Decision 2020: A new year, and a new election cycle

As the decade ends, a new election cycle (both in Louisiana and nationally) is about to begin. And technically (since ballots to overseas voters have already been sent out in New Hampshire) voting has already begun for what will be a multi-dimensional election cycle, with Presidential, Congressional, statewide, and local contests being held.

Presidential race

President Trump (whose latest job approval rating, according to, is 44-52%, approval/disapproval) faces a tough re-election, although relative to the Democrats (who are about to begin their primary season) he has a substantial head start, given that he faces nominal primary opposition. That essentially makes the Democrats the only show on town (so to speak) during primary/caucus season over the next several months. Iowa‘s caucus is on February 3, followed by the New Hampshire primary on February 11, the Nevada caucus on February 22, and the South Carolina primary on February 29. Even at this late date, the Democratic primary field remains crowded (15 are still in the race), although that will almost certainly change once Democratic voters start to weigh in beginning with the Iowa caucus.

House/Senate races

All 435 US House (and 36 Senate seats) are up for election this year, and each party faces the possibility of losing power in the chamber it controls (Republicans currently control the Senate, while Democrats control the House). And despite the fact that the Presidential race will occupy a lot of people’s attention next year, these Congressional primary contests are occurring in its own universe as well that may or may not coincide with the Presidential contest in several states; in fact, candidate filing has already concluded in seven states containing 5 Senate and 146 House races. While the primary contests (which commence on March 3 in Alabama, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, and Texas) will be interesting, JMC will primarily be focusing on partisan primary turnout, as it has in multiple instances (such as 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018) forecasted the mood of the voters in November.


The federal election season occurs relatively late here in Louisiana; its Presidential primary isn’t until April 3 (after 29 Democratic contests have already been held), candidate filing isn’t until July 15-17, and its primary is on the same date (November 3) as the Presidential election (there is a December 5 runoff for candidates who don’t attain 50% of the vote in November). However, its election cycle (like 2018 and unlike 2014/2016) is likely to be placid. Senator Bill Cassidy is likely to have minor opposition this fall, and none of the six members of its House delegation (who will be on the ballot at the same time as President Trump) are likely to be in any electoral trouble.