2015-16 Gubernatorial Overview: Washington Gridlock Puts Governors in the Spotlight

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Nathan L. Gonzales January 23, 2015 · 1:35 PM EST

Congressional job approval is abysmal and faith in Washington’s ability to enact significant legislation isn’t much better. That’s why some party strategists are emphasizing the importance of governors and their ability to enact meaningful policies at the state level.

Gubernatorial races were not immune from the Republican rout of 2014. Even though Democrats had multiple opportunities to win blue or competitive states, Republicans gained two governorships and now have the chief executive in 31 of 50 states. 

While the next batch of states is better for Democratic efforts to recapture the Senate in 2016, the political terrain is not any better in gubernatorial races.

This is the beginning of the “down” cycle. Thirty-eight states hosted a race for governor in 2013-2014 compared to just 14 states which will have a gubernatorial election over the next two years. Democrats control eight of those 14 states but President Obama won just four out of 14 in the 2012 election. 

Three states have elections this year. Republicans are likely to hold Louisiana and Mississippi while Democrats will try to hold Kentucky, where Gov. Steve Beshear is term-limit, in 2015’s premiere contest. Jack Conway, the likely Democratic nominee, is one of up to five attorneys general running for governor on…

2015-16 Gubernatorial Overview (January 23, 2015) Delaware - West Virginia

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January 23, 2015 · 1:34 PM EST

DELAWARE - Open; Jack Markell (D) term-limited. The race to replace Markell will get some attention, but not because Republicans have a chance of winning. Former state Attorney General Beau Biden (D), son of Vice President Joe Biden, is widely expected to run and become the next governor of The…

Pennsylvania 8: Democrats Looking Forward to Open Seat

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Nathan L. Gonzales January 23, 2015 · 1:32 PM EST

Politicians get criticized for violating vows of term limits, but GOP Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick is sticking to his pledge, even if it costs his party a seat. 

Not long ago, Democrat Patrick Murphy held Pennsylvania’s 8th District, but that was before Republicans redrew the district to be more…

Report Shorts (January 23, 2015) California Senate, Iowa Senate, Pennsylvania Senate

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January 23, 2015 · 1:31 PM EST

California Senate. Since our last issue, state Attorney General Kamala Harris (D) announced her candidacy in the race to replace retiring-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D). Harris won’t necessarily clear the field, but she is a top contender for the seat. On Thursday wealthy environmental activist Tom Steyer…