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Posts in "Demographics"
June 2, 2014
As top female candidates around the country vie for competitive Senate and House seats in 2014, a report released Monday outlines key opportunities and challenges facing women who run for office.
Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women, a report from the Barbara Lee Family Foundation, outlines shifting perceptions of female candidates. The report cautioned that women still face unique challenges running for office, but the authors also offered promising news for female politicians on voters’ perception of their economic acumen and non-traditional qualifications.
Foundation President Barbara Lee said the foundation’s research “applies to women running for office at every level,” though it focuses on women running for governor.
In the midterms, female candidates are running in some of the most high-profile races around the country, including Alison Lundergan Grimes’ challenge to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky and state Sen. Joni Ernst’s Senate bid in Iowa. According to the Center for American Women and Politics, 24 women are still in the running for Senate and 220 for House this cycle. Women currently hold 19 percent of seats in Congress. Full story
February 3, 2014
Every vulnerable Senate Democrat up for re-election in 2014 voted with President Barack Obama at least 90 percent of the time in 2013, according to CQ Roll Call’s latest vote studies, released Monday.
Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor broke with the president most often, opposing him in 10 percent of all 2013 votes where the administration stated a preferred outcome. Sens. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, Mary Landrieu, D-La. and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., voted for Obama’s position 97, 97, and 96 percent of the time, respectively. Of those four, only Begich serves with a Republican who has bucked the GOP to back Obama with any frequency. (See our Jan. 21 story.)
Support for Obama’s initiatives from incumbent Democrats who are favored but not safe was just as high if not higher than from vulnerable members: Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Mark Warner of Virginia supported the president in 99 and 97 percent of votes.
On the flip side, Republican senators who are wary of primary challengers from the right opposed Obama so often that the president’s support from GOP senators in 2013 — 40 percent — was the lowest of his five years in office. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., opposed Obama 67 percent of the time. Sens. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, opposed the Obama position on 66, 50, 48 and 66 percent of votes respectively.
January 15, 2014
Updated 4:20 p.m. | Ryan Costello, chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners, announced Wednesday that he will seek the GOP nomination in Pennsylvania’s newly open 6th District.
Costello is the first Republican to announce a bid for the Keystone State seat, which is being vacated by GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach. The six-term congressman announced his retirement last week.
State Sen. John Rafferty is also eyeing a bid, Republican operatives say.
September 20, 2013
State Sen. Katherine Clark, one of five Democratic candidates running in an upcoming special election primary in Massachusetts’ 5th District, received the endorsement of EMILY’s List on Friday, less than a month out from the Oct. 15 contest.
An endorsement from EMILY’s List will likely provide Clark with a flush of cash and organizational help going into this crowded primary in which organization will be key to success.
The EMILY’s List endorsement is notable as the organization which seeks to boost progressive women into elected office chose Clark over another Democratic woman in the race: state Sen. Karen Spilka.
June 25, 2013
The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling to gut the 1965 Voting Rights Act will change the country’s politics. And in some cases, the change could come as soon as 2014.
On the surface, the ruling now allows certain states to make changes to their voting laws without federal approval. But the political implications will reach beyond those states, especially as Democrats try to use the decision to energize minority voters for the midterm elections.
On Tuesday, the high court ruled unconstitutional a key part, Section 4, of the Voting Rights Act. That provision detailed the formula used to decide which states must have pre-clearance from the federal government before making changes to voting laws because, according to the now-voided provision, those jurisdictions had a history of discrimination.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. described the Section 4 coverage formula as outdated in his majority opinion, calling on Congress to develop a new way to pick which states must get federal approval. But it’s unlikely the House and Senate will pass something soon, given the contentious nature of voting rights and the gridlock on Capitol Hill.
As a result, it’s likely no state will have to seek federal approval to change its voting laws in the immediate future.
To be sure, the high court’s ruling will have a greater effect in the long term. For example, in 2020, states previously covered by the law’s Section 5 won’t have to get federal approval for their redrawn congressional maps, giving local officials new leeway to draw district boundaries. Those new maps will take effect in 2022.
But voters could see the effects of this week’s ruling much sooner as well. Here are four ways the ruling could play into the 2014 midterms: Full story
June 12, 2013
Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., said the mixture of a trending-purple state and a bloody GOP primary could hinder the party’s ability next year to hold the Georgia Senate seat of his retiring colleague.
“It should be a Republican seat, but there’s a perfect storm that could happen that could make that challenging,” said Isakson when he was asked about the race Wednesday at the annual tax, budget and health care policy seminar hosted by BakerHostetler. Full story
May 8, 2013
The percentage of eligible black voters that cast ballots in 2012 was higher than that of white voters for the first time, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sixty-six percent of black voters turned out, compared to 64 percent of non-Hispanic whites, in the most recent presidential election. That had never happened since the bureau began tracking this data in 1996.
May 1, 2013
Longtime Rep. Melvin Watt’s nomination to serve in President Barack Obama’s administration would spark a crowded race for his heavily Democratic district in North Carolina.
On Wednesday, Obama officially nominate the 11-term Democrat to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. If confirmed, Watt’s subsequent resignation will create an opportunity that local and state politicians have been seeking for decades to ascend the state’s political ladder.
“These guys for years had ceilings on the local level and the federal level, and all of a sudden there are no ceilings,” said Morgan Jackson, a Democratic consultant with North Carolina’s Nexus Strategies and a former Watt staffer.
Jackson added that the open mayoral seat in Charlotte (Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, a Democrat, was nominated to serve as Transportation secretary last week) could create two simultaneously open positions that state politicians have been eyeing for years. Full story
March 26, 2013
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano predicted Arizona will follow its Southwestern neighbors and move from swing-state status to Democratic stronghold as the border state’s demographics continue to change.
On Tuesday, the former Arizona governor told reporters that she is confident her home state will take after Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado in gaining Democratic voters in the coming cycles.
“Arizona will be behind them,” Napolitano said during a discussion hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I think it will be more purple over time, but ultimately blue.”
In 2012, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., secured his first term with a 3-point margin of victory in a race much closer than many operatives anticipated. Meanwhile, partisan control of the congressional delegation flipped as Democrats won two House seats and Republicans lost one seat. But those gains were also a reflection of a newly redrawn congressional map that favored Democrats.
“It’ll happen, I think,” Napolitano said. “The fact that I could win three straight elections there, I think is indicative that Democrats can win and do win in Arizona.”
In the 2012 elections, Republican Mitt Romney carried Arizona with more than 54 percent of the vote. In John McCain’s failed bid for president in 2008, the GOP senator won his home state with 53 percent.
But the recent presidential elections have been somewhat anomalous, Napolitano said. In 2012, President Barack Obama’s campaign “really didn’t play in Arizona,” and McCain is a “favorite son” back home, she said.
March 1, 2013
Actress Ashley Judd spoke to a ballroom of college students about public health on Friday afternoon, never directly addressing what she referred to as “elephant in the room” — a potential Senate bid against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky
At a long-planned event at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Judd spoke for more than an hour about global women’s health, gender equality and violence against women.
In recent weeks, Judd has sent increasingly clear signs that she is moving toward a Senate run. She reportedly met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, had dinner in Louisville, Ky., with Democratic insiders and donors and has reached out to top state Democratic officials.
But in her speech to about 100 students, Judd’s only references to her potential Senate run were oblique. One student asking a question said she was nervous.
“I’m a lot more nervous than y’all are, I promise,” Judd replied. “I mean, there are people here who don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about public health.”