In the mid-term elections on November 2, Republicans gained the governorship in a number of high wind-capacity states: Iowa (2nd by wind capacity), Oklahoma (12th), Wyoming (13th), Kansas (14th), Pennsylvania (15th), New Mexico (16th) and Wisconsin (18th).
Democrats gained the governor’s seat in California (3rd). (See chart for state-by-state results.)
On a national level, Democrats will hold on to their Senate majority – but it will be diminished to no more than 54. Going into the elections, Democrats held 57 seats, with left-leaning independents boosting their caucus to 59.
The result threatens to undermine efforts to pass a national renewable electricity standard (RES), which Senate majority leader Harry Reid says has suffered from a lack of Republican support.
One of the few Senate Republicans to publicly support a RES in the past year was Sam Brownback of Kansas. He has now been elected the governor of that state, and will be replaced in Congress by fellow Republican Jerry Moran.
Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives, ceding at least 60 seats to Republicans.
Other wind power-related results:
- Deval Patrick remains as the governor of Massachusetts, where the Cape Wind offshore project was a hot issue in the campaign.
- Baron Hill of Indiana lost his House seat but Martin Heinrich of New Mexico retained his. Republican ads had attacked the pair for approving President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, alleging that the measure created renewable energy jobs in China but failed to stimulate the US economy.
- The Carnahan Democratic dynasty scored a win and a loss in Missouri. Robin Carnahan lost to Roy Blount in the Senate race, while brother Russ Carnahan retains his House seat. Both had been attacked by opponents during the campaign over their brother's ownership of a wind farm which received federal subsidies.
- California’s Proposition 23 was defeated. The measure would have frozen the state’s cap on greenhouse gas emissions until unemployment fell to 5.5% or under for four consecutive quarters.