The worsening political environment for Democrats may have a greater impact on Senate races this cycle, but that doesn’t mean that governors will also be immune from their party’s headwinds. While governor races can operate more independently from national federal trends, we’ve seen in recent years that the correlation is strengthening. For example, after the 2008 elections, there were 18 governors of the party opposite how the state voted in the presidential election. Now in 2022, there are just 11.
Even though Democrats are defending fewer seats than Republicans (16 to 20), they must protect incumbents in perpetual swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Nevada. The Democratic Governors Association points out proudly that they haven’t had an incumbent lose since 2014, but that streak will be tested greatly this cycle. And, as in Senate races, Democrats are also banking on divisive Republican primaries that could produce problematic nominees in places like Arizona and Michigan to help them. But in a battle of candidates versus climate, the increasing trend in recent elections cycles is that the political climate tends to
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