CategoryAnalysis

RNC outraises DNC by more than two-to-one for a fourth month, DSCC outraises NRSC for first time this year

The Republican National Committee (RNC) outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for the fourth consecutive month in July. At the same time, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) outraised its Republican counterpart for the first time this year, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC.
 
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $4.8 million and spent $2.6 million, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $4.3 million and spent $5.2 million. This is the first time the DSCC has outraised the NRSC during the 2020 cycle. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 16.6% more than the DSCC ($38.9 million to $33.0 million). The NRSC’s fundraising advantage narrowed since the last campaign finance reports when it had raised 20.5% more.
 
On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $7.3 million and spent $4.0 million last month, while the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $4.1 million and spent $5.4 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC has raised 34.6% more than the NRCC ($69.0 million to $48.6 million). The DCCC’s fundraising advantage has widened since the last campaign finance reports, when it had raised 32.3% more.
 
At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although they had a smaller advantage in House fundraising than this cycle. The DSCC had raised 7.2% more than the NRSC ($32.2 million to $30.0 million), while the DCCC had raised 3.6% more than the NRCC ($66.2 million to $63.9 million).
 
The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $20.8 million last month and spent $17.7 million while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $7.7 million and spent $7.9 million. The RNC’s fundraising figure is its largest this year. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 80.0% more than the DNC ($117.9 million to $50.5 million). The RNC’s fundraising advantage has widened relative to the last fundraising reports, when it had raised 77.5% more.
 
At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential election cycle) the RNC had a smaller 53.5% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($63.1 million to $36.5 million).
 
So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 29.6% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($205.5 million to $152.5 million).
 


Triplex status at stake in three states in 2019

A state government triplex occurs when a state’s governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are all members of the same political party. In states where these officers are not all from the same party, differing political views can bring them into direct conflict with one another.   
 
Three states—Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi—are holding elections in 2019 for all three triplex offices—governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. Currently, none of these three states has a triplex.
 
In Kentucky, Democrats hold the attorney general and secretary of state offices while Republican Matt Bevin (R) is governor. Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) is running against Bevin in the gubernatorial election, leaving his seat open, while Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) is term-limited. Bevin’s election as governor in 2015 broke a Democratic triplex which had existed since 2011.
 
In Louisiana, Republicans hold the attorney general and secretary of state offices while Democrat John Bel Edwards (D) is the governor. Edwards, Attorney General Jeff Landry (R), and Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin (R) are all running for re-election this year. Edwards’ election as governor broke a Republican triplex which had been in place since 2011.
 
In Mississippi, Republicans hold the governorship and secretary of state’s office while Democrat Jim Hood (D) is attorney general. All three seats are open. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is term-limited, while Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R) is running for lieutenant governor and Hood is running for governor. No party has held a triplex in Mississippi since Haley Barbour (R) was elected governor in 2003, breaking a Democratic triplex which had existed since the 1999 elections. 
 
The last time these three states held elections where none of them had a triplex was in 2007. No triplexes formed as a result of elections that year. 
 
Currently, there are 18 states with a Republican triplex, 17 states with a Democratic triplex, and 15 states that are under divided control. Heading into the 2018 elections, Republicans had 22 triplexes to Democrats’ 12. Democratic triplexes were formed in four states—Colorado, Illinois, Maine, New Mexico, and Wisconsin—while Republican triplexes were broken in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and North Dakota.
 


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

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. 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%).
 
The leader in overall pageviews this year is Pete Buttigieg with 102,790, followed by Yang with 95,127 and Kamala Harris with 90,653.
 
On the GOP side, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld had 16,895 pageviews to President Trump’s 1,844.


Federal Register weekly update; highest weekly page total of Trump administration to-date

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.
 
During the week of August 12 to August 16, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 3,076 pages, bringing the year-to-date total to 42,798 pages. The week’s Federal Register featured a total of 527 documents, including 405 notices, one presidential document, 52 proposed rules, and 69 final rules.
 
One proposed rule and two final rules were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they may have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules.
 
During the same week in 2018, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 2,146 pages for a year-to-date total of 42,016 pages. As of August 16, the 2019 total led the 2018 total by 782 pages.
 
The Trump administration has added an average of 1,297 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2019 as of August 16. Over the course of 2018, the Trump administration added an average of 1,301 pages to the Federal Register each week. During the Obama administration, the Federal Register increased by an average of 1,658 pages per week.
 
According to government data, the Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.
 
Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.


Primary competitiveness rises for state legislators compared to 2015 and 2017

In 2019, Ballotpedia published primary competitiveness data following each state’s major-party candidate filing deadline. Five states are holding regular statewide elections: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi are holding elections for state executive offices, and Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia are holding elections for state legislative seats.
 
A contested primary is defined as one in which voters have a choice on the ballot. As of the report’s publication, 28.8% of all possible state primary races are or were contested this year. This figure is similar to the 28.9% contested primary races in 2015. Comparatively, 16.1% of primaries were contested in 2017. This year, state executive primaries are contested in 67.4% of the races, and state legislative primaries are contested in 26.8% of the races.
 
Approximately 31.2% of the incumbents running for re-election in 2019 face contested primaries. Sixty percent of state executive incumbents face challengers across 25 seats, and 30.1% of state legislative incumbents face challengers across 538 seats. The percentage of state executive incumbents facing opponents is lower than in both 2017 (66.7% across seven seats) and 2015 (68.8% across 25 seats). By contrast, the percentage of state legislative incumbents facing opponents is greater than in both 2017 (16.0% across 220 seats) and 2015 (26.9% across 398 seats).
 


More than half of state legislative elections in 2019 lack either a Democrat or Republican

Four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia—are holding regularly scheduled state legislative elections this year for 538 seats. The filing deadline has now passed in all four states. In the races for these 538 seats, 158 (29.3%) do not have a Democratic candidate on the ballot, and another 141 (26.2%) do not have a Republican candidate on the ballot.
 
Overall, 299 (55.6%) of the regular state legislative elections in 2019 lack either a Democratic or Republican candidate. Only one state legislative race does not have at least one major-party candidate on the ballot. Here is a breakdown of the stats for each state:
 
• Louisiana has 144 state legislative seats on the ballot. Of those, 67 (46.5%) do not have a Democratic candidate and 40 (27.7%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, 107 (74.3%) of Louisiana’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one major party.
 
• Mississippi has 174 state legislative seats on the ballot. Of those, 78 (44.8%) do not have a Democratic candidate and 55 (31.6%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, 133 (76.4%) of Mississippi’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one major party.
 
• New Jersey has 80 state legislative seats on the ballot. Of those, all of them have a Democratic candidate but three (3.8%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, three (3.8%) of New Jersey’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one major party.
 
• Virginia has 140 state legislative seats on the ballot. Of those, 13 (9.3%) do not have a Democratic candidate and 43 (30.7%) do not have a Republican candidate. Overall, 56 (40.0%) of Virginia’s state legislative elections lack a candidate from one major party.
 
Mississippi and New Jersey have Republican and Democratic state government trifectas, respectively. Louisiana and Virginia both have a divided government with a Democratic governor but a Republican-held state House and state Senate. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
 


Early analysis: 88 House and Senate battleground races in 2020

In 2020, all 435 seats in the U.S. House and 34 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election. Our initial list of battleground races includes 88 of them—15 in the Senate and 73 in the House.
 
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 the U.S. Senate, where Republicans currently hold a 53-seat majority, Republicans are defending 22 seats while Democrats are defending 12. Of the 15 battleground races in this chamber, 10 are for seats held by Republicans and five are for seats held by Democrats. In 2018, there were 16 battleground races—11 held by Democrats and five held by Republicans.
 
In the U.S. House, Democrats hold a 237-197 majority with two vacancies. In the 73 battleground districts, Democrats hold 43 seats and Republicans hold 30. In 2018, there were 82 battleground districts—73 held by Republicans and nine held by Democrats. Fifty-seven of the battlegrounds districts in 2020 were also considered battlegrounds in 2018.
 
We selected this initial list of 2020 races based on past election results, whether the incumbent is seeking re-election, or was recently elected for the first time. We also considered race ratings from outlets like the Cook Political Report, Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and Inside Elections.


Biden leads in Ballotpedia pageviews for the week, Buttigieg passes 100,000 pageview mark

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.
 
Joe Biden’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 5,493 pageviews for the week of August 4-10. Biden’s pageview figure represents 9.0% of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week. Andrew Yang had 8.8% of pageviews for the week, followed by Elizabeth Warren with 6.1%.
 
Every Democratic campaign other than Beto O’Rourke’s experienced a decline in pageviews of 12% or more relative to the week of July 28-August 3, when the second Democratic debate took place. Marianne Williamson, who led in pageviews that week, registered the largest week-over-week decline at 57.9%. O’Rourke’s pageviews increased by 12.6%, bringing him from 17th-most pageviews among Democrats the week of the debate to ninth-most this past week.
 
The leader in overall pageviews this year is Pete Buttigieg with 100,087, followed by Andrew Yang with 89,471 and Kamala Harris with 87,236.
 
On the GOP side, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld had 17,841 pageviews to President Trump’s 1,988.


July 2019 OIRA review count; highest monthly OIRA review count of Trump administration to-date

In July 2019, the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) reviewed 51 significant regulatory actions issued by federal agencies. The agency approved one rule without changes and approved the intent of 45 rules while recommending changes to their content. Five rules were withdrawn from the review process.
 
OIRA reviewed 36 significant regulatory actions in July 2018—15 fewer rules than the 51 significant regulatory actions reviewed by the agency in July 2019. During the Obama administration from 2009-2016, OIRA reviewed an average of 53 significant regulatory actions each July.
 
OIRA has reviewed a total of 235 significant rules so far in 2019. The agency reviewed a total of 355 significant rules in 2018 and 237 significant rules in 2017.
 
As of August 8, 2019, OIRA’s website listed 120 regulatory actions under review.
 
OIRA is responsible for reviewing and coordinating what it deems to be all significant regulatory actions made by federal agencies, with the exception of independent federal agencies. Significant regulatory actions include agency rules that have had or may have a large impact on the economy, environment, public health, or state and local governments and communities. These regulatory actions may also conflict with other regulations or with the priorities of the president.
 
Every month, Ballotpedia compiles information about regulatory reviews conducted by OIRA. Click the link below to view this project.
 


Since 2015, 18 states have raised their tobacco age to 21

In June 2015 Hawaii enacted a law increasing the minimum age to use tobacco products to 21, making it the first state to do so in the 21st century. Seventeen other states that, including Hawaii contain 50.7% of the U.S. population, have done the same in the four years since.
 
The first tobacco age limit in U.S. history was imposed in New Jersey in 1883 and set a minimum age of 16. By 1920, 14 states had a minimum tobacco age of 21. However, over the course of the 1920s and 1930s, many states with age restrictions over 21 lowered their tobacco age limit, often to 18. At the turn of the 21st century, Alabama, Alaska, and Utah had a tobacco age of 19 and the remaining 47 states had a tobacco age of 18.
 
Of the 18 states to recently raise their tobacco age to 21, eight did so under a Democratic trifecta, six under divided government, and four under a Republican trifecta. Nine Democratic governors and eight Republicans have signed increases in tobacco age restrictions. Maine’s legislature passed a tobacco age increase over the veto of Gov. Paul LePage (R).
 
As of August 9, the tobacco age was 18 in 37 states (including seven where a law increasing the tobacco age has been signed but is yet to take effect), 19 in three states (including Utah, where an increase to 21 is pending), and 21 in the remaining 10. The next states where a tobacco age increase will take effect are Arkansas, Texas, and Vermont, where the tobacco age will increase to 21 on September 1.


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