United States

United States

Democrats lose in key wind states

UNITED STATES: Democrats have been pushed out in some of the leading states for wind power.

Former Indiana governor was the target of a 'pro-China' ad campaign by a pro-Republican group
Former Indiana governor was the target of a 'pro-China' ad campaign by a pro-Republican group

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.


Top-ranked wind states and their gubernatorial elections    


Capacity rank State MW installed as of Oct 2010 Gain/hold Incumbent (party) Govenor-elect (party)

1 Texas 9712   Rick Perry (R) Rick Perry (R)


2 Iowa 3669   Chet Culver (D) Terry Branstad (R)

  Republican gain
3 California 2814   Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) Jerry Brown (D)

  Republican hold
4 Oregon 2095   Ted Kulongoski (D) TBD

  Democrat gain
5 Washington 2036   Christine Gregoire (D) n/a

  Democrat hold
6 Illinois 1847   Pat Quinn (D) TBD

  Independent gain
7 Minnesota 1813   Tim Pawlenty (R) TBD

8 New York 1274   David Paterson (D) Andrew Cuomo (D)

  No election
9 Colorado 1248   Bill Ritter (D) John Hickenlooper (D)

10 North Dakota 1222   John Hoeven (R) n/a


11 Indiana 1130   Mitch Daniels (R) n/a

* Elected to Senate in the mid-terms, leaving governorship. Special election may be held.
12 Oklahoma 1130   Brad Henry (D) Mary Fallin (R)

13 Wyoming 1101   David Freudenthal (D) Matt Mead (R)

14 Kansas 1026   Mark Parkinson (D) Sam Brownback (R)

15 Pennsylvania 748   Ed Rendell (D) Tom Corbett (R)

16 New Mexico 597   Bill Richardson (D) Susana Martinez (R)

17 Missouri 457   Jay Nixon (D) n/a

18 Wisconsin 449   Jim Doyle (D) Scott Walker (R)

19 West Virginia 414   Joe Manchin (D)* n/a

20 South Dakota 412   Mike Rounds (R) Dennis Daugaard (R)

21 Montana 386   Brian Schweitzer (D) n/a

22 Utah 223   Gary Herbert (R) Gary Herbert (R)

23 Maine 200   John Baldacci (D) Paul LePage (R)

24 Idaho 163   C.L. "Butch" Otter (R) C.L. "Butch" Otter (R)

25 Nebraska 153   Dave Heineman (R) Dave Heineman (R)

26 Michigan 143   Jennifer Granholm (D) Rick Snyder (R)

27 Arizona 63   Jan Brewer (R) Jan Brewer (R)

28 Hawaii 63   Linda Lingle (D) Neil Abercrombie (D)

29 Tennesse 29   Phil Bredesen (D) Bill Haslam (R)

30 New Hampshire 25   John Lynch (D) John Lynch (D)

31 Massachusetts 17   Deval Patrick (D) Deval Patrick (D)

32 Ohio 9   Ted Strickland (D) John Kasich (R)

33 Alaska 8   Sean Parnell (R) Sean Parnell (R)

34 New Jersey 8   Chris Christie (R) n/a

35 Vermont 6   Jim Douglas (R) TBD

36 Delaware 2   Jack Markell (D) n/a

37 Rhode Island 1   Donald Carcieri (R) Lincoln Chafee (I)


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