In 2024, 11 states will hold gubernatorial elections. While that’s far fewer than the 36 governor elections we saw in 2022, it’s still a substantial number of elections.
Almost all of the states with 2024 gubernatorial elections are going to be safe election wins for the incumbent party.
There are still a few interesting states, however: North Carolina, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
This fall saw the reelection of incumbent governors in Kentucky and Mississippi and Republicans flipped the open gubernatorial seat in Louisiana, giving the GOP a new trifecta heading into 2024. This year, 11 states will hold gubernatorial elections. While that’s far fewer than the 36 governor elections we saw in 2022, it’s still a substantial number of elections.
But taking a look at the map, almost all of the states with 2024 gubernatorial elections are going to be safe election wins for either party. The most interesting race by far will be the open seat in North Carolina, where popular moderate Governor Cooper (D) is term-limited and the governor’s mansion will be up for grabs in the purple state.
The other intriguing states are New Hampshire and Vermont. Both states are unique in that they hold gubernatorial elections every 2 years instead of every 4 years. And they both currently have popular Republican governors in traditionally blue states. Both governors are eligible to run for reelection, but Gov. Sununu (R) in New Hampshire has already announced — despite sky-high approval numbers — his intention to not run for reelection, opening up New Hampshire for a potential Democratic pickup in 2024.
Now all eyes are on Gov. Scott (R) in Vermont, who has yet to announce whether he plans to run for a fifth term next year. Unlike Gov. Sununu, who enjoyed slim Republican majorities in the New Hampshire Legislature this term, Gov. Scott has faced a veto-proof majority of Democrats in the Vermont legislature.
If Gov. Scott decides to run again in Vermont, he shouldn’t have much trouble getting reelected. He’s held the highest approval rating for a governor nationwide for some time and he won his last election in 2022 with over 70% of the vote. But if Gov. Scott chooses against reelection, the open seat would be another key opportunity for Democrats to flip a gubernatorial seat and gain a new trifecta in 2025. It’s still early, but an announcement from Gov. Scott might be the last piece of the puzzle for rating the 2024 gubernatorial election races.
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This article appear in our Morning MultiState newsletter on December 5, 2023. For more timely insights like this, be sure to sign up for ourMorning MultiState weekly morning tipsheet. We created Morning MultiState with state government affairs professionals in mind — sign up to receive the latest from our experts in your inbox every Tuesday morning.Click here to read past issues and sign up.