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I break down gubernatorial electoral outcomes into expected vote and short-term changes, using an intrastate baseline measure. Employing these measures, I find evidence of period effects in the role played by incumbency, including the growth in its importance in the last decade. Incumbents' gains are most notable in first reelection contest, but tail off in subsequent races. Moreover, these advantages are more pronounced after a two-year term than after a four-year term. Other factors influencing incumbents' success are less clear in their impact: Sabato's measure of reputation is associated with electoral gains, but increasing state bureaucratization appears more weakly linked.