Posted by Kristin McCarthy on March 18, 2016 in Blog
AAI compiles a weekly roundup of election news tracking key races across the country as well as legislation that will impact voting rights ahead of the 2016 elections. For AAI’s coverage of presidential candidates and races, make sure to check out our profiles over at #YallaVote’s Election Central. And for more state specific information, head over to our election map and click on your state. You can read previous editions of our 2016 Election News Roundup right here at its headquarters.
Van Hollen & Edwards Neck and Neck in Maryland Senate Race
The inter-party competition between Maryland's Democratic U.S. Representatives Donna Edwards and Chris Van Hollen continues to tighten ahead of the primary on April 26th. By voting for the US Senate seat vacated by Barbara Mikulski, Van Hollen and Edwards will debate each other tonight (March 18th) for the first time. Just last week, Edwards was polling in the lead, even thought Van Hollen enjoys the backing of party establishment leaders like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Van Hollen just received the endorsement of Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.. With both candidates having huge support in their home districts and their own unique trove of cash and allies – Baltimore is expected to be the key battle ground for the Senate race. Candidates are spending a lot of time and money in courting Baltimore support, having each made over 100 appearances there since campaigns began. Read more about Maryland.
Pennsylvania's April 26th Primary Important for the GOP
Pennsylvania's 71 Republican delegates are looking like a major prize for the GOP candidates’ delegate spreads, especially those hoping for a brokered convention in Cleveland. Trump is unlikely to perform well enough to get the required plurality of delegates, and has since argued that the candidate with a simple majority of delegates should be the nominee. But Pennsylvania’s 71 delegates – if given mostly to Kasich or Cruz – will make the majority argument less convincing. Read more about Pennsylvania.
California Updates: Census Announces Testing in Los Angleles, California
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will launch a pilot program ahead of the 2020 Census in Los Angeles in the coming weeks. Picked for its multi-ethnic population – including the largest Arab American community nationwide – 225,000 LA homes will be mailed test questions asking people to go online to answer them. The Bureau is testing the online system, particularly it's multi-lingual services. The Census Bureau hopes the 2020 survey will be more accessible to non-English speakers, and will even have an option to answer questions over the phone in Arabic. You can read more about AAI’s initiative to add a “Middle East North Africa” box to the 2020 Census online here. Read more about California.
Illinois Primary Results: Senate Match Up is Decided & State Attorney Anita Alvarez is Unseated
Illinois Republicans and Democrats picked their Senate candidates in last week’s primary. U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth fended off her primary challenger to secure the Democratic nomination without much spending, and incumbent Senator Mark Kirk beat his Republican primary challenger without a challenge. The Senate race is expected to be one of the costliest of the cycle. In an embarrassing but predictable defeat, incumbent State Attorney Anita Alvarez lost her reelection primary to her former assistant, Kim Foxx. Alvarez was heavily criticized for how she mishandled the murder of Lequan McDonald, and most commentators saw the election as a referendum on the McDonald shooting. Alvarez lost every predominantly African American ward. Read more about Illinois.
Retiring Florida House Member Creates Even More Florida Races
Eight-term U.S. Representative Jeff Miller (R, FL-1) announced in early March that he will retire at the end of his current term. Miller is currently serving as the Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. Miller has once considered running for the Senate seat vacated by Marco Rubio, but recently indicated he will not seek the higher office. Likely candidates to fill Millers seat include state Senator Greg Evers and state Representative Matt Gaetz. If either or both members decide to run for Miller’s seat, additional races will take place to fill the seat they leave behind. Read more about Florida.