Democratic Governors Look to Biden for a Political Reset
“The sluggish return to normalcy following the pandemic is a major factor in voter satisfaction with a lot the Democratic incumbents,” said Jesse Hunt, the communications director for the Republican Governors Association.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, Republican of Florida, who is on the ballot this year and is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, welcomed the Democratic governors’ gathering in his state by selling “Lockdown Libs Tour” T-shirts.
“Lockdown Democrats can’t get enough of Florida’s freedom!” read a fund-raising email.
Democratic candidates for governor from Florida, Iowa, South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all attended the retreat, as did the governors of Maine, New York, Kentucky, and Rhode Island. Stacey Abrams, who is making her second bid for governor of Georgia, came too, and she spoke at the nearby home of a donor who hosted a reception, according to attendees.
There are 20 states with sitting Republican governors on the ballot this fall and Democrats from those places said they hope the public anger at those in charge can cut both ways.
Despite the national climate, the map does offer Democrats two strong pickup chances, in Maryland and Massachusetts, where popular anti-Trump Republican governors are no longer on the ballot in heavily Democratic states.
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland couldn’t run for re-election under term limits and Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts opted against seeking another term as pro-Trump forces threatened a primary.
Republican infighting is also creating instability for the party in Georgia, where Gov. Brian Kemp is facing a fierce primary challenge from David Perdue, a former senator, and in Arizona, where Mr. Trump has feuded with the outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey.