2018 Election News
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Updated January 18, 2018
- Republicans give potential 2020 Trump foes a pass - The GOP has failed to recruit strong candidates against a slate of potential opponents for president who are up for reelection this year. The GOP recruitment shortfall isn’t limited to races in liberal states where ambitious Democrats are considering national runs. Republican leaders have failed to secure their top-choice candidate in eight of the 10 Senate races in states that Trump won in 2016, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott has yet to commit to his expected run for Sen. Bill Nelson’s seat.
- Grassroots group tries to get a new kind of doctor in the House (and Senate) - This year, Dr. Ramsey Ellis, a progressive hand surgeon from the Chicago suburbs, is working to change that. She’s throwing the support of a private group of more than 8,000 Democratic female doctors across the nation behind a slate of eight congressional candidates with the same qualifications: all women, all Democrats, and all doctors — pediatricians, gynecologists, and ER physicians among them. “Women are missing from public debate and physicians are missing,” Ellis, a former grassroots organizer for Hillary Clinton and the candidates lead for the group — called Physician Women for Democratic Principles — told STAT. “Given that a sixth of the American economy is health care, I think it’s time that [women] physicians step into the arena and tell the stories of what happens with patients, and bring that lens of problem solving to public discourse. Right now we have too many men and too many attorneys and we need to diversify that.”
- 100+ Candidates for Congress Want to Win in 2018 on a Platform of Decisive Climate Action - Is 2018 the year that climate change becomes a hot-button election issue? We think so, and the year is starting off on the right foot, with more than 100 U.S. House and Senate candidates around the country pledging to support the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act if they are elected. Food & Water Action is organizing across the country to support the bill, which is the strongest climate legislation to date—because we know that we'll only see the needed progress on climate change if we build power in states across the country to elect candidates that are unafraid to say what needs to be done and then fight for it.
- Why so many vacant seats? 9 huge questions about special elections - Over 1 million New Yorkers may be under-represented in the state Legislature for the foreseeable future. There are currently 11 vacant seats – nine in the Assembly and two in the state Senate – due to legislators leaving office after being elected to different state and local positions in November. Nearly 1.8 million residents live in districts without a current Assembly member or state senator, according to a fact sheet from Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. Each of the nine vacant Assembly districts (5, 10, 17, 39, 74, 80, 102, 107 and 142) represent more than 120,000 people. State Senate districts 32 and 37, which each contain more than 300,000 residents, are currently without state senators.
- There is a wave of Republicans leaving Congress - House Republicans are announcing they're leaving office at a significantly faster rate than any other recent Congresses, suggesting Democrats could pick up seats in the 2018 midterm. Democrats need to pick up 24 House seats to retake the majority from Republicans, who've had control of the House since 2011.
- Americans' Identification as Independents Back Up in 2017 - Last year, 42% of Americans, on average, identified as political independents, erasing the decline to 39% seen in the 2016 presidential election year. Independent identification is just one percentage point below the high of 43% in 2014. Twenty-nine percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats and 27% as Republicans. Americans will vote in midterm elections this fall to elect a new Congress -- and with an unpopular incumbent president, the increase in independents may only escalate the chances that party control of Congress will change hands once again.
- Environmental priorities in 2018 - Environmental groups are supporting the climate change initiatives included in Governor Cuomo's State of the State, like divesting the pension fund from fossil fuel companies and reducing emissions from power plants. But there are several other areas where they would like to see action this year, including lowering transportation emissions, improving water quality, and even revisiting the plastic bag issue. Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director of Environmental Advocates of New York, joins us to talk more about this.
- How to get more disability representation in politics - The largest minority group in the United States is people with disabilities. The individuals within this group are incredibly diverse themselves comprising of different races, cultures, religions and socio-economic classes. Considering this, why don’t we hear more about disability issues in the political sphere aside from so-called campaign promises during election years? And how would more disability representation in politics affect the issues that matter most to Americans with disabilities? Those questions and more examined on this edition of Need to Know.
- The 2018 midterms are fast approaching. First up: primary fights for both parties’ future. - The long-anticipated 2018 midterm elections are rapidly approaching — a referendum on President Trump and the GOP majority, and a gauge of Americans’ expectations of government. But first the parties and their voters must chart a course through their nominating contests. Races that Democrats once left uncontested are now brimming with candidates. Races in which Republicans had hoped to clear the field have grown crowded. And the power of national parties on both sides to moderate the conflicts remains low, as populist passions roil both the liberal and conservative grass roots.
- NY-21: Will Any of the Democratic Challengers to Rep. Stefanik Consider Running for the Legislature? - As the field of Democratic candidates who are interested in challenging Elise Stefanik (R) continues to grow and swell in New York’s 21st Congressional District, there is a growing concern amongst party officials and activists that I speak with about the total lack of interest in state legislative races throughout our region this cycle. At the present moment, there is not a single Democratic challenger that has filed to run against any of the sitting Republican State Senators or Republican State Assemblymembers in the North Country. As one frustrated Democratic Party official from Warren County said to me, “we need Democratic candidates to run for the state legislature. What we really don’t need right now is even more challengers running against Elise Stefanik.”
- Record number of female candidates are running for governor - More women than ever are in the mix to potentially lead their states as governor - traditionally one of the hardest reaches for female candidates and a position now held by just half a dozen women. The Trump era has seen a new burst of political activism among women, beginning the day after the inauguration, when they turned out by the tens of thousands in cities and towns across the nation, for what is thought to have been among the largest single-day political demonstration in U.S. history.
- The 2018 Elections Could Shift the Gender Ratio in the Country’s Leadership - According to Emily’s List, over 20,000 women have contacted the organization about running for office in 2018. “This is a surge of grassroots energy unlike anything we've ever seen,” said Emily's List president Stephanie Schriock. “We've spent more than 30 years preparing for this kind of moment, and we're ready to channel this energy into wins for women up and down the ballot.”
- NY21: Yet another candidate seeks Stefanik’s seat - The large pool of candidates vying for Rep. Elise M. Stefanik’s congressional seat continues to grow as Greenwich Democratic Town Supervisor Sara Idleman announced her decision to run Thursday. The candidate has been Greenwich’s town supervisor for eight years and was re-elected for two more years. Additionally, she serves on the Washington County Board of Supervisors and as chairwoman of the Community College Committee.
- Why the 2018 Midterms Are So Vulnerable to Hackers - Part of the explanation is political: the 2018 midterms are shaping up to be extraordinarily competitive. On a technical level, the American election system is almost as vulnerable as it was in 2016. According to U.S. intelligence, Russian hackers tested the vulnerabilities of registration rolls in twenty-one states, but did not alter the vote tallies. How much of an effect could Russian interference actually have in 2018? The effects could be meaningful, even if they never touch the tallies directly. “More and more Americans seem to distrust the basic institutions of democracy. Unfortunately, that means that an attacker could do serious damage by throwing election results into further doubt,” J. Alex Halderman, the director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at the University of Michigan, said. “Sabotaging election infrastructure to make it fail on election day, resulting in long lines and other visible chaos, would be even easier than actually stealing votes.”
- NY 21: Yet another candidate seeks Stefanik’s seat - The large pool of candidates vying for Rep. Elise M. Stefanik’s congressional seat continues to grow as Greenwich Democratic Town Supervisor Sara Idleman announced her decision to run Thursday. The candidate has been Greenwich’s town supervisor for eight years and was re-elected for two more years. Additionally, she serves on the Washington County Board of Supervisors and as chairwoman of the Community College Committee.
- Everything you need to know about the 2018 midterm elections - In every midterm election since the Civil War, the president's party has lost, on average, 32 seats in the House and two in the Senate. In next year's battles, Democrats need only 24 seats to flip the House and two to take the Senate. "History says we're going to lose the majority," said Cory Bliss, the executive director of the Congressional Leadership Fund, a major Republican super PAC. "Our job is defy history." Governors, State Legislatures - What to watch: Run-up to redistricting and Primaries in both parties. While often overlooked, these races will determine who gets to control the map in the upcoming redistricting process after the 2020 Census for both Congress and state legislatures. "Redistricting is as important as any presidential election," said Waters of the United Steelworkers, which was heavily involved in Alabama.
- NY 11: An Outlier In City Politics, Staten Island At The Center Of National Political Trends - New York’s 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island and a piece of Brooklyn, is the only House seat in the city held by a Republican. The GOP has controlled the seat for all but two years since 1980. But with the district having three registered Democrats for every two Republicans, both national parties think they have a shot to win as they vie for control of the House in 2018.
- Democrats Leave Few Seats Unchallenged in Quest for House Control - Nearly a year out from the election, Democratic candidates have filed in all but 20 House districts held by Republicans. By comparison, Democrats in 80 districts do not have a Republican opponent for their seat. Even with the political wind at their backs, most Democratic challengers will be underdogs. “Incumbents have a lot of built-in advantages,” said Michael Beckel of the bipartisan campaign finance reform group Issue One. “They have higher name recognition, and they can spend a lot of time building up a huge campaign war chest to ward off opponents. Additionally, interest groups in Washington are incentivized to bet on incumbents.”
- Departing GOP lawmakers warn that their party could lose majorities in 2018 - “When you look at some of the audiences cheering for Republicans sometimes, you look out there and you say, ‘Those are the spasms of a dying party,’?” Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “By and large, we’re appealing to older white men, and there are just a limited number of them.” Democrats need to gain two seats to claim the majority in the Senate and about two dozen to flip the balance of power in the House. The looming midterm elections are, thus, likely to cast a pall over the legislative agenda in 2018, as Republicans look for areas in which they can secure much-needed Senate Democratic cooperation to rack up more legislative accomplishments, while Democrats weigh what ventures are worth a compromise just months before a critical election cycle.
- Republicans knock holes in Affordable Care Act but don’t demolish the law - Public support for the perennially controversial law has inched up to around its highest point in a half-dozen years. Nearly 9 million people so far have signed up for ACA health plans for 2018 during a foreshortened enrollment season, far surpassing expectations. This dual reality puts the sprawling ACA — prized domestic legacy of the Obama era, whipping post of the Trump administration — at a new precipice, with its long-term fate hinging on the November midterm elections certain to consume Washington once the new year begins. If Democrats win a majority in either chamber of Congress, the law would be protected; a GOP sweep could further embolden repeal attempts.
- Retribution planned for New York Congress members who voted for the tax bill - Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s vowed to lead a campaign against the state’s Republican Congressional representatives in the 2018 elections, has spent the final weeks of 2017 feuding with them over their votes on the federal tax overhaul bill. Cuomo has been saying for weeks that the overhaul would be “devastating” to New York’s finances and to many of its taxpayers, and he’s called Republican House members who support the plan “traitors” and “Benedict Arnolds.”
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