A state government triplex describes when one political party holds the following the positions of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state within a state. Three divided triplex states, or states where no party holds a triplex, are holding state executive elections in 2019: Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Key races within those states have the potential to change the states’ triplex status.
In Kentucky, Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates the race for governor between incumbent Matt Bevin (R) and attorney general Andy Beshear (D) as Lean Republican, while Cook Political Report and Inside Elections call the race a toss-up. Daniel Cameron (R) and Gregory Stumbo (D) are competing for the open attorney general’s seat, which Beshear won by a margin of 50.1% to 49.9% in 2015. Donald Trump (R) carried Kentucky with 62.5% of the vote in 2016.
The race for Louisiana governor is also expected to be competitive. Incumbent John Bel Edwards (D), who is being challenged by five other candidates in the October 12 primary election, is the only Democrat holding statewide office in Louisiana. He won the seat 56% to 44% in 2015. Trump won 58% of the vote in Louisiana the following year. The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate the race as Lean Democratic, while Inside Elections rates it a toss-up.
In Mississippi, Attorney General Jim Hood (D) and Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves are competing for the governorship, leaving the attorney general’s race open. Incumbent governor Phil Bryant (R), who won election to the position with 66% of the vote in 2015, is prevented by term limits from seeking re-election. Trump won Mississippi with 58% of the vote in 2016. Inside Elections and Sabato’s Crystal Ball have rated the gubernatorial competition as Lean Republican, while the Cook Political Report rated the contest as Likely Republican.
Heading into the 2019 election, 18 states are controlled by a Republican triplex, 17 states are controlled by a Democratic triplex, and 15 states are under divided triplex control, meaning that its governor, attorney general, and secretary of state do not belong to a single political party.