Election News

The Classic 'I'm Just a Bill' Reimagined for Today's Political Environment

Politico has reimagined the classic 1976 Schoolhouse Rock! segment "I'm Just a Bill".  The new version details a much more arduous process that proposed legislation often has to get through in today's gridlocked political environment. 

It's worth a watch: 

The original version can be viewed here.

Overview and Live Results: Texas State House Special Elections

Special elections are being held Tuesday for two vacancies in the Texas State House. The 150-member body is controlled by Republicans, who have an 82-66 edge over Democrats. 

Under Texas special election law, all candidates appear on a single ballot. If someone gets a majority of the vote, they are the winner. Otherwise, the top two finishers advance to a runoff.

District 118

This San Antonio area district has been vacant since August 19, when Democrat Leo Pacheco resigned. Pacheco was elected twice, first winning by a 58% to 42% margin over John Lujan in 2018. Last November, Pacheco prevailed over Adam Salyer by an almost identical 57% to 40%. 

Five candidates - 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans - will appear on the ballot. Lujan and Salyer are the two Republicans. Lujan was the most recent Republican to hold the seat. Although Democrats have won each general election here since at least 2012, Lujan prevailed in a January, 2016 special election, serving out that term before losing in November. 

Lujan has the support of Gov. Greg Abbott and GOP groups, as the party looks to flip the seat.  According to the Texas Tribune, "It is the first real opportunity that statewide Republicans have to put their money where their mouths are after President Joe Biden underperformed across South Texas last year, creating new pick-up opportunities in the predominantly Hispanic region."

If no candidate gets a majority, Abbott will schedule a date for the runoff election.

District 10 (Runoff)

This solidly Republican district, located between Dallas and Waco, has been vacant since July 30, when Jake Ellzey (R) resigned. Ellzey had won a special election on July 27th to represent the state's 6th congressional district.

None of the eight candidates received a majority of the vote in the August 31 all-party election. Consistent with the lean of the district, the top two finishers were both Republicans, removing any suspense over which party will win in the runoff. Brian Harrison finished first with 41%, John Wray was second with 36%.  

Upcoming

  • October 5
    • Rhode Island State Senate District 3 Primary
    • Durham, NC Mayoral Primary
  • October 12
    • Iowa State House District 29 Special Election
  • October 19
    • New Hampshire State House Rockingham District 6 Special GOP Primary
  • October 26
    • New Hampshire State House Cheshire District 9 Special Election
  • November 2

Rep. Karen Bass Launches Campaign for Los Angeles Mayor

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) launched her campaign for mayor of Los Angeles Monday. Bass, in her 6th term, is the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was vetted as a possible running mate for Joe Biden in 2020. 

Bass joins a crowded field vying to become mayor of the nation's second largest city. Other notable candidates include City Attorney Mike Feuer and councilmembers Joe Buscaino and Kevin de Leon.

Democratic mayor Eric Garcetti is ineligible to run in the November, 2022 election due to term limits. He is likely to leave office before his term ends, having been nominated by Biden to serve as ambassador to India. He is awaiting Senate confirmation. If Garcetti leaves, the acting mayor will be City Council President Nury Martinez.

The Council then has the option to appoint an interim mayor or hold a special election to complete the term, but neither is likely with the 2022 primary coming up next June. Martinez has said that she will not run for a full term.

Bass represents the heavily Democratic 37th district, which is largely within Los Angeles, and includes areas south and west of downtown. The boundaries of the district are likely to change in upcoming redistricting, particularly with California losing a congressional seat for the first time in its history.

18 current members of the House - 9 from each party - have announced they are retiring or running for another office in 2022.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley Will Seek an 8th Term in 2022

Chuck Grassley, the most senior Republican in the U.S. Senate, tweeted early Friday that he would seek reelection in 2022. 

According to the Des Moines Register, "His decision is a victory for national Republicans who have made it clear they wanted Grassley — who has repeatedly been reelected by double-digit margins — to run for an eighth term. A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll released this week showed him leading Democratic challenger Abby Finkenauer by 18 percentage points, 55% to 37%, in an early test of the race."

Grassley won by nearly 25% over Democrat Patty Judge in 2016. 

2022 Senate Elections

34 Senate seats are up for election in the 2022 midterms, including 20 Republicans and 14 Democrats. With the chamber evenly split at 50-50, the GOP needs a gain of one seat to take control. The party's best prospects are in four battleground states with first-term Democratic incumbents: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. All those are currently rated Leans Democratic.

Of course, flipping one of these seats doesn't get the job done for the GOP if they lose one under their control. While Grassley's decision shores up Iowa, there are other seats at risk for the party, particularly in states where the incumbent is not running.

Five Republicans have announced their retirements, including Richard Shelby (Alabama), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Patrick Toomey (Pennsylvania). All but Alabama are on the competitive radar, with North Carolina and Pennsylvania currently seen as toss-ups. Republicans are favored in Missouri and Ohio, although that could evolve depending on who the party nominates.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) have not made their 2022 plans known as of yet.

Republican Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez Not Running in 2022

Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said Thursday that he would not seek a third term in Congress next year. He was one of ten House Republicans to vote to impeach President Trump after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.  

Had he remained in the race, Gonzalez was facing a 2022 primary challenge from a Trump-endorsed opponent, Max Miller. While acknowledging that challenge, he emphasized family and quality-of-life considerations as the main reasons for his departure.

Gonzalez represents Ohio's 16th congressional district, a strongly Republican area largely south and west of Cleveland and Akron. Gonzalez was reelected by 26% last November, running ahead of Trump's 14% margin in the district. 

Ohio lost a House seat with the 2020 Census apportionment earlier this year. Upcoming redistricting will determine the new boundaries of the district that will be contested in the 2022 midterms. 

Gonzalez is the 2nd member of Ohio's delegation to retire. Democrat Tim Ryan (OH-13) is running for U.S. Senate. Overall, 17 current House members - 9 Republicans, 8 Democrats - have announced they are retiring or running for another office in 2022.

Early Voting Begins in Virginia Gubernatorial Election

Early voting begins today in Virginia, one of two states holding a gubernatorial election this year.  Politico reports that it is "the most competitive statewide election since Joe Biden became president." 

Former governor Terry McAuliffe (D) holds a five point lead over businessman Glenn Youngkin (R) in the RealClearPolitics polling average. The consensus analyst rating is Leans Democratic. 

McAuliffe was previously elected governor in 2013, winning by 2.5% over Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Virginia is the only state that doesn't allow governors to serve consecutive terms. In 2017, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) won by about 9% over Ed Gillespie (R).

At the presidential level, Republicans won every election from 1968 through 2004. Democrats have won the last four, with Joe Biden defeating Donald Trump by 10% in 2020. That was the largest Democratic margin of victory since Franklin Delano Roosevelt won by 25% in 1944.  

New Jersey is the other state holding a gubernatorial election this year. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is favored to win a 2nd term. 36 more states will elect governors next year.

Overview and Live Results: California Gubernatorial Recall Election

Headlining Tuesday's election calendar is the California gubernatorial recall election. Details are on this page. There are also two state house special elections in Iowa and Tennessee as well as mayoral primaries in Boston, Cleveland, and Toledo. Use the links below to see other results.

State House Special Elections >> Mayoral Primary Elections >>

 

California Gubernatorial Recall Election

Voters in California will decide whether Gov. Gavin Newsom should be recalled. Here's a 270toWin article from a few weeks back with some background on the election. For more, see these articles from CNN, The New York Times, and FiveThirtyEight. Here's some recall history from the Secretary of State's office.

A vote-by-mail ballot was sent to registered voters (over 22 million) in August. As of Monday, over 8 million of those had been returned (about 37%).  Political Data Intelligence has a nice tracker providing demographic and party breakdown of these ballots. On Election Day, polling locations are open from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM Pacific Time.

Live results will appear below after 11:00 PM Eastern Time.

Question 1

There is one 'yes or no' question on the ballot that asks "Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled (removed) from the office of Governor." If a majority (50%+1) of the votes cast on this recall question are 'Yes', Newsom will be removed from office and replaced with the replacement candidate receiving the highest number of votes. 

The election has been colorful at times and appeared competitive for a period earlier this summer, but appears to be heading for an anticlimactic finish. Democrats mobilized aggressively in recent weeks, culminating with a visit by President Biden on Monday. 

Recent polling has moved sharply in Newsom's favor.  The FiveThirtyEight average shows the referendum being defeated by double-digits. 

Question 2

There are 46 candidates who hope to succeed Newsom; voters can choose one. The candidate receiving the most votes will become governor if Newsom is recalled. 

Support has coalesced around conservative talk show host Larry Elder, who is averaging 28%. However, he has exceeded that number in five of the six most recent polls, including two where he was at 38% or higher. There are no notable Democrats on the ballot, as those with political experience stayed out of the race at the urging of Newsom's campaign

Keep in mind:

  • We may know the winner of Question 2 before we know the result of Question 1. 
  • The Question 2 results are moot unless 'Yes' wins Question 1.

Overview and Live Results: State House Special Elections in Iowa and Tennessee

Headlining Tuesday's election calendar is the California gubernatorial recall election. There are also state house special elections in Iowa and Tennessee as well as mayoral primaries in Boston, Cleveland and Toledo. On this page are the state house special elections; use the links below to see other results.

California Gubernatorial Recall Election >> Mayoral Primary Elections >>

 

State House Special Elections

Iowa District 37

There are 100 State House districts in Iowa. Republicans hold a 58-40 edge over Democrats. One of the two vacancies will be filled in Tuesday's election.

The District 37 vacancy was created when Republican John Landon died on July 29. Landon was first elected in 2012, and was reelected four times.

Despite the GOP winning streak, this district, which includes suburban and rural areas north of Des Moines, is competitive. It was one of the most expensive contests in 2020, when Landon won by about 6.5% over Democrat Andrea Phillips. 

The nominees for this special election were selected by the political parties.  Phillips was renominated by the Democrats. The Republican nominee is Mike Bousselot. Both parties are again competing aggressively, with over $600,000 spent on the race thus far. 

Polls close at 9:00 PM ET.

Tennessee District 29

The 99 seat Tennessee State House is solidly in Republican control; the party holds a 73-26 edge over Democrats. 

This special election is in District 29, a largely rural district east of Chattanooga. GOP State Rep. Mike Carter died on May 15. His widow, Joan, was appointed on an interim basis to fill the seat. She did not file to run in the special election.

The nominees are Republican Greg Vital and Democrat DeAngelo Jelks. Both ran unopposed in the July 27 primary.

This is a solidly Republican district. Carter ran unopposed in the general election from 2012 through 2020, with the exception of 2018. That year, he defeated the Democratic nominee by 68% to 32%.

Polls close at 8:00 PM ET.

Overview & Live Results: Mayoral Primaries in Boston, Cleveland, and Toledo

Headlining Tuesday's election calendar is the California gubernatorial recall election. There are also state house special elections in Iowa and Tennessee as well as mayoral primaries in Boston, Cleveland and Toledo. On this page are the mayoral primaries; use the links below to see other results.

California Gubernatorial Recall Election >> State House Special Elections >>

 

Mayoral Primary Elections

All three of these elections are nonpartisan (NPA in the results tables). In each, the top two finishers will advance to the November 2 general election.

City rankings are based on July 1, 2020 Census Bureau population estimates. They are for the city itself, not the associated metropolitan area.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston is the 24th largest city in the United States, with a population of about 675,000. The acting mayor is Democrat Kim Janey, who is also president of the City Council. Janey took office on March 22, when Democrat Marty Walsh resigned after being confirmed as Secretary of Labor. She is the first woman and first person of color to hold the position.

All five major candidates on the nonpartisan ballot are Democrats; the city has not had a Republican mayor in nearly 100 years. Four of them are women of color, two of whom are expected to advance to the general election. As a result, Boston voters will likely elect the first woman and first person of color as mayor this November. 

Recent polling has been pretty consistent with Michelle Wu leading the field with support in the low 30% range. The other three notable candidates are tightly bunched at around 20%.  In addition to Janey, this includes Andrea Campbell and Annissa Essaibi George. Campbell, Essaibi George, and Wu all are members of the City Council.

Polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern Time.

Tuesday's other mayoral primaries take place in Ohio. Polls close at 7:30 PM.

Cleveland

Cleveland is the 54th largest city in the United States, with a population of about 373,000. The current mayor is Democrat Frank Jackson, who was first elected in 2005. He is not seeking a fifth term. 

There are seven candidates on the ballot; all are Democrats. The last Republican mayor was George Voinovich who served in the 1980s.

Interestingly, Voinovich defeated Dennis Kucinich, who served a single two-year term.2 2Mayoral terms were changed from two to four years during Voinovich's first term. He would go on to be reelected to four year terms in 1981 and 1985. Some 42 years later, the "Boy Mayor", now 74, is attempting to win back the office.

Kucinich led the only recent poll with 20%. However, the race is wide open with five other candidates seeing between 8% and 13% support. 21% were undecided.

  • Kevin Kelley, City Council President (13% in poll)
  • Justin Bibb, nonprofit business executive (12%)
  • Zach Reed, former City Councilman (12%)
  • Basheer Jones, City Councilman (11%)
  • Sandra Williams, State Senator (8%)

Toledo

Toledo is the 79th largest city in the United States, with a population of about 270,000. The current mayor is Democrat Wade Kapszukiewicz. He is seeking a 2nd four-year term. In 2017, Kapszukiewicz was elected with about 55% of the vote.

Also on the three-person ballot is former mayor Carty Finkbeiner (D) and former city councilman Jan Scotland (R). 

Newsom Gains Momentum as Recall Election Nears

California Gov. Gavin Newsom appears to be gaining momentum heading into Tuesday's recall election. In a UC Berkeley poll released Friday, likely voters oppose recall by 60% to 38.5%. Newsom has been steadily gaining support since mid-August, when the keep/recall vote was nearly tied. Keep has led remove by double-digits in every poll released this month; the fivethirtyeight average is 56% to 41%.

In addition to the recall question, the ballot includes 46 candidates to take Newsom's spot should he be recalled. The UC Berkeley poll found conservative radio host Larry Elder well ahead of the field, with 38% support. However, the actual result for of this vote is moot should Newsom not be recalled.

Voting has been underway for several weeks, as all registered voters in the state were sent a ballot by mail. In-person early voting began September 4. On Election Day, polls close at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 PM Eastern). Visit 270toWin Tuesday night for live results.

Background on the recall election >>