2012 United States gubernatorial elections
(including a recall election in Wisconsin)
Map of the Results
Democratic hold Democratic gain
Republican gain Republican hold (including recall)
The 2012 United States gubernatorial elections were held in 12 states (including a recall election in Wisconsin on June 5) and two territories. Of the eight Democratic and four Republican seats contested, only that of North Carolina changed party hands, giving the Republicans a net gain of one governorship. These elections (except for Wisconsin) coincided with the presidential election on November 6, 2012.
Results by state
|American Samoa||Togiola Tulafono||Democratic||Retired, Independent gain||Lolo Matalasi Moliga (I) General: 33.5%; Runoff: 52.9%|
Faoa Aitofele Sunia (D) General: 33.1%; Runoff: 47.1%
Afoa Moega Lutu (R) General: 19.3% (eliminated)
|Delaware||Jack Markell||Democratic||Re-elected, 69.3%||Jeff Cragg (R) 28.6%|
Mark Perri (G) 1.15%
Jesse McVay (L) 0.92%
|Indiana||Mitch Daniels||Republican||Term-limited, Republican hold||Mike Pence (R) 49.49%|
John Gregg (D) 46.56%
Rupert Boneham (L) 3.95%
|Missouri||Jay Nixon||Democratic||Re-elected, 54.68%||Dave Spence (R) 42.62%|
Jim Higgins (L) 2.7%
|Montana||Brian Schweitzer||Democratic||Term-limited, Democrat hold||Steve Bullock (D) 48.9%|
Rick Hill (R) 47.34%
Ron Vandevender (L) 3.76%
|New Hampshire||John Lynch||Democratic||Retired, Democrat hold||Maggie Hassan (D) 54.61%|
Ovide Lamontagne (R) 42.42%
John Babiarz (L) 2.77%
|North Carolina||Beverly Perdue||Democratic||Retired, Republican gain||Pat McCrory (R) 54.7%|
Walter Dalton (D) 43.17%
Barbara Howe (I) 2.13%
|North Dakota||Jack Dalrymple||Republican||Elected to a full term, 63.1%||Ryan Taylor (D) 34.31%|
Paul Sorum (I) 1.69%
|Puerto Rico||Luis Fortuño||New Progressive/Republican||Defeated, 47.13%||Alejandro García Padilla (PDP/D) 47.73%|
Juan Dalmau Ramírez (PIP) 2.52%
|Utah||Gary Herbert||Republican||Re-elected, 68.37%||Peter Cooke (D) 27.75%|
Ken Larsen (L) 2.18%
|Vermont||Peter Shumlin||Democratic||Re-elected, 57.8%||Randy Brock (R) 37.6%|
Emily Peyton (I) 2%
|Washington||Christine Gregoire||Democratic||Retired, Democratic hold||Jay Inslee (D) 51.54%|
Rob McKenna (R) 48.46%
|West Virginia||Earl Ray Tomblin||Democratic||Re-elected, 50.47%||Bill Maloney (R) 45.68%|
Jesse Johnson (M) 2.51%
|Wisconsin||Scott Walker||Republican||Survived recall, 53.1%||Tom Barrett (D) 46.3%|
States where the margin of victory was under 1%:
- Puerto Rico, 0.6%
States where the margin of victory was under 5%:
- Montana, 1.6%
- Indiana, 2.9%
- Washington, 3.0%
- West Virginia, 4.8%
States where the margin of victory was under 10%:
- American Samoa, 5.8%
- Wisconsin, 6.8%
Red denotes states won by Republicans. Blue denotes states won by Democrats. Grey denotes states won by Independents.
Retired and term-limited Democratic incumbents
Togiola Tulafono (American Samoa)
Six candidates vied to succeed outgoing Governor Tulafono – former President of American Samoa Community College, Salu Hunkin-Finau; businessman Timothy Jones; former Attorney General Afoa Moega Lutu; former President of the Development Bank of American Samoa, Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga; Lieutenant Governor Faoa Aitofele Sunia; and former High Court of American Samoa justice Save Liuato Tuitele. Moliga eventually won the general election.
Brian Schweitzer (Montana)
The declared Republican primary candidates included Chouteau County commissioner Jim O'Hara, former state Senators Corey Stapleton and Ken Miller, terrorism and national security analyst Neil Livingstone, former Congressman Rick Hill, and Truck driver Keith Winkler.
Steve Bullock and Rick Hill won their respective primaries. Bullock defeated Hill and Libertarian Ron Vandevender in the general election.
John Lynch (New Hampshire)
Maggie Hassan, former Majority Leader of the New Hampshire State Senate, defeated former state senator Jackie Cilley and firefighter Bill Kennedy to become the Democratic nominee. Former Chairman of the New Hampshire Board of Education Ovide Lamontagne, who narrowly lost the Republican primary for Senate in 2010, defeated conservative activist and former state representative Kevin Smith and Bill Tarr to win the Republican nomination. Hassan eventually won the general election.
New Hampshire does not have a position of Lieutenant Governor.
Beverly Perdue (North Carolina)
Potential Republican candidates included former Mayor of Charlotte Pat McCrory (the 2008 Republican nominee for Governor); Nido Qubein, President of High Point University; Tom Fetzer, former Mayor of Raleigh; and former state Senator Fred Smith.
Dalton and McCrory won their respective primaries, and McCrory eventually won the general election.
Christine Gregoire (Washington)
U.S. Representative Jay Inslee is the only declared Democratic candidate. Other potential Democratic candidates including state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, King County Executive Dow Constantine, state Treasurer Jim McIntire, Auditor General Brian Sonntag, and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon have declined to run, or endorsed Inslee.
State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Pastor Shahram Hadian, are the announced Republicans in the race. Seattle Port Commission President Bill Bryant is considered a potential Republican candidate. U.S. Representative Dave Reichert decided against a bid, and threw his support to McKenna. Inslee eventually won the general election.
The Lieutenant Governor will be elected separately.
Term-limited Republican incumbent
Mitch Daniels (Indiana)
Mike Pence, a six-term Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, announced his candidacy for his party's nomination. Pence, whose announcement was anticipated by his resignation of a leading position in the GOP caucus in the House, was regarded as the favorite for election. Indianapolis businessman and former Hamilton County Councilman Jim Wallace had announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination prior to Pence's entrance but failed to collect enough signatures to become an official candidate by the deadline in February 2012.
Pence narrowly defeated Gregg with 49.9% of the vote to Gregg's 46.56%. Boneham received 3.95% of the vote.
Democratic incumbents who sought re-election
Jack Markell (Delaware)
Markell eventually won the election.
Jay Nixon (Missouri)
Jim Higgins is the Libertarian candidate.
Nixon eventually won the general election over Spence and Higgins.
The Lieutenant Governor is elected separately.
Peter Shumlin (Vermont)
Governor Peter Shumlin, the victor of the Vermont gubernatorial election of 2010, ran for re-election in 2012. His Republican challenger was state Senator Randy Brock. Shumlin later won the general election.
The Lieutenant Governor was elected separately.
Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia)
The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia ruled on January 18, 2011 that the state must hold a special gubernatorial election in 2011 to fill the vacancy resulting from Joe Manchin's election to the United States Senate. The special election occurred October 4, 2011 with state Senate President and acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin won the election. Tomblin was eligible to run for a full term in 2012.
David Moran was the Libertarian candidate.
Republican incumbents who sought re-election
Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota)
Governor Jack Dalrymple succeeded John Hoeven after the latter was elected Senator and ran for a full term in 2012. Drew Wrigley was his running mate. Dalrymple defeated architect Paul Sorum for the nomination.
Luis Fortuño (Puerto Rico)
Fortuño had been mentioned as a long-shot potential Republican nominee for President or Vice President in 2012. However, he announced on June 26, 2011 that he would run for re-election instead of seeking the Presidency.
Puerto Rico does not have a position of Lieutenant Governor.
Gary Herbert (Utah)
He was opposed by Democrat Peter Cooke, a businessman and retired major general. The Libertarian candidate was medical researcher Ken Larson, and the Constitution party candidate was Kirk D. Pearson. Herbert eventually won the general election.
Republican incumbent who faced recall election
Scott Walker (Wisconsin)
Governor Scott Walker (R) survived a recall election on June 5. Walker's disapproval ratings varied between 50–51% while his approval ratings varied between 47–49% in 2011. Walker led against challenger Tom Barrett (D) in polls since March, including two post-primary polls which showed Walker with a five to twelve point lead. Walker defeated Barrett by seven percentage points, becoming the first governor in U.S. history to survive a recall election.
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