What follows is a guide to 2014's elections for attorney general. In April we did another rundown of these races, and since then much has changed or better come into focus. The above map by Stephen Wolf provides an overview of this year's races. The map and the following analysis do not include states where the attorney general is not elected by voters, or where the election will be held in a different year. Republicans had a great year in 2010, flipping five of these offices at the polls. Democrats are hoping to return the favor this time around.
To start out, here is a table with all 50 state attorneys general, with notes about how they are selected and whether they are running this year.
• AL-AG: First-term Republican Luther Strange looks like the clear favorite to win reelection in conservative Alabama, but he faces a formidable challenge from Democratic state Rep. Joe Hubbard. Hubbard, the great-grandson of former Sen. Lister Hill, has benefited from Strange's fight with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians over gambling: The group has donated $750,000 to Hubbard so far, giving him the resources to mount a credible campaign against Strange. The incumbent has been emphasizing his action against BP over the 2010 Gulf oil spill as well as his many lawsuits against the Obama administration, while portraying Hubbard as beholden to the Poarch Band. For his part, Hubbard has worked to depict Strange as obsessed with gambling and as someone who ignores Alabama's crime problems.
As a relatively non-controversial Republican incumbent in a dark red state, Strange starts with a clear advantage. However, Hubbard is credible enough that he can put up a fight. There is a good chance we'll be hearing about both candidates again after this race. Strange has been mentioned as a potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate, while Hubbard appears to be emerging as a rising star in a state where the Democratic bench has taken a serious hit over the past few years.
• AZ-AG: If you're looking for America's most endangered attorney general, look no further. First-term Republican Tom Horne has been in trouble almost since the moment he took office. In recent weeks, the Arizona secretary of state's office has stated that there is evidence that Horne illegally used state staff and resources on his reelection campaign; The Maricopa County attorney's office is investigating related allegations. Horne has had numerous other problems: A separate FBI investigation caught Horne fleeing the scene of a fender-bender in a parked garage after engaging in an affair.
Despite the best efforts of his fellow Republicans, Horne is running for reelection. He faces a primary challenge on August 26 from former state Gaming Director Mark Brnovich. While Horne has a huge cash-on-hand edge, Brnovich has the backing of Gov. Jan Brewer. A poll from Conservative Leadership of Arizona focusing mostly on the gubernatorial race found Brnovich leading Horne 39-25.
The Democrats are fielding former Assistant Attorney General and 2010 nominee Felecia Rotellini, who came close to beating Horne in 2010. Rotellini, who has out-raised both Republicans, would almost certainly rather face the damaged Horne than Brnovich, but she is a formidable candidate in her own right. A Rotellini win would give state Democrats a much-needed statewide post and likely make her a contender for higher office.
• AR-AG: Democrats have held this office for generations, but the newly ascendant Arkansas Republican Party is making a play for it this November. Their candidate is Leslie Rutledge, a former aide to then-Gov. Mike Huckabee. The Democrats have a strong contender in state Rep. Nate Steel, who has proven to be a very good fundraiser.
Rutledge is campaigning on fighting the federal government while Steel wants a more local focus. The state attorney general's office has been a good launching pad for higher office: Alumni include Sen. Mark Pryor, Gov. Mike Beebe, and Bill Clinton. Both parties want a victory here, but a Steel win would give the state Democratic bench a new member after two terrible cycles.
• CA-AG: First-term Democrat Kamala Harris won a very close race in 2010, but she won't have much of a problem this time around. She faces Republican Ron Gold, who is little-known and has very few resources. Harris is a potential candidate for governor or Senate in the near future, and has even been talked about for U.S. Attorney General or even the U.S. Supreme Court.
• CO-AG: Republican Attorney General John Suthers is termed-out, and there is a competitive battle to replace him. The Democrats are fielding Don Quick, a former district attorney for Adams and Broomfield Counties in suburban Denver. The Republicans have Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, whose husband Rep. Mike Coffman also has a tough battle this year.
Quick has a big $231,000 to $70,000 cash-on-hand edge, but outside groups are likely to help Coffman. A recent PPP poll gave Coffman a 38-29 lead, indicating that the state political climate is giving her a boost. Same-sex marriage will likely be an issue here: Quick would not defend Colorado's ban, while Coffman would. Colorado Republicans have had some notable defeats in the last few cycles and they would love a win here: A Coffman victory would also allow them to replenish their diminished bench.
• CT-AG: First-term Democrat George Jepsen has had a long career in Connecticut politics, and it's likely to continue after 2014. He faces Republican Kie Westby, whose only claim to fame so far is running a forgettable U.S. Senate campaign in 2012.
• DE-AG: In a bit of a surprise, Democratic incumbent Beau Biden pulled the plug on his reelection campaign in order to concentrate on his 2016 gubernatorial bid. Democrats are fielding Lt. Gov. Mark Denn, who should be the clear favorite against little-known Republican corporate attorney Ted Kittila. Denn has larger ambitions, but there is no shortage of qualified Democratic candidates in Delaware.
• FL-AG: Despite receiving a great deal of national attention and having some big missteps, first-term Republican Pam Bondi is pretty anonymous in Florida. A recent PPP poll found her favorable rating deadlocked at 29-29, and holding only modest leads against her two potential Democratic foes.
However, Bondi starts out with a massive financial edge over both Democrats, and has the luxury of avoiding a competitive primary. For the most part, the contest between former Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon and House Minority Leader Perry Thurston has been civil, and they've trained their fire on Bondi. Sheldon has raised more money but has spent it faster, giving Thurston a potential advantage in the primary. Bondi's attempts to preserve Florida's ban on same sex marriage could impact the race. Bondi is widely seen as a rising Republican star and if she wins, she will be a likely gubernatorial or Senate candidate in the near future.
• GA-AG: Georgia has a number of competitive races this year, but it doesn't look like this will be one of them. First-term Republican Sam Olens faces former Democratic state Sen. Greg Hecht. Olens has a big fundraising edge and should be favored in what is still a Republican-leaning state. However, Olens handling of an ethics matter has been controversial and is worth keeping an eye on to see if it gets bigger. Olens is a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2018, though he'd likely need to get past a number of other ambitious Republicans.
• ID-AG: Longtime Republican incumbent Lawrence Wasden held back a tea party primary challenger in the primary, prevailing by an unimpressive 59-41. The general election will be much easier, with his Democratic foe not even campaigning.
• IL-AG: Democratic incumbent Lisa Madigan turned down bids for higher office in 2010 and 2014, but she is expected to easily win reelection this time. Madigan is a potential candidate for Senate in 2016 or governor in 2018.
• IA-AG: Democratic incumbent Tom Miller has served as attorney general for decades, and he's running once again. Miller will face Republican Adam Gregg, who entered the race late after no one else ran. Gregg, who served as Gov. Terry Branstad's lobbyist to the state legislature, may be able to benefit from his old boss' popularity. Gregg has raised money well but he will still have a tough time against Miller, who turned back a credible challenger with ease in 2010.
• KS-AG: First-term Republican Derek Schmidt should have little trouble against attorney A.J. Kotich here. Schmidt is a potential gubernatorial or Senate candidate, though there many of ambitious Republicans in Kansas he'd need to get through.
• MD-AG: Democrats have held this office for nearly a century, and it doesn't look like that will change soon. Longtime state legislator Brian Frosh was the underdog for most of the Democratic primary against Del. Jon Cardin, but several of Cardin's missteps helped Frosh pull ahead. Frosh ended up beating Cardin and Del. Aisha Braveboy decisively, and should have little trouble against Republican Jeffrey Pritzker.
• MA-AG: Democratic incumbent Martha Coakley is giving up this post in order to run for governor, and two Democrats are trying to succeed her. Former state Sen. Warren Tolman has a major fundraising edge over Maura Healey, who served as Civil Rights Bureau Chief for Coakley and would be the first openly gay attorney general in any state. Tolman also has the influential support of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, among others. Both candidates have signed a People's Pledge to deter outside spending. The winner should have little trouble against Republican John Miller.
• MI-AG: First-term Republican Bill Schuette is a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2018, but he does not have a clear path to reelection. Schuette does not appear to have made much of an impression during his time in office: A recent PPP poll gave him a 21-28 favorability rating, and found him leading Democratic law professor Mark Totten 34-32. Democrat Godfrey Dillard is also running, but is the clear underdog ahead of the August nominating convention. With Michigan playing host to competitive Senate and gubernatorial contests, there's a good chance this race will be decided by outside factors.
• MN-AG: Two-term Democratic incumbent Lori Swanson is running again. The Republicans are fielding state Sen. Scott Newman, who is running mainly on voter ID. Republicans haven't won this office since 1966 and Swanson prevailed by double-digits in 2006 and 2010, and it's hard to see her losing this time.
• NE-AG: Incumbent Republican Jon Bruning vacated this seat in an ultimately unsuccessful run for governor, setting up a crowded Republican primary. The eventual winner was attorney Doug Peterson, a first-time candidate. Republicans have held this post since the 1950s and that's unlikely to change this time. The Democratic nominee is Janet Stewart, who lost badly when she ran for secretary of state in 2010.
• NV-AG: The scions of two of Nevada's leading political families are facing off in what is already an expensive high stakes contest. Democratic Secretary of State Ross Miller, the son of former Gov. Bob Miller, is seen as a likely gubernatorial candidate in 2018. Republicans are running first-time candidate Adam Laxalt, the grandson of former Gov. and Sen. Paul Laxalt.
Laxalt spent most of his life in the Washington area before moving to the state in 2011. However, Laxalt has gotten a good deal of support from influential Republicans, including Dick Cheney. Miller has been on the receiving end of a $500,000 air campaign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with Sheldon Adelson and his allies likely to get involved as well. However, Miller is no pushover and is generally seen as the clear favorite to win in the end. Still, this is going to be a tough fight until November, and Republicans would love to score a win here and take down a Democratic rising star.
• NM-AG: Democratic state Auditor Hector Balderas had little trouble securing his party's nomination to replace Gary King, who is running for governor. Balderas faces Susan Riedel, an old ally of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. However, Riedel's own electoral history is not good: She lost reelection to a judgeship in 2012. Balderas has a massive cash edge over Riedel and should be the clear favorite. Balderas ran for the Senate in 2012 and if he becomes attorney general, it looks likely that he'll make another go for higher office.
• NY-AG: First-term Democrat Eric Schneiderman has not made as much of an impression on voters as his predecessors Elliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo, and Republicans are hoping that they can score a win here. The GOP has turned to John Cahill, who served as an aide to then-Gov. George Pataki. Schneiderman is taking the race seriously, reserving millions in air-time for the fall. Still, Cahill has a very uphill climb in blue New York: Recent polls all show Schneiderman clearly ahead.
• ND-AG: Republican Wayne Stenehjem has held this post since 2000, and there's little reason to think he's in any danger here.
• OH-AG: Former Republican Sen. Mike DeWine returned to elected office in 2010, winning a close race for state attorney general. At the moment, DeWine looks like he's set to keep his job. The Democrats are running former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, who lost by a respectable 50-45 for state auditor in 2010. Pepper is trying to make DeWine's handling of the state's rape kit test backlog an issue.
Pepper got some good news recently when it emerged that a number of state contracts were given out to people who had donated to DeWine, his son, or the state Republican Party. Whether or not this is enough to severely hurt DeWine remains to be seen. For now, DeWine looks like he's in the drivers' seat. Before the news broke the state Democratic Party recently released an internal poll of every statewide office but attorney general, which is probably a sign that they did not like what they found here. DeWine is also well-funded, holding twice as much cash-on-hand as Pepper. Ohio voters proved in 2006 that they are willing to part ways with DeWine, but it looks like it will take a lot to unseat him again.
• OK-AG: Republican Scott Pruitt faces no major party opposition to reelection. Pruitt turned down a chance to run for US Senate this year, but he is a likely candidate for Senate or governor somewhere down the line.
• RI-AG: First-term Democrat Peter Kilmartin is the favorite for reelection, but Republicans are hoping they can at least run a competitive race. State Sen. Dawson Hodgson is Team Red's candidate and he has made the state's loan to the now-defunct video game company 38 Studios a major issue. Hodgson is criticizing Kilmartin for voting for the loan in the legislature, and accusing him of now carrying out a proper investigation of 38 Studios as attorney general. It will be difficult to beat Kilmartin in this very blue state, but with the 38 Studios matter an ongoing issue, Hodgson is hoping he can pull off a surprise.
• SC-AG: Republican Alan Wilson, the son of Rep. Joe Wilson, faces minimal opposition to reelection. Wilson has been named as a potential candidate for higher office, but in a state with a huge Republican bench he'll have his work cut out for him.
• SD-AG: There's little reason to see Republican Marty Jackley as being in any danger in this very red state.
• TX-AG: Incumbent Republican Greg Abbott is running for governor, and Team Red is favored to keep this seat. State Sen. Ken Paxton, who aligned with the tea party wing of the party, decisively beat establishment favorite state Rep. Dan Branch in the May runoff. The Democratic nominee is Sam Houston: Despite his famous namesake, Houston is not well known and does not have much money, and will have a very uphill battle in what is still a very red state.
There is one potential wild card here. Paxton paid a $1,000 fine after he did not disclose the fact that he collected money for referring clients. Paxton's Republican foes tried to make this an issue in the runoff, but with little success. Democrats hope that this issue could get bigger and become a bigger liability to Paxton in the general election, and perhaps even lead to an indictment. This is definitely worth keeping an eye on, though if an indictment is seen as politically motivated there is a very good chance it could backfire and help Paxton.
• UT-AG: Utah has not had much luck with attorneys general lately, with the last two currently awaiting trial. Nevertheless Republican Sean Reyes, who was appointed in 2013 to replace his disgraced predecessor, should have no problem winning. Reyes had no interparty opposition, and should have an easy time against Democrat Charles Stormont in this very red state. Stormont has run as a candidate who can restore confidence in the attorney general's office, but he will face a very uphill climb unless Reyes has problems of his own.
• VT-AG: Longtime Democratic incumbent Bill Sorrell almost lost his primary to an up-and-comer in 2012, but he will have a much easier time in 2014. Sorrell faces no serious challenge in the primary or general. The office will be up again in 2016 (Vermont is the only state where elected attorneys general only serve two-year terms) and it remains to be seen if he'll run again.
• WI-AG: Incumbent Republican J.B. Van Hollen is retiring, setting off a major battle to succeed him in a state that has seen more than its share of political battles in recent years. Three Democrats are running: Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ; state Rep. Jon Richards; and Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne.
Happ is backed by EMILY's list and AFSCME and has been stressing her ability to win as a Democrat in a rural Republican-leaning county. Richards has been the best fundraiser and hails from Milwaukee, a major source of Democratic votes in a primary. However, Richards has met with some skepticism for not being a career prosecutor. Ozanne comes from another big source of Democratic primary voters and got attention in 2011 for suing over violations of the state's open meeting laws. Ozanne's fundraising has been weak, though, and he has very little money left for the last weeks of the race. The primary will be held August 12.
The Republicans are running Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, who faces no primary opposition. Schimel has proven to be the best fundraiser in the race and can afford to hold his money until the general election. The Republican made news recently after he was criticized for not investigating a legislator who allegedly had a donor write legislation for him. It remains to be seen whether or not this will become an issue in the general. This is expected to be a fierce fight and both parties will work hard to pull out a win.