Of the five competitive races for governor across the country this cycle, Republicans needed to defend two seats (in Indiana and North Carolina) while making a play for the Democratic seats in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Missouri. So far, Republicans have some reason for optimism. Indiana governor Eric Holcomb, Mike Pence’s replacement, was behind for much of the race but now leads Democrat John Gregg by a healthy margin with about half of precincts reporting. In Vermont, Republican lieutenant governor Phil Scott is currently leading Democrat Sue Minter, albeit with lots of votes left to be counted. In New Hampshire and Missouri, the returns are too scant to see any trends.
And in North Carolina, Democratic challenger Roy Cooper is leading Republican governor Pat McCrory by about two percentage points, but most precincts haven’t reported their Election Day balloting yet. Several of these are GOP-leaning suburban counties, but there are also Democratic counties left to come in. This one may be a squeaker.