Category Archives: House

More Redistricting Delays – Part I

By Jim Ellis

Feb. 17, 2021 — The Census Bureau announced just before the Presidents’ Day holiday break that there will be yet another long delay in transmitting the census data to the states. Without the new numbers, redistricting becomes unachievable.

The new target date is Sept. 30, postponed from their first postponement date of July 30. At this point, the postponed apportionment release date remains April 30, long after the statutory deadline of Jan. 1. Apportionment is the first critical step in the redistricting process since this informs the states how many congressional seats they will be awarded for the current decade.

The late September target (and there’s no guarantee even this date will be met) will make it difficult for many states to finish their redistricting on time, and could force the process into the courts if state legislatures are unable to convene or meet a legislative calendar in terms of allowing public input. Even now, at least several states will have to enact emergency legislation to change deadlines to avoid violating pre-existing legal redistricting deadlines.

The delays have already changed the political situation in New Jersey and Virginia. With both states having odd-numbered year state legislative elections, the two are always the first to receive their new census data. In both states, legislative elections will now proceed under the 2011 maps with previously enacted amendments. When the lines are eventually completed, it is possible that new elections, possibly for 2022, will be ordered in Virginia. New Jersey voters passed a referendum in November that allows redistricting to occur before the 2023 state legislative elections.

Another problem could be lawsuits filed against the eventual apportionment. Apparently, the principal problem for the delays is exactly which people to count and where they are placed. College students, for example, are typically counted at the university campus on which they reside. Now, however, so many are not attending in-person classes. Therefore, arguments are ongoing as to where this group should be counted, either at school or back at their primary residence.

Additionally, one of President Biden’s new executive orders reversed Trump Administration policies about whether or not to count non-citizens. This change of direction has also created further delays.

Based upon these controversies, and others, it is probable that at least one potential losing state – apparently Alabama is on the cusp of losing a seat but may not depending upon the counting criteria – could sue over the apportionment conclusion meaning even further delays as various potential lawsuits wind their way through the judicial process toward final determination. All of this could conceivably mean redistricting is postponed until the 2024 election cycle.

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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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