Democrats Set to Win Many Important Governor's Races Today
Republicans currently hold 33 of the 50 US Governorships, while Democrats have 16 and there is one independent Governor in Alaska. There are 36 gubernatorial races today and Republicans must defend 26 of them. It's quite possible that Democrats will capture 6 to 8 of those from Republicans by the end of the day. Holding those seats will be important as the states begin redistricting after the 2020 Census.
CNN: "In a number of states, the strong Democratic performance in governor's races will help them when it comes to the next round of redistricting after the 2020 Census. In the last decade, Republican governors helped draw lines that were more favorable to Republicans. The result was that more Republicans were able to win House races that they might not otherwise been able to."
"Next decade, it may be easier for Democrats win the House. They won't have to win the House popular vote by 5 or more points in order just to get a majority of seats."
Three Republican held seats already look lost. In Illinois, GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner is way behind Democratic billionaire J.B. Pritzker. Republicans will also lose their seat in Michigan where Democratic state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer is running comfortably ahead of GOP Attorney General Bill Schuette. And, in New Mexico, Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham has opened up a large lead over Republican Rep. Steve Pearce.
After those three, however, the races are much closer. In Ohio Democrat Richard Cordray, the former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director, has pulled ahead of Mike DeWine in recent polls, but still within the margin of error. In Maine, Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills seems to have late momentum over GOP businessman Shawn Moody and independent Terry Hayes. In Nevada, the race between Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Democratic Commissioner Steve Sisolak is a dead heat, but recent polls show Sisolak edging ahead by a few points.
In Iowa and Wisconsin, Republican Governors Kim Reynolds and Scott Walker are fighting for their political lives. In Iowa, Reynolds faces Democratic businessman Fred Hubbell and polls show a virtual tie. Republican Gov. Scott Walker is seeking a third term in Wisconsin, facing state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers. Democrats have been trying to knock off Walker since he was elected in 2010, but he has managed to hold on and seems to have late momentum in this race. Evers had been in front by double digits several months ago, but Walker has closed to within the margin of error in the last few weeks.
Two high-profile Governor's contests, in states won by President Trump and for seats currently held by Republicans, are also surprisingly close. In Florida, Democrat Andrew Gillum has held a 3 to 6 point lead over Republican Ron DeSantis since the primary. DeSantis has run an error-filled race and Gillum looks poised to become only the third African-American elected governor in US history. Even more surprisingly, in Georgia, Democratic former state House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is essentially tied with Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, but, because there is a third candidate in the race, neither may get the 50% necessary to avoid a run-off on December 4th.
Finally, in Kansas there is a three-way race between Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly and independent Greg Orman. This would usually be a sure-thing for the GOP, but Kobach's ties to Trump's now defunct voter fraud panel has provided an opening for Kelly. The polling is extremely close, but if Kobach loses in Kansas many will blame his close ties with President Trump and his embarrassing voter fraud conspiracy theories.