The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.
● Pres-by-CD: Daily Kos Elections is pleased to once again begin calculating the results of the most recent presidential election for every congressional district in all 50 states, starting with our first set of data from Oklahoma!
You can check out our detailed spreadsheet that includes county-level results, and you can also find the topline numbers in this chart, which will ultimately include figures for all 435 districts. That's the page you'll want to bookmark, since we'll be updating it continuously. We'll also be parking all of our spreadsheets in our giant data repository.
We'll be pushing out new data on a rolling basis as 2020's results are officially certified and the precinct-level election results we need for our calculations become available. You can find out more about the process we use to calculate these numbers, as well as why it's important to wait for final election results for each state, in our accompanying explainer post.
This is the fourth presidential election for our "pres-by-CD project," as we informally call it, but there's one key difference this time. A new round of redistricting is about to begin, meaning all-new congressional districts will be used in 2022. We're crunching numbers for the current districts, though, so that we can measure how much the new boundaries do, or don't, change the partisan makeup of each district, which is a very useful tool for evaluating gerrymandering. We're also certain to see some special elections over the next two years that would be held using the existing district lines, so our data will help determine early on which races could be competitive.
Now, to the numbers! Oklahoma's toplines barely budged over the last four years: In 2016, it voted 65-29 for Trump, while this year, it gave Trump a similar 65-33 victory, a shift that can be attributed to weaker showings by third-party candidates. For the fifth presidential election in a row, the GOP nominee for president carried every single one of Oklahoma's 77 counties, and Trump, unsurprisingly, also won each of the Sooner State's five congressional districts.
While his statewide numbers didn't shift much, Trump did see a larger collapse in the Oklahoma City-based 5th District, where his winning margin shrunk from 53-40 to 52-46—his weakest showing in the state. Democrats scored a major upset in the 5th in 2018 when Democrat Kendra Horn unseated Republican Steve Russell, but Trump's decline at the top of the ticket wasn't enough to save Horn, who lost her first bid for re-election to Republican Stephanie Bice 52-48. Democrats could conceivably win back a seat like this one in the future, but Republicans, who will have unfettered control over redistricting next year, may simply divide the blue island of Oklahoma City between multiple districts.
Meanwhile, Trump once again took at least 60% of the vote in Oklahoma's other four congressional districts. Trump's strongest margin of victory came in Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin's 2nd District in the eastern part of the state, which he took 76-22. This region, nicknamed "Little Dixie," was relatively friendly turf for Democrats up until a decade ago: A previous version of the 2nd decisively elected Democratic Rep. Dan Boren to a fourth term as late as 2010. Boren retired in 2012, though, and Mullin has had no trouble holding it against all Democratic comers during any of his five campaigns.
P.S. After we've released the presidential results for all 435 House districts, Daily Kos Elections will circle back and continue our project to calculate the presidential election results for every legislative district in the country.
● GA-Sen-A, GA-Sen-B: Republican pollster Remington Research has boldly offered the first post-election surveys of Georgia's Jan. 5 runoffs, finding small leads for both GOP incumbents. In the regular election, David Perdue is ahead of Jon Ossoff 50-46 while in the special election, Kelly Loeffler has a narrower 49-48 edge on Raphael Warnock.
Remington, which did not mention a client, did not poll the Nov. 3 matchups in either contest, nor did the firm release many surveys elsewhere in the final month of the race, making it difficult to assess its accuracy in a year rife with polling whiffs. The only state Remington polled close enough to Election Day to merit a comparison with final results was Missouri, where it found Trump leading Biden 50-45 late last month and Republican Gov. Mike Parson up by a similar 50-44 over Democrat Nicole Galloway. Those numbers proved far too favorable for Democrats, however, as Trump and Parson both carried the state by identical 57-41 margins.
Meanwhile, the conservative Club for Growth said it would spend $10 million on both Senate races. With massive sums guaranteed to flow in from all sides, though, it would be much bigger news if a major player didn't get involved, so we likely won't be devoting as much coverage to outside spending activity as we ordinarily would.
Separately, Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced that, because the state will conduct a recount in the presidential race, a group of runoffs that had been scheduled for Dec. 1 will instead be consolidated with the Senate runoffs in January. The most prominent among these is an election for Georgia's Public Service Commission between Republican incumbent Bubba McDonald and Democrat Daniel Blackman. All five of the current members on the commission, which regulates utilities, are Republicans.
However, one notable election is staying put: Because the race for district attorney in Clarke and Oconee counties, which includes the city of Athens, is a special election, it cannot be moved under state law.
Quite a few contests remain uncalled, but we’re tracking all of them on our continually updated cheat-sheet, and of course we’ll cover each of them in the Digest once they’re resolved.
● AK-Sen: Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan has defeated challenger Al Gross, an independent who won the Democratic nomination.
● NC-Sen: The Associated Press has called North Carolina's Senate race for Republican Thom Tillis, who defeated Democrat Cal Cunningham 49-47 to earn a second term. Cunningham conceded on Tuesday but the AP waited until Wednesday to issue its call.
● AK-AL: Republican Rep. Don Young has defeated challenger Alyse Galvin, an independent who won the Democratic nomination, in a rematch of their 2018 race.
● AZ-01: Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran has defeated Republican challenger Tiffany Shedd.
● CA-34: Democratic Rep. Jimmy Gomez has prevailed over former prosecutor David Kim in an unexpectedly competitive intra-party race that the Associated Press waited more than a week to call. With most votes counted, Gomez led Kim just 53-47, despite outraising him $1.3 million to just $179,000 as of mid-October.
Kim ran on an explicitly left-wing platform and benefited from an endorsement from former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who helped popularize the idea of a universal basic income that Kim vocally supported. He relied on a large volunteer corps to make up his financial deficit and attacked Gomez for accepting campaign donations from the private prison industry and fossil fuel companies.
Kim may have also benefited from the sizable Korean American population in California's 34th District, dark blue turf located in downtown Los Angeles that includes the neighborhood known as Koreatown. Around 43% of the district traces its origins to Mexico, as Gomez does, while about 8% are of Korean ancestry, making this the most heavily Korean American district in the country.
As political analyst Rob Pyers concluded, "The Koreatown precincts made the special election in 2017 closer than most people had anticipated." Gomez, the establishment favorite, won that race by a relatively modest 59-41 against fellow Democrat Robert Lee Ahn, who was also Korean American.
We could in fact see another special election for this seat soon: Politico recently reported that Gomez, who "secured more robust labor provisions" in the trade agreement that succeeded NAFTA, could be Joe Biden's choice for U.S. trade representative. In a statement conceding the election, Kim left open the possibility that he could run once more, saying, "This is only the start of something big and something bold."
● WA-08: Freshman Democratic Rep. Kim Schrier has defeated Republican challenger Jesse Jensen. This contest proved to be unexpectedly close: With most votes counted, Schrier led just 52-48. Major outside groups paid little attention to this swingy district, which stretches from Seattle's eastern suburbs to more rural areas past the Cascade Range, even though it hosted one of the most expensive races of 2018.
● CA Ballot: The AP has called the election for California's Proposition 15 for opponents, whose side currently leads 52-48 with most votes counted. The measure would have reformed the state's property tax system by allowing large commercial properties to be reassessed at market value.