In the US, races for governor have often yielded centrist candidates. Voters in Florida, Oklahoma and Arizona chose a different route. And women, once again, made a strong showing in House races.
The following analysis from the New York Times presents some insight on the elections:
COLOUR – A historic upset overturned Democratic politics in Florida, as Andrew Gillum, the liberal 39-year-old mayor of Tallahassee, overcame several aggressive opponents to become the first black nominee for governor in the state’s history. He campaigned on a bluntly liberal message, calling for a single-payer-style health care system at the state level, and he earned Bernie Sanders’ endorsement and crucial financial support from mega-donors on the left like Tom Steyer and George Soros. DeSantis was not the only Trump loyalist nominated for office on Tuesday night. Joining him were Rick Scott, the Florida governor, who is running for Senate against the Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson, and Representative Martha McSally, who won the G.O.P. nomination for an open Senate seat in Arizona.
TRUMP’s Alliances These Republican candidates — all closely aligned with Mr. Trump — will test the durability of Mr. Trump’s political coalition in two highly diverse states that he carried against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Mr. DeSantis and Ms. McSally have linked themselves particularly closely to the president this year to win contested primary elections.
The Midwest is often seen as the heart of Mr. Trump’s political base, but Florida and Arizona, with 40 Electoral College votes between them, were just as decisive in his slim national victory. The ability of Republicans to hold onto these states in 2018 may say as much about Mr. Trump’s political future as the pitched races of the Rust Belt.
GENDER – Ms. Graham’s defeat was a disappointment for Democrats hoping to break a gender barrier in Florida, but Tuesday’s elections provided as pronounced a display of female candidates’ strength as any primary night this year. Democrats nominated women for six competitive House races in Florida — all but one of the contested seats currently held by Republicans — and for two targeted House seats and an open Senate seat in Arizona. In some cases, Democratic women easily beat back male candidates running markedly to their left, suggesting again that primary voters are looking more to identity than ideology to shape their choices. The wave of support for women has been overwhelmingly on the Democratic side this year, but Republicans also notably chose women for some of the most challenging elections of the night, including the contest for Senate in Arizona.