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Five Things to Watch on Election Day Five Things to Watch on Election Day

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Five Things to Watch on Election Day


Voters cast their ballots at the Virginia City Highlands Fire Station November 4, 2008 in Virginia City Highlands, Nevada. After nearly two years of presidential campaigning, U.S. citizens go to the polls today to vote in the election between Democratic presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Republican nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).(Max Whittaker/Stringer)

In Washington, Costco has poured over $20 million into an initiative that would privatize liquor sales in the state. It's unclear whether the measure will pass, but some observers think that if it does, Costco will attempt a similar measure in Oregon, another state that currently has a state-run liquor sales monopoly. Check out Reid Wilson's primer for more on the state ballot initiatives. The Mississippi and Kentucky gubernatorial races The two governor's races are actually among the least suspenseful events on Tuesday. The only question in each race is how wide the margins of victory will be. While Kentucky was once viewed as a potential pick-up opportunity for Republicans, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is crushing his opponent, state Senate President David Williams. And in Mississippi, as expected, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is cruising far ahead of the Democratic nominee, Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree. Provided Tuesday's gubernatorial races turn out as expected, none of the four gubernatorial races of 2011 - West Virginia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi - will have flipped control. The down-ballot races in Kentucky While Kentucky's gubernatorial race doesn't have observers on the edge of their seats, Beshear's commanding lead and popularity may provide coattails that benefit some of the Democrats running in the more competitive down-ballot races. This, in turn, could, help Democrats develop their bench for future races - notably the 2014 Senate race, when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is up for re-election, and the 2015 gubernatorial race, when Beshear won't be running again. The attorney general's race, in which Republican Todd P'Pool is challenging Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, has drawn in some prominent national Republicans. Sarah Palin endorsed P'Pool last week, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have held fundraisers for him. Both Conway and Democratic Secretary of State candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes are considered potential rising Democratic stars in the state. With so little excitement over the governor's race, though, extremely low turnout is anticipated on Tuesday.

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