The Political Edge: The 2018 House Candidates We May See In 2020
In this week’s edition of The Political Edge, we take a look at the failed 2018 House candidates who are now weighing Senate bids. Additionally, we breakdown an analysis from The New York Times highlighting the unprecedented number of Democrats who have announced their candidacy for President nearly 100 weeks before the election.
Failed House Candidates Running For Senate In 2020
On Tuesday, Roll Call’s Simone Pathé posted a new article highlighting several 2018 House Democratic candidates who are now considering a run for U.S. Senate. Below is a rundown of the candidates who are contemplating a Senate bid, according to Pathé.
J.D. Scholten – Scholten ran an unsuccessful campaign against Rep. Steve King in IA-04 last year, losing by 3.3 points. He is considering a challenge to Iowa’s Sen. Joni Ernst. Scholten ended 2018 with $75,000 on hand.
Amy McGrath – In 2018, McGrath lost the KY-06 Congressional race to Rep. Andy Barr by 3.2 points. Reports indicate that now Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is trying to recruit her to run against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McGrath ended 2018 with $268,000 on hand.
Jon Ossoff – Ossoff lost the 2017 special election in GA-07 to Karen Handel by 3.8 points. He recently said he would back Stacey Abrams for Senate, but isn’t “ruling anything out if she decides against” challenging Republican incumbent David Perdue. Ossoff ended 2018 with $392,000 on hand.
MJ Hegar – Last year, Hegar lost a close race to Rep. John Carter in TX-31 by 2.9 points. She is said to be considering a bid against Sen. John Cornyn in Texas next year. Hegar ended 2018 with $47,000 on hand.
Joseph Kopser – Kopser lost the race to replace retiring Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21) by 2.6 points last year. Like Hegar, he is said to be considering a bid against Cornyn in Texas next year. Kopser ended 2018 with $9,000 on hand.
The Presidential Primary Is Crowded Early
Two months into 2019 and there are currently 11 Democrats running for President. With more candidates expected to announce over the coming weeks months, The New York Times conducted an analysis comparing the number of Democrats currently running to years past. If it feels like the field has grown quickly and early, it’s because it has.
According to the analysis, “the Democratic presidential field for 2020 is more crowded than typical for this early in an election cycle.” At this point in 2008 there were eight candidates running, the previous high for candidates running this early.
The Democratic field also appears to be getting crowded much sooner than the 2016 Republican field, which hit a modern political record with 17 major candidates at its peak.
The Week Ahead for Feb. 18, 2019
Welcome back! It’s going to feel like winter in Washington this week, but Democrats are feeling the Bern as Sen. Sanders enters his name into the 2020 Presidential race. On a short week thanks to the President’s Day holiday, both the House and Senate are on recess. Vulnerable House Democrats are keeping themselves busy with more than 40 town halls scheduled this week across the country.
Tuesday, February 19
President Trump has meetings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. He also has lunch with Vice President Mike Pence.
Rep. Max Rose (D-NY) will attend Veterans Breakfast Listening Session at SSG Michael Ollis VFW Post #9587 in Staten Island, NY
Stacey Abrams (D-GA) will attend an Elections Subcommittee Field Hearing at The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA
Reps. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL) and Sylvia Garcia (D-TX) will hold a press conference at The Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Homestead, FL
Gov. Steve Bullock will attend a press event at The Montana State Capitol in Helena, MT
Mucarsel-Powell and Garcia will hold a roundtable in Miami, FL
State Sen. Jeff Jackson (D-NC) will attend NC Senate Judiciary Committee in Raleigh, NC
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will appear on The Late Late Show and Young Turks
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will host a “politics and eggs” event at the Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, NH followed by a fundraiser in Denver, CO
Fmr. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will attend the El Pasoan of the Year event at The Centennial Banquet & Conference Center in Fort Bliss, TX
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY) will attend an open house in Utica, NY
Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) will attend a town hall at Baden Legion Post 641 in Baden, PA
Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI) will attend a reception at The Post Local Bistro in Plymouth, MI
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) will attend host a webinar at the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters in Trenton, NJ
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) will attend a town hall at Goochland Recreation in Goochland, VA
Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) will attend a town hall at Sycamore High School in Sycamore, IL
Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT) will attend a town hall at The Nephi City Corporation in Nephi, UT and a second town hall at the City Hall in Lehi, UT
Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) will attend Town Hall at Milford American Legion Post 139 in Milford, PA
Rep. Harley Rouda (D-CA) will attend a town hall at Estancia High School in Costa Mesa, CA
Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) will attend a forum at The Village Exchange Center in Aurora, CO
Rep. TJ Cox (D-CA) is invited to attend Victory Party at Athena’s Greek Cafe & Grill in Bakersfield, CA
Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) will host a town hall at the Norman Murray Center in Mission Viejo, CA
Wednesday, February 20
Trump will have lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He will also participate in an expanded bilateral meeting with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK) is hosting Coffee with Kendra in Oklahoma City, OK
Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) will attend a district meeting with Moms Demand Action in Minneapolis, MN
Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) will host a town hall at Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, NH
Delgado will attend town hall at Canajoharie Central School District in Canajoharie, NY
Stevens will attend a town hall at Milford High School in Highland, MI
Thursday, February 21
Trump will receive an intelligence briefing, and he and the first lady will attend a reception for National African American History Month.
Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) will attend a conference at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA
Brindisi will hold a town hall at the MVCC Rome campus Dining and Community Hall in Rome, NY
Harris will speak at the I Am Power Rising Conference at a location TBA in New Orleans, LA
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend a fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will attend a campaign event at UAW Local 450 in Des Moines, IA
Fmr. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will attend a book tour stop at the Moss Theater in Santa Monica, CA
Friday, February 22
Ruiz will attend a conference at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA
Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) will hold an open house at One Columbus Center in Virginia Beach, VA
Bullock will attend the National Governors Association’s 111th annual Winter Meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Fmr. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will attend A+ Colorado: How We Evolve at Ironworks in Denver, CO
Harris will speak at the I Am Power Rising Conference at a location TBA in New Orleans, LA
Warren will speak at the 60th Annual McIntyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner at the DoubleTree in Manchester, NH
Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO) will attend POLITICO’s Ninth Annual State Solutions Conference at Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Saturday, February 23
Ruiz will attend a conference at The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort and Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA
Harris will attend a discussion at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, IA; will attend an Iowa Democratic Party Black Caucus event at USW local 310 Union Hall in Des Moines, IA; will attend a town hall at a location TBA in Ankeny, IA
Hickenlooper and Harris will attend a fundraiser at the Story County Democrats Soup Supper at a location TBA in Story County, IA
Booker will attend a reception at the home of Laura and Gary Lauder in Atherton, CA
Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) will attend Town Hall at River Bluff Education Center Cafeteria in Red Wing, MN
Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will attend an open house in Lansing, MI
Horn will attend a town hall at the Oklahoma City Community College College Union Building in Oklahoma City, OK
Spanberger will attend a town hall in Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA
Brindisi will attend an open house in Binghamton, NY
Bullock will attend the National Governors Association’s 111th annual Winter Meeting at Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Sunday, February 24
Malinowski will attend a brunch event in Chester, NJ
Abrams will attend a conversation with Chris Hayes at the The Gramercy Theatre in New York, NY
Malinowski and Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) will attend a Victory Gala in Morris Plains, NJ
Harris will attend a meet and greet and worship at the Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church in Waterloo, IA; will attend a town hall at the Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, IA; and will attend a community conversation at a location TBA in Cedar Rapids, IA
The Political Edge: The GOP House Advantage
In this week’s Political Edge, we look at the GOP House battlefield and where Republicans intend to put Democrats on the defensive. We also delve into a New York Times analysis of the small-dollar donor pools of 2020 Democrats and look at a turnout rate comparison of younger and older voters from the 2018 election.
The Republican House Offensive Battle Map
Last week, the DCCC announced they had named 44 incumbents to their “Frontline” program. Members of the program will receive extra resources from the DCCC as they look to defend their majority. Although the list is mostly comprised of freshmen members, it also includes Trump-district Reps. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) and Matt Cartwright (PA-08), as well as incumbent Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05). On the same day, the NRCC released a list of 55 Democrat-controlled seats it intends to target. Although there is some crossover, there are a few bits of information to note regarding the Republican House offensive front.
There is only one seat the DCCC has promised to defend that the NRCC is not currently targeting: Rep. Jahana Hayes in Connecticut’s 5th District.
There are 12 seats the NRCC intends to target that the DCCC has not yet added to its Frontline program: AZ-02, FL-07, FL-13, FL-27, IA-02, IL-17, MN-03, MN-07, NY-18, OR-04, VA-10, & WI-03.
Small-Dollar Democratic Donors
For Democrats running for President in 2020, small-dollar fundraising will be key. In the early months of the primary, having a strong foundation of small-dollar contributors not only demonstrates strong grassroots support, but is also an indication of potential voter enthusiasm. In 2016, for example, candidate Donald Trump shattered the record for presidential small-dollar fundraising, and his campaign and affiliated committees continue to raise tens of millions of dollars in increments of $200 or less. The New York Times recently conducted an analysis of six years of FEC filings from ActBlue estimating the size of the online donor armies for current and potential Democratic Presidential candidates. The top 5 candidates are listed below:
Bernie Sanders: According to the analysis, “Sanders would begin a 2020 presidential bid with 2.1 million online donors. The particular power of Mr. Sanders’s list was on display in late December when he emailed supporters with the provocative subject line, ‘If I run.’ That single email netted $299,000 from 11,000 donations, according to a senior Sanders official. That is almost the exact amount that Ms. Warren raised on the day she announced she was entering the race, data shows.” The analysis also notes that 87 percent of Sanders’ donors have not contributed to any other potential 2020 candidate.
2) Beto O’Rourke: Coming in second, O’Rourke “has twice as many online donors as anyone eyeing the race besides Mr. Sanders.” Like Sanders, many of O’Rourke’s donors have not contributed to any other potential 2020 candidate (72 percent).
3) Elizabeth Warren: With the third-highest number of small-dollar donors, Warren has notable strength in New Hampshire, where she edges out O’Rourke. Less than half of Warren’s donors have given only to her, among the potential 2020 field.
4) Kirsten Gillibrand: The analysis conducted by The New York Times notes that, among the field, Gillibrand has done a particularly good job of building up broad national support among small donors. Gillibrand “landed on the leader board despite having not faced a competitive election in recent years” and “actually had slightly more donors who were exclusive to her than Ms. Warren — even though she counted 70,000 fewer donors overall.”
5) Kamala Harris: Rounding out the top 5 was Harris, who raised an impressive $1.5 million online in her first 24 hours as a presidential candidate, a number that rivaled Sanders’ announcement in 2015.
Are Younger Voters Turning Out To Vote More Than Older Voters?
Last week, we highlighted a new Pew Research study looking at the 2020 electorate that showed the growing voting block of Gen X, Millennials, and Gen-Z. These three groups are poised to represent 62% of the voting age population in 2020. Following a 2018 midterm that saw record turnout, especially among young people, The Washington Post’s Martin Wattenburg wondered if the increase in turnout reduced the gap between the turnout rates of young and old Americans. His findings: No.
“Although turnout in 2018 rose substantially, it did so fairly equally in all age categories — leaving the age turnout gap unchanged. The average turnout difference between the youngest and oldest age groups in these three states was 41.3 percent in 2018. That’s not much different from the 42.6 percent gap in 2006.”
The Week Ahead for Feb. 11, 2019
We are now only 5 days away from yet another partial government shutdown this year as bipartisan negotiations over border security have reportedly broken down. The Senate will vote to confirm William Barr this week. The House Judiciary Committee will have a full hearing on the oversight of the Trump Administration’s so-called family separation policy. President Trump will host his first 2020 campaign rally in El Paso, Texas at the same time as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s March For Truth. Later in the week the President will meet with the President and First Lady of Colombia.
Monday, February 11
Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) delivers his State of the District address to update constituents, students, and elected officials on the future of North Jersey jobs, education, and the economy.
Democrats Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and New Jersey Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr., Frank Pallone Jr., and Andy Kim outline bipartisan, bicameral legislation to fully restore the federal State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) will attend a Press Club event on ‘Using Sanctions to Protect Journalists’ at the National Press Club in Washington, DC
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend a forum at Morris College in Sumter, SC
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will host the March for Truth: ‘Stop the Wall, Stop the Lies,’ hosted by Women’s March El Paso, to coincide with President Donald Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ rally in the city
President Trump will host a rally in El Paso
Tuesday, February 12
Howard Schultz will attend a CNN Town Hall
House Judiciary members will hold a full committee hearing on oversight of the Trump Administration’s family separation policy in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a ASMSU Political Action Meet and Greet at Montana State Capital in Helena, MT
Tom Steyer will attend a town hall in Springfield, MA
Wednesday, February 13
Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) will speak at an event in Manchester, NH
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) office visit Grand Rapids, MI
DNC Chair Tom Perez, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) will attend the IWillVote Gala in Washington, DC
Schultz will attend a book tour stop at The Parkway Central Library in Philadelphia, PA
Trump addresses the Major County Sheriffs and Major Cities Chiefs Association Joint Conference.
Thursday, February 14
The DNC will host its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Hickenlooper will speak at an event in New Hampshire
Schultz will attend a book tour stop at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC
Friday, February 15
The DNC continues its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Former Vice President Joe Biden will attend the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will attend campaign events in South Carolina
Stacey Abrams will speak at a discussion on race and power at The Brookings Institute in Washington, DC
Booker will attend a Happy Hour at PJ Ryan’s at The Rock in Newark, NJ
Saturday, February 16
The DNC continues its winter meeting at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will attend an organizing event at Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, GA
Biden will attend the Munich Security Conference at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany
Kamala Harris will attend campaign events in South Carolina
The Political Edge: A Snapshot Of The 2020 Electorate
In this week’s edition of The Political Edge, we review a new Pew Research study on the 2020 electorate, recap a McClatchy analysis showing that 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are vying for the same high-dollar donors, and continue to examine the year-end fundraising reports that were released last week.
The 2020 Electorate
With the 2020 election on the horizon, Pew Research Center conducted a study looking the 2020 voting electorate. Their analysis shows several surprising trends that may be useful for campaigns to keep in mind as they gear up for next year.
Young Voters: In 2020, members of Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z will account for 62% of the electorate, the study shows (Gen X – 25%; Millennial – 27%; Gen Z – 10%). Generation Z (those born after 1996) is expected to make up more than 10% of the 2020 electorate, surpassing the elderly Silent Generation for the first time. Generation Z is also both the most ethnically diverse and best-educated age cohort in American history — only 55% of that generation is white, compared with 74% of the Baby Boomer generation.
Baby Boomers: By contrast, the Baby Boom generation is beginning to lose political clout. Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, will make up 28% of the electorate, still the largest generation by population but only narrowly edging out Millennials. Baby Boomers and older generations are expected to account for fewer than four-in-ten eligible voters in 2020. This is a significant change from 2000, when nearly seven-in-ten eligible voters (68%) were Boomers, Silents or members of the Greatest Generation.
Ethnicities: According to the study, one-third of all eligible voters will be nonwhite — a new high. Approximately 10% of potential voters are expected to have been born abroad, up from 6% in 2000. For the first time, Hispanic voters are expected to be the largest nonwhite portion of the electorate at 13.3%, overtaking black voters who are projected to make up 12.5% of the voting pool. That’s a big ongoing shift from 2000, when Hispanic voters accounted for just 7.4 percent of the electorate. Asian voters are projected to make up 4.7 percent of the vote in 2020, up from 2.5 percent in 2000.
2020 Democrats Vying For The Same Donor Pool
As more Democrats enter the 2020 presidential fray, it looks like there is going to be a fight over the limited pool of high-dollar donors. According to a new McClatchy analysis of campaign finance data, the Democrats vying to take on President Donald Trump have hundreds of donors in common. Below are some key takeaways from their analysis.
“More than 1,500 donors have at some point thrown cash to three or more of the current or prospective Democratic contenders – collectively giving more than $9 million to their campaigns and committees.”
“No Democratic presidential contender took in more money from this group of donors than New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who collected $2 million over the course of her political career.”
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren was supported by the largest number of donors, more than half of whom contributed to her campaigns. Warren also shared the most donors in common with other candidates, having received donations from more than 200 donors who also gave to fellow Sens. Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders and Gillibrand.”
“The group of donors includes a mix of big names, such as singers Barbra Streisand and Nancy Sinatra. There is also J.J. Abrams, who is directing the latest installment of the Star Wars series, and Adam McKay, who directed Anchorman. And there are numerous billionaires, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, real estate developer Eli Broad and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.”
House: Year-End Money Fundraising Analysis
Last week, candidates and members of Congress were required to file year-end fundraising reports with the Federal Election Commission. As other political analysts have had a chance to look over the data, several observations have been made. Roll Call’s Bridget Bowman noted that “many Democrats expected to be top Republican targets in 2020 ended last year with depleted campaign coffers.” She notes that “of the 23 freshmen in districts Trump won in 2016, 16 had less than $100,000 on hand at the end of the year. On average, these 23 freshmen had roughly $88,000 in the bank.”
Noah Rudnick at Decision Desk HQ crunched the final numbers and came up with several superlatives:
Outspending The Competition: “First up is wine distributor David Trone in Maryland’s 6th, who outspent his opponent by $15.9 million, more than the 62 cheapest House races combined. After spending $12 million in 2016 just to lose in a primary where one of his first events was a meet and greet outside of the district, Trone poured his heart and soul and deep pockets into this one to ensure a victory. Even this may be short-lived though, as the Supreme Court takes a look at his seat with a high chance of dismantling it next cycle.”
Most Spent: “The honor for most spent in a campaign this cycle, however, comes from Katie Hill, who knocked off incumbent Steve Knight in California’s 25th district by 8.7%. Her campaign plus Democratic outside spending ended up putting $22 million in total which comes out to about $165 per vote. This is more overall spending than 8 presidential contenders’ campaigns and roughly the same cash per vote as Rand Paul.”
Biggest Flop: “The dubious distinction of biggest flop goes to Pennsylvania’s 1st Democratic candidate Scott Wallace, who spent the most money on a losing campaign, just over $101 per vote and $16.3 million total while failing to capture the Bucks County-dominated seat. This had more even spending overall, but Wallace self-funded while outside groups rushed in to back his opponent from getting too overspent.”
Most Efficient: “The most efficient candidate was Texas’ 24th Democratic candidate Jan McDowell, who only spent $93,380, one of the lowest candidate totals, but rode Beto-mania to losing the contest by just under 3%-an incredible 75 cents per vote in the end. While this is an impressive performance, the lackluster fundraising and spending may mean McDowell is not in a strong position with the national party to run again in 2020, if this race gets attention.”
The Week Ahead for Feb. 4, 2019
It’s a busy week in Washington. President Trump will deliver the State of the Union address on Tuesday followed by the Democratic response from Stacey Abrams. On Thursday he delivers remarks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast, and attorney general nominee, Bill Barr, is expected to receive a committee vote.
The House will vote this week on the Veterans’ Access to Child Care Act. The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing on presidential tax returns. The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker. The Senate will vote on Monday “to adopt the bipartisan McConnell amendment to S1, the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act.
Monday, February 4
Senate is back in session
Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) will attend a rally for Montana’s future leaders at The Governor’s Reception Room at the Montana Capitol in Helena, MT
Howard Schultz will attend a book tour stop at VenueSIX10 at 610 S Michigan Avenue in Chicago, IL
Tuesday, February 5
President Trump will deliver the State Of The Union address at the U.S. Capitol
Stacey Abrams, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate, will deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) will attend the State of the Union with air traffic control specialist Trisha Pesiri-Dybvik at the US Capitol in Washington, DC
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will attend Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversation in Times Square, New York City, NY
Howard Schultz will attend a book tour stop at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA
Wednesday, February 6
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) will attend the National Rural Health Association Policy Institute at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC
Trump has dinner with faith leaders.
Thursday, February 7
Trump delivers remarks at the 2019 National Prayer Breakfast and has lunch with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Harris will attend a reception in Midtown New York, NY
Friday, February 8
The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with Acting Attorney General Matthew Whittaker at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) will attend an event in Mason City, IA and a roundtable in Waterloo, IA
Saturday, February 9
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) will make a presidential announcement in Lawrence, MA
Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA) will attend the Young Women Run Atlanta Event at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA
Booker will attend a forum in Des Moines, IA
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will attend The Granite Slate Awards at the Currier Museum in Manchester, NH
Sunday, February 10
Warren will attend an organizing event at the Veterans Memorial Building in Des Moines, IA; an organizing event at the Iowa Memorial Union at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA; and a roundtable discussion at The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, IA
Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) will attend a town hall at Richland College in Dallas, TX
Past Is Prologue: What We Might Expect To Happen In The 2020 Election
Over the past several weeks, AR Intel has been recapping the first midterms and reelection of our last three Presidents, looking for trends that might give us an idea of what to expect in 2020. Although it’s a limited sampling, there are lessons to be learned from looking at the data.
In today’s “Past is Prologue,” we wrap up our series by looking at each president’s successes (or failures) from a “30,000 ft. view.” We’ll take a quick look at how each president performed and compare it with the others, with an eye toward 2020.
Top Line – Historical House & Senate Gains
|President||# Of House Seats After 1st Election||# Of House Seats After 1st Midterm||# Of House Seats After 1st Reelection|
|Clinton (D)||258 (D)||204 (D-54)||207 (D+3)|
|Bush (R)||220 (R)||229 (R+9)||233 (R+4)|
|Obama (D)||257 (D)||193 (D-63)||201 (D+8)|
|Trump (R)||241 (R)||199 (R-41)*||?|
|President||# Of Senate Seats After 1st Election||# Of Senate Seats After 1st Midterm||# Of Senate Seats After 1st Reelection|
|Clinton (D)||57 (D)||48 (D-9)||45 (D+3)|
|Bush (R)||49 (R)||51 (R+2)||55 (R+4)|
|Obama (D)||59 (D)||53 (D-6)||55 (D+2)|
|Trump (R)||51 (R)||52 (R+2)||?|
*Does not include results from NC-09
President Bill Clinton (1994 & 1996)
Bottom Line: Clinton had a firmly Democratic Congress when he was first elected. However, the 1994 midterm saw those majorities crumble. Despite minor gains in Clinton’s 1996 reelection bid, Democrats were not able to rebuild their majority in either the House or the Senate.
President George W. Bush (2002 & 2004)
Bottom Line: When Bush came into office, he faced a divided Congress. Bucking historical trends, Republicans were able to make incremental gains, taking back the Senate in 2002 and growing their House majority in 2002 and 2004.
President Barack Obama (2010 & 2012)
Bottom Line: Coming on the heels of a Republican presidency with low approval ratings, Obama and the Democrats were swept into office with an imposing majority in the House and Senate. Democrats lost the House in spectacular fashion in 2010 and were only able to make minor gains in 2012. In the Senate, they lost seats (but maintained control) in 2010 and marginally increased their majority in 2012.
President Donald Trump (2018 & 2020)
Given the performances of the previous three presidents (and their respective parties), what might we be able to deduce about Republicans’ and President Trump’s chances in 2020? The Congress President Trump had through his first two years appears to be fairly unique compared to his presidential contemporaries.
Following the election of President Trump, Republicans enjoyed a 241-seat majority in the House and a 51-seat majority in the Senate. Their House majority was not insignificant (though not quite as big as Clinton/Obama), and their Senate majority looked more like Bush’s after he was first elected. Those comparisons also could carry over to President Trump’s first midterm; Republicans lost a significant amount of House seats (like Clinton/Obama), and like Bush, they picked up a couple seats in the Senate.
In 2020, it would be reasonable to believe that Republicans will keep the Senate. Outside forecasters have already noted that the 2020 senate map is favorable to the GOP, and history shows, at least for the last three presidents, that the commander-in-chief’s party usually ends up gaining seats during their reelection.
Although the president’s party has gained seats in the House during their reelection, the data suggests a more modest forecast for 2020. Neither Clinton, Bush, nor Obama were able to break double-digit gains in their reelection campaigns. And while there are 31 Democrats who currently sit in districts carried by President Trump in 2016, Republicans will have to defend at least 22 seats that were decided by 5 points or less in 2018. Republicans may be able to pick up seats in 2020, but if past is prologue, they have a steep hill to climb to regain the majority.
The Political Edge: Looking At The 33 Seats The DCCC Is Targeting
On Monday, the DCCC announced they intend to target (at least) 33 seats in the 2020 election. With President Trump at the top of the ballot in 2020, Democrats will try to defend and grow their House majority after gaining it last year for the first time since 2011. To accompany the announcement, AR Intel has put together an overview of what kind of districts Democrats appear to be targeting next year. Many of the seats listed by the DCCC are in suburban areas where the 2018 election was decided by 5 points or less.
Below are some top line bits of information gleaned from the data followed by a spreadsheet with the complete data.
DCCC Round I Target Info
Most Targeted State: The state with the most targeted districts is Texas, with 6 seats. Democrats are targeting 4 seats in New York and 3 seats in both Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
PVI: There is only one member Democrats are targeting whose seat has a Dem-leaning PVI: NY-24, represented by John Katko, has a D+3 PVI. 26 seats have a PVI ranging from R+1 to R+9, and 11 seats have a PVI of R+5 or less.
2018 Margins: 22 of the 33 seats were decided by 5 points or less in 2018. All but 2 seats were decided by a single digit margin last year.
Trump/Clinton Districts: There are 16 districts that President Trump carried by single digits. There are only 3 districts currently held by Republicans that Hillary Clinton won in 2016 (NY-24, PA-01, and TX-23), and Democrats are targeting all three.
2016–2018 Swing: Last year, Republicans under-performed Trump in the targeted districts by an average of 5.4 points. There are only 5 Republicans that over-performed Trump in 2018: Reps. David Schweikert (AZ-06), Susan Brooks (IN-05), Will Hurd (TX-23), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), and John Katko (NY-24).
Ratings: All 4 seats rated as “Republican toss up” by the Cook Political Report are being targeted by the DCCC. There are 14 seats rated as “lean Republican,” 12 rated as “likely Republican,” and 3 rated as “safe Republican.”
Suburban/Rural: CityLab considers 19 of the seats “dense” or “sparse suburban” and 3 of the seats “pure rural.” The remaining 11 seats are considered a “rural-suburban mix.”
Region: 8 districts being targeted are in the Southeast. There are 7 seats targeted each in the Midwest, Northeast, and Southwest. 4 seats are located on the west coast.
|District||Incumbent||PVI||2018 Margin||2016 Trump Margin||Swing Vs. 2016||Cook Rating||Sabato Rating||District Type|
|AZ-06||David Schweikert||R+9||10.4||9.8||0.6||Likely R||Likely R||Dense Suburban|
|CA-22||Devin Nunes||R+8||5.4||9.3||-3.9||Likely R||Likely R||Dense Suburban|
|CA-50||Duncan Hunter||R+11||3.4||15||-11.6||Lean R||Likely R||Dense Suburban|
|CO-03||Scott Tipton||R+6||8||11.9||-3.9||Safe R||Likely R||Pure Rural|
|FL-15||Ross Spano||R+6||6.0||10.0||-4.0||Lean R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|FL-18||Brian Mast||R+5||8.6||9.2||-0.6||Safe R||Likely R||Sparse Suburban|
|GA-07||Rob Woodall||R+9||0.2||6.4||-6.2||Toss Up||Toss Up||Sparse Suburban|
|IA-04||Steve King||R+11||3.3||27.1||-23.8||Likely R||Likely R||Pure Rural|
|IL-13||Rodney Davis||R+3||0.8||5.3||-4.5||Lean R||Lean R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|IN-05||Susan Brooks||R+9||13.5||11.7||1.8||Safe R||Safe R||Sparse Suburban|
|KY-06||Andy Barr||R+9||3.2||15.3||-12.1||Likely R||Likely R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|MI-06||Fred Upton||R+4||4.6||8.4||-3.8||Likely R||Lean R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|MN-01||Jim Hagedorn||R+5||0.5||14.8||-14.3||Likely R||Likely R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|MO-02||Ann Wagner||R+8||4.0||10.3||-6.3||Lean R||Lean R||Dense Suburban|
|NC-02||George Holding||R+7||5.5||11.5||-6.0||Lean R||Likely R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|NC-09||VACANT||R+8||N/A||12.0||N/A||Toss Up||Toss Up||Sparse Suburban|
|NC-13||Ted Budd||R+6||6.0||9.2||-3.2||Likely R||Likely R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|NE-02||Don Bacon||R+4||2.0||2.2||-0.2||Lean R||Toss Up||Dense Suburban|
|NY-01||Lee Zeldin||R+5||4.1||12.2||-8.1||Likely R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|NY-02||Peter King||R+3||6.2||8.9||-2.7||Likely R||Likely R||Dense Suburban|
|NY-24||John Katko||D+3||5.3||-3.6||8.9||Likely R||Lean R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|NY-27||Chris Collins||R+11||0.4||24.3||-23.9||Lean R||Likely R||Pure Rural|
|OH-01||Steve Chabot||R+5||4.4||6.6||-2.2||Lean R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|PA-01||Brian Fitzpatrick||R+1||2.5||-2||4.5||Lean R||Toss Up||Sparse Suburban|
|PA-10||Scott Perry||R+6||2.6||8.9||-6.3||Lean R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|PA-16||Mike Kelly||R+8||4.3||19.9||-15.6||Likely R||Likely R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|TX-10||Michael McCaul||R+9||4.3||9.1||-4.8||Lean R||Lean R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|TX-21||Chip Roy||R+10||2.6||9.9||-7.3||Lean R||Lean R||Dense Suburban|
|TX-22||Pete Olson||R+10||4.9||7.8||-2.9||Lean R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|TX-23||Will Hurd||R+1||0.4||-3.5||3.9||Toss Up||Toss Up||Rural-Suburban Mix|
|TX-24||Kenny Marchant||R+9||3.1||6.2||-3.1||Toss Up||Lean R||Dense Suburban|
|TX-31||John Carter||R+10||2.9||12.5||-9.6||Lean R||Lean R||Sparse Suburban|
|WA-03||Jaime Herrera Beutler||R+4||5.3||7.4||-2.1||Likely R||Lean R||Rural-Suburban Mix|
Past Is Prologue: The Status Quo Election Of 2012
In 2010, Democrats experienced one of their most embarrassing electoral defeats, losing 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats. Following their “shellacking,” Democrats hoped their political fortunes would change in 2012. However, despite historical trends that show Democrats with a turnout advantage in presidential years, the party faced significant challenges. To take back the majority in the House, Democrats needed a net gain of 25 seats. And while they had control of the Senate, their one-seat majority was in jeopardy, as they would have to defend 23 of the 33 Senate seats up in 2012.
The campaign narratives of each party largely focused on “bread and butter” issues rather than on new ideas and proposals. Both presidential candidates tended to avoid highlighting their own positions in favor of attacking the other side. The campaign for Republican candidate Mitt Romney decided early on that the election would be won by voter dissatisfaction with the economy and associated national problems, such as unprecedented U.S. government debt. President Obama, meanwhile, zeroed in on Romney’s opposition to inclusion of abortion and contraception benefits under the Obama health care plan and on Bain Capital’s record on creating U.S. jobs and investing in China.
Heading into the election, national opinion appeared to be almost evenly divided. However, most political forecasters expected Obama to win reelection. President Obama won the election with 332 electoral votes compared to Romney’s 206. Despite his victory, it became clear that the enthusiasm that ushered him into office in 2008 was beginning to wear off. Obama received nearly four million fewer votes than he had in 2008, and his coattails did little to help Democrats in the legislature. In the House, they gained only 8 seats – a far cry from the 25 they needed. While they were able to increase their Senate majority by 2, most pundits would agree they were largely helped by gaffes committed by Republican candidates.
All in all, the 2012 election was one that kept the status quo. It did not usher in any sweeping reforms or new ideas, but rather kept the country on the same track – for better or worse.
A full breakdown of the 2012 election cycle is below.
BY THE NUMBERS
Party Division Change By Congress*
112th Congress (2011-2012): 193 Dems / 242 GOP
113th Congress (2013-2014): 201 Dems / 234 GOP
Democrats had a net gain of 8 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives through the 2012 election cycle.
Republicans flipped 11 seats.
Democrats flipped 18 seats.
There were 6 special elections in the House held between Jan. 1, 2011 and the November 2012 election.
Republicans flipped 1 Democrat seat through a special election.
Democrats flipped 1 Republican seat through a special election.
There were 38 members who did not run again or who sought other offices.
20 Democrats / 18 GOP
27 incumbents were defeated in the 2012 election.
Republicans flipped 10 seats by defeating the incumbent Democrat.
Democrats flipped 17 seats by defeating the incumbent Republican.
Party Division Change By Congress*
112th Congress (2011-2012): 51 Dems / 47 GOP / 2 Ind (Caucused w/ Dems)
113th Congress (2013-2014): 53 Dems / 45 GOP / 2 Ind (Caucused w/ Dems)
33 Senate seats were up for election in 2012 (10 GOP / 23 Dem)
Democrats had a net gain of 2 seats in the U.S. Senate through the 2012 election cycle.
Republicans flipped 1 seat.
Democrats flipped 3 seats.
There were no special elections in the Senate held between Jan. 1, 2011 and the end of 2012.
There were 10 Senators who did not run again or who sought other offices (7 Dem / 3 GOP)
Republicans flipped 1 open seat.
1 Senate incumbent was defeated by the opposing party in the 2012 election.
Democrats flipped 1 seat by defeating the incumbent Republican.
“Vital Statistics On Congress,” Brookings Institute;
Election 2012 – Senate Map, The New York Times, Accessed 1/23/19
“The U.S. Election of 2012,” Encyclopedia Britannica, Accessed 1/23/19
* Figures presented are the House/Senate party divisions as of the initial election results. Subsequent changes in membership due to deaths, resignations, contested or special elections, or changes in a Member’s party affiliation are not included.
**The “flipped seat” number reflects shifts in party control of seats from immediately before to immediately after the November elections. It does not include party gains resulting from the creation of new districts and does not account for situations in which two districts were reduced to one, thus forcing incumbents to run against each other. The Senate figure does not count Connecticut, which was vacated by Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucused with Democrats. The seat was won by Democrat Chris Murphy.
*** The special election figure does not include special elections held on the day of the general election.
The Political Edge: The Republican Response To ActBlue
A couple of weeks ago, AR Intel provided an overview of ActBlue, a fundraising platform for Democratic candidates and left-leaning groups that helped them raise $1.6 billion through the 2018 election cycle. At the end of the piece, we noted GOP challenges in creating a similar fundraising infrastructure and highlighted that its success would require buy-in across multiple Republican Party groups and processing vendors.
In this week’s edition of The Political Edge, we provide an overview of the GOP’s recently announced platform designed to compete with ActBlue and recap the initial House ratings provided by the political forecasters at Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
The GOP’s Answer To ActBlue
This week, Republican officials announced they had come to an agreement to create a new platform dubbed Patriot Pass. A Republican answer to ActBlue, Patriot Pass will be used to cultivate and process online donations. Below is a brief overview about Patriot Pass and how it will work in the Republican ecosystem.
Patriot Pass is expected to be a joint venture between Data Trust (the RNC’s designated clearinghouse of voter information) and Revv, a donation processor used by the Trump campaign.
As part of the agreement, Victory Passport, a small-dollar platform used widely by Republican congressional candidates, is expected to eventually shutter and encourage its clients to use the new platform.
Patriot Pass has received the explicit blessing of party leaders and is expected to launch next month.
Candidates will not be required to use Patriot Pass and are free to use any other payment processors on the market.
Final details of how Patriot Pass will function are still being worked out. However, it’s expected to have many of the same features as ActBlue. Per Politico:
“Visitors will be able to send one-click donations to their candidate of choice. Afterward, their screen will repopulate with suggestions of other campaigns to contribute to.”
“Designers intend to create the capability for tandem fundraising, a mechanism that allows candidates to split their donations — and essentially tie themselves to — others who have widespread grass-roots support. House contenders, for example, will be able to send out solicitations asking for contributions for themselves and Trump.”
“Givers will be asked to pay a small processing fee comparable to the 3.95 percent-per-transaction fee imposed by ActBlue. Party officials say Data Trust will use revenues to make improvements to the platform.”
“Once a contribution is complete, the donor’s information will be appended to their voter files stored at Data Trust.”
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball Initial House Ratings
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball became the second political forecaster to release its initial House ratings, joining The Cook Political Report this week in providing their take on the 2020 cycle. Although the two sites have similar ideas of which races may be competitive in 2020, they disagree on several classifications. For example, unlike the Cook analysis, Sabato’s managing editor, Kyle Kondik, believes both Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) are in “toss up” races. Sabato’s Crystal Ball also believes there are fewer Democratic “toss ups” in 2020; they rate 10 races as “Democratic toss ups” compared to the Cook Political report, which rates 16 races as such. More background on Sabato’s House ratings is below.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball believes that Democrats are favored to hold their House majority. Republicans need a net gain of 18 seats to take back the House, and President Trump’s reelection coattails may not help. The last five reelected presidents saw their parties fall short of that net total in their election years, and the House hasn’t switched from one party to the other and then back again in consecutive elections since 1952-1954.
The 10 Democratic Toss-ups are all first-term Democrats in districts Trump won in 2016 by at least 3.5 points (and, in some cases, by double digits). The GOP Toss-up column includes the vacant NC-09, two of three remaining Hillary Clinton-won districts held by Republicans (PA-01 & TX-23), and two Trump-won suburban districts (GA-07 & NE-02) that were also very close in 2018 and that could break against the president in 2020.
Sabato’s Crystal Ball is starting with more Democratic seats (27) than Republican ones (20) in the very competitive ‘Toss-up’ and ‘Lean’ categories. That’s in large part because Democrats now control 31 Trump-won seats while Republicans only control three Clinton-won seats.
They do not list any of the Democrats’ newly-won California seats among the Toss-ups, even though several were decided only by a few points, because Hillary Clinton carried them in 2016 and it’s reasonable to expect the Democratic presidential nominee to once again carry them in 2020. The opposite is true in MN-01 and MN-08. Both voted for Trump by double digits, and if that repeats itself, it’s hard to see how Democrats can win those districts back.