CategoryNewsletters

Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: September 4, 2020

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states. Today we look at indoor dining reopening in New Jersey, North Carolina moving to a new stage of reopening, travel restrictions, and much more. Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, we will not be publishing an issue on September 7. We will be back to our regular publication schedule on September 8.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): State health officials announced that 10 of the state’s 15 counties met the requirements to move to a hybrid learning model. Two of those counties, Greenlee and La Paz, met the benchmarks to resume full-time in-person education.
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) signed the sixth extension of his state of emergency order. The new extension is set to last indefinitely. A state of emergency was first declared on March 12.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): The state’s coronavirus mitigation task force announced that bars would remain closed in four counties for at least two more weeks. Bars are currently closed in Clark, Elko, Nye, and Washoe counties.
  • New Mexico (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced travelers from states with a positivity rate under 5% do not have to self-quarantine, effective Sept. 4. Lujan Grisham also said hotels that have been safe-certified will be able to expand their maximum occupancy to 75%.
  • North Carolina (divided government): Effective Sept. 4 at 5 p.m., the state will enter Phase 2.5 of reopening, which Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced on Sept. 1. Under Phase 2.5, the limit on gatherings will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Museums and aquariums can reopen at 50% capacity. Gyms and indoor exercise facilities can reopen at 30% capacity. Several restrictions, like the ban on bars and movie theaters, will remain in effect.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Sept. 3, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced that he was classifying eight counties as having a greater risk of COVID-19 spread under the state’s color-coded reopening system. Burgum reclassified the counties from green, or low risk, to yellow, meaning moderate risk. He also moved 13 counties to blue, which represents the lowest risk. Most of the state is classified green.

Daily feature: Travel restrictions

Every Friday, we’ll take a closer look at the restrictions governors and state agencies have placed on interstate travelers, including a recap of the week’s travel-related news. To see our full coverage of travel restrictions enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, click here.

Overview

To date, 25 states issued at least one executive order restricting interstate travel. Of the 25 executive orders governors or state agencies issued restricting out-of-state visitors, at least 14 have been rescinded. Eleven states have active travel restrictions.

Weekly recap

  • On Aug. 2, Massachusetts added Colorado, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to its list of lower-risk states, exempting travelers and returning residents from those areas from having to quarantine for two weeks upon arriving in Massachusetts.
  • On Sept. 1, Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that Alaska and Montana had been placed back on the joint travel advisory list, after having been removed Aug. 25. The travel advisory requires travelers entering the tristate area to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic.

  • Palm Beach County, Florida, will enter Phase Two of reopening on Sept. 8, with schools allowed to resume in-person instruction on Sept. 15.
  • Baltimore Mayor Jack Young announced that the city would proceed to Phase Three of reopening on Sept. 4 with the rest of the state.
  • Somerville, Massachusetts, will enter Phase Three of reopening on Sept. 8. Somerville is the only community in the state still in Phase Two of reopening.
  • On Aug. 27, Judge Douglas Harpool of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri dismissed televangelist Jim Bakker’s lawsuit against four Arkansas and California attorneys who are investigating Bakker’s sale of a silver-based product he claims can cure COVID-19. In his complaint, filed against the Attorney General of Arkansas, the District Attorneys of Merced and San Joaquin Counties, and the City Attorney of Los Angeles, Bakker alleged he was “divinely inspired” to sell the product “to the world, and such offerings are an integral part of” his religious mission. Bakker sued to block the collection of names, addresses, and personal financial information, arguing it would amount to a violation of the freedom to exercise religion and freedom of speech. Harpool ruled Bakker “cannot establish the minimum contacts required to invoke personal jurisdiction” over the attorneys in the Western District Court, a procedural requirement limiting the courts in which a defendant can be sued. Consequently, Harpool dismissed Bakker’s suit. Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) said, “I will not tolerate illegal schemes used by Mr. Bakker that directly harm Arkansas consumers financially or physically.” Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D), an attorney for Bakker, said: “It’s extremely disturbing that this is happening in America.” Harpool was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama (D).


Biden launches new ad campaign in battleground states

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
September 4, 2020: Joe Biden is airing three new ads on security, the pandemic, and unity in battleground states. Judges in Arizona and Virginia blocked Kanye West from appearing on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Besides polls, there are two other places we look for evidence of what is likely to happen in November: hard fundamental factors such as incumbency and economic news, and unquantifiable soft factors such as narratives, enthusiasm, and momentum.

On the fundamental side, the economic factors are a known unknown: The situation is too unique to be reliably measured against prior-year metrics, but an elephant you can’t see is still an elephant. No previous election has featured an incumbent running amid an abrupt election-year economic collapse, stemming from noneconomic factors, along with a strong stock market. That’s before we factor in a possible sharp recovery (or reversal) in GDP or unemployment. An October announcement of a coronavirus vaccine (all but promised by Trump in his convention speech) would be a wild card, while polls showing weakening Trump support among senior citizens amid the pandemic are a grave warning light. Voter turnout in a general election with unprecedented levels of mail-in voting is also impossible to project with more than guesswork.

Biden is also a historically unique challenger. At 77, he’s four years older than Ronald Reagan in 1984, to date the oldest candidate ever elected (Trump is 74). Every incumbent president to lose has been defeated either by a fresh face on the national stage or in a rematch with a prior opponent; a challenger like Biden has never won. He’s also the first major-party nominee from a state so small that it has only three electoral votes.”

– Dan McLaughlin, National Review

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden is speaking in Delaware on Friday about the economic effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • As part of a $45 million ad campaign, Biden is airing three new ads on security, the pandemic, and unity in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

  • The Lincoln Project is launching a digital coalition on Friday to conduct outreach to persuade Republican voters to support Biden. The group has over 50,000 members on Facebook.

  • During a speech in Pennsylvania, Donald Trump reiterated his call for supporters to vote by mail and then try to vote in person to make sure their vote is counted. He said, “Sign your mail-in ballot, OK? You sign it and send it in and then you have to follow it. And if on Election Day or early voting, that is not tabulated and counted, you go vote. And if for some reason after that — it shouldn’t take that long — they’re not going to be able to tabulate it because you would have voted.”

  • The Trump campaign launched a bus tour of Texas in San Antonio on Thursday. It has stops scheduled in Granger and Bedford.

  • Judges in Arizona and Virginia blocked Kanye West from appearing on the ballot as an independent presidential candidate after finding issues with his Republican affiliation and the validity of his electors, respectively.

Flashback: September 4, 2016

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook discussed the campaign’s strategy in Florida.blank

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: September 3, 2020

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states. Today we look at Idaho’s decision to remain in Phase Four of reopening, New York’s announcement that casinos can reopen next week, a lawsuit involving COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota, and much more. Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Maryland (divided government): On Sept. 4, Maryland will enter Phase 3 of reopening. Retail stores and religious services will be allowed to increase capacity from 50 to 75 percent. Outdoor entertainment venues may reopen with a capacity of 250 people. Movie theaters and indoor entertainment venues may reopen at 50 percent capacity or up to 100 people.
  • New Jersey (Democratic trifecta): Indoor dining services and movie theaters will be able to reopen starting Sept. 4.
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Sept. 2, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced that Salt Lake City would move from the orange to the yellow phase of reopening. Under the yellow phase, private gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted. The orange phase limited gatherings to 20 people or fewer.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced a partnership with T-Mobile to provide a free WiFi hotspot and 100GB of data to 34,000 low-income student households.
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) released guidance for fall sports. The guidance categorizes sports by risk level (high, medium, or low) and provides mask and social distancing guidelines for each risk level.
  • Idaho (Republican trifecta): Gov. Brad Little (R) announced the state will remain in Phase Four for at least two more weeks. Idaho entered Phase Four on June 13.
  • Michigan (divided government): On Thursday, Sept. 3, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced that gyms and pools could reopen with restrictions on Sept. 9. Gyms will be limited to operating at 25% capacity. Whitmer also announced that youth sports could resume in parts of the state where they are still restricted.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced malls in New York City and casinos statewide will be able to reopen starting Sept. 9.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Sept. 3, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced the details of a forthcoming health order that will require school staff and parents or guardians of students to notify schools within 24 hours of receiving a positive COVID-19 test result. The order will go into effect Sept. 8.

Daily feature: Featured lawsuit

Once a week, we take a closer look at a noteworthy lawsuit involving governmental responses to the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. We define a noteworthy lawsuit as one that has garnered significant media attention, involves major advocacy groups, or deals with unique legal questions. This week, we look at a lawsuit involving COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota.

Free Minnesota Small Business Coalition v. Walz

On Sept. 1, Judge Thomas Gilligan of Minnesota’s Ramsey County District Court dismissed a lawsuit 13 Republican lawmakers and a group of small businesses filed challenging Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) COVID-19-related executive orders.

What is at issue?

The plaintiffs alleged the orders were legislative actions, which cannot be delegated to the governor according to the state constitution’s nondelegation doctrine. The plaintiffs further alleged that Walz exceeded his statutory authority under the Minnesota Emergency Management Act, saying that public health is not a permissible rationale for invoking emergency powers. Lastly, the plaintiffs said that Walz’s orders treated similarly situated businesses differently, violating the equal protection guarantee.

How did the court rule?

Gilligan dismissed the suit, writing, “[The] Governor has acted pursuant to the authority delegated to him by the Legislature. … [The] COVID-19 pandemic constitutes an act of nature that provides the Governor with the basis to declare a peacetime state of emergency in Minnesota.” Gilligan said that subjecting the governor’s emergency actions to “a notice and comment period, public hearings, and review by an administrative law judge” would be “cumbersome and unreasonable.”

What were the reactions, and what comes next?

The lead plaintiffs said they “will continue the fight, by all means necessary to restore the voice and will of the People, through their representatives in the legislature, to decision-making in state government.” They also set up a fundraising campaign to pay for an appeal. Walz has not commented publicly on the suit.

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic.

  • Both Montgomery County and Prince George’s County announced they would not proceed to Phase Three of reopening with the rest of Maryland beginning Sept. 4.
  • Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Director Pat Lopez announced the county would remain in its current reopening phase through the end of September. A statewide directive is scheduled to move all of Nebraska into Phase Four on Sept. 14.


Biden and DNC raise record $365 million in August

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
September 3, 2020: Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $365 million in August. The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the 2020 presidential and vice presidential debates.


Campaign Ad Comparison
DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Adrianna" – Joe Biden)

DPNB campaign ad comparison feature, 2020 ("Lawless" – Donald Trump)

Notable Quote of the Day

“President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally in the key swing state of Pennsylvania on Thursday — but the event won’t be held in the vote-rich Philadelphia suburbs that past Republican nominees like Mitt Romney have taken pains to court.

Instead, he’ll be in the southwest Pennsylvania town of Latrobe, population roughly 8,000.

Four years ago, Trump got more than 116,000 votes from Westmoreland County, where Latrobe is located, compared to Romney’s 103,000 votes in 2012 — a significant difference in a state he won by less than 1 percentage point, or 44,000 votes.

And so the president is focusing his re-election efforts in Pennsylvania on smaller towns and rural areas, flipping the playbook that has traditionally called for statewide candidates from either party to focus resources on the state’s largest city and its surrounding counties.”

– Shannon Pettypiece and Lauren Egan, NBC News

Election Updates

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the 2020 presidential and vice presidential debates. Fox News’ Chris Wallace, C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, and NBC News’ Kristen Welker will each moderate one of the presidential debates. USA Today’s Susan Page will moderate the vice presidential debate. Each debate will be 90 minutes long without commercials. The first debate takes place in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29.

  • Facebook will ban political ads in the week before the November 3 general election. “I generally believe the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, but in the final days of an election there may not be enough time to contest new claims,” Mark Zuckerberg said.

  • Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee raised $365 million in August, bypassing Barack Obama’s record $193 million monthly total in September 2008.

  • Biden is holding a community meeting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to discuss recent protests in the city. He will also meet with the family of Jacob Blake.

  • Republicans and Independents for Biden, a group of nearly 100 Republican officials and leaders, endorsed Biden on Thursday. Former Govs. Christine Todd Whitman (N.J.), Bill Weld (Mass.), and Rick Snyder (Mich.) are among the group.

  • Donald Trump began airing two ads in Wisconsin and Minnesota focused on rioting in Minneapolis and Kenosha. A campaign press release said, “The ads are part of a multi-state buy aimed at early-voting states. Voters in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina will see other messaging defining Biden as a tool of the radical left.”

  • Trump will hold a campaign rally in southwestern Pennsylvania on Thursday.

  • Howie Hawkins said he planned to challenge the Wisconsin Election Commission’s decision to reject his petition for ballot access.

Flashback: September 3, 2016

Donald Trump discussed his agenda for Black voters during a church service at Great Faith Ministries in Detroit.

Click here to learn more.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: September 2, 2020

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states. Today we look at Maryland’s next phase of reopening, Delaware’s decision to open beach bars for the holiday weekend, a featured story from the 1918 influenza pandemic, and much more. Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Arizona (Republican trifecta): Gov. Doug Ducey (R) extended an executive order that adds 365 days to a driver’s license expiration date. The executive order now runs through March 2021. Ducey said that the reason for the initial order was to eliminate the need for residents to visit DMV offices for license renewals.
  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a draft of a color-coding system for reopening by county. The system includes five colors (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue) ranging from “stay at home” (red) to “protect our neighbors” (blue).
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) announced that beach bars could reopen for Labor Day weekend. Patrons must be socially distanced, order food, and make reservations. The reopening will take effect in the towns of Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Long Neck, Bethany Beach, South Bethany, Fenwick Island, West Fenwick Island, Ocean View, and Millville.
  • Florida (Republican trifecta): Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an order reopening long-term care facilities to visitors. All visitors will be required to wear a mask and pass a temperature check and screening for coronavirus symptoms.
  • Indiana (Republican trifecta): The state Board of Education voted to update the definition of “virtual student” for use in the state’s school funding formula. As a result, students who opt for virtual learning during the pandemic will still count in a school’s funding formula.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced the reopening of the Iowa Small Business Relief Program for bars closed in six counties by Reynolds’ executive order last week. Affected businesses may be eligible for a one-time $10,000 grant.
  • Maine (Democratic trifectas): Gov. Janet Mills (D) extended the coronavirus state of civil emergency through Oct. 1.
  • Maryland (divided government): Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced that the state would enter Phase Three of reopening on Sept. 4. Retail stores and religious services will be allowed to increase capacity from 50 to 75 percent. Outdoor entertainment venues may reopen with a capacity of 250 people. Movie theaters and indoor entertainment venues may reopen at 50 percent capacity or up to 100 people.
  • Vermont (divided government): On Sept. 1, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development issued new guidance that requires student athletes to wear face coverings during games and practices when social distancing isn’t possible. The guidance takes effect Sept. 8.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Sept. 2, Gov. Jim Justice (R) closed bars in Monongalia County, two days after allowing them to reopen. He first closed bars in Monongalia in July following a spike in coronavirus cases in that area. Justice did not provide a timeline for when bars can reopen.
  • Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York (Democratic trifectas): On Sept. 1, Govs. Ned Lamont (D-Conn.), Phil Murphy (D-N.J.), and Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) announced that Alaska and Montana had been placed back on the joint travel advisory list, after having been removed Aug. 25. The travel advisory requires travelers entering the tristate area to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Daily feature: The 1918 influenza pandemic

Every Wednesday, we feature a newspaper story written during the 1918 influenza pandemic that illustrates how the country contended with a national health emergency in the midst of an election year. To see more stories from 1918, click here.

On Sept. 29, 1918, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on theater managers’ campaign to convince health officials to remove a ban on theaters.

Spokane theater managers may resort to the courts in an effort to force the health department to raise the influenza ban.

If petitions now being circulated for a reopening are turned down by the city health officer, it is said the matter is to be taken to the state board of health and, if no favorable action is obtained there, legal action may be started.

Theater managers are to meet this afternoon to decide finally on a plan of action.

Health Officer Anderson reiterates that the ban will not be lifted before January 1.

Members of the city health board refuse to make any statements but are expected to abideby the health officer’s recommendations.

Click here to read the original article, courtesy of the University of Michigan Center for the History of Medicine and Michigan Publishing’s Influenza Encyclopedia.

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic.

  • On Aug. 28, the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge against more than three dozen executive orders issued by Gov. Jared Polis (D), including a statewide mask mandate. The denial came two days Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville (R) and activist Michelle Malkin filed the case. Neville and Malkin alleged the Colorado Disaster Emergency Act, which provides the governor with expanded powers during an emergency, is an unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers doctrine: “[The] chief executive by executive order is purportedly making new laws and implementing new public policies which wholly usurp the power of the legislative department to make the laws, a power which has been delegated by the People through their Colorado Constitution exclusively to the legislative department.” Plaintiffs alleged that the various emergency actions taken by Polis, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the El Paso and Denver health departments resulted in “unjust injury to [their] fundamental civil rights, liberty interests, and property rights.” After the suit was filed, Polis said, “We are free to be on the side of a deadly virus that has taken the lives of too many friends, parents, and loved ones, or on the side of Coloradans. I’m on the side of Coloradans.” The plaintiffs said they intended to re-file in the trial court for Denver County.


Heart of the Primaries 2020, Republicans-Issue 33 (September 2, 2020)

This week: Recapping Kansas’ state legislative primaries and looking ahead to New Hampshire

With Labor Day just around the corner and general election season in full swing, this will be the last regular edition of 2020’s Heart of the Primaries. Notable election results from the primaries in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware will be featured in Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew. We hope you have enjoyed our reporting on 2020’s primaries as much as we have enjoyed bringing you this newsletter. Heart of the Primaries will return ahead of the 2022 midterms.

On the news

Where do Republican and conservative pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On 2024:

“I don’t believe that a candidate who runs for the nomination, let’s say in 2024, is going to be able to go back to free trade, globalism, or interventionism … because …  the Republican Party has been changed and reoriented to a great degree by Donald Trump.

“So I think that’s what controls it. … [T]he Republicans today, many of them are … basically establishment Republicans, Conservative Inc., and all the rest of it and they may not believe what they are mouthing, but the fact that they are required to speak in a certain way and address these issues indicates a realization on their part that, intellectually, they have lost the battle for the party’s issues and the party’s identity. And frankly if someone came in and attempted to impose free trade and open borders on the Republican Party, he would not be nominated by the GOP.”

Pat Buchanan, Newsmax TV, Aug. 29, 2020

 

“Donald Trump took over the Republican Party, but it’s still discernibly the Republican Party. …

“There … are notable differences of substance. Trump’s party has reversed itself on trade and jettisoned concern over deficit spending. The party is much less hawkish than George W. Bush’s GOP and much more skeptical of immigration than Ronald Reagan’s. It doesn’t have the focus of the 2004 Republican convention on terrorism or the 2012 Republican convention on out-of-control entitlement spending.

“And yet there is a clear throughline between today’s Republican Party and the GOP of the past several decades. …

“Take Don Trump Jr.’s forceful speech, which by lineage and inclination should be most representative of the Trump GOP. …

“Trump Jr. argued that “Biden’s radical left-wing policies would stop our economic recovery cold,” in part by raising taxes.

“This contrast with Democrats is a GOP commonplace. …

“Trump Jr. underlined the importance of safety and security and hailed the police as American heroes.

“Again, back in 1984, Vice President Bush said, ‘President Reagan and I think it’s time that we worried less about the criminals and more about the victims of crime.’ …

“This perspective sheds some light on the future of a post-Trump GOP. In the main, it’s not likely to be radically different from the current Trump GOP. …

“If this week’s convention has again demonstrated Trump’s personal grip on the party, it also showed that the Republican Party as it has existed for decades isn’t going away.”

Rich Lowry, The National Review, Aug. 28, 2020

U.S. Congress

Previewing the U.S. Senate Republican primary in New Hampshire

Four candidates are running in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire on Sept. 8. Don Bolduc and Bryant “Corky” Messner have led in media attention, endorsements, and campaign finance. 

The Concord Monitor’s Ethan DeWitt wrote:

“In Bolduc, voters can choose a career military servant, a brigadier general who rose through the ranks under a long line of presidents and now seeks change from the outside. In Messner they can pick an avowed capitalist, a Trump-endorsed corporate lawyer who built a Denver-based law firm and is running to stand up for small businesses.”

Bolduc received endorsements from the Senate Conservatives Fund, New Hampshire’s former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith (R), and U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who said Bolduc “has the integrity, courage, and conviction to lead a positive strategy, and keep America safe.” Messner received endorsements from U.S. President Donald Trump (R), who said Messner was “Strong on jobs, crime, veterans, and the Second Amendment”, and the National Association for Gun Rights.

According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Messner has raised more than $4.4 million, including $3.9 million he loaned to his campaign. Bolduc had raised $889,000. The candidates have $2.5 million and $178,000 cash on hand, respectively.

Gerard Beloin and Andy Martin are also running in the primary.

Incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), first elected in 2008, is seeking re-election. In 2014, Shaheen defeated Scott Brown (R), 51.5-48.2%. New Hampshire most recently held a U.S. Senate election in 2016, when Maggie Hassan (D) defeated incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R), 48-47.9%.

Previewing New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary

Five candidates are running in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District Republican primary on Sept. 8. Matt Mayberry and Matt Mowers lead the field in noteworthy endorsements and fundraising.

Mayberry, a former Dover City Councilor and chairman of the N.H. Commission on Human Rights, received endorsements from U.S. Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R). Mowers worked as the executive director of the N.H. Republican State Committee and a senior White House advisor in the U.S. State Department. He received endorsements from U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

According to pre-primary campaign finance reports, Mowers has raised $693,000 and has $373,000 cash on hand. Mayberry has raised $173,000 and has $22,000 cash on hand.

Michael Callis, Jeff Denaro, and Kevin Rondeau are also running in the primary.

Denaro, Mayberry, and Mowers completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. Read their full responses here. Each candidate is asked to provide three key messages, excerpts of which include:

  • Denaro: “Our National Debt at this time is 26.6 Trillion. I want to propose bills to lower our debt.”
  • Mayberry: “Matt Mayberry is a true New Hampshire Conservative. He believes in smaller government, lower taxes and more personal freedom.”
  • Mowers: “It’s time for a new generation of conservative leadership that will stand up for New Hampshire.”

The winner of the primary will face incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas (D), first elected in 2018 after defeating Eddie Edwards (R), 54-45%. Pappas’ victory made the 1st District one of 30 House Districts represented by a Democrat in 2020 that voted for Trump in 2016. During the presidential election, Trump received 48% of the vote to Hillary Clinton’s (D) 47% in the 1st District.

State legislatures

Race recap: Kansas’ state legislative elections

Kansas’ state legislative primaries took place on Aug. 4. Over one-quarter of the Republican incumbents seeking re-election faced primary challenges this year, and roughly 40 percent of them lost to their challengers.

The Wichita Eagle’s Jonathan Shorman said these primary challenges illustrated a longstanding, intra-party ideological divide in the state’s legislature: “The influence of Kansas Republican moderates has waxed and waned. Gov. Sam Brownback [(R)] helped oust them in 2012. Voters then swept them back into office in 2016 to end his signature income tax cuts and stabilize the budget.” Shorman continued, “But with last week’s primary losses, their ranks have been depleted to levels not seen for years.”

Below are the results of Republican primaries that featured this ideological divide, according to local media sources like The Wichita Eagle, Shawnee Mission Post, and The Kansas City Star.

In the state Senate races listed below, all of the incumbents who lost primaries this year were first elected in 2016, the last time state Senate elections took place. Four of the 2020 incumbents—Skubal, Givens, Hardy, and Berger—all defeated Republican incumbents themselves in 2016.

The House last held elections in 2018. Of the four incumbents defeated below, Dirks was first elected in 2012 and Moore in 2018. Kessinger and Karleskint were both elected in 2016 after defeating Republican incumbents in their respective primaries.

Power players

“Making the change one outsider at a time.” – Conservative Outsider PAC website

Conservative Outsider PAC (COPAC) is a political action committee founded in 2020. Its current treasurer is Kate Teasdale, who works as a Republican political consultant. Notable contributions to COPAC during the 2020 election cycle include $315,000 from Club for Growth and $750,000 from Protect Freedom PAC.

COPAC has not made any direct campaign contributions during the current election cycle, but it has made independent expenditures in Republican primaries totaling $1,376,922. Most recently, it spent $385,000 on television ads opposing Bill Hagerty’s (R) bid for the U.S. Senate in Tennessee, bringing its total spending in opposition to Hagerty to $968,000. COPAC also spent $250,835 and $102,468 to oppose Dane Eagle’s (R) campaign in Florida’s 19th Congressional District and Tracey Mann’s campaign in Kansas’ 1st Congressional District. Both Hagerty and Mann won their primary elections, while Eagle lost his by a margin of .7 percentage points.



Heart of the Primaries 2020, Democrats-Issue 33 (September 2, 2020)

This week: Results from last night’s primaries in Massachusetts and a preview of the top primaries in New Hampshire

With Labor Day just around the corner and general election season in full swing, this will be the last regular edition of 2020’s Heart of the Primaries. Notable election results from the primaries in New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware will be featured in Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew. We hope you have enjoyed our reporting on 2020’s primaries as much as we have enjoyed bringing you this newsletter. Heart of the Primaries will return ahead of the 2022 midterms.

On the news

Where do Democratic and progressive pundits and commentators disagree? Each week, we bring you excerpts that highlight differing views.

On whether the presidential race is tightening:

In a powerful speech in Pittsburgh on Monday, Joe Biden nestled into his comfort zone. The Democratic presidential nominee is never more clear, direct or impassioned than when the disaster that is President Trump and the moral authority of the office are the focus of his attention. What’s stunning is that the president happily feeds Biden’s fire. …

“…I believe Biden has an upper hand against Trump. Forget about the president’s lame attempts to question Biden’s mental acuity or his ability to do the job. Those are projections meant to distract and to stoke fear among easily panicked Democrats. No, pay attention to what Biden has done. He’s laid a trap that everyone can see and Trump fails to avoid. Every time he opens his mouth, Trump forays into racism and white grievance that give Biden another chance to stand in stark contrast to him. Another chance to show humanity and leadership to a nation in desperate need of it.

“But I am also mindful of this: A cornered animal will fight its way out of it. And Trump is using fear to fight his way out, even if it means exacerbating racial tensions. That’s why he went to Kenosha to visit law enforcement. That’s why he can’t see fit to denounce right-wing militias who support him. That’s why he absolutely must be defeated in November.”

Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post, Sept. 1, 2020

 

“In mid-August, a Pew Research Center poll found that the issue of violent crime ranks fifth in importance to registered voters—behind the economy, health care, the Supreme Court, and the pandemic, but ahead of foreign policy, guns, race, immigration, and climate change. The poll found a large partisan gap on the issue: three-quarters of Trump voters rated violent crime “very important,” second behind only the economy. Nonetheless, nearly half of Biden voters also rated it “very important.” Other polls show that, over the summer, Biden has lost some of the support he gained among older white Americans in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic. …

“On Tuesday night, the CNN host Don Lemon warned his colleague Chris Cuomo that riots were hurting Biden and the Democrats: ‘Chris, as you know and I know, it’s showing up in the polls, it’s showing up in focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.’ Lemon urged Biden to speak out about both police reform and violence. With Kenosha and the political conventions, the coverage seems to be changing. On Thursday, the Times ran a piece headlined ‘How Chaos in Kenosha Is Already Swaying Some Voters in Wisconsin.’ … 

“Nothing will harm a campaign like the wishful thinking, fearful hesitation, or sheer complacency that fails to address what voters can plainly see. Kenosha gives Biden a chance to help himself and the country. Ordinarily it’s the incumbent president’s job to show up at the scene of a national tragedy and give a unifying speech. But Trump is temperamentally incapable of doing so and, in fact, has a political interest in America’s open wounds and burning cities.

George Packer, The Atlantic, Aug. 28, 2020

Election results

  • Massachusetts U.S. Senate primary: Incumbent Ed Markey defeated Joe Kennedy III. As of 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on September 2, Markey had 55% of the vote to Kennedy’s 45%. Markey, who was first elected in 2013, had endorsements from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Kennedy, who has served in the U.S. House since 2013, had endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). Election forecasters say Markey is a solid bet to win re-election in November.
  • Massachusetts’ 1st Congressional District primary: Incumbent Richard Neal defeated Alex Morse. As of 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on September 2, Neal had 59% of the vote to Morse’s 41%. Neal, who was first elected in 1988, is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. 
  • Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District primary: As of 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on September 2, this primary was too close to call. Nine Democrats were on the ballot for the seat currently held by Joe Kennedy III. Jake Auchincloss led with 23% of the vote, followed by Jesse Mermell with 22% and Becky Grossman with 18%.

State executives

Previewing New Hampshire’s gubernatorial primary

Two of New Hampshire’s top elected Democrats are seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Gov. Chris Sununu (R), who was first elected in 2016. State Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes will face Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky in the Sept. 8 primary.

According to WMUR’s John DiStaso, “While Volinsky is viewed as a bit further to the left philosophically than Feltes, in fact the two are similar on many other issues and point to their experiences representing for middle- and low-income people among their chief qualifications to go up against the popular Republican incumbent.”

Feltes and Volinsky differ on a broad-based tax. Since 2002, every New Hampshire Democratic gubernatorial nominee has pledged to veto any broad-based tax increase. Feltes has made a similar pledge, while Volinsky says such a promise is outdated, instead committing to reducing local property taxes for the majority of citizens.

Feltes, who has served in the state senate since 2015, has endorsements from End Citizens United, Let America Vote, and the Voter Protection Project. Volinsky, who has been a member of the Executive Council since 2016, is backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the Sierra Club, and Blue America.

As of the August campaign finance reports, Feltes led in fundraising with $1.0 million to Volinsky’s $590,000.

The winner will face the Republican nominee and Libertarian Darryl Perry in the November general election. Incumbent Chris Sununu (R) was first elected 49% to 47% in 2016 and was re-elected 53% to 46% in 2018. Two election forecasters say Republicans are likely to win the November election and one says it leans towards Republicans.

Previewing New Hampshire’s Executive Council District 2 primary

Six Democrats are seeking the nomination for one of five seats on the New Hampshire Executive Council. The five-member executive board is responsible for approving state expenditures, overseeing spending, and approving gubernatorial appointments. Incumbent Andru Volinsky (D), who has held the District 2 seat since the 2016 election, is running for governor.

Four candidates—Leah Plunkett, Emmett Soldati, Craig Thompson, and Cinde Warmington—completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey. One of the questions on the survey asked candidates what areas of public policy they are personally passionate about. An abridged version of each candidate’s response follows.

Plunkett said: “Leah has demonstrated proven progressive courage through her board service on Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the ACLU. She has stood up and spoke out to make real, proven change even when it was unpopular. With Leah, it’s an important combination: a proven skill set, plus the perspective of a young working mom of two.”

Soldati said: “The Executive Council represents a larger opportunity to expand access to others who have been left out of the conversation – to appoint leaders to agencies and commissions with diverse perspectives on what life is like for Granite Staters, with lived experience that relates to the complex issues we are working to solve, to ensure that the businesses we engage with have strong anti-discrimination policies and pay fair wages, and to safeguard our courts against corporate, partisan, and conservative interests.”

Thompson said: “People of every age, gender, race, national origin, faith background, marital status and family structure, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental and physical ability, economic and social status, and educational background should feel welcome to make New Hampshire their home…We place the highest value on public service of all kinds, civilian and military, and encourage all to engage and serve their communities.”

Warmington said: “We’re facing the most dire public health crisis of our lifetime. Yet, no one on our Executive Council has a health care background. Having an Executive Councilor who understands both the complexities of the health care system and how those are presented in state contracts will be of great benefit. I know what’s in our state contracts. I know what to ask. I know where we can hold state contractors accountable to lower costs and expand access.”

Also on the ballot are John Shea and Jay Surdukowski. Two Republicans are also in the running: Jim Beard and Stewart Levenson. New Hampshire’s Executive Council District 2 is located in the southern part of the state and has elected a Democrat in every election since the last round of redistricting took place following the 2010 census.

Power players

“Officially affiliated with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Courage to Change seeks to reward challengers and incumbents who display political courage — people who refuse to bow to establishment pressure, who advocate ferociously for working-class families, and who have lived the same struggles as the people they seek to represent.” – Courage to Change PAC website

Courage to Change PAC is a political action committee affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). The PAC was established in 2019, the same year Ocasio-Cortez assumed office. In addition to financial support, it also endorses candidates, with its most recent endorsement being Alex Morse (D) in the Massachusetts 1st Congressional District primary.

During the 2020 election cycle, Courage to Change PAC has spent a total of $217,386. Its top contributions include $10,000 to the campaign of Samelys López who ran in the Democratic primary in New York’s 15th Congressional District and nine $7,500 contributions to Democratic primary campaigns in New York.

Click the following link to see Courage to Change PAC’s 2020 endorsements.



Biden will speak about school reopenings in Delaware

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
September 2, 2020: Joe Biden will deliver a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, focused on school reopenings and the coronavirus pandemic. A lawsuit in Arizona is seeking to block Kanye West from the ballot over his party registration.


Presidential Facebook ads, 2019-2020 (August 24-30, 2020)

Notable Quotes of the Day

“We now have a name for our worst-case election scenario. It’s called a ‘red mirage.’

The term describes an election outcome in which early results appear to favor President Trump, but then tip toward a decisive victory for Joe Biden as more mail-in ballots are counted. It was coined by Josh Mendelsohn, CEO of Hawkfish—the political data firm founded by Michael Bloomberg—who warns in a new interview with Axios on HBO that this nightmarish scenario is not only possible but likely according to some of the firm’s modeling.

In one version, Trump could see a projected 408 electoral votes on election night, compared to 130 for Biden, but that’s with only 15% of the mail-in votes being counted, Axios reports. The tide could then turn to favor Biden as we count more votes—polling data shows Democrats are more likely to vote by mail.”

– Christopher ZaraFast Company

“We shouldn’t overdo it. Hawkfish is presenting a scenario in which an apparent 408-130 win for the president on Nov. 3 eventually becomes a 334-204 Biden victory. That’s not impossible, but it’s a stretch. Many states count their absentee ballots rapidly; the California pattern of taking weeks to get it done is relatively rare. It’s possible that normally quick states will collapse this year given unprecedented use of mail voting, but most have been preparing for that possibility and are unlikely to be completely overwhelmed. As Politico’s Steven Shepard points out, large media organizations will also have exit polls, and while those are hardly perfect, the people who run them have had many cycles to get used to early and absentee voting.”

– Jonathan BernsteinBloomberg

Election Updates

  • Joe Biden will deliver a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, focused on school reopenings and the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. Prior to his remarks, Biden will receive a briefing from education leaders in Wilmington on the subject.

  • Biden is airing a new ad in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin featuring clips from a speech he gave on Monday condemning rioting and Donald Trump’s rhetoric.

  • Trump is traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina, for an official White House event on Wednesday to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.

  • Mike Pence will also campaign in North Carolina on Thursday, participating in an anti-abortion event in Raleigh and accepting an endorsement from the Southern States Police Benevolent Association.

  • Arizona resident Rasean Clayton is suing to block Kanye West from appearing on the Arizona ballot as an independent. The lawsuit says West did not submit paperwork stating he is not a member of a recognized political party. West is registered as a Republican.

Flashback: September 2, 2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigation released notes from its July interview with Hillary Clinton regarding her use of a private email server while secretary of state.blank

Click here to learn more.



More than 50% of state legislative seats guaranteed to one major party in 12 states

In 12 states, more than half of state legislative seats are guaranteed to one of the two major parties in the 2020 elections, according to Ballotpedia’s 10th Annual State Legislative Competitiveness Report.

When a candidate from only one of the two major parties runs for a state legislative seat, it is all but guaranteed to be won by that party. Nationally, roughly one-third of the 5,875 state legislative seats up for election this year will be won by one of the two major parties due to a lack of major party competition.

The 12 states where more than half of all state legislative elections feature only one major party candidate are:

The chart below shows the number of seats without major party competition in all even-year elections since 2010:

On the other hand, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire feature the highest percentage of seats with major party competition, all over 90%. In Michigan, 109 of the 110 seats up have major party competition in the general election.

Nationally, Democrats and Republicans are contesting a nearly-equal number of seats this year, with a 35-seat difference between the two parties. This is the most parity in the number of seats contested by each of the two major parties since 2010.

Additional reading:


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: September 1, 2020

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states. Today we look at the announcement of a new phase of reopening in North Carolina, the extension of Mississippi’s mask mandate, school reopenings, and much more. Want to know what happened yesterday? Click here.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation extending the moratorium on evictions through Jan. 31, 2021, as long as renters pay at least 25% of their rent and file a declaration with their landlord.
  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced childcare centers can raise class sizes from 10 to 15 children, effective immediately.
  • Maryland (divided government): The state Board of Education approved new minimum requirements for instruction. Schools must be open at least 180 days and offer at least six hours of instruction, of which 3.5 hours must be synchronous instruction (all students taught at the same time) for grades K-12.
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves (R) extended the state’s executive order requiring individuals to wear masks in indoor public spaces and bars to close at 11 p.m. every night. The order expands school sporting and extracurricular events (like school performances) to 25% capacity. Previously, only two attendees per participating student were permitted.
  • Nevada (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) extended the moratorium on evictions for 45 days through Oct. 15. Sisolak also announced an additional $10 million in federal relief funds for short-term rental assistance.
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced new guidelines for agritourism businesses and activities like corn mazes, hayrides, and pick-your-own produce farms.
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Sept. 1, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved the state’s application to participate in the Lost Wages Assistance program (LWA). The LWA allows eligible individuals to receive an additional $300 a week in unemployment benefits. President Donald Trump (R) signed an executive order on Aug. 8 allowing funds in the Lost Wage Assistance (LWA) program to be used to bolster state unemployment insurance programs.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Sept. 1, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announced he would ease some coronavirus restrictions as part of a new phase of reopening, dubbed Phase 2.5, which goes into effect on Sept. 4. Under Phase 2.5, the limit on gatherings will increase to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors. Museums and aquariums can reopen at 50% capacity. Gyms and indoor exercise facilities can reopen at 30% capacity. Several restrictions, like the ban on bars and movie theaters, will remain in effect.
  • West Virginia (Republican trifecta): On Aug. 31, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced that student athletes in counties with between 10 and 24.9 cases per 100,000 could begin playing sports immediately if they test negative for coronavirus. Currently, three counties are in that range, which the state designates as “orange” in its color-coded risk assessment system.

Daily feature: Schools

All 50 states closed schools to in-person instruction at some point during the 2019-2020 academic year. Beginning in May 2020, schools in certain states began to reopen. In which states are schools allowed to open? In which states are they ordered to remain closed?

The current status of school reopenings is as follows:

  • Four states (N.M., R.I., Vt., W.V.) have a state-ordered school closure
  • Two states (Calif., Hawaii) have a state-ordered regional school closure
  • Three states (Del., N.C., Va.) are open for hybrid or remote instruction only
  • Five states (Ark., Fla., Iowa, Mo., Texas) have state-ordered in-person instruction
  • Thirty-six states have reopenings that vary by school or district

Additional activity

In this section, we feature examples of other federal, state, and local government activity, private industry responses, and lawsuits related to the pandemic.

  • The Anchorage Assembly announced that meetings will be open to the public again. Up to 60 individuals will be allowed to watch meetings and give in-person testimony. Attendees must pass a forehead temperature check, fill out a contact tracing log, wear masks, and maintain social distancing.
  • New York City delayed the reopening of schools for 11 days. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said the delay would give teachers additional time to prepare for in-person instruction.
  • On Aug. 24, a Las Vegas hotel, after being fined for hosting an “Evangelicals for Trump” event, filed suit in the Clark County District Court seeking an order invalidating Gov. Steve Sisolak’s (D) ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. In its complaint, the Ahern Hotel argues that Sisolak’s Directive 21, which allows restaurants and casinos to operate at 50% capacity while limiting other gatherings to a maximum of 50 people, “is unreasonable because there is no rational basis for treating” businesses that host events differently than “similarly situated non-essential business.” The hotel says the disparity is an “unlawful, arbitrary, capricious” and “clearly erroneous” violation of its rights to equal protection and due process. The hotel is seeking a court order allowing convention centers, hotels, and restaurants to host events if they meet other health and safety standards under Phase II of Nevada’s Reopening Response Plan. The city and state have not commented on the suit.


Bitnami