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Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Here’s what happened in Tuesday’s gubernatorial primary in Mississippi

Today’s Brew highlights the results of Mississippi’s gubernatorial primary + who’s leading in Ballotpedia pageviews among Democratic presidential campaigns  
 Ballotpedia's Daily Brew
Welcome to the Wednesday, August 7, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Hood (D) wins nomination for governor of Mississippi, GOP race undetermined
  2. Williamson had most Ballotpedia pageviews among Democratic presidential campaigns last week
  3. Join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session on market research

Hood (D) wins nomination for governor of Mississippi, GOP race undetermined

Attorney General Jim Hood defeated seven other candidates to win the Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi. With 40% of precincts reporting, Hood received 70.1% of the vote and Michael Brown was second with 9.9% of the vote. 

The results from Mississippi’s Republican primary had not yet been determined to make it into this morning’s Brew.

Voters in Mississippi are electing a successor to term-limited Gov. Phil Bryant (R) in the general election November 5. To win the governorship, a candidate must win a majority of the statewide vote and carry a majority of state House districts. If no candidate meets both requirements, the election is decided by the state House. Bryant won the past two gubernatorial general elections with more than 60% of the vote. The last Democrat to win election as governor of Mississippi was Ronnie Musgrove in 1999.

Learn more

        

Williamson campaign profile received most Ballotpedia pageviews among Democratic presidential candidates last week 

Marianne Williamson’s (D) campaign page received the most Ballotpedia pageviews among Democratic candidates—7,588—during the week of July 28 to August 3, which was during the second round of Democratic presidential debates. This is Williamson’s second time leading Democratic candidates in pageviews. The first time was the week of the first round of Democratic debates in June. 

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention. 

Williamson’s pageviews represented 8.1% of the pageviews for all Democratic presidential campaigns. Tulsi Gabbard received 7.0% of Democratic candidate pageviews for the week, while Joe Biden received 6.8%.  

Here are the Democratic candidates with the largest number of pageviews on Ballotpedia over the last five weeks:

  • Week ending 8/3: Williamson, 7,588 views
  • Week ending 7/27: Biden, 3,185 views
  • Week ending 7/20: Kamala Harris, 3,772 views
  • Week ending 7/13: Harris, 3,594 views
  • Week ending 7/6: Harris, 4,678 views

Pete Buttigieg’s campaign still leads Democrats in lifetime pageviews with 97,150. Andrew Yang again has the second-most lifetime pageviews after surpassing Harris last week. Harris’ lifetime pageviews had surpassed Yang’s the week before. Yang currently has 84,124 pageviews to Harris’ 83,846. 

The chart below displays the top 10 candidates who received the most pageviews for the week of August 3.

Learn more→

 

Join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session on market research

There’s still time to join us for today’s Ballotpedia Insights session with Adam Probolsky on market research. Probolsky has served as a pollster and strategic advisor on hundreds of successful crisis communications and public affairs projects, as well as local, county and statewide initiatives and candidate campaigns.

In our Ballotpedia Insights series, we host a subject matter expert and ask them tailored questions designed to gain insight into their work. We’ve conducted them with political and legal scholars, researchers, reporters, and authors. They’re a fantastic chance to “go deeper” into some interesting topics from some of the leading professionals in politics and policy.

Ballotpedia’s Director of Outreach, Sarah Rosier, will interview Probolsky on the state of market and opinion research on elections and public policy. This research is used by decision-makers and campaigns on a wide variety of topics and this session will help you understand how it’s done and why it matters. Sarah and Adam will also discuss how market research is different from polling and the changes Adam’s seen in the field over his career

The session begins at 1 pm ET and there’s still time to register.  Just click the link below—we’ll see you then! 

Click here to register →

 



Jim Hood wins Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi

Attorney General Jim Hood won the Democratic nomination for governor of Mississippi, according to the Associated Press. As of 10:30 p.m. Central Time, Hood had received 70.1% of the vote with 40% of precincts reporting. Hood was followed by Michael Brown at 9.9% of the vote and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith at 7.6%.

Hood has served as state attorney general since 2004. He says that he will focus on the state economy and public education system and would expand Medicaid if elected. Smith has said that his candidacy was based in part on Hood’s office having brought him to trial on criminal charges three times between 2016 and 2018. Smith said the charges had a racial motivation. His policy priorities included expanding access to healthcare and raising the minimum wage.

Hood will face the winner of the Republican primary in the November 5 general election. In order to win election as governor of Mississippi, a candidate must win both a majority of the statewide vote and a majority of state House districts. If no candidate meets both requirements, the state House decides the winner. No Democrat has won election as governor of Mississippi since Ronnie Musgrove in 1999.



Bold Justice: 21 federal judicial nominees confirmed in July

Welcome to the August 5 edition of Bold Justice, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S. Starting with this issue, I’m handing the reins to Sara Reynolds, our top SCOTUS expert on staff. You’ll be in good hands with her knowledge and insight of the federal court system.

Enjoy the rest of summer stress-free knowing we’ve got your back when it comes to news! Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to the Daily Brew for the most up-to-date political information.
 

The SCOTUS justices are on their summer recess. The 2019-2020 term will begin October 7. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ upcoming term.
 


The Federal Vacancy Count tracks vacancies, nominations, and confirmations to all United States Article III federal courts in a one-month period. This month’s edition includes nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from June 27 to July 31, 2019.

Highlights

  • Vacancies: There have been seven new judicial vacancies since the June 2019 report. As of July 31, 114 of 870 active Article III judicial positions on courts covered in this report were vacant—a vacancy percentage of 13.1 percent.

    Including the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, 123 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.
     

  • Nominations: There have been two new nominations since the June 2019 report.
     
  • Confirmations: There have been 21 new confirmations since the June 2019 report. Vacancy count for July 31, 2019 A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, click here.

Vacancy count for July 31, 2019

A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, click here.

New vacancies

The following judges left active status, creating Article III vacancies. As Article III judicial positions, they must be filled by a nomination from the president. Nominations are subject to Senate confirmation.

Courts with the most vacancies

The Central District of California, the District of New Jersey, and the Southern District of New York have the most vacancies of the U.S. District Courts.

  • The Central District of California
    • Nine vacancies out of 28 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Five years. Judge Audrey Collins took senior status in October 2012 and retired from the court on August 1, 2014.
    • Most recent vacancy: One month. Judge Andrew Guilford assumed senior status on July 5, 2019. Three nominations are pending.
  • The District of New Jersey
    • Six vacancies out of 17 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Four and one-half years. Judge William Martini assumed senior status on February 10, 2015.
    • Most recent vacancy: Ten weeks. Judge Jose Linares retired May 16, 2019.
    • No nominations are pending.
  • The Southern District of New York
    • Six vacancies out of 28 total positions.
    • Longest vacancy: Four years. Judge Paul Crotty assumed senior status on August 1, 2015.
    • Most recent vacancy: Almost 10 months. Judge Richard Sullivan was elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on October 11, 2018.

For more information on judicial vacancies during President Trump’s first term, click here.

New nominations

President Trump has announced two new nominations since the June 2019 report.

  • Lee Rudofsky, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas.
  • R. Austin Huffaker, to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

The president has announced 193 Article III judicial nominations since taking office January 20, 2017. The president named 69 judicial nominees in 2017 and 92 in 2018. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

New confirmations

Between June 27 and July 31, 2019, the Senate confirmed 21 of the president’s nominees to Article III courts.

Since January 2017, the Senate has confirmed 144 of President Trump’s judicial nominees—99 district court judges, 43 appeals court judges, and two Supreme Court justices.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, if you prefer, we also maintain a list of individuals President Trump has nominated.


We’ll be back September 9 with a new edition of Bold Justice.

 



Ohio public-sector worker appeals decision denying a refund for previously paid union fees

On July 25, Nathaniel Ogle, an Ohio public-sector worker who is seeking a refund of previously paid union fees, appealed his case to U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit after a U.S. District Court ruled against him.

  • Who are the parties to the suit? Ogle is the plaintiff. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) represents him in the case. The defendant is the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), an affiliate of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association represents approximately 30,000 state and local government employees.
  • What is at issue? Ogle’s attorneys, citing Janus, argue union fees previously deducted from his and other employees’ paychecks should be refunded. Janus established that compelling public-sector workers to pay union dues and/or fees violates their free-speech and associational rights under the United States Constitution.
  • How did the lower court rule? On July 17, U.S. District Court Judge George Smith ruled the union had acted in good faith when it collected fees from Ogle and other employees because, before Janus, judicial precedent had upheld the legality of compulsory fees. Smith wrote, “Because OCSEA collected fees under a presumptively valid statute and pursuant to then-valid Supreme Court precedent, there is no way that OCSEA ‘knew or should have known that the statute upon which they relied was unconstitutional.’ Put another way — OCSEA was simply following presumptively valid law.” Smith was appointed to the court by President Ronald Reagan (R).
  • What are the responses?
    • Mark Mix, NRTWLDF president, said, “In this case and others being litigated with Foundation legal aid, workers seek the return of just a few years’ worth of unconstitutionally seized forced union fees as the statutes of limitations permit, which represents just a fraction of the fees union bosses have illegally collected from workers for decades.”
    • In response to a request for comment by The Center Square, Sally Meckling, communications director for OCSEA, said she could not comment on ongoing litigation.
  • The case name and number are Ogle v. Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, AFSCME, Local 11 (2:18-cv-01227).

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 101 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking.

Union Station map August 2, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart August 2, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart August 2, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • House and Senate rejected governor’s proposed amendments. Returned to governor July 31.


Rep. Kenny Marchant (R) announces retirement; fourth Congressional Republican from Texas in two weeks

U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) announced he would not seek re-election in 2020. He has represented Texas’ 24th Congressional District since 2009 and won re-election in 2018 by 3.1 percentage points. His Dallas-area seat was already rated as competitive by three major race rating outlets.
 
Marchant is the fourth Congressional Republican from Texas to announce his retirement in the last two weeks. Pete Olsen (22nd District), Mike Conaway (11th), and Will Hurd (23rd) have all announced they would not be seeking re-election in 2020.
 
So far, 14 members of the U.S. House—three Democrats and 11 Republicans—have announced that they would not be seeking re-election in 2020. Eleven of those members are retiring from political office, while two are seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate and another is running for governor.


Marianne Williamson leads Democratic candidates in pageviews again following second presidential debate

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers show which candidates are getting our readers’ attention.
 
Marianne Williamson’s (D) campaign received 7,588 pageviews on Ballotpedia the week of July 28-August 3 when the second round of Democratic presidential debates took place.
 
Williamson’s pageviews represented 8.1% of the pageviews for all Democratic presidential campaigns. Tulsi Gabbard received 7.0% of Democratic candidate pageviews for the week, while Joe Biden received 6.8%.
 
This is Williamson’s second time leading Democratic candidates in pageviews. The first time was the week of the first round of Democratic debates.
 
Gabbard’s campaign page had the largest increase in pageviews over the previous week, jumping 375.27%. Every Democratic candidate except Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris registered a pageview increase of 100% or more.
 
Pete Buttigieg’s campaign still leads Democrats in lifetime pageviews with 97,150. Andrew Yang again has the second-most lifetime pageviews after surpassing Kamala Harris last week. Harris’ lifetime pageviews had surpassed Yang’s the week before. Yang currently has 84,124 pageviews to Harris’ 83,846.
 
On the GOP side, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld had 26,651 pageviews to President Trump’s 2,354.


Resolution aims to block Trump administration guidance that gave states more flexibility from Obamacare requirements

On July 31, U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that would repeal a guidance document that gave states more flexibility when applying for waivers from Obamacare requirements. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued the guidance on October 24, 2018. The guidance aims to allow states to innovate within their individual health insurance markets.
 
Senator Warner’s CRA resolution, if passed and signed into law, would undo the health insurance waiver guidance and attracted 44 Democratic cosponsors and the two independent U.S. senators. U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said that the guidance gives states the authority to allow health insurers to offer short-term plans that do not cover pre-existing conditions. Under the CRA, the resolution would need to pass both houses of Congress and receive President Trump’s signature to repeal the guidance.
 
On July 15, 2019, the Government Accountability Office concluded that the guidance document was a rule according to the Congressional Review Act (CRA). The CRA gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Since the law’s creation in 1996, 17 out of the over 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time have been repealed using the CRA. 13 additional attempts either failed to pass through Congress or were vetoed.
 
Guidance is a term in administrative law used to describe documents created by administrative agencies to explain rules, laws, and procedures. Guidance documents affect how agencies administer regulations and programs. However, they are not supposed to be legally binding in the same way as rules issued through the rulemaking processes of the Administrative Procedure Act. Congress used the CRA to repeal a guidance document for the first time on May 21, 2018.
 


Federal Register weekly update; 2019 page total falls behind year-to-date 2018 page total from Caitlin Styrsky

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity.
 
During the week of July 29 to August 2, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 1,500 pages, bringing the year-to-date total to 37,954 pages. The week’s Federal Register featured a total of 619 documents, including 488 notices, five presidential documents, 60 proposed rules, and 66 final rules.
 
Two proposed rules were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they may have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. Significant actions may also conflict with presidential priorities or other agency rules.
 
During the same week in 2018, the number of pages in the Federal Register increased by 1,846 pages for a year-to-date total of 38,244 pages. As of August 2, the 2019 total trailed the 2018 total by 290 pages.
 
The Trump administration has added an average of 1,224 pages to the Federal Register each week in 2019 as of August 2. Over the course of 2018, the Trump administration added an average of 1,301 pages to the Federal Register each week. During the Obama administration, the Federal Register increased by an average of 1,658 pages per week.
 
According to government data, the Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.
 
Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. The project is a neutral, nonpartisan encyclopedic resource that defines and analyzes the administrative state, including its philosophical origins, legal and judicial precedents, and scholarly examinations of its consequences. The project also monitors and reports on measures of federal government activity.
 
Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2016: https://ballotpedia.org/Historical_additions_to_the_Federal_Register,_1936-2016


DNC clarifies qualifying period for October debate

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 6, 2019: The Democratic National Committee clarified the qualifying period for the October debate. Tulsi Gabbard will be off the campaign trail for two weeks to complete National Guard training.


 

How many candidates have won the presidency without winning more than 60% of the vote in any state?

Notable Quote of the Day

“Post-debate coverage matters as much, if not more, than the debate itself. Our hypothesis is that by quantifying the audience value of earned media, you can effectively use it as an early predictor of changes in the polls because so much of the polling in a crowded primary is reflective of name recognition.”

– David Seawright, Deep Root Analytics

Democrats

  • The Democratic National Committee clarified that the qualification period for the October debate began June 28—the same as for the September debate—and ends two weeks before the debate. As a result, any candidate who qualifies for the September debate will automatically be eligible for the October event. Other candidates will have at least three additional weeks to reach the fundraising and polling threshold. The date for the October debate has not yet been set.

  • Michael Bennet will campaign in South Carolina, making four stops in rural school districts to discuss segregation and education Tuesday.

  • Joe Biden spoke about grief and the mass shootings in an interview on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.

  • Politico interviewed Bill de Blasio about Medicare for All, gun violence, and gun legislation.

  • Cory Booker will campaign in South Carolina for a second day Tuesday, including a stop at the Mother Emanuel AME Church—where a mass shooting took place in 2015—to speak about gun violence.

  • In an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Steve Bullock spoke about the 1994 school shooting death of his nephew, Jeremy, and gun violence.

  • The Pete Buttigieg campaign is courting superdelegates early, holding a conference call with some Monday to ask for their support and discuss policy.

  • Julián Castro appeared on MSNBC and CNN to discuss the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings Monday night.

  • Tulsi Gabbard will leave the campaign trail for two weeks to complete Army National Guard training in Indonesia.

  • The Kamala Harris campaign is opening four New Hampshire offices in Manchester, Nashua, Keene, and Portsmouth to serve as organizing hubs for her run.

  • John Hickenlooper is beginning a five-day tour of Iowa, finishing off with an appearance at the Iowa State Fair.

  • Amy Klobuchar spoke at an event hosted by the Orange County California Democrats Monday night.

  • In an interview on Pod Save AmericaBeto O’Rourke said he favored ending the Senate filibuster in order to pass gun legislation.

  • Tim Ryan paused his campaign to remain in Dayton, Ohio, where a mass shooting took place. He said he planned to remain in the city until Tuesday or Wednesday.

  • KPBS interviewed Bernie Sanders about affordable housing, homelessness, and Medicare for All in San Diego.

  • National Review profiled Joe Sestak and his presidential campaign.

  • Tom Steyer appeared on The Trail: From New Hampshire to the White Housepodcast, speaking about corporate engagement in politics and his late campaign launch.

  • Marianne Williamson tweeted she was 19,500 unique contributors away from the fundraising threshold for the September debate.

Republicans

  • Washington Examiner profiled Mike Pence’s efforts to engage conservative and evangelical support for Donald Trump

Flashback: August 6, 2015

Ten Republicans debated in the first presidential primary debate of the 2016 election cycle.



2020 candidates respond to El Paso, Ohio mass shootings

 
Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing

August 5, 2019: The 2020 presidential candidates respond to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. Tulsi Gabbard crossed the fundraising threshold for the third Democratic debate in September.

There are eight new candidates running since last week, including two Democrats and two Republicans. In total, 807 individuals are currently filed with the FEC to run for president.

Notable Quote of the Day

“Under the traditional model for American presidential politics, winning candidates veer left (or right for the Republicans) in the primaries and then scamper back towards the center for the general election. So the real question is whether the leading Democrats have already staked out positions that would prevent the eventual nominee from modulating his or her tone in the fall of 2020.”

– Walter Shapiro, The Guardian

Democrats

  • The 2020 Democratic candidates responded to the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in formal statements, interviews, and tweets. Candidates focused on Trump’s rhetoric on immigrants, congressional inaction, and gun violence policies.
  • Joe BidenKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, and Bernie Sanders will speak on Latino issues at the UnidosUS Annual Conference in San Diego on Monday.
  • Michael Bennet campaigned across northern Nevada in Carson City, Reno, and Sparks on Sunday.
  • Biden’s affiliated PAC, American Possibilities, will shut down in the coming months.
  • While campaigning in Los Angeles, Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks interviewedBill de Blasio about campaign finance and the mass shootings.
  • Pete Buttigieg‘s New Hampshire state director, Michael Ceraso, departed from the campaign.
  • John Delaney began a six-day swing through Iowa Sunday.
  • Tulsi Gabbard crossed the donor threshold of 130,000 unique contributors for the third Democratic presidential primary debate in September. She has not yet passed the polling threshold.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand introduced the Funding Attorneys for Indigent Removal (FAIR) Proceedings Act Friday, which would guarantee legal counsel for children, victims of abuse or violence, and those at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Beto O’Rourke canceled campaign events Saturday through Monday to return to his hometown in El Paso, Texas, following a mass shooting.
  • Tim Ryan campaigned in Iowa, hosting events in Nevada, Indianola, Atlantic, and Council Bluffs.
  • Joe Sestak held a coffee with the candidate campaign event in Iowa Saturday.
  • More than 41 percent of donors who contributed to more than one presidential candidate through the ActBlue platform donated to Elizabeth Warren—the highest percentage of any candidate—according to a BuzzFeed analysis.
  • Marianne Williamson discussed mental health treatment, electability, and her spiritual beliefs on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday.
  • Andrew Yang called for a new federal domestic terrorism statute that would better allow law enforcement the resources to investigate domestic terrorism cases.

Republicans

  • Katrina Pierson will lead the African Americans for Donald Trump coalition set to launch after Labor Day.
  • Trump called the weekend’s mass shootings part of a “mental illness problem” Sunday. Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”
  • The Nevada Republican Party will vote Sept. 7 whether to cancel the state primary. If approved, caucuses will still be held to choose delegates.

On the Cusp: Tracking Potential Candidates

  • Attorney Michael Avenatti said he is again considering running in the Democratic presidential primary. “The Dems need a non-traditional fighter. They have a lot of talent but not a lot of fighters,” he said, adding that there was a 50/50 chance he would enter the race.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 5, 2015

The Hillary Clinton campaign made a $2 million ad buy in New Hampshire and Iowa focused on Clinton’s biography.



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