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Sanders receives most pageviews in past week, followed by Bloomberg and Buttigieg

Each week, we report the number of pageviews received by 2020 presidential campaigns on Ballotpedia. These numbers reflect the time investments of our community of thousands of readers who visit a Ballotpedia because they think the candidate is worth knowing more about, whether they believe the candidate has a strong chance of winning or is an unknown who warrants a closer look.

Last week, Bernie Sanders led all Democratic campaigns in pageviews. His campaign page was viewed 7,351 times, equaling 22.3% of pageviews for all Democratic campaigns this week. He was followed by Michael Bloomberg with 18.1% of pageviews and Pete Buttigieg with 15.9%.

Elizabeth Warren was the only Democratic candidate to receive more pageviews this week relative to last week. Her campaign page received 1.8% more pageviews than the week prior. All other Democratic candidates saw a decrease in pageviews relative to last week. The candidate with the largest decrease among them was Amy Klobuchar with a 34.6% decrease.

The top three Democratic presidential candidates in lifetime pageviews are Buttigieg with 178,783, Joe Biden with 166,119, and Sanders with 153,947.

Donald Trump ranked second of the three Republican candidates in pageviews last week. Trump received 5,501 pageviews, while Roque de la Fuente received 6,155 and Bill Weld received 4,951.

Click here to learn more about Presidential campaign 2020 pageviews on Ballotpedia.

Fifteen of 29 of the largest cities holding 2020 mayoral elections have Republican incumbents

Twenty-nine mayoral elections will be held in the 100 largest U.S. cities in 2020. In 15 of those cities (52%), the incumbent mayor is a Republican. In 12 (41%), the incumbent is a Democrat. In one, the incumbent is an independent, and in one the incumbent is nonpartisan.

Compared to the entire group of the 100 largest cities by population, there are a disproportionately high number of cities with Republican incumbents holding elections this year.

In the 100 largest cities:

  • 64 mayors are Democrats,
  • 29 are Republicans,
  • Three are independents,
  • and four are nonpartisan.

At the beginning of 2019, 61 of the 100 largest cities had Democratic mayors. Sixty-three had Democratic mayors at the start of 2018, 64 at the beginning of 2017, and 67 at the start of 2016.

In most of the nation’s largest cities, mayoral elections are officially nonpartisan, though many officeholders and candidates are affiliated with political parties. This analysis uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

Of the 100 largest cities, there are 47 strong mayor governments, 46 council-manager governments, six hybrid governments, and one city commission. As of 2013, 62,186,079 citizens lived in these cities, accounting for 19.7 percent of the nation’s total population.

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Additional reading:
Party affiliation of the mayors of the 100 largest cities 
List of current mayors of the top 100 cities in the United States 
Largest cities in the United States by population 

New Mexico voters to decide whether to allow changes to the election dates of non-statewide offices

New Mexico Elections and Terms of Non-Statewide Officeholders Amendment (HJR8) was certified for the November 3 ballot on February 20. The measure would amend section 3 of Article XX of the New Mexico Constitution, which relates to the date elected officials assume office. The amendment would allow the state legislature to pass laws adjusting the election dates of state or county officeholders and adjust office terms according to those date changes. Laws proposing adjustments to election dates of non-statewide officeholders would have to be supported by a legislative finding that such a change would promote consistency for the elections of particular offices or more evenly distribute the number of offices appearing on the ballot.

The amendment, House Joint Resolution 8, was introduced on January 29, 2020. The state House approved HJR8 on February 15, with a vote of 59 to 10, with one member absent. The state Senate approved the amendment on February 20, with a vote of 29 to 13. To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a simple majority is required in both the New Mexico State Senate and the New Mexico House of Representatives. A simple majority vote of the statewide electorate is required to ratify the amendment.

The amendment was a response to the New Mexico Supreme Court ruling that certain provisions of the Election Code and the Nonpartisan Judicial Retention Act (2019) were unconstitutional. The court argued that the 2019 act, which lengthened the terms of certain non-statewide officeholders by shifting the offices to different election cycles, was unconstitutional. In a report to the legislature, the Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D), wrote, “HJR8 is the Legislature’s attempt to properly extend the terms of these officers to align them on the same ballot on the same election year, which would help the SOS and voters by providing consistency and clarity of the ballot.” The 2019 act primarily affects the terms of district attorneys and judicial officers.

The amendment is the second constitutional amendment referred to the 2020 ballot in New Mexico. The New Mexico Appointed Public Regulation Commission Amendment would change the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) from an elected five-member commission to an appointed three-member commission. Between 1995 and 2018, voters approved 85.5 percent of the constitutional amendments on the ballot in the state.

Additional reading:
New Mexico Elections and Terms of Non-Statewide Officeholders Amendment (2020) 
New Mexico 2020 ballot measures

Californians to vote on one statewide ballot measure, a $15 billion education facilities bond, on March 3, 2020

On March 3, 2020, Californians will decide one statewide ballot measure, Proposition 13. The measure is a $15-billion bond that would provide funds for school and college facilities. Proposition 13 would also make changes to the formula used to distribute state bond funds to schools, the rules governing local bond measures, and school districts’ abilities to assess developer fees.

Of the $15 billion in bonds that would be authorized by Proposition 13, $9 billion would be allocated toward preschool and K-12 schools. The state government would use the bond revenue to provide matching funds to school districts. Proposition 13 would require the state Department of General Services to consider several factors, such as districts’ finances, overcrowding, and earthquake risks, when determining which modernization and construction applications to prioritize.

Proposition 13 would make changes to school districts’ abilities to raise revenue with local bond measures. Districts would be permitted to issue a higher amount of local general obligation bonds. The limit on bond amounts would increase from 1.25 percent to 2.0 percent of assessed property value for elementary and high school districts. In California, school districts must place local general obligation bonds on the ballot, and the bond measure must receive 55 percent of the vote to be approved. Proposition 13 would also prohibit school districts from levying developer fees on multifamily residential developments, such as apartment complexes, within 0.5 miles of a major transit stop. Currently, school districts are permitted to assess one-time fees on developments to provide funds for school construction if the district can show that the new development would bring students into the district.

Proposition 13 would appropriate $6.0 billion to higher institutions of education: $2.0 billion to the California State University, $2.0 billion to the University of California and Hastings College of the Law, and $2.0 billion to community colleges. The state government would provide bond revenue for colleges’ and universities’ projects as part of the annual budget act. Proposition 13 would require the CSU Board of Trustees and the UC Regents to adopt five-year affordable student housing plans for campuses that seek bond funds.

Proposition 13 was placed on the ballot by the California State Legislature. In the state Senate, every Democrat and 6 of 11 (55 percent) Republicans voted for the proposal. In the state House, every Democrat and 17 of 18 (94 percent) Republicans backed referring the measure to the ballot. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed the legislation for Proposition 13 on October 7, 2019.

Californians for Safe Schools and Healthy Learning, also known as Yes on Prop 13, is leading the campaign in support of Proposition 13. Gov. Newsom is a principal officer of the campaign committee. Californians for Safe Schools and Healthy Learning, along with five additional allied committees, raised $9.67 million through February 15, 2020. The largest donations came from the California Teachers Association ($500,000) and the California Charter Schools Association ($400,000). There were no committees organized to fund opposition to the ballot measure. Opponents include the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Californians last voted on a school facilities bond measure in 2016, which passed with 55 percent of the vote. The bond measure, titled Proposition 51, issued $7 billion for K-12 education facilities and $2 billion for colleges. Between 1998 and 2019, voters approved five bond measures for school facilities—Proposition 1A (1998), Proposition 47 (2002), Proposition 55 (2004), Proposition 1D (2006), and Proposition 51 (2016). The last time that voters rejected a school facilities bond measure was in 1994, in which a K-12 facilities bond and a separate higher education facilities bond were both defeated. The Public Policy Institute of California has released four polls of Proposition 13 since September 2019, with the polls finding that between 48 percent and 53 percent of voters support the bond measure. An additional 6 percent to 16 percent were undecided in the polls.

While Proposition 13 is the only statewide measure to appear on the ballot for March 3, 2020, in California, both citizen-initiated measures and legislative referrals can be placed on the ballot for November 3, 2020, until 131 days before the general election, which is June 26, 2020.

Click here to learn more about California’s Proposition 13, School and College Facilities Bond

Related pages:
California 2020 ballot propositions 
2020 ballot measures

Joaquin Castro endorses Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez in Texas Democratic U.S. Senate primary

U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) endorsed Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez (D) for U.S. Senate Tuesday. Tzintzún Ramirez is one of 12 candidates seeking the Democratic nomination in a March 3 primary.

Castro is the first member of Congress to endorse Tzintzún Ramirez; her other endorsers include The Austin Chronicle, the Center for Popular Democracy, the Latino Victory Fund, and the Working Families Party. Lone Star Forward PAC launched a television ad buy in support of Tzintzún Ramirez Wednesday.

If none of the candidates reaches 50% support in the primary, the top two finishers will advance to a runoff on May 26. Every poll released so far has shown at least 34% of likely primary voters undecided. None of the 12 candidates has received more than 22% support in any one poll, although MJ Hegar (D) has led or tied for the lead in every poll since October.

Support from endorsers has also been spread among the candidates. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D), former Houston Mayor pro tem Gracie Saenz (D), and the Texas Democrats with Disabilities Caucus have endorsed Chris Bell. Amanda Edwards’ endorsers include The Dallas Morning News, the San Antonio Express-News, and the Afro American Police League. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, End Citizens United, Giffords PAC, and VoteVets have endorsed Hegar. Royce West’s endorsers include The Dallas Morning News (which endorsed him alongside Edwards), the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, and 20 of his colleagues in the state legislature.

Incumbent John Cornyn (R) faces four challengers in the Republican primary. Two race-raters cal the general election Likely Republican and one rates it Solid Republican. No Democratic candidate has won a statewide election in Texas since 1994. Cornyn was last elected over David Alameel (D) by a margin of 61.6% to 34.4% in 2014.

Click here to learn more about the 2020 Texas United States Senate election’s March 3 Democratic primary

Additional reading:
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Joaquin Castro 
U.S. Senate battlegrounds, 2020

Arkansas Supreme Court seat up for election on March 3rd

The term of one Arkansas Supreme Court justice, Josephine Hart, will expire on December 31, 2020. Justice Hart did not file for re-election. The seat is up for nonpartisan election on March 3, 2020, and a runoff election is scheduled for November 3, 2020. Hart was elected to this position on May 22, 2012.

Morgan Welch and Barbara Womack Webb are running in the general election for Hart’s seat on the court. Webb is a former Circuit Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson (R).

Welch is the Division 16 judge on the Sixth Circuit in Arkansas. Welch was first elected to the position on May 22, 2012, and was re-elected in May 2018. His second term began on January 1, 2019, and expires on January 1, 2025.

There are seven justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court, each elected to eight-year terms. They compete in nonpartisan primaries (occurring at the same time as the primary elections for other state officials) in which a candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote wins the seat outright. If no candidate garners a majority of the vote, the top two candidates compete in a runoff during the general election.

The current justices on the court are:

  • Karen R. Baker – Elected in 2010
  • Josephine Hart – Elected in 2012
  • Courtney Hudson Goodson – Elected in 2010
  • Dan Kemp – Elected in 2016
  • Shawn Womack – Elected in 2016
  • Rhonda Wood – Elected in 2014
  • Robin Wynne – Elected in 2014

Justices serve staggered terms, so it is unlikely the entire court will be replaced in one election. Nonpartisan elections were implemented in 2000 with the passage of Amendment 3. Vacancies are filled by interim appointments by the governor of Arkansas under Amendment 29, Section 1, of the state constitution. Appointed justices may not run to succeed themselves in the next election. The court consists of a chief justice, a vice chief justice, and five associate justices. The court’s chief justice is selected by voters at large and serves in that capacity for a full eight-year term.

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Previewing the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Alabama

The March 3 Republican primary for Senate in Alabama will decide who faces Doug Jones (D) in November. Donald Trump won Alabama by 28 percentage points in 2016. Jones won the 2017 special Senate election by 1.7 percentage points. The Republican primary features seven candidates, including several big names.

Former Sen. Jeff Sessions is seeking to win back the seat, from which he resigned in 2017 when President Trump appointed him U.S. attorney general. Roy Moore, the Republican nominee in the 2017 special election against Jones, is running again. U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, state Rep. Arnold Mooney, and former college football coach Tommy Tuberville are also in the race.

Two independent polls from early February showed Sessions and Tuberville leading, tied within margins of error, and Byrne in third. Sessions and Tuberville received around 30% support. To win the primary outright, a candidate needs a majority of the vote; otherwise, a runoff for the top two finishers will be held March 31.

Candidate messaging has largely focused on conservative credentials and who has been most supportive of President Donald Trump.

  • Byrne says he worked to end corruption in the state Department of Postsecondary Education and that his record as a U.S. House member demonstrates his support for the president.
  • Mooney describes himself as a conservative outsider, referring to his record in the state House and his years in the commercial real estate business.
  • Moore says he stood up for religious freedom on the Alabama Supreme Court and that allegations of sexual assault made against him ahead of the 2017 special election were false.
  • Sessions says he committed to the Trump agenda as a U.S. senator and in the Department of Justice.
  • Tuberville calls himself the outsider in the race who can stand with Trump.

Just over two weeks ahead of the primary, Byrne, Sessions, and Tuberville began releasing opposition ads criticizing one another over past conflicts with or comments about the president, among other issues.

  • Byrne and Tuberville criticized Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election during his time as attorney general. Sessions has defended his recusal and emphasized that he was the first senator to endorse Trump’s 2016 presidential bid.
  • Sessions and Tuberville criticized Byrne for saying that Trump was not fit to be president in 2016 following the release of the Access Hollywood recording. Byrne has said the comment was a mistake and that he worked to defend Trump against the impeachment effort in the House.
  • Byrne and Sessions ads said Tuberville supported amnesty for people in the country illegally. Sessions’ ads also featured audio of Tuberville criticizing Trump on veterans’ healthcare. Tuberville has said he does not support amnesty and that Trump has not been able to do everything he’d like due to resistance from others.

Republicans currently hold a majority in the U.S. Senate with 53 seats to Democrats’ 45. In addition, two independents caucus with Democrats. Alabama is one of two states, including Michigan, that Trump won in 2016 where Democrats are defending Senate seats. Republicans are defending seats in two states won by Hillary Clinton (D) in 2016: Colorado and Maine.

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Federal Register weekly update; 2020 page total exceeds 10,000 pages

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.

From February 17 to February 21, the Federal Register grew by 1,552 pages for a year-to-date total of 10,268 pages. Over the same period in 2019 and 2018, the _Federal Register_ reached 5,950 pages and 8,164 pages, respectively. As of February 21, the 2020 total led the 2019 total by 4,318 pages and the 2018 total by 2,104 pages.

The Federal Register hit an all-time high of 95,894 pages in 2016.

This week’s Federal Register featured the following 539 documents:

  • 358 notices
  • three presidential documents
  • 41 proposed rules
  • 53 final rules

Two final rules and two proposed rules were deemed significant under E.O. 12866—meaning that they could 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. The Trump administration in 2020 has issued five significant proposed rules and 13 significant final rules as of February 21.

Not all rules issued by the Trump administration are regulatory actions. Some rules are deregulatory actions pursuant to President Trump’s (R) Executive Order 13771, which requires federal agencies to eliminate two old significant regulations for each new significant regulation issued.

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 more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register in 2018 and 2017.

Click here to find yearly information about additions to the Federal Register from 1936 to 2016.

Filing deadline passes for special election in New York’s 27th Congressional District

Candidates interested in running in the special election for New York’s 27th Congressional District had until February 20, 2020, to file. The special general election is scheduled for April 28, 2020. Ballotpedia will provide a full candidate list once the state has released the official candidate filings.

The special election was called after Chris Collins (R) resigned on October 1, 2019, after pleading guilty to conspiracy and false statement charges. Collins served in the district from 2013 until his resignation.

As of February 20, 2020, nine special elections had been called during the 116th Congress. Seven of those were called for seats in the U.S. House, and two were called for seats in the U.S. Senate. From the 113th Congress to the 115th Congress, 40 special elections were held.

Entering the 2020 election, the U.S. House has 232 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent member, and five vacancies. All 435 seats are up for election. A majority in the chamber requires 218 seats.

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Two Kentucky House special elections scheduled for Tuesday

Two special elections are scheduled for February 25 in District 67 and District 99 in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Voters will have until 6 p.m. local time to cast their vote.

Rachel Roberts (D) and Mary Jo Wedding (R) are running for the District 67 seat. The seat became vacant when Dennis Keene (D) resigned on December 16, 2019, to take a job as the commissioner of the Department for Local Government in Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) gubernatorial administration. Keene had represented District 67 since 2005. He was re-elected in 2018 with 60% of the vote.

Bill Redwine (D) and Richard White (R) are facing off in the election for District 99. The seat became vacant when Rocky Adkins (D) resigned on December 10, 2019, to take a job as a senior adviser in Beshear’s gubernatorial administration. Adkins had represented District 99 since 1987. He was unopposed in 2018 and won re-election in 2016 with 66% of the vote.

Republicans have a 61-37 majority with two vacancies in the state House and a 29-9 majority in the state Senate. Kentucky has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Andy Beshear (D) was elected to a first term as governor in 2019.

As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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