We’re less than three weeks away from Election Day, and while much of the focus has been on the potential red wave in the United States House and Senate, Republicans could also see a handful of pick-ups in gubernatorial races as well.
As evidenced by powerhouse Republican governors such as Ron DeSantis (FL), Greg Abbott (TX), and Glenn Youngkin (VA), conservatives at the state executive level have the power to change national discourse.
Here’s a brief rundown of some of the latest polling averages for Oregon, Nevada, and New York.
For this week’s Midterm Exam Part Two, we’ll take a look at Michigan and Wisconsin.
Perhaps most surprisingly, Oregon could see a Republican back in the governor’s office for the first time since 1987.
Oregon’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan is currently leading her Democratic opponent Tina Kotek by 0.4 percentage points, 37.8% to 37.4%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average.
A third-party candidate, Betsy Johnson, could siphon votes away from Kotek and give Drazan the victory on Election Day.
The candidates had their final debate this week, giving voters one last chance to see all three women matched up against each other.
“The stakes are really high, in part because there’s a large number of undecided voters in Oregon,” Christopher Stout, associate professor of political science at Oregon State University, told KGW 8. “I think in almost any election, people have already decided who they’re going to vote for. But in this case, because we have three really qualified candidates, a lot of voters are trying to make their final decision.”
Stout noted that Drazan “set the tone” of the debate early on in the night.
“Her response was that we need to show compassion and understand what they’re going through,” Stout said about Drazan’s response to a question about homelessness, noting it was evident Drazan was courting independent voters. “This kind of hearkens back to an idea of a ‘compassionate conservative’ that we saw in the early 2000s with George W. Bush.”
More information on this race can be found here.
Democratic incumbent Governor Steve Sisolak is facing a strong challenge from GOP nominee Joe Lombardo.
According to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, Lombardo leads Sisolak by a margin of 45% to 44.8%.
Crime is a top issue in Nevada, and just this week Nevada’s Police Union (NPU) announced a vote of “no confidence” in Sisolak.
“It has become clear that our members believe public safety is not a priority of this governor and that is why they have overwhelmingly declared no confidence in Governor Sisolak to ever address these critical issues,” NPU President Dan Gordon said in a statement regarding Nevada’s depleted police force.
Lombardo, for his part, has earned endorsements from former President Donald J. Trump as well as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) founder Dana White.
Thank you so much for your endorsement and support, @danawhite!
— Joe Lombardo (@JoeLombardoNV) October 20, 2022
Don’t look now, but Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) is surging in his bid against incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul.
Per FiveThirtyEight’s polling average, Hochul is leading Zeldin 50.1% to 42.5%. So, this race may not be as close as Nevada or Oregon, but that doesn’t mean that Republicans should throw in the towel.
On October 18, Quinnipiac University released a poll showing Hochul with a 50-46% lead over Zeldin. That’s the closest QU’s poll has been all cycle, according to the Gotham Gazette.
“In the blue state of New York, the race for governor is competitive,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Mary Snow said in a statement. “Democrats have cruised to victory in gubernatorial races since 2006, but Governor Hochul’s narrow edge puts Republican Lee Zeldin well within striking distance of her.”
Writing for Daily Wire+, columnist Dave Marcus outright predicted that Zeldin would win given the prominence of issues such as crime and inflation in the race.
In politics as in life, many things seem absolutely certain right up until they don’t. That’s where the governor’s race has arrived in New York. A once unthinkable Zeldin win isn’t just being thought of now, it’s become more likely than not to occur. For a city and state crippled by crime, which went through some of the harshest Covid lockdowns, thanks in part to Hochul, and has bled citizens to Florida like they are following Moses, a new dawn seems to be cracking the horizon. You heard it here first, Lee Zeldin is going to win.
Marcus’s entire column can be read here.
Tune in for the next midterm exam, where we’ll go ever the latest polling out of the Wolverine State and the Badger State.