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Elections Briefing, Feb. 23, 2021: Texas, Gavin Newsom, Pillows & Pennsylvania

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Elections Briefing 2-23-21

What’s red and white and has a blurb about the MyPillow guy? The Electionarium website with today’s Elections Briefing.

US Election News

Texas HD-68 Special Runoff: Today is polling day in the 68th House District in Texas. This district snakes around from the Panhandle to northeast Texas, taking in some very dark red areas of the Lone Star State. As such, there are two candidates left standing in this runoff, and both are Republicans. The GOP has held the seat, but it’s just a matter of which contender gets sworn in soon. They are Craig Carter and David Spiller, the latter of whom got 44 percent in the special election. Meanwhile, Carter advanced to the runoff by a margin of 57 votes.

Is California Heading for a Recall Election?: Remember 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger became California’s governor during a recall vote? We don’t see any bodybuilders jumping into the race, but there are signs of momentum for those seeking to oust Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). The Los Angeles Times characterizes the odds of a recall vote as “growing” thanks to about 1.3 million signatures being submitted and hundreds of thousands more in the pipeline.1 The magic number is 1,495,709 valid signatures by St. Patrick’s Day, March 17. It’s not a done deal yet, but it is plausible that California could go down this road again. Newsom has come under fire from some Californians for his handling of COVID-19 and his approval rating is under 50 percent in at least one poll according to Politico.2

Pillow Pro Gets Served: Dominion Voting Systems’ crusade against those who prominently sided with Donald Trump and his election fraud claims continued yesterday with the announcement of a new lawsuit. The defendant in this case will be Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO. As for the damages being sought, how about $1.3 billion (with a “B”)?3 This suit is similar in its scope to their suits against Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani, two Trump legal advisers who railed against the allegedly stolen 2020 American presidential election.

Pennsylvania Suit Tossed: Speaking of the above, did you know that the legal fight over the 2020 presidential election, albeit indirectly, was still ongoing? We say “was” because a petition by Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly (R) ended yesterday. Kelly’s aim was to nix all future mail-in voting in Pennsylvania by having a state law invalidated. The United States Supreme Court unanimously denied the writ of certiorari.4 Pennsylvania Republicans, and Republicans elsewhere, fiercely opposed mail-in voting as it skewed Democratic almost everywhere; they claim the system is open to widespread fraud and decried its use in the 2020 election.

International Election News

Uganda Election Challenge Ends: Bobi Wine, a Ugandan singer and presidential candidate, ended his fight against the results in which incumbent Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner.5 In something that will sound familiar to American voters, the losing candidate accused his opponent of widespread voting irregularities. One difference is that Museveni has been president for decades, and another is that Freedom House rates Uganda as “not free.” We’ll let you do the math on that one.

Australian MP Quits Government Party: Craig Kelly, a notorious Australian politician, has left the governing Liberal Party after facing criticism for his statements on COVID-19. The Sydney-area MP was accused of spreading misinformation about the pandemic and became a sore subject for Prime Minister Scott Morrison.6 Despite leaving the Liberal Party, Kelly is not expected to side against the government on matters of supply.

Featured Election

2021 Western Australia Election Predictions

The 2021 Western Australia state election is today’s feature. In a few weeks, the westernmost state in Australia heads to the polls to elect a new government, and as of now, opinion polls suggest an historic rout. Mark McGowan’s center-left Labor government is riding high and could crush the center-right Liberal Party opposition well into the single digits. See our latest predictions at the 2021 WA Election predictions page here on Electionarium.

Election Calendar

Today is special election day in the 31st New York City Council District, and an introduction to ranked choice voting for the city. This seat is located in the southern part of Queens, including Far Rockaway, and the field is replete with Democratic candidates.

House District Hillsborough 21 in New Hampshire is also having a special primary election today. There are normally eight representatives in this district, but one seat was vacated when Dick Hinch, the Speaker of the New Hampshire House, died from COVID-19.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. John Myers, “Essential Politics: The odds of a Newsom recall election are growing,” Los Angeles Times, 22 February 2021.
  2. Jeremy B. White, “Newsom approval rate drops in two California polls,” Politico, 2 February 2021.
  3. Alexa Corse, “Dominion Sues MyPillow, CEO Mike Lindell Over Election Claims,” Wall Street Journal, 22 February 2021.
  4. Ed Palattella, “Supreme Court rejects US Rep. Mike Kelly’s election appeal; he calls ruling ‘astounding’,” Erie Times-News, 22 February 2021.
  5. Associated Press, “Uganda’s Wine Withdraws Court Challenge to Election Results,” US News & World Report, 22 February 2021.
  6. Stephanie Dalzell, “Senior Government figures refuse to condemn Craig Kelly for spreading misleading coronavirus information,” ABC News, 12 January 2021.

Now For Your Commentary

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United States Elections

Texas House of Representatives 68th District Special Election 2021

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