United States gubernatorial elections, 1978

United States Gubernatorial elections, 1978
United States
November 7, 1978

38 governorships
36 states; 2 territories
  Majority party Minority party
Party Democratic Republican
Last election 37 governorships 12 governorships
Seats before 37 12
Seats after 32 18
Seat change -5 +6

  Democratic holds
  Democratic pickups
  Republican holds
  Republican pickups

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 1978 in 36 states and two territories. The Republicans had a net gain of six seats, Democrats sustained a net-loss of five seats, and there would be no governors of any other parties following these elections.

This was the first year in which Illinois held a gubernatorial election in a midterm election year since 1846. The state of Illinois moved its gubernatorial election date from presidential election years to midterm congressional election years.

Election results

A bolded state name features an article about the specific election.

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alabama George Wallace Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Fob James (Democratic) 72.6%
H. Guy Hunt (Republican) 25.9%
Jim Partain (Prohibition) 1.1%
Richard Dare (Independent) 0.5%
Alaska Jay Hammond Republican Re-elected, 39.1% Walter Joseph Hickel (write-in) 26.4%
Chancy Croft (Democratic) 20.2%
Tom Kelly (Independent) 12.3%
Don R. Wright (Alaskan Ind.) 1.9%
Arizona Bruce Babbitt Democratic Re-elected, 52.5% Evan Mecham (Republican) 44.8%
V. Gene Lewter (Liberatarian) 1.9%
Jessica Sampson (Socialist Workers) 0.8%
Arkansas David Pryor Democratic Retired, Democratic victory Bill Clinton (Democratic) 63.4%
Lynn Lowe (Republican) 36.6%
California Jerry Brown Democratic Re-elected, 56.0% Evelle J. Younger (Republican) 36.5%
Ed Clark (Independent) 5.5%
Marilyn Seals (PF) 1.0%
Theresa F. Dietrich (AI) 1.0%
Colorado Richard Lamm Democratic Re-elected, 58.8% Ted L. Strickland (Republican) 38.5%
Roy Peister (Tea) 1.7%
Elsa Blum (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Sal Mandor (Independent) 0.3%
Earl Dodge (Prohibition) 0.3%
Connecticut Ella T. Grasso Democratic Re-elected, 59.1% Ronald A. Sarasin (Republican) 40.7%
Florida Reubin O'Donovan Askew Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Bob Graham (Democratic) 55.6%
Jack Eckerd (Republican) 44.4%
Georgia George Busbee Democratic Re-elected, 80.7% Rodney M. Cook (Republican) 19.3%
Hawaii George Ariyoshi Democratic Re-elected, 54.5% John R. Leopold (Republican) 44.3%
Alema Leota (Non-partisan) 0.7%
Gregory Reeser (Libertarian) 0.4%
John Moore (Aloha Democratic) 0.2%
Idaho John V. Evans Democratic Re-elected, 58.8% Allan Larsen (Republican) 39.6%
Wayne Loveless (American) 1.7%
Illinois James R. Thompson Republican Re-elected, 59.0% Michael Bakalis (Democratic) 40.1%
Georgia Shields (Libertarian) 0.4%
Cecil Lampkin (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Melvin Klenetsky (U.S. Labor) 0.2%
Iowa Robert D. Ray Republican Re-elected, 58.3% Jerome D. Fitzgerald (Democratic) 41.0%
John Ball (Libertarian) 0.5%
Joseph Grant (Socialist) 0.2%
Kansas Robert F. Bennett Republican Defeated, 47.3% John W. Carlin (Democratic) 49.4%
Frank W. Shelton Jr. (American) 2.3%
Berry Beets (Prohibition) 1.0%
Maine James B. Longley Independent Retired, Democratic victory Joseph E. Brennan (Democratic) 47.7%
Linwood E. Palmer (Republican) 34.3%
Herman Franklin (Independent) 17.8%
James B. Longley (write-in) 0.2%
Maryland Marvin Mandel
(Blair Lee III, acting governor)
Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory (Lee defeated in primary) Harry Hughes (Democratic) 70.6%
John Glenn Beall, Jr. (Republican) 29.4%
Massachusetts Michael Dukakis Democratic Defeated in primary, Democratic victory Edward J. King (Democratic) 52.5%
Francis W. Hatch, Jr. (Republican) 47.2%
Michigan William Milliken Republican Re-elected, 56.8% William B. Fitzgerald, Jr. (Democratic) 43.2%
Minnesota Rudy Perpich DFL Defeated, 45.3% Al Quie (Republican) 52.3%
Richard Pedersen (American) 1.3%
Jill Lakowske (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Tom McDonald (Honest Government) 0.3%
Robin E. Miller (Libertarian) 0.2%
Edwin C. Pommerening (Savings Account) 0.1%
Nebraska J. James Exon Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Charles Thone (Republican) 56.0%
Gerald T. Whelan (Democratic) 44.0%
Nevada Mike O'Callaghan Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Robert List (Republican) 56.2%
Robert E. Rose (Democratic) 39.7%
Thomas F. Jefferson (Ind. American) 1.7%
None of These Candidates1.7%
John W. Grayson Jr. (Libertarian) 0.8%
New Hampshire Meldrim Thomson, Jr. Republican Defeated, 45.4% Hugh Gallen (Democratic) 49.4%
Wesley Powell (Independent) 4.6%
Mabel Everett (Libertarian) 4.6%
Ralph Brewster (Independent) 0.2%
New Mexico Jerry Apodaca Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Bruce King (Democratic) 50.5%
Joe Skeen (Republican) 49.4%
New York Hugh Carey Democratic Re-elected, 50.9% Perry Duryea (Republican) 45.2%
Mary Jane Tobin (Right to Life) 2.7%
Gary Greenberg (Libertarian) 0.4%
Dianne M. Feeley (Socialist Workers) 0.3%
Jarvis Tyner (Communist) 0.2%
Paul Gallagher (U.S. Labor) 0.2%
Ohio Jim Rhodes Republican Re-elected, 49.3% Dick Celeste (Democratic) 47.6%
Patricia H. Wright (Independent) 1.2%
John O'Neill (Independent) 1.0%
Allan Friedman (Independent) 0.8%
Oklahoma David L. Boren Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory George Nigh (Democratic) 51.7%
Ron Shotts (Republican) 47.2%
Billy Joe Clegg (Independent) 0.5%
Floyd Sheally (Independent) 0.3%
Jim McCuiston (Independent) 0.2%
Oregon Robert W. Straub Democratic Defeated, 45.1% Victor G. Atiyeh (Republican) 54.9%
Pennsylvania Milton Shapp Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Dick Thornburgh (Republican) 52.5%
Peter F. Flaherty (Democratic) 46.4%
Mark Zola (Socialist Workers) 0.5%
Lee Frissell (Consumer) 0.5%
Rhode Island John Garrahy Democratic Re-elected, 62.8% Lincoln Almond (Republican) 30.7%
Joseph A. Doorley (Independent) 6.5%
South Carolina James B. Edwards Republican Term-limited, Democratic victory Richard Riley (Democratic) 61.9%
Edward Lunn Young (Republican) 38.1%
South Dakota Harvey L. Wollman Democratic Defeated in primary, Republican victory Bill Janklow (Republican) 56.6%
Roger D. McKellips (Democratic) 43.4%
Tennessee Ray Blanton Democratic Retired, Republican victory Lamar Alexander (Republican) 55.8%
Jake Butcher (Democratic) 44.2%
Texas Dolph Briscoe Democratic Defeated in primary, Republican victory Bill Clements (Republican) 50.0%
John Hill (Democratic) 49.2%
Mario Compean (La Raza Unida) 0.6%
Sara Jean Johnston (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
Vermont Richard A. Snelling Republican Re-elected, 62.8% Edwin C. Granai (Democratic) 34.1%
Earl S. Gardner (Liberty Union) 2.9%
Wisconsin Martin J. Schreiber Democratic Defeated, 44.9% Lee S. Dreyfus (Republican) 54.4%
Eugene R. Zimmerman (Constitution) 0.4%
John C. Doherty (Independent) 0.1%
Adrienne Kaplan (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Henry A. Ochsner (Socialist Labor) 0.1%
Wyoming Edgar Herschler Democratic Re-elected, 50.9% John C. Ostlund (Republican) 49.1%

See also

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