A guide to every key governor’s race on Tuesday

That said, the general environment provides an opening for Republicans to take over a significant number of governorships. The GOP currently has 28 governors to the Democrats’ 22 — but four of the five “Toss

That said, the general environment provides an opening for Republicans to take over a significant number of governorships. The GOP currently has 28 governors to the Democrats’ 22 — but four of the five “Toss Up” gubernatorial races in POLITICO’s election forecast are currently held by Democrats, and Democrats are also protecting far more “Lean” seats.

Here’s the landscape heading into Tuesday.

waiting, this is the state competitive? » States

President Joe Biden won Oregon by 16 points in 2020, but he’s on course to have one of the closest gubernatorial races in the nation. Democrats have launched a last-ditch campaign to boost Governor Kathy Hochul in New York. And National Republicans spent more money on the Oklahoma gubernatorial race than on Pennsylvania.

Oregon hasn’t elected a Republican governor since 1982, but this is the best example this year of how unpredictable gubernatorial races can be.

It begins, first and foremost, with the candidacy of Betsy Johnson, a former Democratic lawmaker who launched a well-funded independent campaign for governor. Both parties agree that she has more support from Democrats than Republicans. That made the race between Democrat Tina Kotek, a former state House speaker, and Republican Christine Drazan, a former state House minority leader, one of the closest in the nation.

The contest revolved around crime and homelessness in the state, as well as the legacy of incumbent Democratic Governor Kate Brown, who is one of the nation’s most unpopular chief executives.

New York was another surprise race. Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul took control of the Blue State in a tumultuous time for Democrats, replacing Andrew Cuomo at the top of the party.

Rep. Republican. Lee Zeldinwho gave up his seat in Congress to run for a higher office, and outside big spenders hammered Hochul on the crime. She is still the favorite – and if she wins, she will be New York’s first female governor – but both sides admit the race has tightened in recent weeks. The race saw a flurry of last-minute spending.

The last big surprise was Oklahoma, where Republican Governor Kevin Stitt is in a close race with State Education Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, who left the GOP to run for governor as a Democrat. Stitt was bombarded with millions of dollars of black money spent in the state. National Republicans launched a last-minute rescue campaign — one the National Democrats have not matched — and his allies insist Stitt is in good shape in the final days of the race.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem deserves an honorable mention here: She’s still heavily favored to win and didn’t face a publicity barrage like Stitt, but did call on prominent national surrogates for a boost – an encore that she only won her first 3-point term in 2018.

Holders versus environment

Agents who work on gubernatorial races say one of the hardest things to do in politics is to beat an incumbent governor. The Axiom faces a stress test this year.

Perhaps the most threatened incumbent in the country is Nevada Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak. He faces Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in the eternal swing state. Another close race in a tightly divided state features Democratic Governor Tony Evers against Republican businessman Tim Michels in Wisconsinwhere Michels recently said Democrats won’t win a new state election should he win on Tuesday.

Another Democratic governor seeking to defy political gravity is Kansas“Laura Kelly. Despite running in the reddest state of any Democratic incumbent, she kept the race close, and there were public grumblings from National Republicans about how the State Attorney General Derek Schmidt is running his campaign Even so, this race is still a jump ball at best for Democrats.

Some other Democrats have fared a little better and currently sit in the “lean Democratic” in POLITICO forecasts. The headliner of this group is Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has led public polls all year. Polls have tightened in the state, however, and neither party has backed down ahead of the election.

Other notable contests in this category include New Mexicowhere Republicans have been optimistic about their chances against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, as former TV weatherman Mark Ronchetti runs a crime-focused campaign.

In Mainetwo well-known personalities clash: Democratic Governor Janet Mills and her immediate predecessor, Republican Paul LePage. Connecticutis Ned Lamont and Minnesota‘s Tim Walz are also slightly favoured.

The only Republican governor in this competitive group is Georgia‘s Brian Kemp, who is facing a 2018 election rematch with Democrat Stacey Abrams. Kemp started the election cycle in the face of fury at former President Donald Trump for not helping him cancel the 2020 election. But Kemp easily dispatched a Trump-backed main challenge and still led Abrams. In the polls, he often exceeds the majority mark that Georgia statewide candidates must reach to avoid December runoffs.