Democrats had a good election on Nov. 5, seeing gains in Kentucky, a state Pres. Donald Trump won by 33 points, and Virginia, once seen as a swing state but now considered solidly Democratic. But Republicans held Mississippi and even made gains in New Jersey, a state fmr. State Sec. Hillary Clinton won by 14 points. Here’s a summary:
In Kentucky, Attn. Gen. Andy Beshear (D) defeated incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in a race the AP deemed too close to call. The margin was 0.4 points, or 5,000 votes. Bevin refused to concede, instead opting to request a recanvassing of the results. He alleged that there was illegal counting of absentee ballots and claimed some voters were denied their right to vote at certain precincts. Recanvassing will begin Nov. 14 and will require all counties to again report the numbers on their voting machines. This is different from a recount, which is manually counting the ballots again.
Pres. Trump visited the state the day before the election to rally support for Bevin, but that effort seemed to have failed. Beshear’s victory signals that the suburban voter bloc, which went for Trump in 2016, has moved toward Democrats. This movement also occurred in the 2018 midterm elections, helping Democrats win a majority in the US House of Representatives.
In Mississippi, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) handily won his state’s gubernatorial election, upsetting media perceptions that this race was going to be close. He beat Attn. Gen. Jim Hood (D) by five points, or 49,000 votes. Hood had campaigned on an anti-abortion, pro-gun platform in this conservative state, but also promised the expansion of Medicaid services. Ultimately, it was not enough to convince voters to elect a Democratic governor. In the Senate, Republicans gained three seats, extending their majority to 10. In the House, Republicans are also projected to gain three seats, which will give them a majority of 14.
Democrats seemed to have lost 10 seats in New Jersey’s General Assembly, but they will still retain a majority of four. Results here are not yet finalized. As of Nov. 6, 12 legislative races had yet to be called by AP.
Not all of the results are in yet for Virginia’s legislature, but Democrats have won enough seats to claim a majority in both houses. In the end, the Senate is projected to be 21 to 19 in Democrats’ favor, and the House is projected to have 55 Democrats to 44 Republicans. Democrats currently control the governorship, making Virginia a one-party government. Among the elected delegates was Danica Roem, who made history in 2017 when she became the first trans elected official in the US. On Tuesday, she was reelected, becoming the first trans official to be reelected to a state legislature.
Even with its victories in Mississippi and New Jersey, the Republican party should be worried going into the 2020 election cycle. The suburban bloc that put Trump into office is sliding to the other side, and if Republicans do not revamp their campaign and messaging strategy, it’s unlikely that they will flip the House or retain the Senate.