State Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian), who last week said that she would run for Governor in 2021 as an Independent once she saw that the state Republican Party had scheduled a convention to nominate their candidate instead of a primary, has changed her mind again. Sen. Chase issued a statement over the weekend saying that she again intends to enter the Republican nomination process.
State Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), the former state House Speaker, is the early favored candidate to win the party nomination, however. Democrats, in a primary election, are expected to nominate former Governor Terry McAuliffe who will be the favorite in the general election in a state that has moved decidedly toward the Democrats.
As expected, former Virginia Governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe announced in an email message yesterday that he is going to seek another term as Governor in 2021. Mr. McAuliffe promises that he will, “think big, be bold, and approach our challenges [as] never before if we’re going to move the Commonwealth forward.”
Also, already in the Democratic primary are Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), and state Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge). The leading Republican is expected to be state Delegate and former House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights).
Reports suggest that former Virginia Governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe will announce another campaign for Governor today. Mr. McAuliffe served as the state’s chief executive from 2013-2017 but was ineligible to seek a second consecutive term under Virginia’s one-term limit law. The former Governor will be the favorite for the party nomination, which gives him the inside track in the general election.
With Gov. Ralph Northam (D) ineligible to seek a second term under Virginia election law, the field of candidates is beginning to gel particularly on the Democratic side.
Signals continue to remain strong that former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is preparing to run again. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax (D) is already an announced candidate as are state Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) and Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Woodbridge). For the Republicans, state Delegate and former House Speaker Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) and state Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Midlothian) are the only announced contenders.
As we look to the next election cycle that will feature a preponderance of 38 gubernatorial bids, several will be open due to state term limit laws. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is the only state chief executive limited to just one term, is barred from seeking re-election in 2021. The 2022 open gubernatorial races are: Arizona (Gov. Doug Ducey-R), Arkansas (Gov. Asa Hutchinson-R), Hawaii, (Gov. David Ige-D), Maryland (Gov. Larry Hogan-R), Nebraska (Gov. Pete Ricketts-R), Oregon (Gov. Kate Brown-D), Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Wolf-D), and Rhode Island (Gov. Gina Raimondo-D).
Most states also decided ballot propositions on many subjects, and several considered changes in their electoral systems.
Alaska voters were asked to consider a new primary system that would feature four candidates advancing into the general election. Though almost half the votes are still not counted, it appears the measure will be defeated. At this point, more than 56% have voted No.
Florida has a 60% rule for adopting ballot measures. Therefore, even though 57% of voters approved changing their primary system to a top-two jungle primary, the measure failed to reach the required passage percentage and thus dies.
For years, Mississippi has had a law that required statewide candidates to carry a majority of state House districts in addition to winning the aggregate popular vote. In an overwhelming result, with a 78% majority, the voters scrapped the system and future elections will be decided only from the statewide popular vote count.
Massachusetts voters were asked to approve a measure to adopt Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting system where each candidate is ranked at the voting booth. If no one receives 50% of the vote, the last place candidate is dropped and the ballots that show the last place candidate as the first choice are found and their second choice is added to the count. The Bay State voters rejected the change with almost 55% of the vote.
Two states made changes in their redistricting process. Missouri changed the parameters of a previously adopted procedure that gave power to a state demographer. The measure, passing with 51%, removes the state demographer from the process. Virginia voters, with just under a 66% margin, adopted a new legislator/citizen commission process that will remove map drawing responsibilities solely from the legislative process. The legislature and Governor, however, must approve the commission-drawn maps or the state Supreme Court will assume such responsibility at the end of the process.
Two Senate races were called yesterday, one for Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who scored a 51-42% victory over state House Speaker Sara Gideon (D-Freeport). Ms. Gideon conceded the race yesterday even though the count had not ended. In Michigan, Sen. Gary Peters (D) was projected with a very close win (49.6 – 48.5%) over GOP challenger John James.
The two calls mean that the high number for the Republican majority is 52, with the Democratic maximum being 51. The most likely outcome from the current trends and potentially projecting the runoff election under what may be a Biden victory at the presidential level is either a Republican majority of 51 or 52 seats.
In the House, 40 races remain uncalled, yet many of them are now reporting 100% of the vote being received. Of the 40, the Republicans lead in 25 and the Democrats in 15. This would translate in a Republican net gain in the House of most likely between five and nine seats.
Below is a list of the races that remain uncalled and which candidate is currently leading.
Alaska: Sen. Dan Sullivan (R) - Status: 62.3%; Reporting: 50%
Georgia-A: Sen. David Perdue (R) - must reach 50%; Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 97%
Georgia-B: Rev. Raphael Warnock (D) - Status: 32.5%; Reporting: 96%
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) - Status: 26.2%; Reporting: Runoff
Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R) - Winner; Status: 51.1%
Michigan: Sen. Gary Peters (D) - Winner; Status: 49.6%
North Carolina: Sen. Thom Tillis (R) - Status: 48.7%; Reporting: 93%
AK-AL: Rep. Don Young (R) - Status: 63.3%; Reporting: 53%
AZ-1: Rep. Tom O'Halleran (D) - Status: 52.1%; Reporting: 92%
AZ-6: Hiral Tipirneni (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 76%
CA-4: Rep. Tom McClintock (R) - Status: 52.9%; Reporting: 87%
CA-8: Jay Obernolte (R) - Status: 53.3%; Reporting: 37%
CA-21: David Valadao (R) - Status: 51.4%; Reporting: 42%
CA-25: Christy Smith (D) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 77%
CA-39: Young Kim (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 89%
CA-48: Michelle Steel (R) - Status: 50.3%; Reporting: 93%
CA-50: Darrell Issa (R) - Status: 52.2%; Reporting: 51%
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux (D) - Status: 51.2%; Reporting: 100%
IA-2: Marianette Miller-Meeks (R) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 100%
IL-14: Jim Oberweis (R) - Status: 50.1%; Reporting: 100%
IL-17: Cheri Bustos (D) - Status: 51.8%; Reporting: 100%
IN-5: Victoria Spartz (R) - Status: 50.2%; Reporting: 99%
MI-3: Peter Meijer (R) - Status: 53.1%; Reporting: 99%
MI-5: Dan Kildee (D) - Status: 54.3%; Reporting: 100%
MI-11: Haley Stevens (D) - Status: 50.0%; Reporting: 97%
MN-1: Rep. Jim Hagedorn (R) - Status: 48.6%; Reporting: 100%
MN-2: Rep. Angie Craig (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 100%
NJ-2: Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 75%
NV-3: Rep. Susie Lee (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 85%
NV-4: Rep. Steven Horsford (D) - Status: 49.7%; Reporting: 65%
NY-1: Rep. Lee Zeldin (R) - Status: 61.3%; Reporting: 99%
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino (R) - Status: 58.1%; Reporting: 99%
NY-3: George Santos (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 99%
NY-4: Rep. Kathleen Rice (D) - Status: 52.0%; Reporting: 100%
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis (R) - Status: 57.9%; Reporting: 95%
NY-18: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D) - Status: 50.8%; Reporting: 100%
NY-19: Rep. Antonio Delgado (D) - Status: 51.3%; Reporting: 98%
NY-22: Claudia Tenney (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 100%
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) - Status: 58.5%; Reporting: 100%
PA-7: Lisa Scheller (R) - Status: 50.7%; Reporting: 86%
PA-8: Jim Bognet (R) - Status: 50.5%; Reporting: 86%
PA-10: Rep. Scott Perry (R) - Status: 54.9%; Reporting: 89%
PA-17: Sean Parnell (R) - Status: 51.0%; Reporting: 94%
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne (R) - Status: 48.8%; Reporting: 99%
UT-4: Rep. Ben McAdams (D) - Status: 48.2%; Reporting: 69%
VA-7: Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D) - Status: 50.6%; Reporting: 100%
WA-3: Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R) - Status: 54.7%; Reporting: 80%
Ever since freshman Virginia Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) was denied renomination in what many termed a “rigged convention,” Democrats have felt they have a chance to steal what plays as a reliable Republican district. A new poll suggests their inclination could prove correct. According to a just-released Public Policy Polling survey (10/21-22; 910 VA-5 voters; interactive voice response system), physician Cameron Webb (D) leads Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R), 50-47%.
In the only previously published poll in the VA-2 race, which appeared in July, the Tarrance Group found freshman Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Norfolk) and former Rep. Scott Taylor (R) tied at 48%, apiece. As the election draws near, we see a significant change in Rep. Luria’s favor. According to the Christopher Newport University survey (10/8-18; 807 VA-2 registered voters; live interview), Rep. Luria has opened up a 50-43% over Mr. Taylor.
The latter man has been dogged with bad media coverage after two of his aides were convicted of vote fraud from the 2018 campaign. Mr. Taylor had first entered the Senate race against incumbent Mark Warner but diverted back to the House campaign when he failed to make headway in the statewide effort. This data suggests that Rep. Luria is a clear favorite to return in the next Congress.
Though Virginia’s 5th District is reliably Republican, after Republican incumbent Denver Riggleman (R-Manassas) was ousted in a party convention the general election is again showing signs of becoming a toss-up election. Now, a Global Strategy Group survey for the Cameron Webb campaign (9/27-10/1; 500 VA-5 likely voters; live interview), finds the Democratic nominee, a local Charlottesville physician, taking a small lead over Campbell County Supervisor Bob Good (R), 45-42%. This is definitely a situation where chaos and controversy in the nomination process could cost a party the general election.
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