Three U.S. states have Governors races in 2015, and Democrats are poised to win two of them. All three races are in the South, with races in Deep South Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as in the border South state of Kentucky. Given the Republican lean of the South, Democrats are doing pretty well to be polling ahead of the GOP in two of the region’s three gubernatorial races.
While Mississippi’s GOP Governor Phil Bryant appears safe, Democrats are in position to seize the Governor’s mansion in an open seat race in Louisiana and to hold the Governorship in the open seat Kentucky race.
In the race to replace Louisiana GOP Governor Bobby Jindal, Democrat John Bel Edwards has opened up a 12-point lead over Republican David Vitter, according to an Anzalone Liszt Grove Research poll released on October 29th. Edwards led 52 to 40 percent in that survey. That runoff will be held on November 21st, but Edwards’ has to like his chances at this point.
Kentucky’s race will be decided on Tuesday, November 3rd, and Democrats are well positioned to win that race as well. A Survey USA Kentucky Bluegrass Poll released on October 28th found Democrat Jack Conway ahead of Republican Matt Bevin by a 45 to 40 percent margin. Independent Drew Curtis was bringing in 6 percent in that survey. The winner will replace current Democratic Governor Steve Beshear.
While it is hard to extrapolate national trends from just a handful of races, it is clear that Republicans are going to have difficulty running the table in the three red states that have Governor’s races in 2015.
John Bel Edwards in Louisiana and Jack Conway in Kentucky, could both score major victories for Democrats in states that lean heavily Republican in national elections. With Democratic fortunes rising in red states, the outlook in blue states and swing states in 2016 might also end up turning out better than political pundits are currently predicting.