As usual when a Presidential Election comes along every four years, people outside of America forget that there are other elections too. While not as interesting as mid-term elections, the elections for Congress and Governorships are hotly contested.
The House of Representatives is elected for a two year term. The house has 435 seats. Its is currently controlled by the Democrats (235 Democrats to 199 Republicans, one vacancy). There are thirty-two incumbents retiring from the house. Most commentators don’t see the House changing sides, and I have to agree. The Republicans will make gains, but not enough.
In the Senate elections, 33 class II senators are up for election, along with two special elections (one in in Wyoming and another in Mississippi) who will serve the remainder of the Class I Senators term. The Senate is currently evenly balanced with 49 senators for both the Republicans and the Democrats, but control rests with the Demorcats due to two independents who caucus with them (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut). Democrats possess a field advantage in 2008, needing to defend only 12 seats, while Republicans must defend 23. In addition, five Republicans, but no Democrats, have announced that they are retiring. I don’t see much changes but six states held by Dems voted for Bush last time round, and four states held by Republicans voted for Kerry and these could change hands. Meaning a possible Republican majority? Not likely but could happen.
In terms of Governorships, or gubernatorial elections as they are known, are taking place in 11 states. They are Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Utah and Vermont. Of these six are held by Democrats and five by Republicans. Of these only Missouri looks like the only one to change hands going Democrat.
Also this November sees a raft of local elections and of course ballot measures, so far 73 of these have been certified in 17 states. But I think I leave them for another post!