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Democrats hold governorships in NH, Ark

 Carl Paladino, center, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate, waits as his wife, Cathy, left, has her ballot scanned at their voting district i...
 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown signs his name before voting at Oakland Fire Station 6 in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP ...

New York Governor

Carl Paladino, center, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate, waits as his wife, Cathy, left, has her ballot scanned at their voting district i...

California Governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown signs his name before voting at Oakland Fire Station 6 in Oakland, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP ...

The Democratic governors of New Hampshire and Arkansas overcame an anti-incumbent groundswell on Tuesday, but the party braced for statehouse losses elsewhere as voters selected governors in more than two-thirds of the states.
New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch defeated Republican health-care consultant John Stephen to win a fourth consecutive term.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe easily won a second term in a state where President Barack Obama's agenda is unpopular. He defeated Republican businessman Jim Keet.
The victories were two bright spots for Democrats as Republicans sought large governorship gains to match their hoped-for sweep in Congress.
In Tennessee, Republican Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam defeated Democratic businessman Mike McWherter to win the state's open governorship, taking a seat that Democrats had held. Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen was term-limited and did not run.
Democrats looked for some other consolation prizes amid the expected rubble: perhaps a win by Democrat Jerry Brown to get his old job back in California, the country's most populous state; and an expected win by Democrat Andrew Cuomo in second-most-populous New York to keep in Democratic hands the seat once held by father Mario.
But clearly, this Election Day was not one Democrats were savoring, with anti-incumbent fever running rampant and unemployment stuck for months at near 10 percent.
Historically, the party holding the White House has lost around five governorships in the first congressional election after a new president takes office. Analysts in both parties expected Democratic casualties to be higher this year. Republicans anticipated a net pickup of at least six and possibly as many as 12. Democrats hoped losses could be held to half that.
Republicans eyed potential gains of governorships now held by Democrats across a wide swath of the industrial Midwest and Great Lakes, from Iowa to Pennsylvania. In addition to having some of the nation's highest jobless rates, many of these states have traditionally been presidential swing states.
The Republican Party fought hard to increase its foothold in New England, traditionally Democratic turf but this year very much in play. Republicans sought to claim governorships held by Democrats in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and to extend Republican reigns in Rhode Island, Vermont and Connecticut.
Some 37 governorships were on the line _ a combination of the usual rotation plus races to fill unexpired terms and some states changing their election cycles.
Of these races, 24 were for "open" seats, ones in which no incumbent was running. Some incumbents were term-limited; others decided not to run in such hard economic times.
High profile races included the one in California, where Democrat Brown, currently the attorney general, was in a fierce battle with billionaire Republican Meg Whitman. The former CEO of eBay poured more than $150 million of her own money into the campaign, making it the most expensive nonpresidential race in the nation's history.
There are currently 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republicans.


Updated : 2021-04-17 22:37 GMT+08:00