Friday, October 31, 2014

Gubernatorial Update - Halloween Edition

It has been a few days since we last updated the Gubernatorial forecast here at Battleground270.  Overall, not much has changed as far as how many seats each party is expected to have after November 4th.  

Republicans still have a slightly better chance of only losing one seat as opposed to multiple or keeping or gaining on their majority.  There is about a 21% chance Democrats will pick up one seat, while there is an almost even chance, at 20%, that Democrats will pick up two seats.

So which seats are ripe for picking off?  Well, it seems as though Democrats will pick up seats in multiple states, but that will be offset by some gains by Republicans in currently Democratic-held states.

Democratic Pickups

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is pretty much dead in the water, and that seat is the only sure pickup Democrats have at this point. 

Beyond Pennsylvania, Democrats certainly have pickup opportunities, but they are less likely.  Kansas' Republican Governor is currently trailing in the polls, but because of the conservative tilt of the state, Governor Brownback still has a 43% chance of holding on.  

In Florida, we see a similar situation playing out.  The Democratic candidate, former Governor Charlie Crist, is leading Governor Scott in the polls.  This time, though, because Florida doesn't have a Democratic or Republican tilt in our model, Crist has a 62% chance of taking back the Governor's mansion.

Maine is another state that Democrats believe they will pick off on Tuesday.  The Governor there is deeply unpopular with a majority of the electorate, but he could still survive if the Independent candidate draws enough of the anti-LePage vote.  To perhaps combat that scenario, the Independent candidate said Wednesday that people should essentially vote for someone else (wink wink) if they don't believe he can win (which he can't).  It will be interesting to see the final numbers in this race Tuesday night.

Finally, Democrats are underdogs but still have decent chances against sitting Republican Governors in Georgia, Michigan, and Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is seen as the likeliest of these races going to the Democrats, but a poll out Wednesday showed Governor Scott Walker with a seven point lead.  While this poll is almost assuredly an outlier, it should be noted that there haven't been 'outliers' in Mary Burke's favor.  Still, before that poll, Walker's chances were only 51%.  They are now 64%.

Georgia and Michigan represent tougher opportunities for Democrats.  Of the two, Republicans have a better chance of holding onto Michigan, despite its Democratic tilt, because polls currently show Rick Snyder with a small but consistent lead.  In Georgia, however, if Governor Nathan Deal cannot secure 50% of the vote on Tuesday, the race will go into a runoff, where the Democrat will have another shot at taking him down.

Republican Pickups

Despite all these possible gains for Democrats, Republicans look like they will have some pickups as well.  Arkansas is the only state in which it looks like a sure thing for the GOP to win the seat.  A string of polls has shown the Democrat, Mike Ross, trailing by a large amount.  He now has only a 3% chance of winning.

Massachusetts is the next best pickup opportunity for the GOP.  The Democrat, Martha Coakley, was at one time the heavy favorite.  But her in a combination of her running a not so great campaign and the Republican running a near flawless campaign, the seat will now more than likely turn red.

In both Colorado and Connecticut, Republicans have recruited strong candidates to run against the incumbent Governors.  Colorado seems to be a dead tie at this point, with both candidates showing leads in recent polls.  In Connecticut, the Republican candidate has a slight lead in the most recent polls.  However, like with some other states, Connecticut has a deep blue tilt and that brings his chances of victory down to only 51%.

Finally, Republicans still have a slight chance to win in deep blue Illinois.  The Republican, Bruce Rauner, was leading in some polls earlier this month, but the most recent ones show Governor Quinn with a slight lead.  His chances are now 62% that he'll keep the seat.

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