GOP governors defend edge over Democrats in 2014

Fueled by the tea party, Republicans swept into governorships four years ago on a wave of discontent. They ousted Democrats long used to holding power, and promised conservative makeovers.

Storm clouds hang over Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, as the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate stand at an impasse with Congress continuing to struggle over how to fund the government and prevent a possible shutdown. The Democratic-led Senate was ready Friday to approve legislation to keep the U.S. government running, but disputes with the Republican-run lower chamber of Congress ensured that the battle would spill over into the weekend, as a potential shutdown hurtles closer. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Fueled by the tea party, Republicans swept into governorships four years ago on a wave of discontent. They ousted Democrats long used to holding power, and promised conservative makeovers.

Now Democrats are hoping for a backlash as the architects of those sweeping social and economic policy changes face the voters next year.

Republicans control 29 of the nation's 50 governorships, including 20 of the 36 that are on the ballot in 2014. Among them are states in the Midwest and Southwest that President Barack Obama carried last year in winning re-election.

Republicans have undone much of the Democratic legacies they inherited with sharp budget cuts and restrictions on labor unions. But Democratic hopes to take back statehouses they once controlled are dampened because they have struggled to find new talent.


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