Republican Governors Getting Reelected in Blue States

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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.

State PVI Incumbent Job Approval
Vermont D+16 Peter Shumlin 65%
New Hampshire D+1 Maggie Hassan 58%
New York D+11 Andrew Cuomo 57%
Minnesota D+2 Mark Dayton 53%
California D+9 Jerry Brown 50%
Oregon D+5 John Kitzhaber 48%
Colorado D+1 John Hickenlooper 47%
Connecticut D+7 Dan Malloy 33%
Illinois D+8 Pat Quinn 33%
Rhode Island D+11 Lincoln Chafee 26%
Hawaii D+20 Neil Abercrombie
Maryland D+10
Massachusetts D+10
Arkansas R+14
Virginia EVEN
Pennsylvania D+1 Tom Corbett 37%
Maine D+6 Paul LePage 42%
Michigan D+4 Rick Snyder 42%
Wisconsin D+2 Scott Walker 50%
Iowa D+1 Terry Branstad 53%
Nevada D+2 Brian Sandoval 57%
New Mexico D+4 Susana Martinez 61%
New Jersey D+6 Chris Christie 67%
Arizona R+7
Texas R+10
Nebraska R+12
South Dakota R+10 Dennis Daugaard
Kansas R+12 Sam Brownback 36%
Florida R+2 Rick Scott 43%
South Carolina R+8 Nikki Haley 45%
Alaska R+12 Sean Parnell 46%
Idaho R+18 Butch Otter 48%
Ohio R+1 John Kasich 54%
Tennessee R+12 Bill Haslam 63%
Alabama R+14 Robert Bentley 71%
Oklahoma R+19 Mary Fallin 71%
Georgia R+6 Nathan Deal 72%
Wyoming R+22 Matt Mead 77%

Cross-posted at Unified Patriots

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