US Governors Elections 2018 Predictions and Results

Most US states elect governors in 2018, and will there be GOP losses?

US Governors Elections 2018

Our predictions and US governors elections 2018 results. In 2018, a majority of states elect a new governor. Who will the states elect as their chief executives?

In 2018, as every year on Electionarium, we make our “No Tossups” promise. In every race, we will pick a winner, even if it seems too close to call. We reserve the right to update our predictions over the course of the year, and those updates are below.

If you make it all the way to the bottom, you get some additional analysis. How fun.

Other 2018 US Election Pages: US House Election 2018 | US Senate Election 2018

NAVIGATE THE 2018 GOVERNORS RACES: Overall Results | State-by-State Predictions | Rating Changes | Analysis

Updates to the individual listings below to be catalogued at the top of the page by date.

Seat Safety Key
| Weak Lean (1)
|| Somewhat Safe (2)
||| Safe (3)
|||| Very Safe (4)

US Governors Elections 2018: Overall Results

2018 US Governors Election Results Map

US Governors Elections 2018: Election Results as of December 2, 2018

Alabama
Kay Ivey (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Kay Ivey re-elected, 59.6%)
Alaska
Bill Walker (I) — DROPPED OUT
Predict: REP GAIN |
Actual: Rep GAIN (Mike Dunleavy elected, 51.9%)
Arizona
Doug Ducey (R)
Predict: Rep Hold ||
Actual: Rep Hold (Doug Ducey re-elected, 56.0%)
Arkansas
Asa Hutchinson (R)
Predict: Rep Hold ||||
Actual: Rep Hold (Asa Hutchinson re-elected, 65.3%)
California
Jerry Brown (D) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Dem Hold |||
Actual: Dem Hold (Gavin Newsom elected, 61.6%)
Colorado
John Hickenlooper (D) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Dem Hold |
Actual: Dem Hold (Jared Polis elected, 53.4%)
Connecticut
Dan Malloy (D) – NOT SEEKING RE-ELECTION
Predict: Dem Hold |
Actual: Dem Hold (Ned Lamont elected, 49.4%)
Florida
Rick Scott (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Dem GAIN |
Actual: Rep Hold (Ron DeSantis elected, 49.6%)
Georgia
Nathan Deal (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Rep Hold (Brian Kemp elected, 50.2%)
Hawaii
David Ige (D)
Predict: Dem Hold ||||
Actual: Dem Hold (David Ige re-elected, 62.7%)
Idaho
Butch Otter (R) – NOT SEEKING RE-ELECTION
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Brad Little elected, 59.8%)
Illinois
Bruce Rauner (R)
Predict: DEM GAIN ||
Actual: Dem GAIN (JB Pritzker elected, 54.2%)
Iowa
Kim Reynolds (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Rep Hold (Kim Reynolds re-elected, 50.3%)
Kansas
Jeff Colyer (R) – LOST RENOMINATION
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Dem GAIN (Laura Kelly elected, 47.8%)
Maine
Paul LePage (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: DEM GAIN |
Actual: Dem GAIN (Janet Mills elected, 50.8%)
Maryland
Larry Hogan (R)
Predict: Rep Hold ||
Actual: Rep Hold (Larry Hogan re-elected, 55.3%)
Massachusetts
Charlie Baker (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Charlie Baker re-elected, 66.9%)
Michigan
Rick Snyder (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: DEM GAIN ||
Actual: Dem GAIN (Gretchen Whitmer elected, 53.3%)
Minnesota
Mark Dayton (D) – NOT SEEKING RE-ELECTION
Predict: Dem Hold ||
Actual: Dem Hold (Tim Walz elected, 53.8%)
Nebraska
Pete Ricketts (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Pete Ricketts re-elected, 59.2%)
Nevada
Brian Sandoval (R) – OPEN SEAT
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Dem GAIN (Steve Sisolak elected, 49.4%)
New Hampshire
Chris Sununu (R)
Predict: Rep Hold ||
Actual: Rep Hold (Chris Sununu re-elected, 52.8%)
New Mexico
Susana Martinez (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: DEM GAIN |
Actual: Dem GAIN (Michelle Lujan Grisham elected, 57.2%)
New York
Andrew Cuomo (D)
Predict: Dem Hold ||||
Actual: Dem Hold (Andrew Cuomo re-elected, 57.9%)
Ohio
John Kasich (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Dem GAIN |
Actual: Rep Hold (Mike DeWine elected, 50.7%)
Oklahoma
Mary Fallin (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Rep Hold (Kevin Stitt elected, 54.3%)
Oregon
Kate Brown (D)
Predict: Dem Hold |
Actual: Dem Hold (Kate Brown re-elected, 50.1%)
Pennsylvania
Tom Wolf (D)
Predict: Dem Hold |||
Actual: Dem Hold (Tom Wolf re-elected, 57.6%)
Rhode Island
Gina Raimondo (D)
Predict: Dem Hold ||
Actual: Dem Hold (Gina Raimondo re-elected, 52.6%)
South Carolina
Henry McMaster (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Henry McMaster re-elected, 54.0%)
South Dakota
Dennis Daugaard (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Rep Hold |
Actual: Rep Hold (Kristi Noem elected, 51.0%)
Tennessee
Bill Haslam (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Rep Hold ||
Actual: Rep Hold (Bill Lee elected, 59.6%)
Texas
Greg Abbott (R)
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Greg Abbott re-elected, 55.8%)
Vermont
Phil Scott (R)
Predict: Rep Hold ||
Actual: Rep Hold (Phil Scott re-elected, 54.4%)
Wisconsin
Scott Walker (R)
Predict: Dem GAIN |
Actual: Dem GAIN (Tony Evers elected, 49.6%)
Wyoming
Matt Mead (R) – TERM-LIMITED
Predict: Rep Hold |||
Actual: Rep Hold (Mark Gordon elected, 66.5%)

US Governors Elections 2018: Full List of Ratings Changes

Most recent at top.

November 4, 2018
Arkansas (R3 to R4), Ohio (R1 to D1)
October 20, 2018
Nevada (D1 to R1); New Hampshire (R1 to R2); South Dakota (R2 to R1)
October 7, 2018
Arizona (R1 to R2); Arkansas (R3 to R4); Florida (R1 to D1); Oklahoma (R3 to R1); Pennsylvania (D2 to D3); South Dakota (R3 to R2); Tennessee (R1 to R2); Wisconsin (R1 to D1)
August 26, 2018
Oregon (D2 to D1); Michigan (D1 to D2); Kansas (R2 to R1); Alaska (I1 to R1)
July 22, 2018
Tennessee (R2 to R1); Nevada (R1 to D1); Hawaii (D3 to D4); Arizona (R3 to R1)
June 16, 2018
Georgia (R2 to R1); Illinois (D1 to D2); Massachusetts (R2 to R3); Oregon (D3 to D2); Wisconsin (R2 to R1); Iowa (R2 to R1)

US Governors Elections 2018: November 4, 2018 Analysis

Our final prediction is that the Democrats will gain seven governorships, while the Republicans will gain one from an independent.

The two most difficult races to predict this time for us were Iowa and Kansas. Iowa, because Kim Reynolds (R) might be down a little in the polls, if at all, but at the same time she’s got a good approval rating. Kansas, because this state should be a slam dunk but polling internals show that Laura Kelly (D) might get a significant Republican crossover. If any sizable number of Greg Orman (I) supporters give up on him in the polling booth, Kelly is going to win.

Democratic gains should go as high as 12 if they claim Nevada, Iowa, Kansas, Georgia, and Alaska, all of which are possible. We are more pessimistic for them on their odds now in South Dakota and Oklahoma. The GOP has an outside chance in Oregon and Connecticut as Democratic contenders could be polling much better, but we would not count on either Republican candidate winning.

US Governors Elections 2018: October 20, 2018 Analysis

Only a few changes to the governors’ races, but the most significant moves are the ones we did not make. First, we had planned to move Alaska to a Republican strong lean. This changed when incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I) dropped out of the race suddenly; this followed his lieutenant governor’s abrupt resignation earlier in the week. Walker was not going to be re-elected, but now that it’s a two-man race, a Democratic victory is conceivable. It is still too soon to tell.

After months in the Democratic column, we planned to pull Nevada back into the red, but did not yet. There is a realistic possibility Adam Laxalt (R) is ahead, but he had an October surprise dropped on him with news of an assault he committed as a teen (link: NBC News). It has been a tight and testy race in the Silver State, and this is one we may move to the GOP before the election. We’re just not there yet.

We’ve also kept Democratic gains on-track in Florida and Wisconsin. Andrew Gillum (D) has led in every Florida poll since August 29, and while I wouldn’t count Scott Walker (R) out, he’s probably a little behind.

US Governors Elections 2018: October 7, 2018 Analysis

Democrats are now on-track to gain seven governorships while the Republicans will salvage a single gain in Alaska.

The GOP still retains a chance of picking up Oregon, given Knute Buehler’s moderate stances and Kate Brown’s generally weak poll numbers, but it’s a hard sell in a possible Democratic year.

Two races we moved into the Democratic column are Florida and Wisconsin. Andrew Gillum has led in virtually every poll since the primaries, while Scott Walker has also trailed for a while. Asking for a third term can sometimes be a bridge too far for voters who are seeking change.

South Dakota is showing signs of getting closer, and this could be one in November where people wonder how it got so competitive on election night. Charlie Cook (link: KELO-TV) is now calling it a “toss-up” (which we would not do) given less-than-stellar polling for Kristi Noem (R).

Oklahoma is also a governorship they will have to fight to hold. Exiting governor Mary Fallin has high unfavorables and Democrats have elected governors in this very red state in this century. It is not impossible that Drew Edmondson wins the race, just like it’s also possible that Laura Kelly (D) wins next door in Kansas.

Not all is lost for the Republicans, as several governorships moved in their direction. Arizona is firming up for Doug Ducey, the gubernatorial race isn’t going to be the closer of the two big ones in Tennessee, and Arkansas is now “very safe.”

US Governors Elections 2018: August 26, 2018 Analysis

With a few states still awaiting primaries and runoffs, we are awaiting our next big batch of race re-ratings, and the first of the Fall. The only good news for the Republicans is that Alaska is moving more into their column, and they are surprisingly competitive in Oregon. Otherwise, other races are moving away from them, like Connecticut, Michigan, and Kansas. The latter of those is still a GOP hold, but close.

Expect the Republicans to lose a handful of governorships; it’s just figuring out which ones at this point.

US Governors Elections 2018: July 22, 2018 Analysis

We have four mid-summer ratings changes on the US gubernatorial elections. More could have come, but four was a good place to stop. First, we notched Arizona way down from a safe Republican seat to a weak GOP lean. Incumbent Doug Ducey’s poll numbers are not nearly as promising as Republicans hoped, though he is still marginally ahead.

Second, we pushed Hawaii into very safe Democratic territory, which it is. It does not matter which Democrat wins the primary: there is no Linda Lingle-type candidate on the GOP side to make it competitive.

Third, Nevada is a flip to a Democratic gain. Adam Laxalt is a top-tier Republican candidate and he’s got more than a shot, but with the bluish tint of the state, it appears he is falling behind Steve Sisolak.

Finally, we shifted Tennessee more towards the middle as a weak GOP hold. The Volunteer State could be a problem for Republicans in November, with the Senate race also starting to go sideways on them.

We kept Oregon where it is for now (Democratic somewhat safe), but Knute Buehler (R) is going to make a close run at Governor Kate Brown (D). Oregon, however, is like Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football for Republicans, so we need to see some strong poll numbers for Buehler before changing the rating.

US Governors Elections 2018: June 16, 2018 Analysis

It’s still too early in the cycle to start flip-flopping seats like crazy, but we are moving a bunch of those ratings in that direction. In total, five ratings were changed, four of them closer to even and just one more safely. That, ironically, was Massachusetts, where Republican incumbent Charlie Baker is nursing a 40-point lead in the polls. Democrats remain on track for at least a handful of gubernatorial gains, including Illinois, Maine, and Michigan. If the winds of change blow more strongly on election night, several more could flip.

US Governors Elections 2018: February 8, 2018 Analysis

No ratings changes yet in our first look back at the US governor races to come this year. Let’s highlight one of the many open seat contests in Connecticut. Reliably blue on the federal level, Connecticut has a long history of electing Republican governors, even in recent times. Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy squeaked out wins in 2010 and 2014, but prior to that, Republicans controlled the office for 16 years. These days, it takes a moderate Republican to win in New England. Keep an eye out for Erin Stewart, the Republican mayor of New Britain and a young up-and-comer in state politics.

US Governors Elections 2018: January 1, 2018 Analysis

As of the start of this year, we predict a four-seat gain for the Democrats in the upcoming gubernatorial elections. A few of these are open seats in traditionally bluer states, such as Maine and New Mexico. Another is such a state with a sitting governor, like Illinois. At least 17 states will elect a new governor in 2018, so the possibility of a volatile election year is high.

The Electionarium United States election calendar can be found here.

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