TagBP Analysis

Major party campaign committees raise $63 million in October

Six party committees have raised a combined $662 million over the first ten months of the 2022 election cycle. In October, the committees raised $63 million, according to recent filings with the Federal Election Commission.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) raised and spent more than the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in October. The RNC raised $13.8 million and spent $16.5 million, while the DNC raised $11.5 million and spent $13.0 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC has raised 2.7% more than the DNC ($136.7 million to $133.0 million).

At this time in the 2020 election cycle, the RNC led the DNC in fundraising by a larger 89.0% margin ($194.0 million to $74.5 million).

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) raised $9.0 million and spent $7.1 million in October, while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) raised $7.0 million and spent $4.5 million. The NRSC has raised 13.8% more than the DSCC so far in the 2022 election cycle ($85.2 million to $74.2 million). October was the seventh consecutive month where the NRCC outraised the DSCC.

The House committees raised more than their Senate counterparts last month, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) raising $11.7 million and spending $6.8 million and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) raising $9.8 million and spending $7.1 million. So far in the 2022 election cycle, the DCCC has raised 2.8% more than the NRCC ($118.2 million to $114.8 million). This was the fourth consecutive month where the DCCC outraised the NRCC.

At this point in the 2020 election cycle, the NRSC also led the DSCC in fundraising by 8.8%($54.4 million to $49.8 million). The DCCC also led the NRCC in total fundraising by 38.4% ($101.3 million to $70.4 million).

So far in the 2022 election cycle, the RNC, NRSC, and NRCC have raised 3.4% more than the  DNC, DSCC, and DCCC ($336.7 million to $325.4 million). The Republican committees’ fundraising advantage is up from 3.0% last month.

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October 2021 breakdown of state legislative party membership: 54.11% Republicans, 44.71% Democrats

54.11% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.71% are Democrats, according to Ballotpedia’s October partisan count of the 7,383 state legislators.

Ballotpedia tallies the partisan balance of state legislatures at the end of every month. This refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in each chamber. Republicans control 61 chambers, while Democrats hold 37. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber to be organized under a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

Nationally, the state legislatures include 1,957 state senators and 5,379 state representatives. Democrats hold 864 state Senate seats and 2,437 state House seats, a gain of three state Senate seats and a loss of one state House seat. Republicans hold 3,995 of the 7,383 total state legislative seats—1,086 state Senate seats (five fewer than September) and 2,909 state House seats (a decrease of three).

Independent or third-party legislators hold 40 seats, of which 33 are state House seats and seven are state Senate seats. There are 47 vacant seats.

Since our last partisan count, Democrats saw a net increase of two seats, while Republicans saw a net decrease of eight seats. 

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How Clallam County’s cities vote in presidential elections

There is one county in America that has, since 1980, voted for the winning presidential candidate—Clallam County, Wa. The county’s 40-year record of voting for Republican and Democratic candidates reflects its political diversity. In Clallam County, elections, especially federal and state elections, tend to be closely decided. In 2020 and 2016, for example, Joe Biden (D) and Donald Trump (R) won the county by a margin of 3.37% and 2.28%, respectively. In 2012, voters in Clallam favored Barack Obama (D) over Mitt Romney (R) by a margin of .38%.

At the county level, Clallam’s political leanings can be hard to decipher. Precinct-level voting data reveal the county’s three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks—and assorted unincorporated areas exhibit partisan voting patterns.

For this analysis, we sorted the county’s 68 voter precincts into four groups—those in Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks, and those in unincorporated areas.

Clallam County had an estimated population of around 76,770 in 2020. Port Angeles, the county seat, had a population of around 20,000, while Sequim had a population of about 7,600. Forks had a population of about 3,862.

Overall, in the last four presidential elections, Port Angeles and Sequim have leaned Democratic, while Forks has shown a strong preference for Republican candidates. The rest of the county has narrowly favored Republican candidates.

  1. In 2020 in Port Angeles, Biden won 54.678% of the vote to Trump’s 41.16%. In Sequim, Biden won 56.77% to Trump’s 41.21%. In Forks, Trump won 65.36% to Biden’s 31.96%. Trump won the rest of the county by a margin of .77%. 
  2. In 2016 in Port Angeles, Hillary Clinton (D) won 49.42% of the vote to Trump’s 41.47%. In Sequim, Clinton won 48.99% to Trump’s 43.96%. In Forks, Trump won 59.98% to 30.58%. The rest of the county favored Trump over Clinton by a margin of 6.94%.
  3. In 2012 in Port Angeles, Obama won 54.88% of the vote to Romney’s 42.01%. In Sequim, Romney won 48.96% to Obama’s 48.65%. In Forks, Romney won 55.88% to Obama’s 40.51%. Romney won the rest of the county by a margin of 3.49%.
  4. In 2008 in Port Angeles, Obama won 55.71% to John McCain’s (R) 41.85%. In Sequim, Obama won 50.24% to McCain’s 47.52%. In Forks, McCain won 56.31% to Obama’s 40.19%. Obama won the rest of the county by a margin of .13%.

Clallam County is holding municipal elections in its three cities—Port Angeles, Sequim, and Forks— in 2021. Twenty-six offices are up for election in those cities.

Major party competition reaches a decade-high in the 2021 state legislative elections

The percentage of state legislative seats being contested by both major parties in 2021 is higher than at any point in the past decade, according to a Ballotpedia analysis of candidate filings. Of the 220 seats up for election in New Jersey and Virginia, 93% are set to feature a Democrat versus a Republican on the general election ballot this November. Of the remaining 15 seats, ten will likely be won by Democrats since they have no Republican competitors and five will likely be won by Republicans.

This is the first state legislative election cycle since at least 2010 where more than 90% of state legislative seats up for election nationwide were contested by both major parties. This increase in major party competition was largely driven by an increased level of competitiveness in the Virginia House of Delegates over the past decade. 

In 2011, less than half of the seats in the chamber were contested by both major parties. In 2021, 93% of seats featured major party competition, an increase of 52 percentage points over the decade. The chamber began trending more competitive in 2017 when Democrats contested 57% more seats than they had in 2015. Both parties continued to increase their numbers of contested seats in 2019 and 2021.

By comparison, state legislative elections in New Jersey have tended to feature higher levels of major party competition throughout the decade. At least 90% of seats have been contested by both major parties in each election cycle from 2011 to 2021 in both the Senate and General Assembly.

In the Senate, which saw its decade-high number of uncontested seats in 2021, the rate of major party competition remained above 92%.

In the General Assembly, Democrats have contested every seat since 2017. The highest number of uncontested seats in the chamber came in 2015 when eight seats, or 10%, were effectively guaranteed to one of the two major parties.

Major party competition refers to the percentage of state legislative seats where voters have the ability to choose between one of the two major parties: Democrats or Republicans. These figures are subject to change ahead of the November general elections as candidates of either party may still drop out. Ballotpedia will continue to provide updates throughout the election cycle.

Major party competition is one component of Ballotpedia’s annual state legislative competitiveness study, which also includes analyses of incumbents in contested primaries and open seats.

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22 states allow for the recall of school board members

Of the 39 states that allow for the recall of elected officials at some level of government, 22 specifically allow for the recall of school board members. School board recalls are the process of removing school board members from office via a public effort before their term is completed.

Six of the states that allow school board recalls require specific grounds to be met in order for a recall effort to move forward, such as malfeasance or misfeasance in office.

The number of signatures required to get a school board recall on the ballot varies by state. Common factors for calculating the signature requirement include the size of the board member’s jurisdiction and the number of votes cast in a previous election. In all but one of the states, recall elections are held if enough signatures are collected. Virginia is the exception. If enough signatures are collected in that state, a trial is held at the circuit court level.

The amount of time recall petitions are allowed to be circulated also varies by state. Georgia, Nebraska, and North Carolina have the shortest petition circulation time with 30 days. Out of the states that have a time limit for circulating petitions, Washington has the longest with 180 days. New Mexico, North Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia do not have a time limit for petition circulation.

Between 2006 and 2020, Ballotpedia covered an average of 23 recall efforts against an average of 52 school board members each year. The number of school board recalls in 2021 has surpassed that average with 57 efforts against 143 members as of Aug. 3. This is the highest number of school board recalls Ballotpedia has tracked in one year since our tracking began in 2010. The next-highest was in 2010 with 39 efforts against 91 school board members.

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How much did your governor make last year?

Eighteen states paid their governor more last year than in 2019, according to the Council of State Governments’ Book of the States. Gubernatorial salaries in 2020 ranged from a low of $70,000 in Maine to a high of $225,000 in New York, with the average governor making $145,370. In the 18 states where a governor’s salary increased, the average increase was $6,604, or 4.3%. Washington was the only state to decrease its governor’s salary, registering a 0.5% decrease over the 2019 rate.

The states with the five highest gubernatorial salaries in 2020 were New York ($225,000), California ($209,747), Pennsylvania ($201,729), Tennessee ($198,780), and Massachusetts ($185,000). The states with the five lowest gubernatorial salaries were Maine ($70,000), Colorado ($92,700), Arizona ($95,000), Oregon ($98,600), and Nebraska ($105,000). Arizona, Colorado, Maine, and Oregon have been in the bottom five states for gubernatorial compensation since at least 2010. Only New York has been in the top five in every year since 2010. New York was also the state with the largest increase in gubernatorial salary in 2020, with a $25,000 increase relative to 2019.

Gubernatorial salaries are typically determined either by a state’s constitution or by statute. Most often, the salary portion of a governor’s compensation is defined by law, but additional benefits (insurance, official residence, and other work-related equipment) may be established by state agencies, custom, or other factors. For instance, 45 states subsidize the governor’s travel and 45 states have official gubernatorial residences.

In some cases, salaries automatically increase each year either at the rate of inflation or by another percentage chosen by the legislature. In other states, the legislature must pass salary increases for the governor.

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Ballotpedia’s mid-year recall report shows school board recalls on the rise

In the first half of 2021, Ballotpedia tracked 164 recall efforts against 262 officials. This was the most recall efforts for this point in the year since the first half of 2016, when we tracked 189 recall efforts against 265 officials. In comparison, we tracked between 72 and 155 efforts by the midpoints of 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

For the first time since 2015, school board members drew more recall petitions than any other group. A total of 48% of officials who faced recall campaigns in the first half of 2021 were school board members. City council members—the officials who drew the most efforts from 2016 to 2020—accounted for 25% of officials. Between June 2016 and June 2020, school board members accounted for 15% to 27% of officials named in recall efforts.

For the fifth time in the past six years, California had the most officials facing recall efforts of any state with 78. However, Alaska had the most recalls per 100,000 residents with 0.55. By that metric, California had the 10th-most recalls with 0.11 per 100,000 residents.

Last year, Ballotpedia began tracking recalls related to the coronavirus and government responses to it. As of this report’s publication, 77 such recall efforts had been tracked throughout 2020 and 2021.

In this report, Ballotpedia also highlighted five noteworthy recalls: the effort against California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), the two efforts against Arizona Rep. Mark Finchem (R), the effort against Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón, the two efforts against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and the effort against six of the nine school board members in the Loudoun County school district in Virginia.

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In four states, no state or federal officials have tested positive for COVID-19

Between the start of the coronavirus pandemic and March 18, 2021, no elected or appointed state or federal officials announced positive COVID-19 test results in four states—Delaware, Maryland, Oregon, and Vermont. In the 46 other states, Ballotpedia has identified at least one COVID-19 positive state or federal official within our coverage scope. State and federal officials include members of Congress, state legislators, and state executive officeholders.

The first COVID-19 positive state officials identified by Ballotpedia were New York state Reps. Helene Weinstein (D) and Charles Barron (D), who announced positive test results on March 14, 2020. The first members of Congress to test positive were Reps. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fl.), who made their announcements March 18.

Since then, Ballotpedia has identified 215 candidates and officials diagnosed with COVID-19 at the state level, and 69 candidates and officials with COVID-19 at the federal level.

The state with the highest number of publicly identified COVID-19 state and federal officials is Pennsylvania, where two U.S. House members, the governor, and 17 members of the state legislature have tested positive since March 2020.

To read more about federal, state, and local officials and candidates affected by COVID-19, click the link below.

Ballotpedia’s analysis of California’s 2020 local ballot measures

California voters decided 719 local ballot measures across seven different election dates in 2020. 

Here are some highlights from Ballotpedia’s annual report on local ballot measures in California:

• Voters approved 62.4% percent of California’s local measures in 2020, which was 14 and 15 percentage points lower than their approval rates in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

• Bond and tax measures made up 70% of the local measures on the ballot in California.

• There were local ballot measures in every California county in 2020 but one. Los Angeles County had the most measures at 109. The median number of measures per county was nine.

• There were 191 local bond issues on ballots across California in 2020. Of that total, 182 (95.8%) were school bond issues.

• The approval rate for school bond measures in 2020 of 50.5% was the lowest in any even-numbered year since at least 2008. The average approval rate for school bond measures in even-numbered years from 2008 through 2018 was 83%.

• Local school bond measures proposed $30.7 billion in new debt. Voters approved $18.7 billion and rejected $12.0 billion.

• Voters in two cities in California approved measures to enact ranked-choice voting for city elections.

• There were eight local measures concerning law enforcement policies, police oversight, police practices, or law enforcement budgeting, not including tax measures designed to provide funding for law enforcement services. All eight measures were approved.

• Voters approved 46 (44.66%) and rejected 57 (55.34%) of the 103 parcel tax measures on the ballot. In 2018, voters approved 65% of parcel tax measures. In 2016, voters approved 64% of parcel tax measures.

• Voters approved 93 sales tax measures (71.5%) in 2020 and rejected 37 (28.5%). In 2018, voters approved 84% of sales tax measures. In 2016, voters approved 69% of sales tax measures.

California voters also decided 13 statewide ballot measures. Click here to read more about the 2020 statewide measures.

Ballotpedia covers all statewide ballot measures, all local ballot measures in the 100 largest cities in the U.S., all local ballot measures in California, and a selection of other notable measures. In 2021, Ballotpedia will also cover all state capitals outside of the nation’s 100 largest cities.

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Trump has appointed second-most federal judges through December 31 of a president’s fourth year

Donald Trump has appointed and the U.S. Senate has confirmed 234 Article III federal judges through December 31, 2020, his fourth year in office. This is the second-most Article III judicial appointments through this point in all presidencies since Jimmy Carter (D). The Senate had confirmed 261 of Carter’s appointees at this point in his term.

The average number of federal judges appointed by a president through December 31 of their fourth year in office is 205.

The median number of Supreme Court justices appointed is two. President Donald Trump (R) has appointed three Supreme Court justices. Presidents Barack Obama (D), Bill Clinton (D), and George H.W. Bush (R) had each appointed two Supreme Court justices at this point in their first terms. Ronald Reagan (R) had appointed one, while Carter and George W. Bush (R) had not appointed any.

The median number of United States Court of Appeals appointees is 35. Carter appointed the most with 56, and Presidents Clinton and Obama appointed the fewest with 30 each. Trump’s 54 appointments make up 30.2% of the total 179 judgeships across the courts of appeal.

The median number of United States District Court appointees is 168. Carter appointed the most with 202, and President Reagan appointed the fewest with 129. Trump has appointed 174 district court judges so far. Those appointments make up 25.7% of the 678 judgeships across the district courts.

Article III federal judges are appointed for life terms by the president of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate per Article III of the United States Constitution. Article III judges include judges on the: Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. courts of appeal, U.S. district courts, and the Court of International Trade.

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