The top races for control of the governors’ mansions
Republicans currently hold an astonishing two-thirds of the governors’ mansions across the country, giving the GOP an overwhelming advantage in controlling state governments. This year, 26 of those seats are on the ballot.
Forecasts from leading election watchers show about 18 of the most competitive governor races in the 2018 midterm elections are currently Republican-held seats. Democrats finally have a lot of chances to regain some ground.
Beyond the usual issues, there’s one other big reason to pay attention to governors this year: Governors who are elected in 2018 will almost all still be in office in 2021, when the next round of congressional redistricting starts. In many states, governors will wield a veto pen over the new House and state legislative maps.
As in all elections this year, President Trump will loom large over the gubernatorial campaigns. In some major races, like Florida, his handpicked candidate is running against an upstart Democrat who is betting on a big blue wave. Democrats are polling strongly even in states like Ohio, which Trump won by 8 points.
A few seem sure to flip: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in Illinois, for example, is considered all but a goner; Democrat J.B. Pritzker has a 16-point lead in the polls, on average. In Michigan, Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer has established an impressive 9-point lead in the polling in the contest to replace the outgoing, unpopular GOP Gov. Rick Snyder.
But a dozen or more other races look like they could go either way.
Once a three-person race, it's now a two-candidate game
Democrats try to hold on amid a struggling economy
|OTH||Mark Greenstein (Constitution Party)||1,282||0%|
Racism and an FBI inquiry roil 2018's most important governor's race
|OTH||Darcy Richardson (Reform Party)||47,109||1%|
Stacey Abrams aims to make history in the Deep South
The anti-Trump backlash imperils a GOP incumbent in the Midwest
|OTH||Gary Siegwarth (Clear Water Party of Iowa Party)||7,471||1%|
A Trumpian immigration hawk vs. a centrist Democrat
The race to succeed the divisive outgoing Gov. Paul LePage
The Flint disaster looms over the campaign to replace Rick Snyder
|OTH||Todd Schleiger (US Taxpayers Party)||24,746||1%|
|OTH||Keith Butkovich (Natural Law Party)||10,272||0%|
Republican infighting hangs over the bid to follow popular Gov. Brian Sandoval
|OTH||Russell Best (Independent American Party)||9,861||1%|
New Mexico Governor
One of the best Democratic pickup opportunities in 2018
|DEM||Michelle Lujan Grisham||392,215||57%|
Two long-tenured public servants vie for outgoving Gov. John Kasich's seat
America's first openly LGBTQ governor fights for reelection
|OTH||Patrick Starnes (Independent Party of Oregon Party)||46,674||3%|
|OTH||Chris Henry (Progressive Party)||9,648||1%|
|OTH||Aaron Donald Auer (Constitution Party)||0||0%|
South Dakota Governor
South Dakota could elect its first woman governor
Democrats hope to finally topple Gov. Scott Walker
|LIB||Phillip Norman Anderson||20,030||1%|