2 states; 1 territory
Map of the results
Republican gain Covenant hold
United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 3, 2009, in the states of New Jersey and Virginia, as well as in the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands on November 7, 2009. Both state governorships were previously held by Democrats elected in 2005, and both were won by Republicans in 2009; the local Covenant Party maintained control of the governorship of the Marianas. These elections formed part of the 2009 United States elections. As of 2023, this is the last election after which the Democratic party held a majority of governorships.
Due to the passage of Senate Legislative Initiative 16–11, this was the last year in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in which a gubernatorial election occurred on a pre-midterm, off-year election year, as the next gubernatorial election would be in 2014.
The Democrats held 28 governorships, while the Republicans held 22. In this election, both U.S. governorships up for election were held by Democrats, while the governorship of the Northern Mariana Islands was held by the Covenant Party.
Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each state, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat.
Most election predictors use:
- "tossup": no advantage
- "tilt" (used by some predictors): advantage that is not quite as strong as "lean"
- "lean": slight advantage
- "likely": significant, but surmountable, advantage
- "safe" or "solid": near-certain chance of victory
|Rothenberg Political Report
Oct 26, 2009
|New Jersey||D+4||Jon Corzine||53.5% D||Tossup||Christie|
48.5% R (flip)
|Virginia||R+2||Tim Kaine (term-limited)||51.7% D||Lean R (flip)||McDonnell|
58.6% R (flip)
|New Jersey||Jon Corzine||Democratic||2005||Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
|Virginia||Tim Kaine||Democratic||2005||Incumbent term-limited.
New member elected.
|Northern Mariana Islands||Benigno Fitial||Covenant||2005||Incumbent re-elected.|
States where the margin of victory was under 5%:
- Northern Mariana Islands, 2.8%
- New Jersey, 4.3%
Red denotes states won by Republicans. Green denotes states won by Covenants.
Democratic Governor Jon Corzine was eligible to run for a second term and did so. He was considered vulnerable given a number of recent scandals and low approval ratings. Former Glen Ridge Mayor Carl Bergmanson, failed 2008 congressional candidate Roger Bacon, and failed 2008 Senate candidate Jeff Boss also sought the Democratic nomination. Corzine won the Democratic primary on June 2.
U.S. Attorney Chris Christie was the Republican gubernatorial nominee. Christie defeated former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and veteran General Assemblyman Rick Merkt in the Republican primary on June 2.
Chris Daggett, who was Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Thomas Kean and regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Ronald W. Reagan, ran as an independent. Daggett raised enough money to file for public funds and appear in both debates.
On November 3, 2009, Republican Christie unseated Democratic incumbent Governor Corzine. His margin of victory was 49% to 45%. Daggett's role as a "spoiler candidate" (some polls had him taking 10 percent of the vote) never materialized.
|Democratic||Jon Corzine (incumbent)||1,087,731||44.88|
|Independent||Gary T. Steele||3,585||0.15|
|Independent||David R. Meiswinkle||2,598||0.11|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
County and independent city results
Virginia's term limits law allows governors to run for more than one term; however, the terms cannot be consecutive. Thus, incumbent Governor Tim Kaine could not stand for re-election.
Candidates for the Democratic nomination included Terry McAuliffe, former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's former campaign manager; State Senator Creigh Deeds; and State Delegate Brian Moran. Deeds won the Democratic primary on June 9, 2009, with approximately 49% of the vote, beating out Terry McAliffe with 26% and Brian Moran with 23%.
|Republican gain from Democratic|
Northern Mariana Islands
Governor Benigno R. Fitial, a member of the local Covenant Party, was eligible to run for a second term and did so. Rep. Heinz Hofschneider won the Republican nomination in June, defeating former Republican Governor Juan N. Babauta, who was defeated in his 2005 re-election by Fitial. Ramon "Kumoi" Guerrero and Juan "Pan" Guerrero, two former members of the Northern Mariana Islands Senate, both ran as independents.
The CNMI election was held on Saturday, November 7, 2009. No candidate received a majority, so Governor Fital and Rep. Hofschneider advanced to a runoff election on November 23. Fital won with a 370-vote margin.
|Covenant||Benigno Fitial (incumbent)||4,892||36.21|
|Independent||Juan Pan Guerrero||2,613||19.34|
|Independent||Ramon Deleon Guerrero||1,075||7.96|
|Covenant||Benigno Fitial (incumbent)||6,610||51.44|
- Eugenio, Haidee V. (2009-11-23). "CNMI holds first runoff election". Saipan Tribune. Archived from the original on 2012-01-12. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Casas, Gemma (2009-11-17). "Northern Marianas' election race heats up". Radio Australia. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- Parentheses around an incumbent's name indicates that the incumbent is retiring, possibly due to term limits.
- "Gubernatorial Ratings | Inside Elections". www.insideelections.com.
-  Archived June 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
-  Archived November 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- [dead link]
- "Deeds Weighs In On Recount Process". Charlottesvillenewsplex.tv. Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- [dead link]
- "2009 June Democratic Primary Unofficial Results". Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
- "Attorney General Bob McDonnell hopes VA will elect a Republican governor – WDBJ7 Roanoke News and Weather NRV Lynchburg Danville |". Wdbj7.com. 2008-11-07. Archived from the original on 2009-08-15. Retrieved 2010-04-27.
- "November 2009 General Election Official Results". Archived from the original on January 18, 2012. Retrieved April 22, 2011.
- Casas, Gemma Q. (2009-10-13). "Registered voters up by 15%". Marianas Variety. Retrieved 2009-10-12.
- Eugenio, Haidee V. (2009-12-08). "Fitial seals victory with 370 lead". Saipan Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-08-14. Retrieved 2009-12-20.