New member of the U.S. House of Representatives: Jan. 11-18, 2022
Plus hot races and House redistricting races
U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20) passed away in April 2021. A special election took place on Jan. 11, 2022 in which Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick won. In a sign of these challenging times for democracy, her opponent refused to concede despite the overwhelming landslide, and instead announced legal blocking actions. Those actions failed, and Rep. Cherfilus-McCormick was sworn in on Jan. 18, 2022.
Other upcoming House events:
One more special election is scheduled for April 2022 to fill a vacancy in CA-22; if any more vacancies occur, the special election is likely to take place on November 8th, 2022, in conjunction with the general election.
Redistricting shuffles House seats around due to changes in population from the 2020 census. Five pairs of House incumbents got redistricted into opposing each other. Many more incumbents facing such opposition chose instead to retire.
Redistricting also goes the other way -- creating new seats in several states, and resulting in "hot races" from rematches or newly-eligible candidates.
Scoring members of Congress on response to the Capitol Riot
We looked into three key votes to characterize each member of Congress' views on the events of January 6th. For each key vote, we scored the votes as follows on a scale from "-2" indicating support of the events of January 6th, to "+2" indicating opposition of the events of January 6th:
Electoral Decertification: This vote took place on January 6th, after a long interruption by rioters entering the Capitol building. The vote was to block certification of the vote of the Electoral College:
YEA to block certification scores as -2 (support Jan. 6 events)
NAY to block certification scores as +2 (oppose Jan. 6 events)
H.R. 24 Impeachment: President Trump was impeached for inciting insurrection. The impeachment vote, on bill #24, took place separately for the House and Senate:
NAY on impeachment in House vote scores as -2 (support Jan. 6 events)
NOT GUILTY on removal from office in Senate vote scores as -2 (support Jan. 6 events)
YEA on impeachment in House vote scores as +1 (oppose Jan. 6 events)
GUILTY on removal from office in Senate vote scores as +2 (strongly oppose Jan. 6 events)
SPONSOR on impeachment bill H.R. 24 scores as +2 (strongly oppose Jan. 6 events)
H.R. 503 Commission: Congress created a Commission to investigate the events of Jan. 6th. The Senate rejected a bipartisan commission; that vote counts for Senators. Members of the House them created a separate commission without the Senate; that vote counts for House members:
NAY on creating a Jan. 6 Commission scores as -2 (support Jan. 6 events)
YEA on creating a Jan. 6 Commission scores as +2 (oppose Jan. 6 events)
Number of legislators
Hard-core J6 supporter (score -6)
J6 supporter (score -3/-4/-5)
Leaning toward J6 support (score -2)
Mixed views on Jan. 6 (score -1/0/+1/+2/+3)
Opposes Jan. 6 events (score +4/5)
Hard-core against Jan. 6th (score +6)
The grid above totals the scores for each legislator, and then counts the number of legislators in each score category. These votes were spread over a few months, so some members didn't have the opportunity to cast all three votes -- those are reflected by omissions which count as zero in the score.
A score of "-6" indicates that the legislator voted three times to support the Capitol riots -- 105 legislators did so, all Republicans. A score of "+6" indicates that the legislator three times opposed the Capitol riots -- 261 legislators did so, 257 Democrats and 4 Republicans. The mixed votes are the most interesting cases-- the 174 legislators who indicated some support and some opposition to the events of Jan. 6.
The lowest-scoring Democrats all scored "+4" -- Sen. Patty Murray, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. In all three cases, the legislator abstained or was absent from one of the key votes. There were 10 additional Democrats scoring below "+5", but those were all legislators who left office, or who were sworn in after the earliest vote. There were 6 additional Democrats who voted YEA on impeachment but chose not to co-sponsor the House Bill; they scored "+5". In other words, there were zero Democrats who actively voted against the consensus Democratic view of opposing the Capitol riots of January 6th.
That was not the case among Republican legislators. There were five Republican Senators who scored "+6": Cassidy; Collins; Murkowski; Romney; and Sasse. In addition, two Republican House members scored "+5": Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom voted to impeach but didn't co-sponsor H.R. 24. Those seven Republicans have become the political targets of former President Trump and his ardent supporters. Over 120 Republican legislators scored in the range of "-2' to "+3" -- some of that group will draw Republican primary opponents because of these votes.
There are three gubernatorial races in 2021: CA, NJ, and VA. The other races listed below are early reporting for the November 2022 races.
The California recall results are listed below -- all of the candidates listed are expected to run again in 2022.
The percentage for Gov. Newsom indicates the result of "Question 1: Shall Gavin Newsom be recalled from the office of governor?"
The other percentages are from "Question 2", who shoudl replace the Governor, if Question 1 passed (which it did not, so Newsom remains governor).
Update: Gov. Cuomo announced his regination on Aug. 10; Lt. Gov. Hochul will be sworn in on Aug. 24.
New York Attorney General Letitia James investigated allegations of sexual harassment against Governor Andrew Cuomo, and released a public report of their findings. Status of resignation and impeachment:
Straw Poll results from Conservative Political Action Conferences
The American Conservative Union holds the "CPAC Conference" annually, with a wide range of conservative speakers and candidates.
The ACU conducts a "straw poll" at each CPAC conference, indicating preferences for the next Republican presidential primary. While indicative mostly of conservative sentiment, this poll is widely reported in the media.
In 2021, for the first time, the ACU held two CPAC conferences: one in February and one in July, due to COVID restrictions.
We report on the poll results from both 2021 conferences below, with links to CPAC excerpts or additional excerpts.
Figures are from the "without Trump" poll for all candidates other than Donald Trump.
New York City held its Democratic mayoral primary on June 22 and the winner is... UNKNOWN as of June 30!
NYC used a "ranked choice voting" system where every voter chose up to 5 candidates, in ranked order. The new system has proven to take a long time to count. We'll report results when known; some of the candidates:
OnTheissues excerpts political biographies to discover candidates' issue stances.
Full-length books allow candidates to provide more substance and context than shorter TV-oriented and newspaper-excerpted blurbs
-- we include both the longer and the shorter versions on candidate pages so that voters can read the summary blubr and then the details with more context.
Following is our current crop of political biographies excerpted in early 2021 -- we'll add similar crops every few months in the lead-up to upcoming elections.
In this crop, we focus on retrospectives of the 2020 presidential race (three books on the Trump Administration); analyses of the Biden administration (two books); biogrpahies of candiadtes for 2022 (one book now, with more to follow); and philosophical underpinnings of current campaigns (two books).
Our book excerpts are intended to not only to provide issue-based excerpts, but also to give readers a flavor of the book in question, for which we include brief book reviews focused on helping voters decide if they'd like to read the full book.
President Biden's Cabinet appointments are mostly finalized; today former Florida Senator Bill Nelson was sworn in as NASA Administrator. The final list appears below -- actual Cabinet posts on the left; and Cabinet-level positions on the right.
President Biden made his first address to a joint session of Congress (technically not a "State of the Union" speech, since the Constitution requires reporting on the past year after each year of service -- but everyone calls is that anyway). We excerpt Biden's speech; the official Republican Party response by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC); plus other commentary to follow:
There are only three states holding gubernatorial races in 2021, NJ, VA, and CA.
California is a "recall election" which requires 1.5 million signatures on a "recall petition" -- sufficient signatures were submitted by the March 17 deadline but the results are yet to be certified; then an election date will be set.
In Rhode Island, the next gubernatorial election is November 2022 -- but the incumbent Governor got appointed to President Biden's Cabinet, so the Lieutenant Governor got seated, upending the 2022 race just as it's getting started.