Monday, 5 November 2012

Backdated - Short look at Gubernatorial Elections, and a summary of my predictions

Okay, US voting starts tomorrow (although due to time delays, it will finish on Wednesday), so this will be my last post.

There is no need to look so relieved about it.

Okay, so finally Gubernatorial elections. Unlike the previous mid-term elections, the gubernatorial elections will not be a big deal for us outside the affected states this time (search Gerrymandering in my 2010 coverage for why it mattered last time). Also, Governors really aren't that powerful on the international stage. However, I am covering them anyway for three reasons:

  1. Least important of all, I have one last day to bore you with this information
  2. Of medium importance, this is one arena where the Status Quo is not predicted to be retained
  3. Most importantly, Gubernatorial is still my favourite word. Gubernatorial!


Most states have their governors serve 4 years, and most set their gubernatorial elections in the Midterms so their campaigning isn't drowned out by the presidential race. However, 11 states have taken pity on us poor recreational psephologists and given us a little something to talk about.

A big thank you to:
  1.  Delaware – currently Democrat
  2. Indiana – currently Republican (term limited)
  3. Missouri – currently Democrat
  4. Montana – currently Democrat (term limited)
  5. New Hampshire – currently Democrat (retiring)
  6. North Carolina – currently Democrat (retiring)
  7. North Dakota – currently Republican
  8. Utah – currently Republican
  9. Vermont – currently Democrat
  10. Washington – currently Democrat (retiring)
  11. West Virginia – currently Democrat
Retiring means the current Governor (a.k.a. the incumbent) is retiring and will not run in this election, possibly severing long-term loyalties and/or hatreds. Term limited means the incumbent has served the maximum legal number of terms and is required by law not to run. (The same thing happened to Queen Amidala in Star Wars episode II, if that helps).


In the words of Friar Lawrence (Romeo and Juliet, Act 5:Scene III) I will be brief.
  1.  Delaware – Safe Democrat
  2. Indiana – Safe Republican
  3. Missouri – Safe Democrat
  4. Montana – Predicted Republican
  5. New Hampshire – Predicted Democrat
  6. North Carolina – Safe Republican
  7. North Dakota – Safe Republican
  8. Utah – Safe Republican
  9. Vermont – Safe Democrat
  10. Washington – Safe Democrat (although I differ from Larry Sabato's call of “tossup” at my peril)
  11. West Virginia – Safe Democrat
So, two governorships move to the right. A slight change, but a change none the less. Added to the 12 Democrats, 26 Republicans and an independent not up for election, this makes 18 Democrats, 31 Republicans and an independent. In a hypothetical House of Governors, the Republicans have the majority, but that's no real achievement when their carry-over incumbents not up for election already have 26 of the 50 states and start with the majority before the first governorship is won.

There is, of course, no camera of government composed of Governors, however if a nation wide issue is legally decided on a state-by-state basis (e.g. gay marriage) this can be a useful way of analysing the layout.


Okay, that's it. No more updates until the votes are in. Thanks if you did actually read any of this. If you didn't you wont benefit from anything I write here, but here's a summary anyway:
  • Obama for President, Status Quo maintained - although with a much smaller majority than in 2008.
  • Senate maintains Status Quo, right down to the number of independent seats. (Democrats 21 seats, Republicans 10, Independents 2 - both siding with Dems.)
  • The House, too, maintains a similar distribution to before. (Democrats 197, Republicans 238), with a very minor swing to the left (net change of 3 seats.) Effectively Status Quo.
  • 3 of the 11 governorships up for election shift go to the GOP, with the majority of the national total in Republican hands before the first vote is counted. (Democrats 6, Republicans 5 for a national total of Democrats 12, Republicans 26, Independents 1.)
Enjoy your 6th of November everyone!

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