Republicans are heavily favored to win gubernatorial races in Oklahoma, Alabama, and Tennessee this cycle and, should incumbents Mary Fallin, Robert Bentley, and Bill Haslam cruise to victory, they will tie or extend GOP records for their respective states. Oklahoma Republicans are seeking to win gubernatorial elections in two straight cycles for the third time in history (1962 & 1966, 1994 & 1998). Tennessee Republicans are aiming to record two in a row for the fifth time ever (1865 & 1867, 1910 & 1912, 1978 & 1982, 1994 & 1998). Meanwhile, the Alabama GOP is currently in the midst of a record three consecutive wins (2002, 2006, 2010) and would extend that mark to four. Incumbents Nikki Haley in South Carolina and Nathan Deal in Georgia are expected to face more competitive races, but, if they prevail, they will extend their party's winning streaks to four cycles in each state. That would tie the all-time Republican mark in South Carolina (1868, 1870, 1872, 1874) and extend it in Georgia.
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).
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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