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Elections Briefing, March 18, 2021: Vermont, California Recall, Dutch Election

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Elections Briefing 3-18-21 Vermont California Netherlands

In Thursday’s Briefing, the Green Mountain State is taking steps to reform its elections and The Netherlands just wrapped up their latest national election.

US Election News

Mail Voting Bill Advancing in Vermont Legislature

Vermont’s State Senate has passed a bill that will move the state to universal mail-in voting in future elections. If they do so, they would follow Oregon and four other Western states in adopting this method. Vermont would be the first state east of the Mississippi to move to all-mail voting. While the Vermont House has not yet up-voted the bill, the moderate-to-liberal Republican Gov. Phil Scott has indicated he would sign it after they do, but suggested it should also apply to primaries.1

Ex-Congressman to Run in Likely California Governor Recall

With each passing day, the odds grow that there will be three gubernatorial races in 2021: New Jersey, Virginia, and the California recall. If you are old enough to remember what a free-for-all it was in 2003 with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cruz Bustamante, Mary Carey, and all the rest, just imagine what 2021 would look like.

The first serious candidate for 2021 in a hypothetical recall election is in the race. That is Doug Ose, a Northern California Republican who left Congress following the 2004 election.2 He’s been out of the game for a while, but all this is part of the build-up to what will be a wild year in California politics.

Will Immigration Be a 2022 Key Issue?

Fox News has reported on polling data which was analyzed by a Republican pollster, and one of their key findings was that immigration is going to be a hot-button in the 2022 midterms. The reasoning alluded to is that Joe Biden’s administration represents a reversal on many of Donald Trump’s policies, and that Republican voters will be motivated to make a tougher stance part of the legislative agenda.3 One thing that may make sense with that argument is that it’s a Democratic midterm year, and the opposition is usually more motivated to vote. However, this assumes that COVID and other related issues will not be on the table by then (and here’s hoping, anyway).


International Election News

Digging Into the Dutch Election Results

Exit polls are out in the 2021 Dutch election, and as expected, the ruling conservative VVD will make a slight gain in seats. It is forecast that they will reach 36 out of 150 seats, a gain of three; this is not a high-water mark for them, as that was 41 in 2012, but still a good one. Geert Wilders’ far-right PVV will no longer be the second-largest party; they drop three seats to 17 while the liberal Democrats 66 will gain eight seats to get to 27.4 if the latter result is accurate it would be their best election result ever. D66 are in coalition with the VVD, so this by itself is very good news for Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

However, one of Rutte’s coalition partners, the Christian Democratic Appeal, took a knock and will drop five seats to 14. However, with VVD up three and D66 up eight, the previous coalition is still up on the night. Dutch voters, despite some protests, seem to have no ill will towards the government for their COVID approach.

Newfoundland and Labrador Voter Turnout Estimates Drop

The saga continues on Newfoundland and Labrador in their rolling election debacle. The CBC reported weeks ago that the newly all-mail election was likely to just eclipse 50 percent voter turnout, which by itself would be a poor showing. Now, Elections NL says it won’t even get to 50 percent.5

Who does that help? Lord knows, as there hasn’t been a real poll in a month. Yet, the discontent in the public has been well-reported in the last month or so by Canadian media and for all we know, the drop in turnout could be people who were going to vote Liberal and are now annoyed. After all, basically everyone was planning to vote Liberal prior to the first postponement.

A review of our election predictions will be made prior to next Thursday.


Election Calendar

2 days until the jungle primaries in LA-02 and LA-05.
5 days until the Israeli election.
7 days until the Newfoundland and Labrador election.

Today’s Further Reading

  1. Devin Bates, “Universal mail-in voting bill for general elections clears Vermont Senate,” WFFF-TV, 17 March 2021.
  2. Tal Axelrod, “Former GOP lawmaker jumps into California recall election,” The Hill, 16 March 2021.
  3. Paul Steinhauser, “Republicans increasingly target Biden over border crisis as immigration shapes up to be key midterm issue,” Fox News, 17 March 2021.
  4. Politico, “Live blog: Dutch general election,” Politico, 17 March 2021.
  5. The Canadian Press, “New estimates indicate N.L. election unlikely to hit 50 per cent voter turnout,” Yahoo News, 16 March 2021.

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