Democrats currently hold a slight majority of the nation's governor's seats but that balance of power is likely to shift dramatically after this year's midterm elections, according to a new forecast.
Polling analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com
projects, based on his projection model, that Republicans are on track to control
approximately 30 governors' seats after November, compared with the current lineup of 26 Democrats, 23 Republicans and 1 independent.
That's about the same swing predicted by RealClearPolitics
which projects that Republicans will end up with 32 seats.
Silver's forecast says the GOP is likely to do particularly well in the swing states of the Midwest. Endangered Democrats include Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, who is trailing Republican Rep. John Kasich
in polls; Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa, who has consistently been behind former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad
; and Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich's successor, who is running behind Republican state Sen. Bill Brady
There are six Republican governors running for re-election but the forecast rates the Democrats as underdogs in each of those races.
"Should the political momentum favor the Republicans this year, as seems likely, they have picked an auspicious time for it," Silver said. "This year's gubernatorial elections are unusually important because of the role that some governors play in redistricting, the process of dividing the nation into 435 congressional districts that occurs after each census."
In four states where the redistricting stakes may be high because they are likely to lose seats -- Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- the Republicans are the favorites to win the governorship.
For all of our political coverage, read Politics Daily's 2010 Elections Round-Up
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