Things I’m Watching Tonight

There’s a lot being voted on across the country today. These are a few of the things that will have my attention:

President: That’s the big one of course. I wrote a bit about it yesterday. TL;DR version: Watching Florida, as age demographics say “Trump”, but I’m told 1/3 of Hispanic voters there are new voters. (And I’m guessing that’s not a great thing for Trump). The panhandle doesn’t close their polls until 8pm. NC closes at 7:30pm. New Hampshire may be the first of my canaries in the coal mine to be called.

Isakson: Two things here. I expect him to be comfortably over 50%. I want to see what the gap is between Isakson’s final vote and Trump’s. That’s a decent measure of disaffected Republicans and one of the issues as efforts begin to reunify the party post-election.

Barksdale: He’s likewise going to underperform Clinton, but by how much? Democrats trying to decide if they want to put their name and political capital into 2018 will be looking at this closely. They know that Democratic turnout is at a peak during Presidential election years, and at a trough in the off-cycles when GA has statewide elections. Does Barksdale’s performance scare off some big names for 2018? I think it may.

North Carolina Governor: Pat McCroy’s re-election bid seems to be tracking a couple of points behind Trump and behind Incumbent US Senator Richard Burr. Want an early proxy for the RFRA battle coming in January (And where statewide candidates will stand on the issue preparing for 2018)? Look to see if Pat McCroy turns bright red North Carolina blue.

U.S. Senate Majority. Larry Sabato says it will be a 50-50 tie. A tie means the Vice President decides the leadership of the Senate. Isakson currently holds two chairmanships. Senate Majority also determines if Judges get called up for confirmation, if House bills are called up or killed out of neglect, etc. For Republicans to hold the Senate, they’ll have to hold in tough contests in NC, FL, MO, and IN, and pick up a win he’s currently predicting a loss in NH, PA, or NV. If I had to bet on one of those, I’d start with NH.

State Legislature: Will wrote a bit about this yesterday. In general, I’m looking at number of seats gained/lost in the Atlanta suburbs vs rural Georgia. The elusive “changing demographics” holy grail of Democrats never seems to come to pass, but they’ve gotten a huge assist from Trump. I’m told internal polls show a decent defection of white suburban women due to the Trump campaign (and I have many anecdotes that would back that up). If Trump has caused a down ballot problem in Georgia, look for it to show up in legislative races in places like Henry and Gwinnett counties.

Amendments:  It’s been quite frustrating to watch the work put into education reform be disassembled by DC union money – used to motivate suburban Republicans whose kids go to great schools. I expect Amendment 1 faces an uphill battle.  The others?  2 passes. I have no idea if Amendments 3 & 4 reached public salience.  My gut says 4 passes, and 3 is a toss up.

Cityhood for South Fulton:  Interesting to see if this passes, mainly because then all of Fulton County will be incorporated.  South Fulton hasn’t gotten much press (I think none here), so the issue is hyper-local. If passed, the city gets a crown jewel of Fulton County’s tax base – the Fulton Industrial warehouse district.  Warehouses pay a lot of property taxes, an use few services.  It’s probably more financially viable than Chattahoochee Hills or Milton.  But is it politically viable?

I’m sure I’m missing a few major items and many minor ones.  What are you guys looking for tonight?


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