How is COVID continuing to impact American elections? Are voters becoming less independent in federal politics? All this and more in today’s Elections Briefing for February 24.
US Election News
Presidential Results Analyzed: Daily Kos Elections is a source we have used for the data they have compiled on presidential elections at the US House level. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the site’s politics, they have done quality work on elections analysis. They finished their deep dive into the 2020 presidential election just recently, and they found that out of all 435 House districts, just sixteen voted a different way for president than for Congress.1 That’s 3.7 percent of all Congressional districts in the United States that voted a split ticket. Let this be a lesson on how polarized American politics is becoming, and how party loyalty is becoming more important than ever.
North Carolina Delaying Local Elections?: COVID-19 has affected all aspects of life, and electoral politics is for sure no exception. The latest political casualty of the pandemic may be local elections in North Carolina. Karen Brinson Bell, chief of the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE), called for the elections to be postponed by a year because of the COVID-related delay in the 2020 Census results.2 She also endorsed the 2022 state primaries being delayed two months until May. In ordinary times, we would already have the Census data and the Congressional reapportionment results. You can’t get ready to forecast 2022 House races when you don’t even know what the districts will look like.
Fallout from NY-22 Race: The longest-running House race of the 2020 election cycle came to an end not long ago. Claudia Tenney (R), a former congresswoman, got her old job back against Anthony Brindisi (D) in the 22nd District of New York, an upstate seat including Utica and Binghamton. It took months of legal wrangling to get to that point. Also, amongst other things, it was reported that Oneida County, New York mishandled several thousand new voter registration applications.3 Now, several elections watchdog groups are calling for the state to raise the caliber of its elections officials in light of the NY-22 debacle. Does not seem like a lot to ask, does it?
International Election News
New Nova Scotia Premier Sworn In: After taking office yesterday, Nova Scotia has its first new premier in over seven years as Iain Rankin assumes the governance of the province. Just 37 years old, he is by far the youngest first minister in Canada today. Rankin won the leadership of the governing Liberal Party a few weeks ago, and will now have to lead the Liberals into an election within about a year. In the 2017 poll, the Liberals were left with a narrow majority as the opposition Progressive Conservatives fared better than expected.
The 2021 Israeli general election is less than a month away. Polling indicates it could be a close call for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he leads his country through their fourth election in two years. Israeli politics has been marred by political instability, but will this result be any more conclusive? We looked into it here.
Election Calendar: Countdown
16 days until the (rescheduled) Newfoundland and Labrador provincial election.
17 days until the Western Australia state election.
27 days until the 2021 Israeli election.
251 days until the 2021 Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections.
Today’s Further Reading
- Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg, “Split-ticket districts dwindle as all politics becomes more national,” NBC News, 23 February 2021.
- Associated Press, “Bell says delay elections in N.C. due to late Census data,” Wilkes Journal-Patriot, 23 February 2021.
- Mark Weiner, “Voter advocates after NY-22 fiasco: Hire qualified people to run elections,” Syracuse.com, 23 February 2021.