(by Jim Suhr, The Washington Times) AP – North Carolina voters elected their first Republican governor in two decades Tuesday. … The victory by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory came two years after Republicans snatched six governors’ offices in the 2010 midterm elections, which gave the party 29 governorships to 20 for Democrats and one independent entering Tuesday’s elections, in which 11 gubernatorial races were to be decided.

When all the ballots are counted, Republicans could have as many as 33 governorships – the most since the 1920s and one more than they had in the 1990s. [The Republican Governors Association noted in a statement on Tuesday that the party would now hold the top job in at least 30 states, the highest number held by either party in 12 years.]

Mr. McCrory defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton to become the state’s first GOP chief executive since Jim Martin left office in early 1993. Mr. McCrory had lost his gubernatorial bid in 2008 to Democrat Beverly Perdue, who opted not to run for re-election this year.

Democratic governors were leaving office in North Carolina, Montana, New Hampshire and Washington, raising Republican hopes that at least some of those offices could be flipped to the GOP. But New Hampshire’s governor’s mansion remained in Democratic hands Tuesday, as did those in Vermont and Delaware.

Recent polls have shown a tight race in Washington state, where the GOP hasn’t occupied the governor’s mansion in more than three decades. [As of the morning of Nov. 8, this race has not been decided.]

Popular Republican incumbents in conservative states such as Utah and North Dakota were considered likely to [win, which they did]. The GOP also was competing in West Virginia and Missouri, the latter a state where national Republican and Democratic governors’ groups have poured millions into the race between Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican businessman rival Dave Spence. [The Democratic candidates won in both races.]

Democrats had modest hopes of taking over the governorship in Indiana, where Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is stepping down, though polling consistently favored the GOP’s Rep. Mike Pence, who ultimately won the race. …..

Kate Hansen, a Democratic Governors Association spokeswoman, said 2012 is a difficult year for Democrats, since they had more seats to defend.

But in at least three Democratic states, Democrats…prevailed [as expected]. Gov. Peter Shumlin won another term in Vermont, Gov. Jack Markell in Delaware and state Sen. Maggie Hassan was elected to lead New Hampshire.

[The win by Republican Pat McCrory, a former Charlotte mayor was a major milestone for the Republican party. Not only is it the first time North Carolina has elected a Republican governor since 1988, it also gave the GOP 30 statehouse seats, the highest number for either party in 12 years. The Democrats now have 19 governor seats. One state, Rhode Island, has an independent governor.]

Copyright 2012 The Washington Times, LLC.   From the Associated Press.  Reprinted from the Washington Times for educational purposes only.  Visit the website at washingtontimes.com.


1.  Define gubernatorial, GOP and incumbent.

2.  Who is Pat McCrory?

3.  What is significant about Mr. McCrory’s win?

4.  Which race has not yet been decided?

5.  Why did the Democratic candidates win in Vermont, Delaware and New Hampshire?

6.  Who is the governor of your state?

7.  a) Do you think the fact that a majority of states have voted for Republican governors is significant? Explain your answer.
b)  It was difficult to find many news reports on the overall outcome of the governor races.  Do you think the media would report more widely on the story of the governor races if the Democratic Party had won 30 races, or is this just not an important story to report?  Explain your answer.

In which states did President Obama win the electoral votes, but a Republican is or won the governorship?  For each state, explain why you think this is so.

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