CategoryNewsletters

Election Legislation Weekly Digest: November 18, 2022

Here is our weekly round-up on election-related legislation. In it, you’ll find the following information: 

  • Recent activity: Here, we report on the number of bills acted on within the past week. 
  • The big picture: Here, we look at the bills in the aggregate. 
    • Legislative status: How many bills have been introduced, voted upon, or enacted into law?
    • Concentration of activity: What states have seen the highest concentration of legislative activity?
    • Partisan affiliation of sponsorship: How many bills have been sponsored by Democrats vs. Republicans? 
    • Subject: What subjects are most commonly addressed in the bills? 

We will not be sending out a Nov. 25 edition due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but we will resume our weekly coverage of election-related legislation on Dec. 2.

Recent activity

Since November 11, four bills have been acted on in some way (representing a 100 percent increase as compared to last week’s total of 2 bills). These four bills represent 0.2 percent of the 2,530 bills we are tracking. Two of these bills are from states with a divided government, and two are from states with Democratic trifectas.

The bar chart below compares recent activity on a week-to-week basis over the last eight weeks. 

  • 4 bills were introduced (or saw pre-committee action).
    • Divided governments: 2
    • Democratic trifectas: 2

The map below visualizes the concentration of this recent activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been acted upon in the last week. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of bills that have been acted upon in the last week. 

The big picture

To date, we have tracked 2,530 election-related bills. This represents a marginal increase as compared to last week’s total. These bills were either introduced this year or crossed over from last year’s legislative sessions.

 

Legislative status 

The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of the bills we are tracking. The following status indicators are used: 

  • Introduced: The bill has been pre-filed, introduced, or referred to committee but has not otherwise been acted upon.
  • Advanced from committee: The bill has received a favorable vote in committee. It has either advanced to another committee or to the floor for a vote. 
  • Passed one chamber: The bill has been approved by one legislative chamber.
  • Conference committee: Differing versions of the bill have been approved by their respective chambers and a conference committee has been appointed to reconcile the differences. 
  • Passed both chambers: The bill has cleared both chambers of the legislature. 
  • Enacted: The bill has been enacted into law, by gubernatorial action or inaction or veto override. 
  • Vetoed: The bill has been vetoed. 
  • Dead: The bill has been defeated in committee or by floor vote. 

The pie charts below visualize the legislative status of bills in Democratic and Republican trifectas, respectively. 

Concentration of activity

The map below visualizes the concentration of legislative activity across the nation. A darker shade of yellow indicates a higher number of relevant bills that have been introduced. A lighter shade of yellow indicates a lower number of relevant bills. 

Partisan affiliation of sponsor(s)

The pie chart below visualizes the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors.

The bar chart below visualizes the correlation between the partisan affiliation of bill sponsors and trifecta status (e.g., how many Democratic-sponsored bills were introduced in Democratic trifectas vs. Republican trifectas).

Bills by topic

The chart below presents information on the total number of bills dealing with particular topics. The number listed on the blue portion of each bar indicates the number of Democratic-sponsored bills dealing with the subject in question. The number listed on the red portion of the bar indicates the number of Republican-sponsored bills. The purple and gray portions of the bar indicate the number of bipartisan-sponsored bills and bills with unspecified sponsorship, respectively. Note that the numbers listed here will not, when summed, equal the total number of bills because some bills deal with multiple topics.



Progress report tracking school board conflict elections from Nov. 8

Welcome to the Friday, November 18, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Tracking school board conflicts by the numbers
  2. Twenty-two states in 2018 and 2020 elected statewide candidates from a different party
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many states elected a governor and U.S. Senator from a different party (so far)?

Tracking school board conflicts by the numbers

Since 2021, we’ve tracked school board elections where topics regarding race in education, coronavirus responses, or sex and gender in schools come into play.

To date, we have tracked 1,451 races, involving 9,419 candidates.

Of that total, 561 school districts across 26 states held elections on Nov. 8 featuring at least one of the three conflict topics with 1,800 seats up for election.

We are hard at work identifying the winners in these races and seeing where they stand on the three conflict topics.

As of Nov. 17, we have completed our research on 1,263, or 70%, of the 1,800 winners from the Nov. 8 elections. Here’s an update on what we have found so far.

As part of this research, we label each winner as either supporting or opposing the three conflict topics. If we cannot determine a stance, we mark the winner unclear

Broadly, a candidate is labeled supporting if they support things like including the role of race in curricula or learning materials, mask and/or vaccine requirements, or the inclusion of topics in sexual education regarding orientations and gender identities.

A candidate is labeled opposing if they oppose things like critical race theory, mask and/or vaccine requirements, or comprehensive sexual education.

After identifying a winner’s stances on all three issues, we then group candidates together into four categories:

  • Supporting, if the winner was labeled supporting on at least one topic and opposing on none.
  • Opposing, if the winner was labeled opposing on at least one topic and supporting on none.
  • Mixed, if the winner was labeled as supporting on at least one topic and opposing on another.
  • Unclear, if the winner was labeled unclear on all three topics, meaning we could not definitively categorize the winner under one of the above labels.

The following tables show results from our work conducted so far. Supporting and opposing candidates have won roughly the same number of seats, with unclear candidates making up a slightly larger number.

These values are not win rates, instead, they show the percentage of the seats that will be held by candidates based on their stances.

This is the third school board conflict results analysis Ballotpedia has conducted since 2021. Results from previous analyses are shown below:

We will be back with the final results after Thanksgiving. Until then, you can follow our progress using the link below.

Keep reading 

Twenty-two states in 2018 and 2020 elected statewide candidates from a different party 

Earlier this week, we looked at the states that elected a U.S. Senator and a governor from a different party in the Nov. 8 elections (more details below in this week’s trivia). Continuing this ticket-splitting theme, let’s look at the states where voters elected statewide candidates from different parties in the 2018 and 2020 general elections.

We’ll also look at the difference in votes separating the winning candidate who received the most votes from the winning candidate who received the fewest votes.

In the majority of states that held statewide elections in 2018 and 2020, voters elected candidates for statewide offices from the same party. But a combined 22 states in both years elected candidates from more than one party in statewide elections. 

In 2018, 14 states elected statewide candidates from more than one party. In 2020, that number was eight. 

2020

In Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington, voters elected statewide candidates from different parties. 

The table below shows the highest vote-getting and lowest vote-getting candidates and the offices they won. Cells are colored according to the candidate’s party affiliation.

On average, in 2020, more than 163,972 votes separated the winning candidate with the most votes and the winning candidate with the fewest votes. 

To put it another way, the lowest winning vote-getter received on average only 85% of the votes of the highest winning vote-getter. For example, in North Carolina in 2020, commissioner of agriculture candidate Steve Troxler (R) received 2,901,849 to win the office, while incumbent U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis (R) received 2,665,598 to win the office—a difference of 236,251 votes.

In Washington, commissioner of insurance candidate Mike Kreidler (D) received 2,506,693 votes, whereas lieutenant governor candidate Denny Heck (D) received 1,658,405 votes—a 40% difference. 

The chart below shows the vote difference between the winning candidate with the highest number of votes and the winning candidate with the lowest number of votes. Colors at the end-points of each bar represent the winning candidate’s party affiliation.  

The three states with the biggest gap between the winning candidate with the highest votes and the winning candidate with the lowest votes were:

  • Washington (848,288)
  • Michigan (381,783)
  • Arizona (282,231)

The three states with the smallest gap between the winning candidate with the highest votes and the winning candidate with the lowest votes were:

  • New Hampshire (65,831)
  • Vermont (83,625)
  • Pennsylvania (169,595)

2018

In Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, and Vermont, voters elected statewide candidates from different parties.

In 2018, an average of 203,087 votes separated the winning candidate with the most votes and the winning candidate with the fewest votes. The lowest winning vote-getter received on average only 83% of the votes of the highest winning vote-getter. 

For example, in Florida, the winner of the attorney general election, Ashley B. Moody (R) received 4,232,532. The winner of the commissioner of agriculture and consumer services election, Nikki Fried (D), received 4,032,954. 

In Maryland, the winner of the comptroller election, Peter Franchot (D), received 344,620 more votes than Boyd Rutherford (R), the winner of the lieutenant governor race. 

The chart below shows the vote difference between the winning candidate with the highest number of votes and the winning candidate with the lowest number of votes. Colors at the end-points of each bar represent the winning candidate’s party affiliation.  

The three states with the biggest gap between the winning candidate with the highest votes and the winning candidate with the lowest votes were:

  • Michigan (666,984)
  • Ohio (502,505)
  • Maryland (344,620)

The three states with the smallest gap between the winning candidate with the highest votes and the winning candidate with the lowest votes were:

  • Montana (6,746)
  • Maine (23,613)
  • Nevada (33,846)

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many states elected a governor and U.S. Senator from a different party (so far)?

On the topic of ticket-splitting, in last Monday’s Brew, we shared our analysis of split-ticket voting in this year’s statewide general elections. Twenty-six states held elections for governor and U.S. Senate on Nov. 8. Of that total, we have called races in 24 states. Races for both offices in Alaska remain uncalled and Georgia voters, who re-elected Gov. Brian Kemp (R), have to wait until a Dec. 6 runoff to pick their Senator.

Of the 24 states where we have full results available, how many elected a governor and U.S. Senator from a different party?

  1. 2
  2. 12
  3. 8
  4. 5


Three states to have veto-proof legislative majority and governor of the opposing party

Welcome to the Thursday, November 17, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. In three states, one party has a veto-proof legislative majority while the governor is from the opposite party
  2. Seven new U.S. senators and 77 new U.S. representatives won election to the 118th Congress 
  3. A combined 2,998 candidates ran for president in 2016 and 2020

In three states, one party has a veto-proof legislative majority while the governor is from the opposite party

In all 50 states, legislators can override gubernatorial vetoes. A party that can ​​override a gubernatorial veto without any votes from members of the minority party has a veto-proof majority. What it takes to override a veto varies depending on the state’s laws (between one-half and two-thirds of sitting legislators). In some cases, the governor will be from a different party than the one that holds a veto-proof majority in the legislature, giving rise to occasional conflicts over vetoes. 

Going into the Nov. 8 election, four states had a veto-proof legislative majority and a governor of the opposing party—Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Following the election, Kansas, Kentucky, and Vermont still have veto-proof legislative majorities and a governor of the opposing party. 

Here’s where things stand now that the dust from the elections is settling: 

  • In Kentucky, Republicans maintained their veto-proof majority in both legislative chambers. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is not up for re-election until 2023.
  • In Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly (D) won re-election. Republicans maintained their veto-proof majority in the state Senate because Senate members are not up for election until 2024. Republicans also won at least two-thirds of the seats in the state House of Representatives.
  • In Maryland, Democrats won the governorship while maintaining their veto-proof state legislative majority and became a Democratic trifecta. Wes Moore (D) won the Maryland gubernatorial election. Incumbent Larry Hogan (R) was term-limited.
  • In Massachusetts, Democrats won the governorship while maintaining their veto-proof legislative majority and became a Democratic trifecta. Maura Healey (D) was elected governor. Incumbent Charlie Baker (R) did not run for re-election.

In Vermont, Democrats gained a veto-proof majority in the Legislature and Gov. Phil Scott (R) was re-elected. Vermont was one of three states that could have switched to having a veto-proof majority and an opposing party governor. The other two were North Carolina and Wisconsin.

  • In North Carolina, Republicans gained a three-fifths majority in the state Senate. The final size of the Republican majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives has not yet been determined. North Carolina holds gubernatorial elections in presidential election years, so Gov. Roy Cooper (D) was not up for re-election until 2024.
  • In Wisconsin, Republicans gained a two-thirds majority in the state Senate but fell at least two seats short of a two-thirds majority in the Wisconsin Assembly. Incumbent Gov. Tony Evers (D) won re-election.

Vermont wasn’t the only state where one party gained a veto-proof state legislative majority. Republicans gained veto-proof state legislative majorities in Florida and Montana. However, both states have Republican governors. 

The map below shows the state legislatures with veto-proof majorities following the election. Uncalled state legislative races in California, North Carolina, and New York could determine whether those states maintain their veto-proof majorities. 

Learn more about veto-proof state legislatures and opposing party governors at the link below. 

Keep reading

Seven new U.S. senators and 77 new U.S. representatives won election to the 118th Congress 

Let’s turn to Congress. 

As of this writing, 84 new members have won election to the 118th Congress, including seven U.S. senators and 77 U.S. representatives. For comparison, 71 new members were elected to Congress in the 2020 elections and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 62 U.S. representatives. One-hundred and two new members were elected to Congress in the 2018 election and subsequent runoffs, including nine U.S. senators and 93 U.S. representatives.

  • Six new U.S. senators—one Democrat and five Republicans—replaced retiring incumbents from the same party. In Pennsylvania, John Fetterman (D) replaced Sen. Pat Toomey (R) 
  • Twenty-four of the new U.S. representatives elected—12 Democrats and 12 Republicans—replaced 16 Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who either did not seek re-election, withdrew from their races, or die in office. 
  • Eighteen of the new U.S. representatives elected—eight Democrats and ten Republicans—replaced ten Democratic incumbents and eight Republican incumbents who ran for other offices instead of running for reelection. 

Due to redistricting, 14 incumbent U.S. representatives—eight Democrats and six Republicans—sought re-election in different congressional districts. In addition, five of the seven new congressional districts created during the reapportionment process resulted in the election of new members. To fill these 19 districts, nine Democrats and eight Republicans were elected. As of this writing, two races that may result in new members of Congress due to redistricting remain uncalled.

16 incumbents—six Democrats and ten Republicans—were defeated in either the primary or general election. Six Democrats and ten Republicans were elected to fill these seats. 

Click below to read more about new members elected to Congress.

Keep reading 

A combined 2,998 candidates ran for president in 2016 and 2020

The midterm elections aren’t over. For example, the Georgia U.S. Senate race is headed for a runoff. But even though ballots are still being counted and campaigns are still being run, it appears that the 2024 election cycle is already underway. On Nov. 15, former President Donald Trump (R) announced he would run for a second term—and filed the paperwork to make it official. 

With that in mind, let’s take a look back at some statistics on presidential candidates in 2016 and 2020. 

Anyone can file to run for president with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). Getting on the ballot is more complex. Presidential candidates must meet a variety of state-specific filing requirements and deadlines. These regulations, known as ballot access laws, are set at the state level, and determine whether a candidate or party will appear on the ballot. A presidential candidate must prepare to meet these requirements well in advance of primaries, caucuses, and the general election. You can review ballot access requirements for presidential candidates here

In 2016 and 2020, a combined 2,998 individuals filed to run for president with the FEC. In 2016, 1,786 candidates filed with the FEC, while in 2020, that figure was 1,212. 

Of the candidates who filed in 2016:

  • 228 filed as Democratic candidates
  • 288 filed as Republican candidates
  • 56 filed as Libertarian candidates
  • 14 filed as Green candidates.

Of the candidates who filed in 2020:

  • 323 filed as Democratic candidates
  • 164 filed as Republican candidates
  • 65 filed as Libertarian candidates
  • 23 filed as Green candidates

Over the next two years, you can expect to see candidates—notable and otherwise—filing to run for president, and you can keep up with all the names and statistics on our page tracking presidential candidates. First there will be a trickle of filings, and then there will be a flood, so you’ll want to bookmark that page for future reference. 

Keep reading



Ballot Bulletin November 16, 2022

Welcome to The Ballot Bulletin, where we track developments in election policy at the federal, state, and local levels. In this month’s issue:

  1. Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules on absentee ballots
  2. New York enacts election administration bill
  3. Legislation update: Legislation activity in October 2022

Have a question/feedback/or just want to say hello? Respond to this email!

Pennsylvania Supreme Court rules on absentee ballots

On Nov. 1, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a ruling ordering local officials not to count any ballots mailed inside undated or incorrectly dated envelopes in this year’s general election. The ruling requires officials to set these ballots aside and retain them pending a review of the date requirement’s validity.  

The law in question

Pennsylvania Code 25 P.S. § 3146.6 regulates procedures for absentee voting. Section § 3146.6 (a) requires voters to place absentee ballots into an envelope “on which is printed the form of declaration of the elector, and the address of the elector’s county board of election and the local election district of the elector.” Voters “shall then fill out, date and sign the declaration printed on such envelope.” 

The parties to the lawsuit and their arguments

The plaintiffs in the case included the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. The defendants were Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman (D) and the boards of elections in all 67 Pennsylvania counties. 

In an Oct. 16 filing, the plaintiffs alleged the “straightforward mandate that any voter who uses an absentee or mail-in ballot ‘shall . . . fill out, date and sign the declaration’ is valid under state and federal law.” The plaintiffs asked the court to prohibit county boards of elections from counting any undated or incorrectly dated absentee or mail-in ballot and to segregate these ballots from others. 

The plaintiffs said:

  • The court had already ruled “the date requirement is mandatory, and any ballot that does not comply with it may not be counted in any election after the 2020 general election.”
  • A federal materiality provision, which prevents denial of the right to vote based on errors or omissions if those errors are not material in determining a voter’s eligibility, does not preempt state enforcement of a date requirement. The “[a]pplication of these rules does not deny the right to vote,” is not relevant to whether an elector is qualified to vote, and “casting a ballot constitutes the act of voting, not an application, registration, or other act requisite to voting.”
  • Secretary of State Chapman’s guidelines directing counties to count undated ballots “are not binding on the county boards of elections.”
  • Segregation of undated ballots is necessary because “a county board of elections that counts undated or incorrectly dated ballots cannot remove non-compliant ballots from its certified election results if this Court upholds the General Assembly’s date requirement.”

In an Oct. 19 response to the filing, Chapman said, “Commonwealth and federal courts have held three times that a timely received absentee or mail-in ballot cannot be set aside merely because the voter neglected to hand write an inconsequential date on the return envelope.” Chapman’s attorney said the plaintiffs’ argument was “a position that has no legal support, that has never been considered by any court and that, in any event, would be impossible to implement because county boards have no means of determining the ‘correct’ date.”

Chapman said: 

  • A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would “upset the interests of all voters” who had already applied for or submitted an absentee ballot.
  • Provisions in the state’s election code “all confirm that omitting a handwritten date from the declaration of a voter’s ballot return envelope is not a disqualifying defect.”
  • Even if the court determined a date was required under state law, “federal law still prohibits county boards from setting aside a ballot on the basis that the voter omitted a date from the return envelope’s declaration.”

How the court ruled

In its Nov. 1 order, the court ordered election officials not to count any undated or incorrectly dated absentee and mail-in ballots. In the unsigned order, the court said: “The Pennsylvania county boards of elections are hereby ORDERED to refrain from counting any absentee and mail-in ballots received for the November 8, 2022 general election that are contained in undated or incorrectly dated outer envelopes.” The court cited § 3146.6(a) of the Pennsylvania code as the basis for the order. 

The court split 3-3 on whether not counting undated absentee ballots would violate federal law. Chief Justice Debra Todd (D) and Justices Christine Donohue (D) and David Wecht (D) considered the exclusion of undated ballots a violation of federal law, while Justices Kevin M. Dougherty (D), Sallie Mundy (R), and Kevin Brobson (R) did not. 

In a supplemental order the court released on Nov. 5, it clarified that “incorrectly dated outer envelopes” are defined as “(1) mail-in ballot outer envelopes with dates that fall outside the date range of September 19, 2022, through November 8, 2022; and (2) absentee ballot outer envelopes with dates that fall outside the date range of August 30, 2022, through

November 8, 2022.”

What comes next

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania on Nov. 7 asking the court to overturn the state court’s decision and count undated ballots. The plaintiff’s attorneys said, “The Date Instruction imposes unnecessary hurdles that eligible Pennsylvanians must clear to exercise their most fundamental right, resulting in otherwise valid votes being arbitrarily rejected without any reciprocal benefit to the Commonwealth.”

New York enacts election administration bill

On Oct. 18, Gov.  Kathy Hochul (D) signed into law a bill modifying New York’s election administration laws.

  • A07748: This bill amends Section 5-508 of the state election laws to allow voting registration records for victims of sex offenses and crimes under Article 130 of the penal law to remain confidential. Victims must sign a written statement affirming they were a victim of a crime and that, because of the threat of physical or emotional harm, their registration record needs to be kept confidential.
    • Final state Senate vote (May 31): 63-0 (43 Democrats and 20 Republicans in favor).
    • Final state House vote (May 18): 138-0 (99 Democrats and 39 Republicans in favor).

Legislation update: Legislation activity in October 2022

In October, legislatures in five states took action on 12 election bills.

The chart below identifies the 10 most common policy areas of bills lawmakers addressed in October. The number listed on the blue portion of each bar indicates the number of Democratic-sponsored bills dealing with the subject in question. The number listed on the red portion of the bar indicates the number of Republican-sponsored bills. The purple and gray portions of the bar indicate the number of bipartisan-sponsored bills and bills with unspecified sponsorship, respectively. Note that the total number of bills listed will not equal the total number of enacted bills because some bills deal with multiple subjects.

Democrats sponsored two of the 12 bills acted on in October (17%). Republicans sponsored 4 (33%). Bipartisan groups sponsored six (50%). 

This information comes from Ballotpedia’s Election Administration Legislation Tracker, which went live on June 29. This free and accessible online resource allows you to find easy-to-digest bill tags and summaries—written and curated by our election administration experts! We update our database and bill-tracking daily. Using our powerful interactive search function, you can zero in on more than 2,500 bills (and counting) covering these topics:

  • Absentee/mail-in voting and early voting policies
  • Ballot access requirements for candidates, parties, and ballot initiatives
  • Election dates and deadlines
  • Election oversight protocols
  • In-person voting procedures
  • Post-election procedures (including counting, canvassing, and auditing policies)
  • Voter ID
  • Voter registration and eligibility

To make your search results more precise, we first place bills into one of 22 parent categories. We then apply to each bill one or more of the 88 tags we’ve developed. 

If you don’t want to immerse yourself in the world of election legislation quite that often, we have a free, weekly digest that goes straight to your inbox and keeps you caught up on the week’s developments.



Hall Pass: Your Ticket to Understanding School Board Politics, Edition #37

Welcome to Hall Pass, a newsletter written to keep you plugged into the conversations driving school board politics and governance.

In today’s edition, you’ll find:

  • On the issues: The debate over declining National Assessment of Educational Progress scores 
  • Conflict election results: a preliminary review 
  • School board battleground election results
  • Extracurricular: education news from around the web
  • Candidate Connection survey

Reply to this email to share reactions or story ideas!

On the issues: The debate over declining National Assessment of Educational Progress scores 

In this section, we curate reporting, analysis, and commentary on the issues school board members deliberate when they set out to offer the best education possible in their district.

On Oct. 24, the National Center for Education Statistics released scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The assessment, which is congressionally mandated, is often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card. The assessment documented a decline in both reading and math scores among fourth and eighth graders in most states. The national reading proficiency average came in at 31% for eighth graders and 33% for fourth graders. In math, 36% of fourth graders and 26% of eighth graders had proficient scores. All of the national scores were down from the previous report in 2019.

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) writes that school closures because of COVID-19 caused many students, especially lower-income students and students of color, to fall behind academically between 2019 and 2022. Banks says teacher’s unions continued lobbying for school closures even after the CDC released guidance on remote learning risks. He also says the Biden administration, other Democrats, and teacher’s unions need to be held accountable for learning loss before progress will be possible.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board writes that the COVID pandemic disrupted learning and caused some predictable learning losses, but says underinvestment in schools also contributed to declining NAEP scores. The Editorial Board says the NAEP data suggests schools need more resources to provide extended instruction time and offer tutoring programs for struggling students. The Editorial Board also says California, which kept schools closed longer than most states, experienced smaller NAEP declines than the national average.

Blame Democrats and union bosses for failing school report card | Jim Banks, Fox News

“We know how we got here: Students in public K-12 schools in the United States have had to learn remotely in some form or another for nearly three years. Forcing kids to sit at home in front of a computer screen has been disastrous because kids and teens require the ability to watch, listen, explore, experiment and ask questions in order to learn. This requires their physical presence in classroom with a teacher, surrounded by peers. For those of us who were sounding the alarm from the beginning about remote learning, these results, while not surprising, are no less alarming. The CDC, long an avid proponent of forcing insane COVID-19 restrictions and mandates on Americans even when they’d been proven ineffective, to their credit admitted last spring “[virtual learning] might present more risks than in-person instruction related to child and parental mental and emotional health and some health-supporting behaviors.”  … Powerful teachers’ unions like the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) continued lobbying the Biden administration and Democrats to keep remote learning in place. In blue cities like Chicago, New York and Milwaukee for example, union efforts to keep remote learning in place were particularly forceful.”

Learning loss is bad everywhere, and demands immediate action | The Editorial Board, The Los Angeles Times

“The results are hardly surprising given the unprecedented disruption in schooling caused by the pandemic, but they offer concrete proof that K-12 students need more focused attention and resources in the form of tutoring or extended instruction time, depending on specific circumstances. More than just a snapshot in time of how students are faring, the results offer clues for educators, policymakers and parents of how we can better help students. The larger declines in math could mean that students need more support, perhaps one-on-one tutoring or more teacher instruction. … U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the poor performance isn’t just the result of school closures during the pandemic but also a reflection of “decades of underinvestment in our students.” … It’s clear that a multi-pronged approach to boosting student performance will be necessary, but state and local educators and policymakers should ensure that decisions about how to allocate resources are driven by data and other evidence. … The data released this week show the urgency of remediating the learning loss exacerbated by the pandemic. Now that educators have the funds and the data to help guide them, they should use that money wisely. Our children’s future depends on it.”

Conflict election results: a preliminary review

We identified 1,800 Nov. 8 races in 561 school districts across 26 states where candidates took a stance on at least one of three topics—race in education, responses to the coronavirus pandemic, and sex and gender in schools

You can learn more about our project tracking conflict elections here.

We are currently researching the winning candidates’ stances on the three conflict topics using media reporting, campaign websites, debates, and more. For each of the three conflict issues, winning candidates are labeled either supporting or opposing (you can learn more about our label descriptions here). If no stance can be determined, they are labeled unclear. 

We have completed our research on 1,081, or 60%, of the 1,800 winning candidates.

The results are as follows:

In the June 1, 2022, edition of this newsletter, we looked at conflict election results in the April 5 school board primaries in Missouri, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. We also previously published an analysis of elections on Nov. 2, 2021. The results are below:

We’ll bring you more updates on school board conflict election results when we have final numbers. 

School board battleground election results

Most school board elections are officially nonpartisan. But in races across the country, organizations and individuals with partisan ties endorsed, trained, and funded candidates in the Nov. 8 general elections. In the Oct. 19, Oct. 26, and Nov. 2 editions of this newsletter, we previewed battleground elections in nine districts in California, Texas, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, and Kentucky. 

Results from the elections are not certified, and some races remain too close to call. All of the following races appeared on our list of conflict elections. 

Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky

Four of the board’s seven seats were up for election—Districts, 1, 3, 5, and 6. Incumbents in all four districts—Diane Porter (District 1), James Craig (District 3), Linda Duncan (District 5), and Corrie Shull (District 6)—won re-election. Better Schools Kentucky PAC, an arm of the Jefferson County Teachers Association (JCTA), endorsed the incumbents. The Jefferson County Republican Party endorsed challengers in all four races. 

The incumbents’ victories mean the board’s partisan makeup will remain unchanged. 

Frederick County Public Schools, Maryland

Four out of the district’s seven at-large seats were up for election. The seven candidates divided themselves into two slates—the Students First Slate and the Education Not Indoctrination (ENI) slate. The Students First Slate consisted of incumbent Karen Yoho, Ysela Bravo, Rae Gallagher, and Dean Rose. The ENI slate consisted of Olivia Angolia, Nancy Allen, and Cindy Rose.  The Students First Slate said it was committed to “Safe, welcoming schools for all,” a “Diverse, well-trained staff,” and “Family & community involvement.” The ENI slate said it was running to “ensure that feelings don’t define truth, that academically-sound curricula are adopted, that decision-making is transparent, and that parents are respected.”

As of this writing, the election is too close to call. The latest results show the following:

  • Allen (ENI): 15.2% 
  • Yoho (Students First): 14.89%
  • Gallagher (Students First): 14.82%
  • Dean Rose (Students First): 14.43%
  • Cindy Rose (ENI): 13.93%
  • Angolia (ENI): 12.93%
  • Bravo (Students First): 12.89%

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, North Carolina

Six of the nine seats were up for election, and we included the races for Districts 1 and 4 on our battleground list. 

In the District 1 race, Melissa Easley defeated incumbent Rhonda Cheek, and challengers Ro Lawsin, Bill Fountain, and Hamani Fisher. Easley completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Click here to read her responses. 

Cheek is a registered Republican, while Easley is a registered Democrat. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators (CMAE), the county’s largest teacher organization, endorsed Cheek and Easley. The African American Caucus also endorsed Easely.

In the District 4 race, Stephanie Sneed defeated incumbent Carol Sawyer and challengers Clara Kennedy Witherspoon. Sneed completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Click here to read her responses. 

Round Rock Independent School District, Texas

Four seats were up for general election and one seat was up for a special election. All five incumbents ran for re-election. 

All three of the candidates the Round Rock Democrats Club endorsed won their races—Estevan Zarate (Place 1; special election), Alicia Markum (Place 4), and incumbent Tiffanie Harrison (Place 6). All five candidates the Republican Party of Texas and the 1776 Project Pac endorsed lost—John Keagy (Place 1; special election), Orlando Salinas (Place 3), Jill Farris (Place 4), Christie Slape (Place 5), and Don Zimmerman (Place 6). The Republican Party of Texas-backed candidates had run as a slate. 

Leander Independent School District, Texas

Five of seven seats—Places 1,2, 5, 6, and 7—were up for election. Incumbents Trish Bode (Place 1), Gloria Gonzales-Dholakia (Place 2), and Sade Fashokun (Place 5) won re-election. Fashokun completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection Survey. Click here to read her responses. Francesca Romans won in Place 6 (the incumbent did not file for re-election). Paul Gauthier won in Place 7, defeating incumbent Elexis Grimes and Joseph Gorordo. Gauthier was one of four candidates who ran on removing books they said were inappropriate in schools, and he was the only one of them to win election. 

Polk County Public Schools, Florida

Four seats were up for election, and we included the race for District 7 on our list of battlegrounds. 

Incumbent Lisa Bone Miller defeated Jill Sessions. 

Seminole County Public Schools, Florida

Three of five seats were up for election. Incumbent Kristine Kruas won her election for District 1 outright in the Aug. 23 primaries. 

In District 2, Kelley Davis defeated Sean Cooper. In District 5, Autumn Garick defeated Dana Fernandez. Both Garick and Fernandez completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, and we featured both candidates in the Sept. 14 edition of this newsletter. 

Brevard Public Schools, Florida

Three seats were up for election, but the races for Districts 1 and 5 were won outright in the Aug. 23 primaries. 

In the District 2 race, Gene Trent defeated Erin Dunne. The Brevard Republican Executive Committee had endorsed Trent, while the Brevard Democratic Party had endorsed Dunne. 

 San Diego Unified School District, California

Two seats were up for election, and we included the race for District C on our list of battlegrounds. 

Cody Petterson and Becca Williams ran in the election for District C. Although the race has not been called, as of this writing Petterson leads Williams 56.09% to 43.91%. The San Diego Education Association endorsed Petterson, while the Community Leadership Coalition backed Williams. 

Both Petterson and Williams completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. 

Extracurricular: education news from around the web

This section contains links to recent education-related articles from around the internet. If you know of a story we should be reading, reply to this email to share it with us! 

Take our Candidate Connection survey to reach voters in your district

So far in 2022, 375 school board candidates in 232 districts completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Throughout the year, we’ve featured many of these responses in this newsletter, giving you a look at the issues animating candidates and the themes around which these local elections have revolved. 

School board elections aren’t over for the year. Many districts in Louisiana will hold runoffs on Dec. 10

Today, we’re highlighting survey responses from two candidates who won in the Nov. 8 general elections. Justin Cook defeated Rae Parker in the general election for Rochester Public Schools Seat 2 in Minnesota. Adaline Villneurve Rutherford (R) defeated Rebecca Stogner in the election for St. Tammany Parish School Board District 3 in Louisiana. 

Here’s how Cook responded to the question, “What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

“I am passionate about public education generally. I see public education as the single best way to harness the latent potential of a community, and help it become the best version of its future self. Public education should certainly provide a robust instruction in the essential academic subjects, and I will insist on that. But an excellent public education should also allow for liberal exploration of diverse topics. The point is to provide an idea environment conducive to success by giving students opportunities to identify and pursue their passions. Once we get that part right – connecting students with their passions and giving them the support necessary to pursue them – then our community will benefit immensely with a far more robust, resilient, and diverse economy and through the contributions to civics and the arts that those students will provide.”

Click here to read the rest of Cook’s answers. 

Here’s how Rutherford responded to the question, “Please list below 3 key messages of your campaign. What are the main points you want voters to remember about your goals for your time in office?

  • “Our children deserve better! We need to get back to being the best! At one time the St. Tammany Parish School System was TOP, but now we are ranked 18th. Clearly, we are not utilizing our supportive community resources to maximize our teachers’ potential. I want to see CHANGE!
  • We need to address teacher and substitute shortages. We need to work harder to retain our teachers. We also need to quickly do background checks and get people signed up to substitute. We can’t have this continue the way it is.
  • Accountability and transparency are key. My priorities would be to hold the school board accountable fiscally, to be an accessible voice for my constituents and district employees, and move forward in a positive direction.”

Click here to read the rest of Rutherford’s answers.



At least 120+ state legislative incumbents lost on Nov. 8, with 343 races uncalled

Welcome to the Wednesday, November 16, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. At least 2.6% of state legislative incumbents lost on Nov. 8, with 343 races uncalled
  2. Voters addressed 132 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8
  3. Ballotpedia’s free down-ballot results webinar is tomorrow

At least 2.6% of state legislative incumbents lost on Nov. 8, with 343 races uncalled

We’ve finished processing 93% of the Nov. 8 races featuring state legislative incumbents. Based on preliminary results, at least 121 state legislative incumbents—73 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and three independent or minor party officeholders—have lost.

Forty-six states held state legislative elections for 88 of the country’s 99 chambers. Across those races, at least 2.6% of incumbents running for re-election have lost.

This figure is expected to increase. There are currently 343 races featuring incumbents that remain uncalled.

The states with the largest percentage of defeated incumbents so far are West Virginia and North Dakota, where 10.3% (9) and 10.4% (7) of incumbents on the ballot lost, respectively. Both states still have uncalled races featuring incumbents, so these figures could increase.

In ten states, no incumbents lost, though nine of those states still have uncalled races featuring incumbents. 

In Texas, all races are called, and, for the first time in over a decade, every incumbent running for re-election won.

Based on the races called so far, Democratic incumbents have lost at a higher rate than Republicans.

Of the 2,198 Democratic incumbents running in general elections, 73 (3.3%) have lost. For Republicans, 45 of the 2,405 who filed for re-election (1.9%) have lost.

We’ve also been keeping an eye on overall control of state legislative chambers and the effect those elections have had on state government trifectas. As of writing, Democrats have gained four trifectas in states that were under divided government heading into the election (Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota). Republicans and Democrats have both lost a single trifecta, with Republicans losing their trifecta in Arizona and Democrats losing theirs in Nevada.

With Alaska’s final trifecta status undetermined, there will be 22 states with Republican trifectas, 17 with Democratic trifectas, and 10 with divided government following this year’s elections.

Keep reading

Voters addressed 132 statewide ballot measures on Nov. 8

On Nov. 8, voters in 37 states decided on 132 statewide ballot measures. Let’s check in on the status of where they stand. As of Nov. 14, voters approved 87 (66%) and defeated 38 (29%). Seven (5%) remained uncalled; five were leaning ‘No’ and two were leaning ‘Yes.’

In 2020, 120 measures were on the ballot in November. Voters approved 88 (73%) and defeated 32 (27%). From 2010 to 2020, 67% of statewide ballot measures were approved. 

Nov. 8 wasn’t the last state ballot measure election of 2022. On Dec. 10, voters in Louisiana will decide on three constitutional amendments, including an amendment to prohibit local governments from allowing non-citizens to vote. The other two amendments would require Senate confirmation for appointees to the State Civil Service Commission and State Police Commission.

Earlier in 2022, voters in four states decided on five ballot measures. Voters approved three and rejected two of these measures.

Ballotpedia’s Editor in Chief Geoff Pallay and Managing Editor for Ballot Measures Ryan Byrne recapped the results in this year’s ballot measures in a webinar last week. Click here to view a free recording.

Keep reading 

Ballotpedia’s free down-ballot results webinar is tomorrow

You know the major election results; now let us fill you in on what you may not have seen on election day.

Join Ballotpedia’s Editor in Chief, Geoff Pallay, and Managing Editor, Cory Eucalitto for a breakdown of the key results and trends from 2022’s November elections. We’ll examine results from state-level elections to local ballot measures across the country.

The webinar will start at 2:30 p.m. Eastern. A recording will be made available here later Thursday.

Register here



Economy and Society, November 15, 2022: Former BlackRock senior adviser expresses concerns with ESG

Economy and Society is Ballotpedia’s weekly review of the developments in corporate activism; corporate political engagement; and the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) trends and events that characterize the growing intersection between business and politics.


ESG Developments This Week

In the States

State Financial Officers Foundation holds a conference and makes an announcement

This week, the State Financial Officers Foundation—a nonprofit organization aimed at encouraging fiscal responsibility among state treasurers and auditorsheld its semi-annual meeting in Washington, DC. The event—attended by more than two-dozen state officials—focused on election results, and included one stand-alone speech and three expert-panel discussions dedicated to ESG and the various impacts that it may have on states.

Additionally, SFOF and its state financial official members held a press conference to announce the launch of its new retail-oriented, constituent-targeted ESG campaign and website called “Our Money, Our Values”. The SFOF press release on its new campaign read as follows:

Today, the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) announced a new campaign titled “Our Money, Our Values” that will educate American public on the dangers of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).

The “Our Money, Our Values” campaign, which officially launched during the SFOF National Meeting in Washington, D.C., builds on the work of state financial officers from across the nation who have taken significant actions to prevent ESG from harming the citizens of their respective states.

“As SFOF members continue to fight for their constituents, it’s important the American people have an honest understanding of what ESG really is,” said SFOF CEO Derek Kreifels. “Our money should not be used to push policies that don’t align with our values and have nothing to do with maximizing the value of our retirements and pensions. We are launching ‘Our Money Our Values’ to help educate Americans everywhere who are being used by massive corporations like BlackRock, Vanguard, and StateStreet.”

As part of the campaign, SFOF debuted a new website that provides resources to everyday Americans so they can learn the truth about ESG and how it impacts their pocketbooks, livelihoods, and how it pushes a progressive agenda that often runs counter to American values….

To ensure the website is seen by as many Americans as possible, SFOF will begin a six-figure digital marketing effort.

On Wall Street and in the private sector 

Investors withdraw from ESG funds

Reuters reported on November 11 that ESG investment funds have seen an uptick in fund withdrawals over the last several months. In a piece titled “Money before climate; market downturn spurs ESG fund exodus,” the newswire said the following:

Funds adhering to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) principles have been hit by unprecedented outflows in the market downturn, as investors prioritize capital preservation over goals such as tackling climate change.

ESG, a classification applied to fund assets currently worth an estimated $6.5 trillion, is being tested by a drop in market values fuelled by concerns that central banks hiking interest rates to fight rampant inflation will trigger an economic recession.

Investors souring on ESG funds could pose a challenge to governments seeking to enlist them in the fight against climate change. Policymakers at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt are trying this week to secure more financing from the private sector to help lower carbon emissions.

Data from research service Refinitiv Lipper shows that funds of equities, debt and other asset types dedicated to responsible investing posted net outflows globally of $108 billion this year to the end of September, the first time investors withdrew money from them over such a long period since Refinitiv started tracking them in late 2017.

Moreover, investors pulled money out of responsible investment funds – defined as such because they use criteria like ESG or religious values in their investment decisions – faster, relative to their size, than broader market funds for all but two months of 2022 through September, the data shows….

Only 31% of actively managed ESG equity funds beat their benchmarks in the first half of 2022, compared to 41% of conventional funds, according to Refinitiv Lipper.

This represents a reversal of fortunes compared to the previous years.

Former Vice President Al Gore argues ESG investing is consistent with fiduciary duties of money managers

Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore (D) has previously defended ESG investing, and he re-emerged November 8 with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal arguing that ESG investing is consistent with investment managers’ fiduciary duties. Gore, along with his Generation Investment Management partner David Blood, wrote:

We co-founded Generation Investment Management with five other partners nearly 19 years ago as a pure-play sustainable-investment manager. We agree with much of the recent criticism of the way some investors have claimed to use environmental, social and governance factors. We are unsurprised by the recent backlash against the multiple definitions and confusing terminology, the overreliance on checklists, the potentially misleading marketing campaigns, and the frequent lack of rigor and accountability. But these criticisms are by no means evidence that sustainable investing and ESG are failed concepts. Instead, they are welcome challenges to ensure that sustainable investing and the incorporation of ESG factors are carefully defined, clearly understood and effectively practiced.

Sustainable investing is about investing in businesses that are driving toward a world with low greenhouse-gas emissions that is also prosperous, equitable, healthy and safe. It is consistent with the fiduciary duty that investment professionals owe their clients. Those who don’t take sustainability factors into account aren’t fulfilling that duty.

Widespread marketing and greenwashing campaigns have contributed to confusion in the financial marketplace about what ESG is and what it is not. Put simply, ESG analysis is a tool to advance sustainable investing; it isn’t an outcome in itself. We see environmental, social and governance factors as critical inputs into decisions about where to invest money. Investors should take ESG factors into account alongside more-traditional measures such as expected cash flow….

Since all businesses affect social and environmental issues, for good or ill, all investment must consider risk, return and impact as part of fiduciary duty. Negative environmental and social effects are headwinds on future business success; positive effects are tailwinds. Developing comparable data sets on impact, robust standards, and measurement and reporting norms should be the highest priority for sustainable investors. Accountability is essential.

We acknowledge that sustainable investing is hard. Not everything is a win-win. And not all businesses that are sustainable are good investments, because the fundamentals of finance still apply. Yet we believe sustainable investing is the best investment approach and will increasingly be recognized as such. Banning consideration of ESG factors would not only lead to poor investment outcomes; it would constitute a clear dereliction of fiduciary duty.

Former BlackRock senior adviser expresses concerns with ESG

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal published Angel Au-Yeung’s review of the new book “Sustainable: Moving Beyond ESG to Impact Investingby Terrence Keeley. A former BlackRock senior adviser, Keely wrote the book to express his concerns with the ESG investing model. Last year, Tariq Fancy, the former director of sustainable investing for BlackRock made headlines when he argued that ESG was a marketing tactic that had little or no impact on corporate sustainability or the environment. From the review:

Terrence Keeley had been at BlackRock Inc. for about a decade when he reached a contrarian conclusion: ESG doesn’t work. 

Mr. Keeley spent much of his time at the asset manager overseeing a group that nurtured relationships with central banks, finance ministries, family offices and sovereign-wealth funds. Under pressure from politicians and activists, some of these investors were looking to distance themselves from companies that fall short on environmental, social and governance factors. BlackRock obliged, helping clients funnel money toward companies whose values they share.

Mr. Keeley said the strategy has proved to be neither a reliable generator of returns nor a real catalyst for change. In his new book, “Sustainable: Moving Beyond ESG to Impact Investing,” he argues that investors should shift money away from ESG indexes toward “companies with persistent environmental and social problems and engaging them to change.”…

Mr. Keeley retired from BlackRock in July, and the asset manager isn’t likely to abandon the ESG model soon. Still, the book hints at a quiet debate within a firm that has embraced the sustainable-investing movement. And it comes as the world’s largest investor is taking heat from government officials on both sides of the climate debate—for doing too much to discourage investment in fossil-fuel companies and for not doing enough….

Mr. Keeley isn’t the first former BlackRock executive to break with the company on the merits of ESG investing.

The promise of ESG “lured me to join BlackRock to begin with,” Tariq Fancy, the firm’s former chief investment officer for sustainable investing, wrote in an August 2021 post on Medium. Mr. Fancy left BlackRock in 2019 convinced that the asset-management industry’s ESG push was “leading the world into a dangerous mirage, an oasis in the middle of the desert that is burning valuable time.” 

Mr. Fancy has said governments, not investors, must take the lead on climate change. Mr. Keeley believes the markets will play a major role—just not the way they are now.



Pivot Counties and their U.S. House elections

Welcome to the Tuesday, November 15, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Where things stand in America’s Pivot Counties
  2. Donald Trump’s endorsees won 87% of their races, decreasing to 37% in battleground contests
  3. U.S. House and Senate Republican leadership elections scheduled this week

Where things stand in America’s Pivot Counties

This is the part of the election season where we get to crunch the numbers and analyze what happened. Let’s get started.

Remember Pivot Counties? Those 206 counties that voted for Barack Obama (D) in 2008 and 2012 before voting for Donald Trump (R) in 2016? 

We last checked in on those counties in 2020 and found that 181—called Retained Pivot Counties—supported Trump again, while 25—called Boomerang Pivot Counties—switched back and supported Joe Biden (D).

Today, we are looking at how U.S. House races turned out in districts that overlap with these counties.

This year, 98 U.S. House districts overlapped with at least one Pivot County. As of Nov. 14, Republicans won 60 of those districts and Democrats won 35. Among the three uncalled races, Republicans lead in two.

These figures are about the same as in previous U.S. House elections (2020 and 2018) even after redistricting. 

Before redistricting, there were 102 districts overlapping Pivot Counties, of which Republicans won 64 in 2020 and Democrats won 38.

Although they began as swing counties in the 2016 election cycle, the voting pattern in these Pivot Counties appears to have become more reliable for one political party.

  • Seventy-three districts up in 2022 contained only Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won 49 of those districts, Democrats won 23, and another one is uncalled.
  • Twelve districts contained only Boomerang Pivot Counties. Democrats won eight of those districts and Republicans won four.
  • Thirteen districts contained both Boomerang and Retained Pivot Counties. Republicans won seven of those districts, Democrats won four, and another two are uncalled.

The map below shows the winner of each district in 2022 and what type of Pivot Counties the district overlaps.

We also took a look at Reverse-Pivot Counties, those six counties that voted for John McCain (R) in 2008, Mitt Romney (R) in 2012, and Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016. All six counties supported Biden in 2020.

Nineteen U.S. House districts overlapped these Reverse-Pivot Counties. As of Nov. 14, Democrats had won nine and Republicans had won eight. Both parties each lead in one of the two uncalled races.

Keep reading 

Donald Trump’s endorsees won 87% of their races, 37% in battleground contests

According to Ballotpedia’s tracking, former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed 257 candidates who appeared on the Nov. 8 ballot. This includes all regularly-scheduled general elections at all levels of government, Louisiana’s primaries, and the special U.S. Senate election in Oklahoma.

Trump’s endorsees won 209 of the 241 called races held on Nov. 8 (87%).

Thirty-five of those called races were battleground congressional or gubernatorial elections, rated as either a toss-up or lean/tilt Democratic or Republican by The Cook Political Report, Inside Election, or Sabato’s Crystal Ball.

Trump’s endorsees won 13 of the 35 called battleground races (37%).

Trump’s lowest win rate was in gubernatorial races, where he endorsed 21 candidates. Two of those races—in Alaska and Arizona—remain uncalled. Of the 19 elections where we know the outcome, nine of Trump’s endorsees won (47%)

The table below shows Trump’s total number of endorsements made and win rates by office level. The “Total” figures cover all candidates who appeared on Nov. 8 ballots and the “Battleground” figures cover the subset from that total number who ran in battleground elections.

Ballotpedia also tracks endorsements other noteworthy political figures made:

Keep reading 

U.S. House and Senate Republican leadership elections scheduled this week

Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate are expected to meet this week to select the party’s leadership in both chambers heading into 2023. House Republicans are expected to meet today, Nov. 15, and Senate Republicans are scheduled to meet on Nov. 16.

These dates are as of Nov. 14. In both the House and Senate, some Republican members have publicly requested a delay of the leadership elections until more pending elections are called.

In both chambers, Republican members will select several positions, including:

  • Party leader: the party’s top representative in the chamber. The position is either titled as majority or minority leader, depending on who controls the chamber. 
    • In the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is the current minority leader;
    • In the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
  • Whip: the member responsible for managing the party’s legislative program. Again, it’s called either majority or minority whip depending on chamber control.
    • In the House, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) is the current minority whip;
    • In the Senate, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
  • Conference chair: the member responsible for managing the party’s messaging.
    • In the House, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is the party’s current conference chair;
    • In the Senate, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
  • Election committee chairs: the member who chairs each chambers’ respective national political action committee, responsible for electing party members. For the House, this is the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and for the Senate it’s the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
    • The current NRCC chair is Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.)
    • The current NRSC chair is Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)

The speaker of the House will not be elected until the new 118th Congress convenes on Jan. 3, 2023, but it is common for parties to make known now who their selections will be then.

House members will make their pick tomorrow, but ultimately, who becomes speaker will depend on which party controls a majority of the chamber.

Even then, to become speaker, a person must receive a majority of votes cast. With all 435 members present, that is 218 votes, but if a member is absent or if a race remains uncalled and no member is sworn in on Jan. 3, the number of votes needed would decrease.

In a House where either party controls only a slim majority, a speaker nominee would need near-unanimous support from their party to win. This would give leverage to smaller groups within each party, who could vote against a nominee from their own party and prevent that majority-vote threshold.

House Democrats are expected to make their selections on Nov. 30 and Senate Democrats are set to meet sometime during the week of Dec. 5.

Keep reading



Split-ticket voting for U.S. Senate and governor

Welcome to the Monday, November 14, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Five states elected a U.S. Senator and governor from a different party (so far)
  2. An update on SCOTUS and federal vacancies  
  3. Intern at Ballotpedia—and get paid to provide critical information to voters!

Five states elected a U.S. Senator and governor from a different party (so far)

Twenty-six states held elections for governor and U.S. Senate on Nov. 8. As of this writing, we have results for 23 of them. Races in Alaska and Arizona are, as of this writing, uncalled. The U.S. Senate race in Georgia is headed for a Dec. 6 runoff and isn’t included in this analysis. 

Five of those 23 states elected a U.S. Senator and governor from a different party:

The chart below shows the share of the vote that the winning U.S. Senate and gubernatorial candidates won in each of the states that voted for both offices. 

In states where members of the same party won both offices, Senate candidates on average won a higher percentage of the vote than candidates for governor—59.4% to 57.9%.

Across all 23 states, nine had a gap of less than two percentage points between the winning gubernatorial and senatorial candidates, seven had a gap of between two and five percentage points, and seven had a gap of more than five percentage points. 

The five states with the largest ticket-split gap were:

  • Kansas: Gov. Kelly (D) won with 49.4% and U.S. Sen. Moran (R) won with 60.2% (10.8% gap). 
  • Ohio: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) won with 62.8% and J.D. Vance (R) won with 53.3% (a gap of 9.5%). 
  • Oregon: Tina Kotek (D) won with 47.0% and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D) won with 56.0% (9.0% gap).
  • Oklahoma: Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) won with 55.5% and U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R) won with 64.3% (8.8% gap). 
  • Hawaii: Josh Green (D) won with 63.2% and U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D) won with 71.2% (a gap of 8.0%). 

The five states with the smallest ticket-split gap were:

  • Nevada: Joe Lombardo (R) won with 48.9% and U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) won with 48.8% (a gap of 0.1%).
  • Idaho: Gov. Brad Little (R) won with 60.5% and U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo (R) won with 60.7% (a gap of 0.2%). 
  • Alabama: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) won with 67.4% and Katie Britt (R) won with 66.8% (a gap of 0.6%). 
  • Wisconsin: Gov. Evers (D) won with 51.2% and U.S. Sen. Johnson (R) won with 50.5% (a gap of 0.7%). 
  • Maryland: Wes Moore (D) won with 62.2% and U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D) won with 63.3% (a gap of 1.1%). 

You can read more about split-ticket voting at the link below. 

Keep reading

An update on SCOTUS and federal vacancies  

The wheels of justice don’t stop turning—even for midterm elections. So, here’s some news on the federal judiciary.  

U.S. Supreme Court 

The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is currently in its 2022-2023 term. On Nov. 4, the court granted review in the following cases: 

To date, the court has agreed to hear 39 cases this term. 

SCOTUS heard arguments in five cases last week. 

Nov. 7

Nov. 8

  • Mallory v. Norfolk Southern Railway Co. concerns the 14th Amendment’s due process clause and whether a state can require a corporation to agree to personal jurisdiction in order to do business in that state. Personal jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to issue rulings over the parties in a case. The parties must have minimum contact with the court’s forum—the state—in order for the court to exercise this authority.
  • Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana v. Talevski involves the U.S. Constitution’s Spending Clause, allowing Congress to raise taxes and spend money.

Nov. 9:

The court will next hear arguments on Nov. 28, when its December argument sitting begins. 

Federal judiciary vacancies 

As of Nov. 1, 87 of 890 active federal judicial positions were vacant. There were two new judicial vacancies since our Oct. 1 report. Including U.S. territorial courts, there were 89 federal judicial vacancies. 

The two new vacancies were created when U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Judge Charles Norgle and U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut Judge Stefan Underhill assumed senior status. 

Here’s how President Joe Biden’s (D) Article III judicial appointments compare to his predecessors at this point in his presidency.

  • Presidents have appointed an average of 77 judges through Nov. 1 of their second year in office.
  • President Bill Clinton (D) made the most appointments through Nov. 1 of his second year with 128. President Barack Obama (D) made the fewest with 43.
  • President Donald Trump (R) made the most appointments through four years with 234. President Reagan made the fewest through four years with 166.

Click below to learn more about federal judicial vacancies. 

Keep reading 

Intern at Ballotpedia—and get paid to provide critical information to voters!

Applications are now open for Ballotpedia’s spring 2023 internship program! Come help us build the digital encyclopedia of U.S. politics.

Paid internship opportunities are available in the Editorial and Communications departments. And did we mention these opportunities are remote?You just need a computer and an internet connection. 

Here are a few things you’ll do as an intern: 

  • As an Editorial intern, you’ll directly assist staff on one of our various teams—ballots, elections, marquee, news, etc.—with writing about federal, state, and local elections, researching candidate stances and biographies, tracking the news, and conducting research for special projects. 
  • As a Communications intern, you’ll help the team create social media posts and graphics, assist with various email products, from daily and weekly newsletters to special campaigns, handle communications from a variety of external sources, and coordinate and plan webinars, briefings, and other events. 

Interns will work 10-20 hours per week from Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, to Friday, May 5.

Here are a few testimonials from past interns—one of whom now works here in a full-time role!

“Being an intern at Ballotpedia gave me a fascinating look at political research from a completely neutral, fact-based perspective—ever important in our digital age. The editorial team was smart and kind, and I felt as though I fit right in. Working for Ballotpedia truly feels like working for a better future.” – Hunter Wasser, 2021 Summer Editorial Intern

“Participating in the editorial internship program was an exceptional learning experience that prepared me for my current role as a staff writer. Through the internship, I received extensive training on preventing bias, learned how to code the website, and worked on challenging projects, all with the support of helpful and encouraging Ballotpedia staff.” — Janie Valentine, 2019 Spring Intern and current Ballotpedia Staff Writer

If you’re interested in applying, or know someone who might be, you can find more information and a link to the application below. You can also email editor@ballotpedia.org if you have further questions.  

Apply today!



ICYMI: Where election results stand

WeeklyBrewHeader.png

Where elections stand: U.S. Senate

Partisan control of the chamber has not yet been determined, in part because races in Arizona, and Nevada remain uncalled (Alaska’s U.S. Senate election is also uncalled at this time, but the two candidates in the ranked-choice runoff with the most votes are Republicans, including the incumbent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski). The U.S. Senate election in Georgia is headed to a Dec. 6 runoff.

Read more

Where elections stand: U.S. House

Republicans needed to gain a net of five districts to win a majority in the U.S. House. Partisan control of the chamber is currently unknown because, according to our race calling policy, 31 races remain uncalled. As of this writing, eight incumbents have been defeated. These members include six Democrats and two Republicans.


Read more

Where elections stand: Governors

Thirty-six states held elections for governor, including 20 with a Republican governor and 16 with a Democratic governor going into the elections. The gubernatorial elections in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon remain uncalled. Of the races already called, two states—Maryland and Massachusetts—saw partisan control change from Republican to Democrat.

Read more

A post-election ballot measures round-up

On Nov. 8, voters decided on 132 statewide ballot measures in 37 states. As of this writing, 81 (61.36%) statewide ballot measures were approved, 36 (27.27%) were defeated, and 15 (11.36%) remained uncalled. Some highlights:

  • Voters approved ballot measures establishing a state constitutional right to abortion in California, Michigan, and Vermont.
  • Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved marijuana legalization ballot measures. Voters in Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota rejected their measures.
  • In Nebraska, voters approved Initiative 432, which added language to the state constitution requiring photo identification to vote.
  • In Nevada, Question 3 would adopt open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections. Approval of Question 3 in 2022 would require a second vote in 2024 before the measure would become law. As of Nov. 11, ‘yes’ was leading with 52%.

Click here to watch our Nov. 10 webinar summarizing what happened on the ballot measure front with Editor in Chief, Geoff Pallay, and Managing Editor for Ballot Measures, Ryan Byrne.

Read more

Key takeaways from state legislative elections

In Tuesday’s state legislative elections, Democrats gained four chambers and four trifectas, while Republicans expanded their margins in several states. 

Democrats flipped chambers in Michigan and Minnesota, creating new trifectas there. Both states previously had divided governments. Democrats also gained trifectas in Maryland and Massachusetts where the party maintained legislative majorities but gained control of governorships.

While Republicans have not yet gained control of any new chambers this cycle, the party has expanded its control in several states. In Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, Republicans gained veto-proof majorities in at least one chamber.

Read more