November 4, 2014
Track the 2014 Races
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2014 Georgia Governor Race
Monday, August 18, 2014
|This article was published on Monday, August 11 on PJMedia.com. It has been edited for currency
A lot of focus this election season is trained on the battle for Capitol Hill. And rightly so, with the majority in the Senate up for grabs and Democrats hoping to avoid another harmful midterm election in the House. But there are also a host of gubernatorial battles being waged this year. In fact, the midterm elections every four years mark a bonanza of statehouse contests. Thirty-six of the nation's fifty states will be choosing their chief executive this November.
In 2010, the last midterm election, thirty-seven gubernatorial elections produced a staggering 17 partisan takeovers - 11 by Republicans, 5 by Democrats, and Independent Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. Add to that count several states in which sitting governors were term-limited, decided against running for reelection or lost their primary, and you have a remarkable statistic. Twenty-six states - over half the states in the country - welcomed a new governor in 2011.
So do we have the same kind of shakeup in store in 2014? Probably not, but that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of interesting and competitive races to enjoy this year.
Here's a look at a baker's dozen of states which have at least a decent chance of electing a governor from a different party on Election Day. I've ranked them and categorized them according to their level of vulnerability.
Easy Pickup (1 Republican)
Lean Toward Takeover (2 Democrats)
- 1. Pennsylvania - Republican Tom Corbett is struggling mightily under approval ratings that make President Obama's numbers look enviable. Former Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf is the prohibitive favorite to earn the takeover.
True Toss-up (3 Republicans, 2 Democrats)
- 2. Arkansas - If Democrat Governor Mike Beebe were free to run for a third term, this race would not be on this list. As it turns out, however, he is term-limited, and the door is open for a Republican to win the statehouse this year in this ever-reddening state. Asa Hutchinson, former congressman, is the GOP nominee. All three polls taken recently give him leads ranging from 3 to 6 points over Democrat Mike Ross, another former congressman.
- 3. Hawaii - Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie had a treacherous re-election path ahead of him. First, he had to contend with a strong primary challenge from state Senator David Ige. Then, had he survived, he would have faced a daunting three-way race with Mufi Hannemann, former Democratic Mayor of Honolulu, siphoning off votes as an independent. But he didn't survive that primary challenge, and now it is Ige who will have a hard time holding this seat for Democrats. That's because the Republican nominee, former Lt. Governor Duke Aiona, is ahead in the polls. Despite Hawaii's very deep blue hue, Aiona appears well-positioned to earn the governorship.
Lean Toward Hold (4 Republicans, 1 Democrat)
- 4. Illinois - Polls give Republican Bruce Rauner the lead here, but Governor Quinn has a history of finding a way to come out on top. And deep blue Illinois is not the best place for a Republican, even in gubernatorial races. Though Rauner currently leads in the polls, I'm not confident in his chances. One reason: Polls put Republican Bill Brady almost five points ahead of Quinn in 2010. Quinn won by 0.5%.
- 5. Maine - Republican Paul LePage, like Neil Abercrombie, faces a three-way race in his reelection bid this year. But that's not unusual in a state that has given at least 20% of the gubernatorial vote to an independent in all but one election since 1994. Democratic Congressman Michael Michaud is LePage's biggest threat, however.
- 6. Florida - This race is probably the most visible, anticipated and important statehouse election on this year's slate. Former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, who ran for the Senate as an independent after losing the 2010 GOP Senate primary to Marco Rubio, later switched to the Democratic Party. He is now challenging Republican Rick Scott for a ticket back to the Governor's Mansion. In a major battleground state, this race is truly a toss-up.
- 7. Connecticut - Democrat Dan Malloy won the statehouse here in 2010 by less than one point over Republican Tom Foley. One word tells why this race is on this list in 2014 - rematch. Connecticut is a blue state to be sure, but Foley's likely nomination gives Democrats a headache in the Nutmeg State. The latest polls put Foley in the lead, further illustrating Malloy's difficult road ahead. This one will be close again.
- 8. Michigan - In 2010, Republican Rick Snyder capitalized on term-limited Governor Jennifer Granholm's poor approval ratings to score an open seat gubernatorial takeover. Four years later, Snyder must contend with sub-par approval himself as he faces a strong challenge from former Congressman Mark Schauer.
- 9. Wisconsin - Scott Walker famously survived a recall election in 2012 by a slightly larger margin than he first gubernatorial win in 2010. In 2014, the Republican faces another challenge in this Democratic-leaning battleground state. Educator Mary Burke is the likely Democratic nominee. Polls show Walker and Burke locked in a very close battle. Two surveys were released in July. One gave Walker a one-point lead. The other had Burke up by the same margin.
- 10. Kansas - Even though it is a deep red state, Kansas has a propensity for Democratic governors. Half of the chief executives elected here since 1966 have been Democrats. So, it's not terribly surprising to see this race on the competitive list. What is surprising is that Sam Brownback, who has won two senate races and the 2010 gubernatorial race by an average margin of 36 points, is the vulnerable incumbent.
- 11. Georgia - Republican Governor Nathan Deal hopes Georgia's conservative tilt will overcome the name recognition of his Democratic opponent Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. Deal must also overcome the pall of scandal which clouds further his reelection prospects. For now, he maintains the upper hand, but this race might become a full-fledged toss-up before too long.
- 12. Colorado - Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper enjoyed comfortable leads against a crowded Republican field throughout the primary season. Recently, however, now that Colorado Republicans have settled on former Congressman Bob Beauprez, he has fallen back into a very close battle.
- 13. New Mexico - Republican Susana Martinez made history four years ago becoming the first female Hispanic governor in U.S. history. This year, she's facing a tough reelection battle against New Mexico Attorney General Gary King. Though she still enjoys a "Likely R" label from Charlie Cook, a recent Rasmussen poll shows her exactly tied with King, 43-43.
As things currently stand, Election Projection is projecting Republicans to pick up Arkansas, Hawaii and Illinois and Democrats to gain Florida, Maine and Pennsylvania. That works out to a net change of zero. However, with so many very close gubernatorial contests out there, I'm sure the map will be in constant flux between now and Election Day.
posted by Scott Elliott at 7:37pm 08/18/14 :: link
Friday, July 18, 2014
Republican Nathan Deal, incumbent governor of Georgia, is facing an ethics investigation at a most inopportune time. There is
never a good time to be the subject of an investigation, but during a re-election campaign is just about the worst. Deal's bid for
another term should not be difficult. However, investigations usually complicate things, and a recent poll on the race bears
Landmark Communications released a poll that indicates Deal is struggling, and the beneficiary is Democratic nominee Jason
Carter. The poll gives former President Jimmy Carter's grandson an 8-point lead - just enough to offset last month's
InsiderAdvantage survey and give him a fractional lead in the
Georgia governor election
the Peach State to blue on the latest governors map.
In other news relating to the
2014 governor elections
, two races
are closer than expected if today's polling report
Republican Governor Mary Fallin is only 5 points ahead of Democrat Joe Dorman in the
Oklahoma governor election
the likely Democratic nominee for
Martha Coakley, is but 3 points clear of her likely Republican opponent, Charlie Baker. Though both races are in states whose
ideology is decidedly partisan, they also have a history of voting for minority party chief executives.
Carter's advance leaves the projected governor tally at 29 Republicans
. That's identical to the current partisan makeup of the nation's statehouses.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:01pm 07/18/14 :: link
Monday, February 17, 2014
When Sonny Perdue was elected Governor of Georgia in 2002, he became the first Republican to assume the office since
Reconstruction. After winning again in 2006, Perdue was unable to seek a third term in 2010 because of Georgia's two-term limit
on governors. He left behind a crowded, competitive primary field vying to replace him.
Secretary of State Karen Handel took the plurality of the primary vote, coming in with just over 34%. Her share outpaced
runner-up Nathan Deal, at the time a GOP Congressman from Georgia's ninth district, by 11%. Due to Georgia's primary runoff
electoral system, Handel and Deal advanced to a head-to-head partisan showdown. In the time between the primary and the
runoff, Deal was able to close the gap with Handel and ended up prevailing by less than one half of one percent to take the GOP
In the general election of 2010, Deal faced Democrat Roy Barnes, a popular former Governor himself. Like Deal, Barnes
had launched his gubernatorial run, in 1998, after earning a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. Georgia's transition from
blue to red was unmistakable on Election Day that year as Deal marched to an impressive 10-point win over a formidable opponent.
That deep red hue of the Peach State should serve Deal well in the 2014 Georgia Governor race as he seeks re-election.
He does face some primary opposition but should have little trouble retaining the GOP nod. On the other side of the aisle,
a man with a familiar last name could end up being his general election challenger. That man is Georgia State Senator Jason
Yes, he is related to Jimmy Carter. Jason is the former President's grandson. Unfortunately for him, the political
landscape of Georgia has changed radically in the 40+ years since his grandfather took residence in the Governor's Mansion after his
victorious 1970 gubernatorial campaign. He'll have plenty of name recognition from the outset of this race, assuming he wins
the Democratic nomination (he's the only declared Democrat at this writing), but it won't be enough to seriously threaten Deal in what promises to be a rather easy run to a second
Preliminary projection: Solid GOP Hold
You can track this race throughout the 2014 election season here at Election Projection by visiting the
Georgia Governor Election
page for polls, projections and updates. Also, check out the
2014 Governor Elections page for a
summary of all gubernatorial races on tap in 2014 complete with EP's colorful red and blue Governor map.
posted by Scott Elliott at 8:18pm 02/17/14 :: link