoral votes. In five of 58 presidential elections, the winner of the electoral college did not receive the most popular votes. This occurred most recently in the 2016 presidential election as Donald Trump received 304 electoral votes and Hillary Clinton had more total votes nationwide. 

Protect Colorado’s Vote—a group that opposes Colorado joining the NPVIC—reported submitting over 227,000 signatures on August 1 to trigger the veto referendum. The secretary of state determined that enough signatures were valid—124,632 were required—to qualify the measure for the November 3, 2020, ballot. 

From 1912 to 1932, Colorado voters decided 13 veto referendums. Of those, 10 were successful in overturning the targeted legislation and three resulted in the law being upheld. Since 1906, 521 veto referendums have appeared on the ballot across the country in 23 states. During that time, voters repealed 340—65.3%—of the targeted laws.

Status of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

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Forty states allow local school districts to set school starting dates 

It’s the Tuesday after Labor Day, and in some states, today marks the first day of school. I live in New Jersey and we’re one of those states. It caused me to think about how states determine when public schools can begin classes.

Forty states allow local school districts to decide school start dates. Seven states mandate that schools cannot start earlier than a specific day in August. The remaining three states—Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia—require that school starts after Labor Day statewide.

Voters in two states—North and South Dakota—have decided ballot measures governing when school districts can begin classes. Voters in North Dakota rejected a 2014 initiative 55.6% to 44.4% that would have required public school to start after Labor Day.

South Dakota voters approved a citizen initiative—Initiative 2—in 1984 requiring public schools to start the school year after Labor Day. It was approved by a margin of 282 votes, 50.1% to 49.9%. In 1993, the state legislature altered Initiative 2 and repealed the requirement that the school year could start no earlier than the first Tuesday after the first Monday in September. This law allowed local school boards to determine school year start dates. 

Voters in South Dakota rejected a citizen initiative in 2006 that would have prohibited school districts from beginning classes earlier than the last day of August. It failed 56.9% to 43.1%.

The Maryland legislature passed a bill—and then overrode a gubernatorial veto of that bill— in April allowing local school boards to set the start of the school year. Previously, the first day of school had to be after Labor Day.

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FEC lacks quorum after vice-chair resigns

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) lacks enough members to legally perform audits, litigate cases, promulgate new rules, issue advisory opinions, or enforce campaign finance violations. This is because the agency only has three voting members after Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen (R)—who had served on the body for 11 years—resigned August 31.

The FEC is an independent federal agency responsible for disclosing campaign finance information, enforcing limits and prohibitions on contributions, and overseeing public funding of presidential elections. The minimum number of members that must be present to make the agency’s decisions valid—known as a quorum—is four.  

The FEC has six members who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They each serve six-year terms, with two seats up for appointment every two years. No more than three members can be of the same political party, and there is a four-vote minimum for any proposal to be passed. 

FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub (D) issued a statement last week stating that FEC staff will continue to make campaign finance documents available to the public and issue recommendations regarding campaign finance complaints. However, it will be unable to vote on the recommendations until a quorum is established. Weintraub urged President Trump to nominate new commissioners and encouraged the U.S. Senate to confirm the nominees.

Trump nominated Republican attorney James E. Trainor III to serve on the commission in 2017 but the nomination was returned to the president at the conclusion of the 115th Congress in January.

Learn more→

 



The Daily Brew: What 2018’s closest legislative races may tell us about 2020

Today’s Brew highlights an analysis of the closely-decided state legislative races from 2018 + previews California’s 2020 ballot measures  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, August 30, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 88 state legislative races in 2018 were decided by a margin of 0.5 percentage points or less
  2. How many ballot measures will California voters decide in 2020?
  3. What’s the Tea?

88 state legislative races in 2018 were decided by a margin of 0.5 percentage points or less

At Ballotpedia, our team of researchers never stops analyzing election data in search of trends and interesting facts. Today I wanted to share with you the work they did studying 2018’s state legislative races, where 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers held regular elections for 6,073 seats. 

In 2018, 88 regular state legislative races were decided by a margin of less than 0.5 percentage points. This includes 16 elections decided by 10 or fewer votes and two which were decided by a single vote. 

Eighteen of these 88 races took place in New Hampshire—which has a 400-member House of Representatives. As of the 2010 census, New Hampshire state House districts represent an average of 3,291 residents each.

Here are five more facts:

  • The average margin of victory in all 2018 state legislative races—defined as the difference between the vote share of the winning candidate and the runner-up—was 25.8 percentage points. By comparison, the average margin of victory across the 467 congressional elections—both House and Senate—was 29.2 percentage points.
  • The chamber which had the smallest average margin of victory was the South Dakota House of Representatives at 7.7 percentage points.
  • Major-party candidates won 17.8% of the seats up for election by margins of 10% or less; 573 of those seats were won by Republicans and 505 by Democrats.
  • The average nationwide margin of victory for seats won by Democrats was 26.8 percentage points. For Republicans, it was 22.3 percentage points.
  • In 2020, state legislative seats in 4,798 districts which held elections in 2018 will be up for election again. Republicans won seats in 2,454 of those districts in 2018, while Democrats won seats in 2,375. 

There is so much more data about 2018’s state legislative elections—broken down by state and chamber—that you can explore by clicking the link below.

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BP Analysis: Half of California’s 2020 initiatives will be filed in the next four months

Fall is the most active period in California for ballot initiative filings. So far, 27 citizen-initiated measures have been filed targeting the November 3, 2020, election. Based on historical data, about half of the state’s 2020 initiatives will be filed in the next four months.

So far, three statewide ballot propositions have qualified for the ballot. 

  • California voters will decide two citizen-initiated measures designed to amend or repeal criminal sentencing and supervision laws passed since 2011: the Criminal Sentencing Initiative and Cash Bail Referendum.
  • Voters will also decide on an amendment to Proposition 13, as we’ve covered in the Brew. Proposition 13 was passed in 1978 and requires governments to tax residential, commercial, and industrial properties based on the property’s purchase price. The new measure would tax commercial and industrial properties—subject to certain exemptions—based on market value. 

Before initiative proponents begin collecting signatures, they must file their measure with the attorney general and receive a ballot title and summary. This is the first time the public sees a potential initiative.  Based on data from the last three election cycles, the last four months of the preceding odd-numbered year have seen an average of at least 12 filings each month. In those cycles, an average of half of the citizen-initiated measures that qualified for the ballot were filed during this period between September and December. 

If the trend from the past three election cycles continues in 2020, then approximately half of the citizen-initiated measures that will be certified for the ballot have not yet been filed. 

One difference between previous election cycles and 2020 is the number of signatures required for an initiative. The 2018 voter turnout was 70 percent higher as compared with 2014. This changed the signature requirement for constitutional amendments to nearly 1 million signatures and for statutes to over 623,000. The state has suggested that initiative campaigns submit petitions by March 3, 2020.

Average filings

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What's the tea?

Eleven years ago yesterday—on August 29, 2008—Republican presidential candidate John McCain introduced Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate during a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio. Palin was the second U.S. woman to run on a major party ticket for president.

When voting, how much does a presidential candidate’s running mate impact your decision?

 



The Daily Brew: September’s Democratic presidential debate lineup is set

Today’s Brew highlights the latest debate news and previews today’s presidential update webinar + reviews the latest local political news from around the U.S.  
The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Thursday, April 29, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ten candidates qualify for September’s Democratic presidential debate
  2. Local Roundup
  3. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announces he’s retiring at the end of 2019

Ten candidates qualify for September’s Democratic presidential debate

The Democratic National Committee announced the 10 candidates who qualified for the party’s third presidential debate in Houston on September 12. They are as follows:

  • Joe Biden
  • Cory Booker
  • Pete Buttigieg
  • Julián Castro
  • Kamala Harris
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Beto O’Rourke
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • Andrew Yang

Candidates were required to provide verifiable evidence that they received donations from at least 130,000 unique donors with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states. Candidates were also required to have received 2% support or more in four national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—publicly released between June 28 and August 28. 

Eleven candidates did not qualify for this debate. Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, and Marianne Williamson all achieved the fundraising threshold but did not meet the polling threshold. The other eight candidates—Kirsten Gillibrand, Michal Bennet, Bill de Blasio, Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Wayne Messam, Tim Ryan, and Joe Sestak—did not meet either threshold in time to qualify. Gillibrand announced late yesterday that she was ending her presidential campaign.

ABC News and Univision are hosting the debate, which will take place at Texas Southern University. Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds to answer questions and 45 seconds for rebuttals.

We’re also excited to announce the launch of a brand new Learning Journey on Iowa and New Hampshire’s role in the presidential nominating calendar. Our Learning Journeys give you a series of daily emails with information, examples, and exercises to help you broaden your knowledge of U.S. government and politics. This Learning Journey guides you through the history of why Iowa and New Hampshire are so important in presidential elections and how the results of the early primaries can affect the rest of the presidential election cycle. I’m really looking forward to taking this one myself—click here to get started.

And to catch up on all the presidential news from the past few months, join Emily Aubert and me for today’s quarterly presidential briefing webinar at 11 a.m. Central time. Emily is one of the primary authors of our daily and weekly Presidential News Briefing newsletters and she and I will discuss who’s in and who’s out in both parties, upcoming debates, and how the early state contests are shaping up. You won’t want to miss this as we examine the current state of the 2020 presidential race and what’s likely to happen next. Click the link below to reserve your spot!

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Local Roundup 

At Ballotpedia, we love local elections. We provide election coverage of all officeholders in the nation’s 100 largest cities—including mayors, city council members, and other municipal officers like city clerk and treasurer. We also cover every election on the ballot in these cities, such as special districts, county officials, and local ballot measures. With more than 585,000 elected officials nationwide, nearly all elections happen at the hyper-local level.

Here’s a quick summary of the local news we covered this week:

Phoenix

Phoenix residents rejected two citizen initiatives—Propositions 105 and 106—at an August 27 special election. Proposition 105 would have terminated funding for future light rail expansion in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and allocated revenue from the transportation tax towards other infrastructure projects. Proposition 106 would have required the city to limit budget growth and devote a greater portion of its budget to pay down its $4.5 billion pension debt. 

St. Petersburg, Florida

St. Petersburg held primary elections August 27 for three seats on its eight-member city council. Two districts featured incumbents running for re-election and both received a majority of votes in their races. The top two vote recipients in each of the primaries advanced to the general election, which is scheduled for November 5. St. Petersburg is the fifth-largest city in Florida and the 77th-largest city in the U.S. by population. 

Tucson, Arizona

City Councilwoman Regina Romero defeated two other candidates August 27 to win the Democratic mayoral primary. Romero received 50% of the vote and second-place finisher Steve Farley—who endorsed Romero after the primary—had 38%. Romero is vying to be Tucson’s first female mayor and will face independent candidate Edward Ackerley and Green Party write-in candidate Mike Cease in the general election November 5. No Republican candidate filed to run. Incumbent Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (D) did not seek a third term.


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announces he’s retiring at the end of 2019 

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) announced yesterday that he was resigning as of the end of 2019 due to health concerns. In a statement, Isakson said, “With the mounting health challenges I am facing, I have concluded that I will not be able to do the job over the long term in the manner the citizens of Georgia deserve. It goes against every fiber of my being to leave in the middle of my Senate term, but I know it’s the right thing to do on behalf of my state.”

He is the first senator to announce his resignation during the 116th Congress and is the fifth senator—four Republicans and one Democrat—not seeking re-election in 2020. 

Fourteen U.S. House members—11 Republicans and three Democrats—have announced they will not seek re-election in 2020. Two—one Republican and one Democrat—are running for seats in the U.S. Senate and Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) is running for governor.

Under Georgia law, Gov. Brian Kemp (R) will appoint Isakson’s replacement until a special election is held on November 3, 2020, to fill the remainder of Isakson’s term—which would have expired in January 2023. In that special election, all candidates will appear on the ballot regardless of party. If no candidate receives a majority, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff in January 2021. Since the seat currently held by Sen. David Perdue (R) is also up for election, both of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats will be on the ballot in November 2020. 

Isakson’s announcement comes two days after Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) stated on August 26 that he was resigning in September due to family considerations. On his Facebook page, Duffy said, “With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now.” Upon Duffy’s resignation, a special election will be held to elect a new representative in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District.

Isakson was first elected to the Senate in 2004 to replace retiring incumbent Zell Miller (D). He won re-election campaigns in both 2010 and 2016. 

In 2018, 52 members of the House and three U.S. Senators did not seek re-election. Forty House members and five Senators did not seek re-election in 2016.

 

 



The Daily Brew: In Mississippi governor’s race, it’s Hood (D) vs. Reeves (R)

Today’s Brew highlights the results of Mississippi’s Republican gubernatorial primary runoff + legal developments regarding ballot initiatives in Colorado and Michigan  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, August 28, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Reeves wins Mississippi Republican gubernatorial primary runoff
  2. Colorado signature distribution requirement upheld, Michigan redistricting measure faces legal challenge
  3. Forty percent of our survey respondents don’t feel prepared when voting on ballot measures

Reeves wins Mississippi Republican gubernatorial primary runoff

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. to win yesterday’s Republican primary runoff for governor of Mississippi. As of 10 p.m. Central time, Reeves had received 54% of the vote to Waller’s 46% with 95% of precincts reporting. 

No candidate received a majority of the vote to win the August 6 Republican primary outright. Reeves finished first with 49% of the vote and Waller was second with 33%. The third-place finisher—state Rep. Robert Foster—received 18% and endorsed Waller after the primary. Reeves was endorsed by incumbent Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and former Gov. Haley Barbour (R). 

Reeves, who is in his second term as lieutenant governor after serving two terms as state treasurer, said that his experience in state government would make him an effective chief executive. Waller said during the campaign that he would win more support from Democratic and independent voters than Reeves would in the general election.  

Reeves will face Attorney General Jim Hood (D) in the November 5 general election. In order to win election as governor of Mississippi, a candidate must win both the statewide vote and a majority of the 122 state House districts. If no candidate does both, the state House decides the winner. 

Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate the general election as “Leans Republican” and Cook Political Report rates the contest as “Likely Republican.” Ronnie Musgrove was the last Democrat elected governor of Mississippi. He defeated Rep. Mike Parker (R) 49.6-48.5% in 1999.

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Colorado signature distribution requirement upheld, Michigan redistricting measure faces legal challenge 

Sometimes when voters approve a ballot measure, the legal challenges are just beginning. Over the past two years, we’ve followed about 100 ballot measure-related lawsuits. Here are two instances from last week: 

Colorado

A three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an earlier district court ruling August 20 and upheld a distribution requirement for initiated constitutional amendment petitions in Colorado. Plaintiffs argued that the distribution requirement provisions violated the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution’s 14th Amendment.

In 2016, Colorado voters approved Amendment 71—sometimes referred to as the Raise the Bar initiative—requiring initiative petitioners to spread out signature-gathering efforts across all of the state’s 35 senate districts. The measure also enacted a 55% supermajority requirement for any constitutional amendment other than those designed to only delete language. 

ColoradoCareYes and the Coalition for Colorado Universal Health Care filed a lawsuit against the distribution provisions in 2017. A federal district court overturned the distribution requirement although it was left in place for 2018 measures while the case was under appeal. 

The appeals court panel ruled 2-1 to reverse the U.S. District Court’s ruling, leaving the distribution requirement in place. The majority wrote that “[n]o equal protection problem exists if votes are cast in state legislative districts that were drawn based on Census population data.” The majority based its decision on Evenwel v. Abbott (2016), in which the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a state or local government could draw legislative districts based on total population.

Michigan

The Michigan Republican Party filed a lawsuit in federal court August 22 seeking to block Proposal 2, which transferred the power to draw the state’s congressional and legislative districts from the state legislature to a 13-member independent redistricting commission. Voters approved Proposal 2 in 2018 with 61% voting in favor of the constitutional amendment.

Proposal 2 would create a redistricting commission of 13 registered voters randomly selected by the Secretary of State—four each who self-identify as affiliated with the two major political parties and five who self-identify as unaffiliated with major political parties. It also established new redistricting criteria including geographically compact and contiguous districts of equal population and specified that redistricting shall not provide disproportionate advantage to political parties or candidates.

Michigan voters do not specify their political affiliation when registering to vote. Proposal 2 requires applicants for the redistricting commission to attest under oath regarding their partisan affiliation but does not require the state department to confirm individuals’ partisan affiliation. 

Laura Cox, chairperson of the state Republican Party, said Proposal 2 violated the party’s freedom of association, arguing that the amendment prevented parties from selecting their own members to serve on the redistricting commission. The complaint also stated that the measure could allow Democrats to self-affiliate as Republicans “in an effort to alter the party’s selection process and weaken its representation on the commission by individuals who genuinely affiliate with MRP [Michigan Republican Party].”

Six states have enacted laws for independent redistricting commissions for congressional districts. In Arizona, California, Colorado, and Idaho, registered voters can select to affiliate with a political party on their voter registration forms. Like Michigan, Washington does not have a party-affiliation option on voter registrations. The Washington process involves legislative leaders of the two major parties each selecting a member of the redistricting commission, and the four leader-appointed members appointing a fifth member. 

Learn more about the Colorado measure→  

Learn more about the Michigan measure

Forty percent of our survey respondents don’t feel prepared when voting on ballot measures

And while on the subject of ballot initiatives, our What’s the Tea? question last week asked for your thoughts about voting on ballot measures:

What's the tea results

Ballotpedia covers all statewide ballot measures and local ballot measures in California and in the 100 largest U.S. cities by population. If you’re seeking more information about a question on your ballot, our coverage is a great place to learn more about it.

Click here for our comprehensive coverage of ballot measures

 



The Daily Brew: Twenty-seven territories

Today’s Brew summarizes the type and history of U.S. territorial acquisitions + previews the elections on August 27  
 The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Tuesday, August 27, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. The United States has acquired 27 territories since 1803
  2. Mississippi’s Republican gubernatorial runoff headlines elections in six states
  3. Looking back at 2018’s State Legislative Competitiveness Report

The United States has acquired 27 territories since 1803

Between 1789 and 2010, the U.S. grew from a nation covering 864,746 square miles to 3,531,905. How did it happen? The country acquired territory, usually through three methods: 

  • Cession refers to a transfer of land that is formally agreed upon by the acquiring and ceding state, usually by treaty.
  • Purchase is a type of cession in which the acquiring nation agrees to financially compensate the ceding country for a territorial transfer.
  • Occupation refers to the appropriation of an area that lacks supreme control by another sovereign.

Treaties regarding the exchange of territory with sovereign nations are typically initiated by the president and subject to the advice and consent of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. Once territories are acquired, Article IV, Section 3, of the Constitution grants Congress the authority to manage them. 

Five facts about territorial acquisition.  

  • The country’s first territorial acquisition was also the largest—the Louisiana Purchase for $10 million in 1803 nearly doubled the landmass of the original 13 states. 
  • The United States’ most recent territorial acquisition—the Mariana, Caroline, and Marshall Islands—was in 1947.
  • The cheapest purchase acquisition was of Alaska in 1867 for $12 per square mile. 
  • The most expensive purchase acquisition was of the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1917 for $183,824 per square mile.
  • The territories gained by the U.S. through occupation were primarily small islands in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The Guano Islands Act of 1856—designed to assist American farmers by making guano (dried sea bird excrement) easier to mine for use as fertilizer—authorized such occupations.

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Mississippi’s Republican gubernatorial runoff headlines elections in six states 

Today is Election Day and we’re tracking contests in six states—Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, and Mississippi. Here’s a summary of four jurisdictions of note:

Mississippi

Mississippi voters will choose a Republican gubernatorial nominee in a primary runoff election between  Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves—who won 49% of the vote in the August 6 primary—and former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr.—who received 33%. The winner of the runoff will face the Democratic nominee—Attorney General Jim Hood—in the November 5 general election.

There are also Republican primary runoffs to determine the party’s nominee for state attorney general and in one of three districts on the transportation commission.  Democrats have a runoff in one of three districts of the state public service commission. There are also 19 state legislative primaries—12 Republican and 7 Democrat.

Mississippi has open primaries, which means that the runoffs are open to any registered voter who did not cast a ballot in the Aug. 6 primaries. Those who voted in either primary may only vote in that same party’s runoff. 

Phoenix

Voters in Phoenix will decide two citizen initiatives that would amend the city’s charter in a special ballot initiative election. 

  • Proposition 105 would end construction of light rail extensions, prohibit funding other light rail development, and redirect funds to other transportation infrastructure improvements in Phoenix. 
  • Proposition 106 would, among other things, require annual assessments of the city’s pension debt, limit budget growth if pensions are not 90% funded, and earmark revenue over the budget limit to paying down pension debt.

St. Petersburg, Florida

The city of St. Petersburg, is holding nonpartisan primaries for three of eight seats on its city council. A fourth council seat is also up for election this year but there is no primary because only two candidates are running. Two of the three primaries feature incumbents running for re-election. The third is an open-seat race because the incumbent was term-limited. The top two finishers in each primary will advance to the general election November 5. 

Tucson, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona, is holding partisan primaries for mayor and three of seven seats on the city council. Incumbent Mayor Jonathan Rothschild (D) is not seeking a third term. Three Democrats are vying for the mayoral nomination. The winner faces independent candidate Edward Ackerley in the general election November 5. No Republican candidate filed to run.

Learn more→

Looking back at 2018’s State Legislative Competitiveness Report

We’re excited to release our annual state legislative competitiveness study next month. I took a look through last year’s version to brush up on the material. Ballotpedia’s 8th Annual State Legislative Competitiveness Report analyzed all 6,073 state legislative elections that took place in November 2018. 

That was a big job. But we’re not sitting back on our laurels for this November’s contests.

Our 2019 report will be published next month, and in it, we will look at the 538 state legislative elections taking place this year in Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Our Annual State Legislative Competitiveness Report focuses on three factors affecting competitiveness:

  • Incumbents not seeking re-election – When an incumbent doesn’t seek re-election, a newcomer is guaranteed to win. In 2018, 1,181 state legislative incumbents—19.4%—did not run for re-election. This figure includes legislators from the 15 states with term limits.
  • Competitiveness in primary elections – The average margin of victory in 2018’s state legislative elections was 25.8% as 1,078 seats—17.8%—were decided by a margin of 10% or less. In many districts, a higher number of primary candidates reflects greater competitiveness. In 2018, there were 4,000 more primary candidates than in 2016 and 2014.
  • Races without major party composition – When a race has only one candidate from a major political party (be it Democrat or Republican), that candidate is most likely going to win. In 2018, 2,017 state legislative elections—33.2%—had only one major party candidate.

We’ve been preparing this report annually since 2010. We’ve got lots of historical data, including the effect of term limits. We also have a section on legislative retirements in districts that voted for a state legislator of one party and a 2016 presidential nominee of another. This is really fascinating data highlighting lots of interesting trends. Click the link below to go through last year’s report while you wait for 2019’s edition to be released.

Learn more→

 



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina elections

Today’s Brew highlights Ballotpedia’s first-ever comprehensive local coverage of a state + looks ahead to the 2020 party conventions  
 The Daily BrewT
Welcome to the Monday, August 26 Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina local elections
  2. At this time next year, we will be between Democratic and Republican National Conventions
  3. Reminder: Phoenix voters will decide citizen initiatives on light rail, city pensions tomorrow

Ballotpedia launches comprehensive coverage of North Carolina local elections

There are 503 cities, towns, and villages across North Carolina holding elections for 1,900 positions this year, and for the first time ever, Ballotpedia’s sample ballot is expanding to encompass every election in a state. In addition to the municipal races, there are nine school districts holding elections for 23 school board seats and 17 special districts holding elections for 52 seats. This adds up to 529 localities holding elections for 1,975 positions in North Carolina this year.

Jurisdictions differ in how they structure their elections – there is no statewide mandated system. Local elections in North Carolina can follow four different methods during odd-numbered years:

  • In partisan elections where runoffs are possible, the primary is September 10, the primary runoff is October 8, and the general election is November 5. Primary runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 30% of the primary vote; however, the primary runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it. In 2019, only Charlotte and Sanford are following this method.
  • In nonpartisan elections where runoffs are possible, the general election is October 8 and the general runoff election is November 5. General runoffs may be held if no candidate receives at least 50% of the general election vote; however, the general runoff is only held if the second-place candidate requests it.
  • In nonpartisan elections with primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the primary is October 8 and the general election is November 5. If only two or fewer candidates file to run per seat, the primary is not held and the candidates who filed advance automatically to the general election. 
  • In nonpartisan elections without primaries where runoffs aren’t possible, the general election is November 5. These are plurality elections in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins; the winner does not need to meet a certain threshold of the overall vote to avoid a runoff. Most North Carolina local elections in 2019 are following this method.

Across the state, there are 65 local positions where no candidates filed to run. This includes the mayor’s office in 19 municipalities, the city or town council in 43 municipalities, and board positions in two special districts. These positions will be filled by write-in candidates who have been certified by their county board of elections.

Three of the state’s largest cities—Charlotte, Durham, and Raleigh—are among those holding elections in 2019. The mayor’s office is on the ballot in all three cities, and so are all 11 city council seats in Charlotte, three of seven city council seats in Durham, and all seven city council seats in Raleigh.

North Carolina’s local filing deadline passed on July 19, 2019. However, municipalities were permitted by the state government to extend their filing deadline by one week. There are also some exceptions to the statewide filing deadline; in Catawba County, Hickory Public Schools and Newton-Conover City Schools both have their filing deadline on September 6.

At Ballotpedia, we are excited to debut this full, comprehensive, statewide coverage in 2019. We hope it will continue to extend to other states in future years. Stay tuned!

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Stay tuned for new journeys launching soon!

Explore the nine journeys you can take now→

At this time next year, we will be between Democratic and Republican National Conventions

In just under a year, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will hold its presidential nominating convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 13 to 16. A little over a month later, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, from August 24 to 27. At both conventions, delegates will select their party’s presidential nominee and vote to adopt a platform outlining the party’s priorities and values.

Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses will begin with the first caucus event taking place in Iowa on February 3, 2020. New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina will also hold primaries in February.

Super Tuesday—the day when the largest number of states and territories hold a presidential primary or caucus—will be March 3, 2020. Sixteen Democratic and 14 Republican nominating events are scheduled for that date. States with more than one-third of the U.S. population are expected to vote on Super Tuesday. The last primary elections of the cycle will be held at the beginning of June 2020. 

In 2016, the RNC held its presidential nominating convention in Cleveland from July 18-21, 2016, and the DNC held its convention in Philadelphia from July 25-28, 2016.

Learn more→

Phoenix voters will decide citizen initiatives on light rail, city pensions tomorrow

Phoenix voters will decide two citizen initiatives in a special ballot initiative election tomorrow that would amend the city’s charter. 

Proposition 105 would:

  • end construction of light rail extensions;
  • redirect funds from light rail projects to other transportation infrastructure improvements in Phoenix; and
  • prohibit funding other light rail development, with an exception for PHX Sky Train—an automated electric train that serves the area around Phoenix International Airport.

Proposition 106 would:

  • require annual assessments of the city’s pension debt based on generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and the 10-year average return on investment;
  • limit budget growth if pensions are not 90% funded;
  • earmark revenue over the budget limit to paying down pension debt, with exceptions for police, fire, and first responder services; and
  • require city officials to reimburse the city for pension benefit employer contributions.

Learn more about the measures on Ballotpedia and follow along on Ballotpedia News for results on Wednesday.

Learn more→

 



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Ninth Circuit panel limits nationwide injunction of Trump immigration rule

Today’s Brew highlights the latest court decision on the Trump administration’s immigration rule + Andrew Yang leads in Ballotpedia pageviews last week  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, August 21 Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Ninth Circuit panel limits nationwide injunction of Trump administration immigration rule
  2. Last week, Andrew Yang led in Ballotpedia pageviews for the first time since March
  3. Hawaii became a state 60 years ago today

Ninth Circuit panel limits nationwide injunction of Trump administration immigration rule

Last Friday, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a federal district court went too far when it granted a nationwide injunction against a new federal immigration rule.

What happened?

The Ninth Circuit upheld the injunction, which blocks enforcement of a rule, within the bounds of the Ninth Circuit (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) but held that the nationwide scope of the injunction was not supported by the record. The panel said that the district court did not explain why it believed a nationwide injunction was necessary in this case.

The panel consisted of Judges Wallace Tashima, Milan Smith, and Mark James Bennett. They were appointed to the 9th Circuit by Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump, respectively. 

How did we get here?

On July 24, Judge Jon Tigar, on United States District Court for the Northern District of California, issued a nationwide injunction blocking a Trump administration rule while court challenges to the rule moved forward.

The interim final rule, issued on July 16, aims to deny asylum to people who travel through another country and fail to file for asylum there before applying in the United States.

The agencies argued that immigration enforcement challenges on the southern border allowed them to issue the new asylum rule under the Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) good cause exception to notice-and-comment procedures. The good cause exception allows agencies to issue rules without waiting for public comment if those procedures would be “impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.” The agencies also argued that they could skip notice-and-comment procedures because the rule involved a “foreign affairs function of the United States” and procedural delay could have negative international consequences.

Judge Tigar wrote that the agencies did not show that a public comment period would have undesirable international consequences and that the rule fails the arbitrary-or-capricious test. Under that test, judges invalidate rules that are an abuse of discretion or not in accordance with law.

What happens next?

The Ninth Circuit panel asked the district court to reconsider the reasons supporting a nationwide injunction and scheduled future arguments in the case for December 2019.

Learn more

        

Beyond the Headlines
In early August, Seattle held primary elections for seven of nine city council seats. Three incumbents are running for re-election, and all three advanced from the primary. Find out who supports these candidates in our latest episode of Beyond The Headlines.

Last week, Andrew Yang led in Ballotpedia pageviews for the first time since March

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received on Ballotpedia by 2020 presidential campaigns . These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.

Andrew Yang’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 5,656 pageviews for the week of August 11-17. Yang’s pageview figure represents 10.2% of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week. Joe Biden had 8.2% of pageviews for the week, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 6.7%.

Of the 23 noteworthy Democratic candidates, all but seven had fewer Ballotpedia pageviews last week than the week before. The three largest week-over-week increases were Tom Steyer (13.30%), Wayne Messam (7.89%), and Andrew Yang (5.78%).

Pageviews

Learn more→

Hawaii became a state 60 years ago today

On this day 60 years ago, President Dwight D. Eisenhower admitted Hawaii as the 50th state to join the United States. Here are some quick facts about the state:

  • Democrats control both the state Senate (24-1) and the state House (46-5).
  • The state government is under a Democratic triplex, meaning the governor and attorney general are both Democratic. 
  • Hawaii does not have a secretary of state. It’s one of three states where the position doesn’t exist (Alaska and Utah are the other two).
  • No statewide ballot measures have been certified as of August 19 for the 2020 election. Twelve measures appeared on the statewide ballot between 2010 and 2018.
  • The State of Hawaii counts 137 islands in its chain, but only seven are inhabited.
  • Hawaii is the only state that grows coffee.

Learn more→

 



Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: 23 statewide ballot measures have been certified for 2019

Today’s Brew highlights state-by-state voting patterns in presidential elections + recent initiative activity summarized in our State Ballot Measure Monthly newsletter  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, August 19, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. 23 statewide ballot measures have been certified for 2019
  2. Ohio voters have backed the winning presidential candidate 93% of the time since 1900
  3. Quiz: How many 2020 House races has Ballotpedia designated as battleground elections?

23 statewide ballot measures have been certified for 2019 

From July 15 to August 14, only one statewide ballot measure was certified for 2019. The Washington Secretary of State certified a veto referendum that will go before voters on November 5 to determine whether the state can use affirmative action in public employment, education, and contracting.

The number of 2019 statewide ballot measures is 23—in eight states—and the number of 2020 measures is 38. 

By the second Tuesday in August two years ago, 27 measures had been certified for the 2017 ballot. No more measures were added to the ballot that year. This was the fewest number of statewide ballot measures since 1947. 

At this point in the year before even-year elections from 2012 through 2018, an average of 42 measures were certified for the next even-numbered year.  

Here are highlights of ballot measure activity in the past month: 

  • The Utah Supreme Court upheld the legislative alteration of Utah’s 2018 medical marijuana initiative. This alteration removed the provision of the initiative that allowed patients to grow their own marijuana, reduced the number of privately-run dispensaries, and required dispensaries to employ pharmacists to recommend dosages. This alteration was passed by the legislature and signed by the governor in December 2018 during a special session called by the governor.
  • Petitioners submitted signatures for a veto referendum petition against 2019 Colorado legislation joining the state into the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC). The NPVIC is an interstate compact to award member states’ presidential electors to the winner of the national popular vote. The NPVIC would go into effect if states representing at least 270 electoral college votes adopt the legislation.

Learn more about stories like this in our State Ballot Measure Monthly newsletter. Our latest edition came out last week—read it by clicking the link below.

Learn more

        

 Quarterly Presidential News Briefing

Ohio voters have backed the winning presidential candidate 93% of the time since 1900

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball, wrote a book in early 2016 called, “The Bellweather: Why Ohio Picks the President.”

Ohio voters have selected the winning presidential candidate in 28 of 30 election cycles since 1900. The state has the highest accuracy of any state—93%—in backing the winner of the presidential election. 

The two elections during this period where Ohio voted for the candidate who lost the presidential election was 1960, when the state voted for Richard Nixon (R) instead of winning candidate John F. Kennedy (D) 53.3-46.7%, and 1944, when Ohio voted for Thomas E. Dewey (R) over Franklin D. Roosevelt (D), 50.2-49.8%.

Most states have participated in all 30 presidential elections during this time; however, five states and the District of Columbia didn’t participate in their first election until after 1900. Those states are Oklahoma (1908), Arizona (1912), New Mexico (1912), Alaska (1960), Hawaii (1960), and Washington, D.C. (1964).

Washington, D.C., has backed the winning presidential candidate in only 43% of elections—the lowest percentage of all jurisdictions. Voters there have supported the winning candidate in six out of the 14 elections in which it has participated since 1964.

Some states have voted for the same party for president more than 80% of the time. Here are the states that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate five or fewer times since 1900:

  • Alaska—1
  • Indiana—5
  • Kansas—5
  • North Dakota—5
  • South Dakota—3

Here are the states that voted for the Republican presidential candidate five or fewer times since 1900:

  • Hawaii—2
  • Washington, D.C.—0

Third-party candidates won at least one state in four presidential elections since 1900. 

  • 1912, Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt won six states.
  • 1924, Progressive Party candidate Robert M. La Follette Sr. won Wisconsin. 
  • 1948, States’ Rights Democratic Party candidate J. Strom Thurmond won four southern states. 
  • 1968, American Independent Party candidate George Wallace won five southern states.

Learn more→

#BallotTrivia

Quiz: How many 2020 House races has Ballotpedia designated as battleground elections?

Last week, Ballotpedia announced our preliminary assessments of which Senate and House races would be battleground elections for 2020. Battlegrounds are elections that we expect to have a meaningful effect on the balance of power in government or to be particularly competitive or compelling.

In 2020, all 435 seats in the U.S. House are up for election. Of those, how many House races has Ballotpedia designated as battlegrounds? Is it: 

A.  38 
B.  56 
C.  73 
D.  91 

 



Weekly Presidential News Briefing – August 16, 2019

The highlights from our daily briefings in a new weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.

 
Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

Every weekday, Ballotpedia tracks the events that matter in the 2020 presidential election. 

Now, we’re bringing you the highlights from our daily briefings in a new weekly format so you can stay up-to-date on the 2020 election with one weekly email.

Share the latest from the campaign trail.

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Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Numbers

Candidates

There are nine new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, three Republicans, and one Green. In total, 816 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“Seniors are the likeliest to actually cast ballots, with two-thirds of them voting in the 2018 midterms compared with 53% of the overall voting-age population. While the electorate in presidential years skews younger than in midterm ones, no Democratic presidential candidate has won seniors since Al Gore in 2000, and for the past five presidential-election cycles, every Republican nominee has won a larger share of seniors than his predecessor.”

– Michelle HackmanThe Wall Street Journal

“There are a whole set of unspoken assumptions at play when we call a particular candidate ‘electable.’ … What nobody suggests is that electability might be a function of getting your own party’s voters excited and engaged. That’s despite the fact that we’ve seen one election after another in recent decades in which a candidate who excited his party defeated a candidate whose own voters were lukewarm about their nominee. Barack Obama was not electable by any of the standards we’re applying to the 2020 candidates, but he won twice, and by substantial margins. Donald Trump was not remotely electable, but he won, too.

– Paul WaldmanThe Washington Post


Week in Review

John Hickenlooper exits 2020 presidential race

John Hickenlooper suspended his presidential campaign Thursday. In a video announcement, Hickenlooper hinted at his next steps.

“People want to know what comes next for me. I’ve heard from so many Coloradans who want me to run for the United States Senate. They remind me how much is at stake for our country. And our state. I intend to give that some serious thought,” he said.

Hickenlooper is the fourth notable Democratic candidate to leave the presidential race, following former state Sen. Richard Ojeda, Rep. Eric Swalwell, and former Sen. Mike Gravel.

Other candidates have shrugged off questions about their status in the race:

  • Even if he does not qualify for the third primary debate, Bill de Blasio said he would remain in the presidential race. “I’m going to look at all the pieces and look, again, six months until anyone votes,” de Blasio said.

  • John Delaney said that he plans to remain in the race until at least the Iowa caucuses, whether or not he qualifies for any more debates.

  • Beto O’Rourke said he was focused only on his presidential campaign. “I will not in any scenario run for the United States Senate,” O’Rourke said Thursday.

Steyer reaches donor threshold for September and October debates

Tom Steyer announced Tuesday that he had reached the donor threshold for the September and October Democratic presidential primary debates with 130,000 individual contributors. With three qualifying polls, he is also one short of the polling threshold.

Three other candidates are also on the bubble. Julián Castro and Tulsi Gabbard have also met the fundraising threshold. Castro is missing one poll and Gabbard three. Kirsten Gillibrand has one qualifying poll but has not crossed the fundraising threshold.

Steve Bullock criticized the debate criteria after Steyer, who entered the race on July 9, spent more than $10 million on Facebook and television ads in national and early primary state markets.

“The DNC donor requirement may have been added with the right intentions, but there’s no doubt that it’s created a situation in which billionaires can buy their way onto the debate stage,” he said. “We’re kidding ourselves if we’re calling a $10 million purchase of 130,000 donors a demonstration of grassroots support.”

Steyer campaign manager Heather Hargreaves responded, “Fewer than half of Tom’s donations came from advertising. Writing off the support of thousands of Democratic voters who are responding to Tom’s message isn’t the way to beat Trump in 2020, no matter what you think about the DNC’s criteria.”

Candidates attend gun violence forum in Iowa, release rural and domestic terrorism policies

Nearly the entire Democratic field was in Iowa over the weekend. Seventeen candidates participated in a forum on gun violence hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action.

Wayne MessamSeth MoultonBeto O’Rourke, and Donald Trump were the only candidates who did not head to the Hawkeye State. Moulton is scheduled to appear at the Soapbox on Aug. 17.

Candidates also continued to introduce policy plans related to rural issues and domestic terrorism:

  • In his plan to address hate crimes, Cory Booker called for the creation of a White House Office on Hate Crimes and White Supremacist Violence. He would also have the Department of Justice and the FBI prioritize domestic terrorism as they do international terrorism.

  • Pete Buttigieg released a rural economy plan focused on entrepreneurship, technology, and education.

  • Kamala Harris unveiled her plan to combat domestic terrorism, which included red flag measures called “Domestic Terrorism Prevention Orders” and background check requirements for websites that sell firearms.

  • Elizabeth Warren introduced her gun violence platform, seeking to reduce the number of gun deaths in the country by 80 percent. Her plan would create a federal licensing program, cap firearm purchases, change the laws to protect survivors of domestic abuse, and raise taxes on gun manufacturers.

Candidates on the cusp

Stacey Abrams announced Tuesday that she would not run for president, focusing instead on combating voter suppression. 

“If any of the nominees offered me the opportunity to run with them as their vice president after they have been selected as a nominee, of course I’d be honored to consider that,” she added.

Mark Sanford released another campaign-style video Monday on how to address the federal deficit. “Some have suggested starting an advocacy group. Others have suggested running in the Republican primary against the president as a way of elevating the issue and changing the debate,” he said.

Sanford said he would make a decision about entering the presidential race by around Labor Day.

Trump on the trail

Donald Trump held a rally Thursday in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he discussedthe economy, tariffs, the Democratic field, and mental health policy. He said the stock market will crash if he is not reelected in 2020.

He also spoke to energy workers in Pennsylvania as part of an official White House event that touched on campaign issues Wednesday. He criticized several Democratic candidates by name, mentioned union support, and promoted his immigration and economic policies.

Want more? Find the daily details here:


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Poll Spotlight

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Staff Spotlight

Staff spotlight

Stephen Brokaw worked on Barack Obama’s (D) 2008 and 2012 campaigns. He graduated from Harvard University in 2006 and obtained his law degree from the University of Illinois in 2012.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2012 Barack Obama presidential campaign, digital project manager

  • 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, delegate tracker and senior political generalist

Other experience:

  • 2016-2019: Google, Metro expansion lead and Grow with Google marketing manager

  • 2014-2015: 270 Strategies, senior vice president, general counsel, and principal

  • 2013-2014: Schiff Hardin LLP, associate


What We’re Reading


Flashback: August 12-16, 2015

  • August 12, 2015: Hillary Clinton hired Heather Stone as the campaign’s chief of staff and Craig Smith as a paid consultant.

  • August 13, 2015: The Cook Political Reported shifted Pennsylvania’s presidential race rating, categorizing it as a Toss Up from Leans Democratic.

  • August 14, 2015: Eighteen presidential candidates were set to visit the 11-day 2015 Iowa State Fair.

  • August 15, 2015: Donald Trump said he was willing to spend $1 billion on his presidential campaign.

  • August 16, 2015: The Trump campaign released its first policy paper on immigration, which called for the construction of a border wall, tripling the number of ICE officers, ending birthright citizenship, and criminalizing visa overstays.


Trivia

Since 1900, which state other than Ohio has the best record of backing winning presidential candidates?

  1. Illinois→

  2. Pennsylvania→

  3. New Mexico→

  4. Florida→

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The Daily Brew: Eleven days until Mississippi’s Republican gubernatorial runoff

Today’s Brew checks in on the Republican primary runoff for Mississippi’s governor’s race + a fourth Democratic presidential candidate exits the race  
 The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Friday, Aug. 16, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Third-place finisher endorses runner-up in Mississippi’s Republican primary runoff
  2. Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper (D) ends presidential campaign
  3. What’s the Tea?

Third-place finisher endorses runner-up in Mississippi’s Republican primary runoff

State Rep. Robert Foster endorsed former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in the Aug. 27 Republican gubernatorial runoff primary. 

Foster finished third in the Aug. 6 primary, winning with 18% of the vote. Waller finished second with 33%. First-place finisher Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves won 49% of the vote.  

Because no candidate received a majority, Reeves and Waller advanced to the Aug. 27 runoff.

At a news conference announcing his endorsement, Foster said, “In the end, we each just have one vote, or we can stay home. But if you don’t want to see Jim Hood win in November, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bill Waller.” 

Reeves and Waller both began airing new ads this week. Reeves’ ad criticized Waller for supporting Medicaid expansion in Mississippi and backing an increase in the state gas tax. Waller’s ad said that while Reeves was focused on attacking him, Waller was focused on proposing solutions to the challenges facing Mississippi.

The most recent campaign finance reports show Reeves with $5 million cash on hand to Waller’s $118,000. The next campaign finance reporting deadline is Aug. 20—one week before the runoff.

The winner of the Aug. 27 primary runoff will face the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Jim Hood, in the Nov. 5 general election. Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate the general election as “Leans Republican” and Cook Political Report rates the contest as “Likely Republican.” Ronnie Musgrove was the last Democrat elected governor of Mississippi. He defeated Rep. Mike Parker (R) 49.6-48.5% in 1999.

Learn more

        

Former Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper (D) ends presidential campaign

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) announced yesterday he would end his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. In a statement and video, Hickenlooper said in part, “This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President. While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to our entire team.” Hickenlooper has said he is considering running for the U.S. Senate.

Hickenlooper announced he was running for president on March 4. He served two terms as governor of Colorado and was also mayor of Denver. Hickenlooper participated in both Democratic primary debates—on June 27 and July 30—held so far. He campaigned the third-most days of any Democratic presidential candidate in Iowa—21—through the end of July.

Hickenlooper is the fourth Democratic elected official or notable public figure—after Richard Ojeda (W. Va.), Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and Mike Gravel (Alaska)—to exit the Democratic presidential primary. 

In the 2016 presidential race, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry was the first Republican elected official or notable public figure to leave the race. Perry suspended his campaign Sept. 11, 2015, after announcing his candidacy on June 4, 2015.

Learn more→

What's the tea?

Regular Brew readers know that I enjoy covering the Supreme Court, but I know that’s not true for everybody. So, for this week’s question, How much coverage would you like to see in the Brew about SCOTUS?

 



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