Ballotpedia: “On November 6, 2018, elections were held for 6,073 state legislative seats across 87 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers. Five hundred and eight elections (8.3%) resulted in control of a seat changing to a new party. Of the 508 flips, 391 (77.0%) were Republican seats that flipped to Democrats and 93 (18.2%) were Democratic seats that flipped to Republicans.”
First Read: “In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 75% of Republican registered voters say they have high interest in the 2020 presidential election – registering a 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale – versus 73 percent of Democratic voters who say the same thing.”
“That’s quite a change from the 2018 cycle, when Democrats held a double-digit lead on this question until the last two months before the election, when the GOP closed the gap but still trailed the Dems in enthusiasm.”
“Overall enthusiasm for 2020 is sky-high, with 69% of all voters expressing a high level of interest in the upcoming election. That’s just 3 points shy of the 72 percent who said the same thing in October 2016. And we are still more than 500 days away from the 2020 general election. So, yeah, turnout in 2020 is going to be through the roof.”
“More than half of U.S. eligible voters cast a ballot in 2018, the highest turnout rate for a midterm election in recent history, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The increased turnout was particularly pronounced among Hispanics and Asians, making last year’s midterm voters the most racially and ethnically diverse ever.”
“This was a stark reversal from the previous midterm year, when turnout had decreased – from 45.5% in 2010 to 41.9% in 2014.”
David Wasserman: “It turns out the ‘blue wave’ of 2018 was just as much about subtraction as addition: President Trump’s best demographic, men without college degrees, was also the likeliest group to sit out the midterms. Their absence left behind an electorate skewed much more towards college-educated voters, particularly women, costing the GOP dozens of mostly suburban House seats and handing Democrats the majority.”
“According to survey data released by the Census Bureau this week, the total number of women with college degrees who voted fell just 2.4 percent between 2016 and 2018. In an October 2018 NBC/WSJ poll, Trump’s approval rating with this group was just 27 percent. Meanwhile, the total number of men without college degrees who voted fell 16.2 percent (this group had given Trump a much higher 64 percent rating).”
A new Census Bureau report finds that the 2018 midterm election turnout — the highest-turnout in more than a century — “was driven by a surge of voters who ordinarily sit out those contests, and who disproportionately favor Democratic candidates,” The Hill reports.
“While turnout was up across the board, it rose most dramatically among groups that did not participate very much in the 2014 midterm elections — to the benefit of Democrats who took back the House majority.”
Washington Post: “Voter turnout spiked to a 100-year high in last year’s midterm congressional elections. Census Bureau data released Tuesday finds turnout rates jumped across nearly all groups, but the shift was particularly notable among young adults who typically stay home in non-presidential years.”
“The Census found that 36 percent of citizens ages 18-29 reported voting in last year’s midterm elections, jumping 16 percentage points since 2014 (when turnout was 20 percent) and easily surpassing any midterm election since the 1980s.”
Politico: “In Pennsylvania last year, Republicans tagged Democrats up and down the ticket as socialists or sympathetic to socialism… The strategy was deliberate and coordinated, emanating from the state’s Republican Party chairman, Val DiGiorgio.”
“But come Election Day, Democrats flipped three House seats and 16 more in the state General Assembly. [Gov. Tom] Wolf easily won reelection, as did Democratic Sen. Bob Casey… The election in Pennsylvania serves as a case study of a campaign strategy that could prove critical to Trump’s reelection — or undoing — in 2020.”
“Stacey Abrams, the Democrat who narrowly lost the Georgia gubernatorial race in 2018, said she believes race may be playing a role in Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke’s rising popularity after his failed Senate run,” she told MSNBC.
“Abrams suggested that she and former Democratic Florida gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum did not receive the same attention as the former Texas congressman, whose popularity skyrocketed after losing his 2018 Senate race.”
Ballotpedia: “One-hundred and five of the 6,073 state legislative races in 2018 were decided by fewer than 100 votes. Ninety-eight of the 105 races were in state house chambers, rather than state senate chambers.”
“Partisan control changed in 54 of the 105 races. Thirty-six of the partisan changes (34.3% of the 105 races) were to Democrats, and 18 (17.1%) were to Republicans. Of the 51 seats that did not change partisan control, Democrats held 15 (14.3%) and Republicans held 36 (34.3%).”
Washington Post: “Celebrity exacts a cost, one that the documentary showed was borne by O’Rourke’s three young children…. The result is a glimpse at a wrenching reality rarely seen in the sanitized, smiling images usually put forth by candidates.”
“In one scene … O’Rourke’s wife explained that the children started writing old-school letters to their father instead of video-chatting with him because ‘after they hung up on the phone … they were in tears and really upset.’ The O’Rourke children recounted watching two heavily armed gun-rights activists confront their father at a gun-control march. And on the night their father lost the election, the children discussed how it made them sad to watch others cry.”
A new Brookings study finds that 83% of the voting population lived in counties where support for Democrats has improved since 2016.
“This increased Democratic support was not confined to traditional Democratic base counties. It occurred in suburbs, smaller metropolitan and rural counties, and most noticeably, in counties with concentrations of older, native-born and white residents without college degrees. Moreover, at the state level, enough states flipped from Republican majorities in the 2016 presidential election to Democratic majorities in the 2018 House elections to project a 2020 Democratic Electoral College win.”
“Trump won more than 270 Electoral College votes, based on winning support from states such as Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona. All of those states registered Democratic advantages in their 2018 House elections.”
“There’s no one that could factually say there’s not plenty of evidence of collaboration or communications between Trump Organization and Russians.”
— Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), in an interview with NBC News.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that Republicans wouldn’t have lost the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections had Congress more aggressively pushed border wall funding earlier, adding that Democrats are only opposed to a barrier along the southern border because they “hate” President Trump, Politico reports.
Said Cruz: “If they had taken that advice, if we had had that fight, and you had seen Elizabeth Warren screaming on the Senate floor to stop it, Bernie Sanders pulling what little hair he has out of his head. In September, October, and it culminated with Republicans standing together funding and building the wall. I don’t think we would have lost the House of Representatives.”
McCrae Dowless, the political operative who emerged as a central figure in the investigation into irregularities in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, was arrested and charged with a series of charges related to his handling of absentee ballots in the 2016 general election and 2018 primary, WRAL reports.
“An employee of the Missouri attorney general’s office occasionally drove Josh Hawley to campaign-related events in a state-owned car, an arrangement that raises new questions about Hawley’s use of taxpayer-funded resources in the run up to his successful bid for U.S. Senate,” McClatchy reports.
“Hawley’s use of a state-owned car stands in contrast to how Missouri’s other statewide elected officials say they utilize such vehicles.”
Dan McCready (D) kicked off his campaign for a new 9th congressional district election in North Carolina, saying the people of the district need representation, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Asked whether opponent Mark Harris (R) had disqualified himself from the election during the fraud investigation, McCready said, “That’s a question for the people to decide. I think he’s going to need a few days.”
Mark Harris (R) called for a new election in North Carolina’s disputed 9th congressional district race, the Washington Post reports.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections is hearing evidence this week to decide whether a suspected ballot-tampering scheme tainted the outcome where Harris leads Dan McCready (D) by 905 votes in unofficial returns.
“The son of Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris testified Wednesday that he warned his father repeatedly that he believed a political operative now at the center of an election-fraud investigation had previously used illegal tactics to win votes,” the Washington Post reports.
“John Harris, now an assistant U.S. attorney in Raleigh, said he advised his father in conversations and emails that he believed Leslie McCrae Dowless was ‘shady’ and appeared to have illegally collected absentee ballots in 2016 while working for a different Republican candidate in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.”