FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2018 file photo, Michigan Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer addresses her supporters in Detroit after winning the primary. Whitmer will face Republican Bill Schuette in November. She is focusing her campaign on cleaning up drinking water across the state, rebuilding roads and maintaining the expansion of Medicaid that provided health coverage to 663,000 lower-income adults. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

In governor's races, Trump emerges as a defining issue

September 23, 2018 - 7:14 am

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Governor's races are on the ballot in 36 states this year, and the common thread running through many of them has nothing to do with state policy: It's President Donald Trump.

Most of the races expected to be competitive in November are in states where Republicans now serve as governor. Trump's relative unpopularity presents another challenge for Republicans trying to defend those seats.

In Michigan, Trump has supported Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette in his run for governor against the Democrat, former legislative leader Gretchen Whitmer.

That may have helped Schuette in a competitive GOP primary, but it could cost him some support in the general election.

A similar theme is playing out in other states.