Image courtesy 12019 from Pixabay

With the 2021 elections now in the rearview mirror, many are already fixated on various races in 2022, especially gubernatorial races.  While two states, Virginia and New Jersey, held their gubernatorial elections in 2021, 36 states will hold them in 2022.


Current Landscape

With Glenn Youngkin (R) flipping the Virginia governor’s mansion from Democratic to Republican in November’s election, the Republican Party will control 28 governorships in 2022 to the Democratic Party’s 22.

Democratic governors will defend 16 governorships in 2022, and Republican governors will defend 21 of their own.

Alabama: incumbent Kay Ivey (R)

Alaska: incumbent Mike Dunleavy (R)

Arizona: incumbent Doug Ducey (R)*

Arkansas: incumbent Asa Hutchinson (R)*

California: incumbent Gavin Newsom (D)

Colorado: incumbent Jared Polis (D)

Connecticut: incumbent Ned Lamont (D)

Florida: incumbent Ron DeSantis (R)

Georgia: incumbent Brian Kemp (R)

Guam: incumbent Lou Leon Guerrero (D)

Hawaii: incumbent David Ige (D)*

Idaho: incumbent Brad Little (R)

Illinois: incumbent J.B. Pritzker (D)

Iowa: incumbent Kim Reynolds (R)

Kansas: incumbent Laura Kelly (D)

Maine: incumbent Janet Mills (D)

Maryland: incumbent Larry Hogan (R)*

Massachusetts: incumbent Charlie Baker (R)*

Michigan: incumbent Gretchen Whitmer (D)

Minnesota: incumbent Tim Walz (D)

Nebraska: incumbent Pete Ricketts (R)*

Nevada: incumbent Steve Sisolak (D)

New Hampshire: incumbent Chris Sununu (R)

New Mexico: incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)

New York: incumbent Kathy Hochul (D)

Northern Mariana Islands: incumbent Ralph Torres (R)*

Ohio: incumbent Mike DeWine (R)

Oklahoma: incumbent Kevin Stitt (R)

Oregon: incumbent Kate Brown (D)*

Pennsylvania: incumbent Tom Wolf (D)*

Rhode Island: incumbent Daniel McKee (D)

South Carolina: incumbent Henry McMaster (R)

South Dakota: incumbent Kristi Noem (R)

Tennessee: incumbent Bill Lee (R)

Texas: incumbent Greg Abbott (R)

Vermont: incumbent Phil Scott (R)

U.S. Virgin Islands: incumbent Albert Bryan (D)

Wisconsin: incumbent Tony Evers (D)

Wyoming: incumbent Mark Gordon (R)

*denotes an incumbent


Toss-Up 2022 Races

Democratic governors are currently are in control in Kansas and Pennsylvania, where both races are expected to be toss-ups.  Pennsylvania incumbent Governor Tom Wolf is term-limited.

Republicans currently control the governor’s office in Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Maryland. Incumbent Governors Larry Hogan of Maryland and Doug Ducey of Arizona are term-limited. Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) recently announced that he would not seek re-election. Stacy Abrams (D) announced that she would challenge incumbent Georgia Governor Brian Kemp (R).

Other expected competitive races include Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Florida.  Other states may become competitive depending on the incumbents’ decisions to run for re-election (i.e., New Hampshire).


Safe 2022 Races

The Cook Political Report lists the Democratic Party as having eight solid seats and seven likely/lean seats, with the Republican Party having 12 solid seats and six likely/lean seats.

Cook lists California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, Oregon, and Rhode Island as “Solid D,” and Maine, Minnesota, and New York as “Likely D.”

Cook further lists Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wyoming as “Solid R” and Iowa, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas as “Likely R.”


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