Taniel Profile picture
Sep 21, 2020 40 tweets 11 min read Read on X
Every state has big stakes on the ballot — it's just some are facing a perfect storm where so much that matters is competitive at once.

So I'm starting this ongoing thread of states, to encapsulate as many stakes as I can within 280 characters. (Let's do roughly one a day!)
1️⃣ North Carolina really is it:

—Could decide WH
—Could decide U.S. Senate majority
—Ds may gain at least 2 House seats. More?
—Can Ds keep governorship (& veto power)?
—Can Ds pick-up a legislative chamber?
—3 Supreme Court seats!👀
—AG, LG (if Gov vacancy...), SoS competitive
2️⃣ Montana is up there too:
—Could decide Senate majority!
—Open Gov race. Would be GOP's first win since 2000, likely give them trifecta. And it's Gianforte on the ballot.
—Open SoS & AG races
—An open, tight House race
—An intriguing Supreme Court race
—Gun control referendum
3️⃣ Oregon may have no key federal races, but it's 🔥
—Could decriminalize drug possession, national 1st
—Could also legalize psilocybin
—GOP-held SoS office is open. Dem flip?
—Portland/Mulntomah vote on more transit, & preschool for all
—Portland's mayor challenged from the left
4️⃣ All roads REALLY lead to Arizona:

—May decide WH *&* US Senate
—Legalize Marijuana?
—Dems may break GOP trifecta.
—Dems may grab state House, Senate, & Corporate Commission
—Joe Arpaio's deputy wants to be sheriff
—Can Dems flip Maricopa DA (=huge for incarceration) & board?
5️⃣ Don't sleep on Alaska:

—A very intriguing U.S. Senate race
—Can Dems defeat Rep. Don Young, in office since 1973?!
—Referendum for a mixed Top 4/ranked choice system
—GOP hoping to win solid control of the state House (currently run by Dems+GOP dissidents) for trifecta.
6️⃣ Colorado is busy:

—U.S. Senate of course
—an anti-abortion initiative (again)
—two DA races with big contrasts on reform
#CO03 is something...
—referendums on the Popular Vote Compact, AND on paid medical/family leave, AND on income tax
—Boulder votes on curbing evictions
7️⃣ Florida:
—WH, always
—$15 minimum wage
—GOP initiative to make initiatives harder
—create ‘top 2’ system?
—bunch of US House seats
—outside Dem bid to flip a chamber
—Pinellas Sheriff, off of wanting to arm teachers
—progressive aims to be Orlando prosecutor
—Miami-Dade mayor
8️⃣ California
—Props to expand voting rights, enable affirmative action & rent control, roll back tax limits
—Uber/Lyft's anti-labor push
—Local props on voting age, transit, housing, policing
—LA's big DA race
—U.S. House seats
—Left council/leg challenges
—San Diego mayor/board
Parallel dynamics in:

9️⃣ Rhode Island
—Progressives who ousted Dem lawmakers favored in Nov
—Progressives now target some GOP seats
—State (Dem) Speaker in danger

1️⃣0️⃣ Delaware
—Progressives who ousted Dem lawmakers also up
—Dems could flip some GOP seats to facilitate change
1️⃣1️⃣ Washington:
—Gov. Inslee's up
—... as is the GOP SoS
—... & 2 Inslee-appointed Justices
—LG & #WA10 runoffs all-Dem (left/center)
—Mandatory sex ed: referendum, AND an issue in schools superintendent race
—King County votes on sheriff oversight
—Fascinating cong/leg battles
1️⃣2️⃣ Minnesota:
—Dems aim to win trifecta (need +2 in Senate).
—Trump's main Clinton-won target?
—A ideologicaly divided Supreme Court race
—Sen. Smith up again
—GOP targets MN07, Dems MN01. May matter if EC tie. And will MN02 stay cancelled?
—Local referendums on ranked-choice
1️⃣3️⃣ New York:
—WH race competitive, Trump said (I kid, I kid)
—Police unions heavily targeting Dem senators all year
—many U.S. House hotspots
—Westchester DA
—will WFP keep its ballot line?!
—Many new Left primary winners face 1sr general
—control of some counties (e.g. Erie)
1️⃣4️⃣ Texas
—Dems hope to break GOP trifecta, flip state House
—Could Dems pull off WH or Senate...?
—many US House races
—DAs in Travis/Austin, Nueces
—sheriffs of Tarrant, Fort Bend
—9 (!) seats on 2 highest courts
—Railroad commission matters to climate
—Austin votes on transit
1️⃣5️⃣ Arkansas:
#AR2 now competitive
—Initiative that’d make progressive initiatives harder
—Renew sales tax for transportation

1️⃣6️⃣ Mississippi:
—Ballot initiative to enable medical marijuana
—Senate race rematch
—Approval of new state flag
—Supreme Court race
INTERMISSION (as new people are visiting this thread): You can also visit (and bookmark!) my mega-speadsheet, which contains this info organized thematically & institutionally, & will feature results starting on Nov. 3 & beyond.

whatsontheballot.com/2020-general-e…
1️⃣7️⃣ South Carolina:
—Lindsey Graham vs Jaime Harrison (!)
—Dems defend SC1
—Racial justice faultlines in Charleston prosecutor race
—ICE assistance at stake in Charleston sheriff race

1️⃣8️⃣ Virginia:
—Referendum on redistricting
—Richmond mayor
—GOP targets VA2/7, Dems VA5
1️⃣9️⃣ Hawaii:
—Progressive/centrist fault lines for Honolulu Mayor
—For Honolulu prosecutor, contrasts on how open to be on reform. (Most prog. lost)

2️⃣0️⃣ Wyoming:
—Far-right wave in GOP primaries; now they're up in Nov.
—Referendum to lift "debt ceiling" for some local projects
2️⃣1️⃣ Louisiana:
—Anti-abortion referendum 
—U.S. Senate race
—Slate of public defenders run for judges in New Orleans
—DA race in New Orleans could upend punitive status quo
—Referendums cld constrain spending, affect revenue streams
 —Climate topics for Public Service Commission
2️⃣2️⃣ South Dakota:
—Initiative to legalize marijuana
—AND another initiative on medical marijuana

2️⃣3️⃣ North Dakota:
—An initiative would make future citizen initiatives harder (3rd such measure on this list so far...)
—A governor's race
2️⃣4️⃣ Oklahoma:
—A referendum to make some sentences less harsh (builds on prior reforms here)
—GOP is targeting #OK05
—Dems may flip Oklahoma Co. commission (state's most populous)

2️⃣5️⃣ Idaho:
—Dems defend newly-flipped Ada Co. commission (state's most populous county, 480K)
2️⃣6️⃣ New Hampshire:
—Watch WH, Gov. & Senate races
—Swingy legislature: Dems aim to keep majority. If they expand it, could oust SoS.
—A few prosecutor’s races

2️⃣7️⃣ Vermont
—Watch Governor’s, AG, SoS races
—Dems/Prog aim to keep supermajority
2️⃣8️⃣ Michigan
—core state for WH race
—GOP targets US Senate race
—Dems target state House, need +4 in gerrymandered map
—Dems can flip state Supreme Court
—competitive US House races
—Oakland Co. has big sheriff (stakes for ICE), & prosecutor races
—Measure to require warrants
2️⃣9️⃣ Utah:
—GOP targeting #UT04
—Measure to remove constitutional allowance of slavery as a punishment
—Mayor of Salt Lake County
—Elections for Gov, AG

3️⃣0️⃣ Indiana:
—Dems targeting (open) #IN05
—GOP state Speaker faces challenge (amid fights over edu.)
—Elections for Gov, AG
INTERMISSION #2.

Some items I'm frustrated to have left off:
—AZ: Education funding; AZ6
—Portland, OR: Measure on policing
—RI: Remove 'plantation' from state name
—VT: High bailiff
—CA tweet was cramped, but fascinating local battles in LA, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, more
3️⃣1️⃣ Nebraska:
—Omaha's electoral vote
#NE02 congressional race
—GOP could gain legislativ supermajority
—Remove constitutional allowance of slavery as a punishment
—Cap interests for payday lending
3️⃣2️⃣ Maine:
—U.S. Senate control on the line
#ME02: an electoral vote AND a congressional race
—Portland, ME, voting on higher minimum wage, new housing protections, & ban on facial recognition tech
—Dems aim to defend state Senate/House, & their trifecta
3️⃣3️⃣ New Mexico
—Dems defend #NM02
—open U.S. Senate race
—Progressives ousted 5 lawmakers in primaries; watch SD28, 30, 35

3️⃣4️⃣ Nevada
—Dems defend #NV03, #NV04
—Watch WH race
—Repeal state ban on same-sex marriage
—Make pardons a bit easier
—Dems aim for Senate supermajority
3️⃣5️⃣ West Virginia:
—Treasurer race fts. rare statewide Dem incumbent
—Gov. now running as a GOPer
—Former Dem SoS trying a comeback
—Also voting for U.S. Senate, AG, Auditor, Ag. Comm.

3️⃣6️⃣ Kentucky:
—Supreme Court race with contrasts
—Marsy's Law
—High profile U.S. Senate race
3️⃣7️⃣ Wisconsin:
—Presidential race is huge (obviously!)
—Battle for legislature; GOP aims for supermajority, Dems aim for gains
—DAs landscape shockingly desolate

3️⃣8️⃣ Connecticut:
—Some legislative battles will shape how comfortable Dem majorities are
3️⃣9️⃣ Kansas:
—U.S. Senate race: Can Dems get a first win since... 1932?
—GOP defends #KS02, Dems defend #KS03
—Dems hope to break GOP's legislative supermajorities in either chamber [Dem Gov has veto power]
—Interesting contrasts in some DA races (e.g. Shawnee/Topeka.)
4️⃣0️⃣ Puerto Rico:
—A referendum on statehood
—Governor's race 

4️⃣1️⃣ Alabama:
—Doug Jones's re-election for Senate
—A "citizens only" voting amendment
4️⃣2️⃣ Iowa:
—a key U.S. Senate race!
—Can Dems break GOP trifecta & flip a legislative chamber?
—Tight WH race
—All House districts draw 👀, esp. the 3 Dems are defending
4️⃣3️⃣ Massachusetts: 
—Will MA adopt ranked choice voting?
—Norfolk Co.'s sheriff's race, a dress rehearsal for 2022

4️⃣4️⃣ New Jersey:
—Will NJ legalize marijuana?
—Van Drew joined Trump, now Dems target #NJ2
—GOP targeting new Dem seats #NJ3, #NJ7
—Measure to delay redistricting
4️⃣5️⃣ Washington DC:
—Decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms
—D.C. council; prog. energy around at-large seat

4️⃣6️⃣ Maryland:
—Statewide measure to strengthen legislature
—Baltimore measures to weaken mayor
—Baltimore bonds, e.g. affordable housing

& board of education races in each.
4️⃣7️⃣ Missouri
—GOP measure would erase the 2018 redistricting reform
—Could suburban #MO02 swing Dem?
—the Governor’s race
—Ballot measures in St. Louis to introduce approval voting, & to allow police officers to not live in city, & to raise tax to fund childhood services
4️⃣8️⃣ Illinois
—Measures to make income tax progressive
—≈3 US House seats
—Prosecutors in DeKalb, Lake
—Advocates target at least 1 Cook Co. judge

4️⃣9️⃣ Tennessee
—Leg. races, incl. a challenge to an ex-Dem lawmaker
—A new US senator
—Nashville measure against property tax hike
5️⃣0️⃣ Ohio
—Majority of state Supreme Court on the line
—Back to being a presidential swing state! 
—Big prosecutor & sheriff races in Hamilton Co. (Cincinnati) 
—Some U.S. House battles
—Columbus measure to set up police oversight board
—Can Dems narrow legislative gaps?
5️⃣1️⃣ Pennsylvania
—We're all watching the presidential race...
—Dems target the state House
—Many U.S. House seats, starting with GOP-held PA1 & PA10
—Philadelphia, Pittsburgh vote to set up or strengthen civilian oversight boards
—State also votes for AG 

[just one more!]
5️⃣2️⃣ Georgia:
—Perdue vs. Ossoff: Who wins? Is there runoff?
—Who's Top 2 in Senate special?
—A real WH race!
—Key DA/sheriff races in Athens
—ICE, jail conditions in Cobb/Gwinnett sheriff races
—Watch #GA06, #GA07
—Gwinnett transit $$
—Could Dems flip state House?

... The end!

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More from @Taniel

Jun 9
‼️ Shock news : French President Emmanuel Macron just announced he was dissolving the country's National Assembly.

He's calling national elections, which'll decide who'll run the country.

The elections were supposed to be in 2027. Instead, they'll be in early July (!!!).
The runoff of these parliamentary elections will be on July 7th... so 3 days after the UK elections! An extremely short campaign.

More context:

#1: This comes an hour after disastrous election results for Macron in the EU elections. (The far-right got 31% and Macron at 15%.)
#2: France currently has a hung Parliament due to weak results by Macron's party in 2022, tho his party has been able to govern because the conservative LR (despite not being in government) typically bail them out. Upside for Macron is if lighting campaigning gets him a majority.
Read 60 tweets
May 25
bolts just covered 2 big criminal justice reforms that became law over last week.

let's jump in:

1️⃣ Minnesota ended prison gerrymandering. This is the practice of counting incarcerated people where the prison is located, which skews political power. boltsmag.org/minnesota-ends…
2️⃣ Oklahoma passed a bill that gives incarcerated survivors of domestic violence a new shot at freedom, when the crime they were convicted for stemmed from their abuse.

Law went thru twists and turns as lawmakers (in this GOP-run state) navigated a veto: boltsmag.org/oklahoma-survi…
OK, it wasn't all about policy break throughs this week.

3️⃣ In Virginia, parole has basically entirely vanished (& it was already very low) as Glenn Youngkin has remolded the board. We reported in collaboration with MoJo.

Read this dive: boltsmag.org/virginia-parol…
Read 4 tweets
May 20
Three Glenn Youngkin stories in @boltsmag that capture how much a governor matters. (And who he is.)

1/ He ended all automatic rights restoration in Virginia. VA's default now is permanent loss of voting rights, one of single harshest systems in nation. boltsmag.org/virginia-gover…
2/ He recently vetoed a bill that would have barred prosecutors from pressuring defendants to waive away their constitutional rights... for many years! boltsmag.org/fourth-amendme…
3/ Under his governorship and his appointments, the state's already very low parole grants have virtually vanished.

One reason why is his decision to empower a man who responsible for shutting down parole in the 90s. boltsmag.org/virginia-parol…
Read 4 tweets
Apr 9
Don't sleep on this: *2* state justices who just voted to make all abortion illegal in Arizona are on the ballot this year.

They're each up for retention, as I had detailed here last week: boltsmag.org/your-state-by-…
I skipped the headline story here assuming you've seen it elsewhere, but if not: the Arizona supreme court just declared abortion illegal. 12news.com/article/news/p…
Katie Hobbs, a Democratic governor, would have the power to appoint replacement if the justices are not retained. (Still, note that in Arizona governors choose within a list proposed by a commission.)
Read 5 tweets
Apr 4
A thread about a messed up situation in Mississippi.

It's on how state officials have voided direct democracy thru an absurd excuse, and how they keep refusing to yield that power back to people.
The state constitution gives people the right to ballot initiatives.

It outlines how they should do so, & how they should collect signatures in each of MS's five congressional districts.

The language was written into the constitution in 1992.
In 2000, Mississippi lost a congressional district, down to four.

No one saw a problem with that until 2021: the state supreme court effectively said that, since there were no longer 5 districts in which to collect signatures, no ballot initiative could be valid.
Read 9 tweets
Mar 5
Tomorrow is extraordinary busy election day... and you may have missed critical battles.

So here's a thread with the 15 races I'll watch most closely, across 4 states. It has some of everything: school boards, local politics, DAs, voting rights...

1️⃣ Let's start with the Arkansas supreme court races.

Because they're so odd. 2 seats, 4 sitting justices running for them, none of which are their current occupants, plus two outsiders. Depending on the results, the big winner may be Huckabee Sanders.

boltsmag.org/arkansas-supre…
2️⃣ Moving over to the Texas court of criminal appeals:

Ken Paxton & his far-right allies are targeting 3 GOP judges (Sharon Keller, Barbara Hervey, and Michelle Slaughter) who were part of a ruling that restricted Paxton’s ability to prosecute elections. texastribune.org/2023/12/13/ken…
Read 17 tweets

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