With 36 governorships up for grabs in the midterm elections, Republicans have most to lose

FLORIDA

Current control: Republican

Primaries: Aug. 28

With Florida Gov. Rick Scott term-limited and seeking to move on to the U.S. Senate, this crucial seat in a bellwether state is open, and there is no shortage of candidates to fill it. Both parties hold primary elections on Aug. 28, and both are crowded. The Republican field includes U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis and state Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. The Democratic primary features two mayors — Philip Levine of Miami Beach and Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee.

OHIO

Current control: Republican

GOP nominee: Mike DeWine

Democratic nominee: Richard Cordray

Ohio is another open seat in a swing state, with Gov. John Kasich term-limited. The race pits state attorney general and former U.S. Senator Mike DeWine against former consumer financial protection bureau director — and former state attorney general — Richard Cordray. Democrats are hoping for a pickup in Ohio, but most observers — including Sabato — rate the race as a toss-up.

ILLINOIS

Current control: Republican

GOP nominee: Bruce Rauner (I)

Democratic nominee: J.B. Pritzker

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner has had a rocky first term. First, he angered his fellow Republicans by signing a bill to allow Medicaid funding of abortions. Then he enraged Democrats by pushing the Janus vs. AFSCME case, recently decided by the Supreme Court, barring public employee unions from requiring non-members to pay fees. Organized labor has declared all-out war against Rauner. Democrats are pinning their hopes for a pickup on hotel magnate and venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker. But the Illinois race is muddled by third-party candidates, including conservative State Sen. Sam McCann, who also enjoys union support.

COLORADO

Current control: Democrat

Democratic nominee: Jared Polis

GOP nominee: Walker Stapleton

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is term-limited. Republican hopes of a pickup may depend on whether Coloradans are resistant to moving left of Hickenlooper’s more business-friendly tenure. Democratic nominee Jared Polis, a five-term congressman from Boulder, would be the first openly gay Colorado governor. He has proposed a regional single-payer health-care system across the West. The Republican nominee, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, has called for an end to sanctuary cities in Colorado and has promised to fight against burdensome regulations.

ALASKA

Current control: Independent

Independent candidate: Bill Walker (I)

Primaries: Aug. 28

Both major parties see a chance for a pickup in Alaska, where Independent Gov. Bill Walker faces an uphill battle for a second term. The sharp decline in oil prices early in Walker’s term plunged the state into a deep fiscal crisis. Last month Walker and the state legislature managed to trim a $2.4 billion budget shortfall down to $700 million. But to do so, they reduced the popular Permanent Fund Dividend, which represents Alaskans’ share of the state’s oil wealth. The major parties will hold their primaries Aug. 28 to determine who will take on Walker. Candidates include Democratic former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, as well as former State Sen. Mike Dunleavy and former Lieutenant Gov. Mead Treadwell, both Republicans.

CNBC Special Correspondent Scott Cohn will reveal the winners and the losers in our 12th annual rankings of America’s Top States for Business live on “Squawk Box,” Tuesday, July 10. For full coverage of this year’s study, you can visit CNBC.com.

Source of this (above) article: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/03/the-overlooked-midterm-elections-where-republicans-have-most-to-lose.html

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