Sinema Wins AZ Senate Seat
Sinema wins, will become the first Democratic senator from Arizona in a quarter century. ThinkProgress: "Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) has an insurmountable lead over her Republican opponent, Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ), and will be the next United States Senator from Arizona, according to the Cook Political Report. Although partial returns showed McSally with a slight lead on election night, the sun rose the next day with many ballots still uncounted in Democratic leaning areas of the state. As of this writing, Sinema now enjoys a 1.5 percentage point lead over McSally, with some ballots still left to count. Sinema will be the first Democratic senator from Arizona since Sen. Dennis DeConcini left office in 1995. Though Sinema’s election is obviously good news for Democrats, the 2018 election results highlighted the massive structural advantages Republicans enjoy due to Senate malapportionment. Democratic House candidates are on track to win the national popular vote by as much as 7 points, yet Republicans gained seats in the Senate."
Dems' Bid To Reenfranchise Voters
Dems say their first bill will focus on strengthening democracy at home. NPR:"Democrats will take control of the U.S. House in January with big items topping their legislative to-do list: Remove obstacles to voting, close loopholes in government ethics law and reduce the influence of political money. Party leaders say the first legislative vote in the House will come on H.R. 1, a magnum opus of provisions that Democrats believe will strengthen U.S. democratic institutions and traditions. 'It's three very basic things that I think the public wants to see,' said Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), who spearheads campaign finance and government ethics efforts for the House Democratic Caucus. He said H.R. 1 will "'demonstrate that we hear that message loud and clear.' But even Sarbanes admits the quick vote is just a first step. Republicans, who control the Senate, are unlikely to pass the bill and President Trump is unlikely to sign it. 'Give us the gavel in the Senate in 2020 and we'll pass it in the Senate,' Sarbanes said. 'Give us a pen in the Oval Office and we'll sign those kinds of reforms into law.' The bill would establish automatic voter registration and reinvigorate the Voting Rights Act, crippled by a Supreme Court decision in 2013. It would take away redistricting power from state legislatures and give it to independent commissions. Other provisions would overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, which declared political spending is First Amendment free speech; they would mandate more disclosure of outside money and establish a public financing match for small contributions."
Trump Wants To Disqualify Military Votes
Trump urges Florida to ignore Military Votes. HuffPost:"Two days after skipping a visit to an American military cemetery near Paris because it was raining, President Donald Trump called for effectively disenfranchising overseas military members voting in Florida, raising further questions about the draft-evading president’s commitment to the armed services. 'The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged,' Trump tweeted early on Monday, the observed Veterans Day holiday for the federal government. 'An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!' Scott and DeSantis are the GOP’s candidates for U.S. senator and governor in Florida whose election-night margins of victory have resulted in legally mandated recounts. But skipping those recounts would not only violate state law, it would ignore the ballots of tens of thousands of Florida-based troops deployed overseas. Those ballots are supposed to be counted if they arrive by this coming Friday. 'It’s a nice commentary from the commander-in-chief on Veterans Day,' said Will Fischer, who served in Iraq as a Marine and is now with the VoteVets group. Less than two-and-a-half hours after Trump’s 7:44 a.m. tweet, the White House announced that Trump would remain there with no public events for the rest of the day. 'He’s not going to Arlington. He’s not even going up to Walter Reed,' Fischer said. 'Once again, Donald Trump only sees the military as props. If it doesn’t benefit him, he’s not going to do it.'"
Trump To Oust Nielsen From DHS
Trump is preparing to remove Kirstjen Nielsen as Homeland Security secretary. WashPo:"President Trump has told advisers he has decided to remove Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and her departure from the administration is likely to occur in the coming weeks, if not sooner, according to five current and former White House officials. Trump canceled a planned trip with Nielsen this week to visit U.S. troops at the border in South Texas and told aides over the weekend that he wants her out as soon as possible, these officials said. The president has grumbled for months about what he views as Nielsen’s lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity. The announcement could come as soon as this week, three of these officials said. Trump has changed his mind on key personnel decisions before, and Chief of Staff John F. Kelly is fighting Nielsen’s pending dismissal and attempting to postpone it, aides say. But Kelly’s future in the administration also is shaky, according to three White House officials."
Steve King Won, But Iowa GOP Losing Ground
White nationalist Steve King may have won, but GOP is losing ground in Iowa. The Intercept: "Based on data compiled by the Cook Political Report’s Dave Wasserman, the top House vote swing from Hillary Clinton’s vote share in 2016 was in West Virginia’s 3rd District, where Democrat and newly christened presidential candidate Richard Ojeda improved on Clinton’s performance by 36.5 percentage points. Among non-incumbents, the second-largest swing was Talley Sergent, another West Virginia candidate, who improved Clinton’s numbers in the 2nd District by 25.3 points. The No. 3 non-incumbent vote swing came from J.D. Scholten, the Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, who came within 3 points of Rep. Steve King, a 23.7-point swing over Clinton’s race against Trump. Those margins are far bigger than the gap that successful Democratic candidates had to bridge: The biggest House vote swing from a Democratic challenger who actually flipped a district was 15.9 points, by Congressperson-elect Anthony Brindisi in New York’s 22nd District. Scholten, like anyone who would run in Iowa’s 4th, got a tailwind by mere virtue of the fact that he was opposing King, a white nationalist who squandered his support from business interests and the national GOP in the race’s final days, after a series of racist statements and endorsements. But King’s previous opponents all lost by 22 points or more. What did Scholten, a 38-year-old former minor league baseball player, do differently? 'A lot of it was just understanding and knowing the district and being relatable,' Scholten said. His persistence was palpable. Scholten toured all 39 counties in the district multiple times in a Winnebago vehicle nicknamed “Sioux City Sue.” He slept in Walmart parking lots along the way. He drew hundreds of voters to town halls in deep-red areas and wasn’t afraid to talk to anyone. 'Some of it is just knowing where to go,' Scholten said. 'A lot of these small towns, they don’t have a coffee shop. If you hang out at the gas station, you’ll find people coming in for their coffee and you’ll have good conversations.' The outreach paid off. In a district tailor-made for a Republican, Scholten came out 18 points ahead of Fred Hubbell, the Democrat at the top of the ticket who lost his race for governor. There are 120,023 registered Democrats in the entire district; Scholten earned 146,698 votes."