Early Races Could Be Bellwethers on Election Night

Virginia, Kentucky, other early states have contests to test whether 'blue wave' is real
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2018 9:06 AM CST

(Newser) – Will a blue wave help Democrats take the House and perhaps the Senate? Or has the support of President Trump once again been underestimated? The answers will finally start rolling in Tuesday night. The first polls close in Kentucky and Indiana at 6pm, and things truly start picking up an hour later when polls start closing in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida. It's possible we won't know big answers for weeks, but some early races on the East Coast could provide a sense of where things are headed. Examples:

  • Bellwether race? At Roll Call, Lindsey McPherson is keeping an eye on the race for an open House seat in Virginia. If Democrat Leslie Cockburn defeats Republican Denver Riggleman in the 5th District, which includes Charlottesville, "the wave election Democrats have hoped for will be in full effect," writes McPherson. Trump won the district by 11 points in 2016.
  • Or maybe this one: Another House race in Virginia, in the 7th District, pits Democrat Abigail Spanberger and against incumbent Dave Brat, the Republican who upset Eric Cantor a few years ago. NBC News reports that the race will test the strength of the "pink wave" of female candidates as well as whether college-educated suburban voters will turn against Trump. "It’s a good early test of how far the 'suburban revolt' will take Democrats," says David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.

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