2018 Presidential Election


Special Feature: Governors Forecast

Sunday, January 14th, 2024

With our first Senate forecast now up, the NBS politics team is proud to kick off the initial forecast for the 21 gubernatorial races this November.

While the races here won't necessarily have the same national implications as this year's races for Congress, they have huge implications locally. Especially this year, with the American Health Care Protection Act now giving states the chance to have the federal government subsidize the entire cost of expanding their Medicaid programs until 2035. While some Republican governors (such as Owen Wells in Maryland and James Adamson in Maine) have signed on, most of the nation's other 23 Republican governors have not.

Incumbent: Cathy Gardener (R) - term-limited
Rating: Lean R
Notes: Gardener is the first of many governors on this list forbidden from running for re-election due to state term limits. Alaska shocked the nation two years ago by giving its electors to a Democrat for the first time since 1964, while also ousting Sorah Wheeler (R) from the Senate. It will be a crowded race to replace Gardener, and Democrats feel they have a fighting chance here after 2022's performance.

Incumbent: Thomas Booth (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: Booth won with over 60 percent of the vote in his first go-round four years ago, and will almost certainly increase his margin of victory this time.

Incumbent: Annelise Byers (D)
Rating: Safe D
Notes: Delaware hasn't elected a Republican as governor in over four decades, and it's looking like it will be another four decades before the GOP has a shot to have one of their own in the governor's mansion in Dover.

Incumbent: Jessica Gelsey (D)
Rating: Toss-Up
Notes: Gelsey has had a tough four years fighting with the Republican-held state legislature, but that's prepared her well for the knock-down drag-out fight that's ahead of her in her re-election bid. Multiple high-profile Republicans have floated challenging her, and Gelsey has stockpiled a considerable war chest to take on the winner of the GOP primary.

Incumbent: Jack Dittmar (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: Dittmar came into office last year when David Arkin made the jump to the Senate. Like his predecessor, he'll be in the governor's office until he wants to leave.

Incumbent: Barry Robinson (D)
Rating: Lean D
Notes: While Illinois is a solidly Democratic state on the presidential level, Republicans have been shown to occasionally win here, as shown by former senator Jasper Irving (R). While Irving has declined to run, Republicans have a series of candidates who they hope can bank on the usual midterm discontent against the party in the White House.

Incumbent: Michael Harding (R)
Rating: Lean R
Notes: Kansas surprisingly only leans Republican, in part because Harding has had to deal with a particularly hardline faction of Republicans in the state legislature since last year that has at various times, forced him to rely upon Democrats within the legislature to pass must-pass legislation, including the state budget. The Republican disarray has caused Harding's numbers to go down, giving Democrats their best chance in decades to take the governor's mansion.

Incumbent: James Adamson (R)
Rating: Toss-Up
Notes: Adamson has earned some bipartisan cred by accepting AHCPA funds and showing willingness to work with the Democratic-controlled legislature (although it helps that Democrats there nearly have enough votes to override his veto). That willingness to buck party hardliners is particularly attractive to Mainers and is what gives him a fighting chance to win a second full term in a blue state.

Incumbent: Owen Wells (R) - term-limited
Rating: Safe D
Notes: With Owen Wells being term-limited, the Maryland GOP is ready to return to political irrelevancy, as no one in Wells' orbit has anywhere near the charisma or political skill to make this race competitive.

Incumbent: Jarrod Daniels (D) - retiring
Rating: Toss-Up
Notes: Minnesota doesn't have term limits for its governors, but Jarrod Daniels has announced he won't seek a fourth term in office. He's rumored to be harboring national ambitions, while the GOP has been looking to return to statewide office in Minnesota after being shut out after future vice president Jack Hunter won his second Senate term in 2014.

Incumbent: Tim Moss (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: Thanks to the change in each party's demographic makeup and three consecutive nominees being from the Show Me State, Missouri is now safely Republican. Moss won't have to worry about getting a second term.

Incumbent: Ben Lane (R) - term-limited
Rating: Safe R
Notes: The most interesting thing about Nebraska's gubernatorial race is that a former congressman went to jail for his illicit attempts to amass a huge war chest ahead of the election. Otherwise, it will be another snoozer with the Republican nominee (whomever that may be) winning in a cakewalk.

North Dakota
Incumbent: Sandra Middleton (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: North Dakota has moved away from being a state where Democrats (or Democratic-NPL, as the state's Democratic affiliate is called) can conceivably win statewide races. With former senator Harry Conroy (D), who Middleton dispatched in 2018, declining to run again, the only question is if Middleton can double, or even triple, the number of votes the Democratic (D-NPL) candidate receives.

Incumbent: Katherine Williams (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: The home state of Alan Duke is, perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most conservative in the nation. Williams won't face any serious challenges with a Democratic bench that has been thoroughly depleted after losing ground every year since her predecessor Rob Kenny (D) was elected in 2016.

Incumbent: Malcolm Power (D)
Rating: Toss-Up
Notes: Power and his presumptive challenger, Carlin Cassidy (R) faced off in 2018 when Cassidy cleaned his clock to secure his current Senate term. Circumstances have changed since then, with Power as an incumbent governor (albeit with middling approval ratings) and the Pennsylvania GOP as one of the many state parties still in disarray after the 2022 race. While Cassidy managed to navigate his party's divide effectively two years ago, it remains to be seen whether Pennsylvanians will put someone as doctrinally small-government as Cassidy in charge of a state whose Republican governors have traditionally been averse to trimming too much of the state budget.

Rhode Island
Incumbent: Miles Leonard (D)
Rating: Safe D
Notes: Rhode Island is one of the most Democratic states in the nation, hence Leonard losing 10 percent of the vote to Green Party nominee (and Susan Buckner's eventual running mate in 2022) Anderson Gerald four years ago and still romping to an easy victory.

Incumbent: Adam De Haan (R)
Rating: Lean R
Notes: Despite speculation that he wouldn't run for a third term, Governor De Haan is trying to be the first governor since Barton Hopkins to win three straight elections. Democrats are feeling their oats with Seaborn winning the state two years ago, and several prominent Dems have already thrown their hats into the ring to de-throne De Haan. The GOP still has the advantage, but it's getting lesser and lesser every cycle as the state.

Incumbent: John Elderton (R) - retiring
Rating: Safe R
Notes: To say John Elderton has been governor for a long time is a bit like saying the Great Wall of China is a pretty long structure. After 20 (!) years in office, Elderton will let someone else run the Beehive State, and that someone will be whomever wins the first Republican gubernatorial nomination he hasn't contested since 2000 (!!).

Incumbent: Daniel Edmonds (D)
Rating: Safe D
Notes: Despite a narrower-than-expected victory in 2020, Edmonds will likely have few problems getting a second term of his own with the Washington GOP having a shortage of moderate Republicans to run statewide after the party's drubbing two years ago.

West Virginia
Incumbent: Jim McDowell (R)
Rating: Safe R
Notes: West Virginia has shifted rapidly from being a state that gave its electoral votes to Jimmy Fitzsimmons ten years ago to one of the most solidly Republican states in the nation. McDowell won't have any difficulty with a Democratic challenger with a Democratic White House committed to moving the United States away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy.

Incumbent: Simon Watts (R) - term-limited
Rating: Safe R
Notes: The nation's least-populous state will send whichever Republican wins the primary to its governor's mansion, and by a very large margin over whoever wins the Democratic primary.
Incumbent: John Elderton (R) - retiring
Rating: Safe R
Notes: To say John Elderton has been governor for a long time is a bit like saying the Great Wall of China is a pretty long structure. After 20 (!) years in office, Elderton will let someone else run the Beehive State, and that someone will be whomever wins the first Republican gubernatorial nomination he hasn't contested since 2000 (!!).
Noooooooo!!!!! Now he won't be able to surpass George Clinton to become the longest serving governor in history! Sad!
In Indiana, it will be interesting to see if Emily Rudden can win a Republican primary. Having been Andrew Long's running mate in 2022 cannot have endeared her to the Republican primary voters in Indiana. I'm surprised Andrew Thorn is considering running in 2026. His time has passed.
Can’t see Rudden winning the primary since primaries are skewed toward candidates that can best appeal to their party’s base, but she may have a chance if her opponents prove to be weak candidates.
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Noooooooo!!!!! Now he won't be able to surpass George Clinton to become the longest serving governor in history! Sad!
Elderton's retirement clears the path for Janet Lorton (D-VT) to take the crown. Should she choose to seek re-election in 2027, she'd need only serve an addition 18 months to claim the title.
With this update, we've both got all the original 13 states' governors done AND crossed the half way mark with 28 states' governors done.

Lists of United States Governors (1985-present)
AL • AK • AZARCA • CO • CTDE FLGA • HI • ID • IL • IN • IA • KS • KY LA • ME • MDMA • MI • MN • MS • MO • MT • NE • NV • NHNJ • NM • NY • NC • ND • OH • OK • OR • PARI • SC • SD • TN • TXUT • VT • VA • WA • WV • WI • WY
Governors of Indiana
46. 1985-1993: Jack Buckland (Democratic)
Elections: 1984, 1988
47. 1993-1997: John Linn (Republican)
Elections: 1992
48. 1997-2002: Jack Buckland (Democratic)
Elections: 1996, 2000
49. 2002-2007: Rosalyn Shaw (Democratic)
Elections: 2004
50. 2007-2011: Stephen Kendrick (Republican)
Elections: 2006, 2010
51. 2011-2019: Emily Rudden (Republican)
Elections: 2014
52. 2019-2027: Matthew Stillman (Republican)
Elections: 2018, 2022

Linn is the only new creation. Both of the midterm vacancies in Indiana were the result of the governor being appointed to the Cabinet: Buckland was appointed Secretary of Labor by Bartlet, while Kendrick resigned when president-elect Walken named him as his nominee for Secretary of the Treasury. Rudden technically served out the final six days of Kendrick's first term, in addition to all of the second term he was elected to, and one of her own.

Indiana realigned its terms to match the presidential cycle after Buckland left office in 2002, with the GOP-led legislature viewing (correctly, it seems) that it would make Republican voters less likely to cross over for a Democratic gubernatorial nominee if that nominee was tied to the Democratic presidential ticket.

Governors in Indiana can serve eight years out of every twelve-year period. So incumbent governor Matthew Stillman can't run for re-election in 2026, but could run in 2030 if he chose.

Governors of North Carolina
70. 1985-1993: Jim Patterson (Republican)
Elections: 1984, 1988
71. 1993-1995: Walter D. Moore (Democratic)
Elections: 1992
72. 1995-1999: Jim Patterson (Republican)
Elections: 1994
73. 1999-2007: Walter D. Moore (Democratic)
Elections: 1998, 2002
74. 2007-2015: Andrew Wu (Republican)
Elections: 2006, 2010
75. 2015-2023: David McNamara (Republican)
Elections: 2014, 2018
76. 2023-2027: Erica Johnson (Democratic)
Elections: 2022

Patterson and Moore are new, and this year's OTL presidential race almost certain to be the first rematch since 1956 inspired me to bridge the gap between the OTL governors and Wu (the first established ATL governor) with what I like to call the "Double Cleveland solution." Basically, Moore was elected to serve a special two-year term to realign the state's gubernatorial race with the presidential election cycle. Patterson, who was prevented from running in the 1992 election, ran in the 1994 election and rode Owen Lassiter's coattails to a non-consecutive term. Moore, not to be outdone, defeated Patterson in their rematch in 1998 and then won a second term before handing power over to Wu.

As can be surmised, North Carolina doesn't allow its governors to hold office for three terms in a row, but does allow governors to serve two terms out of every three. Incumbent governor Erica Johnson, in case she seeks and wins re-election in 2026, would have to wait until 2034 before she'd be eligible to run again.


Governors of Ohio
64. 1979-1987: Dick Celeste (Democratic)
Elections: 1978, 1982
65. 1987-1995: Bob McGuire (Democratic)
Elections: 1986, 1990
66. 1995-1999: Josie Bail (Democratic)
Elections: 1994
67. 1999-2007: Mike Reed (Republican)
Elections: 1998, 2002
68. 2007-2015: Simon Halley (Republican)
Elections: 2006, 2010
69. 2015-2019: Charlie Tate (Democratic)
Elections: 2014
70. 2019-2023: Art Scheider (Republican)
Elections: 2018
71. 2023-2027: Josie Bail (Democratic)
Elections: 2022

All of Ohio's governors were previously established. The most notable thing, of course, is there being a 24-year (!) gap between the end of incumbent governor Josie Bail's first term and the start of her second, which has to be a record ITTL & OTL.

Like the other two states above, Ohio allows its governors to serve eight years out of every twelve. So, should Bail run for and win a third term in 2026, she would have to wait until 2034 (40 years since she won her first gubernatorial election) to run for a fourth.

Governors of South Carolina
111. 1979-1988: Richard Riley (Democratic)
Elections: 1978, 1981, 1983
112. 1988-1992: Theo Workman (Republican)
Elections: 1987
113. 1992-1996: Stacy Bamber (Democratic)
Elections: 1991
114. 1996-2004: MacDonald Barclay (Republican)
Elections: 1995, 1999
115. 2004-2008: Tony Hammonds (Republican)
Elections: 2003
116. 2008-2012: Christine Taylor (Democratic)
Elections: 2007
117. 2012-2016: Nate Singer (Democratic)
Elections: 2011
118. 2016-2024: Ethan Butler (Republican)
Elections: 2015, 2019
119. 2024-2028: Todd Winters (Republican)
Elections: 2023

The two GOP one-termers (Workman & Hammond) are the only new creations. To realign South Carolina's election cycle, I went with the 1980 amendment to the state constitution that allowed governors to succeed themselves truncated incumbent Richard Riley's term (perhaps a foreshadowing of what would happen to Reagan on the federal level), but exempted the two-year 1981-1983 term from counting against the new the two-term limit. Riley had the last laugh, however, and effectively got an extra year of governing out of the deal than he got IOTL.

As implied, South Carolina limits its governors to two consecutive terms, but like the other three states in this section, doesn't have a lifetime limit. So newly-inaugurated governor Todd Winters run for and win a second term in 2027, he could run again starting in 2035.
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But of these people,only Biden becomes President thought.
The others still got their Party’s nomination and got a decent percentage of the vote and some states (more than 45% of votes and 20 states for McCain and Romney while Dole still got over 40% of votes and 19 states in an election against a popular incumbent and with a strong third party candidate)
Is there any article anywhere in this thread that explains how the Kazakhstan crisis was resolved? I've just rewatched Season 7 and I badly want some sense of resolution
Is there any article anywhere in this thread that explains how the Kazakhstan crisis was resolved? I've just rewatched Season 7 and I badly want some sense of resolution
I briefly touched on it back in 2018, but essentially a deal was reached for all sides to withdraw troops and elections for a new government to be held that pledged neutrality between Russia and China. Additionally, China got the pipeline that it had wanted before the war, while Russia got a decentralized Kazakh government that would and could not join another regional power bloc.

President Seaborn to deliver State of the Union address February 22nd

Monday, January 22nd, 2024

President Sam Seaborn has accepted the invitation of Speaker of the House Daniel Maddox (D-IL) to deliver his sixth State of the Union address on February 22nd before a joint session of Congress.

With Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress for the first time since the Carter administration, the White House has been able to pass a slew of progressive legislation, including the first federal minimum wage hike since 2009, student loan reform, and the president's landmark American Health Care Protection Act (AHCPA), the largest change to the American healthcare sector since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid.

"While some Democrats might be tempted to rest on their laurels, the White House is likely to come out swinging," NBS senior political correspondent Rachel Houghton said, when asked her thoughts on what Seaborn will likely include in his remarks. "They've had a historic session [of Congress], but President Seaborn has been meeting with vulnerable members of Congress and [Democratic] leadership since the new year to press them to keep the tempo up."

Democrats have already begun to fulfill one of the largest remaining items on Seaborn's agenda with the current Congress, with the Senate poised to pass the Civil Rights Act of 2024 that will add protection against discrimination based on gender identity to existing federal civil rights legislation. But another, likely much more fierce, battle is expected to begin with the White House taking aim (metaphorically) at gun violence with a bill to increase gun control regulations in the pipeline. One source familiar with discussions between the White House and members of Congress says that a final bill will likely include legislation raising the age to buy pistols and "assault-style" weapons from 18 to 21, and increase federal background checks on gun buyers under the age of 21, close the "boyfriend loophole" by forbidding those convicted of domestic violence against a partner from owning a firearm, and requiring universal background checks for those purchasing a firearm (29 states currently do not require a background check to be run if a gun is not purchased from a licensed firearm dealer).

"It's a tough ask for some Democrats, especially in an election year, but most of the [rumored provisions] are widely popular, and most fervently pro-gun voters are already lined up against them," Houghton said. "For the GOP, it's also risky, since a lot of these things are both popular and have been touted at various times by sitting Republican senators to address workplace and school shootings. But the people who are opposed to any new type of gun control probably won't see it as a reasonable concession...they'll see it as a betrayal [if Republicans accede to new gun control legislation]."

Also on Monday, the White House announced the appointment of Carmen Costa as the new deputy director of communications, likely with the State of the Union in mind. Costa, a veteran of several Democratic campaigns and staffer for former congressman James Gatsby (D-NY), was reportedly selected by White House chief of staff Will Bailey to fill the role left by the departure of John Edwards in December.
MHurtadoo, you are from New Jersey. ITTL, Governor Tom Kean, probably the greatest governor New Jersey ever had IOTL, was only a one termer.
Rhodes won by a little under 2% in 1978, Kean won in 1985 by over 40% carrying every municipality in the state except three very small towns and over 60% of the black vote. Reversing Rhodes's win is plausible, reversing Kean's is not. Believe me when I saw that I was very disappointed. I am a huge admirer of his, I'm about to graduate from Kean University (I didn't apply there solely for that reason, but it was a small factor) and I've met him four times. I'm even on a first name basis with his son, Congressman Tom Kean, Jr. Unfortunately I don't think our friends on the writing staff were aware of his extraordinary popularity so the canon is that he declined to seek a second term, citing the wishes of his family, which almost did happen IOTL. His popularity did not rub off on the Republican nominee in 1985, just like it didn't at all for Jim Courter IOTL, which combined with the confusion following Reagan's stroke allowed for Lazzieri to win, but by how much is not yet known.
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Bailey to step down as White House Chief of Staff

Sunday, January 28th, 2024

After five years, White House Chief of Staff Will Bailey will leave his role as head of the Executive Office of the President within the week.

White House Press Secretary Tom Thurgood announced the change earlier today, marking the biggest change yet in turnover for an administration whose core White House staff has been largely stable. Bailey, a former congressman from Oregon and longtime friend of President Seaborn who succeeded a younger Seaborn as deputy communications director in the Bartlet White House, earned a reputation as a disciplined and demanding chief of staff, although often setting the pace with long hours and having thorough knowledge of the comings and goings in the White House.

While no cause has been given as to Bailey's departure, sources in the White House cite exhaustion and the memory of Leo McGarry, who Bailey served under in the Bartlet White House. The longest-serving White House Chief of Staff in history, McGarry left his role after suffering a heart attack brought on, in large part, due to the cumulative stresses of his position; a little more than a year later, McGarry suffered a fatal second heart attack on Election Night 2006, becoming the first man to be posthumously elected Vice President of the United States.

The White House also issued a statement that "the president and First Lady wish Will a well-earned respite from the work of government, and their profound thanks for his service and friendship."

The statement did not offer details about when Bailey's successor will be announced, nor address whether Bailey's wife, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Kate Harper, will remain in her current role.