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As promised in my last diary (jumping on the Senate '10 bandwagon), I'll address the 38 gubernatorial races occurring between now and 2010. Next year, New Jersey and Virginia do their thing, while 2010 features the other 36 states' elections for Governor.

Midterm gubernatorial elections, 36 strong and perennially influenced by the revolving door effects of term limits, are always more volatile and harder to handicap early on than congressional contests. Where most Senate and House races feature entrenched incumbents or overwhelming partisan advantages depending on the state, governor's mansions flip more easily between the parties and do so rather fluidly depending on the peculiar state-level issues at play. Hence states like Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Kansas have Democratic governors while Vermont, Connecticut, and Rhode Island remain GOP-run.

Read my race-by-race early look below the fold...


New Jersey -- Jon Corzine (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Leans Democratic

Corzine's approval ratings are pretty weak. And what else is new for a sitting Governor in New Jersey? As always, Republicans hope to make inroads here, but as always, the Democrats start with an obvious edge. GOPers talk up U.S. Attorney Chris Christie as a challenger, and my hit is he will do pretty darned well for a Republican in the Garden State. But unless Obama royally screws up his first year (something I doubt), I'm still having trouble picturing a GOP Governor in this state, especially considering Corzine's automatic fundraising edge. Of course, the election is 11 months away, and in New Jersey, that's plenty of time for someone on either side to get in trouble.

Virginia -- Tim Kaine (D) term-limited
Outlook: Tossup

Sometimes you wish Virginia didn't limit its governors to single terms -- Warner would have won a landslide in 2005, and Kaine would win pretty easily now. But it's that time again in the Old Dominion, and the race is shaping up to be another barn-burner. The Republican nominee is Atty. Gen. Bob McDonnell; the Democratic primary is between State Del. Brian Moran, State Sen. Creigh Deeds, and (he needs no job title) Terry McAuliffe. Early polling has the polling tied between McDonnell and any of the three Democrats. With Kaine's approvals fairly solid and Virginia Democrats on the upswing, we have reason to hope at this early juncture, but should the tide turn at all for the GOP here, it could be very tough.


Alabama (open) -- Bob Riley (R) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Republican

I have to put this as "leans Republican" since the state is so conservative, but the funny thing is that, for now, there is no obvious GOP frontrunner, other than announced candidate Tim James, a real estate developer. Among the top-tier Democratic possibilities? Rep. Artur Davis and Lt. Gov. Jim Folsom, both of whom would be competitive if they ran. Gubernatorial elections in Alabama can be less predictable than you might think; Democrat Don Siegelman won in 1998 and fell just short in 2002. This may be one to watch.

Alaska -- Sarah Palin (R) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Safe Republican

Golly gosh.

Arizona -- Jan Brewer (R) presumably running for full term
Outlook: Tossup for now

It would be a lot easier if Gov. Napolitano (D) had stayed through the 2010 election, but due to her Cabinet appointment Brewer will get a head start. Of course, with Atty. Gen. Terry Goddard the likely Democratic nominee, Brewer will need to rack up some hefty approval ratings to avoid a close race.

Arkansas -- Mike Beebe (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Safe Democratic

Beebe's approvals are high and the Democrats remain pretty dominant on the state and local level here.

California (open) -- Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Democratic pickup

Where to begin? The only obvious Republican candidate is State Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, while the Democratic primary is likely to become a free-for-all. Among the possible candidates: Secy. of State Debra Bowen, Lt. Gov. John Garamendi, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown (a former Governor himself), Rep. Hilda Solis, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and a partridge in an avocado tree. With the state bluer than ever and Schwarzenegger's approvals taking a hit from the budget crisis, most people are laying bets as to which Democrat triumphs in the primary with an unimpressive plurality.

Colorado -- Bill Ritter (D) presumably running for 2nd term
Outlook: Leans Democratic

I don't know how Ritter's approvals are, but Charlie Cook rates him a slight favorite, and the Colorado GOP is at its lowest ebb was the last time?

Connecticut -- Jodi Rell (R) presumably running for 2nd full term
Outlook: Safe Republican

As long as Rell runs, she is a solid bet, and most of the talented Democrats in the state are waiting to take on Joe Lieberman in 2012.

Florida -- Charlie Crist (R) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Safe Republican

I know I'm diverging a bit from conventional wisdom which says Florida races are always close, but Crist's approvals are sky-high, even among Independents and Democrats, and any Democrat worth his/her salt is looking at Mel Martinez's Senate seat and a possibly uphill climb against Jeb Bush for that race. Crist is safe.

Georgia (open) -- Sonny Perdue (R) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Republican

The GOP has been on a big upswing in this state since 2002, so any Republican gets the early edge. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine are both likely candidates, and other possibilities include Secy. of State Karen Handel and Reps. Jack Kingston and Lynn Westmoreland (no...really?). Former Adjutant General David Poythress is the only announced Democratic candidate, but Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond may run too. There are even rumors of a comeback bid by former Gov. Roy Barnes (D), who would only be eligible to serve one term.

Hawaii (open) -- Linda Lingle (R) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Democratic pickup

Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona is supposedly popular and will try to hold this one for Team Red, but this is probably the most Democratic state in the Union now. Any competent Dem challenger should win, whether it's Rep. Mazie Hirono (who ran in 2002), former Rep. Ed Case, State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, or Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.

Idaho -- Butch Otter (R) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Safe Republican

ID-01 will be the most exciting race in the state.

Illinois -- Rod Blagojevich (D) in deep doo-doo for 3rd term
Outlook: Leans Democratic

Um, yeah.

Anyway, Blago won't win the primary. No way. He can run I guess...a jailhouse campaign for reelection? But more likely he'll be impeached and the frontrunner candidate will be (now-) Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. If Quinn chooses not to run for a full term, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan and State Comptroller Dan Hynes are likely candidates. This one will be juicy, even if the Democrats are still pretty favored.

Iowa -- Chet Culver (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Likely Democratic

I'm told Culver's approvals are decent, and that should be enough in this lean-Democratic, drama-averse Midwestern state.

Kansas (open) -- Kathleen Sebelius (D) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Republican pickup

But the Democrats still have a good fighting chance at this one, with Lt. Gov. Mark Parkinson the likely nominee. The Republicans may go for Sen. Sam Brownback, which would set up a classic Kansas dynamic in the general election: hard-right religious conservative on the GOP side, pragmatic centrist on the Democratic side. Unlike many hard-liners in the Kansas GOP, however, Brownback is very popular and would likely beat Parkinson handily.

Maine (open) -- John Baldacci (D) term-limited
Outlook: Likely Democratic

One of the few cases in which term limits make the incumbent party breathe a sigh of relief. Baldacci is not popular, but Maine is a progressive state and I can't see any Republican not named Snowe or Collins winning statewide in today's climate. Outgoing Rep. Tom Allen, who was creamed against Collins in the 2008 Senate race, may run, and this time he would stand a very decent shot.

Maryland -- Martin O'Malley (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Likely Democratic

O'Malley's approval ratings earlier this year were horrendous, suggesting possible defeat in 2010, but for whatever reason (intellectual laziness?) Charlie Cook calls him safe. I'm splitting the difference and saying that the Republicans don't have anyone competent to mount a real challenge, and O'Malley has nearly two years to correct things.

Massachusetts -- Deval Patrick (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Likely / Safe Democratic

At last glance Patrick's approvals were not good, but I honestly can't see Massachusetts electing another GOP governor with Mitt Romney still so visible and former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (whom Patrick crushed in 2006) the most likely candidate.

Michigan (open) -- Jennifer Granholm (D) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Democratic

Granholm's approvals took a real hit from Michigan's fabled economic woes and domestic crises catalyzed by the disastrous Engler administration (Engler was governor from 1990 until 2002). But are Michiganders likely to entrust their state to the GOP given their demonstrated deep resentment of President Bush and Republicans in Congress? Lt. Gov. John Cherry is the Dem frontrunner, though many other possibilities exist including State House Speaker Andy Dillon and Flint Mayor Don Williamson (okay, Williamson seems unlikely to be a credible candidate). Republican candidates may include Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Atty. Gen. Mike Cox, and Secy. of State Terri Lynn Land.

Minnesota -- Tim Pawlenty (R) presumably running for 3rd term
Outlook: Tossup

Even if Pawlenty seeks a third term, he is even odds against a strong DFL candidate. For now, the announced candidates are former Sen. Mark Dayton, State Sen. Tom Bakk, and Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner. Pawlenty won a squeaker reelection in 2006, and clearly has presidential ambitions, so this could be a very important race as Democrats seek a monopoly on Minnesota government.

Nebraska -- Dave Heineman (R) running for 2nd full term
Outlook: Safe Republican

Nothing to see here.

Nevada -- Jim Gibbons (R) presumably running for 2nd term
Outlook: Tossup

Next to Blagojevich, Gibbons is the most unlikely governor to win reelection in 2010. He may lose the GOP primary to Rep. Dean Heller, former Rep. Jon Porter, or someone else. If he makes it to the general, Democrats are bullish they can beat him with any number of qualified candidates from the state legislature. Between this, Harry Reid's tossup Senate seat, and the beginning of term limits in the state legislature, Nevada looks to be an exciting place in 2010 politics.

New Hampshire -- John Lynch (D) presumably running for 4th term
Outlook: Safe Democratic

As long as Lynch runs (and it doesn't look like he'll retire or take on Sen. Judd Gregg), he wins a landslide.

New Mexico -- Diane Denish (D) presumably running for full term
Outlook: Likely Democratic

Just as Jan Brewer will take over in Arizona due to Obama's Cabinet shuffling, Denish will get a head start once Bill Richardson is confirmed for Secy. of Commerce. Her incumbency makes her the odds-on favorite against a possible primary challenge from Albuquerque Mayor Marty Chavez, and with this state trending Democratic and the GOP bench weaker than ever in recent memory, I have to see this mansion tilting blue. Of course, former Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce will be looking for something to do...

New York -- David Paterson (D) presumably running for full term
Outlook: Likely Democratic

Paterson looks to be far more popular -- maybe "less controversial" is the appropriate term -- than Spitzer was in his early (pre-scandal) days, and most of the GOP's big names (Rep. Pete King among them) are eying Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat or statewide office. Polls show Paterson beating possible GOP competitors like Rep. Tom Reynolds or (gag) Rudy Giuliani.

Ohio -- Ted Strickland (D) running for 2nd term
Outlook: Likely Democratic

Kossack Ohiobama is convinced that Strickland is dead meat to former Rep. Rob Portman, while others assure me Strickland is safe. Whom to believe? Well, as of a few months ago, Strickland's approvals were still quite solid. It's possible they've dipped on disastrous economic news, but how can we know without some actual data? For now, I have to think the GOP is more concerned with George Voinovich's Senate seat.

Oklahoma (open) -- Brad Henry (D) term-limited
Outlook: Tossup

I know Oklahoma should be in the bag for the GOP, but Henry has been really popular and the Democrats have some heavyweights in Atty. Gen. Drew Edmondson (the current frontrunner) and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins (who may or may not run). Actually, Democrats control most of the statewide offices here. But whichever Republican runs (Oklahoma City Mayor Mickey Cornett? Rep. Mary Fallin?) should have 50% odds at worst.

Oregon -- Ted Kulongoski (D) term-limited
Outlook: Likely Democratic

Kulongoski's approvals have been tepid, as was his reelection in 2006, but Oregon just doesn't elect GOP Governors and, frankly, which Republican could actually mount a credible run for statewide office? Ousted Sen. Gordon Smith?

Kulongoski is term-limited and the Democratic bench is deep. I think the Democrats are strongly favored to retain this as an open seat.

Pennsylvania (open) -- Ed Rendell (D) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Democratic

For redistricting purposes alone, this will be considered the second biggest enchilada among the open governor's mansions, surpassed only by California. Republicans considering include Atty. Gen. Tom Corbett and (don't laugh) former Sen. Rick Santorum. The Democratic bench is heavy on machine names not from Philadelphia, so the field should be crowded on primary day and there may be an opening for a Philly candidate like Rep. Allyson Schwartz. I give the Dems a slight early edge due to their demonstrated superior field organization in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island (open) -- Don Carcieri (R) term-limited
Outlook: Leans Democratic pickup

The absurdity of a Republican Governor in Rhode Island will soon come to a close as I can't think of anyone at the moment (other than Carcieri) who could win statewide office for the GOP. Still, New Englanders are notorious ticket-splitters (witness Judd Gregg, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Jodi Rell, Jim Douglas, and the several recent Republicans who ruled Massachusetts).

South Carolina (open) -- Mark Sanford (R) term-limited
Outlook: Likely Republican

Sanford has remained popular and the Democrats only have one statewide official left, whom they are hardly eager to sacrifice in an unlikely gubernatorial race. Watch for Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer and/or Atty. Gen. Henry McMaster here.

South Dakota (open) -- Mike Rounds (R) term-limited
Outlook: Likely Republican

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D) has no incentive to jump into this, though she would have a good chance if she did. For now the only announced candidates are both Republicans: Lt. Gov. Dennis Daugaard and Brookings Mayor Scott Munsterman.

Tennessee (open) -- Phil Bredesen (D) term-limited
Outlook: Tossup / Leans Republican pickup

This, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming will obviously be the toughest defense in 2010 governor's races, even though the sitting Democratic governors are, in all four cases, very popular. Here, the announced candidates so far are Rep. Lincoln Davis (whose House seat will be incredibly tough to hold now) and former State House Majority Leader Kim McMillan. The Republicans have no credible candidate yet, but that will definitely change. Holding this governor's mansion will be vital for redistricting, since the GOP now controls the state legislature.

Texas -- Rick Perry (R) running for 3rd full term
Outlook: Likely Republican

Perry's real worry is the Republican primary, where he looks set to fall if Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison takes the plunge as expected (of course, she was "expected" to run in 2002 and 2006 as well). In the general, Hutchison would be nigh impossible to beat, even with a candidate as strong as Houston Mayor Bill White.

Vermont -- Jim Douglas (R) presumably running for 5th term
Outlook: Likely Republican

How does he do it?

Wisconsin -- Jim Doyle (D) presumably running for 3rd term
Outlook: Leans Democratic

He might run again, he might not. Doyle faced a tough race in 2006 and may not want another one in 2010, when Rep. Paul Ryan, a so-called "rising star" since the late '90s, would probably wage a well-funded and aggressive race. Republicans desperately want this mansion back to prevent a Democratic gerrymander in the next round of redistricting, and are willing to pump big bucks in despite Wisconsin's Democratic trends.

Wyoming (open) -- Dave Freudenthal (D) term-limited
Outlook: Likely Republican pickup

The Democratic bench in Wyoming is woefully shallow. I don't know who could possibly step in and win this, even though Freudenthal retains sky-high approval ratings. May I just add how sucky it is that Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have term limits while Vermont, Minnesota, and Connecticut do not? For entertainment value, we can enjoy the likely crowded GOP primary field, but that's where the fun ends.

Early read: With nearly two years to go, I'd say we're poised to hold steady or lose a couple governor's mansions depending on the overall political winds. Then again, gubernatorial races don't always follow national trends (as witnessed by Democratic gains in 2002), so it would be silly to read too much into races that are essentially decided on local matters. In a neutral political climate, the Republicans should pick up Kansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Wyoming, with Oklahoma and Tennessee the least sure. Democrats should pick up California, Hawaii, and Rhode Island with little trouble, Hawaii being the least sure given Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona's supposed popularity. As for incumbent races, the Democrats may be favored in Nevada should Gibbons survive the primary, and there is little doubt they will target Brewer in Arizona and Pawlenty in Minnesota. Since no one expects Blagojevich to be an incumbent by 2010, I don't see a great shot for the GOP in Illinois. Republicans will, however, target high-stakes open seats in Michigan and Pennsylvania, unfavorable trends aside.

Because of term limits, the Governors picture is not as pretty as the Senate for 2010. But a lot will depend on Obama's effectiveness during his first two years. We could see another 1934, where the Democrats defy history to tighten their grip on political power, or another 1994, where Republicans come storming back (okay, really, something of a 1994 magnitude I highly doubt). This could be a moderately incumbent party-friendly year like 1962 or 2002, or a moderately opposition-friendly year like 1954 or 1978. Or this could be a thoroughly ho-hum snoozefest of a midterm election like 1970, 1990, or 1998. Until Obama and the Democrats start on their agenda late next January, we just don't know.

Originally posted to Nathaniel Ament-Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:32 AM PST.


Gov Elections of 2009

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| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips, alms, other shows of gratitude (23+ / 0-)

    How is your Saturday?

    The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

    by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:33:20 AM PST

  •  Nice diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davybaby, sulthernao

    I do laugh at Santorum, though, always.

  •  To quibble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjallen, earicicle

    Virginia does not "limit its governors to single terms;" it limits its governors to single consecutive terms. Kaine can't run in 2009, but he can run for another term in 2013.

  •  MA 2010 (0+ / 0-)
    I think AG Martha Coakley would win a primary vs. Deval Patrick. I know I was really put off by Patrick's first big move...all-in support of casino gambling. Also, Martha's very well respected...I'd work for her.

    Also, there's NO Rethuglican bench here.

    This space for rent!

    by Danno11 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:41:00 AM PST

  •  Illinois, of course is the big question mark (0+ / 0-)

    I think Madigan is probably going to run for Senate in 2010 if Blago resigns or is impeached and Quinn names the replacement, or she could run in a special (which I don't think is even going to get off the ground).

    Either way, I think Lisa Madigan will win the race she runs in.

  •  Dems in Alabama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoIn, cjallen

    tend to perform decently during midterms.  Bama's Chief Justice is a Democrat (elected in 2006).  The Lt. Gov. is a Democrat.  And there are various other statewide offices where Democrats have been elected.  Winning the governorship in 2010 isn't the longshot.

    At this point, the strongest opponent for the Dems will likely be Bradley Byrne who is the Chancellor of 2ndary Education.  He's actually competent and could likely attract typical Democratic voters.

  •  a bit more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    NJ: Corzine has minimal accomplishments in his first terms.  That's a problem.

    PA: GOP candidates will be Corbett and former EDPA US Attorney Pat Meehan for sure; possibly Pat Toomey.  On the Dem side, no Phila machine candidates -- it's Dan Onorato (Allegheny), Don Cunningham (Lehigh), possibly Tom Wolf (former Revenue Secy) and Tom Knox.

  •  Rick Santorum? Hahahaha (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm rooting for Newsom for California gov,

    Minnesota should be easy if the Independence Party keeps quiet (which I doubt).

  •  Wow, thanks for the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    hard work re: this diary.  

    Jodi Rell (CT) will be a shoe in if her health remains good -- which I hope it does.  She is a moderate, smart and accepted the ruling of the State Supreme Court on gay marriage even though she personally is opposed.  

    There hasn't been a Democratic governor in this blue state since William O'Neill whose first term was due to Ella Grasso's resignation because of cancer.  He only served one more term (1986-1990).  The Democrats have had lousy candidates or people who don't have the cajones to run against Rell.

  •  ... (0+ / 0-)

    Lt. Gov. John Cherry is the Dem frontrunner, though many other possibilities exist including State House Speaker Andy Dillon and Flint Mayor Don Williamson.







    That was funny, Nathaniel! Tell another one!

    Williamson's under a recall cloud right now because he's, well, he's batshit loony.

    •  Wow, that's good to know... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:07:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You know what's funnier... (0+ / 0-)

      ...ex-Michigan State Football coach George Perles is running for Governor (he is one of the two guys in charge of the Motor City Bowl and is a Michigan State Trustee).  It is also kind of sad because the last time I saw Perles he did not appear to be in good physical shape so I hope he takes care of himself.  

      "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

      by Mister Gloom on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 12:29:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pawlenty must go, and... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjallen, earicicle

    I will do everything in my power to see that he is not re-elected.

    "There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums." Larry Flynt

    by sidious666 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:54:21 AM PST

  • does he do it? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumblebums, cjallen

    In a three-party state (a viable Progressive Party is our third), with no Instant Runoff Voting, the Dems and Progs need to get in a damn smoke-filled room and pick ONE STRONG CANDIDATE to run against Dick Cheney lite Jim Douglas.

    Douglas also keeps winning with his mild-mannered demeanor. He's seeded every department of State Government with PR flacks to carry his water and sell his message. So he can do dark things with a smile. He shows up a every ribbon-cutting and ceremonial occasion, but doesn't lift a finger to solve real problems.


    We are all droogie6655321 now.

    by earicicle on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:58:30 AM PST

  •  Jim Douglas keeps doing it (0+ / 0-)

    because liberals in Vermont can't get their freaking act together. The Progressive party and the Democratic party need to hash it out, big time.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 10:58:44 AM PST

  •  Pat Quinn should be pretty popular in IL (0+ / 0-)

    if you look historically, Lt. Govs who took over for disgraced governors are pretty popular(Jodi Rell taking over for John Rowland, David Paterson taking over for Spitzer). Even in NJ, Richard Codey, the state senate president, who took over for McGreevey, had strong approvals. Quinn is apparently well liked and not connected with Blago. He could be pretty formidable in a re-election campaign, forcing Madigan or Hynes to run for Senate(either in the special election or in 2010).

    •  it's the "huge improvement" effect (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's very true. The low standards set by a disgraced governor are easily exceeded by any ham sandwich who sits as Lt. Governor in most states. And Pat Quinn was already pretty popular.

      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:11:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chris Christie is a partisan hack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    During Menendez's first election to the Senate in 2006, Christie was making up phony corruption charges to investigate him for, just to make him look bad. Chris Christie doesn't deserve his good reputation as a non-partisan corruption fighter.

    "I'm going to be on you like a numerator on a denominator." -Principal Skinner

    by dufffbeer on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:08:46 AM PST

  •  Oregon information is wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Kulongoski is term limited, so he can't run for a third term.  The seat is definitely open.  

    Republicans have no candidate with instant credibility other than Gordon Smith.

    Dems reportedly considering it:

    Outgoing Sec. of State Bill Bradbury (who was termed out this year).

    Superintendent of Public Education Susan Castillo.  Only hispanic elected state-wide.  Former tv broadcaster from Eugene.

    State Senator Alan Bates, from southern Oregon.  A medical doctor who's continued to practice.

    Former Gov. John Kitzhaber (who was termed out in 2002, but could run for a third term since it's not consecutive).

    Kitzhaber would run away with it if her runs. But I doubt he really wants to get back in the ring.  He always talks about it, but never jumps in.

    Smith would be a formidable candidate, despite losing his Senate seat this year.

    •  oh, sorry (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I thought Oregon no longer had term limits; maybe that was the state legislature I was thinking of.


      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:33:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  People who I've heard have been interested on (0+ / 0-)

        the Dem side include Ron Wyden's chief of staff, Josh Kardon, former Clackamas County Commissioner Michael Jackson, Congressman Peter DeFazio, State Senator Vicki Walker, State Senator Mark Hass, State Senator Rick Metsger, SOS-elect Kate Brown, AG-elect John Kroger, Treasurer-elect Ben Westlund, and already announced that he intends to run, outgoing SOS Bill Bradbury.  DeFazio would be our strongest.  When he announced he would not challenge Gordon Smith, he declared he was mulling over a run for Governor, and has indicated since then his continued interest.

        On the Republican side, Gordon Smith and Congressman Greg Walden are probably the strongest potential candidates, with likely losers State Senator Bruce Starr, State Senator Jason Atkinson, and Republican nominees for State Treasurer and SOS, Allen Alley and Rick Dancer, also previously mentioned as interested.

        -5.38, -5.90 Deus mihi iustitiam dabit.

        by cjallen on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 03:01:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Umm, Defazio? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's surely the most likely candidate, and the one with the most demonstrated statewide appeal (he wins downstate!). Except for Kitzhaber. But "Dr. No" doesn't seem to look back on his tenure in the seat with much relish. The prospect of a Dem legislature to work with might entice him, but I think he's done with establishment politics for the time being.

      Watch Defazio. If he runs, he runs away with it, even against Smith. The only question is what happens to his District when he leaves. We'll have to find some strong candidates to hold that seat.

  •  We're screwed in Tennessee (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PerfectStormer, cjallen, Tricky

    Phil Bredesen is term-limited, as you mentioned, and maybe 5 or 6 people will shed a tear over seeing him leave.  While we made big Democratic gains in the rest of the country this year, we lost the State House in TN for the first time since the Reconstruction.  And instead of regrouping, the state Democrats are all sitting around and pointing fingers.  It does not bode well for 2010.

    Neither of them have officially announced yet, but both former Senator Bill Frist and Congressman Zach Wamp are in the running on the Republican side.  Wamp really wants it, but has said he won't run against Frist.  Frist would probably win fairly easily.  On the Democratic side, the big question is whether or not Harold Ford jumps in.  

    As an intern on his Senate campaign, I can tell you right now that I do not have the stomach for another Ford run.  If that happens, I'll stick around here in Missouri (where I'm at school) and help out whoever's running against Kit Bond for Senate.

    •  great (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoldnI, cjallen

      I look forward (not) to the Republicans gerrymandering Tennessee in 2011-12 and messing with the 4th, 6th, and maybe 8th Districts.

      Of the four red-state open Dem mansions, the only one I could see the Democrats holding is Oklahoma, and even that one's quite tough.

      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 11:59:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even if they mess with 6 or 8 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Bart Gordon and John Tanner can probably weather the storm, they're still very popular and pretty well entrenched.  It'd probably be difficult for them to tinker with the 8th too much, since that would involve opening up Marsha Marsha Marsha! Blackburn's district.  Lincoln Davis in the 4th probably has the most to worry about in that scenario.

  •  Governors races in 2010 are important because of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cjallen, Chrispy67


    Democrats are favored to win the Governorships in
    NJ-(Corzine)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    AR(Beebe)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    CO(Ritter)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    IL(Quinn or OPEN)- If Quinn is Governor-He'd be favored to win a full term. If OPEN-Seat- (Madigan or Hynes duke it out)
    IA(Culver)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    ME(OPEN)- Governor Elect Tom Allen.
    MD(O'Malley)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    MA(Patrick)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    MI(OPEN)-Lt Governor John Cherry will be the next Governor.
    NH(Lynch)is strongly favored to win re-election.
    NM(Denish)is strongly favored to win a full term.
    NY(Paterson)is strongly favored to win a full term.
    OH(Strickland)is strongly favored to win a full term.
    OK(OPEN)-Drew Edmondson
    OR(OPEN)- Bill Bradbury
    PA(OPEN)- Jack Wagner
    TN(OPEN)- Harold Ford Jr.
    WI(Doyle)is strongly favored to win re-election.

    Democrats are favored to pick up the Governorships in
    AL(OPEN)- Jim Folsom Jr.
    AZ(OPEN)- Terry Goddard
    CA(OPEN)- LT Governor John Garemendi
    GA(OPEN)- Thurbert Baker or Michael Thurmond.
    MN(Pawlenty)- R.T. Ryback or Chris Coleman.
    NV(Gibbons)- Ross Miller.
    RI(OPEN)- Patrick Lynch

  •  Blago wouldn't be able to run from jail (0+ / 0-)

    Convicted felons aren't allowed to run for office in Illinois.

    "No way, no how, no McCain." Hillary Clinton, 8-27-08

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 12:40:53 PM PST

  •  The Gov. in Tennessee is already a Republican (0+ / 0-)

    in sheeps clothing, with a (D) behind his name. He gave Nissan a big tax breaks to move their headquarters here. Tennessee will join the other states that want another Civil War, but this time, it will be southern foreign companies against northern manufacturing. People down here are so stupid that it may take the United States of America into the 2nd depression.

    President Barack H. Obama ended the Reagan Revolution and started the 21 Century!

    by Tricky on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 12:47:58 PM PST

  •  Is Sen. Feinstein running for gov in CA? (0+ / 0-)

    Or is that just rumors?

    President-elect Obama. I like the sound of it!

    by AUBoy2007 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 01:16:50 PM PST

    •  silly rumor, IMHO (0+ / 0-)

      She has far too much seniority and influence in the Senate to give it up for a gubernatorial run. That precise rumor has come up every four years since she first ran (and narrowly lost to Pete Wilson) in 1990. In 1998, it might have been a shrewd move on her part, but by now she is seen as the elder stateswoman, the grand dame, of California politics. She'll be in that Senate seat until she retires (which will be 2012 at the earliest).

      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 01:37:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and BTW (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I know Kay Bailey Hutchison is in a very similar situation in Texas, but there are three key differences:

      1. Feinstein is 10 years older than Hutchison.
      1. Feinstein is in the majority party and very likely that will still be the case four years from now when her seat is up.
      1. Being Governor of California is different than being Governor of Texas. Governor of Texas is a mostly ceremonial job, as the Lt. Governor does much of the backroom work. Being Governor of California is probably second only to President of the United States in sheer stress level.

      The Republican Party is neither pro-republic nor pro-party. Discuss!

      by Nathaniel Ament Stone on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 01:41:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  a couple of things (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One, Beebe is not just popular, he's universally popular with approval ratings in the mid 80s.

    Two, Sam Brownback is not wildly popular in Kansas, in fact I've never seen a poll with his approval rating out of the 40s and if he does run he will have to fight a big primary between whomever Kansas' third political party, (moderate Republicans), put up, while Parkinson has the the whole Democratic primary to himself. Former representative Dan Glickman would be a smart choice to put on as a LG.

    Three, I'm not sure I would label Tennessee as lean Republican yet. Lincoln Davis is probably going to run and he's well position to win.

    Four, O'Malley is in big trouble if his approval ratings don't go up because I've heard from Maryland people that Ehrlich is already gearing up for a rematch.

    Five, why did we nominate Deval Patrick over two competent but slightly more moderate Democrats? Remind me again. This race will be competitive because his approval ratings have been so spectacularly low so far into his term.

    Six, Paul Ryan is not running for governor. The Senate seat will open in 2012 when Kohl retires and he and Kind will duke it out then.

    Seize Every day, giving no thought for tommorrow-Horace

    by ArkDem14 on Sat Dec 13, 2008 at 01:57:04 PM PST

    •  Regarding Deval Patrick of MA. (0+ / 0-)

      MA is a blue state. 2006 was a pro Democratic year. Patrick was running as an Obama type Democrat.

      his two Democratic opponents were Tom Reilly- the State AG who was a conservative Democrat and Chris Gabrielli- a wealthy businessman was pretty progressive.

      I would not worry too much about Patrick since the MAGOP is in shambles.

      I would not worry too much about Ehrich- MD is a Democratic State.

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