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Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at janie.valentine@ballotpedia.org.

Early voting begins in NC-03 special election

The special election for North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District will be held on September 10, 2019. Early voting began on Wednesday, August 21, and will continue through September 6. The district’s former incumbent, Rep. Walter Jones (R), died earlier this year. Greg Murphy (R), Allen Thomas (D), Tim Harris (L), and Greg Holt (Constitution Party) are running for the seat.
 
Murphy, who defeated Joan Perry in the Republican primary runoff on July 9, has campaigned on his support of President Donald Trump (R) and has described himself as a consistent conservative. He has highlighted his work as a doctor and state legislator.
 
Thomas won the April 30 Democratic primary and has emphasized economic development, small-town revitalization, and improving access to healthcare.
 
The 2017 Cook Partisan Voter Index for this district was R+12, meaning that in the previous two presidential elections, this district’s results were 12 percentage points more Republican than the national average. This made North Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District the 108th-most Republican nationally.
 


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 13-16, 2020. A little over a month later, the Republican National Committee (RNC) will meet in Charlotte, North Carolina, from August 24-27, 2020. At both conventions, delegates will select their party’s presidential nominee and vote to adopt a platform outlining the party’s priorities and values.
 
Between now and then, Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses will be held across the country, 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. States with more than one-third of the U.S. population are expected to vote on Super Tuesday.
 
The last primary elections will be held at the beginning of June 2020.
 


Ohio has not voted for a losing presidential candidate in 59 years

There have been 30 presidential election cycles since 1900. Voters in Ohio have selected the winning candidate in 28 of them, making it the state with the highest percentage of accuracy in presidential elections at 93.33%.
 
Ohio voters have backed a candidate who lost the presidential election since 1960, when the state voted for Richard Nixon (R) instead of winning candidate John F. Kennedy (D).
 
Most states have participated in all 30 elections; however, five states and the District of Columbia participated in their first election after 1900: Oklahoma (1908), Arizona (1912), New Mexico (1912), Alaska (1960), Hawaii (1960), and Washington, D.C. (1964).
 
Washington, D.C., has the lowest accuracy percentage in presidential elections at 42.86%. Voters there have backed the winning candidate in six out of the 14 elections in which it has participated since 1964.
 
The following states voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in 10 or fewer general elections between 1900 and 2016:
  • Alaska (1), Arizona (8), Idaho (9), Indiana (5), Kansas (5), Maine (10), Montana (10), Nebraska (6), North Dakota (5), Oklahoma (10), South Dakota (3), Utah (7), Vermont (8), and Wyoming (7).
 
During the same years, the following states voted for the Republican presidential candidate in 10 or fewer general elections:
  • Arkansas (9), Georgia (10), Hawaii (2), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (10), Minnesota (10), Rhode Island (10), and Washington, D.C. (0).
 
Third party candidates won at least one state in four presidential elections since 1900. In 1912, Progressive Party candidate Theodore Roosevelt won California, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington, and in 1924, Progressive Party candidate Robert M. La Follette Sr. won Wisconsin. In 1948, States’ Rights Democratic Party candidate J. Strom Thurmond won Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina. American Independent Party candidate George Wallace won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in 1968.
 


Mississippi legislative primaries to decide nominees for November general elections

Mississippi will hold primaries for the state Senate and House of Representatives on August 6, 2019.
 
Mississippi has been a Republican trifecta since 2012. Term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant is a Republican, and Republicans hold a 31-18 majority in the Senate (with 3 vacancies) and a 74-44 majority in the House (with 2 independents and 2 vacancies).
 
General elections will take place for all 52 seats in the Senate and all 122 seats in the House on November 5.
 
In the Senate, there are 11 contested Democratic primaries and 16 contested Republican primaries. In the House, there are 23 contested Democratic primaries and 26 contested Republican primaries.
 
Fifteen Democratic and 25 Republican incumbents are running for re-election in the Senate. Eight Democratic and 19 Republican incumbent senators are running unopposed. Four Democratic and eight Republican incumbents are not running for re-election.
 
In the House, 40 Democratic and 67 Republican incumbents are running for re-election. Five Democratic and seven Republican incumbent representatives are not running for re-election. Twenty-three Democratic and 47 Republican incumbent representatives are unopposed.
 
 


Triplex status at play in three states this year

A triplex occurs when a state’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state all belong to the same political party, a situation which can reduce conflict between state executives. Currently, there are 18 Republican and 17 Democratic state triplexes.
 
Three states are holding elections in 2019 which could affect their triplex status: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Currently, neither Republicans nor Democrats hold triplexes in any of these three states. The offices of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state will be on the ballot in each state.
 
In Kentucky, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is currently serving with Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. Either party could gain triplex control during the November 5 general election.
 
In Louisiana, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards serves with Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry and Republican Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. The November 16 general election will determine whether either party will gain control of all three offices.
 
In Mississippi, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant serves with Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood and Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. Republicans and Democrats will vie for triplex control during Mississippi’s November 5 general election.
 


One state has been under the same party’s trifecta control since 1985

A state government trifecta occurs when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both state legislative chambers. While most states have seen at least one change in their trifecta status within the last 20 years, five states—Nebraska, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah—have not had a trifecta change since at least 1999. In Utah, Republicans have controlled the governor’s office, House, and Senate since 1985.
 
There are currently 36 state government trifectas and 14 divided state governments. The 14 states that are governed by Democratic trifectas include 34.4% of the U.S. population, and 41.9% of the U.S. population lives in the 22 states governed by Republican trifectas.
 
In 2019, elections could determine the trifecta status of five states: Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia.
As of July 2019, we’ve ranked the trifecta vulnerability for each of these states as follows:
  • Kentucky: Somewhat vulnerable Republican trifecta
  • Louisiana: Slight possibility of a Republican trifecta forming, low possibility of a Democratic trifecta forming
  • Mississippi: Moderately vulnerable Republican trifecta
  • New Jersey: Non-vulnerable Democratic trifecta
  • Virginia: Moderate possibility of a Democratic trifecta forming, moderate possibility of remaining under divided government
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