Perry expected to win in Texas
Never before have so many governorships been up for grabs -- and with so much at stake.
The races come just ahead of once-in-a-decade congressional and legislative redistricting to reflect the U.S. population of the 2010 census, a process in which governors will play a central role.
Of the 37 governorships on the ballot, more than half are open seats and many of the contests are in prime 2012 presidential battleground states.
Democrats control 26 governorships and must defend 19 in November.
Sheer math, the sour economy and historical trends favoring the out-of-power party in midterm elections suggest big Republican statehouse gains.
Both parties are pumping resources into high-profile campaigns in populous California, Texas and Florida, all won by Republicans four years ago.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, is favored over Democratic former Houston Mayor Bill White, but Democrats are pouring a lot of money into the race and hoping for an upset.