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Key Takeaways 

  • There were no big surprises in the races for governorships this year.
  • With only 11 gubernatorial elections in 2020, forecasters pinned nine of the races as safe for the incumbent party with only one close race forecasted in Montana to replace term-limited Democrat Steve Bullock. In that race, Republican Greg Gianforte defeated Democrat Mike Cooney to flip the Montana governor’s mansion for Republicans.
  • Democrat Roy Cooper held on to the governor's mansion in North Carolina and Republicans Mike Parson and Jim Justice did the same in Missouri and West Virginia, respectively.
  • Overall,  Republicans have gained one gubernatorial seat after the 2020 elections by flipping the open seat in Montana. In 2021, Republicans will have 27 governors and Democrats will have 23 governors. 
  • Scroll down for additional analysis.

Downloadable Maps

More Analysis

There were 11 gubernatorial races in 2020 — in Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Only one of those was competitive — Montana. This state had been considered "Tilt Republican" (a party flip from the incumbent Democrat).

A major change from the pre-election overall national partisan split was always unlikely. Of the 11 seats up for election, 10 were predicted to stay with the incumbent party (3 of which are held by Democrats pre-election and 7 of  held by Republicans). All of those predictions came true.

Want More Election Coverage?

For even more election coverage, visit MultiState's 2020 State Elections Landing Page, your source for up-to-date and accurate election results and analysis. Bookmark our page for updated maps on partisan breakdown of state governors and legislatures post-election, plus analysis on the races and key ballot measures from our MultiState Insider blog.