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Governorships


Broadcast Media in Love with Republican Governors in 2012

GOP governors land the Top 10 spots for the most broadcast reports mentioning their names since January, led by Rick Perry, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, and Rick Scott.

Can Rob McKenna End the Nation's Longest GOP Gubernatorial Election Drought?

It has been 32 years since voters in Washington State elected a Republican governor - the longest GOP dry spell in any state.

Barrett Support Rises in 19 Counties, Falls in 53 Others

An increase in support in Dane and Milwaukee Counties is not enough for Mayor Barrett to stave off Governor Walker's surge in central and northern Wisconsin.

Scott Walker's Victory by the Numbers

Gubernatorial candidates seeking a rematch have now lost 5 of 7 contests in Wisconsin history.

How Big will Barrett Score in Dane and Milwaukee Counties?

Holding 2010 totals constant for the state's other 70 counties, Barrett would need to carry 75.1 percent of the vote in Wisconsin's two most populated counties to beat Walker on Tuesday (up from 64.1 percent in 2010).

Wisconsin Poised to Extend Competitive Gubernatorial Election Streak

Wisconsin is expected to join Rhode Island, Iowa, and Minnesota on Tuesday for the only states currently with four or more consecutive elections decided by single digits.

Could An Independent Swing Wisconsin's Gubernatorial Recall Election?

Only two independent candidates have ever won more than 1 percent of the vote across 73 Wisconsin gubernatorial elections since 1848; both of these candidates were former Republican officeholders.

Walker's Odds: How Often Do Wisconsin Gubernatorial Incumbents Win Reelection?

Governors in the Badger State have kept their job in 34 of 46 contests since statehood, or 74 percent of the time.

Governor vs. Governor vs. Governor

The last election cycle saw five ex-governors attempt to win back their old jobs, with success stories in California (Jerry Brown), Iowa (Terry Branstad), and Oregon (John Kitzhaber). But in 1904, the State of Wisconsin saw three governors on the general election ballot: two-term Republican incumbent Robert La Follette, former...

Barrett vs. Walker II: A History of Wisconsin Gubernatorial Rematch Elections

Losing gubernatorial candidates have come back for rematches against victorious Republicans and beat them two times out of the six rematches in Wisconsin history.

Angus King Embarks On Well-Trodden Pathway to Maine US Senate Seat

Nine sitting or former governors have been elected U.S. Senator in the Pine Tree State including four during the popular vote era.

Could Heath Shuler or Brad Miller Buck History in North Carolina's Gubernatorial Race?

Only four sitting North Carolina U.S. Representatives or U.S. Senators have won a gubernatorial election in state history, and only one in the last 100 years.

Scott Walker Faces 3rd Shortest Wisconsin Gubernatorial Tenure if Recalled

Only an acting governor and a governor who died on a Civil War relief expedition will have served fewer days in office than Walker.

The Top Five Smart Politics Reports of 2011

A look back at some of the most illuminating and controversial of the 200+ Smart Politics reports published this year.

Democrats Tally Worst Showing in Mississippi Gubernatorial Race Since Reconstruction

For the second consecutive election cycle, the Democratic vote in Mississippi's gubernatorial race declines to a new post-Reconstruction low.

Williams Records 4th Worst GOP Gubernatorial Tally in Kentucky in 140 Years

David Williams now holds two of the 10 worst showings by a Republican gubernatorial, U.S. Senate, or presidential nominee in Kentucky since 1871.

Kentucky GOP Poised for 2nd Worst Gubernatorial Showing Since 1870

Only once in the last 140 years have Kentucky Republicans failed to win at least one-third of the gubernatorial vote.

Do Governors Make the "Most Successful Presidents?"

The top rated presidents in U.S. history are split 50/50 between those who had gubernatorial experience and those that did not.

Could Tommy Thompson Win Wisconsin's U.S. Senate Seat?

No ex- (non-sitting) Wisconsin governor has ever been elected to a 1st term in the U.S. Senate

Pence Seeks First Governorship by Sitting Indiana Congressman Since 1888

A sitting U.S. Representative from Indiana has not won a gubernatorial election in 123 years

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Political Crumbs

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).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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