The Washington Examiner reports "top Republicans in Texas are sounding the alarm about 2020, warning President Trump could lose the usually reliably red state unless he devotes resources and attention to it typically reserved for electoral battlegrounds."
Texas hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter won here by about 3% in 1976. Trump won the state by nine points in 2016. While not particularly close, it was the smallest GOP margin since Bob Dole's five point win here in 1996.
Could Trump win reelection if he were to lose Texas and its 38 electoral votes? Probably not, unless this was strictly a regional issue and he was able to offset it by building upon his 2016 realignment of the electoral map. That year, he flipped Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states that hadn't voted Democratic in a generation. In addition, he narrowly lost Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maine's at-large electoral votes.
In the scenario below, we assume a loss in Texas correlates with a similar outcome in Arizona, making the entire Southwestern part of the country Democratic in 2020. However, Trump is able to offset this by carrying all his other 2016 states and winning Minnesota. This would leave the election to be decided - or perhaps end in a 269-269 tie - by the six electoral votes available in Maine and New Hampshire.
Click or tap the map to create your own 2020 forecast.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will not seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, it was reported Tuesday. Garcetti, who easily won a 2nd term as the city's mayor in 2017 was one of several mayors considering a 2020 bid. South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched an exploratory committee last week. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has yet to decide if he will enter the race. No mayor has ever moved directly from that office to the presidency.
The updated Democratic list:
Former West Virginia State. Sen. Richard Ojeda has ended his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Ojeda had concluded that the campaign wasn't winnable. The move comes less than two weeks after Ojeda resigned his seat in the West Virginia Senate so that he could pursue the presidential run.
Ojeda made his announcement via a Facebook post. He is the first announced Democrat to withdraw.
The 2020 House Interactive Map is now live. Use it to create and share your forecast for the 2020 House elections.
In the table below the interactive map, view the incumbent for each seat, along with their margin of victory in 2018. Compare that to the margins in the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The table defaults to all races seen as competitive in 2020, based on initial ratings by Sabato's Crystal Ball. As you pan/zoom on the map, the table will update to show all seats visible in the map area. To view all districts in a specific state, choose it in the drop-down menu below the seat counter.
Democrats gained 40 seats in the 2018 midterms, and now hold 235 seats to 198 for the Republicans. There are two vacancies in previously GOP-held seats: PA-12 and NC-9. There will be a special election in PA-12 on May 21, coinciding with the state's primary election. It is unclear when the North Carolina vacancy will be filled.
The House map arrives with three Starting Views. In addition to a blank map, there is the initial 2020 forecast from Sabato's Crystal Ball and a map that shows the most competitive races in 2018, based on margin of victory. Click or tap the images below for an interactive version of these.
Sabato's Crystal Ball
"Democrats start the cycle favored to hold the House majority, but a GOP presidential victory would open the door to Republicans restoring total control of Washington." Read their full analysis >>
This map separates the 87* races decided by 10% or less in 2018. Those decided by less than 5% are shown as a tilt rating, while the elections with 5-10% margins are shown as a leans rating. The remainder are displayed as safe.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has set May 21 as the date for a special election to fill a vacancy in the state's congressional delegation. The date coincides with the state's primary election. Former Rep. Tom Marino's last day in office was yesterday (Jan. 23rd). The GOP congressman had announced his plan to resign last week.
Donald Trump won this rural Pennsylvania district by over 35% in 2016, with Marino winning a fifth term by over 30% this past November. The seat is very likely to remain in GOP hands.
Buttigieg is the two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He was first elected at age 29 in 2011. Now 37, he would be the youngest president in U.S. history were he to be successful in 2020. He is about 9 months younger than Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who announced her candidacy earlier this month.
Forming an exploratory committee is a step short of a formal campaign launch, although that is highly likely to follow. He joins Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in this category. This brings to 8 the total number of Democrats who have either announced a 2020 campaign or formed an exploratory committee.
California Senator Kamala Harris launched her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Monday. Harris, who is the 2nd* African American Senator in U.S. history, made the announcement Monday on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Before joining the Senate, Harris was her state's first female Attorney General.
Harris becomes the 5th Democrat to formally announce a 2020 run. Two of her Senate colleagues, Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) have created exploratory committees, which basically means they are running but are saving the 'formal' launch for a later date.
* Carol Moseley-Braun was the first, elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois in 1992.
The Map Color Palette, which was added to the congressional and gubernatorial interactive maps in 2018, is now available on the 2020 Electoral Map. The palette is located to the right of the electoral map, and includes options for tilt Democratic, tilt Republican and 3rd party.
Changing State(s) on the Map
Use -/+ buttons in the color palette area to display the ratings options you want to use. This can be changed at any time. As before, you can click a state repeatedly to change its rating. What's new here is that the rotation will only cycle through the ratings visible in the palette. So, if you only want to do a safe/toss-up map, there's no longer a need to cycle through all the other colors.
Alternately, select a single rating in the palette by clicking or tapping it. A small check mark will appear. This is now the active color. Any states you change will switch to that rating. To change the active color, just select a different one. You can return to 'rotation mode' by clicking the active color again (the check mark will disappear).
A single rating is available for a 3rd party candidate. To use the 3rd party color, click or tap the 3P box in the color palette. A check mark will replace 3P, and it will function as any other rating, as described in the preceding paragraph. 3rd party is only available this way, it will not appear if you are rotating through the colors on a state.
For those that want more precision in their forecast, we've added the tilt rating. Tilt sits between 'Leans' and 'Tossup'. In our 2016 Very Close map, all states decided by 5% or less are shown as tossup. In the image below, we've assigned those states to the winning 2016 candidate using the tilt rating. Therefore, in the aggregate, the map reflects Trump's 306-232 win*. Click the image for an interactive version.
For the new features, all the references to 'state' in this article also apply to the split districts capability in Maine and Nebraska.
* Trump and Clinton won states (and congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska) yielding this total. There were seven faithless electors in the 2016 presidential election. History will therefore record the 2016 electoral vote as 304-227 for Trump. As the occurrence of faithless electors is essentially random - if they occur at all - we ignore them in all our 2020 forecast maps.
GOP Rep. Tom Marino (PA-12) is resigning from Congress to take a job in the private sector. The departure is effective on January 23rd. Marino easily won a fifth term in November. He is resigning just two weeks after the 116th Congress was seated.
Marino was nominated in 2017 by President Trump to be his drug czar. However, he withdrew later that year after a report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes that detailed how he helped pass a law making opioids more easily available.
Marino introduced a constitutional amendment just last week to change House terms from two to four years. The press release from his office quoted him as follows: "As I’ve committed to since first coming to Congress, I will serve 12 years and then let new blood and ideas take the reins." Marino has served eight years, he is leaving just weeks after indicating he would serve four more. The private sector opportunity must have arisen quickly.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will call a special election to fill Marino's seat. This is a very conservative district, and the seat will likely remain under Republican control.
The 2019-20 Governor Interactive Map is now available. Three starter maps are currently available, including the early projections from Sabato's Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report. The final option is a blank map with all seats undecided. The table below the map has been expanded to include 2019 through 2022, with each displaying those states with an election that year.
Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will each elect a governor in 2019. About 10 months out, all three races look to be at least somewhat competitive*. 11 more states will follow in 2020. The 2020 races include New Hampshire and Vermont, the only two states where governors serve a two-year term. At least three of the 14 governors will be leaving. Phil Bryant (R-MS) and Steve Bullock (D-MT) cannot run due to term limits. In Utah, the country's longest-serving governor, Gary Herbert (R) is retiring.
The image below are the initial ratings from Sabato's Crystal Ball. You can read their analysis of the races here.
* These are safe GOP states in a presidential election. The competitiveness of these gubernatorial races is aided to some degree by the fact that they are occurring this year as opposed to next.
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