The Campaign Spot

SPOILER ALERT: This Is How the Governors’ Races Turn Out . . . Well, Some of Them.

Here’s what happens when we apply Sean Trende’s chart to the big governor’s races this year, using the current RealClearPolitics averages, and accounting for the fact that we’re now 12 days from Election Day.

Almost all of the big governor’s races are very, very, very close.

In Georgia, Republican Nathan Deal leads by nine-tenths of a percentage point.

In Florida, Democratic nominee Charlie Crist is ahead by eight-tenths of a percentage point.

In Kansas, Republican incumbent Sam Brownback is ahead by six-tenths of a percentage point.

If we round those up to 1 percent, the chart says that historically candidates with a 1 percent lead 12 days from Election Day won 88 percent of the time. Pretty good! But before those candidates break out the party hats, if they have the same 1 percent or so lead on Monday, the odds look worse. Candidates with 1 percent leads 7 to 9 days out only won 68 percent of the time. And if you’re ahead by one with 4 to 6 days to go, the number goes down to 50 percent.

Five big races are so close, the leading candidate doesn’t even have a lead of a half a percentage point, so their lead isn’t on the chart.

Wisconsin is a tie. In Illinois, Republican challenger Bruce Rauner leads by two-tenths of a percentage point. In Colorado, incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper also leads by two-tenths of a percentage point. In Maine, Democratic challenger Mike Michaud also leads by two-tenths of a percentage point.

In Connecticut, Republican Tom Foley leads by three-tenths of a percentage point.

Moving on to the races where one candidate has a more substantial lead . . . 

In Alaska, independent Bill Walker is ahead of Republican incumbent Sean Parnell by 3.8 points. On the chart, that comes out to 92 percent.

In Massachusetts, Republican Charlie Baker is ahead by 4.5 points. Whether you round up or down, the effect is the same; candidates in his position win 92 percent of the time.

In Michigan, Republican incumbent Snyder is ahead by 5.7 points. Rounding up to 6 points, candidates in his position went on to win 93 percent of the time.

In Arizona, Republican Doug Ducey is ahead by 8 points — strangely, candidates with that lead at this point win “only” 90 percent of the time.

In Arkansas, Republican Asa Hutchinson leads by 7.5 points — he would be better off if he rounded down; candidates with a 7-point lead at this point won 100 percent of the time; with an 8-point lead, it was 90 percent.


The Latest