Never before have more than two independents been elected to statewide office around the nation in any one election year. But in 2018, it is likely that three or four states will elect statewide independents, with a fifth state possible as well.
In Vermont, Bernie Sanders will run for re-election as an independent to the U.S. Senate, and he is expected to win. In Maine, Angus King will run for re-election to the Senate, and he is also expected to win. He will benefit from ranked choice voting, which will be in effect in his race. In North Dakota, Secretary of State Al Jaeger is running for re-election as an independent.
No polls seem to have been held in California to determine whether Steve Poizner will win his race for Insurance Commissioner. He is running against State Senator Ricardo Lara, a Democrat. Poizner held the Insurance job in the past, so he is well-known, and personally wealthy.
In Alaska, independent Governor Bill Walker is running for re-election, again as an independent. Polls show him in third place, with about 25% of the vote, but the polls are not very meaningful at this point because no one even knows who the Republican nominee will be. The primary is August 21.
In 2006 and 2012, two states elected statewide independents, in each case to the U.S. Senate. Those states were Connecticut and Vermont in 2006, and Maine and Vermont in 2012. Also in 1936, two statewide independents were elected: William Langer, Governor of North Dakota; and George Norris, U.S. Senator for Nebraska.