With redistricting on every politician’s mind, voters will choose some three dozen governors on Tuesday, and Republicans are expected to win the lion's share of those races, according to the latest polls.
Democrats have a slight edge over Republicans going into the midterm elections, but GOP officials have said they expect to pick up at least six governors’ chairs to bring their total to more than 30. The Republican count could go higher since the latest polls have several races too close to call, including in the pivotal state of Florida.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released Monday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink holds a statistically insignificant 1-point lead over former healthcare executive Rick Scott. But the key will be the 9% of the electorate still undecided, said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of polling.
Sink, the Democrat, was further ahead in previous polls, so the current survey shows Scott, the Republican, with some momentum. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 points.
The final Ohio Poll is more optimistic for the GOP, showing Republicans capturing both the governor’s race and the Senate seat. Top Democrats, including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Clinton, campaigned in Ohio throughout the weekend, hoping to reverse those predictions.
According to the poll, former Republican Congressman John Kasich has 52% of the vote while Gov. Ted Strickland is at 47.7%. On the Senate side, former Congressman Rob Portman was at 60% to Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher's 39.2%.
The Ohio Poll is conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.
The gubernatorial races are important because congressional and local legislative districts will be redrawn this year after the census. Traditionally, the party in power has more sway in determining the composition of the districts for the next decade.
In addition, Ohio and Florida are considered pivotal to President Obama’s reelection chances in 2012.
Obama moved both Ohio and Florida into the Democratic column in 2008 after former President George Bush carried them in 2004.