Tag Archives: Arizona

More Redistricting Delays

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 29, 2021 — The Census Bureau announced at mid-week yet another postponement in releasing the national apportionment figures, this time until April 30. Reapportionment should have been completed by Dec. 31, but the Bureau previously announced that March 6 would be the new release date due to COVID-related problems. Now, we see further delays.

Reapportionment is the process of creating a new census data algorithm in order to project the number of congressional seats each state will be awarded for the coming decade. It appears that 10-12 seats could change states, with the northeast and Midwest typically losing districts to southern and western states. This time, however, California, for the first time in history, is reversing their trend and appears headed for the losing list.

Once the apportionment numbers are known and the individual data dispersed, the states can begin the redistricting process. The Census Bureau further stated that individual states won’t be receiving their particular data necessary for redistricting until at least July 30. This will clearly set the redistricting cycle back significantly, which could cause major problems for the coming election cycle.

In the past, the Census Bureau has prioritized the states with early primaries to be first to receive their data. This meant that New Jersey and Virginia initially received their new population numbers ahead of the others because they have odd-numbered year state legislative elections. Texas and Illinois were next to receive since they traditionally schedule their regular primaries in March of the election year.

Knowing that the numbers would not be available for them in 2021, New Jersey and Virginia took preparatory action. Garden State officials placed a referendum on the November ballot asking voters for approval to postpone legislative redistricting until 2023. The measure passed.

The Old Dominion leaders decided they would run their 2021 state Delegate elections on the amended 2011 map but could conceivably call elections again for next year once they receive their updated data and can draw district boundaries. Virginia state senators do not stand for election until 2023, so it is unlikely the redistricting delay will affect those campaigns.

The data distribution and processing delay could place most legislatures in a conundrum. Most will be adjourned when the data is received, so special sessions will have to be called in most cases to complete the process prior to the 2022 candidate filing deadlines. This suggests that the states having redistricting commissions might prove to be in better position to complete the task because they won’t have to deal with legislative politics, priorities, or calendars, all of which result in a lengthy process.

Additionally, since almost every map is challenged in court, we could well see a plethora of lawsuits being filed late in the year that keep the redistricting process tied in figurative knots for months.

The states in the most difficult situations will be those gaining and losing congressional representation. Because the number of districts these particular states will have differ from their current allotments, they do not have the option of reverting to the current map once 2021 apportionment becomes final.

In the case of gainers and losers not having completed maps, we may see at-large races for the House. This would be particularly difficult for the losing states because we may see all members in the affected places having to run at-large for seats in their House delegations.

Unofficially, the gaining states appear to be Texas (3 seats), Florida (2), Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon. The losers may be New York (possibly 2 seats), Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Reports suggest that the closest developing situation concerns whether Alabama loses a seat or New York drops two.

President Biden’s executive order that mandates non-citizens be counted in the census will certainly affect the final data projections and may be another reason for this latest delay.

The only certainty about 2021 reapportionment and redistricting is the many moving parts in these various states will likely produce surprising political results.

Early House Outlook – Part I

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 20, 2021 — With the presidential Inauguration dominating political attention this week, it is a good time to set the upcoming electoral stage for the US House on a 50-state basis. Today, a first of a four-part series, will begin to look at the 13 western states. During the rest of the week, we will move eastward.


• Alaska – 1 Seat (1R)
Rep. Don Young (R-Ft. Yukon), the Dean of the House, won his 25th term in November with a 54-45 percent victory in a competitive race. With Alaska being an at-large state, reapportionment and redistricting won’t change the political situation. The big question surrounding the 87-year-old congressional veteran is when will he retire?


• Arizona – 9 Seats (5D4R)
The Arizona population growth rate makes them a cinch to gain a 10th District in reapportionment. It is also clear that the new seat will be placed in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Arizona has a redistricting commission comprised of two Democrats, two Republicans, and one Independent. The latter member becomes the chairman. The membership has not yet been chosen.

The state’s marginal nature suggests that we will see a very competitive state once all 10 seats are in place. Currently, there are two districts where the winning House member received 52 percent of the vote or less. This means GOP Rep. David Schweikert (2020 winning percentage: 52.2) and Democratic incumbent Tom O’Halleran (2020 winning percentage: 51.6) will be looking to add more Republicans and Democrats to their seats, respectively.

An open governor’s race (Republican Gov. Doug Ducey ineligible to seek a third term) and what should be a competitive re-election for Sen. Mark Kelly (D) could cause open seats in the House delegation should any of the sitting members attempt to run statewide.


• California – 53 Seats (42D11R)
For the first time in history, the Golden State appears positioned to lose a seat in their US House delegation. With migration exiting the state exceeding those incoming, it appears the California growth rate did not keep up with the specified threshold in order to keep all of their 53 seats. The Los Angeles area is likely to absorb the loss of the seat, but which member will be paired with another is an open question.

California voters adopted an initiative before the 2010 census that established a citizens’ commission to administer redistricting under strict parameters that emphasizes keeping cities and counties whole when possible and irrespective of where any particular incumbent may reside. Therefore, with the mapping power removed from the legislature, it is possible that inside Democratic politics might play a lesser role in the redistricting process.

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Comparing 2020 & 2016

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 15, 2021 — Now that the presidential numbers are final and certified in all 50 states, we can begin to draw comparisons between the two Trump election years and see the states where movement was most significant.

The 2020 election results show interesting parallels in the race between President Donald Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden and the 2016 race between Trump and Hillary Clinton.

A total of 158,507,118 people are recorded as voting in the 2020 election, an all-time record. In 2016, by comparison, 136,792,535 individuals cast ballots. The current total represents an increase of 15.9 percent. Even those forecasting a turnout of just above 155 million, which seemed outlandish at the time, were low as the 2020 aggregate final vote widely cleared all previous electoral participation records.

As you will see from the following charts, most states performed similarly in 2020 as they did in 2016. In the preponderance of places, both President Trump and President-Elect Joe Biden posted better percentages in 2020, though Trump recorded slightly lower 2020 percentages in 13 states as compared to Biden falling below 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in only one (Mississippi).

The change factors are largely due to lesser independent and minor party candidates on the 2020 ballot as opposed to 2016 and an increase in first-time voters.

Nationally, as determined in all 50 states, President Trump’s numbers increased an average of one percentage point per state, while Biden saw a mean average four percent jump over Clinton’s standing.

The first charts depict President Trump’s state totals in alphabetical order. To reiterate, his per state average gain was 1.0 percent. The second chart shows the states in order of the largest gains.

The succeeding Democratic charts illustrate Biden’s increased performance over that of Clinton. Though his national per state victory margin over President Trump was low in comparison to 2016 – changing Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and the 2nd District of Nebraska would have changed the national outcome and the aggregate vote margin was only 65,009 – his standing in every state was significantly better than hers. The Biden average per state gain was 4.0 percent.

REPUBLICAN

Alphabetical

STATE 2016 R 2020 R AVG GAIN
Alabama 62.1% 62.3% 0.2%
Alaska 51.3% 52.8% 1.5%
Arizona 48.7% 49.1% 0.4%
Arkansas 60.6% 62.4% 1.8%
California 31.6% 34.3% 2.7%
Colorado 43.2% 41.9% -1.3%
Connecticut 40.9% 39.2% -1.7%
Delaware 41.7% 39.8% -1.9%
Florida 49.0% 51.2% 2.2%
Georgia 50.8% 49.2% -1.6%
Hawaii 29.4% 33.9% 4.5%
Idaho 59.3% 63.8% 4.5%
Illinois 38.8% 40.6% 1.8%
Indiana 56.9% 57.0% 0.1%
Iowa 51.2% 52.8% 1.6%
Kansas 56.6% 56.2% -0.4%
Kentucky 62.5% 62.1% -0.4%
Louisiana 58.1% 58.5% 0.4%
Maine 43.5% 43.6% 0.1%
Maryland 33.9% 32.2% -1.7%
Massachusetts 32.3% 39.1% 6.8%
Michigan 47.6% 47.8% 0.2%
Minnesota 44.9% 45.3% 0.4%
Mississippi 57.9% 41.1% -0.3%
Missouri 56.8% 56.8% 0.0%
Montana 56.2% 56.9% 0.7%
Nebraska 58.7% 58.2% -0.5%
Nevada 45.5% 47.8% 2.3%
New Hampshire 46.5% 45.4% -1.1%
New Jersey 41.4% 41.4% 0.0%
New Mexico 40.0% 43.5% 3.5%
New York 36.1% 37.5% 1.4%
North Carolina 49.8% 49.9% 0.1%
North Dakota 65.1% 31.8% 2.1%
Ohio 51.7% 53.3% 1.6%
Oklahoma 65.3% 65.4% 0.1%
Oregon 40.4% 56.5% 0.7%
Pennsylvania 48.6% 48.8% 0.2%
Rhode Island 38.9% 38.6% -0.3%
South Carolina 54.9% 55.1% 0.2%
South Dakota 61.5% 61.8% 0.3%
Tennessee 60.7% 60.7% 0.0%
Texas 53.2% 52.1% -1.1%
Utah 45.5% 58.1% 12.6%
Vermont 29.8% 30.9% 1.1%
Virginia 44.4% 44.0% -0.4%
Washington 36.8% 38.8% 2.0%
West Virginia 68.6% 68.7% 0.1%
Wisconsin 47.2% 48.8% 1.6%
Wyoming 67.4% 69.5% 2.1%

Performance Increase

STATE 2016 R 2020 R AVG GAIN
Utah 45.5% 58.1% 12.6%
Massachusetts 32.3% 39.1% 6.8%
Hawaii 29.4% 33.9% 4.5%
Idaho 59.3% 63.8% 4.5%
New Mexico 40.0% 43.5% 3.5%
California 31.6% 34.3% 2.7%
Nevada 45.5% 47.8% 2.3%
Florida 49.0% 51.2% 2.2%
North Dakota 65.1% 31.8% 2.1%
Wyoming 67.4% 69.5% 2.1%
Washington 36.8% 38.8% 2.0%
Arkansas 60.6% 62.4% 1.8%
Illinois 38.8% 40.6% 1.8%
Iowa 51.2% 52.8% 1.6%
Ohio 51.7% 53.3% 1.6%
Wisconsin 47.2% 48.8% 1.6%
Alaska 51.3% 52.8% 1.5%
New York 36.1% 37.5% 1.4%
Vermont 29.8% 30.9% 1.1%
Oregon 40.4% 56.5% 0.7%
Montana 56.2% 56.9% 0.7%
Arizona 48.7% 49.1% 0.4%
Louisiana 58.1% 58.5% 0.4%
Minnesota 44.9% 45.3% 0.4%
South Dakota 61.5% 61.8% 0.3%
Alabama 62.1% 62.3% 0.2%
Michigan 47.6% 47.8% 0.2%
Pennsylvania 48.6% 48.8% 0.2%
South Carolina 54.9% 55.1% 0.2%
Indiana 56.9% 57.0% 0.1%
Maine 43.5% 43.6% 0.1%
North Carolina 49.8% 49.9% 0.1%
Oklahoma 65.3% 65.4% 0.1%
West Virginia 68.6% 68.7% 0.1%
Missouri 56.8% 56.8% 0.0%
New Jersey 41.4% 41.4% 0.0%
Tennessee 60.7% 60.7% 0.0%
Mississippi 57.9% 41.1% -0.3%
Rhode Island 38.9% 38.6% -0.3%
Kansas 56.6% 56.2% -0.4%
Kentucky 62.5% 62.1% -0.4%
Virginia 44.4% 44.0% -0.4%
Nebraska 58.7% 58.2% -0.5%
New Hampshire 46.5% 45.4% -1.1%
Texas 53.2% 52.1% -1.1%
Colorado 43.2% 41.9% -1.3%
Georgia 50.8% 49.2% -1.6%
Connecticut 40.9% 39.2% -1.7%
Maryland 33.9% 32.2% -1.7%
Delaware 41.7% 39.8% -1.9%

DEMOCRAT

Alphabetical

STATE 2016 D 2020 D AVG GAIN
Alabama 34.4% 36.6% 2.2%
Alaska 36.5% 42.8% 6.3%
Arizona 45.1% 49.4% 4.3%
Arkansas 33.6% 34.8% 1.2%
California 61.7% 63.5% 1.8%
Colorado 48.2% 55.4% 7.2%
Connecticut 54.6% 59.2% 4.6%
Delaware 53.1% 58.7% 5.6%
Florida 47.8% 47.9% 0.1%
Georgia 45.6% 49.5% 3.9%
Hawaii 61.0% 63.1% 2.1%
Idaho 27.5% 33.1% 5.6%
Illinois 55.8% 57.5% 1.7%
Indiana 37.8% 41.0% 3.2%
Iowa 41.7% 3.2% 3.0%
Kansas 36.0% 41.6% 5.6%
Kentucky 32.7% 36.1% 3.4%
Louisiana 38.4% 39.8% 1.4%
Maine 46.4% 52.5% 6.1%
Maryland 60.3% 65.4% 5.1%
Massachusetts 59.0% 65.1% 6.1%
Michigan 47.3% 50.6% 3.3%
Minnesota 46.4% 52.4% 6.0%
Mississippi 57.6% 40.1% -1.0%
Missouri 38.1% 41.4% 3.3%
Montana 35.7% 40.6% 4.9%
Nebraska 33.7% 39.2% 5.5%
Nevada 47.9% 50.1% 2.2%
New Hampshire 46.8% 52.7% 5.9%
New Jersey 55.5% 57.3% 1.8%
New Mexico 48.3% 54.3% 6.0%
New York 58.4% 60.4% 2.0%
North Carolina 46.2% 48.6% 2.4%
North Dakota 63.0% 27.2% 4.6%
Ohio 43.6% 45.2% 1.6%
Oklahoma 28.9% 32.3% 3.4%
Oregon 39.1% 50.1% 6.4%
Pennsylvania 47.8% 50.0% 2.2%
Rhode Island 54.4% 59.4% 5.0%
South Carolina 40.7% 43.4% 2.7%
South Dakota 31.7% 35.6% 3.9%
Tennessee 34.7% 37.5% 2.8%
Texas 43.2% 46.5% 3.3%
Utah 27.5% 37.7% 10.2%
Vermont 55.7% 65.5% 9.8%
Virginia 49.7% 54.1% 4.4%
Washington 52.5% 58.0% 5.5%
West Virginia 26.5% 29.7% 3.2%
Wisconsin 46.5% 49.4% 2.9%
Wyoming 21.6% 26.4% 4.8%

Performance Increase

STATE 2016 D 2020 D AVG GAIN
Utah 27.5% 37.7% 10.2%
Vermont 55.7% 65.5% 9.8%
Colorado 48.2% 55.4% 7.2%
Oregon 39.1% 50.1% 6.4%
Alaska 36.5% 42.8% 6.3%
Massachusetts 59.0% 65.1% 6.1%
Maine 46.4% 52.5% 6.1%
New Mexico 48.3% 54.3% 6.0%
Minnesota 46.4% 52.4% 6.0%
New Hampshire 46.8% 52.7% 5.9%
Idaho 27.5% 33.1% 5.6%
Kansas 36.0% 41.6% 5.6%
Delaware 53.1% 58.7% 5.6%
Nebraska 33.7% 39.2% 5.5%
Washington 52.5% 58.0% 5.5%
Maryland 60.3% 65.4% 5.1%
Rhode Island 54.4% 59.4% 5.0%
Montana 35.7% 40.6% 4.9%
Wyoming 21.6% 26.4% 4.8%
North Dakota 63.0% 27.2% 4.6%
Connecticut 54.6% 59.2% 4.6%
Virginia 49.7% 54.1% 4.4%
Arizona 45.1% 49.4% 4.3%
Georgia 45.6% 49.5% 3.9%
South Dakota 31.7% 35.6% 3.9%
Oklahoma 28.9% 32.3% 3.4%
Kentucky 32.7% 36.1% 3.4%
Michigan 47.3% 50.6% 3.3%
Texas 43.2% 46.5% 3.3%
Missouri 38.1% 41.4% 3.3%
Indiana 37.8% 41.0% 3.2%
West Virginia 26.5% 29.7% 3.2%
Iowa 41.7% 44.7% 3.0%
Wisconsin 46.5% 49.4% 2.9%
Tennessee 34.7% 37.5% 2.8%
South Carolina 40.7% 43.4% 2.7%
North Carolina 46.2% 48.6% 2.4%
Alabama 34.4% 36.6% 2.2%
Nevada 47.9% 50.1% 2.2%
Pennsylvania 47.8% 50.0% 2.2%
Hawaii 61.0% 63.1% 2.1%
New York 58.4% 60.4% 2.0%
California 61.7% 63.5% 1.8%
New Jersey 55.5% 57.3% 1.8%
Illinois 55.8% 57.5% 1.7%
Ohio 43.6% 45.2% 1.6%
Louisiana 38.4% 39.8% 1.4%
Arkansas 33.6% 34.8% 1.2%
Florida 47.8% 47.9% 0.1%
Mississippi 57.6% 40.1% -1.0%

2022 Senate Outlook

By Jim Ellis

Jan. 13, 2021 — Now that we know Democrats will have a bare 50-50 majority with the vice president breaking the tie, it’s an appropriate time to look ahead to the next election in order to see which party might have the initial advantage.

In an ironic bad news/good news scenario for Republicans, because the party lost the Georgia runoff elections and their majority, the GOP now has further winnable 2022 targets in order to attempt to regain the chamber advantage.

In the new election cycle, a total of 34 Senate seats will be on the ballot. Adding the 2020 final results, we see that 20 Republicans will be defending theirs seats in 2022 as compared with 14 Democrats. The ’22 cycle also includes two reruns from 2020 as both Sens. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), winners of special elections, will again be on the ballot in order to secure respective six-year terms.

Reviewing political voting trends for the past six years in each of these states reveals that now the Democrats actually have more senators seeking re-election (4-3) than Republicans where the four-year major statewide vote average is under 50 percent.

Averaging five data points: the partisan vote percent from the individual senator’s most recent election, the two presidential campaigns (2020 and 2016), the state’s other Senate election, and the most recent gubernatorial vote provides us a partisan mean average vote from the immediate past four-year period.

Doing so finds that Democratic Sens. Mark Kelly (AZ), Maggie Hassan (NH), Catherine Cortez Masto (NV), and Raphael Warnock (GA) see their party’s cumulative four-year average dropping under 50 percent.

Republicans have three such Senate situations. Sens. Pat Toomey (PA), Ron Johnson (WI), and Richard Burr (NC) all represent states where their party’s average vote total drops under the majority mark for the tested period. Already, Sens. Toomey and Burr have announced they will not seek re-election, leaving at least two of the Republicans’ three most vulnerable seats in an open situation.

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The Early Vote Predictor

By Jim Ellis

Dec. 3, 2020 — While it became clear that the plethora of polling data published during the 2020 election cycle again proved to be a poor predictor of eventual campaign outcome in most states, another resource was discovered that might be the more reliable prognosticator.

The states releasing early voting numbers before the election – not the actual election results, of course, but the numbers of Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliated voters who had returned their ballots – provided the opportunity of charting possible race outcomes. As a predictor, the early voting numbers, largely because they are actual votes and not extrapolations and estimates as found in polling, look to be a more reliable gauge.

Let’s examine the results in the key battleground states and compare them to both the 2020 and 2016 early voting numbers as compiled by the Target Smart organization. Target Smart monitored, categorized, and published the early ballot return numbers throughout the acceptance period in every state that publicly released such data. Unfortunately, for purposes of our exercise, the Georgia 2020 numbers are among the states not currently available.

In Arizona, we see a difference in the 2016 and 2020 early vote numbers that indicated a small shift in the voting patterns. Detecting that Democratic early vote participation had increased several points from four years ago while Republicans were down slightly did prove indicative in relation to the final Arizona result that yielded an official 10,457 vote Biden victory.

In Florida, we see the Democratic early vote numbers dropping slightly. This is a bit surprising in that 2020 featured a record voter turnout. The fact that Republicans gained a bit in the swing was a predictor of President Trump’s stronger performance in the Sunshine State as compared to the result from four years previous.

As we can see from the Michigan numbers, Democrats increased their early voting participation while Republicans saw a decrease. Unaffiliated voters substantially increased. Considering the final result, it is apparent that most of the Unaffiliateds voted Democratic in the presidential contest.

The North Carolina early vote numbers gave us our first clear indication that the pollsters were mis-casting the state’s electorate. The clear indication that Democrats were missing their marks in early voting while Republicans were exceeding their expectations was the first indication that the final vote would produce a different result than the plethora of polls were suggesting.

Pennsylvania featured drastic changes in not only the partisan early vote pattern, but also in volume as early voting increased by more than twelve-fold in comparison to 2016. The stark difference in Democratic versus Republican participation levels did forecast a swing to the former party, though the final totals were not as drastically different as the early voting yields.

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