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  • Parody in Blue

Its New Blue State day! Both of these states have been swing states, but now seem to be trending Blue, though NM is farther along that path than NV. Bush won both of these in 2004, but Obama carried them both twice and they both went for Hillary as well. These are definitely states where Dems have some great opportunities!


Let's start with the swingier Nevada!

NV has a hot governor's race. Republican Brian Sandoval is term limited, and is pretty popular. However, the man running to replace him, current AG Adam Laxalt, is a bigly Trumper, hard core on immigration, and also has Koch brothers support. Our candidate is Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commissioner and former University Regent. Cook rates this race as a tossup, and its an excellent pickup opportunity!

There are also hot races for all the other state executive offices, Lt Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Controller, and State Attorney General (open since Laxalt is trying to trade up) All are currently Republican held and could be flipped.

And of course, NV has one of the most contested Senate races in the country this year. Republican Dean Heller is the ONLY Republican running in a state won by Clinton, so of course most people assume he is toast. Maybe he is, but only if we come out swinging for Rep Jacky Rosen, who is awesome and Emily's List endorsed. This is the "easiest" Senate race for us, so if we don't win this one, we are definitely not taking back the Senate. Also, if Jacky wins, then NV will become another 2 lady Senators state!

In the House, there are 3 competitive contests (out of 4) because the Districts are also pretty swingy.

NV2 (Carson City/Sparks and the whole northern part of NV): This district is R+7 and not on a lot of people's radar, but in a wave year it could be surprisingly competitive! Our candidate is former USDA official Clint Koble. Winning this one could mean the whole Congressional Delegation from NV is blue!

NV3 (South of Las Vegas): This district is pretty evenly split, and its an open Dem seat since we are promoting Jacky Rosen to the Senate! So we need to make sure we hold it. Susie Lee is our candidate, Emily's List endorsed, a leader of an Education non-profit.

NV4 (North of Las Vegas): The Dem incumbent here, Ruben Kihuen, is not running for re-election because he has sexual harassment issues, good riddance. Our candidate to replace him is former Congressman Steven Horsford. This district is also pretty closely split, and we have the added baggage of Kihuen's behavior plus the fact that he was the only Latino Rep in NV, but Horsford is African-American and used to represent this district so he should stand an excellent chance of keeping the seat IF WE TURN OUT!


At the State level, half of the Senate is up! Dems narrowly won a 12-9 majority in 2016, so it will be a delicate balance to hold and expand on that majority! Races to watch:

SD8 (Las Vegas): This district was represented by a Republican-turned-Independent-Dem-Caucuser who is not running for re-election, so we would like to just win it with a Dem outright. This is an extremely split Romney/Clinton district (and barely for both) so this race is a total tossup. Our candidate is Marilyn Dondero Loop, who is Emily's List endorsed.

SD9 (Las Vegas): This is a solid Blue district that a Republican managed to win in 2014. But its open again and we want it back! Melanie Scheible is our Emily's List endorsed candidate!


In the State Assembly, all 42 seats are up! Dems have a 27-15 majority to maintain. The assembly is remarkable well sorted, with almost no one in a district that is tilted to the other party. Races to watch:

AD2 (Las Vegas): This district is Red, but barely! Jennie Sherwood is trying to flip the seat, Emily's List endorsed.

AD25 (Reno): Another mildly Red district, Gregory John Shorts is our candidate to flip.

AD29 (Henderson): Lesley Cohen is a Dem incumbent in a split district that narrowly went for Trump after narrowly going for Obama. Being that is is also a competitive House district, we really need turnout here. Emily's List endorsed!

AD31 (Sparks): Skip Daly is a Dem incumbent in a narrowly Red district, so we don't want to lose his seat! Also we want to win this House district as well!


NV has a number of very interesting ballot measures this year. Question 1 concerned a boilerplate crime victims' rights law that has already passed several other states. While it has excellent intentions and good ideas about helping victims of crime, it is opposed by the ACLU has being far too vague and not tailored to specific state law to ensure it will not result in potentially problematic violations of the rights of the accused.

Question 2 exempts feminine hygiene products, ie tampons and pads, from sales tax, which is excellent considering like food, these are not optional products for women.

Question 3 concerns deregulation of the Energy industry. Proponents (who seem to be mostly Republican politicians and business interests) claim that this will allow a breakup of monopolies and better competition. Opponents (Dem politicians and a lot of unions, AARP and a number of businesses) say that deregulation could lead to rolling blackouts and massive price spikes as has happened in other states that did this.

Question 5 is the Motor-Voter law, doing automatic voter registration at the DMV. You can register at the DMV now, but the law would change from this being opt-in, to opt-out, so everyone would be registered unless they asked not to be. I LOVE this ballot initiative, as I love anything that helps people vote. Sandoval vetoed this measure when the legislature passed it, so we're taking it to the people. Gee, I wonder why Republicans don't want more people registered to vote...

Question 6 would require NV to get half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This is funded heavily by Dem activist Tom Steyer. Its generally supported by Dems for more clean energy and opposed by Republicans for scare mongering about costs.


For municipal, Clark County (Las Vegas) is having elections for Commissioner and other positions. Reno is having elections for Mayor and City Council, and Washoe County (Reno) is having elections for Sheriff and Commissioner. For Sheriff, both candidates have been asked about reducing and preventing officer involved shootings and gave good answers, which is excellent. Check that out here


On to New Mexico!!

NM also has a Governor's race. Republican Susan Martinez is term limited. The Republican Steve Pearce is a Trumpy Tea Partier, so we need the awesome Michelle Lujan Grisham to win! She is a Congresswoman and current chair of the Hispanic caucus. Emily's List endorsed! Considering how Blue NM has been trending, we have a great opportunity to win here.

There are also races for the other state offices of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, and Attorney General.

There is a Senate race here, Martin Heinrich is a Dem and not considered to be in any danger.

In the House, NM has 3 districts. Two of them are pretty safe Dem. The third. NM2 (some of Albuquerque and the southern half of the state), is open because Steve Pearce wants to try to be governor, and it's only R+6 so we could take it! Our candidate is the awesome Xochitl Torres-Small, an attorney and former Congressional aid who is Emily's List endorsed!


At the State level, the whole House is up (no Senate this year) In 2016 Dems gained a narrow 38-32 majority from the Republicans, so we will be fighting to keep and expand it! There are a lot of potentially interesting races, here are 10 to watch:

HD4 (Farmington): This district went for both Obama and Clinton yet has a Republican incumbent. Anthony Allison is trying to change that.

HD15 (Albuquerque): Another Republican in a Blue district, Dayan Hochman is our candidate for this open seat. Emily's List endorsed.

HD20 (Albuquerque): This is a Romney/Clinton district, so might be ripe for picking off. Abbas Ali Akhil is our potential flipper.

HD27 (Albuquerque): Another Romney/Clinton district, though more narrow, but with an open seat! Our candidate is William Pratt.

HD28 (Albuquerque): Another very narrow Romney/Clinton, this one does have an incumbent. Our candidate is Melanie Ann Stansbury, Emily's List endorsed.

HD29 (Albuquerque): A narrow but steadily Blue district, Joy Garratt is our candidate. Emily's List endorsed.

HD30 (Albuquerque): A deep Blue district with an open Republican held seat, we should definitely be able to grab this one! With our candidate Natalie Figueroa, endorsed by the PCCC and Emily's List.

HD53 (Carlsbad): Another pretty Blue district but with an incumbent, our candidate is Willi Madrid.

HD63 (Clovis): This is a Dem in danger in an Obama/Trump district that made a huuuge Red swing. Dem George Dodge Jr.

HD68 (Grants): A very split district, our candidate to flip is Karen Bash. Emily's List endorsed.


Nothing too crazy for ballot measures, just bonds, a technical proposal about appellate courts, and a proposal to create an ethics commission. Read about them on Ballotpedia


At the local level, Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) is having some municipal elections for County Commissioner.


Let's get out there and flip some seats!!! #beavoter




  • Parody in Blue

We are moving right along, to states that have 3 House Reps! Today we have West Virginia and Nebraska, two generally Red states with Blue eccentricities.


West Virginia - it always votes solidly Republican in the Presidential elections these days, but it wasn't always so! Bill Clinton won it twice, and hell, they even voted for Dukakis! Long a part of the Democratic south, it often votes for Dems at the state level. Like other southern states, WV has been slowly switching over to the Republican party, but while the switch is mostly complete elsewhere, Dems still have a strong presence here. WV used to have 6 Congressional districts, but now it only has 3 due to loss of population.

WV has a very important Senate race for us! Joe Manchin may occasionally vote the wrong way, but if we lose his seat he will be replaced with someone who will always do what Mitch McConnell wants, and that is not good for us. This last couple weeks should dramatically underscore how important flipping the Senate is for us. Its gonna require us drawing an inside straight, and part of that is holding this seat no matter what. Once we lose Joe, we may never get it back.

In the House, we have a surprisingly competitive race in WV3, which is Huntington and the southern part of the state. All 3 of the districts are very Red, but somehow this open seat is considered a possible pickup. Our candidate is State Senator and veteran Richard Ojeda.


At the state level, half of the Senate is up. Until 2014, Dems held the majority, mostly for reasons discussed above. Republicans now have a 22-12 majority. Trump won every district, and Romney won every one before that, so the only chance for any pickups would be huge turnout by Dems for Joe and in WV3.

All 100 State House Seats are up this year. Republicans control it 63-37. There are 2 Republicans in districts with Blue tendencies:

HD65 (Charles Town): Sammi Brown is our candidate, endorsed by the PCCC

HD67 (North of Charles Town): John Doyle is our candidate


For ballot measures, we have the delightful Amendment 1, which adds language to the state constitution saying that it does not protect abortion or abortion funding. Always a great way to turn out the base, so let's turn out ours!


On to Nebraska! NE is pretty red, except occasionally for Omaha.

In the Governor's race, Bob Krist is trying to unseat the sitting Republican incumbent. He is a former Republican, but he's also a veteran and a State Senator. There are also active races for Secretary of State and State Auditor.

There is a Senate race here with a Republican incumbent, a rarity this cycle! But this race isn't really getting a lot of attention or being contested. Maybe if our candidate Jane Raybould can make a better than expected showing, we might start contesting more NE races. I mean, Ben Sasse isn't all that bad as Republicans go, but he is up in 2020!

In House races, NE2 is a hot target! It covers the Omaha area, it's only R+4 and has been held by Dems in the past. Our candidate is Kara Eastman, an excellent progressive with a lot of energy behind her, endorsed by Emily's List and the PCCC.


At the State level, half of the Legislature is up (There is only one chamber). Republicans have a 32-15 seat lead, 2 more than needed for a supermajority. Races to watch:

SD6 (Omaha): A possible pickup, in a rare Romney/Clinton district! Machaela Cavanaugh is our candidate.

SD18 (Omaha): This district is only narrowly Red, so it might be poachable. Scott Winkler is our candidate.

SD20 (Omaha): Another narrowly Red district, Jackie Collett is our candidate.


For ballot measures, we have one of my favorites, NI427 which would expand Medicaid! Hopefully this excellent measure will drive turnout among people who desperately need insurance, and those who love and support them!


Douglas County, which contains Omaha, is having local elections for a bunch of offices, including Commissioner, and Sheriff. For Sheriff in particular, Mike Hughes is running against the incumbent on a reform platform.

Lancaster County, which is Lincoln, is also having municipal elections, but a lot of them are unopposed.


Lot happening in these supposed Red states, time to turn out Dems, people who don't normally vote, and people who normally vote Republican but aren't happy with the way things are going!!!


#beavoter


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  • Parody in Blue

It's been a rough week. In a rough year. Really 2. So let's take a little breather with 2 of our smaller Blue states, Hawaii and Rhode Island!


Hawaii! Pretty much the bluest state in the nation, so not a lot at stake here, but let's give Hawaiians props for reliably electing great people!

Governor: David Ige was renominated despite the whole accidental alert thing, so he's the favored candidate. His Republican opponent's platform sounds exactly like a Democrat's except for gun control and lowering taxes, she's probably more liberal than the Democratic Governor of Montana!

Senate: Mazie Hirono is up, and she has been a big damn hero this week on the Judiciary Committee. She has nominal opposition, so enjoy getting to vote for a great Senator!

Both House seats will easily go Dem, with Ed Case taking the open seat and Tulsi Gabbard being re-elected.

In the State Senate, Dems literally hold ALL the seats, which is bonkers. There are 13 seats up this cycle, and Republicans are only contesting 5 of them! There are no races to watch, cause none of these are are really competitive, and even if they won all 5 seats it wouldn't matter at all.

In the State House, Dems have a 46-5 lead. All House seats are up, but Republicans are only contesting 18 of them, and Hillary Clinton won every district so it's highly unlikely Republicans can gain seats and in fact might lose some.


For ballot measures, HI is voting on whether or not to hold a Constitutional Convention to change the State Constitution. HI has periodically held these, and often made positive changes. There is also a measure to add a surcharge on investment property to fund education, with support and opposition along fairly standard party lines.


At the local level, Honolulu is having elections for City Council, you can check out the candidates here. Voting locally is just as important!


On to Rhode Island! Also a very Blue state, but they do have a few Republicans.

RI is also having a Governor's race, and the Dem incumbent is not terribly popular, due to pension reform and healthcare.gov-esque blunder. But frankly, she seems to be doing the best she can in a bad situation and a tough political climate, and I think she should get another shot, because her Republican opponent in certainly not going to be more progressive than she is!

In the Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse is up and he should have no trouble! He too has been great on the Judiciary Committee this week.

Both House seats are Dem held and expected to stay that way, no problem.


At the State level, the whole Senate is up, and its currently 33-5 in Dem control. 23 seats is needed for a gubernatorial veto if we were to lose that race, and Republicans are only contesting 20 seats. These Dems are in Obama/Trump districts:

SD9 (West Warick): Adam Satchell

SD22 (North Providence): Steve Archambault,

SD23 (Burillville and Glocester): Kevin Heitke, this is an open seat!

SD25 (Johnston): Frank Lombardo III

SD27 (Cranston): Hanna Gallo

SD33 (East Greenwich): Leonidas Raptakis


In the House, all 75 seats are up, and Dems hold 64, 19 more than they need to override a veto. Republicans are only contesting 27. These Dems are in Obama/Trump districts:

HD15 (Crantston): Nicholas Mattiello (though he's the Speaker, so he's probably fine!)

HD25 (Coventry): Thomas Noret, open seat!

HD27 (West Warwick): Particia Serpa

HD47 (Burillville, Glocester): Cale Keable

HD53 (Smithfield): Bernard Hawkins, open seat!


All of the ballot measures are about bonds, nothing too sexy :)


So that's it for small Blue states! There really are only 4 of them (the other 2 being Vermont and Delaware) And these states should be a strong illustration of how important voting in the primaries is! If you don't like any of these Democratic candidates, well then the time to decide that was weeks ago in Aug for Hawaii or Sep 12 for Rhode Island. Now, you gotta dance with the party that brung ya, and vote Democrat, because at this point your alternative is not a better progressive but an even crappier Republican.


Go vote! #beavoter!