June 8, 2017
Democrat Jon Ossoff has raised $23 million in his quest to win the Georgia 6th congressional district special election. According to The Hill, that is a new fundraising record.
Most polls show the June 20 runoff remains quite competitive, with all but one survey taken since the April 18th primary showing a difference of two points or less.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson “issued a statement on Friday supporting Roy Moore’s candidacy for the Republican Senate nomination in Alabama, breaking...
The Department of Homeland Security “notified 21 states Friday that Russia attempted to hack their election systems before the 2016 election,”...
Presiden Trump’s attorneys in the probe of Russian election interference “are being funded in part through a Republican Party account with a handful...
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that Americans prefer Obamacare to the latest GOP plan by a 56% to 33% margin. Also interesting: Roughly twice...
“As more than 40 subdued Republican senators lunched on Chick-fil-A at a closed-door session last week, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) painted a dire picture...
June 8, 2017
Will President Trump live-tweet to his 31.9 million followers during today's testimony by former FBI Director James Comey? Here's an embed of his twitter account that should update whenever he tweets:
June 6, 2017
While 2020 is a long way off, we've launched a few updates to the interactive electoral map.
- Individual District Splits for Maine & Nebraska: Previously, only two districts could be split for Nebraska, one for Maine. This is one fewer than the actual number of districts in each state. (Why?) For the 2016 election, we expanded the available colors/ratings on the map. This created an issue in Maine, where District 1 favored Clinton, District 2 leaned for Trump, and the overall state was rated somewhere in the middle. The updated functionality allows for this kind of split.
- 3rd Party Electoral Votes: While it faded by Election Day, there was a relatively high level of support for an alternative to the two major party nominees. For a brief while, it looked like Evan McMullin had a chance to win his home state of Utah. To support this, the map now allows for a state to be given to a generic 3rd party candidate. We'll add more functionality in this area if the 2020 campaign produces one or more viable (can win electoral votes) 3rd party candidates.
- Specific 2020 Match-ups: Click or tap the displayed name just above the electoral counter to create a map based on specific Democratic opponents for Donald Trump. The list of names will be adjusted over time.
- (Coming Soon) Palette Mode: Currently, the map is adjusted by rotating through the ratings/colors via click or tap on a state. The palette mode will allow the selection of a rating/color; each state subsequently clicked or tapped will turn to that rating/color. Both palette mode and the rotation mode will be available.
To choose the number of colors/ratings in your map, as well as whether to include the 3rd party in the rotation, select 'Map Options' which is alongside the share buttons below the map.
June 3, 2017
The state polls - and thus the conventional wisdom - gave Donald Trump seemingly little chance to aggregate 270 electoral votes and win the 2016 presidential election. Yet he did win, remaking the electoral map by winning several states that had not been won by a Republican in a generation.
Why were the polls off in 2016? This excellent review, from The Upshot (New York Times) found several reasons that the polls were off. "At least three key types of error have emerged as likely contributors to the pro-Clinton bias in pre-election surveys. Undecided voters broke for Mr. Trump in the final days of the race, or in the voting booth. Turnout among Mr. Trump’s supporters was somewhat higher than expected. And state polls, in particular, understated Mr. Trump’s support in the decisive Rust Belt region, in part because those surveys did not adjust for the educational composition of the electorate — a key to the 2016 race." It is final reason that may have been the largest source of error.
The article provides more detail on each of these issues. It also delves into what is perhaps the more important question. Are the errors fixable so that polling can be trusted going forward? Here the answer is a bit murkier. If the above items accounted for most of the error, pollsters can make adjustments. However, if the root cause is nonresponse from certain segments of the electorate predisposed to one candidate, that is a much more difficult issue to address. In either case, the problem is compounded by the decline in well-designed, high-quality state polling, which has occurred in response to budget pressures on newspapers and other more traditional media outlets.
June 2, 2017
Georgia's 6th congressional district special election remains a nail-biter, a new poll from Landmark Communications for WSB-TV finds. Democrat Jon Ossoff leads Republican Karen Handel by one point, 49% to 48%. Just 3% say they are undecided 2 1/2 weeks out from the June 20 runoff.
Despite the fact that more than $36 million has been spent on this race, the most expensive House election in U.S. history, the findings of this poll are consistent with just about every survey taken since late March. All but one of these polls has found the candidates separated by two points or less, well within the margin of error.
While the overall race is extremely tight, it is notable that Ossoff leads Handel by over 21 points with voters 18-39. Handel has almost as large a lead with voters 65 and over. Although not quite as pronounced as with age, the poll also found a sizable gender gap. Ossoff leads by 10 points among women, Handel by 9 points among men.
May 26, 2017
Republican Greg Gianforte will become Montana's at-large congressional representative after winning Thursday's special election by about 6 points over Democrat Rob Quist. The race, already more competitive than expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night as Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter. It appears that incident didn't have a huge impact on the outcome, with nearly 2/3 of the total votes cast in the election submitted by mail prior to Election Day.
Gianforte apologized for the incident, and to the reporter by name, while speaking to supporters Thursday night. He is scheduled to appear in court on June 7th.
Donald Trump won the state by 21 points in November, while Ryan Zinke was reelected to this House seat by about 16 points. Zinke resigned to become Secretary of the Interior on March 1st.
Upcoming Special Elections
Once Gianforte is sworn in, Republicans will have 239 seats in the House; Democrats 193, with three vacancies. Those seats will be filled over the next month:
- California 34th District, June 6th: Two Democrats advanced to the runoff for this seat, vacated by Xavier Becerra when he became the state's Attorney General. Safe Democrat
- Georgia's 6th District, June 20th: The most expensive House race in U.S. history will finally be decided as Democrat Jon Ossoff faces Republican Karen Handel. Polling for the race has been close, although the most recent one had Ossoff up by 7. The seat became open when Tom Price resigned to become Secretary of Health & Human Services.Toss-Up
- South Carolina's 5th District, June 20th: This seat became vacant when Mick Mulvaney resigned to become Director of the Office of Management and Budget. In the only poll we've seen for this race, Republican Ralph Norman had a 17 point lead on Democrat Archie Parnell in this heavily Republican district. Likely/Safe Republican
May 25, 2017
Montanans will go to the polls today to fill their at-large Congressional seat. The seat has been vacant since Ryan Zinke resigned on March 1st to become President Trump's Secretary of the Interior. The polls are open until 8:00PM Mountain Time (10:00PM Eastern).
The race, already more competitive than originally expected, was thrown into last-minute turmoil Wednesday night when the Republican, Greg Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault after an altercation with a reporter from The Guardian. While Democrats called on Gianforte to withdraw, it is unclear how much of an impact this event will have on today's vote. Over 250,000 ballots have already been returned by mail in a state with just 699,000 registered voters, according to The New York Times. In the 2016 general election, about 517,000 votes were cast in the state. That 74% turnout is unlikely to be replicated for a special election on the Thursday before a holiday weekend. This means the majority of votes in this election have already been cast.
Additionally, while there's no across-the-board data, early voting in many elections is often disproportionately Democratic vis-a-vis Election Day itself, when more Republicans tend to vote. Some of that can be seen in the most recent poll on the race. While finding a 14 point lead for Gianforte, his Democratic opponent Rob Quist held a one point lead among those in the poll who had already voted. The point is: Given the current war on the media from the right, some of today's voters in this conservative state will look favorably on Gianforte's standing up to a reporter.
Libertarian Mark Wicks is the third candidate on the ballot.
May 22, 2017
Democrat Jon Ossoff has a 7 point lead over Republican Karen Handel in a new SurveyUSA poll of 549 likely voters in Georgia's 6th Congressional District. Ossoff is at 51%, Handel 44%. The runoff election is four weeks from Tuesday (June 20th).
While the 7 point spread is the largest we have seen for this election, The pollster cautions that the result is “close enough in a low-turnout, stand-alone runoff to be anyone’s call, though clearly Ossoff is in a better position than Handel.”
May 18, 2017
For those that want to communicate with one or more of their elected representatives, we've updated our elected officials look-up with a variety of contact information. You can see (where available): Mailing address, phone number, e-mail and website. For Congress, Facebook and Twitter links are also included.
Input your address (or any U.S. address, Zip Code, state etc.) into the input form on the page. Alternately, you can click/tap this link to get the results for your current location. Where a full address or Zip Code is provided, information on state legislators will also be provided. Contact information for state governors will be added within the next few days.
May 14, 2017
Five weeks out from the June 20th runoff, a new Gravis Marketing poll mirrors what other polling has found: A highly competitive race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel. This new poll of 870 likely voters gave Ossoff a two point lead, 47% to 45%. This is within the poll's 3.3% margin of error.
Ossoff's 47% is little changed from the 48% he received in the April 18th non-partisan primary. Handel received 20% on that date, although her vote was split among a number of viable Republican alternatives. Since nobody received a majority of the vote, these two will meet in the June runoff.
This race has attracted national attention and, as we noted earlier this month, will be the most expensive House race in U.S. history.