Approval Rating Bonanza

I can barely contain myself. Survey USA has just released approval ratings for all fifty Governors. Here are some fun facts I have found when parsing the data:
  • The 22 Democratic Governors have a slightly higher approval rating than the 28 Republican Governors. The average Democratic approval rating is 49, with 39.5 disapproval. The average Republican rating is 47.9 approval, and 41.4 disapproval.

  • Most potential Republican Presidential candidates look terrible. Bush (FL) is at 49/46, Romney (MA) is at 41/51, Barbour (MS) is at 37/55, and Pataki (NY) is at 36/56. Barbour is particularly toxic, considering how conservative Mississippi is. I have no idea why Republicans are supposedly urging this guy to run for President if the good people of Mississippi hate his guts. Even Schwarzenegger is at 40/56, and looking very vulnerable. The only Republican Governor with Presidential ambitions who comes out alright is Owens, with a solid 54/38.

  • Western, but not West Coast, Democrats are shining. Freudenthal (WY) is at 67/20, Napolitano (AZ) is at 59/32, Henry (OK) is at 59/30, Schweitzer (MT) is at 58/27, Sebelius (KS) is at 54/34, and Richardson (NM) is at 54/39. That is a sick 59/30 average! Can there be any doubt that the party need to move left, I mean west?

  • Warner is indeed loved. At 55/31, he would be a real threat to take Allen's seat, and to win Virginia as the party's nominee.

  • Bob Taft in Ohio is roundly despised, with a pathetic 19/74 rating. That is worse than Nixon's when he resigned office. Democrats simply must win in Ohio in 2006. Murkowski (AK) take the silver at 27/66. Its too bad Knowles didn't face him last year. Blunt (MO) comes in third at 33/57. That is some real buyer's remorse in Missouri.
Check the whole thing out. I maintain my belief that statewide races, including state legislatures, in 2006 will be more important than federal races, and this serve as an excellent baseline to se where things stand eighteen months out.

Tags: Governor 2005-6 (all tags)



Survey USA's ineptitude
Interestingly, Survey USA lists both Napolitano (AZ) and Schweitzer(MT) as Republicans  (and those are just the first two I noticed).  It makes me a little nervous about the polling results when they can't even get party affiliation right.
by mamamarta 2005-05-10 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Survey USA's ineptitude
Truly. I was a little surprised by that as well.
by Chris Bowers 2005-05-10 02:01PM | 0 recs
Owens is the one guy that really has the potential to be a scary good Republican candidate.  He is well-liked, smart, and not too conservative (compared to others).  He has a good delivery and always seems to say the right thing.  He also comes from an area (Rocky Mountain West) where we have the potential to win some electoral votes in 2008.  If we are shut-out of the Rockys again in 08', it could be 2004 all over again.  

Also I have the question.  Are the sucessful Dems in the Rockys and Great Plains states moderates say compared to your typical governors out east and in the mid-west (Granholm)?  I assume so but don't really know the answer.  

by Eric11 2005-05-10 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
Owens campaigned for a tax increase... there was a great article in the WaPo a while back about all of the R govs who have had to raise taxes to deal with federal unfunded mandates.

I'm skeptical of a tax hiker being able to survive the primaries on the R side.

The more I hear from people who know Republican insiders, the more it seems like the fix is in for George Allen.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-05-10 02:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
Didn't hear that about Allen.  Where did you hear that.  Just wondering.

As for Owen, I understand your point.  But couldn't he just spin that into what a great deficit hawk he is and that is the type of "reform" the Republican Party needs.  It could play right into this hands.  

What's slick about him is the fact he is very conservative but has been able to stay just far enough way from the radical right to maintain positives among independents and Democrats.  This is probably the result of being a governor rather than a Senator, but this still a good play by him.  

by Eric11 2005-05-10 02:48PM | 0 recs
Republicans don't think they need reforms.
I saw a thermometer poll that was posted on this site about a month or two ago that said that most Republicans consider Bush II to be the greatest president ever, even better than Reagan.

Why spoil a good thing? /sarcasm

by craverguy 2005-05-10 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
Owens is Bush lite -- un wing nut petite -- in temperament and action. He signed on the support the fall referendum, which aims to repeal the worst part (the ratchet) of the TABOR amendment, and allow the state to keep the excess revenue for five years. All of the Dems signed on, and half of the GOP. That's the only responsible tax hiking thing he's done.

Owens just reconciled with his wife, after a long separation. Rumor has it that he fathered two children out of wedlock, which is why Francis Owens gave him the boot.

by ck 2005-05-10 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
If that last thing is true, that's a tough hill to climb in Jesus Land.  
by Eric11 2005-05-10 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
Regarding your last point, this is a very Rove-like characteristic.
by v2aggie2 2005-05-10 08:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Owens
I saw Governor Owens at the ACLU national conference last year, where he was invited to debate with Howard Dean.  Owens was downright scary, and I still shudder at the experience.  He speaks well and has the ability to sound straightforward, sincere, honest, and knowledgeable, when he's lying and deceiving.  The impression I got of him was extraodinarily slimy and creepy, with a side helping of "if I didn't know better, I might be taken in by this guy".

For example: He repeatedly claimed to have read the entire USA PATRIOT Act word for word, to know it deeply, and challenged Dean and the audience on the details.  When Dean brought up the library provision, Owens was mildly outraged.  He said any warrant to get library records had to first be approved by a panel of 11 judges!  How could we possibly object to that?!?  Anthony Romero had to step in to supply the facts: Owens was referring to the FISA court, which did indeed have 11 members, but a warrant for library records only had to be approved by 1 randomly selected FISA judge, and more importantly, it was an administrative approval only - the judge signs off that procedure had been properly followed, not that there's any showing of probably cause.  And, of course, FISA works in secret.  Bill Owens most assuredly knew all this.  There is no actual due process protection on these warrants.  I knew it too, and did Dean, but neither I nor he were as confident about the details, and Owens' straightforward, confident, knowledgeable-sounding outrage and refutation briefly shook my confidence.  What if I had been misinformed?  Why would he be saying that these warrants have to be approved by a panel of 11 judges if it's not true?  What if it is true?

I'm sure he knew what he was doing, and was actively trying to deceive people to shake their confidence in reality.  *shudder*

One of my first thoughts after hearing him speak was, Oh no, he's gonna run for president and win!!.  I mentioned this to some friends in Denver when I was visiting them later that summer, and they told me this: When Owens was first elected governor, everyone speculated that he'd run for president.  But then some personal scandal involing his marriage got quietly hushed up, and suddenly all speculation about a run for president ended.  The rumors were of some sexual impropriety, and that the press know about it but weren't reporting on it, and if he did run for president it would probably come out.

Any Coloradans care to comment?  I'm still very scared of the guy, I think he could win an election and do tremendous damage to the country, and unlike Bush, he'd be smart about it.

by cos 2005-05-11 09:18AM | 0 recs
Not good to see Granholm and Doyle doing some poorly.  Especially Granholm.  Michigan cannot afford to lose her one bit.  Unfortunately she has to deal with a Republican controlled legislature that won't give her anything (tax reform, educational spending, business related tax incentives).  The poor ratings for the governors in the Upper Midwest (forgot about Rod B - IL) illustrate how poorly the economy has remained there.  Michigan has never recovered from the recession, period.  
by Eric11 2005-05-10 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Also
Hot Rod would be in trouble in IL if there weren't such a thing Republican bench. I don't know what the scuttlebutt there is, but instinct tells me that unless Judy Baar Topinka decides to challenge him, there isn't going to be much of a fight against him. The IL Republicans are in disarray. Maybe Andy McKenna takes a shot?
by redsoxkangaroo 2005-05-10 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Also
Rod-B is an effective govenor who is basically a jerk.  That's his problem.  He is not media savvy or people savvy for that matter.  He just works hard and doesn't get involved in the usual political shinnagins.  McKenna has no shot, but you are correct, who else is going to run!  

Topinka's name has been throw around as a candidate for about every state-wide race for the past 4 years.  I think she holds the record.  Will she finally run this time.  I say no, but what do I know?    

by Eric11 2005-05-10 02:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Also
Doesn't get involved in the usual shenanigans? Umm...he's up to his eyeballs in scandals lately with ties to a guy who was just indicted on the Health Facilities Planning Board, and his people at Central Management Systems handed out connected contracts like candy.  

Beyond that he has made worse the long term budget problems by relying on bubble financing and putting off the problems for the future.  

Topinka is already exploring a run and I'm not sure how her name has been tossed around given she is the only current statewide officeholder for the GOP.  Frankly, she's probably more progressive than Rod.  

by archpundit 2005-05-11 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Also
McKenna is the Republican Party Chair and won't run.

The candidates on the Republican side are

Oberweis and possibly some others
Bill Brady

Topinka probably wins against G-Rod, but she has to win a primary in a very conservative primary, but the conservative vote is split. LaHood is probably a dead heat with G-Rod.  Rauschenberger too--the rest are dead meat.  

The other question is will a credible challenger emerge in the primary.  

by archpundit 2005-05-11 09:49AM | 0 recs
Watch out for Pawlenty in MN
He's very slick, and has national ticket ambitions. The anti-tax crowd loves him. If he gets re-elected in 2006, he'll make a move.
by aenglish 2005-05-10 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Watch out for Pawlenty in MN
Wow!  Could you imagine a president from MN who is a Republican.  At one point I thought I would more likely see a socialist from Idaho in the White House.  
by Eric11 2005-05-10 02:56PM | 0 recs
We might have.
In 1948, when Henry Wallace ran on the Progressive Party ticket, he picked Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho as his running mate.

Before deciding to run a third party campaign, Wallace had been looking at taking on Harry Truman for the Democratic nomination. If he had been nominated (a real possibility, given how popular he was with liberals), Wallace might well have picked Taylor then, too.

by craverguy 2005-05-10 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Watch out for Pawlenty in MN
Pawlenty's numbers surprised me.  I didn't think he was that popular.  He's also a Religious Right-Winger, and I wouldn't think the good Lutherans of Minnesota would have much use for that kind of stuff.

I'm also surprised that Doyle (Wisconsin) is doing so poorly.

by KTinOhio 2005-05-10 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Watch out for Pawlenty in MN
Doyle only got elected because the Libertarian candidate got nearly 10% of the vote. He was never very popular to begin with.
by craverguy 2005-05-10 08:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Watch out for Pawlenty in MN
I can't remember who did the study, but it was out last month or so, regarding religious affiliation and crossing that with political affiliation. While I never save anything to refer back to and lazily rely on my memory, I do remember that Lutherans were actually one of the more Republican leaning mainline religious groups. It was also one of the whitest religions (approximately 96%) and is heavily concentrated in Republican strongholds like the Dakotas, so it can't accurately reflect Minnesotan Lutherans. But its food for thought.

As an afterthought as well, my own family hails from Lutheran North Dakota and while the overwhelming majority are Republicans there is a bit of indpendence about their politics as well, with swing voting for Clinton and such. Which would help explain Republican N. Dakota having only Democrats in its congressional delegation.

by Bothwell 2005-05-11 06:46PM | 0 recs
regression fun house
Pretty much the worse the dem party is in the partisan index, the better our governors do. The better we are in the partisan index, the worse our governors do.

Republicans show NO assymtreical pattern. kinda interesting...maybe we need some red-state populists to run for president instead of blue staters....

here's the data...feel free to skip if stats are greek...

popd is the democratic governors approve-disapprove difference, indd is that state's partisan index

popr is the republican governors approve-disapprove difference, indr is that state's partisan index (inverted so it makes sense)

. regress popd indd

      Source |       SS       df       MS              Number of obs =      20
-------------+------------------------------           F(  1,    18) =   17.53
       Model |  4015.07967     1  4015.07967           Prob > F      =  0.0006
    Residual |  4121.92033    18  228.995574           R-squared     =  0.4934
-------------+------------------------------           Adj R-squared =  0.4653
       Total |        8137    19  428.263158           Root MSE      =  15.133

        popd |      Coef.   Std. Err.      t    P>|t|     [95% Conf. Interval]
        indd |  -1.033363   .2467853    -4.19   0.001     -1.55184   -.5148862
       _cons |   4.901092   3.440204     1.42   0.171    -2.326508    12.12869

. regress popr indr

      Source |       SS       df       MS              Number of obs =      30
-------------+------------------------------           F(  1,    28) =    0.59
       Model |  426.715482     1  426.715482           Prob > F      =  0.4490
    Residual |  20264.2512    28  723.723257           R-squared     =  0.0206
-------------+------------------------------           Adj R-squared = -0.0144
       Total |  20690.9667    29  713.481609           Root MSE      =  26.902

        popr |      Coef.   Std. Err.      t    P>|t|     [95% Conf. Interval]
        indr |  -.2060333   .2683208    -0.77   0.449    -.7556636    .3435971
       _cons |   6.797134   5.168749     1.32   0.199    -3.790569    17.38484

. ttest popd=indd

Paired t test

Variable |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
    popd |      20         7.5    4.627435    20.69452   -2.185333    17.18533
    indd |      20      -2.515    3.145592    14.06752     -9.0988    4.068801
    diff |      20      10.015    7.194279    32.17379   -5.042798     25.0728

                   Ho: mean(popd - indd) = mean(diff) = 0

  Ha: mean(diff) < 0         Ha: mean(diff) != 0        Ha: mean(diff) > 0
       t =   1.3921                t =   1.3921              t =   1.3921
   P < t =   0.9100          P > |t| =   0.1800          P > t =   0.0900

. ttest indr=popr

Paired t test

Variable |     Obs        Mean    Std. Err.   Std. Dev.   [95% Conf. Interval]
    indr |      30           6    3.399165    18.61799   -.9520726    12.95207
    popr |      30    8.033333    4.876753    26.71108   -1.940747    18.00741
    diff |      30   -2.033333    5.529547    30.28658   -13.34253    9.275861

                   Ho: mean(indr - popr) = mean(diff) = 0

  Ha: mean(diff) < 0         Ha: mean(diff) != 0        Ha: mean(diff) > 0
       t =  -0.3677                t =  -0.3677              t =  -0.3677
   P < t =   0.3579          P > |t| =   0.7158          P > t =   0.6421

I concluded that the worse john Kerry did the better our local gov is doing. By contrast George Bushes performance had no relation on how the local Repub governor was doing. a somewhat surprising result.

by srolle 2005-05-10 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house

Let the discussion of the a priori reason for this begin. Unfortunately, I have an appointment...

Except to make this observation:

In states where the legislature is totally dominated by the Republicans, the Christian Right gets scary for suburban "money" republicans who then might vote for moderate Dems as Gov just for balance.

Which on the national level wasn't enough to put John Kerry in the White House, but is showing up in backlash over the nuclear option and Social Security.

by redsoxkangaroo 2005-05-10 02:49PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
My short opinion - Just shows you how conservative (or anti-liberal) this country is.  
by Eric11 2005-05-10 03:44PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
More like if you voted for Kerry, voted for change. If you voted for change, chances are you don't see your local government as separate from the problem.

Or more like if you are a popular Democratic state official you kept Kerry away to avoid his political Kryptonite spilling into your backyard.

by risenmessiah 2005-05-10 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
but that would mean if you were unpopular governor, you would love Kerry coming and spilling political kryptonite?
by srolle 2005-05-10 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
Well...since this is a regression can't really prove negation. In other words, you want to prove why democratic governors kept Kerry away not why they didn't.

But my guess is that it really boils down to change. The parts of the country that are feeling the economic pains more acutely are probably pissed across the board...whereas in other places on average everything is aokay. Add in that Kerry was avoided in Middle America...and it probably all makes sense.

by risenmessiah 2005-05-10 07:17PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
i guess, i just dont think Kerry has much effect at all on the governors' popularity. I think this is only correllation and not at all causation. Does it really sound plausible that people evaluate their own governor based on the 2008 dem candidate? I doubt it. Especially since Kerry didnt visit blue states at all, and those governors are sucking wind. I think the correllation is interesting, because it points to something that is being done in name of the democratic party at the local level that isn't being done at a national level. If you look at the deep red governors, they are not 'republican-lites'. They aren't DLC triangulators. They aren't sophicate social liberals a la Kerry either. They're just 'normal' 'folks'.

Why are blue state governors doing so poorly? beats the hell out of me.

by srolle 2005-05-10 07:45PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
I think what you have to consider is that blue states are rocked by lots of pain in the last five years compared to red states.

Most of the technology companies that went poof were not found in Bush Country. 9-11 affected one red state and three blue ones. And that's only if you allow Northern Virginia to be counted as "red". The tax cuts don't affect states with minimal civil services and where the largest city is 500,000. Outsourcing and manufacturing job losses don't hit the red states with the exception being mills in the Carolinas. The explosion of house prices and inflation has been huge on the coasts, and minimal inland. And oh yeah, most gays live on states which touch an ocean.

It's called frustration, and that's what you ought to do next...measure the satisfaction with the governor against the percent of the vote Bush won in that state.

by risenmessiah 2005-05-10 10:55PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house
This is interesting.  Have you tried it using only governors who were elected in 2002 for the first time?  Just eyeballing it that might make a difference in the results.
by pwj 2005-05-11 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
My theory: In most states with a more Democratic partisan index and a Democratic governor, the state Democratic party has dominated state politics for a while, and probably controls the legislature.  The governor is someone who came up through the ranks of the party, and is seen by the public as a party hack associated with corrupt insiders.  In states where the partisan index is Republican, but a Democrat is governor, that Democrat almost certainly did not come out of a long-ruling state party seen as corrupt.  These Democratic governors won on their own merits, as outsiders, and are more exciting to the public.  Otherwise, they wouldn't be governors, because their states prefer to vote Republican - they had to be good to win.

Why does this not apply for Republicans?  If my theory is correct, then the explanation is simply that until the past decade and a half or so, Democrats dominated most states.  Many of the states that have a Republican partisan index, still have Democratic-leaning legislatures, or have had Republican state parties ascendant for only a short time (for example, Texas and Florida).  They don't have the same dynamic as multi-decade Democratic state parties that were fresh and energetic in the 60s  or 70s and have long since atrophied.

by cos 2005-05-11 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
my own theory is somewhat related...
i think that what we are really seeing is an inverse correllation between state party strength and governor effectiveness. Really strong states with political machines, like here in Illinois, pick crappy gubernatorial candidates, because the people arent really deciding in a primary. Primaries are decided by party bossesl influence, and that is how candidates are picked. These bosses do a crappy job at picking good candidates.

This patronage system is uniquely democratic; a holdover from the political machine days of yesteryear. Where there is no bossing of the primaries, dems do really well. When the bosses pick, they dont pick popular leaders.

by contrast few Republican primaries are bossed regardless of the redness of the state.

My premise may be wrong about a differential in primary bossing, any know if such a differential exists in reality?

by srolle 2005-05-11 10:04AM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
That's a very convincing theory, to me.

It certainly explains why we keep having crappy Democratic nominees in Massachusetts.  In at least once case, many people believe we got a good nominee who was deliberately sabotaged by party bosses who didn't want a Democratic governor displacing them as the state's main powerbrokers (Speaker of the House Tom Finneran, sabotaging Attorney General Scott Harshbarger, in 1998).

by cos 2005-05-11 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
Either that, or it's because the best candidates keep getting left in the primaries. I still maintain that Robert Reich would have mopped the floor with Romney.
by craverguy 2005-05-11 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
No, that's not an "either that or", it's a perfect example.  Shannon O'Brien was the party establishment candidate, it was her turn, and the bosses made sure she won.
by cos 2005-05-11 07:06PM | 0 recs
Re: regression fun house - my theory
The problem with this analysis is obviously the tremendous difference in popularity between GOP and Dem Governors in the South.  Dems overall are +24, GOP -5.  In most, if not all, of the "Solid South", Dems have held State Houses and Senate for 150 years.  Only in the last 5 or so years has this trend been reversed at the level of state legislatures.
by bludgeon 2005-05-13 06:24AM | 0 recs
Another one to watch out for
Mike Huckabee in Arkansas. He's raised taxes, but he's an honest guy and has dealt with a Democratically controlled legislature.

That number for Gregoire looks weird.

by niq 2005-05-10 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
Didn't I read that Huckabee is term limited?
by Andrew C White 2005-05-10 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
This is correct.

The Republican candidates in 2006 are Wim Rockerfeller and Asa Hutchinson.

The Democratic candidate is current Attorney General Mike Beebe.

This is definitely a race that we can win!

by v2aggie2 2005-05-10 08:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
I thought the wingnuts hated Hutchinson for being very wishy washy on immigration. (He was also so inept that he managed to tick off the latino community at the same time.)
by quoi 2005-05-10 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
Rockerfeller is more moderate than Hutchinson.
Plus, the family name helps him in the state (yes, there are also Rockerfellers in Arkansas!)
by v2aggie2 2005-05-10 09:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
That's funny. I would think that there would be backlash against people with names that reek of money, especially in the south. I thought that was one of the contributing factors to why Kennedy's can't get elected anymore (in addition to being poor campaigners and representative of "out-of-touch liberalism").
by PantslessYoda1 2005-05-11 03:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
Rockerfellers have been in Arkansas for multiple generations.  Winthrop Rockerfeller (not the 2006 candidate) was the son of John D. Rockerfeller.

They are prominent in both business and politics in Arkansas

by v2aggie2 2005-05-11 08:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
Winthrop Rockefeller was the head of a politcal machine as well as one of the best executives and most popular officials in state history.  It is ridiculous to say that the name "Rockefeller" would disqualify you in Arkansas.  Rural does not equate directly with knee jerk ignorance
by bludgeon 2005-05-13 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Another one to watch out for
Thanks for the information on Winthrop knowledege was pretty limited

Also, I think that your last sentence is very correct and needs to be remembered by everybody who posts here.

by v2aggie2 2005-05-14 12:01PM | 0 recs
Well... I don't know about...
... more important than federal but I agree that state races are incredibly important this time around. It is not just New York where we can make a HUGE difference by electing a reform Democrat as Governor and by picking up 5 State Senate seats. A variation on this same scenario plays out in many states across the nation.

Equally though I think there is an opportunity to pick up a few U.S. Senate seats across the land and several states in which we can pick up a few House seats and narrow the Republican edge.

So I don't know that the state elections are more important than federal but I certainly don't think they are any less.

by Andrew C White 2005-05-10 03:59PM | 0 recs
Governorships are critically important
Governorships are critically important, because they can determine the makeup of the U.S. Senate in the event of the death or resignation of a Senator.

Chris is right -- the key to the prospects for the Democratic Party in the future, lies in the  the West.

Democrats will win the Presidency in 2008 if they move their swing-state efforts/focus from places like North Carolina (other than Florida and Virginia, the South is a difficult sell for Democrats these days), to Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Nevada and Arizona are the two fastest growing states in the country.

The key to Democratic prospects in the Southwest in the near future (and thus in the country at large), is for them to be able to win over the rapidly burgeoning Hispanic population.

Schumer and the DSSC should be focused very actively right now on finding strong Hispanic Democratic candidates to take on Sen. Kyl (AZ-R) and Sen. Ensign (NV-R) in a year and a half in November 2006.


by JT 2005-05-10 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
Agree completely.  The Dems could still lose Ohio and Florida, but win an election if we carry Nevada, Colorado, and Arizona.  Actually, I think only two of those states are necessary if we were to carry Iowa and New Mexico.  

It's all about electoral math and we have the potential for some real pluses out west.  

by Eric11 2005-05-10 05:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
Florida, Virginia, Louisiana and Arkansas, are all competitive for dems, IMO
by Valatan 2005-05-10 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important


We have a popular (D) incumbent governor, Kathleen Blanco:


Mike Beebe (D), Attorney General is the likely nominee

by v2aggie2 2005-05-10 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
I don't know about Louisiana anymore. I know Clinton carryed it both times, and even Dukakis came close to winning it (or he might have actually won it, I'm not positive), but it seems like it's one of the last remnants of the solid south that still hasn't bothered to switch over. Don't forget, they just elected their first Republican senator since Reconstruction. We would need to run a strong southern Democrat who's conservative on a lot of social issues (in fact, I think Blanco is pro-life, or at least very close).
by PantslessYoda1 2005-05-11 03:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
I think you're right on Blanco being pro-life. The one thing about Louisiana people never seem to mention is that it has voted for the nominee froma neighboring state for the last five elections, if you count Bush Sr. as being from Texas. While Louisiana is a very socially conservative state and not the most environmentally friendly, unless it comes to coastal erosion, it is not as Republican as Bush's margin of victory would lead one to believe. I wouldn't discount the margin padding a Texan running against a yankee got just for being the Texan.

However, Vitter's outright win without a runoff does show the growing strength of Louisiana's Republican Party.

by Bothwell 2005-05-11 06:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
re: Vitter

True to an extent, but it shows more HIS strength and the incredible weakness and total lack of political instincts of Chris John and Kennedy.

by bludgeon 2005-05-13 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
Throw Alabama into that list as well. We really have an opportunity to show some Southern strength with Governor's races.
by CAat14K 2005-05-11 08:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Governorships are critically important
I really dislike the system of Governors appointing replacement Senators.  And I'm happy that we got rid of it in MA last year.  Faced with the prospect of Kerry possibly winning and Romney(R) appointing his successor to the Senate, reform-minded Democrats in the legislature led by Dean state co-chair Bill Straus, passed a bill changing our procedure for replacing Senators.  From now on if a Senate seat is vacated, we'll hold a special election, just as we would if a House seat were vacated.

I think one or two other states have such laws too.  Every state ought to make this reform.

However, Governors would still be critically important on the federal level for a number of reasons.  Not the least of which is that they are the "bench" for the presidency.  If you're not a former or sitting Vice President, Governorship is where you can build your resume and capability for a presidential run.

by cos 2005-05-11 09:28AM | 0 recs
Don't take the northeast for granted
With all this attention on the west and south, we risk taking the northeast for granted.  MA, VT, NY, CONN - all have Republican governors.
This survey gives NH's first term D governor John Lynch disapproval rating in the 20's.  A UNH Survey Center (which is extremely reliable)poll that came out yesterday gave him 53% approval, only 8% disapproval (even Republicans only gave him 12% disapproval).  Not bad for someone dealing with a Republican legislature.  
by nascardem 2005-05-10 04:40PM | 0 recs
Virginia 2005
You don't have to wait for 2006 to see how important fights for state legislatures will be - in addition to our critical governor's race in Virginia this year, our entire 100-seat House of Delegates is up for grabs!
by Maura in CT 2005-05-10 04:45PM | 0 recs
I noticed in this poll that western Republican governors also tend to have high approval ratings.

Maybe the folks out west are just happy!

by v2aggie2 2005-05-10 08:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Happy!
Yeah, Freudenthal's rating is amazing for a 70% GOP state!
by BlueEngineerInOhio 2005-05-11 01:22PM | 0 recs
fun facts! mixed news, though
Chris is spinning, a bit, though the Ohio news is welcome indeed. Incumbents in middling to large states with middling to bad economies are generally in trouble, as you'd expect: MI, OH, MO, OR, WA all net negative, and Rendell's net positive (not by much) is an achievement. Kathleen Blanco's numbers look good too. Even if Rod's safe in IL, Doyle, Kulongowski and especially Granholm look to be in trouble. When does Kulongowski have to run? What's gone wrong in ME? And do people in WA hate Gregoire because of the post-election dispute, or is there some other reason? Her numbers suck; fortunately, she has plenty of time to turn them around.

Incumbents in middling to large states with roaring economic growth are doing well, as you'd also expect: NV, AZ, NC, UT, NH all fall into that category, I think. (I think.)

Unfortunately Warner's numbers don't translate into votes for Tim Kaine in VA. I'm worried about that race, and if we lose it, Warner will have to mount a Senate (or Presidential) bid as a former governor, with nothing special to keep him in the news. Codey's numbers in NJ are meaningless, since he'll be replaced by Corzine in November. (Right?)

If you're worried about potentially strong Rethugs in '08, I agree that we should worry about Pawlenty, not about Owens. Pawlenty has become popular here in MN partly because he's managed to distance himself from the wingnuts while keeping them on his side, and if he doesn't get what he wants he can blame the Dems, who control one chamber of the state leg (by only a few votes-- the other's R by just one).

But frankly we shouldn't be worrying now about who the Rethugs run in three years: we should be building state and local parties now.

by accommodatingly 2005-05-10 08:13PM | 0 recs
Re: fun facts! mixed news, though
My take on Gregoire: I think the election "fiasco" is part of the reason But she just signed a bill raising the state gas tax after it looked like the bill wasn't going to pass - and the way it was reported - on TV and in the papers -, on top of the way the election has shaken out, doesn't look good from a media standpoint

The Democratic controlled WA state government just accomplished quite a lot in the recent session, but unfortunately, not all of which they accomplished are "crowd pleasing" type things.

Ben P

by Ben P 2005-05-10 09:09PM | 0 recs
Warner and Kaine
I share your concerns about Kaine's ability to translate Warner's popularity into electoral success in November.

I discussed the importance of this in an overview of the Virginia results, but downplayed  my concerns to some extent.

The fact is, Warner needs Kaine to win.  And Kaine needs Warner if he's going to win.  The question is, how willing is Warner to campaign vigorously for Kaine?  A few weeks ago, I saw a televised radio interview with Gov. Warner (on Channel 8 in DC) in which the interviewer repeatedly tried to pin Warner down on how much he'd be campaigning for Kaine.  Warner said all the right words, but with what appeared to me to be a decided...lack of enthusiasm.  Now that might just be how Warner usually is -- he's not known for fits of exuberance or anything.  But I was struck - disturbingly - by his reticence.

Which made me wonder all sorts of bleak things.  Has Warner decided the Kaine race is a lost cause, and thus he doesn't want to expend political capital vigorously campaigning for him and then losing?  That was my bleakest speculation.  It seems to me that if this is Warner's thinking, it's fundamentallly flawed -- since whether or not Warner campaigns vigorously for Kaine, it will hurt Warner if Kaine loses either way.

But it's early days yet, and I haven't given up on the prospect of a major Warner push for Kaine.  It has to happen for Kaine to win.

by Maura in CT 2005-05-10 10:17PM | 0 recs
has been a super-tool since entering office.  And wasting political capitol on the name change of southwest mo state to mo state during a budget crisis made him look idiotic (and pissed off Mizzou faithful).  And then he goes and does all this reactionary crap.
by Valatan 2005-05-10 09:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Blunt
Was the SMS name change really a big deal? (Did Jackie Stiles comment?) I suppose name changes do cost money.
by accommodatingly 2005-05-10 09:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Blunt
It's not that it's a big deal, it's that it was clearly blunt's #1 priority, which he pulled arms in the state congress to get passed, while much more important things are clearly on the state docket that that political capital could have been used on.
by Valatan 2005-05-11 08:46PM | 0 recs
Why is Taft so unpopular
Has there been a scandal or something. I mean, even republicans only give this guy a 30% approval!
by bushsucks 2005-05-11 07:52AM | 0 recs
The Granholm numbers are just awful.  It seems like only a few months ago she was over 50%.  It's not surprising that she'd take a hit with the unemployment here (tied with Alaska for worst in the nation IIRC), but to experience an Ahnold-like freefall is sad.  Republicans here have been throwing her name in every time the Kwame Klownshow in Detroit pops up, and I think that's been hurting her.  Michigan is too important a state for Democrats to lose in 2006.  If dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs is the thing driving people to the polls, Stabenow could be in trouble too.

Looking over the list, I honestly am not that excited about these numbers.  The only really good thing I'd say about them is their completeness.

by fwiffo 2005-05-11 09:27AM | 0 recs
Daniels not doing so well...
Ritchie Mitch Daniels not looking so hot either.

42 approve / 49 disapprove. A horrendous showing among independants too (39/52).

For a guy who swept in as a "people's governor" and who's party controls both houses of the state house, a 42% approval is atrocious this early in the game.

For any Hoosiers reading this, I posted on this over at the Indiana Democratic Club blog.

by descolada99 2005-05-11 09:35AM | 0 recs
Most of the numbers aren't surprising, but I'm shocked at the Mississippi numbers. That makes it look like Barbour is very vulnerable in 2007.
by raginillinoian 2005-05-11 11:10AM | 0 recs


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