Monday, January 28, 2013

When GOP governors win Obama states

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R)

The most common pushback to the GOP is dead narrative is that Republican governors are showing how successful they can be in blue states.

In fact, take a look at those lists at the bottom of the page.

There are only five states that voted for Mitt Romney and have Democratic governors.

But there are eleven states that voted for Barack Obama and have Republican governors.

So that's some solid evidence suggesting Republicans can be successful in blue states. But here's the big caveat to that.

Every single one of those eleven Republican governors was elected in a non-presidential cycle.

Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie were elected in 2009 special elections, while the rest on the list were elected in 2010.

That weakens the argument that their success in those states proves the GOP can win those states back at the presidential level.

Now, of course Virginia and Florida are on that list, and will be competitive in the years going forward, but the fact is that Republicans' biggest, most recent successes in those states were in off-years.

Which, once again, tells a bad turnout story for the GOP -- that when turnout inevitably jumps in presidential years, Republicans do worse, and that for all their successes in blue states, it will be very difficult to transfer that to a successful presidential bid in those states.

States that voted for Romney, but have Democratic governors:

Arkansas (Gov. Mike Beebe)

Kentucky (Gov. Steve Beshear)

Missouri (Gov. Jay Nixon)

Montana (Gov. Steve Bullock)

West Virginia (Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin)

States that voted for Obama, but have Republican governors.

Florida (Gov. Rick Scott)

Iowa (Gov. Terry Branstad)

Maine (Gov. Paul LePage)

Michigan (Gov. Rick Snyder)

Nevada (Gov. Brian Sandoval)

New Jersey (Gov. Chris Christie)

New Mexico (Gov. Susana Martinez)

Ohio (Gov. John Kasich)

Pennsylvania (Gov. Tom Corbett)

Virginia (Gov. Bob McDonnell)

Wisconsin (Gov. Scott Walker)