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There has been lots of talk(logically) about the 08 races for president and 08 Senate. However, I havent see as much about governorships. Keep in mind 3 gubernatorial races take place less than a year from now, and 11 in 2008. They present both difficulties and possibilities for Democrats. Of course, you've heard multiple times that governors are the farm team for presidential candidates, which is true. They are also the bench for Senate candidates, to some degree as well. In addition, strong governors not only run their state well, but can strengthen their state party and change the political landscape. For example, KS gov. Kathleen Sebelius has taken advantage of the split in the KS GOP to the benefit of Democrats. Below the flip are the gubernatorial races we face in the next two years.

2007(3 races):
Kentucky: Incumbent Ernie Fletcher(R) is running despite the fact he is uncorrupt and incredibly unpopular, even with his own party. Lots of talk about his 03 opponent, Rep. Ben Chandler(D) running again, but given that he is now in the majority party in DC, he might re-think that. Lots of Democratic candidates have been mentioned, including Jonathan Miller(State Treasurer), Crit LuAllen(State Auditor), and former Senate candidate(and netroots candidate I believe) Dan Mongiardo. Again, if Fletcher wins the primary, we gets this seat back, if he loses, it's probably a toss-up.

Louisiana: Blanco will lose her job somehow, either ousted in a party primary or beaten by a Republican. That Republican is likely Rep. Bobby Jindal, who garnered 48% against her in 2003. There have been rumors that he would run since Katrina. The fact he is now in the minority party only pushes him towards running for Gov, I believe. GOP pick-ups this seat if Blanco wins the primary, it's a toss-up if she doesnt.

Mississippi: Haley Barbour (R) will likely run for re-election. His ties to DC(when he was RNC chair) helped his state during Katrina and his popularity soared. Former Attorney General Mike Moore might run, but Barbour will probably win regardless.

2008(11 races):
Delaware: Incumbent Dem Ruth Ann Minner is out. Her Lt. Gov John Carney is running. I would put this as a hold for now.

Indiana: 2006 was a great year for Dems in IN. Hoosier state residents have buyer's remorse about Bush, and his former Budget Director(and governor) Mitch Daniels. A strong challenge could win us back this seat(I believe before 04, Democrats controlled the state house for 16 straight years).  Who are some potential candidates here?

Missouri: 2006 was such an important year for the Show Me state. After going for Clinton twice, it has taken a sharp right turn the last six years, electing Bush twice, in addition to Talent and a GOP governor. We got the state one step back with McCaskill's victory. The next step is to beat unpopular Gov. Matt Blunt(so unpopular he was booed during his appearance at the St. Louis Cardinals victory parade). Attorney General Jay Nixon is already running. Is he a strong candidate? Anyone who could be better? One of the Carnahans possibly(Russ or Robin?)

Montana: In case you dont know, the governor of MT is a Democrat. ;). He will cruise to re-election.

New Hampshire: Can we find a way to bottle the essence of John Lynch, and give it to every Dem candidate in the country? Lynch crushed his GOP opponent by the largest margin ever for a NH gov race, two years after beating first-termer Craig Benson(the first time that has happened in NH in 78 years). In the process, we won back the NH state legislature, and both House seats. If he runs for re-election, he cruises. If he runs for Senate against Sununu, I wonder if Jeanne Shaheen might run for Governor again.

North Carolina: Governor Mike Easley is term limited. He might be running for Senate. The Dems have good bench in NC. Lt. Gov Beverly Perdue, and Attorney General Roy Cooper are mentioned as potential candidates. On the GOP side, I had heard rumors of Rep. Sue Myrick running. Hopefully, there isnt a nasty Dem primary. If not, I think we hold here.

North Dakota: Incumbent John Hoeven(R) turned down a chance to run against Sen Kent Conrad this year. He would be up for a third term in 2008. If he runs, he wins. If not, given the success of ND Dems and Dems in the West in general, I would put the race at Lean R.

Utah: Solid R. Not much more to say.

Vermont: VT, in addition, to NH, have their election for govenor every two years. If Jim Douglas(R) runs, he wins. If not, it would be a toss-up.

Washington: Christine Gregoire's approvals have rebounded, and she is doing a good job from what I've heard, but I think there is still some bad feelings over the 04 election. Dino Rossi will probably run again. Right now, I would give him a slight edge.  

West Virginia: Incumbent Dem  Joe Machin is incredibly popular, he will cruise to re-election, setting him up nicely to run for Robert Byrd's seat in 2012.

Ok, overall I see this:
2007: a wash. GOP holds MS, we lose LA, and we gain KY.
2008: Again, no change overall I think. We gain back MO, and IN. But we lose Wa, and perhaps another state.

Thoughts?? I dont live in any of these states, so I could be absolutely wrong on some of these.  

Originally posted to jj32 on Sun Nov 12, 2006 at 09:02 AM PST.

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