The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, and David Beard.
● TX Redistricting: In a major blow to voting rights, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled five-to-four along ideological lines on Tuesday to stay two recent lower court rulings that had ordered Texas Republicans to redraw their congressional and state House districts. Earlier this year, a panel of district court judges found that GOP lawmakers had intentionally discriminated against black and Latino voters in coming up with these maps, rendering them unconstitutional. But the high court's conservative majority has now put the order to draw new maps on hold while it considers an appeal by Republicans, which could mean there won't be a final decision until next June.
This latest delay—with new maps finally in sight—is particularly infuriating, since lawsuits over these districts have been ongoing for six years, and lower courts have ruled four times this year alone that these lines not only discriminated against black and Latino voters but were intentionally crafted to do so. But thanks to the very slow gears of justice and a conservative Supreme Court majority that is hostile to the very notion of voting rights, we may not get redrawn districts until the 2020 elections, and that's only if the plaintiffs ultimately prevail on the merits.
● AZ-Sen: Things are beginning to look increasingly dire for Republican Sen. Jeff Flake's chances of winning a second term next year in Arizona. A recent poll from Democratic firm GBA Strategies is the latest survey to find Flake getting crushed in the Republican primary, with him trailing former state Sen. Kelli Ward by an astonishing 58-31. Flake sports an atrocious 34 percent job approval rating and 59 percent disapproval rating solely among Republicans. In a hypothetical general election matchup with Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who appears likely to run, Flake loses by 47-40. His approval rating among all voters stands at a miserable 38-50, though that’s somehow better than his score with his own party!
These numbers echo multiple recent polls from JMC Analytics and HighGround, which found Ward trouncing Flake in the primary by 47-21 and 43-28, respectively. HighGround had also tested a hypothetical general election matchup and also found Sinema beating Flake 41-33.
Arizona is still a red-leaning swing state, but Flake has tried his damnedest to piss off both swing voters and the hardline GOP base by steadfastly supporting Trumpcare while also publicly bashing Trump and taking a more moderate line on immigration than his party's leader. So far, Ward is Flake's only noteworthy primary foe, and there have been multiple reports this year detailing how top state Republicans, and even Donald Trump himself, have been searching for a more prominent challenger who doesn't come with Ward's baggage and record of weak fundraising.
However, these recent polls indicate that even Ward may be able to knock off Flake if the Republican base is pissed at him enough, while such awful numbers for the incumbent may yet convince a more imposing challenger to join the primary. Meanwhile, while Sinema hasn't joined the race yet for Democrats, The Hill's Scott Wong wrote on Monday that “[a]n announcement is expected any day.” Wong also reported that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told her recently that she'll have his support if she takes on Flake. There's still a long way to go until next year's late-summer primary and November general election, but Flake appears to be in for a world of hurt if he can't turn things around.
● MT-Sen: Yellowstone County District Court Judge Russell Fagg has been considering joining the primary for the GOP nomination to take on Democratic Sen. Jon Tester next year, and he previously formed an exploratory committee ahead of his planned departure from the bench in October. On Tuesday, Fagg reiterated that he's still "exploring" whether to run (since judicial ethics rules prevent him from becoming a formal candidate while still in office), but he continues to raise money like a candidate. Fagg also unveiled a group of endorsements from the well-known Montana Republicans of yesteryear. Fagg has former Reps. Denny Rehberg and Rick Hill, who each lost a competitive 2012 statewide race, in his corner, as well as the state’s three living former GOP governors: Marc Racicot, Stan Stephens, and Judy Martz.
● ND-Sen: Until this week, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp hadn't committed to seeking a second term in this dark-red state, but her strong fundraising pace had indicated she would likely run again. Unsurprisingly, Heitkamp finally put any doubts to rest on Wednesday when she announced she would seek re-election. Heitkamp is one of the GOP's top targets next year after Trump won North Dakota 63-27, and wealthy state Sen. Tom Campbell recently launched his campaign for the Republican nod.
● NV-Sen: Former state Treasurer Kate Marshall had indicated earlier this year that she was considering running for Senate in 2018, but her entry into the race was reportedly much less likely after Rep. Jacky Rosen jumped into the contest in June with the support of top national and state Democrats. Marshall finally clarified on Wednesday that she won't run for Senate after she declared her candidacy for lieutenant governor, leaving Rosen as the only notable Democrat in the contest against Republican Sen. Dean Heller.
● AK-Gov: Staunchly conservative state Sen. Mike Dunleavy has so far been the only prominent Republican in next year's race against independent Gov. Bill Walker, but he suspended his campaign on Tuesday after disclosing health issues with his heart. Dunleavy said he would stay off the campaign trail for as long as medically necessary before making a "final determination if he should continue" with his candidacy.
Meanwhile, former GOP state Sen. Charlie Huggins filed the paperwork to run and allow him to raise money, while his wife announced on talk radio that he is indeed joining the race. Huggins formerly served as state Senate president until retiring from office last year. State Rep. Mike Chenault, who is also a former state House speaker, also filed the paperwork to potentially join the Republican primary, but said he would only make a decision about whether to actually run within the next two weeks.
● CT-Gov: Democratic former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz's name hasn't come up much this cycle as a potential candidate to succeed retiring Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy, but she recently revealed that she has received encouragement to join the race and is considering it. Bysiewicz served three terms as secretary of state from 1998 to 2010, which would make her the only candidate in the current Democratic field who had held statewide office before.
Bysiewicz has been exploring a state Senate campaign for several months already, but it wouldn't be the first time that she sought higher statewide office. However, her prior runs for governor, attorney general, and Senate all ended in spectacular failure. Bysiewicz joined and later dropped out of the 2006 gubernatorial race against GOP Gov. Jodi Rell to seek re-election. She ran for governor again in 2010 when Rell retired, but also dropped out of that race before the Democratic primary after spending a year on the campaign trail. Bysiewicz then tried to run for attorney general in 2010, but the state Supreme Court embarrassingly found that she lacked the legal qualifications to run under state law because she hadn't actively practiced law for the necessary 10 years.
Adding insult to injury, Bysiewicz earned negative headlines over her role as the state's chief election administrator in the 2010 gubernatorial election, where Malloy defeated Republican Tom Foley by just a few thousand votes. Bysiewicz called that race before all votes had been counted, even though there were major voting problems, with a shortage of ballots in Connecticut's largest city of Bridgeport.
Bysiewicz tried to resuscitate her once-promising career by running for Senate in 2012, but she got demolished 67-33 in the Democratic primary by Chris Murphy, who was serving in the House at the time. In one infamous incident, Bysiewicz ran an attack ad against Murphy in which she claimed he "has taken more hedge fund money than any other Democrat in Congress." That turned out to be an amateurish mistake, though, since the report she relied on pertained to a former New York congressman named Scott Murphy.
While none of the current Democratic gubernatorial candidates is particularly well-known, Bysiewicz's notoriety could prove to be more of a hindrance than an asset if she runs. Fortunately for Democrats, she sounded more likely to defer to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, who has previously said she's considering joining the race to succeed her boss.
● MN-Gov: State Attorney General Lori Swanson is undoubtedly the biggest name left among potential gubernatorial candidates who has yet made up her mind about whether to run next year, but the three-term Democrat doesn't appear to be in any hurry to reach a decision. Swanson hadn't spoken publicly about her intentions for a while, but she revealed on Tuesday that she's still considering whether to seek re-election to a fourth term or to run for governor, stating that she thinks it's still "early" and that she doesn't have "a specific timetable in mind."
Judging by the large size of the field of candidates who are running to succeed retiring Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, it's no longer that early before next year's party convention and primary. However, Swanson can likely afford to wait a little longer than nearly any other candidate thanks to her existing name recognition and stature within the party, meaning it could be a while before the Democratic field takes its final shape, particularly if a subsequent Swanson entry into the race prompts a fewer lesser-known candidates to drop out or seek to succeed Swanson as attorney general instead.
● NJ-Gov: Quinnipiac is out with their latest poll of New Jersey's gubernatorial contest to succeed term-limited GOP Gov. Chris Christie, and they once again find Democrat Phil Murphy winning a landslide over Republican Kim Guadagno. Murphy beats the GOP lieutenant governor by 58-33, which is nonetheless a modest uptick for Guadagno compared to their June survey, where Murphy led 55-26. Every single poll of this general election has found Murphy winning a rout over Guadagno, and the low approval ratings of Christie and Trump in the Garden State are likely doing her no favors.
● MT-AL: Democrat Grant Kier, who recently stepped down as the director of a Missoula nonprofit dedicated to preserving open lands in western Montana, kicked off his campaign against Republican Rep. Greg Gianforte on Tuesday, joining attorney John Heenan in the Democratic primary. Kier doesn't appear to have run for office before, but he pointed to his experience of fundraising for his nonprofit as something that will help him challenge Gianforte, whose net worth is at least in the nine-figure range and has spent millions of his own wealth on his past campaigns.
Kier only moved to Montana in 2005 after growing up in Colorado, which could make it much tougher for Democrats to blast "New Jersey millionaire Greg Gianforte" for lacking Montana roots the way they did in the 2016 gubernatorial and 2017 House special elections, but those attacks would probably be less potent now that Gianforte's the incumbent. Kier's nonprofit work also cuts a sharp contrast with Gianforte in a state where voters prize their traditional access to Montana's substantial public lands, since Democrats in previous campaigns had repeatedly attacked Gianforte over a lawsuit he filed in 2009 to close off access to a stream near one of his properties.
● Special Elections: Democrats picked up two more state legislative seats on Tuesday night, bringing the total number of flips for Team Blue to six since Trump took won in November. Republicans have yet to flip a single Democratic seat in a contested race this cycle, though they won a conservative Louisiana House seat by default after Democrats didn't field a candidate.
One pickup was in New Hampshire, where Democrat Charlie St. Clair won the seat that had been vacated by GOP Rep. Robert Fisher, founder of and regular poster on "The Red Pill," a virulently misogynistic Reddit forum. St. Clair is the first Democrat to win this seat since 2012, even though Trump won this seat by 16 points just last fall. St. Clair's 56-44 percent win marked a 28-point swing in Democrats' favor in a seat that had actually grown more Republican since 2012: It barely favored Obama that year and voted for Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown in 2014 by a 52-48 margin.
New Hampshire Democrats also flipped a historically red 51-44 Trump seat in May and decisively held a Senate seat that backed Clinton by just 100 votes in August. However, the news hasn't been universally good in the Granite State: Last week, the GOP held a state House district that had swung from 50-48 Obama to 55-40 Trump, though that was still a large shift to the left from the 2016 result.
The other pickup was in Oklahoma, where voters in HD-46 are sending a Democrat to the state capitol for the first time since 1995. Democrat Jacob Rosecrants, a teacher, public education advocate, and union member, actually lost this 52-41 Trump seat just last fall by 60-40 percent. On Tuesday, he literally flipped the result: Rosecrants won this special election 60-40 percent. In July, Team Blue flipped two other Oklahoma special elections in seats where Trump had decisively won.
Things weren't so great in the non-partisan special election for Mississippi's GOP-held HD-102. Republican Missy McGee outpaced Democrat Kathryn Rehner 44-25, and the two will meet again in a runoff. In a close third was Casey Mercier with 22 percent, and Cory Ferraez was last with 9 percent; both candidates appear to identify as Republicans. Our preliminary calculations show Donald Trump winning this seat 47.6-47.3, a margin of 23 votes, so this looks like a serious Democratic under-performance, though the non-partisan nature of the race complicates things.
● Buffalo, NY Mayor: On Tuesday, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, who also serves as chair of New York's state Democratic party, won the Democratic primary 51-36 against city Comptroller Mark Schroeder; Erie County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, a longtime Brown rival, took third with just 13. While Schroeder won the Reform Party's nomination for the general election (there is no GOP candidate), Brown should have no trouble winning a fourth term in November. Brown always had far more money and party support than either of his opponents, who argued that the mayor's administration had neglected poorer areas.
● Charlotte, NC Mayor: On Tuesday, Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts lost the Democratic primary to Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles 46-36, with North Carolina state Sen. Joel Ford taking a distant 16 percent. Because Lyles took more than 40 percent of the vote, there will not be a primary runoff. Lyles will face City Councilor Kenny Smith, who won the GOP primary with minimal opposition, in the Nov. 7 general election.
As we wrote at the end of last year, Roberts has had a very rough tenure since she won in 2015. (Charlotte is one of the few large cities to elect mayors to two-year terms.) In early 2016, Roberts and the city council passed a non-discrimination ordinance that prompted the GOP-led state legislature to respond by passing a piece of anti-LGBT legislation known as HB2, which earned the state national scorn and multiple boycotts by high-profile businesses.
The ordinance was repealed at the end of 2016 as part of an apparent deal with the legislature that would supposedly have resulted in HB2 getting repealed afterwards. The Republican leadership responded to Charlotte's move by doing nothing and going home; HB2 was eventually repealed, but the compromise measure enraged LGBT activists.
Like Roberts, Lyles voted for both the non-discrimination ordinance and the repeal. However, Lyles met with GOP legislators in late 2016 about a possible joint repeal, and she's shown more of a willingness to accommodate them than even Roberts had. Lyles also has argued that the mayor didn't work well with the council during the unrest in the city after Keith Scott, a 43-year-old black man, was killed by police in September; Lyles also said at the time that Roberts went too far when she publicly criticized Police Chief Kerr Putney.
During the campaign, Lyles argued that, while she and Roberts agreed on many issues, she would be a more effective leader. Roberts was the only candidate with the money to air ads during the primary, but it was far from enough.
Charlotte is a very blue city, but Smith could pull off an upset win. In 2009, Anthony Foxx won a close race to become Charlotte's first Democratic mayor since Harvey Gantt left office in 1987. In 2013, moderate Republican Edwin Peacock lost to Democrat Patrick Cannon 53-47, and he lost to Roberts just 52-48 in 2015. However, Smith is considerably more conservative than Peacock: For one thing, he has slammed the non-discrimination ordinance as "social engineering" on the part of liberals.
Smith was planning to run against Roberts, and Lyles may be a more elusive target. However, Smith quickly started arguing that Lyles "voted with Jennifer nearly 100 percent of the time. If you want to move away from the direction that Jennifer Roberts has led us, vote for me." Smith also begins the campaign with a large $323,000 to $43,000 cash-on-hand edge over Lyles.
Whoever wins will be Charlotte's fifth mayor since Foxx resigned in mid-2013 to become U.S. secretary of transportation. The city council selected Councilor Patsy Kinsey to serve out the rest of Foxx's term, and she kept her pledge not to run for mayor. Kinsey returned to the city council, but she lost renomination in Tuesday's Democratic primary. Cannon won later that year, but resigned just a few months later after he was arrested for taking bribes from undercover FBI agents; Cannon was released from prison last year. The council picked state Sen. Dan Clodfelter to serve out the rest of Cannon's term. While Clodfelter sounded unlikely to run for mayor, he ended up campaigning for a full term anyway, and he lost the primary runoff to Roberts 54-46.
● Cleveland, OH Mayor: Cleveland held its non-partisan mayoral primary on Tuesday, and Mayor Frank Jackson will face Councilor Zack Reed, a fellow Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general election. Jackson, who is seeking to become the city's first four-term mayor, took first with 39 percent of the vote, while Reed edged out fellow Councilor Jeff Johnson 22-15 to advance to the general. Johnson immediately endorsed Reed.
Jackson has raised far more money than Reed, and cleveland.com's Robert Higgs writes that polls show that most voters approve of his performance. Still, it's rarely a good sign when an incumbent wins just 40 percent of the vote in a primary. Reed has been arguing that Jackson has not done enough to deal with the high crime rate, and that he's focused too much on improving downtown at the expense of the city's neighborhoods.
● Toledo, OH Mayor: Toledo held its non-partisan primary, and Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson will face off against Lucas County Treasurer Wade Kapszukiewicz, a fellow Democrat, in the Nov. 7 general. Hicks-Hudson led Kapszukiewicz 39-34, while GOP Councilor Tom Waniewski finished with 27 percent.
Hicks-Hudson became mayor in 2015 after incumbent Michael Collins died, and she won a crowded and chaotic special election that fall 36-17 for the final two years of Collins' term. Kapszukiewicz has argued that Hicks-Hudson, who previously led the city council, has done a poor job keeping track of the city's money, noting that the city recently learned that $8.2 million has been sitting unused since 2011. Hicks-Hudson has in turn argued that the city is experiencing an economic resurgence under her, while Kapszukiewicz insists progress is happening despite city government.
Kapszukiewicz and Hicks-Hudson also differ over whether to designate Lake Erie as "impaired" over pollution, which would help secure federal clean up funds and would require polluters to take responsibility for nutrient runoff. Kapszukiewicz and many environmentalists back that designation, while Hicks-Hudson says that it would force Toledo to pay more without providing actual enforcement.
● Brooklyn, NY District Attorney: Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, who became the top prosecutor for New York City's largest borough last year after the unexpected death of his predecessor, Ken Thompson, easily won Tuesday night's Democratic primary against a divided field of opponents. After Thompson's death, a number of Democrats thought they saw an opportunity against Gonzalez, who'd never run for office before. But much of Brooklyn's legal and political community rallied around him, and he wound up taking 53 percent of the vote; his nearest rival, former prosecutor Anne Swern, won just 12 percent.
In his too-brief tenure, Thompson had earned a reputation as a reformer, a legacy that Gonzalez (and all his rivals) pledged to uphold during his campaign. And now he'll have four years in which to do so: Gonzalez is all but assured of winning a full term as district attorney in his own right, as no Republican has even filed to run in November (not that the GOP would have any shot in dark blue Brooklyn). Once he does, Gonzalez will be the first Latino ever elected to this post.
● Nassau County, NY Executive: On Tuesday, Nassau County Legislator Laura Curran decisively defeated County Comptroller George Maragos, a former Republican who switched parties last year, 79-21 in the Democratic primary. Curran, who had the support of local and state Democratic leaders, will face Republican Jack Martins, who left the state Senate to unsuccessfully run for New York's 3rd Congressional District last year, in November's race to lead this large Long Island county.
Until last year, it looked likely that GOP incumbent Ed Mangano would seek a third term. However, Mangano was indicted last fall on corruption charges. The local GOP quickly started looking for a candidate and consolidated behind Martins. Mangano, whose trial is in January, eventually took the hint and decided not to run again.
Not surprisingly, both Martins and Curran have made corruption a major issue in their campaigns. Martins wasted zero time launching his first TV ad on Wednesday, which his campaign says is running for $1 million; Martins argues in the spot that "Not only do we have to have the ability to remove somebody from office. We have to have the ability to say we're going to take away your public pension, because you don't deserve a pension if you violated the public trust."
This November's contest will be the latest battle in what's often been an unpredictable war for control of Nassau County. The GOP dominated local politics for decades, but corruption and infighting helped weaken what was once one of the most powerful Republican parties anywhere. (For more, check out Steve Kornacki's excellent 2011 article.) In 2001, Democrat Tom Suozzi broke the GOP's stronghold on the county executive's office, and won re-election four years later. But in 2009, with the Great Recession hurting Democrats nationwide, Mangano narrowly unseated Suozzi in an utter shocker. Despite the county's considerable financial problems, Mangano won their 2013 rematch 59-41. Suozzi himself revived his political career last year by defeating none other than Martins 53-47 in an open seat contest for New York's 3rd Congressional District.
● Westchester County, NY Executive: State Sen. George Latimer defeated Westchester County Legislator Ken Jenkins 64-36 in Tuesday's Democratic primary, and he will face GOP incumbent Rob Astorino in November. Latimer earned the endorsement of the county Democratic Party in May, so his win was no surprise.
Westchester has become a solidly Democratic area in most races, backing Clinton 65-31 last year. However, while Astorino badly lost the 2005 executive race 58-42 to Democratic incumbent Andy Spano, he won their rematch 57-43 four years later. Democrats tried to unseat Astorino in 2013, but he held on 56-44. One year later, Astorino challenged Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lost 54-40, losing Westchester 55-42.
Despite his underwhelming performance, Astorino hasn't ruled out another try against Cuomo. The governor wants to beat Astorino this year, and he even reportedly was so unimpressed by Jenkins that he worked to recruit another candidate. At the end of the last reporting period, Astorino had $3.2 million on-hand, while Latimer had $354,000 to spend.
● Deaths: Former Republican Sen. Pete Domenici, who represented New Mexico in the Senate from 1973 to 2009, died on Wednesday at the age of 85. A former Albuquerque mayor, Domenici narrowly lost the 1970 gubernatorial election, but won his first term for an open Democratic-held Senate seat in 1972 amid Richard Nixon's landslide. He won a hard-fought re-election battle in 1978 against Democratic Attorney General Toney Anaya, who would become governor four years later, then never won by less than a landslide margin for his last five terms, making him the longest-serving senator in state history.
Domenici chaired the Senate committees on energy and the budget for a substantial part of his tenure, using his clout to advocate for nuclear power and a balanced budget. However, the longtime senator wasn't free of scandal. As part of the fallout of the George W. Bush administration's U.S. attorney firings scandal, Domenici had allegedly improperly contacted then-U.S. Attorney David Iglesias to pursue a corruption case before the 2006 elections. Iglesias was shortly thereafter fired and later accused the senator of pressuring him over how he handled the case. The Senate ethics committee formally reprimanded Domenici in 2008 for violating its rules.
Domenici announced in 2007 that he would not to seek re-election the next year, and Democratic Rep. Tom Udall easily won the race to succeed him. One other Domenici scandal didn't come to light until after he left office, when he revealed that as a 46-year-old in 1978, he had cheated on his wife and had fathered a child with Michelle Laxalt, the 24-year-old daughter of his fellow GOP Sen. Paul Laxalt of Nevada. That child, Adam Laxalt, was later elected as Nevada attorney general in 2014 and is the unofficial frontrunner in the 2018 GOP primary for governor.
● Pres-by-LD: Daily Kos Elections' project to calculate the 2016 presidential results for every state legislative seat in the nation comes to two very different states, Vermont and Wyoming. You can find our master list of states here, which we'll be updating as we add new data sets; you can also find all of our calculations from 2016 and past cycles here.
Vermont backed Hillary Clinton 57-30, a big drop from Barack Obama's 67-31 win in 2012, but still a decisive victory. (Daily Kos Elections normally excludes write-in votes from our calculations, but because write-ins made up 7 percent of the total vote in Vermont, we've made an exception here.) At the other side of the country, Wyoming supported Donald Trump 70-22, his strongest win in any state and an improvement over Mitt Romney's 69-28 victory. Unsurprisingly, Vermont Democrats hold huge majorities in both chambers of the legislature, while the Wyoming GOP dominates the state House and Senate. However, there is some notable crossover voting in both states.
We'll start with a look at the Vermont Senate. Democrats hold 21 seats to the GOP's seven, while two members of the left-leaning Vermont Progressive Party caucus with the Democrats. The Senate has 13 seats, which are named for the county they largely correspond to (or in Essex-Orleans’ case, the counties they correspond to). Senate seats can have anywhere from one to six senators, and the entire chamber is up every two years.
Clinton carried every Senate seat except Essex-Orleans, which swung from 61-37 Obama to 44-42 Trump. However, both of Essex-Orleans' senators are Democrats. The bluest GOP-held seat is Lamoille, which went from 70-28 Obama to 57-28 Clinton. Republican Richard Westman, the seat's one senator, won his fourth term 53-47.
The state House, which is also up every two years, has 104 districts. Forty-six districts have two representatives, while the rest elect just one. Democrats hold 83 seats to the GOP's 53 (any vacant seat are assigned to the party that last held them), while Progressives and independents each hold seven seats. Only twenty representatives hold Trump seats, while the remaining 130 represent Clinton turf. The one Democrat in a Trump seat is Dave Potter, one of Rutland 2's two representatives: This seat swung from 58-40 Obama to 47-42 Trump.
Thirty-four Republicans, as well as all the Progressives and independents, hail from Clinton seats. The Republican in the bluest seat is Heidi Scheuermann, the sole representative from Lamoille 1. This district actually moved to the left last year, going from 68-30 Obama to 69-20 Clinton, but Scheuermann won her sixth term without opposition. This is the bluest GOP-held seat we've found in any of the 38 states where we've released data for 2016 (though in the New York Senate, several Democrats in bluer seats are members of the Independent Democratic Conference, which has voted to keep the Republicans in power since the 2012 elections).
We'll turn to Wyoming, where the GOP holds a 27 to three Senate majority and a 51 to nine House edge. Trump carried all but two of the 30 Senate seats, and 57 of the 60 House districts. The entire House is up every two years, while half the Senate is up every cycle. Unlike Vermont, the Wyoming legislature uses single-member seats.
Oddly, the GOP holds what is by far the bluest Senate seat. SD-17, which includes some of the communities around Yellowstone and Jackson Hole, went from 55-43 Obama to 61-32 Clinton. In 2014, GOP state Sen. Leland Christensen won his second term with no Democratic opposition. Christensen ran for Wyoming's only congressional seat last year and lost the primary to Liz Cheney 40-22.
Two Democrats represent Trump turf. Liisa Anselmi-Dalton won her first term last year with no general election opposition, succeeding a retiring Democrat, even though her Rock Springs-area SD-12 went from 65-32 Romney all the way to 71-22 Trump. John Hastert, who won his third term in 2014 with no opposition, represents a neighboring seat that's also located in Sweetwater County. Hastert’s SD-13 went from 67-29 Romney to 71-20 Trump.
Over in the House, six Democrats hold Trump seats. Sweetwater County has historically been Democratic turf, with Bill Clinton winning it during both his campaigns, but the area has turned dark red in presidential races. Still, Team Blue still does well down-ballot here, with three House incumbents running unopposed last year in seats that Trump would win with at least 70 percent of the vote. The reddest is Stan Blake's HD-39, which swung from 68-28 Romney to 73-19 Trump. JoAnn Dayton and John Freeman also skated by without GOP opposition last year.
Over in HD-36, which is in the Casper area (and not in Sweetwater County), Democrat Debbie Bovee actually unseated GOP incumbent Gerald Gay 53-47 even as the seat went from 65-32 Romney to 70-22 Trump. Gay drew bad headlines during the campaign when he argued that, "Women in the workforce traditionally take a disproportionate amount of their sick days off for other reasons than sick days," which he said hurt their earning potential.
The other two Democrats in Trump seats hold much more competitive seats. No Republicans represent Clinton seats, though Jim Allen narrowly won re-election in a Fremont County seat that swung from 56-42 Obama to 49-44 Trump.