● Pres-by-CD: We're rolling out five states from our project to calculate the presidential election results by congressional district: Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, South Carolina, and Virginia. (Well, four states and one commonwealth.) We have a chart of all 435 congressional districts here, which also includes results from 2012. That's the page you'll want to bookmark, since we're updating it continuously. We'll be pushing out new data on a rolling basis as the results are officially certified and the precinct-level election results we need for our calculations become available. (Ballotpedia has a list of state certification deadlines.)
We'll start in Georgia, a state Donald Trump carried 51-46 four years after Mitt Romney took it 53-46. Trump won the same 10 congressional districts that Romney carried, while Clinton took the same four Obama seats. Republicans represent each of those 10 Romney/Trump seats, while Team Blue holds the other four districts. However, one safely red seat in suburban Atlanta swung dramatically the left in 2016 and could be a Democratic target soon. Romney carried the 6th District, represented by Republican Rep. Tom Price, 61-37, but Trump took it just 48-47, and indeed, the 6th is the type of very well-educated suburban seat where analysts expected Trump to be a poor fit heading into the election.
Price himself was easily re-elected 62-38 against an unheralded Democratic opponent. However, Price may be leaving the House soon, since the congressman has been mentioned as both a potential secretary of Health and Human Services and a possible 2018 candidate for governor. But whether or not Price stays to defend this district, national Democrats should try to target this one.
There was also a swing towards Team Blue in the nearby 7th District, though it wasn't as massive. Romney took this seat, which is represented by GOP Rep. Rob Woodall, 60-38, but Trump won it by a considerably smaller 51-45 margin. Woodall easily won a fourth term 60-40 against a perennial candidate, and there's no sign that he's planning to retire anytime soon. The seat, which is dominated by Gwinnett County, still probably won't be at the top of Democratic target lists, but Team Blue will need to put some unlikely seats in play if they want to flip the House anytime soon.
Most of Georgia's other 12 districts look safe for the party that holds them. The 2nd, represented by Democratic Rep. Sanford Bishop, did get a bit redder: Obama carried this southwest Georgia seat 59-41, but Clinton won it by a smaller 55-43. That's still pretty blue, but it's worth keeping an eye on.
Our next stop is Nevada, which was one of the bright spots for Team Blue on election night. Clinton carried the Silver State 48-46, while Obama took it 52-46 in 2012. The swingy 3rd District, which includes Henderson to the south of Las Vegas, switched sides, backing Trump 48-47 after narrowly supporting Obama 50-49.
However, Team Blue still managed to score a pickup in this open seat, with Jacky Rosen defeating Republican Danny Tarkanian 47-46. Democrats were overjoyed in June when the deeply flawed Tarkanian defeated state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson, the choice of the state GOP establishment, in the primary. The GOP will almost certainly make a serious effort to unseat Rosen in 2018 in this swing seat, though unruly primary votes could always gift them with another bad candidate.
Clinton also carried the 4th District, which includes North Las Vegas, by a 50-45 margin, but that was down quite a bit from Obama's 54-44 win in 2012. Democrat Ruben Kihuen unseated Republican freshman Rep. Cresent Hardy 49-45, running about as well as Clinton did. The 4th may not be as competitive as the 3rd, but Kihuen should still prepare for a credible opponent in 2018.
Nevada's other two congressional districts probably won't be changing hands anytime soon. Clinton carried the 1st, which is centered around Las Vegas and represented by Democratic Rep. Dina Titus, 62-33. Trump won the 2nd, which includes Reno and is held by Republican Rep. Mark Amodei, 52-40.
Meanwhile, Clinton did well in Virginia—perhaps with an assist from Sen. Tim Kaine—winning 50-45, a slightly larger margin of victory than Obama's 51-47 in 2012. Note also that is the first cycle where Virginia used its new court-drawn congressional map after the state's previous Republican-drawn map was struck down as an impermissible racial gerrymander. (Note that our 2012 numbers for Virginia, adjusted retroactively for redistricting, come from the state and don't factor in third party candidates, so any comparisons between 2012 and 2016 aren't quite apples-to-apples.)
Clinton carried five of Virginia's 11 congressional districts, one more than Obama. The sole Romney/Clinton seat was the 10th District, a very well-educated and affluent seat located in Northern Virginia: Romney won it 51-49, while Clinton took it by a wide 52-42. However, Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock still defeated Democrat LuAnn Bennett 53-47 in a very expensive race despite Trump's problems here. Comstock is a potential candidate against Kaine in 2018, and her ability to win under tough conditions is one reason why plenty of Republicans want her to run.
Republicans hold the six Romney/Trump seats, while Democrats have the four Obama/Clinton districts, but there are some results worth noting. Trump carried the 2nd District, which is based around Virginia Beach, 49-45, a bit better than Romney's 51-49 win here. Republican Rep. Scott Rigell chose to retire, and Republican Rep. Randy Forbes decided to run here after redistricting made his seat safely blue. However, Forbes didn't represent any of the new 2nd, and he badly lost the primary to Del. Scott Taylor. Democrats were unable to recruit a credible candidate amidst all the chaos, and Taylor beat a perennial candidate in the general 61-38. This seat is still competitive enough that it could be in play in a good Democratic year if Team Blue can field a serious contender.
The 7th District, which is based in the Richmond suburbs, shifted a little in Team Blue's direction. Romney took it 56-44, while Trump won it by a smaller 51-44. Republican Rep. Dave Brat, who famously unseated then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the 2014 primary, is probably safe for a while, though this is another seat that's worth keeping an eye on. However, while Democrats made a play for the open 5th District in central Virginia, it probably won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Trump carried the seat 53-42, a bit better than Romney's 54-46, and Republican Tom Garrett beat Democrat Jane Dittmar 58-42.
Finally, there isn't much for Democrats to like out of either Louisiana or South Carolina. Trump carried Louisiana 59-38, and took five of its six congressional districts. Clinton easily carried the 2nd, which is based in New Orleans, 75-22, but Trump took at least 60 percent of the vote in each of the other five seats. Republicans hold all five Trump districts.
South Carolina was another lopsided state. Trump won the Palmetto State 55-41; Clinton carried the 6th District 67-30, while Trump took the other six districts by double digits. The closest district was the 1st, a Charleston area seat represented by Republican Rep. Mark Sanford. It backed Trump 53-40, which is a drop from Romney's 58-40 but still not particularly close.
● AL-Sen: How's this for slimy? Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange is currently investigating Gov. Robert Bentley, a fellow Republican, in connection with allegations that Bentley used state resources to conceal an affair with a staffer. Bentley is also the subject of impeachment proceedings in the state House, but those are on hold while Strange completes his own inquiry. Meanwhile, as all this unfolds, Bentley will likely soon have the chance to appoint a replacement for Sen. Jeff Sessions, whom Donald Trump says he'll nominate as attorney general.
And one person Bentley could pick is none other than Luther Strange—who has now reportedly said he'd accept such an appointment if it were offered, according to the Weekly Standard. That's pretty sick. Strange, as the state's top law enforcement official, ought to publicly rule the idea out altogether, but evidently his ambition is greater than his shame. And in case he doesn't get chosen, the same report adds that Strange says he plans to run in the special election to fill out the remainder of Sessions' term, which will take place in either 2017 or 2018.
● MO-Sen: Rep. Ann Wagner, who was just elected to a third term in the House, is not ruling out a challenge to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. When asked about the possibility in a recent interview, Wagner deflected, saying only, "No one's thinking about elections. The American public is tired of that." (We're thinking about elections!) Despite her protestations, though, Wagner is taking some preparatory steps toward a run: She'll no longer chair the NRCC's fundraising arm and she's quit her position on the House GOP's "Elected Leadership Committee."
In the same piece, Morning Consult's Eli Yokley reports that "Republican operatives" say Rep. Vicky Hartzler, whom we'd mentioned previously, is considering a bid. In a surprise, though, Yokley also says that unnamed "activists in St. Louis" are urging outgoing Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to run. Kinder took a very disappointing third in the GOP primary for governor earlier this year, and he's not even from the St. Louis area, so it's not at all clear why partisans there have a particular interest in him.
● CA-Gov: San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer would almost certainly be the best candidate the GOP could get for governor in this very blue state, but will he do it? While Faulconer said back in May that he would serve out his entire four-year term if he was re-elected mayor, which he was weeks later, he continues to be mentioned as a possible 2018 gubernatorial candidate. The Los Angeles Times recently asked Faulconer if he would run, and he offered only a, "No plans to run for governor. I just got re-elected as mayor of San Diego." That's far from a no.
● CT-Gov: Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, who was twice elected by razor-thin margins, has never been popular, and a June Quinnipiac poll showed him at his nadir with a horrible 24-68 job approval score. Malloy hasn't announced if he'll seek a third term in 2018, and with ratings like these, he may not even want to try. But regardless, one Republican is already preparing to run.
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton set up an exploratory committee last week, though he hasn't announced he's in yet. Boughton also ran in 2014, but he dropped out before the primary. The Nutmeg State doesn't have a huge GOP bench, but other Republicans may be interested in a bid. State Sen. Tony Hwang has also filed an exploratory committee for a statewide office, and he offered up only a "never say never" when asked about running for governor.
Plenty of Democrats will be relieved if Malloy retires and lets someone else carry the blue banner, though there's no obvious heir-apparent. The Hartford Courant name-drops Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Comptroller Kevin Lembo, though there are more than enough Democrats who could also be eyeing an open seat. While Connecticut is a reliably blue state in federal elections, it's often been very willing to send Republicans to the governor's office.
● NJ-Gov: Ex-Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy, who served as ambassador to Germany from 2009 to 2013, has secured several influential state Democratic endorsements ahead of next year's primary, and his wealth and support helped dissuade two likely primary challengers, state Senate President Steve Sweeney and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, from getting in. However, Murphy hasn't quite cleared the field.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who served as Bernie Sanders' state chair during the presidential primary, announced he would run earlier this month. And while state Sen. Ray Lesniak said back in October that he wouldn't run, he's reportedly considering getting in after all. However, the party chair of Union County, Lesniak's home turf, says that he's sticking with Murphy regardless of what the state senator does. Finally, Tom Byrne, the chairman of the New Jersey State Investment Council and the son of ex-Gov. Brendan Byrne, flirted with a bid months ago, and he reaffirmed this month that he's still considering.
On the GOP side, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli currently has the primary to himself, though Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is likely to run and Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick is considering. Nutley Commissioner Steve Rogers also has expressed interest, and the Observer says he could announce in the next few weeks. Nutley has a population of fewer than 30,000 people, but Rogers worked on the Trump campaign as a national security expert, so he might come with an unofficial Trump Seal of Approval™. (Surgeon General's warning: Do not purchase any products bearing the Trump Seal of Approval™.)
The Observer also reports that long-ago "Saturday Night Live" cast member Joe Piscopo also is reportedly calling GOP county chairs to gauge their interest in a bid; Piscopo reportedly met with termed-out Gov. Chris Christie last month about a possible bid. As we noted then, Piscopo hasn't generated much interest since the 1980s. We also haven't forgiven him for his appearance as a holographic comedian in the awful "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "The Outrageous Okona," though that episode had flaws that had nothing to do with Piscopo. For instance, Whoopi Goldberg's character at one point tells Data: "You're a droid, and I'm a 'noid." (Daily Kos Elections: Come for the election analysis, stay for the griping about bad "Star Trek" episodes.)
● NM-Gov: Democratic Sen. Tom Udall has expressed interest in a 2018 gubernatorial bid, and he recently told the Santa Fe New Mexican that he'll decide by the end of 2016 or "maybe a little sooner." If Udall runs, he has a good chance to scare off any credible primary foes, though Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham didn't rule out facing him. Udall's Senate seat isn't up until 2020, and if he becomes governor, he'd apparently be able to name his replacement.
● PA-Gov, PA-Sen: Pennsylvania Republicans don't lack for potential candidates to take on Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf in 2018, and they don't even lack for rich guys, but another wealthy dude is nevertheless considering a bid, former energy executive Paul Addis. But unlike the other Republican with money to burn, state Sen. Scott Wagner, Addis isn't a Trump fan. In fact, Addis says he voted write-in for president, which is probably not something that would boost his cause with Republican primary voters.
Addis also says he's considering a bid for Senate, since Democrat Bob Casey's seat will also be up in two years' time. But if Casey seeks re-election, Wolf, who's feuded bitterly with the GOP-held legislature since taking office in 2015, could look like a more tempting target. We don't have much hard data that allows us to say which Democratic incumbent will be more vulnerable, though polling earlier this year from Morning Consult gave Wolf a 44-45 job approval rating (40th among governors) while Casey sported a 47-27 score (68th among senators).
● SC-Gov: In a very strange move last week, Donald Trump said he would name South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as his ambassador the United Nations. It's unexpected because Haley was openly hostile to Trump throughout his campaign, and it's weird because she has no foreign policy experience (though that's probably a plus in Trumpworld), and now she'll be on the hook for every international incident Trump instigates. For an ambitious, young politician (Haley's just 44), it's a fraught choice, to the say the least.
But all that is really outside our ambit. Here at Daily Kos Elections, we're chiefly concerned about what will happen to the Palmetto State's governorship, not its governor. Assuming Haley's dubious promotion does indeed go through, Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a fellow Republican, would succeed her. McMaster had previously expressed interest in running on his own in 2018, when Haley would have been term-limited, but now he'll likely have the chance to do so as the incumbent.
And that could change the calculus for a whole bunch of South Carolina Republicans. State Sen. Tom Davis, who'd been mentioned as a potential candidate, now says that "[i]f somebody was going to run, I think that their plans are the same now," but he also acknowledged that McMaster has "impeccable Republican credentials," in the words of The State. Davis says he's still considering a bid, though, and will "assess" his options in the spring.
Davis might not have a good read on the situation, though. The first Republican to announce a bid, state House Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope, already sounds likely to bail, saying of McMaster, "I want to do anything I can to work with him for the betterment of this state." Despite these comments, Pope still seems to be weighing a run, but at age 54, he can afford to wait.
A third candidate who'd been contemplating a run, former Department of Health and Environmental Control chief Catherine Templeton, offered a contradictory statement of her own. Templeton said she intends to announce her plans in January and added that McMaster's pending elevation "does not change that because I want to serve the state in whatever capacity makes the most sense." The "whatever capacity" bit makes it sound like Templeton is open to other options, one of which could be serving as McMaster's lieutenant governor. State law is unclear as to whether McMaster would in fact be able to appoint a number two of his own choosing, but Templeton refused to say whether she'd discussed the subject with McMaster.
One contender, though, who might not be dissuaded by coming events is Sen. Tim Scott. A couple of weeks ago, Scott's office put out a statement in which he did not rule out a gubernatorial bid, and now Scott himself is coyly acknowledging such a possibility, telling Politico, "I don't know about all that" with a smile on his face. That means, of course, that he does. Given Scott's prominent stature in South Carolina politics, he'd be a formidable primary opponent for McMaster, even if McMaster has the benefits of incumbency.
● VA-Gov: While Rep. Rob Wittman announced back in December that he was seeking the GOP nod for governor in 2017, it doesn't look like his heart is in the race. Wittman raised just $57,000 during the first six months of 2016, while another contender, ex-RNC head Ed Gillespie, brought in $852,000 during this time. Earlier this month, Wittman also told a local NPR affiliate that, while his plans haven't changed, he may stay in the House depending on what committee assignments he gets. (The relevant portion of the interview starts at the 24:25 mark.)
Three other Republicans have entered the race: Gillespie, who lost the 2014 Senate race to Democratic incumbent Mark Warner by a shockingly slim margin; state Sen. Frank Wagner; and Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart. Stewart was Donald Trump's Virginia campaign chair until just a month before Election Day, when he was fired for organizing a demonstration outside the RNC's headquarters to protest what he saw as the GOP's tepid support for Trump. It's unclear if Stewart will benefit from being the biggest Trump booster in the race, or if he's just managed to alienate too many Republicans to win the primary. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is unlikely to face any credible opposition.
● CA-49: Just before we put the Digest to bed Monday night, the AP called the race for California's 49th Congressional District, the last undecided House race in the nation, for GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, who led Democrat Doug Applegate by 2,348 votes, or just 0.8 percent, with most ballots counted.
● NJ-05: One ray of electoral sunshine fell on the Democrats this year in New Jersey's 5th Congressional District, where Josh Gottheimer, a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton and an advisor to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, defeated ultra-conservative GOP Rep. Scott Garrett by a 51-47 margin. Unsurprisingly, Republicans are already talking about targeting Gottheimer in this suburban seat, and the first person to speak publicly about her interest is Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi, who says that she's "leaving options open."
But one difficulty for Schepisi—and a potential bit of good fortune for Gottheimer—is the fact that New Jersey holds its legislative elections in odd-numbered years. That means that Schepisi can't make a move toward a congressional bid until after she wins re-election next November. That's what Schepisi plans to do, and she'll likely secure another term without much trouble, but if the GOP rallies around her, that would give Gottheimer almost a year-long head start.
● St. Louis, MO Mayor: While St. Louis Collector of Revenue Gregory F.X. Daly started raising money ahead of next March's open Democratic primary, he announced earlier this month that he wouldn't run after all. However, Alderman Jeffrey Boyd kicked off his own campaign last week, his third attempt to run citywide. Boyd lost the 2012 Democratic primary for city treasurer 35-26 to Tishaura Jones, who is also running for mayor, and in 2014, Boyd narrowly lost the primary for license collector. Several Democrats are already running for mayor, and the filing deadline isn't until January. It only takes a simple plurality to win the Democratic nomination, which is tantamount to election in St. Louis.
● Nassau County, NY Executive: Last month, Republican Ed Mangano, the executive of this populous Long Island county, was indicted on federal corruption charges. Mangano hasn't announced if he'll seek a third four-year term in 2017, and he certainly wouldn't be the first New York politician to win re-election while under indictment. But Democrats look ready to pounce, as several have already jumped into the race.
Earlier this month, County Legislator Laura Curran and Assemblyman Charles Lavine both kicked off their bids. County Comptroller George Maragos, who was elected twice as a Republican and took a distant third place in the 2012 GOP U.S. Senate primary, joined the Democratic Party in September and announced he, too, would run for county executive. Additionally, Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman set up an exploratory committee in September, though he hasn't announced he's in.
The Island Now also mentions a few possible Republicans who aren't under indictment who could get in. Outgoing state Sen. Jack Martins ran for New York's 3rd Congressional District this year, but national Republicans canceled millions in planned spending after polls showed him badly trailing Democrat Tom Suozzi (himself a former Nassau County executive.) However, Martins ended up losing
by a relatively modest 48-44 53-47. Ex-Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who lost the 2015 race for Nassau County district attorney 58-42, is another possible contender. The Island Now also mentions Bruce Blakeman, a longtime Long Island politician who lost the 2014 race for New York's 4th Congressional District 53-47 and currently serves as a Hempstead town councilor.
● Demographics: It's been common in recent elections for older age groups to vote more Republican than younger age groups, with millennials voting the most Democratic and seniors the most Republican throughout Barack Obama's time in office. But in 2016, seniors actually voted less Republican as a whole than they did in 2012, breaking a two-decade-long trend and ceding the title of the "most Republican age cohort" to the 45-64 year olds. Click through to join David Beard for a more in-depth look at this new phenomenon.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.