Weekend Open Thread for November 10-12, 2017

Welcome to the weekend! As bad as this week as been for the GOP we think it is important to look on the brightside. We may have lost 2 governorships, re-elected that airbag deBlasio and thrown away the safest of the safe Senate seats but at least we have found a new frontrunner for RRHelections’ Turkey of the Year Award! Now on to our questions……

  1. What was your biggest electoral disappointment this week?
  2. What electoral development gave you the most hope for 2018?
  3. What does the 2017 results mean for 2018?

And because it’s the weekend and this week has been so bad we decided as everything goes low we will go high instead so…… we give you THIS!


Political Roundup for November 10, 2017


AL-Sen: As most people have no doubt heard by now, GOP nominee Roy Moore has been accused in a Washington Post story of having a sexual encounter with a 14-year old girl back in 1979 when Moore was a 32-year old assistant DA in Etowah County. Many, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) and NRSC Chairman Sen. Cory Gardner (R) have said Moore needs to drop out of the race if the allegations are true(Moore is denying the allegations). However, it is too late to replace Moore on the ballot. Although, some have pointed out that was what we were told when New Jersey Democrats wanted to replace  scandal-plagued Rep. Robert Torricelli (D) on the ballot for US Senate in 2002 with former Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D), and the state’s Democratic-dominated judiciary essentially looked the other way. But, barring some similar legal maneuver(and getting Moore to agree to drop out, which may be even tougher), Republicans may be stuck with Moore and hoping that voters believe Moore’s denials or look past something that happened nearly 40 years ago(which, this being deep-red Alabama, wouldn’t be a total surprise).

PA-Sen/PA-LG: Businessman Jeff Bartos has dropped out of the US Senate race, and will instead run for LG, working in tandem with the gubernatorial campaign of state Sen. Scott Wagner (R). Bartos’s exit from the race helps Rep. Lou Barletta (R), as he was the strongest opponent still in the race. Barletta now only faces minor opposition in the GOP primary.


HI-1: State Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D) became the 2nd person to join this race on Wednesday. She joins state Rep. Kaniela Ing (D), who announced a bid earlier this week. Party-switching state Rep. Beth Fukumoto (R->D) and AG Doug Chin (D) have indicated an interest in running as well.

NV-3: Michelle Mortensen, a consumer reporter for a Las Vegas TV station, is leaving that job to run in the Republican primary for Congress. She joins state Sen. Scott Hammond (R), former state Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman (R) and former Clark County Republican Party chairman Dave McKeon in the Republican primary. Philanthropist and 2016 NV-4 congressional candidate Susie Lee is currently the only Democrat running.

NH-1: Executive Councilor Chris Pappas (D) has joined the race for this open seat. Pappas was recruited by national Democrats for the seat, and likely starts as the frontrunner. He joins former state AFL-CIO president Mark McKenzie, former Obama Administration Pentagon official Maura Sullivan, former Strafford County District Attorney Lincoln Soldati, and Rochester City Attorney Terence O’Rourke in the Democratic primary. State Rep. Mindi Messmer (D) and Somersworth Mayor Dana Hilliard are also considering. State Sen. Andy Sanborn (R) and former law enforcement official Eddie Edwards are running on the Republican side, with former NH GOP Vice Chairman Matt Mayberry considering. Trump won this district 48-45 last year.

TX-2: State Rep. Kevin Roberts (R) is the first person to jump into the race for this now-open seat. Roberts is in his first term representing a district in northwest Harris County. TX-2 lies wholly within Harris County, snaking around the northeast, north, northwest and west parts of the county.

TX-21: State Rep. Jason Isaac (R) has announced he is running for Congress. Isaac joins retired CIA operations officer Eric Burkhart as the only candidates to announce a run so far. Isaac doesn’t actually live in the district, but part of his state House district overlaps the congressional district.

VA-6: Two Republicans wasted no time in announcing campaigns in the wake of yesterday’s retirement announcement by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R). State Del. Ben Cline (R) and attorney and RNC member Cynthia Dunbar have both jumped in the race. Cline has represented a seat in Rockbridge County since 2002 and was re-elected easily on Tuesday. Other Republicans are expected to get in the race. Two potential Democratic candidates have already taken themselves out of the running. Former TV news anchor Chris Hurst had been recruited by national Democrats to run, but he instead ran for the House of Delegates and defeated an incumbent Republican on Tuesday. Del. Sam Rasoul (D), who took 37% against Goodlatte as the Democratic nominee in 2008, the best showing for a Democrat in the district since Goodlatte’s first election in 1992, had been considered a possible candidate, but will not run.

WV-3: WV Republican Party chairman Conrad Lucas, is running for Congress. Lucas joins a Republican primary that includes state House Majority Whip Carol Miller (R), state Del. Rupie Phillips (R), and physician Ayne Amjad. Democrats have a primary between state Sen. Richard Ojeda (D), Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, and Tri-State Transit Authority CEO Paul Davis.

Governor/state offices:

CO-Gov: Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (R) entered the already crowded GOP primary for governor yesterday. She joins 8 other Republicans currently in the race, including Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, investment banker Doug Robinson(nephew of Mitt Romney), and former Rep. Tom Tancredo (R), who just joined the race last week. Brauchler, however is now considering dropping out of the race and running for AG(more on that below).

NY-Gov: Little surprise, but after his loss in the Westchester County Executive race on Tuesday, Rob Astorino has announced he will not run for governor next year. Astorino, who was the 2014 Republican nominee, had been talking about making another run.

CO-AG: Now that the Attorney General position is open, Arapahoe County DA George Brauchler, is now considering dropping out of the governor’s race and running for AG instead, seeing his possibilities in the governor’s race fading as the race becomes more crowded. One person who will not be running for AG is Rep. Ken Buck (R), who had said earlier in the year that he might run if Coffman didn’t run for re-election. Buck announced on Wednesday that he will instead run for re-election to Congress. Other Republicans who have expressed interest in running include state Rep. Cole Wist (R) and 2014 CO-2 Republican nominee George Leing.

TX-AG: Austin-based attorney Justin Nelson (D) is running for Attorney General. He is the first person to announce a challenge to AG Ken Paxton (R). He is part of a law firm that specializes in high-stakes civil litigation and is also the founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a nonprofit organization pushing for eliminating the Electoral College and going to a national popular vote.


VA-6: Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) will not Seek Re-election

Yet another powerful House GOP committee chair is retiring as he terms out of his chairmanship. Thirteen-term Rep. and Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R) will not seek re-election. Goodlatte’s VA-6 covers most of the Shenandoah Valley from Roanoke to Front Royal. The seat is solidly Republican and the most historically-Republican district in VA. At R+13, it should stay safely in GOP hands.

The right of first refusal for this seat most likely goes to State Sen. Mark Obenshain (R), who very narrowly lost the AG race in 2013 and is well-liked among the GOP establishment. If Obenshain runs, he will likely be the near-prohibitive front-runner. State Sens. Stephen Newman (R) and David Suetterlein (R) are also a names to watch. The other two State Senators in the seat, Emmett Hanger (R) and Mark Peake (R), are less likely as Hanger is 70 and Peake was just elected this year. There are about 8 GOP State Reps. in the seat, though with the House majority on a knife-edge they may feel pressure to not vacate their seats.

Two prominent Democratic State Senators, Creigh Deeds (D) and John Edwards (D), do live here, but it seems unlikely either would try such an uphill race. State Rep. Sam Rasoul (D) also lives here and has run for Congress before.


Political Roundup for November 9, 2017

Check back at 3pm ET today for our preview of the weekend’s PA-18 convention. Now as I am wondering if we should start treating college and non-college educated whites like they are separate races (at least during the Trump era), it is time for today’s roundup:


Nuclear Weapons:  Senator Bob Corker (R-Anti-Trump) is going to hold a hearing next week on the President’s authority to use nuclear weapons.   The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will examine the gripping topic of whether Trump can push the metaphorical Big Red Button if a Twitter discussion goes wrong.

Trump/2018:  Republicans continue to face the dilemma of whether to run with or away from President Trump (Himself).  This has been a dilemma since January 2016 and will only get worse.

Biden:  America’s goofy old uncle, former Vice President Joe Biden (D-Old Scranton) is warning us that President Trump’s rhetoric is eating at the fabric of this country.  While Trump is like a flesh eating organism attacking the flesh known as American unity, Biden seems to be missing the body known as America has been weakened before the latest opportunistic organism attacked.

Johnstown:  Politico looks at the most over-analyzed small city in America, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and sees that MAGA is still alive and well.


Doing Something:  Congressional Republicans are suddenly feeling the pressure to do something after the Volvo/Subaru set decided to start exclusively voting their values after congressional Republicans cannot do anything economically for the upper middle class, who Republican congresscritters only really car about.  The futile efforts will surely involve doing something to further anger such voters.

Suburban Revolt:  Suburbs dominated by college educated whites decided the appropriate response to MAGA and the rise of working class white identity politics was to throw caution to the wind and just vote for people screaming the loudest against the utter reprehensible working class whites they thought had died off until 2016.

More Suburban Revolt:  More on the revolutionary behavior in Volvo/Subaru heavy zip codes in response to Trump.  Republicans did not just underperform their normal metrics in these areas.  Many of them underperformed even Trump.  For the record I am a Subaru driver with my next choice in vehicle being Volvo.

VA-2:  Representative Scott Taylor (R) is on the hot seat since his Virginia Beach area district went for Governor-Elect Ralph Northam (D).  Taylor’s seat has previously been rated on the very fringe of competitiveness.

2018:  Atlantic puts together a decent piece highlight despite the college educated white meltdown, the Democrats have a very narrow margin for winning control of Congress.


Saudi Arabia:  Here at RRHElections we cover elections, but in some places, elections are not really how governance shifts from one group to another.  Case in point, Saudi Arabia has been gripped with what some are calling a coup by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (Saudi Arabia Bold Progressive) in the name of modernizing / cracking down on corruption in the Land of 10,000 Princes.

UK:  The government of Prime Minister Theresa May (Conservative) suffered another setback as Foreign Aid Minister and party star Priti Patel resigned due to her having unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials this summer.  This is the second minister to resign from the May Ministry in a week.  This comes at a time when May is struggling through negotiating the Brexit and the fear of going to the polls and getting electorally destroyed by the Trotsky and IRA loving Leader of Her Majesty’s Vanguard of the Proletariat.


Political Roundup for November 8th, 2017

Remember, remember, the 7th of November…

Last Night’s Results

Democrats did well on a lot of friendly turf last night. In the marquee race of the evening, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) defeated Ed Gillespie (R) by 9 points in VA-Gov. Democrats also appear close to taking the Virginia House of Delegates, with recounts pending and a possible 50-50 split in that chamber that could play a major role in 2021 redistricting control in Virginia. In other races, Phil Murphy (D) easily won NJ-Gov as expected; Provo Mayor John Curtis won the UT-3 special election; Democrats took control of the Washington State Senate through their victory in WA-SD-45; and Democrats won two State House specials, GA-HD-117 and GA-HD-119, in the Athens area of  Georgia.


Populist/Nationalist Uprising…or not: The Economist posits that despite conventional wisdom purporting the opposite, political power follows economic power. The magazine explains that the global upper class has been successfully flexing its muscle. As proof, it notes that Brexit has resulted in a wage squeeze due to the Pound’s decline and that the Donald’s “revolution” has resulted in… a tax cut bill that benefits the wealthy.

Hudson Valley Hasids: Mutual contempt between the Hasidic residents of the Hudson Valley and their neighbors is at an all-time high. The Village of Kiryas Joel’s Haredi residents and their longer-tenured neighbors in the Town of Monroe have, for years, experienced severe tensions. These tensions and KJ’s rapid growth catalyzed a vote yesterday on the question of KJ secession from Monroe.

The Irrational Electorate: Harvard economist Edward Glaeser has published groundbreaking work on “the attribution error, or voters’ tendency to believe that politicians have more control than they really do. Of course, we the people would never elect anyone of importance thinking that they could snap their fingers and quickly enact massive, structural changes…

The Year of the Womyn: According to lyin’ NBC News, there were a record number of female candidates on the ballot in Virginia’s elections yesterday.

Redistricting: While no surprise to RRH readers, the elections yesterday mark the beginning of a three-year course of elections that will determine control of 2020’s decennial redistricting process.

Big City Mayors and Millenials: Big city mayors are finding that pocketbook and infrastructure issues, such as affordable housing and good public transit, top the list of millennials’ concerns. While condescending conventional wisdom says that millennials are attracted by “cultural districts” and the like, this new information flips that narrative on its head.


NJ-02: Twelve-term Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R) is retiring from his purple South Jersey seat. South Jersey Political Boss Tony Soprano George Norcross has promised State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D) his imperative full support in the case of his likely bid.

TX-Sen: What do Ted Cruz and Beto O’Rourke have in common? No, this isn’t the beginning of a joke: the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the two rivals are both pushing back against those in their respective parties who
oppose NAFTA. Both men wisely cite the tremendous benefits that Texas has reaped from the poorly-understood trade deal.

TX-02: Seven-term Congressman Ted Poe (R) has announced he will not seek re-election to his Houston-area US House district.

The States

CA-Gov: The Los Angeles Times reports that former Congressman Doug Ose (R) is considering a gubernatorial bid.

IL-AG: For AG, the C[r]ook County Democrats have endorsed State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D) over, among others, former Governor Pat Quinn (D).

TX HD-46: In her first press appearance since being acquitted, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes (D-Austin) waxed presidential. Dukes alleged that the media and her colleagues had treated her “very unfairly” during her corruption trial. Sad!


2017 Election Night Liveblog #3

2:30 AM EST: With most of the results now in, you can basically summarize all of today’s elections by “Who won that area in 2016?” Democrats won VA-Gov and NJ-Gov be margins very close to the 2016 numbers, and picked up some county offices in Blue counties with historic GOP leanings, picked up the needed Washington State Senate seat needed to control the chamber, with the GOP holding on to UT-3. That’s all for tonight folks!

1:35 AM EST: The broad results today seem to be the hardening of the 2016 coalition changes acorss the country. Democrats did great in areas CLinton won, but seemed to struggle a bit in places where Trump beat the GOP baseline like in small-town Pennsylvania. The implications going into 2018 are intriguing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Democrats lose their 5 Romney-state Senate Seats even if they take the House, since they aren’t defending many house seats Trump won by 20-ish.

12:39 PM EST: Still no clear winner in the VA HOD. Might even go to a 50/50 split chamber. We’ll have to see.

12:01 PM EST: An Nassau County is in, and Curran seems to have won 51-48. Not a good night for the GOP there either it seems.

11:51 PM EST: Greyhound here. Lots of technical problems right now with the site, but I will update as I can.

11:41 PM EST: That’s all for me tonight, folks. I’m handing it off to Greyhound. He’ll provide occasional updates throughout the rest of the night.


2017 Election Day Liveblog #2


8:25 PM EST: As it stands now, the Democrats are on the verge of taking the Virginia House of Delegates. several races are on a knife-edge, and we may not know for a while who controls the chamber.

8:30 PM EST: In NJ, Murphy (D) leads early in Hunterdon County. I’m getting pretty close to calling this one.

8:39 PM EST: I’m calling NJ-Gov for Murphy. Guadagno is actually doing decently compared to some of the polls, but it’s not nearly enough.

8:45 PM EST: Mayor Duggan is up big for reelection in Detroit, though it seems that the incumbent City Clerk is losing.

9:00 PM EST: Polls are now closed in New York and Minnesota.

9:02 PM EST: Switching over to Maine for minute, the Medicaid expansion referendum is currently passing 55-45.

9:08 PM EST: Democrats are currently leading in the two GA state house specials in Athens. The leads are narrow, but most of the votes are counted. Cracking Athens was probably a bad idea.

9:13 PM EST: Democrats are leading 56-44 for Mayor in Erie, PA with 24% reporting.

9:30 PM EST: In New York, Mayor De Blasio is rolling to easy reelection as expected, while the constitutional  convention and Adirondacks land use amendments are failing. The pension amendment is passing.

9:33 PM EST: The GOP has lost GA-HD-119 outright and probably lost GA-HD-117 as well.

9:42 PM EST: On an otherwise gloomy night for the GOP so far, something odd is happening in Scranton, PA. With 58% reporting, the incumbent Democrat is only leading by two points.

9:49 PM EST: In Minneapolis, incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges is currently in fourth place. The voting here is ranked-choice, so we probably won’t know tonight who won the race, but it doesn’t look good for her.

9:51 PM EST: In early results from Westchester County, NY, George Latimer (D) is up 60-40 on incumbent County Executive Rob Astorino (R).

9:54 PM EST: In a bright spot, it looks like Sallie Mundy (R) will win her Supreme Court race in PA.

10:00 PM EST: Polls have now closed in Utah.

10:48 PM EST: Let’s do some housekeeping. Don Guardian (R) has lost reelection as Mayor of Atlantic City. Keisha Lance Bottoms leads  very early for Mayor in Atlanta. Brown (R) has won in the closely-followed NJ-SD-02 race. Democrats have held MI-HD-109 up on the UP. Most of the vote is in in Syracuse, and Ben Walsh (I) is ahead by a decent margin. Republicans have lost the Mayor’s office in Fayetteville, NC.

11:00 PM EST: ‘Polls’ have closed in Washington State. Of course, there are no actual polls, because Washington employs VBM.

11:10 PM EST: John Curtis (R) gets the check from both the AP and RRH for UT-03.

11:11 PM EST: In other news, Melvin Carter has won outright to become the new mayor of St. Paul.

11:38 PM EST: Please head on over the Liveblog #3.


2017 Election Day Liveblog #1

Welcome, everyone, to RRH Elections’ coverage of this year’s November races, both major and minor. You can read Shamlet’s excellent previews of tonight’s various contests here, here, and here. I’m Son_of_the_South and I’ll be your master of ceremonies for most of tonight, handing off the baton to Greyhound for the home stretch later in the evening. Now, without further ado, commence refreshing five different tabs every third minute!



7 PM EST: Polls have now closed in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.

7:18 PM EST: Smyth County in rural SWVA is the first to drop its absentees. Gillespie leads there 66-33. Of note, Hyra is only pulling 1%.

7:21 PM EST: As is now customary, Pinellas County, FL is counting quickly. The early vote and 16 precincts are in so far, and Kriseman (D) leads Baker (R) 51-49 for St. petersburg Mayor.

7:26 PM EST: After a big vote dump from Chesterfield and some smaller counties, Northam leads Gillespie 50-49.

7:28 PM EST: Another big dump from Chesterfield puts Gillespie up 51-48.

7:30 PM EST: Polls in Charlotte, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Toledo have just closed.

7;35 PM EST: Contrary to predictions, Vogel and Adams seem to be outrunning Gillespie by about two points.

7:40 PM EST: As Northam seems to be over performing his benchmarks, Lyles (D) wins the early vote with 65% over Smith (R) in Charlotte.

7:45 PM EST: Northam is up on Gillespie by 3, Fairfax and Herring are barely up on Vogel and Adams.

7:54 PM EST: As we approach the next round of poll closings, I’m calling VA-Gov for Ralph Northam (D). There are still a lot of votes to count, but Gillespie just isn’t getting the margins that he needs.

8:00 PM EST: Polls have now closed in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Mississippi.

8:02 PM EST: Democrats have held the Mayor’s office in St. Petersburg, FL and picked up the same office in Manchester, NH.

8:15 PM EST: I’m going to go ahead and call VA-LG and VA-AG for the Democrats. Vogel and Adams are running ahead of Gillespie, but not by nearly enough to prevail.

8:20 PM EST: In the first batch of results from NJ, Guadagno is leading Murphy by 20, but it’s just a few votes from rural and very Republican Sussex County.

8:23 PM EST: This thread is getting a little full. Please take the discussion over the Liveblog #2.

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