Election News

NBC Places Candidates for First Presidential Debate

June 18, 2019

The first 2020 presidential debate is eight days out, taking place over two nights on June 26 and 27. Last week, we learned on which night each of the 20 candidates will appear. Now we know where they will stand on the podium. 

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke will be at center stage night one. On the 2nd night, it will be former Vice-President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.  All candidates were placed based on their qualifying polling average as of June 12.  The higher-polling candidates are closest to the center.

Note that in the graphic below, we use the national polling average as of June 18. This will not exactly match up with the qualifying average, which was based on national and early state polls from a list of highly-rated polling organizations.

The debate will be hosted by NBC News, MSNBC and Telemundo. It will air both nights from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time.



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Rep. Susan Brooks to Retire, Putting a Safe GOP Seat in Play for 2020

June 14, 2019

Republican Rep. Susan Brooks of Indiana's 5th congressional district will not seek a fifth term in 2020. Absent an incumbent, The Cook Political Report and other forecasters have moved this suburban Indianapolis district from 'safe' to a consensus rating of 'lean Republican'. The district has demographic similarities to other affluent districts that have been trending away from the GOP during the Trump era. That said, the president won the district by 12 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and will, of course, be seeking a 2nd term in 2020.

Brooks is the 8th current member of the U.S. House to announce a 2020 departure. Five are retiring, while two are running for Senate. Montana's at-large GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte recently announced he would be running for governor.


Groupings for First Democratic Debate

June 14, 2019

The 20 Democratic candidates that qualified for the first presidential debate have been split into two groups.  According to a subsequent tweet by @rubycramer, the Orange group will appear on the first night, June 26. The Purple group, will go on June 27.


DNC Names Debate Qualifiers

June 13, 2019

The Democratic National Committee has announced that 20 candidates have qualified for the party's first presidential debate.  

  1. Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado
  2. Former Vice President Joe Biden
  3. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey
  4. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  5. Former Housing Secretary Julián Castro
  6. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
  7. Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland
  8. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii
  9. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  10. Sen. Kamala Harris of California
  11. Former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  12. Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington
  13. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  14. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke of Texas
  15. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio
  16. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  17. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California
  18. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts
  19. Author Marianne Williamson
  20. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

The debate will take place over two nights - June 26 and 27 - in Miami. On Friday, the field will be divided into two groups of 10.  To get there, the DNC will divide candidates into two tiers, those polling at or above 2%, and the remainder.  Each group will be randomly split across the two nights.

NBC News, along MSNBC and Telemundo - two NBC owned networks - will host the two hour debates. There will be five moderators.


Oregon Joins National Popular Vote Compact

June 12, 2019

Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill Wednesday that adds Oregon to the National Popular Vote compact. 15 states and Washington D.C., with a total of 196 electoral votes have now approved the initiative. States in the compact agree to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, a choice that could differ from that made by its own citizens.  However, it does not take effect until states totaling 270 electoral votes have joined. Until such time, nothing is changing for how Oregon allocates its electoral votes.

The initiative is being driven primarily by Democratic-leaning states; all voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (see map, above). Aside from Colorado and New Mexico, these states have all voted Democratic since at least 1992.    Oregon last voted for a Republican in Ronald Reagan's landslide 1984 reelection. 

There's been little interest in this proposal from GOP-leaning states. Many of them are smaller and thus over-represented in the Electoral College.  However, that is not exclusively a Republican concern. Oregon's decision comess two weeks after Democratic Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak vetoed similar legislation in his state. Sisolak cited the reduced influence Nevada would have if the initiative took effect. 


Warren Moves Ahead of Sanders in National Poll

June 12, 2019

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has moved past Bernie Sanders and into 2nd place in the 2020 Democratic field. That's the finding of a Economist/YouGov national poll of likely Democratic primary voters. Warren's four point margin over the Vermont Senator reflects a 9 point change since last week. 

It remains to be seen if this result is an outlier or the start of a trend. Sanders retains a lead of about 5% in the overall polling average. However, the 16% is Warren's high-water mark to date. She has made slow and steady gains since late April, when she first moved into double digits in a poll.


Texas a Battleground? Biden Narrowly Leads; Trump Edges Other Democrats

June 5, 2019

A new Quinnipiac poll in Texas gives former Vice President Joe Biden a narrow four point lead on Donald Trump. Six other prospective Democratic matchups favor the president by anywhere from one to four points. This includes a three-point lead over Texans Beto O'Rourke and Julian Castro.

 

Trump won the Lone Star State by 9 points in 2016. The state has not voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter won here in 1976. 

 


Trump Trails 2020 Democrats in Michigan; Voters Oppose Impeachment

June 5, 2019

We're tracking general election polls. Filter by state and/or prospective Democratic nominee.

Donald Trump trails in Michigan, one of the 'blue wall' states he flipped to win the 2016 presidential election, a new poll finds. The survey of 600 likely voters shows the two leading Democrats, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, with a double-digit lead over Trump. The race becomes more competitive against three other prospective nominees.

Trump won Michigan by 0.23% over Hillary Clinton in 2016; the closest margin in the nation. It was the first time the state had voted for a Republican since George H.W. Bush won here in 1988.

Impeachment

While the poll shows Michigan voters appear lukewarm on giving Trump another four years, they also seem inclined to let the president complete his term.  The same set of likely voters opposed impeachment by 53-40%, although they were split evenly on whether Trump had obstructed justice.

The Amash Factor

The pollster, Glengariff Group, also looked at Biden vs. Trump if Michigan Rep. Justin Amash was in the race as the Libertarian nominee. Amash received nationwide attention recently by becoming the first - and only -GOP member of Congress to say Trump's conduct met the threshold for impeachment. 

The survey found Amash would receive 10% of the vote, with Biden's lead over Trump dropping from 12 points to six. Interestingly, most of the Amash support would come from Biden, with Trump only losing two points, going from 41% to 39%.

 


New Feature: Delegate Estimates Based on Polling

June 4, 2019

We've added a delegate section to our Democratic state primary pages. Where one or more recent polls is available, you'll see an estimated allocation of the state's delegates based on that poll (or average).  A fully interactive delegate calculator will be available later this summer

Here's the estimated allocation of North Carolina's 110 pledged delegates based on today's Emerson College poll of the state. A 15% minimum threshold is required to win any delegates.  

It is important to note that even if the above poll proves exactly right, the actual delegate count will almost certainly be different. While some Democratic delegates are pledged based on the statewide vote, each of the state's congressional districts also receives a certain number of delegates. They are pledged to candidates based on the outcome within the specific district. We are making our calculations at the district level, but basing it on the statewide vote percentages. It's that last part that is problematic, as there will obviously be district-by-district differences in the results. For those that want to get detailed, the interactive delegate calculator will let you project vote share by district.

You can find information on all Democratic primary and caucus events here

 


Biden Still Leads Nationally, Two New Polls Find

June 4, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden remains well out in front of the large 2020 Democratic field, two new national polls find. In the Morning Consult weekly tracking poll, Biden is at 38%, twice that of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who is at 19%. Elizabeth Warren is third at 10%. These numbers have changed little in recent weeks.

CNN finds Biden at 32% with Sanders at 18%. No other candidate reaches double-digits. Biden dropped 7 points from the 39% he received in that organization's late April poll, which was released just after he formally entered the race.

Overall, the 270toWin national polling average has Biden at 34%, Sanders 18% and Warren 11%, with these new polls not impacting the numbers very much.  The race seems to have stabilized for now; that may well change after the first Democratic debate in 3 weeks.

 



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