Ten governor's races to watch in 2014

Here are the eight governor’s races most likely to flip in 2014.

9. Alaska

Mark Thiessen/AP/File
Bill Walker, an independent candidate for Alaska governor, answers a question during a debate in Anchorage, Alaska. The campaigns for Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) and Walker are launching their end push in a tightening race that saw the Republican incumbent defending his handling of sexual assault allegations and other misconduct in the Alaska National Guard while his opponent gained momentum since joining forces with a Democrat.

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell (R) had been favored for reelection, until his two rivals, Independent Bill Walker and Democrat Byron Mallot, united in a fusion ticket, with Walker running for governor and Mallot as lieutenant governor. With a high-profile US Senate race drawing much of the outside money and air time, this race has been a sleeper. Polling has been volatile, prompting both the Cook Political Report and the Rothenberg Report to move the race from lean Republican to pure toss-up. 

In the closing days of the campaign, the Republican Governors Association directed $1.3 million to an independent expenditure group, Citizens Against Walker, in a bid to support Parnell. In an unexpected twist, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) endorsed the Walker fusion ticket, instead of Parnell, who had been her lieutenant governor and stepped in as governor after her surprise resignation in 2009. 

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