Election day 2021: what to look out for in Tuesday's elections

Most of the political attention on Tuesday will be focused on Virginia, where former Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is trying to ...


Most of the political attention on Tuesday will be focused on Virginia, where former Governor Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, is trying to return to his old office in a race against Glenn Youngkin, a wealthy Republican business executive.

Polls show the race is a dead end. And the themes of the competition – with Mr. McAuliffe tirelessly trying to link Mr. Youngkin to former President Donald J. Trump, and Mr. Youngkin focusing on how racial inequality is taught in schools, among others cultural issues – only amplified the potential of the election as a national spokesperson. The results will be closely studied by both parties for clues on what to expect midway through 2022.

While the race in Virginia is Tuesday’s marquee game, other notable elections are taking place. Voters in many major US cities will choose their next mayor, and some will vote on hotly contested electoral measures, including the issue of policing. There is also another governor race in New Jersey. Here’s what to watch in some of the key contests that will provide the most detailed and textured look to date on voter stance more than nine months after the start of the Biden administration.

Democrats have won Virginia in every presidential contest since 2008. Last year it wasn’t particularly close. Mr. Biden gained 10 percentage points.

But Virginia is also used to opposing a new president’s party – the state moved to the GOP in 2009, during former President Barack Obama’s first year in office – and the Republicans hope Mr. Youngkin has found a formula for success in the postwar period. The Trump era.

To win, Mr. Youngkin must reduce margins in a suburb of Northern Virginia, where voters have made the state increasingly democratic, while forming a Republican base that remains motivated by Mr. Trump.

His playbook has focused heavily on education, attacking Mr. McAuliffe for a debate remark that parents should not lead what schools teach and capitalize on a larger conservative movement against schools that teach science. systemic racism. The result: Education was the main problem in the race, according to an October Washington Post Poll, giving Republicans the edge on a topic that has traditionally favored Democrats.

Mr McAuliffe aggressively linked Mr Youngkin to Mr Trump, who supported the Republican but never traveled to Virginia to campaign for him. If Mr. Youngkin loses, it will show the GOP’s ongoing challenge to be associated with Mr. Trump, even without Mr. Trump on the ballot. But if Mr McAuliffe loses, it will intensify the pressure on Democrats to develop a new proactive message.

Control of the House of Delegates in Virginia is also up for grabs. For now, Democrats have a 55 to 45 seat advantage that they built during the Trump years.

In the New Jersey Governor’s Race, Democratic incumbent Philip D. Murphy is running for re-election. Polls showed Mr Murphy was ahead, but the weakening of Mr Biden’s job approval rating in the strong Democratic state – which stood at 43 percent in a recent Monmouth poll – is a cause for concern. The results will be monitored to see how much erosion of Mr Biden’s support has infiltrated the ballots.

It’s not the biggest city with a mayoral race on Tuesday, but the Battle of City Hall in Buffalo, NY, perhaps the most fascinating.

India Walton, said to be the first socialist to rule a major American city in decades, defeated incumbent Democratic mayor Byron Brown in the June primaries. But Mr Brown is now running a campaign in writing.

Ms Walton won the support of progressives, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and some party leaders, such as Senator Chuck Schumer, but other prominent Democrats remained neutral, including Governor Kathy Hochul, a long-time resident date from the Buffalo area. .

The police have been a major problem. Although Mrs. Walton has distanced herself for wanting to cut police funding, Mr Brown attacked her on the issue in a TV advertising.

In Boston, the runoff puts two city council members, Michelle wu and Annissa Essaibi Georges, against each other, with Ms. Wu as a progressive. Ms. Wu, who is supported by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, finished first in the primary.

At New York, Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President and Democrat, is set to win the mayoral race and has already made a national figure. “I am the face of the New Democratic Party,” Adams said after winning the June primary.

In Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez, a rare Republican mayor of a major city, is heavily favored for re-election and is set to become president of the United States Conference of Mayors, giving him a national platform.

And in Atlanta, a crowded field of 14 candidates, including City Council President Felicia Moore, is expected to lead to a run-off as former mayor Kasim Reed tries to make his comeback.

A running theme in municipal racing is policing, as communities grapple with the slogan “defund the police” that swept across the country following the murder of George Floyd by police last year. Debate rages within the Democratic Party over the extent of the law enforcement overhaul – and how to talk about such an overhaul.

Nowhere is the problem perhaps more central than in Minneapolis, the city where Mr. Floyd was killed, sparking civil unrest across the country. Voters will decide on a measure to replace struggling Minneapolis Police Department with a new Ministry of Public Security.

Mayor Jacob Frey, who is running for re-election, opposed the move and called for a more gradual approach. His challengers, including Sheila Nezhad, want a more aggressive approach.

Policing is a key issue not only in the Buffalo mayoral race, but also in the mayoral contests. in Seattle, Atlanta and Cleveland, where an amendment that would reorganize the way the city’s police department works is also on the ballot.

The Cleveland mayoral race pits Justin Bibb, a 34-year-old political newcomer, against Kevin Kelley, the chairman of the city council. Mr Bibb seconded the police amendment and Mr Kelley opposed it.

There are two special elections for House races in Ohio, with Democratic Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown expected to win a heavily Democratic seat in Cleveland. Mike Carey, a longtime Republican coal lobbyist, is favored in a district that spans a dozen counties.

Mr. Carey faces off against Allison Russo, a Democrat backed by Mr. Biden. Mr. Carey’s margin in a seat Mr. Trump held over 14 points last year will be another valuable indicator of the political environment.

In Florida, a primary is being held for the headquarters of Representative Alcee Hastings, who died earlier this year. The winner will be favored in a special election in January.

The only statewide races in Pennsylvania on Tuesday are for the courts. The most closely watched competition is for the state Supreme Court, which features two appeals court judges, Republican Kevin Brobson and Democrat Maria McLaughlin. Democrats currently hold a 5-2 majority in the field and the vacant seat was held by a Republican, so the result won’t tip control.

But millions of dollars in advertising are pouring into the state, a sign not only of the growing politicization of court challenges, but also of the state’s role as the main presidential battleground.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Election day 2021: what to look out for in Tuesday's elections
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