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Democrats in the deep-red states of Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio hope to pull off big wins in elections on Tuesday.
In Ohio, Democrats and Independents are working hard to enshrine abortion rights into the state’s constitution. Proposition One, a citizen-led ballot initiative, would effectively block lawmakers from criminalizing abortion. If passed, the proposition would allow the state to place restrictions on abortion “after the point of fetal viability”.
Across the river in Kentucky, Democrats are hoping to re-elect Governor Andy Beshear to a second term. Beshear, who remains one of the country’s most popular governors, is facing a tight race against Republican Daniel Cameron. Cameron, during his first few months as attorney general, declined to press homicide charges against the officers who killed Breonna Taylor.
Cameron, who still touts his endorsement from Donald Trump, has also been clear about his intention to restrict abortion access in the state.
Recent polling suggests undecided voters are breaking toward Cameron, making the election neck-and-neck heading into Tuesday.
And down in Mississippi, even Democrats there feel optimistic about their chances on Tuesday.
Democrat Brandon Pressley is taking on incumbent Republican Governor Tate Reeves. Reeves’ first term became mired in controversy about the misuse of welfare funds by state officials. A once popular governor, Reeves now finds himself struggling. Earlier this year, 57% of Mississippians said they would prefer a different governor. Just 33% said they wanted Reeves to continue with a second term.
Pressley has highlighted Reeves’ corruption controversy, while leveraging his own strong fundraising and high name recognition (he’s a relative of the late Elvis Pressley).
Democrats in Virginia also look to protect abortion rights in Tuesday’s election.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Democrats are fighting to take back control of the state’s lower legislative chamber. The purple state’s Republican Governor, Glen Youngkin, made abortion restrictions a key part of his 2021 campaign. Now, Democrats are warning voters that giving Republicans control of all three chambers would result in the loss of abortion rights.
While Virginia’s political scale has recently tipped in Democrats’ favor, the same can’t be said for the other three states.
In 2020, Trump beat BiIn 2020, Trump beat Biden in Ohio by roughly 8%, by 16% in Mississippi and by 24% in Kentucky.den in Ohio by roughly 8%, by 16% in Mississippi and by 24% in Kentucky.
Still, with abortion, the economy and trust in government on the ballot, Democrats remain hopeful in the face of challenging odds.
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