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State election results won't predict winner of 2020 presidential race: strategist

Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday in a series of state and municipal elections that could provide some insight into the 2020 presidential race and a shift in power.

Mississippi and Kentucky face key gubernatorial races, where Democrats could take the seat. In Virginia, voters will choose members of their state legislature and the outcome could flip party power in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

“I think we're looking at some big shifts,” Lee Carter, president of Maslansky & Partners told Yahoo Finance’s On the Move. “But I don't think this is going to be an indicator to say this is what's going to happen in 2020.”

Mississippi has not elected a Democrat as governor since 1999. But this year, the two state officials competing for the seat — Attorney General Jim Hood (D) and Lt. Governor Tate Reeves (R) — are in a tight race. Meanwhile in Kentucky, incumbent Governor Matt Bevin, who is up against Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, is fighting for his seat. Bevin was rated as the most unpopular governor in the country, according to a recent Morning Consult poll. Currently in Virginia, Republicans hold the majority in both the Senate and the House, but the governor is a Democrat.

“We're talking about states where a majority of people oppose impeachment — these are places where the president should have absolutely no problem winning,” Carter said. “If these flip, I think that's something that everybody needs to take seriously.”

The 2020 presidential race

Looking to 2020, Carter sees Senator Elizabeth Warren as the Democratic candidate to watch. 

“This is something a lot of people think I'm crazy for saying, but she is the only candidate on the left right now who's running a very, very strong campaign,” Carter said. “She's the one that everybody is reacting to — I always say you can tell who's winning by the one everybody's reacting to.”

Several big names on Wall Street have spoken out against a Warren presidency, claiming Warren would wreck the U.S. economy and the stock market. Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones predicted the S&P 500 would fall 25% if Warren wins. On Tuesday, former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci told Yahoo Finance that “the markets will be halved if Elizabeth Warren wins.”

“We’ve got to take the hysteria out of it,” Carter said. “When Trump was going to be elected, everybody said if Trump goes into office, the markets are going to be over — and now look at them.”

Valentina Caval is a Producer for Yahoo Finance’s On the Move.

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