The Corner

A Talking Point Fades Away

This is a serious question: Whatever happened to the state-governor advantage? It seems to me that in past presidential elections, there was a lot of punditry about the advantage a party gets in holding the governor’s mansion in a closely contested state. It was just one of those small bits of conventional wisdom pundits threw into the mix of factors. Governors can’t deliver a state, the pundits and pols used to say, but the organization and resources a governor could deliver were good for maybe a point or two. I could swear I heard this sort of thing a lot. I don’t know if it was true then and not true now or if it was never true or if it’s still true and we’re just not hearing about it, but it always made intuitive sense to me and the experts from both sides of the ideological aisle tended to agree with it. I don’t think I’ve heard that conversation more than once or twice this year. Maybe I’ve missed it. Maybe the rise of early voting has erased that advantage? I just don’t know. 

But if it is still true, then it’s worth keeping in mind that Republicans sure have the lead in swing-state governors: Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Iowa, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.


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