Election Day 2019 has us following two competitive gubernatorial races as well as elections that will decide control of the General Assembly in Virginia.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin is seeking a 2nd term in this deep red state. Should be nothing to see here, yet the race is a toss-up as Bevin has managed to become the most unpopular governor in the country over his four years in office. He narrowly won a competitive primary over state representative Robert Goforth. One of the other candidates in that primary has endorsed Bevin's opponent, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. That said, he does have a big supporter in his corner - President Trump held a rally for Bevin in Lexington Monday night.
Kentucky polls close at 6:00 PM local time. That's 7:00 PM Eastern for the western half of the state that is in the Central Time Zone. We should start seeing results from the Eastern Time precincts by around 6:15 Eastern. Follow the live results here:
Republican Gov. Phil Bryant is unable to run again due to term limits. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves is looking to succeed him. The Democratic nominee is Attorney General Jim Hood. Here we have another deep red state - Hood is the only elected Democrat currently holding a statewide office - with a competitive race. There are some other parallels with the Kentucky race. Reeves won the nomination in a contentious primary which went to a runoff. The 2nd place finisher, former Chief Justice Bill Waller, has refused to endorse Reeves. However, as in Kentucky, the nominee has the support of President Trump; he held a rally for Reeves last Friday.
Neither Hood nor Reeves has ever lost a statewide race. Going into tonight, forecasters give a slight edge to Hood, with the race rated as Leans Republican.
Oh - one small thing we almost forgot - Reeves might end up winning even if he doesn't end up with the most votes. Dating from the Jim Crow-era, there are two hurdles a candidate must overcome to win the governorship in Mississippi. If both are not met, the Republican-dominated state House will decide the winner. The first is to gain a majority of the vote. In a tight race such as this, with four total candidates, it is quite possible nobody achieves 50%. (Vermont has a similar rule, most recently needed after that state's 2014 gubernatorial election.)
The 2nd hurdle is much more contentious. A candidate must also win what amounts to an electoral vote, where each of the state's 122 House districts is worth one vote. Given the way the districts are drawn, Hood will need to get well over 50% statewide to win the majority of these districts. Last Friday, a federal judge declined to immediately block this multistep process, saying essentially that plaintiffs had not yet suffered harm. However, he did indicate that he has "grave concern" about the electoral vote part of the law.
The polls close at 8:00 PM Eastern. Results will appear below after that time.
Virginia General Assembly
Both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly are narrowly-divided. The GOP holds a two-seat edge in both: 51-49 in the House, 21-19 in the Senate. All seats are on the ballot today. At stake is control of state government as well as redistricting after the 2020 Census.
Democrats are favored to win the Senate, needing to only net one seat as the governor - who would break a 50-50 tie - is a Democrat. The House is more of a toss-up, but with a slight tilt toward the blue team. If Democrats capture both the Senate and the House, it will mark the party's first trifecta in Virginia since 1993.
We have a much more detailed article on the importance of Tuesday's General Assembly elections in Virginia.
Polls in Virginia close at 7:00 PM Eastern. Here's a good page to follow the results. (We've been having trouble connecting to the preceding results page. Try this one from The Washington Post.)
There are seven competitive Senate districts: 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 17, all GOP-held. There are approximately 15 competitive House races.