Republicans Set for Big Gains In Governor Races

An abundance of open-seat races bodes well for the GOP.

Republicans stand to gain significant ground in governor races next year, adding to their recent pickups in Virginia and New Jersey, and setting them up nicely for 2012 and beyond. A half dozen pickups – a very real possibility – would give them far greater influence over the redistricting process for House seats and provide the GOP presidential candidate with readymade statewide organizations to help with registration and get-out-the-vote drives. GOP gains would also provide a boost for fundraising and reinforce the growing view that the Republican Party is gaining momentum and fresh purpose after defeats in the last two election cycles sunk them deeper into minority status.

There’ll be 20 Democratic-held seats up next year and 16 Republican-held seats. While not all of them will be competitive, fully 20 of the 36 races are open-seat races caused by retirements, because of term limitations or other reasons. A gain of six would give the GOP control of 30 of the 50 state governors’ mansions.

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Richard Sammon
Senior Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter