Current and Recent Non-Majority Governors

Of the 49 elected governors in the United States (Connecticut's governor John Rowland resigned), 13 won at least one of their general elections with less than 50% of the popular vote and 6 additional governors won a primary election by a mere plurality. In the 1990-2004 period overall, there were 36 states and one territory with governors who had won either their primary or general election with less than 50% of the vote. Most recently, Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger won the 2003 special election in California with 48.6% of the vote and Democrat Kathleen Blanco was elected governor of Louisiana after having received 31% of the Democratic vote in the first round. In the 2002 general elections, eleven governors won by a plurality vote, including California's Gray Davis. Two current governors have won more than one election by plurality: George Pataki (NY) and James Doyle (WI).

AL: Riley (General 2002: 49%)

NE: Johanns (Primary 1998: 40%)
AZ: Napolitano (General 2002: 46%)

NY: Pataki (General 2002: 49%,
General 1994: 49%)

CA: Schwarzeneggar
(General 2003: 48.6%)
OK: Henry (General 2002: 43%)
CO: Owens (General 1998: 49%)

OR: Kulongoski (General 2002: 49%)

IL: Blagojevich (Primary 2002: 37%)SD: Rounds (Primary 2002: 44%)
LA: Blanco
(1st Round Primary 2003:
31% of votes cast for Democrats
VT: Douglas (General 2002: 45%)
ME: Baldacci (General 2002: 47%)WA: Gregoire (General 2004: 48.9%)
MA: Romney (General 2002: 49.8)WI: Doyle
(General 2002: 45%,Primary 2002: 38%)
MI: Granholm (Primary 2002: 48%)WY: Freudenthal (General 2002: 49.9%)
MN: Pawlenty (General 2002: 44%)