The Big Democratic Opportunity of 2006: Governors
by Chris Bowers, Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:08:14 AM EDT
- Ohio Bob Taft has the lowest approval rating of any Governor in the nation. Mike DeWine has the lowest approval rating of any Senator up for re-election in 2006. Republicans in the state are embroiled in Coin-gate, and congressman Bob Ney is even deeper in Abramoff's pocket than DeLay. Democrats can easily gain on every level here in 2006.
- California. In the largest state in the Union, Schwarzenegger is circling the drain. His one and only approval trend is down, and down fast. Our chances of victory here look very, very good.
- New York. Right now, there does not seem to be any realistic scenario under which Spitzer will not will this race in 2006. Already, he regularly leads Pataki with more than 50% of the vote, while Pataki rots in the thirties. Incumbents can't pull out of tailspins like that, which is why the New York GOP is trying to recruit a guy who in 2002 ran on a platform to make higher education free and marijuana 100% legal. Yeah, that will work.
- Massachusetts. Multiple polls (here and here, for example) have shown that Romney is in a lot of trouble in the most Democratic state in the nation.
- Texas. Rick Perry has one of the lowest approval ratings in the nation The very popular Kay Baily Hutchinson will not run for governor. These twin events offer Democrats a real chance to win in Texas. Democratic candidate Chris Bell has already stopped by MyDD a couple of times
- Florida. Jeb Bush is not very popular, and Katherine Harris, who actually has a higher name ID than incumbent Nelson, will be a major millstone hanging around the neck of the Florida Republican party in 2006. Again, another good pickup opportunity for the Democrats, provided they find the right candidate.
- Georgia. Sonny Perdue is going down, down, down. His approval rating was not very good to begin with, and this will only increase his burden.
- 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.