Governor Forecast 2006: Final Update
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Nov 06, 2006 at 11:13:59 PM EST
At this late hour I've put the finishing touches on the final update to MyDD's Governor Forecast 2006. On election eve (or morning), I now project the Democrats picking up 9 governorships, putting them at a 30 to 20 advantage.
Ohio and Massachusetts now join New York in the safe category, with Ted Strickland and Deval Patrick consistently leading by 20 points or more. Colorado is not far behind. Other races moving closer towards the Democrats include Minnesota, which remains far from a lock (and thus is still a toss-up), Nevada, Idaho, Alaska and Florida (the last four of which provide Democrats for one, perhaps two pick-ups but nevertheless could all go Republican). The race in Arkansas seems to have gelled with Mike Beebe leading with a comfortable 8-10 point margin, which might narrow in actual balloting. The race in California is now off of the table (perhaps I should have removed it earlier). And perhaps the only cautionary news among Democratic targets comes from Maryland, where Martin O'Malley's lead has shrunk to just a couple of points. He is still favored, but the race is now a toss-up.
Safe Democratic:1. New York (Democrat: Eliot Spitzer). 2. Ohio (Democrat: Ted Strickland). 3. Massachusetts (Democrat: Deval Patrick).
Likely Democratic:4. Colorado (Democrat: Bill Ritter). 5. Arkansas (Democrat: Mike Beebe).
Toss-Up:6. Maryland (Democrat: Martin O'Malley). 7. Minnesota (Democrat: Mike Hatch).
Leans Republican:8. Idaho (Democrat: Jerry Brady). 9. Nevada (Democrat: Dina Titus). 10. Alaska (Democrat: Tony Knowles). - Knowles 40, November 3; Dittman, Palin 48 - Knowles 39, October 26.
Likely Republican:11. Florida (Democrat: Jim Davis). 12. Rhode Island (Democrat: Charlie Fogarty).
Safe Republican (in alphabetical order): Alabama, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Vermont.
Democratic Governors around the country are breathing easier going into election day than they were one month ago or even a year ago. Govs. Ted Kulongoski, Rod Blagojevich and Jennifer Granholm (of Oregon, Illinois and Michigan, respectively), each of whom might have been considered underdogs at some point, each appear on path for reelection. While Jim Doyle's lead in Wisconsin has shrunk in recent days -- enough so to move him into toss-up range -- he still is favored to win reelection. Maine's John Baldacci is not quite as certain, though the presence of an Independent candidate and a Green candidate on the ballot could mean that 36 percent is enough for him to win. Finally, Iowa, which long looked like the Republicans best pick-up opportunity, is seeing a late, though noticeable move towards Democrat Chet Culver.
Toss-Up:1. Maine (Democrat: John Baldacci). 2. Wisconsin (Democrat: Jim Doyle).
Leans Democratic:3. Oregon (Democrat: Ted Kulongoski). 4. Iowa (Democrat: Chet Culver). 5. Illinois (Democrat: Rod Blagojevich). 6. Michigan (Democrat: Jennifer Granholm).
Safe Democrat (in alphabetical order): Arizona, Kansas, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wyoming.
Overall, the nation's 36 governor races seem to offer the Democrats their best opportunities for gains in more than a decade, with the potential for about 10 pick-ups when the dust settles on election day. These shifts will both be important and monumental, as governors have the capacity not only to lead on policy (including redistricting) but also to affect the partisan make up of states. It is not coincidental that Democrats are showing new signs of life in states like Wyoming, Montana, Arizona and Kansas, each of which has a popular Democratic Governor.For the latest polling and analysis of all of this year's most important gubernatorial races, head on over to the MyDD Governor Forecast 2006 sponsored by Bill Richardson.