• Parody in Blue

OK let's head out west for more Red states that we shouldn't be writing off! Let's start with Utah.

Utah is an interesting place in that its very not pro-Trump, but pro-traditional Republican. Somehow, its Republicans are not getting tarred by being associated with Trump, despite none of them really doing anything to be a check on him.

Utah doesn't have a Governor's race this year, but it does have a Senate race! But there is no chance Dems win here, since Mitt Romney is running and he's suuuuuper popular. But we have a very respectable candidate in Jenny Wilson. And at any rate, I will not be sad to see Orrin Hatch go. At all.

UT is the last of the 4-Rep states, all are currently Republican held, and one of them is considered competitive! The closest to any Dem hope is UT4, which covers part of Salt Lake City and an area west and south of Provo. Incumbent Mia Love is being challenged by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Cook has it rated as a tossup! It should be noted Dems have held this seat before, and its not a very old district, only being created in 2010.

At the state level, half of the State Senate is up! Republicans strongly control the chamber 24-5. The only seat that might be a potential pickup this year is SD8 (Salt Lake). Its a Red district, but narrowly. Our candidate is Kathleen Riebe.

The whole House is up, with Republicans having a 62-13 majority. Clinton did actually win a few districts, but mostly because Evan McMullin got a lot of NeverTrump Republican votes. Still, you never know. A couple of potential pickups:

HD10 (Ogden): A narrowly Red district, LaWanna Shurtliff is our candidate.

HD30 (West Valley City): Clinton actually won this district with a plurality, our candidate is Robert Burch Jr.

HD33 (West Valley City): Clinton actually did really well in this district, our candidate is Ira Hatch.

HD38 (Kearns): Another plurality Clinton win, our candidate is Edgar Harwood.

HD39 (Taylorsville): Same as 38, our candidate is Stephen Peck.

HD44 (Murray): Clinton actually got to 40% here, our candidate is Andrew Stoddard.

HD49 (Sandy): Trump very narrowly won here. Barely. Our candidate is Anthony Sudweeks.

HD54 (Herber): Trump won here, but Clinton got almost 40%. Meaghan Miller is our candidate.

Utah has a bunch of interesting ballot initiatives!

Amendment B: A proposal to allow property leased by the government not to pay property taxes, is a blatant giveaway to business interests.

Amendment C: A proposal to allow the legislature more special sessions. If the problem is the legislature doesn't meet often enough, why not just add another session instead of doing "special" sessions?

Opinion Question 1: so wouldn't do anything legal, but would allow people to weigh in on a gas tax. Its pretty clear that gas prices need to be higher to both pay for infrastructure and to mitigate the environmental impact of cars.

Prop 2: Medical marijuana! Of course anything that advances the cause of legalization is great! How long can the federal government hold out if like 40 states legalize marijuana??? Yes!

Prop 3: The Medicaid expansion! Another of my very favorite resolutions, getting health care to thousands of the poorest citizens! Yes!

Prop 4: Creating an independent redistricting commission. Another super great thing that is spreading to a lot of states, stopping state legislatures from drawing lines for themselves to help their party keep control or help incumbents stay in office, but to draw them fairly and ensure better representation. Yes!

On to Oklahoma! OK is usually deep Red, but it has Blue pockets, and it's teachers are FIRED UP!

For Governor, the departing Mary Fallin is very unpopular and her potential Republican replacement isn't much better. Leaving the door open to Former State AG Drew Edmundson to take the seat! There are also active races for all the state offices like Attorney General and State Treasurer.

No Senate races this year, but some possible House action! OK has 5 seats, and they are all very Red. The least Red though is OK5 (Oklahoma City and Shawnee). Our candidate to flip is former Congressional aid Kendra Horn. She is Emily's List endorsed!

At the State level, half the State Senate is up. Republicans have a 41-7 majority, so really there is nowhere to go but up? Still, Dems won 2 special elections in 2017, so you never know! None of the races are obvious pickups, but maybe SD40 (Oklahoma City). This district was almost evenly split in 2016, and its an open seat, with our candidate being Carri Hicks.

The whole State House is up. Republicans have a 74-27 majority. Potential pickups:

HD62 (Lawton): A narrowly Red district, our candidate is Larry Bush for this open seat.

HD66 (Sand Springs): This is a really deep Red district, but the candidate here, Angela Graham, is endorsed by both Emily's List and Our Revolution, so you never know!

HD71 (Tulsa): A Romney/Clinton district, our candidate is Denise Brewer, also an open seat. Emily's List endorsed!

Ballot measures! OK's aren't nearly as sexy as Utah's, with several technical and budget things. The budget ones in particular seem pretty useless. OK also has the Marsy's Crime Victim Law on the ballot, and as I noted when talking about another state, this is a boilerplate law with good intentions, but is opposed by the ACLU as being way too vague and not tailored to each state.

At the municipal level, there are a number of counties having elections for County Commissioner and other offices. Especially if your area is electing a District Attorney or Sheriff, make sure they are being asked about criminal justice reform!

And that's it! Let's surprise some Red states! #beavoter!!!!

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  • Parody in Blue

Let's swing down to the Deep (Red) South! Arkansas and Mississippi used to be Democratic, then after Johnson and the Civil Rights Act they started a slow switch to the Republican party which has been complete for a while now. However, MS in particular is not a state we should write off, with an African American population of 37%! If they had really high turnout in combination with a good turnout from liberal whites, MS could be in play again.

But let's start with Arkansas, which is a bit more out of reach.

So AR is having a governor's race, but its not considered particularly competitive. Our candidate is Jared Henderson (who among other things used to be a NASA scientist!) There are also races for the other state executive offices.

No Senate race this year, and only 1 of the 4 House seats is considered even mildly competitive. That's AR2, which covers Little Rock and nearby areas. It is R+7, so definitely a gettable district in a wave year. Our candidate is State Rep Clarke Tucker.

Half the State Senate is up this year, and Republicans have a 26-9 majority. Flipping the chamber is probably out of reach, but the best time to start building a state party is now! Races to watch:

SD19 (Pocahontas): Susi Epperson is PCCC endorsed for this open seat.

SD35 (Conway): Maureen Skinner is the Our Revolution endorsed candidate to flip this seat!

In the State House, all seats are up! Republicans have a 73-27 majority, but again, the time to party-build is now! See the full list of Dem candidates here.

AR has 2 very important ballot measures this year.

Issue 2 - This would require a photo ID to vote in AR. As with all other of these types of laws, the purpose here is not to stop voter fraud, which is exceedingly rare, but to prevent minorities and poor people from voting. Not many things get me as worked up as this, PLEASE VOTE NO!

Issue 5 - This would raise the minimum wage to $11! Which would be awesome and will hopefully drive some great Dem turnout!!

On to Mississippi!

State elections are in 2019, so check back next year for those!

There are two, count 'em TWO Senate elections this year in MS! And I really don't see why they aren't being more heavily contested after what happened in Alabama!

The first is Republican incumbent Roger Wicker vs State Minority leader David Baria. The other is a special election for Thad Cochran's seat after he had to resign due to poor health. The appointed incumbent is Cindy Hyde-Smith, the former MS Agriculture Commissioner. In a fun twist, she is facing Mike Espy, who was US Secretary of Agriculture under Clinton, and also a former Congressman. Espy is also African-American, which will hopefully help to drive turnout among the massive African-American voting bloc in MS. This race is considered somewhat competitive because Hyde-Smith is not a long-serving incumbent and because of the potential turnout excitement from Espy. That would be awesome, but while Dem voters are there I hope they will vote for Baria as well, and their Dem House candidate!

No MS House seat is considered really competitive, since by design there is 1 Dem district and 3 Republican. The closest would be MS3, which covers part of Jackson and a diagonal swath from the LA to AL borders. Though the district is R+13, the seat is open. Our candidate is Michael Ted Evans, a Stat Rep and firefighter.

There are 2 special elections for state legislative seats on Nov 6. One is HD31 (Indianola), which is a Dem district. There a bunch of people running, so there will likely be a runoff, so check out all the candidates!

The other is HD85 (Fayette, Port Gibson), and is also Dem held with a lot of candidates and a potential runoff.

And that's it! It's ALL about turnout, so get out there and #beavoter!

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  • Parody in Blue

Let's jump over to the Midwest, 2 states that used to have liberal leanings but have been trending hard Red lately, but might be ready for a pendulum swing back!

Let's start with Kansas!

The KS governor's race is one of the most interesting this year. Former Gov Sam Brownback completed depleted state coffers with his drastic tax cuts and caused huge cuts in vital services. He became quite unpopular so he ran off to a job with the Trump administration. His successor managed to lose in the primary, leaving the nominee to be the notorious Kris Kobach, he of extreme voter suppression fame. Kobach is such an extremist that his nomination actually puts the governor's mansion in play - Cook has it rated as a tossup! The Dem candidate is State Senator Laura Kelly, running on an all lady team with her Lt Gov nominee State Senator Lynn Rogers. They are Emily's List endorsed. Kelly has actually earned endorsements from several prominent Republicans who are disgusted with the policies of the previous administration. There is also a 3rd party candidate in the mix polling at 10% so this could get pretty crazy!

There are also active campaigns for state executive offices like Attorney General and Secretary of State.

No Senate race this year, but there is definite House action! Dems currently hold none of the 4 House spots, and are seriously challenging 2 this year.

KS2 (Topeka, Easter quarter of KS except KC area) : Former Minority Leader Paul Davis is our candidate here for this open seat. Its R+10 but in a Blue year with an open seat it could be a pickup.

KS3 (Kansas City): Definitely the best shot to get a seat in KS, Sharice Davids is our candidate here. If elected, she would be one of the first Native Americans in the House, along with Deb Haaland in New Mexico. Emily's List endorsed.

No KS State Senate this year, but the whole House is up! Republicans currently have an 85-40 majority, but they actually lost a number of seats in 2016 so we could definitely make further gains here. Maybe not a majority, but at least a stronger minority and building for the future. Races to watch:

Dems in Trump districts

HD2 (Frontenac): Adam Lusker

HD3 (Pittsburg): Monica Murnan

HD18 (Shawnee): Cindy Neighbor

HD40 (Lansing): Debbie Deere

HD41 (Leavenworth): Jeff Pittman

HD72 (Newton): TIm Hodge

HD79 (Winfield): Ed Trimmer

HD98 (Wichita): Steven Crum

HD111 (Hays): Eber Phelps

Republicans in Clinton districts (the Dem candidates challenging them!)

HD17 (Shawnee): Laura Smith-Everett

HD19 (Overland Park): Stephen Wyatt

HD20 (Overland Park): Becky Barber

HD23 (Overland Park): Susan Ruiz

HD25 (Overland Park): Rui Xu, endorsed by Our Revolution

HD30 (Olathe): Brandon Woodard

HD45 (Lawrence): Mike Amyx

At the local level, Sedgewick County (Wichita) is having elections for County Commissioners.

On to Iowa! Iowa gets tons and tons of attention because its the first caucus so it gets a lot of Presidential love. Also Obama won Iowa twice, but then Trump narrowly won it in 2016. Come back, Iowa!

IA has a very tight Governor's race as well, rated by Cook as a tossup. Our candidate is businessman Fred Hubbell who has been able to put a lot of his own money in the race. He is facing Kim Reynolds, who took over as Governor when the previous occupant also took a job in the Trump administration (so many parallels!) and is now running for her own term.

There are also races for all the major State Executive offices like Attorney General and Secretary of State.

No Senate this year, but 2 competitive House races! Dems hold 1 of 4, and want to challenge the other 3!

IA1 (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and NE quarter of IA): State Rep Abby Finkenauer is taking on the incumbent here and she is currently favored to win, but still needs your help! Emily's List endorsed.

IA3 (Des Moines and SW quarter of IA): Small Business owner Cindy Axne is taking on the Republican incumbent here, and its currently rated as a tossup. Emily's List endorsed.

IA4 (Sioux City, Ames, NW quarter of IA): It would be really really great to get rid of Steve King. He is a particularly nasty human being, I wouldn't even mind seeing him primaried by a nicer Republican! But if we can take his seat, so much the better. Our candidate is Paralegal and former Minor League Baseball player JD Scholten. This would be a really tough get, its an R+11 district, but man it would be sweet. Our Revolution endorsed.

Half the State Senate is up this year. Republicans have it 29-20, so 5 seats would do the trick to take Dem control. Races to watch:

SD7 (Sioux City): This is an Obama/Trump district, Jackie Smith is our candidate to flip it. Emily's List endorsed!

SD15 (Des Moines): Another Obama/Trump district, but our incumbent managed to survive. However, the seat is now open and Dan Nieland is trying to hold it.

SD27 (Allison, Mason City, Hampton): Another Obama/Trump district, but here we have an incumbent! Amanda Ragan.

SD29 (Dubuque): Same as 27, with incumbent Tod Bowman.

SD39 (Iowa City): Another potentially endangered Dem, Kevin Kinney.

SD41 (Ottumwa): An Obama/Trump district with an open seat! Our candidate to flip is Mary Stewart. Emily's List endorsed!

SD47 (Davenport): An actual Obama/Clinton district! Albeit pretty narrow wins, a great pickup opportunity. Our candidate is Marie Gleason.

SD49 (Danvenport, Clinton): An Obama/Trump district, that has a Dem open seat, we need to make sure we hold it, with Patti Robinson. Emily's List endorsed!

The WHOLE Iowa House is up this year as well. Republicans have it 59-41, so 10 seats would flip control.

7 Dems in danger, mostly in Obama/Trump districts

HD9 (Fort Dodge): an open seat, Megan Srinivas, Emily's List endorsed

HD15 (Council Bluffs): Charlie McConkey

HD26 (Indianola): Scott Ourth

HD29 (Newton): Wesley Beckenridge

HD81 (Ottumwa): Mary Gaskill

HD82 (Bloomfield, Fairfield): Phil Miller

HD83 (Fort Madison): open seat, Jeff Kurtz

10 Republicans to flip

HD38 (Des Moines): An Obama/Trump but pretty split, Heather Matson is taking on the incumbent. Emily's List endorsed

HD42 (Des Moines and Indianola): A narrowly but steadily Blue district, Kristin Sunde is taking on the incumbent. Emily's List endorsed

HD43 (Des Moines): Another narrowly but steadily Blue district, Jennifer Konfrst wants this open seat! Emily's List endorsed

HD44 (Adel): A narrowly Red and moving Blue district, Kenan Judge wants this open seat.

HD55 (Elkader, West Union, Decorah): An Obama/Trump, Kayla Koether is challenging the incumbent. PCCC endorsed

HD60 (Waterloo): A narrowly split Obama/Trump, Dave Williams is our challenger.

HD67 (Cedar Rapids): a narrowly split district, Eric Gjerde is running against the incumbent.

HD68 (Cedar Rapids): A narrowly but steadily Blue district, Molly Donahue is poised to take this open seat! Emily's List and PCCC endorsed

HD73 (Iowa City and Muscatine): Obama/Trump district, Jodi Clemens is taking on the incumbent. Our Revolution endorsed.

HD91 (Muscatine): Obama/Trump district, our challenger is Laura Liegois. Emily's List endorsed

And that's it!! These are states we Dems should definitely be competing in and winning!! Get out there and #beavoter!!!

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