Republicans are slated to dominate 2012’s gubernatorial races according to the latest polls. There are eleven states with gubernatorial races this year:
Missouri: In Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon (D) is running for re-election against businessman Dave Spence. Nixon looks to be leading by a solid six points at minimum. Project Democrats to retain this seat.
Montana: In Montana, Democratic incumbent Governor Brian Schweitzer is term-limited. Democrat Steve Bullock, Attorney General of the state, is taking on former Republican Congressman Rick Hill. This race looks like a dead heat, perhaps leaning Republican.
New Hampshire: In New Hampshire, incumbent Democrat Governor John Lynch was termed out. The race is now Democrat former majority leader of the state senate Maggie Hassan, and Republican Ovide Lamontagne, who has run for governor in 1996 and Senate in 2010. New Hampshire polls are split; it looks like a dead heat.
Indiana: Governor Mitch Daniels (R) is termed out; Rep. Mike Pence (R) is running against former Indiana House Speaker John R. Gregg. Pence leads by double digits. Republican hold.
Washington: Governor Christine Gregoire (D), who essentially stole the election of 2004 from Republican Dino Rossi, is termed out. Rep. Jay Inslee (D) replaces her on the liberal side of the aisle; he’s running against State Attorney General Rob McKenna. This state, too, is a dead heat according to even Democrat polls.
North Carolina: Governor Bev Perdue (D) is retiring; Walter Dalton (D), the lieutenant governor, is running against Pat McCrory (R), former mayor of Charlotte. The latest polls have McCrory winning in a cakewalk; he’s leading by as much as 14 points in the polls.
West Virginia: Incumbent Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin is running against Bill Maloney, businessman and nominee for governor in 2011. This race is too close to call.
North Dakota: Incumbent Republican Governor Jack Dalrymple takes on state Senate minority leader Ryan Taylor. Dalrymple leads by double digits. Republicans hold this seat.
Utah: In Utah, Republican incumbent Governor Gary Herbert is running against Peter Cook, a businessman and former general in the US Army Reserve. The latest poll has Herbert winning by a 65% to 19% margin. Obvious win for the Republican. Republicans retain this seat.
Delaware: Incumbent Democrat Governor Jack Markell is running against businessman Jeff Cragg (R). Markell is expected to win.
Vermont: Democrat incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin runs against state senator Randy Brock. Shumlin is expected to win handily.
In sum, this is 3 Democrat retentions, 3 Republican retentions, 1 obvious Republican takeaway, and 4 races that are dead heats – all of them possible Republican takeaways. If Mitt Romney has coattails – and in these states in particular, it looks like he might – look for Republicans to walk away from these races with up to 5 takeaways. If Republicans win all of those, they will have governorships in 33 out of 50 states.