Once again it’s time to take a look at the state of the races for the nation’s Row Officers. If you’ve been reading this site for a while you’ll know that we consider Row Officers a political category that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. These statewide executive offices vary dramatically in their power, from meaningless sinecures like Wisconsin’s Treasurer (whose sole duty is to attend one meeting a month) to jobs like Texas’s LG, which has been credibly called more powerful than the Governor. Overall, Row Officers tend to be equal in power and prestige to an average member of the House, but yet these races often get far less attention than an average House race from the political press. They are also a key stepping stone on the political ladder; excluding LGs elected on a ticket, 15 sitting Governors and 15 sitting Senators have served as a Row Officer in their careers. Here we offer our ratings and brief narrative recaps of the 54 Row Offices in 14 States that are up for election this year. We are also updating ratings for the Public Service Commissioner (and equivalent) posts in the 11 states that have elections for those bodies this year, as well as the 5 races for New Hampshire’s Executive Council. As usual, in the tables bold denotes a seat we project to flip and italics denotes a D-held Tossup. We are adding in Tilt calls as well for the Tossups. Republicans are largely on offense: overall we are projecting a net shift of between D+2 and R+12 statewide Row Officers this year, with our best-guess as a net shift of R+5. Here is the full chart of our ratings; these are broken down by office in the full narratives over the fold!
|Safe D||Likely D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R||Safe R|
(*) denotes a same-party race.
Here are our Tilt calls for the Tossup races; (*) denotes a projected flip.
Tilt R: MO-AG* || MT-Ins Comm* || MT-Supt* || NC-LG || NC-Treas* || WA-SoS || WV-Ag Comm*
Tilt D: MO-LG* || MT-SoS || NC-AG || PA-AG || WA-Aud || WV-SoS || WV-Treas
Since our last post in July, we have made the following 13 ratings changes, 4 benefiting Republicans:
AZ-PSC (Seats 1 and 2) Likely R from Lean R || MO-Treas Likely R from Lean R || WA-Treas Safe R from Lean D
And 9 benefiting Democrats:
DE-Ins Comm Safe D from Likely D || DE-LG Safe D from Likely D || IN-Supt Lean D from Tossup || LA-PSC-4 Lean R from Likely R || NC-LG Tossup from Lean R || VT-AG Safe D from Likely D || WA-LG Likely D from Lean D || WA-SoS Tossup from Lean R || WA-Supt Safe D from Likely D
Flip over for full narrative recaps of all the races!