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Republicans capture at least 7 US governorships

 Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder puts an "I Voted" sticker on his jacket after casting his vote in the general election, Tuesd...
 New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, arrives to vote with his wife Dr. Susan Lynch and daughter Julia Lynch, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Hopkinton, N.H. Lync...
 Incumbent Democratic Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe votes in Searcy, Ark., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Beebe is running against Republican Jim Keet. (AP Photo/R...

Michigan Governor

Michigan Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder puts an "I Voted" sticker on his jacket after casting his vote in the general election, Tuesd...

New Hampshire Governor

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, arrives to vote with his wife Dr. Susan Lynch and daughter Julia Lynch, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010, in Hopkinton, N.H. Lync...

Arkansas Governor

Incumbent Democratic Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe votes in Searcy, Ark., Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. Beebe is running against Republican Jim Keet. (AP Photo/R...

Republicans on Tuesday captured governorships that had been held by Democrats in at least seven states, including some key presidential battlegrounds, and hoped for even more statehouse gains.
The same tide sweeping Republicans into office in Congress was leaving its mark on governors' mansions as well, especially in the U.S. industrial heartland.
The gubernatorial races were especially important this year. There are a record number of them on the ballot _ more than two-thirds of the states. Governors will play important roles in 2012 presidential politics, especially in swing states, and governors next year will participate in redistricting of congressional and legislative seat to reflect the 2010 census.
Lost in the Republican onslaught were governorships now held by Democrats in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
Even so, there were a few bright spots for Democrats in the face of an anti-incumbent groundswell sweeping the U.S., including key gubernatorial victories in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland.
New York Democrat Andrew Cuomo surged past ultraconservative tea party Republican Carl Paladino to win the governor's seat, the same post his father, Mario, had held two decades ago.
In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick, won a second term, defeating Republican Charles Baker and two other candidates. Patrick and President Barack Obama share Chicago roots and Harvard Law degrees, and national Republicans tried hard to topple him.
And the Democratic governors of Maryland, New Hampshire and Arkansas turned aside Republican challenges.
Denver's Democratic mayor, John Hickenlooper, was elected Colorado governor despite a challenge from both Republican challenger Dan Maes and immigration hard-liner Tom Tancredo, a former Republican House member. Hickenlooper replaces Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter, who did not run for re-election.
But most of the news for Democrats was gloomy, as the same wave that engulfed congressional Democrats took its toll on governor's mansions.
In a high-profile race into which both parties spent millions, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who has already served 10 years, defeated Democrat Bill White, a former mayor of Houston. Perry had aligned himself with the Sarah Palin wing of the Republican Party.
In Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania, Republican Tom Corbett defeated Democrat Dan Onorato to replace Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who was term limited.
Oklahoma and South Carolina elected their first female governors, both Republicans.
Democrats looked for some consolation prizes, hoping for a win by Democrat Jerry Brown to get his old job back as governor of California. He was facing former eBay CEO Meg Whith
But clearly, this Election Day was not one Democrats were savoring, with anti-incumbent fever 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 midterm 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 the smaller number.
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. Besides having some of the nation's highest jobless rates, many of these those 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.
In California, 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.
In Florida, Republican-turned-independent Gov. Charlie Crist decided to run for the Senate, a contest he lost Tuesday.
Florida's was among the hardest-fought races in the country, with both parties spending millions on the race between Republican businessman Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer. Another closely watched race, and one of the fiercest, was in Ohio, where Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland battled for a second term against Republican Jon Kasich, a former chairman of the House Budget Committee.
There are currently 26 Democratic governors and 24 Republicans.


Updated : 2021-04-13 04:31 GMT+08:00