MIDTERM EXAM: Don’t Sleep On The Potential Gubernatorial Red Wave

MIDTERM EXAM: Don’t Sleep On The Potential Gubernatorial Red Wave

Last week, we discussed the likelihood that the governor’s office in Oregon, Nevada, and even New York could all possibly flip from blue to red.

Since then, gubernatorial polls have also tightened in states like New Mexico, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Kansas.

New Mexico 

According to a new survey from Trafalgar Polling, Republican candidate Mark Ronchetti currently holds a slight 46.6% to 45.5% lead over incumbent Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham.

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Most polls have shown Grisham beating Ronchetti, but there have been signs that national Democrats are worried she could lose. Vice President Kamala Harris used her political capital Tuesday to campaign for Grisham. The veep discussed abortion rights in hopes of revving up the liberal base just two weeks before Election Day.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, Grisham leads Ronchetti by 3.5 percentage points, but the race is currently considered a toss-up. The media outlet still predicts a Democratic victory, but it’s not too late for the GOP to close the deal.

Michigan

At the beginning of October, Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a 10-point lead over Republican nominee Tudor Dixon, according to RCP. As of Tuesday, RCP showed that the lead had shrunk to just 3.1 points.

These polls do not reflect Tuesday night’s debate between the two candidates. Dixon hammered Whitmer for claiming she kept schools closed for just three months during the COVID pandemic.

“Gretchen Whitmer is so out of touch with what she did to our students, she thought they were locked out for only 3 months,” she tweeted. “Some were out of the classroom as late as this year and she did nothing. In just 14 days, we can begin to right her wrongs.”

Gretchen Whitmer is so out of touch with what she did to our students, she thought they were locked out for only 3 months. Some were out of the classroom as late as this year and she did nothing. In just 14 days, we can begin to right her wrongs. #VoteDixon pic.twitter.com/h4gUJ5173I

— Tudor Dixon (@TudorDixon) October 26, 2022

FiveThirtyEight shows that Whitmer is up by five percentage points, but the data also shows a tightening in that race. RCP is projecting that Tudor will win the election.

Wisconsin 

In Wisconsin, incumbent Governor Tony Evers (D) faces a tough GOP opponent in Tim Michels. Per RCP’s average, Evers leads by less than one point. The race is officially considered a toss-up, but RCP predicts that Michels will emerge victorious.

Like much of America, Wisconsin voters are concerned with inflation, the economy, and crime.

Kansas

The Sunflower State’s Governor Laura Kelly (D) is projected to lose to Republican nominee Derek Schmidt. Per RCP’s polling average, Kelly has just a 1-point lead.

In response to recent data showing that test scores have declined in Kansas following COVID lockdowns, Schmidt’s campaign blasted the governor for her support for remote learning under pressure from the teachers union.

“She was wrong to follow marching orders from the public-employee unions that fund her campaigns, and Kansas kids paid the price,” Schmidt’s campaign manager C.J. Grover told The Kansas City Star. “The next step for Kansas schools needs to be electing a new governor who will put parents and kids first in education, won’t follow the orders of teachers unions, and who will clean up the mess left behind by Laura Kelly.”

As we head into the final stretch of the cycle, it’s not outrageous to predict that Republicans could flip anywhere between five and seven gubernatorial positions.

Next, we’ll break down Senate races. Could America see a 53 – 47 GOP majority?

RELATED: Top Governors’ Races That Could Flip Red

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