At a Florida fund-raising retreat, Democratic Governors and candidates have expressed serious concerns over election chances come this November.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper stated, “when you’re frustrated and angry, you blame the guy at the top.” Cooper’s comment comes as Biden’s approval rating reaches an RCP average of 40.7%. Republicans currently have an RCP generic ballot average of R+3.6.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who narrowly won his reelection bid in a state where Biden won by 16 percentage points, added that Democrats have “undersold historic investment.” Murphy expressed his concern by admitting that people are “mad as hell.” He also claimed that people weren’t “necessarily sure why they’re mad or who they’re mad at.”
Murphy’s comments shed light on one of the Democrats’ greatest weaknesses– their out-of-touch disposition. Polling shows that 75% of Americans rate the economy’s condition as “not so good” or “poor.” The public by a 3-1 margin believes that the economy has gotten worse since Biden took office. This comes as the national debt has exceeded $30 trillion and inflation has reached 7.5%. Not to mention the anger of COVID restrictions.
Attendees of the retreat expressed hopes that Biden’s State of the Union Address would serve as a “pivot point” for the administration. However, a donor noted that “no one trusts the Democrat brand.”
Democrats will be defending 16 Governor seats this November. Several of those seats are seen as competitive. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and Kansas are seen as the best shots for Republicans to retake governorships.
In Kansas, Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt will face incumbent Democratic Governor Laura Kelly. RCP predicts this race as a “lean Republican.” In Michigan, Republican James Craig (former Chief of the Detroit Police Department) is tied with incumbent Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
Even states like New Mexico and Maine are seen as competitive. In New Mexico, Mark Ronchetti–news anchor and former Republican nominee for the US Senate in 2020–is polling 42% to incumbent Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 43%.
However, Republicans are poised to lose two seats–Massachusetts and Maryland. Surprisingly, Maryland and Massachusetts both have “Republican” governors. Charlie Baker–Governor of Massachusetts–announced that he would forgo running for a third term. Baker was reelected in 2018 with 66% of the vote. In Maryland, Larry Hogan is term limited. Hogan won his reelection bid in 2018 with 55% of the vote. Both of these seats, both currently held by highly popular moderate Republicans, are seen as likely or safe flips for Democrats.
In better news, the prospects of Republicans holding their current seats–with the exception of Massachusetts and Maryland–are very good. In Florida, Ron DeSantis has a 16 to 9 percent average lead over the three democrats running for Governor. In Texas, Greg Abbott will face Beto O’Rourke. Currently, Abbott holds an 8.8% average lead over O’Rourke.
With current trends, Republicans should be optimistic at their chances of picking up several news seats this November–not just Governor seats but also US Senate and US House seats.