We stay so focused on federal elections, it’s easy to overlook the importance of state elections. Between now and Tuesday, November 4, 2014 there are 24 Republican and 14 Democrat Governorships up for grabs. The Partisan Voter Index (PVI) favors the Democrats in 9 of the 24 seats currently held by Republicans. It’s still not likely that coming out of the 2014 election that there will be 18 Republican Governors and 20 Democrat Governors to give Democrats a majority of 26 Democrat seats to 24 Republican seats. The reason for this is not based on PVI ideology. It is based on the power of a popular incumbent with positive job approval ratings. Voters in statewide elections are not as influenced by the national media, academia, Hollywood, and Obama. Who they send to the state capital can definitely be at odds with who they send to Washington D. C. Only 1 of these 9 seats is not an incumbent running for reelection, that governorship is in Virginia. Of the other 8 seats, 5 have favorable job approval ratings.
The Democrats have one seat in a state, Arkansas, that favors Republicans and the incumbent can’t run due to term limits. In the other 13 seats held by Democrats there are two incumbents that can’t run due to term limits, Massachusetts and Maryland. Three Democrat Governors, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, and Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy have poor job approval ratings.
The optimistic prediction for this election cycle is that the Republicans will remain at 30 coming out of the cycle. A pessimistic and maybe more realistic prediction is that the Republicans have a net loss of 3 coming out of the cycle. The range is between 30-27 Republican Governors to 20 – 23 Democrat Governors. Below is a table that lists the 38 Governor contests. This is almost a mirror image opposite of the US Senate contests. Try to count to 20 the Governor seats the Democrats will win. It’s possible, but it will not be easy to beat incumbent Republican Governors running for reelection.
|New Hampshire||D+1||Maggie Hassan||58%|
|New York||D+11||Andrew Cuomo||57%|
|Rhode Island||D+11||Lincoln Chafee||26%|
|New Mexico||D+4||Susana Martinez||61%|
|New Jersey||D+6||Chris Christie||67%|
|South Dakota||R+10||Dennis Daugaard||—|
|South Carolina||R+8||Nikki Haley||45%|
Cross-posted at Unified Patriots
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