Republicans appeared to sweep the majority of toss-up gubernatorial races Tuesday night and also snatched a state Democrats were expected to win: Maryland.
In the race to succeed Dem Gov. Martin O’Malley, Republican businessman Larry Hogan upset Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.
Brown was ahead by 13 points in one mid-October poll. Hogan pulled ahead by 5 points in the latest poll.
With 88 percent of precincts reporting, Hogan had 52 percent to Brown’s 46 percent.
In Illinois, Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn fell to GOP businessman Bruce Rauner, who got more than 50 percent of the vote to Quinn’s 46 percent with most precincts reporting. Quinn slightly led in polls going into Election Day.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder held onto his seat against a challenge from former Rep. Mark Schauer (D). The tally with 81 percent of precincts reporting was 51 percent to 47 percent.
Republicans also held off challenges in states where they were expected to win narrowly, including Nikki Haley’s victory by 17 points in South Carolina and Nathan Deal’s defeat of Jimmy Carter’s grandson by 8 points in Georgia.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback was considered a prime Dem target, but was leading challenger Paul Davis by two points with 86 percent of precincts reporting.
Margins were razor-thin with the GOP slightly ahead as the count continued in Connecticut, Maine and Colorado.
Massachusetts was also tight with 98 percent of precincts counted: Republican businessman Charlie Baker had 48 percent to Attorney General Martha Coakley’s 47 percent.
The Republican Governors Association, led by Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), was issuing a stream of congratulatory messages throughout the evening — including on the Dem defeat in President Obama’s state.
“It’s time to bring back Illinois with Governor Bruce Rauner,” said Christie. “Rauner proved in this race that he is the antidote to Illinois’ longstanding woes; his leadership is exactly what the state needs to shake the status quo for good and become competitive again. With Bruce Rauner at the helm, brighter days are ahead for Illinois.”
The GOP did lose a key race in Pennsylvania as Gov. Tom Corbett was knocked out of office by Democratic businessman Tom Wolf. Obama campaigned for Wolf.