Democratic Governors Under Siege

The G.O.P. takes aim at a 34-16 majority in state executives

Shell-shocked by defeat in four of the past five presidential elections and stunned by the loss of the Senate in 1980, the Democratic Party has drawn some solace from its continued dominance of the nation's Governors' mansions. Halfway through Ronald Reagan's second term, Democratic Governors still outnumber Republicans 34 to 16, defying political analysts' speculations about party realignment.

This year, however, Republicans hope to turn the tide: of the 36 Governors' seats up for election, 27 are held by Democrats. Moreover, with 15 Democratic Governors not seeking re-election, the party has lost the advantage of incumbency in several key races. Political...

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