Governors: The Most Overlooked Powerful People in Politics

Kristoffer Shields (Eagleton Institute of Politics)

Four of our last seven presidents were governors. In the 2016 primaries, 11 sitting or former governors officially announced their candidacies. And as we look ahead to 2020, governors and former governors will once again be on the short lists of potential candidates. As the chief executives of their states, governors shape policy, set the state agenda, and act as their state’s representatives in the public eye. That not only makes some of them logical presidential contenders, but also usually the most important and powerful person in the state during their term(s) in office. In 2018, thirtysix states will hold gubernatorial elections. Will Democrats be able to cut into the Republicans’ record high number of governorships? Which races are the most closely contested? Which are the most fun? In this seminar, we will answer those questions and also look at the role of the governor in the future of our democracy. We’ll learn from expert analysts, campaign professionals, gubernatorial staff members, and a former governor or two, leading us to another set of important questions: Who becomes governor? Why do governors matter? Why should we care about governors of other states? How can governors support the presidential administration or be part of the #resistance? What are the key issues in the 2018 races and what do they tell us about our political world? And perhaps most important: How can YOU be involved?

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 84 index 10000