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Governorships


A Year in Smart Politics

A look back at which political institutions were covered the most at Smart Politics in 2013.

Kitzhaber Launches Bid to Become 2nd Longest-Serving Governor in History

If Oregon's Democratic governor is reelected in 2014 and serves out the entirety of his fourth term, he will trail only Iowa's Terry Branstad in all-time gubernatorial service since 1789.

Can Dayton Catch Lightning in a Bottle Twice?

Minnesotans have elected a Democratic governor with a Democrat in the White House in just four of 28 cycles since statehood - with none in their second term.

Return of the King: Charlie Crist and Ex-Governor Comebacks

More than half of ex-governors have been victorious in general election bids to return to their old seats since 1945.

Marty Seifert's Political Hiatus: Not a Problem

A new study suggests Seifert's three years out of government should not decrease his chances of winning the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Plurality Blues: Governors on the Hot Seat

Since 1900, less than half of plurality-winning governors who were eligible for another term were reelected to their seat in the next cycle.

Tim Pawlenty: The Forgotten Man?

During Jeopardy's Teacher's Tournament, three educators could not name the capital city from where Tim Pawlenty governed for eight years.

Virginia's 'National Naysayer' Streak Ends While New Jersey's Continues

For the first time in 40 years, Virginians elected a governor from the party of the sitting president; New Jersey extends its streak to seven cycles - second longest in the country.

Sarvis Notches 3rd Best Libertarian Gubernatorial Mark in US History

The Virginian has the best showing in a gubernatorial race for a Libertarian in 11 years and easily records the third best showing in party history.

Sarvis Eyes Record Book in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

The third option in Virginia's top of the ballot race next week will likely rank among the Top 3 performances by a Libertarian gubernatorial nominee in party history.

Which States Have the Highest Rates of Female Gubernatorial Nominees?

Western states dominate the top of the list, with Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming all in the Top 10.

Tom Foley and GOP Eye Rare Split-Ticket Upset in Connecticut

For the first time in the Democratic vs Republican era, one party could sweep Connecticut's congressional seats while the other wins the governorship.

Can Alex Sink Pull a Jeb Bush?

Only one losing Florida gubernatorial candidate has come back to win the governorship in a subsequent campaign over the last 145+ years.

Will Oregon's 2014 Gubernatorial Race Be a Snoozer?

On the heels of the state's most competitive race for governor in more than a half-century, there is little buzz so far about Oregon's 2014 contest.

Chafee Just 4th Rhode Island Governor Since 1790 to Pass On 2nd Term

Facing a tough reelection bid in 2014, Lincoln Chafee throws up the white flag - a historical rarity among 1st term Rhode Island governors.

7 Gubernatorial Election Double-Takes

The Idaho GOP didn't give us Labrador vs. Otter in 2014, so Smart Politics takes a look back at some eyebrow raising surname matchups in gubernatorial electoral history.

Iowans Look to Split Vote Again in High Profile 2014 Contests

Hawkeye State voters have split their vote in gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races more than half the time since 1938.

Pennsylvania Democrats Hope to Reverse History in 2014 Gubernatorial Race

Pennsylvanians have elected a governor of the party of the sitting president in only 1 of the last 19 contests dating back to 1938; Democrats are 1-16 since 1860 with a Democrat in the White House.

Scott Walker's Ticket to Ride: Obama in the White House?

Wisconsin voters have elected a governor from a different political party than the sitting president in 26 of the last 31 elections dating back to 1932; the GOP is 15-4 with a Democrat in the White House while Democrats are 1-18.

Labrador Shies Away from Otter Gubernatorial Primary Challenge

Only four of 30 incumbent governors from the Gem State have lost their nomination bids in state history, with just two in the last 100+ years.

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Political Crumbs

Haugh to Reach New Heights

The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


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