The trio of this fall’s off-year gubernatorial races will test whether voters are willing to go beyond partisanship in picking a candidate for statewide office. The 2018 midterms showed that was hard to do for federal races in red states such as Missouri, Tennessee and Indiana. For a while, gubernatorial contests have been the one place where voters were willing to be open-minded — solidly blue states like Maryland and Massachusetts have Republican governors, while reliably red states at the presidential level such as Kansas, Montana and Louisiana have Democratic chief executives. It’s Louisiana and the incumbent Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards that offers a new litmus test to partisan allegiance with its all-party primary on October 12. In fact, all three 2019 Southern contests do too — with Democrats competitive in both Kentucky and Mississippi as well. We’ll take a look at those other two races in the next few weeks. With three weeks to go until the Pelican State’s jungle primary, Edwards could be cresting at just the right time to avoid a runoff. The Democrat needs 50
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