Elections in four states this month could test the strength of President Trump a year out from his own name being on the ballot.
Voters in Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia head to the polls today, while Louisiana voters will cast a run-off vote in their governor’s race later this month. New Jersey voters cast a statehouse vote Tuesday too, but it won’t change the balance of power.
Trump, in a week’s span, held rallies in Mississippi and Kentucky – the homes of two key gubernatorial races – and will travel to Louisiana tomorrow, in an effort to oust that state’s Democratic incumbent Gov. John Bel Edwards by riling up his so-called ‘angry majority.’
President Trump (right) held a rally in Lexington, Kentucky Monday night in order to boost Gov. Matt Bevin’s (left) re-election prospects. Voters from the state head to the polls Tuesday, as Bevin’s in a tight race with Democrat Andy Beshear
Voters in Virginia (pictured), Kentucky, Mississippi and New Jersey head to the polls Tuesday, with voters in Louisiana picking a governor later this month. While New Jersey’s race won’t be a bellwether, the other four states’ races could test President Trump’s strength
Virginia voters (pictured) will decide whether the state legislature tilts to blue, while Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana voters will select a governor in tight races that could show the strength of President Trump heading into an election year
In Lexington, Kentucky Monday night, Trump tried to push incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin over the line.
Bevin had been in trouble.
The Republican governor was trailing his Democratic opponent Andy Beshear, the son of the state’s last Democratic governor, Steve Beshear, at the beginning of the year by eight points. Last month, they were tied, according to a Mason-Dixon poll.
Trump has helped nationalize the race, while Bevin has done his part by shoring up the conservative base with talk of being pro-life and against ‘sanctuary cities.’
In Tupelo, Mississippi, on Friday the president got behind current Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves, the Republican, who’s in a tight race against Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, the Democrat.
President Trump (right) also traveled to Mississippi on Friday in advance of Tuesday’s gubernatorial race. There he backed Republican Tate Reeves (left) who is in a tight spot against Democratic Mississippi General Jim Hood
A Mississippi voter holds up an ‘I Voted’ sticker on Tuesday as the state’s gubernatorial race has the country’s attention over whether a Democrat could become governor in the deep red state
In Virginia, former Vice President Joe Biden (left) – running for the 2020 Democratic nomination – stands alongside former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a ‘Get out the Vote’ rally in Sterling, Virginia Sunday
Democratic candidate Andrew Yang also rallied in Virginia in advance of the state’s Tuesday election. Democrats are hoping to push the state House and Senate blue. Both are narrowly in Republican hands now
Hood has promised to expand Medicaid, which was an option for all states under President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.
Reeves is philisophically against doing that.
And while Hood has the best shot of any Democrat in years in red Mississippi, he’ll also have to deal with the state’s Jim Crow-era constituional hurdles. To win statewide in Mississippi, a candidate must win both a majority of voters and win a majority of state House districts. If a candidate doesn’t meet both thresholds, the state’s House of Representatives decides who wins the election.
Mississippi’s state House is controlled by Republicans.
In Virginia, top Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden and businessman Andrew Yang held events in the final days urging get out the vote efforts hoping that the state legislature would tilt to blue.
Both the state House and Senate are narrowly Republican, but Virginia has been trending Democratic for years. If Democrats can take control of the state, they’ll be in charge of redrawing districts once the results of the 2020 census come through.
While Trump didn’t hold a pre-election rally in the state, he’s been using his Twitter to get out the vote.
‘I hope everyone in the Great State of Virginia will get out and VOTE on Tuesday in all of the local and state elections to send a signal to D.C. that you want lower taxes, a strong Military, Border & 2nd Amendment, great healthcare, and must take care of our Vets. VOTE REPUBLICAN,’ he tweeted Sunday.
And in Louisiana in mid-October Trump showed up to try and force a run-off general election between Edwards and either of the two Republicans on the ballot. It worked.
Now Edwards and Republican Eddie Rispone will face off on November 16.
Trump is slated to travel Wednesday night to Monroe, Louisiana for a 7 p.m. rally at the Monroe Civic Center.