This year, 26 states have both a Senate and Governor’s race on the ballot, and we expect most of them to go to candidates of the same party. But there are a few exceptions: Two strong candidates from opposite parties, and the lack of a strong candidate, particularly among Republican challengers, could lead some states to a split ticket.
Galen Druke: Over the past few years, as partisanship has grown in America, we’ve seen most voters stick to the party line up and down the ballot. In fact, in 2020, Maine was the only state to split its ticket between a Democratic president and Republican Senator.
Americans are more likely to break with their party in their vote for governor than for Senate, but even that has become more rare in recent years. This year, 26 states have both a Senate seat and a Governor’s race on the ballot, and we expect most of them to go to candidates of the same party. But there are a few exceptions.
Vermont and New Hampshire, for example, have strong candidates from opposite parties running for Senate and Governor this year.
In other cases, it’s the lack of a strong candidate, particularly among Republican challengers, that could lead to a split ticket.
In Georgia’s Governor’s race, Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams is trailing behind Republican Brian Kemp. This isn’t so surprising — Georgia may have shifted more Democratic in recent years, but it still has a large conservative base, and Kemp is the incumbent. But the Senate race is really close. The Republican, Herschel Walker, may be a hometown football hero, but he’s also been accused of domestic violence, and embroiled in controversies.
In Ohio, our model shows Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent with a very clear lead.
But, in the race for Senate, it’s much closer. Republican J.D. Vance is a political newcomer, and he’s made controversial statements that may have rocked his support among the Republican base. He’s still favored to win, but Democrat Tim Ryan has a chance.
In Pennsylvania, the Senate race has tightened. But, in the governor’s race Democrat Josh Shapiro is clearly favored over Republican Doug Mastriano, an election denier with ties to a social media site rife with racism and anti-Semitism.
It’s important to note the differences in each office’s power. Governors have more say in closer to home issues and come to represent the image of a state. Senators on the other hand are one of 100 votes in the biggest national partisan battles. We’ll have to wait until the votes are counted to see if these states split or not.
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