Prop. 22's proponents have also been campaigning in other ways. Rideshare passengers have received numerous push notifications telling them to vote yes, while Uber drivers logging into their app have also seen a slideshow with messages like, "A no vote would mean far fewer jobs."
Meanwhile, labor groups have contributed much of the $20 million raised by the campaign against Prop. 22, a figure that's only about a tenth of what their rivals have brought in. However, a number of prominent state and national Democratic politicians have opposed the measure including Joe Biden and his running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, as well as Rep. Barbara Lee and former presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Despite the yes side's lopsided resource advantage, UC Berkeley finds little change from its last poll in mid-September, when Prop. 22 led by a similar 39-36 spread. The only other poll we've seen was a late September SurveyUSA poll that had the measure in better shape with a 45-31 edge.
Rideshare and app-based delivery companies have long classified their drivers as independent contractors rather than as employees, which meant that these businesses didn't need to pay for benefits like healthcare, unemployment insurance, or expense reimbursement. A 2018 California Supreme Court ruling and subsequent state law, though, made it much more difficult for gig companies to designate workers this way.
Uber and Lyft, which argue that they're tech businesses rather than transportation companies, have continued to classify their drivers as contractors, which led to a lawsuit from state Attorney General Xavier Becerra and several city attorneys. On Thursday, a state appeals court upheld a lower court ruling saying that these rideshare companies needed to treat their drivers in California as employees. The ruling is on hold for now, though, and if Prop. 22 prevails next week, it would never go into effect.
The rideshare companies have warned that the failure of Prop. 22 would impose massive costs on them that would lead to far fewer drivers in California and higher prices for customers. The measure's opponents, meanwhile, have argued that a win for the yes side would harm drivers, with Rep. Barbara Lee declaring, "You have very clearly crossed the line when you try to claim the equity mantle for a campaign that has always been about allowing multibillion-dollar app companies to write their own law so that they can keep exploiting the labor of drivers, eight in 10 of whom are people of color."
If Prop. 22 succeeds, it would be extremely difficult to change. The measure would require seven-eighths of each chamber of the legislature to make any amendments, an unprecedented threshold which makes major alterations all but impossible. Local governments would also not be able to require companies to provide additional benefits or protections for their gig workers. Another ballot measure could be passed by voters to replace Prop. 22, but as this year's campaign shows, gig companies would spend whatever it takes to stop anything they opposed.
● GA-Sen-A, GA-Sen-B: Forward Majority has announced that it will spend another $9.7 million to boost Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in next week's Senate races. More than $5 million will go towards turning out voters of color, while the rest will be for digital ads.
● ME-Sen: The Bangor News reports that two major Democratic groups have reserved a total of $9.9 million for advertising for the final week of the campaign. The DSCC, which has been focusing its money on other Senate battlegrounds, is deploying $3.9 million on an opening spot that argues Republican Sen. Susan Collins is in the pocket of special interests. The balance comes from Senate Majority PAC, which has been running ads here for months.
● NM-Sen: Senate Majority PAC is the first major outside group to run commercials in a contest that looks secure for Democrat Ben Ray Luján, but the NM Political Report says that the size of the buy is only $100,000. The commercial ties Republican Mark Ronchetti to Donald Trump, who will almost certainly not be carrying the state's five electoral votes next week.
- AZ-Sen: OH Predictive Insights (R): Mark Kelly (D): 50, Martha McSally (R-inc): 45 (49-46 Biden) (early Oct.: 50-45 Kelly)
- GA-Sen-A: Civiqs (D) for Daily Kos: Jon Ossoff (D): 51, David Perdue (R-inc): 45, Shane Hazel (L): 2 (51-46 Biden) (Sept.: 48-46 Ossoff)
- GA-Sen-B: Civiqs (D) for Daily Kos: Raphael Warnock (D): 48, Doug Collins (R): 23, Kelly Loeffler (R-inc): 22, Matt Lieberman (D): 2 (51-46 Biden) (Sept.: Warnock: 38, Collins: 25, Loeffler: 21)
- MI-Sen: Ipsos for Reuters: Gary Peters (D-inc): 50, John James (R): 44 (53-43 Biden) (mid-Oct.: 50-45 Peters)
- MS-Sen: Civiqs (D) for Daily Kos: Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-inc): 52, Mike Espy (D): 44 (55-41 Trump)
- NC-Sen: Ipsos for Reuters: Cal Cunningham (D): 48, Thom Tillis (R-inc): 47 (49-48 Biden) (mid-Oct.: 47-47 tie)
- NC-Sen: Public Policy Polling (D) for Protect Our Care: Cunningham (D): 47, Tillis (R-inc): 44 (51-47 Biden) (early Oct.: 48-42 Cunningham)
- NC-Sen: Trafalgar Group (R): Tillis (R-inc): 49, Cunningham (D): 47, Bray (L): 2, Hayes (C): 1 (49-46 Trump) (Sept.: 46-45 Cunningham)
- SC-Sen: Starboard Communications (R): Lindsey Graham (R-inc): 52, Jaime Harrison (D): 43, Bill Bledsoe (C): 3 (51-44 Trump)
GA-Sen-B: Civiqs is the first pollster to find Democrat Raphael Warnock close to the majority of the vote he’d need to win without a January runoff. We’ve only seen two others surveys that even show Warnock with more than 40% in the all-party primary, with both Public Policy Polling and Quinnipiac putting him at 41% earlier this month.
Civiqs also tested Warnock in hypothetical runoff scenarios and found him leading Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Doug Collins 51-37 and 51-42, respectively. As we’ve noted before, though, turnout would be very different in January than it will be next week.
MS-Sen: This is the first poll we’ve seen here in nearly two months, and it shows Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith leading Mike Espy by about the same margin that she beat him by in their 2018 special election.
Espy has far more resources at his disposal than he did two years ago: The Democrat took in a total of $9.4 million for the entire campaign through Oct. 14, while Hyde-Smith brought in $3 million. As this poll demonstrates, though, it’s truly challenging for Team Blue to win a statewide race in Mississippi, which last elected a Democrat to the Senate in 1982, and major outside groups have remained on the sidelines.
SC-Sen: There’s no word on if this poll was conducted for a client, though Starboard Communications has been working for the pro-Lindsey Graham super PAC Security is Strength.
This is also the best result we’ve seen for Graham since February, and it’s also considerably better than what most other surveys show. Prior to the inclusion of this poll, the Daily Kos Elections Polling Average stood at 46-45 Graham.
● IN-Gov: Believe it or not, we’ve now seen more polls of the Indiana gubernatorial contest than we’ve gotten from the Maine Senate race in nearly two weeks:
- Cygnal (R) for Ready Education Network: Eric Holcomb (R-inc): 47, Woody Myers (D): 29, Donald Rainwater (L): 15
- Ragnar Research (R): Holcomb (R-inc): 52, Myers (D): 26, Rainwater (L): 14 (48-40 Trump)
● AR-02: Democrat Joyce Elliott's closing ad praises voters who have been waiting in long lines for their chance to cast a ballot, saying, "They're in line for better healthcare, to beat this pandemic, and an America that works for all of us." Elliott concludes by telling the audience, "I need you. The lines are moving. Vote today."
● KS-03: House Majority PAC launched a $217,000 buy against Republican Amanda Adkins, who is challenging freshman Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids, in a suburban Kansas seat that has otherwise attracted no serious outside spending. The spot ties Adkins to former Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican who left office in early 2018 with horrific approval ratings.
● MN-02: The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Republican Tyler Kistner of a lower court decision that reinstated the election for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District for Nov. 3. Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon had delayed the election until February under a state law requiring a postponement in the event of a major-party candidate's death after Legal Marijuana Party Now candidate Adam Weeks died last month.
Democratic Rep. Angie Craig challenged the decision, however, saying Minnesota's law conflicted with a 19th century federal law setting congressional elections for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. A federal district court agreed with her, as did the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Before his death, Weeks told a friend that he had been recruited by Republican operatives to "pull votes away" from Craig, according to a voicemail Weeks left earlier this year that was recently obtained by the Star Tribune.
● TX-07, TX-22: House Majority PAC reportedly decided last week to shift its ads from Texas' 7th Congressional District to the neighboring 22nd District, and it appears that the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund is making the same decision in these Houston-area seats.
Our Daily Kos Elections independent expenditure tracker shows that CLF spent a mere $52,000 in the 7th against Democratic Rep. Lizzie Fletcher from Oct. 19 to 25, compared to the $2.2 million it deployed in the open 22nd during that same time. Politico's Ally Mutnick also writes that the 7th "trended so quickly away from the GOP that outside super PACs are no longer airing TV ads to help the Republican nominee, Wesley Hunt."
Hunt has been one of the GOP's most touted recruits, and Mutnick writes that he's the only challenger who has outspent a Democratic incumbent. However, Hunt's financial advantage can only do so much in a West Houston seat that's been trending hard to the left during the Trump era, and other outside groups also seem to agree he's in a bad spot. The DCCC, which spent $3 million in the 22nd District through Sunday, had yet to expend anything in the 7th, while the NRCC entirely canceled its TV reservations for both seats in September and has yet to reverse itself.
The situation in the open GOP-held 22nd District, meanwhile, seems to be almost the complete opposite. This seat in Houston's southern suburbs, while also trending left, is considerably more conservative than the 7th, but Republican Troy Nehls has struggled with fundraising. Mutnick writes that things got so bad for Nehls that he had to stop advertising on broadcast TV in the third week of October; CLF, which almost exclusively runs negative commercials, tried to fill the void with a rare ad that was partially positive.
Democrat Sri Preston Kulkarni, meanwhile, has raised plenty of money as he aims to flip this constituency, and Mutnick reports that he's spent six times as much on spots as Nehls.
We've added this new information about the CLF and DCCC's moves to our Daily Kos Elections 2020 House race triage tracker, which we'll be continuously updating through Election Day.
NY-11: This is the very first poll we’ve seen from this Staten Island-based seat, which Donald Trump carried 54-44 four years ago. Major party groups are spending massive amounts here, and as of Sunday, this contest had attracted the second-most outside spending in the nation from the “Big Four" House groups (the 22nd District in upstate New York was just ahead).
TX-21: The last poll we saw here was an early September Garin-Hart-Yang internal for Wendy Davis that gave her a 48-47 edge. The Hill says that this survey for Rep. Chip Roy’s allies at the Club for Growth found the presidential race deadlocked in a district that Trump won 52-42, though it did not reveal the toplines.
The DCCC and House Majority PAC had spent a total of $2.8 million to flip this extremely gerrymandered district, which awkwardly sutures Austin and San Antonio together with the rural Hill County, while the NRCC and Congressional Leadership Fund had yet to get involved. The Club, though, has expended over $6 million to protect Roy.
● MS Ballot: A new Civiqs poll of Mississippi for Daily Kos finds a 52-25 lead for Measure 2, which would repeal a provision of the state's Jim Crow-era constitution that deliberately penalizes Black voters, and by consequence the Democrats they support today, in elections for statewide office.
Under the state's current law, candidates for statewide offices such as governor or attorney general need to win not only a majority of the vote but also a majority of the state House's 122 districts. If no candidate surpasses both thresholds, the members of the House choose the winner, and there's nothing to stop them from picking the person who lost the popular vote. Measure 2 would no longer require candidates for statewide office to carry a majority of the state House districts, but there's a catch: The new law would mandate a general election runoff for any contests in which no candidate earns a majority of the vote.
This would be a better outcome for Team Blue than the status quo, where the Republican gerrymander makes it extremely difficult for any Democrat to win a majority of the House seats unless they're already carrying the popular vote decisively (despite losing 52-47 in reality last year, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jim Hood would likely have had to win by 15 points just to have a shot at carrying 62 House districts). It's still bad, though, because a runoff could lead to a disproportionate drop in Democratic turnout.
Indeed, Georgia has had a very similar runoff law on the books for years, and it's consistently hurt Democratic candidates. In 2008, most notably, Democrat Jim Martin trailed in the first round of Georgia's 2008 Senate race by just 3 points yet lost his runoff by 15. In 2018, Democrat John Barrow went from a 0.4% deficit in the November contest for secretary of state to a 3.8% defeat the next month—not nearly as dramatic as what happened to Martin a decade before, but still a move in the wrong direction.
In fact, no Georgia Democrat has ever won a statewide runoff since Republicans revived the practice in 2005, knowing that Black voters—who disproportionately favor Democrats—tend to turn out at lower rates whenever there's a second round of voting. There's little reason to think such runoffs would operate differently in Mississippi, so even if Measure 2 passes, it may offer little in the way of progress.
Civiqs also polled Measure 3 and found a 61-31 majority in favor of "adopt[ing] a new official Mississippi state flag designed by the Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag." Earlier this year, GOP Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill that retired the 126-year-old state flag, which prominently displayed the Confederate battle emblem, in the face of a boycott by the NCAA and SEC. The Commission to Redesign the Mississippi State Flag was tasked with designing a new flag, and it settled on one with a magnolia in the center and the words "In God We Trust" below.
If Measure 3 passes, the "In God We Trust Flag" would become the new official state flag. If it fails, then a 2021 special election would take place where voters would be presented with a new flag proposal.
● PA-AG, PA Auditor: Civiqs has a new poll of Pennsylvania that gives Joe Biden a 52-45 lead, and it finds Democratic candidates also doing well in two important statewide races. Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who is a likely 2022 contender for governor, outpaces Republican Heather Heidelbaugh 52-41 in his re-election contest.
Meanwhile, Democrat Nina Ahmad leads Republican Timothy DeFoor 48-41 in the open seat race for state auditor; Ahmad, who immigrated to America from Bangladesh, would be the first woman of color elected statewide, while DeFoor would be the first African American to win a statewide office. The victor would succeed termed-out incumbent Eugene DePasquale, who is Team Blue's nominee in the 10th Congressional District.
● British Columbia, Canada: Incumbent Premier John Horgan led his center-left New Democratic Party to a decisive win on Saturday, becoming the first New Democrat to win a second term in the history of Canada's westernmost province. (The party did hold power for two consecutive terms in the 1990s but under two different leaders.)
Horgan won power in an extremely narrow fashion in 2017: The NDP lost the popular vote to the incumbent Liberals by less than 0.1%, and the Liberals, then trying for a sixth conservative term, even edged out the NDP in the legislative seat count by 43-41. However, Horgan was able to wrest control from Liberal Premier Christy Clark by securing the support of the centrist Green Party, whose three seats were enough to hold the balance of power. (Note that while the Liberal Party is a center or center-left institution at the federal level in Canada, British Columbia's unaffiliated branch is the de facto conservative party in the province.)
Despite risking blowback by calling an entirely optional snap election during a pandemic, Horgan banked that his popularity—bolstered by a COVID-19 response that voters have generally given good marks to—would be enough to overcome any negative sentiments. His gamble proved worthwhile, as he outpaced his Liberal competition by a 45-35 margin with the Greens earning 15%, and the NDP won 55 of the legislature's 87 seats. The NDP's 45% was the second-highest vote share it had ever received in the 87 years it and a predecessor party have contested provincial elections, and its margin of victory over the center-right was the all-time largest in that period.
In perhaps an echo of demographic trends south of the border, many individual NDP victories came in former Liberal strongholds in suburban Vancouver, reducing the party to just 29 seats. The Greens, meanwhile, retained their three seats but lost much of their relevance: Horgan, now unfettered by the confidence-and-supply agreement he negotiated with the Green Party in 2017, will no longer need any other party's support to advance the NDP's agenda.
● Saskatchewan, Canada: In the prairie province of Saskatchewan, the right-leaning Saskatchewan Party, led by Premier Scott Moe, romped to a fourth term on Tuesday. Moe's party captured 63% of the popular vote and 50 of the legislature's 61 seats, far ahead of the second-place New Democrats.
Saskatchewan was once fertile ground for the NDP, whose prairie populist politics dominated the province for much of its post-World War II history. However, the province has drifted to the right since the upstart Saskatchewan Party, which began as a coalition of Liberal and Progressive Conservative Party members, snatched power in 2007, and the NDP has not put up a serious fight in any subsequent election.
Readers and ad watchers, the 2020 Ad Roundup is over. We hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and we'll see you all again in 2022.
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