For the first time in this election cycle, presidential candidates have been removed from a state ballot because of filing errors. According to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), Andrew Yang, former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD), and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld (R) made “paperwork errors” that resulted in them being disqualified to compete in their respective primaries.
Thus, the Ohio ballot will feature only President Trump on the Republican side while Democrats will have 11 candidates from which to choose: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), former Vice President Joe Biden, ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Gov. Deval Patrick, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), billionaire Tom Steyer, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Eight states will host their 2020 primary elections in March, meaning they will feature a full ballot to compliment the presidential race. Voters will select a full slate of nominees in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas on March 3, 10, or 17th. This means, at the end of March, nominees could be fully chosen for six Senate races and 151 congressional districts. It is possible, should no candidate reach the minimum nomination percentage in various states featuring a qualifying figure, that run-offs could be held in some Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas contests.
All of the aforementioned states have completed their candidate filing deadlines with the exception of Mississippi. There, candidacies become official on January 10th. West Virginia and Kentucky candidates will file on January 25th and 28th, respectively for May 12th and May 19th primary elections.
The US Census Bureau officers released their latest population projections in order to measure national population growth for the period between July 1, 2018 and July 1, 2019. The results find the national rate of growth slowing to 0.5%, mostly as a result of decreased immigration. The peak period for the decade came during the July 1, 2014 – July 1, 2015 period when the growth rate registered 0.73%.
With these numbers come the ability to project which states will gain and lose congressional seats in 2020 reapportionment. The national reapportionment will be calculated and announced after the 2020 census is completed. The states will receive their congressional seat quota a year from now, with a release typically coming during the period between Christmas and New Year’s.
If current projections prove correct, Texas looks to gain three seats, Florida two, with Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon each slated to gain one. The losing states look to be Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
If these projections prove true, California will lose a seat for the first time in history. It’s also realistic that the actual totals could yield a two-seat loss for Illinois or New York, and possibly both. Right now, it appears ten congressional seats will change states, but that number could grow. Usually, the actual numbers tend to differ slightly from the early published projections.
The Ohio candidate filing deadline expired earlier in the week and lists of officially qualified congressional contenders are now available. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) had a highly competitive re-election campaign in 2018, and it looks like he will again have a serious race in the current election cycle.
As expected, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and Iraq War veteran and engineer Nikki Foster will square off in the Democratic primary for the right to face the Congressman in the general election. Another close finish is again forecast. Mr. Chabot defeated Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval (D) in 2018 by a 51-47% count.
Veteran US Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown), who was an early presidential contender before dropping out of the national race to seek a tenth term in Congress, has drawn a significant general election challenger. Former state Rep. Christina Hagan (R), who garnered 40% of the vote in the neighboring 16th Congressional District primary in 2018, has made the move to challenge Rep. Ryan in the current election cycle. Six other Republicans also filed, but only Ms. Hagan has been previously elected to office.
The 13th District is reliably Democratic (Trump ’16: 45-51%) and Rep. Ryan scored a 61% win in 2018 and reached 68% in the 2016 presidential year. Though Mr. Ryan begins as a heavy favorite for re-election, this could be a race to watch.
Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan (D-Youngstown), in a video message yesterday, announced that he is exiting the presidential race. After not qualifying for the presidential forums beyond the second debate, it clearly became a matter of time before he and several others in a similar situation fold their political tents.
He joins Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) as candidates who have left the race. A total of 15 Democratic presidential candidates remain active, but several others are soon expected to follow Rep. Ryan’s path. The Congressman says he will seek re-election to the House next year. It remains to be seen if his national foray results in him drawing stronger opposition than in the past few election cycles.
On the GOP retirement potential list was former House Small Business Committee chairman Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati), who was first elected in 1994. The Congressman lost his seat in a 2008 Obama-wave upset but rebounded to win again two years later. Yesterday, Rep. Chabot formally announced that he will seek re-election next year. He faced a difficult campaign last year but came away with a 51-47% victory against highly touted Hamilton County Clerk of Courts incumbent Aftab Pureval (D).
Rep. Chabot can expect another competitive challenge in 2020. At this point, healthcare company executive Kate Schroder and Iraq War veteran Nikki Foster are the two announced Democratic candidates. The Ohio primary is scheduled for March 10th, with a candidate filing deadline on December 11th.
Change Research, Emerson College, and the Public Policy Institute of California tested three major states for the Democratic presidential primaries and found razor thin margins in two. The exception, Arizona (Change Research; 9/27-28; 396 AZ likely Democratic primary voters), finds Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) topping the field with 35% support, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 19%, former Vice President Joe Biden’s 15%, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg recording a 13% preference figure. According to these numbers, Arizona is one of Mr. Biden’s weakest states while Mr. Buttigieg returns to double digits.
The two others are virtual three-way ties. The Public Policy Institute of California (9/16-25; 692 CA likely Democratic primary voters) sees Sen. Warren barely in first place with 23% of the responding sample, compared to Mr. Biden’s 22%, and Sen. Sanders’ 21%. The result portends another disappointing performance for Sen. Kamala Harris in her own state as she records only 8% support.
Little polling has been done in Ohio, but Emerson College reversed the trend and just completed a test of the Buckeye State Democratic electorate (9/29-10/2; 353 OH likely Democratic primary voters). They also find a close contest with Mr. Biden claiming first place with 29%, and Sens. Sanders and Warren nipping at his heels with 27 and 21% preference factors.
Monmouth and Quinnipiac Universities released new state polls in places where we haven’t yet seen much data. Monmouth (7/18-22; 405 SC likely Democratic primary voters) tested the South Carolina electorate, site of the fourth nomination event scheduled for February 29th. Here, as we’re seeing in many of the tested southern states, former Vice President Joe Biden posts a substantial advantage, leading 39-12-10-9-5% over Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Quinnipiac released what may be the first poll of the Ohio electorate (7/17-22; 556 OH Democratic registered voters) in anticipation of this state’s March 10th primary, and also finds Mr. Biden enjoying a healthy lead. Here, the former VP registers 31% support followed by Sens. Sanders, Harris, Warren, and Mayor Buttigieg who record 14, 14, 13, and 6% preference, respectively.
As we covered last week, the US Supreme Court released their rulings on the Maryland and North Carolina partisan gerrymandering cases and whether asking about a person’s citizenship status can be placed on the 2020 census questionnaire.
On the redistricting question, the high court definitively ruled that the partisan gerrymandering question will not be adjudicated by the federal court system. Looking practically at the live cases the SCOTUS’ action affects, the redistricting battles in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin are essentially dead and their current congressional district boundaries will remain in place through the last election of this decade, in 2020.
With Democrats controlling the North Carolina state Supreme Court, it may be possible that the Tarheel State lines are redrawn because of partisan gerrymandering but whether a new case can get to them in time to affect 2020 remains questionable. Unlike the US Supreme Court, the North Carolina high panel does not have the authority to bring a case up before the lower courts rule.
The citizenship question is a bit more convoluted. The court ruled that the government has the right to add this question to the census, but they are sending this particular case back to the Department of Commerce because of potential motivational evidence relating to placing the citizenship query on the questionnaire.
Turning to the census ruling, though the SCOTUS made clear the government does have the right to ask the question, the result of returning it to the Commerce Department likely means the citizenship question will not be on the census questionnaire. Though the Trump Administration may try to stretch the calendar, it is probable that Commerce will not be able to comply with the high court’s directive before the 2020 census must be fielded.
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