Tuesday's outcomes also did little to suggest that Democrats have arrested their own slide during the Trump era in rural areas and small towns, according to Kyle Kondik, an elections analyst at the University of Virginia.
In the end, neither strategy was a sure victor.
Bevin's race remained too close to call yesterday, locked in a virtual dead heat with Democrat Andy Beshear in a state Trump won by almost 30 percentage points in 2016. In Virginia, where Medicaid expansion passed previous year, voters gave control of the legislature to Democrats, which could result in Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam withdrawing or freezing a pending request to impose work requirements on beneficiaries.
The results are being viewed as a gauge of the political mood ahead of next year's presidential election. "They don't talk about the rest of the Republican ticket sweeping". That's something Bevin lacked in his off-year election.
But the blue wave that swept through the suburbs in 2018 and gave Democrats control of the U.S. House barreled through communities outside Philadelphia, Washington and Cincinnati on Tuesday, sending a clear signal that Trump faces potential trouble in areas that have generally sided with Republicans for decades.
Their fears appear to be unfounded, as Tate Reeves holds a comfortable margin over Democrat Jim Hood.
But the GOP's challenge was laid bare in lower-profile elections across the nation on Tuesday. In nearby Chester County, Democrats beat two Republican incumbents on the board of commissioners to seize the majority for the first time ever.
Yet Richard Simmons, 63, a butcher from Glen Allen, Virginia, was just as staunchly in the GOP camp, saying he voted for GayDonna Vandergriff in a state House race.
Trump's 2020 campaign manager tried to find a positive frame for the results in a state Trump won by 30 percentage points in 2016. With control of the state legislature, Democrats have vowed to advance gun control legislation and healthcare reforms. New court-ordered district lines redrawn earlier this year in the state House helped Democrats flip the chamber along with the state Senate.
These legislative elections attracted millions of dollars in advertising from progressive lobby groups. Especially in the suburbs, where Trump is viewed, at best, as out of step and out of touch.
Many vulnerable Virginia Republicans sought to keep the campaign focused on local issues. The president obliged, sending Vice-President Mike Pence instead.
"All three Democratic candidates for governor all were trying to distance themselves from impeachment".
Beshear - whose father, Steve Beshear, was governor from 2007 to 2015 - would not discuss the broader significance of his victory, heading into next year's presidential election. Its stated goals-higher teacher pay and better education conditions-are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising created to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever. Each of the five statewide Republican candidates had vote totals that would have secured Bevin a victory. Since Andy Beshear is himself the privileged son of the Democratic governor who held office just before Bevin, portraying him as a socialist extremist is absurd.
The tighter result for Reeves reflected the same suburban trends seen in other states.
However, Republicans managed to hold onto power in the MS governor vote, following a closely-fought race.
Republicans were quick to blame Bevin for his stumbles.
But in Kentucky Trump might as well have been the person on the ballot. Still, it was hard for Republicans not to note the warning signs for the party next year and beyond. They won the MS governor's race, picked up seats in the New Jersey state house, and a nationally watched race for the Texas state house is headed to a run-off, where Republicans look like they are in a good position to win.
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