It's the Governors' Races That Really Matter

Statehouses could reshape politics
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2010 5:47 PM CDT
Meg Whitman is the GOP candidate for governor in California.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – All eyes in DC are on the midterms to see whether Republicans can take back Congress. Understandably so, writes Dan Balz, but there's a case to be made that the 37 gubernatorial races in play will have a greater impact on American politics. Some of the biggest and most important states are in play, which will no doubt play a role in the 2012 presidential race. But perhaps more importantly, governors will wield huge sway next year when the census-related redistricting gets under way.

How the new lines get drawn provides "a 15-to-26 House seat opportunity depending on who controls the redistricting machinery in the states," writes Balz in the Washington Post. "That alone could offset whatever happens in House races this November." Plus, the effects last a decade until the new census comes along. If, for example, Republicans retake the House and enough key governorships, "they could use the redistricting process to virtually lock in a majority that could last for several election cycles."

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