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The Friday Line: Signs of Hope for GOP in Governors Races

Political analyst (and Fix friend) Stu Rothenberg has made the point that with the national environment so favorable to Democrats, Republicans will only win races in states where there are special circumstances that trump the national dynamic.

2006 Campaign Map
Interactive Campaign Map: More Election Data and Analysis.

This month's ranking of gubernatorial races bears out Stu's theory. Despite the favorable national atmospherics, the two most vulnerable incumbents on the ballot this fall are Democrats. In Michigan, Gov. Jennifer Granholm continues to struggle to distance herself from her state's economic problems, which derive largely from the continued collapse of the U.S. auto industry. Granholm is likely to put the blame on national economic policies adopted by President Bush, but that is a tough sell to voters.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle's (D) administration has been plagued by allegations of wrongdoing, capped by the recent conviction of a former staffer on charges that she fixed a state contract.

While Granholm and Doyle are certainly in trouble, Democrats are poised to make gains in the 36 gubernatorial races on the ballot this fall (22 of those statehouses are currently held by Republicans, 14 by Democrats). Several big states currently held by Republicans -- California and Florida in particular -- remain tough takeovers for Democrats, but the party's candidates are almost certain to win in New York and continue to be favored in Ohio.

The no. 1 race below is the one most likely to change party control this year. As always, the comments section at the bottom is open for your critiques and kudos.

To the Line!

10. Alaska: It's a rarity in politics when a decision by the incumbent to run for another term actually makes the race more competitive. But that's just what happened when Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) announced late last month that he would seek a second term. Former Gov. Tony Knowles's (D) decision to make another run for the statehouse a few days after Murkowski's announcement ensured the second competitive statewide race in the Last Frontier in as many cycles. (Knowles lost to Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- the governor's daughter -- by a 49 percent to 46 percent margin in 2004.) Given Murkowski's staggeringly bad approval ratings, he may not survive the three-way GOP primary on Aug 22. Regardless, this is emerging as a major opportunity for Democrats. (Previous ranking: N/A)

9. Colorado: All of the attention at the moment is focused on the Republican primary, where former University of Denver president Marc Holtzman is fighting for a place on the Aug. 8 primary ballot after failing to collect enough signatures. Whether or not Holtzman makes the ballot, Rep. Bob Beauprez is the favorite for the GOP nomination, but the ongoing intraparty squabble has given Republicans the look of a gang that can't shoot straight. Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) is standing on the sidelines, watching the Republicans batter one another. This race is a perfect example of why political operatives don't like primaries. (Previous ranking: 9)

8. Maryland: Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley seem headed for several of months of nastiness in advance of the Sept. 12 Democratic primary. Two Democratic polls (one done for O'Malley, the other for state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer) show that O'Malley remains the favorite, but he is under 50 percent in each survey -- a sign that Duncan remains a serious threat. Should O'Malley win the Democratic nod (as expected), the race will come down to Baltimore County where, Ehrlich has been able to neutralize the traditional Democratic advantage in his past races. (Previous ranking: 7)

7. Massachusetts: The Bay State governor's race drops two slots this month largely due to gains made by Republicans in Michigan and Wisconsin. National Democrats got good news during the Massachusetts party convention earlier this month when wealthy businessman Chris Gabrieli qualified -- barely -- for the Sept. 19 Democratic primary. Gabrieli is widely regarded by neutral party strategists as their best chance to defeat Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R) in the fall. On paper, this race should be a victory for Massachusetts Democrats, but they have shown an amazing ability to snap defeat from the jaws of victory in recent gubernatorial elections over the past decade, so we are treading carefully. (Previous ranking: 5)

6. Michigan: Republicans have been telling The Fix that this race is one to watch ever since wealthy businessman Dick DeVos (R) decided to run. They were right. DeVos continues to finance scads of television advertisements touting his ability to turn around the state's economic problems, and those ads are paying off. An EPIC/MRA survey showed DeVos with a 48 percent to 40 percent lead over Granholm and, as worrisome, just 40 percent of Michigan voters approve of the job Granholm is doing while 59 percent disapprove. The state's Democratic Party is running an ad seeking to put the blame for Michigan's struggling economy on President Bush, a move that could be a preview of Granholm's strategy. Even so, she is in real trouble here. (Previous ranking: 8)

5. Wisconsin: The conviction earlier this week of a former official in Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration earlier is yet another blow to the incumbent's already-shaky chances for reelection. Rep. Mark Green (R) has taken some heat over his absences from the House, but fundamentally this race will be a referendum on Doyle. Democrats are very worried. (Previous ranking: 6)

4. Iowa: Secretary of State Chet Culver's victory in the June 6 Democratic primary was solid if not spectacular. While Democrats privately acknowledge that Culver is somewhat limited as a candidate, it's hard to ignore that a late May independent poll gave Culver a 49 percent to 41 percent edge over Rep. Jim Nussle (R). Nussle is now on television with an ad that touts his ethical standards, and his numbers should bump up as he begins to spend from his overstuffed warchest. The Fix continues to believe that the aggressiveness of the Nussle campaign will eventually overwhelm Culver (at least temporarily). But as chairman of the House Budget Committee, Nussle will have some explaining to do about the woeful state of the nation's finances. (Previous ranking: 3)

3. Arkansas: Another quiet month in this race. But the longer this race stays low-key, the more we believe state Attorney General Mike Beebe (D) will win. Former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) is seen as a strong candidate, but so far his fundraising has disappointed and Democrats are getting more and more confident. Hutchinson must find a way to deal with two environmental factors working against him -- voters' desire for change after a decade of Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee and the tough national atmosphere for the GOP. (Previous ranking: 4)

2. Ohio: An independent poll released late last month showed some reason for optimism in the camp of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell (R). Democratic Rep. Ted Strickland led Blackwell 50 percent to 44 percent in the head-to-head match-up, but Strickland's lead was only 55 percent to 32 percent among black voters. Blackwell, who is African American, is making a major push to appeal to the state's black constituency and the survey seemed to indicate he has made some progress. Strickland's campaign got a boost in that area recently when Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an African American who represents the Cleveland area, finally endorsed his campaign. This race could be tighter than conventional wisdom currently suggests (we hear Blackwell will release some mighty impressive fundraising numbers today), but the environment is still very difficult for Republicans. (Previous ranking: 2)

1. New York: Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld's implosion made for good political theater, but it has almost no effect on the outcome. State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) continues his steady march to victory, and former state Assemblyman John Faso (R) is no match for him. The Fix hears the fat lady warming up.... (Previous ranking: 1)

Read The Fix's last review of 2006 gubernatorial races.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 16, 2006; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Governors , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: George Pataki's Iowa Mojo
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Comments

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Rugby players spend a lot of time physical training Compared to other form of sports.I have read the
Rugby laws mentioned on this site. It's a gripping sport which targets the grip strength and the active mindedness of a player. American football and rugby league are also primarily collision sports, but their tackles tend to terminate much more quickly. For professional rugby, players are often chosen on the basis of their size and apparent strength and they develop the skill and power over the passage of time. In modern rugby considerable attention is given to fitness and aerobic conditioning as well as basic weight training.

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Rugby players spend a lot of time physical training Compared to other form of sports.I have read the
Rugby laws mentioned on this site. It's a gripping sport which targets the grip strength and the active mindedness of a player. American football and rugby league are also primarily collision sports, but their tackles tend to terminate much more quickly. For professional rugby, players are often chosen on the basis of their size and apparent strength and they develop the skill and power over the passage of time. In modern rugby considerable attention is given to fitness and aerobic conditioning as well as basic weight training.

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Posted by: joe rise | August 17, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

some instances of Blackwell shooting himself would be nice Charley

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 22, 2006 11:48 PM | Report abuse

I am lovin Ted Strickland's chances. Ken Blackwell just keeps shooting himself in the foot.

Posted by: Charley | June 22, 2006 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Quentin -- First, I was the anonymous poster. Sorry for the oversight.

Second, I guess my question was actually a bit more specific. I certainly agree that Ehrlich has proven capable of winning "tough races" in the sense that he's gotten elected in a Blue state with a 'R' next to his name. But do you really see his election 4 years ago as a sign of his abilities rather than the gross incompetence of the campaign ran by Kennedy-Townsend?

Personally, I'm of the view that even if this wasn't shaping up to be a favorable year for Democrats nation-wide Ehrlich would still be in trouble. Either Duncan or - especially - O'Malley will be a MUCH tougher opponent that KT was. In a state like Maryland, I think that up against such a first-tier opponent Ehrlich would lose even if he ran the perfect race. Just my two cents though...

Posted by: Colin | June 20, 2006 5:33 PM | Report abuse

forgot to add Rhode Island to that list. I think Fogarty is really going to give Carceiri a run for his money.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 20, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster who asked me about Maryland.

I think I posted a pretty consistent analysis on this. (Note, I said consistent, not correct). I think the incumbents most likely to bounce back are those with a proven ability to win in generally difficult territory. That includes Ehrlich, Schwarzeneggar, and Carcieri on the Republican side. If the general trend is against the Democrats between now and November (not saying it will), then on paper Oklahoma and Wyoming would be under threat, but the same would hold there. I am also regarding Tony Knowles in Alaska - though not the present incumbent - as being in the same category.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 20, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

When it comes to incumbents, I'm banking that Repubs will lose more than the Dems will.

Maryland, Alaska, and Minnesota are my picks to change hands. California is on the bench.

I think the only Dem state that has a chance of changing hands is Michigan and I don't want to call that one until I see if Granholm can push aside the economic woes onto Bush and co.

When it comes to open states, the Dems are going to clean house.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 20, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Quentin - I'd be curious to hear why you think Ehrlich will hold on in MD. All the polling I've seen shows O'Malley winning by close to 10 points if he wins the Dem nomination. Moreover, as the current Mayor of Baltimore he should be able to counter Ehrlich's traditional (and rare for a republican) strength in that area's surrounding suburbs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 20, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

IN Gov Daniels at 40% in June approval.

Patacki is at 41% (net -15%) and Romney is at 39% (net -17%).

Not exactly launchpads for the presidency.
Vilsack 55%
Huckabee 56%

Dems in trouble in 2008-
Blanco LA 39%
Corzine NJ 41%
Gregoire WA 45%

Posted by: RMill | June 20, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

For the record, I have never stated that Larry Sabato is an outlier. That was someone else's assertion.

Posted by: RMill | June 20, 2006 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman,

You are correct, I am focussing on incumbents, but not ignoring open seats. It is on incumbents where you and I have been disagreeing. My original post said that there are more Republican open seats than Democrat, and as result the Democrats are likely to make net gains. My purpose was to suggest that, just like 2002, the Democrats could experience a mixed bag: gains in open seats while net losses of incumbents. While any gains for a party at the gubernatorial level are to be welcomed, results like those of 2002 would be concerning for their long term impact.

Of course, it is still June. A great deal can change between now and November. It undoubtedly will. At the gubernatorial level it is unlikely to change in one direction.

My gut tells me there are some incumbents on the list who have momentum on their side. In that context I would highlight those who have proven their ability to win in states normally hostile to their party. Earlier this year Sabato was saying you can never count out Republican hopes in Wyoming or Oklahoma - however, in the specific elections of this year, I think you can. Though not incumbent this year, my analysis may also hold for former Governor Tony Knowles in Alaska. On the Republican side, I am sure Schwarzeneggar is past his low point. Even though I know it will cause a furore, I will add that I expect Ehrlich will also pull it out of the bag.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 20, 2006 3:03 AM | Report abuse

RMill: Wouldn't Daniels also be in trouble in IN if he were up right now? Interesting that IN and MO are the 2 Governorships we lost in 2004. The two we gained, MT and NH, are safely Democratic right now.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 19, 2006 8:19 PM | Report abuse

RMill: It would depend on who the candidate was in MO. Fletcher would clearly have serious problems though, and maybe not even be able to run again. Cook ranks the AL Gov. race as "Leans Republican" though. I don't know how safe Riley really is. I note that both houses of the AL legislature are strongly Democratic, and neither party has shown long term control of the Governor's office there in recent years. (R in 2002, D in 1998, R in 1994, D in the 80s or 1990)

Quentin: I think you are focusing on incumbents and ignoring open Governor's seats, and I don't see why. Cilizza's top 10 list above shows 7 Republican and 3 DemocratIC seats in jeopardy. If all 10 of those seats switch parties, the Democrats gain 4 Governorships. To say nothing of the other 26 Gov. races taking place this year. Every analysis or ranking set I've seen shows the Democrats making significant to substantial gains in Governorships this fall. Rothenberg has said it'd be hard for the Democrats not to control a majority of them after this fall, which means a gain of at least 4. I think we could gain 8 for a total of 30. Yes, we gained fewer than we expected or should have in 2002, but the climate then was very different. Bush's approval ratings were about 30 points higher, and we were gearing up for war in Iraq. I have little doubt that we'll do better this fall than we did 4 years ago.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 19, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Quentin,

Sabato most certaintly does list Murkowski as endangered. If you read his posting about Alaska it clearly states that Alaska is a toss-up. I don't think Sabato is as much of an outlyer as RMill does, I think he gives the power of incumbency a little too much credit, hence some of his leans not being toss-ups and his call about Rhode Island being likely when it is clearly a lean Repub. All of the races he points out as close are presently close. I think Maine, Pennsylvania, and Alabama will eventually become less competetive.

If you look at all the races that are being challenged. One can easily conclude that Republican incumbents are in more trouble than Democratic ones. Allow me to demonstrate.

for the Republicans

Alaska
California
Minnesota
Maryland
Rhode Island
Georgia
South Carolina

for the Deomcrats
Illinois
Maine
Michigan
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Wisconsin

thats 7 states for the Republicans and 6 for the Deomcrats.

2 states for each group (SC and Georgia for Reps, PA ansd Maine for Dems, could jump off that list or become very competetive) I'd bet Maine and PA become less competitive, Georgia as well. South Carolina will become more competitve.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 19, 2006 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Quentin

I generally review Sabato, CQ, Cook and Rothenberg as well as the monthly approval polls of incumbants and general polling data before making my case.

To this point, I do not see the case, as suggested by you, Sabato, CC's headline or the USA Today article from last week. I have included polling info and capsule reviews above.

Right now, there is not a single incumbant democratic governor that is behind in the most recent polling on their re-election. There are some that are quite close, as noted above.

New June Approval
Survey USA- Governors
AL- Riley 63% (up from 59% in May)
AK- Murkowski 20% (down from 23% in May)
AZ- Napoliano 58% (same as May)
CA- Schwartzenegger 39% (up from 36% in May)
CT- Rell 73% (up from 71% in May)
GA- Purdue 63% (up from 60% in May)
HI- Lingle 62% (down from 66% in May)
IL- Blagojevich 43% (same as May)
KS- Sebelius 63% (up from 61% in May)
ME- Baldacci 43% (same as May)
MD- Ehrlich 44% (same as May)
MI- Granholm (42% down from 43% in May)
MN- Pawlenty 51% (same as in May)
NE- Heineman 76% (up from 70% in May)
NM- Richardson 61% (up from 57% in May)
OK- Henry 67% (up from 66% in May)
OR- Kulongoski 32% (down from 35% in May)
PA- Rendell 58% (down from 62% in May)
RI- Carceiri 49% (down from 54% in May)
SC- Sanford 54% (up from 53% in May)
SD- Rounds 61% (down from 65% in May)
TN- Bredesen 62% (up from 51% in May)
TX- Perry 51% (up from 40% in May)
VT- Douglas 59% (down from 61% in May)
WI- Doyle 45% (down from 47% in May)
WY- Freudenthal 67% (down from 68% in May).

Granholm,Doyle, Kulongoski, Blagojevich and Baldacci all have troubling numbers for incumbant Democrats. Blagojevich has bounced back in recent polls and Baldacci has a double digit lead (no poll since primary). Granholm and Kulongoski are in dead heats with 2 pt. leads and Doyle with a 4 pt lead.

Not saying there is not a concern but Republican incumbants have much more trouble in contested competitive races and they have more to defend.

All looking for rays of sunshine in Governor's races for the GOP will need to come up with better numbers before writing such headlines.

Posted by: RMill | June 19, 2006 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Rob Millette,

Sabato's analysis is very similar to mine, actually more favourable to the GOP, as he does not include Murkowski as being among the most vulnerable incumbents whereas I suspect he is. If you had been reading the posts higher up you would see that Sandwich Repairman had suggested - wrongly in my view - that Sabato is a Republican outlier, citing Cillizza as backing him up. I pointed out that Cillizza's analysis does not bear out his point. Now you are claiming that Cillizza is the outlier and Sabato backs this up. He doesn't.

You cannot, of course, both be right. You can both be wrong - and as it happens you are. Both Sabato and Cillizza are suggesting that Democrat incumbents currently look more vulnerable this year than Republican incumbents.

They may be wrong, but please don't post false statements about what they have said. This is something that you and Sandwich Repairman have both done now. It does not add to intelligent debate.

SR - I see you have taken up making unsubstantiated points about grammar instead of unsubstantiated points about elections. There is probably a more appropriate forum for this.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 19, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Re: MD gov race.

Keep an eye on the possible brewing scandal involving an attorney named David Hamilton, a partner at Bobby Ehrlich's old firm, who is under fire for not registering as a lobbyist but engaging in activities that sure seem to be lobbying: getting his clients meetings with the gov, etc. The WaPo has had some articles on this and I'm sure the Sun has had even more.

At some point Ehrlich may have to ditch his old friend of 24 years, because this could be somethign that his opponent seizes on.

Note that Ehrlich's legal counsel, Jervis Finney, was mentor to both Ehrlich and Hamilton at their old firm, Ober Kaler.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | June 19, 2006 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Quentin-

Another good source is CQ Politics.com

Rep Seat where Dem Favored
1 NY

Dem Seat where Rep Favored
0

No Clear Favorite
Dems- 1 IA

Reps- 10 AK, AR, CA, CO, FL, MA, MD, MN, NV, OH

Posted by: RMill | June 19, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Current Republican incumbants trailing in most recent polls:

Murkowski AK
Schwartzenegger CA
Ehrlich MD
Pawlenty MN
Carceiri RI

Current Democrat incumbant Governor's trailing in most recent polls:

0

Dem Govs in trouble:
IL- Blagojevich 43% Topinka 37%
Survey USA 5/23
Blagojevich 41% Topinka 34%
Glengariff Group June 1-3
ME- Baldacci 46% Woodcock 33%
Rasmussen 5/4
MI- Granholm 44% DeVos 42% Rasmussen 6/5
OR- Kulongoski 43% Saxton 41%
Rasmussen 5-18
WI- Doyle 45% Green 43%
Strategic Vision 5/3

Rep Gov in trouble:
GA- Purdue 48% Cox 42%

Rep controlled OPEN seats where Dems are leading polls

AR
CO
MA
NY
OH

Rep controlled OPEN seats where Reps are leading polls

FL
NV

Dem controlled OPEN seats where Reps are leading polls

0

Dem controlled OPEN seats where Dems are leading polls

IA

Safe Rep Incumbants
AL, CT, HI, NE, SC, SD, TX, VT
Safe Rep OPEN seats
ID
Safe Dem incumbants
AZ, KS, NH, NM, OK, PA, TN, WY
Safe Dem OPEN seats
0

The only good news for Republican governors is that KY and MO aren't up this year or they would probably drop both of those as well based on approval ratings.

Posted by: RMill | June 19, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Hey Viva,

Call (or email him at his website)Republican State Rep candidate Josh Mandel,17th district, and ask him who he is voting for....TED STRICKLAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The moderate republicans and independents are running from Blackwell. Blackwell's debate skills were in full use with Petro, oh, I forgot, he wouldn't debate Petro. What a flip/flopper......as I have written many times before...Strickland by 10 points and Blackwell takes a position with the lame duck Bush admin....where he belongs.

Lenny

Posted by: lenny | June 19, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Quentin, why is it that you can't tell the difference between a noun and an adjective?

Viva, if you are so certain Blackwell will beat Strickland, would you like to put your money where your mouth is and make a bet out of it? Name a dollar amount. How many Cuban cigars did you smuggle into the US this last trip to Montreal?

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 19, 2006 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Colin:
Unlike you and many of the others mindlessly blogging, I am actually a GOP party leader who is in touch with the common voter up close and personal on a daily basis. If you read my posts, they usually include actual events, facts and figures whether original or secondary or tertiary sourced.

I will admit that at the moment Strickland has the lead for governor and that is why Cillizza has him as #2 on this list. With that I do not disagree. But as we know, there remains nearly five months before election day and I see things changing for Blackwell and I cite some reasons above. AS the campaign proceeds I will add more insight. I do not need to embellish anything on behalf of Ken Blackwell. In the end it is the voters who will decide, not me, not you.

In answer to the left wing pinko nuts who cite R Kennedy's Rolling Stone piece and those who might think there's some truth to it, let me give you Plain Dealer ombudsman Ted Diudian's Sunday column that answers this story precisely due to the many Fantasy Island denizens who continue to believe that the Ohio election was stolen.

Diudian notes that no liberal journalist worth his salt and in search of a fixed Pulitzer (who was the last Conservative journalist who won one of these?)would have failed to investigate such a possibility. Turns out the PD and other Ohio dailies did so and found nothing of the sort.

And I reinforce something else that Diudian notes and that is that there is no way the Black Democrat Chair of the Franklin County (Columbus) Dem Party and BOE would have deliberately suppressed the Black vote by providing inadequate numbers of voting machines. Neither party would dare try anything unscrupulous to rig an election. It won't work at the county level and it won't work at the state level either.

So promise me you will read every word of the Plain Dealer's piece below and click on the enclosed links for further infomation. Sip YOUR Kool Aide and continue to insist that Blackwell and Bush stole the Ohio election in 2004.

Keep living in the past. I will work on getting the Ohio GOP ticket elected in November--you can bank on that.

VivaBlackwell06

Rest assured, we checked out Election 2004 thoroughly

Sunday, June 18, 2006
Ted Diadiun
Plain Dealer Columnist
Atop the June 15 issue of Rolling Stone magazine you will find the following, in white capital letters on a black background: "DID BUSH STEAL THE 2004 ELECTION? How 350,000 Votes Disappeared in Ohio."

Yes, he did, writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in a long, exhaustively footnoted piece that flows over 16 pages in the magazine.

The early exit polls that showed John Kerry winning the election; the stories of lost, delayed and denied voter registration cards; the long lines and other problems at many polling places; and the presence of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell as an overarching malevolent Republican presence all led Kennedy to conclude that a vast and wide-ranging series of conspiracies resulted in Kerry losing an election that the majority of Ohio voters wanted him to win.

So why, some readers have asked, hasn't The Plain Dealer written anything about this story? More importantly, why has Ohio's largest newspaper forced readers to depend on Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Rolling Stone for the real story about what happened in the 2004 election?

Taking the second question first, the truth is that this newspaper has reported in detail on most of the issues raised in the Kennedy piece. Before, during and after the election, Plain Dealer reporters covered the campaign and the election and the vast array of accusations surrounding both in exhausting detail. Here is what they found, and reported in the newspaper:

There was no shortage of mistakes made in vote counting. There were voters who should have been registered but weren't, polling places with lines that were too long and without enough voting machines, and decisions from Blackwell that appeared to be partisan.

All these mistakes and misjudgments took votes from both candidates, but probably more from Kerry. But they didn't add up to nearly enough votes to swing Ohio from Bush to Kerry.

The mistakes were often a result of lack of foresight and bad judgment, but they were bipartisan in nature and not a result of Republican chicanery.

Several reporters spent the bulk of their time running down accusations and rumors in the weeks following the election. The most complete report was in the form of a chart on Dec. 5, 2004, that put together allegations and explanations for 18 conspiracy theories. I asked the good folks at Cleveland.com to restore that link for today's column. You can see it at: www.cleveland.com/

pdgraphics/voting.

So how is it that our reporters reached such different conclusions from Kennedy's?

It's the difference between journalism and advocacy.

A good journalist gathers the facts, interviews the principals, explains the seeming anomalies and then presents it all to the readers in an understandable way.

In his piece, Kennedy presented the facts that supported his point of view, ignored the ones that did not, read people's minds and packed it all up into a conspiracy that doesn't wash. Here are just three examples:

Kennedy offers the exit polls as proof that the election was flawed by saying, (A) Election Day exit polls are always right, and (B) the 2004 exit polls had Kerry winning the election; therefore (C) the election must have been stolen.

But Brad Coker, president of the Mason-Dixon polling firm that called Bush's 2.5-percentage-point win in Ohio practically right on the nose for The Plain Dealer, says that's nonsense - exit polls are often wrong.

He cited an example from the 2004 Florida exit poll that was partially based on the pollsters' expectation that 18- to 29-year-old voters, a group that leaned heavily toward Kerry, would account for 17 percent of the vote there.

The exit poll was weighted accordingly for that age group, but it turned out that the age group actually accounted for only 13 percent of the vote, which skewed the poll inaccurately toward Kerry.

In his online footnotes, Kennedy refers no less than a half-dozen times to a five-month-long post-election investigation commissioned by the Democratic National Committee called, "Democracy at Risk." Somehow, he never gets around to quoting the DNC investigative team's conclusion that "The statistical study of precinct-level data does not suggest the occurrence of widespread fraud that systematically misallocated votes from Kerry to Bush."

Kennedy saw conspiracy in a Franklin County foul-up that resulted in far too few voting machines at a polling place in a heavily black area that would presumably vote mainly for Kerry.

But he didn't tell his readers that the chairman of the Franklin County elections board, who oversaw the county's voting machine allocation, was a black man who also chairs the county Democratic Party. Not a likely candidate to steal votes for Bush.

Space precludes a thorough airing of all Kennedy's accusations, but you can find a fascinating point-by-point review on Salon.com, which is not normally a place where Republicans go to seek succor. Here's the link: www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kennedy/index_np.html.

So why hasn't The Plain Dealer written a similar story about the Kennedy accusation to put all this to rest?

Metro editor Jean Dubail, who oversees the newspaper's political coverage, puts it this way:

"My first reaction after reading the thing was how little actual news there was in it," he said. "A lot of it was completely familiar, things we had written about and/or put in the chart. After you consider it all, what have you got? Somebody who just doesn't like the outcome. I mean, how many times do we have to cover the same territory?"

Kennedy wound up the piece by charging that Ohio's press has turned a blind eye to the stolen election, refused to investigate all these charges, and simply accepted the result as valid.

Does that make sense to anyone reading this?

For one thing, Ohio's newsrooms are not exactly crawling with Rush Limbaugh Dittoheads whose goal it is to protect the GOP. And any reporter who managed to nail down a story proving that a vast conspiracy cost John Kerry the presidency would become instantly famous and would probably win a Pulitzer. Personal politics be damned, show me the reporter whose nostrils wouldn't flare at THAT possibility.

I've got no argument with Dubail's decision to leave any comment on the Kennedy "investigation" to the Reader Rep, and my guess is that you don't either.

The less somebody knows about the 2004 Ohio election and the farther away from Ohio he is, the more likely he is to find merit in that Rolling Stone piece. And since our audience is right here in Northeast Ohio, I'm sure that most of you have already figured out that it's nonsense.



Posted by: vivabush04OH | June 18, 2006 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Granholm vs DeVos:

Keep an eye on this race...

Michigan is the ONLY state that has lost jobs THREE years in a rown.

Michigan is the ONLY state that lost jobs last year that wasn't hit by a hurricane.

Michigan is in a SINGLE STATE recession.

Right Track numbers have averaged BELOW 30% for the last year.

Gender Gap is almost gone compared to the last election.

Michigan is losing ONE job for every TWENTY minute Granholm is in office.

We Republicans follow her around the state with a Granholm "Jobs Clock" helping insure we stay on message while she tries to blame Bush, trade, China and everything else.

This will be a race to watch!

Posted by: Saul Anuzis | June 18, 2006 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Kentucky has a Democratic Controlled State house. our house Speaker is Jody Richards and Rocky Adkins is the majority leader. we are the minority in the senate but not in the house.

Posted by: aaron | June 18, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Quentin,

You can suggest he is the outlyer if you want, but he is clearly not the outlier. In fact Cillizza is. According to Chuck Todd, Republican incumbents are much more endangered than Democratic incumbents are. His top 20 includes 8 Republican incumbents and 5 Democratic incumbents. Alaska 7 Maryland 8 Florida 11 California 14 Rhode Island 15 Minnesota 17 Georgia 19 and alabama 20 for the republicans. Michigan is the Dems first at 9 with Wisconsin at 10 Illinois at 12 16 is the next Dem with Oregon 18 for Pennsylvania. Looking at the other people, Larry Sabato and the Cook political report both agree. The Republican incumbents are in more trouble than their democratic counterparts. The Rep open seats are also in bigger trouble than the Dem ones.

The Dems are going to make huge gains in the state houses this year.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 18, 2006 7:44 PM | Report abuse

We are lucky here in MA we have three good primary candidates and any one of them can beat Kerry Healy if we as a party can stick together after the primary. True Patrick is a great speaker but he is short on how he will make things happen. Gabrieli started late but is doing a sound job of catching up and getting his message out there. Reilly is a well established politician with lots of friends state wide he can't be counted out.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 18, 2006 6:28 PM | Report abuse

VIVA -- Do you prefer cherry Kool-Aid? Orange? Whatever flavor it is, it must be absolutely delicious. Here's hoping you still post around here after Strickland wins in a walk. Maybe then you'll be talking about how the vote must have been rigged...

Posted by: Colin | June 18, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman

I am not quite sure why you claim that Chris Cillizza is backing your analysis. His predictions are printed right here on this page. He includes among the top ten states most likely to change hands two GOP incumbents - the same two that I do - Ehrlich and Murkowski. They are at numbers 8 & 10. He includes two Democrats at 5 & 6.

I stand by my claim. Your analysis is credible. You may turn out to be right. But I would suggest you are the outlier, and you are being optimistic for the Dems. The data, quite simply, DO support my assertions.

Do recall, I am talking about what happened in 2002: a number of open seats changing hands; some incumbent Dems being defeated; and a smaller number (if any) incumbent Republicans being defeated. In 2002 it was zero elected GOP incumbents. It still led to net Democrat gains, and probably will this year, too. In 2002 the most valuable Democrat gains were in industrial swing states: PA, IL, and MI. But all three of those (possibly excepting PA) are under threat this year. The only major swing state which any serious commentators expect the Dems to gain this year is Ohio, though there is a possibility in Florida, it is some way down the list.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 18, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Don't cry for me, Alaska!

Posted by: Frank Murkowski | June 18, 2006 1:47 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how anybody can NOT consider Murkowski an incumbent in trouble. He may ultimately be replaced by another Republican, but it's extremely doubtful that he could win any kind of election. His approval rating is 23 percent, according to SurveyUSA. He has a 56 percent disapproval rating. . .among Republicans! (73 percent among the entire population), according to another poll. A couple of polls have him a distant, distant third in the race just for the Republican nomination. Really, I have never in my life seen an incumbent governor who was so widely despised, even to the point where I'm starting to feel a little sorry for him.

Posted by: alaskan | June 18, 2006 1:10 AM | Report abuse

"Money-wise, the PD today mentions that KB has the edge over TS in out-of-state fundraising. Blackwell will not lack for money in this race."

Thank you, Vivian. Us Ohio Democrats will be sure to make it known to the voters that so much of Ken Blackwell's money is coming from out-of-state. Maybe he has to raise money in this manner b/c people in Ohio will not waste their money on such a right-wing extremist.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 17, 2006 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Sorry but you did not win last 2 pres elections Cheating the american people is not winning. Ohio Dems will win all the state offices and we will add a justice and a senator. Reps lose big due their corruption and incompetence. But in your heart you already know that. Unless Reps cheat again.

Posted by: Larry | June 17, 2006 9:07 PM | Report abuse

True Americans have given us the presidency the past two terms, the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, most of the governorships, all the state offices in Ohio for the past 12 years, both Ohio House and Senate with 2-1 majorities, and soon to be all 7 seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.

What part of majority party don't you understand?

Why don't you ask the Democrats on your county BOE why you waited in line for 6 hours. Maybe they didn't do their job?

VIVABUSH04

Posted by: vivabush04OH | June 17, 2006 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who does not believe that Blackwell did not help supress 380000 votes in urban Ohio is living in neocon fantasy land. I waited 6 hrs to vote thank God I was off work that day. The Republicans know they do not have the votes to win a national election and they will lie cheat steal or do whatever it takes to steal an election.You anti american neocons make me sick. Your plot to destroy America will fail in the long run. We true Americans out number you big time.

Posted by: Larry | June 17, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

So how well do you know Ted Strickland, Mr. #416 Congressman according to rankings?

I have seen Ted Strickland in action, most recently at Lorain County Community College where he spoke before a dismal turnout of maybe 40? people on Tuesday June 6. Strickland lost me in the first five minutes, more than ample time for a seasoned speaker to grab the audience's attention. Oh yeh, and there were 3 Blacks among the crowd. And furthermore, the only press present to report this event was the Lorain Journal. I asked my media pals from radio and the other papers and they knew nothing about it.

Later that same morning, LCCC's President and 3 trustees got to hear from Ken Blackwell who was addressing the annual conference of the Ohio Board of Regents in Columbus. In Strick's place was his wife and a campaign advisor, neither of whom who could answer questions posed by the Regents. Of course Blackwell was there to speak about his education plans and meet on-on-one afterwards with the college presidents, regents, and trustees from all over Ohio.

In the aftermath of this horrendous stretigic move by Strickland and his campaign handlers, The Plain Dealer questioned his choice of events--40 people at LCCC v. hundreds at OBOR annual meeting and how he missed the chance to debate Blackwell; frustrated Ted shot back, "I will debate Ken Blackwell anytime, anywhere."

RMill being the political expert that he is knows that any candidate ahead in the polls will eschew a debate with his/her opponent(with a 15 point lead on Petro, Blackwell refused to debate him) and given Strick is in the lead now, well...why give KB the chance to catch up?

Can we say major oops? With this kind of campiagn mismanagement, one has to ask, who is running this campaign and who will run the state if the Dems win 'cause it ain't gonna be Strickland.

I've seen Ken Blackwell speak many times and debate some fine opponents. Ted Strickland does not even come close and will fare badly in the debates against KB,a current elected official who has won every race he's run in. The race will reveal the empty suit Ted Strickland is.

BTW, on Friday morning 29 April, Ken Blackwell on short notice appeared at a restaurant just up the street from Lorain Community College. There were 110 present including a group of 41 mostly dem, Black ministers and their friends. They got the chance to ask KB about this 2004 Black vote suppression urban legend and came away convinced that no such thing occurred.
Many of this group are on board to back Ken.

I don't know about other states but in Ohio, elections are run from the county-, not state-, level and both parties are equally reprsented. In order to manipulate the vote for Bush or any Republican, you need a lot of complicit Democrats. Given the Dems I know who work at the BOE, they wouldn't give me a DAMN THING! And one more thing, this event was not only covered by all the local media, but also by Columbus, Cincinnati, Akron and Toledo media. In NEOH, we Blackwell troops are for real.

Campaign-wise, Blackwell is better tested just coming off a resounding win over Petro. Message-wise, Blackwell is all over economic development, job creation, education and training, tort reform, medical malpractice insurance, leasing the Turnpike, etc.

Money-wise, the PD today mentions that KB has the edge over TS in out-of-state fundraising. Blackwell will not lack for money in this race.

So, make your bets based on the polls now and give me 2-1 odds that your guy beats Blackwell.

VIVABLACKWELL06

Posted by: vivabush04OH | June 17, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

The more Democratic Governors the better, regardless of how the state votes in presidential elections or how many people it has.

Sabato is not the only one out there either, and from what I've seen, he sounds like the most pro-Republican outlier. Let's line up Cook, Sabato, Cilizza, Chuck Todd, Stuart Rothenberg, and whoever else I'm forgetting, and THEN evaluate. I don't think a single independent analyst other than Sabato would support your claims.

And you know full well that Democrat is the noun while Democratic is the adjective. There is no such thing as a Democrat Governor. There are DemocratIC Governors. Your party's name enjoys the fortune of being written in the same form whether it's used as a noun or a verb.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 7:38 PM | Report abuse

If the Democrats elect a governor in MA it will be through massive Republican incompetence. MA likes to have Republican governors, sort of as pets, while the state legislature is controlled overwhelmingly by Democrats.

Posted by: WW | June 17, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman - it depends where you get your data from. Cook is not the only commentator in the country. Check out Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia. http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball

He estimates that the only incumbent GOP governor in trouble is Ehrlich. I would add Murkowski, and he accepts that some would add Schwarzeneggar, but does not believe it. (As it happens, nor do I). He names Blagejovich, Baldacci, Granholm, Kulongoski, Rendell and Doyle as Democrat incumbents in trouble. I am not sure about Rendell, the polls have been a bit mixed there, and I am not sure I share Sabato's belief that he is in more trouble than Schwarzeneggar. But recall my earlier point. CA and MD are states with GOP governors in trouble, but this is not good news for Democrats. The fact that states this blue have GOP governors in the first place is pretty bad news for the Democrats. (And yes, I know, Wyoming and Oklahoma have Democrat governors, but they don't exactly compare to California and New York in terms of size.).

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 17, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Colin and RMill, I certainly agree that we need nonpartisan reapportionment instead of a system that centers on who's got the legislative majority just after the census; but how? In California, a reapportionment measure recently failed at a special election for various reasons. At the national level, surely a constitutional amendment would be required; Congress has power to regulate or alter "the times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives" (Art. I Sec. 4) and the US "shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government" (Art. IV Sec. 4), but extending those provisions to reapportionment seems to me a stretch. And what candidate is going to promote the dull issue of reapportionment when there is so much excitement left in gay marriage and impeachment?

Posted by: Kakuzan | June 17, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Maryland goes Dem for Governor.
( I will take the next easy question for $400. )

With the current dynamics a republican can not win in the Maryland governor's race. Especially, when Ehrlich and Steele are running around at fundraisers with Bush and Cheney. A commercial with Ehrlich dancing around with Bush and Cheney at a fundraiser is the kiss of death. And, that is exactly what Ehrlich did - Dirty Money Dancing Part I, II, III, it just don't end. The disapproval of all thing Bush related or connected is toxic in Maryland and Ehrlich has practically morphed himself onto Bush wallet. The commericials haven't even started running yet, but when they do Ehrlich is dead meat. He needs to take a few notes from Schwartzenegger on distancing himself from Bush. But, if Ehrlich is into suicide death pacts with Bush - let him. Bush could always give Ehrlich a job after he loses in November - because he is going to need it.

Posted by: Wells | June 17, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Correction: my 1:55 post should have said 5 Democratic and 8 Republican Governorships including the lean categories.

But overall, I would predict a net gain of 8 Governorships for Democrats at this point. I believe that puts us at or just above 30.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"MA, after four Republican governors in a row (matched only by ND)"

This is also inaccurate. Ohio elected Republican Governors in 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002. Minnesota elected Republican Governors in 1990, 1994, and 2002, with an Independent in 1998. I don't think CT has elected a Democratic Governor since 1986 either. When did SD last elect a non-Republican Governor? No more recently than 1990 at best. When did UT or ID last have Democratic Governors?

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Quentin, the data does not support your conclusions. Look at Cook's ratings at the link I posted. Of the incumbent governors in tossup races, 2 are Democrats while 3 are Republicans. If you add in the Lean categories as well, there are 5 Democrats and 9 Republicans. It's the Republican incumbents, not the Democratic ones, who are more vulnerable this year.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Sandwich Repairman, the Democrats will make net gains, I would think, just as they did four years ago. But this is mostly because there are so many open seats on the Republican side. It was the same four years ago. A great many open seats changed sides, but not one elected GOP governor was defeated, whereas several Democrats were. It is similar this time. Almost all of the incumbents who are trailing or in toss-up situations are Democrats. Where I do agree with you is that there will be more turnover at the statehouse level than in either house of Congress. This is mostly because of term limits, or governors stepping down when they are not term limited.

Regarding the specific states you mention, I think you are taking very credible opinions, but you are being a little optimistic (assuming you are a Democrat). There are several states where I would differ on the specifics - I suspect that both CA and MD will re-elect their governors. MA, after four Republican governors in a row (matched only by ND) really ought to go Democrat, but the polls suggest the Dems are doing nowhere near as well as might be expected.

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 17, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

All Right Wingers are nothing more than Traitors to this Country. Just tell me one thing good they have done for the people of the USA. War War And More War!
2500 dead boys and girls, and Tony Show said (Just another bench mark) !!??
Rats all.

Posted by: Billy Bob Blues | June 17, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Quentin, the Governor's races look about the best of any set for the Democrats right now. As Stuart Rothenberg has written, it will be virtually impossible for Democrats not to gain enough Governorships to have a majority of them this fall for the first time in 12 years. Check out Charlie Cook's latest rankings here: http://www.cookpolitical.com/races/report_pdfs/2006_gov_ratings_jun7.pdf

AK is a likely Dem gain.
CA is a tossup.
CO has shown Dem advantages in the polls.
MN is a likely Dem pickup.
NY is a definite Dem pickup.
OH and MA are probable Dem pickups.
AR is a probable Dem pickup.
MD is a probable Dem pickup.
IA is close right now, with the Dem showing consistent leads in the polls.
NV is close (currently R).
RI is a dead heat; Dems could pick this one up.
FL is a possible Dem pickup.
GA and AL offer underdog pickup opportunities.

WI, MI and OR are possible losses (though I have little doubt OR will again go Democratic).

AZ, NM, NH, KS, WY, TN, and OK are solid Dem; while CT, SD, ID, VT and probably SC are solid Republican.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

All articles of this nature, analyzing the chances of various candidated to win, should be prefaced by a paragraph the starts out: Presuming the voters in this State are not forced to uses the easily rigged electronic voting machines and optical scanners that helped Bush to steal two elections, we make these predictions.

According to Robert Kennedy Jr, we already have a person who is not the legitimate president of the US.
(see Kennedy's 11,000 word, 200 footnote report)

Touch screen electronic voting machines and optical scanners are both corruptible. Insist on paper ballots and hand counting. Electronic voting machines can be programmed to record a vote for one candidate and give a paper receipt or print out showing a vote for the other candidate.

"In the worst case scenario, the architectural weaknesses incorporated in these voting terminals allow a sophisticated attacker to develop an Ëœoffense in depth' approach in which each compromised layer will also become the guardian against cleanup efforts in the other layers. This kind of deep attack is extremely persistent and it is noteworthy that the layers can conceal the contamination very effectively should the attacker wish that. A quite natural strategy in these types of situations is to penetrate, modify and make everything look normal."
excerpt from article in truth@freepress.org

Posted by: Christie | June 17, 2006 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Not to mention Wells,
They can spend that money anyway they see fit. I could see Hillary and Spitzer dropping some big cash on national "issue" campaigns that will help make the race more national.

Also Rmill the VA legislature is going to be a crap shoot this next election. They just barely got a budget passed recently, and I wonder in the current environment if Kaine Webb and Warner can't pull the houses to the democrats side.

Posted by: Andy R | June 17, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Why are states important.

Money, Money, Money. Helps you tap Money.

Lets take New York for example

Spitzer now has 23 million cash on hand.
Hillary now has 24 million cash on hand.

Total 47 million just for these two candidate and they don't even have any real opponents. They basically have already won. 47 million dollars to do what ever they want in New York and they are still raising money at a record pace.

These two candidate have more cash on hand( 47 million) than the entire national RNC ( 44 million cash on hand ).

This is why republican are scared in New York, this DEM influence could take out 3 republicans in the house according to latest polling.

Posted by: Wells | June 17, 2006 7:46 AM | Report abuse

Actually the Dem Gov candidate is a dark horse or or adark donkry and so would the candidate for 1st congresional district if he somebody got him a few tousand grand.

Posted by: rtaycher1987 | June 17, 2006 6:59 AM | Report abuse

It is interesting that while Democrats are favored to take some of the open races (NY, certainly, and definitely competitive in OH and MA) most of the incumbents in trouble are Dems. Murkowski, of course, is a big exception, a Republican struggling in a red state. But the only other GOP incumbents on the Dems hit list are Ehrlich and Schwarzeneggar. So the Dems are hoping to gain New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and California. It makes you wonder. How crap do they have to be to lose states like this in the first place. If all the states Chris has listed change hands, Ohio and Arkansas will be the only really good news for the Dems - news that shows them doing well in swing states. Not a good showing in the current climate.

Quentin Langley
editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

Posted by: Quentin Langley | June 17, 2006 5:46 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes-

You are free to scroll past. I have continually provided this information as it presents itself and is relevant to our topic.

Because the Friday Line is a blatent horse race topic, polls are pertinent to the horse race discussions.

Sorry they are not to your liking.

With regards to Ohio-

I have lived in Ohio all my life and been involved in government and politics here for 16 years. Ohio is a bellweather which has taken a decidely reddish hue in the past decade or so.

That said, there are certainly indications that the penduleum is ready to swing back.

Dems contorlled all statewide office and both house of the state legislature from 1974 through early 1990's.

There was a transition period in 1990 and 1992 and then the Reps have now been in control since 1994. I believe that a new transition will begin with the 2006 election.

Statewide, Dems are positioned to pick up one maybe two congressional seats (OH-18 and maybe OH-15) as well as successfully defend OH 6 and OH 13 (I know Viva will disagree).

At least three statewide offices have a good chance of changing hands; Governor, US Senate and Treasurer. The Secretary of State's race is up in the air at this point but a victory there would return control of the apportionment board to Dems unless a deal is brokered in the legiulsature (negotitations are on-going) for a non-partisan board. At any rate, the 2010 re-apportionment will likely help even out districts for the Ohio House and Senate, where Dems still trail badly in numbers.

This is not my wishful thinking, but analysis based upon poll data available, fund raising totals and other factors on the ground.

I am not stating this will happen, but only gauging the possibilities. IMO, these are good possibilities.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 12:50 PM
I think the dems havebetter then 40 percent chance of winning all statewide offices (except the senate seat not up for election). The only seats where democrats are not more likly to win(due to toxic enviroment ant lack of incumbents) is Dewine and maybe Betty for AG, I think dems will sweep statewide offices. Don't know enough to guess how the legislature will turn out.

Posted by: rtaycher1987 | June 17, 2006 2:56 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, I'll bet you $1000 Ted Strickland beats Ken Blackwell in the Ohio Governor's race.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Though several thousand state legislators make it difficult to follow, I'll repeat the call for rankings on state legislatures. They're important, interesting, and would add a new topic to the regular mix here.

Wellstone Action was a major contributor to Democratic gains in MN in 2004; a lot of the winning candidates trained at their campaign school. The organization is only doing more of this, and I wouldn't be surprised if they put the MN House back in Democratic hands this fall.

WA's legislature (both houses) has teetered on the fence and gone back and forth a bunch the last few years. Unless there are specific districts anyone can point to that are likely to change hands, I see no reason for the state Senate there to go Republican. Been there, done that. WA is a Democratic state, and the anger-motivated voters mad about the 2004 Gov. outcome are more likely to turn out in 2008 when Gregoire and Rossi are on the ballot again, not this year in my estimation.

I'd watch for next fall when the VA Senate could change hands; it's 21-19 now and the state seems to be trending Democratic with Warner and Kaine's victories, and the Dems' gain of an open Senate seat in a special election earlier this year.

Perdue's 2002 victory was part of a high water mark year in Georgia (remember how they defeated Cleland for his 3 lost limbs being insufficiently patriotic?); I don't know that his losing this fall would be that surprising. I thought Cox would be doing better than she seems to be in the polls.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 2:12 AM | Report abuse

RMill: glad to hear you're a fellow Buckeye. There seem to be several of us around here. I remember Vern Riffe and the Dems controlling the Ohio House until the 1994 elections. I don't ever remember Dems holding the state senate. When did that happen? It seemed to be the one thing we never had through the 80s.

What are your predictions for the Ohio state Senate and House this fall? You don't think OH-1 is really in play? I think we had some sad recruiting failures in purple districts like the 12th and 14th.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Rasmussen released a new poll today in which Joe Lieberman's lead over Ned Lamont has shrunk to just 46-40. Joementum better collect those 7500 sigs soon...

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/State%20Polls/June%202006/ConnecticutPrimary.htm

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | June 17, 2006 1:42 AM | Report abuse

RMill,

I found some polling data on the Alaska Gov race for you.

Knowles-Murkowski 53-21
Knowles-Palin 43-39
Knowles-Binkley 45-37

Polls courtesy of Ivan Moore Research

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 17, 2006 1:08 AM | Report abuse

"In Ohio we believe in the old saying "he who counts last, counts best" Accordingly we have set our Diebold machines to give us whatever votes we need to get Blackwell over the top. So save your money and concentrate on some other states."

Wow. Can't say I'm surprised - if the republicans can't win at the ballot box they just cheat like always. At least I have finally found one of them who admits it.

Posted by: Oiho guy | June 16, 2006 10:51 PM | Report abuse

On the Ohio governor's race, CC says:

"This race could be tighter than conventional wisdom currently suggests (we hear Blackwell will release some mighty impressive fundraising numbers today), but the environment is still very difficult for Republicans."

Mighty impresssive fundraising numbers? Um, hello? Chris you do realize that Strickland and Blackwell released their latest fundraising numbers earlier this week, right? The numbers are Strickland has $2.6 M and Blackwell $1.3 M. What is so "mighty" about Blackwell having HALF as much cash-on-hand as Strickland? Especially given the news that business owners who usually donate to the Ohio GOP are leaning towards Strickland.

And why do you cite the Cincinatti poll that has Blackwell only down by 6 when at least three other polls have shown him trailing by 16 points? Especially given the fact that as far as I know Rasmussen and Survey USA are far, far more respected polling firms than the Univesity of Cincinatti (which happens to be Blackwell's hometown) is. Latest Survey USA poll showed Strickland 53% Blackwell 37%. The last two Rasmussen polls (which leans GOP) have had the race at 52-36 Strickland.

Posted by: Ohio guy | June 16, 2006 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Arkansas: You fail to mention that there are two other announced candidates in the Governor's race, both more liberal (easy to be) than the Democratic Party candidate. They may tip the balance.

Jim Lendall (Green Party) jimlendall2006.com
Rod Bryan (Ind) rodbryan.com

Posted by: Jim Lendall | June 16, 2006 9:40 PM | Report abuse

It's ironic that this article has the title "Signs of Hope for Republicans". When you read it you find that even the 9th most likely change of governors is Colorado!

I would give Bill Ritter about an 80% chance of victory here which would move him WAY up the list. Not only are the Republicans divided and fighting each other while Ritter watches, he's got the edge right now in the polls.

Worst yet for the Beauprez is the lousy image for Bush and the Republicans. 64% of Coloradoans dislike the job the President is doing. That makes it tough sledding for Beauprez.

Democrats took both houses of the state legislature and picked up a senate and house seat in 2004, all while Bush was winning election.

It's difficult to see the Republicans doing much better here with all their negatives in 2006.

I would be very surprised if Beauprez pulled it out considering all that's going against him, unless Ritter does something really stupid. So far he's run a decent campaign and has pulled into the lead.

I'd say Colorado is as close to a winning bet for the Democrats as there can be with an open seat and an institutional advantage for the Republicans in terms of registered voters.

Posted by: Cugel | June 16, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Interesting

For once we are actually in agreement.
That the California's Governor Race is going to be close and a barn-burner.

My gut says Angelides wins. But, I would never underestimate Arnold. Being a former actor I think Arnold can redo his image and re-sell himself to the voters. In this race a lot could change in 4 and a half months.

Also, I think that Bush and the immigration issue will hurt Arnold with the Hispanic vote. I already heard that Arnold was not polling that well in the Hispanic community. Losing support in the Hispanic Community is what killed Republican Gov. Pete Wilson.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Where did you get the notion that Chris Gabrieli somehow improves our chances of winning the Governorship in Massachusetts? There were already two very strong candidates in the primary, and no reason to think Gabrieli would be a stronger general election candidate than they. Deval Patrick is the one getting the most national attention, and with the most charisma as well.

Gabrieli has a lot of money, and the top of the party like him, but he's already run for office (Congress in 1998, Lt. Governor in 2002), spent gobs of money, and didn't win, so that in and of itself isn't a compelling argument. However, what Gabrieli's entry into the race *does* do is cause a high spending primary where candidates will run lots of TV ads possibly attacking each other, all to the detriment of Democratic chances in the general election. While Reilly and Patrick both accepted public financing and $1.5 million spending caps (despite Patrick himself being a multimillionaire), Gabrieli declared a spending cap of $15.36 million - which has the effect of cancelling the other two candidates' caps.

Gabrieli qualifying for the ballot does not give us a better general election candidate than the options we already have. It does give is a nastier, high money primary, and it gives us a three way primary where the winner may not have a majority. I don't see how any of this improves our chances in the general election. Hopefully, it won't hurt our chances much, either.

-- a Massachusetts Democrat

Posted by: Cos | June 16, 2006 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Actually Rob, that's why the GOP put McClintock on the ballot for Lt Gov. There's no way in hell he'll win, but he'll drag the conservative base out to the polls, and they'll pull the lever for Schwarzenegger once they get there.

I'm not sure if the Rs expect to win ANY statewide race other than Gov; maybe the incumbent (appointed) SecState. But they stocked those races with conservatives to try to help Schwarzenegger survive.

Posted by: texas dem | June 16, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I personallythink Angelides is being overlooked as well, his support among the unions will be solid and he will motivate the liberal base. The questino is Cali becomes will the conservatives come out fighting, they really don't have a reason too. Arnold doesn't inspire them and they have no shot at Feinstein.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 16, 2006 5:50 PM | Report abuse

My sister is an ER nurse in California. Her husband is a firefighter. They were the most unpolitical people I had ever met -- until Ahnold. Now they're vowing to fight for Angelides. They are incredibly hard-working, doing the tough jobs not many will do and making damn little for it. So for the jerk Ahnold to have just come at them, attacked them like that--they were broadsided, and furious.

Ahnold has no clue about Californians, except those who live in Beverly Hills. I'm sure he had no idea the 'little people' would stand up to him and fight.

I don't know what the polls say, but I can tell you emotions are running pretty high.

Posted by: Drindl | June 16, 2006 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm calling my unit to see if I can get some type of military protection for this guy. I'd call the Idaho guard but I'm afraid they'd think he was a target and shoot him on site.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 16, 2006 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Friday Line:
State Legislatures

10. (tie)Mississippi/Nevada/Oklahoma Senate
9. Tennessee Senate
8. Washington Senate
7. Maine Senate
6. Colorado Senate
5. Minnesota House
4. Maine House
3. Iowa House
2. Montana House
1. Iowa Senate

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Let's call EPA and get J Crozier put on the endangered species list.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm a live Idaho Democrat. I can tell you that there ARE Democratic candidates for office here in Idaho.

Just not very many of them and not very popular ones. Alas.

Posted by: J. Crozier | June 16, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Thanks RMill,

The state lege races are always very underreported, and there is a huge amount of data to sift through to find out anything. This is a great start on finding out about these races!

Posted by: Zathras | June 16, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

In a former life. I am now firmly ensconced in government. I had refused to go to work for any clients I had ever gotten elected until recently (well 5 years ago).

Most of my political work is in off hours evenings and weekends on and off. I do stay plugged in to my former contacts and colleagues and resources so I have a good handle on what is going on.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

This is what Rothenberg just posted about Govs on his site:

2006 Governor Ratings

Three Democratic governors, in Michigan, Wisconsin and Oregon, look increasingly vulnerable, but the GOP continues to have greater overall vulnerability in state capitols in the 2006 elections.

Republican open seats are a particular problem for the party, which could well lose three big state governors. New York already is lost, and Ohio and Massachusetts don't seem to be far behind. Former Gov. Tony Knowles (D) is favored to oust Gov. Frank Murkowski (R) in Alaska.

Democratic governors currently sit in 22 state capitols, but after November, there are likely to be more Democratic than Republican governors. We currently project Democratic gains in the 4 to 6 governors range.

The website is: http://www.rothenbergpoliticalreport.blogspot.com

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

RMill,
That was some fascinating info on the State bodies. I had no idea that most legislatures were so close. I guess that comes from living in Massachusetts where the biggest threat to the Democrats in the State House is from the Green Party. The info you provided also strengthens my beleif that Howard Dean is completely right in supporting a fifty state strategy. Thanks for the extra effort.

Posted by: Andy R | June 16, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

RMILL

You did a great job.
I'm impressed how quickly you came back with an answer. Are you a political consultant ? You seem to always know the lastest polls and stats.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

No sane person ignores polls. They can and have predicted the future. Hey, let's take a poll on whether we should totally ignore people who ignore polls!

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 16, 2006 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I'm a democrat, and I would vote for Schwartzenegger in CA even though he is a Republican.

But, I live in Florida so I am stuck with JEB Bush. Life SUCKS.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Zathras and Wells-

Best I could do. I had some data but like I said, it is difficult to gauge tendancies at such local levels. this at least gives you a look at the margins and breakdowns and what could happen where I could find additional info or make correlations to other races I have more info about. It was a good question and got me motivated.

Collin-
I would like to see a non-partisan apportionment board too but I think at this point, the Dems might be too greedy to go along.

Will-

Is there a Donkey alive in Idaho? All statewide officers both Senator and Congressmen are R's. The State Superintendant of Public Instruction is a Dem but she is retiring.

Only 20 of 105 Legislators, does not give them much of a farm team to run for statewide office or Congress.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 3:15 PM | Report abuse

CA - Toss Up

Wow, that is a hard one to call - it way to early to call. I think Arnold loses by two points, but very close. I think that Arnold can turn it around if he can get the Unions to cease fire. But, I think Anglides(sp) is worse for Arnold because the Unions love Anglides (Angligedes beat Wesley with the help of Unions) . You can't under estimate Arnold, but unless he does damage control with the Unions he is in trouble. Those initiatives he sponsored against the Unions were a huge mistake. It was a dumb mistake.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

It is difficult for control of a state legislative body to change hands so late in an apportionment cycle and very difficult to gauge likelihood of changes because of the expensive nature of polls. The just are not done at this level for the most part.

State
D-R-I; D-R-I
House; Senate

AL
63-42; 25-10
AK
14-26; 8-12*
AZ
21-39; 12-18
AR
72-28; 35-27
CA
48-32; 25-15
CO
35-30*; 18-17*
CT
99-52; 24-12
DE
15-25-1*; 13-8*
FL
36-84; 14-26
GA
78-101-1; 22-34
HI
41-10; 20-5
ID
13-57; 7-28
IL
65-53*; 32-26-1*
IN
48-52*; 17-33
IA
49-51*; 25-25*
KS
42-83; 10-30
KY
56-44*; 15-22-1
LA
65-39-1; 24-15
ME
74-73-4*; 19-16*
MD
98-43; 33-14
MA
137-20-3; 34-6
MI
52-58*; 16-22*
MN
66-68*; 37-29-1*
MS
75-47; 27-24* (1 vacancy)
MO
66-97; 11-23
MT
50-50*; 27-23*
NE
non-partisan, uni-cameral legislative body
NV
26-16; 9-12*
NH
152-246 (2 vacancies); 8-16
NJ
48-32*; 22-18*
NM
42-28; 24-18
NY
105-45; 27-35
NC
63-57*; 29-21
ND
27-67; 15-32
OH
38-61; 11-22
OK
44-57; 25-22* (1 vacancy)
OR
27-33*; 18-12*
PA
94-109*; 20-30
RI
60-15; 33-5
SC
50-74; 20-26*
SD
19-51; 10-25
TN
53-46*; 15-18*
TX
63-87; 12-19*
UT
19-56; 8-21
VT
83-60-7; 21-9
VA
40-57-3; 17-23
WA
56-42; 26-23*
WV
69-31; 21-13
WI
39-60; 14-19*
WY
14-46; 7-23

Party Control of State Legislative Bodies
Dem House 22 states
Dem Senate 24 states

Rep House 26 states
Rep Senate 24 states

Tied House 1 state (MT)
Tied Senate 1 state (IA)

Nebraska not included

Total State Legislative Control
Dem 19 states
Rep 20 states
Split control (House/Senate) 10 states

Alaska Senate
Republicans control by a 12-8 margin. Incumbant Republican Governor Frank Murkowski could endanger that majority with low approval ratings and facing a tough challenge from former Governor Tony Knowles. Murkowski has proposed an expensive and risky venture involving billions of state dollars to become a oil and gas distributor and building a new pipeline under state control. This could prove contenitious as the Alaska Senate will have to approve. If this measure passes over the initial public protests, it could also help sway voters towards Democratic senatorial candidates in the fall.

Colorado House and Senate
Democrats hold slim margins in both the House and Senate 35-30 and 18-17 respectively. With a very tight guberntorial campaign at hand, it would be difficult to gauge which way either house could go. In similar such situations, it has been likely that the House stays in control of the party in control of the Governor's manasion and the Senate would switch hands to maintain some balance. This is not an axiom however.

Delaware House and Senate
Close margins in both bodies

Illinois House and Senate
Does Blagojevich take his commrades down with him or lift them to maintaining majority?

Indiana House
3 Dem pickups will flip control of the Indiana House.

Iowa House and Senate
Iowa Senate is deadlocked at 25-25 with Dems controlling ties. In all likelihood, this will change. House races will be close as well, with GOP controlling by a narrow 2 seat margin. A close gubernatorial race only clouds the picture further.

Kentucky House
It would require a 7 seat switch for the Dems to regain control.

Maine House and Senate
Maine House is a narrow 74-73 margin of Democratic control with 3 independents who make things interesting at times. A weak Democratic incumbant governor could flip this House to Republican control, regardless of the outcome in the Governor's race. The Maine Senate requires 2 seats to change hands for GOP control.

Michigan House and Senate

Recurring theme. Embattled incumbant fighting a tough challenger could sway control of one or both legislative bodies. House more likely to change, needing only 3 dem challengers to take GOP seats and control. 4 senate seats would need to swtich for this body to flip. Not likely both will happen unless Gov. Granholm strengthens substantially and sweeps the lower ticket races along with her.

Minnesota House and Senate
Unpopular Governor Pawlenty could drag down the slim 2 seat House margin his GOP party enjoys. Senate is under Dem control with a somewhat more comfortable 8 seat margin and with the sometimes help of one independent.

Mississippi Senate
2 seats flip the Miss Senate to the Dems.

Montana House and Senate
Montana House is deadlocked 50-50 so it is quite likely to have a change in control. Montana Senate needs 3 seats to flip for GOP control.

Nevada Senate
3 seats flip control to Dems. GOP candidates for Governor and US Senate are sliding in polls, make this state more competitive and in flux than ever.

New Jersey House and Senate
Unpopular Democratic Governor and US Senator could give voters a reason to end Dems control of either the House (9 seats needed) or the Senate (just 3 seat changes gives GOP control)

North Carolina House
4 house seats returns control to the Republicans and 5 Senate seats and they join their House collegues. House more likely to change.

Oklahoma Senate
3 seats required (including 1 vacancy) to return contorl of the Senate to GOP to join the Rep majority House. Popular Dem Governor Henry up for re-election could keep that from happening.

Oregon House and Senate
Gov Kulongoski is not very popular and could stop his Dem collegues from getting the 4 House seats they need for control or give the GOP the 4 seats in the Senate they need to take control.

Pennsylvania House
Voter anger over payraises voted on by GOP controlled House and Senate caused 17 incumbants to be turned out in the primaries, mostly from the GOP (13 incumbant Republicans were ousted- 2 GOP Senators and 11 in the House, 4 Dem House members), including the Senate President Pro Tem. Anything could happen in November, but the margins are daunting for an actual change in control (8 house and 5 senate)from GOP to the Dems.

South Carolina Senate
4 seats would need to change hands for Dems to take control of the SC Senate.

Tennessee House and Senate
Popular incumbant Democratic Governor and US Rep Harold Ford runing for US Senate could help give TN Dems the 4 House seats and 2 Senate seats to retake control of these bodies.

Texas Senate
Unlikely but Gov. Perry is in a weird race and there could be some DeLay payback. 4 Senate seats is probably out of reach.

Washington Senate
2 Republican winners returns control to GOP after a hotly contested and disputed gubernatorial campaign and US Senator Cantwell leading but hovering around 50% approval.

Wisconsin Senate
3 Senate seat swing returns the Wisconsin Senate to Dem control. Scandal problems of the Democratic Doyle Administration could make things worse.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Murkowski is worse than toast. He's ashes. He's having such a hard time getting anyone to work on his campaign that right now that his wife is his official spokesperson. Don't expect him to survive the primary, or even come in second.
But as for that comment about governors being not all that powerful, I beg to differ. In most states, such as mine, the chief executives are actually very powerful. Check your various state constitutions. Whether they use that power correctly is another story.

Posted by: alaskan | June 16, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Chris, again, I have to remind you most of the western states have switched to mail-in elections with paper ballots - which tend to end up with a +10 point D vote due to higher participation. In fact, here in WA, all but our biggest county have already switched over, and the Rs are trying to stop King County from going all-mail-in for that reason.

It's going to be fun seeing the final results from those "changed" election votes.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 16, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

No doubt Doyle isn't as popular as Tommy, but the Republicans only seem to run far right candidates for statewide races (US Senator, Gov) here and that is what should keep Doyle in his office by a slim margin. UW is the leader in stem cell research and Doyle's ardent support for it will carry as much weight as the scandals and his general unlikeability. Here, stem cells are about future jobs, not cure all disease and live forever, so opposing them in a nervous economy won't help the Republicans. It may motivate the far right, but there are enough voters still left in the middle to be scared by a Doyle loss.

Posted by: muD | June 16, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Any comments on the Donkey card in Idaho and California?

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 16, 2006 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Hey Chris DeRose,

You might want to take a look at the polls again

RMill posted them for you so I won't repeat them. It appears that Blago is leading both of the latest polls.

Hey Z,

It's always been a thought in the back of my mind that Bell should drop out of the race and that Democrats should get behind Strayhorn. Bell stands about as good a chance as Radnofsky does. Strayhorn will atleast have some republican support behind her, something Bell will never have.

Posted by: Rob Millette | June 16, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I think that the Nevada governor's race is the sleeper race.

It is just kind of assumed that the republican will win. But, the DEM have been doing very well in the red states when come to the governorships.

But now it looks like the (DEM)Gibons is within stiking distance. This race might turn out to be a shocker of the season.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Zathras

A writeup on what state legislature in 2006 are close enough to switch to another party would be a fascinating read.

Forget about the governors--in most states they have very little power. How about a Friday line on which state legislatures are most likely to switch parties? That would be much more important (something the Republicans realized 20 years ago), albeit probably more work to compile.

Posted by: Zathras | June 16, 2006 11:54 AM

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

RMILL -- What are the chances of a non-partisan apportionment board getting established? My greedy hopes for Dem gains notwithstanding, I really do hope that that actually happens.

Posted by: Colin | June 16, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes-

You are free to scroll past. I have continually provided this information as it presents itself and is relevant to our topic.

Because the Friday Line is a blatent horse race topic, polls are pertinent to the horse race discussions.

Sorry they are not to your liking.

With regards to Ohio-

I have lived in Ohio all my life and been involved in government and politics here for 16 years. Ohio is a bellweather which has taken a decidely reddish hue in the past decade or so.

That said, there are certainly indications that the penduleum is ready to swing back.

Dems contorlled all statewide office and both house of the state legislature from 1974 through early 1990's.

There was a transition period in 1990 and 1992 and then the Reps have now been in control since 1994. I believe that a new transition will begin with the 2006 election.

Statewide, Dems are positioned to pick up one maybe two congressional seats (OH-18 and maybe OH-15) as well as successfully defend OH 6 and OH 13 (I know Viva will disagree).

At least three statewide offices have a good chance of changing hands; Governor, US Senate and Treasurer. The Secretary of State's race is up in the air at this point but a victory there would return control of the apportionment board to Dems unless a deal is brokered in the legiulsature (negotitations are on-going) for a non-partisan board. At any rate, the 2010 re-apportionment will likely help even out districts for the Ohio House and Senate, where Dems still trail badly in numbers.

This is not my wishful thinking, but analysis based upon poll data available, fund raising totals and other factors on the ground.

I am not stating this will happen, but only gauging the possibilities. IMO, these are good possibilities.

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- this is a site that's all about the horse race of elections. Every bit of analysis youre reading about here is about predicting what will happen in future elections. So please, have another cup of coffee, mellow out, and stop criticizing a bunch of political junkies for discussing polls.

Oh, and FYI -- ALL politicians are addicted to polls. That's one thing that the two parties CLEARLY have in common. Any attempt to argue otherwise is just silly.

Posted by: Colin | June 16, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Texas governor's race could still be interesting if the opposition thins out some. If Bell and either Strayhorn or Friedman dropped out of the race, leaving one of the independents against Perry, Texas would skyrocket to very high on this list. Pay close attention if anyone hints at dropping out.

Posted by: Z | June 16, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I knew I'd forget one.

Add to Bullpen, between NV and CA
IL-

Blagojevich is being battered, even though he skated through the primary. Initial poll after the primary showed the incumbant Democrat down to his GOP challenger but recent polls have him regaining the lead. His approval is still well below the comfort zone for incumbants but he has a ton of cash.

Survey USA May approval
Blagojevich (D)* 45%

Glengariff Group
June 1-3
Blagijevich (D)* 41%
Topinka (R) 34%
(this poll had Topinka leading 44%-41% in April)

Survey USA
May 23
Blagojevich (D)* 43%
Topinka 37%

Rasmussen
April 18
Blagojevich (D)* 38%
Topinka (R) 44%

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

You really like to make things up, don't you? Point to one poll that RMill has posted on this blog that had to do with national security? You can't b/c it's not there!!! The polls posted by RMill demonstrated the way all these governor's races are shaping up, which is completely relevant to the present topic. You conservatives certainly like to trot out your polls whenever the Estate Tax or Gay Marriage are discussed (please don't discuss them, we have covered the ground before). We should just stick to the topic of how each party will fair at the polls for governor this fall. Of course, you probably don't want to talk about that because your candidates aren't looking so hot. Especially Mr. Blackwell. Right-wing extremists are being exposed for who they are and Blackwell, Steele, Santorum, et al. are going to pay this fall.

Posted by: appalled | June 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Wells beat me to the punch.

1,2,3 are fine

Spitzer is walking through NY, no point in even polling anymore.

Strickland, aside from one anaomolous poll from Blackwell's hometown, has had Strickland consistantly above 50% and in double-digit leads since February.

Beebe has also held a consistant double-digit lead since February.

I would move Iowa down. It is definately competitive but the leads Culver held were one or two points until the latest poll (6 pts). I would replace with Maryland or Massachutses. Both states Dem candidates are polling strong (5-12 pts).

I would also move Wisconsin down. Doyle still holds an edge. Definately in jeopardy though.

Michigan again is competitive but likely party switch is unknown. Stays in top 10.

Colorado can inch up and Alaska is about right until we know more.

Bullpen-
MN- Pawlenty nbot gaining any traction, hovering at 50% approval.
Survey USA May approval
Pawlenty (R)* 51% (down from 52% in April and 54% in Feb)
Rasmussen
April 27
Hatch (D) 49%
Pawlenty (R)* 39%

Kelley (D) 43%
Pawlenty (R)* 38%

Loury (D) 43%
Pawlenty (R)* 40%

OR-
Gov. Kulongoski survived the primary but remains weak.
Survey USA May approval
Kulongoski (D)* 35% (up from 33% in April down from 38% in Feb)

Rasmussen
May 17
Kulongoski (D)* 43%
Saxton (R) 41%
(Kulongoski had a 48% - 36% lead in Feb)

FL- Lots of polling and no confirmed candidates, but the leading contenders Crist and Davis (both have sizable leads against their primary opponents)are split in recent polls. The damage done by the Senate race (Nelson v. Harris) could hurt GOP chances to hold this seat.

Rasmussen
May 15
Davis (D) 39%
Crist (R) 44%

Quinnipiac
May 15-22
Davis (D) 40%
Crist (R) 37%

CA- Schwartzenegger trails or ties in 2 of 3 recent polls.
Survey USA May approval
Schwartzenegger (R)* 36%

Rasmussen
May 15
Angelides (D) 45%
Schwartzenegger (R)* 45%

LA Times Poll
May 28
Angelides (D) 46%
Schwartzenegger (R)* 45%
(incidently, Guvnator was down 50%-40% to Westly in this poll- Westly lost primary)

Field Poll
June 2
Angelides (D)39%
Schwartzenegger (R)* 46%

RI- Carcierri within a point for 2nd straight month. Not good news considering the drag from the Senate race.
Survey USA May approval
Carceiri (R)* 54% (up from 50% in April and 52% in Feb)

Rasmussen
June 5
Fogerty (D) 41%
Carceiri (R)* 40%
(was 42%-41% in April 26 poll)

ME- Baldacci gets good news but still not out of the woods.
Survey USA May Approval
Baldacci (D)* 43% (up from 39% in April and 41% in Feb)

Rasmussen
May 4
Baldacci (D)* 46%
Woodcock (R) 33%
(done before primary- Woodcock was the weakest candidate in the GOP field according to poll)

NV-
Both the Open seat for Governor and the US Senate race have tightened. Could it be confusion with the similar names of the front runners?

Reno Gazette-Journal News
May 19
Gibson (D) 39%
Gibbons (R) 44%

Survey USA
Dem Gov Primary
June 14
Gibson 43%
McConnell 5%
Titus 34%

Rep Gov Primary
Beers 18%
Gibbons 50%
Hunt 15%

GA- Governor Purdue came in with a surprisingly low result in the last poll, causing some concern. Not likely to hold true but worth watching. If Purdue falls, could indicate sweeping change.
Survey USA May approval
Purdue (R)* 60% (up from 59% in April and same as Feb)

Rasmussen
April 18
Cox (D) 42%
Purdue (R)* 48%

My Top 10
1. NY
2. OH
3. AR
4. MA
5. MD
6. MI
7. IA
8. CO
9. WI
10. AK
Races to Watch-
MN
OR
FL
CA
RI
ME
NV
GA

Posted by: RMills | June 16, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I know you were joking about the voting machines, bhoomes. It's a joke all right.I'm sure you find it amusing. Just imagine if Democrats 'won' several disputed elections, then it turns out that ALL of the voting machines were owned and programmed by major Democratic campaign contributors. Say, for instance, John Kerry had won, and George Soros owned the machines.

Imagine the hysterical outcry! We would never stop having investigations. Republicans would be outraged. The press would go ballistic.

But what happens when the scenario is reversed? Why, nothing. Exactly nothing. The Dems can't protest because they know the press will paint them as loony conspiracy theorists.

Thank you 'liberal media'.

Posted by: Drindl | June 16, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

While any loss of american lfe is tragic, casualty rates don't determine the victor in Wars. I find it somewhat ludicrous to think you need to take polls on vital national security interests. RMILL spare me all of your polls, don't care, if I did, I could look it up on my own. You dems are so poll driven: it explains why you don't control any branch of government, just carry out what you believe and don't worry about the polls to determine how you should think about any given issue. Its apparent your party has no core beliefs.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 16, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Just noticed that the GOP rammed through a resolution supporting an open-ended, unending, eternal presence of US troops in Iraq. Trying to both motivate their base and be "the party of national security" at the same time. 'Interesting' move on their part. How will that play in Peoria? Will it be successful or will it further weary an increasingly war-weary nation? Spare me the "Oh, everything turned around this week" talk until the death rate over there goes down and stays down. It'd be nice to see some polling data on this question. "Forgetting O-HI-O?"

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | June 16, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"Signs of hope for Republicans."

What's wrong with this headline?

Signs of hope for Republicans.

Like, we should look at it in terms of what's good for the Republicans?

Signs of hope for Republicans.

Like, Republicans don't already control all three branches of government?

Oh, this liberal media . . .

Posted by: Not a Republican | June 16, 2006 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, I was only joking about the Diebold machines.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 16, 2006 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Forget about the governors--in most states they have very little power. How about a Friday line on which state legislatures are most likely to switch parties? That would be much more important (something the Republicans realized 20 years ago), albeit probably more work to compile.

Posted by: Zathras | June 16, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, referring to the Ohio race specifically, but of course it's true for most of the states. These e-voting machines guarantee that we have never had LESS likelihood of fair elections.

Posted by: Drindl | June 16, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Chris

You really need to start paying attention to Illinois. The incumbent governor is well below 50%, and he's been trailing his challenger, a moderate three term treasurer, ever since this race began.

The governor of Illinois has five pending investigations, (Three federal, one state, one local), and one scandal after another has been breaking in the papers.

43% of Illinois believes that the current governor is more corrupt or as corrupt as George Ryan, who was recently convicted on multiple counts of public corruption.

Forget this not being in the top ten, this should really be one or two. Blagojevich can't win.

Posted by: Chris DeRose | June 16, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

10. Alaska
No polling data
Survey USA May Approval
Murkowski (R)* 23% (June approval due in a week or so)

9. Colorado
(OPEN-held by R)
Rasmussen
May 25
Ritter (D) 43%
Beuaprez (R) 36%

8. Maryland
Survey USA May approval
Ehrlich (R)* 44% (down from 48% in April and 55% in Feb)

Rasmussen
April 18
O'Malley (D) 51%
Ehrlich (R)* 42%

Duncan (D) 45%
Ehrlich (R)* 43%

Dem Gov Primary
Gonzales-Boyd
April 4-13
Duncan 35%
O'Malley 44%

7. Massachutses
(OPEN- held by R)
Survey USA
May 8
Gabrielli (D)37%
Healey (R) 32%
Mihos (I) 16%

Patrick (D) 34%
Healey (R) 32%
Mihos (I) 17%

Reilly (D)37%
Healey (R)31%
Mihos (I) 18%

Rasmussen
May 9

Gabrielli (D) 37%
Healey (R)25%
Mihos (I) 14%

Patrick (D) 36%
Healey (R) 26%
Mihos (I) 16%

Reilly (D) 38%
Healey (R) 26%
Mihos (I) 16%

Stethouse News
May 3
Gabrielli (D) 31%
Healey (R)25%
Mihos (I) 10%

Patrick (D) 26%
Healey (R) 28%
Mihos (I) 15%

Reilly (D) 33%
Healey (R) 26%
Mihos (I) 13%

Dem Gov Primary
Statehouse News
May 3
Gabrielli 25%
Patrick 15%
Reilly 37%

Suffolk University
May 3
Gabrielli 15%
Patrick 20%
Reilly 35%

Survey USA
May 4
Gabrielli 29%
Patrick 28%
Reilly 32%

6. Michigan
Survey USA May Approval
Granholm (D)* 43% (up from 40% in April and 41% in Feb)
Rasmussen
May 5
Granholm (D)* 44%
DeVos (R) 43%

MRG Lansing
May 1-9
Granholm (D)* 43%
DeVos (R) 44%

EPIC/MRA
May 11
Granholm (D)* 45%
DeVos (R) 46%

Strategic Vision
May 24
Granholm (D)* 42%
DeVos (R) 45%

5. Wisconsin
Survey USA May approval
Doyle (D)* 47% (down from 52% in April up from 45% in Feb)

Rasmussen
April 20
Doyle (D)* 47%
Green (R) 43%

Strategic Vision
May 3
Doyle (D)* 45%
Green (R) 43%

4. Iowa
(OPEN- held by D)
No poll since primary
Rasmussen
April 25
Culver (D) 46%
Nussle (R) 40%

Research 2000
May 22-24
Culver (D) 49%
Nussle (R) 41%

3. Arkansas
(OPEN- held by R)
Rasmussen May 4
Beebe (D) 49%
Hutchinson (R) 38%

2. Ohio
(OPEN- held by R)
Survey USA
June 13
Strickland (D) 53%
Blackwell (R) 37%
Rasmussen
May 8
Strickland (D) 52%
Blackwell (R) 36%

University of Cincinnati
May 25
Strickland (D) 50%
Blackwell (R) 44%

1. New York
(OPEN- held by R)
Rasmussen
May 17
Spitzer (D) 67%
Faso (R) 16%

Marist Poll
May 1-7
Spitzer (D) 70%
Faso (R) 20%

Posted by: RMill | June 16, 2006 11:41 AM | Report abuse

To 'appalled' --you're absolutely right re your comment on Diebold machines. All this talk about who's up in the polls really is meaningless if the voting machines are not secure -- and the simple fact is, they're not. They can't be certified because their programs are proprietary and secret. And who will be in charge of overseeing the fairness of the gubernatorial election? Why, one of the candidates, of course! Mr. Blackwell himself will decide whether HE won.

What a tragic joke, what a perversion of democracy. Chris, you know, it would be nice if you, or anyone in the press, had the guts to point out what an absurd, surreal conflect of interest this is.

Posted by: Drindl | June 16, 2006 11:40 AM | Report abuse

My question for Chris is whether his Massachusetts analysts are the same ones that would have said that Shannon O'Brien had the best shot at winning the last time. The Massachusetts Democratic political establishment has a remarkably good track record of completely misunderstanding the gubernatorial dynamic, which makes sense, inasmuch as Mass politics are so overwhelmingly dominated by our Congressional delegation. Too much legislative branch, not enough executive.

Gabrieli is running an anti-Democratic-activist campaign, sidestepping the caucus/convention process and buying his way onto the ballot.

The party in Massachusetts is made up of the machine and the activists, and each gubernatorial cycle it seems the two camps end up on different sides of the fence. Patrick has been working hard to draw from both camps. He's also bales more charismatic than Reilly and Gabrieli, which the pundits and strategists seem to not think matters. Tell that to Million-watt Mitt.

Posted by: Brad Johnson | June 16, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Doyle is in trouble in Wisconsin? That's news to the moderates here. The Democrats support him, and Green is VERY far to the right of former Gov. Tommy Thompson, and the Republicans in WI know it. Machine turf polling aside, Doyle is in no trouble here.

Posted by: Ace from WI | June 16, 2006 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I just read this on the AP, and this is the first I have heard of it. So after next month in July, the US is going to be the only country inside Iraq with troops. I like how Bush did not do a Rose Garden News Conference Tea Party about this new development in Iraq. Why is the news media so lazy that they only report what Bush feeds them. What happened to reporters who investigated stories and new developments. Now all we have is reporters who repeat politician's Talking Points as if it were news. It's like being forced to listen to one huge organized infommercial with no substance.

TOKYO Jun 16, 2006 (AP)-- British, Australian and Japanese troops will transfer security responsibilities in southern Iraq to Iraqi authorities next week, and withdraw from the area soon afterward, Kyodo News said Friday.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 11:08 AM | Report abuse

You know DeVos is the CEO of the Amway pyramid scam, right?

Wait till the ads with testimonials of people who have been ripped off by Amway hit the air.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 16, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

What about Rhode Island ? Chris

New June poll for RI has DEM and REP tied for a second month in a row of polling.
( Republican Governor is no longer safe in Rhode Island - Also expect the close senate race to help the DEM in the Governor's Race)

In Rhode Island, Carcieri in Tight Race
Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri (R) continues to struggle in his bid for reelection against challenger Charles Fogarty (D). According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, Fogarty currently holds a statistically insignificant lead over Carcieri, 41% to 40%. These numbers mirror May's poll, which also showed Fogarty with a one-point lead.

Posted by: Wells | June 16, 2006 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Rufus,
Not to mention really pissing off the gay community for what the guy said. That was a lose-lose for Ehrlich whatever he did.

Posted by: Andy R | June 16, 2006 10:39 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

A more correct statement I have never heard from a conservative. This is the best argument for a Blackwell win.

Posted by: appalled | June 16, 2006 10:26 AM | Report abuse

On Granholm:

One part of the story that hasn't seemed to be picked up in national media is that not only has Granholm's spokesperson played down this poll, but so has DeVos'. His spokesman John Truscott (who is known as a rent-a-staff in Michigan Republican politics--he is simultaneously spokesman for John Schwarz' campaign for re-election to Congress) has said that it is really to early to tell whether this has any significance and not too mcuh should be read into it.

Another point should be made about DeVos: His wife had a major falling-out with Gov. Engler in the 2000 election over vouchers and he is not particularly liked in some Republican circles. In West Michigan Amway (a.k.a. Quixstar and Alticor) is quite controversial; people either love them or hate them. Many average rank-and-file Republicans in the Grand Rapids area care nothing for the DeVos family or Amway.

Posted by: Peter from MI | June 16, 2006 10:24 AM | Report abuse

In Ohio we believe in the old saying "he who counts last, counts best" Accordingly we have set our Diebold machines to give us whatever votes we need to get Blackwell over the top. So save your money and concentrate on some other states.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 16, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Arkansas is a heavily democratic state that set aside its party loyalties to elect Huckabee, a republican, twice because he is a remarkable leader, a former Baptist minister, and a defender of the "little guy." Sans Huckabee, Arkansas switches immediately back to it democratic roots. Beebe by a landslide.

Arkansan

Posted by: Arkansan | June 16, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Ehrlich just took a huge hit in Maryland by sanctioning discrimination against Roman Catholics. By depriving a man of his position because he supports the teachings of his church, Gov. Ehrlich has alienated every voter who values the freedom of religion in the state of Maryland.

Smooth move, Bob. You're a one-termer.

Posted by: Rufus | June 16, 2006 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Im just going out on a limb here. I believe democrats win all ten of them. Granholm may look lifeless and Doyle may not look so hot, but I just don't see a nationalized election electing republicans in Democrats blue states. We have a strong candidate in Alaska, Ritter has united the Democrat Party in Colorado after it was fractured on electing a State Party Chair. Right now Im just not seeing us lose any of these seats. Call me crazy if u will.

Posted by: aaron | June 16, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

Sara B,

Last time there was a Friday Governor's Line I said more or less the same thing about people in Michigan not really responding well to DeVos, but I was really surprised that she fell so further behind him in this recent poll.

Clearly, she needs to get her campaign moving. I think she really needs Kwame Kilpatrick's support in Detroit, so she needs to convince him to ramp up GOTV operations there. Detroit mayors have a poor history of campaigning for democratic governors, but Detroit's development has been unbelievable since she's been in office and has benefited from her Cool Cities grants. It's one of the lone bright spots in Michigan right now.

As for the auto industry, I don't know how she deals with that other than to play up her success at getting R&D investment in the state. Yesterday's news that Ford is planning to build new plants in Mexico and the US South was probably not what Granholm (or DeVos, for that matter) wanted to hear. Interestingly, when I looked at the informal Detroit News web-poll, it showed that most people thought Ford was doing the right thing, and the people commenting were POed about Ford and globalization, not Granholm.

It'll be interesting, but I still think she's going to pull off the win once she actually starts campaigning. Unless DeVos reveals some kind of brilliant economic plan.

Posted by: rkb | June 16, 2006 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Two comments on the Ohio poll: (1) That little asterick next to African-American voters means that they interviewed fewer than 75. It's not a meaningful result. (2) Ohio, especially as an electorate, is an overwhelmingly white state. Even if Blackwell were to do well among African Americans (and since when is 32 percent "doing well"?), it really won't matter.

Posted by: Jeff | June 16, 2006 9:43 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes:

Ohio voters do not tend to nationalize statewide elections. Both national parties have at numerous times attempted to do so (Democrats more often than Republicans), always to disastrous ends. Each party this time around seems to know better than to attempt to nationalize this gubernatorial race. Iraq has nothing to do with the governor's race, and Ohio voters know it. That's why no one here is saying anything about Iraq, unless it's a "motivate the troops" type of speech in a room of activists.

This election, unless Blackwell goes unbelievably negative (and if he feels the need to, he of course will), will be about the issues. Blackwell is an ideologue who does a good job clearly articulating his beliefs, and with him trailing badly in these early polls, he was actually the one to issue the debate challenge. Strickland accepted, and they will probably have real debates the likes of which we're not used to. Much like the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, in which Bush just had to hold his own, if Strickland holds his own and doesn't make any serious gaffes, he will gain more from debating than Blackwell. The simple reason is that Blackwell needs the debates to win, so if he doesn't win the debates by such a large margin that Ohio media outlets harp on it, not enough independents will notice.

Republicans will not be the only ones motivated to go vote rain or shine in November. In fact, state GOP Chair Bob Bennett has wondered aloud about how many Republicans might sit this particular race out. I don't see many doing that, but it is a possibility.

This is the first time since 1986 that Ohio Democrats are truly motivated to win the governorship (Lee Fisher excited no one and angered thousands in 1998, so Bob Taft won) and with an issue to raise the minimum wage to $6.85 likely to make the November ballot, Democrats have every reason to believe they will turn out their voters. That minimum wage initiative currently has around 75% support in statewide polling, so playing off of the issue could swing Strickland even more independents.

Posted by: Kevin | June 16, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes,

Ohio is not Utah. The people in Ohio are moderate and tired of the extremist wings of each party and that is why Blackwell will not win. He supporters are rock-solid, yes, but they come from the discriminatory Christian right wing that makes more noise than their actual numbers. And if Blackwell is so confident about winning black votes, then why is he enacting draconian measures to suppress urban votes? Blackwell is also a political flip-flopper who will do anything to try and get elected. I also think you might not want to speak about Iraq too soon, there is still a long way to go before anything there could be called a success. I mean how great can the situation be that the President cannot inform the Iraqi prime minister of his visit until after the plane touches down? Doesn't sound like a real solid security situations to me.

Posted by: appalled | June 16, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes -- Well, I lived in OH for 5 years and I would have to disagree with you regarding OH being in light with Blackwell's particular brand of conservatism. When you look at the OH GOP, it has traditionally been the model for old time country club republicanism exemplified by the entire taft family. Looking at the current governor, Dewine, etc. that doesn't seem to have changed much over time. Blackwell, in contrast, is a fire breathing, bible thumping, religious right conservative. Not saying those kind of folks can't get elected in OH, but I would certainly argue that hasn't been the traditional model for getting elected in the past.

As far as your predictions about the black vote go, I would say two things. One, I will be shocked if the polling numbers Blackwell gets amongst the black community don't fall the more people learn about the guy. Except for people who are reading blogs like this, most folks haven't tuned in to any of the elections yet and have only a vague understanding of where the candidates stand on issues. Just like is happening in PA now - where Swann's polling numbers among the black community are falling - Blackwell's will fall once people realize just how uber-conservative he is. That's a prediction, so remember it come November.

Second, EVEN IF blackwell takes 25% of the black vote your calculus completely fails to account for the number of votes his racial appeal will lose. Ugly as it is to write, there are a LOT of conservative leaning voters who will ultimately pick a moderate white Democrat over a conservative black republican. I wish race wasn't still that big of an issue, but realistically it is.

My prediction? Stickland wins 55-45.

Posted by: Colin | June 16, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Andy R:

Regarding Arkansas, I think it might be slightly more of a "red state" than Ohio, but I think that both Arkansas and Ohio are essentially swing states that have been trending Republican. Who knows what will happen with Ohio, but I've got to believe that with a few good candidates in a row, Arkansas could flip back to trending Democratic.

Then again, I'm from Ohio and not Arkansas, so I won't pretend to know all too much about Arkansas electoral politics.

Posted by: Kevin | June 16, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Kevin ,good breakdown, Andy with all due respect I believe you know Ma. political landscape a lot better than Ohio's. Being a conservative in Ohio gets you elected. Elections are not about polls but who actually shows up to vote and Blackwell's supporters are rock solid and will be at the polling booths this November, no matter the weather. Republicans normally only get about 15-17% of the black vote and still win elections with this so if Blackwell gets 25% he's a shoo-in. The republican base may be unhappy with Taft(he is not that conservative)but will be out in droves for Blackwell. Plus the political landscape has changed since last week with Dems losing a lot of their argument about Iraq.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 16, 2006 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Jake,
I did a little looking and it seemed to me that there really isn't any recent polling data out there. But the older stuff has Healey at around 25-30%
Mihos at 15%
and Reilly, Patrcick and Gabreili all at 32-37%
Then about 20% undecided.

One of the more interesting things is that Mihos has gained on everyone lately. He might play a big factor in this by the end. Hope that helps.

Posted by: Andy R | June 16, 2006 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Ken Blackwell is 58. Ted Strickland is 64. How is that "a lot younger"? No one has "a lot more energy" than Ted Strickland. Blackwell is angrier and perhaps more motivated, but you clearly have never heard Ted Strickland speak, nor have you met the man. And this is coming from someone who doesn't even like him all that much.

You can hold onto the pipedream of Blackwell making further inroads into the African American community, but Strickland leads in Southeastern Ohio, which went twice for Bush by large margins, 80%-20%. Think about that a moment. Strickland holds a 60% LEAD in the most rural part of the state.

Blackwell will win NW by a few points and SW Ohio by a large margin. Strickland will win NE Ohio by a large margin, SE Ohio by at least 50%, and will win Central Ohio, giving him the election. It will be within 10% easily, perhaps within 3-4%, but unless Strickland completely implodes, Blackwell has a lot of ground to make up. He's trailing among independents by large margins everywhere, and independents going against him are saying it's because he's too conservative. He's not going to get any less conservative. That's who he is and how he wins elections. If his strength is perceived as his biggest weakness by the very voters he needs to win, how does he win?

Posted by: Kevin | June 16, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

The reason nobody is concerned with Blackwell is simple. He is too far to the right to get elected as the Governor of Ohio. Even if he makes major inroads into the Black vote (highly unlikely if you ask me) it makes up what 10% of the voting public in Ohio. Now Blackwell is down in most polls by 15% or so. He would have to take all of the black vote (No chance) to win this thing. Take that with the current political environment AND Taft's problems and Strickland wins in a walk.

Posted by: Andy R | June 16, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

For the life of me I can't understand why people keep on underestimating Blackwell. He is a lot younger and has a lot more energy than Strickland. He is cutting seriously into the dems african-american base which will get him over the finish line. Blackwell is going to win this race.

Posted by: bhoomes | June 16, 2006 8:45 AM | Report abuse

Granholm inherited the economic problems in Michigan from her Republican predecessor who borrowed from the future to prop himself up. People are upset about the economy, but I don't hear much on the street that blames her. She has been hamstrung by a Republican legislature. I agree she needs to start actively campaigning and not take the re-election for granted but she hasn't gotten started. DeVoss has for sometime and I'm sorry, it's probably not what you want to hear, but I don't feel any great ground swell for DeVoss and his Ponzi-economics.

Posted by: Sara B. | June 16, 2006 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Among the stakes in these governor races is how House districts will be redrawn at the next census. If the Dem's take over New York and Ohio which appears likely as of today, the potential gains could secure a majority in the House for awhile. But losing in California, Michigan and Wisconsin would not help the cause at all.

Remarkable about Granholm. Not so long ago she was a rising star and Democrats regretted that Granholm's status as not an American born citizen prevented her from being on a national ticket.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | June 16, 2006 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have numbers for the Massachusetts race? I'm a Deval Patrick supporter, and I don't know too much about how Gabrieli is doing in matchups. What are the primary numbers like? From what I hear, Deval is the most impressive and charismatic speaker, but I hear little to nothing about Gabrieli. Any info would be helpful.

Posted by: Jake | June 16, 2006 8:27 AM | Report abuse

The top three I don't have any problem with but seriously CC Massachusetts should be number 4. Healey has been down in all polls against all her Democratic challengers. She is not liked statewide and Romney keeps shooting her in the foot with stupid things like his public anti-gay marriage stance.
Also Gabreili may be out of the running for the democratic vote because he has decided to not follow the public financing restrictions we have here. Deval Patrick (who has accepted Pub Finance) seems to be running away with it and I think Gabreili's decision will seal the deal for Patrick. Also we have some pretty top notch democratic political people in Massachusetts and they seem to think that Patrick can win so who are these "establishment" folks who love Gareili?

Also Maryland is going Blue end of story.

Anyone have any thoughts on what a Democratic win in Arkansas does for Huckabee's chances in 2008? Seems to me that it would not be a good sign for him to leave office in a red state and have it go Democrat.

Posted by: Andy R | June 16, 2006 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Here in Michigan Granholm does look absolutely lifeless. She needs to take the campaign more seriously if she is going to have a chance. The rub for Republicans here is that they have a good chance of losing the state House and/or Senate, so for state politics it might be a draw.

Posted by: Z | June 16, 2006 6:43 AM | Report abuse

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