Election News

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts to Retire in 2020

January 4, 2019

 Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts announced Friday that he would not seek a fifth term in 2020. The decision is not a complete surprise. At age 82, Roberts is the fifth oldest* member of the Senate. His last reelection campaign, in 2014, was difficult. He first had to fend off a Tea Party challenge to win renomination; he won that race by less than 8%. Roberts then won a surprisingly competitive general election against independent Greg Orman. 

A number of names have already emerged as possible replacements. These include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - a former member of the U.S. House from Kansas, current U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, and outgoing Gov. Jeff Colyer. Whomever emerges will likely be favored - the state has not elected a Democratic Senator since George McGill in 1932. McGill left the Senate in January, 1939 after losing reelection. The subsequent 80 year period of single-party Senate representation in Kansas is the longest such active streak in the country.

Roberts is the 3rd^ member of Congress to forego the 2020 election cycle. Fellow GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander announced his retirement last month.  In the House, North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones is also leaving

*Oldest Senators by date of birth:  Dianne Feinstein (D of CA is 85), Chuck Grassley (R of IA is 85), Richard Shelby (R of AL is 84), Jim Inhofe (R of OK is 84)

^In addition, Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop said back in 2017 that his 9th term - the one that began yesterday - would be his last. However, no "official" announcement has yet been made.



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List of 1st Term Gubernatorial Inauguration Dates

January 4, 2019

There were 36 gubernatorial elections in 2018. Heading into Election Day, Republicans held 26 of those seats, Democrats 9, with one independent. Republicans won 20 of the races, Democrats 16, for a net Democratic gain of 7 governorships. By picking up the independent-held seat in Alaska, the GOP net loss was six.

There were a large number of retirements in 2018, mostly due to term limits. By mid-January, when the inaugurations are complete, 20 of the country's 50 state governors will be new to the job.


116th Congress Begins Thursday; Democrats Take Control of U.S. House

January 3, 2019

The 116th Congress got underway at noon on Thursday. We've updated our Who Represents Me look-up tool to reflect the new Congress, as well as governors elected in November. Use the search box to look up information for a specific address, Zip Code, city or state. 

Many of the new governors have not yet taken office; we note that where applicable. Some of the contact and social media information in these listings will likely be incomplete in the near-term. It is gathered from 3rd party sources; we do not control how quickly those sources make updates. 

U.S. House

  • Democrats gained 40 seats in the 2018 midterm elections; the party holds a 235-199 edge as the new Congress is seated.
  • Democrats gained 7 seats in California, 4 in New Jersey and 3 in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The party gained one or two seats in 15 other states
  • This is the first time Democrats will be in the majority since the 111th Congress ended on January 3, 2011. The House speaker at the time, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, has been voted back into that position. She will be the first to return to the job since Rep. Sam Rayburn (D) of Texas did so - for a 3rd time - in 1955.
  • There is one vacancy, in North Carolina's 9th district. A narrow GOP win on Election Day has been held up due to allegations of election fraud.  A new election is possible, which will keep the seat vacant for several months. However, the Election Day winner, Mark Harris, is asking a court to certify him as winner. The departing incumbent, Robert Pittenger (R) has announced he will not run in any new election.
  • By our count, 92 of the 434 members sworn-in today were not in the U.S. House on Election Day, 2018. This includes 85 first-time members, 4 that won special elections and who were seated during the lame-duck session, and 3 members who had previously served.
  • Pennsylvania's new Congressional district map will be effective with the start of this Congress. 
  • Prior to the election, there were 25 GOP-held seats in districts that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Only three remain.

U.S. Senate

  • Republicans gained 2 seats in the 2018 midterm elections; the party holds a 53-47 edge in the 116th Congress
  • Democratic incumbents were defeated in 4 states: Florida, Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota. Democrats were successful in flipping Arizona and Nevada
  • 9 new Senators were sworn-in today. In addition to the new members from the six states above, Republicans held on to open seats in Tennessee in Utah; a Republican vacancy is being filled in Arizona's other Senate seat. That state, which has never had a female Senator, will now have two.
  • Only 10 states (9 if Vermont is excluded*) now has a split Senate delegation (one Democrat, one Republican); this is one of the lowest numbers since direct election of Senators began in 1913.
  • The 2020 Senate Interactive Map is available. We are working on the corresponding House and Governor maps, as well as some enhancements to the 2020 electoral map. There are 670 days until the 2020 elections.

* Independent Senator Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats; Vermont's other Senator, Patrick Leahy, is also a Democrat


Updated 2024 Electoral Map Based on Latest Census Bureau Population Figures

December 19, 2018

As it does each December, the Census Bureau released an update of U.S. population figures as of July 1st. Total U.S. population increased about 0.6% to 327,167,434 from 2017. Nevada, Idaho and Utah were the fastest growing states at about 2% each. Texas and Florida gained the most people - over 300,000 each, more than twice as many as any other state. Nine states lost population, led by New York and Illinois.

The new figures also allow for extrapolation of population changes by state out to 2020, when the next Census will take place. The actual population figures from the 2020 Census will determine the number of congressional districts in each state over the next decade. It will also lead to a change in the electoral map, as each state receives electoral votes equal to its total congressional delegation (House + Senate). The new electoral map will be effective for the 2024 presidential election.

The map below shows how the 2016 election would have turned out if the projected 2024 map had been in place. It is based on the long-term population trends (2010-18), but the map is exactly the same if we look at medium-term trends (2014-18). Donald Trump would have received three additional electoral votes, giving him 309*. Click or tap the image for an interactive version of the map for each presidential election from 2000 through 2016.

Congressional districts by state are based on estimates by Election Data Services. Post-2020 changes can be seen in their map below (add two - for the number of Senators - to get a state's electoral votes).  There is only one difference from last year's projection: Montana is now forecast to gain an electoral vote at the expense of New York. If that comes to pass, it will mark the 8th consecutive decade the Empire State has lost two or more seats in reapportionment. Overall, Texas and Florida still look to be the big winners after 2020, gaining three and two, respectively. 12 states, including Montana, are projected to gain or lose a seat, as necessary to keep the total number of districts at exactly 435.

* Excludes faithless electors


Rep. Martha McSally to Fill Arizona Senate Seat Being Vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl

December 18, 2018

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Rep. Martha McSally to fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Kyl. Ducey's office made the announcement on Tuesday. Kyl's departure is effective at year-end; McSally will presumably be seated when the new Congress convenes the following week. 

Kyl was appointed by Ducey after Sen. John McCain's death in August. McCain's seat is next up for a full six-year term in 2022. The timing of the initial replacement requires a special election to be held in November, 2020, for the final two years of that term. Given that McSally was just on the ballot for Arizona's other U.S. Senate seat - she lost a close race to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema - we'd expect her to run in that 2020 election. 


Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander not Seeking Reelection in 2020

December 17, 2018

Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said Monday that he would not seek a 4th term in 2020. Alexander becomes the first member of Congress to announce their retirement since the 2018 midterms.

It is possible Alexander would have faced a primary challenge from the right in 2020, as he did in 2014. That year, he defeated State Rep. Joe Carr by about 9 points to secure the Republican nomination. He then won his 3rd term by 30 points over the Democratic nominee.

Democratic prospect for a 2020 win in this deep red state are not really improved. In the just-completed election - also for an open seat - a well-regarded moderate Democrat lost by double digits to the GOP nominee.


Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl to Resign at Year-End; Appointed After Death of John McCain

December 14, 2018

Republican Arizona Sen. John Kyl will resign his seat at year-end. Kyl was appointed to the seat after the death of John McCain in August. The state's governor, Doug Ducey, will appoint a successor, who will serve until a special election is held in November, 2020. The winner of that race will serve the remainder of McCain's six-year term. The seat is next up in 2022. Possible replacements include Rep. Martha McSally who just lost an election to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for the state's other Senate seat. The replacement must also be a Republican, although not an issue here since the just reelected Ducey is also a member of the GOP. 

The 2020 Arizona special election is looking like one of the more competitive races of that cycle, at least at this early date.  Create your own forecast with our 2020 Senate interactive map.


2020 Senate Interactive Map with Initial Ratings

December 13, 2018

The 2020 Senate Interactive Map is now available. 34 seats will be contested in the upcoming presidential election year, 22 of which are currently held by GOP incumbents. That's a considerably different case than this year, when Democrats had to defend 26 of the 35 seats. However, most of the 2020 GOP-held seats - and one Democratic one - are in deep-red states, limiting the paths available for Democrats to retake control.

When the new Senate is seated in January, Republicans will hold a 53-47 edge. That means in 2020, Democrats will need to gain 3 or 4 seats to win the majority. The smaller number will come about if Democrats are able to win the presidency, as a 50-50 Senate tie is broken by the Vice-President. The interactive map lets you choose which party will win the 2020 election - use the 'VP' box near Florida.

Outlook

In a bit of good timing, the initial 2020 Senate ratings from Sabato's Crystal Ball are also out today. Click or tap the image below to start your own 2020 forecast.

The initial ratings give the GOP 51 seats, although it could very well be 52. The reality - as noted in the Crystal ball article - is that starting Alabama as toss-up is being very generous to the Democratic incumbent there. This is particularly true in a presidential election year.  The other two toss-ups, Colorado and Arizona*, represent the best Democratic pick-up opportunities in 2020.

After this first tier of competitive races, Democrats could also find opportunity in North Carolina, Iowa and/or Maine, while the GOP would likely look to New Hampshire, Michigan and/or Minnesota.  How much success either party has in flipping these states will likely be pretty closely tied to how it's nominee is performing in the presidential election.

The importance of the presidential election is a key takeaway from the Sabato analysis: "the Senate races and the presidential race probably will work at least somewhat in tandem, meaning that it’s hard to imagine Republicans holding the White House while simultaneously losing four net Senate seats. So winning the White House is likely a necessary but not sufficient condition for a Democratic Senate takeover."

* A special election to complete the final two years of John McCain's term. Gov. Doug Ducey appointed Sen. Jon Kyl after McCain's death earlier this year. Kyl - or perhaps someone else - will serve until 2020.


A List of Prospective 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

December 5, 2018

This week, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and attorney Michael Avenatti dropped off the list of prospective 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Patrick informed staff and advisers on Tuesday, with a public statement expected in the days ahead. Avenatti announced his decision by Twitter, citing family concerns.

That leaves 28 names on our current list of possible Democratic contenders. Only two, Rep. John Delaney of Maryland and former Rep. Ojeda of West Virginia have formally announced. We should have a pretty good idea of who is actually going to run within the next 2 to 3 months. 

All these names are available on the 2020 Interactive Electoral Map. Just click/tap 'Democrat' above the electoral counter and choose from the drop-down list. 

For those that have asked, we will be adding the 'tilt' ratings option to the electoral map in the near future.


North Carolina Delays Certification of 9th District Race; AP Retracts Call for GOP

November 30, 2018

Maybe we're not done with the midterms after all. North Carolina officials have again declined to certify the results in the state's 9th congressional district. Allegations of voter fraud will continue to be investigated, and a hearing will be held on December 21st. The issues seem centered around absentee ballot irregularities, particularly in Bladen County.

On Friday afternoon, the Associated Press retracted their November 9th call for Republican Mark Harris, who appeared to have won the race by about 0.6%. They are basically going to treat this situation as they do races with recounts. AP does not call winners in any election that is subject to recount. They may also be wanting to get out in front of this situation, after they were slow to retract their call in CA-21.

The state board has the authority to call for a new election if "irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness."  For more, follow this Twitter Moments thread from WSOC-TV reporter Joe Bruno. 



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