Tags: Gubernatorial races | governor | midterm elections | shakeup

Gubernatorial Shakeups Loom Amid Elections

By    |   Monday, 20 October 2014 09:33 AM

The Nov. 4 elections may not only shake up the Senate, but appear to be putting at least 11 incumbent governors' seats into question, with challengers from both sides posing tough campaigns that could result in several states changing party leadership.

In 1984, six sitting governors lost in one election, reports The Washington Post, and 30 years later, there may be even more moving out of their governor's mansions after the midterm election votes are all counted.

Georgia, Massachusetts, Alaska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Colorado, Illinois, Connecticut, Kansas, Florida, Maine, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania all could see their governor's offices switch parties after Nov. 4, the Post reports.

Just one incumbent, Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, is losing by large numbers in the polls and appears to be definitely headed for defeat unless he can find a last-minute way to pull out a win against Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, who leads by 11 percentage points, according to to RealClearPolitics.

Governors in other states, however, appear to be narrowing their polling margins with 15 days left before the election, the Post reports. Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Illinois Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, both of whom were written off earlier in the race, now could instead win re-election.

In Georgia's race, incumbent Republican Nathan Deal and state Sen. Jason Carter are virtually tied in the polls, with RealClearPolitics giving Deal just a 2.2-point nod.

However, Dr. Andrew Hunt, the state's Libertarian candidate, is polling up to 6 percent, so Deal and Carter may be heading to a runoff election on Dec. 2.

In Massachusetts, Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican challenger Charlie Baker are tied at 41 percent, according to a recent Boston Globe poll. However, Baker has been outraising Coakley and may pull ahead to take the election, the Post reports. The two are trying to replace Democrat Deval Patrick.

In Alaska's race, independent Bill Walker, running with former Democratic nominee Byron Mallott as lieutenant governor, is ahead of Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, by 3.8 points.  However, the Post reports that Walker may have trouble pulling off a win in the conservative northern state.

In Wisconsin, the race between incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke is in a dead heat, with Walker having a very slim advantage of less than half a percentage point in overall polling.

The race between Michigan Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Democrat Mark Schauer is being considered a toss-up,  with Snyder holding a 3.5 point lead at this time against Schauer.

The race between Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican Bob Beauprez is also in a dead heat, with Hickenlooper holding the polls with less than half a percentage point.  However, Hickenlooper has been drastically outspending Beauprez, the Post reports, and could still hold his seat by a slim margin.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, may pull out a win in the blue state. However, at this point, polling shows him running about evenly with Republican Tom Foley.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, had been losing to Democrat Paul Davis in the polls, but recent surveys from Public Policy Polling, Fox News and SurveyUSA all show Brownback gaining, and he's now holding a slight lead in the toss-up race.

The independent candidate in Maine's race, Eliot Cutler, could give Republican LePage an advantage in his race against Democratic Rep. Mike Michaud, the Post reports. Michaud is holding a very slight lead in the polls, but Cutler's numbers are also high.

The Arkansas race is for an open seat, with incumbent Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe not running for re-election. Polls have put former Republican congressman Asa Hutchinson at 6 points over former Democratic congressman Mike Ross.

And with the races being so competitive, millions of dollars are being spent to sway public opinion. The Center for Public Integrity reports that some $379 million has been spent on commercials for the governors' races, outpacing the Senate race spending by some $58 million.

The most money, $62 million, has gone toward the contentious race in Florida between incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, who had been a Republican when he was in office but who eventually went independent before running as a Democrat in the current race.

Quinn and his Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner, have spent nearly $53 million on television ads, the Center reports, with Rauner outspending Quinn by some $9 million. In fact, eight out of 10 candidates who have spent the most money this election cycle on commercials are in governor's races.

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The Nov. 4 elections may not only shake up the Senate, but appear to be putting at least 11 incumbent governors' seats into question, with challengers from both sides posing tough campaigns that could result in several states changing party leadership.
Gubernatorial races, governor, midterm elections, shakeup
Monday, 20 October 2014 09:33 AM
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