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Albert R. Hunt

Governors Races Mean Nothing for 2016

Years ago, governors could make a difference, delivering delegations for a nominee and helping in the general election. No more.
Agreeing not to matter in '14?

Agreeing not to matter in '14?

Photographer: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As we watch the elections returns next Tuesday night, the most volatile results may come from governor's races, with perhaps a dozen or more seats changing party hands. That will then set off one of the myths in American politics: that control of the state house affects the presidential race.

Who wins the governorship matters a lot to citizens of Florida or Wisconsin and elsewhere, affecting important issues such as taxes and Medicaid expansion. The affect on the 2016 presidential race, however, will be minimal. A case in point: In 2012, five of the most competitive battleground states were Ohio, Florida, Virgina, Wisconsin and Iowa. All had Republican governors; all five voted for Barack Obama.