GOP set to take record number of governorships?

posted at 2:20 pm on July 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

So far, the midterms look to be a good year for Republicans in Congressional elections, which have caught most of the media attention.  However, as Eric Ostermeier argues at Smart Politics, it looks as though the Republican Governors Association may have a banner year for new membership as well.  The University of Minnesota scholar believes that the GOP may win more elections on this level than any time in the past 90 years:

As Democrats brace for a Republican pullback in the 2010 election cycle, the question on the minds of officeholders, party leaders, and D.C prognosticators is not whether the GOP will gain seats in the midterm elections across state and federal legislative and executive offices, but how many.

While the Republican Revolution of 1994 is perhaps most remembered for the tremendous gains the GOP made to take back the U.S. House (+54 seats), Republicans also won 24 of 36 gubernatorial races that year.

But in light of the current political environment and the latest horserace polls, political reporters may need to come up with a new term in 2010 that is even more grandiose than ‘revolution’ to describe the Republican advantage this November.

A Smart Politics analysis of nearly 1,800 gubernatorial elections since the beginning of the 20th Century finds that Republicans are poised to win more gubernatorial seats in 2010 than they have in any election cycle over the past 90 years.

How many does Ostermeier believe the GOP can capture?  Thirty-seven states will elect new chief executives, and current polling shows Republicans leading in 28 of them.  Democrats only lead in seven.  Larry Sabato sees much the same, with 19 states in the leaning or safely Republican column, compared to only five in those positions for Democrats.  Ostermeier notes that Republicans lead the polling in nine of Sabato’s twelve tossups:

Of the 12 remaining ‘toss-up’ states, Republicans lead in the most recent horserace polls for nine of them: Illinois (+11, Rasmussen, June 7), Ohio (+7, Rasmussen, June 29), Maine (+7, Rasmussen, June 10), Vermont (+7, Rasmussen, June 17), Georgia (+4, Rasmussen, May 20), Colorado (+4, SurveyUSA, June 15-17), Connecticut (+2, Rasmussen, June 1), New Mexico (+2, Rasmussen, June 3), and Oregon (+2, Rasmussen, June 17).

Republicans would only have to win half of these 12 toss-up states, coupled with the 19 states in which they are favored, for their best showing since 1920.

The GOP had its best statistical decade in gubernatorial elections a century ago, when they won 60% of those contests.  Last decade, they lost more than they won, with a success rate of 47.9%, following a decade with a 54% success rate.

Why is this important on a national scale?  Next year, state legislatures will begin drafting redistricting plans in accordance with new Census data from this year.  Republican governors can ensure that Democratic legislatures don’t gerrymander the GOP out of competitiveness in key states.  Winning the midterms in Congress is critical to stopping the Obama agenda; winning the redistricting battles will mean that Democrats can’t stack the deck in 2012 to get it restarted.


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Fat Guy/Fat Guy 2012!

Abby Adams on July 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Wow, I hope they’re right.

sandee on July 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Of the 12 remaining ‘toss-up’ states, Republicans lead in the most recent horserace polls for nine of them

Dang, that’s a lot of people for Will Folks to announce he had affairs with.

fiatboomer on July 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Obama will get the message… “Time to double-down.”

Daggett on July 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

We are going to retake the Governor’s mansion here in Tn.

molonlabe28 on July 6, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Stop the redistricting madness!

cmsinaz on July 6, 2010 at 2:27 PM

“Republican governors can ensure that Democratic legislatures don’t gerrymander the GOP out of competitiveness in key states. ”

I believe Democrats are going to get a spanking in many state legislatures and in other local elections, too.

This year is going to be an epic loss for the Democrats at ALL levels of government.

crosspatch on July 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

If the GOP takes the PA governorship, holds the senate and takes the house…

1) voter ID law (Hey, New Black Panthers! Let’s see some ID!)

2) med mal reform

3) reapportionment (PA expects to lose one seat; one hopes that Murtha’s distict will be wiped out. It was gerrymandered for him.)

Wethal on July 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

We’re going to lose it here in Texas, of all states! I like Rick Perry ok, but Ed White and the MSM have really started to infiltrate. Sigh…

catlady on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

It’s amazing that we have to keep going further and faster, just to ensure things remain the same, whether in preventing gerrymandering or government and judicial overreach. The thankless task of a conservative.

dIb on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Fat Guy/Fat Guy 2012!

Abby Adams on July 6, 2010 at 2:23 PM

Fat is where it’s at!

(Speaking as a fellow fatty…)

Greg Toombs on July 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Boy, I sure hope white(d) does not win here in TX! It could really be a disaster for our state having a d in Austin!
L

letget on July 6, 2010 at 2:30 PM

hmmm….Michigan and California weren’t on that list….seems that even in the struggling states, some voters just never get it.

search4truth on July 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

The GOP is destined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

southsideironworks on July 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

The GOP candidate in Maine has a real shot at taking the governor’s office this year. It’s an odd feeling. The guy is a sitting mayor in a very Democratic city, runs a popular and successful chain of retail stores and has a remarkably compelling personal story. The whole thing is here, but basically, he was homeless as a teen, worked his way through school and college and now runs a successful business.

As is normal in this state, there is an independent candidate running, but he’s pretty liberal, so I think he’s going to pull more votes from the Democrat than from the GOP candidate.

The state hasn’t had a Republican governor since 1995, so it would be pretty amazing.

Slublog on July 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

Rick Perry is not going to lose to Bill White.

Denverslim on July 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM

As bad as the Michigan Gov. has been would anyone believe Granholms husband is in the race? On the republican side it will be a tough one between Mike Cox, Sherriff Bouchard (the phony conservative)and Pete Hoekstra.

fourdeucer on July 6, 2010 at 2:35 PM

Lol at catlady. Get your head out of the litter box. Rick Perry lose? You live in Austin?

Marcus on July 6, 2010 at 2:35 PM

We are going to retake the Governor’s mansion here in Tn.

molonlabe28 on July 6, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Same here in Iowa!

lovingmyUSA on July 6, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I even think there is a slim chance here in California that Whitman may beat Brown. Not that I like Whitman, but Brown is a nightmare.

sandee on July 6, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Here is one congressional seat the GOP could take that is very little publicized: Morgan Philpot vs 5-term incumbent Jim Matheson.

Become a Philpot Phan.

Nate G. on July 6, 2010 at 2:38 PM

he was homeless as a teen, worked his way through school and college and now runs a successful business.
Slublog on July 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

…IS THAT LEGAL? … AND IN MAINE?

lm10001 on July 6, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Rick Perry is not going to lose to Bill White.

Denverslim on July 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I sincerely hope not. You have to try to lose the governorship here in Texas if you’re a Republican(just ask Clayton Williams). Perry’s done a decent enough job that it would take some major gaffes to lose to White.

Doughboy on July 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

How many “blue” states are bankrupt? Just asking.

volsense on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Good news, but it’s only half the battle. We have to take control of the state legislatures, too.

irishspy on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

3) reapportionment (PA expects to lose one seat; one hopes that Murtha’s distict will be wiped out. It was gerrymandered for him.)

Wethal on July 6, 2010 at 2:28 PM

About PA-12, the gerrymander on it was total overkill in favor of Murtha. I’m not really looking forward to portions of it like Johnstown being added to neighboring districts where Republicans either hold the seat or are competitive. The WPA area is tipping toward conservatism though, so hopefully it won’t make much of a difference in the long run.

In Eastern PA, where the opposite is the trend, I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple 80% Democrat “sacrifice” districts.

forest on July 6, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Republican governors can ensure that Democratic legislatures don’t gerrymander the GOP out of competitiveness in key states.

The key is to keep the members of the minority party from conspiring with the members of the majority party to get themselves safe districts.

Count to 10 on July 6, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The best part of nominating a fat guy would be the nutroots’ uncontrollable insulting of him, making them look like the elitists they are.

Speedwagon82 on July 6, 2010 at 2:47 PM

The GOP candidate in Maine has a real shot at taking the governor’s office this year. It’s an odd feeling. The guy is a sitting mayor in a very Democratic city, runs a popular and successful chain of retail stores and has a remarkably compelling personal story. The whole thing is here, but basically, he was homeless as a teen, worked his way through school and college and now runs a successful business.

Slublog on July 6, 2010 at 2:32 PM

The fact that he could only take tests IN FRENCH when he was a teenager reminded me of how incredibly French Canadian Maine is.

“Getting into Husson presented a challenge in itself. Paul was brought up speaking French. Although his S.A.T. scores in math were excellent, his verbal performance was so poor that no college would accept him. It was only because Sen. Olympia Snowe’s first husband Peter persuaded Husson to administer the exam in French that Paul was admitted at all. “

Apologetic California on July 6, 2010 at 2:48 PM

Down here they keep saying Texas is in Play they are running some negative ads against Perry. I have watched them on Fox News so the Dems want to try and water down his base….Texans are not happy – mostly they aren’t happy with the Democrats. Perry is a known quantity down here no one wants Texas turned into “Progressive California”

Dr Evil on July 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM

We’re going to lose it here in Texas, of all states! I like Rick Perry ok, but Ed White and the MSM have really started to infiltrate. Sigh…

catlady on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

His name is BILL not Ed, and Rick Perry isn’t going to lose to him. He’s letting the Ds & their organizations burn through money while he waits for the summer to be over and goes after them like he did KBH.

lizzie beth on July 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Dang, that’s a lot of people for Will Folks to announce he had affairs with.

fiatboomer on July 6, 2010 at 2:24 PM

On behalf of Sacred Honor, of course.

dczombie on July 6, 2010 at 2:51 PM

It’ll be interesting to watch the media reporting that Americans rejected democrat candidates across the board, while simultaneously trying to continue the lie that Americans just looove democrat policies. The verbal gymnastics, I predict, will be epic.

Rational Thought on July 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM

The latest polls have Ehrlich up by 3 here in MD, over O’Malley. Ehrlich may take MD back for essentially the same reason he lost in ’06–voter discontent with Washington.

That Ehrlich’s already up this early in the race is a good sign. I hope he crushes O’Malley, and the Dems get their asses handed to them in the State House. We don’t necessarily need both houses to go R, but having at least one of them flip, while whittling down the super majority the Dems have had for years, would be a double-plus good thing. They made a game of insulting Ehrlich when he was governor by having multi-day veto override votes. Disgusting. Our state legislature sucks.

nukemhill on July 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I will hold my breath until the election is over and Emmer is the winner.

We cannot afford a Democrat here in MN – taxes will be at 100%.

gophergirl on July 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

hmmm….Michigan and California weren’t on that list….seems that even in the struggling states, some voters just never get it.

search4truth on July 6, 2010 at 2:31 PM

I think Meg Whitman will win California. I am pretty confident the people of my state don’t want another term with Governor Moonbeam.

Good news, but it’s only half the battle. We have to take control of the state legislatures, too.

irishspy on July 6, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I think recapturing the state legislature is probably more important than capturing the state governorships. If you have a GOP governor but a liberal state legislature, there’s not much a governor can do if his vetoes keep getting overridden.

If you want to change the country for the better, focus on state and national legislature.

Conservative Samizdat on July 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

Texans are not happy – mostly they aren’t happy with the Democrats. Perry is a known quantity down here no one wants Texas turned into “Progressive California”

Dr Evil on July 6, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Exactly. All Gov. Perry has to do is a campaign of Texas v California/New York/Illinois and say, ‘do you want to become that?’ Texans are restless, but we also know that we have it much easier than most of the country due to the policies of our state government.

lizzie beth on July 6, 2010 at 2:55 PM

forest on July 6, 2010 at 2:46 PM

That’s hard to do, because it involves really mixing Philly with the burbs. Which endangers GOP burb seats.

Dem Patrick Murphy will probably lose in Bucks County. He got in in 2006, and barely held on in 2008.

GOP Gerlach will probably hold the Main Line and Chester County. He survived 2006 and 2008, and now has some no-name Dem running against him.

Delaware County is an easy pick-up for the GOP since Sestak gave it up. GOP candidate is former DelCo DA and former US Attorney. Dem is a no-name.

Wethal on July 6, 2010 at 2:57 PM

This year, more than ever, all politics is national. If Michael Steele wants to redeem himself, he would mount a passionate and effective campaign to illustrate how essential a veto-proof congressional GOP majority will be to stop the Obama agenda and turn the economy around. The RNC might be hurting for donors, but perhaps those angry Wall Streeters would contribute.

Terrie on July 6, 2010 at 3:02 PM

We’re going to lose it here in Texas, of all states! I like Rick Perry ok, but Ed White and the MSM have really started to infiltrate. Sigh…

catlady on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

Part of it, IMHO (I may be really wrong) is that he has not been really vocal, ticked off nor has adopted a support for AZ when they really need it-the rest of the country has been; just not him. I really thought that he was going to enact a similar position, and write their TX Border law.

ProudPalinFan on July 6, 2010 at 3:04 PM

I think Whitman will win; Brown just has too much baggage.

And there’s no way Perry will lose in Texas.

LASue on July 6, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Pubs need to nationalize the Chris Christie message. It’s polarizing, but that’s what truth does sometimes, and the time is right for independents and unthinking Crats to wake up. The child-king’s excesses have finally done that for us.

paul1149 on July 6, 2010 at 3:06 PM

And yeah, I want Pennsylvania to be flipped over to Republicans like a pancake. After all, I am surrounded by stupid people who voted for Dahlkemper (you know, the only woman that got us Stupack’d?)

ProudPalinFan on July 6, 2010 at 3:06 PM

While Perry could be doing a much better job embracing true conservative values (like real border enforcement, lowering property taxes, better illegal immigration enforcement, and better protection of private property rights) there is no effing way White is going to defeat Perry. The tea party is strong here in this great state. We are active. And we are pissed. And we sure don’t want to become a California.

Trust me. Perry will win.

BirdEye on July 6, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Remember in 1994 the election turned on the 1994 AW Ban bill, the infamous CRIME BILL that did nothing for crime. hmmm Did preemption apply here?

Congressional approval was 23% and 53 seats were lost to the NRA led election route.

Approval now stands at 20% approval for congress clunkers.

tarpon on July 6, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Pubs need to nationalize the Chris Christie message.
paul1149

AMEN! Officials like Chris Christie and Paul Ryan have the common sense ability to articulate how to get us out of this handout/bailout mentailty, and put us back on the road to independence.

BirdEye on July 6, 2010 at 3:10 PM

It’ll be interesting to watch the media reporting that Americans rejected democrat candidates across the board, while simultaneously trying to continue the lie that Americans just looove democrat policies. The verbal gymnastics, I predict, will be epic.

Rational Thought on July 6, 2010 at 2:52 PM

I predict that the MSDNC coverage of election night will resemble Scanners III: The Reckoning

Brian1972 on July 6, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Rick Perry is not going to lose to Bill White.

Denverslim on July 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM

I sure hope you are right. After that idiot White brought all those katricians here to Houston, the place has not been the same sence. That vote farming operation in New Orleans produced a city population lousy with uselessness.

White has a big following with the bottom feeders, and there are tons of them in Texas.

saiga on July 6, 2010 at 3:11 PM

To all here that say Perry will win, may you be right. Our home will vote for Perry. Here in S TX, there are those who might vote for white because of his illegal aliens stand in Houston.
L

letget on July 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM

gophergirl on July 6, 2010 at 2:54 PM

If Dayton wins the primary, it will be very close but Dayton will have the advantage. The only thing Emmer can depend upon is this is a Republican year. Emmer does not have a Penny who’s going to take a lot of Democratic voters, which helped Pawlenty big time. And yes, taxes will go up big time under him along with other craziness.

IR-MN on July 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM

IR-MN on July 6, 2010 at 3:21 PM

I’m less scared than I was 6 months ago but I’m still nervous. I hope Kehiler (sp?)wins the primary. She better.

Dayton used to live in my apartment building – he’s not bright. He may have money but he’s not bright.

gophergirl on July 6, 2010 at 3:28 PM

And keep in mind that the NRA endorsed Strickland over Kasich in Ohio. If the last poll by Rasmussen shows that Kasich leads, then it appears that the people of Ohio realize how much of a joke the NRA has become and may actually be waking up to the fact that because of Strickland, Ohio no longer has NCR and many other businesses that were mainstays in the state for 80-100 years.

MobileVideoEngineer on July 6, 2010 at 3:36 PM

It is more than redistricting, it is Court appointments, Health Care, Gun Rights and a lot more. If the Republicans can control 32 states, that is huge.

WoosterOh on July 6, 2010 at 3:42 PM

You have to try to lose the governorship here in Texas if you’re a Republican(just ask Clayton Williams). Perry’s done a decent enough job that it would take some major gaffes to lose to White.

Doughboy on July 6, 2010 at 2:40 PM

And Claytie did a spectacular job of losing. Oy.

We are moving back next spring, so puh-lease, Texans, don’t go the way of Collyfornia!

tru2tx on July 6, 2010 at 3:43 PM

As one commenter hinted, a strong GOP year at the state level makes it more difficult for the Demorats to rig elections with gerrymandering.

WannabeAnglican on July 6, 2010 at 3:43 PM

political reporters may need to come up with a new term in 2010 that is even more grandiose than ‘revolution’ to describe the Republican advantage this November.

Carnage? Evisceration? Slaughter of Maoist proportions?

Akzed on July 6, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Dayton used to live in my apartment building – he’s not bright. He may have money but he’s not bright.

gophergirl on July 6, 2010 at 3:28 PM

Yep. And Emmer is quite bright. Quick on his feet, too. Those traits will come through to the electorate once people start paying attention. Dayton’s ads are promising to tax the snot out of “the rich,” which might help him in the primary but won’t in the general.

Mr. D on July 6, 2010 at 3:57 PM

If the economy doesn’t improve here in Ca (and it won’t) , Whitman will win.
Enough seniors and 50-somethings remember Jerry Browns reign of error and terror.

jjshaka on July 6, 2010 at 4:00 PM

The Illinois GOP candidate-Bill Brady-isn’t the most guy, however he is a solidly conservative downstater who hasn’t been tainted by sh*t-cago politics.
Quinny-kins has been a disaster who’s leeching moderate voters.
We the People of the once great state have had ENOUGH!!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 6, 2010 at 4:00 PM

We are going to retake the Governor’s mansion here in Tn.

molonlabe28 on July 6, 2010 at 2:25 PM
Same here in Iowa!

lovingmyUSA on July 6, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Same here in Florida!!

beselfish on July 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM

I was trying to say that Brady isn’t the most dynamic speaking guy.
*slaps side of head*

annoyinglittletwerp on July 6, 2010 at 4:02 PM

We are going to retake the Governor’s mansion here in Tn.

molonlabe28 on July 6, 2010 at 2:25 PM
Same here in Iowa!

lovingmyUSA on July 6, 2010 at 2:36 PM

Same here in Florida!!

beselfish on July 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Same here in Illinois!
Btw: I was born in Iowa. Go Bransted!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 6, 2010 at 4:03 PM

Pennsylvania is going to be a total wipeout for Democrats. And after a fair redistricting Republicans may pick up 2-3 more seats in the House. They won’t be calling it a “blue” state much longer.

rockmom on July 6, 2010 at 4:06 PM

According to Huffpo Pat Quinn’s staff just got raises…while Illinois cuts programs and slips into bankruptcy.
I wonder if Bill Brady is starting measure the drapes yet?

annoyinglittletwerp on July 6, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Repubs controlling at least 30 governorships, the agita that would give to Mr. Obama and his democrap henchmen, priceless!

eaglewingz08 on July 6, 2010 at 4:56 PM

If things don’t go for Eric in November as his polls indicate, there’s always hot dogs…

Mr. Grump on July 6, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Well here in Ohio…Teddy Strickland points a finger at Kasich for WORKING for a Wall St firm… Strickland has no problem taking $$ from NAMBLA….

charmingtail on July 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

We’re going to lose it here in Texas, of all states! I like Rick Perry ok, but Ed White and the MSM have really started to infiltrate. Sigh…

catlady on July 6, 2010 at 2:29 PM

WTH???

Are you insane?

Rasmussen has him up by +8 back in February his was at +6!

Even PPP, which we know has problems has him winning +5

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2010/governor/tx/texas_governor_perry_vs_white-1194.html

Texas ain’t gonna vote democrat.

gary4205 on July 6, 2010 at 5:38 PM

And New York has… Rick Lazio.

I boldly predict that the GOP wave is going to miss the state of New York as a whole – House, Senate (which is doubly pathetic since BOTH seats are up for election), and Governor.

We suck.

Red Cloud on July 6, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Oklahoma is going to elect Republican Mary Fallin former Lt Governor and now Congresswoman from the 5th District of Oklahoma as our new Governor. Finally we will be done with 8 years of Henry the Obama Democrat who first kneepadded for the Clintons and then Obama.

Republicans are favored in the Statewide races this year and should go from having only have three Corporation Commissioners statewide to a sweep if all goes well.

A Republican Attorney General is going to be a breath of fresh air after the Democrat Edmondson who refused to take this Red State against Obamacare, went in with Gore for Oklahoma in 2000 and also against the Boy Scouts in CT is now running for Governor. Finally an Oklahoma AG who cares about the Rule of Law and the Constitution will be elected in November.

PhiKapMom on July 6, 2010 at 7:38 PM

Here in Iowa we plan to take the State house and senate along with the Governors seat. A wipe out. Our Dem. congressman is out also. Grassley will keep his seat. We have been working very hard here. Harkens going down in 2012. Two years of time and money. I’m feeling positive finally.

IowaWoman on July 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM

We have two very good candidates for AG and SOS. It’s looking up for us. I wish it was November!

IowaWoman on July 6, 2010 at 8:22 PM