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Political Roundup for July 26th, 2017

Greetings from Montauk, where the hipster horde has finally largely disappeared into the Atlantic.

Last night’s results:
Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh held NH-SD-16
Republican Stacey Wilkes (R) won MS-LD-108 outright with no runoff
State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz (R) and perennial candidate Annette Taddeo-Goldstein (D) advanced to the general in FL-SD-40
Attorney Daniel Perez (R) will face former Venezuelan legislator Gabriela Mayaudon in FL-LD-116
Spartanburg councilwoman Rosalyn Henderson-Myers (D) and NAACP official Mo Abusaft (D) head to a primary runoff in SC-LD-31

National

Democratic Strategy: Prominent DC Democrats courageously ventured just west of Loudoun County into rural Virginia to roll out their plan to lurch to the left on economic issues ahead of 2018. Democrats hope such a move will provide inroads into the white working class.

Youngstown Rally: Not content to merely rally among boys, 45 held a campaign event among the working men of hardscrabble Youngstown, Ohio.

Congress

Gerrymandering: The Economist introduces Ah-nuld’s crusade against gerrymandering. The governator likens politicians supportive of the practice to “girly men” who refuse to go to the gym.

US-AG/TX-Sen: Amid the rumors of Jeff Sessions’ days being numbered, Senator Green Eggs and Ham Ted Cruz (R) quickly shot down any rumors of accepting an offer to take the post.

Governor

NJ-Lt. Gov: Former Goldman Sachs executive and NJ Democratic gubernatorial nominee Phil Murphy has named Assemblywoman and former Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) his lieutenant gubernatorial nominee. Simon adds gender and racial diversity, political experience, and a Trenton Rolodex to the ticket.

VA-Gov: Underscoring the need for a sole signature Democratic victory in the age of Trump, the DNC is sending money to Ralph Northam (D) in the medium blue state. Northam’s coffers drained during a bruising primary against nutroots wet dream Tom Perriello (D).
Local

Allentown-Mayor: Surprise! Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was charged yesterday in federal court in an alleged pay-to-play scheme. Pawlowski dropped out of the 2016 Democratic US Senate primary after federal agents raided his office.

Houston-Mayor: The Texas Supreme Court declined to expedite a case challenging the wording of a 2015 Houston city proposition which changed the term limits of the mayor from three two-year terms to two four-year terms.

Westchester: Westchester County has finally prevailed in a discriminatory zoning witch-hunt lawsuit filed by the Obama administration after HUD conceded the current zoning scheme’s legality. A decision against Westchester could have had political geography effects nationwide.

Places Not Lucky Enough to be America

The UK: Boris Johnson, on a trip to New Zealand, denies any infighting among the Tories.

Political Roundup for June 12th, 2017

Tomorrow is the Virginia primary; we will have a full preview up at 3 ET today. To tide you over, here’s the electoral news that you might have missed this weekend.

Over the weekend, Liberal Independent councilman Ron Nirenberg won the Mayor’s office in San Antonio and ex-State Rep. Dee Margo (R) won the Mayor’s office in El Paso. Puerto Rico voted 97% for statehood with low turnout amid a boycott by anti-statehood parties. The center-right DPK ousted the populist-right DLK in Kosovo, and En Marche remained on course for a large majority in France‘s parliament.

Congress

AL-Sen: Al.com did a nice rundown of the candidates who are seeking to replace AG Jeff Sessions now that he’s been confirmed and has left his Senate seat. The attached bios are interesting and informative. Of course, former state AG Luther Strange (R) has already been appointed to the seat, but he doesn’t lack for primary challengers.

AZ-02: Oh, boy. Someone got hold of a recording of Rep. Martha Mcsally (R) telling a roomful of donors that current polling shows her behind for reelection. now, this could have easily been a worse-case scenario poll and she was just using it to open donors’ wallets. That’s not an uncommon tactic. However, it’s also not uncommon to use a more normal internal poll to do the same thing if that’s what the numbers are showing. I guess we’ll just have to wait for more polls (though public house polls are are about as common as phone booths these days).

CO-02: Well, that was fast. After Rep. Jared Polis (D) announced his campaign for Governor yesterday, former CU Regent Joe Neguse (D) wasted no time in announcing for Pols’ seat in Congress. Negus may be first, but he won’t be last. The Boulder area has a lot of ambitious Democrats, and the chance at a safe seat will be tempting to many of them.

GA-06: It’s kind of a ‘no duh’ thing, but it’s nice to hear confirmation. Anger at President Donald Trump is definitely driving Democratic turnout in the upcoming special election in Atlanta’s northern suburbs. Among several other things, it’s one factor giving the Democrats a decent chance at picking up what is normally a solidly Republican district.

PA-06: Steve Stivers is either being remarkably candid or remarkably devious. He recently told a reporter that the seat currently held by Rep. Ryan Costello (R) was likely a tipping-point seat for the House majority in 2018. Either he really is scared of Costello’s main opponent (Costello won by 14 last time) or he’s trying to con the DCCC into spending more money there.

Governor

FL-Gov: Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) is trying, but it just isn’t enough. He’s pointing out that he has the most individual donors of any gubernatorial campaign, by a long shot. That’s great, but in a huge state like Florida, big money and name rec, attributes that his primary opponents former Rep. Gwen Graham (D) and trial lawyer John Morgan (D), are pretty much required to win a competitive statewide race. Gillum is impressive, but he really should have run for a lower statewide office instead of the big job.

IL-Gov: Buried in this article about the continued political impasses and budget woes (or is that budget impasses and political woes?) in the Land of Lincoln is an important observation; next year’s gubernatorial race will surely be the most expensive in state history. Not only will wealthy Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) be spending his own money, but his most likely opponent, rich guy J.B. Pritzker (D), is self-funding as well. Even if Pritzker loses the primary, he’ll likely do so to a Kennedy! Lord knows they have money too.

VA-Gov: A new poll from Change Research brings us some interesting results. It shows former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) leading Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) by 8 points. The lead isn’t surprising, though the margin is. In the Republican primary, it shows Prince William County Executive Corey Stewart leading former Senate candidate Ed Gillespie by a point. That’s a bit of a shocker, given Gillespie’s widely-acknowledged frontrunner status. I guess we’ll find out if the poll is right tomorrow night.

State/Local

FL-CFO: State Sen. Jeremy Ring (D) has had a significant boost in his quest to become the Sunshine State’s Chief Financial Officer. Ring was endorsed over the weekend by the state’s professional firefighters association. This is only for the Democratic primary, though. It will be interesting to see if he can get it in the general, as this is the kind of endorsement that Republicans often snag.

VA-LG: Lt. Gov. hopeful and State Sen. Bryce Reeves (R) is taking some flack for a mailer he sent out about his opposition to a gay judge. This is not a great story for anyone’s campaign, but it should blow over soon. I say that because insiders are pegging fellow contender Jill Vogel (R) as most likely to win the nomination in tomorrow’s primary.

Philly: It looks like the days of the vaunted Philadelphia Democratic Machine (long may it reign) may be numbered. After Larry Krasner (Progressive D) beat machine-approved Democrats in the primary for DA, it’s been found that young voters helped him do it. You might not be surprised by that, but you will be by this; youth turnout tripled it’s normal local primary level. That suggests that the young may turn out more in the future as well. Boss Brady needs to find some way to get them disinterested again or coopts them.

International

UK: With Prime Minister Theresa May looking like a dead woman walking after last week’s embarrassing election results, there’s fresh speculation about who is going to lead the Conservative Party. Early odds point to it being former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (Cosmopolitan Trump), but there are several contenders.

UK Election Liveblog #4

BBC Live BBC Results Page ITV

2:00 ET – There are 7 seats left to declare, but there’s almost certainly going to be a Tory-Unionist coalition government. Only Theresa May herself knows if she’ll be at its head. I’m closing down the liveblog, as this has been a tiring night and I have to travel tomorrow. Night y’all!

1:31 ET – In the newest episode of ‘Every Vote Counts,’ the SNP has held North East Fife against the LibDems by 2(!) votes.

1:11 ET – Smaller Parties Update: It seems that Plaid Cymru has taken Ceredigion from the LibDems, shutting the latter party out of Wales. Meanwhile, the Greens have held their only seat in Brighton Pavilion.

12:35 ET – We’re just waiting for the final batch of seats. There are a few still in doubt, including Kensington (Tory seat where Labour is threatening) and Dumfries and Galloway (SNP seat where the Tories could win).

11:57 ET – Home Secretary Amber Rudd has squeaked by and won reelection. She is one of the leading contenders to replace May if the PM resigns.

11:46 ET – Somewhat lost in the shuffle tonight is that three parties have been eliminated from parliament. The SDLP (nationalist, left-wing, non-abstentionist) lost its 3 seats, and the UUP (unionist) lost its only seat. Both are Northern Irish parties. UKIP lost its only seat as Clacton in Essex went to the Tories.

11:30 ET – We’re getting into that part where a lot of what’s left are safe Tory seats, though that should be slightly less true this time around.

UK Election Liveblog #3

BBC live  BBC results page   ITV

11:30 ET – Please the discussion to the new thread.

11:21 ET – A pattern has now emerged. Labour gains several seats from the Tories in England, the Tories grab one back in Northern England, then take several in Scotland. The result is a net Labour gain, but not a major one. To this point, Labour has taken several more Conservative seats, but the Tories flipped Mansfield in West Yorkshire from them. Now Team Blue has beaten SNP stalwart Alex Salmond in Gordon.

11:05 ET – Three more Scottish results just dropped, and they were all Tory gains from the SNP. The Conservatives have now taken 9 seats from the SNP, which is somewhat making up for losses to Labour in England, though not completely.

10:34 ET – The BBC estimate is now that the Tories will get 318 seats. If that holds, Theresa May will resign and a new Tory leader will likely make a deal with DUP to form a coalition.

10:13 ET – The LibDems have managed to take one seat back in SW England. Bath swung to them massively as they took it from the Tories, likely with Green Labour help. Sour-grapes Remainers are likely to blame.

10:10 ET – Rumors are now flying that Theresa May will resign as PM if the Tories fall short of a majority on their own. Ready the Boris Cam.

10:00 ET – It looks like the LibDems won’t be shut out in England after all. Former Business Minister Vince Cable has retaken his old seat of Twickenham from the Tories in SW London.

9:48 ET – Former LibDem leader, former Deputy Prime Minister, and Liberal stalwart Nick Clegg has lost his seat in Sheffield.

9:45 ET – The way that things are going right now, the Liberal Democrats might be an exclusively Scottish and Welsh party after tonight. They’re gaining in Scotland, but are losing seats in England despite their previously terrible performance in 2015. They thought they’d bounce back, but it’s only happening north of the border right now.

9:33 ET – In a rare Tory gain in England, they’ve taken Southport in the North West from the LibDems.

9:27 ET – Son_of_the_South taking over for now. It looks like a combination of sour-grapes Remainers, increased youth turnout, many Ukippers going back to Labour, and a terrible Tory campaign have likely lost Theresa May her majority (and possibly her job). The only saving grace so far is that the SNP is being smashed on all sides, mostly benefitting the Conservatives. If the Tories can form a government at all, they likely have Ruth Davidson to thank.

9:21 ET– The big loser tonight appears to be the SNP. A second independence referendum appears to be dead.

UK Election Liveblog #2

BBC live  BBC results page   ITV

9:18 ET– Westminster SNP leader Angus Robertson goes down to the Tories in Moray.

9:17 ET– BBC increases projection for Conservative seats from 314 to 322.

9:03 ET– Labour takes Battersea in one of the heaviest Remain areas in the country.

9:00 ET– An indication of the very diverging results from around the country-the Tories hold Warwickshire North with a large swing towards them. Was actually something of a Labour target.

8:58 ET– The Tories take the Scotland seat of Angus from the SNP.

8:50 ET– So far, only a small swing to Labour nationwide. But wide differences in results from different regions make it harder to get a big picture nationally thus far.

8:41 ET– Labour takes back the Welsh seat of Vale of Clwyd they lost to the Tories in 2015.

8:28 ET– Zac Goldsmith(losing Tory candidate for London mayor last year) may win back the seat he lost to the Lib Dems(as an independent) late last year.

8:15 ET– Labour picks up the Scotland seat of Rutherglen and Hamilton West from the SNP.

7:53 ET– Labour hold the North East seat of Darlington. The Tories were hoping to pick the seat up if they were headed for a large landslide.

7:37 ET– Tories hold the swing seat of Nuneaton. Big hold and the first real good news for them.

7:20 ET– Rumors are that the Tories may be decimated in London. Labour says they have won Kensington and they may have won Battersea as well.

UK Election Liveblog

BBC live  BBC results page   ITV

7:00 ET Swindon North(safe Tory seat) shows a slightly better result for Labour than the exit poll. This is the first result outside of the North East.

6:55 ET– Lib Dems are concerned about former leader Nick Clegg losing his seat of Sheffield Hallam.

6:53 ET– Tories are optimistic about winning the seats of both Angus Robertson, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, and former SNP leader Alex Salmond.

6:46 ET– Sunderland Central shows a 2% swing to the Tories-just like the other 2 a better result for the Tories than the exit poll would suggest.

6:45 ET– Even some Labour people are questioning the exit poll. One MP says there is no way they are gaining 34 seats based on the early results.

6:40 ET– It will be 8:00 or so before we start getting the results from seats that may indicate which way things are going. Nuneaton is a key seat expected to declare around that time-the Tories winning it in 2015 was the first sign that they were doing well.

6:07 ET: Houghton & Sunderland South results shows a better result for the Tories than the exit poll projected. Exit poll projected a 3% swing to Labour instead of the 3% swing to the Tories as the result is.

6:00 ET– Newcastle Central has beaten out Houghton & Sunderland South for the first seat to declare. It is also a safe Labour seat in the North East. The swing to Labour was 2%, less than what would be expected from the exit poll.

5:45 ETA possible interesting result if the exit poll is right-the Tories could gain a number of seats in Scotland even while losing seats in England.

5;37 ET: Expect the first result, from Houghton & Sunderland South(traditionally the first to declare) to come in soon. It is a safe Labour seat in the North East however, and not much can usually be read from its results on a national basis.

5:20 ET-A rumor says that Home Secretary Amber Rudd could be in trouble in her Hastings and Rye constituency. Losing that seat would be really bad for the Tories as Labour has not won it since 1997.

5:05 ET– If the seat projections hold true, the Tories would still hold government as there are not enough Labour+SNP seats to form government.

5:00 ET: The exit poll projects the Conservatives are the largest party, but do not have a majority. Projections have them with 314 seats, 12 short of a majority.

4:55 ET: We’ll start the liveblog a little early just as a heads up to watch for the release of projections based on exit poll results right as the polls close at 10PM in the UK(BBC always releases them as Big Ben strikes 10). If projections show anything less than a Conservative majority, we may be in for a long night. For an idea of what the UK election coverage will look like please take a look at this very helpful Election Night Special video HERE.

Political Roundup for June 7th, 2017

Howdy from chronically underrated Houston, Texas, a culturally vibrant snapshot of the country’s demographically diverse and economically promising future. Speaking of Texas, check back at 3p ET today for our preview of this weekend’s Mayoral Runoffs in San Antonio and El Paso. Anyway, from last night: After winning their respective primaries in the Garden State last night, NJ Lt. Gov Kim Guadagno (R) and former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy (D) will now face off in November. Guadagno’s odds are only slightly greater than were those of fellow Jersey resident Vito Spatafore. In CA-34, State Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D) won 60-40 amid low turnout. For the NJ Legislature, all incumbents held on easily and Kristen Corrado’s (R) ticket won in SD-40. One off-the-Line candidate won in LD-1, with Downe Twp. Mayor Robert Campbell (R) beating a candidate who imploded for the second slot.

For an incredible peek at the political future of the red-but-blueing Sunbelt, check out the Rice University Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s 35th and 36th annual Houston Area Surveys; the Kinder Institute’s polls have long been the most comprehensive non-U.S. Census survey of any American locale. The annual project has not only tracked changes in Greater Houston’s economy and its demographics but also trends in Harris County residents’ opinions on questions of urban development, religion, LGBT issues, abortion, politics, race relations, diversity, immigration, economic policy, criminal justice, and more (and, in the last two years, those of Montgomery and Fort Bend residents as well).

A teaser: Whereas 45% of Harris County residents in 2010-11 agreed that “Immigrants to the U.S. generally contribute more to the American economy than they take,” that number had steadily risen to 63% by 2016-17. In the same years, support for the idea that “The increasing immigration into this country today mostly strengthens, rather than threatens, American culture,” rose from 46% to 65%. Finally, while 55% of Harris County residents in 2010-11 believed that “The U.S. should admit the same number or more legal immigrants in the next ten years as were admitted in the last ten years,” that number grew to 71% in 2016-17. Of interest, these trends have also been broken down by age and race (with white Harris Baby Boomers earning their own section). Similarly, strong growth has been noted in support for LBGT issues and in opposition to the death penalty and mandatory prison sentencing for non-violent drug offenders.

I highly recommend looking through the wealth of public opinion data and trends found in these reports; they likely yield insights not only for understanding political trends in Greater Houston but also those in similarly high-growth Sunbelt metros like the Research Triangle, Charlotte, Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and Nashville. In any case, the national GOP would be wise to take these trends into account when planning to fight the blueing of these metros, many of America’s fastest-growing…

Congress

CA-39: Citing Republican incumbent Ed Royce’s vote on Trumpcare, pediatrician Mai Tran (D) is running for Congress in this Clinton-won, diversifying district.

FL-27: State Rep. David Richardson (D), a retired forensic auditor, has become the seventh Democrat to enter the race to replace retiring US Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) in her medium-blue Miami-based district. Richardson, who is gay, is well-positioned to receive strong support from the district’s large, prosperous LGBT community.

GA-06: The failing New York Times (Sad!) offers up a summary of last night’s debate between retread Karen Handel (R) and talking points machine Jon Ossoff (D), who is allegedly not a DCCC-programmed hologram.

More GA-06: According to Roll Call, turnout for the June special general election in Georgia’s sixth congressional district is on pace to exceed that of the special primary. With some analyses pointing to general election turnout for Democrats and primary turnout for Republicans in round one, Republicans are likely to paint increased turnout as good news for the Trump-supported Handel, a consistent trailer in public polling.

NY-US House: As RRH regulars know, Governor Andrew Cuomo (the State GOP’s most powerful supporter D) walks a perilous, Tappan Zee Bridge-length tightrope of beating back New York’s sizable moonbat horde from controlling state politics while simultaneously preparing himself for two elections with drastically different dynamics: his 2018 re-election bid and a 2020 presidential run. Lest local Democrats should worry about the governor’s commitment to his state party’s power in light of the state’s divided government, the ever-bold Cuomo has declared his support for helping Democrats win back… New York’s nine Republican-controlled US House seats. Nice.

VA-02/WATN: Freshman US Rep. Scott Taylor (R) is one of two House Republicans supporting a federal ban on anti-LGBT discrimination. Ex-Rep Randy Forbes (R), a theocrat who ceased payment of his NRCC dues over the committee’s support of gay Republican House candidates, is likely now stewing even more than ever after his 2016 primary loss to Taylor.

Governor

Illinois: Yesterday, furthering the circling of the Illinois Democratic establishment around Hyatt Hotels heir J.B. Pritzker (D), the powerful state AFL-CIO officially endorsed his candidacy. Judging by the union’s decision to endorse so early in the cycle, Madiganistan Democrats are pulling out all the stops to convince Heir Force General Chris Kennedy (D) to drop his quest for relevance in Hyannisport.

More Illinois: State Rep. Scott Drury, a North Shore Democrat who courageously cast the lone dissent to Third World Dictator State House Speaker Mike Madigan’s re-coronation this year, excoriated the IL Dems’ longtime fearless leader as he announced his longshot bid for Illinois’ second most powerful position.

Virginia: In this detailed piece, the New York Times breaks down June 13th’s Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, a contest between Cruzian reactionary and Lt. Gov Ralph Northam and bold progressive hero and ex-US Rep. Tom Perriello. While the Sandernista Perriello is challenging a consummate insider in one of the country’s most establishment-oriented states, the momentum in the race appears to be his. Yet, despite the anti-establishment fervor stirred up by US Sen. Bernie Sanders (“I”)’s 2016 presidential bid, Northam still appears to narrowly lead with one week left.

Places that wish they were America

United Kingdom: According to this Bloomberg report, Labour officials are privately expecting their party to lose dozens of House of Commons seats in the United Kingdom’s upcoming snap election.

Political Roundup for June 5th, 2017

Later today we’ll have a preview for the gubernatorial and legislative primaries in New Jersey and CA-34 Runoff. Until then, gorge yourselves on electoral goodness with me down below.

Congress

OH-Sen: As the article points out, this one escalated quickly. After Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons (R) jumped into the Buckeye State’s senatorial campaign, he immediately started attacking primary opponent State Treasurer Josh Mandel (R) for being a career politician. Gibbons also raised $250,000 without self-funding in just a few days. Mandel already has $600,000, but almost half the gap is already gone. What looked like a sleepy primary is getting interesting. Whichever man wins will face Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) in the general election.

MI-Sen: Though businesswoman Lena Epstein (R) has already launched her bid against Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D), she may not be alone for long. This article suggests that both businessman John James (R) and state Supreme Court Justice Bob Young (R) are also testing the waters.

Governor

MN-Gov: If you’re an Outstate DFLer, you just got some great news; Rep. Rick Nolan (D) will run for reelection and not for Governor. This leaves fellow Outstate congressman Tim Walz (D) with his best possible shot at the nomination and keeps an incumbent running in a Trump district at the same time. That’s a win-win unless you’re a Republican, in which case it sucks.

NV-Gov: Though he hasn’t yet announced his expected campaign for Governor next year, AG Adam Laxalt (R) is already piling-up cash. His campaign account now has $600,000 on hand. That’s quite a decent amount for this early in the games in a fairly small state.

TN-Gov: Speaking of things sucking for people, it probably doesn’t feel great to be State Sen. Mark Green (R) right now. Green was running for Governor, but was then nominated to be Secretary of the Army, causing him to leave the race. Then after someone unearthed some fairly tame comments he made a few years ago about gay rights, he dropped out of contention for that role. Now, he has decided to not resume his campaign. He cites the fact that other campaigns were already rising to fill his anti-establishment niche.

State/Local

ME-IRV: Because the ranked-choice ballot initiative that passed narrowly in 2016 was invalidated as against the state constitution by the Maine Supreme Court, supporters are now asking the legislature to amend the state constitution to achieve the same goal. I’m not holding my breath on this one.

PA-Redistrict: A Democratic state senator from the Pittsburgh area has proposed a bill to turn over control of the Keystone State’s redistricting to a panel of five commissioners (two from each party and a tiebreaker). Seeing as redistricting is currently controlled by an unholy but effective alliance of Republicans and the Philadelphia Democratic machine, I don’t see this going anywhere.

TX-GOP: After the surprise resignation of state party Chairman Tom Mechler, Texas Republicans now once again have a leader. Travis County Chairman James Dickey has won a narrow race for the top job in one of America’s biggest state parties.

International

Indonesia: This one is a bit scary. It seems that when Jakarta’s governor lost reelection recently, he did so solely because he wasn’t Muslim. He had a 76% approval rating, but 30% of voters stated that that though they approved of his job performance, sharia law dictated that they must vote for his Muslim opponent. Moreover, he’s now facing blasphemy charges for suggesting that Muslims didn’t have to vote for him to due to sharia law,

UK: Our friends over at 538 have an excellent piece on whether or not the polls showing a close race with a small Tory lead are skewed in favor of Labour or not (some polls show a much bigger lead). This is worth a read if you’ve been recently confused by the contradictory polls coming out of Britain lately.

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