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Please begin with an informative title:

As promised, I will look at the 36(there are two other ones in territories) gubernatorial elections in 2014.   The Republicans dominated this last cycle in 2010, but 2014 looks good for the Democrats on the gubernatorial level.  This is the first in a monthly(closer to the elections it will become biweekly) series, and as the election becomes closer, my predictions(and hopefully my analysis) will become more accurate.  I should state as I should have stated when I looked at the Senate and the House that this is merely a very early look and conditions are very likely to change.

Alabama(Current Gov: Robert Bentley-R)
It is Alabama after all, and Gov Bentley was elected by the biggest margin that a Republican has ever gotten for an open seat.   Democrats don't really have much of a bench in Alabama.   Two of Bentley's 2010 primary opponents have no ruled out a run against him.   Cook calls this as as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Alaska(Current Gov: Sean Parnell-R)
Alaska is a quirky state that Hillary Clinton may be able to contest in 2016.   However, Parnell is a popular governor and it looks like he will run for re-election.  Parnell polls ahead of all Democrats that PPP put head-to-head to him.   At least if Parnell runs for re-election, Sen. Begich has an easier path to keep his Senate seat.   Cook says Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(will move to Safe R when Parnell officially makes it known he's running for re-election)

Arizona(Current Gov: Jan Brewer-R)
Brewer is term-limited, but she might try her luck to fight that law.   Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett, a Republican is exploring a run for 2014.   Arizona had quite a few close races in 2012 including its Senator race.   An open seat would likely drive up turnout, and the state is trending more Democratic thanks to more Hispanic voters(who trend liberal on all issues).   A Republican block of immigration reform is likely to reignite passions for both parties in this state.   There are a bunch of potential Democratic candidates including 2012 Senate runnerup Richard Carmona.   cook has this as Likely R

Prediction: Lean Republican(I think the AZ-Gov Republican primary will likely be nasty and I hope Arizona Democrats continue to register voters and pumpup up turnout so it can match 2012 levels if not exceed them).

Arkansas(Current Gov: Mike Beebe-D)
Beebe, a Democrat, will be term-limited in 2014.   Arkansas is trending redder, and I don't think Hillary can count on Arkansas's electoral votes in a general election in 2016.  Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, a good Democrat, has declared that he is running for governor.  A couple of Republicans have already declared themselves candidates.  One was a Republican candidate who lost out to Boozer in the 2010 Senate primary named Curtis Coleman, and the other is a former Congressman and former candidate for Governor named Asa Hutchinson.   Republican Lt. Gov Mark Darr isn't running for Governor and may challenge Sen. Mark Pryor in the AR-Sen race in 2014.   Cook ranks it as a Tossup.   I have always liked Bill Halter, and I think he can fight the red tide in that state.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt R (if the Tea Party has some nobody win the primary, I would be inclined towards Lean D).   GOP pickup opportunity.

California(Current Gov: Jerry Brown-D)
Brown is 74 and will be 76 in in 2014 so it's unclear if Brown will run for re-election.   If Brown declines to run, there is a deep bench of Democrats in California:  California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, outgoing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.   I would cheer on a Harris campaign or a Solis campaign.   So far the only declared Republican is an anti-immigration zealot named Tim Donnelly.  Cook has this as a Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Colorado(Current Gov: John Hickenlooper-D)
Hickenlooper is has bipartisan appeal, and is fairly popular and he's running for re-election.   There are quite a few potential GOP opponents, but no real frontrunner so far.   This is still a purple-ish state that is trending bluer.   It remains to be seen what effect gun safety will have on Colorado elections in 2014.   This could energize the Tea Party, but it could also energize the Hispanic voters who generally support gun safety measures.   Cook has it as a Safe D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic

Connecticut(Current Gov: Dan Malloy-D)

Malloy won a close vote in 2010.  However, the way he handled Superstorm Sandy and the aftermath of the Newtown shooting may make any Republican challenge to him tough.  The Republican that Malloy had beaten in 2010, Tom Foley, has announced that he is running again.  PPP has Malloy beating a generic Republican by 9 points as of November 2012.  Cook ranks this as Likely D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic (Very inclined to say Safe Democratic)

Florida(Current Gov: Rick Scott-R)

Scott is a deeply unpopular Republican, and former Governor Charlie Crist is ver likely running against Scott as a Demcorat.   Crist is still very well regarded by Flordians.   Nan Rich is also a declared candidate for the Demcorats.   In polling, Crist smashes Scott(a January PPP has him winning 53-39).  and Scott only leads Rich by 4: 41-37.  Scott is clearly feeling the Pressure and Cook has this as a Leans R.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D(could be Lean D once Crist is offfically the nominee).   Possible Democratic pickup.

Georgia(Current Gov: Nathan Deal-R).

Deal has some mediocre approval numbers 36/41 but in a poll that PPP released as I was writing this says, Deal enjoys solid leads over all Democrats polled against him.  He leads Jason Carter 46-38 and would lead over John Barrow and Kasim Reed 48-38.  Looks like all of the action could be on the Georgia Senate side of things.  Cook says this is a Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Hawaii(Current Gov: Neil Abercrombie-D)

Abercrombie is a fairly progressive Democrat, and would likely win against any Republican.   The only question is whether Colleen Hanabusa or another Hawaii Democrat wants to take Abercrombie to task for appointing Schwatz to the Senate against Inouye's dying wish.   Overall, I'd say that Abercrombie has a very good chance of surviving any primary.  Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Idaho(Current Gov: Butch Otter-R)

Otter has indictated that he wants to run for a third term, and Republican Congressman Raul Labrador is considering a run for Governor too.  Otter would be a tough candidate for any Democrat to beat but this race obviously should be contested as Idaho could potentially turn purplish someday.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(Safe R if Otter.  Labrador could give Dems a chance but it would still be ver much uphill)

Illinois(Current Gov: Pat Quinn-D)

Quinn is toast.  He will likely run for re-election, but he'd get beat in a primary against Lisa Madigan.   Madigan would be a strong candidate, and she beats Quinn in every head to head poll and she beats every Republican.   On the Republican side, Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady will both run for governor.   Quinn loses the head-to-head to Dillard(Brady wasn't polled by PPP in November 2012).   Cook has this as Leans D.  Since Shiela Simon has baled on Quinn, odds are very strong that he loses the primary.

Prediction: Leans Democratic(will change to Likely D for Madigan).

Iowa(Current Gov: Terry Branstad-R)

Branstad polls well against most Democrats.   He basically ties in a head-to-head with Tom Vilsack, who is stayiing in Washington as Agriculure Secretary.   I wonder what numbers that Christie Vilsack would do agaisnt Branstad.   Going into 2014, Branstad's chance remain good of reelection.   Cook has this as a Likely R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Kansas(Current Gov: Sam Brownback-R)

Basically this race is a snoozer if Brownback runs for reelection.   Cook has this a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Maine(Current Gov: Paul LePage-R)

LePage is an obnoxious Tea Party Republican who snuck in on a three-way race in 2010.   The bad news is that 2014 will be another three-way race because 2010 loser Eliot Cutler wants another shot at running.   There are a lot of names on the Democratic side including outgoing SBA head Karen Mills.   In polling, LePage loses in two-way races, but wins a plurarity in three-way races.   This could be a very frustrating race.   Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(on the account of the douchebag Cutler.  Leans D without Cutler)

Maryland(Current Gov: Martin O'Malley-D)

O'Malley is term-limited, and Maryland is a very blue state.  Among the potentials on the Democratic side are Lt. Gov.  Anthony Brown and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler.   Brown and Gansler both seem to have strong progressive bona fides.  The Republicans have the Frederick County Board of Commissioners president Blaine Young as a declared candidate and have a few potential also-rans like the Republican that lost to Ben Cardin in 2012 and Michael Steele.   Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic.

Massachusetts(Current Gov: Deval Patrick)

My Governor, Deval Patrick has said that he is not running for re-election.  Of course the field is probably wide open on both sides since Massachusetts has a history of electing "moderate" Republican governors.   Some Dude named Joseph Avellone has already declared on the Democratic side, which includes potentials like Massachusetts Auditor Susanne Bump(a progressive), Congressman Michael Capuano(another progressive), Massachusetts Treasurer Steve Grossman(a moderate Democrat with longstanding ties to Howard Dean) and a few Mayors(Setti Warren of Newton, an African-American with ties to John Kerry and Bill Clinton.  I personally don't like him but he would be a strong candidate.   Also Joseph Curtatone of Somerville).   There is also faux-Democrat Stephen Pagliuca among that field too.   On the Republcan side, there is 2010 loser Charlie Baker who ran a very negative campaign.   There is also Scott Brown who seems to be happier at Fox News than in office.   There is also Karyn Polito, the 2010 candidate for Treasurer who lost in part due to ethics issues(there was a bit of a scandal involving her and her friend snatching up Red Sox plates).   Richard Tisei has the kind of profile that would be good for a Republican candidate in Massachusetts, so if Tisei can stay positive, he has got a good shot.   Cook ranks this as Safe D.

Prediction: Leans Democratic

Michigan(Current Gov: Rick Snyder-R)

Snyder could be in for a strong challenge in 2014 due various actions the Michigan Republicans have taken.   There are quite a few names on the Democratic side and in a December 2012 PPP poll, Snyder loses the head-to-head against Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero(38-49), Congressman Gary Peters(39-47) and former Congressman Mark Schauer(39-44).  I imagine that Michigan Democrats are not going to take this race for granted.  Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Lean Republican (could move up to Tossup once Democratic field is better known).

Minnesota(Current Gov: Mark Dayton-D)

Dayton is running for re-election and crushes every Republican in a January 2013 PPP poll.   The Republican field is wide open.   Cook ranks this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Nebraska(Current Gov: Dave Heineman-R)

Heineman is term-limited, and one of the frontrunners to replace him had to resign as Lt. Gov due to a personal scandal.  On the Republican side, a state Senator named Charlie Janssen has declared and there could be quite a few Republicans running for this or the open Nebraska Senate seat.   There are four Democrats named as potential candidates for NE-Gov:  Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, former U of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook and a couple of State Senators(Annette Dubas and Steve Lathrop.)   Cook had this as Safe R but I believe it's become more open in light of the field being wide open and there is also the Nebraska Senate seat.   This is a red state though.

Prediction: Likely Republican

Nevada(Current Gov: Brian Sandoval-R)

Sandoval is in a good position in the purple state that is becoming bluer.   He has sizable leads against a generic Democrat and all named Democrats.  Sandoval is running for re-election and barring some Paulist/Teabag primary challenge, beating him may be an uphill fight.  Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Likely Republican

New Hampshire(Current Gov: Maggie Hassan-D)

Hassan was elected in 2012 and her potential Republican opponents include Frank Guinta, who got defeated by Carol Shea-Porter in 2012 and Jeb Bradley, a former Congresman and currently the Majority Leader of the State Senate.  New Hampshire tends to be more Republican in midterms but the Republicans are certainly making it tough for themselves in the Granite State.   I will have to watch this one.   Cook has this as Likely Democratic.

Prediction: Leans Democratic

New Mexico(Current Gov: Susanna Martinez-R)

Martinez hasn't stated wheither she is running for re-election, but her state is becoming more and more of a blue state.   On the Democratic side, New Mexico Attorney General Gar King has delcared himself a candidate.  King is the son of a former Governor and a former state Rep.   I would love to see some polling from PPP.  Cook has this as Leans R.

Prediction: Lean Republican

New York(Current Gov: Andrew Cuomo-D)

Cuomo seems ready to run for re-election and he has good approval numbers which took a dip after gun safety got passed but are still in the high 50s.   His handling of Superstorm Sandy still probably helps him a lot.   There aren't that many potential Republican opponents yet, a state Senator and a former publisher of High Times.   At the moment, I am not betting against Cuomo.   Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Likely Democratic

Ohio(Current Gov: John Kasich-R)

Kasich won a close election in 2010, and certainly hasn't endeared himself to his state in the last few years.   A couple of potential Democratic challengers include CFPB head Richard Cordray, former Congresswoman Betty Sutton and Congresman Tim Ryan.  Cordray, Sutton and Ryan are all progressive and Cordray had basically tied with Kasich when PPP polled in June 2012.  Kasich when last polled against Ryan had a 41-33 lead.   I believe that Kasich is still vulnerable.   Cook has this as a Leans R

Prediction: Lean Republican

Oklahoma(Current Gov:  Mary Fallin-R)

It's Oklahoma, a blood-red state and there isn't much action anywhere in the OK-Gov race.   Looks like a snoozer.   Cook has this as Safe R

Prediction: Safe Republican

Oregon(Current Gov: John Kitzhaber-D)

Not much action here either.  Kitzhaber hasn't made any annoucements yet, and Allen Alley is the only potential Republican opponent thus far.   Oregon is a blue state and looks to keep being blue.  Cook has this as Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Pennsylvania(Current Gov: Tom Corbett-R)

Corbett has practically admitted that he is running for re-election and there is a chance that he could be teabagged in a Republican primary.  A few Democrats have already declared, a former head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection named John Hanger(Oh the jokes that could be made with that) and some dude named Max Myers.  Two of the big-name potential candidates on the Democratic side are former Congresman and known Honey Badger Joe Sestak and Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.   Corbett only has a 41-37 lead over Mr. Hanger(you could say that Corbett is hanging over a cliff if he's polling at 41.  Rimshot.).  Schwartz has a few polls.  A January PPP poll that has Corbett with a 41-34 lead and there is a poll by somebody called Beneneson Strategy Group that has Schwartz getting 50-42 over Corbett.  Corbett only has a 42-36 lead over Sestak.   I prefer Schwartz for PA-Gov and Sestak or somebody else for the 2016 PA-Sen race.   Cook has this as Lean R.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D.   Possible Democratic pickup.  

Rhode Island(Current Gov: Lincoln Chafee-I)

Chafee is a Democrat all but in name.  On the official Democratic side, a former state Auditor named Ernie Almonte has declared and there are other Democrats that could run.  The Republicans have three declared candidates: Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, 2012 RI-01 candidate Brendan Doherty and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung.  It could possibly be a four-way race and Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo,a Democrat tends to lead in a lot of polls.  Chafee polled as a Democrat doesn't fare too well in head-to-heads with Republicans.   So things don't look good for Chafee, but look good overall for Democrats.  Cook has this as a Tossup.

Prediction: Tossup/Tilt D(could become a Lean or Likely D)

South Carolina(Current Gov: Nikki Haley-R)

Haley could find herself on the wrong end of a Republican primary challenge.   A few potential Democratic candidates are Mel Ott, Minority Leader of the SC House and South Carolina State Senator Vincent Shaheen, who was beating Haley 46-44 in a December 2012 PPP poll.   Maybe Shaheen could give this another shot.   Cook has this as Safe R.

Prediction: Likely Republican(could be Lean if things go right).

South Dakota(Current Gov: Dennis Daugaard-R)

Not much action here, and Democrats would likely find this race a big challenge.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Tennessee(Current Gov: Bill Haslam-R)

Haslam would likely have a strong showing.   A potential Democratic candidate is Craig Fitzhugh, minority leader in the TN House.   The TN Democratic Paryt itself is not very strong.   Cook ranks this as Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican

Texas(Current Gov: Rick Perry-R)

Governor Goodhair seems likely to run for re-election.  There will be a Republican Primary but Goodhair could pull off winning it.  A January PPP poll had him only leading Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott by 3 in a GOP Primary.   No really big names on the Democratic side, and it would be nice to see a good Democratic challenge in a state that will become a swing state soon.   Former Houston Mayor Bill White, a Democrat polls well, he beats Perry by 3 in a PPP poll(47-44) and only trails Abbott by 7(Abbott 46- White 39).   Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Likely Republican(would be nice to put up a good fight against Goodhair)

Vermont(Current Gov: Peter Shumlin-D)

Not much action here so far and this is a very blue state.   Cook has this as a Safe D.

Prediction: Safe Democratic

Wisconsin(Current Gov: Scott Walker-R)

Walker survived a recall election but Wisconsin Democrats should be motivated in 2014.   Lots of potential Democrats including former Senator Russ Feingold, Congressman Ron Kind, and Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca.   PPP's WI-Gov poll that should come out next week should shed more light on this race.   Cook has this as Likely Republican.

Prediction: Lean Republican (I think Walker is vulnerable)

Wyoming(Current Gov: Matt Mead).

This is a very red state and likely all the action would be on the Republican side.  Another Republican, Cindy Hill who is the State Superintendant of Public Instruction has declared herself a candidate.   Cook has this as a Safe R.

Prediction: Safe Republican.

Conclusions:  This is still very early but Florida, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all present opportunities for Democratic gain and Michigan could become one too while Arkansas could a Republican pickup.  Overall, this cycle right now would seem to favor Democrats in spite of lower expected turnout than 2012.   One factor in Democrats favor is that the Tea Party has become toxic, so it's unlikely that 2014 will be another 2010 as far as the gubernatorial races go.   I cannot yet project any net change but I have a strong feeling that Democrats will make a net gain in governorships.

Please feel free to comment and correct me

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