Top governors' races to watch
There are 11 races this November (most governors come up for election in midterm and so-called "off years"), while the presidential and congressional races tend to steal the spotlight. But that doesn't mean that these aren't important contests -- in fact, the last few cycles have demonstrated yet again how the impact of gubernatorial elections can reverberate nationwide.
For instance, since 2010, state politics in places like Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and New Jersey, among others, have drawn national attention. This year, the issue that dominates in all these states is, as it was last time, how state leadership has handled a difficult economic climate, which often forces touch choices on governors and their budgets.
Currently, Republicans hold the advantage in governorships, holding 29 seats, while Democrats occupy 20. (Rhode Island's governor is an independent.) Of the 11 gubernatorial offices up for election this November, eight are held by Democrats, leaving the Republicans an opportunity to increase their national advantage.
The action will really start to take shape this fall. But here are five races (in no particular order) to keep an eye on for now.
While Montana trends Republican at the presidential level, Democrats have had success here at the state level, often with candidates stressing local issues and connections.
This is an open seat: The current governor, Democrat Brian Schweitzer, is barred from seeking re-election due to term limits. Democrat Steve Bullock, the state's attorney general, will face off against Republican and former Rep. Rick Hill.
Democrats are likely to tout the state's unemployment rate, which at 6.3 percent is nearly two points lower than the national average, as evidence that Democratic policies succeeded under Schweitzer. But Republicans are tying Bullock to President Obama, who isn't likely to compete here in 2012, by going after Bullock's support for the Affordable Care Act.
Montana: 2008 Gov vote - D: 65% R: 33% | 2008 Pres vote - D: 47% R: 50%
- no previous page
Popular in Politics
- Officials on Benghazi: "We made mistakes, but without malice"
- Anthony Weiner comeback try begins: Running for NYC mayor 73 Comments
- Major immigration overhaul passes first big test 60 Comments
- Top IRS official to invoke 5th Amendment at congressional testimony 173 Comments
- Will tornado relief funding escape politics?
- U.S. IDs several men possibly responsible for Benghazi attack
- Va. GOP candidate: Planned Parenthood "more lethal" for blacks than KKK 1195 Comments
- Poll: Most think IRS targeting was deliberate 195 Comments