Election News

Pennsylvania GOP Rep. Tom Marino to Resign From Congress

GOP Rep. Tom Marino (PA-12) is resigning from Congress to take a job in the private sector.  The departure is effective on January 23rd. Marino easily won a fifth term in November.  He is resigning just two weeks after the 116th Congress was seated.  

Marino was nominated in 2017 by President Trump to be his drug czar. However, he withdrew later that year after a report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes that detailed how he helped pass a law making opioids more easily available. 

Marino introduced a constitutional amendment just last week to change House terms from two to four years. The press release from his office quoted him as follows: "As I’ve committed to since first coming to Congress, I will serve 12 years and then let new blood and ideas take the reins."  Marino has served eight years, he is leaving just weeks after indicating he would serve four more.  The private sector opportunity must have arisen quickly.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will call a special election to fill Marino's seat. This is a very conservative district, and the seat will likely remain under Republican control.

The 2019-20 Governor Interactive Map is Live

The 2019-20 Governor Interactive Map is now available. Three starter maps are currently available, including the early projections from Sabato's Crystal Ball and The Cook Political Report. The final option is a blank map with all seats undecided. The table below the map has been expanded to include 2019 through 2022, with each displaying those states with an election that year.

Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will each elect a governor in 2019.  About 10 months out, all three races look to be at least somewhat competitive*. 11 more states will follow in 2020. The 2020 races include New Hampshire and Vermont, the only two states where governors serve a two-year term. At least three of the 14 governors will be leaving. Phil Bryant (R-MS) and Steve Bullock (D-MT) cannot run due to term limits. In Utah, the country's longest-serving governor, Gary Herbert (R) is retiring.

The image below are the initial ratings from Sabato's Crystal Ball. You can read their analysis of the races here.

* These are safe GOP states in a presidential election. The competitiveness of these gubernatorial races is aided to some degree by the fact that they are occurring this year as opposed to next.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Launches 2020 Exploratory Committee

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is forming a presidential exploratory committee, she announced Tuesday during a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."  This is a step short of an official announcement, although she did let the obvious slip by telling Stephen that "I'm going to run for president of the United States"  (see video at 00:47).

Julian Castro to Run for President in 2020

As expected, Julian Castro launched his 2020 presidential campaign Saturday morning in San Antonio.  Castro previously served as mayor of that Texas city, departing in 2014 when confirmed as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro served in that role until in the end of Barack Obama's presidency in January, 2017.  

Castro is the fourth Democrat to formally declare for 2020. He joins former U.S. Rep. from Maryland, John Delaney, West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda and U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. These four will be joined by many others over the next couple of months. These include Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who announced an exploratory committee On December 31st. She is very likely to formally join the race in the near future. Another Senator, Kamala Harris of California is reportedly looking to make an announcement over the long weekend that includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Cook Political Report Publishes Initial 2020 Electoral College Ratings

The Cook Political Report is out with their first look at the 2020 electoral map. Click or tap it to create your own 2020 presidential election forecast.

Seems to be a reasonable baseline map based on 2016 and the midterms, but the political environment could be completely different by 2020 - if not sooner. We do note the toss-up states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These were previously 'blue wall' states that Donald Trump flipped in 2016 on his way to victory. The margin in each of those states was under 1%. If the 2020 election is competitive, those states - as well as Minnesota - will go a long way to determining Trump's reelection prospects.

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard to Seek Presidency in 2020

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, it was reported Friday. Gabbard will make a formal announcement within the next week.

Gabbard is in her 4th term representing Hawaii's 2nd congressional district. If her presidential bid is successful, she will be the youngest president in U.S. history -- 39 years old on Inauguration Day in 2021.  The record is currently held by Teddy Roosevelt, who was 42 when he ascended from the vice-presidency in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. The youngest elected president was John F. Kennedy, 43 years old when inaugurated in 1961.  President Trump is the oldest --- age 70 when he took the oath of office in 2017.

Meanwhile, Julian Castro, the HUD Secretary under President Obama and former Mayor of San Antonio, is expected to announce his 2020 candidacy in that city Saturday morning.

Tom Steyer Not Running for President; Will Continue Impeachment Activism

California billionaire Tom Steyer announced Wednesday that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. He will instead continue his impeachment activism, spending at least $40 million more during 2019 in his effort to remove President Trump from office.

There are still over two dozen names - 27 to be exact - on our list of Democrats that might run in 2020. Thus far, former Maryland U.S. Rep. John Delaney and West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda are the only formally declared candidates. Ojeda announced Wednesday that he is resigning his seat to focus on the 2020 race.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched an exploratory committee as 2018 came to a close, and will visit New Hampshire this weekend. She is very likely to run. Julian Castro, HUD Secretary under President Obama and former mayor of San Antonio visited Iowa this week, and will be announcing his 2020 plans this Saturday. 

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. 

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts to Retire in 2020

 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.

List of 1st Term Gubernatorial Inauguration Dates

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

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