Pluribus AM: Daylight saving time debates; new polls in tight OK, OR, AZ races; special early voting report
Good morning, it’s Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. In today’s edition, the daylight saving time debate; new polls in tight Okla., Ore., Ariz. races; and a special early voting report:
DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME: Nineteen states have approved legislation or resolutions supporting a year-round move to daylight saving time if Congress gets around to ending the antiquated semi-annual clock-switching tradition. The Senate passed a measure to do so earlier this year, though the House hasn’t acted. Since 2015, 450 bills related to Daylight Saving Time have been introduced in state legislatures. (Pluribus News) Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend.
NEW JERSEY: Synagogues across the state are on high alert after the FBI said it had received “credible information of a broad threat” to Jewish houses of worship. Attorney General Matthew Platkin said law enforcement would increase patrols this weekend. (NJ Advance Media)
PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed dozens of bills into law Thursday, including a $2 billion tax credit package for hydrogen production, milk processing and biomedical research industries. (Spotlight PA) New bills Wolf signed also decriminalize fentanyl test strips, legalize the possession of switchblades and call on the state to divest from Russian companies. (Associated Press)
MASSACHUSETTS: Legislators on Thursday approved a $3.7 billion economic development bill without permanent tax overhauls and a one-time $250 stimulus payment to middle-income taxpayers. The bill includes $350 million for hospitals, $250 million for clean energy initiatives and $304 million for new housing. (Boston Globe, MassLive) Attorney General Maura Healey (D), likely to win the governor’s mansion, said she would pursue tax relief next year. (MassLive)
OHIO: A Franklin County judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking two laws that prohibit local governments from passing their own gun-control ordinances. Judge Stephen McIntosh backed Columbus, which argued the state constitution give cities home-url authority to issue firearms ordinances. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Ohio legislators are likely to consider a voter ID bill in a post-election lame duck session. (Statehouse News Bureau)
CALIFORNIA: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has halted $1 billion in spending for local governments to combat homelessness as he prepares a new strategy to get people off the street. Officials have been frustrated that billions in spending have not reduced homelssness. Newsom called newly proposed spending plans “simply unacceptable.” (Associated Press)
FLORIDA: The state university system’s Board of Governors will consider a draft regulation to tie a new “comprehensive post-tenure review” to a new state law barring the way some race-related topics can be taught in classrooms. The regulation would make violations of Florida’s “Stop WOKE” Act one of seven criteria considered when a professor’s tenure is under review. (Orlando Sentinel)
DELAWARE: The state Sportsmen’s Association is suing to strike down a new law barring most 18-21 year olds from purchasing or possessing a firearm. The group has already sued Delaware over laws barring the sale of assault-style weapons and the sale or possession of large-capacity magazines. (Delaware Public Media)
UTAH: Gov. Spencer Cox (R) has issued a proclamation closing the Great Salt Lake watershed to any new water rights appropriations. The lake hit a record-low in July, and it’s continued to fall in recent weeks. Exposed lakebed could send dangerous levels of toxic dust into the air around the Wasatch Front. (Salt Lake Tribune)
MERGERS: A King County Superior Court judge in Seattle has approved a temporary restraining order blocking Albertsons from issuing a $4 billion dividend to investors as it pursues a merger with Kroger. The stay, requested by Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), is in place until the court can determine whether the dividend violates antitrust laws. (Seattle Times)
GOVERNORS: At least 10 governors head into Election Day facing competitive re-election contests, raising the prospect of historic turnover. In the last three midterm elections, just 10 of 62 governors who have sought re-election have lost. (Pluribus News) Our friend Eric Ostermeier, author of the Smart Politics blog, tells us that the largest gubernatorial turnover ever happened in 1938, when 12 governors lost re-election (four more lost primaries that year).
OKLAHOMA GOV: Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister (D) leads Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) 48%-45% in a new SoonerPoll conducted for News9. A note of caution: The poll surveyed 384 likely voters, a pretty small sample size. Other polls we’ve seen lately have Stitt reclaiming the lead.
OREGON GOV: Support for former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (I) is collapsing in the closing weeks of the race to replace Gov. Kate Brown (D). Former state House Minority Leader Christine Drazan (R) leads former state House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) 45%-43%, a three-point edge when it’s rounded, in a new Nelson Research poll. Johnson takes just 6%. (Klamath Falls Herald and News)
ARIZONA GOV: Marist College has Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) statistically tied with television broadcaster Kari Lake (R), 49%-48%, among those who say they are definitely voting. Lake led Hobbs 49%-46% in Marist’s September survey — and in most other recent public polls.
GEORGIA GOV: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) leads former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) 53%-45% among those who say they are definitely voting in a new Marist College poll out this morning. That’s actually a gain for Abrams over Marist’s September poll, when she trailed 53%-42%.
PENNSYLVANIA GOV: Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) leads state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) 54%-40% among those who are definitely voting in a new Marist College poll. Shapiro’s favorable rating stands at 49%, while Mastriano’s is at just 32%.
FLORIDA GOV: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) leads former Rep. Charlie Crist (D) 54%-42% in a new Siena College poll for Spectrum News. DeSantis was up 49%-41% in Siena’s September survey. We’re nearing blowout territory here.
MASSACHUSETTS GOV: Democrats are headed for a Bay State sweep. A new UMass Lowell poll has Attorney General Maura Healey (D) leading former state Rep, Geoff Diehl (R) 59%-32% in the race for governor. Former Boston council member Andrea Campbell (D) leads attorney Jay McMahon (R) 55%-28% in the race to replace Healey. Secretary of State Bill Galvin (D) has a 34-point lead over his GOP challenger.
ARKANSAS: A new Arkansas Poll shows just 41% of voters back Issue 4, which would legalize marijuana for recreational use, while 59% are opposed. That’s a big divergence from a Talk Business & Politics poll from last month, which showed the measure passing 50%-43%. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
A special look at anecdotal early turnout reports from across the nation:
At least 35 million Americans have already voted this year, according to University of Florida political scientist Michael McDonald, who runs the U.S. Elections Project. More than 57 million mail-in ballots have been requested, and almost 20 million have been returned. Another 15 million have voted early in person. Check out his data here.
More than 2.1 million voters had cast a ballot in Georgia as of Thursday morning, beating the total number of early votes cast in 2018, according to Gabriel Sterling, chief operating officer in Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s (R) office.
Early voting is down in Iowa, where 272,000 people have cast ballots. In 2018, that figure was at 421,000, and in 2014, almost 392,000 had cast ballots five days before Election Day. (Des Moines Register)
About 381,900 Marylanders voter during the early voting period, down from 661,000 who cast ballots during eight days of early voting in 2018. (WYPR)
About a million Illinois voters, or 12% of all who are registered, have cast ballots so far, 9% higher than the number who voted early at the same point in 2018. The state Board of Elections said 489,000 mail ballots had been returned, higher than the total number of mail ballots cast in 2018. (Crain’s Chicago Business)
Detroit Clerk Janice Winfrey says she expects turnout in the city to reach 28%-32% this year, down from 41% who participated in the 2018 elections. (Detroit News)
By The Numbers
One quarter: The share of local election officials who received violent threats after the 2020 election, according to a survey by the Elections and Voting Information Center at Reed College in Portland and the Democracy Fund. That includes two0-thirds of election officials in large cities. (AZ Mirror)
153: The number of companies that left California in 2021, more than twice the number that left in 2020, according to a new Hoover Institution report. The vast majority of the companies that relocated left the Bay Area. (California Globe)
Off The Wall
The changing climate will bring more rainbows to the world, scientists have concluded. Researchers at the University of Hawaii project that by 2100, the world will experience about 5% more days with rainbows because of the warming atmosphere. (Hawaii News Now)
A Milwaukee Election Commission deputy director has been fired after she requested absentee ballots meant for members of the military be sent to the home of a Republican state lawmaker who has embraced unfounded conspiracy theories about the 2020 elections. Prosecutors are considering charging the former election commission official with malfeasance in office, a felony. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)