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 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
4 Things To Know About Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff
Democrat Andrew Romanoff jumped into the 2020 race to challenge Sen. Cory Gardner, according a Thursday report by the Denver Post. The field of high-profile candidates is growing quickly; last week AR Intel highlighted Mike Johnston (D-CO), a failed 2018 gubernatorial candidate who also officially entered the race.
Andrew Romanoff is a fairly well-known entity in Colorado politics and would be a formidable opponent in both a Democratic primary and a general election. In anticipation of his Senate announcement, AR Intel pulled together the 4 most important things to know about Andrew Romanoff.
1) Successful State Politician, Unsuccessful Federal Politician
Romanoff was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 2000, and he held his seat until 2008. In 2004, after serving only two terms, Romanoff was named Speaker of the House. Romanoff led House Democrats until 2008.
In September 2009, Romanoff announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate. Although he had the backing of former President Bill Clinton, his run was short lived. In August 2010, Romanoff was defeated in the Democratic primary by Sen. Michael Bennett (who went on to win the general election). Four years later, Romanoff would make a second run for federal office, this time against incumbent Rep. Mike Coffman in Colorado’s 6th Congressional District. Romanoff was once again unsuccessful and lost to Coffman by nearly 9 points.
Since losing his election over four years ago, Romanoff has largely removed himself from the public eye. He has served as the president and CEO of Mental Health Colorado since 2015, and most of his public statements over the past several years have been centered on the issues of mental health.
2) Opposed Giving Tax Surpluses Back To Taxpayers
In 2008, Romanoff led a crusade to change the state constitution by undoing parts of the “Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.” Amendment 59, sponsored by Romanoff, would have eliminated the constitutional requirement that revenues in excess of a certain amount be refunded to taxpayers. The amendment would have effectively allowed the state government to keep tax surpluses for themselves and deny taxpayers’ ability to control excessive government spending during prosperous times.
Romanoff justified his ballot initiative by arguing that the change could be used to help create a “rainy day fund” for state education. Despite this olive branch, Romanoff failed to receive support for the initiative from teachers unions in the state. The initiative failed and only garnered support from about 42% of voters.
3) Single-Payer Advocate
When running against him in 2010, Romanoff argued that he was more progressive than Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). One area he pointed to in order to highlight the difference between the two was Romanoff’s total commitment to single-payer health care. When The Denver Post asked him what the key policy differences between him and Sen. Bennet, Romanoff had the following to say:
“I support a universal, single-payer, non-profit health plan [for] the same reason the rest of the industrialized world has taken that route. My opponent, to the best of my ability, does not. It’s a little hard to tell. In some cases the differences between us is that I take positions. When people ask me questions, if I have a stand I try to answer it. If I don’t, I acknowledge that, too.”
4) In Favor Of Carbon Taxes
In the same interview with The Denver Post in which he trumpeted his support for single-payer, Romanoff also expressed his support for a carbon tax. When asked what his preferred energy policy would be, he had the following to say:
“I don’t think there’s a single solution here because the responsibility rests not just with the American government or state governments but with individuals, with consumers, with homeowners, with businesses, ranches and farms. We ought to harness all of these efforts in the public and private sectors to reduce our use of fossil fuel and to minimize carbon emissions and to increase energy efficiency and conservation.”
When asked specifically about a cap-and-trade bill, Romanoff said he would prefer a “revenue neutral carbon tax:”
“I think the cap and trade plan, or variations thereof, are less transparent, less efficient, less effective, more susceptible to gaming, than a revenue-neutral carbon tax. And by that I mean you would increase the fees on pollution and decrease the tax on income. You’re going to get less of any activity that you tax so what we’re doing by taxing work is discouraging the sort of activity we ought to be promoting. What we ought to be discouraging instead is carbon emissions, and that’s where a fee would be more properly placed.”
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.”
5 Things to Know About Mike Johnston, the Democrat Challenging Cory Gardner
At least one Democrat hopes to take on Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) in the 2020 election, and he made his intentions known on Thursday. Mike Johnston, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018, is hoping his political fortunes are a little better in 2020. A former educator and state senator, Johnston is the best known candidate to announce he’s running to take on Gardner.
But he likely won’t be the last. Back in November, AR Intel noted that Johnston and speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Crisanta Duran, would likely jump in the race. While there’s not yet any clear indication from Duran that she will indeed run, AR Intel takes a deeper dive into the background of Johnston below:
1) Career Background
Much of Johnston’s career has been in the education field. After graduating from Yale University in 1997, Johnston worked as a teacher in Mississippi. In 1999, he co-founded New Leaders for New Schools, a nonprofit committed to “developing transformational school leaders.” His background in education led him to serve as an educational adviser to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
In May 2009, Johnston was elected to the Colorado State Senate, where he served until 2017. He followed up his state legislature career by launching a campaign for Colorado governor. Johnston did not move beyond the Democratic primary, however, placing third in the race with a little over 23 percent of the vote.
2) Known For Education Reform
Johnston is most well known for his educational reform efforts, authoring several bills while in the state senate. According to The Denver Post, he is “best known for” his teacher effectiveness law, which tied teachers’ evaluations to their students’ academic growth and weakened teacher tenure protections. He was a “key figure” in the passage of the READ Act, which created a new system to identify students in kindergarten through third grade with reading disabilities, and he worked to pass the ASSET bill, which provided in-state tuition for students who were born in another country.
Johnston’s efforts to push for educational reform drew the ire of teachers unions. Two influential teachers unions endorsed Johnston’s opponent, Cary Kennedy, in Colorado’s Democratic primary for governor in part because of Johnston’s ties to the education reform community.
3) Gun Control Advocate
Aside from education reform, Johnston is also known for his strong gun control positions. Johnston was a vocal advocate of a package of gun control legislation passed by the Colorado senate in 2013, and said he would advocate for its implementation on a national level. He made gun control a central issue in his gubernatorial campaign and Johnston said he would not shy away from raising the issue of gun laws during the race. In fact, a large portion of the money he raised came from gun-control advocates like Michael Bloomberg.
In November 2018, Johnston penned an editorial in The Denver Post urging “elected officials to take action on common sense gun safety like banning high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks, banning bump stocks and enacting strong red flag laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who are dangerous.”
4) Supports ObamaCare and Universal Health Care
As a supporter of ObamaCare, Johnston opposed Republican efforts to repeal the law. In October 2017, he agreed that federal proposals to allow each state to develop and run their own health insurance programs as a replacement to ObamaCare made little sense.
Johnston has advocated for universal healthcare and said he supports allowing any Coloradan to buy into the state’s Medicaid program. Doing so, he argued, would serve as a way to bolster the negotiating power of the program with providers and creating more competition in the insurance market. Johnston also specifically said that he would want to limit the Medicaid buy-in option to areas of the state that have only one private insurer currently offering plans.
5) Tax Cut Opponent
Despite the fact that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is expected to save Coloradan families over $775, Johnston opposes the law. He criticized Sen. Cory Gardner’s support for the bill, saying it “created new threats.”
Johnston has also supported tax increases. During his time at the statehouse, Johnston unsuccessfully campaigned for a $1 billion income tax increase to fund the state’s schools.
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.
Senate Rumors: The Latest on Who Might Run in Arizona, Georgia, & Kansas
Despite only being a few weeks into 2019, the rumor mill is already active regarding potential candidates for 2020 Senate seats. Three states offer three unique scenarios in this installment: the seat vacated by Sen. John McCain and currently being held by Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ); the seat held by Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who is running for reelection; and the seat left open by the retiring Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas.
Expect competitive primaries in each state and the dynamics to change dramatically between now and this time next year. For now, here’s the latest on rumored candidates in Arizona, Georgia, and Kansas:
Arizona continues to be a hotbed for candidate rumors. The latest involves the husband of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ), Mark Kelly. Last week, the group 314 Action announced it’s launching an effort to “draft” Kelly, a former NASA astronaut, into the Senate race. The group, which backs candidates with scientific backgrounds, said it is putting a “six-figure” digital ad buy into the effort.
Should he win the nomination, Kelly would face Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ), who was appointed to fulfill the remainder of Sen. John McCain’s term after Sen. Jon Kyl stepped down.
Both Kelly and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who represents part of Phoenix, have met with the Democratic Senatorial Committee (DSCC) about potentially running. Gallego said he would make a decision about running for the seat “in the coming weeks.”
And speaking of McCain, his former chief of staff, Grant Woods, is still considering a run as well. Woods previously served as Arizona’s attorney general as a Republican in the 1990s but would run for this seat as a Democrat. He, too, has met with the DSCC.
Speaking of taking meetings with the DSCC, 2018 failed gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), who serves as chair of the DSCC, about potentially challenging Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) in 2020.
Abrams “electrified Democrats,” according to CNN, but she fell 2 points short to Brian Kemp, who was sworn in as governor earlier this month. She lingered in sour grapes territory longer than most losing candidates, openly debating legal challenges, but ultimately backed down a couple weeks after Election Day.
Abrams might not be able to clear the field, however, if she runs. The mayor of Columbus, Georgia, Theresa Tomlinson, is also rumored to be seriously considering a Senate bid. She might find it difficult competing with Abrams, who established a national fundraising network and brought real star power to her campaign by having Oprah Winfrey campaign for her.
Pressure continues to grow on President Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to jump into the Kansas Senate race. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) announced he’s retiring at the end of his term, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is eager to keep the seat in Republican hands. NRSC Chair, Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), touted Pompeo during an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt. “I can conceive of no one who I’d rather work with in the United States Senate from the state of Kansas than Mike Pompeo,” he said.
During a conversation with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, Pompeo said his “singular focus” is keeping Americans safe in his current role as secretary of state.
Republicans are eager to back a candidate who can win. Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach lost the 2018 gubernatorial race and is seriously considering a bid himself. Kobach lost what many thought was a winnable race for Republicans thanks to a series of gaffes.
Per Fox News, there is a whole host of Republicans who might jump in the race: “Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, former Gov. Jeff Colyer, Rep. Roger Marshall, former Rep. Kevin Yoder and Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, are among other possible contenders.”
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.