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Gubernatorial Election Results

Posted at 6:34 pm November 10, 2016, in 2016 Election, U.S. Governors

With the election of the Republican ticket to the presidency on Tuesday night, vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence (R-IN) becomes the first governor to be elected to that office since Spiro Agnew, elected vice-president in 1968 and re-elected in 1972. But the federal offices were not all that was at stake; we have also been tracking the twelve states holding gubernatorial elections. A quick look at those results:


State Incumbent Governor-Elect
Delaware Jack Markell (D) John Carney (D)
Indiana Mike Pence (R) Eric Holcomb (R)
Missouri Jay Nixon (D) Eric Greitens (R)
Montana Steve Bullock (D)* Steve Bullock (D)
New Hampshire Maggie Hassan (D) Chris Sununu (R)
North Carolina Pat McCrory (R)* Roy Cooper (D) (leading)
North Dakota Jack Dalrymple (R) Doug Burgum (R)
Oregon Kate Brown (D)* Kate Brown (D)
Utah Gary Herbert (R)* Gary Herbert (R)
Vermont Peter Shumlin (D) Phil Scott (R)
Washington Jay Inslee (D)* Jay Inslee (D)
West Virginia Earl Ray Tomblin (D) Jim Justice (D)

*ran for re-election


  • Five incumbents ran for re-election in 2016. Four have won their races: Steve Bullock (D-MT), Kate Brown (D-OR), Gary Herbert (R-UT), and Jay Inslee (D-WA). The fifth, Pat McCrory (R-NC), trails Roy Cooper (D-NC) by just under 5,000 votes with all precincts reporting. McCrory has indicated, however, that he will not concede the race until all absentee and overseas ballots have been counted. He could also ask for a recount; that request must be received by Nov. 22.
  • In the open races, Republicans picked up seats formerly held by Democrats in three states—MO, NH, and VT—and protected seats in IN and ND. Democrats did not pick up any open seats formerly held by Republicans, but did defend seats in DE and WV.
  • Republicans will therefore expand their already-historic lead among the nation’s governorships. If the Democrat Cooper holds on in NC, Republicans will pick up a net of two seats in this election, meaning come January there will be 33 Republican governors, 16 Democrats, and 1 Independent. This would be the most governorships held at one time by either party since 1984, when the Democrats held 34 seats.
  • This will not change much in 2017. Only two states will hold gubernatorial elections (barring any special elections) in 2017—VA and NJ. Both incumbents—Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) are ineligible to run due to term limits.