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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.


Massachusetts House approves omnibus public-sector union legislation

Massachusetts House of Representatives approves omnibus public-sector union legislation

On June 5, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted 155-1 to approve H3854, an omnibus bill that would, if enacted, make several changes to the state’s public-sector labor laws.

  • What does the bill propose?
    • It would authorize employers to disclose employee information to unions.
    • It would 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
    • It would allow unions to make dues deduction authorizations irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
  • What are the responses?
    • Rep. Paul Brodeur (D), who voted in favor of the bill, said, “It prevents hard-working, dues-paying members from footing the bill for an employee who does not share in the obligation to meet those costs by paying any money into the union. It stands for the fundamental premise that you can’t get something for nothing.”
    • Rep. Brad Jones (R), who also voted in favor of the bill, said, “I think it’s a fair argument to say, ‘Look, you’re not in the union. Fine. You don’t want to pay an agency fee. You don’t want to pay dues. But if the union’s going to have to represent you in a grievance or something like that, they should be able to have a reasonable fee.’ I think everybody bought into that.”
    • Rep. Shawn Dooley (R), who voted against the bill, criticized the bill provisions that provide unions with access to employee information: “I don’t know why they also have to be able to contact them at home in their off hours. I feel it’s a huge invasion of privacy and I think it lends itself to possible workplace bullying in the future.”
  • What comes next? The bill now goes to the Senate. If the Senate approves it, it will go to Governor Charlie Baker (R).

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

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

Union Station map June 7, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 7, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart June 7, 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 unions to make dues deduction authorizations irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • House approved June 5.
  • Nevada SB135: This bill would provide collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Senate approved June 1, and House approved June 2. Enrolled and delivered to governor June 3.
  • 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.
    • Senate approved June 6 (House had approved March 27).
  • 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.
    • Second reading in Senate June 5.


The Daily Brew: We want you to join our summer fun!

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Wednesday, June 12, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. How are you spending the summer? We want to know!
  2. Supreme Court to issue 24 opinions by the end of June
  3. Quiz: Which state saw the most close House elections?

How are you spending the summer? We want to know!

Nine days until the official start of summer. Are you enjoying the sunshine on the West coast? Melting in Texas? Poolside in the District? Blessing the rains down in the Midwest?

Wherever you may be, we’re glad you’re tuning into the Daily Brew this summer. We’re having some summer fun here at Ballotpedia, and want to invite you to join us.

Fourth of July week we’ll be bringing you Ballotpedia Summer Camp.

Your Daily Brew will be replaced with Daily Iced Coffees, filled with our favorite stories and analysis of the year so far.

We also want to hear from you! We’ll feature submissions from readers during Summer Camp week.

Respond to this email and let me know your favorite political stories of the year. What are you looking forward to the rest of the year? What are your family’s summer plans?

Share your story and it might be selected to be shared with other Daily Brew readers—And you might even get some sweet Ballotpedia swag out of the deal!

Supreme Court to issue 24 opinions by the end of June

The Supreme Court has issued 45 decisions in the 69 cases for which it’s heard oral arguments. The court’s term ends at the end of June, so that means there are 24 cases still awaiting a ruling.

By this date in 2018, the court had issued opinions in 42 of the 63 cases for which it heard oral arguments and had yet to issue decisions in 21 cases. Last year, the court added several additional, unplanned opinion release dates to account for the backlog. So far this year no additional dates have been announced – but stay tuned!

The listing below shows the month that this term’s opinions were issued:

  • November – 2
  • December  – 1
  • January – 5
  • February – 6
  • March – 11
  • April – 4
  • May – 9
  • June – 7

The table below shows the number of cases in which the court has yet to issue a ruling, organized by the month in which the court heard oral arguments, compared to the previous term: 

2018-2019 term

2017-2018 term

October – 1

November – 2

December – 1

January – 2

February – 3

March – 7

April – 8

October – 1

November – 1

December – 0

January – 2

February – 6

March – 2

April – 9

 

We cover all things SCOTUS and the federal judiciary in our Bold Justice newsletter, with summaries of Supreme Court opinions and information about nominations of federal judges. The next issue will come out on Monday, June 17—click here to subscribe!

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#BallotTrivia

Quiz: Which state saw the most close House elections?

In Tuesday’s Brew, I introduced you to the work we did about the margin of victory in 2018’s congressional elections. Those were just the highlights—there’s plenty of great information provided in the full analysis. I hope you had a chance to explore that page further—including the maps and charts—because today, I’ve got a short quiz.



The Daily Presidential News Briefing: Buttigieg, Harris, and O’Rourke join striking fast food workers

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 12, 2019: Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Beto O’Rourke will join striking fast food restaurant workers this week. Joe Biden and Donald Trump campaigned in Iowa and traded barbs.

Facebook spending

Notable Quote of the Day

“I’m not saying it’s more important than a data operation or a communications shop, [but] if we get into the summer and the major campaigns haven’t brought faith outreach on, then I’d be very concerned. Otherwise, we’ll be leaving voters on the table.”

– Michael Wear, 2012 Obama faith outreach director

Democrats

 

  • While campaigning in Iowa Tuesday, Joe Biden said if he were elected president, the country would find a cure for cancer. He criticized Trump, who was also in the state, for his tariff policy.

 

 

 

 

  • Steve Bullock visited southwest Iowa communities affected by flooding along the Missouri River.

 

 

  • Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Beto O’Rourke will join striking fast food restaurant workers in events organized by the group Fight for $15 and a Union in three early voting states—Nevada for Harris and South Carolina for Buttigieg and O’Rourke.

 

 

  • Responding to the jury deadlock in the trial of border activist Scott Warren, Julián Castro tweeted that his administration “will not criminalize humanitarian aid and will treat asylum seekers with compassion.”

 

 

 

 

  • In an interview with The Des Moines Register, Kirsten Gillibrand said society had developed moral clarity on abortion. “There is no moral equivalency when you come to racism. And I do not believe that there is a moral equivalency when it comes to changing laws that deny women reproductive freedom,” she said.

 

 

  • In an interview with BuzzFeed News’ AM to DM, Jay Inslee discussed prioritizing climate change, decriminalizing sex work at the state level, healthcare, and abortion.

 

 

 

 

  • Wayne Messam answered 20 questions about his campaign, gun violence, immigration, Afghanistan, and personal history in Independent Journal Review’s The 2020 Twenty series.

 

 

  • Boston Magazine profiled Seth Moulton, including his early years at Harvard and enlistment in the Marines.

 

 

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

 

  • Eric Swalwell discussed LGBT policy and said he would sign the Equality Act during an interview on SiriusXM Progress.
  • In an interview on The Ezra Klein Show, Warren discussed what would happen on the first day of her presidency and how she would implement her policy plans.

 

  • During a tour of a Las Vegas cannabis facility, Marianne Williamson said she supported legalizing marijuana at the federal level, granting amnesty for nonviolent offenders convicted of marijuana-related crimes, and distributing tax revenue from cannabis to K-12 education.

 

 

 

Republicans

 

  • Donald Trump spoke at Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy in Council Bluffs and a fundraiser in Des Moines Tuesday. He promoted his trade policy and criticized the Green New Deal and Biden.

 

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

 

  • Stacey Abrams has not ruled out running for president, saying the nominating process would “winnow out who is actually viable” and that she could enter in the fall. She 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.”

 

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 12, 2015

After 36 years, the Iowa Republican Party announced it was canceling the Iowa straw poll. “The poll had been criticized in recent elections as an irrelevant metric of potential Republican presidential nominees. Though historically, it’s been a test of candidates’ organizing power and retail politicking skills, it was blamed in 2012 for contributing to the lengthy, circus-like atmosphere of the Republican primary, in part by propping up candidates like [Michele] Bachmann who might have faded earlier but for the event,” Politico reported.



The Daily Presidential News Briefing: Gillibrand crosses 65,000-donors threshold for first debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

June 11, 2019: Kirsten Gillibrand crossed 65,000 donors to effectively guarantee her a spot on the debate stage. Donald Trump discussed tariffs in an interview on CNBC.

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Trivia Tuesday

George Washington aside, which non-incumbent presidential candidate won the highest share of the Electoral College vote?

Notable Quotes of the Day
“Despite the conventional wisdom, which holds that abortion only motivates voters on the right, history suggests otherwise: boldly supporting a woman’s right to legal abortion is a winning strategy for Democrats on the road to the White House.

When the issue of abortion is activated during a presidential campaign – like it was in 1992 and 2012 – it results in big wins for Democrats.”

– Nancy L. CohenThe Guardian contributor

“If Biden had stuck with his opposition to taxpayer funding [of abortions] and won the nomination, he might have been able to draw a contrast between his own moderation and the Republicans’ extremism. But the Democrats have now drawn more attention than ever before to a question where they’re the ones who want a big change in abortion policy that most people oppose.”

– Ramesh Ponnuru, American Enterprise Institute visiting fellow

Democrats

  • The lottery to determine the candidate order on stage in the first debate will take place on June 14 at NBC’s headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. NBC also announced the debate will have five moderators. Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, and José Diaz-Balart will moderate the first hour and Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow will moderate the second.

  • The Democratic National Committee announced that the Fox Theatre in Detroit will be the venue for the second debate in July. CNN will host the event.

  • Joe BidenSteve Bullock, and Beto O’Rourke are campaigning and fundraising in Chicago, Illinois, this week.

  • Bill de Blasio released a video supporting driver’s licenses for all, regardless of immigration status, for safety.

  • Pete Buttigieg will deliver a major national security and foreign policy address at Indiana University Tuesday morning.

  • Nicole Avant, who helped bundle at least $800,000 for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, is backing Buttigieg’s campaign.

  • Julián Castro proposed launching a presidential task force on lead poisoningand allocating $5 billion per year for a decade to replace lead pipes and address contamination.

  • New York Magazine profiled Tulsi Gabbard’s early years and its impact on her presidential campaign.

  • Kirsten Gillibrand announced she had crossed 65,000 unique donors over the weekend, effectively guaranteeing her a spot in the debate.

  • In an interview on CBS News’ Red & BlueMike Gravel discussed the organization of his campaign and the state of progressive policies in the Democratic Party.

  • Kamala Harris held a town hall in Dubuque, Iowa, Monday.

  • KIMT News 3 interviewed John Hickenlooper about his opposition to socialism and support for civility in politics.

  • Jay Inslee posted three billboards in Des Moines, Iowa, calling on an energy company to stop burning coal for energy production.

  • Amy Klobuchar campaigned in New Hampshire Monday, including speaking at the Politics & Eggs event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

  • Seth Moulton campaigned in Manchester, New Hampshire, and told reporters he expected to focus on the state over the summer.

  • Tim Ryan met with farmers and small business owners while campaigning in New Hampshire.

  • Eric Swalwell will hold a roundtable on gun violence in Las Vegas, Nevada, Wednesday.

  • Elizabeth Warren called on the Justice Department’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim to recuse himself from investigations into Google and Apple, which he previously lobbied for.

  • In an interview on MSNBC’s The Beat, Marianne Williamson spoke about American values and her relationship with Oprah.

  • The Washington Post profiled Andrew Yang’s viral campaign in an article titled, “Random Man Runs for President.”

Republicans

Flashback: June 11, 2015

During an event at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Carly Fiorina delivered what she called the first major speech in the 2016 presidential election “on the state of women in America.” She called for conservatives to reclaim the word feminism.



The Daily Brew: So, how close were congressional elections in 2018?

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Tuesday, June 11, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Five Senate and 44 House races in 2018 were decided by less than 5 percent
  2. Voters to decide at least 19 statewide ballot measures in five states this year
  3. Johnson elected Dallas mayor; Mayor Nirenberg wins re-election in San Antonio

Five Senate and 44 House races in 2018 were decided by less than 5 percent

Last year’s elections were held seven months ago. But we all know it is fun to look back and crunch the numbers every now and then. Today, we explore the margin-of-victory figures.

The average margin of victory in the 2018 elections was the smallest it had been in even-year congressional races since 2012.

Margin of victory—or MOV—is the difference between the share of votes cast for the winning candidate and the share cast for the losing one.

The table below shows the number of congressional elections won by each party in three categories—a margin of less than 5%, a margin between 5% and 15%, and a margin of greater than 15%.

Elections by margin of victory

Since it is June, the sixth month of the year, here are six more quick facts from our research:

  • Sixty-nine percent of 2018’s congressional races were decided by a margin of more than 15 percentage points.

  • In 2018’s 33 regularly-scheduled U.S. Senate elections, the average MOV was 16.8%. This was the smallest average since 2012 when that year’s Senate races averaged a 20% MOV.

  • Republican candidates who won Senate races had an average MOV of 14.3%, compared to an MOV of 16.8% in races won by Democratic candidates. Seventeen Senate races (more than half) were decided by a margin of victory greater than 15%.

  • The closest Senate race was in Florida, where then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) defeated incumbent Bill Nelson (D) by a margin of 0.12%—10,003 votes out of 8.2 million cast. The largest MOV was in Hawaii, where incumbent Mazie Hirono (D) won by 42.3%.

  • In 434 U.S. House elections, the average margin of victory was 30.2%. This was the smallest average since 2012 when the average MOV was 31.8%. Republican candidates who won did so by an average margin of 22.8%. The average margin in House races won by Democrats was 36.6%.

  • The closest House race was in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District where incumbent Rob Woodall (R) defeated Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) by 433 votes—a margin of 0.15%.

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Ballotpedia Events


Voters to decide at least 19 statewide ballot measures in five states this year

In the last few months, I’ve brought you stories about individual ballot initiatives that will be decided by voters in 2019. As we near the halfway point in the year, let’s take the temperature of where things stand so far.

19 statewide ballot measures have certified for the 2019 ballot in five states—Colorado (two), Kansas (one), Louisiana (four), Texas (10), and Washington (two). In Louisiana, the measures will appear on the October 12 primary election ballot. The other measures certified so far will be decided by voters on November 5.

Of the 19 measures, 18 were referred to the ballot by state legislatures and one was placed on the ballot via citizen initiative. That initiative, in Washington, seeks to limit annual license fees and taxes on motor vehicles.

Some of the topics which voters will address in these measures include transportation, taxes and tax exemptions, revenue allocation and budgets, the census, education, animal care, bonds, and the administration of government.

In the past four odd-numbered years, the average number of certified statewide measures by this date was between 16 and 17, and the average total number of statewide measures was 30. In 2017, 27 statewide measures were certified.

The Tuesday CountFour states—Colorado, Maine, Ohio, and Washington—allow for citizen-initiated ballot initiatives or veto referendums in elections in odd-numbered years. The next upcoming signature submission deadlines for citizen initiatives in those states are on July 3 (Ohio) and July 5 (Washington). Legislatively referred measures can also be approved in those four states in 2019. Other states that frequently feature statewide measures in odd-numbered years include Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.

Johnson elected Dallas mayor; Mayor Nirenberg wins re-election in San Antonio

While much of the country was partaking in their usual weekend activities, voters in San Antonio and Dallas were electing new mayors. In case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown of who won the Saturday runoff elections.

Dallas

State Rep. Eric Johnson defeated City Councilmember Scott Griggs in the runoff election for mayor of Dallas. Johnson received 56 percent of the vote to Griggs’ 44 percent.

Johnson was first elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 2010. Although municipal elections in Dallas are officially nonpartisan, Johnson and outgoing Mayor Mike Rawlings are Democrats.

Saturday’s elections also featured runoffs for four seats on the Dallas City Council, whose members are up for election every two years. Of the ten council incumbents who sought re-election in 2019, two were defeated.

San Antonio

Incumbent Ron Nirenberg defeated council member Greg Brockhouse to win a second two-year term as mayor of San Antonio. Nirenberg received 51.1% of the vote and Brockhouse received 48.9%. Nirenberg has said he is not affiliated with any political party.

The total number of votes cast in Saturday’s runoff was 120,723, a 19% increase over the 101,277 votes cast in the May 4 general election. There have been five mayoral runoff elections in San Antonio since 1997, and in all but one, the total votes cast in the runoff exceeded the number cast in the general election.

In San Antonio’s city council elections this year, which concluded with three runoffs on Saturday, all seven incumbents who ran for re-election won another term.



The Daily Brew: Primary day tomorrow in Virginia-margin of control in each chamber is one seat

 

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Monday, June 10, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Virginia state legislative primaries take place Tuesday
  2. One of five Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary elections
  3. Presidential candidates must qualify for first Democratic debate this week
  4. Upcoming events

Virginia state legislative primaries take place Tuesday

A busy period of elections ends Tuesday as Virginia holds legislative primaries for both the state Senate and the House of Delegates.

Virginia has been under divided government since 2002. Gov. Ralph Northam is a Democrat while Republicans hold majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. If Republicans retain control of the Senate or the state House, Virginia will remain under divided government. If Democrats win both chambers of the legislature, they will have a trifecta and full control of the government during redistricting.

Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 51-49 majority in the state House. Fifteen incumbents—nine Democrats and six Republicans—face primary challengers.

According to data from the state Department of Elections and local parties, there will be at least 16 primaries for state Senate seats and at least 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. In a caucus or convention, party members or delegates meet and choose a nominee according to defined rules. Ballotpedia has determined that parties in at least 28 districts in Virginia are selecting their state legislative nominee via convention in 2019.

Ballotpedia has identified 12 primaries as battleground races this year—seven seats held by Democrats and five held by Republicans. There are six battleground primaries each in the Senate and House. In all but one race, the incumbent is seeking re-election. 20 incumbents faced at least one primary opponent In the four House of Delegate elections since 2011. Four incumbents lost – meaning 16 incumbents80%—won their primary. In the two state Senate elections since 2011, five incumbents faced at least primary challenger and four of those, or 80%, won the primary.

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 of five Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia to hold primary elections

Primary elections in four Kansas school districts covered by Ballotpedia were canceled because two candidates or less filed to run for election. Of the 17 seats up for election in those districts, the outcome in six has already been decided since only one candidate is running for each seat.

In the school districts we cover in Kansas, one primary election will take place on August 6 for an at-large seat on the Wichita Public Schools Board of Education. School board president Sheril Logan faces three challengers for the at-large seat she has held since 2011.

Of the 20 school district seats in Kansas we’re covering, 14 feature incumbents running for re-election. Four of them are unopposed. General elections will be held on November 5.

Ballotpedia covers the 200 largest school districts in the nation and those districts that overlap with the 100 largest cities by population in the United States. All of the Kansas school districts covered are in the area surrounding Wichita. These five Kansas school districts served a combined total of 71,240 students during the 2016-2017 school year.

From 2014 to 2016, Ballotpedia analyzed school board election statistics in America’s 1,000 largest school districts. We found that:

  • between 32 percent and 36 percent of elections were unopposed each year, and
  • incumbents who sought re-election won between 81 percent and 83 percent of the time.

Click the link below for more findings from that analysis.

Learn more

Presidential candidates must qualify for first Democratic debate this week

Democratic presidential candidates have until June 12 to qualify for the first set of presidential debates held on June 26-27 in Miami, Florida. This will be the first of 12 Democratic primary debates scheduled for the 2020 presidential election.

Thirteen candidates have already qualified under both criteria and seven others have met the polling threshold only. Four notable candidates have not yet announced whether they have met either criterion.

No more than 20 candidates—10 per night—will participate in these debates. The Democratic National Committee announced last month that the candidates will be divided into two groups—those above and those below a polling average of 2 percent. These two groups will be randomly and equally divided between both nights of the debate to avoid one debate being classified as an undercard event.

Candidates can qualify by receiving 1 percent support or more in three national or early state polls—Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada—publicly released since January 1, 2019. Any candidate’s three qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.

Candidates may also qualify for the debate by providing verifiable evidence that they received donations from at least 65,000 unique donors with a minimum of 200 donors per state in at least 20 states.

In the event that more than 20 candidates qualify, preference will be given to those who have reached both the polling and fundraising thresholds. The following chart shows which Democratic presidential candidates have qualified for the debate and by which method.

Click here to learn more about the first set of Democratic presidential debates—and the link below to subscribe to our free Daily Presidential News Briefing newsletter about the 2020 presidential campaign.

Subscribe to the Daily Presidential News Briefing

Upcoming events

This month Ballotpedia is hosting the following events. I’d love for you to join us!

June 20th: Join us for a discussion about fear in politics with Dr. Stevan Hobfoll as we discuss his new book Tribalism: The Evolutionary Origins of Fear Politics

Grab a spot→

June 26th: 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.

Register here→



Nineteen Dems head to Iowa Sunday

June 7, 2019: Nineteen Democrats are headed to Iowa Sunday to speak at the Democrats Hall of Fame induction event. The Democratic National Committee clarified its polling criteria for the first two debates, moving Bullock from the qualified to unqualified category for now.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

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

 

Faiz Shakir is a long-time Democratic staffer who has worked with leadership figures including Nancy Pelosi (D) and Harry Reid (D).

Previous campaign work:

  • 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign, research team

Other experience:

  • 2017-2019: American Civil Liberties Union, political director
  • 2013-2017: Office of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), senior advisor
  • 2012-2013: Office of Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), new media director and senior advisor
  • 2005-2012: Center for American Progress, vice president

What he says about Sanders:

“He pushes the Democratic Party. He pushes it to be better…He has no concerns about raising issues on trade where he thinks the party has not fought aggressively enough. He has fought on economic justice issues, trying to raise the fact that billionaires control a lot of pieces not only of the Democratic Party but of the Republican Party.”

Notable Quote of the Day

“Among Democrats 65 or older, only 13 percent wanted the candidate they agreed with if the candidate would have a hard time beating Trump. But among Democrats younger than 50, 42 percent were willing to take a chance on the less electable candidate.

The cause and effect is difficult to sort out. Maybe younger voters deemphasize electability because they’re more liberal and think the concept is being used to prop up more moderate, establishment friendly candidates like Biden.

But it’s at least possible that some of the causality runs the other way: Younger voters are more liberal because their lived experience gives them less reason to think there’s an electoral penalty for liberalism.”

– Nate Silver, FiveThirtyEight founder

Democrats

  • Michael Bennet hired Brian Peters to run his Iowa state campaign. Peters has worked on campaigns in Indiana, Michigan, and Arkansas.
  • Reversing course from earlier this week, Joe Biden said he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment Thursday night, citing women’s decreased access to abortion.
  • Bill de Blasio will campaign in Iowa over the weekend, including stops in Hiawatha, Ames, and Waterloo.
  • Cory Booker will campaign in Iowa over the weekend, marking his fifth trip to the state. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will also travel to the state June 11 to campaign for Booker.
  • The Democratic National Committee announced Thursday that candidates could not use two ABC News/Washington Post polls with an open-ended question to qualify for the debate. Without that poll, Steve Bullock now has only two of three necessary polls to qualify for the debate.
  • Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Tim Ryan, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Yang, and thirteen other Democratic candidates will make brief pitches at the Democrats Hall of Fame induction event in Iowa Sunday.
  • Julián Castro will visit Flint, Michigan, on Saturday. He previously visited the city while serving as the secretary of housing and urban development in 2016.
  • In an op-ed in The Washington Post, John Delaney called Medicare for All “political suicide for Democrats.”
  • Tulsi Gabbard is campaigning in New York over the weekend.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand tweeted that she was 5,000 donors away from crossing the fundraising threshold to secure her spot on the debate stage later this month. She has already met the polling requirements.
  • New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno and state Rep. Ted James will serve as co-chairs of Kamala HarrisLouisiana state campaign.
  • John Hickenlooper spoke against socialism in an interview on The Michael Smerconish Program.
  • Jay Inslee will join Iowa state Sen. Rob Hogg for a conversation on climate change Saturday.
  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Iowa Sunday and New Hampshire Monday.
  • Wayne Messam said FEC rules on leftover campaign funds favored members of Congress over local officials. “It shows how the system because it’s actually stacked to favor Washingtonians who have federal laws and the ability to transfer their other congressional accounts to a presidential campaign,” he said.
  • Eric Swalwell will campaign in New Hampshire Saturday, including a New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus “End of Session Reception” and meet and greets.
  • Marianne Williamson moved to Des Moines, Iowa. “It’s been about showing her commitment to the Iowa caucuses,” her state director, Brent Roske said. “The Iowa caucuses are one of the last bastions of personal democracy. She agrees with that. We want to support the caucuses.”

Republicans

  • The pro-Donald Trump Great America PAC and the Committee to Defend the President PAC announced they are working together to register one million new voters. The first phase of the project will target an initial spend of more than $1 million, both nationally and in the key battleground states of Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. The second phase of the project will expand to Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, and New Hampshire, including national bus tours,” they said in a statement.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 7, 2015

Rick Santorum argued against Fox News limiting the number of spots in its August 2015 debate to the 10 top-polling candidates. He said in an interview, “Is that what campaigns should be about, measuring whether we meet some criteria in a debate?”



DNC declines to hold climate change debate

June 6, 2019: The Democratic National Committee announced it will not hold a climate change debate. Jay Inslee released another climate change proposal, this one focused on global leadership.

Here’s the latest from the campaign trail.

Poll Spotlight

Notable Quote of the Day

“That’s why [the Democratic] field is likely to be much smaller by Halloween or Thanksgiving: Once a candidate misses qualifying for a debate or two, they are ignored and their candidacies just wither and die on the vine. This is a cold and cruel process; there are going to be very bright and talented people, some of them arguably highly qualified to be president, who simply aren’t going to get more than a passing glance by Democratic voters. As President Kennedy once said, ‘Life is unfair.’”

– Charlie Cook, political analyst

Democrats

  • The Democratic National Committee announced that it would not hold a primary debate dedicated exclusively to climate change. “While climate change is at the top of our list, the DNC will not be holding entire debates on a single issue area because we want to make sure voters have the ability to hear from candidates on dozens of issues of importance to American voters,” the group said in a statement.
  • In an interview on PBS NewsHour, Michael Bennet said that Biden did not represent the future of the party and that Americans in the middle of the country did not understand the party’s principles. “I don’t think the base of the Democratic Party is anywhere near where the Twitter base of the Democratic Party is,” he said.
  • The Joe Biden campaign said the former vice president supports the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding of abortions.
  • Cory Booker and Pete Buttigieg are speaking at the African-American Leadership Council Summit in Atlanta Thursday. Biden and Beto O’Rourke are also attending a party fundraiser in Georgia. During the trip, Buttigieg and O’Rourke are scheduled to meet with Stacey Abrams.
  • In an interview on MSNBC, Steve Bullock said that he would require political non-profits and super PACs to certify that no foreign contributions will be used in U.S. elections.
  • In a Fox News interview, John Delaney discussed his conflict with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over Medicare for All. “Intolerance to different ideas is part of the problem. And that is something I think that is getting very dangerous and concerning in the Democratic Party right now,” he said.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand called for the decriminalization of marijuana use and taxation of nonprescription marijuana products. These funds would be used to offer small business programs and job training in communities disproportionately affected by marijuana laws.
  • The New York Times profiled Mike Gravel’s Twitter-driven presidential run. Campaign manager Henry Williams said, “Trump was the first postmodern politician. I like to think Gravel is the second.”
  • Kamala Harris will expand her Iowa campaign, pledging to increase the staff count to 65 staffers. Her campaign is also developing a program called “Kamala Captains” for precinct-level leaders.
  • Jay Inslee released a proposal for how he says the United States can lead on global climate change issues. He called for rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, raising the ceiling for refugee admissions, adjusting trade policies to support carbon-free outcomes, and prohibiting the financing of fossil fuel projects.
  • Amy Klobuchar will campaign in Duluth, touring redeveloped waterfront communities in the Minnesota Slip.
  • Seth Moulton said he would seek to retroactively upgrade dishonorable discharges to honorable for people dismissed on the basis of their sexual orientation.
  • Tim Ryan announced Peter Mellinger would act as his New Hampshire state director. Mellinger was Hillary Clinton’s organizing director in the state in 2016.
  • Bernie Sanders is on the cover of the latest TIME Magazine with a piece on his second presidential bid.
  • Elizabeth Warren’s staff became the fourth presidential campaign to unionize. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320 will represent the campaign workers.
  • During a town hall on MSNBC Wednesday night, Warren discussed the Hyde Amendment and impeachment.
  • Andrew Yang will appear on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday.

Republicans

  • Reuters reported on Republican efforts to boost Donald Trump’s re-election campaign in Ohio, including developing a central database for voter information collected by volunteers.
  • Bill Weld said he supported impeachment proceedings against Trump. “I won’t say past time. But it’s time for the House Judiciary Committee, not the whole House to launch an inquiry, not take a vote but an inquiry into impeachment of this president,” Weld said.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: June 6, 2015

Seven Republicans spoke at the inaugural Roast and Ride in Iowa, an event hosted by Sen. Joni Ernst. Scott Walker joined Ernst in riding a motorcycle at the event.



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