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RandySF's Journal
RandySF's Journal
October 31, 2020

WA-03: In Southwest Washington, health care and the president dominate Herrera Beutler, Long rematch

There are 21 congressional districts in the contiguous United States that border the Pacific Ocean. The one in Southwest Washington, held by Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler for the last 10 years, is the only one still held by a Republican.

Carolyn Long, who’s challenging Herrera Beutler for the second time after falling short in 2018, hopes to give Democrats a clean sweep of the West Coast with a campaign focused on expanding access to health care and harnessing dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump, even in a traditionally Republican district.

Outside money has begun to pour into the district, more than any other congressional race in Washington, as both national parties have targeted the race as competitive, despite Herrera Beutler’s healthy margin of victory in the August primary.

The Third Congressional District covers all or part of eight counties in Southwest Washington and stretches from the fishing and timber towns on the Pacific Coast, east through Vancouver and its surrounding suburbs, to sparsely populated agricultural regions in Skamania and Klickitat counties.

Herrera Beutler won the primary with 56% of the vote to 40% for Long. And Herrera Beutler beat Long in 2018, 53% to 47%.

Still, the spending from national party PACs is indicative of a race closer than the primary results would predict. Democratic groups, chiefly the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have spent about $1 million supporting Long’s candidacy. Republican groups, primarily the National Republican Congressional Committee and another super PAC controlled by House Republicans, have spent more than $1.7 million to protect Herrera Beutler’s seat.


October 31, 2020

Republican Joni Ernst pulls ahead of Democrat Theresa Greenfield in closing days of U.S. Senate race

Republican U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst has pulled ahead of Democrat Theresa Greenfield in the closing stretch of a contentious U.S. Senate race, according to a new Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll.

Ernst leads 46% to 42% over Greenfield, the Iowa Poll shows. Another 3% say they plan to vote for someone else, 1% do not plan to vote in the Senate race, 3% are unsure and 4% already voted but did not want to say which candidate they support.

The poll of 814 likely Iowa voters was conducted by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines from Oct. 26-29. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

“It's really both a matter of Ernst rising and Greenfield fading a little bit,” said J. Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co. “There's sort of an equilibrium in terms of what's happening.”

This is the final 2020 Iowa Poll before the election, and it's the first time Ernst has led in the poll this year.


October 31, 2020

NC-11: U.S. House race gets expensive

Republican congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn’s campaign has raised more than twice as much money as that of Democratic opponent Morris “Moe” Davis, but Davis entered the homestretch of the race for Western North Carolina’s 11th District U.S. House seat with the most money in the bank.

A short speech before the Republican National Convention, the attention generated by a June 23 runoff primary, an extensive and expensive fundraising effort and $361,000 Cawthorn loaned his campaign all contributed to the $3.2 million Cawthorn had raised as of Sept. 30.

Through the same date, according to reports the campaigns filed with the Federal Election Commission, Davis had raised $1.5 million but had $825,830 left to spend versus the $516,612 Cawthorn had on hand.

Chris Cooper, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, says the numbers suggest the race in the Republican-leaning 11th is closer than originally expected, or at least is perceived that way.

“People don’t give money to surefire losers and they don’t give much to surefire winners, particularly ones who wouldn’t have much power in the chamber,” he says.

Fundraising by the major party nominees in the 11th hasn’t reached this year’s heights since 2006, when Democrat Heath Shuler and Republican Charles Taylor pulled in a total of $6.2 million. After state legislators redrew the district in 2011 to put much of Democratic stronghold Buncombe County in the 10th District, Republican Mark Meadows regularly won the 11th by wide margins and had little need to raise large sums while Democratic challengers typically struggled to attract donations.


October 31, 2020

LGBTQ representation in the House could double on Election Day

There are currently seven LGBTQ representatives in the House, all Democrats and all expected win re-election: David Cicilline of Rhode Island; Chris Pappas of New Hampshire; Sean Patrick Maloney of New York; Mark Pocan of Wisconsin; Angie Craig of Minnesota; Mark Takano of California; and Sharice Davids of Kansas, who became first openly gay Native American woman in Congress in 2018.

There are two LGBTQ U.S. senators — Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both Democrats. Neither is up for re-election.

Eight House candidates endorsed by the Victory Fund, all Democrats, are challengers, including Beth Doglio in Washington, Pat Hackett in Indiana, Tracy Mitrano in upstate New York, and Georgette Gómez, the San Diego City Council president running in California’s 53rd Congressional District.

The nine known LGBTQ congressional candidates the fund has not endorsed include seven Democrats and two Republicans.

Gomez is up against fellow Democrat Sara Jacobs for a seat left vacant by the retirement of Rep. Susan Davis. If she wins, Gomez, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, would be the first LGBTQ Latina in Congress.

“It's something that I've been fighting for and will continue to push forward, to defend immigrants, to defend immigrant rights, to move this country to start addressing comprehensive immigration reform,” she told NBC News.


October 31, 2020

IN-05: Political analysis group switches Indiana 5th Congressional District to 'tilt Democrat'

In a warning sign for Republicans heading into election week, Indiana's 5th Congressional District election switched from being rated a 'toss-up' to 'tilt Democrat' by nonpartisan political analysis group Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.

Gonzales posted the same ratings change on Roll Call.

The newest ratings change, along with Democrat Christina Hale's fundraising, paints a rosy picture for Hale as she faces off against Republican Victoria Spartz to replace retiring Republican Susan Brooks, someone who branded herself as a moderate Republican. Libertarian Ken Tucker is also running.

On Oct. 1, Inside Elections had switched the rating for the district from "lean Republican" to a "toss up," following Sabato's Crystal Ball and Cook Political Report. FiveThirtyEight also has labeled the district a "toss-up," giving Hale a slight edge over Spartz.

Historically, the district — which stretches from the northern parts of Marion County up to the city of Marion and includes all of Hamilton County — has reliably elected Republicans. In 2018, Republican Rep. Susan Brooks won by nearly 14 percentage points and in 2016, President Donald Trump won the district by nearly 12 percentage points.


October 31, 2020

Poll: Biden, Trump tied in bellwether Vigo County, IN


See new Tweets

Emerson College Polling

General Election
Someone else 3%
Undecided 0%
October 31, 2020

Predictions on Virginia's elections results

Who will win: Incumbent Sen. Mark R. Warner

Who should win: Mark R. Warner

This isn’t a close race. I include it because the outcome has never been in doubt, demonstrating how bleak GOP prospects have become in statewide races. Warner has campaigned harder this time than he did in 2014, when Republican nominee Ed Gillespie nearly upset Warner in a Republican wave election year. Warner’s political career has long benefited from GOP bumbling and infighting, and this race is just the latest example. But this time, the biggest Republican bumble of all — Trump — is who puts Warner over the top.

2nd Congressional District

Who will win: Incumbent Elaine Luria

Who should win: Elaine Luria

The 2nd has been the only real swing district in Virginia in recent years. Luria, a Democrat, ousted scandal-plagued incumbent Scott Taylor in 2018 and is likely to take the Nov. 3 rematch, too. I wrote last week that Taylor was the wrong nominee at the wrong time for the GOP to have a realistic chance to win this district. Now, there’s news that the Congressional Leadership Fund is pulling its ads supporting Taylor and shifting resources elsewhere.

5th Congressional District

Who will win: Bob Good

Who should win: Cameron Webb

The only true toss-up in Virginia this year is the 5th Congressional District race between Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb. This should have been a safe GOP district. But the gang that tried and failed — twice — to get the state GOP’s national committeewoman, Cynthia Dunbar, a congressional nomination succeeded this year in ousting incumbent Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman in a drive-up convention. The winner of that convention, Good, is a disaster as candidate. But he has the edge because the 5th is GOP territory. Webb has run a far more effective, professional and inspirational campaign than Good. Webb should win and, were he running almost anywhere else in Virginia, he would win. Here’s hoping the district’s voters have the sense to reject the narrow-mindedness of Team Good and send Webb to the House.

7th Congressional District

Who will win: Abigail Spanberger

Who should win: Abigail Spanberger

The commonwealth’s marquee House race has been surprisingly conventional, with both the incumbent, Abigail Spanberger, and the challenger, House of Delegates member Nick Freitas, running campaigns that would have felt right at home two, 10 or 20 years ago.

More than $22 million has gone into this race, easily eclipsing the tab for the 2018 race, when Spanberger defeated then-incumbent Dave Brat 50.3-48.4 percent. But what did that money get the candidates? A month ago, Randolph-Macon College professor Lauren Bell told me the race it was still “somewhere between a toss-up and leaning Democratic.”


October 31, 2020

PA-01, PA-10: Pennsylvania's top House races come down to Perry/Depasquale contest, one other

HARRISBURG — The premier congressional races in Pennsylvania feature two Republican House members from opposite sides of the party's ideological spectrum trying to hang on for another term after recording narrow wins two years ago.

All told, the two races are on track to cost more than $30 million combined as outside money pours in to try to influence the outcome.

In the Bucks County-based 1st District in suburban Philadelphia, second-term U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick is being challenged by Democrat Christina Finello, who maintains that Fitzpatrick has not stood up to President Donald Trump.

Fitzpatrick — who has not pledged to vote for Trump — is one of just three House Republicans in the entire country running for reelection in a district Trump lost during 2016?s presidential contest.

In the Harrisburg-York seat in southcentral Pennsylvania, four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, owner of one of the most conservative voting records in the U.S. House, is being challenged by two-term state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

DePasquale has not made Trump much of an issue in the race: Voters in the district backed Trump by 9 percentage points in 2016?s election and Republicans hold a roughly 22,000-person margin over registered Democrats.


October 31, 2020

NJ-07: Competitive New Jersey House Race Is Testing Republicans' Future In The State

A Republican with a familiar name is challenging a freshman Democratic Congressman in one of New Jersey’s more competitive races -- and testing whether the party can win back suburban districts where polling indicates Trump and the GOP are hemorrhaging support.

Republican State Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. is running against incumbent Congressman Tom Malinowski in the northern Jersey district that stretches from Union County’s wealthy New York City suburbs to Somerset and Hunterdon counties. It also includes the president’s Bedminster golf course.

But in an election that is largely a referendum on Trump, Kean Jr. is trying to walk a tightrope: Supporting the president while pitching himself as a centrist who can seek “common ground” in Washington. And he’s doing so in a district where backlash to Trump turned the Republican stronghold blue in 2018, unseating a longtime GOP Congressman.

“He's running against a tide here where he doesn't have the ability to overcome what these voters in this district see as a party that has become the arm of Donald Trump,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute.


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About RandySF

Partner, father and liberal Democrat. I am a native Michigander living in San Francisco who is a citizen of the world.

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