Democrats win in 2 of 3 states in 2023 off-year polls; Trump-backed candidate loses

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Washington, November 8 (IANS) Republicans lost two key states -- Ohio and Kentucky, as abortion rights issue mainly dominated the voters agenda as three of the many states that went to vote for governors, legislatures, judges in the 2023 off-year elections across the US saw Republicans losing the edge.

Trump backed Daniel Cameron lost to Andy Beshear, who retained his governorship of Kentucky fending off a great challenge and earning a lot of praise from the democratic party, media reports said.

Kentucky's Democratic Governor Andy Beshear fended off a challenge on Tuesday from Trump-backed opponent Daniel Cameron, winning praise from Democrats who view his victory in the ruby red state as a potential proxy for the 2024 presidential election, USA Today said.  

Since 2003, Kentucky has served as bellwether for presidential elections, especially in governors elections, and Democrats hope the trend persists in 2024.

President Joe Biden phoned the Kentucky governor shortly after his victory to congratulate him, the White House said.

Beshear, one of most popular governors in the country, campaigned heavily on key Democratic issues such as abortion rights, Biden's achievements on jobs and infrastructure, the issues on which the democrats might go headlong in the 2024 presidential race.

The Kentucky verdict has proved to be a positive referendum on the critical issues for Democrats.  

Even as his Republican opponent described him as "a nice enough guy", Beshear's popularity has soared owing to his down-to-earth approach, a Biden characteristic that won the incumbent president the elections to the white house in 2020.  

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is challenging Trump in the 2024 primary race, called the defeat "another loss for Trump".

Democrats saw major victories in red states, as Ohio voters approved an amendment enshrining abortion rights into the state's constitution and Democratic incumbent Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear secured re-election.

But Mississippi's incumbent Republican Gov. Tate Reeves decisively beat challenger Brandon Presley, a distant relative of rock star Elvis Presley, squashing Democratic any glimmer of hopes of an upset in the deep red southern state, media reports said.

Tuesday's off-year elections virtually offered an insight into the voters' minds ahead of the 2024 presidential with major bellwether polls for critical issues such as abortion rights and how Republicans and Democrats will fare on the national stage next year.