Andrew Gillum explains his victory

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum will win the Democratic nomination for governor of Florida, CNN projects, scoring a major victory for the party's progressive wing while taking another step toward becoming the state's first black chief executive.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 3:45 PM
Updated: Aug 29, 2018 4:08 PM

After Tuesday night's primaries, Republicans feel good for two reasons: They have the best possible nominee in the Arizona Senate race and are running against the most liberal Democrat in the Florida governor's race.

Arizona

Arizona Republicans did the national GOP a favor by nominating Martha McSally for the Senate seat left open by the retiring Jeff Flake. Her solid win over Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio -- neither of whom had a prayer of winning in the fall -- gives the Republicans a solid chance to hold a seat Democrats are counting on to take control of the US Senate.

President Donald Trump showed tactical awareness by leaving the Arizona senate race alone (despite an early tweet of good tidings for Ward), and McSally benefited from Ward and Arpaio squabbling over who loved Trump more. Trump had good things to say about McSally late in the race and would certainly enjoy working with her more than he does Flake, who has feuded with the President since Trump took office.

The race took an ugly turn in its closing days, in the wake of Sen. John McCain's passing. Ward embarrassingly suggested the McCain family timed an announcement of his decision to end treatment for brain cancer to hurt her candidacy, and then tweeted that "political correctness is like a cancer." Ward joins Roy Moore and other Steve Bannon-backed candidates in the dumpster that is the former Trump strategist's plan to take over the US Senate. Bannon collected more nutty candidates than a squirrel prepping for winter and Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, buried them during the primary season.

McSally played it just right, touting her pro-Trump agenda voting record (almost 98% support) without beclowning herself with outrageous statements and conspiracy theories the way Ward did. Arpaio, who received a pardon from Trump last year, handled the McCain/Trump situation fairly when he said that McCain was a "patriot" but that Trump was his "hero." That's a reasonably stated position, which further showed voters just how classless Ward really is.

The general election race between McSally and Kyrsten Sinema (D) is a must-win for Democrats who need to flip both Arizona and Nevada to have a chance of winning Senate control. McSally seemed to feel her nomination coming as the primary closed, releasing an ad contrasting her military service as a fighter pilot after 9/11 with a picture of Sinema wearing a pink tutu while protesting US military action against Osama bin Laden. Arizona voters respect the military, and McSally will portray Sinema as a liberal who is weak on national security.

Florida

Trump, again, showed the power of his endorsement in the GOP primary for Florida governor. Congressman Ron DeSantis enjoyed Trump's support and easily defeated Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam to become the nominee for governor. Trump's record in GOP primaries is clear -- he moves votes. Putnam toiled for years after leaving Congress in 2010 to lay the groundwork for this gubernatorial run and saw his best laid plans upended by an endorsement from Trump, the undisputed GOP kingmaker in this primary season.

The gubernatorial race in the fall features Republican DeSantis versus surprise Democratic nominee Mayor Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee, who emerged from a crowded primary. Gillum was a Bernie Sanders-endorsed progressive who relied on young liberals and African-American voters to win.

We have a true Trump vs. Sanders proxy war in November in the Florida governor's race, with many Republicans breathing a sigh of relief that the more moderate (and female) Gwen Graham did not prevail in the Democratic primary. For all the talk of a blue wave in 2018, DeSantis earned roughly 400,000 more primary votes than Gillum as Republicans turned out more raw votes than did the Democrats.

Florida is also home to a critical US Senate race, with Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson facing outgoing Gov. Rick Scott (R). This race is a money sponge for Democrats, who are pouring resources into an underperforming incumbent and will feel compelled to do so throughout. Republicans are bullish on Scott's chances and believe a win here locks Democrats out of the possibility of controlling the Senate. Every dollar Democrats throw at Nelson's campaign is one they'd much rather have in a state like Arizona, where they are on offense.

One thing is for sure: it would have been wise to buy a television or radio station in Florida in the recent past.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 497790

Reported Deaths: 9917
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34102530
DeSoto31839398
Hinds31837622
Jackson24314377
Rankin21881388
Lee15427234
Madison14525279
Jones13772241
Forrest13412250
Lauderdale11937314
Lowndes10934185
Lamar10470135
Pearl River9431237
Lafayette8454138
Hancock7697126
Washington7365156
Oktibbeha7111129
Monroe6727174
Warren6642176
Pontotoc6609101
Neshoba6606205
Panola6460131
Marshall6386132
Bolivar6266145
Union596094
Pike5784152
Alcorn5633101
Lincoln5417134
George491879
Scott470998
Tippah465381
Prentiss464181
Leflore4627143
Itawamba4596104
Adams4570119
Tate4546109
Copiah445191
Simpson4421116
Wayne438572
Yazoo438586
Covington427394
Marion4216107
Sunflower4215104
Coahoma4115104
Leake407787
Newton380879
Grenada3692108
Stone358464
Tishomingo356391
Attala330289
Jasper328265
Winston313191
Clay306375
Chickasaw296767
Clarke290694
Calhoun277945
Holmes266987
Smith262550
Yalobusha232647
Tallahatchie225251
Walthall217763
Greene215548
Lawrence211140
Perry204755
Amite203954
Webster201645
Noxubee185340
Montgomery179056
Jefferson Davis170642
Carroll167438
Tunica158639
Benton147438
Kemper141241
Choctaw133026
Claiborne131237
Humphreys129038
Franklin119128
Quitman106227
Wilkinson104539
Jefferson94234
Sharkey64020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 814025

Reported Deaths: 15179
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1140561910
Mobile722691323
Madison52017686
Shelby37304341
Baldwin37087540
Tuscaloosa34966599
Montgomery33971725
Lee23149240
Calhoun22159470
Morgan20659372
Etowah19764496
Marshall18254300
Houston17310405
St. Clair15921337
Cullman15325290
Limestone15222198
Elmore15086284
Lauderdale14157294
Talladega13723272
DeKalb12574259
Walker11089366
Blount10102174
Autauga9901146
Jackson9793180
Coffee9182189
Dale8864181
Colbert8791200
Tallapoosa7044195
Escambia6743127
Covington6685179
Chilton6592160
Russell626158
Franklin5935105
Chambers5560142
Marion4958126
Dallas4889199
Clarke473482
Pike4720105
Geneva4564126
Winston4476101
Lawrence4266117
Bibb421786
Barbour355675
Marengo334089
Monroe330462
Randolph327663
Butler324894
Pickens313982
Henry311265
Hale309487
Cherokee300057
Fayette290979
Washington251151
Cleburne247058
Crenshaw243775
Clay240767
Macon230762
Lamar217846
Conecuh185652
Coosa178838
Lowndes174161
Wilcox167738
Bullock151744
Perry138040
Sumter131138
Greene125844
Choctaw87027
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