While the national race has trumped many state races, some of this year's 11 gubernatorial tilts have been as fierce in their own right, the Los Angeles Times said.
In Missouri, Democrat state Attorney General Jay Nixon is in a heated race with Republican U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof to succeed the GOP's Matt Blunt in the governor's mansion in Jefferson City.
"What you see nationally are the issues that state candidates here are wrestling with," University of Missouri political scientist David Robertson said. "The economy, education, healthcare -- it's what's important in Missouri."
The debate in Indiana between Republican incumbent Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Democratic Rep. Jill Long Thompson is over privatizing state assets and agencies, the Times said.
And in the North Carolina race, Democratic Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue and Republican Charlotte Mayor Patrick McCrory talk about immigration reforms and stem cell research.
"(We're) talking about small percentages of who wins or who loses," said Nick Ayers, executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "When you're talking about races this close, a victory can make all the difference up and down the ticket."