Election News

Overview and Live Results: Texas 6th Congressional District Special Election

July 27, 2021

Despite being more competitive than the three other vacant House districts, we know for sure that a Republican will win Tuesday's special election in Texas' 6th congressional district. The seat has been open since Republican Rep. Ron Wright died in February.

No candidate received a majority of the vote in the May 1 all-party primary, necessitating Tuesday's runoff.  This wasn't a surprise in a huge field of 23 candidates. What was a bit unexpected was that Republicans secured both slots on the ballot. 

Susan Wright, widow of Ron Wright, led the primary field with about 19% of the vote. State Rep. Jake Ellzey took the second spot, with just under 14%. Ellzey narrowly edged out Democrat Jana Sanchez, setting up Tuesday's intraparty election.

There has been no public polling and turnout is expected to be low. While we know a Republican will continue to represent this suburban Dallas district, it is very much up in the air which one it will be.

Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time. 

 

Endorsements and Fundraising

Donald Trump has repeatedly backed Wright, including a statement released on the eve of the election. As a result, Tuesday's outcome will undoubtedly be seen as another data point on the former president's ongoing level of control over the GOP. On the other hand, Trump's involvement might help Ellzey with Democratic and independent voters.

Daniel was the 6th district Democratic nominee in 2020; he lost to Ron Wright by about 9%.

Susan Wright has also been endorsed by Sen. Ted Cruz, several members of the Texas congressional delegation, and the third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21). 

Ellzey has the support of former Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Dan Crenshaw and former TX-6 Rep. Joe Barton. He also has been endorsed by the two major local newspapers: The Dallas Morning News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  Ellzey has also notably outraised Wright. In the latest FEC filing period, Ellzey raised $1.2 million to $450,000 for Wright.

Other House Vacancies

There are currently 220 Democrats and 211 Republicans in the House. In addition to TX-6, there are three other vacancies: 

Date District 2020  Information
November 2 OH-11 D+60% Marcia Fudge (D) resigned in March to become Secretary of HUD. Primaries will be held August 3.
November 2 OH-15 R+27% Steve Stivers (R) to resign May 16 to become CEO of Ohio Chamber of Commerce. Primaries will be held August 3.
Jan. 11, 2022 FL-20 D+57% Alcee Hastings (D) died in April. Primaries will be held November 2.

The two Ohio vacancies will have competitive primaries next Tuesday. Candidates Nina Turner and Shontel Brown, representing the progressive and more moderate wings of the Democratic party, are battling for the nomination in the Cleveland-area 11th District. Meanwhile, the Republican primary in the Columbus-area 15th district will test the strength of a Trump endorsement at odds with that of the former incumbent.

 

Former Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer to Run for Senate in 2022

July 22, 2021

Former U.S. Rep Abby Finkenauer of Iowa announced Thursday she would seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate next year.

The current incumbent is Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley. He first won election in 1980 and is currently the second most senior member of the U.S. Senate, behind only Vermont's Patrick Leahy (D). Grassley, who will be 88 in September, has not yet announced whether he will seek an 8th term in 2022.

Most analysts see the race as safely Republican given Grassley's long tenure and the increasingly red lean of the state. However, that could change should Grassley retire and Democrats field a strong nominee. Iowa is one of 34 U.S. Senate seats up for election in 2022.

Finkenauer served one term representing Iowa's first congressional district. She defeated incumbent Republican Rod Blum by about 5% in 2018. Her 2020 reelection bid fell short, losing to Republican Ashley Hinson by 2.5%.

Cook Political Updates 2022 Senate Forecast

July 16, 2021

The Cook Political Report has updated its 2022 Senate outlook, with four races seen as more competitive than earlier in the year.

The full forecaster analysis can be found here (subscription required).

Florida: Likely to Lean Republican. Reflects the entry of a high profile Democrat, Rep. Val Demings and her strong fundraising numbers, which have kept pace with those of incumbent Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Nevada and New Hampshire: Likely to Lean Democratic. In both cases, the ultimate competitiveness of the race will likely depend on whether a strong Republican declares their candidacy. In Nevada, waiting on former Attorney General Adam Laxalt; in New Hampshire it is Gov. Chris Sununu. Cook notes that if Sununu does get in, the Granite State will become the top GOP pick-up opportunity in 2022.

Wisconsin: Lean Republican to Toss-up. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is a lightning rod in a state that is pretty evenly split politically. He has not yet announced whether he will seek a third term. In either case, Democrats are likely to field a strong nominee.

Updated forecast map below.  Click or tap for an interactive version.

Live Results: Special Elections Across Five State Districts in Alabama, Georgia and Wisconsin

July 13, 2021

There are five legislative special general elections on Tuesday. The most competitive interparty contest is a runoff for a Georgia State House seat in suburban Atlanta.

State Senate

Alabama District 14

There are 35 State Senate districts in Alabama. Currently, the chamber has 26 Republicans and 8 Democrats. The next regularly scheduled election is in 2022.

District 14 is a largely rural area in the central part of the state. The vacancy there was created when Republican Cam Ward was appointed Director of the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles last December.  In 2018, Ward was reelected with about 73% of the vote.

The major party nominees are former State Rep. April Weaver (R) and attorney Virginia Applebaum (D).  Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

State House

Alabama District 73

There are 105 State House districts in Alabama. The chamber is comprised of 76 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Alabama is one of only five states with four-year terms for the lower body in the state legislature.1 1The others are Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi and North Dakota. The next regularly scheduled election is in 2022.

District 73 is located in Shelby County, in the central part of the state. It is largely within the boundaries of Senate District 14 discussed above. The seat became vacant last December after Republican Matt Fridy was elected to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. In 2018, Fridy was reelected with about 69% of the vote. 

The Republican nominee is Kenneth Paschal, who narrowly won the primary runoff on April 27. Sheridan Black is the Democratic nominee. Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Georgia (runoffs)

There are 180 State House districts in Georgia. Currently, the chamber has 101 Republicans and 77 Democrats. The next regularly scheduled elections are in 2022. 

Under Georgia special election law, both these seats were contested in all-party primaries on June 15. Neither primary saw a candidate get a majority of the vote, necessitating Tuesday's top two runoffs. Polls close at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.

District 34

The suburban Atlanta District 34 vacancy was created by the resignation of Republican Bert Reeves on April 30. Reeves was in his fourth term. He had most recently won reelection by a 56%-44% margin over Democrat Priscilla Smith, who is on the ballot again Tuesday.

Republican Devan Seabaugh led the five-person June primary. He received 47% of the vote, narrowly missing an outright win. Priscilla Smith finished second with just under 25%. In total, Republicans on the ballot received 59% of the vote to 40% for Democrats. 

This is the most competitive of Tuesday's elections that include nominees from both major parties.

District 156

District 156 is in the southeastern part of the state, including Vidalia. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Republican Greg Morris on April 13. Morris was first elected to the legislature in 1999. He had represented District 156 since 2012, running unopposed in the general election each time.

As befits this conservative area, Republicans took both spots in the runoff. Leesa Hagan and Wally Sapp combined for 85% of the vote. However, the two were separated by just 37 votes, with Hagan leading by 43% to 42% over Sapp.

Given that primary result, it is possible that this ends up being the closest race of the day in terms of voting totals while, at the same time, being the only race 100% guaranteed to be won by one of the parties before a single vote is counted.

Wisconsin Assembly District 37

The Wisconsin State House is called the State Assembly

There are 99 Assembly districts in Wisconsin. Currently, the chamber has 60 Republicans and 38 Democrats. The next regularly scheduled elections are in 2022.

Located northeast of Madison, the District 37 vacancy was created with the resignation of Republican John Jagler in April. He had won a special election for a vacant State Senate seat earlier that month. Jagler had represented the district since first being elected in 2012, most recently being reelected by a 56% to 41% margin in 2020.

The Democratic nominee is Pete Adams. The Republican nominee is William Penterman, who narrowly won the June 15 party primary. Although Penterman received only about 20% of the vote in a crowded eight-person field that day, he is the favorite in this GOP leaning district. Polls close at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming July 27

Eric Adams Wins NYC Democratic Mayoral Primary; Poised to be City's Second Black Mayor

July 6, 2021

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is the projected winner of the New York City Democratic mayoral primary. Adams held a narrow one-point lead over former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia in updated results released late Tuesday. However, with most of the ballots included in those results, the Associated Press and Decision Desk felt comfortable calling the race for Adams.

Adams will be an overwhelming favorite in the general election against the GOP nominee, Curtis Sliwa. If victorious in November, he'll be the second black mayor in city history. David Dinkins served one term from 1990-1993.

Eric Adams Narrowly Leads NYC Mayoral Race After Latest Ranked Choice Tabulation

July 6, 2021

Eric Adams holds a one-point lead over Kathryn Garcia in the latest ranked-choice vote results released by the New York City Board of Elections. In terms of votes, Adams leads by 8,426 votes.

This tabulation included a large portion of absentee ballots, which had not yet been counted in the first ranked-choice results released last Tuesday.

 

NYC Board of Elections Updates Unofficial Ranked-Choice Results

June 30, 2021

The NYC Board of Elections has released corrected but still unofficial results of ranked-choice voting. Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia were the last two remaining, with Adams leading by 51.1% to 48.9%. Garcia prevailed by just 347 votes over Maya Wiley to advance to the head-head round with Adams. 

This corrects numbers released in error Tuesday. Those had included about 135,000 test ballots that the Board failed to remove those before calculating the results.

In the end, there was little change in the final outcome. Adams led by about 9 points on Election Day; the final difference was much closer.

As a reminder, no absentee ballots were included in this week's results. These ballots will make up a significant portion of the vote, so the race is far from over

For more on interpreting these numbers, as well as what happens from here, see the original article below the results table.

The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) will release preliminary ranked-choice results today for last Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary.  In results released that night, no candidate in the 13 person field got a majority of the vote. As a result, ranked-choice is being used for the first time to determine a winner.

The BOE is expected to release round-by-round results. In ranked choice voting, the lowest polling candidate is eliminated in each round, with votes reallocated based on the ranking preference of each of his or her voters. The process continues until only two candidates remain, by which point one will have a mathematical majority.

Today's results will be the based on in-person voting that occurred during the early voting period and on Election Day. That is, it is the ranked-choice outcome of the results released last Tuesday.  

Absentee ballots excluded

Today's results will not include any absentee ballots cast in the election. By law, the counting of those did not begin until yesterday. Today is also the deadline for the BOE to receive absentee ballots. Those had to be postmarked by June 22.  

The absentee ballot numbers are significant. There were approximately 800,000 early and same-day votes counted on election night. As of June 28, approximately 124,500 Democratic absentee ballots had been returned.  Not all will be valid, but assuming the vast majority are, these will end up comprising 12-13% or so of the total ballots cast.

What will the results tell us?

From the New York Times: Despite the lack of absentee ballots, "the initial ranked-choice tally may still offer an important snapshot of which candidates had the broadest appeal, as well as insight into how voters grouped, or excluded, certain candidates."

The Times goes on to say that

"a range of political observers say the final difference between the top two finishers will likely be closer than Mr. [Eric] Adams’s 9-point lead after the first round of counting.

The campaigns of Ms. [Kathryn] Garcia and Ms. [Maya] Wiley have been busy with calculators, maps of voter-turnout results and various polls hinting at what share of other candidates’ votes will go to each of them and to Mr. Adams.

The data, they have said, suggests the race is tighter than it looks after the initial ballot tally, and that one of them could still win."

One more complication

Next Tuesday - and weekly thereafter until finalized - the BOE will again go through the ranked choice process. Those releases will include absentee ballots processed to that point.  It is possible that when absentee ballots are counted, the first choice order of the candidates could change. Because of the round-by-round elimination associated with ranked-choice, this could magnify the differences between the results released today and those released in subsequent weeks.

 

Citing Data Issues, NYC Board of Elections Voids Mayoral Count Released Tuesday

June 30, 2021

You had one job.....

Tuesday evening, the NYC Board of Elections retracted mayoral ranked-choice voting results released earlier in the day. The Board said that the numbers released included 135,000 test ballots that had never been cleared from the system. 

The Board is expected to re-run the results Wednesday.

 

Eric Adams Leads After First Ranked Choice Results, but Margin Shrinks Significantly

June 29, 2021

These results were retracted by the NYC Board of Elections Tuesday night. The release had included 135,000 test ballots.  Updated results are expected Wednesday.

The data below is no longer accurate.

In the first unofficial results of ranked-choice voting, Eric Adams and Kathryn Garcia were the last two remaining, with Adams leading by 51.1% to 48.9%. Maya Wiley was narrowly eliminated before Garcia. 

Adams led by about 9 points on Election Day; the final difference was much closer.

As a reminder, no absentee ballots were included in this week's results. These ballots will make up a significant portion of the vote, so the race is far from over

Our original article, with the various caveats about interpreting these numbers, appears beneath the results table.

The New York City Board of Elections (BOE) will release preliminary ranked-choice results today for last Tuesday's Democratic mayoral primary.  In results released that night, no candidate in the 13 person field got a majority of the vote. As a result, ranked-choice is being used for the first time to determine a winner.

The BOE is expected to release round-by-round results. In ranked choice voting, the lowest polling candidate is eliminated in each round, with votes reallocated based on the ranking preference of each of his or her voters. The process continues until only two candidates remain, by which point one will have a mathematical majority.

Today's results will be the based on in-person voting that occurred during the early voting period and on Election Day. That is, it is the ranked-choice outcome of the results released last Tuesday.  

Absentee ballots excluded

Today's results will not include any absentee ballots cast in the election. By law, the counting of those did not begin until yesterday. Today is also the deadline for the BOE to receive absentee ballots. Those had to be postmarked by June 22.  

The absentee ballot numbers are significant. There were approximately 800,000 early and same-day votes counted on election night. As of June 28, approximately 124,500 Democratic absentee ballots had been returned.  Not all will be valid, but assuming the vast majority are, these will end up comprising 12-13% or so of the total ballots cast.

What will the results tell us?

From the New York Times: Despite the lack of absentee ballots, "the initial ranked-choice tally may still offer an important snapshot of which candidates had the broadest appeal, as well as insight into how voters grouped, or excluded, certain candidates."

The Times goes on to say that

"a range of political observers say the final difference between the top two finishers will likely be closer than Mr. [Eric] Adams’s 9-point lead after the first round of counting.

The campaigns of Ms. [Kathryn] Garcia and Ms. [Maya] Wiley have been busy with calculators, maps of voter-turnout results and various polls hinting at what share of other candidates’ votes will go to each of them and to Mr. Adams.

The data, they have said, suggests the race is tighter than it looks after the initial ballot tally, and that one of them could still win."

One more complication

Next Tuesday - and weekly thereafter until finalized - the BOE will again go through the ranked choice process. Those releases will include absentee ballots processed to that point.  It is possible that when absentee ballots are counted, the first choice order of the candidates could change. Because of the round-by-round elimination associated with ranked-choice, this could magnify the differences between the results released today and those released in subsequent weeks.

 

Live Results: California State Assembly District 18 Special Primary Election

June 29, 2021

We're following one election today.

California State Assembly District 18 

Special All Party Primary

There are 80 seats in the California State Assembly. It is currently comprised of 59 Democrats, 19 Republicans and 1 independent. The next regularly scheduled elections are in 2022. 

District 18 is in the Oakland area, entirely within Alameda County. The vacancy was created in April when Democrat Rob Bonta resigned after being confirmed as California Attorney General.

There are eight candidates on the ballot. The six Democrats include Mia Bonta, wife of the former incumbent. The only Republican on the ballot, Stephen Slauson, was the GOP nominee in both 2018 and 2020. There is also an independent.  A ninth person, Democrat Nelsy Batista, is a certified write-in candidate.

This is a very Democratic area; Rob Bonta received over 85% of the vote in each of the last several elections. 

If no candidate gets a majority of the vote, a top two special general election will be held on August 31.  Polls close at 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

Upcoming July 13

  • Alabama State Senate District 14 Special Election
  • Alabama State house District 73 Special Election
  • Georgia State House Districts 34 and 156 Special Election Runoffs
  • Wisconsin State Assembly District 37 Special Election