Nov 5, 2019

2019's key state elections foreshadow what's to come in 2020

A voter completes his ballot during the 2019 Virginia primary elections. Photo: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

State elections in Virginia, Mississippi and Kentucky on Tuesday could shift significant legislative power to Democrats, foreshadowing a local angle to the battle for Congress in 2020, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: Democrats and Republicans are duking it out to take power of state legislatures ahead of the 2020 Census in order to hold a majority during the redistricting process.

The state of play: These elections have been elevated to the national stage as big names advocate for both parties. President Trump is advocating for GOP candidates around the country, while celebrities, such as Trump's "SNL" foe Alec Baldwin, have hit the trail for Democrats, reports NPR.

  • Voters will be electing a governor in Kentucky and Mississippi, where Democrats are trying to end the GOP's lock on the governor's mansion and both houses of the state legislatures.
  • In Virginia, Democrats have a chance to flip both the state's House of Delegates and Senate from the GOP, which currently holds both by razor-thin margins.

Go deeper: Trump slams Dems in rallying cry for Kentucky governor ahead of race

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Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.