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Perspective: Why Democrats are in trouble heading into 2016

The single biggest benefactor of Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign also was crucial in clinching races from Maine to Michigan, bringing the number of Republicans in governor's mansions to a nearly two-decade peak.

The Republican Governors Association contributed $18.5 million to Scott, a record amount from the Washington, D.C., fundraising organization, but a fraction of the $130 million it spent nationwide.

RGA spent $14 million to help re-elect Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. It helped secure another four years for embattled Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback by contributing $5 million. And it spent $27 million flipping what had been Democratic strongholds in Massachusetts, Maryland, Arkansas and Illinois.

With RGA's massive fundraising, Republicans picked up two more governor's mansions Tuesday, padding their lead over Democrats to 31-18, the most lopsided balance in 17 years.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court 2010 ruling in Citizens United allowed unlimited contributions to third-party groups like RGA, Republicans have taken the upper hand over Democrats in steering money into races for governor, state legislature and attorney general.

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