The reported late surge of Republican voter strength seems to be in evidence in this year’s gubernatorial contests. Three top governors Democrats had long hoped to defeat — Ron DeSantis in Florida, Brian Kemp in Georgia and Greg Abbott in Texas — are in good shape for re-election. Even Kari Lake in Arizona, the GOP nominee hoping to succeed term-limited Gov. Doug Ducey — a certified Trumpified election denier once thought too extreme to win — has jumped out to a lead over Democrat Katie Hobbs. Democrats are being handed two gifts, in Maryland and Massachusetts, as incumbent Republican governors are leaving office and the voters are likely to return to their normal voting patterns. But if the current trends continue, it could be a long night for the Democratic Party.
With a week to go, here’s the Political Junkie gubernatorial scorecard for 2022. (Click here for our Senate scorecard.)
DEMOCRATIC SEATS (16):
Safe Democratic (3): Newsom (CA), Open Hawaii (Ige term limited), Pritzker (IL).
Democrat Favored (6): Polis (CO), Lamont (CT), Mills (ME), Hochul (NY), Open Pennsylvania (Wolf term limited), McKee (RI).
Races to Watch (3): Whitmer (MI)-lean Democrat, Walz (MN)-Tossup to lean Democrat, Lujan Grisham (NM)-lean Democrat.
Potential Loss (4): Kelly (KS)-Tossup to lean Republican, Sisolak (NV)-Tossup to lean Republican, Open Oregon (Brown term limited)-Tossup to lean Republican, Evers (WI)-Tossup.
REPUBLICAN SEATS (20):
Safe Republican (13): Ivey (AL), Dunleavy (AK), Open Arkansas (Hutchison term limited), Little (ID), Reynolds (IA), Open Nebraska (Ricketts term limited), Sununu (NH), DeWine (OH), McMaster (SC), Noem (SD), Lee (TN), Scott (VT), Gordon (WY).
Republican Favored (3): DeSantis (FL), Kemp (GA), Abbott (TX).
Races to Watch (2): Open Arizona (Ducey term limited)-lean Republican, Stitt (OK)-lean Republican.
Potential Loss (2): Maryland (Hogan term limited)-safe Democrat, Massachusetts (Baker retiring)-likely Democrat.
LATEST PODCAST: “Women Yes, Abortion Rights Maybe” (Episode #394), Oct. 30.
ON THE CALENDAR:
November 8 — ELECTION DAY. Includes jungle primary in Louisiana and mayoral runoff in Los Angeles.
December 6 — Georgia runoffs, if necessary.
December 10 — Louisiana runoffs, if necessary.
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This Day In Political History: President Lyndon Johnson announces a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam, hoping it would help with the negotiations designed to end the war. Coming five days before the presidential election, Republicans claimed the move — later known as an “October surprise” — was designed to help Johnson’s choice to succeed him, Vice President Hubert Humphrey (Oct. 31, 1968).
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