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Races I’m Watching on Election Night

Posted on: Nov 3, 2018

Did you know that those who participate in the arts are 20 percent more likely to vote?  And did you also know that voter turnout is the key to winning, especially in a mid-term election? In fact, there will be some candidates who will win their seat, and perhaps even beat an incumbent, with less than a 100-vote margin!
You’re an Arts Action Fund member and I already know that you will cast your vote by November 6th, but I want to challenge you to get others to vote too. Please go out of your way to get more of your family, friends, and social media followers to vote on Election Day. Personally, I’m happy to share that I made sure my 18-year-old daughter got registered to vote for the first time. She also had to request an absentee ballot be mailed to her at college after providing a copy of her college ID to justify her absence, and finally she had to make sure she mailed it back before the state deadline, which she did. Not a simple process.
I also wanted to share with you just some of the key races that I’ll be watching Tuesday night that could have an especially important impact on the arts and arts education.
Blue Wave or Blue Puddle? Early in the evening around 8pm ET, the focus will on seeing if there is early evidence of the start of a blue wave moving across the country, especially in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia.

Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7th) is the Republican co-chair of both the Congressional Arts Caucus and the Congressional Humanities Caucus.  He is in a real challenge to hold on to his seat this year.

Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) is a pro-arts Democratic incumbent who is running to keep his seat against a mighty challenge from the sitting republican governor Rick Scott in one of the most expenses races in the country.

Representatives Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV) each earned an “A” pro-arts voting record in our 2018 Congressional Arts Report Card. They are both now running for Senate in real toss-up races in Arizona and Nevada to change the seat from red to blue.

Orange County, California – there is a hotbed of activity happening here with some exciting pro-arts fresh new candidates like Katie Porter (D-CA-45), Harley Rouda (D-CA-48), Mike Levin (D-CA-49), and Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39), who are taking on incumbents or trying to replace retiring Members of Congress with poor arts voting records.
Governors races – I’ll be closely watching Georgia, Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, and Alaska of the many gubernatorial races, many of them attempting to change the seat from red to blue.  This is particularly important for those looking ahead at the presidential election in 2020 as testing grounds to gauge the pulse of voters.
Ballot Proposition E in San Francisco – This ballot initiative asks voters to allocate a small portion of an existing hotel tax to support the arts, but it will take a whopping two-thirds vote to pass. So far, early turnout has been high and this same ballot measure almost passed in 2016, but came up short by just a few votes. Voter turnout is key. Get out there San Francisco art lovers. Arts Action Fund partner Arts for LA is also leading the way to get two smaller arts education ballots passed in LA County’s Burbank and Culver City districts.

There are so many important races happening in every single state. Tuesday is going to be an exciting night.  Please tweet us what you’ll be watching and the results @ArtsActionFund and #ArtsVote.  You can also e-mail us at ArtsActionFund@artsusa.org.

Finally, I wanted to share again a link to our Congressional Arts Report Card 2018 that you can use to track any incumbent’s record on the arts in Congress. I’ve also posted a blog of the candidates that the Arts Action Fund PAC contributed to in the 2017-18 cycle.

It might take a few days after the election before we really know the final outcomes and which party will take the majority in the House and Senate.  Some states will have recounts or run-offs this month.  We’re already anticipating that the Arts Action Fund PAC will need to raise funds to support some of the winning freshman candidates pay down their campaign debts or support their run-off second election. 





Nina Ozlu Tunceli
Executive Director, Arts Action Fund