Larry Sabato, the man with the political crystal ball, sees Republicans winning up to nine Democratically held governorships this year, adding to his expectation that in the fall, the GOP will win seven Senate seats and 27 House seats held by Democrats.
In his latest prediction, he sees a net gain for Republicans of six statehouses. Among them is Maryland, a Democratic state where the GOP candidate—a former governor—hasn't even jumped in yet. Sabato says the following states look to go red: Maryland, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Democrats, he says, will grab three Republican statehouses: Rhode Island, Hawaii, and California.
"Republicans certainly don't have an easy ride in all states. In addition to the three currently Republican governorships we think they will lose, the GOP has five tossup seats left to defend—meaning the party could drop up to eight governorships they now possess in a worst-case scenario for them," says Sabato, director at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "It is difficult to overstate the change coming to the states in just nine months. Since there are already 21 open governorships with no incumbent running, just four incumbent governors need to lose in the primaries or the general election to produce a turnover of half the 50 governors in a single year. We believe that outcome is likely."
See his charts and analysis here.