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The Governors Line: Three Lines in One!

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, Charlotte (N.C.) Mayor Pat McCrory, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas

The 2008 election has been an embarrassment of riches for political junkies.

The presidential race has been more all-encompassing, surprising and just plain exciting than any in recent political history. Democrats' push for 60 seats in the Senate and a governing majority in the House are fascinating story lines in their own right.

Friday Line

All of that has pushed the fight for control of the governors' mansions down the page. In fact, we were stunned to learn that the last time we had done a gubernatorial line was way back in November 2007!

That's inexcusable especially given that the rising stars within the two parties -- not to mention the current Republican vice presidential nominee (!) -- have traditionally been governors.

To make up for lost time, below you'll find three Lines in one. The first is a ranking of the five states most likely to switch party control in November. The second is a look at the five races in 2010 -- when 36 states hold gubernatorial elections -- that present the most likely turnover possibilities next cycle. And finally, the top five BEST races of 2010 -- the five races everyone will be talking about come Nov. 5. (The first Line is ranked by the likelihood of takeover; the other two, which can be found after the jump, are alphabetical as we are too far out to rank them just yet.)

As always, the Line is meant as a conversation starter. So, add your own thoughts in the comments section below.

And, for those of you wondering why you are getting a Friday Line on a Thursday, we'll give you two answers: 1) It's ALWAYS a good time for the Line. 2) With the vice presidential debate coming up later today, we'll be all-veep-all-the-time on The Fix tomorrow.

To the Line!

2008 Governors Line

5. Indiana (R): Democrats had high hopes for defeating Gov. Mitch Daniels at the start of the cycle. Daniels had struggled through his first four years in office and even Republicans admitted he was vulnerable. Then two things happened: Daniels ran a very solid reelection campaign and Democrats nominated the wrong candidate in former Rep. Jill Long Thompson. Thompson has struggled to raise money and is off the television airwaves with just five weeks before the election. Um, disaster. (Previous ranking: 2)

4. Vermont (R): Gov. Jim Douglas is in little danger of not winding up as the candidate with the most votes on Nov. 4. But, that doesn't mean his reelection is certain. Due to a quirk in Vermont election law, if no candidate gets a simple majority of the vote, then the state legislature is charged with choosing the governor. Polling shows Douglas hovering around the 50 percent mark with state House Speaker Gaye Symington in the mid 30s and independent Anthony Pollina in the high single digits. Even though Democrats have big majorities in the state House and Senate, it's hard to imagine them overturning the votes of the people. In 2002, Douglas took 45 percent to 42 percent for his Democratic challenger but the state legislature affirmed the voters' decision. (Previous ranking: N/A)

3. North Carolina (D): The Fix had never heard of Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory until we sat down with him earlier this summer at the Republican Governors Association meeting. McCrory came across as reasonable and smartly strategic, knowing that the way he could win the race was to run as an outsider against Lt. Gov. Bev Perdue who has served in the state House, state Senate and her current post. He's done just that -- aided by significant spending on behalf of the RGA, which has run a series ads bashing Perdue as "Status Quo Bev." A variety of polling shows the contest as a dead heat but Republicans are very optimistic. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. Washington (D): The minute former state Sen. Dino Rossi (R) decided he was running again, this race had "barnburner" written all over it. Rossi lost to Gov. Christine Gregoire by 129 votes four years ago in a race that many Republicans believe was stolen from them in a series of recounts. Polling shows the race neck and neck, with Rossi running as the change agent against Gregoire who has been in statewide office continually since 1992. But, Washington should be friendly territory for Barack Obama at the top of the ticket and his trickle-down appeal could be just enough to put Gregoire over the line. (Previous ranking: 3)

1. Missouri (R): Polling show state Attorney General Jay Nixon (D), who has run statewide roughly one million times, comfortably ahead of Rep. Kenny Hulshof. Republicans insist Hulshof is still in the game but it looks to us like he never recovered from a brutal primary. And, running as a Republican Member of Congress in a change year where voters HATE Washington isn't exactly a recipe for success. (Previous ranking: 1)

2010 Most Likely Switches

Hawaii (R): Gov. Linda Lingle (R) is term limited and the strong Democratic bent of Hawaii (John Kerry won it by nine points in 2004; Al Gore carried the state by 19 points in 2000) makes this a tough seat for the GOP to hold. The Democratic field could well be crowded: Rep. Neil Abercrombie, former Rep. Ed Case and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann are the most widely mentioned candidates. The likely Republican nominee is Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona who has Lingle's strong support and already has a gubernatorial committee in place.

Nevada (R): It's hard to paint Gov. Jim Gibbons' first term as anything short of a disaster. He has been sidetracked repeatedly by scandal and has seemed out of his depth more often than not. Rory Reid, the son of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the chairman of the Clark County Commission, is widely expected to run and would present a formidable challenge to Gibbons although it's not clear whether Reid could clear the primary field. If Gibbons decides to seek a second term, this is a VERY problematic race for Republicans.

Oklahoma (D): Gov. Brad Henry's narrow win in 2002 and far easier re-election victory in 2006 were all the more remarkable when considering the fact that President Bush carried the state with 60 percent in 2000 and 66 percent in 2004. With numbers like that, Republicans are licking their chops about taking back a governor's mansion they believe is rightly theirs. Rep. Mary Fallin, the state's lieutenant governor for 12 years, is the most prominent Republican name mentioned although some believe Rep. Tom Cole, the current head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, will take a look at the race too. On the Democratic side, state Attorney General Drew Edmondson -- a Hamlet-like figure in Oklahoma politics -- would be the frontrunner if he decides to run.

Rhode Island (R): Democrats are itching to take back the Rhode Island governor's mansion, which, amazingly, has been in Republican hands for the last 16 years. Gov. Don Carcieri (R) is term limited and the GOP bench is thin. The most likely Republican candidate is Steve Laffey, the former mayor of Cranston who narrowly lost a primary challenge to Sen. Lincoln Chafee in 2006. Chafee, too, is mentioned as a possible candidate and would be expected to run as an independent if he did get into the race. (Chafee left the Republican party earlier this year and is supporting Barack Obama for president.) The Democratic field could be packed: Providence Mayor David Cicilline as well as state Attorney General Patrick Lynch, state Treasurer Frank Caprio and Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts are being mentioned.

Wyoming (D): Gov. Dave Freudenthal is term limited after two terms, bad news for Democrats in this ruby red state. The race to succeed Freudenthal has yet to develop in earnest but Republicans have to feel good about their chances of winning the governorship in a state that gave George W. Bush 69 percent of the vote in the last two presidential elections.

2010 Best Races

California (R): Everything is bigger in California and it's hard not to get excited about an open seat race to replace the outgoing Governator. We've already written extensively on this contest but the one thing to watch for in the coming months is whether or not Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) decides to run. If she does, she is the favorite in the Democratic primary and the general election.

Maryland (D): Rematches always make for great races -- especially when there is no love lost between the candidates. Such is the case with Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R) who clashed in a nasty and expensive race in 2006 in which the Democrat prevailed 53 percent to 46 percent. O'Malley's approval ratings have been less than stellar and Ehrlich has been cagey about a comeback. But, many Maryland politicos took Ehrlich's high-profile decision to come out against a slots referendum as a sign that he is planning to run since O'Malley is a high-profile proponent of the referendum.

Michigan (D): It's a far easier task to write about who isn't considering a run for the Michigan open seat in 2010 than to put together a list of who is. On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. John Cherry, former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano are the most often mentioned. For Republicans, state Attorney General Mike Cox, Rep. Candice Miller and 2006 gubernatorial nominee Dick DeVos are mentioned. Polling done over the summer suggests Archer and DeVos would be their respective party's strongest candidates although those numbers are solely a name identification test at the moment.

Ohio (D): If Gov. Ted Strickland's win in 2006 signaled the death throes of the Ohio Republican party, his re-election race may well be best chance for a GOP rebirth. A trio of high profile Republicans -- former Reps. John Kasich and Rob Portman as well as former Sen. Mike DeWine are considering the race -- and would make formidable opponents for Strickland. The problem for Republicans, however, is that Strickland's job approval numbers remain solid.

Pennsylvania (D): To the disappointment of political junkies all over the country, the always-colorful Gov. Ed Rendell is term limited out of a job in 2010. The massive potential field in Pennsylvania makes the group looking at the Michigan race seem small by comparison. Among the bold-faced names considering the race include: former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Rep. Pat Toomey and 2006 nominee Lynn Swann for Republicans and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato and free-spending businessman (and Philadelphia mayoral candidate) Tom Knox.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 2, 2008; 7:20 AM ET
Categories:  Governors , The Line  
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Oregon should also be interesting. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury is running for the D's, and is not the best candidate. He will probably have primary opponents. If former Governor Kitzhaber or Rep. Defazio decides to run, it will probably pretty much clear the field. The R's will either nominate their best candidate, Rep. Walden, or their second best, State Sen. Jason Atkinson. Walden would probably be the favorite unless Defazio or Kitzhaber run.

Another that should be in the top five is Tennesse, where Bill Frist looks to be the early favorite. Also, Sam Brownback will likely take back the Governorship for R's in Kansas.

My top five:
1. Rhode Island
2. Wyoming
3. Nevada (possible primary loss for Gibbons)
4. Tennesse
5. Hawaii

Posted by: AnthonyJBrady | October 3, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

The most intriguing gubernatorial race in 2010 will be in...


If Jodi Rell retires, as she has hinted, it will be a good, bloody free-for-all in the Constitution State.

The Dem primary alone should be a real costly and dirty affair between different factions of the state Democratic party and different bases of support: the Dem speaker of the House announced he was running next year, he's sure to be joined by the mayor of Stamford, the current Dem secretary of state, and possibly even CT's own Hamlet, AG Dick Blumenthal (who has floated a run for 20 years but still remains in his job). I'd expect one or more city-level Hartford, Bridgeport, or New Haven pol to consider a bid, also. And why not another grassroots run? Someone call Ned Lamont!

The Dems alone always have baggage to make things fun; in the last decade Bridgeport alone has seen a mayor sent to jail and another who admitted to snorting Cocaine on his desk.

The CT GOP is much more boring, dominated by guys like Rob Simmons and Chris Shays, and women like Rell and Nancy Johnson. Still, if it's a wide open race, Simmons could make a bid and, no matter what happens with his House bid, Shays may tire of constantly campaiging and may try for the state house instead. Which boring, soft-spoken white guy would win that race? Former Governor Rowland is free from jail and out of the halfway house, so he could be a wildcard.

The primaries should be fun, but the election could be even better. How about Joe Lieberman leaving Washington and trying for Hartford? Can Lowell Weicker cool his temper long enough to run another race? Maybe CT native Ralph Nader wants to play spoiler closer to home?

Even if the general election turns into a snoozer like the 2006 senate general election, at least the Dem primary should offer enough fireworks to placate junkies everywhere.

Posted by: CTMan | October 2, 2008 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Here in NC, Pat McCrory is a great candidate and is leading Lt. Gov. Perdue by a small and fairly insignificant margin right now. However, Pat is a great fundraiser and has a strong record as a pragmatic problem solver. McCrory's tenure as a 7 term mayor of Charlotte makes him an outsider in Raleigh politics and his business experience in Duke Energy makes him a highly respected businessman and business leaders here in NC are donating to McCrory that in the past have supported Democratic candidates due to the stronghold they have had on state politics. Perdue has aligned herself with Obama fairly strongly from the beginning of the primary. The current governor, Mike Easley, endorsed Hillary Clinton in the primary. This associates Perdue with Obama and moderate dem's in NC may well vote McCrory. Plus, McCrory impresses in fundraising, business success, his strong stance on crime, the successful rail transit system he built for Charlotte & his strong stance on immigration (which most North Carolinians agree with). On immigration and the idea that gov't. should be for pragmatic problem solving for everyday life, McCrory has distanced himself from John McCain a little. That's interesting, but they are distanced due to policy. In my view, NC is more likely to change than Washington. McCrory is front-runner.

Missouri is definately #1, as Hulshof never recovered from the primary fight vs. Steeleman. He's still in the game, but losing badly.

The Line
1. Missouri
2. North Carolina
3. Washington
4. Vermont

Posted by: reason5 | October 2, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse


CHANGE Chicago style


In the last six months 292 killed (murdered) in Chicago,

221 killed in Iraq ..


Gov Rod Blogojevich

House leader Mike Madigan

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (daughter of Mike)

Mayor Richard M. Daley (son of former Mayor Richard J. Daley)






..the leadership in Illinois .....all Democrats.

Chicago is a combat zone. Of course they're all� blaming each other.

Can't blame Republicans, they're aren't any!

State pension fund $44 Billion in debt, worst in country.

Cook County ( Chicago ) sales tax 10.25% highest in country.

(Look'em up if you want). Chicago school system one of� the worst in country

This is the political culture that Obama comes from in Illinois ..

He's gonna 'fix' Washington politics?

Posted by: xvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwvwx | October 2, 2008 4:44 PM | Report abuse

We have a nice, growing "track" record on Palin -- when she "runs" her mouth she inevitably sounds like an idiot.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 2, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"McCain +3 in Virginia today. Is this the start of the big comeback?"

Or is it the start of "pick your polls"? According to two other polls, Obama is +3 in Florida and NC. I think he'd trade Va for those two.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 2, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

I discount daily polls. I suspect this will go down to the wire with no statistical winner, McCain probably trailing the whole time by 2-4 points.

the fact remains we have an evenly split country. I am very troubled by the desire of the poor to not pay for anything and simply have the rich cover it all. this is a step in the predicted pattern of the decline of democracies. I forget the author.

I won't be surprised if there is significant legal disputes over voter fraud.

Even with very little track record for Palin, it is still more than we have on THE ONE.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 2, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

As for what we know about Palin, perhaps this might help. A listing on positions she has taken during her tenure as Governor.

Take it with a grain of salt. She simply does not have much of a track record.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

McCain +3 in Virginia today. Is this the start of the big comeback?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"bsimon, for someone who claims to be an "independent", you're sounding more partisan by the minute. atta boy."

The comment in question was in reference to a conversation with Mr Zouk yesterday.

Regarding party affiliation, I am an independent voter; if I align with a party it is the MN Independance Party, not the Dems or Repubs. In this presidential race I am an Obama supporter. You may recall from a year ago when I was rooting for McCain and Obama to win their parties' nominations. However, seeing how McCain won his party's nomination has turned me off to him as a candidate.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Doctor - shall we resuscitate?"

bsimon, for someone who claims to be an "independent", you're sounding more partisan by the minute. atta boy.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | October 2, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

koz, All the uncovering will have to wait until Obama is elected. Then he's promised to see to it that this financial bailout is on the up and up, but not a minute sooner. No time for leadership now, you see, he's busy, busy, busy!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | October 2, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with Palin's views and think she is horrendously unqualified not simply because of a lack of experience, but also a lack of thought on weighty matters.

That being said, when I was talking about Palin apologists, I was referring to the phenomenon of people appearing on this board to support Palin in numbers that you simply don't see for McCain despite the fact that McCain is clearly the superior politician.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris you need to know there is hardly a hair' difference between North Carolina Republicans and North Carolina Democrats. Both parties are incredibly conservative, with only one notable difference. There are more African-Americans registered as Dems.

Well, there you go.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | October 2, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Democrats for John McCain and Sarah Palin in 2008

Posted by: hclark1 | October 2, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

p.s. I notice both Obama & McCain have now flatlined at Obama at about 340, McCain at about 190. Doctor - shall we resuscitate?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

"I know very little about her. do you?"

I think I know more about her now than McCain did when he selected her.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Palin apologists.

Posted by: DDAWD |

I know very little about her. do you? I also know very little about Obama. but the time frames are totally different. why is the media covering up his views? what happened to all his friends? Where did all that foreign money come from? what is his association with Fannie and why was he able to get so much money from them in such a short time? why is he so confused on Pakistan? does he understand that taxes lead to lower productivity, especially in a down economy? can he point to good government anywhere? where will all the money come from? why is he so stubborn to admit the surge worked - is his value system all about votes? does he support Acorn's fraudulent voter activites if it gets him elected? why will he take my money and give it to his peeps? why did I bother to go to grad school and succeed if I am punished for it?

you know, just a few minor issues left uncovered.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

"I freely admit I know nothing about out of state governor's races and don't care much (not that it ever stopped know-it-all Libs from pontificating). Based on the traffic today on this blog, I see I am not alone."

Well, you could post stuff in a more relevant blog.

As for the unique event, yeah, tonight should be fun. It was interesting to watch a bunch of old VP debates on CSPAN2 last night. Quayle's transformation from 1988 to 1992 was really impressive.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"But now that zouk is here, the discussion will sink into the basement where he lives.

Mr. Cilizza, you really ought to think about limiting the number of comments by one poster in a day to keep professional disrupters like this from dominating and ruining your discussion board for the entire day. "

Meh, KOZ is moronic and hackneyed, but not disruptive.

This board would actually be really boring without opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately, the Republican platform is so weak, the only opposing viewpoints must be supplied by reactionaries and Palin apologists.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I honestly think that discussing governor's races for 2010 when there is a unique event this evening is pretty tone deaf.

but then I am still shaking from my helo being forced down by rocket fire on my way to work at the coal mines today.

I freely admit I know nothing about out of state governor's races and don't care much (not that it ever stopped know-it-all Libs from pontificating). Based on the traffic today on this blog, I see I am not alone.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 2, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Re New York: If Paterson decides not to run, I would expect Bloomberg to jump in....

Posted by: RickJ | October 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if zouk can add to the discussion of various governors' races.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

As a Vermonter, I've also got to question the inclusion of VT as 4th likeliest to switch. Unfortunately, Gaye Symington is not proving to be a very strong candidate for the Dems, and the split with Pollina makes it even harder. The tradition of electing the 1st place finisher if the race goes to the legislature is sacrosanct here, and if Douglas finishes in 1st place (virtually guaranteed) then he will be elected. Symington's only chance is if an overwhelming turnout for Obama in the state (he's polling above 60%) brings extra voters down ticket AND if Pollina's vote collapses to about 5%. Ain't gonna happen.

Indiana could be ranked higher -- yesterday a R2000 poll was released showing it Daniels 47%, with L-T at 46%. That poll may turn out to be an outlier, but if it is on target, perhaps this is turning into a competitive race. Remember that Obama has a huge field operation in Indiana that is going to turnout every possible Democratic voter, while McCain has no ground campaign in the state.

Looking forward to 2010:

Alabama -- Bob Riley is term-limited. There is likely to be a big field on both sides. If Rep. Artur Davis ends up being the Democratic nominee, it will be a fascinating race to see if a serious African-American nominee can be elected statewide in a place like Alabama. Ag Commissioner Ron Sparks would be a populist white Democrat who could take it. Democrats are hungry to get this one
back -- they are furious over the Siegelman prosecutions. Republicans will have a strong set of candidates fighting to hold the seat.

Alaska -- if the Republicans loose nationally, Sarah Palin will remain a high profile national figure, and it will be worth watching to see if she remains popular at home. If she ends up as VP, Lt Gov Sean Parnell will inherit the office and may be subject to serious primary and general election challenges.

Arizona will be a prime candidate for a party switch -- Napolitano is term limited (but would also be a prime candidate for a cabinet slot if Obama is elected). Both parties have a strong stable of possible nominees, and this is purple on the state level (and would be federally as well if McCain wasn't the nominee this year).

Florida -- Charlie Crist is riding high now, but it remains to be seen if that continues. Alex Sink would probably be the strongest Democratic nominee, and if she runs, could make a real race of it. Crist would be a possible cabinet appointee in a McCain administration, and that would shuffle the deck completely.

Kansas - Gov Sebelius is wildly popular for a Democrat in a Republican state. If she chooses to run for Sam Brownback's Senate seat, or if she goes to Washington in an Obama White House, expect a very interesting race here - would Lt Gov Mark Parkinson, a former Republican play well as the Democratic candidate? A ton of Republicans would also run for an open seat.

In Michigan, Dennis Archer is widely mentioned for a cabinet position (AG? HUD?) in a Democratic administration - would he prefer that over an iffy run for Gov back home?

NM -- Bill Richardson is term limited AND a very strong contender for a cabinet slot. Lt Gov Diane Denish is working hard to position herself as the Democratic nominee, but ambitious politicians from both parties will look at this race very seriously.

New York -- David Paterson is generally getting good reviews for taking over after the Spitzer fiasco. If he runs for re-election (very likely) he would be the heavy favourite in both the primary and general. If he opts out, a lot of folks are going to be pushing a Clinton candidacy (either Hillary or Bill!).

And assuming Douglas wins in VT this year, he will have to be considered a Democratic target in 2 years (yes we have 2 year terms) if he runs for re-election. If it is an open seat, the Democrats would have to be considered likely winners.

Posted by: terje1 | October 2, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

At any rate, of the two candidates on the Democratic ticket, airhead Biden is the most politically experienced. His presidential running mate attained public office only 11 years ago, after being elected to the Illinois Senate. There his achievements were exiguous. Possibly it is churlish of me to repeat what careful readers already know about state Sen. Obama, but here are the essentials: In Springfield, Ill., state Sen. Obama voted straight Chicago machine, and he voted "present" 130 times. He took no chances and left no mark. He was not the candidate that he claims to be today, the champion of "reform" and "change." Though we now know the Prophet Obama as a ceaseless moral ham, he has since his days as an Ivy Leaguer no unique civic, intellectual or moral achievements to his credit other than two best-sellers -- a recent political potboiler and an autobiography that abounds with self-centered indignant passages that his campaign hopes will rarely catch the public eye.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 2, 2008 12:51 PM | Report abuse


Let me get this straight.

You use the "F" word and make ad hominem attacks on this site, and then cry "REPORT HEEM TO ZE AUTHORITIES!" because you object to the content of my blog posts (which you've obviously studied in detail, although you mis-report the content).

Sites like this represent the Wittenberg gate -- the last refuge of free speech in America.

So I can't say I'm surprised at those who seek to tear down the postings on the gate.

At the very least, let's seek some countervailing force to the paid disinformation agents who use these blogs to target, slander and propagandize.

If they can freely post here, so can I. Have a nice day. If you must call me something, call me "Luther."

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

But now that zouk is here, the discussion will sink into the basement where he lives.

Mr. Cilizza, you really ought to think about limiting the number of comments by one poster in a day to keep professional disrupters like this from dominating and ruining your discussion board for the entire day.

Rather, starting every day at noon--notice that?

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Actually, everything zouk says is funnier than anything else on here. Self-aggrandizing morons are always hilarious.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

However, you have to tone it down and stop sounding so paranoid if you want anyone to take you seriously.

Posted by: drindl

got to be the funniest piece of advice ever given. Kind of Like bill saying "stay away from the interns".

Posted by: king_of_zouk | October 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

" Is Chris Coleman related to Norm Coleman? I am guessing "no"."

Good guess. No relation.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I agree with fellow Vermonter gorble about Republican Jim Douglas's likely re-election, either by majority of the voters or majority of the Democratic legislature.
But note another quirk in Vermont's election law: the governor serves a two-year term. So if the state's Dems and Progressives can make peace and put up a robust candidate, Douglas could be right back on The List in 2010.

Posted by: Hoofpick | October 2, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, Is Chris Coleman related to Norm Coleman? I am guessing "no".

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

And yeah, as soon as I see a scrivner comment, I report it. The person is a sick f uck. It was absolutely abhorrent when he used the tragedies of Tim Johnson and Ted Kennedy to try and garner traffic to his site.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

"I don't see Ehrlich improving his political skills enough between now and 2010 to win against O'Malley, regardless of how lackluster O'Malley's approval ratings are."

I'm often surprised how often MD elects or is close to electing a Republican governor given that MD is probably more blue than Texas is red. Why are O'Malley's ratings so low now?

Posted by: DDAWD | October 2, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I think any of the "big" states that offer competitive races in 2010 will be interesting for the additional reason that those governors will be in office during redistricting. Chris - I would love to see a column sometime after the election about the implications of this in places like California, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc. and what it could mean to the makeup of the House. Even the Virginia race of 2009 could offer the possibility of some interesting gerrymandering after the census, especially if the Legislature and governor's mansion are controlled by dems.

Posted by: erikpdumont | October 2, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I concur with the two other posters who said Minnesota's gubernatorial race will be interesting to watch. Minnesota has no term limits, but those seeking third terms have been almost wholly unsuccessful (Rudy Perpich, anyone?). And although the Democrats have suffered in the last two cycles, it may yet continue.

I disagree with the list of potential Democratic nominees, however. Rybak? He's going to Obama's cabinet if the latter wins the White House, probably as HUD Secretary. Anderson-Kelliher? She's only had two legislative sessions under her belt as Speaker and she's still growing into the role. She shouldn't push too hard too soon. Walz? If he wins reelection in the First, it could mean that it's his seat for as long as he wants it.

No, the potential Minnesota Democratic gubernatorial candidates in 2010 are State Senator Tom Bakk, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner (in order of viability).

You can chew on that one for a while, Fix...

Posted by: Adanielch | October 2, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Nice. Lots of aficionados here today.

To expand on the MN race in 2010, the DFL has been struggling to come up with good candidates. Klobuchar was a good pick to take down Kennedy in the race for Dayton's seat. But Hatch for governor was a disaster. Franken is a disaster for Senate this year. As 'halfaworldaway' notes, the DFL is rebuilding the back bench with several potentially good nominees for 2010 in Ryback, Walz & Kelliher. Chris Coleman of St Paul is probably worthy of promotion too.

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse


Paranoid or prescient? I respect readers enough to let them decide for themselves, so I don't engage in name-calling or ad hominem attacks and characterizations.

But do tell me: Why hasn't the mainstream media reported on this first-ever domestic deployment of an Army unit, one trained in urban combat in Iraq? I don't think it's paranoid to ask the question. And it's certainly relevant to the functioning of American democracy and politics.

-- scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Scrivener, lighten up. mark_in_austin is completely correct in what he said. You DO consistently ignore the stated theme of a discussion to warn us of government stalkers, behind the scenes political machinations, etc. It would be one thing if you had even once been shown to be correct (e.g. about Gore and the D nomination), but you haven't. And this forum is thankfully taken more seriously once again by the Post, so if you have nothing to add in re: governors' races nationwide, please allow the space to be used by those who do.

ed. note: this is all I will say that is not relevant to governors' races.

Posted by: bokonon13 | October 2, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Scriverner -- I certainly agree that there is need for concern about military units patrolling US streets, as there was that a private army, namely Blackwater, acted as the National Guard in Florida after Katrina. Military units are simply not trained to deal with civilian citizens.

However, you have to tone it down and stop sounding so paranoid if you want anyone to take you seriously.

Posted by: drindl | October 2, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

chuckgoodwin beat me to it, but I agree that PA is a good candidate to switch in 2010. In addition to Corbett on the R side, I'd probably add Mark Schweiker (who completed Ridge's term after he went to DHS) and Dennis O'Brien (current State House Speaker). Maybe Jack Wagner (Auditor General) on the D side.

Just as long as it isn't Santorum or Catherine Baker Knoll (current wacky Lt. Gov.).

Posted by: mnteng | October 2, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

RiceOwlsFan, At 9:02A I wrote to the same topic and I agree with all you said at 11:05A. Would you look at my 9:02A and tell me what you think of the remainder of what I said? I addressed a broader range of Ds than you, but drew the same conclusion about White.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse


The 2010 Texas Gov. race could be huge. Obviously it presents high entertainment value if Sen. Hutchison challenges Rick Perry in the GOP primary. However, even more interesting is the possible entry of Democratic Houston Mayor Bill White. His suberb leadership post-Katrina,superb leadership during Ike, understanding of energy issues, his businesslike efficiency, and his ability to bring people together make him a formitable candidate. CW in Texas has him beating Perry and running close to KBH. If a Democrat becomes governor of Texas, doesn't he become a star in the Democratic Party and a frontrunner for WH 2016?

Posted by: riceowlsfan | October 2, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

As a Marylander, I can say that Ehrlich didn't do himself any favors in the 2006 campaign. Ehrlich and Steele basically assumed that Maryland voters were too stupid to realize that they were Republicans, and ran the latter part of their respective campaigns (Steele was running for the open U.S. Senate seat) pretty much on the basis of trying to pass themselves off as Democrats. If you're betting against the intellect and political savvy of Maryland voters, you'll lose every time. I don't see Ehrlich improving his political skills enough between now and 2010 to win against O'Malley, regardless of how lackluster O'Malley's approval ratings are. Besides, Marylanders immediately had buyer's remorse when they voted Ehrlich in the first time. They're not about to make that mistake a second time around.

Posted by: sdecker | October 2, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

To "mark_in_austin" at 9:52 a.m.:

This freedom of speech thing really is a b*tch to some folks.

What is abusive is a campaign to censor the media...

... while simultaneously exploiting mainstream media channels to target and abuse individuals who express their views here.

That's commonly known as "disinformation trolling."

I wish you were more concerned about threats to our civil liberties -- as highlighted in some of my posts -- as you are about my exercise of my First Amendment rights.

Perhaps you haven't read my work. Or perhaps you have, and would prefer to see my work censored. (Are YOU the hacker who's breaking the links on my blog site?)

I ask others who read this to decide for themselves as to who's doing the abusing.

Have a nice day, "mark_in_austin."

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I think that the big reason why IL is not on the Line is because Chris is handicapping which states are likely to see a party switch in the governor's mansion.

Blago is either going to be talked out of running or lose a primary challenge. Either way, IL is more likely to not flip than the other states listed.

Posted by: cam8 | October 2, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Too bad Governor Blag is in office for a couple more years if he isn't indicted (in the grand tradition of Illinois governors) first.

He's been a complete disaster - a crook, and a moron to boot. The GOP will try to resurrect itself on the back of his disastrous administration and he will certainly have a huge primary challenge - probably several opponents. He's hugely unpopular, can't get along with the democratic legislature, and is prone to uttering palinisms.

I can't help mentioning that when he jogs by a friend's house a few times a week he likes to stop kids on the block and say wise things such as "hey kids - stay in school and don't do drugs!"

And I say this as a lifelong democrat and a supporter of Obama. The guy is a disaster - ought to be a fantastic campaign in 2010 starting with the primary. I don't know why Blag wasn't mentioned in the Cillizza's post.

Posted by: Jsinaiko | October 2, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Re Pennsylvania Governor. 2010 should be, and probably will bel, a republican year, as Pennsylvania usually switches party every 8 years. But neither Santorum nor Swann have much of a shot...neither pulled over 40% in their last elections and there would be the problem that neither actually lives in the state. Tomey, like Santorum, is probably too conservative for Pennsylvania. The Fix should remember that Pennsylvania has a strong tradition of electing moderate Republicans (Specter, Ridge). Look further down the line, e.g., Tom Corbett (the AG), if he wins re-election.

Posted by: chuckgoodwin | October 2, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

I think you are way off in listing Vermont as likely to switch due to the oddity of our election statutes. Politics in VT tend so be less partisan and rancourous, and the parties are mmuch more respectful of each other, and the the will of the people than in many states. I am completely confident that Douglas will win the most popular votes, if not a majority, and the legislature will honor the choice of the voters. I am saying this as someone who does NOT support Douglas, so my comments are not biased towards desiring him winning re-election.

Posted by: gorble | October 2, 2008 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I have reported scrivener50's 9:35A post to this thread as abuse, and I ask you to do so as well. If you are a regular reader, you know that scrivener repeats three themes in all of his daily posts: The feds, through the military, are using energy weapons against us and especially him, the electronic voting machines are not only subject to manipulation but will be manipulated, and that all should read HIS "blog".

He is often able to connect his second theme to the thread, for intuitively obvious reasons, but today he is so far removed from the "governor" thread that he should be reported.

If we are unfortunate, someone will start teasing him about the energy weapons directed at him, and the thread will dissolve, completely. Personally, I would like to hear from around the country about the gov races.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Halfaworldaway rightly opens the thread (scroll to the bottom) by pointing out that MN's 2010 Gov race will be interesting. Will the DFL finally nominate a plausible gubernatorial candidate? Or will T-Paw hold on for a third term in the face of anemic competition?

Posted by: bsimon1 | October 2, 2008 9:45 AM | Report abuse


What about the Posse Comitatus Act? Why is a U.S. Army unit skilled in Iraqi urban combat deploying in the U.S. on Oct. 1st, the first ever domestic deployment of an active army unit stateside?

Why has the mainstream media failed to explore this deployment, and the status of the Posse Comitatus Act?

Army Times says this unit will be assigned to assist in quelling domestic disturbances, using "non-lethal weapons." Are these radiation-emitting, silent "directed energy weapons"? Is this the vanguard of a coming police state?

See: -- "Zap! Have You Been Targeted by a Directed Energy Weapon?"

Will this issue of using the Army as a domestic police force come up in the VP debate, or in next week's second presidential debate?

And how about THIS question re: the bailout?



Once again, Congress is being asked to rush through emergency legislation -- to cede effective control of the economy to the government.

Officials continue to blame lax lending policies on the part of the mortgage industry for spawning this crisis.

But were lenders ORDERED to offer "easy credit" to people "targeted" by government agencies outside the bounds of the judicial system?

Is government "extra-judicial targeting" of American citizens a root cause of the mortgage meltdown that spawned the broader financial crisis?

Consider this: OR

Posted by: scrivener50 | October 2, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Illinois should be a possible turnover in 2010. The current gov has an approval rating that makes Bush look good. He might even be in jail by the end of his term. The R's are very weak in Illinois, but they will never have a better chance.

Posted by: RSaundersPA | October 2, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Why even bother with the debate? Let’s just declare Biden the winner. Either the Commission on Presidential Debates dropped the ball on vetting her or Ifill was not truthful with the commission. The fact that Ifill has the audacity to claim the book titled, “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” has no bearing on her as moderator reveals Ifill’s lack of objectivity and integrity. This is additional proof that she and the MSM have no journalistic integrity. Our MSM has become a biased disgrace and reminiscent of the German propaganda machine of the late 1930’s. Americans don’t need the media telling voters who to vote for. They need unbiased information to make informed decisions. Unfortunately the MSM can’t provide that. Perhaps the commission can get Bill O’Reilly as the next moderator. I heard he isn’t biased either.

Posted by: AugustWest1 | October 2, 2008 9:09 AM | Report abuse

No term limits in TX, so Gov. GoodHair is going to run again. Sen. [for life] KBH, my esteemed classmate, will also be running for Gov. I will be out there supporting KBH against Gov. GoodHair, so my sympathies here are known. It will be a barn burner on the R side.

The Ds are probably still eight years from parity in TX, but the pendulum is swinging back their way; slowly but surely. The D nominee will have something to say about the election in 2010, but how much depends on who is chosen.

John Sharp, still a hero to moderate and conservative Ds, may run. So may Noriega, Chris Bell, and the most popular D in TX, Mayor Bill White of Houston. So also may State Senator Kirk Watson, from Austin, a solid pol
whose embarrassment by Chris Matthews haunts him.

OF these, Bill White makes the closest race against Kay, and probably beats GoodHair.

Do I support KBH in the GE? Dunno. Do I support any D against Goodhair? Yep. Again, so you know my sympathies.

I invite BradCPA and Leichtman and RadPat and Bobbie and any other Texans to join in.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 2, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse


What about Illinois - the democrats are all about to be indicted - some are already.


Posted by: 37thandOStreet | October 2, 2008 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget Minnesota in the most intriguing for 2010. Pawlenty needs to keep his nat'l ambitions alive by becoming the first three term governor in a long time in the north star state. In spite of high 50's approval ratings he will be facing one of many formidable candidates, Congressman Tim Walz, Speaker Margaret Kelliher or Mpls mayor RT Rybak, just to name a few. The Democratic Party also has very healthy majorities in the house and Senate to make life difficult for Pawlenty's re-election.

MN is a great place for a Fix road trip in 2009 to watch this one develop! Another state fair visit perhaps?

Posted by: Halfaworldaway | October 2, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

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