CNN has projected Democrat Jay Nixon will become the first Missouri governor re-elected to a second term since 1996. Nixon defeated Republican businessman Dave Spence. A veteran campaigner with at least seven statewide races under his belt, Nixon had a solid lead over Spence for much of the past year. Nixon won the governorship in 2008 with 58% in a state known for its tendency to be fickle at the ballot box when it comes to state office. Since the 1970s, Republicans and Democrats have traded control of the governorship six times. Though a long-time swing state, Missouri has voted Republican in the past three presidential elections.
(Open seat) -- Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is term-limited
Steve Bullock (D) vs. Rep. Rick Hill (R)
The race to replace outgoing Democratic incumbent and frequent CNN contributor Brian Schweitzer is extremely competitive. The Democratic nominee is Steve Bullock, the state attorney general. He faces Republican Rick Hill, a former congressman. Schweitzer leaves office with fairly high marks. He began October with a 61% approval rating, which helps Bullock. But the state leans Republican overall.
(Open seat) -- Gov. John Lynch (D) is retiring
Maggie Hassan (D) vs. Ovide Lamontagne (R)
Democrats retained control of the governorship in New Hampshire with Maggie Hassan beating her Republican challenger Ovide Lamontagne, CNN projected.
As was the case in Montana this year, the race in New Hampshire to replace a popular outgoing Democratic governor became one of the most competitive races in the country. Hassan, a former state senator, faced Lamontagne, an attorney and conservative activist who was the tea party's choice over Kelly Ayotte in the 2010 GOP U.S. Senate primary. He also was the GOP gubernatorial nominee in 1996, receiving 39.5% of the vote against Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
Gov. John Lynch leaves office with high marks. He began October with a 68% approval rating, which helped Hassan. Democrats have controlled the governorship for all but two years since Shaheen's win in 1996.
John Babiarz ran as the Libertarian candidate in the race.
(Open seat) -- Gov. Beverly Perdue (D) is retiring
Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton (D) vs. Pat McCrory (R)
Republicans have picked up a governor's seat in North Carolina with Republican Pat McCrory beating Walter Dalton, the sitting lieutenant governor, CNN projected.
Democratic incumbent Beverly Perdue made history in 2008 when she became the first woman to win the North Carolina governorship, undoubtedly helped by Obama's even more historic win there at the top of the ticket. Since her election, Perdue's approval ratings rarely crept above 40% as she faced both a struggling state economy and a Republican-controlled state legislature. Her decision not to seek re-election gave Democrats their best hope of retaining the seat, but they still faced an uphill battle.
McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte narrowly lost to Perdue four years ago. Obama made a strong play for North Carolina, in hopes of getting Dalton-friendly Democratic voters to the polls, but Dalton was still saddled with Perdue's baggage.
With his election, McCrory becomes only the third Republican governor in the state in more than 100 years and only the sixth in the state's history.
Libertarian Barbara Howe also ran for the top job in the Tar Heel state.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) vs. Ryan Taylor (D)
The governorship for North Dakota will remain in Republican hands with Gov. Jack Dalrymple beating his Democratic challenger Ryan Taylor, CNN projected.
Dalrymple was seeking a full term in the office previously held by fellow Republican John Hoeven, who resigned in late 2010 after winning the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Democrat Byron Dorgan. Taylor serves as the state senate minority leader.
Dalrymple appeared to have all the advantages heading into November. Republicans have had a lock on the governorship since 1992. Hoeven easily won re-election to a third term in 2008 with a whopping 74% of the vote. Though Obama lost here by a relatively close margin in 2008, he was not expected to offer down-ballot Democrats much help this year.