Today is March 1st, the long-awaited SEC primary. This seemed like a good time to do a quick update on where things stand in the fight for the Democratic nomination. Increases in polling and and the first four primary states provide a clearer picture on the next two weeks of voting. I highly recommend you read my initial analysis, where I went in depth on each states ranking and the issue of non-white voter preference.
With the Iowa caucuses one week away, coverage and poll releases for the Democratic Primary for President have reached a fever pitch. According to nationwide polling, Hillary Clinton maintains a double digit lead over liberal firebrand Bernie Sanders. However, polls in Iowa are neck and neck and Sanders leads in New Hampshire. The possibility of Sanders winning the first two states is real, as both are heavily influenced by white liberals, a key group of Sanders backers. However, past those states is where things shift more to Clinton’s favor… at least right now. This article will look at every primary state from Iowa to March 15, where several big states will vote on the same day, and assess who is likely to win based on current trends.
Now that Florida’s Supreme Court has signed off on a Congressional map, the voters of Florida can finally know what districts they live in. For voters in North Florida, this means dramatic changes to their current political situation. Many voters west of Walton County will find themselves either in a safe Republican seat that stretches from Bay to Marion, the Florida 2nd; or a safe Democratic seat that goes from Gadsden to Jacksonville, the Florida 5th. The new 5th district is designed to be an African-American district, replacing the Jacksonville to Orlando configuration of the past.
If you were waiting for more evidence that an independent or bipartisan redistricting commission is needed in Florida, the last several months have proved it. Florida continues to have no finalized Congressional or State Senate maps, leaving local election officials hamstrung as they gear up for a Presidential Primary just around the corner. The Congressional Maps were just approved by the Supreme Court last week, however, a federal lawsuit from some parties may be brewing. Meanwhile the trial on the Senate maps has yet to even begin.
Not long after the ink was dry on articles declaring Matt Bevin the winner of the Kentucky Gubernatorial Election, a conspiracy theory arose that the election must have been rigged. Heading into the election, Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway had a small lead over Bevin, a Republican businessman whose campaign struggles and clashes with the RGA had been well-documented. The Huffington Post polling average placed Bevin at 40% and Conway at 43%. When the election was over, Bevin won with 53% to Conway’s 44%.
The night of the March primary in Jacksonville, I wrote that Alvin Brown had a narrow path to victory. The mayor needed to win over supporters of Bill Bishop, the moderate Republican who came in third place, and he needed to dramatically increase Democratic turnout. When all was said and done on runoff night Alvin Brown narrowly lost re-election with 48.7% of the vote. So what happened?
Wisconsin’s Supreme Court elections have been drawing a greater deal of scrutiny in recent years. The state has been racked by partisan fights as Governor Walker and his GOP legislature have pushed the state further to the right. The state Supreme Court has thus drawn more attention as it has become a decider on the constitutionality of several actions and laws pushed by the state. Wisconsin elects its judges to 10 year terms, and currently conservatives hold a 4-3 majority.
Jacksonville had its first round of voting Tuesday. Democrat Alvin Brown, first elected in an upset win in 2011, is seeking re-election in a hard-fought contest. Brown’s main challenger is Republican Lenny Curry, the former Chairman of the Republican Party of Florida. The race has been heated so far. Brown is facing stiff headwind due to the county’s Republican Lean. However, the Mayor’s approval rating remains above 50% in recent polls. With four candidates in the race, it was widely believed that Brown and Curry would advance to a runoff election.
As a Broward County resident for the first 19 years of my life, Broward County and its politics are still very close to me. The county, second largest in the state, has 35 cities and towns. Many of these cities host elections in the fall of even-numbered years to coincide with major races. However, many cities continue to hold elections in the spring of odd and even numbered years. March 10th saw the latest round of municipal elections for the county; with eight different cities going to the polls. The following article will contain a map of each race’s result and a quick summary of the results and events surrounding the election. While some races were fairly quiet, others were major battles for the future of the cities.
In 2013, I wrote an article on Democratic Party Strength at the local level. The article examined areas where Democrats were strong and weak on down-ballot races for county commission and constitutional officers. It has long been my view that local elections are critical to the future of any political party. Local elections allow parties to build benches for higher office. In addition, local elections can be used to help measure party strength in different jurisdictions.