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Center on the American Governor > On Governors > U.S. Governors > 2014 Gubernatorial Election Analysis

2014 Gubernatorial Election Analysis

Updated November 17, 2014

Fast Facts Comparing results over the past 5 years Gubernatorial Demographics
Governors and the Senate Comparisons to 2010 Looking Ahead

 

Fast Facts About 2014 Races

Thirty-six states held gubernatorial elections on November 4, 2014. Going into the election:

  • 22 of these seats were held by Republicans
  • 14 were held by Democrats

 

With the results now final:2014 Results Final

  • Republicans won 24 races
  • Democrats won 11
  • Independents won 1

 

Republicans picked up four governorships:

  • Asa Hutchinson (R) of Arkansas
  • Bruce Rauner (R) of Illinois
  • Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland
  • Charlie Baker (R) of Massachusetts

 

Democrats picked up one:

  • Tom Wolf (D) of Pennsylvania

 

Independents picked up one:

  • Bill Walker (I) of Alaska

 

Incumbent governors in four states were blocked by term limits from running for reelection:

  • Jan Brewer (R) of Arizona
  • Mike Beebe (D) of Arkansas
  • Martin O’Malley (D) of Maryland
  • Dave Heineman (R) of Nebraska

 

In addition, three incumbent governors chose not to run for reelection despite being eligible:

  • Deval Patrick (D) of Massachusetts
  • Lincoln Chafee (D) of Rhode Island
  • Rick Perry (R) of Texas

 

Of these seven “open” seats this year:

  • Before, four were held by Democrats and three by Republicans.
  • After, six will be held by Republicans and one (Rhode Island) by a Democrat.

 

IncumbentChart2014Incumbents ran for reelection in 29 states:

  • 25 incumbents won.
  •   4 incumbents lost: Sean Parnell (R) of Alaska, Tom Corbett (R) of Pennsylvania, Pat Quinn (D) of Illinois, and Neil Abercrombie (D) of Hawaii in a primary.

 

 

 

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Comparing gubernatorial election results over past 5 years

Overall, since 2010, Republicans have picked up a net of at least eight governorships:

  • 2014    Republicans gained at least two
  • 2013    Democrats gained one
  • 2012    Republicans gained one
  • 2011    No governorships changed parties
  • 2010    Republicans gained six

When the new governors take their oaths of office in January 2015, they will be:

  • 31 Republican
  • 18 Democratic
  •   1 Independent

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Governor Demographics

Nine women were major party candidates in the 2014 general gubernatorial elections:

  • Four were incumbents running for reelection:  Maggie Hassan (D) of New Hampshire, Susana Martinez (R) of New Mexico, Mary Fallin (R) of Oklahoma, and Nikki Haley (R) of South Carolina.  All four won reelection.
  • One—Gina Raimondo (D) of Rhode Island—won a race for an open seat.
  • The other four woman candidates were unsuccessful in their gubernatorial bids.
  • One incumbent woman governor—Jan Brewer of Arizona—was ineligible to run for reelection.

 

When the new governors are sworn into office in January, they will be:

  •  5     Women*
  • 45    Men

*Note: John Kitzhaber (Oregon) won re-election, but resigned as governor effective February 18, 2015. Secretary of State Kate Brown succeeded him, bringing the current number of women governors to 6.

For more information on the gubernatorial races involving women, see the Center for American Women and Politics.

 

Five 2014 gubernatorial nominees were non-white:

  • Two Hispanic incumbent governors ran for reelection and won:  Susana Martinez (R) of Arizona and Brian Sandoval (R) of Nevada.
  • One Indian-American incumbent also won her reelection bid:  Nikki Haley (R) of South Carolina.
  • One Asian-American challenger defeated an incumbent in the primary and proceeded to also win his general election:  David Ige (D) of Hawaii.
  • One African-American nominee lost:  Anthony Brown (D) of Maryland.

 

Since Deval Patrick (D) of Massachusetts chose not to run for reelection, when the new governors are sworn into office in January, they will be:

  • 45     White
  •   5     Non-White

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Governors and the Senate

In the 25 states holding both gubernatorial and senatorial elections in 2014:

  • 14      Republicans won both races
  •   5      Democrats won both offices
  •   6      Split votes for governor and Senator

 

The five states choosing a governor of one party and a Senator of another were:

Alaska

  • Bill Walker (I) defeated incumbent governor Sean Parnell (R)
  • Dan Sullivan (R) defeated incumbent Senator Mark Begich (D)

Colorado:

  • Governor John Hickenlooper (D) was reelected
  • Cory Gardner (R) defeated incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Udall

Illinois: 

  • Bruce Rauner (R) defeated incumbent governor Pat Quinn (D)
  • Senator Dick Durbin (D) held onto his seat

Massachusetts:

  • Charlie Baker (R) won an open gubernatorial seat formerly held by a Democrat
  • Senator Ed Markey (D) won reelection

Michigan:

  • Governor Rick Snyder (R) won reelection
  • Gary Peters (D) won an open Senate seat formerly held by a Democrat

New Mexico:

  • Governor Susana Martinez (R) was reelected
  • Senator Tom Udall (D) was reelected

 

State Gubernatorial Winner Senatorial Winner
Alabama Bentley (i) Sessions (i)
Alaska Walker Sullivan
Arkansas Hutchinson Cotton
Colorado Hickenlooper (i) Gardner
Georgia Deal (i) Perdue
Hawaii Ige Schatz (i)
Idaho Otter (i) Risch (i)
Illinois Rauner Durbin (i)
Iowa Branstad (i) Ernst
Kansas Brownback (i) Roberts (i)
Maine LePage (i) Collins (i)
Massachusetts Baker Markey (i)
Michigan Snyder (i) Peters
Minnesota Dayton (i) Franken (i)
Nebraska Ricketts Sasse
New Hampshire Hassan (i) Shaheen (i)
New Mexico Martinez (i) Udall (i)
Oklahoma Fallin (i) Inhofe (i), Lankford*
Oregon Kitzhaber (i) Merkley (i)
Rhode Island Raimondo Reed (i)
South Carolina Haley (i) Graham (i), Scott (i)*
South Dakota Daugaard (i) Rounds
Tennessee Haslam (i) Alexander (i)
Texas Abbott Cornyn (i)
Wyoming Mead (i) Enzi (i)

*Oklahoma and South Carolina held two Senate elections in 2014, due to special elections.

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Comparisons to 2010

This year’s 36 races represented the largest number of governor’s contests since 2010. That year, Republicans gained a net of six governorships:

  • In 2010, eleven governor’s offices flipped from Democratic control to Republican:  Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
  • In 2014, all 11 remained Republican except for Pennsylvania.
  • Republicans also technically picked up a 12th governor’s seat in Florida in 2010 where Rick Scott took over for the retiring incumbent Charlie Crist, who at the time had no official party affiliation. Scott was reelected in 2014, defeating the now-Democrat Crist.
  • In 2010, Democrats took over from Republicans in five states:  California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont.
  • Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an Independent at the time, also took over from a Republican governor in 2010. Chafee has since changed party affiliation to the Democratic Party, but did not run for reelection in 2014.
  • Democrats maintained control of the governorship in each of these states in 2014, with the possible exception of Vermont, which has not yet been decided.

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Looking Ahead To 2015 and 2016

2015 Gov Elec MapIn 2015, three states will hold gubernatorial elections:

  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi

Incumbents Steve Beshear (D) of Kentucky and Bobby Jindal (R) of Louisiana will both be ineligible to run for reelection due to term limits.

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) will be eligible to run for a second term.

 

In 2016, twelve states will hold gubernatorial elections (listed by state and incumbent):

  • Delaware – Markell (D)
  • Indiana – Pence (R)
  • Missouri – Nixon (D)
  • Montana – Bullock (D)
  • New Hampshire – Hassan (D)
  • North Carolina – McCrory (R)
  • North Dakota – Dalrymple (R)
  • Oregon – Brown (D)
  • Utah – Herbert (R)
  • Vermont – Shumlin (D)
  • Washington – Inslee (D)
  • West Virginia – Tomblin (D)

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