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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

Is There a Presidential Drag On Gubernatorial Elections?

Only five of the 20 presidents to serve since 1900 have seen their party win a majority of gubernatorial elections during their administrations, and only one since JFK.

Political Crumbs

Strike Three for Miller-Meeks

Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.


Larry Pressler Wins the Silver

Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.


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