The Big Democratic Opportunity of 2006: Governors

In 2006, it will be very difficult to retake the Senate, and despite some early optimism, the House is not much better. However, at the statewide level, Democrats are well positioned to make huge, generational style gains: All seven of these states are ripe. Here is how sweet a sweep of these seven would be:
  • Right now, these are the seven largest states with Republican Governors, and combine for over 40% of the national population. Victory across the board would push Democrats in control of states worth around 400 electoral votes, rendering Republicans a small minority party when it comes to Governors.

  • This would successfully take revenge on nearly every right-wing power grab in the nation over the past five years. Florida 2000, Georgia 2002, California 2003, Texas 2003, and Ohio 2004.

  • It would severely dent Republican Presidential aspirations for multiple cycles. Not only would this severely thin out the Republican bench, but longshot candidates for 2008 like Bush, Romney and Pataki would be immediately finished. At the same time, it would significantly increase the size of our future bench.

  • Taking out television friendly "moderates" like Pataki, Romney and .Schwarzenegger would push the Schiavo wing of the Republican Party further into the sunshine.

  • Republican gerrymanders in Georgia, Ohio, Florida and Texas would be threatened, if not entirely done away with, come 2010.

  • Control of elections in uber-swing states Florida and Ohio would no longer be in Republican hands.
The weakness of Republican Governors in large states presents Democrats with an opportunity to thoroughly reshape the American political landscape. We have waited some time for the Emerging Democratic majority to emerge, and these seven states represent our best chance to make it happen. This is our prize. This is our chance. We have to make it happen.

Tags: Governor 2005-6 (all tags)

Comments

54 Comments

Good thinkgI don't live in NY
If the GOP ran an MJ-legalization/free-higher-ed ticket I would have to think seriously about voting for that dude!!

Thank god I live in ass-backward OK, where we like our Democrats to be Republican and our Republicans to be completely insane.

It makes voting so much easier when you know the outcome before the election.  And all that with minimal fraud (except for stealing money from the state, which is OK in OK!)

by teknofyl 2005-06-22 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Good thinkgI don't live in NY
Read up on Golisano... I think that will cure you of any thoughts of voting for him.

It is extremely funny thinking of the Republicans backing Golisano. He was a front man for a democratic effort to steal votes from Pataki last time around. A failed front man effort.

It just shows how weak the New York GOP is that they have to reach for Golisano in order to find a candidate. We need to go after every GOP held New York seat and push these guys over the edge. We are close to complete control of New York and given how weak and incompetent these guys are we should be able to put the final nails in their coffin with a serious and concerted effort.

by Andrew C White 2005-06-22 10:10AM | 0 recs
look west, Democrats
I think you are far too optimistic in listing these 7 states, of which only Spitzer is an odds-on favorite (and that could change if Pataki decides to run again or they can recruit a strong moderate candidate, given how much money the Republicans will be able to raise against him).

And you miss one of the most important and promising Democratic pick-up opportunities, in a purple state that will be a key to building an electoral majority in 2008, Nevada.

by desmoulins 2005-06-22 09:44AM | 0 recs
Correct, much too optimistic
I live in Las Vegas and bet politics via offfshore books and in a 16-man betting pool. The parlay odds of sweeping those gov races is enough to build your own Mirage or Bellagio. Particularly when it includes Texas. Sorry, but that's a farce.

As I ran through the list my instant summation was, "let's see, we're an underdog in that one, underdog there, underdog again," and so on. There is a slight difference between a seemingly vulnerable incumbent and actually ousting him. In most cases I don't see superior candidates on our end who can pull if off. In Nevada, for example, we can probably forget this gov mansion unless Oscar Goodman runs, which he apparently will not. Gibbons will pull a big number from northern Nevada and has already been trying to cut his losses in Las Vegas by placing prominent billboards for more than a year.

This reminds me of 2002, when the pre-election hoopla had us netting 10 or 11 gov chairs. In the end I think it was +3 or +4. In a 50/50 polarized nation the word sweep is out of place, particularly when it requires evicting so many incumbents and not always in the friendliest states.

by jagakid 2005-06-22 01:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Correct, much too optimistic
Actually, I think jagakid, you're far too pessimistic, esp about our home state. I know that the GOP is counting on duplicating its monstrous performance in the 16 rural counties, which it carried by 45K votes, but I don't see that happening in an off year with such a weak candidate as Gibbons. (Even more so if Rogers jumps in and beats Gibbons for the GOP nom).

And by the way, not that I care, but isn't it illegal to bet on politics in the United States?

by desmoulins 2005-06-22 07:55PM | 0 recs
Alabama
What about Alabama, where the tax raising governor is deeply unpopular, and Lucy Baxley is apparently gunning for the seat? I think we may have a better shot there than in Georgia, unless Ralph Reed's shenanigans simply explode.
by niq 2005-06-22 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Alabama
Exactly. Alabama should be one of the top competitive races on the list. Take out the gimmies (hello New York), and let's focus energy and effort where a governor turning over can signal progress to come... Such as this.
by CAat14K 2005-06-22 10:16AM | 0 recs
A few thoughts
1. Arnold never was about the GOP or Arnold.  The GOP drank a lot of Kool-Aid trying to believe in Arnold, and in the process screwed over a number of loyalists, like Issa.

Arnold was always about how much Gray Davis sucked.  Gray Davis is a Hollywood chariacature of a politician, and that never plays well, especially when state revenues are drying up.

  1. Ohio has been long overdue.  However, the GOP has a real knack for holding on to evenly split states.  

  2. Texas . . . I know Perry looks bad.  But Texas is going to take a hellstorm.  Tying Perry down to the albatross of DeLay might help.

Texas is certainly worth a good try, but it's not a focal point, IMO.

Clearly, if things continue at their current pace, the Dems are going to have some money and manpower to relocate from what they thought were going to be tough races.

For one, I don't think Santorum is going to hold up to Casey in PA.  DeWine and Taft are dog food in Ohio.  Arnold is dog food.

If the DNC and the PACs move intelligently and fairly early away from these races, they can turn the spotlight onto races such as TX, where they can raise a real stink.

Also, any trend coming out of 2006 will adversely alter 2008, just as 2002 laid the groundwork for the Dems total defeat in 2004 (read: pro-war poll-reading pussies don't win elections).

by jcjcjc 2005-06-22 10:00AM | 0 recs
New York, New York, New York
Mention New York and I'll be a broken record (CD on repeat for all you youngin's)...

5 State Senate Seats.

Five

That is our target. Unless something dramatic happens... Spitzer will be Governor in '06. The Assembly is more than 2 to 1 democratic (though it would be good to see more progressive reform minded Democrats in the Assembly) but the State Senate is where the action is.

The Republicans have a 5 seat edge. It is critical that we capture those 4 seats and take control of state government.

We can do this.

If you have a Republican State Senator start now to raise money, organize your election district, find a quality candidate to run for the Senate. There are many, many state senate districts curently held by republicans that can be won by Democrats. The numbers are there but it will take effort, organization, quality candidates, and money.

We can do this.

by Andrew C White 2005-06-22 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: New York, New York, New York
Hear! Hear!
State Senators Eric Schneiderman and David Patterson (one T or two? I always forget) have done some very important ground work for future Dem victories. There are some vulnerable GOP State Senate seats in the Empire State.

Nonetheless, it will take a hell of a lot of work, and not everywhere in NY is ever-more-blue...

by IseFire 2005-06-22 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: New York, New York, New York
One T.

The Senate Minority leadership appears to be taking the cautious approach though and only looking at three seats for '06. I generally believe in methododical and sure approaches to things but believe strongly that this is the year to take a full on charge at the Republicans in New York. Challenge them everywhere. Strongly challenge them in the 10 most likely seats. I believe we can 5 seats in '06 (sorry about the typo above where I hit the 4 instead of the 5).

There are also 9 Republican Congressmen that we can challenge as well. All of them are tough targets but none of them are invulnerable. The 2 toughest districts (20th and 29th) have very beatable men sitting in them (Sweeney and Kuhl). The 19th (Sue Kelly) is probably the most attractive target. It would be nice to pick off 3-4 of them too... but the Senate seats are most important and winning even one of the congressional districts would be a nice prize. Whittle away at them one or two a year.

by Andrew C White 2005-06-22 04:24PM | 0 recs
Re: New York, New York, New York
I live in Nick Spano's (N)th State Senate District. The local paper continually refers to him as the "3rd most powerful Republican in the state" (or is it the Senate...something like that), I believe he's the Senate majority whip (it's late and I don't remember/want to look it up). Regardless, he BARELY won re-election this past year, to Westchester County Legislator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. The margin was under 20 votes. This was far less than the thousands he received under the Working-Families ballot line (which is traditionally a Democratic endorsing party). Now, I do think he's a good Senator and all that (he's a sponsor of a bill to make Emergency Contraception available OTC in NY), but I value Democratic control over the Legislature more... it's just unfortunate that we don't have more Republicans like him in the more conservative (and thusly, unwinnable) districts of upstate.

Well, I suppose the whole point of that rambling mess was to say that if someone that high in the Republican leadership is so vulnerable, our prospects in making NY just that much bluer is very good.

Now if only Hillary can beat off her challengers (she's been going right to prepare for 08, but at the cost of alienating her more liberal constituents in NY). I don't envy her having to play both the Senate re-election and Presidential primary game.

Ironically (or coincidentally I suppose), her challengers look to be from where I live: the Westchester DA, Jeanine Pirro, is not seeking re-election (it's widely specultated she may be seeking higher office, including AG), and the ex-Mayor of Yonkers, John Spencer (a real piece of garbage), who I believe publicly has announced his interest (or intent).

by hellenica 2005-06-22 10:14PM | 0 recs
Re: New York, New York, New York
Hillary is not in danger. The Republican efforts against her are to damage her Presidential aspirations not to seriously challenge her Senate seat. She'll wipe the floor with Pirro.

And here is hoping that Andrea Stewart-Cousins defeats Spano soundly next time around. I met her at our Democracy for New York conference a few months back. She was a surprise visitor and speaker for us. She is one of the 5 senate seats we need to take... 4 more and we are on our way.

by Andrew C White 2005-06-23 08:29AM | 0 recs
Maryland my Maryland
Maryland is in play for sure. Repub. Gov. Erlich is probably going to face Maryor O'Malley.
by Voxefx 2005-06-22 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Maryland my Maryland
Agreed. Maryland is ripe for the picking too. Why don't we break this list into two categories? One for the states where based on the current polling and data, a switch is expected, and one for where we can realistically expect to run a competitive race (but not a given) to flip the seat?
by CAat14K 2005-06-22 10:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Maryland my Maryland
O'Malley is going to be president one day.  Just watch.  Meanwhile, he has a great chance to defeat Bob Ehrlich, the first GOP governor of the state since Spiro Agnew.
by jkfp2004 2005-06-22 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Maryland my Maryland
He can be Barack Obama's VP.  ;-)
by yitbos96bb 2005-06-22 04:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Maryland my Maryland
I was thinking Obama/Spitzer but Obama/O'Malley would be great.
by jkfp2004 2005-07-03 12:06PM | 0 recs
Florida
Would Graham consider running for Governor again?
by Andrew C White 2005-06-22 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
Graham has done his two terms as governor -- besides, he's retired.  And no one deserves retirement as much as Bob Graham after the selfless job he's done for more than 40 years.

Unfortunately, I don't see a Dem winning the Florida Governor's Mansion.  The GOP is running three candidates who already hold statewide office.  We're running three candidates who have never held statewide office and have little or no name recognition.

In addition, all three R's hail from the right gepgraphic area to win and only one of the Dems does.  No one has won a statewide race in Florida with a home base north of the I-4 corridor since the early 70's.

by Thirsty Gator 2005-06-22 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
Bummer.

I gather you have a 2 term limit? Any chance of uniting behind and giving a good strong run to one of those candidates? Is Jeb really that unpopular? Last I had heard he was doing fine in the polls. I'm not all that familiar with the state of Florida politics though so I've got to rely on you folks to give me the scoop.

by Andrew C White 2005-06-22 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
It was news to me that Jeb is unpopular.  Then again, he hasn't been campaigning lately, and he isn't running for anything next year, so that tends to lower visibility.  If he DID want to run for Senate next year I'm afraid he'd clean Bill Nelson's clock.

Jim Davis is the only Dem candidate from the right half of the state (he's from Tampa), and as a sitting Congressman he's probably our best shot.  Unfortunately, the other two are powerful speakers with generally good messages ... but history tells us they don't have a chance.

by Thirsty Gator 2005-06-22 11:11AM | 0 recs
None of this matters...
if we don't seriously go after these voting machines, and right now.  I know we already have plenty of orders to fill, every issue we're fighting for hinges on whether or not we get people into office. It won't happen with the current state of elections.

As far as "looking west," we've also made some nice progress (on a state level) in Colorado and Montana, and remember just how close New Mexico and Arizona have been in the last couple elections.  We can definitely change the colors of the map, but not if we let Diebold and friends do the tally.

by Village Jenius 2005-06-22 10:15AM | 0 recs
Governors Races 2006
We have a chance to make major gains in statehouses across the country in 2006.  That being said, I think it is highly unlikely that we would take all seven states you mention.  Let's look at them one by one:

Ohio:  If we can't win Ohio this year, then we never will.  The environment for Democrats is a good as it has ever been and Strickland is a strong candidate.  He should win and we should win up and down the ballot.

California: I've been saying for over a year that Phil Angelides would beat Arnold.  Now I'd bet that Arnold won't even run.  This isn't a huge deal, though, as the state has always and will continue to be solid Dem - the unique circumstances of the Davis recall and Arnold's fame changed things for a few years, but that's it.

New York: Spitzer is going to runaway with this and that's great.  New York should have a Dem governor and making sure it does denies the GOP one of its best options at presenting a nationally known moderate spokesperson to the American people.

Massachusetts. If Romney runs for re-election he is going to be spanked by AG Riley.  But I bet he soon announced he is forgoing a reelction bid to focus on '08.

Texas. Perry is unpopular, which is why he is facing a primary challenge which I would not be surprised to lose.  If we had a strong challenger we could make it a race, but our bench is SO weak in Texas that we have little shot.  I like Chris Bell and wish him well, but I would be shocked if this race is close.

Florida. The accouncement that the Democratic Party owes $200,000 in back taxes shows what a dismal state we are in in Florida (and is the end of Scott Maddox's Gov. campaign).  The GOP has a deep bench - luckilly they are all running for Governor and not for Senate.  Charlie Crist will likely win their nomination and will be favored in the general over likely Dem nominee Jim Davis.  Having Harris in the Senate race is a godsend for us and the combination of her turning out the Dem base and a nationwide Democratic win would give us a chance here, but it is an uphill battle.

Georgia. We are going to win in Georgia.  Perdue is tanking and we have two very good candidates in LG Taylor and AG Cox (who will end up winning).

You missed some other states:

In Alabama Governor Riley faces a primary challenge from 10 commandments judge Roy Moore while Dem LG Baxley will beat tainted ex. Gov Siegelman in the primary.  Baxley is the favorite against either Riley or Moore.

In Arkansas, popular AG Mike Bebee will be our nominee while LG Win Rockefeller battles ex-Rep Asa Hutchinson for the GOP nod.  Bebee has a good shot here.

Bill Owens is term limited in Colorado.  If Denver mayor Hickenlooper got in the race he'd be the heavy favorite but this is looking less likely.  This means millionaire Rutt Bridges (who briefly ran for Senate last year before Salazar got in the race) is the Dem front runner while Rep. Beauprez is the GOP frontrunner.  Dems won big in Colorado in 2004 and have a chance to pick up the Governor's mansion, Beauprez' 7th district and Marilyn Musgrave's 4th district.  Colorado will be a hot spot in 2006.

In Maryland, Baltimore mayor O'Malley will likely hold off Doug Duncan for the Dem nod and then crush Gov. Ehrlich in the general.

Rep Jim Gibbons is the favorite to retain Nevada for the GOP but Senate Minority Leader Titus is a strong candidate and could upend him.

Of course, there are a couple state that Dems could lose as well:

Iowa:  Vilsack is retiring and Rep. Jim Nussle is the favorite to replace him.  Sec. State Chet Culver has a chance of keeping this in Dem hands.

Illinois: Blagojevich is wilting under scandals and trials GOP head Topenka in polls.  He may face a primary challenge which wouldn't be so bad.

Michigan: Former golden girls Granholm has seen her poll numbers drop and she will likely face self-funder DeVos.  Granholm will be favored but it no slam-dunk.

by DelDem 2005-06-22 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Governors Races 2006
Sorry, but Chet Culver has zero chance of beating Nussle. We're in a world of trouble when it comes to the IA governor's race. Nussle's home turf is the Dubuque area, heavily Catholic and traditionally Dem-leaning. Dems have to run up big margins around Dubuque to win statewide, and I don't see it happening.
by desmoinesdem 2005-06-27 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Governors Races 2006
We'll take Nussle's seat though.
by jkfp2004 2005-07-03 12:08PM | 0 recs
Don't forget Minnesota
Pawlenty's (Rove's choice for 08) popularity has droped considerably, and AG Mike Hatch could put up a serrious challenge.
by jkfp2004 2005-06-22 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't forget Minnesota
You mean Rove's choice for President in 2008?
by v2aggie2 2005-06-22 09:23PM | 0 recs
Agree
on Ohio, New York and Massachusetts. Not sold on California (despite all Arnold's pronlem he is much more charismatic then either Angelides or Westley) Texas (too Republican despite Perry's problems and no especially strong Democratic candidate) and Georgia (state swung very heavily to Republicans in the last years). Not sure about Florida (probably will depend on who wins a primary in both parties)
by smmsmm 2005-06-22 11:06AM | 0 recs
Don't forget Connecticut
If you mention Massachusetts, you should also mention Connecticut.  While Jodi Rell has high popularity numbers now, she has not made a decision on whether to run in 2006 or not.  Rumor has it that she may choose to retire to Florida with her husband.
by Terry from Killingly CT 2005-06-22 11:42AM | 0 recs
forget about Texas
Great analysis, except for the part about Texas. Chris Bell is a great guy and you're right that Perry is not well-admired, but there is no chance in hell of a Democrat winning state-wide office for several years. This state is way too conservative right now. Even a well-funded self made millionaire Hispanic running against Perry 2 years ago lost almost 60/40.

Eventually, Texas will be Democratic, with the current boom in the Hispanic population. But this is a good 10-12 years out. The Dems should not plan on Texas being in play for a long-time.

Also, even with a Dem governor, redistricting rests with the legislature, and there is even a longer time horizon for Dem control there than there is in the governor's office.

by internetinfidel7 2005-06-22 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: forget about Texas
Funny little clip of Governor Perry.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/news/062105_local_govperry.html

Click the link that says "Embarassing interview given to ABC13's Ted Oberg by Governor" on the column on the left entitled "Featured Videos".

Just precious, isn't it?

by bushsucks 2005-06-22 12:21PM | 0 recs
Remember Texas
The Republican Legislature has crewed up so badly this session, that we have a far better chance here in Texas than you may think, and we are working our tails off to take advantage of it.  Several critical State House Races have already attracted strong Challengers from the Dems.  Barbara Ann Radnofsky is committed to giving KBH a fight, and Chris Bell is all over the State and has a lot more support than you may think.  David Van Os is an early and strong challenge to the AG.  DeLay and his clone Lamar Smith (CD 21) are both going down.

Off to a meeting of Keep Austin Blue to do what I can do today to make it happen.

by Othniel 2005-06-22 02:31PM | 0 recs
Re: forget about Texas
In 2002, Tony Sanchez was a god-awful candidate.  All the money in the world wouldn't have gotten him elected.

Chris Bell is much better.
And Perry is much less popular.

by v2aggie2 2005-06-22 09:13PM | 0 recs
Don't misunderestimate
the vast potential influence of big money and TV in California.  Reality is starting to prevail among California's electorate, but the Plebiscite-inator is stuffing his wad with hundreds of millions from the "have mores" nationwide to pay for his slick TV ads come fall.
by baked potato 2005-06-22 12:37PM | 0 recs
Agree in part
I'd love it if your analysis does come to pass, but there are a couple of problems right off the bat.  

First, some of the most unpopular incumbents (Taft, Bush [if his is indeed unpopular]) are term-limited.  Unless there's overall voter revulsion against the GOP (as there may well be in Ohio), even a Republican can claim that s/he is going to the state capitol to "clean up that mess."  

Again, Ohio is different, in that nearly every Republican of any prominence seems to be implicated in Coingate.  A "throw-the-bums-out" feeling works well for us then, because there are no statewide Democrats to throw out, and none implicated in this, as far as I know.

Second, this might help, a little, with redistricting after the 2010 Census, but whomever we elect in 2006 has to win re-election in 2010. Although I'd love to see Democrats sweep the states you mention, I'd much rather see us sweep in 2010 (too), because whoever is elected Governor then gets to approve redistricting.  

And remember, winning the statehouse in Massachusetts and holding the legislature doesn't mean that much for redistricting there, since the entire House delegation is Democratic, and the state might lose a seat.

BTW, having a Democratic Governor and legislature didn't help us at all in Illinois, where our Governor chickened out on mid-decade redistricting.

But I agree that winning these races would severely hurt the Republican bench for 2008 and beyond, and we should concentrate on the Governor's races and the House, where a pick-up of 15 seats is not out of the question, even with gerrymandering.  I think that Arnold and Romney won't run in 2006, and let's remember that California and Massachusetts have very weak Republican Parties right now, so the bench is thin there.  And while I admire Chris Bell a lot, and will probably give him some money, I don't think he can win, especially against Hutchison.

Just my two cents...

by rayspace 2005-06-22 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Agree in part
Bell would go against Perry or Strayhorn.

Hutchinson is running for re-election to the US Senate

by v2aggie2 2005-06-22 09:15PM | 0 recs
As a Texan,
I'm very glad to see Texas in your list...and sorry to see more of the familiar "forget about Texas" view in the comments. There is a lot of volatility in the Texas governor's race right now, and esp. with KB out of it, anything could happen. But besides that, Texas Democrats are working hard to get Dems elected at all levels in our state. Don't write us off.
by roses 2005-06-22 01:36PM | 0 recs
You are absolutely right
Check out ChrisBell.com, and you'll see that Chris has always done well against long odds.  His ethics complaint against Tom DeLay wasn't given much of a chance either, yet the bipartisan House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished Tom DeLay, leading to all the scandals that are coming up now.  The odds were longer against that complaint working; would you have told him not to do it?

The comments on this thread reflect the piss-poor defeatist attitude that would have convinced Bill Clinton not to run in 1992 and to resign in 1997.  Chris has moderate appeal and street cred with the Democratic grassroots.  If a Republican Governor comes limping out of a $50-million primary, then why can't an attractive, fresh face with new ideas win the unwinnable?

Blue states such as Maryland, Hawaii and Massachusetts elected Republican Governors, and red states such as Oklahoma, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Kansas elect Democratic governors.  Democrats can win if they can first over come those within their own ranks who refuse to consider the possibility success.

by JackBurden 2005-06-22 02:25PM | 0 recs
Couldn't have said it better! n/t
by roses 2005-06-22 06:51PM | 0 recs
How does Kinky affect the race?
Does he help us or hurt us?
by Geotpf 2005-06-23 10:11AM | 0 recs
Wow, you all have texas wrong
I am writing this straight from the middle of a very red part of Delay's district.  Perry may be unpopular but too much of this state distrusts Democrats and will vote for him anyway over a Dem no matter how many facts we have showing they are wrong.  There is a progressive candidate who is attracting a large amount of support from both sides of the isle in this state who I am betting will win the election.

That is independent Kinky Friendman.

We can all keep ignoring Kinky or realize the guy is running a campaign more progressive than Bell's and is getting wider support from people (people sick of Dems not fighting hard as Van Os has put it).  Ivans has expressed her support for him in a video and so am I.  This guy is just as if not more progressive than Bell, the biggest difference though is he can win.

I am loyal to my ideals before my party and this guy holds them best.  It is in the best interest of the party if they value their ideals to endorse Kinky instead of Bell (sorry).  I want Perry gone and I want progressive politics in Texas and this guy can do it better than our candidate.

by Trowaman 2005-06-22 04:13PM | 0 recs
Kinky
If he really has a chance to win, thats quite something. He strikes me as Jesse Ventura with staying power -- anti-politician regular-guy personality, eclectic positions, and demographics to die for : Jewish Texas country/bluegrass star.

Can he really win?

by desmoulins 2005-06-22 08:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Kinky
Absolutely not!
by v2aggie2 2005-06-22 09:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Kinky
What makes you say no?

I'm finding a lot of progressives who are not part of the democratic party supporting him.  Also I went to a family reunion recently in college Station, and when in a discussion with my neo-con relatives and I brought up his name their tone instantly changed to how much they liked him and would be willing to send him into office.

The guy not only has a chance, but a much better one than Chris Bell.

by Trowaman 2005-06-23 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Kinky
If that's the case, then I will prepare for Rick Perry's inaugauration in 2007.

As for neo-cons, well, I've learned to believe that what they say is the opposite of what they mean.

I have spoken to Chris Bell.
He is a legitimate candidate, the most legitimate one to date on our side.

Then again, perhaps folks are looking for another Ralph Nader.  I'm not.

by v2aggie2 2005-06-23 09:14PM | 0 recs
My Two Cents
I would agree that effortwise, the Democrats have to look to their Presidential bench and fight hard for governorships. But before we get too excited, I'll express reservations about each state.

OHIO: Strickland is the nightmare candidate for Bob Taft, but there's a line of thinking that the pool of qualified candidates for governor is too deep and the caliber of talent at Senate against DeWine is too thin. That's a dangerous bet in the sense that if Taft or a GOP govenor pulls it out thanks to the people of Cincinnati, it will be all for naught.

CALIFORNIA: Schwarzenegger is really popular because he raises money from out of state. But he might be DOA and not even run in 2006. The GOP have some local politicans who would be tough for Angelides or Westly. A couple you may have heard, Darrell Issa and Condi Rice like the speculation but never do much conclusively to say they are in. The person I have not heard from, and would be a tough candidate to beat either for Senate or Governor is Ann Veneman. The only reason she has not been more prominent IMHO is because no one in the GOP wants to discourage a telegenic figure like Arnold from staying in office.

NEW YORK: I have very high regard for Eliot Spitzer, but there are candidates out there that could derail him. Among them are Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell...or Bill Clinton if he ran against him in the primary. It's telling though that former Mass. pol William Weld wants nothing to do with the Spitz. That makes it hard to see how anyone more prominent jumps in.

MASSACHUSETTS: Romney was caught looking ahead to '08 too often. Now Riley has a serious chance to knock his block off and there's no Harvard fellow or upstater eager to take up the GOP shield. Just remember though, Romney may be as wealthy as Jon Corzine because of his venture capital group. That's a serious amount of television ads to convince those outside of the I-495 Beltway that Riley is in fact a kitten-fetus eating Satan worshipper eager to raise taxes. (Though most of those people moved to New Hampshire already...)

TEXAS: This will be the big mystery. Kinky could eat up lots of independents and with a bruising Republican primary between Strayhorn and Rick "Goodhair" Perry...I think this our best strategy in Texas. Run a nice, clean fellow in Bell who can look "safe" compared to Friedman without alienating voters. If Strayhorn kills Perry, Bell's sterility means she can't whip him as corrupt or flashy, if Perry wins, Bell lets Friedman go on the attack.

FLORIDA: Almost impossible to call. So many names mentioned and few of them are from the dispostive I-4 Corridor. At least Jebbius is termed out, making this a fun free-for-all.

GEORGIA: The DNC hung both Max Cleland and Denise Majette out to dry recently. If national Dems get serious about having Georgia on their mind, this could be a major reversal of fortune for the GOP. However, do recall that Ralph Reed will be on ticket as a Lt. Gov candidate and make no mistake that Satan's Little Helper wants the job for himself someday. Look for the Reeps to pull out all the stops in this one, accusing whoever runs as a Democrat to being against God, against the death penalty, friends with Cynthia McKinney, etc. etc.

by risenmessiah 2005-06-22 05:12PM | 0 recs
As to NY...
I dont know much about the rest of the states, but being that I live in NY, I'm pretty confident Spitzer's got the whole thing tied up.

Why on Earth would Bill Clinton ever run for elected office again? He's already achieved the pinnacle of the profession. The only ex-President I can remember doing so was John Quincy Adams, and that was because he lost re-election and apparently loved the House almost more than the Presidency. The only other thing I can recall was that Taft later became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (but that's not an elected office).

Either way, he [Spitzer] wont face a primary challenge. In the general, Rudy is gonna be concentrating on 08, as his spokesman already ruled out anything else (such as a rematch against Hillary next year). As for Powell, I think he's just so sick of anything politics related that he'll be content with retirement.

An addendum to Clinton would be that running for any office would upstage Hillary again, something she is likely not prepared to tolerate. Part of her not disowning/divorcing/castrating him back in 98, was probably for him to sit down and keep his mouth shut after his term ended. I bed she'd rather see him buried in a shallow grave than re-enter politics. And this is with no animus directed at either of them, as I have a moderately positive view toward both.

by hellenica 2005-06-22 09:38PM | 0 recs
Re: As to NY...
Without sounding too technical, I was only saying who I thought could cause problems for Spitzer if he ran against him. I don't think any of the three are going to challenge Eliot, for the record. Yet his running against no one creates an incorrect aura of invincibility that might make him overreach. I worry about the same thing with Obama in Illinois.
by risenmessiah 2005-06-22 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: As to NY...
Andrew Johnson served in the Senate after his term as President ended.  He and JQA are the only ex-Presidents to have been elected after serving as President.
by rayspace 2005-06-23 07:06AM | 0 recs
I want Bill Clinton to run for mayor of NYC
The other Democrats there can't seem to get thier shit together-and he would win with 90% of the vote or so.
by Geotpf 2005-06-23 10:16AM | 0 recs
Great news, but the same old problem
This IS great news, and we should do all we can to capitalize upon it. But we are still stuck with right wingers in charge of counting the votes. That has to be corrected.
by robkall 2005-06-22 05:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Great news, but the same old problem
and of course, the very next thing I read is the first item on Chris's list of things he hates about the blogosphere... mea culpa.
by robkall 2005-06-22 05:25PM | 0 recs
What about Colorado?
I think you should not leave Colorado off the list of Governorships up for grabs. Bill Owens is term limited, and Colorado has not thrived under his leadership like it did under Romer.

A lot of that can be blamed on the recession and TABOR (both which can be blamed on the Repubs)and the drought, but nonetheless Colorado has suffered with a Republican Governor. Schools are a mess, roads are a mess, as a State employee I did not get any raise for two years and then only a fraction of what others make.

Democrats took back the legislature in 2004 and I think we can take the Governorship back if we field a good candidate this time.

by apishapa 2005-06-23 09:54AM | 0 recs

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