In recent years, Republicans won a majority of governor elections, growing to 31 states. Even blue states like Massachusetts which don’t often vote Republican for president, will sometimes hand the role of governor to the GOP.
As far as 2016 goes, Republicans don’t have much to worry about.
The Washington Post reports:
Republicans still have a shot at a record number of governors’ mansions, but Democrats aren’t going without a fight
Republicans have a chance to build on their majorities and win a record number of governors’ seats in 2016. Democrats are doing everything they can to stop them.
Of the six changes to our rankings, four of them favor Democrats, including in two states Donald Trump is expected to win, Indiana and West Virginia. (The presidential race doesn’t factor as heavily into governors’ races as it does for Congress, but it will still factor in some.)
Oh, and we’re adding a sixth race to our rankings of the top governors’ races of 2016 because 1. I can do that, and 2. these six races are really the only competitive governors’ races in 2016 right now. (Montana Gov. Steve Bullock’s (D) reelection against tech entrepreneur Greg Gianforte is the only other possibility, but so far it’s going in Democrats’ favor.)
How good are things looking for Republican governors?
This story from Politico should put things in perspective:
Why a Republican Might Win Bernie’s Home State
In mid-July, after Bernie Sanders endorsed his former rival, Hillary Clinton, for president, he and his wife, Jane, returned home to Vermont amid talk that he had ignited a political revolution and altered the course of the Democratic Party.
On the street where Sanders lives, dozens of signs lined the lawns of his neighbors: “Thank you Bernie and Jane,” they read. In some yards, these warm wishes were accompanied by another sign, this one with a black-and-white checkered flag hovering behind the name “Phil Scott.”
Scott is the Republican candidate for governor…
For all the talk of Sanders’ revolution rattling the establishment and moving the country to the left, reality looks quite different in the state that birthed Sanders’ would-be uprising. Bernie is still beloved here, where 86 percent of voters in the Democratic primary supported him—his strongest showing in the country. But some political experts suggest the cost of Sanders-style progressive policies—including, most notably, the state’s failed single-payer health care system—is driving many voters away from the Democrats, substantially boosting the odds that Republicans could retake the governorship this November.
According to the Republican Governors Association website, this is the current map representing states with Republican governors. (Images are screen caps.)
This is what 2016 looks like:
In 2016, there are 12 gubernatorial elections, including the special election in Oregon. The RGA is tasked with defending four seats in Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota and Utah. 2016 presents numerous opportunities for GOP pick-ups with Democrats facing five open seat contests in Delaware, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia. Democrat incumbents are also ripe for defeat in Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Now we need to work on the electoral college map.
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