Primaries in Southern states shed light on midterms

ABC News breaks down the night's primary races in Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas.
12:54 | 05/23/18

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Transcript for Primaries in Southern states shed light on midterms
Welcome to ABC news time is Serena Marshall thanks for joining us on this primary night here in America. Today for voters from four primary red states Texas Georgia Arkansas and Kentucky. Or at the polls deciding who represent them in the 2018 mid terms. The big question for Democrats as they had read the polls today was are they going to be primarily focusing on their base or trying to move those highly coveted. Independent voters and doing tonight by ABC's deputy political editor Mary Alice parks. There Allan thanks so much for being with us tonight he just break it down for us on why people are caring about these primaries when he could mean for want. Jensen politics. Things I news Surrey in you know first of all voters in these four states. Care a whole lot X specially as Democrats pour money and attention trying to make serious inroads in the south. And you're right that there's a real question tonight about cruel represented. The Democratic Party going forward who speaks for the party X specially in some of these states where the party. Hasn't done so well they're plenty of Democrats who say that catering to the middle to the center to independents just has not worked. And that instead Democrats need bold new idea as. New faces. And should be. I'm forgiving legal liberal and progressive even in the south. But there are others here in Washington that are very nervous about that idea who big that's unrealistic for the Democratic Party. So a real questions tonight about what the Democratic Party will stand for. As they go forward to November. And today register remind our viewers they only need to claim 23 additional seats come November in order to re claim control of the house of represented us. So we have some of those results and coming into us right now. Now income Taki it we know they Amy McGrath did defeat the openly gay Lexington mayor Jim Gray for that democratic nomination for the six congressional district. What does this tell us going into November Mary house. Well first we're seeing from that race in Kentucky just a whole lot of blue energy in the Bluegrass State. It looks like in that Kentucky's six districts. Folks there want their democratic fighter in the faulted the F fighter pilot. They've taking a grass like you said she's a Marine Corps. That combat. Fighter pilot. Who really made national headlines and went viral it this ad you're seeing right now. She tells her story about really changing the rules by eating during the Naval Academy. To be able to fly a fighter fighter pilot that deal to be a fighter pilots of by combat mission out when they just weren't allowed to do that and she changed the rules. It was a big deal that she won this primary because the Democrats really recruited someone else to run in the seat. Like you said a former Lexington mayor who was really well known in the state Democrats thought he might have a good chance. But this is a prime example of democratic voters saying they want an outsider they want a woman and they want someone different to represent them in the fall. And this is a district that we're Democrats really think they can reclaim in this solidly red state. Now when she faces up in November does she have a legitimate chance considering the boaters just when against the establishment. What what's interesting a look at the from even democratic primary voters in wore red and rural parts. Of her district so she's able to really bring out new democratic voters. Or bring independence. In it to the Democratic Party she did have a real chance she has an interesting story that's brought in a lot of money. And so we will see Democrats have a light her friend that's even though the establishment did sort of get behind it helped recruit. That other candidates they came out really strong as soon as she secured this nomination. With a bunch a statement saying they're excited to have her back and eight think that she can flip that seat. And now that want to move on Alex in Georgia where it looks like Stacey Abrams has security hurt the Democratic Party nomination. For governor in Georgia now dowdy a big deal I if she wins either way whoever. It goes up against this Republican challenger because it's the first female candidate for governor in the State's history correct. It's unbelievable actually the two Democrats. Running were both women both. Hoping to make history Georgia has only ever had it may yield governors. And so now Stacey Abrams who has secured the democratic nomination she hopes to make history should be the first female and the first African American feed now. If she were to win and and and take the governor's mansion there. You know it's a state they're Republicans have held control of the governor's house since 2003. It be a big deal Democrats were able able to flip bet. And this is exactly the kind of race that's speaks to that broader question. Of the future of the Democratic Party and the best strategy for the Democratic Party in the south Stacey Abrams are ran. Unabashedly. Like a liberal she made that case to voters that she can brain. A nothing new Democrats out that she doesn't need to necessarily focus on winning back independence. And that's a strategy shall now tested going into November will see. If it's an out and if she can pull it off. But it is fascinating to watch the fact that even in this out even in Georgia. She used books and looked out an and asked for endorsements from Bernie Sanders and progressive groups she wants all Democrats support. I'd know what would no question that she's gonna try to somehow scoot to the right even though it storage. And let's talk about who she could be running against in November on the other side of the aisle on the Republican side that interesting contender is over there are going against the current front runner you had another man who who is. You bought driving around at deportation must like it that rated Sally was driving out band. I hate it sounds. As weird as it looked I have to tell you it definitely raise a lot of eyebrows. In this state he was definitely trying to get some attention you know on the Republican side their work. Five men that were running for this nomination it's very possible that in fact it goes to a runoff. And we don't know yet. Who will challenge and go up against Stacy Abrams. There's the lieutenant governor Casey Cagle was seen as much more of them moderate. Though he too ran plenty of ads that really backed sort of president trump like policies pushing. For the blatt border security and against Sanctuary Cities. But all the other male candidates running against him pushed further and further toward the right a lot of ways all of them seeming to try to. Out trump each other or or prove who might be more loyal to the president the one gentleman like you mentioned. State senator Michael Williams going as far as making a deportation. Busts. That he said. He was gonna drive around any get to drive around the state making a point that he would really try to enforce the president's call. 20. Decourt. Too deep or more residents there in Georgia who read it very legally he definitely made headlines with that big publicity. Past actually caught a stunt at the. Ten big an if that's appropriate word for that now. In Georgia we're seeing really to extremes here against the left and the right to both their he said. Picketing almost not just to their bases the trying to will win new voters as well and let's. The six congressional district because that's another one that Democrats think that they can flat. From red to blue you that was the C held by Tom price the now ousted HHS director and it's one Democrats almost one during asked. Right people remember a Georgia six it had all the national headlines in national focus from last year but it was one of the very first. Elections that special election. In of that era of the trump presidency. There's all the attention but Republican Kate keep the seat but just by a little bit. Democrats felt like they made huge in roads they only lost by a few points. And so now Democrats really feel like and it in a possible blue weighed in a big night for them in November they can take this seat. They're hoping for a second shot. At this seat there's one really interesting candidate who's been getting a lot of attention especially in the last week in the wake of another deadly school shooting Lucy make bath. She's been a huge gun control adding. Gun safety reform advocate and national spokesperson. For some of the big national gun safety reform groups she lost her son. Just a few years ago out an act of gun violence he was. Essentially robbed her was it eighty it was us and really confusing terrible story gas station. And a sad story and she's really personal on the campaign trail talking. About what her lots meant to her and how it is motivated her to get involved. And as another trend we've seen as these primaries. Have come across that the country is people with advocacy issues really stepping up and getting involved in politics. And look for in the London text someone take a look we have some pictures from Stacey Abrams election party tonight. Coming in right now and so look take a look at that she's not speaking at when she speaks blood trying to bring that back to you guys but it. For now let's move on to Texas. Texas eight governor had a very popular governor but he's even facing some challengers. It's really in. A tense and if you ask Democrats among the Dell five men's months ago and which one of them. 33. Republican howled. Governor. Governorships they would have their eye on I don't think Texas would have made any of the Democrats topple lest. But all of a sad and when we're talking about the potential of a blew away. We're seeing huge. Energy on the last we're seeing all this support and money come in for democratic candidate in Texas. People are taking a second lot. And they're wondering if it's possible that this is the year that Democrats could even taken trawl. Of the gut and and wit in the governor's race so we're seeing a pretty competitive primary. There on the democratic side but you're right that governor Greg Abbott the sitting current Republican governor of Texas remains pretty pop. And they are also a budget congressional races happening in Texas as well they're some runoff races tonight. Eight members of texas' congressional delegation decided not to re run really opening up some seeds and possibilities. Four at worked for Democrats to come in and try and steal those seats they're looking at three in particular. And now Texas 23 and seventh are two of those. Districts that Hillary Clinton won backing and that November 2016. Now why did they think you travel down their right Mary Alice why did they think this is a real option not just because Hillary Clinton won but the candidates they're putting up. Wright is our seats where Hillary Clinton won but a Republican member of congress kept their seat as well. And Texas 23 like you said I spent a lot of time there a really interesting case study in whether or not. Democrats can win evening and in a rural red America this is a huge. District that spans from San Antonio up to the border hundreds of miles. Of the Mexican EUS border. And Republicans. Had held this seat for quite awhile back Democrats looking at changing demographics. Looking at all of their response and rhetoric of out. Sense about the prospect of new security on the border really think that aching capitalize on them and send an energy and push back. It's really interesting to candidates are they have running in that race. They'll lady will probably win and secure the democratic nominee her name's Gino Ortiz Jones she's the second generation American immigrants at Philips Tina. She is and member of the LG BTQ community and also of bet. We've seen this time and time again across the country Democrats picking. That's trends as some of their front runners and an and those coming in with the most certain money and energy this year. Democrats seem to really like there I ads and are picking veterans across the country. Well thank you very balanced and thank you for joining us and ABC tonight as we watch these primaries in the results continue to trickle annually bringing you the latest you can always get the latest information by downloading ABC news is that from that App Store. For all of us ABC and street and Marshall we hope you have a good night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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