The "Fascinating Slugfests" in the States

This is a very painful question for a state politics blog to ask: Are this year's races for governor dull? Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com ...
by | August 14, 2008

This is a very painful question for a state politics blog to ask: Are this year's races for governor dull?

Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com thinks so:

In any event, we have a very boring set of gubernatorial races this year, but Indiana is one that the Democrats ought to consider pouring some money into (and Republicans likewise to defend their incumbent).

Kyle Trygstad of Real Clear Politics concurs:

Looking for exciting races to watch outside of the presidential election? You can almost skip right over this year's contests for governor, which feature a severe dearth of competition. One reason is that only 11 of the 50 states hold elections for their top spot in presidential years; another reason is that of this year's 11 contests, only three feature open seats and just two of those will be competitive in November.

Stop it, you're killing me!

Luckily, Larry Sabato comes to the rescue (emphasis his):

Yet there are some fascinating slugfests developing in this year's gubernatorial prizefights, and about half of them are genuinely competitive. Despite the overall Democratic drift of 2008, there will be no party sweep of the statehouses. The GOP is very likely to hold four governorships it currently possesses, and it has fair to good chances in three other states. However, the Crystal Ball would not be surprised to see the dust settle in November with the Democrats continuing to hold six of the eleven, or even with a net gain of one statehouse for the Democrats.

I count North Carolina, Missouri, Washington, Indiana, Vermont and Delaware as competitive (roughly in that order from most to least competitive). But, really, has Larry Sabato ever come across an election that he didn't think was interesting?

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com  | 

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Politics