Election News

Pennsylvania 12th District Special Election: Overview & Results

May 21, 2019

Today is primary day in Pennsylvania. For residents in the state's 12th congressional district, there is also a special election to fill the vacancy created when former GOP Rep. Tom Marino resigned in January.  The nominees were selected by the parties, with Republican state Rep. Fred Keller meeting Democrat Marc Friedenberg, a lawyer and college professor.

Results will appear below after the polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.  Reload the page for the latest.

The mostly rural 12th district is located in the central part of the state from northwest of Harrisburg to the New York line. In terms of land area, it is the largest of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts. The district is very conservative - Donald Trump won here by over 36% in 2016, with Marino approaching that margin in his 2018 reelection. As such, Keller is heavily favored to win.  Keep an eye on the margin, if it is significantly lower than 30% it may be an early warning sign for 2020, particularly after Trump held a rally in the district Monday 

The timing of the election will work against turnout in a couple ways. Pennsylvania is a closed primary state, meaning only registered party members can vote in the respective primaries. Independents can vote in the special election; but it is an open question whether they will come out for this race. Additionally, the election is taking place after most students have departed Penn State for the summer.  State College is among the few Democratic-leaning areas in the district.



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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio Launches Presidential Campaign

May 16, 2019

If you are a termed-out politician who will be available for a new job in January, 2021, why not run for president?  That's the situation for two-term New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who launched his presidential campaign Thursday morning. He becomes the 24th Democrat aspiring to defeat Donald Trump in 2020.

De Blasio made his announcement on Good Morning America. He also released a video titled "Working People First".

De Blasio is the third sitting mayor to join the race. Also running are South Bend Indiana's Pete Buttigieg and Wayne Messam, of Miramar, Florida. No sitting mayor has ever been elected president.


North Carolina 9th District Republican Primary: Overview and Results

May 14, 2019

Ten names are on the ballot Tuesday for the Republican primary in North's Carolina 9th congressional district. Depending on the outcome, either a runoff or the special election will take place on September 10.  The eventual nominee will face Dan McCready - who is unopposed for the Democratic nomination - to fill a congressional seat that has been vacant since the start of the 116th Congress in January. 

Results will appear below after the polls close at 7:30 PM Eastern Time.  

Polling

Three late April polls showed State Sen. Dan Bishop as the frontrunner, with 30-36% of the vote. Bishop is most well-known for sponsoring the state's "bathroom bill", which gained wide notoriety before being partially repealed in 2017. County Commissioner Stony Rushing was seeing between 17-19% support and, if the polling proves reasonably accurate, is likely to finish 2nd. Two others, County Commissioner Matthew Ridenhour and Realtor Leigh Brown also seem to be viable.  

30% needed to avoid a possible runoff

If no candidate reaches 30% of the vote, the 2nd place candidate can request a runoff. However, it is not required.  Rushing has said he will not pursue a runoff if he finishes 2nd to Bishop, although he would have nine days to change his mind. If a runoff is required in September, the general election will take place on November 5.

How did we get here?

The GOP incumbent, Robert Pittenger, lost the 2018 primary to Mark Harris, a pastor. Harris went on to what appeared to be a narrow win over Marine veteran Dan McCready in the November midterms. However, that result was never certified due to allegations of fraud. In late February, after a multi-day hearing, the State Board of Elections ordered a new election to be held.  Harris chose not to pursue a rematch with McCready, who faced no opposition from within his party.

Special Election Outlook

Although Donald Trump won this district by about 11.5% in 2016, the 2018 race between Harris and McCready was expected to be highly competitive and turned out that way. Harris received about 900 more votes than McCready on Election Day.  As of now, most pundits see the special election to be a toss-up. However, those ratings could change once the GOP nominee and the date of the special election (September vs. November) are known. If Bishop is the Republican nominee, the race will likely take on a larger national profile.


Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Announces Presidential Run

May 14, 2019

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock said Tuesday that he will seek the Democratic Party nomination in 2020.  He joins a historically large field seeking to unseat President Donald Trump. Bullock released a video making his announcement. 

Bullock is likely to be one of the final notable entrants in a Democratic field that now numbers 23. That list is below, ordered by the current national polling average.  18 of these candidates have qualified for the first two debates in June and July. The field is capped at 20 (candidates will be split randomly across two nights). If more than 20 become eligible, a tiebreaker process will be used.


Biden Nears Majority Democratic Support in New South Carolina Poll

May 12, 2019

Joe Biden is at 46% in a new poll of likely South Carolina Democratic primary voters. This is a large uptick from the 32% that the same pollster gave Biden about a month ago, prior to his formal entry into the race. In a field of over 20 presidential hopefuls, the former Vice President now has almost as much support in The Palmetto State as all the other candidates combined. 

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was 2nd at 15%, with California Sen. Kamala Harris 3rd at 10%. Both those numbers were little changed from a month ago. Biden's large gain appears to have come at the expense of Cory Booker, Beto O'Rourke and Stacey Abrams, who each lost 5% or more of their support.

For those interested, we have a new page that displays who is polling in the top 3 for those places where polling is available. It includes a link to the polling detail for each state.  Keep in mind that polling is pretty limited at this point; several of these states only have one survey thus far.


Democratic Primary Polls - Who Leads in Each State

May 10, 2019

The new 2020 Democratic Nomination Polls page provides a snapshot of the top 3 candidates in each state where polling is available. Select the state name for the percentages associated with each candidate as well as detail on the poll(s) used to calculate the position. 


Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi Won't Seek a 5th Term in 2020

May 4, 2019

Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi announced Saturday that he will not run for reelection in 2020. Enzi, 75, was first elected to the Senate in 1996. He has been returned to the Senate for three additional terms, getting over 70% of the vote each time.

Possible replacements could include former Gov. Matt Mead or Rep. Liz Cheney. In July 2013, Cheney announced she would challenge Enzi for the Republican nomination. After failing to gain significant party support, she withdrew in early 2014. Enzi would easily defeat four other challengers on the way to winning a fourth and final term in November that year. Cheney went on to win the state's at-large seat in the U.S. House in November, 2016. 

Enzi becomes the fourth Senator to announce a 2020 retirement. His Republican colleagues Lamar Alexander (TN) and Pat Roberts (KS), as well as Democrat Tom Udall (NM) will be leaving. All these seats are seen as safe for the incumbent party.

 

 


Ohio Congressional District Map Ruled Unconstitutional

May 4, 2019

A Federal court has ruled Ohio's congressional districts to be an unconstitutional gerrymander, ordering new districts to be drawn up for the 2020 elections.  State lawmakers have until June 14 to come up with a new map, although they will appeal the decision.

The situation is similar to that in neighboring Pennsylvania, which had to redraw congressional districts for the 2018 midterm elections. In Ohio, the GOP holds a 12-4 advantage.  Only two of those districts were decided by less than a 10% margin in 2018; all 15 incumbents that ran won reelection.

Regardless of how this all plays out, there will be new districts drawn for the 2022 election, as redistricting will take place after the 2020 election. There will also be a new way of drawing them, as Ohio voters approved a ballot proposition last year that should reduce the ability of a majority legislature to create a gerrymandered map.

 

 


Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet Announces 2020 Presidential Run

May 2, 2019

Michael Bennet of Colorado has become the 7th Senator to join the 2020 presidential race. He made the announcement Thursday during an appearance on CBS "This Morning". 

His campaign put out a video called "7,591 words". This is the number of words in the U.S. Constitution, including the 27 amendments:

Bennet has long been expected to jump in the race. However, his timetable was changed after a diagnosis of prostate cancer earlier this year. Following surgery, he has received a clean bill of health.

In a field of over 20 candidates, Bennet joins his Senate colleagues Cory Booker (NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Kamala Harris (CA), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Bernie Sanders (VT) and Elizabeth Warren (MA).  His fellow Coloradan, former Gov. John Hickenlooper is also in the running for the Democratic nomination. 


GOP Heads to Primary Runoff in NC-3 Special Election

May 1, 2019

Tuesday's Republican primary in the vacant North Carolina 3rd district will head to a July 9 runoff, as no candidate in the large field reached 30%. Moving on are the top-two vote getters,  State Rep. Greg Murphy and pediatrician Joan Perry. On the Democratic side, former Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas won with 50% of the vote; he will meet the eventual GOP nominee in the September 10th special election.

This seat has been vacant since the February death of long-time Rep. Walter Jones. This is a conservative district; the eventual GOP nominee will be favored to hold the seat for the party. In 2016, Donald Trump won by 24% over Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Jones ran unopposed for his 12th term, one of the only Republicans to not have a challenger that year. 

Other Vacancies

Two other House vacancies will be filled in the months ahead. Staying in North Carolina, the state's 9th district will hold a primary on May 14. This seat has been open since the new Congress was seated in January, as the November election results were thrown out due to election fraud. The Democratic nominee from November, Dan McCready is running unopposed. The GOP field is much larger, and a runoff here may be needed. The special election will be September 10, unless a runoff is required (30% needed to avoid), in which case it will be November 5.  The now-discarded race from November had McCready and Republican Mark Harris separated by fewer than 1,000 votes; the special election is also expected to be highly competitive.

On May 21, a special election will be held in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district. This is to fill the seat vacated by GOP Rep. Tom Marino, who resigned in January.  No primaries were held; nominees were chosen by each party. State Rep. Fred Keller (R) will meet Democrat Marc Friedenberg, a college professor. Friedenberg was the Democratic nominee in 2018; he lost 66% to 34% to Marino. This seat is likely to remain with the Republicans.



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