Republicans Replay 2010 Strategy at State Level
NASHVILLE — Republican candidates for governor around the country have built an unexpectedly strong position for election this fall, helped by an improving economy, disaffection with President Obama and a national fund-raising machine that is leagues ahead of the opposition.
Four years after an economic crisis and opposition to Mr. Obama’s health care law propelled Republicans to capture a lopsided majority of statehouses across the country, they are faced with a staggering political task: defending 22 of the 36 executive mansions that will be up for grabs in November, led by a governor who is trying to rebound from a scandal.
While the sheer scale of Republican gains four years ago offers Democrats a wealth of opportunities to win, the political environment appears to be tilting again in the Republicans’ direction.
The recession that doomed Democrats in 2010 has shifted into a recovery, driving down jobless rates and bolstering Republican incumbents. At the same time, President Obama’s approval ratings have fallen even in states that he won in 2012.