The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up


Race Rankings

The chart below shows our predictions for the 2010 gubernatorial contests as of Labor Day 2009. A brief key: states in red are currently held by Republicans, blue by Democrats. An  * indicates a 2009 contest while a # indicates the incumbent is an “Accidental Governor” who replaced a governor who left office before his or her term was completed. BOLD indicates a party switch if current forecast holds true on election day.

At this point Republicans look to be ahead in six states currently held by Democrats (NJ, VA, OK, TN, WY, and KS). Democrats look to have an advantage in four (CA , HI, NV and VT). Four of the five states currently rated as pure Toss-ups are currently held by the GOP. Democratic strategists should be worried about the many incumbents in the LEAN DEM category, as the party shouldn’t be worried about races in Massachusetts, New York and Illinois, but poll numbers show incumbents in dangerous territory going into re-election season.

Safe Dem Likely Dem Lean Dem Toss-Up Lean GOP Likely GOP Safe GOP
New Jersey*    
Arkansas Maine California Arizona# Alabama Alaska# Idaho
Maryland New Mexico Colorado Florida Georgia  Connecticut Kansas
New Hampshire Oregon Hawai’i Michigan Oklahoma Tennessee Nebraska
  Vermont Illinois# Minnesota S. Carolina Wyoming S. Dakota
Iowa Rhode Island Texas Utah#
    New York#        

Individual analysis of each state will be posted in the coming days: