Why Tuesday’s Election Is A Positive Sign For Biden’s 2024 Chances—Dems Win Key Races As Abortion Rights Prevail


Democrats won several closely watched races across the country in Tuesday’s elections, indicating abortion rights could still be a powerful messaging strategy for the party in the 2024 election and delivering a boost to Democrats after a series of daunting polls showing President Joe Biden losing to former President Donald Trump in a hypothetical matchup.

Key Facts

Kentucky governor: Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear was re-elected to a second term in deep-red Kentucky by a wider-than-expected five-point margin, solidifying his reputation as one of the most popular governors in the country and beating Republican state attorney general Daniel Cameron, who was endorsed by Trump and is a close ally of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Kentucky’s gubernatorial races have predicted which party will win the past five presidential elections, and Beshear won a dozen more counties than he did in 2019, despite repeated attacks from Cameron and his allies seeking to capitalize on Biden’s unpopularity by linking the governor and the president.

Virginia state legislature: Democrats held on to control of the state Senate and flipped the House of Delegates, delivering a blow to Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s conservative agenda and rebuking an effort to restrict abortion, as Youngkin was poised to push a 15-week abortion ban through the legislature if Republicans gained control.

Ohio abortion rights amendment: Ohio became the first GOP-led state to pass a measure that will enshrine abortion rights in its constitution, indicating that anger over Roe v. Wade’s reversal could continue to be a powerful messaging strategy for Democrats and drive voter turnout, including among GOP-leaning voters, as the counties with the highest turnout Tuesday voted for Trump in 2020, according to Politico.

Pennsylvania state Supreme Court: Democrat Daniel McCaffery, a state appellate court judge, defeated Republican Montgomery County Judge Carolyn Carluccio by six points to fill an open seat, strengthening Democrats’ majority on the court as it weighs several politically contentious cases surrounding guns, abortion and voting rights.

Crucial Quote

“Voters vote, polls don’t,” the Biden/Harris campaign wrote in a fundraising email Tuesday.

What To Watch For

It’s difficult to square results in an off-year election with how voters will behave in 2024, when two deeply unpopular candidates (both Biden and Trump have favorability ratings at around 40%) are likely to be the major parties’ presidential nominees. Democrats face an uphill battle in maintaining control of their narrow two-seat majority in the Senate, where 23 Dem-held seats, including three in toss-up districts, are up for grabs. Republicans have just 11 seats on the ballot, all in states that lean or are likely Republican, according to Cook Political Report. But Democrats have better odds of winning back five seats to reclaim majority in the House, where Republican infighting has created repeated turmoil and deadlock. Republicans represent 18 districts Biden won in 2020, compared to five districts Trump won that are represented by Democrats.


Tuesday wasn’t all bad for the GOP. Mississippi’s Republican Gov. Tate Reeves beat back a challenge from Democrat Brandon Presley (Elivs’ cousin) to win a second term by a five-point margin, and Ed Romaine became the first Republican in two decades elected as executive of Suffolk County, New York.

Key Background

Tuesday’s election continues Democrats’ 2022 midterm winning streak, when the party outperformed expectations, winning several tightly contested Senate races over Trump-backed candidates and faring better in the House than forecasted—though the party still lost control of the House. The results appear to counter Biden’s low approval rating and a series of surveys this week that raised alarms within the party, including a New York Times/Siena poll on Sunday that showed Trump beating him in five of six battleground states. Trump, who is on trial in Manhattan in the state’s civil fraud case against him, remained largely silent Tuesday in the lead-up to the election and as the results rolled in, aside from congratulating Reeves on Truth Social just after 1 a.m.

Further Reading

Exonerated Central Park Five Member Yusef Salaam Wins NYC Council Seat (Forbes)

Kentucky Reelects Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear In Closely Watched Battleground Race (Forbes)

Republican Tate Reeves Reelected Mississippi Governor (Forbes)

Kentucky Reelects Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear In Closely Watched Battleground Race (Forbes)

Republican Tate Reeves Reelected Mississippi Governor (Forbes)

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