The Midterms - Vermont and Delaware!
So taking a small break from sparsely populated Red states, today let's come up for air with the 2 smallest Blue states! Let's start with Vermont.
Vermont amazingly enough has a Republican governor (there is something about East Coast Blue states liking to elect Republican governors, MA, MD etc) And he is really really popular, so much so that Cook has this race as solid Republican. The Dem candidate is Christine Hallquist, a former Electric Co-op CEO and America's first openly transgenders gubernatorial nominee. That fact is what seems to be getting her some national attention, but oddly enough there isn't much focus on this race. Hallquist doesn't have much in the way of endorsements from progressive organizations, though she does of course have support from the LGBT community as well as labor unions. As I have noted before, Governor is the one office where I am ok with having a moderate Republican, so if people in Vermont are fine with Phil Scott, then ok. He is socially liberal, but like pretty much all Republicans he is very anti-tax and not having enough tax revenue can really kill government services if taken too far. But definitely take a look at both and them and evaluate for yourself their strengths and weaknesses.
There are also races for several other state-level positions, all with Dem incumbents running for re-election.
For Senate, its Bernie, he's fine :)
For the At-Large House seat, Peter Welch should easily cruise to re-election.
At the State level, all 30 Senate seats are up. Dems need 20 seats to be able to override the (probably Republican) governor, and right now they have 21 plus 2 independents. Races to watch:
Franklin: There is an open previously Republican seat here, 2 Dems are running.
Washington (Montpelier): Dems baaaaarely won the 3rd seat here from a Republican last time around, and the seat is open again. This is a very blue district, but Andrew Perchlik can't take the seat for granted.
State House: All seats are up here too. 100 needed for a veto-override, Dems have 83 plus 14 independents. Flip 4 seats and we have it. There are a TON of Republicans in Blue Clinton/Obama districts who are ripe for the flipping. Races to watch:
Addison 4: An open Dem seat and Republican incumbent, Marci Cordes and Caleb Elder are running to hold/flip. Cordes is endorsed by Our Revolution and the PCCC.
Bennington 4: Dems lost this seat in 2016, Kathleen James is running to take it back!
Caledonia 3: Another odd case of 2 Republicans in a Blue district, one of them winning last time by less than 100 votes! Scott Campbell who barely lost last time is taking another crack at it, and is joined by Jane Pompeo to try flipping.
Chittenden 6-1 (Burlington): A Republican won this seat in 2016 by less than 100 votes, and the seat is open again. Robert Hooper is taking it back!
Chittenden 8-1 (Essex): Dems didn't challenge the Republican here last time despite this being a blue district, and only ran 1 candidate for 2 seats. This year we have 2 candidates hoping to both keep the open Dem seat, and flip the other!
Chittenden 9-2: These seats weren't challenged in 2016, but since the Dem seat is open, we figured we may as well challenge the Republican as well! Sarita Austen and Herb Downing are running to hold and flip these 2 seats.
Chittenden 10: An open Republican seat, Todd Buik is hoping to take it. Unfortunately we don't have a 2nd candidate to run against the incumbent as well.
Franklin 1: This is a trickier one, as this is an Obama-barely Trump district with a Republican incumbent. Still, we have a challenger in Edward Simon.
Lamoille 3: Dems didn't even contest this seat last time in this Blue district, but this year the seat is open and Lucy Rogers is poised to take it!
Lamoille-Washington (Morrisville): Avram Patt lost this seat in 2016 by under 300 votes, and he wants it back!
Orange 1: More Republican held seats in a Blue district, Carl Demrow and Susan Hatch Davis are hoping to flip them.
Orleans-Caledonia: The 2 incumbents here won solidly last time, despite Republican Vicki Strong being in a blue district. Danielle Cote Sukkaew is hoping to finally flip it.
Rutland 5-1: The Republican incumbent actually has a challenger this year in Heather Juluissen-Stevenson, to flip in this Blue district!
Rutland 5-4: This Republican held-seat is open, William Notte is hoping to flip it.
Rutland 6: This is another open Dem seat alongside a Republican incumbent, Tim Guiles and Stephanie Jerome are running to hold/flip.
Rutland-Windsor 1: Gina Ottoboni is trying to flip this seat!
Washington 1: This is a super blue district, its very odd that 2 Republicans hold these seats. One of them is open, and we have 2 Dems Denise MacMartin and Jeremy Hansen, trying to flip.
Windham 1: This seat was unchallenged last year, and its open this year! Its a Blue district, Sara Coffey should be able to take it back if we get turnout!
Windsor-Orange 1: Wow, the Republican incumbent took this seat in 2016 by 2 votes. TWO! That's crazy. We can definitely take it back, John O'Brien.
There are 11 Republican-held districts that Trump won. I am not enumerating them here, but they could also be flippable, as every single district in Vermont went to Obama in 2012. Also, the great thing about the Vermont House is that races are decided with on average 1000 to 2000 votes! If you want, you could probably call up all of the candidates and ask them out for coffee to pitch you on their candidacies. With districts this small, you can definitely have a personal connection with your Rep!
OK on to Delaware!
There were some spirited progressive challengers here during the primary, but none of them really panned out. So, now we have to rally behind who Democrats did nominate, while we lay the groundwork for 2020 and beyond.
There is an open Attorney General seat, and Kathy Jennings is the Dem nominee. State Treasurer is up as well with a Republican incumbent, but the Dem nominee doesn't really have a lot of relevant experience. For State Auditor, Kathy McGuiness is running for this open seat and she is very well-qualified.
For Senate, Tom Carper is up. He's not every progressive's favorite, but he won renomination and we need his seat to control the Senate. He is running against a Trumpy guy.
For the At-Large House seat, Lisa Blunt Rochester is well poised to keep her seat as well.
At the State level, Dems have a ONE-SEAT majority in the Senate. It would definitely be nice to get a little more cushion there! Half the seats are up. Races to watch:
SD4 (Greenville): A Republican seat in a blue district, Laura Sturgeon is our hopeful flipper.
SD6 (Rehoboth Beach): Same as 6, with David Baker.
State House: All seats are up! Dems have a solid majority here, so we just need to hold on to what we have! Races to watch:
HD9 (South of Delaware City): Monique Johns is challenging the Republican incumbent here in this very evenly split district.
HD12 (Greenville/Ashland): Krista Griffith is trying to turf the Republican incumbent in this district that has swung hard from Red to Blue in the last couple cycles.
HD14 (Rehoboth): Peter Schwatzkopf is the Dem incumbent here in a very narrowly Dem district, so he needs good turnout to make sure he keeps his seat.
HD21 (Newark area): Stephanie Barry is running to flip this seat. This is a VERY Blue district, so she should have an excellent shot.
HD22 (Newark area): This is an open Republican held seat in a district that is trending more and more Blue, so Guillermina Gonzalez is hoping to pick it up.
HD29 (Dover area): A Dem-held open seat in an Obama-Trump district, this one could be our most endangered. William Bush is our candidate to hold it.
And that's it for our Small Blue States! Can I just say how hilarious it is that Delaware's House has 41 seats while Vermont has 150? If you live in Vermont and your Rep doesn't live down the street from you, you are getting ripped off :) Anyway, these races may not get a lot of national attention but they are still really important, so get out there and vote!!! #beavoter