Some of the hottest statehouse action in the country right now is happening in the commonwealth of Virginia (New Hampshire notwithstanding, which I’ll get to in a bit), but with a major campaign finance reporting deadline hitting this week, we know now that Cash Rules Everything Around Many Democratic challengers this summer.
Time to get Back in the Game!
- Of the 17 Democrats running to flip Virginia House districts that Hillary Clinton won last November, 10 of them out-raised their Republican opponents in the reporting period that wrapped up on June 30. Eleven additional Democratic challengers raised more money than their entrenched, connected GOP opponents. The Virginia House Democratic Caucus itself closed out the reporting period with over $1 million cash-on-hand—a far cry from the $350,000 the campaign committee had in the bank at this point last cycle.
(FYI, Daily Kos will be boosting some Democratic challengers’ fundraising in the months to come—check out our first round of Virginia House endorsements here.)
- One of these endorsees—the inimitable Danica Roem—raised almost 20 times as much as GOP Del. Bob Marshall in June. But Republicans want to keep this crusader against LGBT rights in this swing district, so we can’t expect this gap to persist, and Marshall himself has pledged to get off his butt in the near future.
The Democratic challengers who have out-raised their GOP opponents have another distinction: Most of them are women.
- In fact, over half of the 54 Democrats taking on GOP incumbents this year are women. Currently, women make up only 17 percent of Virginia’s General Assembly, so even a handful of pickups by women this fall would have a big impact on the legislature’s gender ratio.
Statehouse Dems Ain’t Nuthing Ta F’ Wit: New Hampshire Democrats just put another win up on the board on Tuesday when Kris Schultz scored a landslide victory over her GOP opponent.
- The seat had previously been held by a Democrat, so, while it’s not a pickup, the margin of victory makes Rep.-elect Schultz’s win an important additional data point in the ever-growing set of election results pointing to intense Democratic voter enthusiasm and engagement.
- Schultz won her race with an epic 78 percent of the vote in HD-Merrimack-18, while Clinton took the district with a still-impressive 59 percent.
Ugh, math. Here you go: The Democrat improved on Clinton’s performance in this seat by 34 points.
So just how much is Democratic support picking up, you wonder? So glad you asked!
- In congressional and state legislative elections held since Trump’s election, Democrats are performing an average of 12 percent better than Clinton did last fall.
Bring da Ruckus: Next Tuesday, Democratic enthusiasm gets to to the test again in New Hampshire.
- Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh (proudly endorsed by Daily Kos) is fighting to keep a swing Senate district in Democratic hands. The results of this special election will have a dramatic impact on Democrats’ ability to flip this chamber to a Democratic majority in 2018.
- And with their brand-new voter intimidation law, Granite State Republicans have just shown how crucial breaking the GOP stranglehold on state government is.
- The new law imposes onerous new proof-of-residency requirements on voters who register within 30 days of an election—a dramatically Democratic-leaning demographic—and levies the threat of investigation into the living situation of anyone who fails to produce the necessary paperwork within a short time.
- This voter-intimidation statute is based on the same bogus claims that gave rise to Trump’s “voter fraud” panel, a group of experienced vote-suppressors tasked with finding “something” to nullify the fact that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton last fall.
7th Chamber Part II: … or 60th chamber, actually (out of 98). Daily Kos Elections has long been home to lots of important data and info on elections across the country, but, in my completely, totally, 100 percent unbiased opinion, one of the coolest, most useful things we do is break down presidential election performance by state legislative district—a data set not publicly available anywhere else.
Stay tuned for more data updates in this space!
And until next week, Protect Ya Neck.