Tuesday, September 21, 2010

National Journal claims 20 gubernatorial seats could switch parties in 2010... Texas not listed...

The National Journal doesn't see an upset chance in Texas among the top 20 governor's races in America (link). Excerpt follows...
The House may be in play. The Senate may be fertile ground for pickups. But no aspect of American politics will show evidence of the pro-Republican wave more than the nation's governorships, dozens of which will be on the ballot this year thanks to term limits and retirements.

Republicans are running well ahead in several Democratic-held states, while Democrats have their own opportunities to take back seats they believe are rightly theirs. But after a decade of Democratic gains in statehouses across the country, it's beginning to look like those gains are going to snap back in one fell swoop.

Previewing the gubernatorial landscape, here are The Hotline's race rankings, presented in order of a seat's likelihood of changing hands:

Related: House Race Rankings / Senate Race Rankings

1. Wyoming -- Open Seat (D)
Gov. Dave Freudenthal's retirement demonstrates what everyone already knew -- there's no such thing as a Democratic bench in this very red state. Say hello to Gov. Matt Mead.
2. Kansas -- Open Seat (D)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R) is one Washington insider not taking a hit this election. He is so confident of victory that he's already avoiding any future debates with his Democratic opponent, Tom Holland.
3. Tennessee -- Open Seat (D)
Once Republicans nominated their most electable candidate in Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Democrat Mike McWherter's already slim chances got thinner.
4. Michigan -- Open Seat (D)
The question isn't whether Republican Rick Snyder is going to win. The question is whether his margins will be so big his coattails carry downballot Republicans with him.
5. Oklahoma -- Open Seat (D)
Gov. Brad Henry (D) won election twice in this very red state. But this year, in this climate, his lieutenant, Jari Askins, doesn't stand a good chance against Rep. Mary Fallin (R).
6. Iowa -- Chet Culver (D)
When an incumbent apologizes and asks his father to vouch for him, it's not a good sign. Combine that with a popular opponent in former Gov. Terry Branstad (R) and polls that show Culver down by double digits, and Republicans have reason to smile.
7. Hawaii -- Open Seat (R)
The Aloha State was one of the first places where the Republican Governors Association spent money. But Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona doesn't look like he'll be able to take advantage of the Republican wave in a fundamentally Democratic state. Former Rep. Neil Abercrombie has an early leg up.
8. Connecticut -- Open Seat (R)
Democrats nominated their stronger candidate in former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy, while Republicans went with the rich but politically untested nominee in Tom Foley. Malloy's experience, and revelations about Foley's past, have played a bigger role so far than Foley's money.
9. Rhode Island -- Open Seat (R)
The race is a toss-up, but the Republican is all but an afterthought. The real battle is between Democrat Frank Caprio and independent Lincoln Chafee, with Republican John Robitaille playing the third wheel.
10. Illinois -- Pat Quinn (D)
Who would have thought last year that President Obama's home state would be a disaster zone for the party? From the White House on down, Democrats are privately dismissing Quinn's chances against conservative Bill Brady (R). What's worse, some believe Quinn's anemic performance could hurt their chances in the Senate race and several pivotal House seats as well.
11. Pennsylvania -- Open Seat (D)
This contest is going to twist and turn a few more times, but it's clear that state Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) has the edge over Allegheny Co. Chief Executive Dan Onorato (D). Pennsylvania tends to give one party eight years in office, then it's the other one's turn. After eight years of Gov. Ed Rendell (D), that trend looks like it will hold.
12. Ohio -- Ted Strickland (D)
With the latest Quinnipiac poll showing Strickland losing by 17 (!) points to former Rep. John Kasich (R), the state appears to be rapidly slipping away from the Democrats. The economic environment here is tough for any incumbent, even one who's had a relatively positive first term, like Strickland.
13. Vermont -- Open Seat (R)
This is one of the few states where Democrats believe they can win back the governorship. But since they nominated the more liberal Peter Shumlin, Republicans still think they're in the game with Gov. Jim Douglas' right-hand man, Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie (R).
14. New Mexico -- Open Seat (D)
Thanks to her Hispanic background and Sarah Palin's endorsement, Susana Martinez has emerged as one of the potential GOP stars this year. The more Bill Richardson is in the news, the worse it gets for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish (D).
15. Wisconsin -- Open Seat (D)
Democratic strategists are awfully glum about Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's chances in a state they had very high hopes for several months ago. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R) survived the primary and looks like a slight favorite to flip this statehouse red.
16. Maine -- Open Seat (D)
Republican Paul LePage, a Tea Party favorite, is polling ahead of state Sen. Libby Mitchell (D) in a state that exhibits fiscally conservative trends as much as it does socially liberal attitudes. LePage has room to fall, and he should probably stop stomping out of press conferences. Complicating the picture: Maine's tradition of giving independent candidates healthy portions of the vote.
17. Oregon -- Open Seat (D)
It's a sign of how poorly insiders, perceived or otherwise, are faring when popular former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) runs even with, or slightly behind, political novice and former NBA player Chris Dudley (R) in public polling. Kitzhaber doesn't even get the benefit of really being an insider -- he had contentious relations with his own party and the media during his two terms.
18. Minnesota -- Open Seat (R)
This is shaping up to be a race to the bottom. Republican Tom Emmer is well to the right of the state's electorate, even in a Republican wave year. Former Sen. Mark Dayton (D) isn't remembered all that fondly from his tumultuous term in Washington, either. Still, after eight years of Tim Pawlenty, this blue state seems ready to return to its roots.
19. Florida -- Open Seat (I)
It'll be a big night in Florida if flawed but wealthy Republican Rick Scott prevails against Democrat Alex Sink. Dems have tried to recruit Sink for years, and they got lucky when Republicans nominated Scott over the boring but electable Bill McCollum. Still, this race is a true toss-up right now.
20. California -- Open Seat (R)
Former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has already won one thing -- she holds the record for most personal money spent on a campaign, north of $115 million. She faces a Democratic electorate, but state AG/former Gov. Jerry Brown (D) virtually defines the term "insider," and Democrats are wondering just when Brown will start acting like a candidate.
Yeah... there is a tiny chance... the New York Times pegs Bill White's chances at 14.1% (link).

But you kind of just have to agree with the National Journal... which also explains why I blogged a lot more during the primary... it was a lot more interesting yet look at where that ended up... a 20+ point win... in November the margin will probably be closer, but somehow the race itself was a lot less interesting. I think that's because within primaries people are willing to actually choose. In general elections, it's all about partisan fans and turnout...

There are just more Republicans in Texas... and they are just more fired up to vote than Democrats... Bill White isn't breaking through... and Rick has done a good job so why pick someone closer to Obama? Why not stay with the person standing up to Obama on the tarmac... why not pick the person who helped Texas withstand the recession better than every other state... and why take a chance on a guy who won't even release his tax records?

1 comment:

  1. The Republicans are so funny, when the economy is good you say let’s all celebrate “Cinco de Mayo, my brothers” but when the economy is down “it’s all your fault, you damn immigrant”. When most Americans (with Latin America roots) go to the polls this November we will remember that the GOP has gone on a nationwide rant in proposing and passing several anti-immigration legislation (that our US Courts continue to strike down) and have continue to blame the immigrant for the flat economy or worse. We will remember who stands with us and who stands against us, so trying to stop it now is somewhat funny, but go ahead, you will not change our minds. Plus the more radical of the GOP are now attacking our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, in a misguided attempt to garner some much needed votes, they really are fools, and leading the GOP towards obscurity because they are no longer a party of ideas, just of empty suits. Your hate made you do it, in November; you will reap what you have sown. I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say about todays GOP, he unlike the current GOP was a man of ideas.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.