It’s Election Day in America. Nope, sorry—it’s not 2016 yet, but just because it’s an odd-numbered year doesn’t mean there’s not an election. In fact, Tuesday’s balloting will decide a slew of important questions: whether Democrats can cling to control in Kentucky, whether Mississippi’s legislature will be required to fund the state’s schools, and who will lead some of America’s biggest cities.
Those issues will likely be decided by a minuscule portion of the populace. As bad as turnout is during midterm elections (or even in presidential years), odd-year elections draw hardly any voters. That doesn’t mean they won’t have wide-ranging implications, though. Here’s a rundown of the races to watch on this not-so-super Tuesday.
The Bluegrass State has remained unexpectedly blue in the Obama era. Even as Democrats are washed out across the South, and even though Kentucky boasts two Republican senators, Democrats still hold the governor’s mansion and House in Frankfort. Outgoing Governor Steve Beshear even made Kentucky a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act. But Beshear is term-limited, and so the seat was meant to be an easy pickup for Republicans, especially because Democrat Jack Conway, the current attorney general, isn’t seen as a strong campaigner. Then Matt Bevin won the GOP primary, as my colleague Russell Berman explained. The Tea Party-aligned Bevin has run a shambling, strategically dubious campaign and squandered much of his advantage. Conway has long led in the race, and even Bevin’s own polls show him tied at best, though some recent surveys suggest the race is tightening.