Presenting your 2018 gubernatorial power rankings

**Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.**

PRESENTING YOUR 2018 GUBERNATORIAL POWER RANKINGS 
Even when times were tough for Republicans during the Obama years, they could look with pride at their remarkable successes at the state level. 

In 2018, the bill comes due.

Just as Democrats are now forced to defend three times as many seats in the Senate because of their good times in 2006 and 2012, Republicans are the ones playing defense when it comes to governorships. 

Republicans currently hold 33 of the 50 governorships, but 26 of those seats will be up for grabs this fall. Democrats have been fundraising and recruiting candidates at a furious pace in hopes of evening out their lopsided disadvantage of the past eight years.

Democrats are also hoping that a favorable midterm climate will help them not just flip back blue states but maybe even raid some in red territory, too.

But the GOP has a deep bench on the state level thanks to unmatched success in statehouse races and a fundraising juggernaut of their own in Republican Governors Association Chairman Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee.

The national stakes are high for both parties, too. As Republicans demonstrated between 209 and 2017, governors have broad powers to frustrate and obstruct a president’s agenda. Plus, you may find a future president or two running this year.

We will be updating this list throughout the year, so stay tuned.

LIKELY REPUBLICAN
Alabama
Incumbent: Republican Kay Ivey, serving since 2017 (seeking first full term)
Candidate filing date: Feb. 9
Primary: June 5
2016 presidential result: Trump, 63 percent; Clinton, 35 percent

Ivey was elevated to the governorship in April 2017 after the resignation of former Gov. Robert Bentley, who was laid low by a sex scandal. Despite a Democratic gain in a special Senate election last month, Ivey looks solid for both her party’s primary and the general election.

Arkansas
Incumbent: Republican Asa Hutchinson, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: March 1
Primary: May 22
2016 presidential result: Trump, 60 percent; Clinton, 34 percent

Popular incumbent Hutchinson, a former congressman, the director of the Drug Enforcement Agency under George W. Bush and brother of former Sen. Tim Hutchinson, is considered a safe bet for a second term.

Idaho
Incumbent: Republican Butch Otter, serving since 2007 (not seeking re-election)
Candidate filing date: March 9
Primary: May 15
2016 presidential result: Trump, 59 percent; Clinton, 28 percent

With popular incumbent Otter opting against a fourth run, candidates are coming out of the woodwork in the Gem State. In lopsidedly Republican Idaho, opportunities for top political spots have been hard to come by. They've had the same senators and governor for more than a decade. Lt. Gov. Brad Little has Otter's blessing and hopes to benefit from his current boss' popularity. But Rep. Raul Labrador, a high-profile conservative member of Congress, may complicate that plan. 

Nebraska
Incumbent: Republican Pete Ricketts, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: March 1
Primary: May 15
2016 presidential result: Trump, 60 percent; Clinton, 43 percent

Ricketts, the son the politically active billionaire Joe Ricketts, fought his way to the Republican nomination and governorship four years ago after a failed 20006 bid for Senate. But this time, his path looks as even as a Nebraska cornfield.

Oklahoma
Incumbent: Republican Mary Fallin, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: April 13
Primary: June 26
2016 presidential result: Trump, 65 percent; Clinton, 29 percent

Fallin will end her time as the first female governor of Oklahoma this year on what looks to be an unhappy note. Her consistently low approval ratings seem to reflect her ungainly relationship with the legislature. The state has been at a budget impasse since May of 2017. That’s not great news for Fallin's Lieutenant Governor, Todd Lamb, who is running to succeed her. But we won’t know for some time whether Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett or another candidate will be able to capitalize in the GOP primary.  But Republicans probably don’t have to sweat the state in the general. This is big time Red America.

South Carolina
Incumbent: Republican Henry McMaster, serving since 2017 (seeking first full term)
Candidate filing date: March 30
Primary: June 12
2016 presidential result: Trump, 55 percent; Clinton, 41 percent

With the appointment of Nikki Haley as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations last year, then-Lt. Gov. McMaster ascended to the top spot. But now he has to earn it. His own lieutenant governor, Kevin Bryant, is mounting a primary challenge against McMaster, as are a handful of other current and former state officials. While it is unlikely that Democrats could flip this seat, the primary in the politically rough-and-tumble Palmetto State could get hot.  

South Dakota
Incumbent: Republican Dennis Daugaard, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: March 27
Primary: June 5
2016 presidential result: Trump, 62 percent; Clinton, 32 percent

Republican Rep. Kristi Noem is the favorite to succeed term-limited Daugaard. Presuming she gets through her party’s primary she looks likely to face Billie Sutton, the state Senate minority leader. 

Tennessee
Incumbent: Republican Bill Haslam, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: April 5
Primary: August 2
2016 presidential result: Trump, 61 percent; Clinton, 35 percent

Republicans seem to be coalescing behind four-term Rep. Diane Black, who would be hard to beat at the top of the ticket in the Republican-leaning Volunteer State. Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh are both seeking the Democratic nomination.   

Texas
Incumbent: Republican Greg Abbott, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: already past
Primary: March 6
2016 presidential result: Trump, 53 percent; Clinton, 43 percent

Former state Attorney General Abbott had to get past Democratic favorite state Sen. Wendy Davis four years ago. What had bene billed as a pitched battle turned out to be a blowout for Abbott. His strong showing and consistently high ratings mean Abbott should have little trouble winning a second term. 

Vermont
Incumbent: Republican Phillip Scott, serving since 2017 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: May 31
Primary: August 14
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 61 percent; Trump, 33 percent

Most Republicans probably don’t even know that Bernie Sanders’ home state is governed by a Republican, but former Lt.-Gov. Scott not only is the man in Montpelier but a strong bet for re-election. Democrats have yet to find a strong contender and moderate Scott gets generally good marks, even in the land of Phish.   

Wyoming
Incumbent: Republican Matt Mead, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: June 1
Primary: August 21
2016 presidential result: Trump, 70 percent; Clinton, 23 percent

In the most Republican state in America, there’s not much question about which party will control the governor’s mansion. But with the departure of term-limited Mead, the Republican primary will take on great significance. With a late primary, the race remains fluid. As of now, former Minority Leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives, Mary Thorne, has declared she will run for the seat.

LEANS REPUBLICAN
Arizona
Incumbent: Republican Doug Ducey, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: May 30
Primary: August 28
2016 presidential result: Trump, 50 percent; Clinton, 45 percent

Ducey looks like a strong contender for a second term, but Arizona will be subject to the national environment in a big way. With a hyper-competitive Senate race and a rapidly changing electorate, Republicans can’t take anything for granted in the Grand Canyon State this year. Democrats David Garcia and state Sen. Steve Farley are both said to be contenders.

Georgia
Incumbent: Republican Nathan Deal, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: March 9
Primary: May 22
2016 presidential result: Trump, 51 percent; Clinton, 46 percent

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is the favorite for the GOP nomination and, by extension, a victory in November. He will first have to get past Secretary of State Brian Kemp, but the betting line certainly runs in favor of Deal’s heir apparent. But Democrats see opportunity in this most vulnerable of the Deep South states. Two former state lawmakers, Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, are already well into a primary fight for the chance to Deal.   

Iowa
Incumbent: Republican Kim Reynolds, serving since 2017(seeking first full term)
Candidate filing date: March 16
Primary: June 5
2016 presidential result: Trump, 52 percent; Clinton, 42 percent

Reynolds was thrust into the governorship when her running mate, Terry Branstad, America’s longest-serving governor and a dominant force in Iowa politics for two generations, was tapped to serve as ambassador to China. She begins her bid with strong ratings but an unsettled electorate. Iowa voters have bene showing some discomfort with their recent Republican lean. That’s why such a crowded field of Democrats is forming up, including former state party Chairwoman Andy McGuire.  

Kansas
Incumbent: Republican Sam Brownback, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: June 1
Primary: August 7
2016 presidential result: Trump, 57 percent; Clinton, 36 percent

Any day now, Brownback will pass from his unhappy tenure as Kansas governor and on to his reward as President Trump’s ambassador at-large for international religious freedom. His replacement, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, is running to keep the job, but so is immigration hardliner Secretary of State Kris Kobach, late of the president’s now-disbanded election fraud committee. Further complicating the race is, Greg Orman, an independent who made a credible run for Senate in 2014. A number of Democrats have expressed interest, but even with Brownback’s rock-bottom ratings, it will take a spilt GOP field to put this seat in play.

Maryland
Incumbent: Republican Larry Hogan, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: Feb. 27
Primary: June 26
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 61 percent; Trump, 35 percent 

Hogan has been an unlikely success story for Republicans in the deep-blue state of Maryland. Riding high approval ratings and a record of achievement, he looks like a strong contender for re-election. But this is still Maryland, after all. A number of Democrats, including Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and state Sen. Rich Madaleno, are exploring runs. But they will need a strong blue wave to wash out Hogan.  

Massachusetts
Incumbent: Republican Charlie Baker, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: June 5 
Primary: Sept. 18
2016 presidential election: Clinton, 61 percent; Trump, 34 percent

Who would have thought that America’s most popular governor would have been a Republican in Massachusetts? But businessman Baker has racked up a record of success and bipartisan cooperation in the Bay State and looks good for a second term. The other good news for Baker seems to be that Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren is in a boat race of her own, and unlikely to bring out the Democratic base in droves. With a late primary, multiple Democrats are still weighing bids. 

TOSS UP

Alaska
Incumbent: Independent Bill Walker, serving since 2014 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: June 1
Primary: August 21
2016 presidential result: Trump, 53 percent; Clinton, 38 percent

Walker, a longtime Republican, including for an unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 2010, became an independent in 2014 to run on a fusion ticket with a former Democrat to unseat Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell. Democrats so far seem content to leave him alone in the heavily Republican state. But members of his former party aren’t having it. State Representative and former Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives Mike Chenault and former State Senator Mike Dunleavy have both announced their runs for the seat. 

Connecticut
Incumbent: Democrat Dan Malloy, serving since 2011 (not seeking re-election)
Candidate filing date: June 12
Primary: August 14
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 55 percent; Trump, 41 percent 

The big loser in the departure of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christiemay have been Malloy, who now may rank as America’s least-popular sitting governor. As his third term draws to a close, broad discontent over taxes and a slumping state economy have made political life unhappy for Democrats in the state. But now they’re lining up for the chance at an open seat. The crowded field is so far dominated by mayors, with the executives from Hartford, Bridgeport and Middletown all contending. The question of whether the seat is winnable for Republicans depends on two factors: The severity of the national climate and being to produce a credible nominee. A very crowded potential field, including two-time GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Foley, are considering runs.   

Florida
Incumbent: Republican Rick Scott, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: June 22
Primary: August 28
2016 presidential result: Trump, 49 percent; Clinton, 48 percent

Republicans could feel more secure about their chances to hold electoral powerhouse Florida if it weren’t for the bruising primary battle that lays ahead. Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Rep. Ron DeSantis are already in the race and other GOPers are thinking about taking the plunge. Democrats, meanwhile, have the opposite problem. Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, former Rep. Gwen Graham are both in the race, but Democrats still lack someone with the name recognition or financial position to make the race competitive. 

Maine
Incumbent: Republican Paul LePage, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: Partisan candidates, March 15; Independent candidates, June 1
Primary: June 12
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 48 percent; Trump, 45 percent

LePage’s wild ride as governor is coming to a close, but things aren’t calming down in the Pine Tree State. With the decision by Sen. Susan Collins to pass on a gubernatorial run, the Republican primary looks wide open. State House Minority Leader Ken Fredette and state Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason are both in the running, as are a host of other current and former officials and gadflies. Democrats may opt to back Mike Michaud, the former congressman who lost to LePage in a three-way race with a left-leaning independent candidate who helped split the Democratic vote.    

Nevada
Incumbent: Republican Brian Sandoval, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: March 16
Primary: June 12
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 48 percent; Trump, 46 percent

Nevada may continue to trend blue on the federal level, but it certainly loves its outgoing Republican governor, Brain Sandoval. That goodwill will be put to the test as Democrats look to flip the seat. GOP frontrunner is Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the son and grandson of U.S. Senators, whose name identification and staunch conservatism makes him hard to beat. The Democratic primary looks to be close-quarters combat as two Las Vegans, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak and Vice Chairman Chris Giunchigliani. The surviving Democrat will no doubt hope to be helped by a favorable climate and huge interest in the Silver State’s Senate race.

New Hampshire
Incumbent: Republican Chris Sununu, serving since 2017 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: June 15
Primary: Sept. 11
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 48 percent; Trump, 47 percent

New Hampshire only gives its governors two years at a time, so the power of incumbency has limits in the Granite State. Sununu, the current standard bearer of the state’s dominant Republican clan, has had a good run in office. But in this most closely divided of New England states, nothing can be taken for granted. Plus, with a late filing deadline and primary, potential rivals can bide their time through the spring.

Michigan
Incumbent: Republican Rick Synder, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: April 24
Primary: August 7
2016 presidential result: Trump, 48 percent; Clinton, 47 percent

Michigan has been a political conundrum so far this century. Once a reliable Democratic bastion, the Great Lakes State has turned redder as the Democratic stronghold of Detroit continued to lose population, capped off with the stunning upset in the 2016 presidential election. But Snyder is leaving office amid plenty of frustration and a Republican brand in need of repair. But so far, Democrats don’t have a clear champion to press their perceived advantage. Gretchen Whitmer, a former state Senate minority leader and former prosecutor from East Lansing, looks like the frontrunner. She’s likely to face a better-known and better-funded Republican in the general election with Attorney General Bill Schuette and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley as the frontrunners on the GOP side. 

Ohio 
Incumbent: Republican John Kasich, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: Feb. 7
Primary: May 8
2016 presidential result: Trump, 52 percent; Clinton, 43 percent

You know Ohio Republicans have some issues when Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor doesn’t seem to even want her running mate’s endorsement to succeed him. As voters put unpopular incumbent Kasich in the rearview mirror, Republican Attorney General and former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine looks like the man to beat in the Buckeye State. The best news for Republicans looks to be the early success of former federal bank regulator Richard Cordray on the Democratic side. Republicans are already licking their chops for the chance to paint the liberal Cordray, a favorite of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as too risky of a pick for governor. 

Wisconsin
Incumbent: Republican Scott Walker, serving since 2011 (seeking a third term)
Candidate filing date: June 1
Primary: August 14
2016 presidential result: Trump, 48 percent; Clinton, 47 percent

Never underestimate a guys who won three statewide elections in four years. Walker, the surprise 2010 winner, survived a recall in 2010 and won re-election in 20102. His epic failure in his 2016 presidential run doesn’t seem to have hurt him too much with voters at home, either. Walker has dragged his approval ratings back to close to 50 percent and looks ready to run again. Democrats, on the other hand, have more than a dozen candidates already declared and, with a late primary, a short window in which to make their case against the incumbent.

LEAN DEMOCRAT 
Colorado
Incumbent: Democrat John Hickenlooper, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: March 20
Primary: June 26
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 47 percent; Trump, 44 percent 

Popular, moderate incumbent Hickenlooper is leaving Colorado politics much changed after his eight years. But can he leave the governorship in Democratic hands? That probably depends first on how easily his Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne can dispatch other Democratic hopefuls, including outspoken liberal Denver-area Rep. Jared Polis. Republicans have a similar predicament. Attorney General Cynthia Coffman looks like a good fit for the blue-leaning Western state, but will probably face a ferocious primary that includes the immigration hardliner Tom Tancredo and Bush cousin State Treasurer Walker Stapleton

Hawaii
Incumbent: Democrat David Ige, serving since 2014 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: June 5
Primary: August 11
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 62 percent; Trump, 30 percent 

This is not a test: The most Democratic state in the Union may have a competitive gubernatorial election. Incumbent Ige’s botched handling of an errant emergency warning of an imminent missile strike has raised plenty of new questions about the race. He was already facing a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who was formidable to begin with. Remember also, that Republicans win races with some frequency in the Aloha State. State House Minority Leader Andria Tupola could make a formidable candidate against a weakened Democratic nominee.  

Illinois
Incumbent: Republican Bruce Rauner, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: already past
Primary: March 20
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 55 percent; Trump, 39 percent

Republicans have several blue-state success stories to point to from their 2010 and 2014 wave wins. Illinois is not one of them. Rauner’s tenure has been a mess, with the state’s Republican minority resenting his leftward lurches and Democrats in Springfield seemingly more than happy to wait out the Chicago businessman’s term. He’s facing a ferocious primary challenge from conservative state legislator Jeanne Ives. The good news for Rauner, though, is that Democrats haven’t drawn a stellar field. Democrats look to be split between Chris Kennedy, son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy, and J.B. Pritzker, scion of the ultra-rich Chicago family. 

New Mexico
Incumbent: Republican Susana Martinez, serving since 2011 (term limited)
Candidate filing date: March 13
Primary: June 5
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 48 percent; Trump, 40 percent

Republicans hope to hold on to the governor’s mansion in the Land of Enchantment with the help of Rep. Steve Pearce. But Republicans haven’t been able to hold on to the governor’s mansion in Santa Fe for three consecutive terms since the 1920s. Democrats are betting that Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is the right woman for the job, hoping she can capitalize on the state’s huge Hispanic population as well as an appetite for change.

LIKELY DEMOCRAT 
California
Incumbent: Democrat Jerry Brown, serving since 2011 (term limited) 
Previously served from 1975-1983
Candidate filing date: March 9
Primary: June 5
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 62 percent; Trump, 33 percent

Jerry Brown will go down as the longest serving governor to the Golden State, and if it wasn’t for term limits he’d probably try to stick around longer. Due to California’s nonpartisan blanket primary law, all of the contenders looking to replace Brown will be on the same ballot, regardless of party, and the top two will advance on to the general election. On the left, former San Francisco Mayor current Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa look to be the top contenders and may end up facing off twice – once in the general and once more in the general. The right side of the aisle has some contenders, including Doug Ose, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for the House in 2014.

Minnesota
Incumbent: Democrat Mark Dayton, serving since 2011 (not seeking re-election)
Candidate filing date: June 5
Primary: August 14
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 47 percent; Trump, 45 percent

Though Minnesota will get a lot of attention with its rare double Senate election, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and the special election replacing former Sen. Al Franken, the governorship is also up for grabs. After two terms, Dayton will not run again, opening the spot for several candidates from both parties. Many current members of the state’s government, including Mayor of St. Paul, Chris Coleman, will be running on the Blue Team. The Red Team has some solid contenders as well, including former state party Chairman Keith Downey. One Republican who might change the calculus with a gubernatorial run in the North Star State: former Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

New York
Incumbent: Democrat Andrew Cuomo, serving since 2011 (seeking a third term)
Candidate filing date: July 12
Primary: Sept. 11
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 59 percent; Trump, 38 percent  

Gov. Cuomo isn’t ready to give up on his seat in the Empire State, but that doesn’t mean others will let him get a third term without a fight, and that includes members from his own party. Former state Senator Terry Gipson has officially announced his run for governor and there remains considerable discount over claims of corruption and the frustrations of Gothamites who think the city is getting short shrift from Albany. Republicans, not surprisingly, are struggling to find contenders me competition as well, with former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra and former minority leader for the New York State assembly, Brian Kolb looking lonesome. 

Oregon
Incumbent: Democrat Kate Brown, serving since 2015 (seeking first full term)
Candidate filing date: March 6
Primary: May 15
2016 presidential result: Clinton, 52 percent; Trump, 41 percent

Brown was abruptly brought from Secretary of State to Governor after the resignation ofJohn Kitzhaber in 2015 regarding a bizarre scandal involving his fiancée , just months after his re-election. Brown successfully won the special election in 2016 to finish the remainder of Kitzhaber’s term. Her likely Republican opponent is state Rep. Knute Buehler. But with a popular incumbent in a good year for Democrats, the GOP looks likely to stay locked out on the Pacific Coast.

Pennsylvania
Incumbent: Democrat Tom Wolf, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term)
Candidate filing date: March 6
Primary: May 15
2016 presidential result: Trump, 49 percent; Clinton, 48 percent

Democrat Tom Wolf will seek a second term with no announced same party contenders. The Republicans have a weak bench statewide, but House Speaker Mike Turzai and State Sen. Scott Wagner have announced their campaigns.

Rhode Island
Incumbent: Democrat Gina Raimondo, serving since 2015 (seeking a second term) 
Candidate filing date: June 27 
Primary: Sept. 11
2016 presidential election: Clinton, 55 percent; Trump, 40 percent

Little Rhody has yet to find out if its current governor will run for re-election. But there are several candidates who are not waiting to find out about what Raimondo’s intentions. Former state Rep. Spencer Dickinson has announced he plans to run in the Democratic primary. And the Republicans aren’t being shy either… former state Sen. Giovanni Feroce, State Rep. Patricia Morgan and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung are all tossing their hats in the ring. But in America’s second most Democratic state, it’s tough sledding for the GOP. 

Chris Stirewalt is the politics editor for Fox News. Brianna McClelland contributed to this report. Want FOX News Halftime Report in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C.