North Carolina’s state board of elections declined to certify Mark Harris’ (R) apparent victory over Dan McCready (D) in the state’s 9th congressional district again on Friday, instead calling for a hearing to discuss the matter on or before Dec. 21, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) “blamed her defeat not on her own campaign, but on the Democratic Party for abandoning its moderate constituents,” Roll Call reports.
Said McCaskill: “This demand for purity, this looking down your nose at people who want to compromise, is a recipe for disaster for the Democrats. Will we ever get to a majority in the Senate again, much less to 60, if we do not have some moderates in our party?”
David Wasserman: “As bad as this outcome was for Republicans, it could’ve been worse: there’s strong evidence November’s universally high, historic midterm turnout actually aided Republicans more than Democrats. For example, on November 6, Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) received about 68,000 more votes than he did in the August 7 special election, while Danny O’Connor (D) received just 56,000 more.”
“Nationwide, there were 23 Republicans who won their House races by less than five points. Had the Trump base not woken up after the Kavanaugh fight, Democrats could have easily gained 50 seats.”
“Mounting evidence of voter fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District could indefinitely delay the certification of a winner, as state election officials investigate whether hundreds of absentee ballots were illegally cast or destroyed,” the Washington Post reports.
“The board is collecting sworn statements from voters in rural Bladen and Robeson counties, near the South Carolina border, who described people coming to their doors and urging them to hand over their absentee ballots, sometimes without filling them out. Others described receiving absentee ballots by mail that they had not requested. It is illegal to take someone else’s ballot and turn it in.”
“Weeks after House Republicans lost their majority, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Thursday cast serious doubts about the “bizarre” election system in California, where it appears that seven GOP-held seats will flip to Democratic control,” The Hill reports.
Ryan said the California election system “just defies logic to me.”
He added: “We were only down 26 seats the night of the election and three weeks later, we lost basically every California race. This election system they have — I can’t begin to understand what ‘ballot harvesting’ is.”
TJ Cox (D) officially defeated three-term Rep. David Valadao (R-CA), “giving Democrats a gain of seven House seats in California and 40 nationwide — the party’s strongest midterm showing since the Watergate era in the mid-1970s,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Cox clinched his victory more than three weeks after election day, when updated results from Fresno and Kings counties pushed his lead over Valadao to 529 votes. The contest was the country’s last remaining undecided congressional contest.”
North Carolina’s board of elections “refused to certify the results of the 9th congressional district election after one board member cited what he called ‘unfortunate activities’ in the eastern part of the district,” the Charlotte Observer reports.
“It’s unclear what those activities involved or what the failure to certify might mean. The board discussed the matter in closed session.”
Unofficial results show Mark Harris (R) defeated Dan McCready (D) by 905 votes.
Rep. Martha McSally’s (R-AZ) campaign released an interesting memo which concludes that a key reason she lost the U.S. Senate race was due to the “ideological fissures” in the state Republican party.
Nathan Gonzalez: “After two years of fighting, spending, and campaigning, and one party being handed a very favorable map, the U.S. Senate will be one seat different at the beginning of the 116th Congress than it was at the beginning of the 115th Congress. Republicans gained two Senate seats in the November elections, but lost the Alabama race in the Dec. 2017 special election. So the net change is minimal. The GOP majority shifted from 52-48 in Jan. 2017 to 53-47 in Jan. 2019.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is $18 million in debt from this year’s midterms, NBC News reports.
“It’s common for campaigns and party committees to finish election cycles in the hole as they throw everything they have — and then some — at an election, but the $18 million will have to be made up through fundraising before the new chairman can start building a warchest for the next election cycle.”
First Read: “In last night’s Senate runoff in Mississippi, appointed Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) defeated Democrat Mike Espy by 8 points, 54% to 46%. That’s down from President Trump’s 18-point advantage in the state in 2016 and former Sen. Thad Cochran’s 22-point win there in 2014.”
“Indeed, Espy’s 10-point overperformance from the 2016 presidential results is close to the average of Democrats’ showing in the eight other major special elections of the 2018 cycle – from GA-6 to the Roy Moore vs. Doug Jones Senate race in Alabama.”
Nathan Gonzalez: “Republicans were fortunate that most of them took place in GOP-friendly territory or they would have lost more of them.”
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) is projected to defeat challenger Mike Espy (D) in Mississippi’s U.S. Senate run off.
Use the comments to track the results as they come in.
Geoffrey Skelley: “We don’t often see a runoff in a general election, but if Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith were to lose Mississippi’s Senate runoff on Tuesday, after the two Republican candidates combined to win a sizable majority of the initial vote, that would be even more unusual.”
“In the first round, Republicans Hyde-Smith and Chris McDaniel combined for a bit less than 58 percent of the vote, while Democrat Mike Espy and one other candidate from his party together won a little more than 42 percent. For Espy to win, the runoff vote has to swing more than 15 points more Democratic than the initial vote margin.”
“But if we look at the five Senate elections since 1990 where an initial round of voting was held on the national Election Day and two candidates advanced to a runoff, no challenger has ever come close to outperforming the previous round of voting by the kind of margin Espy would need to win.”
Nate McMurray (D) conceded his race against Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) but promised he wasn’t going away, suggesting that his opponent’s indictment might create an opening, the Buffalo News reports.
Said McMurray: “So we’re going to do things like hold town halls. And whether Mr. Collins wants to do that, or not, we don’t care. He can show up to our town halls, if he wants. Beyond that, Mr. Collins’ future in Washington remains murky. He says that he will finish his term but, as we know, he’s not the best at keeping promises.”
He added: “When the time is right, I will run for office again.”
President Obama recorded a robocall that ran in Mississippi last night, though he did not mention U.S. Senate candidate Mike Espy (D) by name.
Said Obama: “My name may not be on the ballot, but our future is, and that’s why I believe this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime. Make a plan to vote tomorrow. I’m counting on you to be in line to vote before polls close.”
TJ Cox (D) slipped past incumbent Rep. David Valadao (R-CA) to take the lead in the country’s sole remaining undecided congressional race, positioning Democrats to pick up their seventh House seat in California and 40th nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Two nooses were found hanging at the Mississippi State Capitol Monday morning around 7:15 a.m., WLBT reports.
NBC News: “Hate signs also were found, although it unclear what they said or if the signs referenced the racially charged runoff Senate election taking place Tuesday between Democrat Mike Espy, who is black, and Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.”
Said Love: “The President’s behavior towards me made me wonder: What did he have to gain by saying such a thing about a fellow Republican. It was not really about asking him to do more, was it? Or was it something else? Well Mr. President, we’ll have to chat about that.”
James Hohmann: “If tomorrow’s special election in Mississippi is a referendum on President Trump, Republicans will win. That’s why he will hold not one but two rallies tonight for appointed GOP Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith.”
“Elections have become more nationalized and more polarized in the Trump era. Both trends work to the GOP’s advantage in this final federal election of 2018. Trump carried Mississippi by 18 points in 2016. For context, he won both Indiana and Missouri by 19 points. These are two of the four states where Republican challengers knocked off Democratic incumbents in the midterms.”
“There has been frustratingly little reliable public polling in this contest. Both sides agree that Hyde-Smith is ahead but that her lead has narrowed in recent weeks.”
Former Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) told NBC Los Angeles that Republicans lost the House because of the party’s lack of aggressively checking the White House.
Said Dreier: “Oversight, which is a Constitutionally directed responsibility, is so critically important. And my Republican colleagues did not, I believe, do an adequate enough job.”
He added: “Ours is a nation of institutions. We need to remember that, and Congress needs to exercise that authority.”