Morning Digest: Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne endorses Democrat for governor over David Vitter

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) (at right) endorses state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) for governor (Nov. 5, 2015)

Jay Dardenne (at right) endorsing John Bel Edwards

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: The amazing Louisiana governor’s race just keeps getting amazing-er. On Thursday morning, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who finished fourth in the primary with 15 percent, endorsed Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Nov. 21 runoff. In announcing his support for Edwards, Dardenne was particularly scathing toward his fellow Republicans:

“The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal during this last term. David Vitter’s governorship will further damage that brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign. I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power.”

Obviously this is a guy who doesn’t care about his electoral future, because he just signed his political death warrant by unleashing cannon fire on his own party. But Dardenne is

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne endorses Democrat for governor over David Vitter”

Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control”

Morning Digest: Republican Matt Bevin wins Kentucky governorship

Matt Bevin and Kim Davis

Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin (R), flanked by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her husband, Joe Davis

Leading Off:
Election Night 2015: Despite running the worst campaign imaginable, Republican businessman Matt Bevin has recaptured the Kentucky governor’s mansion for the GOP, defeating Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway. With the entire state reporting, Bevin crushed Conway by a 53-44 margin, while independent Drew Curtis took less than 4 percent. Conway’s performance was the worst by a Kentucky Democrat since 1863, and Bevin’s victory will make him just the second Republican governor the state’s had since 1971.

But given the sharp rightward trend in the Bluegrass State in recent years, Republicans always had an excellent chance to pick up this seat, particularly because popular Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was forced out by term limits. Bevin, however, did everything he could to piss away his chances. A

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Republican Matt Bevin wins Kentucky governorship”

Morning Digest: It’s Election Day in America—again!

Matt Bevin and Kim Davis

It’s judgement day for Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin

Leading Off:
Election Night: Tonight will be a very busy night. While the Kentucky gubernatorial race will take center stage, we have the battle for the Virginia state Senate, a redistricting amendment in Ohio that actually is too good to be true for Democrats, three Pennsylvania Supreme Court races that could very well decide if Team Blue can retake the state legislature in the next decade, and mayoral races galore.

To help keep track of everything, Jeff Singer has put together an hour-by-hour guide to this evening, arranged by each races’ poll closing time. Polls start to close in Kentucky at 6 PM ET, and we’ll be liveblogging the results every step of the way.

We also have a number of special elections tonight, and Johnny Longtorso has put together a post to give us the lowdown. The

Continue reading “Morning Digest: It’s Election Day in America—again!”

Morning Digest: Conservative pollster musters up a tie for Matt Bevin

Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin

Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: Just days ahead of Kentucky’s gubernatorial election, GOP pollster Vox Populi released the first survey since June—and just the second one all year—that does not show Republican Matt Bevin losing to Democrat Jack Conway. Vox’s poll has the two leading candidates tied at 44 apiece, with independent Drew Curtis at 6.

Election junkies know that there’s been precious little polling out of the Bluegrass State, but Conway’s led in the last six surveys in a row—including in Bevin’s own internal. The only time anyone’s actually found Bevin ahead came over four months ago, when PPP, interestingly, put him up 40-38. That was a long time ago, though, and until now, no one had put up any numbers to contradict this string of a half-dozen polls.

But the question is, could Vox be right? It’s certainly possible. Last year, as

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Conservative pollster musters up a tie for Matt Bevin”

Morning Digest: As Edwards weathers the storm, our Louisiana rating moves to ‘Lean Republican’

Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards has a real chance to paint the governor’s mansion blue

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: It wasn’t long ago that David Vitter was the undisputed frontrunner to become Louisiana’s next governor, sure to dominate his rivals—Republican and Democrat alike—in both the primary and the runoff. But the bayou is often full of political surprises, and things sure haven’t worked out the way Vitter planned and everyone else expected.

Vitter, of course, is infamous for appearing in the little black book of the notorious “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jean Palfrey, who operated a call girl ring in the nation’s capital back in the aughts. When busted in 2007, Vitter apologized for his “sin” but did not resign, because doing so would have allowed Louisiana’s Democratic governor at the time, Kathleen Blanco, to appoint a successor. Vitter also knew he had three years until his

Continue reading “Morning Digest: As Edwards weathers the storm, our Louisiana rating moves to ‘Lean Republican’”