DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Fueled by the hardcore conservative tea party movement, Republicans swept into governorships four years ago on a wave of discontent. They ousted Democrats long used to holding power, and promised conservative makeovers.
Now Democrats are hoping for a backlash as the architects of those sweeping social and economic policy changes face the voters next year.
Republicans control 29 of the nation's 50 governorships, including 20 of the 36 that are on the ballot in 2014. Among them are states in the Midwest and Southwest that President Barack Obama carried last year in winning re-election.
Republicans have undone much of the Democratic legacies they inherited with sharp budget cuts and restrictions on labor unions. But Democrats have struggled to find strong candidates to take back statehouses they once controlled.