Los Angeles Times Veteran Politics Reporter, George Skelton, Refers to California’s General Election as a “Runoff”

George Skelton, who has been the senior Los Angeles Times politics columnist for many decades, here refers to California’s general election in November as the “run-off.” The reference is near the top of his column.

By federal law since 1872, states must hold their congressional elections in November. If states want a general election run-off, they must hold it after November. Only two states, Louisiana and Georgia, have general election run-offs in congressional elections. All of this was clarified by a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1997, Foster v Love.

Skelton has been a vociferous supporter of California’s top-two system since it was first proposed in 2004.

Libertarian Party Sets Location and Date of 2020 Presidential Convention

On December 10, the Libertarian Party national committee met in New Orleans and decided that the party’s 2020 presidential convention will be in Austin, Texas, over Memorial Day weekend. As far as is known, no other political party, major or minor, has yet chosen a location for its 2020 presidential convention.

In 2016, the party held its presidential convention in Orlando, Florida, May 26-30. Thanks to Independent Political Report for the news about the 2020 convention.

Arizona State Legislators Can’t Run in Special U.S. House Election Unless they Resign their Legislative Jobs

The Arizona Capitol Times has this story, explaining that Arizona will hold a special U.S. House election in 2018 to fill the vacant 8th district seat, but that state legislators can’t file to run for that seat unless they resign their legislative positions. This is because of Arizona’s “resign to run” law.

Democratic Party Group Recommends Several Changes to Presidential Selection Process

On December 9 the Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission released some recommendations for changing future Democratic presidential selection procedures. The number of superdelegates would be reduced by 60%. Furthermore, most of the remaining superdelegates would be required to vote for the candidate who had won the popular vote in that superdelegate’s jurisdiction. Only Democratic members of Congress, Governors, former Presidents, and a handful of others would retain the power to vote for any candidate.

The Commission also made recommendations about caucuses: the number of votes received by each presidential candidate must be tallied; and absentee voters must be allowed.

Finally, the Commission recommended that the Democratic Party work to persuade all presidential primary states with partisan registration to let voters change their party affiliation as late as primary election day. However, the Commission did not recommend letting independent voters vote in Democratic presidential primaries. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the news that the recommendations have been released. The Commission’s web page doesn’t yet have the text of the recommendations; the information in this post was gathered from various news stories.

Latest Gallup Poll on Partisan Affiliation

On December 4, Gallup Polls released a new poll asking U.S. voters about their partisan affiliation. Gallup periodically does this poll. When respondents answer that they are “independent”, they are asked if they lean toward either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, and leaners are then classified with that party.

The latest figures: Democratic 44%; Republican 37%; other 19%. See here. Thanks to Political Wire for the link.