Republicans Score Wins In Key Governor’s Races

The Republican wave extended even to Governor's races that, in any other year, they should have lost.

Election 2014

In addition to winning control of the Senate and expanding the majority in the House, the Republican Party also managed to surprise many people with wins at the Gubernatorial level. Some of these victories, such as Greg Abbott defeating Wendy Davis quite easily in Texas and John Kaisch rolling to a huge victory in Ohio, were entirely expected. Democrats also won most of the races they were expected to win this year, including Andrew Cuomo in New York, Jerry Brown in California, and Tom Wolf’s defeat of Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania in what, pending the outcome in Alaska, is the only GOP defeat in a race for a Governor’s spot. Most interesting, though, were the seats that Republicans won that they were seemingly set to lose, such as Rick Snyder in Michigan, Paul LePage in Maine and, in the highest profile race of the night, Rick Scott’s defeat of Charlie Crist in Florida, along with Republican wins that are still reverberating this morning.

In the President’s home state of Illinois, for example, Bruce Rauner seems to have clearly defeated Governor Pat Quinn in his bid for re-election. Quinn has yet to concede the race, but Dave Schuler suggests that the current margin between the two candidates would not be enough to trigger the state’s automatic recount law. In Georgia, Republican Governor Nathan Deal won re-election without the need for a runoff over State Senator Jason Carter, the grandson of the former President, an outcome that few had expected given how tight the race was polling up until the final days of the race. In Arkansas, where Bill Clinton had made several appearance both on behalf of defeated Senator Mark Pryor and the state’s candidate for Governor, Republican Asa Hutchinson coasted to a relatively easy win, thus helping to complete what seems like the state’s full transformation into a red state some two decades after Clinton left the Governor’s office to become President. In Massachusetts, Charlie Baker became the latest Republican to win the Governor’s Mansion in an overwhelmingly Democratic state, and the second Republican in four years to hand Martha Coakley a humiliating loss.  The races in Colorado and Connecticut, meanwhile, remain too close to call, although it looks like Democrats will hold off the GOP candidates in one or both of those races. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, though, came in Maryland where Republican nominee Larry Hogan scored a big win over Democratic nominee Lt Governor Anthony Brown:

Republican Larry Hogan won a shocking upset in Maryland on Tuesday night, using a relentless focus on economic issues to dispatch Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and will become only the second Republican to govern the Free State in more than 40 years.

The Associated Press called the race with Hogan leading, 52 percent to 46 percent, and 87 percent of precincts reporting.

The sagging popularity of incumbent Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley helped propel Hogan to victory. The Republican hammered Brown for the state’s flagging economic performance and what he said were 40 tax hikes passed during O’Malley’s administration.

Brown easily dispatched two strong challengers — Attorney General Doug Gansler and state Del. Heather Mizeur — in the Democratic primary, winning by 27 points. But it soon became clear his battle with Hogan wouldn’t be a cakewalk. The Democratic Governors Association began pouring money into the race in early September, eventually spending more than $1 million. The Republican Governors Association entered the fray in late October after Republican internals showed a dead heat.

Democratic attacks focused on Hogan’s opposition to a restrictive gun-control law and claims he would roll back abortion rights in the state. Hogan, a businessman with a long history in Republican politics, repeatedly insisted both issues were settled law and promised to focus on slashing spending and taxes.

While there was some polling last week that seemed to show the Hogan-Brown race tightening, this is one that pretty much nobody expected and the fact that Hogan beat Brown here and did so quite decisively has implications beyond Maryland. Brown was, for example, one of the few candidates that President Obama campaigned for in person, with campaign rallies in nearby Suburban Maryland, although one of those rallies was marked by reports of people walking out in the middle of the rally while the President was speaking. Another candidate that Obama campaigned for was Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy who, as noted above, is in a tough battle with his Republican challenger and, if he wins, will win by a very tight margin. This seems to suggest that President Obama was not exactly a great surrogate even in a deep blue state like Maryland. Brown’s loss could also have implications for outgoing Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, who has made no secret of his Presidential ambitions notwithstanding the fact that even Democratic insiders have never seemed to understand why O’Malley thinks he is a viable candidate of any kind. With this loss by O’Malley’s hand-picked successor, the soon to be former Governor’s credibility inside the national party is likely completely non-existent at this point.

Unlike the House and Senate races, it seems hard to ascribe some kind of national theme to these Governor’s races. To a large degree, these are the kind of races that are motivated as much by local factors, and the quality of the candidates as anything else. That being said, when you see Republicans winning in Maryland and Massachusetts, and coming close in Colorado and Connecticut, while other Republicans who were seemingly on the ropes like Snyder, Scott, and LePage, winning re-election rather easily, it’s hard not to think that the factors that drove Republicans to the polls in the states with Senate races were also motivating people in these states. In other words, it was a very good Election Day for the GOP all around, even in blue states, and that could have big implications for the future.

FILED UNDER: 2014 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Republicans elected a GAY representative in San Diego, though provisional ballots come into play.
    They also elected a BLACK FEMALE representative in a lily white Utah Congressional district.
    Elected a BLACK Senator, Tim Scott in South Carolina.
    Re-elected a Hispanic Governor in New Mexico and and Indian American governor in South Carolina..both female.

    Time for the racist homophobic memes of the Democrats to end…

  2. stonetools says:

    A wave is a wave is a wave is wave. And the fundamentals predicted a wave.

  3. jd says:

    Florida… Scott… ugh.
    Scott got 2,000,000 votes.
    Amendment 1 got 4,000,000.
    They like the man; they just don’t like what he does.

  4. C. Clavin says:

    It’s funny all these Republicans won…running on hate and fear…but on the issues…not so much.

    Granting personhood to semen lost in Colorado and North Dakota. Pot is now legal in D.C. and Oregon and maybe Alaska. The minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Illinois and Nebraska. And Washington State expanded background checks on guns.

    It’s a pretty constant refrain…people like Republicanism in the abstract…but don’t actually like the reality of it.

  5. Will says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Sore loser huh?? Only you would try to spin this landslide. Keep making an idiot of yourself on here blaming the country’s dissatisfaction with Obama on hate and fear tactics by the GOP.

  6. Guarneri says:

    Heh. The IL min wage was an advisory vote.

    “now you don’t have to really do it, but wouldn’t it be cool to jump into the Grand Canyon like Thelma and Louise?”

  7. PD Shaw says:

    @C. Clavin: “The minimum wage was raised in Arkansas, Illinois and Nebraska.”

    In Illinois, the minimum wage was an advisory question on the ballot. Note that Democrats decisively control all branches of government, the purpose of the referendum was to help get out the vote by giving Democrats something to vote for.

  8. C. Clavin says:

    @Original Pechanga:
    Wow…Republicans did that in 2014? So forward thinking, they are.

  9. C. Clavin says:

    You’ll have to tell me what they were running on. All I saw on the TV ads in my state was hate and fear.

  10. Guarneri says:

    Heh. Hate and fear, eh? I guess the republicans ran the Furguson ads…..and the Rauner kills nursing home patient ads….and the Klan ads…..

    What? No footage of grandma being pushed off the cliff left?

  11. C. Clavin says:

    Look, I don’t mind y’all gloating. Live it up.
    But don’t fool yourselves. You won a second-term mid-term…which the opposition always does…in a map slanted to the Republicans.
    It’s what you do now that counts…and judging by the last 6 years it won’t be much. Another 50 votes to repeal Obamacare maybe? Invade Norway to stop ISIS? And of course…the Republican answer to every question…tax cuts for the rich. Have at it.
    If you think this is any indicator for 2016 you are deluded.

  12. James Pearce says:

    The races in Colorado and Connecticut, meanwhile, remain too close to call, although it looks like Democrats will hold off the GOP candidates in one or both of those races.

    Yeah, I think it will be Hickenlooper after a recount.

  13. Pinky says:

    “The fundamentals predicted a wave” – but there were people on this site claiming that the polls were skewed in favor of the Republicans, that this was going to be a closer election or a better one for Democrats. Now, personally, I’m a lousy predictor. I think over on the prediction thread I said that I didn’t know who would win, but things looked close. The only think I was right about was that I didn’t know anything. I’m the first to admit it. Let’s everyone else admit it if they called these races wrong, too, and maybe next cycle we can all avoid throwing bad predictions into each others’ faces.

  14. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I do give you credit for at least showing up today even though its hard to argue against the election results. the dems got cocky and people are just sick of the presidents empty rhetoric. 2016 is long time away and the GOP still needs to do a lot of work to win. The most challenging issue for the GOP in the next 2 years will be controlling Ted Cruz. He has the potential to absolutely destroy GOP momentum with his obstructionist views and actions. I sincerely hope that there will be more compromise in government.

  15. Slugger says:

    Congrats to all the winners. The losers do need to reassess their positions and messaging; this election is over, but the game goes on, and there will be another election soon (too soon).
    I heard from CBS last night that over two billion dollars were spent on the election with close to a hundred million per senatorial race. This is unwelcome to me. I fear that representative government will be swamped by such a financial tide. It does not matter to me whether the frontmen for the big bucks label themselves with a ‘D’ or a ‘R’. No one puts up 50 million without expecting some return other than good and equitable governance, and in my experience the truly rich are not wasteful of their money.
    I don’t have a solution, but I think this matter should be discussed. Whether your new Senator is Foghorn Leghorn or Hotair Aidar may matter less than the way the political game is played. I see my vote as mattering less and less. My personal wealth is in the top 5%, but not in the top 0.01%

  16. stonetools says:


    but there were people on this site claiming that the polls were skewed in favor of the Republicans, that this was going to be a closer election or a better one for Democrats

    They were wrong. The polls were skewed in favor of the Democrats.
    Again, the fundamentals predicted a bad year for the Democrats. What happened was near the top of the range.
    Now hey , conservatives will crow, do their victory lap, and spike the football. No problem. They won a big victory.
    I expect too, conservative pundits will interpet the victory as endorsement of their anti Obama program and proceed with impachment, etc. We’ll see how that turns out.

  17. C. Clavin says:


    people are just sick of the presidents empty rhetoric.

    The guy has had one of the most productive Presidencies in recent history…so I’m not sure what empty rhetoric you are talking about?

  18. James Pearce says:

    @Original Pechanga:

    Time for the racist homophobic memes of the Democrats to end…

    I see this is going to be something we’re going to be hearing about for a while.

    Right-wingers thinking that electing a gay person erases decades of their anti-gay agenda. I mean, look…I’m glad that the voters of these states did not indulge the old prejudices. But the swamp has not been completely drained.

    Not yet.

  19. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yeah, he’s been very productive… Maybe you should actually think about why people are sick of Obama and his bullshit. You can even trace this back to the summer when he admitted he had no strategy for ISIS. People are sick of a leader who doesn’t lead. He is completely detached from the American people. I really don’t how you could sit there and say this is not a complete repudiation of Obama and his policies especially in states liked Maryland and Illinois.

  20. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:


    Productive indeed.

    As for 2016. Just as Obama was exposed for what he really is – a state senator back bencher who caught a wave – it will be interesting to see if a similar affirmative action hire catches on a/k/a Hillary. Unless the country is in need of a boffo cattle futures trader I’m not sure what recommends her.

  21. al-Ameda says:

    @Original Pechanga:

    Time for the racist homophobic memes of the Democrats to end…

    Rank tokenism on the part of Republicans, what else is new?

  22. al-Ameda says:


    As for 2016. Just as Obama was exposed for what he really is – a state senator back bencher who caught a wave – it will be interesting to see if a similar affirmative action hire catches on a/k/a Hillary.

    George W Bush was the very definition of an affirmative action hire.

  23. C. Clavin says:

    Right…in spite of one of the most productive presidencies in recent history people are repudiating Obama. Why is that ? Maybe because the opposition has been stoking hate and fear?
    You use ISIS as an example. ISIS is nothing. Republicans stoked a lot of fear about them. But Obamas “lack of strategy” has been very effective in limiting them.
    Hate and fear at odds with reality.
    Same with Ebola. There are more living members of the Beatles than there are people in America who have died of Ebola. Hate and fear at odds with reality.
    Same with the economy. Republicans have spent 6 years holding back the economy and blaming Obama.
    Hate and fear at odds with reality.

  24. munchbox says:

    At c clavin. …’s because there is a lot to fear….

    Obama created Isis thru his policies…..even Iran knows that ..“The U.S. is still the great Satan and the number one enemy of the Islamic revolution and the Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation,” the IRGC said.It went on to blame the United States for the creation of the Islamic State (IS, ISIL, or ISIS) and other terrorist groups in the region.

    bit it was probably the republican free mongering I guess?

  25. C. Clavin says:


    Obama created Isis thru his policies


  26. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    LMAO I don’t need to state anything other than you need to accept reality and understand why millions of Americans oppose Obama. You must really have a low opinion of the intelligence of Americans if you can’t understand why they voted GOP in such huge numbers. These folks obviously see through the phoniness of the economy where most people are worse off than they were 4 or 6 years ago. These are the same unemployed folks who have given up and are no longer counted in job numbers. How do you explain the GOP wins in Illinois, MA and Maryland? Your answer is predictably the same as always with scare tactics or Voter ID laws to explain any GOP success.

    As for ISIS & syria, the president has showed 0 leadership with his indecisiveness. His handling of the Ebola mess certainly hasn’t helped either. He appointed a career political advisor and lobbyist as his Ebola czar. i don’t how you spin that one

  27. C. Clavin says:

    A back-bencher?
    He rescued the economy from the worst death spiral since the Great Depression…an economy Republicans left in a 9% quarterly contraction of GDP, shedding 600,000 jobs a month, and a Dow at under 9000.
    He passed health care reform…which Presidents on both sides of the aisle have been trying to do for over 50 years.
    He got OBL…a target Bush and Cheney gave up on.
    I could go on but your team goggles won’t let you see facts so it’s pointless.
    But in any case…I don’t think that word…back-bencher…means what you think it means.

  28. Pharoah Narim says:

    @munchbox: Actually, Saudi Arabia and Iran created ISIS through their funding….. This is the problem with American Voters. They can be programed to believe anything a talking head with a microphone and using the right buzz words says. Thanks for the chuckle though.

  29. C. Clavin says:


    where most people are worse off than they were 4 or 6 years ago.

    That’s just demonstrably untrue.
    If your opinion is based on nonsense…then your opinion is nonsense.

  30. Pinky says:

    @stonetools: The stupidest mistake in politics is not keeping your powder dry. You’ve got to make your argument all the time, because tides turn, and every battle gets replayed. The Democrats will come back. And a few years after they do, they’ll get stomped. And a few years after that, they’ll come back. Et cetera.

    It really worries me the way the press bought into the “red state” “blue state” nonsense. There’ve always been states that leaned toward one party or the other, but those states change over time. I’ve been hearing that Colorado is now 100% Democratic for the past few years because they voted for Obama twice. Somehow analysts weren’t expecting that voters can vote differently. Up until yesterday, there were 16 states (I think) that had no Republican senators or governor, and 12 without Democrats in any of the three biggest statewide offices. That’s a lot in the middle. And with Colorado, Maryland, and a few others, the list of “unwinnable unless you’re an X” states will shrink further. I’m not saying that this election is proof of a new pattern, but I am saying that patterns don’t override individual elections.

  31. James Pearce says:


    even Iran knows that

    So lemme get this right….Iran blames the United States for the creation of ISIS and you believed them?


  32. C. Clavin says:


    where most people are worse off than they were 4 or 6 years ago.

    And to blame Obama for the slow recovery is to ignore the role Republicans have played in sabotaging the economy for 6 years in order to do exactly what they did…gain control of the Senate.
    Dude…they had a plan…they said what it was…they did it.
    It worked. They fooled you.

  33. Argon says:

    @munchbox: “Obama created Isis thru his policies…”

    Not quite…
    Nouri al-Maliki created the greater threat of ISIS through *his* policies of paranoid suppression after we left him in charge in Iraq. Our problem is that he wasn’t stopped before the damage was irrevocable. I don’t recall Iran wanting Maliki out until things went seriously belly-up.

  34. Pinky says:

    @Slugger: The question is whether the spending influenced the voting. shows no Senate race with spending over $50 million. — Oops, make that no race with candidates spending over $50 million. I forgot outside sources. Still, there’s no way those numbers average out to $100 million per Senate race.

  35. Pharoah Narim says:

    @DonVito: Every 4 years you clowns come though to push Republican Mid-term wins as some type of higher repudiation of policies. Its not. Its demographics. Democrats weren’t going win in those areas. In 2 years a different demographic will show up at the polls and it will be a completely different story. Republicans won’t be as gleeful the Wednesday afterwards because its not a demographic that will be as friendly to them and the seats they’ll need to defend will not be in friendly states.

    In the meantime, I look forward to all the bills cutting food stamps, unemployment, Earned Income and other benes poor southerns that vote Republican depend on so the Mitt Romney’s of the world can brag about a few extra zeros in their foreign back accounts. It’s going to be awesome.

  36. wr says:

    @DonVito: “You must really have a low opinion of the intelligence of Americans if you can’t understand why they voted GOP in such huge numbers. ”

    Actually, it’s because I have a low opinion of the intelligence of (many) Americans that I understand why they voted GOP. The good people of Kansas re-elected Sam Brownback, a governor who has bankrupted the state in order to give money to rich people. I tip my hat to them and wish them well. They’ve got what they asked for, and they deserve it.

    Sorry about the children, but if their parents want them to get an education, there are plenty of states that actually believe in paying for schools.

  37. C. Clavin says:
  38. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I know a lot of folks on here have been waiting for this day a long time. You have confirmed you are an absolute moron by arguing and disputing with an election landslide. Americans are no longer fooled by this charlatan. The job creation is crap. Low paying jobs or 30 hour week FT jobs with no healthcare. Keep blaming the GOP. It’s a much smaller club today.

  39. C. Clavin says:

    You really only have to read the comments above…they are all about repudiating some fictional version of Obama…the socialist tyrannical Muslim dictator…and nothing about what to look forward to from Republicans.

  40. Paul L. says:

    LOOK progressives Background checks and Gun Control/Safety is a electoral winner!!!!!1!
    Hickenlooper defeats Beauprez for Colorado governor

  41. Guarneri says:



  42. DonVito says:

    @Pharoah Narim:

    The GOP absolutely obliterated the Dems and the “intellectuals” on here want to point how dumb people are. I love how you talk about demographics. Explain to me why the GOP won in Maryland, MA, and Illinois??? Dems got too cocky with their “blue wall” 2016 is 2 years away and all bets are off.

  43. C. Clavin says:


    an election landslide


  44. george says:

    People are reading a lot into what seems to be the normal situation – the party of the sitting 2-term president loses the 2nd midterm election.

    Look it up folks, its really that basic. Its a pattern that’s held for Obama, for Clinton, for Reagan, for Eisenhower …

    And the reason is basic. Unless things are going exceptionally well, people get tired of the party in power (and for most folks that means the President’s party) after six years.

  45. munchbox says:

    No Isis was created by Obama’s intervention in lybia …freeing the former dictator s weapons it be picked up by the extremists that formed Isis. Bengahzi anyone? followed by his non response to the mayhem that ensued in Syria as they gained more power (backed by the saudis) untill they were well on the way of reestablishing the Islamic caliph.

  46. Guarneri says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Little known outside of IL is that Axelrod didn’t want to take him on, calling him “light.” Then the wave.

    As for saving the economy from pure destruction – and what magical powers he must have – why do you Suppose he stopped the saving ?? Seems odd from a man who can move mountains, leaving blacks in the worst shape in decades. Of course it could all be smoke and mirrors…

    BTW. Do you know how much people like me would like to see people like you cling to your dogma?? People lost in the fog can’t do much harm.

  47. DonVito says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Yeah thats what is. go to Politico, the Hill, or wherever the hell you go if anywhere to read news.

  48. CB says:

    Reading through the threads here and elsewhere, and the bullshit sniping between Democrats and Republicans, all I can say is that we are fatally short sighted, and we deserve the government we get. Most of you here should be embarrassed by your reflexive crowing and/or excuse making.

    I hate politics, and this is why.

  49. CB says:


    No Isis was created by Obama’s intervention in lybia …freeing the former dictator s weapons it be picked up by the extremists that formed Isis.

    I take it back. THIS is why I hate politics. Good Lord.

  50. stonetools says:


    It really worries me the way the press bought into the “red state” “blue state” nonsense. There’ve always been states that leaned toward one party or the other, but those states change over time.

    Nope. There really are red states and blue states. The map included mostly red states this time. It’s going to flip 180 degrees in 2016.
    Electorates differ from Mid term to Presidential. That’ll flip too.
    Really, as I said elsewhere, the fundamentals were totally against the Dems this time. In 2016 it will go the other way. Remember amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk fundamentals.
    People will wrongly talk about “repudiation and “lessons learned” then too when the tide runs the other way.
    Conservatives are really going to hate it when Nate Silver starts talking about the Democrats taking back the Senate in a couple of weeks.

  51. James Pearce says:

    @Paul L.:

    Hickenlooper defeats Beauprez for Colorado governor

    And with no recount……I’m actually surprised by that, to be honest.

  52. James Pearce says:


    No Isis was created by Obama’s intervention in lybia …freeing the former dictator s weapons it be picked up by the extremists that formed Isis. Bengahzi anyone?

    Thanks for the dispatch from “blame America first” land. Say hi to Michael Moore for me.

  53. munchbox says:

    Cb and James.. it’s not politics … It’s the facts on the ground. Not Americans fault …obama’s. Well I guess the ones that voted him in …twice.

  54. munchbox says:

    at James it wasn’t Michael Moore that guy is a hack….it was just an you tube video didn’t you know?

  55. Moosebreath says:


    “George W Bush was the very definition of an affirmative action hire.”

    No, W is the very definition of a legacy hire, the type of unqualified person who succeeds due to accidents of birth.

  56. @C. Clavin: Yep, No Hispanic Governors from the Dems, No Indian Americans…

  57. Pinky says:


    Nope. There really are red states and blue states.

    Let me clarify. If you were going to move somewhere and run for statewide office as a Democrat, I wouldn’t advise moving to Texas, at least not now. But there are very few states where one of the two major parties should be considered unelectable, and the list of those states changes over time.

    This can’t be overstated. Yesterday’s California becomes today’s California. That’s not simply due to demographics – although even if it is, that’s still a state changing colors. But voters have freedom, and just because they’ve consistently voted for one party doesn’t mean that a candidate of another party can’t have a 20-year career in office there. If you don’t mind an Aristotelian joke, a state’s color is an accident.

    Massachusetts is the reddest of the red states, if you look at governors. Pennsylvania would have looked seriously red if you just looked at officeholders yesterday. Voting for Obama twice didn’t change the nature of Colorado. Voting for a particular party is like any other habit. It gets easier with repetition, but there’s no guarantee that it’s going to continue. Any habit can be broken with an act of will. In the words of the classic heckle, you’re missing a good game there, ref. What people actually do is often a lot more interesting than what the models say they’ll do.

  58. al-Ameda says:


    No, W is the very definition of a legacy hire, the type of unqualified person who succeeds due to accidents of birth.

    I consider “legacy hires” to be very similar to the “affirmative action” pejorative that conservatives so often attach to any minority hire.

  59. al-Ameda says:



    I’m sorry you’re depressed.

  60. James Pearce says:


    it’s not politics … It’s the facts on the ground.

    No, it’s just politics.

    The president of the United States, even if he is a Democrat, is not the source the Middle East’s ills.

  61. Tillman says:

    The only victory I’m reeling from is Brownback in Kansas, honestly.

  62. Pinky says:

    @Tillman: Dems were really talking up a Kansas 1-2 punch on these boards over the past couple of months. I don’t follow Kansas politics, so I never understood why they were so sure that this was going to be the decisive rebuke of Republicanism. We see now that they overhyped it, but it always seemed like overhyping, like they were ambivalent about the other 49 states so long as they got their one definitive example.

  63. Grewgills says:

    It is funny that whatever team wins claims a message election and a mandate and the losing team always points to fundamentals and demographics. I look forward to the same with rolls reversed in two years.

  64. Bokonon says:

    @James Pearce: Beauprez ran a terrible campaign. For all that, he made the election close.

  65. CB says:


    This is all that really needs to be said. Thank you.

  66. John425 says:

    @C. Clavin: C’mon Cliffie-go back to your seat at the bar and drink up. The Republican House sent hundreds of bills to the Senate where Harry Reid bottled them up for fear that they would pass the Senate and embarrass the President.
    The “do-nothing Congress” was actually the “do-nothing Senate”.

  67. KanasMom says:

    @wr: Nailed it. I’m trying to avoid the Pauline Kael fallacy, but I know of almost no one who voted for Brownback. We all tend to have kids in public schools and are on the higher end of the education scale. The problem is that old scared white people vote, highly educated middle class people vote, but at a lower rate, and the truly poor and minorities don’t vote in mid terms, period. My state is the definition of apathy as a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I don’t know what can make it better.

  68. Moosebreath says:


    “I consider “legacy hires” to be very similar to the “affirmative action” pejorative that conservatives so often attach to any minority hire.”

    I’d say they are mirror images, down to which side supports them.

  69. James Pearce says:


    Dems were really talking up a Kansas 1-2 punch on these boards over the past couple of months. I don’t follow Kansas politics, so I never understood why they were so sure that this was going to be the decisive rebuke of Republicanism.

    You can thank Jamelle Bouie for that, I think.


    Beauprez ran a terrible campaign.

    I thought Udall’s was worse. He went with “War on women” over “NSA spying?” What a blunder.

    Beauprez’s campaign just had one thing going for it: a killer on death row. It almost worked.

  70. Pinky says:

    @James Pearce:

    You can thank Jamelle Bouie for that, I think.

    I wouldn’t blame someone who writes for Slate and The Nation. I wouldn’t even much blame someone who reads Slate and The Nation. I would definitely blame someone who reads them to get a sense of the pulse of Kansas.

    He went with “War on women” over “NSA spying?”

    That may have been a tough sell in Colorado.

  71. munchbox says:

    James p. Obama caused the current situation with his policies. Plain and simple. The overall issue of Islam of course isn’t his fault. He has just helped to enable the radical side of islam. And he is hardly a democrat. More like a radical leftist with ties to know domestic terrorists and is a muslim at heart….helping their agenda.

  72. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Explain to me why the GOP won in Maryland

    They didn’t. Aside from taking the governorship, the GOP lost pretty much across the board in Maryland. Dems took the AG slot, the comptroller slot, retained every congressional seat that they held (7 out of 8) and maintained their broad majorities in both houses of the Maryland General assembly, to the extent that they can still override any gubernatorial veto even if every Republican in the Assembly votes against it.

    What this boils down to is Kennedy Townsend redux – Maryland has never elected a lieutenant governor to the governorship, and Brown was pretty much an abysmal candidate – lots of negativity, little in the way of positive positions on issues and a general attitude that he would coast into victory based on Maryland’s deep blue electorate. In short, he played the same game that Kennedy Townsend played in 2002. The results make it pretty clear that Dems went to the polls and voted for Dems across the board (except for Brown). Dems make up 56% of the Maryland electorate by themselves, and the independent vote largely went for Dem candidates as well.

    That leaves you with another Ehrlich – neutered by a general assembly which has the power to prevent him from doing anything they dislike, and destined to be a one term governor.

  73. James Pearce says:


    I would definitely blame someone who reads them to get a sense of the pulse of Kansas.

    Very good distinction.

    I mean, I read his article. I thought it made some good points. I wanted to believe it. I just couldn’t.

    @munchbox: Yeah, okay, dude. I leave a lot of room for disagreement, but none for BS. Sorry.

  74. Pinky says:

    @HarvardLaw92: That’s as close to lying as I’ve ever seen without actually lying. Maryland Republicans picked up 7 seats in the state House and 2 seats in the state Senate. They picked up the governorship. No other major offices changed hands. Nothing you said would give the reader that impression.

  75. HarvardLaw92 says:


    They picked up 2 seats out of 47 in the Senate, and 7 seats out of 141 in the House of Delegates.

    Dems will hold 33 seats (out of 45) in the Senate and 90 seats (out of 141) in the House of Delegates. Dems still hold veto override majorities in both houses in and of themselves.

    They picked up the governorship in 2002 too – and lost it again 4 years later. Nobody is much worried about Hogan – because he’s a one term governor and the General Assembly holds his balls in its hands.

    No other offices changed hands because, and this is important, so pay attention – DEMOCRATS HELD THEM. If this is what “taking Maryland” in a wave year looks like to you, then you need to repeat your training.

  76. MikeSJ says:

    The “war on women” message works for some groups and not for others…now if a majority of the voters in a mid-term election are 65+ which group do you think they’ll fall under?

    Plain and simple the older voters don’t give a crap about birth control and abortion. Ebola, Zombies, ISIS has them shaking in their boots and their wasn’t any message to counteract that from what I can tell.

    Maybe some plain talk about what you can do to help retirees and blue collar workers should be tried?

    Also…ISIS? My opponent wants to spend your money helping muslims! Why don’t they help themselves?

    I guarantee you that message would work better than whatever the Democrats came up with. If they came up with anything. Their usual strategy is cowering in a fetal position until the bad men go away. (I say that as a Democratic voter)

  77. Pinky says:

    @HarvardLaw92: I wish you owned a newspaper. Like, in Baltimore. I’d love to see today’s headline: NO REPUBLICAN WIN IN MARYLAND.

    And that was cute the way you put “taking Maryland” in quotes, implying that I said it. If you want to get fussy about words, you’re the one who said that the Republicans didn’t win in Maryland. If you said the Republicans didn’t win Maryland, ok, sort of. If you said that the Republicans didn’t take the Maryland state house and senate, sure. You said that they didn’t win in Maryland. But you parsed the snot out of it, even saying that the Democrats maintained their broad majorities. Remind me never to ask you to maintain my car.

    I know that denial is a natural part of the grieving process, but seriously, you could have come up with something a lot better than saying that the Republicans didn’t win in Maryland.

  78. Grewgills says:

    To be fair Harvard was responding to someone that claimed the Republicans won Maryland. That would mean to me that Maryland was now Republican controlled, rather than Republicans made modest gains in the legislature that still left all of the major legislation firmly controlled by Democrats. The governor’s race was surprising to me, but Maryland was not won by Republicans unless you think that the governor’s race is all it takes to win control of the state.
    If Harvard had not been responding to Don Vito’s overblown rhetoric you would have a point.

  79. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: This IS a thread about governors’ races. Vito mentioned Maryland three times, Illinois three times, and Massachusetts twice, and linked to an article about governors’ races. And Vito did say they won “in” all three. Did anyone here think that Republicans won every seat in MA, MD, and IL? A quick look, and I can’t find any mention of state legislatures on this thread until Harvard used them as proof that the GOP didn’t win in Maryland.

  80. HarvardLaw92 says:


    Maryland voters have never, in the entire history of the state, elected a lieutenant governor to Government House. Beyond that, when presented with an abysmal Dem candidate for governor (Kennedy Townsend? Brown?, they will occasionally flip to the other side and install a GOP governor (by occasionally I mean 3 times – including Hogan – in the last 55 years …)

    That having been said, they have never failed to subsequently throw said GOP governor out of office 4 years later.

    Simple version? They elected Hogan? Big deal. They elected Ehrlich too, and wasted no time throwing him out on his ass four years later. They rejected him a second time – by a wider margin – four years after that.

    The broader point is that you and your pal Vito seem determined to want to conflate Hogan winning into being something bigger, something more meaningful – some sort of indicator of a tidal shift in the Maryland electorate towards conservatism. It isn’t. Marylanders sent a placeholder GOP governor to Annapolis while saddling him with a resoundingly Dem controlled state government. Dem Attorney General. Dem controller. Dem controlled General Assembly with a veto proof majority. They knew that they were doing it. Believe me – if Marylanders were turning red, they wouldn’t have sent the primary, very public backer of SB281 to the AG’s office by a margin of over 250,000 votes.

    Trust me – I grew up in Baltimore and cut my political teeth working in WDS’s gubernatorial campaigns. I know Maryland politics. You don’t. You’re trying to turn an aberration into something else. You’re in for a disappointment in 2018.

  81. HarvardLaw92 says:


    And while we’re on the subject, it’s pretty clear that Brown simply failed – on every level – to resonate with or motivate Dem voters, and they stayed home in numbers significant enough to push Hogan over the top. Turnout in Montgomery, PG and BC dropped significantly, while turnout in traditional Republican strongholds like Carroll, Harford and Baltimore County surged. Hogan motivated his voters and Brown did not. If anything, he offended them.

    Point being? Brown largely beat himself. Curt, Mike, and pretty much everybody else I know in Maryland who actually understand Maryland politics did everything but hit Brown over the head trying to get him to step back from the negative ads and the focus on Hogan’s social positions. Brown chose to listen to his idiot strategists and Lehane instead. It cost him the governorship.

  82. Grewgills says:

    Vito was trying to argue that this election cycle was all about the electorate repudiating Obama and democratic policies rather than about the electorate in a 6th year midterm election. Sixth year elections tend to go against the party in power. Republican supporters tend to have higher participation than Democratic constituencies in off year elections. Some of this election was about Obama’s low approval numbers, but even if Obama was in the mid 50s rather than the mid 40s it would have been a good year for Republicans and it wouldn’t have made a difference in the Maryland governors race.
    I’ll predict now that in two years the Democrats will have a good election year and they will claim a mandate and that it is a repudiation of Republican behavior, while Republicans point out the senate class that is up and demographics. Then Republicans will be mostly right. Reading this election as some sort of grand repudiation of Democratic policies, given the states that were up is not warranted.