Author Archives: Jim Ellis

Ohio Senate: Mandel Declares

By Jim Ellis

Former Ohio State Treasurer and 2012 US Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R), now 2022 senate candidate.

Feb. 12, 2021 — Former Ohio state treasurer and 2012 US Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R), armed with over $4.3 million in his federal campaign account, announced Wednesday that he will run for the state’s open Senate seat next year. Last week, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/ Youngstown) stated that he will officially declare his own federal statewide candidacy in March.

It is clear that Mandel will not be the only major Republican to battle for the GOP nomination. It is likely, however, that he will begin the primary campaign with more money than any of his future competitors. The only other person holding as large a federal war chest who didn’t run for office in 2020 is former US Rep. Pat Tiberi (R), but he has already made public his intention not to enter next year’s open Senate race.

Several members of the Republican congressional delegation are reportedly assessing the Senate contest as is sitting Secretary of State Frank LaRose. Often mentioned as potential candidates are Reps. Steve Stivers (R-Columbus), Bill Johnson (R-Marietta), Dave Joyce (R-Russell Township), and Warren Davidson (R-Troy). Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville) have publicly stated they will not run for the Senate.

Ex-congressman and 2018 US Senate nominee Jim Renacci (R) is another potential contender and confirms that he is considering the race. State Republican Party chair Jane Timken, who resigned her position at the end of last week, is also expected to become a candidate. State Sen. Matt Dolan (R-Chagrin Falls), whose district forms a virtual horseshoe around the city of Cleveland, is also contemplating launching a Senate campaign. Sen. Dolan, the chairman of the state Senate Finance Committee, is a part owner of the Cleveland Indians baseball club.

Mandel was first elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 2006 when he was 29 years old. He then won the treasurer’s post in 2010 and held it for eight years. He lost the 2012 Senate race to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) by a 51-45 percent count but raised more than $18 million for his campaign. Mandel was planning to run again in 2018, but his wife’s serious health situation caused him to exit the race after announcing. The couple has since divorced.

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New York Voting Patterns

New York’s Congressional Districts

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 11, 2021 — The Daily Kos Elections researchers are converting the 2020 presidential returns into congressional district totals, as they have successfully done in past election years. This allows us to compare the 2020 voting patterns with those from four years ago. Doing so reveals some interesting conclusions.

As you can see from the chart below of all 27 New York congressional seats, the patterns are striking, and while former President Trump met and exceeded his projected vote goals within his worst performing districts in New York City, he underperformed by similar ratios in the regions that should have been his strongest.

The NY congressional delegation is split 19-8 in the Democrats’ favor. When comparing the districts that President Joe Biden and former President Trump each won, we see that they match almost identically to the partisan choices those electorates made for the House of Representatives.

There is one exception, however, in addition to a pair of districts that Trump carried in 2016 but switched to President Biden in 2020. The Syracuse-anchored congressional seat that Republican John Katko (R) represents is the only New York district that split its presidential and congressional vote.

While Biden was carrying the CD with a nine-point margin, a net 3.6 percent Democratic improvement from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 result in this 24th District, Rep. Katko was re-elected to a fourth term with a 52-42 percent margin over college professor Dana Balter (D), his 2018 opponent who returned for a re-match. The result was a net four-point improvement for the GOP incumbent from 2018 his victory.

The two seats Trump won in 2016 that switched to President Biden in 2020 are the 18th and 19th Districts, those of Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-Cold Spring/Peekskill) and Antonio Delgado (D-Rhinebeck) — CDs that bridge the city districts with those in the upstate region.

As the chart below shows, the striking point is that the net gains or losses in almost every 2020 district when compared to 2016 is almost opposite of what an analyst would have predicted. Former President Trump underperformed on Long Island as well as upstate, areas where he should have shown greater strength; and he over-performed in all of the New York City districts.

Trump lost the NYC seats by substantial margins, a heavily minority region, but his improvement ranged from a net 0.5 percent in Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s (D-Manhattan) Silk Stocking district to 15.5 percent in the Bronx CD of freshman Rep. Ritchie Torres (D). Four years ago, the latter NY-15 CD was the former president’s worst-performing district in the entire country.

These particular results show that despite the media image of Trump being America’s most racist president, the numbers generally depict clear improvement among people of color in New York State.

The explanation for his lesser performance on Long Island and upstate traces back to a familiar Trump 2020 problem: performing worse among women, those aged 65 years and older, in addition to right-of-center unaffiliated and minor party voters. It was his failure to equal his 2016 performance with these voting segments that cost him his re-election victory.

As we look at other numbers from across the country, we will see the patterns uncovered in New York also becoming prevalent in most other regions.


New York

INCUMBENT BIDEN ’20 CLINTON ’16 TRUMP ’20 TRUMP ’16 NET
1 – ZELDIN 47.3 42.2 51.5 54.5 8.1
2 – GARBARINO 47.4 43.9 53.0 51.6 2.1
3 – SUOZZI 54.7 51.6 44.3 45.5 4.6
4 – RICE 55.6 53.4 43.4 43.8 2.6
5 – MEEKS 83.3 85.7 16.2 12.7 5.9
6 – MENG 61.8 65.1 37.4 32.1 8.6
7 – VAZQUEZ 81.8 84.6 16.5 13.5 4.4
8 – JEFFRIES 82.9 86.9 17.3 10.4 12.0
9 – CLARKE 81.4 83.5 17.8 14.4 5.5
10 – NADLER 76.1 78.3 22.9 18.8 6.3
11 – MALLIOTAKIS 44.3 43.8 54.8 53.6 0.7
12 – MALONEY, C. 84.1 83.3 14.8 13.5 0.5
13 – ESPAILLAT 88.1 92.3 11.2 5.4 10.0
14 – OCCASIO-CORTEZ 73.3 77.7 25.9 19.8 10.5
15 – TORRES 86.5 93.8 13.1 4.9 15.5
16 – BOWMAN 75.3 75.1 23.8 22.5 1.1
17 – JONES 59.6 58.6 39.4 38.4 0.0
18 – JONES 51.8 47.1 46.8 49.0 6.9
19 – DELGADO 49.8 44.0 48.3 50.8 8.3
20 – TONKO 59.3 54.0 38.7 40.5 7.1
21 – STEFANIK 43.8 40.0 54.2 53.9 3.5
22 – TENNEY 43.3 39.3 54.7 54.8 3.9
23 – REED 43.3 39.7 54.6 54.5 3.5
24 – KATKO 53.4 48.9 44.4 45.3 3.6
25 – MORRELLE 60.1 55.5 37.8 39.1 5.9
26 – HIGGINS 62.6 57.6 35.6 38.0 7.4
27 – JACOBS 41.1 35.2 56.8 59.7 8.8

Three Events Mark The Most Significant Day in 2022 Election Cycle

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 10, 2021 — Three major events affecting the election process occurred Monday, making it possibly the most significant day to this point in the 2022 election cycle.


NY-22

Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) conceded a tight election Monday after former US Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) was certified as the NY-22 winner by 109 votes.

From New York, and rather surprisingly, former Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) conceded the last remaining uncalled 2020 election late Monday afternoon. The move was unexpected because he had filed several appeals to State Supreme Court of Oswego County Justice Scott DelConte’s rulings concerning more than 500 ballots that were either added to the aggregate count or voided.

On Friday last week, Justice DelConte’s ordered the counties that comprise the 22nd District to send their final vote counts to the state Board of Elections for final certification. The districtwide total gave former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) a 109-vote victory margin.

Brindisi was not shy in bashing the local election officials as part of his concession, however. The election administration in seven of the district’s eight counties were often criticized as part of the almost three-month long court proceeding with Justice DelConte even going so far as saying that the officials on several occasions either ignored or outright violated New York election law in their handling, counting, and reporting of the votes.

Oneida County, the district’s largest, came under the heaviest criticism when it was discovered that 2,418 people had fully complied with the registration process, but their documents were never converted into official voter registration status. As a result, these individuals were barred from participating in the 2020 election.

Brindisi stated that, “sadly, we may never know how many legal voters were turned away at the polls or ballots not counted due to the ineptitude of the boards of election, especially in Oneida County.” He said he was conceding because the New York Upstate region needs to “move on” after such a long post-election contestation period.

It is presumed that that state Board of Elections’ commissioners will shortly certify the election and that Tenney will then be sworn into the House for the current term. Continue reading

Judge Orders Tenney Certified

By Jim Ellis

Former New York Rep. Claudia Tenney (R)

Feb. 9, 2021 — After more than three months of legal wrangling about whether former Rep. Claudia Tenney (R) defeated 116th Congress Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) in New York’s 22nd Congressional District, a judicial ruling on Friday afternoon at last paves the way for a final certification from the New York State Board of Elections.

The NY-22 campaign is obviously the last to receive an initial final count. Another result, from the IA-2 contest that came down to a six-vote margin, is before in the House of Representatives. In this instance, the state of Iowa long ago certified that victory margin and Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) is provisionally seated pending a challenge referred to the House Administration Committee.

Returning to the New York situation, State Supreme Court of Oswego County Justice Scott DelConte early last week ordered election representatives from the eight counties, all or parts of which comprise the 22nd District, to appear in his court and certify the final totals, but he then suspended the order. This, after Brindisi appealed indicating that such a decision would cause him “irreparable harm.” Justice DelConte responded, saying he would take the motion under advisement until Feb. 5.

With his new ruling, Justice DelConte re-affirmed the previous order for the counties to send their certified totals to the state Board of Elections. The aggregate electoral sum will reflect a Tenney victory margin of 109 votes. The initial public count on Election Night ended with her leading by over 28,000 votes, which would drop to her trailing by just 14 tallies when the outstanding mail ballots from several counties were added. The post-election tabulation that included late-arriving votes from overseas and other ancillary ballots was then adjusted into a Tenney 12-vote edge and later 29, before yielding to an unofficial preliminary final count of a 122-vote spread.

Now, after the Justice has ruled on all contested votes – more than 600 after the two parties agreed on resolutions to an additional 500-plus ballots – a Tenney victory margin of 109 votes becomes the official final tally that will be transmitted to the state.

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CO-3: Rep. Boebert Challenge Looming

By Jim Ellis

2nd Amendment activist, local restaurant owner and now US Rep. Loren Boebert represents Colorado’s 3rd CD.

Feb. 8, 2021 — Colorado freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Silt), who first upset then-Rep. Scott Tipton in the 2020 Republican primary and later overcame more than $6 million in combined spending from her general election opponent and outside organizations, can count on seeing another tough campaign in 2022.

Already, candidates are lining up, and the most prominent one in the early going announced late last week. State Senate President Pro Tempore Kerry Donovan (D-Gunnison) released a video announcing that she will forego re-election to the state legislature in order to challenge Rep. Boebert in the next congressional campaign. Rancher Gregg Smith and former state House candidate Colin Wilhelm had previously declared their intentions to compete for the Democratic nomination.

Lauren Boebert is a Florida native who moved with her family to the Denver area when she was 12 years old. She then re-located to the Western Slope region in 2003 and, with her husband, opened their restaurant, Shooters Grill, in 2013.

Congresswoman Boebert has attracted much national attention so far with her insistence of carrying a firearm on the House floor. Such is nothing new since she has always holstered a side arm in her restaurant establishment and made defending the 2nd Amendment the cornerstone of her congressional campaign effort.

Despite being heavily outspent, Boebert carried the general election against former state representative and 2018 congressional nominee Diane Mitsch Bush (D) by a 51-45 percent margin, meaning a spread of 26,512 votes. Former President Trump, who recorded only 42 percent of the statewide vote, also carried the 3rd District in a similar 52-46 percent margin.

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Nevada’s Harry Reid Re-Emerges

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 5, 2021 — Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is no longer in elective office, but it appears he’s still active in politics. Now, Reid has a new cause: making Nevada the first-in-the-nation presidential nomination contest.

Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

Reports suggest that the former party leader is lobbying Democratic officials to change the order of nomination voting. As we know, Iowa is the first caucus state to vote, followed by the New Hampshire primary. The Nevada caucus then follows, and then onto the South Carolina primary before Super Tuesday voting commences.

Reid, and others, are arguing that neither Iowa nor New Hampshire are representative of the core Democratic Party, and therefore should not receive the undue attention from being scheduled as the first caucus and primary despite tradition yielding such.

He points out that in 2020 the Iowa caucus system became colluded and poorly administered thus leading to a situation that even today it is unclear as to who actually won the caucus vote. While Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) received the most votes, it was former South Bend mayor and now US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg who came away with the most delegates.

In New Hampshire, Reid contends that the eventual nominee, and of course general election winner, Joe Biden, placed fifth in the Granite State Democratic primary before his candidacy was rescued with a big primary win in South Carolina. He fails to mention, however, that Biden also lost Nevada, coming in a poor second to Sen. Sanders (40-19 percent) and just ahead of Buttigieg’s 17 percent.

Since 1952, there have been 13 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primaries in races that did not involve a party incumbent. In only five of those campaigns did the Granite State voters back the eventual party nominee. The last time the state chose a nominee who went onto win an open or challenge race for the Presidency occurred in 1976. In that year, Jimmy Carter won the New Hampshire primary, and then proceeded to unseat then-President Gerald Ford in a close general election.

In reality, however, South Carolina may actually have the best argument about moving into the first primary position. The South Carolina presidential primary system began in 1988. Since then, the state has hosted seven such Democratic elections where no president of their party was seeking re-election. In its history, the eventual party nominee has won five of the seven Palmetto State presidential primaries.

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Another Delay in NY-22 Certification;
Rep. Ryan to Announce Senate Run

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 4, 2021 — After ordering the eight NY-22 counties to certify their final congressional election results by yesterday afternoon and now surpassing 90 days after the votes were cast, State Supreme Court of Oswego County Justice Scott DelConte has reversed course. Yesterday, he instructed the county election officials to suspend their certification process.

Justice DelConte said he now wants to consider at least until Friday the effect of 116th Congress incumbent Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) possibly winning his motions for legal relief at the appellate level after race leader Claudia Tenney (R) is certified the winner and takes office. This new direction suggests it could be several more weeks before we see a member sworn into the House from this particular Upstate New York district.


OHIO SENATE

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown)[/caption]Yesterday, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown) indicated that he will officially announce a campaign for the state’s open Senate seat in March. Ryan becomes the first prominent Democrat to begin organizing a campaign.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren/Youngstown)

As we will remember, Rep. Ryan joined the Democratic presidential field attempting to approach the electorate from a union jobs, more centrist perspective. His campaign failed to gain legs and he dropped out well before the first votes were cast in the Iowa Caucuses. During his 10 terms in the House, Ryan has publicly considered running for lieutenant governor, governor, and the Senate, only to back away each time in order to seek re-election to the House.

This time, however, his statement is definitive about running, and such a move makes political sense. Ohio is slated to lose another congressional seat in reapportionment and there is reason to believe that Rep. Ryan’s 13th District seat could be the one collapsed.

OH-13 begins at the Pennsylvania border and immediately encompasses the cities of Youngstown, Niles and Warren. Then the district moves further west to capture more than 228,000 individuals in the Akron metro area. Most of Akron city is shared with Rep. Marcia Fudge’s (D-Cleveland) 11th District, which is the least populated CD in the state. The 11th will likely need an influx of about 100,000 people to become compliant with the projected per district population number for the current decade under the new redistricting plan when adopted.

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