2019 United States gubernatorial elections

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2019 United States gubernatorial elections

← 2018 November 5 and 16, 2019 2020 →

3 governorships
  Majority party Minority party
  Pete Ricketts by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg Governor Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island (cropped).jpg
Leader Pete Ricketts Gina Raimondo
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Nebraska Rhode Island
Seats before 27 23
Seats won 1 2
Seats after 26 24
Seat change Decrease1 Increase1
Popular vote 1,898,436 1,899,756
Percentage 49.48% 50.52%

2019 United States gubernatorial results.svg
Map of the 2019 gubernatorial races
     Democratic gain      Republican hold
     Democratic hold

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 5, 2019 in Kentucky and Mississippi, and November 16, 2019 in Louisiana. These elections formed part of the 2019 United States elections. The last regular gubernatorial elections for all three states were in 2015. The Democrats had to defend an incumbent in Louisiana while the Republicans had to defend an incumbent in Kentucky plus an open seat in Mississippi. Despite the fact that all three seats up were in typically Republican states, Kentucky and Louisiana were seen as competitive races and Mississippi was still seen as favorable for Republicans but a closer race than usual. Democrats were able to hold their seat in Louisiana and flip the governor's seat in Kentucky, while Republicans successfully kept the Mississippi governorship by winning the open seat. As a result, the Democrats gained a net of one seat, bringing the total number of Democratic governors to 24, while Republicans were reduced to 26 governors, continuing a streak of governor's seat gains by Democrats under Republican President Donald Trump that began in 2017. This is the first time since 2003 in which a party made a net gain of seats in this cycle of governorships, and the first time since 1991 that Kentucky and Louisiana elected candidates of the same party. Democrats also won the total popular vote for the year's gubernatorial elections for the third year in a row, and for the first time since 1991 in this cycle of governorships.

Election predictions[edit]

Kentucky and Louisiana were seen as the two competitive races in this cycle. Kentucky governor Matt Bevin had very low approval ratings over issues such as Medicare Expansion, Pensions, and Education. When teachers walked out to protest education funding, Bevin blamed them for child molestation and called them "selfish thugs".[1] Bevin also attempted to roll back the state's Medicare Expansion, which would've lead to 500,000 people in the state losing their health insurance, and the measure was deeply unpopular in Kentucky and never passed.[2] In Louisiana, Democratic incumbent John Bel Edwards is popular in the deep red state, as he has worked across the aisle with a number of issues such as abortion. Edwards also brought Medicaid Expansion to the state, a move that garnered praise and was popular.[3] Even though Edwards is popular, the sheer amount of Republicans in the state made the race competitive. Mississippi, whose governor was term-limited, is one of the most Republican states in the country and hasn't voted a Democrat as governor since 1999, and Republican Tate Reeves is a long serving public servant in the state. However, a formidable campaign by Democrat Jim Hood made the race closer than initially expected. Hood made bringing Medicaid Expansion to Mississippi the central issue of his campaign, which resonated with voters in the state as many people want improvements to health care.[4]

Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate.

State CPVI Incumbent[5] Last

Oct 15,


Nov 8,


Nov 14,

Kentucky R+9 Matt Bevin 52.5% R Tossup Tossup Lean R Beshear (D)
Louisiana R+11 John Bel Edwards 56.1% D Tossup Tossup Lean D Edwards (D)
Mississippi R+15 Phil Bryant (term-limited) 66.6% R Lean R Lean R Lean R Reeves (R)

Race summary[edit]

State Incumbent Results
State Governor Party First
Status Candidates
Kentucky Matt Bevin Republican 2015 Incumbent lost re-election
New governor elected
Democratic gain
Andy Beshear (D) 49.20%
Matt Bevin (R) 48.83%
John Hicks (L) 1.97%
Louisiana John Bel Edwards Democratic 2015 Incumbent reelected
Democratic hold
John Bel Edwards (D) 51.33%
Eddie Rispone (R) 48.67%
Mississippi Phil Bryant Republican 2011 Incumbent term limited
New governor elected
Republican hold
Tate Reeves (R) 51.91%
Jim Hood (D) 46.83%
David Singletary (I) 0.95%
Bob Hickingbottom (C) 0.29%


2019 Kentucky gubernatorial election

← 2015 November 5, 2019 2023 →
Turnout42% Increase
  Official Portrait of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (cropped).jpg Matt Bevin (cropped).jpg
Nominee Andy Beshear Matt Bevin
Party Democratic Republican
Running mate Jacqueline Coleman Ralph Alvarado
Popular vote 709,890 704,754
Percentage 49.20% 48.83%

Kentucky Governor Election 2019.svg
County results
Beshear:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Bevin:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

Matt Bevin

Elected Governor

Andy Beshear

The 2019 Kentucky gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 2019, to elect the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.[9] The Democratic nominee, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, defeated Republican incumbent Matt Bevin by a margin of just over 5,000 votes, or less than 0.5%.[10] Bevin conceded on November 14,[11] after a recanvass took place that day[12][11][13] that did not change the vote count.[11] Libertarian John Hicks also qualified for the ballot and received 2% of the vote. Statewide turnout was just over 42%,[14] much higher than for the 2015 gubernatorial election. The result was a major swing from 2016, when Donald Trump won the state by 30 points and Republicans gained a supermajority in both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly.


Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2019[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Andy Beshear 709,890 49.20% +5.38%
Republican Matt Bevin (incumbent) 704,754 48.83% -3.72%
Libertarian John Hicks 28,433 1.97% N/A
Total votes 1,443,077 100.0% N/A
Democratic gain from Republican


2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election

← 2015 October 12 and
November 16, 2019
2023 →
  John Bel Edwards (cropped).jpg Eddie Rispone in October, 2019 (cropped).jpg
Nominee John Bel Edwards Eddie Rispone
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 774,498 734,268
Percentage 51.33% 48.67%

Louisiana gubernatorial election, 2019.svg
Parish results
Edwards:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Rispone:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Governor before election

John Bel Edwards

Elected Governor

John Bel Edwards

The 2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election was held to elect the Governor of Louisiana. Incumbent Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards won reelection to a second term, defeating Republican businessman Eddie Rispone. Edwards became the first Louisiana Democrat to secure consecutive terms since Edwin Edwards (no relation to John Bel Edwards) in 1975. It was the closest Louisiana gubernatorial election in 40 years.[citation needed]

Under Louisiana's jungle primary system, all candidates appear on the same ballot, regardless of party, and voters may vote for any candidate, regardless of their party affiliation. Because no candidate received an absolute majority of the vote during the primary election on October 12, 2019, a runoff election was held on November 16, 2019, between the top two candidates in the primary, Edwards and Rispone.[16] Louisiana is the only state that has a jungle primary system (California and Washington have a similar top two primary system).

According to the Louisiana Secretary of State more than 384,000[17] early votes were cast, a significant increase from the 2015 gubernatorial election in which 234,000[18] early votes were cast.

Jungle Primary

2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Bel Edwards (incumbent) 625,970 46.6
Republican Eddie Rispone 368,319 27.4
Republican Ralph Abraham 317,149 23.6
Democratic Oscar Dantzler 10,993 0.8
Republican Patrick Landry 10,966 0.8
Independent Gary Landrieu 10,084 0.7
Total votes 1,343,481 100.0


2019 Louisiana gubernatorial election runoff[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic John Bel Edwards (incumbent) 774,498 51.33% -4.78%
Republican Eddie Rispone 734,268 48.67% +4.78%
Total votes 1,508,784 100.0% N/A
Democratic hold


2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election

← 2015 November 5, 2019 2023 →
  Tate Reeves.jpg Jim Hood 2007 (cropped).jpg
Nominee Tate Reeves Jim Hood
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 459,396 414,368
Percentage 51.91% 46.83%

Mississippi Governor Election Results by County, 2019.svg
County results
Reeves:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%
Hood:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Governor before election

Phil Bryant

Elected Governor

Tate Reeves

The 2019 Mississippi gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 2019, to choose the next Governor of Mississippi. Primary elections occurred on August 6, 2019. Runoff elections were held on August 27, 2019.[21] Incumbent Governor Phil Bryant was ineligible to run for a third term due to term limits. The Democratic Party nominated incumbent Attorney General Jim Hood, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Mississippi; the Republican Party nominated incumbent Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves after a runoff.

Situated in the Deep South, Mississippi is one of the most Republican states in the country. No Democrat has been elected to the governorship since Ronnie Musgrove in 1999. However, the state's Democratic Attorney General, Jim Hood, who has held his office since 2004 and had yet to lose a statewide election, put the Republican's winning streak of four elections in a row to the test, as the race became unusually competitive. Reeves defeated Hood in the general election by a margin of 5.5%, making this the closest a Democrat had come to winning a Mississippi gubernatorial election since 1999, where Musgrove won with 49.6% of the vote.[22] Hood flipped the counties of Chickasaw, Lafayette, Madison, Panola, and Warren, which had all voted for Republican Donald Trump in the 2016 United States presidential election.


Mississippi gubernatorial election, 2019[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Tate Reeves 459,396 51.91% -14.47%
Democratic Jim Hood 414,368 46.83% +14.58%
Independent David Singletary 8,522 0.96% N/A
Constitution Bob Hickingbottom 2,625 0.30% N/A
Total votes 884,911 100.0% N/A
Republican hold

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ Golshan, Tara. "Matt Bevin's defeat in Kentucky wasn't just about him". Vox. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Weixel, Nathan. "Democrats make Medicaid center of Kentucky governor fight". The Hill. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  3. ^ Jaspen, Bruce. "In Blow To Trump's Medicaid Policies, Democrat Wins In Louisiana". Forbes. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  4. ^ Inskeep, Steve. "Mississippi Governor Election Preview". NPR. Retrieved November 30, 2019.
  5. ^ Parentheses around an incumbent's name indicates that the incumbent is retiring, possibly due to term limits.
  6. ^ "2020 Governor Race ratings". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved 2019-04-19.
  7. ^ "Gubernatorial Ratings | Inside Elections". insideelections.com. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  8. ^ "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball » 2020 Governor". crystalball.centerforpolitics.org. Retrieved 2019-03-16.
  9. ^ "Kentucky gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2019". Ballotpedia. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  10. ^ "Watch live: Democrat Andy Beshear speaks after declaring victory in Kentucky election". CBS News. November 6, 2019. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b c "Gov. Matt Bevin won't contest results, concedes from gubernatorial race". WLKY. 14 November 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  12. ^ Lemieux, Melissa (November 5, 2019). "Gov. Matt Bevin refuses to concede Kentucky race, even after Secretary of State calls it for Democrat Andy Beshear". Newsweek. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
  13. ^ Barton, Ryland (2019-11-06). "Kentucky GOP Gov. Bevin Officially Requests Recanvass Of Election Results". NPR.org. Retrieved 2019-11-07.
  14. ^ ACQUISTO, Alex. "Voter turnout tops 41 percent in tight race for Kentucky governor". Lexington Herald Leader. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  15. ^ "2019 General Election". Kentucky State Board of Elections. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  16. ^ https://www.sos.la.gov/ElectionsAndVoting/PublishedDocuments/ElectionsCalendar2019.pdf
  17. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State Statistics" (PDF).
  18. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State Statistics" (PDF).
  19. ^ "Unofficial Results". Louisiana Secretary of State. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  20. ^ "Louisiana Secretary of State - Live Election Results". voterportal.sos.la.gov. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  21. ^ "Mississippi Voter Information Guide" (PDF). State of Mississippi - Secretary of State.
  22. ^ Collins, Sean (2019-11-05). "Republican Tate Reeves wins a surprisingly close race, becoming Mississippi's next governor". Vox. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  23. ^ "2019 GENERAL ELECTION". Mississippi Secretary of State. Retrieved December 4, 2019.

External links[edit]