Trump expected to announce re-election campaign tonight

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 18, 2019: President Donald Trump is expected to announce his re-election campaign in Orlando tonight. Joe Biden told supporters he would win five southern states in the general election.

 How many incumbent vice presidents have won a presidential election?

Notable Quote of the Day

“Even as much of the Democratic Party moves to his left, Obama remains extremely well-liked among liberal voters. Progressive activists and operatives eager to knock down Biden from his frontrunner perch admit it could be a serious problem that eight years of Biden’s political career is effectively off-limits. And for Biden, who is explicitly running as Obama’s heir, it’s been a godsend.”

—Holly Otterbein, Politico


  • Ten candidates spoke at the Poor People’s Campaign Presidential Forum in Washington, D.C.:Michael BennetJoe BidenJulián CastroKamala HarrisWayne MessamBernie SandersEric SwalwellElizabeth WarrenMarianne Williamson, and Andrew Yang.

  • Biden predicted in Washington, D.C., that if he were the Democratic nominee, he would win Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and that he believed he could win in Texas and Florida.

  • Steve Bullock will campaign in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, with six stops across the state.

  • Pete Buttigieg canceled several fundraising events across California this week. He announced that he was staying in South Bend, Indiana, following an officer-involved shooting on Sunday night.

  • Castro called for a federal guarantee of housing for the poor and said that housing was a human right. “Especially in the wealthiest nation on Earth, I don’t think there’s anybody who should go without a safe, decent place to live,” he said.

  • U.S. Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) endorsed Harris. In his endorsement, Costa highlighted Harris’ plan for Dreamers as a reason he was supporting her campaign.

  • Amy Klobuchar released a list of actions she would take in her first 100 days if elected president. The list included addressing voting registration, prescription drugs, and antitrust enforcement.

  • Seth Moulton attended a town hall in Merrimack, New Hampshire, where he discussed Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination in the state.

  • Beto O’Rourke campaigned in South Carolina on Monday, including stops in Spartanburg and Greenville. He discussed equality and the environment.

  • Swalwell released his firearms policy that included an assault rifle ban and buyback program and additional requirements for gun ownership.

  • Yang appeared on WMUR’s The Trail podcast, where he discussed his stance on impeachment.


  • Donald Trump is expected to announce his re-election bid tonight at a rally in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday night. 

Flashback: June 18, 2015

On Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough considered the appeal of Donald Trump as a candidate and his potential impact on the presidential race.


De Blasio, Klobuchar call for impeachment

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 17, 2019: Bill de Blasio and Amy Klobuchar called for President Trump’s impeachment. Weld predicted he will beat Trump in Utah on Super Tuesday.

There are 12 new candidates running since last week, including six Democrats and two Republicans. In total, 745 individuals are currently filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Most candidates, if not all, had hoped to draw a lectern alongside Biden or Sanders, eager to draft off the early front-runners’ stature — and to emphasize their own contrasts with them. Harris and Buttigieg will get them both.”

—David Siders and Christopher Cadelago, Politico


  • Yahoo! Finance profiled Michael Bennet, highlighting his health care policy.
  • Bill de Blasio and Amy Klobuchar called for Donald Trump’s impeachment, both citing Trump’s ABC interview response to a question about accepting campaign information from foreign governments.
  • Cory Booker joined protesting fast-food workers in Charleston, South Carolina, Saturday. Booker called the strike for a $15/hour wage “an American fight.”
  • New York Magazine released an interview with Steve Bullock where they discussed his exclusion from the first round of Democratic debates.
  • Pete Buttigieg appeared on Meet the Press Sunday, where he discussed U.S-Iranian relations, Joe Biden’s age, and foreign interference in elections.
  • Kamala Harris campaigned in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, where she discussed the criminal justice system.
  • John Hickenlooper appeared on CNN’s Smerconish Saturday, where he discussed his presidential campaign and how being a governor has prepared him to be president.
  • Wayne Messam said he would continue campaigning despite missing the cut for the first round of Democratic debates while campaigning in Las Vegas.
  • Beto O’Rourke campaigned in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spoke with a group of African-American community leaders.
  • Tim Ryan discussed Trump’s policy on Iran and his appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor on MSNBC.
  • Bernie Sanders appeared on Fox News Sunday, where he told host Chris Wallace that to see real change the United States would “need a political revolution.”
  • Eric Swalwell spoke at a rally in San Francisco on Friday night, where he discussed guns, student debt, and impeachment.
  • The Ezra Klein Show interviewed Elizabeth Warren, where she discussed income inequality and corruption.


  • Donald Trump called into Fox and Friends on Friday to celebrate his 73rd birthday and spoke with the hosts for 50 minutes.
  • Bill Weld predicted he would beat Trump in Utah’s Super Tuesday primary next year during an appearance on CNN Saturday. 

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 17, 2015

The Washington Post published an article detailing the relationship between Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.


Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Special pre-debate edition of the Daily Presidential News Briefing

Catch up on the 2020 presidential race one week before the first debate, from Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing  
The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 19, Brew. I’m replacing today’s Daily Brew with a special edition of Ballotpedia’s Daily Presidential News Briefing. We’ll resume our regular Daily Brew tomorrow morning! 

The nation will see 20 Democratic presidential candidates take the stage June 26 and 27 in Miami, Florida, for the first debates of the 2020 primary season.

Keeping track of a massive Democratic field, an incumbent president seeking re-election, and the issues both sides see as critical to their political success is tough.

We’ve got you covered — with our Daily Presidential News Briefing.
The Daily Briefing gives you the news you need, delivered right to your inbox. It’s the kind of coverage you expect from Ballotpedia — just the facts, none of the spin.
You can see for yourself in this sample issue how we are approaching the 2020 election season. 
We hope you will become a subscriber. To do so, just click below.

Subscribe now

Oh, and best of all? The Daily Presidential News Briefing is free.

So please — read, share, and don’t forget to subscribe. And if you have feedback on the newsletter, please drop us a line at

Now let’s dive in!

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Notable Quotes of the Day

“It is clear that the inherently dubious nature of [the debates] has been exacerbated by the party’s new rules. A real debate would provide a substantive back and forth between candidates on major issues; but despite the considerable build-up, that’s not what these nationally televised sessions deliver.”

—Elizabeth Drew, Daily Beast

“The field will winnow. And I don’t think that it’s worth it for the DNC to be involved in the winnowing. I don’t find it concerning or alarming to have 20 people running for president. I think it’s great.”

—U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Politico

Number of candidates

With 24 candidates running, the 2020 Democratic field has surpassed the number of Democratic and Republican candidates combined in 2016

Only 20 could make the debate stage—10 per night—next week. Here’s a breakdown of who made the cut and how they have been campaigning in recent weeks.

Wednesday, June 26 Democratic debate

  • Cory Booker issued his housing platform, which would include a tax credit for renters filling the gap between 30 percent of the renter’s income and fair-market rent in their neighborhood. He also called for the creation of a White House Office of Reproductive Freedom focused on “coordinating and affirmatively advancing abortion rights and access to reproductive health care” at the federal level.

  • Julián Castro was the first candidate to release an immigration platform. His plan would provide a pathway to citizenship for 11 million individuals residing in the U.S. without legal permission and repeal Section 1325, a law which makes it a federal crime to illegally cross the border. Castro said he believed his path to the White House ran through Texas and Nevada.

  • Bill de Blasio was the last candidate to enter the field. While de Blasio has a net favorability rating of negative 24 percent, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council endorsed him earlier this month and said it would send members to campaign for him in New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada.

  • John Delaney wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post calling Medicare for All “political suicide for Democrats.” He issued a $2 trillion infrastructure platform and $4 trillion climate action proposal that would introduce a carbon tax and attempt to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2050.

  • Tulsi Gabbard has highlighted her noninterventionist foreign policy and military experience as an Iraq War veteran. In May, Gabbard co-founded the bipartisan Servicewomen and Women Veterans Congressional Caucus and criticized Trump on his foreign policy in Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela.

  • Jay Inslee, who calls his presidential campaign a “climate movement,” proposed manufacturing zero-emission vehicles, eliminating the carbon footprint of all new buildings, shutting down coal-fired power plants, and requiring utility companies to become 100 percent carbon neutral by 2035. The DNC declined his request for a debate focused exclusively on climate change.

  • Amy Klobuchar opened her campaign headquarters in Minneapolis in May and issued a series of farm policy proposals, including changing rules that allow small refineries to be exempted from biofuel laws. She has also promoted her Secure Elections Act and Honest Ads Act designed to protect U.S. elections from foreign influence.

  • Beto O’Rourke has made policy statements on immigrationvoting access, and LGBT policy in the past month. After initially sidestepping national media, O’Rourke began doing more television appearances, including a town hall on CNN.

  • While campaigning in New Hampshire, Tim Ryan said he would “be the education president.” He advocated for social and emotional programs and more mental health counselors in public schools.

  • Elizabeth Warren said she would sign a moratorium on both offshore drilling and new mining on federal lands on her first day in office. Her next policy priorities: setting anti-corruption rules for elected officials and passing a two percent wealth tax on assets exceeding $50 million and three percent on those exceeding $1 billion.

Thursday, June 27 Democratic debate

  • Michael Bennet released a $1 trillion climate change platform focused on land management and agriculture. He challenged the direction of the party, saying, “I don’t think the base of the Democratic Party is anywhere near where the Twitter base of the Democratic Party is.”

  • Joe Biden entered the race in April as the frontrunner, raising $6.3 million in the first 24 hours of his campaign and topping national and early state polls before he had declared. He has been running what The Washington Post called a “limited exposure” campaign to focus on fundraising, policy development, and campaign infrastructure rather than public activities.

  • Pete Buttigieg received a polling boost after his CNN town hall appearance in March. He has since participated in town halls on Fox News and MSNBC. In his first list of policy priorities, Buttigieg said he wants to create a “Medicare for All Who Want It” as a precursor to Medicare for All, implement a Green New Deal, and establish independent redistricting commissions to end gerrymandering.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand released a “Family Bill of Rights” proposal that would address several medical, educational, and tax policies. Among the proposals is requiring insurance companies to cover fertility treatments like IVF and providing refundable tax credits for adoption. Gillibrand has spoken against anti-abortion laws in Georgia on the campaign trail.

  • Kamala Harris proposed addressing gender pay equity by fining corporations who fail to receive a newly created Equal Pay Certification from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Harris says her career as a prosecutor would be her greatest asset in a general election against Trump.

  • Self-described “pragmatic progressive” John Hickenlooper said Democrats need to distinguish themselves from socialists. “If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer,” he said. Hickenlooper supports a public option similar to Medicare and Medicare Advantage to move toward a single-payer system in one or two decades.

  • In a speech at George Washington University, Bernie Sanders laid out his vision for democratic socialism in the United States. Sanders said that “we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion.” He also attended Walmart’s shareholder meeting in Arkansas earlier this month and called on the company to raise its minimum wage to $15.

  • Eric Swalwell said addressing gun violence would be the top priority of his presidency. He has hit the television airwaves early with an ad promoting his proposed gun buyback program in Iowa, Nevada, and New Hampshire. “I say keep your hunting rifles, keep your pistols, keep your shotguns, but let’s ban and buy back every single assault weapon in America,” he says in the clip.

  • Marianne Williamson said the United States needs a “moral and spiritual awakening.” She has called for the creation of a Department of Childhood and Youthto address chronic trauma among children. In the spring, Williamson moved to Des Moines, Iowa. “It’s been about showing her commitment to the Iowa caucuses,” state director Brent Roske said.

  • Universal basic income is the foundation of Andrew Yang’s campaign. He has selected two families in Iowa and New Hampshire to receive $1,000 per month for a year to showcase his policy proposal.

Did not qualify for the first Democratic debates

  • Mike Gravel, whose campaign is being run by two teenagers, is running to push the field to the left by participating in the primary debates. The campaign said it had nearly 47,500 unique contributors—less than 20,000 away from the threshold to qualify for the July debates.

  • Seth Moulton has spoken about living with PTSD after serving four tours in the Iraq War and called for expanding health services for military members and veterans. Moulton said he will focus on campaigning in New Hampshire over the summer.

  • When announcing his candidacy May 14, Steve Bullock highlighted his 2016 gubernatorial win in Montana, a state which President Trump won by 20 percentage points in 2016.

  • The centerpiece of Wayne Messam’s presidential campaign is canceling $1.5 trillion in student debt. Messam has criticized FEC rules which do not allow him to use leftover campaign funds from his mayoral campaign and the DNC’s debate criteria.


  • Donald Trump and pro-Trump groups have spent more than $10 million on digital advertising in battleground states like Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin. Trump kicked off his re-election campaign yesterday in Orlando, Florida. At the rally, he discussed the media, Russia, federal judges including Brett Kavanaugh, immigration, and border security, among other issues.

  • Bill Weld is targeting states with open primaries. “I’ll be focusing on the 20 states that permit crossover voting. It’s not just Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, it’s 17 other states,“ Weld said. He is also opening a campaign office in New Hampshire by the end of June.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Stacey Abrams has not ruled out running for president, saying the nominating process will “winnow out who is actually viable” and that she could enter in the fall. Abrams said, “I will enter this race if I think I can add value to it. I don’t have enough information at this moment to make that decision.”

  • Larry Hogan announced he will not challenge Trump in the Republican primary. Instead, he is launching the advocacy group An America United to “support bipartisan, common-sense solutions to create more and better jobs, cut taxes, protect the environment, build our infrastructure, and improve education.”

  • Howard Schultz announced he was putting his presidential exploration on hiatus for the summer to recover from three back surgeries.

Save the Date

The first presidential primaries are seven months away. Here are some key dates to keep in mind:

  • June 26-27, 2019: The first set of 12 Democratic primary debates are held in Miami, Florida. Tune into NBC News, MSNBC, or Telemundo to watch it live.

  • July 15, 2019: Second quarter financial reports are due to the FEC.

  • July 30-31, 2019: Detroit hosts the second set of Democratic primary debates.

  • Sept. 12-13, 2019: ABC News and Univision are partnering for the third Democratic primary debate.

  • Feb. 3, 2020: Iowa caucuses.

  • Feb. 11, 2020: New Hampshire primary.

  • Feb. 22, 2020: Nevada Democratic caucuses.

  • Feb. 29, 2020: South Carolina Democratic primary.

  • March 3, 2020: Super Tuesday primaries with California included for the first time.

Have more questions about the presidential race? We’ve got answers.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 19, 2015

Republican presidential contenders Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, and Rick Santorum spoke at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference in Philadelphia. Lindsey Graham was scheduled to attend but returned to his home state following the Charleston church shooting two days earlier.

The Daily Brew: One SCOTUS redistricting case decided, two to go

Today’s Brew highlights the Supreme Court’s ruling allowing Virginia’s redrawn state House maps to stand + a new way to learn about Texas’ 10 constitutional amendments in 2019  
The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, June 18, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Supreme Court rules Virginia state House lacks standing to appeal gerrymandering ruling
  2. Our next Learning Journey—Texas’ 2019 ballot measures
  3. Ballotpedia’s Summer Camp starts July 1!

Supreme Court rules Virginia state House lacks standing to appeal gerrymandering ruling

The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the Virginia House of Delegates lacked standing to appeal a lower court order that struck down the state’s legislative district plan as a racial gerrymander. As a result, the state House’s legislative maps which were drawn by a court-appointed special master will stand. Those maps were used in Virginia’s state legislative primary elections held last week.

In Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, the Court decided that the House of Delegates does not have the authority to represent Virginia’s interests in this matter. Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Thomas, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Gorsuch. She wrote, “the State did not designate the House to represent its interests here. Under Virginia law, authority and responsibility for representing the State’s interests in civil litigation rest exclusively with the State’s Attorney General.”

Justice Alito filed a dissenting opinion, joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Breyer and Kavanaugh. He wrote that the district court’s decision redrawing the legislative maps harmed the state House so as to give it standing to appeal the case. He wrote, “we must assume that the districting plan enacted by the legislature embodies the House’s judgment regarding the method of selecting members that best enables it to serve the people of the Commonwealth…It therefore follows that discarding that plan and substituting another inflicts injury in fact.”

The legislative maps that were drawn by a court-appointed special master and challenged by the House of Delegates first went into effect in January. They were the result of a sequence of lawsuits that began in 2014.

That year, opponents of Virginia’s legislative map filed suit in federal district court alleging that 12 state legislative districts constituted an illegal racial gerrymander. The district court rejected this argument, and the plaintiffs appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. In 2017, SCOTUS remanded the case in Bethune-Hill v. Virginia Board of Elections, finding that the district court had “employed an incorrect legal standard in determining that race did not predominate in 11 of the 12 districts.”

In 2018, the district court ruled that the 11 districts had been subject to racial gerrymandering. After the state legislature did not adopt a remedial plan, the district court appointed a special master to draft one.

Republicans hold a 51-49 majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates. Under the old maps, Hillary Clinton won 51 districts in 2016 and Donald Trump won 49. Under the new maps, Clinton would have won 56 districts (7 currently held by Republicans) while Trump would have won 44 (none currently held by Democrats).

The Supreme Court has yet to issue opinions in two other redistricting cases heard this term—Rucho v. Common Cause and Lamone v. Benisek. The cases concern whether the congressional district maps adopted in North Carolina and Maryland, respectively, constitute an illegal partisan gerrymander. Decisions in both cases are expected by the end of June.

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Join Ballotpedia as we speak with an expert on traumatic stress about how the political environment has changed. Register today!

Upcoming Insights

Our next Learning Journey—Texas’ 2019 ballot measures

Voters in Texas will decide 10 measures on November 5 in a statewide constitutional amendment election. All were referred to the ballot by the Texas legislature and cover topics from education to taxes to law enforcement animals.

My colleagues on our ballot measures team developed a new Learning Journey to guide you through all 10 amendments, including how and why legislators put them on the ballot and what each amendment would do.

Each day, we’ll send you an email with information, examples, and exercises to help you understand this subject. Along the way, you’ll be able to contact us with any questions and comments you may have.

I’ve written about a few of these Texas constitutional amendments earlier this year in the Brew, and I can’t wait to learn about the rest. I hope you’ll join me!

Ballotpedia’s Summer Camp starts July 1!

Last week I introduced you to what we’ll be doing during Fourth of July week—Ballotpedia Summer Camp!

During that time, I’ll hand over the keys to the Brew to other Ballotpedia team members to share their perspectives on the most interesting stories of the year.

We also want to share ideas and stories from our amazing readers. How are you spending your summer? What political story has captured your attention the most so far in 2019? What topic do you think will be most significant in the second half of the year?

Just reply back to this email with an answer to any or all of those questions, and we might share it with other Daily Brew readers that week.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

Click here to send me an email→



New Jersey governor to sign donor disclosure bill conditionally vetoed in May

On June 10, New Jersey lawmakers and gubernatorial staff announced that Gov. Phil Murphy (D) would sign S1500 into law after conditionally vetoing the bill in May. The measure will require 501(c)(4)s, super PACs, and other entities to disclose their donors who contribute $10,000 or more.

What does the legislation do?

  • As enacted, S1500 defines an independent expenditure committee as any person or group organized under sections 501(c)(4) or 527 of the Internal Revenue Code that spends $3,000 or more annually to influence or provide political information about any of the following:
    • “the outcome of any election or the nomination, election, or defeat of any person to any state or local elective public office”
    • “the passage or defeat of any public question, legislation, or regulation”
  • Independent expenditure committees will be required to disclose all expenditures exceeding $3,000. These committees will also be required to disclose the identities of their donors who contribute $10,000 or more.

What are the responses?

  • Alyana Alfaro, a representative for the governor’s office, said, “The Governor looks forward to signing the legislation while working with the Legislature to resolve outstanding issues by the end of the month.” According to NJTV News, “a source close to the negotiations said … that Murphy agreed to sign the bill only with the understanding that lawmakers will pass a cleanup bill later to address concerns.”
  • Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) said, “I think the administration knew that there was an override and that it absolutely would’ve succeeded in both houses. But, that being said, it’s not about trying to embarrass anybody. We wanted to get a piece of legislation passed that was meaningful and long overdue.” Sweeney also said, “The bill is going to be signed as it was passed. If the governor has concerns we can talk about them, but it has nothing to do with this bill.”

What brought us here?

  • On May 13, Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill, saying the following in his veto statement: “I commend my colleagues in the Legislature for seeking to ensure that so-called ‘dark money’ is brought out into the open. However, I am mindful that such efforts must be carefully balanced against constitutionally protected speech and association rights. Because certain provisions of Senate Bill No. 1500 (Fifth Reprint) may infringe on both, and because the bill does not go far enough in mandating disclosures of political activity that can be constitutionally required, I cannot support it in its current form.” With his conditional veto, Murphy stated his objections to the bill and proposed amendments to address them. This differs from an absolute veto, which is an outright gubernatorial rejection of a proposed law. Both are subject to the same override provisions.
  • Lawmakers discussed the possibility of overriding Murphy’s veto. Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D), a primary sponsor of S1500, said, “We are actively discussing the possibility of a veto override. It is not my preference. But I do feel very strongly that this is a good government bill and we need to act now.” Senator Troy Singleton (D), another S1500 sponsor, said, “I think the atmosphere was challenged a little bit by some of the governor’s comments. [We] took offense to the idea that what we sent was somehow weaker than what was sent back by the governor’s office … we didn’t want to have the discussion steeped in emotion. We’re trying to take a step back to see if there’s a path forward.”


What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 72 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. 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.

Disclosure Digest map June 17, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart June 17, 2019.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart June 17, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken on relevant bills in the past week. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number. Know of any legislation we’re missing? Please email us so we can include it on our tracking list.

  • California AB1217: This bill would expand the definition of “advertisement” under the state’s campaign finance laws, thereby extending existing disclosure requirements.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments June 12.

The Daily Brew: City of Fountains to elect new mayor tomorrow

Preview of Kansas City mayoral election + webinar on Janus and union membership   
The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, June 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, will elect a new mayor on Tuesday
  2. Quiz: Which candidate for president has the second most page views on Ballotpedia?
  3. Ballotpedia webinar on union membership one year after Janus on June 26

Preview: Mayoral election in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City City Council members Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas compete in a runoff election on June 18 to determine who will become the city’s next mayor. The winner will succeed term-limited Mayor Sly James (D).

The two candidates advanced from a primary election field that had 11 candidates. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent of the vote. The mayoral election is nonpartisan, but both Justus and Lucas are Democrats, according to KCUR.

Lucas has led both pre-election polls with 38 percent to Justus’ 30 percent. Each candidate has received the endorsement of one other member of the city council. Justus also has the endorsement of Mayor James, while Lucas was endorsed last week by The Kansas City Star newspaper.

In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population in 2019. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.

Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies, and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.

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Union Station


Which presidential candidate has the second most page views on Ballotpedia?

In Thursday’s Brew, we presented the pageviews various presidential candidates’ pages have received on Ballotpedia. We stated that Pete Buttigieg’s profile has received the most page views since it launched. Which candidate’s page has received the second-most page views?

Sign up for free Ballotpedia webinar to learn about the impact of Janus on union membership

With the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus, Ballotpedia is taking a deep dive into how the case has impacted unions across the United States. Janus v. AFSCME overturned the 1977 Abood precedent that allowed unions to require non-member employees to pay fees covering non-political union activities.

On June 26, join Ballotpedia for an exclusive look at how state legislatures have responded and how unions have been impacted. During this conversation, we’ll cover the following:

  • A brief discussion of Janus

  • How states have responded to Janus, including noteworthy legislation

  • How union membership was impacted by the ruling

  • A discussion of the complexities involved in determining the state-specific impacts of Janus

Register for this free, 30-minute webinar and you’ll leave with an understanding of how Janus has impacted unions across the country and how states have responded to the ruling. I hope to see you there!



What does the legislative landscape look like post-Janus?

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay agency fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. Lawmakers nationwide have since taken up legislation in response to Janus. The summary below is a detailed account of legislative activity in the year since the Janus decision came down.

  • 2019 post-Janus activity: As of June 14, 31 state legislatures have considered 101 bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Oregon has had 10 relevant bills introduced this year, more than any other state (none of these have yet been enacted, although two have cleared both chambers of the state legislature). Pennsylvania and Washington have followed close behind with nine and eight bills, respectively.
    • Partisan split: Of the 101 bills introduced nationwide, Democrats have sponsored 51. Republicans have sponsored 38. Bipartisan groups or committees have sponsored the rest.
  • 2018 post-Janus activity: Between June 27, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, the Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania legislatures took up a total of seven bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Pennsylvania had four relevant bills introduced post-Janus in 2018. One relevant bill was introduced in each of the three remaining states during that period.
    • Partisan split: Republicans introduced four of the seven bills. Bipartisan groups or committees sponsored the other three.
  • Bills enacted since Janus: Three bills have been enacted since Janus. These are detailed below. Another five bills introduced this year have cleared state legislatures but have yet to be enacted.
    • Delaware SB8: This bill establishes compensation as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining efforts.
    • Nevada SB135: This bill provides for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Washington HB1575: This bill declared that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus. It repealed statutes requiring employees to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. It also amends dues deduction authorization laws, allowing authorizations to be initiated via electronic, voice, or written communication and requiring authorizations to be discontinued by a written request made to the union.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 101 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 June 14, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 14, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart June 14, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions on relevant bills since the beginning of the year. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state and then by bill number.

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • Read for the first time in Senate and referred to Ways and Means Committee June 10.
  • Nevada SB135: This bill would provide for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Signed into law June 12.
  • New Hampshire SB148: This bill would require public employers to notify hirees of their right to join or refrain from joining. The notification would also include the estimated annual cost of joining a union.
    • Senate concurred in House amendments June 13.
  • Oregon HB2016: This bill would require public employers to grant paid time to employees participating in certain union activities. It would also require employers to furnish unions with access to employees.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Oregon HB3009: This bill would require public employers to provide unions with access to new employees. It would also permit individuals who are not union members to make payments in lieu of dues to unions.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Rhode Island H5259: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters.
    • House Labor Committee recommended passage June 12.
  • Rhode Island S0712: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters. It would require employers to notify unions within five days of hiring new employees. It would also require employees to file written notice with the state controller in order to discontinue dues payroll deductions.
    • Senate approved substitute bill June 11. Referred to House Labor Committee June 12.

Daily Presidential Briefing: Harris releases immigration policy on Dreamers

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 13, 2019: Kamala Harris released immigration policy on a path to citizenship for Dreamers. Bernie Sanders reiterated his support for democratic socialism.

Poll Spotlight

Poll spotlight

Poll spotlight

Notable Quote of the Day

“Instead of substantive debates between the leading candidates, the party is going to get a chorus line of never-gonna-be-presidents yapping at each other for two hours.

Most of these people have no chance of becoming the nominee. They know it. The Democratic National Committee knows it. And the top tier candidates know it too. The debates should be structured as such, rather than like cattle-call auditions for The Voice.”

– David Faris, Roosevelt University associate professor of political science


  • Americans for Prosperity is targeting Michael Bennet and two other members of Congress in a mailer campaign against the federal Export-Import Bank.

  • Joe Biden attended a fundraiser in Chicago hosted by CBRE Chicago chairman Bob Wislow.

  • Bill de Blasio announced a cap on for-hire vehicle licenses and the length of time companies like Uber and Lyft can allow drivers to be in the Manhattan core without passengers.

  • Cory Booker will speak at 10 New Hampshire virtual house parties through Google Hangouts Friday.

  • Steve Bullock wrote an op-ed in Fortune criticizing the debate criteria and defending his late entrance into the race.

  • Pete Buttigieg wrote an op-ed in The Charleston Chronicle detailing his Douglass Plan focused on economic opportunity for black Americans. The plan aims to increase access to credit and the number of small businesses in black communities. It would also seek to increase the rate of federal contracts for minority- and women-owned businesses from 5 percent to 25 percent.

  • Julián Castro spoke at Living United for Change in Arizona about his policing standards platform.

  • John Delaney will appear on The View Thursday morning.

  • Tulsi Gabbard called on Congress to support an amendment to the 2020 National Defense Authorization Program that would develop a pilot program for the prosecution of special victim offenses by military service academy attendees.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand, who is campaigning in New Hampshire Friday and Saturday, is increasing her paid staff in the state from two to eight people. Maggie Seppie will join as state organizing director.

  • Kamala Harris released an immigration plan Wednesday that would launch an expanded version of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

  • John Hickenlooper is expected to give a speech Thursday challenging democratic socialism at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

  • Jay Inslee campaigned in New Hampshire, including a stop at a Brentwood-based solar panel company.

  • Amy Klobuchar called for the passage of her Secure Elections Act and Honest Ads Act, retweeting a statement from Trump saying he might not alert the FBI if he received information from a foreign government about a political opponent.

  • Wayne Messam asked supporters to contribute to his campaign, tweeting, “When candidates are given nationally televised town halls, they qualify for the debate. I’ve yet to be granted a CNN or Fox town, yet, I’m held to the same requirements. The question is why? It’s not too late, you can get me to the debate.”

  • Beto O’Rourke released his LGBT platform Wednesday. He would use executive actions to repeal religious exemption expansions and the ban on transgender servicemembers. The plan also calls for passage of anti-discrimination laws like the Equality Act.

  • Tim Ryan discussed his presidential campaign and Rust Belt communities on Radio Boston.

  • Bernie Sanders redefined and reiterated his support for democratic socialism in a speech at George Washington University. He called his policies the “unfinished business of the New Deal.”

  • Eric Swalwell answered 20 questions as part of a series by NowThis News. He said he wanted to be “the champion for gun safety reform in America.” He also held a meeting on gun violence in Las Vegas Wednesday.

  • Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the heads of the Federal Reserve System, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other regulatory agencies requesting information on how the financial tech industry’s automated lending algorithms may produce discriminatory outcomes.

  • Marianne Williamson spoke with the Christian Science Monitor about her policy priority of investing in children’s education, mental health, and access to food.

  • Andrew Yang will campaign in New Hampshire Thursday.


  • Donald Trump discussed whether he would accept information from a foreign government on a political opponent without informing the FBI in an interview. “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it,” Trump said. “If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”

  • Bill Weld is attending meetings in New Hampshire and will open an office in Manchester before the end of the month.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Howard Schultz announced that he was putting his presidential exploration on hiatus for the summer to recover from three back surgeries.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 13, 2015

Hillary Clinton kicked off her presidential campaign with a rally in New York City. Read the transcript of her remarks here.


The Daily Brew: Introducing a new way to look at the presidential field

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Thursday, June 13, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. How many pageviews have presidential candidate articles received on Ballotpedia?
  2. Two incumbents defeated in Virginia’s state legislative primaries
  3. One week until our next Ballotpedia Insights session

How many pageviews have the presidential candidate articles received on Ballotpedia?

Long before candidates such as Donald Trump (R) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) won their elections, they had bested their opponents in pageviews on Ballotpedia.

What trends might emerge from this year’s political contests? As part of our 2020 election coverage, we will be publishing our weekly pageview statistics for presidential campaigns. These numbers are a way of showing which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.

Overall, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s Ballotpedia campaign profile has received 65,000 pageviews since it launched — the most of any Democratic candidate. Andrew Yang is second with 52,000 and Kamala Harris third with 47,000. Buttigieg and Harris’ pages were published February 21, while Yang’s was published February 25.

We’ll be updating this page throughout the campaign with new data and features, including an analysis of pageviews following the Democratic presidential debates. We hope you enjoy exploring and finding trends in the data.

Now, here’s a look at four facts from last week:

  • Former vice president Joe Biden had 4,916 Ballotpedia pageviews for the week of June 2 through June 8. Biden’s pageview figure represents 9.6 percent of the pageviews for all Democratic candidates during the week.

  • Buttigieg had 7.2 percent of the candidate pageviews for the week, while Harris had 6.7 percent.

  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s pageviews had the largest increase of all the candidates last week, increasing 97.8 percent over his previous total. No other candidate’s pageviews on Ballotpedia increased more than 30 percent last week.

  • On the GOP side, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld had 7,466 Ballotpedia pageviews to President Trump’s 1,413.

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Ballotpedia Insights

Two incumbents defeated in Virginia’s state legislative primaries

Two incumbents—one Democrat and one Republican—lost in Virginia’s primaries Tuesday as voters statewide selected nominees for this year’s state Senate and House of Delegates elections.

Former Del. Joe Morrissey defeated incumbent Sen. Roz Dance (D), 56.4% to 43.6%, in the Democratic primary in state Senate District 16—which includes parts of Richmond. Morrissey resigned from the state House in 2014 following his misdemeanor conviction stemming from his relationship with a 17-year-old girl but won election to his old seat in a special election in March 2015. Morrissey then resigned from that seat later in 2015 to run against Sen. Dance but withdrew prior to the general election citing health concerns. Morrissey faces independent candidate Waylin Ross in the general election.

Paul Milde III defeated Del. Robert Thomas Jr. (R) by 163 votes—51.4% to 48.6%—in the Republican primary for House District 28, which is located south of Washington, D.C. Milde finished second in the 2017 primary to Thomas and will face Democratic nominee Joshua Cole in November. Thomas defeated Cole by 82 votes—50.2% to 49.8%—in the 2017 general election. Ballotpedia identified this district as a battleground in this year’s elections.

According to data from the state Department of Elections and local political parties, there were 16 primaries for state Senate seats and 19 primaries for seats in the state House.  Virginia uses a unique primary system in that local parties can hold party caucuses or nominating conventions in place of primary elections to select their nominees.

Eighty-seven incumbents sought re-election to seats in the state House, which was the lowest number since 2011.

No state House incumbents lost in the primary in 2017. Two state House members and one state Senator was defeated in 2015’s primaries, the most recent year that both legislative chambers were up for election.

Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 51-49 majority in the state House. This election will take place using court-ordered state House district maps redrawn by a special master earlier this year, which changed the boundaries of 25 districts. Under the old maps, Hillary Clinton won 51 districts in 2016 while Donald Trump won 49. Under the new maps, Clinton would have won 56 districts (7 currently held by Republicans) while Trump would have won 44 (none currently held by Democrats).

Click here to learn more about Virginia’s Democratic primaries  

Click here to learn more about Virginia’s Republican primaries 

One week until our next Ballotpedia Insights session

In one week—on June 20—we’ll be holding the next edition of our Ballotpedia Insights series where we’ll discuss how the worldwide political environment has changed and what instigated these shifts. Sarah Rosier, my Brew predecessor and our current Director of Outreach, will be hosting Dr. Stevan Hobfoll, the author of Tribalism: The Evolutionary Origins of Fear Politics.

Dr. Hobfoll is a psychologist and the Chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. He has spent years researching the impact of traumatic stress on an individual’s health and his latest book is, among other things, intended to explore the tribalist roots of our increasingly polarized and uncompromising political landscape.

April’s Ballotpedia Insights, with Jeff Roe and Jeff Hewitt, discussed the unique challenges of campaigning today. February’s session featured Edgar Bachrach and Austin Berg, authors of The New Chicago Way: Lessons from Other Big Cities, examining the governance of Chicago compared with other large cities.

These Ballotpedia Insights sessions are always fascinating, so I hope you’ll make plans to join me.

Click here to learn more and register for this free webinar.

Federal judge hears arguments in case over IRS donor disclosure rules

On June 5, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Brian Morris heard arguments in Bullock v. Internal Revenue Service, a case concerning an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rule exempting select classes of nonprofit organizations from donor disclosure requirements. The subject of the June 5 hearing was whether states have standing to challenge the IRS rule.

  • What is at issue? On July 16, 2018, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2018-38, which exempts 501(c) nonprofit entities from reporting the names and addresses of their contributors to the IRS. The rule modification does not apply to 501(c)(3) organizations.
  • Who are the parties to the suit, and what are they saying?
    • The plaintiffs are Montana Gov. Stephen Bullock, also a 2020 presidential candidate, (D) and the Montana Department of Revenue. The state of New Jersey later joined the suit. Montana operates under divided government (Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature). New Jersey is a Democratic trifecta.
      • In a court filing, attorneys for the plaintiffs said, “Reduced transparency for 501(c) organizations at the federal level has significant downstream effects. In the context of elections and election spending, reduced transparency at the IRS upends settled expectations that federal tax-exempt organizations are what they purport to be: domestically-funded social welfare groups validly participating in elections, for example.” The attorneys for the state of New Jersey are Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (D), Assistant Attorney General Glenn Moramarco, and Deputy Attorney General Katherine Gregory. The attorneys for Bullock and the Montana Department of Revenue are Raphael Graybill, Bullock’s chief legal counsel, and Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler PLLC.
    • The defendants are the Internal Revenue Service, Acting IRS Commissioner David Kautter, and the Treasury Department.
      • Justice Department attorneys for the defendants said, “Neither state has ever before sought or received from the IRS the information they are now trying to force the IRS to continue collecting, and both states lack the ability to obtain this information from the IRS even if it was collected. In issuing Revenue Procedure 2018-38, the IRS exercised its longstanding statutory discretion to determine what information it collects from exempt organizations to meet its tax administration needs.”
  • Case information: Judge Brian Morris, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana, is presiding. Morris was appointed by President Barack Obama (D) in 2013. The case name and number are Bullock v. Internal Revenue Service, 4:18-cv-00103.

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 72 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. 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.

Disclosure Digest map June 10, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart June 10, 2019.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart June 10, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken on relevant bills in the past week. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number. Know of any legislation we’re missing? Please email us so we can include it on our tracking list.

  • California AB864: This bill would expand disclosure requirements for certain kinds of political advertisements made by independent expenditure groups and other entities.
    • Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee hearing June 4.