Election News

Podium Positions Set for September 12 Debate

August 29, 2019

We found out yesterday that 10 Democrats qualified for the next debate. Now we know where they'll stand on stage.

 

 

ABC News, in partnership with Univision is hosting the debate. While the DNC certified the eligible candidates, it is the network that determined the podium order. It said that position "was determined by polling averages, based on the last 10 polls certified for qualification by the DNC with the highest polling candidates near the center."  Based on this, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren take center stage, flanked by Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.

Since only 10 candidates qualified, the debate will take place on a single night, September 12, from Houston. It will be a full 3 hours, beginning at 8:00 PM ET.

The 4th debate will take place in October, date and place TBA.  Qualifiers for this debate are automatically included in the October debate, while others still have time to make it.  Three candidates have met the 130,000 donor threshold, but are short one or more qualifying polls of 2% or more.   Those candidates are Tom Steyer (1 poll short of the 4 needed), Tulsi Gabbard (2) and Marianne Williamson (3).  If one or more of these make the October stage, that event will stretch out over two nights.



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Kirsten Gillibrand Drops Bid for Democratic Nomination

August 28, 2019

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she was dropping out of the presidential race after failing to qualify for the 3rd Democratic debate in September.  Her campaign had focused on women's equality and abortion rights but those issues were not enough to get her traction in the large Democratic field.  


Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson to Resign at Year-End

August 28, 2019

Citing health issues, Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia is resigning at the end of 2019.  The Republican was elected to a 3rd term in 2016. 

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp will appoint a replacement who will serve until a special election is held concurrent with the general election in November, 2020. The winner of that race will complete the final two years of Isakson's term. 

Sabato's Crystal Ball is starting this race with a Leans Republican rating, the same it has assigned to Georgia's other U.S. Senate seat - held by Republican David Purdue - which will also be contested in 2020. Of note - while these double-barrel elections are relatively infrequent, the same party usually wins both. The last split result was in South Carolina back in 1966.


Mississippi GOP Gubernatorial Runoff: Overview and Results

August 27, 2019

There's a Republican gubernatorial primary runoff Tuesday in Mississippi. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and former Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr. are on the ballot. The winner will face the Democratic nominee, Attorney General Jim Hood in November. 

Polls close at 7:00 PM Central Time (8:00 PM Eastern).  Results will appear below after that time.

Reeves was the most well-known and financed candidate heading into the August 6 three-way primary. He received the endorsement of the current governor, Phil Bryant, who is ineligible to run due to the state's two-term limit.

While he won the night, Reeves fell just short of a majority of the vote, necessitating Tuesday's top-two runoff.  The third place finisher, state Rep. Robert Foster has endorsed Waller.


Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin to Resign from Congress Next Month

August 26, 2019

Rep. Sean Duffy will resign from Congress effective September 23. He made the announcement in a Facebook posting Monday morning, citing family issues. The five-term Republican represents Wisconsin's 7th congressional district. It is the state's largest district by area, covering much of the northern half of the state.

Duffy was preceded in Congress by Democrat Dave Obey, who served over 40 years before retiring in 2010. Duffy won that year by 8 points over Democrat Julie Lassa. The district was made more Republican in 2011 post-Census redistricting, leading to fairly easy reelection races for the incumbent. He won his final term by about 22% in 2018, about the same winning margin as President Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.  

Wisconsin's Democratic Gov. Tony Evers will call a special election to fill the upcoming vacancy. 


Former Rep. Joe Walsh to Challenge Donald Trump in GOP Primary

August 25, 2019

Former Rep. Joe Walsh announced Sunday that he is running for president.  A Tea Party Republican, Walsh served one term in the House, winning the Illinois 8th district in 2010. The district became more favorable to Democrats after 2011 redistricting and Walsh lost to Tammy Duckworth in 2012. After leaving Congress, Walsh became a conservative talk radio personality.

Walsh is hoping a challenge from the right will appeal to both conservatives and the 'Never Trump' movement. However, he brings his own baggage to the race, which might make it difficult for him to credibly make the case to those looking for an alternativ. He has espoused birtherism and anti-Muslim rhetoric, as well as hate for his political opponents. He did express regret for those statements in a recent New York Times op-ed.

Walsh joins former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld in the primary; both face exceptionally steep odds in their quest for the GOP nomination. For his part, Weld said he welcomes others, telling Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that "we need to assemble rational people".


Rep. Seth Moulton Drops Presidential Bid; Will Run for 4th Term in Congress

August 23, 2019

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton ended his campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination on Friday.  He becomes the 3rd candidate to drop out of the race in the past eight days, following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.  None of these candidates were able to break through in a very crowded Democratic field.

Moulton will run for a 4th term in Congress. While the district is safely Democratic, his presidential ambitions have opened the door to at least two primary challengers in 2020.

 


Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Exits Presidential Race

August 21, 2019

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday that he was ending his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination. He made the announcement on The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC.

Inslee's campaign was largely focused around the issue of climate change. However, he was unable to gain much traction in a crowded Democratic field and was not going to qualify for the upcoming September debate.

Inslee is in his 2nd term as governor of Washington. The state is in the minority in that it does not impose any term limits on its chief executive, allowing him to run again in 2020 if he so chooses. 


CNN Poll: Biden Gains; Castro Qualifies for Next Debate

August 20, 2019

Joe Biden is well out in front in a new national CNN poll. His 29% equals the combined total of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris are tied for fourth at 5%. These results are in line with the overall national polling averages for recent polls.

Comparing these results to the prior CNN poll - taken just after the first debate - shows that the bump Harris received from her performance has evaporated, with Biden regaining much of the share he lost. The support for Warren and Sanders is essentially unchanged.

September Debate

The CNN poll brought good news for Julian Castro, making him the 10th qualifier for the next Democratic debate. That will be held September 12th and 13th in Houston, broadcast by ABC and Univision.

To make the September stage, candidates must get at least 2% in four qualifying polls and have received a donation from a minimum of 130,000 unique donors. The deadline for qualifying is August 28, with a couple additions still possible. Tom Steyer is one poll short, while Tulsi Gabbard needs two more. Both have met the fundraising requirement.  No other candidate seems likely to make the cut.


Rep. Lujan, Number 4 House Democrat, Comes Out in Support of Impeachment Inquiry

August 19, 2019

New Mexico Rep. Ben Ray Luján announced his support for an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Luján, who is the Assistant Speaker and a close ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, becomes the highest-ranking Democrat to back impeachment thus far. He becomes the 125th member to support an inquiry. Click the map for a full list.



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