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January 16, 2013

2013/2014 Gubernatorial Outlook

Never too early for a map.

Governors Races 2013/2014

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The number of competitive races, given the sizable Republican gains from 2009-2012, is surprisingly small: three on the Democratic side (Illinois, Connecticut, Arkansas) and five on the Republican side (Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida, and Maine). Of these, there are three projected flips, two favoring the Democrats in Virginia this year and Maine next, and one favoring the Republicans in Arkansas. Republicans will hold a majority of governor's mansions January 2015, and depending on the caliber of their Democratic opponent should have at least two if not three of their incumbents survive in the Big Swing Three (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida).

Various factors are driving these competitive states. In the BST, approval ratings for the incumbent Republican governors have drifted out of the danger zone but are still teetering. Kasich and Scott, for the record, have seen their numbers plunge then rise throughout the course of 2011-2012, while Corbett's has dived more recently. Quinn and Malloy on the D side are fairing worse, though Malloy got a boost in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting.

Arkansas and Virginia are different beasts, with popular governors term-limited and opposition party candidates leading in polling to replace them. Virginia typically votes for the party out of the White House, but with a potentially fractured right-side-of-the-ticket, it gives the Democrats an opening to break that tradition.

LePage in Maine was not expected to win in 2010 and had enjoyed divided liberal voters, with last years statehouse changes favoring the Democrats and his current approval ratings, he isn't favored to hold on, though that will ultimately depend on his eventual opponent.

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posted by CAC at 06:49 PM

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