2016: The Coming GOP Gubernatorial Sweep

With all the growing news coverage during the upcoming election cycle over presidential candidates and control of the U.S. Senate, one aspect of the cycle has been under-reported. It is the so-called ‘Republican wall’ within gubernatorial races.

There has been a trend in the past decade where Republicans have grown to dominate in statewide races for chief executive. Even traditionally blue states have elected Republican governors, as was seen in last year’s midterms in Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts.

What’s more, the majority of Democrat attempts to counter those victories within red states have been decisively rebuffed, as we saw in Kansas, Florida, Wisconsin, and a number of other states.

The 2016 election cycle appears poised to continue that trend for Republicans and could provide a bulkhead should Democrats prove successful in bids for the White House and control of the Senate.

Deeply red and blue states are also becoming harder to ‘flip’ within the gubernatorial races. This means that while Republicans have been able to pick off a few blue states, it is highly unlikely that Democrats will have much chance to pick off red states next year.

Additionally, the Republicans have strong candidates at the top of the ballot in these states. This will allow lower ballot races for the state legislatures to follow suit and provide an additional insurance policy against big Democratic gains within the typical pro-Democratic presidential cycle.