2014 Governor's Predictions Part 1 of 2

have three categories I put the states in when the models produce their values:


Likely means the race is in one parties favor or another and the outcome should be fairly predictable. Leans indicates the race is in one parties favor or another and if the favorite doesn't complete screw the thing up it should work out in their favor, but there is a slight chance things could go wrong the underdog could win the race. Toss up are my favorites. These races are where the modeling plays a factor. I can predict with a certain degree of accuracy the potential outcome of the race based on a percentage basis. Without further delay lets take a look at some of the Governor's races.

I figured I would write this all in two posts because if I tried to include both my analysis of the Governor's races and the Senate races it would be too long. I will start with the Governor's elections. On Tuesday there are 36 races to watch. 

There are some races not even worth going into the detail about. For the Democrats California and New York are reliably and strong Democratic states. I will say though Neel Kashkari was a terrible choice to nominate for Governor in California, but that being said the California Republican party is down to about 21% registration which is shocking given it is the home state of two former Republican Presidents. 

New York, well Andrew Cuomo could have beaten a wet noodle. I am not sure why Rudy Guiliani doesn't run for Governor (probably because he has better things to do with his time) but he would have been at least some what competitive against Cuomo. All of this being said its strong and safe Democrat. 

For the Republicans the usual suspects Tennessee, South Dakota, Alabama, Iowa, and Wyoming. All very reliable Republican all easy wins on Tuesday. Two other states which will be easy wins but are going to be good ones to watch are Nevada and Ohio. 

Nevada has a Senate race (Harry Reid) in 2016 and Brian Sandoval is probably America's best Governor and very popular. Sandoval is the type of candidate that can attract both Republicans and Democrats. He is also a do-er. He is getting a lot accomplished and he is doing it in a manner that is bi-partisan. Sandoval will likely run for the Senate in 2016 and could win. 

Ohio's Governor John Kasich wants to be President, he will likely run for President, he will likely lose, but he will run. For the time being his re-election for Governor is going great. His challenger was a disaster of a candidate and ran a terrible campaign. Kasich will win re-election. 

Let's walk through some of the more competitive, but likely predictable states. I will start with the Democrats, but 2014 is going to be a strong year for the Republican Party they should retain most of their Governor's seats (even pick up a few) and retain most of their Senate seats, and win more than a few (but I'll get into that on the next post). 


Open seat for Governor, but the registration advantage the Democrats hold is overwhelming for Republicans. Linda Lingle is a former Republican Governor of Hawaii and while it is not impossible for the GOP to win this state they need the right candidate. Duke Aiona is not that candidate. David Ige should win this race and be the next Governor of Hawaii but he likely will not crack 50% given the third party candidate pulling around 10% of the vote. This is a LIKELY DEMOCRAT state.

Ige 45%
Aiona 32%
Hannemann 10%

There isn't much to say about this race. Peter Shumlin is the favorite and has been the entire race. He currently enjoys about a 12 point lead in the polls. I expect him to win easily. 

Shumlin 53%
Miline 47%

Now let's do the Republican Governor's races. 


This is probably the most interest race of the non-toss up races given the high profile of State Senator Wendy Davis. While Democrats had high hopes for her she ran a terrible campaign in a state where Democrats need to be 110% perfect in everything they do. Wendy Davis was probably the strongest candidate the Democrats could have found but she is going to get stomped on election day. Texas is LIKELY REPUBLICAN 

Abbott 54%
Davis 46%

These other races there is not much to say about any of them. Other than New Mexico. Governor Susana Martinez keep an eye on her she might end up on a national ticket in 2016. I will just collectively outline these states minus all the analysis. The only thing you need to know about these states is the Republicans polled at or over the 50% mark the entire election cycle and they are all LIKELY REPUBLICAN. The side note of this is don't be fooled by a 52-48 or 53-47 turnout model that is not a close race anything over 52% is considered a blow out. 

Otter 56%
Balukoff 44%

Fallin 53%
Dorman 47%

Rikkets 55%
Hassebrook 43%

New Mexico 
Martinez 51%
King 52%

South Carolina
Haley 54%
Sheheen 48%

There are a handful of Governor's races that are likely safe Republican and safe Democrat but for issues inside each state they are giving the favorite party candidates a little more heart burn than they probably want. All I will say about these races is they are little bit closer than the candidates would like them to be but they are LEAN DEMOCRAT or LEAN REPUBLICAN respectively. 


This is an open seat incumbent Governor Martin OMalley is term limited and his Lt Governor Anthony Brown should be a shoe in to win this race. This race is probably a littler closer than Democrats would like it to be given the current political climate nationally which is impacting Maryland's Governor's race. On top of the climate being strongly in favor of Republicans there is no Senate race in Maryland to help turnout. Closer doesn't mean the Republicans have a shot at winning this seat though. The polling model shows Brown currently under 50% which is the only reason to put this race into the LEANS DEMOCRAT category. Anthony Brown should be the next Governor of Maryland.

Brown 52%
Hogan 48%


Incumbent Governor Mark Dayton has failed to get over 50% of the polling average and that is a little concerning for the Democrats. Minnesota has been an interesting test case their unemployment numbers are below national averages, they are creating jobs, and they balanced their state budget. For what everything is worth Dayton is a good Governor sitting in a time when people are concerned about the overall economy. My guess is the reason Dayton is struggling to crack 50% in polling averages in a reliably Democratic state is people are feeling the 6 year itch with President Obama and the enthusiasm gap is hurting the Democrats. This is a LEANS DEMOCRAT and I am certain Dayton wins.

Dayton 52%
Johnson 48%

New Hampshire

Maggie Hassan should win. I don't really have much to say about this other than New Hampshire is not going to elect a Republican Governor who doesn't support Obamacare. I put this into the LEANS DEMOCRAT category because the Senate race is putting pressure on the Governor's race but Hassan should win.

Hassan 52%
Haverstein 48%


I reluctantly have this in the LEANS DEMOCRAT category because for some reason or another the national pollsters believe this race is closer than it should be for Democrats. I LOL at that because Oregon is not going to elect a Republican in the same way Arizona is not going to elect a Democrat Governor. The reason, I think, the polling is so bad is Kitzhaber is he did an awful job at rolling out the state health insurance exchange. They spent a ton of money on it and after all that time and money they ended up abandoning the system for the federal one. This was really embarrassing for Kitzhaber adminstration and the Republicans hammered him on this, also too their was some bizarre story about his wife having a secret previous marriage. Weird, but ok its Oregon.  But again LOL at the Republicans if they think ultra liberal Pacific Northwesterns are going to vote for a pro-austerity, repeal Obamacare Republican for their Governor. Kitzhaber will win re-election.

Kitzhaber 53%
Richardson 43%


Oregon brings me to Arizona. Again, LOL at the Democrats. They always think Arizona is winnable and it is so not for them. Again this is LEAN REPUBLICAN and not likely Republican because Jan Brewer was a disaster of a Governor. She was a total train wreck on the national scale and was embarrassed twice  by the US Supreme Court over immigration issues and Obamacare issues. The state is a little frustrated over the Republican party and some of that is showing through on the polling. On top of all this Brewer stuff Doug Ducey ran an absolutely abysmal campaign, only second to Wendy Davis in Texas. If this were 2012 or even 2016 I would say Democrats would have a shot at winning this state's Governor's mansion. It is not so they don't.  It will be close, but Doug Ducey will be the next Governor of Arizona.

Ducey 51%
DuVal 49%


Arkansas is one of my favorite states for Govenror's races. It is a true toss up in the sense the electorate truly votes for the best candidate for Governor. A reliably Republican state for Presidential politics Arkansas elected Bill Clinton twice as Governor and Mike Huckabee twice as Governor. This race for Governor in 2014 has been very close, but I give the slight edge to the Republicans given the national climate leaning in their favor. Both candidates have run a strong race and polled relatively close to one another, but this is LEANS REPUBLICAN.

Hutchinson 50.6%
Ross 49%


This brings me to Pennsylvania. The sugar currently has a Republican Governor but he is going to lose. Tom Corbett is such a terrible Governor that his own party considered replacing him during the nomination process. Aside from the politics Corbett is so bad as a manager he ran the state into the ground. Corbett did everything you are not supposed to do

Wolf 55%
Corbett 44%


This brings me to Kansas. Sam Brownback isn't quite Tom Corbett but he had somewhat of a revolt in his own state party in the run up to this election. Brownback laid out and rammed through the state house an aggressive tax cut policy that ended up costing the state over a billion dollars in lost revenues. He took a state with a balanced annual budget and created a 650 million dollar budget shortfall. For that over 100 members of his own party endorsed the Democrat for Governor.

Davis 51%
Brownback 48%
Now for the fun races.


This is going to be the most important election of the night in the Governor's category. Scott Walker the incumbent is likely going to be the 2016 Republican nominee (that is another post for another time) IF... and this is a big if he can hold on and win on Tuesday. The modeling I have been seeing says he will not win on Tuesday. This is a bold prediction because most of the pundits are saying Walker will win narrowly. I am just not seeing how he holds on. Mary Burke will be the next Governor of Wisconsin

Burke 51%
Walker 48%


This is America's most depressing race. The best the Democrats could do for a candidate was the former losing Republican turned Democrat Governor of the state from 10 years ago. This is just a pathetic nominating process. Although I like Crist he isn't exactly someone to get excited about. But Rick Scott is terrible and will lose because of one factor. Medicaid. Rick Scott blocked the implementation of Obamacare and as a result cost 1.4 million Floridians to lack access to the subsidies they are entitled to via the Obamacare exchange. It was a major miscalculation and blunder (not his only as Governor) and will cost him a second term in Tallahassee. While this is technically (based on the polling) a TOSS UP, I actually have this race as LEANS DEMOCRAT because of the bizarre debate performance from Rick Scott and the meltdown over Crist's fan. While this didn't cost him the race (Obamacare did) this certainly didn't help.

Crist 51%
Scott 49%


Polling has Hickenlooper with a slight lead and I think that might have something to do with the over all distrust on the gun issue. Hickenlooper, the former mayor of Denver, did a great job of managing his state, pushed through some strong reforms in the environment, marijuana, and gay marriage (it's Colorado and full of liberal environmentalist) and for that I have him as a strong contender for a VP slot in 2016, plus I once shook his hand at an Au Bon Pain in DC (we ordered the same salad). I think Hickenlooper holds on, but if he doesn't he will be at a lobbying firm in DC with Scott Walker rather than campaigning for the White House in 2016.

Hickenlooper 52%
Beauprez 47%


Dan Malloy is in trouble. His re-election should be a no brainer, but the climate has really turned sour for him and Democrats in Connecticut (they will lose the state Senate and House as well). On top of this being a tough year for Democrats the Republicans nominated a strong candidate for Governor, someone I think who is likely to win. Malloy didn't do an overly bad job per say as Governor, but Republicans are motivated to vote this cycle and Democrats are not. This is going to come down to turn out and I think the Republicans will pull this one off. This is going to be one of the few major upsets for the Democratic Governors Association on Tuesday.

Malloy 49%
Foley 50 %


I imagine every morning Governor Paul LePage wakes up and thanks God for Tom Corbett and Sam Brownback. Without those two other Governors Paul LePage would be America's worst Governor. A completely unhinged, unpredictable, pro-conspiracy theorist man LePage forgot to vote in his own party's primary earlier this year as he was traveling (with tax payer money) to Ireland. LePage has done everything in his power to destroy his political career yet the polls show him neck and neck (as of Friday). That all changed Friday night. The independent candidate dropped out of the race and endorsed the Democrat. LePage should be headed for a mighty hefty loss on Tuesday and it is well deserved.

LePage 41%
Michaud 56%


Alaska has a Governor's race, an interesting Governor's race. They had a Democrat and he dropped out to endorse the independent candidate. Sean Parnell, Sarah Palin's Lt, Governor and now Governor after she quit is up for his first election as Governor. It is not going well. Parnell was struggling to get support statewide and stands a strong chance of losing. Alaska is a notoriously hard state to poll, due to large swaths of rural populations. This is purely a guess as the modeling has been all over the place but I will lean on the side of caution and say Parnell wins re-election but doesn't reach 50%.

Parnell 49%
Walker 44%


Sorry liberals, Rick Snyder is going to win. The polling has been moving in his favor these past few weeks and being the incumbent (who is not Brownback, Corbett, or LePage) he will win. Mark Schauer is a great candidate, probably the best the Democrats could have nominated but this is a tough year for the Democrats and a good year for the Republicans. I think Rick Snyder holds on.

Snyder 51%
Schauer 49%


Governor Nathan Deal is in trouble. His rejection of Obamacare is hurting him in a state that has high numbers of uninsured. His Democratic challenger is promising to expand Medicaid and get people the insurance they want. This is a winning message. His challenger is also political royalty in Georgia. His challenger is Jason Carter, the grandson of former Georgia Governor and President Jimmy Carter. Keep an eye out for Deal losing on Tuesday and a Deal loss could impact who ends up with control of the US Senate in 2015 (more on that in the next post).

Deal 44%
Carter 47%
Hunt 9%


Illinois is likely giving Democrats everywhere heart burn. This is a reliably Democratic state, home of President Obama, and a machine for Democratic turnout. The Republicans have nominated Bruce Rauner, a statewide version of 2012 Mitt Romney. Rauner is a pro-business (more importantly non-politician) who is promising serious pension reform. Illinois has been plagued with mismanagement of their pension system and major budget shortfalls. My guess here is Rauner pulls it off and makes a plea for President in 2016, keep an eye on Rauner he might show up on a 2016 ticket as a VP if he can win on Tuesday.

Rauner 51%
Quinn 48%


I saved this race for last because it is spectacular. Martha Coakley is the current Attorney General for the state, and if that name sounds familiar it is because in 2010 she ran for the Senate to replace Ted Kennedy. She was considered the favorite and at the beginning of her race she had a 15 point lead in the polls. She ran a terrible campaign and even at one point refused to shake voters hands because it was too cold (!!!!!!!!!!). Well she lost what was suppose to be an easy race for Democrats to Scott Brown (who is running for Senate in another state this year, more on that in the next post). Well, Coakley, or as I am calling her Martha Chokley, is running again statewide this time for Governor. And she is doing it again. Coakley is running neck and neck with Charlie Baker after squandering a 10 point polling lead. I really honestly have no idea who will win, it will come down to turn out. But it is simply amazing to me that Coakley is in this position yet again. If she loses she should just quit politics

Coakley 50%
Baker 50%

That concludes my analysis of the 2014 Governor's races. I will write and post part 2 the Senate analysis some time on Sunday or Monday morning.