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For most folks on the left, consuming political opinion polling data has been a much less enjoyable exercise in 2009 than it has been for the past few cycles.

Call it the soft bigotry of high expectations--when you win everything not nailed down for four consecutive years, you begin to experience a deep sense of dread with every race where a double-digit lead is not present. Being down in a race brings nothing short of absolute panic.

The fact of the matter is that voter pessimism is translating to less than enviable numbers for many Democratic incumbents as we head into the 2010 election cycle. There is an inherent logic to that, of course. If voters are angry with "the guy in the office", you are more likely to feel the wrath if you actually ARE the guy in the office.

Nowhere is this voter antipathy being felt more acutely than among the nation's governors. 2009 polling data for our Democratic governors has been less than robust, as you can see from the following examples (source for polling data is here):

General Election Trial Heats: Democratic Governors

Colorado: Ritter (D) 41, McInnis (R) 48 (PPP, 4/19)
Illinois: Quinn (D) 39, Brady (R) 32 (PPP, 4/26)
Massachusetts: Patrick (D) 40, Mihos (R) 41 (Rasmussen, 6/24)
Michigan*: Cherry (D) 36, Cox (R) 35 (EPIC/MRA, 5/21)
New York: Paterson (D) 37, Giuliani (R) 54 (Marist, 6/25)
Ohio: Strickland (D) 44, Kasich (R) 39 (DKos/R2000, 7/8)
Oklahoma*: Edmondson (D) 38, Fallin (R) 48 (PPP, 5/17)
Oregon*: Kitzhaber (D) 44, Walden (R) 38 (DKos/R2000, 6/24)
Pennsylvania*:: Onorato (D) 29, Corbett (R) 34 (Susquehanna-R, 5/30)

An asterisk (*) denotes an open seat for a retiring Democratic incumbent.

The above list, by the way, does not include Wisconsin, because the two recent polls here (ours and PPP's) had widely disparate results. The Democratic incumbent, Jim Doyle, is either up by several or down by several, depending on your pollster.

It is a roll call of close races and deficits that is sobering, to be sure. It is also fairly understandable.

Check out the following headlines from recent newspapers across the country:

  • "Budget ills invite debate over cuts, taxes"--Dayton (OH) Daily News
  • "Budget panel told state is headed for cliff"--The Colorado Statesman
  • "Rendell plans 13% cut in higher-education budget"--The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • "Officials warn: Cuts would be dead-serious for zoos"--The Boston Herald
  • "Md. Starts Fiscal Year $700 Million in Red"--The Washington Post
  • "Job-training program a victim of budget battle"--The Connecticut Post

...and the list goes on and on.

If you are the chief executive of just about any American state at this moment, there are simply no good choices. At this point, it is down to deciding what tax to raise amid a deluge of wailing and shouting, or deciding which essential program is going to be cut beyond recognition.

There is virtually nothing to be done that it is not going to result in hard feelings and political peril. Such are the times that we live in and they govern in.

Despite that, there are two things to remember about all of this, at least from the standpoint of cold political analysis:

1. This is not solely a Democratic problem

The traditional media, and even a handful of Democratic commentators (the intellectual descendants of Eeyore, in most cases), seem intent on flogging the "2010 will be a GOP comeback year" scenario for all that it is worth.

While it is reasonable to conclude that it is unlikely for Democrats to have a third dominant cycle in a row, a lot of the doomsday scenarios are probably equally overblown.

For one thing, any growing discontent with the Democratic Party, and there certainly seems to be some, has not been countered by an increase in public esteem for the GOP. Instead, when you look at the Daily Kos/Research 2000 State of the Nation Tracking Poll trends from January to the present, you will see that the public opinion of the GOP has trended even lower than that of the Democratic Party:

Furthermore, it is not as if Republican Governors are beloved while their Democratic counterparts are reviled. Many Republican governors are also seeing their lowest job approval ratings in their statehouse tenures. Again, there is nothing surprising in any of this. They are also the ones making ugly decisions, and their esteem in the eyes of voters will suffer predictably.

As you can see below, the GOP is in mearly as much danger of losing governorships as the Democrats are. The absence of endangered incumbents (all of the polls below are open seat races) is owed to the fact that most of the GOP's governors were either the casualties of term limits or (like Pawlenty and Palin) early retirements:

General Election Trial Heats: Republican Governors

Alabama*: Byrne (R) 39, Davis (D) 35 (PPP, 6/5)
California*: Whitman (R) 30, Brown (D) 41 (Lake Research-D, 2/29)
Florida*: McCollum (R) 41, Sink (D) 35 (Mason Dixon, 6/26)
Georgia*: Oxendine (R) 46, Barnes (D) 44 (D-Kos/R2000, 4/30)
Hawaii*: Aiona (R) 36, Abercrombie (D) 45 (D-Kos/R2000, 6/17)
Minnesota*: Coleman (R) 37, Rybak (D) 43 (PPP, 7/8)

An asterisk (*) denotes an open seat for a retiring Democratic incumbent.

And that doesn't even count Nevada Republican Jim Gibbons, who (inexplicably) is planning on running for re-election with a 10% job approval rating.

2. With Time on The Clock, Circumstances Are Very Fluid

The mountain of polling data above, for both parties, should be accompanied with one monstrous caveat--Nobody wins an election in July of the off-year. There is a lot that can change between now and November of 2010.

On balance, that is probably good news for the Democrats. If the economy improves substantially in that time frame, the Democrats are liable to engage in the lions share of the credit-taking. Of course, the converse is also true--if the economy is worse or stagnant, voter patience may well run out. Most analysis suggests that the former is slightly more likely than the latter, with at least some recovery underway by the end of 2010.

Also, polling data right now in many of these races is predicated on voter sentiment towards the incumbent party. The challenger is still, in most cases, an undefined quantity. As challengers become known (via primaries and candidate entrances and exits), the polls are liable to change.

New Jersey may be an instructive example here. In March, Republican nominee Chris Christie had a fifteen-point lead over incumbent Democratic Governor Jon Corzine, according to Rasmussen. Corzine was, without question, being weighted down by grumpiness over the state of his state.

As the campaign has lurched forward, the lead has receded. One theory as to WHY it has receded is this: the challenger is now being defined. It is no longer "the governor whose state is in a budget stalemate over how much to cut" versus "the new guy". It is Jon Corzine versus Chris Christie, who now has more eyes on him as he explains what HE would do if he were in this position. As he does so, his once sizeable lead over the incumbent has shrunk noticeably: down to seven points (46-39) in the latest Rasmussen Poll.

This could be mimicked in places like Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, and Massachusetts.

The bottom line is this: governors, because of their unloved role as hatchet-men in the current political/economic climate, are going to take their lumps. The tenor of the times would seem to demand at least one or two political careers on a stick.

Premature projections of absolute disaster, however, are probably errant.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:00 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Doyle will win. (6+ / 0-)

    He's already running ads and has been making some smart decisions lately. We don't like him much up here, but we vote for him anyway. Besides, the Wisconsin GOP is in worse shape than the national party.

    The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

    by blueyedace2 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:06:03 PM PDT

    •  And this is second hand... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PerfectStormer, MCMetal

      but one of the techies at work told me that Doyle's eliminating mandatory front license plates and the yearly proof of registration stickers (she's a bit of a gear head and follows car issues fairly close).  

      The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

      by blueyedace2 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:15:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that got taken out of the final budget (0+ / 0-)

        I think the police unions were not happy about getting rid of the front license plates and the registration stickers, so I'm pretty sure that Joint Finance kept them.  

        I could be mistaken about that, though.

    •  So will Strickland (0+ / 0-)

      The thing  is, you have to ask why voters are less approving of the sitting governors? What are they upset about? And do the Republican candidates have a strong, plausible solution for that? In Ohio right now, people are incredibly distressed about cuts to things they consider essential: libraries, schools, state parks, senior services, pre-schools, among others. It's considered political dynamite here to raise taxes and our governor has said he won't.

      Some here have suggested he should have the political "courage' to go down in flames — since he can propose tax increases but they will never pass the legislature. So there will be no new revenue — hence no improvement in our situation — but Strickland would have a better chance of losing to the presumptive Republican nominee John Kasich — who is proposing to eliminate the state income tax — a tiny burden on most of us who aren't making at least six figures — and a third of state revenue!!! The cuts people are angry about now would then be beyond all understanding. It would essentially guy the ßtate. If this were to ever pass, along with the needed gutting of the state, Kasich's approval would be in single digits almost instantly.

      So — Kasich has to go out and explain how he will balance the budget will only 2/3rd — or less — as much money, after the painful process we've just gone through. And that reminds me: fluid indeed. The GOP-led Senate just caved. We have a budget. It's not as bad as people feared, but a lot of valued things are good. ALL valued thing s will be gone if Kasich is elected — and he will need to explain this during the campaign. Gay marriage is now a non-starter here.

      Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

      by anastasia p on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:20:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Seeing Obama campaign for Corzine this Thursday. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pine, askew, blueyedace2, MCMetal, IrishGuyJay

    Have never been a huge Corzine fan myself.  And I won't get to vote in the election since I'm moving to California in a couple of months, but looking forward to it nonetheless!

  •  maybe more Republican Governors will take Palin's (5+ / 0-)



    I'd go for that.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:10:26 PM PDT

  •  Patrick (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cwholcomb, blueyedace2, MCMetal

    really ought to re-consider running, at best the race is a tossup in a state where it shouldn't be nearly that close. I don't think Paterson could survive the primary.

  •  Nevada Republican Jim Gibbons, who (inexplicably) (4+ / 0-)

    is planning on running for re-election with a 10% job approval rating

    What's so odd about that ?

    That's double the recent average of any Republican politician's numbers.........

  •  Non-trivial type (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, Eryk, Norbrook

    IN the section

    General Election Trial Heats: Republican Governors

    should be

    An asterisk (*) denotes an open seat for a retiring Democratic Republican incumbent.

    Ignorance isn't exactly bliss but some things are better known when they are unknown to start with and pieced together on the way. - WineRev

    by Clem Yeobright on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:12:50 PM PDT

  •  Obama should just ignore the current polls.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you can't govern by the polls... otherwise, it would result in another bubble economy

  •  I can't wait for Jerry Brown to beat meg whitman (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, MCMetal, Norbrook

    It will be a complete repudiation of john mcsame and his failed policies.

    Have you forgotten about Jesus? Don't you think it's time that you did?

    by uc booker on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:16:20 PM PDT

    •  Newsom? (0+ / 0-)

      I'd rather see Gavin Newsom as Governor than Jerry Brown, mainly for variation, but also because I admire a lot of the stances he's taken.  Needless to say, it ain't gonna be Whitman.

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 05:26:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You Betcha (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, MCMetal, newdem1960

    I didn't see any polling from Alaska right in there mixin' it up with the other polling data, ya know.

    God gave you free will to define God, use it to make the best God that you can.

    by Dotty Gale on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:18:46 PM PDT

  •  It is going to be an uphill battle for Michigan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, blueyedace2, MCMetal

    The democrats best hope, with the economy the way it is in Michigan, is for the state GOP to nominate someone who is unelectable statewide.

    That is why I I'm hoping they go for Pete Hoekstra of the batshit crazy wing of the party. Lots of ammo available to fight against this nutjob hold over from the Bush era.

    And don't think that it isn't a plausable outcome that they pick him--because the fundies, and anti-abortion crowd rule the Michigan Repug party at the primary level (and ever since they got this control they have been pretty much losing the big statewide elections)and they may decide that only someone like Hoekstra deserves to carry their banner.

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

    by GeeBee on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:24:41 PM PDT

    •  On the other hand (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Doesn't the state GOP keep falling back in Michigan?

      "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

      by skywaker9 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:26:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  times in MICH could change the tide of fortune (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skywaker9, PerfectStormer

        Michigan is predicted by our university economists to be heading somewhere between 15% and 20% unemployment in 2010 (we are currently just north of at 14.0%, and that is just the cooked official rate (really it is higher). Gm has already scheduled additional plant closing and layoffs for the end of 2009. Many statewide supplier firms are barely hanging on and some will not be around in 2010. 2010 is shaping up to be a bad year for Michigan, quite possibly even worse than 2009.

        Add to this that IMO Cherry is really not a very strong candidate (from what I have seen and heard of his speech delivery )--and let's just say the camera doesn't love him like it does Granholm.Hell, he reminds me of a somewhat younger version of Wilford Brimley without the charisma.

        Plus you have to go back 40 years to find the last time Michigan elected a lieutenant governor to be governor.We just don't seem to like to do that.

        It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

        by GeeBee on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:06:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  THIS. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Hell, he reminds me of a somewhat younger version of Wilford Brimley without the charisma.

          I started the John Cherry=Wilford Brimley comparison lo these many moons ago at MichLib, and I'm glad it's catching on.

          Alma Wheeler Smith all the way, baby!

          •  What do you think of his strengths as a candidate (0+ / 0-)

            It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

            by GeeBee on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:28:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The UAW will back him to the wall. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cwholcomb, GeeBee

              ...and that counts for a lot. At times it feels like the political machine here is a wholly owned subsidiary of the UAW. He's also great on environmental issues, particularly the Great Lakes. I've met him, and he's a very, very nice guy. But he's about as interesting as watching paint dry.

              I have no doubt that he will be the Democratic nominee. But just as I rejected the notion of Hillary Clinton as the anointed Democratic nominee last year, I reject the notion that we're all supposed to bend down and kiss the ring of The Great John Cherry. I'm a fan of Alma Wheeler Smith because she's outstanding on LGBT issues, a team player on all other Democratic issues and she's the underdog.

        •  I hope AG Cox gets buried. (0+ / 0-)

          At the time, I was a Michigan resident and purchased an airline ticket through Priceline for $300 for a plane ticket from Lansing to Champaign, Illinois.  When I got to the final screen the ticket was $630.00.  I did my due diligence in researching Priceline and to my surprise their were many complaints for the same thing that Priceline had done with my transaction.  I wrote a certified letter to the AG Cox and did not get a response until I phoned his consumer affairs deputy.  The deputy AG informed me that numerous Michigan residents had filed consumer complaints similar to my against Priceline; and many had lost much more money than I had because they  were by and large international trips.  Needless to say, AG Cox did nothing for me nor did American Express.

    •  Peter Hoekstra (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywaker9, blueyedace2, GeeBee

      Is The Bible Spice Palin/Michelle Bachmann of Michigan ; without the female genitalia (not exactly sure about that , though)........

    •  As long as Democrats get the majority in the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      state Senate, it's going to be a good election.  Any governor is going to be struggling with the bad economic facts his/her whole term.

    •  wasn't it like this during the pres election? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Michigan was close, McCain's "best shot" at a blue state throughout the summer, then when push came to shove, it broke for Obama in a huge way.

      •  Michigan broke like crazy for Obama in part (0+ / 0-)

        because it scared the hell out of the workers in the state when the economy practically collapsed the month before under Bush's watch and McCain was very erratic in his response to this.That made up a lot of peoples minds right there-especially the Independants.

        It is becoming increasingly apparent that some people owe Pelosi an apology

        by GeeBee on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:36:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Walden is not going to run in OR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2, MikePhoenix

    He's safe in Congress for as long as he wants and frankly he has lots of skeletons that would come out in a statewide race.

    My guess is they end up with Alan Alley, who is a weak but moderatish candidate.  Jason Atkinson may win the nomination, or he may be knocked out if another wingnut enters the race (as happened in 2006, leading to Saxton's primary win).

    I remain somewhat skeptical Kitzhaber actually runs.

    Although you can write off liberal state senator Vicki Walker, who was a possible Dem candidate, as she has taken a job with the OR Parole Board.

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:25:05 PM PDT

  •  Paterson will probably be primaried out (5+ / 0-)

    If he were to stay in the running, he'd be in real trouble - the only thing propping up his approval at the moment is that the voters hate the state Senate more.  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:26:52 PM PDT

  •  What are the fundraising numbers in Florida? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, blueyedace2
    •  Dems have a good chance in Florida (0+ / 0-)

      Governor: smart lady Alex Sink (D) is ahead of right wing Bill McCollum.

      US Senate: Current governor Crist (R) has the most money but must deal with a strong challenge from the right. Kendrick Meek (D) has a strong organization to counter Chist's vast lead in recognition.

      Florida is also up for rational redistricting if the Dems win.  Both parties will fight hard.

  •  The problem is the economy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, blueyedace2, JanL, GeeBee

    Until we fix it incumbants will take the heat. Hopefully the stimulus will begin to fund programs this year and will have kicked in and created jobs and a turnaround before the elections.

    I know that Patrick has like Obama not always made immediately obvious decisions in MA. I'm interested in the situation in ME also.

    Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

    by rktect on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:34:39 PM PDT

    •  And whether they can come up with decent picks (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueyedace2, anastasia p

      If the Rs don't come up with good picks, our guys will still win.

      TO beat an incumbent you have to do two things:

      1. Convince people the incumbent deserves to get bounced.


      1. Convince them that they are a better replacement.

      You'd be amazed how many challengers only do step 1 and come up short.  I've seen Repubs do that all the time in OR.

      "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

      by skywaker9 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:37:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They will need compelling proposals for how THEY will turn the economy around. "Tax cuts" isn't compelling to people without jobs or people who are underemployed or don't have health care. And in states like Ohio where people are angry about cuts to state services, proposing to cut them more, as the GOP candidate will have to admit he would do — is going to be wildly unpopular. Strickland's popularity hasn't trended down because taxes are too high but because people are upset with the proposed cuts and the poor economy that made them necessary. His opponent, John Kasich, has nothing to come back with except promises to make things worse. And he'll be running with Rob "Take This Job and Ship It to China" Portman.

        Rob Portman: He sent your job to China.

        by anastasia p on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  In MA, Patrick may be toast for two reasons beyon (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      d the economy and his less than stellar job performance.

      1.) The Democratic State Treasury has decided to run for Governor as an Independent.

      2.) Charles Baker who was the fair haired Republican wunderkind in the Weld Administration, has thrown his hat in the Republican Primary.

      In the best of times, it would be very difficult for Patrick to overcome these two candidates. While it is still early, I would say the odds of Massachusetts keeping a Democratic Governor are way less than 50-50.

      Oh Barry, they are turning Health Care into an Actuary's wet dream.

      by fredlonsdale on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:24:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  MA is a tough read (0+ / 0-)

        The way I see it the State Rep's are all more interested in how much funding is going to them and their projects rather than being fed into Boston.

        One project I have heard about would begin to hook up rural areas, especially in southern and western MA with broadband. Another extends the mass transit beyond the 128 hub to to begin to reach places like the South Shore and communities west of Worchester.

        The funding Patrick promised schools like U Mass for education; especially investing in biotech and healthcare; has helped with some aspects of the economy but at the cost of no property and sales tax relief.

        Cahill will take perhaps 7% mostly from Baker who might have 30-36%%. Patrick has a solid 40%. About 23% remain on the fence looking for the bigger and better deal.

        Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

        by rktect on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:45:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  In PA Onorato is not the only (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, blueyedace2

    one that is possibly seeking the Governorship.  Joe Hoeffel is seriously considering it too.

    If the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    by Mz Kleen on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:40:55 PM PDT

  •  Does all that grumpy discontent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skywaker9, timbuck, GeeBee

    and buckets of "unfavorable" sauce equal an opportunity for an actual real live true "progressive" party? Or are progessives always fated to get cake crumbs from the plates of the Bi-Partie-san ship, after being sold another set of promises?

    Just asking.

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:41:27 PM PDT

  •  You naiiled the problem for Democrats: (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BruinKid, JanL, dhshoops, GeeBee, Micheline

    They're the ones holding the most seats in Congress, and they're the ones in charge.

    Holding more seats means having more seats to lose.
    Being in charge means being more at the mercy of events.

    Democrats are catching a break because the Republicans seem determined to learn nothing from Democratic stupidity following the 2000 election.  Republican stupidity will help to cut the losses so long as unemployment -- especially long-term unemployment doesn't skyrocket, but...

    the current administration has been mighty cavalier WRT unemployment.  They need to understand that, for many people, unemployment is not just A problem, it is THE problem, and it's a disaster in the making.

    They also need to understand that unemployed people tend to have family and friends just like anybody else, and the number of angry and frightened voters will extend far beyond the unemployed themselves.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:46:22 PM PDT

  •  Oklahoma is Scary (0+ / 0-)

    Now that the GOP controls both houses of the legislature for the first time in state history, the possibility of a GOP governor is extraordinarily scary.

    You have no idea how utterly nutty our Republican Party is.

    Actually, you've seen the performance of our two Senators, so you have a pretty good idea.

    Most of our Democrats really suck (think Dan Boren) but enough of them are at least semi-reality based that they do less damage. And Drew Edmondson, the likely gubernatorial nominee and our state's AG, is pretty solid.

    Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

    by GreenSooner on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 03:48:18 PM PDT

    •  Oklahoma is the new Utah! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think most of us get the idea

    •  Similar story in Kansas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and chances of Republican majorities in legislatures in Louisiana, Mississippi, etc.

      The good news: if there's anything that gets voters nauseated at Republicans, it's the experience of all-Republican government.

      •  Not sure that works in Oklahoma (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Oklahoma is kind of like the deep South on tape delay.  The tape delay has essentially been provided by the lack of a large African American population, which led conservative, rural white Democrats to keep voting Democratic in Oklahoma state elections for about two additional decades, but which now means that the progressive shot in the arm that African Americans provide in the real deep South doesn't exist here.

        Our electoral dynamics are thus different both from the deep South and from traditionally Republican states like Kansas.  I think it will take a very, very long time for voters to become disgusted with the GOP in Oklahoma, especially since our state Democratic Party, whose backbone was long the kind of boll-weevil, conservative populists who left the Democratic Party in most other states years ago, seems totally unsure about what to become now.

        Policies that were wrong under George W. Bush are no less wrong because Barack Obama is in the White House. - Bob Herbert

        by GreenSooner on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:40:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  bipartisan (0+ / 0-)

    By trying to be bipartisan, and not accusatory, Obama is digging a hole for all Dems.  He should be constantly saying the country was raped, and the cure will be slow and painful--and the rapists will be jailed.  His numbers are also falling because of this inaction.  The party of NO wins when the other party assumes responsibility for this disaster.

  •  "In the unlikely story that is America..." (0+ / 0-)

    VOTES MATTER!! If you need any reminder, look who now occupies the White House ! --

    YES, We Did !!!

    They ignored us. Then they laughed at us. Then they fought us. Then - on July 2nd 2009 - we won! [ht: Mohandas K. Gandhi]

    by ezdidit on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:34:50 PM PDT

  •  Paterson is a gaping wound. (0+ / 0-)

    Is Cuomo going to challenge him?

  •  Current Republican Indiana Gov, Mitch Daniels, is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    being touted as possible Presidential candidate in 2-12, as a moderate.  Points for Democrats to remember:

    For a short time during George Bush's 1st term Daniels served in Bush'e financial Advisor in DC

    If you look at Daniel's record in education you will see he has sold the poorer, inner city schools out to get money for his Charter Schools. mostly located in wealthy, white suburbs.

    Privitation of the Indiana Toll Road was strong-armed through State legislature and is VERY unpopular in northern Indiana. After running on "Buy Indiana" the Toll Road was turned over to an Australian company, so Daniel's record of campaign retoric and actual practice is terrible.

  •  thankfully texas gov perry is not in play . . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . . unless, of course, as palin's running mate which would make this better than baseball!!!!

    "Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." Edward Abbey

    by timbuck on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 04:54:57 PM PDT

  •  I'd be fascinated to see poll number for Arizona (0+ / 0-)

    The state has been in political chaos for the past few months. The Republican-controlled legislature is fighting like cats and Governor Jan Brewer--herself a conservative Republican--has found herself in the odd position of having to support a sales tax increase to avoid dire budget cuts. So far, the legislature isn't biting and the in-fighting is just getting worse.

    The conventional wisdom after Napolitano resigned was that Brewer would be a shoo-in for re-election. Now, amidst all the chaos, that seems much less likely. The likely Democratic candidate is State AG Terry Goddard, who narrowly lost a gubernatorial race 20 years ago.

    There are lots of unknowns in this race that could make things interesting:

    1. Does Brewer even bother to run for re-election?
    1. If she does, does she lose re-nomination? [Bombastic ex-Congressman J.D. Hayworth, aka Foghorn Leghorn or xenophobic Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas are possible challengers with the gravitas to defeat her in a primary.]
    1. Does Terry Goddard get a free pass in the Democratic primary? Or does Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon run?
    1. Will voters rebel against the state legislature's inability to get anything done that isn't about guns, gays, or god? How does this play out in the governor's race?
    •  Latest GOP feebleness in New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

      GOP leaders, as such, are now trying to put up Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson for Governor/Lt Governor to run against current Lt Gov Diane Denish after the end of Bill Richardson's term.  The claim is that Domenici's illness is in remission (old age can go into remission?) and that after the election Domenici will not seek reelection letting Heather run for Governor.

      First, Domenici and Heather are damaged goods.
      Second, Domenici is very likely NOT in remission.
      Third, Heather doesn't need this ploy, she could run for governor without the training wheels.
      Fourth, this only goes to show the depth of the problem for the GOP in NM: no one left to run for any office.

  •  Great article but I have one suggestion: (0+ / 0-)

    This article is missing poll results for any Republican governor running for reelection.  I would love to see poll results for:
    Jodi Rell in Connecticut
    Jim Douglas in Vermont
    Jan Brewer in Arizona
    Jim Gibbons in Nevada
    John Hoeven in North Dakota

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 05:13:34 PM PDT

  •  The only thing the Dems in Illinois have (0+ / 0-)

    going for them are the Republicans.  By all rights the Democrats should get slaughtered here next year.  The Democratic legislature has governed terribly.  I personally blame House Speaker Mike Madigan.  Yet the Republicans are so pathetic even in this climate they will have a hard time making a come back running.

  •  Myself (0+ / 0-)

    I live in Pennsylvania, have never voted Republican, but I have see the results of Ed Rendell on the WORKING class and his half wit ideas like selling the Turnpike, I have to be honest-the debates better be slam dunks.

    Ed Rendell was the typical corporate candidate and I turned a blind eye, but with minimal differences between parties, I can no longer. Onoroto has to be a real decent working mans candidate, or I am done.
    Pennsylvania has some of the worse Democrats-one is a former HEALTHCARE Executive and no challengers . Really, 2 parties ?
    My vote is not signed sealed and delivered this time . I have seen what speeches accomplish-nothing.  Jesus, Sestak is my choice over Specter ? We have been trying to get rid of Arlen since I was a child, and changing a letter after his name makes him what ? A hero ? A Man who voted less with W.? No.

    See, I am starting to think without a clear cut difference between the candidates, I'll just close my eyes and press.  The line between the parties is gone-center right vs. center right with some religious insanity tossed in.

  •  GOP comeback? No ... (0+ / 0-)

    What is needed is for progressive candidates everywhere to gear up with former Obama staffers and gain more ground.

  •  what, no Iowa? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    I have been arguing at Bleeding Heartland that Iowa Governor Chet Culver is in decent shape heading into next year's election--at least compared to many other governors. In recent months some polls have put his approval in the low 50s, but SUSA has twice measured his approval at 42 percent. The two most recent public polls are SUSA from mid-June (Culver was at 42 approve/51 disapprove) and a Republican-sponsored survey from earlier this month (Culver was at 53 approve/41 disapprove).

    Iowa's unemployment is low by national standards but still approaching a 25-year high for our state. We have a budget crunch, like most other states, and Republicans have been pounding the Democrats for supposedly over-spending.

    Culver's big response to the recession was an $850 million state bonding program to fund infrastructure projects. I like the I-JOBS idea, but Republicans claim Culver is just putting $1 billion on our children's credit cards.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:18:47 PM PDT

  •  David Plouffe is Deval Patrick's campaign manager (0+ / 0-)

    It will be a close race but I think Patrick will win.

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Sun Jul 12, 2009 at 06:45:17 PM PDT

  •  Democrats Become Republicans When Elected. (0+ / 0-)

    Democratic politicians, when elected suddenly become Bipartisan and implement Republican ideas. Bipartisan is just an excuse. It seems to me that Democratic politicians run as Democratic because the Republican slot is already taken.  

  •  Yeah, the NoNos are crawling out of the woodwork (0+ / 0-)

    to talk about running for Governor in Iowa, not because they have anything new to offer, but because they figure the current one will be blamed for the economy, so it will be easy to get a cheap win.

    They have a great benefactor in the local Gannett rag, which takes every opportunity to blame the economy on wild over-spending by those currently in charge.  See, according to the Gannett meme, the Governor of Iowa should have been able to see the pending world-wide economic collapse that NO ONE else predicted, and slashed state budgets ahead of the rest of the free world.

    This, in a state with remarkably low indebtedness, and with a rainy-day cash reserve fund that is smoothing over the sudden dip in tax revenues.

    Gannett is, of course, always in favor of slashing state spending "across the board", rather than a surgical approach, and they've spent years denigrating anyone who is actually employed by the state as being over-compensated and under-worked.

    No word yet on where they plan to get the private sector Highway Patrol or social workers they so desperately crave.

  •  The GOP is still in decline nationally (0+ / 0-)

    It will gain the occasional local win, even look like nothing is out of sorts in places like the South and Plains States, but they are a party doomed.

    No message, no messengers, a flatulent media that no one listens to anyway, the Bush albatross, more skeletons in the Bush closet to be revealed, changing demographics among voters (younger, growing ethnic minorities), difficulty recruiting quality candidates, difficulty raising money, not adapting to new communication technologies as rapidly, incompetent national leadership, sex scandal of the week news cycle, and MOST important:

    US nipping at the heels relentlessly.

    Despair not, rejoice in our victories and expect more.

  •  Election cycles (0+ / 0-)

    Our experience has been (from either side of politics) when one side or the other stuffs up really bad, the offending side is punished at the subsequent election as well. In some cases even more the second time around. That is, four years later. Two years is well within that period. There are instances where the conservatives have been severely punished and equally there are instances where the left have been equally punished.

  •  Pawlenty did not retire early like Palin (0+ / 0-)

    He will finish out his full term, unlike Palin.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by legendmn on Mon Jul 13, 2009 at 05:51:32 AM PDT

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