I haven’t really been able to follow today’s election results until now (just after 10pm ET), so I’m checking them now and posting my thoughts as I go:
Phoenix, Arizona, is holding their mayoral election today. Incumbent Greg Stanton was first elected in 2011 and is facing two challengers: Anna Maria Brennan, who received 5% of the vote in the 2011 Mayoral election, and Matthew Jette, who ran for Congress as a Democrat in 2012 after running for Governor of Arizona as a Republican in 2010. If no candidate receives a majority today, there will be a runoff on November 3rd between the top two finishers.
There are Democratic primary runoffs in Mississippi on Tuesday for the following offices:
- Transportation Commissioner for the Central District
- State Senate District #34 and #38
- State House District #27, #30, #36, #42, and #70
There is voting on Tuesday in Mississippi, with a handful of runoffs for both parties after statewide primary elections on August 4th. On the Republican side, there are runoffs for:
- Public Service Commissioner from the Southern District
- State Senate District #18 and #47
- State House District #24, #46, and #87
As noted here a few days ago, there was a rare Wednesday special election, this one held in Tennessee State House District #14 in the Knoxville area. Jason Zachary defeated Knox County School Board member Karen Carson, 58%-42%, in the Republican primary, and since no Democrats filed, Zachary will certainly be elected on September 29th. The GOP currently holds a 73-26 party advantage in the Tennessee State House, to go along with their 28-5 margin in the Tennessee State Senate. The election was viewed as a referendum on Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s “Insure Tennessee” proposal, which would expand health insurance to low-income state residents. Zachary opposes the measure, while Carson was for it.
Today features a rare Wednesday special election primary, this one in Tennessee’s 14th House District in the Knoxville area. The vacancy was created when State Rep. Ryan Haynes, who was first elected to this seat in 2008 when he was only 23 years old, resigned upon being elected as Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party.
It is a solidly GOP district, which is why only two Republican candidates filed to run: Karen Carson and Zachary Taylor. Consequently, whomever wins today will effectively take this seat. Both campaigns have reported significant fund-raising totals – Carson has raised over $43,000 and Taylor over $30,000, as of the weekend.
This has been a busy week for specials, and I regret not having more time to analyze this contest, as the contribution data would likely have proven another good test for my fund-raising methodology. For more background on the candidates and issues surrounding this primary, I recommend Tom Humphrey’s blog post here.
Well, yesterday’s headline race, the runoff in Georgia’s HD #80 in the Atlanta suburbs, was anything but uneventful as Democrat Taylor Bennett registered an impressive victory over Republican J. Max Davis. I’ll hopefully post a more detailed look at these results later, but the lede is that Bennett converted his 37% showing in July’s special election against three Republican candidates into a win with almost 55% against just one. As was noted yesterday, both state parties made winning this previously-Republican controlled seat a priority, and it’s fair to say that Bennett’s 450 vote margin was larger than almost anyone expected. Voter turnout saw a big jump as well with almost 5,000 votes cast, a near 25% increase over July.
Both Democrats and Republicans in the Peach State are very focused on this state legislative runoff in the Atlanta suburbs. With polls essentially closing, here are some quick thoughts about what a win by Democrat Taylor Bennett might look like.
There were about 4,000 votes cast in the July special election, and recent history suggests the runoff total will exceed that. Let’s assume a 12.5% increase, or 4,500 votes, which means the winning candidate will need to get to 2,250.
Bennett would definitely have to win Fulton County, and the turnout there needs to be big. I didn’t see much increase in the early voting numbers in Fulton compared with July, but it appears that advance voting generally makes up a small portion of the voting numbers in both these counties. Regardless, Fulton County turnout would have to be 700 votes or more, with Bennett winning 450-500 of them. That produces a margin of 65-35, which seems high, but this is also where Davis came in a distant third.
I would think Bennett would also have to win the southern parts of DeKalb County (Briarwood, Cross Keys High, & Woodward Elem), where he took almost 50% of the vote in July. He need to win close to 60% of the vote here, and turnout would need to be about 650-700 in those three precincts. That would net him another 425 votes.
Also, Catherine Bernard’s strongest precinct, by far, was Brookhaven, and Davis received only 13% here. If Bernard’s voters stayed home today, there won’t be 400 votes cast like in July.
Those are some big assumptions, but if they play out, Bennett would only need to hold Davis to 55% in the rest of DeKalb to win. I expect Davis will run up big totals in the northern part of the district (Ashford Parkside, Ashford Dunwoody Road, and Montgomery Elem). I would especially watch Silver Lake and Kittredge Elementary. Bennett narrowly won both of those in July. If he did so today, he probably wins.
Here is a quick summary of the seven special elections happening today, August 11, 2015:
Georgia has three state House special election runoffs, as I’ve analyzed in numerous posts and on my Twitter feed. The headline race is probably HD #80 in Fulton and DeKalb counties near Atlanta. This is a Republican-held seat in which the lone Democratic candidate, Taylor Bennett, won the special election in July with 37% of the vote. Three Republican candidates, led by J. Max Davis, received the remaining 63%. The third-place candidate, Republican Catherine Bernard, trailed Davis by less than 60 votes; she has also refused to endorse Davis. Both state parties have focused on winning this seat, but the Republican nature of this district makes Davis the logical choice to win.
I was away all last week enjoying vacation time with family, but as a result, I’ve had limited opportunity to do any detailed analyses of today’s six special elections in Georgia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. So, my plan is to look at things with a more limited scope where I can and post those results here and on Twitter throughout the day.
I’ve looked this morning at the Early/Absentee voting files for DeKalb County, in an effort to determine if there is any change to that electorate for today’s runoff as compared with July’s special election. If you recall, the special election featured four candidates, 3 Republicans and a Democrat, while today’s contest has the Democrat, Taylor Bennett, squaring off against the Republican who finished second, J. Max Davis.