Before the midterms, the polls indicated that many incumbents of both parties were in danger of losing. The races of Democrats Dan Malloy (CT) and John Hickenlooper (CO) looked quite tight, as did those of Republicans Rick Scott (FL), Sam Brownback (KS), Scott Walker (WI), and others.
But all of them ended up winning — as did most other incumbent governors on the ballot (most of whom were Republicans). So far, just one incumbent of each party has lost — Pat Quinn (D-IL) and Tom Corbett (R-PA). The race of Governor Sean Parnell (R-AK) remains uncalled, though he currently trails. That means 25 out of 28 incumbents were reelected:
An analysis by Louis Jacobson of Governing found an 82 percent win rate for US governors who sought a second term between 1998 and 2010, so this success isn't anything unusual.
But since the crop of incumbents up this year was overwhelmingly Republican, this is great news for the GOP. It indicates nearly every winner brought to power during the Tea Party wave of 2010 managed to govern his or her state effectively enough to win another term. And it ensures that the party will have a deep bench of two-term governors who could be future presidential and vice presidential prospects.
Democrats had more painful losses in open seat governor's races — their candidates couldn't hold on to governorships in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Arkansas. Another Democratic incumbent, Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, lost his primary, but the party held on to the seat.