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Republicans Look Poised to Maintain Edge in Governors’ Mansions

Republicans Look Poised to Maintain Edge in Governors’ Mansions

The 11 gubernatorial races this year continue to be shaped by the coronavirus pandemic, with governors becoming unusually influential and high-profile policy figures.

In nine of this year’s 11 races, an incumbent governor is seeking another term: Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. The other two – Montana and Utah – have open seats.

In general, the party that currently controls the governorship has an edge at the moment, except in Montana, a red state that currently has a Democratic governor and that we are rating as a pure toss-up. In several of this year’s races, an incumbent’s aggressive efforts to rein in the coronavirus have boosted their electoral prospects, including Republicans Phil Scott in Vermont and Chris Sununu in New Hampshire and Democrat Roy Cooper in North Carolina.

With this update to our gubernatorial ratings – our first since early July – we’ve moved Scott from Likely Republican to Safe Republican, and we’ve moved Sununu from Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic. In Indiana, we’re moving Gov. Eric Holcomb from Safe Republican to Likely Republican, while in Washington state, we’ve shifted Gov. Jay Inslee from Likely Democratic to Safe Democratic.

Beyond Montana, we see only two other seats as fully competitive between the parties: the Democratic-held seat in North Carolina, which we rate Lean Democratic, and the Republican-held seat in Missouri, which we rate Lean Republican.

Because the GOP currently controls 26 seats nationally and the Democrats control 24, the Democrats would need to hold on to their seats in Montana and North Carolina and flip Missouri to pull even with the Republicans at 25 seats. That’s possible, but it’s equally possible that the GOP could expand their lead slightly.

Our ratings are based on reporting with political observers in the

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China Box Office Poised to Surpass U.S. as World’s Largest Moviegoing Market Amid Pandemic

China Box Office Poised to Surpass U.S. as World’s Largest Moviegoing Market Amid Pandemic

China’s patriotic “My People, My Homeland” has grossed $325 million as of Monday evening local time, earning more money in less than two weeks than the $323 million that Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” has grossed globally in over a month, according to data from Maoyan and Box Office Mojo.

This weekend, the total China box office hit $68 million, once again far surpassing sales in North America, where cinemas earned less than $9.5 million. To date, the Chinese box office has grossed $1.9 billion so far in 2020. The tally puts China now neck-and-neck with the North American market’s year-to-date earnings of $2.08 billion, according to Comscore. (Both markets are down 76% year-on-year.)

Cinema-going is on the rise in China as the pandemic remains under control, with strong local films set to release in the remainder of the year. Meanwhile, U.S. theaters are heading for trouble as Hollywood studio tentpoles drop off the calendar and the coronavirus continues to rage across the states. Given these factors, it now seems inevitable that the Middle Kingdom will soon surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest film market in 2020.

The performance of “My People, My Homeland” demonstrates the extent to which China’s market has recovered in the wake of COVID-19 and remains robust enough to send local tentpoles too jingoistic to entice audiences abroad nonetheless soaring to great heights.

Produced by “Wolf Warrior 2” and “The Wandering Earth” studio Beijing Culture, the film once again led the box office this weekend with sizable sales of $38.2 million, according to figures from consultancy Artisan Gateway. The omnibus title features five shorts from a who’s who of China’s most bankable directors: Ning Hao (“Crazy Alien”), Xu Zheng (“Lost in Russia”), Chen Sicheng (“Detective Chinatown 3”), Yan Fei and Peng Damo (“Hello Mr. Billionaire”), Deng Chao

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Mexico is poised to become the biggest legal marijuana market in the world. Who will most benefit?

Mexico is poised to become the biggest legal marijuana market in the world. Who will most benefit?

Mexico’s marijuana revolution is on display steps from the nation’s Senate, where for the last nine months activists have maintained a fragrant cannabis garden.



a close up of a person holding an object in his hand: An activist smokes marijuana at a protest encampment outside Mexico's Senate building. (Ricardo Castelan Cruz / Eyepix Group / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)


© (Ricardo Castelan Cruz / Eyepix Group / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
An activist smokes marijuana at a protest encampment outside Mexico’s Senate building. (Ricardo Castelan Cruz / Eyepix Group / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Each day, hundreds of people stroll amid a labyrinth of towering green plants, freely lighting joints and getting high.

Their wafting smoke is meant to serve as a reminder to senators, who have to walk through the plumes to get to work. Lawmakers have until Dec. 15 to pass pot legislation under orders from the Supreme Court, which two years ago struck down a marijuana ban as unconstitutional.

After decades of restrictive drug policies that fueled deadly cartel wars, Mexico is poised to become the biggest legal cannabis market in the world.



a group of people in a garden: Mexico's marijuana revolution is on display steps from the nation's Senate, where for the last nine months activists have maintained a fragrant cannabis garden. (Kate Linthicum / Los Angeles Times)


© (Kate Linthicum / Los Angeles Times)
Mexico’s marijuana revolution is on display steps from the nation’s Senate, where for the last nine months activists have maintained a fragrant cannabis garden. (Kate Linthicum / Los Angeles Times)

The looming deadline has intensified debate over exactly what legalization should look like and whom it should benefit. Among the questions dogging lawmakers: How easy or difficult should it be for users to buy and consume pot? And should the estimated 200,000 families growing it now be protected from competition with the large, foreign marijuana firms that have been jockeying for influence?

“You have a broad spectrum of people who want to be involved,” said Avis Bulbulyan, a Glendale-based consultant who has advised several U.S. weed companies looking to expand to Mexico. “The question becomes: ‘Who gets to profit off this?'”

A bill that would allow private companies to sell

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