Schultz decides against independent 2020 run



Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News BriefingSeptember 6, 2019: Howard Schultz announced Friday that he would not run for president. South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas are expected to cancel their presidential primaries.

Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.

Daily Presidential News Briefing - Staffer Spotlight - Erin Wilson

Erin Wilson is a Democratic staffer with extensive experience in Pennsylvania politics. Wilson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in political science and government in 2005.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, Pennsylvania deputy state director
  • 2008 Bob Roggio (D-Penn.) U.S. House campaign, senior advisor
  • 2006 Bob Casey (D-Penn.) U.S. Senate campaign, deputy political director
  • 2004 Joe Hoeffel (D-Penn.) U.S. Senate campaign, political coordinator

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: Office of Sen. Bob Casey, state director
  • 2014-2016: Democratic National Committee, Northeast political director
  • 2007-2014: Office of Sen. Bob Casey
    • 2011-2014: Deputy state director
    • 2009-2011: Director of outreach and special projects
    • 2007-2009: Regional representative
  • 2005-2006: Office of Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.), assistant to the first lady
  • 2002-2004: Rock the Vote, Philadelphia street team leader


Notable Quote of the Day

“While the ability to generate big crowds is certainly nice — it may signal enthusiasm among highly engaged voters or produce favorable media coverage — you should ignore any candidate, surrogate or media outlet that tells you that large crowd sizes mean that the polls are underestimating a candidate’s support. It’s just spin; polls are much more accurate at forecasting elections than crowd-size estimates, which don’t tell us all that much.

For every example like 2008, when then-Sen. Barack Obama’s huge crowds seemed to reflect real enthusiasm for his campaign, there is one like 2012, when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won his primary despite drawing noticeably small crowds on the campaign trail. Or take what happened in 2016. Despite a lot of hay being made about crowd sizes during the 2016 campaign, that cycle also was an argument against crowd sizes being predictive. Although now-President Trump did often draw large crowds at his primary rallies, Hillary Clinton reportedly beat him out for largest crowd of the 2016 campaign, 40,000 to 30,000. And at roughly this point in the Democratic primary in 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders was outdrawing Clinton!”

 – Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight


  • Nineteen Democratic candidates—all but Wayne Messam—are expected to appear at the New Hampshire Democratic Convention over the weekend. 
  • The Human Rights Campaign Foundation will host a presidential town hall on CNN about LGBT issues on Oct. 10. Joe BidenPete ButtigiegJulián CastroKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, and Elizabeth Warren are set to attend. Other presidential candidates may join the event in the coming weeks.
  • Michael Bennet will campaign in Massachusetts Friday and New Hampshire Saturday.
  • Biden will make his first visit to Alabama as a presidential candidate on Sunday. Politico profiled his southern state strategy and the importance of South Carolina to his campaign.
  • In an interview on Tucker Carlson TonightBill de Blasio discussed his mayoral experience, automation, and gun buyback programs.
  • BuzzFeed News profiled Cory Booker in an article titled, “Will Cory Booker’s America Rise?”
  • Buttigieg spoke about Afghanistan, his Episcopalian faith, and climate change on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Thursday night. Buttigieg made his first television ad buy of the campaign, spending $87,000 in Iowa markets.
  • John Delaney issued his digital privacy and technology platform on Thursday, which includes federal legislation modeled after the California Consumer Privacy Act, protections for consumers who opt out of data collection, and a requirement that companies obtain informed consent before recording and storing private conversations through communication devices. 
  • Tulsi Gabbard spoke at the “Politics & Eggs” series in New Hampshire on Thursday. She will remain in the state through Saturday.
  • Bernie Sanders will speak at Iowa State University Sunday as part of his college tailgate tour.
  • Joe Sestak discussed his campaign strategy in an interview on CBS News Thursday.
  • In an interview with CNBC, Tom Steyer discussed why he did not believe his wealth should disqualify him in the Democratic primary.
  • Andrew Yang said he would not run as a third-party candidate if he lost the Democratic nomination because it would increase Trump’s chances of winning.


  • Donald Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale will headline the California Republican Convention.
  • Joe Walsh responded to reports that Republican parties in South Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Kansas were expected to cancel their presidential primaries. He said, “It’s wrong, the RNC should be ashamed of itself, and I think it does show that Trump is afraid of a serious primary challenge because he knows his support is very soft.”
  • Bill Weld also criticized the planned cancellations, saying, “We don’t elect presidents by acclamation in America. Donald Trump is doing his best to make the Republican Party his own personal club. Republicans deserve better.”
  • South Carolina GOP Chairman Drew McKissick defended the plan, saying, “As a general rule, when either party has an incumbent president in the White House, there’s no rationale to hold a primary.”

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Howard Schultz announced Friday that he would not run for president. “My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time,” he wrote in a statement.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 6, 2015

After reaching a $1 million crowdfunding goal, Harvard Law professor Larry Lessig said that he was running for president.


De Blasio could drop out by Oct. 1 if he does not qualify for fourth debate


Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 5, 2019: Bill de Blasio said he could drop out of the presidential race by Oct. 1. Michael Bennet released an education plan focused on primary and secondary education.

 Daily Presidential News Briefing - Morning Consult (Early States) August 26 - September 1, 2019
Daily Presidential News Briefing - Morning Consult (National) August 26 - September 1, 2019

Notable Quotes of the Day

“Yet it’s been an uphill battle for the progressive judicial groups pressing candidates to talk about the courts. In five hours of debate between 2020 Democratic candidates in July, for example, judicial nominations weren’t brought up once. … No Democratic candidate has released a list of judges they would consider nominating to the Supreme Court the way Trump did in 2016.”

– Tessa Berenson, TIME

“They clearly need to step up. Too often the Democrats have ceded to the right the federal courts, allowing them to energize their base. Judges make decisions that affect every aspect of our life, and by ignoring this topic, they do so at their peril, because Americans do care.”

– Nan Aron, president of Alliance for Justice Action Campaign


  • Michael Bennet issued an education policy proposal focused on primary and secondary education that would expand home visits, child nutrition programs, exposure to vocabulary, the Child Tax Credit, and universal preschool.

  • Joe Biden appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night and will remain in New York for two fundraisers on Thursday.

  • Bill de Blasio said he could drop out of the presidential race if he did not qualify for the fourth primary debate by Oct. 1.

  • Cory Booker will campaign Friday in Portland, Maine.

  • Steve Bullock called for the creation of an Office of Rural Affairs in his rural policy proposal released Wednesday. Bullock also said he would end the trade war, launch rural opportunity zones, address infrastructure issues, and expand the Conservation Reserve Program.

  • Pete Buttigieg will attend a fundraiser Friday in Greenwich, Connecticut.

  • John Delaney tweeted a video explaining his plan to reach net-zero carbon emissions.

  • The Atlantic profiled Tulsi Gabbard in an article titled, “Tulsi Gabbard, the Mystery Candidate.”

  • Kamala Harris will campaign in New Hampshire Friday.

  • Amy Klobuchar will speak about the economy at Manchester Community College Friday as part of a presidential forum series.

  • Wayne Messam appeared in a news report about how Miramar responded to Hurricane Dorian.

  • Beto O’Rourke will campaign in Massachusetts Thursday with a stop at Tufts University.

  • Tim Ryan will speak at a town hall Friday in New Hampshire in partnership with NARAL.

  • In an appearance on The ViewBernie Sanders discussed the difference between his 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.

  • Tom Steyer will speak at the University of New Hampshire’s new 2020 presidential primary series on Friday.

  • In an interview on NPR Politics PodcastElizabeth Warren spoke about student loan debt, the filibuster, and gun safety legislation.

  • Marianne Williamson will campaign in New Hampshire Friday.

  • Andrew Yang appeared on CBS This Morning, where he discussed how he could appeal to Trump voters.


  • Donald Trump campaign officials said Trump could hold rallies in Minnesota, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada by the end of the year.

  • New York Magazine interviewed Joe Walsh about his presidential campaign, racism, Islam, and the media.

Flashback: September 5, 2015

NBC News reported on the Draft Biden initiative’s efforts in Iowa.



The Daily Brew: North Carolina must redraw state legislative maps

Today’s Brew highlights a North Carolina Superior Court decision rejecting the state’s legislative districts + a roundup of local election news  
 The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Thursday, September 5, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. North Carolina court strikes down state’s legislative maps as partisan gerrymander
  2. Local Roundup
  3. Texas governor appoints former appeals court judge to state supreme court

North Carolina court strikes down state’s legislative maps as partisan gerrymander

You may have heard that a North Carolina court struck down the state’s legislative districts September 3 as an impermissible partisan gerrymander under the state constitution. Here’s a brief summary of the case along with the next steps. 

A group of plaintiffs—including Common Cause and the Democratic Party of North Carolina—filed suit against the state legislative district map adopted by the general assembly in 2017. This redistricting plan was a remedial map used after certain districts were deemed to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders in 2016 by a federal district court. The lawsuit alleged that the state legislative district map infringed upon the rights to equal protection, free speech, association, and free elections guaranteed by the state constitution. 

A three-judge panel of state superior court judges–Paul Ridgeway, Joseph Crosswhite, and Alma Hinton–ruled unanimously in favor of the plaintiffs. In their ruling, the judges wrote, “[The] 2017 Enacted Maps, as drawn, do not permit voters to freely choose their representative, but rather representatives are choosing voters based upon sophisticated partisan sorting. It is not the free will of the people that is fairly ascertained through extreme partisan gerrymandering. Rather, it is the carefully crafted will of the map drawer that predominates.”

Senate Majority Leader Phil Berger (R) announced that state Republicans would not appeal the decision. In a statement, he said, “We disagree with the court’s ruling as it contradicts the Constitution and binding legal precedent, but we intend to respect the court’s decision and finally put this divisive battle behind us.”

North Carolina Superior Court justices are elected to eight-year terms. From 1998 through 2016, these elections were nonpartisan; however, they became partisan elections starting in 2018. Ridgeway, Crosswhite, and Hinton were each last elected unopposed in 2014, 2016, and 2012, respectively.

The court ordered state lawmakers to draft remedial maps by September 18 for use in the 2020 election cycle. Should lawmakers fail to adopt remedial maps, the court will appoint a referee to develop and recommend remedial maps to the court. All 50 seats in the state Senate and 120 seats in the state House are up for election in 2020. The filing deadline for state legislative seats is December 20, 2019. The primary is scheduled for March 3, 2020.

North Carolina currently has divided government. Democrat Roy Cooper was elected governor in 2016 and is running for re-election in 2020. Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature—a 29-21 majority in the state Senate and a 65-55 majority in the state House. 

The latest edition of The Ballot Bulletin—our free monthly newsletter covering federal, state, and local election policy—comes out next week. Click here to instantly subscribe and get full coverage of this story.

Learn more



Local Roundup 

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

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

Middleton, Idaho→

Recall efforts were unsuccessful in removing three members of the Middleton School District board of trustees in Middleton, Idaho, at elections held August 27. The recall effort against one board member did not succeed because the number of votes in favor of recall was not higher than the number of votes the board member received in her last election in 2017. The recalls against two other board members were defeated by margins of five and six votes, respectively. All three board members retained their seats. 

Charlotte, North Carolina→

Charlotte is holding partisan primaries for mayor and 10 of the 11 seats on its city council September 10. Mayor Vi Lyles is running for her second two-year term and faces four Democratic challengers. If no candidate receives more than 30% in the primary, a runoff will be held October 8. The Democratic nominee will face the sole Republican mayoral candidate—David Michael Rice—in the November 5 general election. Some Charlotte-area voters are in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which is also holding a special election on September 10. 

Toledo, Ohio→

Toledo is holding nonpartisan primaries for five city council seats September 10 in districts where three or more candidates are running. There is no primary in the sixth district since there are only two candidates. The top two finishers in each race—regardless of party—will advance to the general election November 5. Two municipal court judges and the clerk of the municipal court are also up for election. The incumbents for all three positions are running for re-election and no other candidates filed to run against them.

Four of the six districts holding elections in 2019 feature incumbent council members running for re-election. The Toledo City Council has 12 members—six elected at large and one from each of six districts. The at-large council members—along with the mayor—are up for election in 2021.

Texas governor appoints former appeals court judge to state supreme court

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) appointed Jane Bland on August 26 to a seat on the Texas Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created when Jeff Brown was confirmed to a federal district judgeship in July. She previously served as a Texas appeals court judge from 2003 to 2018. Bland—who ran as a Republican— was defeated for re-election by Gordon Goodman (D) in 2018. 

The Texas Supreme Court is comprised of nine justices that serve six-year terms elected in partisan elections. If a vacancy occurs, the governor appoints a replacement until the next general election. 

If the legislature is in session when a supreme court appointment is made, the Texas Senate must confirm the appointee. Since the legislature was not in session, the Senate did not have to confirm Bland’s appointment. She must stand for re-election in 2020 to remain on the court.

Four current Texas Supreme Court justices were originally appointed by former Gov. Rick Perry (R) and three were initially appointed by Gov. Abbott. The other two justices—both Republicans—were initially chosen by voters in partisan elections.

There have been 18 state supreme court vacancies in 2019 in 12 of the 29 states where replacement justices are appointed instead of elected. Thirteen of the vacancies were caused by retirements. Two former justices took jobs in the private sector. One vacancy occurred when a justice was elevated to chief justice of the court, and two others occurred when the justices were confirmed to federal judicial positions.

Learn more→


2020 Dems release clean energy plans before CNN town hall


Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 4, 2019: Several 2020 Democrats have released climate change plans ahead of Wednesday night’s CNN town hall on climate change. The fourth Democratic primary debate is set for Oct. 15-16.



Notable Quotes of the Day

“Harris is trying to run in a lane very similar to what Rubio tried to do in 2016. They’re both new faces, running as next-generation candidates against candidates that in many ways represent the past. They came into the campaign with ideological credentials but a message that would play well in the general.”

It’s a good strategy for coming in second. If you’re acceptable to everyone you’re not necessarily loved by anyone.”

– Alex Conant, communications director for 2016 Rubio presidential campaign

“As the field is narrowing, this next debate will have fewer Democrats on the stage. Kids are back to school. Moms and dads are back from vacations. They’re starting to pay attention more here, as well. I do think there’s still time for Kamala to move forward. I think she’s a very polished politician, a good elected official, someone with a strong background, and she’ll make her case. I wouldn’t just count her out entirely yet.

 – Joe Crowley, former Democratic House Caucus chairman


  • The fourth Democratic presidential primary debate is scheduled for Oct. 15-16, 2019, in Ohio.

  • Ten candidates will participate in a climate change town hall event spanning seven hours on CNN Wednesday evening: Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie SandersElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

  • Michael Bennet will speak at an education town hall on Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

  • Bill de Blasio launched the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes in New York City Tuesday, naming Deborah Lauter its executive director.

  • Booker issued his $3 trillion climate change platform, which would include investments to advance environmental justice, a transition to a carbon-neutral economy by no later than 2045, the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, and a $400 billion investment to create a clean energy workforce.

  • Steve Bullock will appear on The Daily Show Thursday night.

  • Buttigieg proposed three pillars in his $1.1 trillion climate change proposal Wednesday morning: building a clean economy, investing in disaster relief and prevention, and promoting America’s international role in combating climate change.

  • Julián Castro released his “People and Planet First” environmental plan. “Together, we will direct $10 trillion in federal, state, local, and private investments over the next decade to create ten million good paying jobs, transition away from fossil fuels, build a 100 percent clean-energy economy, and lead the world in the 21st century,” he wrote in a Medium post introducing the plan.

  • Tulsi Gabbard campaigned in Dubuque and Waterloo Tuesday. She said she would remain in the race through the Iowa caucuses.

  • Harris released her $10 trillion climate plan, which includes promoting environmental justice, ending subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, implementing a progressive fee on carbon pollution, and creating a clean energy economy by 2045.

  • Amy Klobuchar finished second in her home state’s straw poll conducted at the Minnesota State Fair with 16 percent support. Warren topped the field with 38 percent support.

  • Wayne Messam tweeted about local disaster relief efforts for the Bahamas. 

  • Tim Ryan is finishing a three-day tour of South Carolina Thursday.

  • Joe Sestak is speaking at the Iowa Caucus Consortium’s candidate forum series Wednesday, along with several other stops in the state.

  • Tom Steyer held a climate change town hall Tuesday in Oakland.

  • Warren announced Tuesday that she was endorsing and adopting Jay Inslee’s climate plan and would commit an additional $1 trillion over 10 years to subsidize the transition to a clean energy economy.

  • Marianne Williamson is speaking at the Las Vegas Enlightenment Center Wednesday.


  • Joe Walsh discussed his presidential campaign, Trump’s potential impact on other 2020 elections, and the state of conservative media on John Ziegler’s Individual 1 podcast.

Flashback: September 4, 2019

Hillary Clinton apologized for her private email server use in her third nationally televised interview as a 2016 presidential candidate.



Klobuchar releases climate plan

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

September 3, 2019: Amy Klobuchar released a climate plan. Seven Democratic candidates attended Labor Day picnics in Iowa and Illinois.

Eight new candidates filed with the FEC since last week, including two Democrats, one Libertarian, and one Green. In total, 840 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Which of the following presidential candidates did not carry any state by a margin larger than 90%?

Notable Quote of the Day

“[S]ince no incumbent president has been denied his party’s nomination for re-election since 1852, assessing the merits of a president’s primary opponent is a subjective venture. It is, however, clear that any serious candidate challenging a sitting president position themselves as ideologically more doctrinaire than the incumbent. Ronald Reagan’s strike at Gerald Ford in 1976, Ted Kennedy’s 1980 bid against Jimmy Carter, Pat Buchanan’s 1992 challenge to George H.W. Bush all followed this model. And that explains why former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld’s primary challenge has generated almost no traction, whereas former Reps. Joe Walsh and former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford might do so.”

 – Noah Rothman, associate editor of Commentary magazine


  • Michael BennetJoe BidenSteve BullockPete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar attended the Hawkeye Area Labor Council Labor Day Picnic in Iowa. Bennet, Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson attended the Salute To Labor Chicken Fry Picnic held by the Rock Island County Democratic Party in Illinois.
  • Joe Biden said he “wasn’t trying to mislead anybody” in response to a Washington Post piece that said the details of a story he told on the campaign trail about a Navy captain who refused a Silver Star medal were not accurate. Biden said, “[T]he story was that he refused the medal because the fella he tried to save — and risked his life saving — died. That’s the beginning, middle and end. The rest of you guys can take it and do what you want with it.”
  • Michael Bennet told a crowd in Aspen, Colorado, Friday that he would remain in the race after not qualifying for the third primary debate.
  • Bill de Blasio appeared on WMUR’s “Conversation with the Candidate” series in New Hampshire.
  • Cory Booker published a piece in Time magazine titled, “A Waitress I Knew Made $2.13 an Hour. I Wish She Lived to Get a Fair Shake in This Economy,” in which he called for making it easier to join a union, reinvigorating antitrust agencies, and prioritizing long-term investments in workers over short-term returns to investors.
  • Bullock and Gabbard marched in the Dubuque, Iowa, Labor Day Parade Monday.
  • Buttigieg‘s campaign manager Mike Schmuhl said, “Labor Day for us is really going to be a turning point. … It’s when we’ll flip the switch.” Schmuhl said the campaign will have 100 staffers in Iowa by the end of September.
  • Julián Castro and Bernie Sanders attended a forum as part of the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention in Houston, Texas, on Saturday.
  • John Delaney appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC Friday, where he discussed his campaign strategy and said Iowa’s economy is being destroyed by the trade war.
  • Kamala Harris published a piece in The Denver Post titled, “Colorado teachers’ pay is unacceptably low. Here’s how I’ll fix it,” in which she proposed increasing teacher pay with a mix of federal and state funding and recruiting diverse teachers. 
  • Klobuchar released a climate plan Sunday, including the goals of 100% net zero emissions by 2050, participating in the Paris Climate Agreement, and restoring the Clean Power Plan. 
  • Wayne Messam helped fill sandbags in Miramar, Florida, ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
  • Beto O’Rourke responded to a shooting in Midland-Odessa, by saying, “We don’t know how many have been killed. We don’t know the motivation. But here’s what we do know: This is f***** up.” His campaign began selling T-Shirts featuring the final phrase, saying proceeds would go to Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives.
  • Tim Ryan campaigned in Canfield, Ohio, on Saturday, where he told WFMJ there was “no shot” he would drop out of the race after not qualifying for the third primary debate.
  • Joe Sestak and Gabbard spoke at a Western Iowa Labor Federation picnic Sunday.
  • Tom Steyer said on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari that he would continue running after not qualifying for the third primary debate and criticized the Democratic National Committee for rejecting Iowa’s proposed virtual caucus.
  • Politico reported that aides to three presidential candidates said they were increasing opposition research against Elizabeth Warren ahead of the third primary debate.
  • Marianne Williamson published a piece in The Washington Post titled, “America doesn’t just have a gun crisis. It has a culture crisis,” in which she says the country has a culture of violence and calls for a U.S. Department of Peace.
  • Axios published a piece saying that, while Andrew Yang ranks 6th in polling average among Democratic presidential candidates, he is 13th in cable news mentions and 14th in “articles written about.”


  • Donald Trump‘s campaign flew planes with campaign banners over beaches and riverfronts in Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Erie, and Virginia Beach on Labor Day.
  • Joe Walsh was on WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Weekend Morning News to discuss why he’s running in the Republican primary. He talked about things he thinks Trump has done right and wrong.
  • Bill Weld campaigned in New Hampshire, making a stop at the Rotary Club of Manchester’s Cruising Downtown classic car event Saturday.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Mark Sanford said in an interview with Fox News about a potential Republican primary bid, “It would be something of a David and Goliath story. I mean it’s impossible at many different levels. It’d be a very steep climb. But you know that going in.” He planned to announce whether he is running around Labor Day but said Monday he would delay his decision until after Hurricane Dorian passes.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: September 3, 2015

Donald Trump signed a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee. Jeb Bush said he would support Trump if he became the

The Daily Brew: DNC rejects virtual caucuses in Iowa, Nevada

Today’s Brew highlights the DNC’s rejection of phone caucus plans + efforts to lower the voting age in California  
 The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, Sept. 4, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Democratic National Committee rejects virtual caucusing for Iowa in 2020
  2. California Assembly approves two state amendments lowering voting age
  3. 79% of Ballotpedia survey respondents say a president’s running mate choice affects their vote

Democratic National Committee rejects virtual caucusing for Iowa in 2020

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has rejected the Iowa Democratic Party’s plans to conduct virtual caucuses in the state—which would allow people to participate by phone—from January 29 to February 3, 2020. The DNC recommended on August 30 that its Rules and Bylaws Committee reject Iowa’s virtual caucus plans, as well as similar plans developed in Nevada.

DNC leadership said in a statement, “There is no tele-caucus system available that meets our standard of security and reliability given the scale needed for the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the current cybersecurity climate.” Both states had proposed the virtual caucus option to comply with new DNC rules that required that states holding caucuses institute absentee voting to facilitate participation by those unable to attend in person.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price said he will work to find an alternative that addresses the DNC’s concerns. At an Aug. 30 news conference, he said, “We’re going to continue to work with the DNC to make sure that our caucuses are a success in 2020.” The DNC has said that it will give final approval to Iowa’s caucus plans on Sept. 13. 

The 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses had 171,517 participants, the second-highest number in the event’s history. The 2008 caucuses had 239,872 participants. The 2016 Iowa Republican caucuses had a record 182,000 participants.

Des Moines Democratic Party chairman John Smith stated, “We might have to drop the caucuses and do a primary in order to meet the DNC’s requirements.” If Iowa changes its caucus system to a primary, it could disrupt the rest of the Democratic nominating calendar. State law requires New Hampshire to hold the nation’s first presidential primary. Iowa’s caucuses are currently scheduled for February 3. The New Hampshire primary is set for February 11.

Learn more



California Assembly approves two state amendments lowering voting age 

The California State Assembly approved two constitutional amendments in August that would reduce the state’s voting age from 18 to 17. If approved by the state Senate, voters could decide both amendments at California’s next statewide primary in March 2020. 

One proposal—ACA 4—would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in that year’s primaries and special elections. Sixteen states allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in that year’s primaries.

The other proposal—ACA 8—would make California the first state in the nation to lower the voting age from 18 to 17 for all elections. If approved by voters, ACA 8 will go into effect for the November 3, 2020, general election.

According to an Assembly Floor Analysis from the Office of the Chief Clerk of the California Assembly, “Because the US Constitution only addresses abridging the right to vote and this measure expands voting rights there appears to be no conflict with the federal constitution. In an opinion dated April 12, 2004, the Legislative Counsel opined that an amendment to the California Constitution to permit a person under the age of 18 to vote would not violate federal law.” 

Fifty-six Democrats and two Republicans voted for ACA 4. Twelve Republicans and one Democrat voted against it. Fifty-four Democrats and three Republicans voted for ACA 8. Thirteen Republicans and three Democrats voted against the measure. Both amendments needed a two-thirds majority—53 votes—to pass the state Assembly.  

A two-thirds majority in the state Senate—27 votes—is needed to pass a constitutional amendment. The 40-member state Senate is composed of 29 Democrats and 11 Republicans. California is one of 16 states that requires a two-thirds vote in each legislative chamber during one legislative session to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot. 

The state Senate has not yet acted on either measure. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn Sept. 13.

Between 1995 and 2018, the California Legislature has asked voters to decide 32 constitutional amendments. Voters approved 27—or 84%—of those amendments.

Learn more→

79% of Ballotpedia survey respondents say a president’s running mate choice affects their vote

By this time next year, both major parties’ presidential tickets will be set after the Democratic National Convention takes place from July 13-16, 2020, and the Republican National Convention is held from Aug. 24-27, 2020. 

Last week’s What’s the Tea? question asked, When voting, how much does a presidential candidate’s running mate impact your decision? 

What's the tea?

Learn more→

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Status of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

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Forty states allow local school districts to set school starting dates 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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FEC lacks quorum after vice-chair resigns

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more→


Union files suit challenging provisions of Wisconsin Act 10

On Aug. 26, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 and two of its members, Karen Erickson and Heath Hanrahan, filed a suit in U.S. District Court challenging Wisconsin Act 10, legislation enacted in 2011 that made multiple changes to the state’s public-sector labor relations laws.

Who are the parties to the suit?
Plaintiffs Erickson and Hanrahan are municipal employees of Marinette County, Wisconsin. Their union, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139, represents approximately 9,500 workers in Wisconsin. The defendant is James Daley, chairman of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

What’s at issue?
Act 10 prohibits municipal employers from negotiating with a union over “any factor or condition of employment except wages.” The law prohibits employers from deducting union dues from municipal employees’ paychecks. Act 10 also establishes annual recertification elections for municipal employee unions. In these elections, a union must receive at least 51 percent of the votes of all employees in the bargaining unit in order to be certified as the exclusive representative of those employees.

The plaintiffs allege these provisions of Act 10 violate the free-speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiffs also argue that previous court decisions upholding these provisions of Act 10 should be reconsidered in light of the Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision. This contrasts with the ways in which Janus has been invoked in other suits to challenge union-backed laws and practices (e.g., dues-deduction authorization windows, paid time off for union activities, etc.).

What comes next?
The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. A judge has not yet been assigned to the case. The case name and number are International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 v. Daley, 2:19-cv-01233-DEJ.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 102 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map August 30, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart August 30, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s)

Union Station partisan chart August 30, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken since our last issue. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number.

  • California AB314: This bill would require employers to grant employees paid time for certain union activities.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing scheduled Aug. 30.

DNC to reject Iowa and Nevada virtual caucus plans

 Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 30, 2019: The Democratic National Committee will reject Iowa’s and Nevada’s virtual caucus plans. Shirley Shawe spent $500,000 on an ad against Joe Biden.

     Each Friday, we’ll highlight a presidential candidate’s key campaign staffer.


Noland Chambliss is an independent consultant with experience in organizational identity development and strategic communications. He graduated from Vassar College in 2006 with a degree in political science.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, field organizer and deputy field director

Other experience:

  • 2016 – present: Independent consultant
  • 2015 – present: The Dream Corps, board member
  • 2016-2018: SYPartners, strategist
  • 2012-2015:, strategic communications team and director of external affairs
  • 2009-2011: Chief of staff to Van Jones

Notable Quotes of the Day

“I don’t think the fact that [Kirsten Gillibrand] was talking about equal pay, sexual assaults in the military, or reproductive rights turned off any Democratic voters. I just think no candidate can only be focused on one gender.”

– Patti Solis Doyle, 2008 Hillary Clinton campaign manager

“She could never get enough oxygen. None of the candidates, outside just a few, really can. She just never got a look — a real look — from anybody outside the people she personally met. But the DNC qualifications squeezed the amount of time any of these candidates can actually do that.”

– Jeff Link, Democratic consultant


  • The Democratic National Committee will reject Iowa’s and Nevada’s virtual caucus plans because of security concerns. The states will need to find an alternative solution to be in compliance with new party rules on expanding access to voting.
  • Michael Bennet will campaign in Iowa Sunday with stops at Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.
  • Shirley Shawe, whose son’s business was hurt following a dispute in the Delaware Chancery Court system, spent $500,000 on an ad criticizing Joe Biden for defending the bankruptcy court system. It will begin airing this week in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Delaware.
  • Bill de Blasio spoke at the Nevada AFL-CIO annual convention Thursday.
  • On Monday, Cory Booker will campaign in Nevada and speak at Rep. Steven Horsford’s Labor Day Cookout.
  • Steve Bullock will campaign in Iowa from Friday through Sunday.
  • Pete Buttigieg senior adviser Lis Smith described the three phases of Buttigieg’s campaign in an interview with BuzzFeed News. The third and current phase, according to Smith, is building up campaign organization in the early primary states.
  • Julián Castro will continue to campaign in South Carolina Friday, with stops in Charleston and Beaufort. 
  • John Delaney released a statement about his decision to remain in the race after not qualifying for the third debate. It included 10 principles he said would be absent from that debate.
  • Tulsi Gabbard said she would not run as an independent candidate if her Democratic bid was unsuccessful. She will hold a town hall in Georgia Friday and campaign in Iowa over the weekend.
  • Kamala Harris issued a disability policy plan on Thursday, covering Medicare for All, long-term and in-home services, and senior-level White House positions for individuals with disabilities.
  • Amy Klobuchar announced she is opening five new field offices in New Hampshire in the coming weeks.
  • Beto O’Rourke issued his trade plan Thursday, which would eliminate Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, allow for defensive currency intervention, and invest in job training programs to increase competitiveness.
  • Tim Ryan’s national organizing director, Zach Fang, has left Ryan’s campaign and joined Andrew Yang’s in the same role.
  • Bernie Sanders will campaign in South Carolina Friday and New Hampshire and Maine Sunday.
  • Tom Steyer released his tax returns from 2009 to 2017, showing he earned $1.2 billion and he and his wife paid $264 million in federal taxes and $141 million in state taxes.
  • Elizabeth Warren will make her fifteenth trip to New Hampshire on Monday, where she will hold a house party in Hampton Falls.
  • Marianne Williamson will campaign in Georgia over the weekend.


  • Donald Trump canceled a scheduled trip to Poland to remain in the United States as Hurricane Dorian approaches landfall on the East Coast. 
  • Joe Walsh said he thought that “there is certainly room for a viable third-party challenge next year” if he did not win the Republican nomination.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 30, 2015

The Hillary Clinton campaign announced that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen planned to endorse Clinton the following week.


Ballotpedia’s Weekly Presidential News Briefing: August 24-30, 2019

 Ballotpedia's Weekly Presidential News Briefing

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

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

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Candidates by the Number

There are nine new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Green. In total, 832 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quotes of the Week

“The problem for Walsh — or any other conservative challenger — is that Trump remains extremely popular with GOP voters. The president’s approval rating among Republicans hovers in the high 80s, and there’s little evidence that his popularity has much to do with his strict adherence to the conservative economic ideals that (supposedly) animated the Tea Party. Walsh may have been part of the Zeitgeist ten years ago, but as many Republicans who have crossed Trump and paid an electoral price can tell you, cutting spending is out and loyalty tests are in.”

– Benjamin Hart and Chas DannerNew York Magazine

“Walsh, a radio show host since losing reelection in 2012 and a frequent guest on cable news, could be effective in reaching rank-and-file Republicans, since he speaks their language. For example, Walsh was a Tea Party Republican when the Tea Party was known for championing lower federal budget deficits. In contrast, under Trump, the deficit is exploding, expected to hit $1 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year. Walsh may be able to pick off some fellow Tea Party Republicans on that issue alone.”

– Dean Obeidallah, CNN

Week in Review

DNC rejects Iowa and Nevada virtual caucuses, primary calendar in question

The Democratic National Committee is expected to reject Iowa’s and Nevada’s virtual caucus plans Friday because of security concerns. Both states proposed a virtual option to comply with new party rules that require caucuses to be more accessible to all voters.

If Iowa cannot establish an alternative method of voting, it might be unable to hold a caucus and have to move to a primary system. This would likely eliminate Iowa’s place as the first nominating event of the year since New Hampshire law says that the state must hold the first primary of the presidential election cycle.

Who made the debate?

Ten candidates have qualified for the third Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston, Texas, on Sept. 12, 2019: Joe BidenCory BookerPete ButtigiegJulián CastroKamala HarrisAmy KlobucharBeto O’RourkeBernie SandersElizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

ABC News and Univision are hosting the debate, which will take place at Texas Southern University. Linsey Davis, David Muir, Jorge Ramos, and George Stephanopoulos will moderate the event. Candidates will have one minute and 15 seconds to answer questions and 45 seconds for rebuttals.

While other 10 candidates will have another shot to qualify with the same requirements for the October debate, some have questioned the polling criteria:

  • Michael Bennet campaign adviser Craig Hughes sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee asking why some polling organizations were excluded as qualifiers and why information about future debate requirements had not yet been released.
  • The Tulsi Gabbard campaign requested the Democratic National Committee revise the list of certified polling organizations used as debate qualifiers and make the criteria for poll selection more transparent.
  • Tom Steyer made a similar request, calling for the DNC to include at least one poll from Nevada.

Walsh third notable Republican to enter 2020 race

Former Illinois Rep. and radio host Joe Walsh announced Sunday that he was launching a primary challenge to Donald Trump.

“I’m running because he’s unfit. Somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative,” Walsh said in an interview on ABC News. 

Following Walsh’s announcement, Salem Radio Network canceled the national distribution of Walsh’s radio show.

Walsh also said he thought that there was “certainly room for a viable third-party challenge next year” if he did not win the Republican nomination.

Biden on the small screen

Joe Biden released a new campaign ad in Iowa defending the Affordable Care Act as part of a six-figure ad campaign in Iowa. In the clip, he shares his personal experience with the healthcare system when his wife and daughter died in a car accident and his oldest son, Beau, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Also on the air in Iowa—and New Hampshire and Delaware—is an attack ad against Biden criticizing him for defending the bankruptcy court system. Shirley Shawe, whose son’s business was hurt following a dispute in the Delaware Chancery Court system, spent $500,000 on the ad campaign.

Gillibrand fifth Democrat to end presidential campaign in August

Kirsten Gillibrand became the fifth Democratic presidential candidate in August to suspend her presidential campaign. She announced her departure after missing the cutoff for the third primary debate.

She said in an interview with The New York Times, “I think being able to have a voice on a debate stage, when other candidates have that, is really important. And without it, I just didn’t see our path.”

Want more? Find the daily details here:

Poll Spotlight

Staff Spotlight

Noland Chambliss is an independent consultant with experience in organizational identity development and strategic communications. He graduated from Vassar College in 2006 with a degree in political science.

Previous campaign work:

  • 2008 Barack Obama presidential campaign, field organizer and deputy field director

Other experience:

  • 2016 – present: Independent consultant
  • 2015 – present: The Dream Corps, board member
  • 2016-2018: SYPartners, strategist
  • 2012-2015:, strategic communications team and director of external affairs
  • 2009-2011: Chief of staff to Van Jones

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 26-30, 2015

  • August 26, 2015: Hillary Clinton released her rural agenda, calling for public-private partnerships that would bring federal capital to rural areas and increasing the number of solar panels across the country to 500 million.
  • August 27, 2015: TIME reported that the Democratic National Committee had obtained the 2012 Obama campaign’s email data.
  • August 28, 2015: All five Democratic presidential candidates spoke at the summer meeting of the Democratic National Convention. 
  • August 29, 2015: Donald Trump campaigned in Nashville, Tennessee, where he won a presidential straw poll and spoke at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies.
  • August 30, 2015: The Hillary Clinton campaign announced that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen planned to endorse Clinton the following week.


Since 1968, nine states have voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election. Which of the following states is not among them?