● Pres-by-LD: Our project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation hits New Mexico, where Democrats hold majorities in both chambers. Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump 48-40 here, while ex-Gov. Gary Johnson took 9 percent as a Libertarian; as a bonus, we've calculated Johnson's results in each legislative district, as well as in the state's three congressional districts. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new states; you can also find all our data from 2016 and past cycles here.
In 1954, during Dwight Eisenhower's rough first midterm election, the GOP lost control of the New Mexico state House. Team Red finally won a narrow 37-33 edge during the 2014 GOP wave, but they didn't get to keep the speaker's chair for long. Democrats won back control last year, taking a 38-32 majority. Clinton carried 45 of the 70 seats, taking four districts that Mitt Romney had carried four years before while losing three Obama seats.
In 2011, when it was time to draw new legislative districts, GOP Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed the Democratic legislature's proposed maps, and a court ended up drawing the new seats for both chambers. Not surprisingly, the court-drawn state House map doesn't seem to give either party an advantage. One way to illustrate this is to sort each seat in each chamber by Trump's margin of victory over Clinton and see how the seat in the middle—known as the median seat—voted. Because New Mexico has an even number of House seats, we average the Clinton and Trump percentages for the middle two seats to come up with the median. This middle point in the House backed Clinton 49-40, almost identical to her statewide performance.
In 2016, crossover voting helped the GOP more than it helped Team Blue, but not enough to allow them stay in power: Nine Republicans represent Clinton turf, while only two Democratic House members hold Trump seats. Democratic state Rep. George Dodge Jr. won the general election without any opposition even as his eastern HD-63 shifted from 50-47 Obama all the way to 51-37 Trump, with Johnson grabbing 10 percent. Candie Sweetser, the other Democrat in a Trump seat, narrowly won an open seat even as HD-32, which is located in New Mexico's southwestern corner, swung from 49-48 Obama to 47-44 Trump. State Rep. Nathaniel Gentry holds the most pro-Clinton seat of any of the nine Republicans. Gentry's Albuquerque-area HD-30 went from 50-44 Obama to 48-37 Clinton, with Johnson taking 12; Gentry won his fourth term 52-48. The entire state House is up every two years, and the GOP will likely try to retake the chamber in 2018 rather than risk needing to wait until 2076.
Finally, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention HD-41, which is represented by one of the worst Democrats in the chamber. Clinton carried this seat 64-24, but Democratic state Rep. Debbie Rodella has repeatedly sided with the GOP and voted against measures to make voting easy. Hopefully, someone will challenge Rodella is a primary, because this area can definitely elect a much better Democrat in a general.
We'll turn next to the upper chamber. Democrats have held the Senate since the late 1980s, and they won a 26-16 majority last year. Because the chamber is only up in presidential years, they won't need to worry about the Senate again for a while. Clinton carried 27 seats, trading two Obama districts for two Romney seats. The Senate map was also drawn up by a court, and it also doesn't seem to favor either party: The median point in the chamber backed Clinton 48-40, again very similar to the state as a whole. Two Democrats represent Trump seats, while three Republicans hold Clinton districts.
The most Trumpy Democratic-held seat is SD-35, located in the southwestern part of the state. This seat went from 51-46 Romney to 50-41 Trump, but longtime Democratic incumbent John Arthur Smith didn't face any GOP opposition. Republican state Sen. Candace Ruth Gould's Albuquerque-area SD-10 went from 49-47 Obama to 46-41 Clinton, with Johnson taking 11 percent, but she narrowly won her first term 51-49.
Finally, we'll take a quick look at Gary Johnson's support. Johnson scored his highest percentage of the vote in HD-65, a large seat that stretches from the northern border to the Albuquerque area. Clinton won 67 percent of the vote here, while Trump edged Johnson 17-14 for second place. We've also calculated Johnson's showings for all three congressional districts. Johnson won 11 percent of the vote in Albuquerque's 1st, which Clinton carried 52-35. Trump won the southern 2nd District 50-40, with Johnson at 8; in the northern 3rd, Johnson took 9 as Clinton won 52-37.
● FL-Gov: Ex-Rep. Gwen Graham has made it clear that she plans to run for the Democratic nomination for a long time, though she said at the end of last year that she was delaying her final decision while her husband underwent treatment for prostate cancer. But this week, Graham said she would make her announcement "soon" as her House campaign transferred $250,000 to an allied state political committee, so there doesn't seem to be much doubt about what she'll announce. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and businessman Chris King are already in, while a few other Democrats are considering.
● PA-Gov: While state House Majority Leader Jake Corman didn't rule out challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf back in December, the Republican told the Centre Daily Times this week that he'd stay out of the race. Right now, wealthy state Sen. Scott Wagner is Wolf's only declared opponent, while Rep. Mike Kelly and wealthy businessman Paul Addis are openly considering and plenty of others haven't ruled out a bid.
● VA-Gov: On Thursday, distillery owner Denver Riggleman announced that he was suspending his campaign for the GOP nomination. Since Riggleman barely registered in the polls and raised very little money, very few people will probably care if his suspension is permanent.
● FL-18: Republican Brian Mast, a veteran who lost both his legs in Afghanistan, flipped this open South Florida seat last year by a strong 54-43 margin while Trump was carrying it 53-44. However, Mast earned some bad headlines this week when Politico reported that in 2016, he joined the advisory board of a marketing company that is under federal investigation for allegedly making millions off a patent scam.
Mast claims he only met World Patent Marketing's owner, Scott J. Cooper, twice. Mast also insists that Cooper used his image in a promotional video without his knowledge or consent, and also says he didn't even know he was appointed to the advisory board until the company announced it in February of last year. Mast's office later emailed a statement declaring, "Congressman Mast never served on the board and has no knowledge of the inner workings of this business." However, that February 2016 announcement contained a quote ostensibly from Mast praising World Patent Marketing as "dynamic and forward looking," and an image of Cooper and Mast standing next to a sign for the company. Mast says Cooper, who donated $5,400 to his 2016 joint fundraising committee, "does know me, just like thousands of other people who supported me." However, Mast doesn't seem to have accused anyone of forging those favorable quotes that were attributed to him about the company.
If Mast does have closer ties to Cooper and World Patent Marketing than he lets on, it could be very bad for him politically. The Federal Trade Commission has accused the company of making promises to customers it doesn't fulfill and, after "collect[ing] thousands of dollars from consumers and string[ing] them along for months or years," of threatening to take criminal action against people who report them. The FTC also says that "many of Defendants' customers end up in debt or losing their life savings or inheritances, after investing in Defendants’ broken promises." We'll see if this goes anywhere, but this is potentially a very bad story for a freshman congressman who looked like a tough target at the beginning of the cycle.
● New York, NY Mayor: Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio and some of his aides have been facing a probe over their fundraising, but on Thursday, the U.S. attorney's office announced that there would be no charges. De Blasio's intra-party critics were hoping that the investigation would go further, but they'll have to be disappointed. So far, de Blasio only faces weak opposition in the September primary, and this news probably won't encourage anyone else to get in.
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.