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Democratic Governor Wins Kentucky and Ohio Protects Abortion Rights on Election Day

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By Dave Goldiner
New York Daily News

(New York Daily News) Voters on Tuesday reelected a Democratic governor in deep-red Kentucky and approved abortion rights in Ohio as liberals appeared to claim early victories in an off-year election that offered some clues about the national political environment a year before the 2024 presidential election. online news

Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights, analysts said, in another sign that the right to choose will continue to be a potent issue for liberals even in red-leaning or battleground states.

With about a quarter of the votes counted, about 61% voters backed the amendment, a margin that mirrored results in exit polls that showed more than 60% of voters say abortion should be mostly legal.

The biggest prize of the night was still being decided late Tuesday as Virginia’s state house remained up for grabs between Democrats and Republicans.

Democrats hoped to flip the Virginia House of Delegates and keep control of the state Senate in what would be a major rebuke to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin and a win for Team Blue in the Democratic-trending swing state.
Youngkin and the GOP were projecting optimism about grabbing both chambers for themselves.

The race remained on a knife’s edge late Tuesday as the two parties battled for a handful of suburban districts in which only a couple of hundred votes divided the candidates.

A key issue is Youngkin’s plans to impose new restrictions on abortion in the only state south of the Mason-Dixon Line that has not sought to roll back the right to choose since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

In Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection for a second four year term, turning aside a challenge from Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

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Beshear was ahead by about 5% over Cameron with about three-quarters of the votes counted. A significant number of votes outstanding were in Louisville’s Jefferson County, a Democratic stronghold.

The moderate Democrat won by building on his own personal popularity and keeping national issues at bay in the state where President Joe Biden is deeply unpopular.

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The overall results offer an intriguing, if somewhat spotty, snapshot of where the nation’s electorate stands exactly a year before Biden and former President Donald Trump hurtle toward a cataclysmic fight in 2024.

The news was mostly good for Democrats who have been buffeted by recent poll results that show Biden is struggling to convince voters they should give him four more years in the White House amid concerns about his age and the roller-coaster economy.

Pundits warn that the results of the off-year elections are not necessarily predictive of what may happen in 2024. But Democrats point to a string of special election wins all year long nationwide as a sign that they are poised to run a strong campaign next year despite the gloom and doom around Biden’s bid.

In deep red Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves was looking to turn aside a challenge from underdog Democrat Brandon Presley.

Democrats had hoped that a welfare scandal and other issues might make Reeves vulnerable but that might prove wishful thinking in one of the nation’s most strongly Republican states.

A judge ordered polling places to stay open for an extra hour in the heavily Democratic city of Jackson after they ran out of ballots in a possible sign of Democratic enthusiasm.

New Jersey voters also headed to the polls, with pundits predicting Democrats would keep control of both the state Assembly or Senate. Republicans did have high hopes of flipping some districts, especially in South Jersey, which has trended red in the Trump era.

Pennsylvania Democrats were bullish about the chances of Daniel McCaffery winning to keep a 5-2 edge on the state’s elected Supreme Court, which could play a key role in the 2024 election if Trump reprises his campaign of election lies.
Democrats built up a huge lead in mail-in ballots in the race, a sign of their organizational and fundraising edge in the Keystone State.

©2023 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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