This year’s elections had been seen as an opportunity for Democrats to chip away at near-historic levels of Republican control at the state level. (Republicans currently lead 33 of 50 states.) Of 36 gubernatorial seats up for reelection this year, only nine were held by Democrats. Republicans were defending 26, and Alaska has an independent governor.
The stakes were especially high this year in states where governors have veto power over congressional maps, which will be redrawn after the 2020 Census.
Congress this week is poised to pursue two diverging strategies for ending the partial government shutdown, but it is far from clear how Republicans and Democrats will reconcile their differences and reopen the government.