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Smart Politics Projections: Gubernatorial Races

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Republicans eye 90 year-old mark of 25+ victories

Current partisan split
Democrats: 26
Republicans: 24

On the ballot
Total Democratic seats: 20
Total Republican seats: 17

Incumbents
Democratic incumbents: 7
Open Democratic seats: 13
Republican incumbents: 5
Open Republican seats: 12

Analysis
Nail-biters abound in several of the nation's 37 gubernatorial contests, with third-party watchers glued to the elections in Rhode Island and Colorado.

But 2010 is all about the GOP, with its gubernatorial candidates having a strong chance of winning 25 or 26 races - the most wins by the Party in 90 years since Republicans won 29 governorships in 1920.

When all is said and done, Republicans may have control of twice the number of governor's offices across the country as Democrats.

Projections
Alabama. Robert Bentley (GOP hold)
Alaska. Sean Parnell (GOP hold)
Arizona. Jan Brewer (GOP hold)
Arkansas. Mike Beebe (Democratic hold)
California. Jerry Brown (Democratic pick-up)
Colorado. John Hickenlooper (Democratic hold)
Connecticut. Tom Foley (GOP hold)
Florida. Rick Scott (GOP hold)
Georgia. Nathan Deal (GOP hold)
Hawaii. Neil Abercrombie (Democratic pick-up)
Idaho. Butch Otter (GOP hold)
Illinois. Bill Brady (GOP pick-up)
Iowa. Terry Branstad (GOP pick-up)
Kansas. Sam Brownback (GOP pick-up)
Maine. Paul LePage (GOP pick-up)
Maryland. Martin O'Malley (Democratic hold)
Massachusetts. Deval Patrick (Democratic hold)
Michigan. Rick Snyder (GOP pick-up)
Minnesota. Tom Emmer (GOP hold)
Nebraska. Dave Heineman (GOP hold)
Nevada. Brian Sandoval (GOP hold)
New Hampshire. John Lynch (Democratic hold)
New Mexico. Susana Martinez (GOP pick-up)
New York. Andrew Cuomo (Democratic hold)
Ohio. John Kasich (GOP pick-up)
Oklahoma. Mary Fallin (GOP pick-up)
Oregon. John Kitzhaber (Democratic hold)
Pennsylvania. Tom Corbett (GOP pick-up)
Rhode Island. Lincoln Chafee (Independent pick-up)
South Carolina. Nikki Haley (GOP hold)
South Dakota. Dennis Daugaard (GOP hold)
Tennessee. Bill Haslam (GOP pick-up)
Texas. Rick Perry (GOP hold)
Utah. Gary Herbert (GOP hold)
Vermont. Peter Shumlin (Democratic pick-up)
Wisconsin. Scott Walker (GOP pick-up)
Wyoming. Matt Mead (GOP pick-up)

Wins: GOP = 26, Democrats = 10, Independents = 1
Pick-ups: GOP +12, Democrats +3, Independents +1

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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