Tags: 2018 Midterm Elections | gubernatorial | 2020 | republican | majority | gerrymandering

Ruddy: 6 Governor Races Will Decide 2020

florida gubernatorial candidates, republican Ron DeSantis and democrat Andrew Gillum, fist bump after a debate
Florida gubernatorial candidates, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, fist bump after a debate at Broward College in Davie, Florida. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

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Monday, 05 November 2018 08:23 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Everyone is talking about how critical it is for the Republicans to retain control of the House and Senate, but the real nightmare is happening right under our noses.

The Republicans are set to lose as many as six governorships Tuesday in states Donald Trump won, most by a narrow margin.

A total of 36 states have gubernatorial races Tuesday, but it is these six President Trump and the Republican party should be most worried about.

These governors will play a crucial role in the 2020 presidential election. They help develop party organization, create the fundraising networks, set voting rules, and even help with voter turnout.

Trump benefited that these swing states all had Republican governors.

Current polls suggests at least five of the six might "flip" into the Democratic column Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Republican party itself and the GOP Congressional caucus should also be anxious.

These six governors will have huge sway over Congressional redistricting, set to take place after the 2020 election.

Here is the political landscape as of this minute in the six states:

1. Florida

2016: Republican Gov. Rick Scott will be termed out of office this year, and is challenging the Senate seat held by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. Trump squeaked past Clinton 49-48 percent to take the Sunshine State's 29 electoral votes in 2016.

The race: Former Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., is challenging Tallahassee's Democratic Mayor Andrew Gillum for governor.

The polls: The RealClear Politics poll average has Gillum up by 2.7 percentage points. DeSantis has run a disorganized campaign, and it would take a political miracle for him to win.

2. Georgia

2016: Trump did slightly better in Georgia, winning the state's 16 electoral votes 51-46 points, and the GOP is doing better here also.

The race: Republican Brian Kemp, a former state senator and Georgia secretary of state, is crossing swords with Democrat Stacey Abrams, a former minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives.

The polls: The RealClear Politics average places Kemp 2.8 points ahead of Abrams, and Kemp has led in all but two of the major polls – he was down one point in one, and tied in the other. But, under Georgia rules, if the winner fails to get over 50 percent of the vote, a run-off between the two top vote-getters takes place.

3. Iowa

2016: Trump took Iowa by 51-48 percentage points in 2016 to snatch the Hawkeye State's six electoral votes from Hillary Clinton's grasp. Iowa had voted twice for Obama.

The race: Democratic businessman and philanthropist Fred Hubbell is challenging Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in Tuesday's gubernatorial race. Reynolds was formerly the state's lieutenant governor and was elevated to her current position when Trump appointed former Gov. Terry Branstad as U.S. Ambassador to China.

The polls: The GOP appears to be struggling in this race. Although Hubbell is leading Reynolds in the RealClear Politics average by a narrow 0.7 percent, a statistical tie, that only tells part of the story. Reynolds only won one of three polls taken of the race.

4. Michigan

2016: Trump's margin of victory over Clinton in Michigan was razor-thin: 47.5 points to 47.27, a 0.23 percent difference, giving Trump the Wolverine State's 16 electoral votes. Michigan's current Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will be term-limited this year.

The race: Republican Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, is butting heads with Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, a former state senate minority leader and Ingham County prosecutor. Schuette's campaign has been struggling from the start.

The polls: Whitmer has led every poll taken of the race, and the RealClear Politics average has her up by 9.2 points.

5. Ohio

2016: The president did better in the Buckeye State, picking up its 18 electoral votes 52-44 percent. His victory there is not reflected in the gubernatorial race, however.

The race: Democrat and former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray is vying for the governor's mansion against Republican Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. The position was opened up when current Republican Gov. John Kasich was prevented by law from seeking a third term.

The polls: The RealClear Politics average has the Democrat up by 4.7 points, and Cordray has taken every poll conducted of this race by at least three percentage points.

6. Wisconsin

2016: Like Michigan, Wisconsin was a surprise victory for Trump, but his margin of victory was a lot closer: 47.22-46.45, a 0.77 point difference, but enough to give him the Badger State's 10 electoral votes.

The race: Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who is seeking a third term, is being challenged by Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, along with four third-party candidates.

The polls: Out of 11 polls taken of the race, Walker is winning two and tied in two others. The latest, an Emerson College poll released Nov. 2, had Evers up by 5 points.

The loss of most or all of these states will be a significant blow to President Trump's re-election.

Perhaps the most serious loss will be Florida. Since the 2000 election, it has proven to be the virtual bellwether state for presidential elections.

President Trump won the state narrowly in '16 and it is clearly trending blue. The election of Andrew Gillum will add another obstacle to winning the state, and the presidency again.

Michael Dorstewitz contributed to this report.

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Ruddy
The real nightmare for Republicans on Tuesday is not just losing control of the House and the Senate, but also losing six key governorships, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy reports.
gubernatorial, 2020, republican, majority, gerrymandering
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2018-23-05
Monday, 05 November 2018 08:23 PM
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