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Turett: The vulnerability of American governors, 1900-1969

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Turett. 1971. The vulnerability of American governors, 1900-1969. Midwest Journal of Political Science 15 (Feb): 108-132.

In Brief

Commentators have suggested the governors have become more vulnerable--that their incumbency presents less of an advantage. Turett counters this view, showing that American governors have become more 'visible,' but they are no more 'vulnerable.' Also, urbanization, crime, taxes, spending, and unemployment do not correlate with gubernatorial vulnerability. In fact, Turett found no pattern to vulnerability at all; it appears completely random.

Presidential contests can influence gubernatorial races, but only when the presidential contest is a landslide. Otherwise, coattails appear minimal. This is true even in states that continue to hold gubernatorial elections concurrently with presidential ones.