Election News

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.

John Hickenlooper Drops Presidential Bid

August 15, 2019

John Hickenlooper announced Thursday that he is ending his campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination. The former Colorado governor had struggled to gain traction in a very crowded field.

Hickenlooper may pivot to take on GOP Sen. Cory Gardner in 2020. He only briefly addressed that in today's announcement video, saying he would give the idea "some serious thought". The Colorado seat represents one of the better Democratic pick-up opportunities in the 2020 Senate election. A recent poll showed him with a 13 point lead over Gardner.

23 Democrats remain in the race for the party's nomination.

Democrats Not Currently Supporting an Impeachment Inquiry Against President Trump

August 14, 2019

Rep. Debra Haaland (NM-1) today became the 121st Democrat in the House to support an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.  114 members do not currently support that action.  Here's a map tracking those with the 2020 consensus rating for each district. Click or tap the map for more info, including the full list.

As might be expected, a significantly larger number of Democrats from swing districts are on this list, including 30 of the 31 districts that voted for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016. 43 of the 114 Democrats are from seats seen as at least somewhat competitive next year.   Also on the list are most of the top leadership in the House, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

None of the 197 Republicans in the House have come out in favor of an impeachment inquiry.  Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03) was a member of the GOP when he made his support known; he has since become an independent.

Democratic Delegate Map Updated with Bonus Delegates

August 9, 2019

The Democratic Party awards bonus delegates as a reward to locations that wait until later in the calendar to hold their primary or caucus. With the 2020 election calendar mostly set, a pretty good estimate of those bonus delegates can be calculated. 

The following remains subject to change should any calendar dates change. 

24 locations (21 states, DC, Guam and Virgin Islands) will receive a total of 211 bonus delegates for holding their 2020 nominating contest after March 31.  These are pledged delegates, bringing that total to 3,979. As such, the 'magic number' for winning on the first ballot is increased from 1,885 to 1,990. The total number of delegates, including 766 automatic delegates^, is now 4,745.

From an overall calendar perspective, this slightly reduces the proportion of pledged delegates available before April.  The pre-bonus estimated distribution:

There are two types of bonus delegates: Calendar and Cluster. The calendar bonus is 10% for locations holding their contest in April; 20% for those in May and June. The cluster bonus is an additional 15%, and is basically for holding a nominating contest on the same date as adjacent locations. In 2020, the only cluster bonus will be for six east coast states that have scheduled their primaries on April 28.

April (10% calendar bonus):  Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Wyoming

April (25% calendar + cluster bonus):  Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York*, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

May/June (20% calendar bonus): District of Columbia, Guam, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, Oregon, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota, Virgin Islands, West Virginia

Note that the bonus is calculated off base delegates, which are approximately 85% of pledged delegates.

The Party's official term.  More commonly known as superdelegates.  With the addition of the bonus delegates, the proportion of automatic to total delegates is slightly reduced.

* Although likely to be April 28, New York's date remains tentative. As the largest recipient of bonus delegates (49), a change here would have a noticeable impact on the total bonus delegates.

Rep. Kenny Marchant to Retire; 4th Open Texas GOP Seat in Recent Weeks

August 5, 2019

Rep. Kenny Marchant said Monday that he would not seek reelection in 2020. He becomes the 4th member of the GOP Texas delegation to retire since July 25th. Overall, 11 Republicans and 3 Democrats have announced plans to retire or run for another office in 2020.

Marchant's 24th congressional district is situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, and has become increasingly competitive in recent years. In 2014, Marchant won by 33% over his Democratic opponent; that dropped to 17% in 2016 and just 3% in 2018. At the presidential level, Mitt Romney won here by 22% in 2012, while Donald Trump's margin was just 6%.

Given these trends and an eight-term incumbent departing, the consensus rating for the district has shifted from 'Leans Republican' to 'Toss-up'.

Democrats' 2020 Primary/Caucus Calendar Nears Completion

August 3, 2019

Guam Democrats have chosen May 2, 2020 for their territorial caucuses. With this selection, each state and territory now has a Democratic primary or caucus date on the 2020 election calendar, although a few of the dates remain tentative. Delegate information on the map below is also preliminary. Locations holding their primaries on April 1 or later will receive bonus pledged delegates

Update: On August 2, in one of his last acts before leaving office, the governor of Puerto Rico signed a law moving the 2020 primary to March 29. The content below has been changed to reflect this.

2020 Election Calendar >>

February: As has become tradition, Iowa will kick the nominating calendar off with its caucuses on the 3rd. The first primary will be in New Hampshire the following Tuesday (the 11th). The other early states of Nevada and South Carolina will close out the month. These four states only account for about 4% of pledged delegates, but have an outsized influence on which candidates are viable.

Super Tuesday: March 3rd is by far the largest day on the 2020 calendar, with 16 contests scheduled. Two states, California and Texas will account for nearly half of the 1,358 pledged delegates that day. To gain more influence in the process, California has moved its primary up from June, where it had been held the last two presidential cycles.

Note that a majority of votes in California will be cast by mail, with the voting period beginning February 3, the same date as the Iowa caucuses. The state is notoriously slow at counting votes; we likely won't know the exact delegate allocation for several weeks.  The bottom line is that the number of candidates in the race is likely to be quite different from when the state starts voting until we have the final results. 

Remainder of March:  Even without Super Tuesday, March would be the busiest month on the Democratic calendar. An additional 12 contests are scheduled between March 10 and the 24th. The busiest day will be the 17th, with delegate-rich Florida, Illinois and Ohio holding primaries.  (Note that a recent change in Ohio law moved the primary from the 10th to the 17th for 2020).  

April:   The busiest day of the month looks to be the 28th, when New York (date is still tentative), Pennsylvania and four other east coast states hold primaries. These states may see their pledged delegate numbers increased by slightly more than 20%* from what is on the map above. They'll receive a delegate bonus for holding their contest in April as well as an additional one for participating in what the Party calls a "regional cluster". 

May and June: The calendar winds down, with the final event likely to be the Virgin Islands caucuses on June 6.  Locations holding their contests after April 30 will receive a larger calendar-based pledged delegate bonus.

* The calendar bonus for April is 10%, while the cluster bonus is an additional 15%. The bonus applies to 'base delegates', which are approximately 85% of total pledged delegates. 

Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, Only Black GOP House Member, to Retire

August 1, 2019

Rep. Will Hurd, the only black GOP member in the U.S. House, announced he won't seek a 4th term in 2020.  He is also the only Republican representative of a district bordering Mexico. He indicated he would pursue opportunities "to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security."  Hurd becomes the 5th GOP retirement in the last eight days.  

Related: Map of 2020 House Retirements

Hurd narrowly won reelection last November, defeating Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by less than 0.5%. Hillary Clinton won this border district by about 3.5% over Donald Trump in 2016. Sabato's Crystal Ball has moved the district from toss-up to leans Democratic for 2020. 

The 23rd district is the largest one in terms of land area in Texas. It covers the southwestern part of the state from just east of El Paso to the San Antonio area.


Texas GOP Rep. Mike Conaway to Retire

July 30, 2019

Another Republican House member is calling it quits in 2020.  Michael Conaway, the eight-term representative of Texas's 11th district is not seeking another term.

Conaway is the 4th GOP retirement in the past week. His west-central Texas district is very conservative - Donald Trump won by nearly 60 points over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and the district is likely to remain in Republican hands in the 2020 election.

12 current House members have decided to retire or run for another office in 2020. Click or tap the map below for details.