Why You Shouldn’t Forget About This Year’s Gubernatorial Elections

The battle for control of the U.S. Senate is rightfully getting a lot of press going into the November midterm, but voters will also cast ballots in 27 governor’s races – over a dozen of which could be very close contests.

The races are important because anti-worker legislation is increasingly being passed at the state level. Republican governors Rick Snyder of Michigan and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, both facing tough re-election battles in November, pushed through variations of right-to-work laws during their first terms.

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage wanted to pass right-to-work, and now he’s in a close race with U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a member of the United Steelworkers. Tom Corbett, Republican governor of Pennsylvania, is struggling mightily against Democratic challenger Tom Wolf after Corbett spent four years going after public sector unions.

“The most embattled collection of politicians this fall are neither members of the Senate nor the House. That distinction falls upon the nation’s governors,” writes Washington Post Chief Political Correspondent Dan Balz. “Compared with elected officials in Washington, incumbent governors are struggling disproportionally.”

Real Clear Politics lists 10 gubernatorial races with incumbents on the ballot – seven Republicans and three Democrats – as tossups. Open races in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii and Massachusetts are also polling too closely to favor either side.

If you haven’t registered to vote or have recently moved, the clock is ticking. Many states have voter registration deadlines of October 6. Register today.