IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
From left, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks as Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee and Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore listen in New Orleans, on Friday.
From left, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks as Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee and Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore listen in New Orleans, on Friday.Alexandra Marquez / NBC News

Democratic governors credit independent voters in their victories

At the Democratic Governors Association Winter Meeting, Democratic governors and governors-elect focused on winning over independent voters and Republicans.


NEW ORLEANS — Democratic governors and governors-elect from across the country are taking a victory lap Friday, crediting independent voters with their victories across the country this year after a successful cycle.

Democrats had a net gain of two governorships, after just one incumbent governor — Steve Sisolak in Nevada — lost their re-election bid.

"In Maryland, and in gubernatorial races that you saw across the country ... it wasn't just about how Democratic voters stepped up. It was Democratic voters, independent voters, getting a good swath of Republican voters," Maryland Governor-elect Wes Moore said at a press conference on Friday at the Democratic Governors Association's Winter Meeting.

Moore won an open seat in the Democratic-leaning state over his GOP rival, a conservative state lawmaker backed by former President Donald Trump.

Gov. Dan McKee, D-R.I., added, "When you start talking about an economy that can provide good paying jobs, prevailing wage jobs, and at the same time being able to protect people's rights that they have fought for, and they have worked hard for that have been taken away .. that resonates with the independents."

Additionally, the governors and governors-elect credited their opponents' extreme views with helping them build a coalition that allowed them to win.

"While some candidates offered a cocktail of raging blame, we offered solutions, and that's really what the American people deserve. They know that election denialism doesn't help them pay their bills," Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at the conference.

Whitmer, Moore and Pennsylvania Governor-elect Josh Shapiro all faced Republican opponents with a history of questioning or casting doubt on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

They claim that highlighting the extreme views of those Republicans and providing solutions to voters' problems propelled them to victory.

They pointed to their margins of victory. Moore beat his opponent, state Sen. Dan Cox, by over 33 percentage points. Whitmer beat her opponent, Republican Tudor Dixon, by almost 11 percentage points. And Shapiro beat his opponent, state Sen. Doug Mastriano by almost 15 percentage points.

Shapiro and Moore won their races by greater margins than Democratic Senate nominees in their states won their races. Michigan didn't have a Senate race this year, leaving Whitmer alone at the top of the ticket.