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Daily Kos Elections is pleased to announce our first set of gubernatorial race ratings for the 2012 election cycle:

Here is how we define our ratings categories:
Safe D/R: Barring unforeseeable developments, one party is certain to win.

Race to Watch: A foreseeable but as-yet unrealized development has the chance to make an otherwise "Safe" race potentially competitive, or an incumbent faces a potentially competitive primary.

Likely D/R: One party has a strong advantage and is likely to win, though the race has the potential to become more competitive.

Lean D/R: Lean: One party has an identifiable advantage, but an upset victory is possible for the other party.

Tossup: Both parties have a strong (though not necessarily perfectly equal) chance of winning.

Below the fold are brief explanations of our initial ratings, including races rated as "Safe" and therefore not listed above, in alphabetical order. Arjun Jaikumar, David Jarman, David Nir, and Steve Singiser all contributed to these ratings; our individual contributions are noted for each entry.

Delaware — Jack Markell (D): Safe D

You saw Delaware Republicans spurn their one electable guy, Rep. Mike Castle, in favor of lunatic Christine O'Donnell in last cycle's Senate race. They don't have anyone else, and even if they did, who's to say he or she could even win a primary? First-term Gov. Jack Markell will cruise. (DN)

Indiana — Mitch Daniels (OPEN) (R): Likely R

There's been virtually no polling of this race between GOP Rep. Mike Pence and Democratic former state House Majority Leader John Gregg, but despite Barack Obama's extraordinary victory here in 2008, Indiana just naturally tilts Republican. Gregg is well-connected and a good fundraiser, but the money has simply poured in for Pence, who was a very powerful member of the House GOP caucus before deciding to run for governor this cycle. If the stars align—if Obama runs another strong race, if Dem Rep. Joe Donnelly's Senate campaign takes off thanks to Sen. Dick Lugar getting defeated in the primary, and if Democrats can find a way to drive Pence's negatives up—then Gregg might have a shot. But for now, Pence is the clear favorite. (DN)

Missouri — Jay Nixon (D): Likely D

A year ago, this race looked like a coin flip in the making. A red-tinted state in a presidential election year, coupled with a legitimate opponent (Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder), looked like a recipe for a tossup race for first-term Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Then Kinder imploded in hilarious fashion (his odd infatuation with an ex-stripper was a real high point), and the GOP has had a devil of a time finding a suitable replacement. The establishment favors businessman Dave Spence, while the teabaggers seem to like attorney Bill Randles, but both are almost unknown. Polls show Nixon well positioned to beat either of them. (SS)

Montana — Brian Schweitzer (OPEN) (D): Tossup

Montana is usually a red state at the presidential level, but it's often been receptive to Democrats down the ballot. With Gov. Brian Schweitzer termed out after eight years, state Attorney General Steve Bullock gives Democrats a solid chance at holding the state house. One advantage he has is that he's a lock for the Democratic nomination, while more than half a dozen less-known Republicans, of varying degrees of crackpot-ness, are jostling for their nod; the likeliest nominee is Rick Hill, who served several terms as the state's at-large Rep. in the 1990s. The very few polls that have been taken here have shown Bullock and Hill tied, or close to it. (DJ)

New Hampshire — John Lynch (OPEN) (D): Tossup

Democratic Gov. John Lynch has turned into a Granite State institution, having won election to four two-year terms and still retaining his popularity. Unfortunately, he's finally retiring this year, leaving one more gubernatorial race where the Democrats are playing defense. The two Democrats running so far are bother former state senators: Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, who seems to be the more progressive candidate. The Republicans seem likely to nominate Ovide Lamontagne, who lost the 1996 gubernatorial race, disappeared, and then re-emerged from obscurity reborn as a tea party activist, nearly surprising establishment favorite Kelly Ayotte in the 2010 Republican Senate primary. Lamontagne has managed to transform into the establishment candidate himself, though, and now faces his own tea-flavored primary challenge from former state Rep. Kevin Smith. With the fields unsettled and few polls to go on, this race remains a question mark. (DJ)

North Carolina — Bev Perdue (OPEN) (D): Lean R

Gov. Bev Perdue, narrowly elected with the aid of Barack Obama's coattails in 2008, quickly turned into one of the nation's least popular governors and consistently trailed in polls of a rematch against the man she beat four years ago, former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, often by around 10 points. Unable to improve her standing, she threw in the towel in January, opting not to run for a second term, giving Democrats some hope that a new face might fare better. Since then, Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton and ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge have gotten in for the Democrats—and polls still show them trailing McCrory by around 10 points. This race may get closer, but it'll be hard for the Dem nominee to catch up all the way with McCrory. (DJ)

North Dakota — Jack Dalrymple (R): Likely R

Two things keep this from being Safe R. One is that Gov. Jack Dalrymple has never been elected on his own statewide (he has, however, lost two Senate bids). The other is that the Democrats have a decent candidate, state Senate Minority Leader Ryan Taylor. North Dakota is a Republican state, but not doctrinaire about it, so it's too early to write this one off. Still, it's hard to ignore the institutional advantages for the incumbent Republican. (AJ)

Utah — Gary Herbert (R): Race to Watch

In dark-red Utah, in a presidential election year, there is no rational reason why an incumbent Republican governor shouldn't be anything other than safe. But Utah has a reputation for teabagging their Republican incumbents, and a trio of conservatives are looking to add Herbert's name to the roster of vanquished incumbents. Democrats have a better-than-average option here, as well, retired Army Major General Peter Cooke, but it would take a beyond-extraordinary turn of events to make this race competitive in the fall. Utah's unusual and unpredictable GOP nominating process (where candidates face delegates at the state convention to earn a chance at running in the primary) makes this a Race to Watch, however. (SS)

Vermont — Peter Shumlin (D): Likely D

First-term Gov. Peter Shumlin managed to win a tight race in 2010—and pick up a formerly Republican-held governorship in the process. He didn't get much time to catch his breath, though, since Vermont (along with next-door neighbor New Hampshire) is one of just two states with two-year gubernatorial terms. In PPP's latest poll (which was taken all the way back in August 2011), Shumlin enjoyed solid approval ratings and was cruising to reelection over his likely opponent, state Sen. Randy Brock. Of course, that was a long time ago. It’s hard to imagine Shumlin winning in 2010 and losing in 2012 with presidential turnout, but one never knows; Shumlin was polling at 51 percent, which is a good number, but not uber-safe. (AJ)

Washington — Chris Gregoire (OPEN) (D): Lean R

The longest Democratic gubernatorial winning streak belongs to Washington: A Republican hasn't been elected here since 1980. The GOP, of course, is hoping that state Attorney General Rob McKenna helps them break that jinx; he's been effectively running for a number of years so his name recognition is high, and he successfully plays a moderate on TV. Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee, on the other hand, is not as well known and his campaign has been slow to catch fire, something he apparently hopes to remedy with his recent decision to resign his House seat to focus full-time on this race. Most polls have given McKenna a lead in the high single-digits, though observers tend to anticipate the race to get tighter, given the state's Democratic lean—and that may be starting to happen, with the two most recent surveys of the contest showing a tie game. (DJ)

West Virginia — Earl Ray Tomblin (D): Lean D

A year ago, interim Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin was in great shape for reelection, following the election of his predecessor Joe Manchin to the Senate. On Election Day in October, however, Tomblin actually outperformed expectations when he squeaked to a narrow, three-point victory. Tomblin is personally well-liked and people seem to approve of him as governor; however, as 2011 showed, West Virginia is increasingly tough for Democrats these days. He faces off this fall against his 2011 opponent, Bill Maloney; while Tomblin should certainly be favored, last year should serve as a cautionary tale. (AJ)

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good ratings. (5+ / 0-)

    I mostly agree, although I'm more pessimistic about NC.  I think by your criteria it is likely R.

    One party has a strong advantage and is likely to win, though the race has the potential to become more competitive.
    That sounds right to me, at least at the moment.

    One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

    by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:16:17 AM PDT

    •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

      I'm also confused by WA. That does not have an "identifiable advantage with an upset possibility". It is more "Both parties have a strong (though not necessarily perfectly equal) chance of winning."

      22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

      by wwmiv on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:20:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MichaelNY

        I kind of think McKenna does have an identifiable advantage.  Inslee has started off in a hole and is only climbing back now.  I think in another month or so, it might be better characterized as a toss-up, but for now, I'd say lean R sounds right.

        One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

        by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:34:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah; if you (7+ / 0-)

          average out the last month of polling, even accounting for the last two good polls, McKenna's up by 5. That's an identifiable advantage. On the other hand, it wouldn't really be an "upset" if Inslee won it narrowly in the end, not only because that's often how things play out in Washington, but also because the polls indicate that more of the undecideds are Dems, suggesting they'll come home once Inslee gets his name rec up.

          What we're trying to do, though, is describe where the race is now, not where we think it'll be in November. Whether we're currently at Tossup or Lean R is a "reasonable minds may disagree" situation, though.

          Editor, Daily Kos Elections.

          by David Jarman on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:27:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  WA state (4+ / 0-)

          two factors here ...

          1) It's a presidential year

          2) We have all mail voting

          •  yeah--Obama is going to have a fairly massive (0+ / 0-)

            margin in the end, so it's just a question of how much crossover you can prevent.  Is McKenna actually a 'moderate' in any sense?  Is he the last GOP moderate in the nation?  Is Inslee completely feckless, and if so, is he really a lock on the dem nomination?  Is there no dem bench in WA anymore?

            •  Name recognition (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus

              is a significant R advantage, which explains much of the current  "Leans R" territory in the polls. McKenna's not really a moderate, no; it'll be interesting to see how he distances himself from the national party on that score. The moderates left are from the Seattle suburbs - former Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn's son Reagan (named for Teh Gipper hisself!) is a King County Council member from the Seattle suburbs, who signed off on their group endorsement of marriage equality, as far as moderates go (there were a couple of R state legislators who voted for it as well).
              As for the Dem bench, the state is fairly polarized, so much of contender pool comes from the Puget Sound region, elsewhere, not nearly so much. Voters blame (two term) Gov. Gregoire and the longtime Dem legislature for business-as-usual in Olympia. However, she's not running, and many Dems are in relatively safe districts, so McKenna is kind of attractive to fiscally conservative ("but shut up about social issues already!") voters - more like NH that way - to "shake things up."
              The 2008 race was supposed to go down to the wire, with a winner not known for days (our ballots - like Alaska's - go by postmark, not receipt); the race was called for the Dems within a couple of hours on election night. Strongly Dem younger voters here are good about returning ballots (in Presidential years anyway), and are I suspect under-polled.

      •  I agree. McKenna showed an early high, single (4+ / 0-)

        digit lead that has been erased in the three most recent polls. I would say this race is currently tied and call it a race to watch.

        If the President continues to expand his lead in Washington and if females vote at roughly the same percentage as in 2006 and 2008, then the race becomes advantage Inslee.

        If you crawl around in the internals of the polls it becomes clear that McKenna's support in the Seattle media market has been eroding as the race continues. That is a trend I expect to continue. He had benefitted from very flattering TV coverage in his AG's role. Now he is getting much less free TV and print articles link him to the Supreme Court health reform battle. That is costing him crossover and independent support he enjoyed early on.

    •  McCrory has been running since 2007 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Angie in WA State, loftT, Odysseus

      The Democrats have only been running since February. The NC race will get a lot tighter, especially with President Obama leading the ballot.

      Just for reference, in 2008:
      Pres. Obama won by 14,177
      Bev Perdue won by 145,021
      Kay Hagan won by 361,801

      If Obama can make it close, the Democratic candidate for governor can too.

      •  I don't think Obama will be as big a draw (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EmmaPie

        as he was in 2008.

        One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

        by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:35:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In that case (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bear83, pademocrat, stevenaxelrod

          How much do you expect him to lose NC by? I'd say if he does lose the state, it would probably be by no more than 3%. And I give him about 50/50 odds of winning the state again.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:54:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He'll be bigger (4+ / 0-)

          Romney will be weaker than McCain in NC and VA, and I see zilch evidence of Obama not drawing out AA voters to a similar degree as he did in 2008.

          That still might not be enough for Etheridge to overcome the bad taste NCers have a Dem Gov now, but a performance about equal to Obama's certainly is possible.

          Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

          by tommypaine on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:09:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think Romney will be weaker (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY

            than McCain, and I don't think Obama will get the same turnout from all groups (even if AA votes do turn out the same) as he did in 2008.

            One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

            by AUBoy2007 on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 07:19:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  If the national GOP doesn't put the brakes on (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, Odysseus

          the candidates and their SUPERPAC supporters ranting about issues like Contraception and other issues in the GOP War on Women...

          then I think you might be wrong about that.

          Women make up a majority of voters in every election since 1964, per Rutgers University.

          Even Republican women (and GOP elected officials!) are getting on the Oppose the GOP War on Women bandwagon.

          Enough of this and you'll see a bigger swath of coattail election voting in November.

          Perhaps even the chance for a new Super Majority.

          * * *
          I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
          -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
          * * *
          "A Better World is Possible"
          -- #Occupy

          by Angie in WA State on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:11:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What do you mean by "Super Majority"? (0+ / 0-)

            I'll say in passing that those were very surprising words from Congressman Hanna, and will help him in the general election.

            Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

            by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:36:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  SuperMajority means (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              One Party holds all three:

              Presidency, and the majority of both the US House and the US Senate.

              Which would also give them the Office of Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader in the US Senate.

              Which would mean:

              Democrats writing US House budgets for the next two years.

              Democrats as Committee Chairs in both houses of Congress.

              Democrats deciding which Bills will come up for Floor Votes.

              It would simply Shut the GOP clown car down, for two whole years.

              No more crazy War on Women bills in the US House.

              No more insane games of Chicken over signing new Debt Ceiling bills.

              We might actually see what being governed by adults looks like, here in These United States.

              * * *
              I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization
              -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr.
              * * *
              "A Better World is Possible"
              -- #Occupy

              by Angie in WA State on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:37:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  To me, a supermajority in the Senate (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sapelcovits, Odysseus, jncca, AUBoy2007

                means at least 60 senators. In the House, it woulds mean a 2/3 majority, to be able to override vetoes. And neither of these are in the cards, so that's why I asked what you meant.

                To me, what you're talking about is simply Democratic control of both Houses plus the Presidency. As for what that means, this isn't the thread to go into detail about that, but with the filibuster (also not really germane to DKE), it's quite unclear how much Democratic control there really would be.

                Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

                by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:42:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's called the trifecta (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                Not a supermajority.

                24, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

                by HoosierD42 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:05:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  That's called "the trifecta" (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY

                Not a supermajority.

                24, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

                by HoosierD42 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:07:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AUBoy2007, EmmaPie

        I expect NC voters to split their tickets, even if Obama wins the state again (and he might not). 2012 and 2008 are different years, and the NC voters have 4 years of unpopular Democratic Governorship to figure in their voting.

        Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

        by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:53:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  NC was great in 2008 (0+ / 0-)

    What the heck went wrong?

    Veritas Omnia Vincit

    by The Nephew on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:38:18 AM PDT

    •  Crappy governor and corrupt (5+ / 0-)

      legislature.

      I think there's a bit of pressure release.  Democrats controlled the state for a long time, so there's an itch to swing the other way.  Obama's strength may have pushed it back some, but eventually it'll pop.

      My husband's family is from NC, and my mother in law was involved in the political scene on the GOP side, so I hear a lot from them.  Moderating it a bit to account for their biases, and I can see why things are happening the way they are.

      One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

      by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:41:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In Other Words (6+ / 0-)

        The state may just be switching in an interesting way:

        At the state level from Democratic to Republican and at the federal level from Republican to Democratic?

        22, Nice Calm Burkean Post-Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Childhood), TX-21 (School), TX-10 (Home); SSP: wmayes

        by wwmiv on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:47:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah. Weird. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY

          Although, I don't know for sure that the switch at the federal level will be perminant.  Let's see if Obama wins NC again.  I'm a bit skeptical.  It could be that 2008 was merely a fluke which saved the NC Dems ass for another two years.

          One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

          by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:48:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I highly doubt the GOP prez candidate 20 years (3+ / 0-)

            from now will win an Atlantic state besides Florida.

            -8.88, -4.21 Why does the most beautiful place in the world (Idaho Panhandle) have to get dumped with thousands of Cali GOP doofuses?

            by Whitty on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:24:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Maybe, but that's a long time (0+ / 0-)

              from now.

              One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

              by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:39:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I don't know what development (8+ / 0-)

              Would lock up South Carolina, but keep Florida a swing state.

              I do agree that the day that the entire eastern seaboard is up for grabs is coming soon.

            •  100% Agree Minus South Carolina (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pademocrat, Odysseus

              These states are slowly becoming less and less southern. Today nobody would consider Maryland part of the south but it wasn't too long ago that it was. NOVA seems more like the Bay Area than Georgia. In 10-15 years Virginia might be just as Democratic as Maryland today. North Carolina seems like they're 5 years behind Virginia as they clearly have moved from safe R to toss up at the state level. Georgia will probably fall before South Carolina but it'll be a couple of elections from now at best and who knows if there will be another political realignment before then.

              Basically a coalition of women (60-70%), hispanics (65-75%), african-americans (75-85%), and white collar men (55-65%) is unbeatable in the future. Not just the Atlantic region but Western states like Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Montana might join states like New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Washington that seem to have shifted into the D column based on this coalition if no major realignment takes place in the next 20 years.

              (-6.12,-3.18), Dude, 24, MI-07 soon to be MI-12, went to college in DC-at large K-Pop Song: F(x)'s Nu ABO

              by kman23 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:22:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I can foresee that (0+ / 0-)

              But if it happens, the Republican Party will have moderated. In 20 years, I'd consider that likely to have happened.

              Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

              by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:57:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  In 20 years the Castros will be dead (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bryduck, MichaelNY, pademocrat, JBraden

              and Cubans will just be Latinos, who the national GOP will hate and want to go back "where they came from".

              Once communism is dead in Cuba, the rightist impulse will wither in Florida.

              Mr. Gorbachev, establish an Electoral College!

              by tommypaine on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:13:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Florida? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, jncca

              Florida is trending our way for sure. South Carolina is the GOP's east coast lock, IMO. It's too strongly racially polarized and the black population just isn't growing that quickly.

              (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

              by TrueBlueDem on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:13:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Who knows how will Republican party look (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY

              in 20 years? And I disagree about FL and SC.

        •  I wouldn't be too sure about that (5+ / 0-)

          Republicans have done all they can in redistricting to lock themselves into power in NC. However, their poll numbers are terrible and they have overreached with their social stuff and cuts to education (NC is not Alabama).

          I expect a big swing in NC back toward the Democrats in 2012 thanks to Obama's coattails.

          •  Their polls numbers may be bad, (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gabjoh, MichaelNY, pademocrat, Odysseus

            but between locking in their gains, the bad actors of the previous Democratic legislatures, and a likely win in the governor's race, I still see big wins for the NC GOP come election day.

            NC may not be Alabama, but it's not New York either.

            One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

            by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:34:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  true (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, pademocrat

              though in way NC was was bluer than NY at the a state level for a long time. Dem's have held the governorship. A Republican hasn't won here since 1988!

              2012 should benefit the Dems at the state levels, I just don't if it will be enough to win back control of either chamber.

              23, male, gay, Atari Democrat. CA-01(former) CA-41(current)

              by lordpet8 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:48:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly. And I think that Democratic (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MichaelNY, pademocrat

                dominance, in a state that's more conservative, is coming back to bite us so to speak.  And it doesn't help some of our last major state-wide figures have been very unpopular and/or corrupt (or at least viewed as such).

                One should no more deplore homosexuality than left-handedness. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex, 1964 (Proud left-handed queer here!) SSP: wmlawman

                by AUBoy2007 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 10:06:23 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't seem that simple (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KingofSpades

          I don't expect a switch from Democratic to Republican locally to be permanent in NC. There's a cyclical aspect to this.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 11:56:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  VA did the same thing (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichaelNY, KingofSpades

          For a very long time in the 80s, neighboring Virginia (where I live) had a Dem-controlled legislature but voted for Ford, Reagan, and Bush for president.  And while it keeps electing nutball Republicans to the state legislature since 1999, it still sometimes elects Democrats in statewide races (Obama, Webb, Warner, Kaine).

          I think a lot of it had to do with personal connections to the legislators.  Our legislative session is short and the local guys pop in on the county and city party meetings very often.

          All your vote are belong to us.

          by Harkov311 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:21:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  WV- Tomblin is perceived as having been (0+ / 0-)

    interested only in his home district while he led the state Senate.

    In the governor's race last year he ran up huge margins of victory in his home county area and lost everywhere else, whether the areas were Democratic or Republican. Unless he can change that perception he is in for another difficult race. He isn't running for Governor of Mingo County.

  •  Another set of reasonable ratings (6+ / 0-)

    Although I think Washington could legitimately be called a tossup now.

    I hope Indiana is wrong, although I don't feel as if it is. Pence is awful.

    Registered in NY-02, College CT-01, Spent most of the rest of my life on the border of NY-08 and NY-15

    by R30A on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:51:44 AM PDT

  •  Ummmmmmmm. You forgot one. (7+ / 0-)

    I hear there might be a governor's race in Wisconsin too this year.

  •  Schwietzer and TEster should have switched jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pademocrat

    Schweitzer would easily win the Senate seat and Tester would have been a more likely winner for Gov

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. --George Orwell

    by jgkojak on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:11:33 AM PDT

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

      Schweitzer decided he didn't want to leave Montana which is why they ran for the offices they did.  And there was certainly a deep enough bench in Montana (and bear in mind, even Schweitzer ran close initially, so the initial polling doesn't necessarily mean anything).

      "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

      by Mister Gloom on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:09:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was surprised by your WA rating. (10+ / 0-)

    I went back and looked at the PPP poll, and realized that Inslee may be in a little more trouble than I thought.  There actually is not a huge difference in name recognition according to PPP, with McKenna known by 68% and Inslee known by 64%.  So there's not necessarily a whole lot more room for growth for Inslee than for McKenna (I would have thought there would be).  PPP had a tie, with more Dems undecided than Reps.

    I still disagree with your rating (I'd say tossup) and I actually think Inslee will win narrowly.  IIRC there is a long history of inexplicable pro-Republican poll bias in Washington, not that history necessarily will repeat itself.  In any event, the fundamentals in Washington clearly favor Inslee.

    This is the only rating with which I disagree on either chart.  Great job!  Terrific transparency, reasoning, and presentation.

  •  Washington state (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    Spot on analysis of the race.  Jay has got to get around the state and introduce himself, his name recog is zip, but he's a good looking personable guy, who can maybe close the gap.  McKenna is much more conservative and slimy than people think, but he'll probably get away with the moderate label.

  •  Pretty fair ratings (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY

    After 2010 I think it can be said that it's better to be pessimistic about Dem chances than it is to be overly optimistic.  Still hoping Inslee can show some signs of life in Washington, and Montana's one where Dems could possibly even score a win on the federal level next year too.  

    Still, it's pretty brutal if things play out even optimistically and Dems are reduced to 18 or Governor's Mansions next year.  I don't see any easy red states up for grabs, even if Herbert loses his primary.  

    •  WI-Gov is our only real pickup opportunity (0+ / 0-)

      according to these rankings. And it's probably a Tossup, though as it isn't in November and technically isn't certified (probability of certification approaches 1), it's not listed here.

      Male, 21, -4.75/-6.92, born and raised TN-05, now WI-02, unapologetic supporter of Obama and Occupy. Tammy Baldwin for Senate and Recall Walker!

      by fearlessfred14 on Sun Mar 25, 2012 at 07:00:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  IN-Gov (5+ / 0-)

    Gregg is former Speaker actually. Not a big deal, just thought I would point that out. Honestly I personally think this is just lean R from everything I've heard, but I do not blame your rating all the same. Coming up with a rating with literally no polling is not an easy task.

    •  I think it's Lean R as well (at worst) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, pademocrat, Odysseus

      John Gregg is very much in the mold of the late Governor O'Bannon, who is still remembered very fondly. And Pence is a fire-breathing ideologue in a suit, which is not exactly in the Hoosier mold: when we elect Republicans statewide we want them unassuming and moderate, even if in name and style only.

      24, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

      by HoosierD42 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:45:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Governor Jack Markell. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, pademocrat, jncca

      I am hoping that he will one day replace Tom Carper in the Senate. Carper routinely gives many more votes to the sad sack Delaware right than he needs to. Markell is a solid progressive and a popular governor.

    http://www.snappac.org/ Students for a New American Politics!

    by redrelic17 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:22:40 PM PDT

  •  You can add WI to the list! (4+ / 0-)

    June 5th, baby.

    T o t a l    R e c a l l

  •  Teachers are pissed at Daniels, and especially at (5+ / 0-)

    his pick for Superintendent of Education Tony Bennett.  Many teachers that have voted Republican are not doing so this year.

    Indiana is a good place for some union and PAC money for advertisements to go.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:06:40 PM PDT

  •  We had best ask Art Pope and the Koch (0+ / 0-)

    brothers who they wish North Carolinians to vote for before we predict outcomes. Hey Robber Barrons,  please help us choose.

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:12:50 PM PDT

  •  In NH, the primary between (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, Odysseus

    Jackie Cilley and Maggie Hassan is trickier than "who's the most progressive."

    Hassan decided to "take the pledge" against a broad-based tax.  Some progressives consider that a betrayal, others consider it sensibly pragmatic (with some electoral history to support their argument).

    Each of the two has some impressive progressive friends and endorsers.

    In any case, we have the "advantage" of a truly frightening prospect of a Republican governor welcoming, instead of stemming, the tide of crap from our legislature.  The Dems - and Independents - should unite quickly around either one.

  •  Weird question on Indiana... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, HoosierD42

    ...is the Survivor guy still running as a Libertarian, and if so is he getting any trackion with the "I'll vote for who I know" demographic?  Just curious since I can't recall seeing jack in terms of polling...

    "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

    by Mister Gloom on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:05:57 PM PDT

    •  And if he is/does... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, HoosierD42

      ...would that indicate Gregg having a better shot?

      "Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center." - Kurt Vonnegut

      by Mister Gloom on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Libertarian Party in Indiana (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Odysseus, bumiputera

      is actually relatively strong, sometimes clearing 5%. There are going to be a few voters who would vote for Libertarians or not at all, but any other voters would disproportionately detract from Republicans more than Democrats. So it will help Gregg, but it's unclear how much.

      And yes, Rupert is still running.

      24, Solid Liberal Democrat (-4.75, -4.51), DKE Gay Caucus Majority Leader, IN-02; Swingnut. Gregg for Governor! Donnelly for Senate! Mullen for Congress!

      by HoosierD42 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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