The 10 Most Vulnerable Governors In The Country

The 10 Most Vulnerable Governors In The Country
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Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, left, and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf take part in a debate at "Breakfast with the Candidates" event at KYW-TV and KYW-AM on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Philadelphia. The second debate between the two became tense as Wolf sought to assign blame to Corbett for budget deficits and struggling schools while Corbett tried to frame Wolf as the candidate who will favor labor unions over taxpayers. (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish, Pool)
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, left, and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf take part in a debate at "Breakfast with the Candidates" event at KYW-TV and KYW-AM on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 in Philadelphia. The second debate between the two became tense as Wolf sought to assign blame to Corbett for budget deficits and struggling schools while Corbett tried to frame Wolf as the candidate who will favor labor unions over taxpayers. (AP Photo/The Philadelphia Inquirer, Tom Gralish, Pool)

While the odds favor a Republican takeover of the U.S. Senate, the story is slightly different across the gubernatorial map. Democrats are optimistic they'll take back the governor's mansion in Pennsylvania, Maine and Kansas, while the margins remain close in a handful of other states.

Below, a look at the governors who look the most vulnerable with 30 days to go until Nov. 4. The list excludes close open-seat races in Arkansas, where former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) is favored to succeed retiring Gov. Mike Beebe (D), and in Arizona, where state Treasurer Doug Ducey (R) maintains a lead over former state Board of Regents member Fred DuVal (D).

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Despite governing a deep red state, Brownback is vulnerable due to the steep income tax cuts he signed off on that have catalyzed dire revenue shortfalls. State House Minority Leader Paul Davis (D) has been attacking Brownback over the shortfall's impact on education spending, and the approach seems to be working, as he leads in the polls.
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Democrats are using LePage's outspoken comments to call him an embarrassment and a detriment to the state's reputation. Republicans are defending LePage by calling him "blunt, honest, one-of-a-kind" and "unique, just like Maine."However, his Democratic challenger, Rep. Mike Michaud, may be hampered by the presence of independent Eliot Cutler on the ballot. The Democrat would become the first openly gay person ever elected governor if he wins on Nov. 4.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D)
Pat Quinn, left, and Bruce Rauner (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
In Illinois, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R) is narrowly leading Quinn in the polls, as the Democratic governor suffers from low approval ratings. Rauner has emphasized his relatively moderate stances on abortion rights and marriage equality, while Democrats have seized on his comment that he's probably a member of the "0.01 percent" and his membership in a private wine club to characterize him as out of touch.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R)
Tom Corbett, left, and Tom Wolf (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Corbett is seriously lagging in the polls behind businessman Tom Wolf (D), who has been able to self-fund his campaign. Corbett's cuts to education spending and handling of the Penn State investigation into child sexual abuse when he served as attorney general have meant months of negative publicity. Wolf, on the other hand, has stayed up on the airwaves with sunny spots about his family business.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D)
John Hickenlooper, left, and Bob Beauprez (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Hickenlooper has been forced to defend his decision to indefinitely block the execution of Nathan Dunlap, the state's longest-serving death row inmate. Former Rep. Bob Beauprez (R-Colo.) has focused on the capital punishment issue, as well as gun control restrictions recently passed in the state, anti-fracking initiatives and proposed tax increases, to make the case that Hickenlooper's policies aren't as business-friendly as his own. While the governor has refused to air negative television ads, his Democratic allies have swooped in to protect him.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Walker has the edge against businesswoman Mary Burke (D) in the polls, but Democratic motivation to boot him out of office remains high. The race has largely hinged on economic issues. Chaos over a new voter identification requirement may affect this race's outcome.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Snyder has been leading former Rep. Mark Schauer (D-Mich.) in the polls, but labor and environmental groups think they can narrow the gap before Election Day. The governor has been running on his management of the state's economy and has vetoed bills from the state legislature on gun rights, abortion restrictions and voter identification. Schauer drew attention to Snyder's opposition to marriage equality when he chose Oakland County Clerk Lisa Brown as his running mate. Brown had issued same-sex marriage licenses in opposition to Snyder's administration.Democrats have cast Snyder as out of touch, using his comments comparing disastrous flooding to a leak at his vacation home as ammunition.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The close race between Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, who was once a Republican but is now running as a Democrat, may be the most expensive governor's race in the country. Scott has characterized Crist as a flip-flopper and emphasized his own actions to stimulate job growth, while Crist has hammered away at Scott's refusal to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, cuts to education spending and opposition to raising the minimum wage.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
This year's race is a rematch between Malloy and businessman Tom Foley (R), who narrowly lost to the governor in 2010. Malloy's poll numbers are hurting over economic issues, as voters express dissatisfaction with how he has handled the state budget and taxes. The governor has been highlighting his response to the 2012 mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, saying it demonstrates his responsiveness as a leader. In contrast, Foley has avoided giving specifics when asked which gun control measures passed by the state legislature he opposes.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R)
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Deal appears vulnerable because state Sen. Jason Carter (D), former President Jimmy Carter's grandson, has capitalized on multiple ethics investigations to characterize Deal as a politician who has abused the powers of public office. The governor holds a small lead in the polls and has consistently tied Carter to national Democrats, though Carter has rejected that comparison.

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