CategoryAnalysis

One 2020 Congressional retirement announced last week; 1,748 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congressional races

In the past week, one member of Congress, Republican Rep. Francis Rooney (FL-19), announced he would not run for re-election in 2020. To date, four Senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) and 24 Representatives (18 Republicans and six Democrats) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
 
As of October 21, 2019, 271 candidates are filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. Of those, 241—128 Democrats and 113 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.
 
1,608 candidates are filed with the FEC to run for U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 1,507—765 Democrats and 742 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
 
On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly-scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, Democrats currently hold a 235-seat majority.
 
Additional reading:


Andrew Yang leads in pageviews for the first time since September, Tulsi Gabbard has largest week-over-week jump

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 3,685 views for the week of October 13-19. Yang’s pageview figure represents 14.6% of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week. Elizabeth Warren had 13.5% of the pageviews for the week, followed by Joe Biden with 12.8%. This is Yang’s first time leading in pageviews since the week of September 15-21; Warren led in pageviews for the three weeks after that.
 
Every Democratic candidate received more pageviews last week than the week before. The three greatest week-over-week increases were 125% for Tulsi Gabbard, 84.5% for Cory Booker, and 83.8% for Pete Buttigieg.
 
Andrew Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews this year with 130,933. He is followed by Buttigieg with 124,396 and by Biden with 114,636.


RNC outraises DNC by more than two to one, Democratic House and Senate committees outraise Republican counterparts

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has outraised its Democratic counterpart by more than two-to-one for a fifth consecutive month, while the Democratic Senate committee outraised its Republican counterpart for a third consecutive month, according to campaign finance reports filed with the FEC in October.
 
So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 32.7% more than the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($276.8 million to $199.0 million). The Republican fundraising advantage is up from 31.5% in September reports.
 
At this point in the 2016 campaign cycle (the most recent presidential election cycle) the RNC had a smaller 53.3% fundraising advantage over the DNC ($80.7 million to $46.7 million).
 
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $6.8 million and spent $5.3 million in the period, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $5.1 million and spent $3.6 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the NRSC has raised 7.1% more than the DSCC ($47.7 million to $44.5 million). The NRSC’s 7.1% fundraising advantage is down from 12.3% in September and 16.6% in August. The DSCC’s $6.8 million is its highest single-month fundraising figure this year. The NRSC’s best month for fundraising was April when it raised $7.5 million.
 
On the House side, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raised $12.9 million and spent $5.5 million. The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raised $7.8 million and spent $5.7 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the DCCC has raised 38.4% more than the NRCC ($89.1 million to $60.4 million). The DCCC’s 38.4% fundraising advantage is up from 36.6% in September and 34.6% in August. The DCCC’s $12.9 million fundraising figure is its second-best this year, behind $13.5 million in April. April was also the NRCC’s best month for fundraising with $13.0 million raised.
 
At this point in the 2018 campaign cycle, Democrats led in both Senate and House fundraising, although their advantage in the House was smaller than in this cycle. The DSCC had raised 33.7% more than the NRSC ($40.3 million to $34.4 million), while the DCCC had raised 11.4% more than the NRCC ($81.4 million to $72.6 million).
 
Republicans continue to lead in national committee fundraising. The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised $27.3 million and spent $22.0 million, while the Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised $7.0 million and spent $6.6 million. So far in the 2020 cycle, the RNC has raised 88.2% more than the DNC ($168.7 million to $65.4 million). The RNC’s 88.2% fundraising advantage is up from 83.0% in September and 80.0% in August. The RNC’s $27.3 million fundraising figure is its largest this year. The DNC’s best month for fundraising was July when it raised $8.5 million.
 


Early voting dates and deadlines in states holding November 2019 elections

Seven states with early in-person voting are holding at least one statewide election during the remainder of 2019. The following list provides start and end dates for early voting by state.
 
Kansas
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 16-Oct. 29 (varies by county)
End date: Nov. 4, 12pm
 
Louisiana
Election: Nov. 16
Start date: Nov. 2
End date: Nov. 9
 
Maine
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: The Maine Secretary of State’s office says, “You may vote absentee at the clerk’s office as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available at least 30 days before the election at the municipal clerk’s office. You don’t need to complete an application if you vote in person at the clerk’s office.”
End date: Oct. 31 (unless special circumstances exist)
 
New Jersey
Election: Nov. 5
End date: Nov. 4-5. New Jersey uses in-person absentee voting, where voters may apply in person for a mail-in ballot and submit the ballot in person. The deadline to apply in person is Nov. 4 at 3 pm, and the deadline to return the ballot is Nov. 5 at 8 pm.
 
Texas
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 21
End date: Nov. 1
 
The following states use vote-by-mail systems, meaning ballots are sent to voters through the mail and most are returned by mail. In each state, voters may still vote in person ahead of Election Day.
 
Colorado
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 28
End date: Nov. 5
 
Coloradans may cast ballots and register to vote in person at voter service and polling centers (VSPCs). Each county will have at least one VSPC open from Oct. 28 to Nov. 5 (except Sunday, Nov. 3).
 
The deadline for county clerks to mail ballots to eligible voters for the Nov. 5 elections in Colorado was Oct. 18.
 
Washington
Election: Nov. 5
Start date: Oct. 18
End date: Nov. 5
 
Ballots were mailed and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) became available at voting centers on Oct. 18.
 
Click the links below to learn more:
 


SCOTUS hears oral arguments in Appointments Clause challenge

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico v. Aurelius Investment LLC, a case arguing that the appointment of members to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico violated the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
 
The Appointments Clause provides the president with the authority to appoint officers of the United States, subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate. These positions include ambassadors, heads of Cabinet-level departments, and federal judges. Congress vests the authority to appoint inferior officers, such as federal attorneys and administrative law judges, in the president, the courts, or heads of departments.
 
Congress created the Financial Oversight and Management Board in 2016 and authorized the board to begin debt adjustment proceedings on behalf of the Puerto Rico government. The seven-member board is made up of one member chosen at the president’s discretion and six other members selected by the president from a list compiled by members of Congress. The appointees selected from the congressional list are not subject to Senate confirmation.
 
Aurelius Investment LLC and the Unión de Trabajadores de la Industria Eléctrica y Riego challenged the board’s authority in federal district court, arguing the board members’ appointments were not in compliance with the Appointments Clause. Aurelius and the union claimed that the board members are “Officers of the United States” who must all be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The board argued that its activities are primarily local in nature and, therefore, its members do not qualify as “Officers of the United States.”
 
The court’s decision in the case could determine whether certain territorial officers can also be classified as federal officers for purposes of the Appointments Clause.
 


Ballotpedia’s 2019 ballot measure readability scores—How easy is it to understand what’s on your ballot?

In 2019, 36 statewide ballot measures were certified for ballots in eight states. Ballotpedia scored the readability of ballot titles and summaries using two formulas–Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL). The FRE formula produces a score between a negative number and 100, with the highest score (100) representing a 5th-grade equivalent reading level and scores at or below zero representing college graduate-equivalent reading level. The FKGL formula produces a score equivalent to the estimated number of years of U.S. education required to understand a text. Both formulas used in calculating readability scores depend on the number of syllables, words, and sentences in a text. Other factors, such as the complexity of an idea in a text, are not reflected in readability scores.
 
The average FKGL score for 2019 ballot measure titles or questions is 15 years of formal U.S. education. The range of scores is 6 to 27 years. The average FRE score for 2019 ballot measure titles is 26. The scores range from -22 to 69.
 
Measures in some states are given additional explanations beyond the ballot title or question. The average FKGL for these ballot summaries or explanations in 2019 is 15 years of formal U.S. education. The average FRE score for ballot measure summaries is 25.
 
The states with the lowest average FKGL scores for ballot titles or questions are Washington, Pennsylvania, and Maine with 9, 10, and 17, respectively.
 
The states with the highest average FKGL scores for ballot titles or questions are Colorado, Kansas, and Texas with 27, 23, and 20.
 
Average ballot title grades were lowest for language written by the Washington Attorney General (9) and initiative petitioners (10). Average ballot title grades were highest for language written by state legislatures (20).
 
Ballotpedia also measures the word length of ballot titles across states. The states with the longest ballot titles or questions in 2019 on average are Kansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Colorado; all of these except New Jersey did not feature additional ballot summaries or explanations. The states with the shortest ballot titles or questions on average are Texas, Maine, Louisiana, and Washington.
 
Compared to the last odd-year election, the average FKGL score for ballot titles for 2019 dropped. The average FKGL score for the 27 2019 statewide ballot measures was 20 years of formal education. The range of scores for 2017 was also wider, ranging from 7 to 42.
 


Elizabeth Warren leads in pageviews for third consecutive week, Joe Biden surpasses Kamala Harris’ lifetime pageviews

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.
 
Elizabeth Warren’s campaign page on Ballotpedia received 2,734 views for the week of October 6-12. Warren’s pageview figure represents 10.8% of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week. Joe Biden had 10.0% of the pageviews for the week, followed by Andrew Yang, also with 10.0%; Yang and Biden were separated by three pageviews.
 
The only Democratic candidates to receive more pageviews last week than the week before were Tom Steyer (up 9.1%) and Amy Klobuchar (up 3.2%).
 
Andrew Yang remains the leader in overall pageviews this year with 127,308. He is followed by Pete Buttigieg with 121,736. Last week, Joe Biden surpassed Kamala Harris in overall pageviews this year for the first time, with 111,405 pageviews to Harris’ 110,939.
 


One 2020 Congressional retirement announced last week; 1,704 major party candidates filed for 2020 Congressional races

In the past week, one new 2020 Congressional retirement was announced. Democratic Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-17) announced that she would not seek re-election in 2020. To date, four Senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) and 23 Representatives (17 Republicans and six Democrats) are not running for re-election. In 2018, 55 total members of Congress—18 Democrats and 37 Republicans—did not seek re-election.
 
As of October 14, 2019, 265 candidates are filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for U.S. Senate in 2020. Of those, 236—125 Democrats and 111 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 527 candidates filed with the FEC to run for U.S. Senate, including 137 Democrats and 240 Republicans.
 
1,567 candidates are filed with the FEC to run for U.S. House in 2020. Of those, 1,468—746 Democrats and 722 Republicans—are from one of the two major political parties. In 2018, 3,244 candidates filed with the FEC, including 1,566 Democrats and 1,155 Republicans.
 
On November 3, 2020, 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats are up for election. Of those Senate seats, 33 are regularly-scheduled elections, one is a special election in Arizona, and another is an expected special election in Georgia. Twelve are Democratic-held seats and 23 are Republican-held seats. In the House, where all the seats are up for election, Democrats currently hold a 235-seat majority.
 
Additional reading:


Federal Register weekly update; first week since January without significant regulatory actions

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 October 7 to October 11, the Federal Register increased by 1,714 pages, bringing the year-to-date total to 55,016 pages. The week’s Federal Register featured a total of 631 documents, including 507 notices, seven presidential documents, 49 proposed rules, and 68 final rules.
 
No proposed or 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 1,340 pages for a year-to-date total of 51,814 pages. As of October 11, the 2019 total led the 2018 total by 3,202 pages.
 
The Trump administration has added an average of 1,342 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2019 as of October 11. 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.
 
Additional reading:
 
Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2016:


Trump issues executive order aimed at controlling agency spending

President Donald Trump (R) issued an executive order on October 10 that aims to ensure that federal administrative agencies “consider the costs of their administrative actions, take steps to offset those costs, and curtail costly administrative actions,” according to the order.
 
The executive order targets a federal budgeting mechanism known as administrative pay-as-you-go (PAYGO), which was implemented through an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) memo in 2005. Administrative PAYGO requires agencies that propose discretionary increases in mandatory spending (i.e. not required by statute) to also include one or more proposals to reduce mandatory spending.
 
The Trump administration claims that some applications of administrative PAYGO have actually resulted in higher mandatory spending. The executive order aims to restore the principle of administrative PAYGO by requiring agencies to submit administrative PAYGO proposals to the OMB director for review.
 
Trump issued the executive order on the heels of two other executive orders targeting administrative practices. The two other executive orders aim to prohibit the creation of binding rules through agency guidance documents and curb what the Trump administration refers to as administrative abuses by requiring agencies to provide fair notice of regulations, respectively.
 


Bitnami