Republicans are at risk to lose some governorships in the 2018 midterm elections, which could affect the presidential reelection and have a negative impact on redistricting after the 2020 census. Republicans have 26 seats to defend with only 19 held by Democrats in the election.
Republicans are on the defensive in a number of states, including Florida, Ohio and Illinois. One open seat they would like to win is Colorado. Outside observers, like Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia on CNBC and Louis Jacobson of Governing Magazine, continue to rate Colorado as competitive.
They recognize the state has shifted slightly Democratic to the benefit of Jared Polis (see “Polis Begins Campaign in Strong Position”), but they are assuming that a nominee with as liberal a reputation as he has is going to be vulnerable to a reasonably competitive opponent and campaign.
Neither the Polis or Republican Walker Stapleton campaigns have really started, but each side’s supporters have launched initial attacks, with Republicans (the National Republican Governor’s Association) warning of “Californicating” Colorado and Democrats arguing Walker Stapleton is a pawn of Donald Trump and friend of Tom Tancredo.
Polis is an advocate of a single-payer health care system, an opponent of gas and oil fracking, and a high-profile advocate of gay rights and the legalization of recreational use of marijuana – a comfortable agenda for a Boulder congressman and likely a majority of Colorado Democrats. But historically, or even in recent history, putting it all together in one candidate would be a tough sell for the state.
However, at the end of August in the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats appear to have the advantage.
The Buzz: If it’s Stapleton vs. Polis, who wins?
CNBC: With 36 governorships up for grabs in midterm elections, Republicans have most to lose