Governor 2006 Forecast

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Overall: Republicans currently control most governorships, with 28 of the nation's 50 governors being members of the GOP. But this year it appears extremely likely that the Democrats will capture a majority.

Thirty-second forecast: I currently forecast the Democrats netting between two and seven governorships in November. States in which the Democrats are favored to pick-up the governorship are New York, Ohio, Massachusetts, Arkansas, Maryland and Colorado, with Rhode Island currently rated as a toss-up. Republicans are not favored to pick-up any Democratic governorships, though four -- Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Maine -- are currently projected as toss-ups. If the current national winds prevail, I predict the Democrats holding their contested governorships and picking up all seven aforementioned GOP-held governorships yielding a total of 29 Democratic Governors and 21 Republican Governors.

Democratic Targets

Safe Democratic

  • 1. New York. (Democrats: Eliot Spitzer and Tom Suozzi). This race is by far the clearest pick-up opportunity for either party this cycle. The Democrats have yet to settle on a candidate (the primary is set for September 12), though it appears that either Attorney General Eliot Spitzer or Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi would to defeat GOP nominee John Faso handily. Given the margin by which Spitzer, who is a near shoo-in for the nomination, is predicted to prevail in the general election, some New York Democrats are even discussing the possibility of taking over the state Senate for the first time in decades.
    Latest primary polls: Marist (LV), Spitzer 70 - Suozzi 17, August 23; Quinnipiac (LV), Spitzer 78 - Suozzi 15, August 23.
    Latest general polls: Marist, Spitzer 67 - Faso 23, August 23; Quinnipiac, Spitzer 65 - Faso 17, August 23.

Likely Democratic

  • 2. Ohio. (Democrat: Ted Strickland). Republican Governor Bob Taft, whose approval rating has not reached 20 percent since even before he became the state's first sitting governor to be indicted, is term-limited this fall, but that's not stopping him from dragging down his party's chances in this fall's gubernatorial contest between Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Congressman Ted Strickland. Strickland, who spoke at length with MyDD back in January, has consistently led in the polling over Blackwell, a fierce conservative who gained infamy and notereity for his partisan handling of the 2004 presidential election in his state. No survey, with the exception of Zogby's interactive online polls, has pegged Strickland's lead at fewer than 11 points since the spring, leading this blogger to view this race as a solid takeover possibility for the Dems.
    Latest polls: Rasmussen Reports: Strickland 57 - Blackwell 32, August 22; SurveyUSA, Strickland 57 - Blackwell 35, August 7.

  • 3. Massachusetts. (Democrats: Chris Gabrieli, Deval Patrick and Tom Reilly). While the race for the Democratic nomination between businessman Chris Gabrieli, former Assistant US Attorney General Deval Patrick and state Attorney General Tom Reilly is rather fluid at this point with no candidate holding a clear lead heading into the September 19 primary, what is clear is that Massachusetts is a prime pick-up opportunity for the Democrats. Republican Governor Mitt Romney saw the writing on the wall and decided that a tough reelection bid would not help his chances in the 2008 presidential primaries (it was not clear that he would even win a second term), so the GOP nomination went to Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey. In recent polls, Healey has failed to be able to crack 30 percent against any Democrat and independent candidate Christy Mihos, indicating that Republicans should lose their first gubernatorial election in the state since 1986.
    Latest primary polls: University of New Hampshire's Survey Center, Patrick 31 - Gabrieli 30 - Reilly 27, August 27; SurveyUSA, Patrick 34 - Reilly 30 - Gabrieli 30, August 21; Suffolk University, Gabrieli 32 - Patrick 24 - Reilly 20, August 21.
    Latest general polls: Suffolk University, Gabrieli 46 - Healey 25, Reilly 38 - Healey 29, Patrick 38 - Healey 30, August 21; Rasmussen Reports, August 12.

Leans Democratic

  • 4. Arkansas (Democrat: Mike Beebe). This race is very close to the borderline between "Leans Democratic" and "Likely Democratic."Some even rate it as a better pick-up possibility for the Democrats than Massachusetts, as might I were it not for a pair of Rasmussen Reports polls that may or may not be outliers. The general consensus among pollsters today is that Democratic Attorney General Mike Beebe has a good chance of defeating former GOP Congressman Asa Hutchinson and succeeding term-limited Republican Governor Mike Huckabee, who is likely running for president in 2008. The only question now appears to be what the margin of Beebe's lead is.
    Latest polls: ORA, Beebe 52 - Hutchinson 31, August 22; Rasmussen Reports, Beebe 45 - Hutchinson 41.

  • 5. Maryland (Democrat: Martin O'Malley). Maryland's Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich is almost certainly the most endangered incumbent this cycle. Although he is not terribly unpopular, neither is he terribly popular either. In an anti-incumbent and anti-GOP environment and a fairly blue state, Ehrlich is going to have significantly more trouble with Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley than he did in 2002 against then-Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend. And while Ehrlich is sitting on an impressive warchest, he has been unable to crack 43 percent in any head-to-head polling against O'Malley since winter, so O'Malley has a slight, though clear advantage.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, O'Malley 50 - Ehrlich 43, August 18; Public Opinion Strategies, Ehrlich 41 - O'Malley 41, August 14.

  • 6. Colorado (Democrat: Bill Ritter). Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter appears to have the "Big Mo" in Colorado, consistently polling ahead of GOP Rep. Bob Beauprez in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Governor Bill Owens. Some rate this race as a better pick-up opportunity for the Democrats than Maryland (here and here), but my feeling is that an incumbent in the low 40s is more endangered than a candidate for an open seat -- even if that candidate is a sitting member of Congress. Nevertheless, given the polling from Colorado and the general trend in the state towards the Democrats, Ritter should be considered the favorite in this race.
    Latest polling: SurveyUSA, Ritter 50 - Beauprez 40, August 17; Rasmussen Reports, Ritter 48 - Beaprez 39, August 14.


  • 7. Rhode Island (Democrat: Charlie Fogarty). Given that there are competitive races for both the Senate and the governorship in Rhode Island this year, there sure isn't a lot of Beltway chatter the state. On the governor's race, in particular, few are discussing the possibility that Republican incumbent Don Carcieri will fail in his matchup with Democratic Lt. Gov. Charlie Fogarty. Polling from this blue state shows that Carcieri's approval rating has fallen below 50 percent and him tied with Fogarty in the low 40s leaving this race up in the air at this point.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Carcieri 43 - Fogarty 43, August 9.

Leans Republican

  • 8. Alaska (Democrat: Tony Knowles). This race showed a lot of potential given the candidacy of former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles, the sub-20 percent approval rating of Republican Governor Frank Murkowski. But now that Murkowski is out having lost badly in the GOP primary to former Wasilla mayor Sarah Pallin, this race leans Republican.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Pallin 51 - Knowles 38, August 8.

  • 9. Nevada (Democrat: Dina Titus). This race has not yet completely gelled, though Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons appears to have a distinct advantage over the Democratic leader of the state Senate, Dina Titus, in the race to succeed Republican Governor Kenny Guinn, who is term-limited. The Titus certainly has a shot -- Nevada is as close of a state as they come and the progressive grassroots in the state is strong -- but the numbers at present show it will be an uphill climb for the Democrats to wrest control of the governor's mansion away from the Republicans.
    Latest polling: Mason-Dixon, Gibbons 46 - Titus 35, August 10; Rasmussen Reports, Gibbons 46 - Titus 37, August 7.

  • 10. California (Democrat: Phil Angelides -- ActBlue). After all of the conservative ballot measures forwarded by Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger failed in November 2005, it appeared that the "governator" was headed for sure defeat in his reelection bid. But Schwarzenegger repented, apologizing to voters and hiring high profile Dems, and has seen his approval rating increase markedly since. Schwarzenegger's numbers aren't great, but they could be enough to put him ahead of Democratic state Treasurer Phil Angelides, who has had trouble cracking 40 percent in recent polls (and who spoke at length with MyDD over a year ago).
    Latest polling: SurveyUSA, Schwarzenegger 52 - Angelides 38, August 28; Rasmussen Reports, Schwarzenegger 47 - Angelides 41, August 1; PPIC, Schwarzenegger 43 - Angelides 30, July 26; Field Poll, Schwarzenegger 45 - Angelides 37, July 25.

  • 11. Minnesota (Mike Hatch). Earlier this year, this race seemed fairly tight, with Democratic Attorney General Mike Hatch actually leading incumbent Republican Tim Pawlenty in a number of polls. But Pawlenty's approval rating has inched up in recent months and he now holds a healthy, though not assured lead in his head-to-head matchup against Hatch. The Democratic primary will occur on September 12, which could provide some favorable coverage for Hatch, but currently Pawlenty has the edge.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Pawlenty 46 - Hatch 36, August 7.

  • 12. Florida (Democrats: Jim Davis and Rod Smith). This race is still fairly open at this point, with neither party having yet selected their nominees (the primary is on September 5). Nevertheless, Democrats have had real trouble in statewide elections in Florida in recent cycles and even the certain reelection of Democratic Senator Bill Nelson does not appear to have the force to make a sufficient impact on the governor race.
    Latest primary polling: Insider Advantage, Davis 35 - Smith 21, Crist 39 - Gallagher 29, August 25; Survey USA, Crist 60 - Gallagher 31, August 24; Schroth, Eldon & Associates, Davis 35 - Smith 21, Crist 50 - Gallagher 26, August 12.
    Latest general polling:Rasmussen Reports, Crist 47 - Davis 42, Davis 44 - Gallagher 41, Crist 48 - Smith 35, Gallagher 45 - Smith 40, August 1.

Likely Republican

  • 13. Georgia (Democrat: Mark Taylor). The approval rating of Republican Governor Sonny Perdue is fairly strong, but Democratic Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor appears to have at least some shot at victory (though how good of a shot remains to be seen).
    Latest polling: Insider Advantage, Perdue 49 - Taylor 32, August 23; Strategic Vision (R), Perdue 54 - Taylor 41, August 23.

  • 14. Alabama (Democrat: Lucy Baxley). Like Georgia, Alabama has a fairly popular Republican Governor who is being challenged by his Democratic Lt. Gov. In this case, Democrat Lucy Baxley faces up against Republican Bob Riley in a contest that favors the latter.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Riley 55 - Baxley 35, August 8.

Safe Republican:

  • (In alphabetical order, by state): Jodi Rell in Connecticut, Linda Lingle in Hawaii, Butch Otter in Idaho (filling an open seat), Dave Heineman in Nebraska, Mark Sanford in South Carolina, Mike Rounds in South Dakota, Rick Perry in Texas (though the race should be interesting with two strong independent candidates), and Jim Douglas in Vermont.


Republican Targets


  • 1. Iowa (Democrat: Chet Culver -- ActBlue). Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack, who is not running for reelection, has a passable approval rating, but that hasn't abated the anti-incumbent party feeling from hitting Iowa this year as Democratic Secretary of State Chet Culver takes on Republican Congressman Jim Nussle. For a state as closely watched as Iowa, there is a surprising dearth of polling on the gubernatorial race, but the data currently available indicates rather clearly that this race could go either way at this point. It is noteworthy that this, a toss-up, is the Republicans best pick-up opportunity when several seats currently held by the GOP are leaning towards the Democrats.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Culver 41 - Nussle 38, August 1.

  • 2. Michigan (Democrat: Jennifer Granholm). Earlier this month, earlier this summer, Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm appeared headed for defeat, at least in part due to the weak state of Michigan's economy. But Granholm got a second wind and began campaigning hard against Amway heir Dick DeVos -- and spending big bucks. Now the race seems to be tilted in her favor ever so slightly, though it still could go either way.
    Latest polling: Strategic Vision (R), Granholm 48 - DeVos 43, August 28; EPIC-MRA, Granholm 49 - DeVos 42, August 23; SurveyUSA, Granholm 47 - DeVos 47, August 22; Rasmussen Reports, Granholm 47 - DeVos 46, August 16.

  • 3. Wisconsin (Democrat: Jim Doyle -- ActBlue). Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, whose approval ratings have settled in the high 40s, is facing a stiff challenge from Republican Congressman Mark Green. While Green is no doubt a strong candidate for the Republicans, he was not necessarily their strongest, with former Gov. Tommy Thompson having flirted with another bid earlier this year. What's more, Green is running as a GOP Rep. in a year in which the Republican Congress is not terribly popular. Doyle appears to have an edge, though he has yet to crack the 50 percent mark against Green. As such, this race is still a toss-up.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Doyle 49 - Green 41, August 20; Strategic Vision (R), Doyle 45 - Green 44, August 18; Research 2000, Doyle 48 - Green 38, August 17.

  • 4. Maine (Democrat: John Baldacci -- ActBlue). Like Michigan and Wisconsin, Maine is a blue state in which the Democratic Governor has been unable to climb above a 50 percent approval rating. But also like Michigan and Wisconsin, the Democratic Governor in Maine has seen his approval rating move up noticeably in recent months. There are a great number of undecideds in the race between John Baldacci and Republican state Senator Chandler Woodcock, which does not bode well for Baldacci, but even the slightest of Democratic breezes this fall could propel Baldacci to a second term.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Baldacci 43 - Woodcock 42, August 22.

Leans Democratic

  • 5. Illinois (Democrat: Rod Blagojevich). Questions surrounding the ethics of Rod Blagojevich's administration are causing some hearburn for Democrats in Illinois -- but not enough to make them panic over the possibility of losing the governorship this year. Blagojevich is working hard to paint Republican state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka as excessively close to President Bush, a tactic that appears to be working. This race is far from over, but the incumbent clearly has the edge.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Blagojevich 45 - Topinka 37, August 10.

  • 6. Oregon (Democrat: Ted Kulongoski -- ActBlue). Oregon's Ted Kulongoski is another Democratic Governor who appeared to be on track for defeat earlier in the year only to find himself leading in his race for reelection. In fact, there were questions as to whether or not he would even be able to gain renomination, with two other relatively strong candidates running in the Democratic primary. Kulongoski has hit the hustings hard and won reelection, and over the past two months he has bumped up his net approval rating by bringing his net approval rating by an impressive 24 points. Kulongoski may have dodged a bullet when the increasingly progressive state Sen. Ben Westlund dropped his indie bid for governor, leaving Republican Ron Saxton and a handful of minor party candidates in the race. This contest leans Democratic and is moving in that direction as well.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Kulongoski 49 - Saxton 35, August 22.

Likely Democratic

  • 7. Arizona (Democrat: Janet Napolitano). Republicans in Arizona do not appear to have an answer to the highly popular Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano. There are a few Republicans who are running in the September 12 primary, but none of them appear able to beat Napolitano. Nevertheless, until the GOP field is winnowed down and we see if the Republican nominee gets some bounce in this somewhat red state, this race remains on the map.Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Napolitano 52 - Goldwater 37, Napolitano 53 - Munsil 35, August 2.

  • 8. Pennsylvania (Democrat: Ed Rendell -- ActBlue). Republicans thought they had finally found their match for popular Democratic Governor Ed Rendell when they recruited former Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann as their candidate, but polling shows Swann is having real difficulty. Unless the dynamic of this race changes -- and fast -- Rendell should walk to reelection.
    Latest polling: Rasmussen Reports, Rendell 50 - Swann 38, August 25; Strategic Vision (R), Rendell 51 - Swann 41, August 17; Quinnipiac, Rendell 57 - Swann 38, August 16.
Safe Democrat
  • (In alphabetical order, by state): Kathleen Sebelius in Kansas, John Lynch in New Hampshire, Bill Richardson in New Mexico, Brad Henry in Oklahoma, Phil Bredesen in Tennessee, and Dave Freudenthal in Wyoming.

Tags: Governor 2005-6 (all tags)



Great stuff
I know people are more obssessed with DC, because we don't seem to win anything tangible if we take a majority of Governors, but this is probably our best chance for pickups in 2006. I also agree with pretty much all of your analysis, except that you are too bullish on Illinois and not enough on Rhode Island.

But, to get back to my first point, we win huge things if we take all of these Governships. For one, we get a chacne to actually govern like progressives in many states. Also, we build a great bench for the Senate and the Presidency. Further, we spread the democratic name. This is huge stuff, and I hope your forecasts get the attentiont ehy deserve.
by Chris Bowers 2006-08-29 09:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Great stuff

Agree about Illinois.  This is going to be a very close race and every single Democratic governor in the upper Midwest is in trouble.  

by Eric11 2006-08-29 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

Wisconsin will be scary.  People just aren't enamored with Dem Gov. Doyle for some reason, plus his opponent Mark Green has been hitting the airwaves recently with a number of humorous commercials 'showing' that he's not an extremist (even though he is).  The ads are very reminiscent of the kind Feingold used to close what seemed like a 20+ point gap in his first Democratic primary, on the way to his first Senate win.  I wouldn't be surprised if Green's ads gain traction with the electorate.

by rfahey22 2006-08-29 10:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I'm from Wisconsin - I don't know if you are or not. But whether rightly or wrongly, Doyle never seems to be a fired-up type of person in the media nor in his advertisements.

Most people in this fairly blue state agree with his positions, and he's done an awesome job of "just saying no" to the gerrymandered and disproportionately wingnutted legislature. The problem is that he has Droopy Dog Syndrome whenever a camera finds its way in front of him. Think John Kerry until about three weeks after the 2004 election - common sense leads you to Doyle, but a significant percentage of the electorate will always give its vote to the guy that doesn't look like he's napping.

Having said that, Doyle is a good governor, far more ethical than Tommy Thompson, who despite his near-deification in this state was more or less running a cash store for his buddies out of the Governor's Mansion.

As an aside, to Jonathan Singer: just my two cents, but I would have loved for Tommy Thompson to run as the Republican. We found out a lot of his most sleazy stuff (this married man reportedly tried to sleep with every female staffer that came within fifty feet of him) after he became Secretary of Health and Human Services. As it stands now we'll probably be forced to name one of his many four-lane farm-splitting expressways to nowhere (one of his best buddies is/was Tim Michels, the construction superstar that ran in 2004 against Feingold) after him.

by falsified 2006-08-29 12:07PM | 0 recs
Oh and also...

Doyle will win and I don't see this as a toss-up race, though stranger things have happened. Green is just too much of a freakin' nut to win in Milwaukee, Madison, and the Mississippi Valley, the parts that have high turnout and are very blue anyway. He'll probably do relatively well in the northern part of the state and in the Fox Valley area and parts of the lakeshore north of Shorewood. In other words, the part of the state that he's from.

by falsified 2006-08-29 12:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I'm from WI (Belleville, 30 miles south of Madison), though I live most of the year out-of-state.  I've been disappointed by Doyle's lack of charisma, because when he was AG he seemed much more dynamic; maybe he needs a strong personality like Thompson to oppose.  The problem as I see it is that Green is exactly the type of telegenic, genial Republican that could win a large number of uninformed voters based on personality alone.  Moreover, I am no longer convinced that WI is a 'fairly blue state' as it was in my childhood - I think it is much closer to the precipice, as shown by Gore's and Kerry's razor-thin victories, the GOP's firm control of the state legislature, the truly insane legislation that they've tried to enact over Doyle's veto, and the continued political careers of both Green and Sensenbrenner.  And, as you said, Thompson continues to be treated as a god walking the earth.  I hope that WI voters see the light, because these are dark days.

P.S.: do you have any feel for the popularity of the anti-gay marriage referendum, and whether this will increase turnout for either side?

by rfahey22 2006-08-29 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I live in Madison so if I use too much anecdotal evidence, I'll end up with the conclusion that a Socialist-Communist unity party is poised to take over the state with 95% of the vote.


I think that Wisconsin probably will not vote for the anti-gay marriage referendum because the Wisconsin Republican Party seems to have died at some point in between 2004 and 2006. That is, they're very anemic and except for Mark Green, they haven't had much media presence yet. I only see ads for voting AGAINST the amendment, and important conservative voices in Wisconsin (such as Charlie Sykes, who to non-Sconnies is a popular and, in relative terms, sane radio talk show host who also hosts Milwaukee's only local Sunday morning TV show) has come out against it, saying that it's bad for business among other things. Many moderate voices have pointed out that the amendment bans civil unions as well, and unlike in other states, the referendum writers were forced to expressly write in the text that they would be banned. Civil unions are supported by the vast majority of Wisconsinites.

Furthermore, the type of conservativism that you see among Wisconsin's rank-and-file is very similar to that of the West - more libertarian than experimenters in social control. Neither house of the legislature would be red if state Democrats would finally find out that banning handguns doesn't play well in Marinette. I've been in only Madison's media market recently, but I'd imagine if they run or start to run ads in Green Bay, Wausau, etc that focused more sharply on whether the government should be in the bedroom, this referendum would be doomed to failure.

by falsified 2006-08-29 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I was at the State Convention and fell asleep during his speech. He is very boring, and can not seem to get his message across clearly. He will not win. For one, I have not seen one Doyle yard sign anywhere in Wisconsin. I just took a trip to Door County and saw at least 30 Green signs but not one Doyle sign. I even saw signs for Dems running in primaries and for AG but no Doyle signs. I know the people running the campaign in Milwaukee, and lets just say I am not confident at all. If it keeps going this way he will lose, which will spell huge problems for our state.

by Foward with Feingold 2006-08-29 01:18PM | 0 recs
I share the concern about Doyle

IMO the gov races are still suspect to the huge percentage of undecideds to the challenger. Much more than presidential or senate races.

In gov races the state economy and overall direction of the state is front and center, and the voters will be far less concerned about party loyalty than in a federal race. So if you have a combo of a blase incumbent, with the state economy faltering, and a challenger considered likable or at least interesting via good ads, I can see the potential for poll leads disappearing on election day.

In Doyle's case I've always remembered he won with only 45% in '02, since the libertarian took 10 or 11%. And the party ID in Wisconsin was 38-35 red in the '04 national exit poll, worse than Iowa, which Kerry lost. I know all the major offices are held by Democrats, but that state doesn't have enough big cities with huge Democratic margins to allow me to feel certain of statewide success.

by jagakid 2006-08-29 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I like the state party well enough, but they seem to think that Doyle will win because he should win. Maybe they're planning on turning up the heat within the next couple weeks, but speaking as a Madisonian there is no reason I should be seen Mark Green unanswered on the TV in a city that went something like 85% for Kerry two years ago.

Having said that, I really do think Doyle will probably pull this one off because of the poll numbers, because I think the homophobia amendment will bring in more liberals than conservatives, and because Doyle is actually pretty engaging once he raises his voice a bit (I saw him do it once or twice...he did a decent job stumping for Kerry in Sheboygan).

by falsified 2006-08-29 02:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I live in Michigan, and I will say, sadly, that Jennifer Granholm will probably not win the election. The Michigan economy is doing terribly, with the manufacturing industry running away like their ass is on fire. People need a scapegoat, and Dick DeVos (the Republican challenger) has made Granholm that scapegoat.

Granholm has, indeed, cut a lot of government spending and is trying the best she can to pay off Michigan debt without raising taxes. A lot of people are angry, however, because some of these cuts were for the public school system -- and the schools are definitely feeling it.

DeVos is running commercial after commercial, spouting rhetoric about how he has a "Michigan Turnaround Plan" that will save our economy. But if anyone actually looked at it, they'd realize most of what it says is "we'll see what we can do after we're elected".

If you want me to be completely honest, it seems to me neither Jennifer Granholm nor Dick DeVos knows what they hell they're doing.

by Brad ODonnell 2006-08-29 10:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

Except that the GOP controlled legislature repealed the single business tax recently without figuring out how to replace any of the revenue it raised.

Granholm can then use that as an example of how the GOP will coddle big business and bankrupt the state even more.  Her recent poll numbers are up as the dust settles from the SBT debacle.

I think she'll pull it out.  It'll help if the Michigan media keeps trying to find some substance in Amway DeVos's proposed programs.  (There is none.)

by The lurking ecologist 2006-08-29 11:21AM | 0 recs
Not sure

I live in Michigan too, and I was seriously worried about this race not too long ago. But I've detected a slight change lately. People are starting to ask who this DeVos character is, and what his plan for turning the state aroudn is. And they're not satisfied with the answer. When Strategic Vision puts Granholm ahead, you know she's gained some serious momentum.

A couple of things have happened, I think. First, Granholm finally started campaigning after months of effective, but nebulous, DeVos ads on TV. Second, Google announced that it was coming to the state, which helped change the tenor of discussion a bit about jobs. Third, people have started to make the connection between DeVos and Amway. Fourth, DeVos had a disastrous appearance in the TV booth at a Tigers game where he couldn't mention any "favorite Tiger." He revealed himself an empty suit...and a LOT of people were watching. Fifth, Kwame Kilpatrick seems to have moved beyond his own ego and is now openly endorsing Granholm.

This race is far from over. And DeVos has a lot of cash. But the momentum is moving in Granholm's direction.

by elrod 2006-08-29 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Not sure

I forgot about the SBT issue. Local media here in Jackson and Battle Creek have been very critical of the irresponsibility of cutting the SBT with no plan to replace the revenue or cut spending.

by elrod 2006-08-29 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Not sure

Yeah the SBT may turn out to be a loser for the Republicans, and I'm certain they believed they had a real winner there.  I'm hoping voters in Michigan understand what repealing the tax means and how critical it is the state doesn't lose this necessary revenue.

Personally, I'm worried about the teachers' strike in Detroit.  Granholm cannot afford for this to turn into a long-term, drag-em out fight.  It would be disasterous for her.  

They need to reacher an agreement.  Like now.  

by Eric11 2006-08-29 05:38PM | 0 recs
Don't forget the WJS poll

The Wall Street Journal  has Granholm at 50.8 and DeVos at 43.6.

The voters are starting to get to know who the real Dick DeVos is and they don't appreciate he's trying to buy the election with his millions.

Granholm gave a great speech this past weekend at the MI-Democratic Convention and came out swinging: "I am a governor who goes to Asia to bring jobs back to Michigan. He's a CEO who cut jobs in Michigan to invest in Asia," Granholm said, referring to Alticor's expansion in Asia while eliminating 1,400 jobs in Ada.

Granholm has only begun to fight.

by BlueCheese 2006-08-29 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't forget the WJS poll

Well she also needs to run against Amway--and its business practices. She should talk about how many peole have lost their livelihoods in the MLM industry.

by jiacinto 2006-08-29 12:17PM | 0 recs

Amway is now Alticor.

by The lurking ecologist 2006-08-29 09:42PM | 0 recs

Unfortunately the only poll out after the primary in Nevada is the Zogby poll which most of you don't like/trust. In that poll, released yesterday, Titus was slightly ahead for the very first time.

Interestingly the current Governor of Nevada, Kenny Guinn, a Republican, refuses to endorse the Republican nominee Jim Gibbons. Connected to that(or independent of it, however you view it) Guinn's son has given $30,000 to Dina Titus.

Gibbons problem is that he has a serious foot-in-mouth problem and therefore very rarely publically debates. One conservative NV newspaper has said pre-primary that his best strategy for winning would be to stay locked away and for him not to speak unscripted to anyone. While Titus is always quoted personally in articles, Gibbons lets his spokesman do it for him.

Meanwhile Titus has proven in a sometimes nasty primary that she can keep up with the nasty and remain victorious. As bad as that sounds that may be a pretty good trade to have facing a Republican election machine.

I personally believe it's a toss-up and in a purple state in a Democratic year I predict Titus will win in the fall.

by jedinecny 2006-08-29 10:46AM | 0 recs
Zogby poll got great press in the Review Journal

Just what I was hoping for but I was astonished it happened in the rag right wing RJ.

Plus, they trumpeted the "dead heat" races on top and didn't get to the skepticism over the interactive polling and the quotes from local political analysts until deep in the article, long after many readers tune out: 006/Aug-29-Tue-2006/news/9321544.html

I was interested in the quote from someone in the Gibbons' campaign, that their internal polling showed the gov race close, within 5 points. That's exactly my impression and I posted in a diary here yesterday that my sense was Titus trailed by 4-6 points.

Also, Kenny Guinn is still at odds with Gibbons and won't even say his name or formally endorse him. That was another big article in the paper today. Guinn will do nothing other than say he is working to raise money for Republicans and hopes they succeed in November.

by jagakid 2006-08-29 02:16PM | 0 recs
why Singer is wrong and Titus is right

The Zoby poll also got major coverage in the major Reno paper and led local tv news in Las Vegas last night and radio news today (since most of the local stations simply read the RJ for their local news.

And the methodology is not what most people around here think it is -- its not a "quickie" web poll; it uses a random sample of approximately 500 LVs drawn from a prescreened pool of verified respondents. The relatively small sample size does produce a large MOE (+-4.5) and in fact this result is within the MOE of their last survey, which had Gibbons ahead 45-40.

And it strikes me as at least as sound as the MAson-Dixon poll, which had 600 respondents, of whom 45% were republicans and 43% were Democrats.

Moreover, this Zogy result is not the first time that Titus has been ahead of Gibbons; in May Rasmussen Reports survey had her ahead 44-40.

But polls aside, there are other reasons why Singer is wrong not to list this as a toss up.

Quickly, 1. the sorry state of the state GOP 2. the boost to Titus' fundraising from the selection of NV as an early caucus state in 08; Mark Warner is coming to raise money for her next week and all the other major contenders are helping her raise money; 3. the rather extensive field work that the state party has done dating back to 2003, which almost delivered NV in Nov 2004 and which is going to sharply reduce GOP margins in their northern & rural strongholds; 4. Titus' solid standing with Democratic base voters; in an election that will be about base turnout, she's got a good chance to win more democratic votes statewide than Kerry did, even though overall turnout will be about 80% of 2004.

by desmoulins 2006-08-29 10:31PM | 0 recs
one other point about polling in NV-GOV

The Mason-Dixon poll released on Aug 10 had serious flaws; the initial surveys were done over a week earlier, then they went back in the field to do more surveys before releasing the results on the eve of the election. THe widespread speculation in NV is that the early samples showed Gibbons doing very poorly in both the GOP primary and in the general, so the pollster went back in the field to get results that the client, the very conservative RJ, would pay for. Thats only gossip but its another reason not to take the Mason-Dixon poll more seriously than Zogby.

by desmoulins 2006-08-29 10:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Zogby poll got great press in the Review Journ

Ya know, I liked that line about "internal polling" a lot. Either Uithoven is talking out his ass, which he does frequently, or Gibbons is burning through his supposed financial advantage with more polling; didn't they do a baseline poll of him vs Titus earlier? of course they did, so if they are doing another now, they are both running scared and not running a tight ship financially.

by desmoulins 2006-08-29 10:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

Democrats will hold on to the vulnerable Democratic Governorships
Iowa- Culver
Michigan- Granholm
Wisconsin- Doyle
Maine- Baldacci
plus semi vulnerable seats
Illinios- Blagejovich
Oregon- Kulongoski
plus they will definetly pick up
New York- Spitzer
Ohio- Strickland
Massachusetts- either Patrick or Garbrielli
Arkansas- Beebe
Maryland- O'Malley
Colorado- Ritter-
and perhaps Rhode Island- Fogarty.

Assuming that 2006 is a huge Democratic Storm- Republican held Governorships have a 50-50 chance of turning blue.
California- Angelides-?
Florida- Davis
Minnesota- Hatch
Nevada- Titus

by CMBurns 2006-08-29 10:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

Alaska i'd say is better than 50-50

by orin76 2006-08-29 12:44PM | 0 recs
Sarah Palin is the favorite in Alaska

It's up to 65/35 now on Tradesports and I expect that to go higher.

It's the correct favorite. She has very high approval ratings and that played out in the GOP primary, where she took an astonishing percentage of the undecideds. No one expected her to break 50%.

Knowles has plenty of money but there may be some Knowles fatigue after he's run statewide for gov or senate in '90, '94, '98, '04 and now '06.

The challenge for Knowles is putting a tarnish on the maverick and very attractive Sarah Palin. He's such a known quantity I think his approval numbers and reputation are basically locked where they are.

by jagakid 2006-08-29 01:21PM | 0 recs
Idaho could be interesting

You list Idaho as safe Republican.

Democratic nominee Jerry Brady got 42% in his race against the sitting gov, Dirk Kempthorne, in 2002.

He's going to do better this year. How much better, it's hard to say, but he's giving Butch Otter a great race. His slogan, Idaho is Not For Sale, is one of the best we've heard here in ages, and Brady is backing it up at every opportunity. To wit:

He's been hammering Otter all year on Otter's boneheaded idea of selling off Idaho public lands to  help pay for Kartina relief. Baaaaad move in Idaho, where hunting, fishing, mountain biking and other outdoor pursuits are practically state religions.

He and other Dems (and some moderate Repubs) successfully fought a plan by Sempra Energy to build a coal-fired power plant, which would have been the first in Idaho. Brady's pressure also led current Gov. Jim Risch to opt out of the EPA's mercury cap-and-trade program. As for Otter, he's taken campaign contributions from Sempra. Indeed, on the night he was invited to debate his GOP opponent before the May primary, he said he was too busy to attend - but he showed up at a reception for Sempra and other fat-cat donors.

Idaho's GOP-dominated government has long trumpeted the fact that we have one of the lowest costs of doing business. Translation: right to work, shitty wages, tax breaks for businesses but not for individuals, supply side hoo-ha. Brady has said enough is enough, and that he'll work to raise the state's wages and give our kids a reason to stay here opnce they graduate.

Don't count out Jerry Brady. Like Larry Grant in the ID-01 race, he may leave quite a few pundits scratchin' their heads on Nov. 3.

by Julie Fanselow 2006-08-29 11:17AM | 0 recs
The MD Race

Well this is my analysis of the MD Governor's race. It is crossposted from a message I wrote on DKos.

MD politics divides along the following lines: The Democratic base is Baltimore City, Montgomery, and PG counties. The Republican base are the Baltimore/Washington exurbs, the Western Panhandle, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore.

The battleground basically falls down to these four counties surrounding Baltimore: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard. Beneath the fold I analyze their role in the 1998 and the 2002 elections.

It is insightful to compare how Glendening fared in 1998 to KKT's miserable showing in 2002.

Here are the exact numbers from 1998 through 2002

Statewide 1998:

Parris Glendening (D) 846,972 55.14%

Ellen Sauerbrey (R) 688,357 44.82%

In 1998 Sauerbrey carried the Baltimore suburbs, but still lost.

Here is how it broke down:

Anne Arundel County:

Sauerbrey   87,216 56.6%
Glendening  66,428 43.1%

Baltimore City:

Glendening 125,686 80.6%  
Sauerbrey   30,140 19.3%

Baltimore County:

Sauerbrey 122,140 50.7%
Glendeing 118,832 49.3%

Harford County:

Sauerbrey  44,300  60.9%  
Glendening 28,428  39.1%

Howard County:

Glendening 44,378  53.3%
Sauerbrey  38,855  46.7%

So, in the 1998 election, Glending basically ran even with Sauerbrey in Baltimore County. He was able to get 43.1% in Anne Arundel County. He carried Howard with 53% of the vote, but lost Harford County by 20% roughly.

However, out of the Baltimore suburbs, Sauerbrey won Baltimore County around 4,000 votes and Anne Arundel County by 21,000 votes. Her Harford County
margin was 16,000 votes. Altogether, out of those three counties, she managed a 41,000 margin. As Glendening carried Howard County by 6,000 votes and Baltimore City by 95,000 votes, he ended up with a 111,000 votes. When you subtract Sauebrey's totals from Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Howard counties, Glendening had a ballot box lead in the area of 70,000 votes. When these votes were connected to Montgomery and PG Counties, he had an insurmountable lead.

Now let's contrast to the 2002 election:

Statewide 2002:

Robert Ehrlich Jr. (R) 879,592 51.55%
KKT                (D) 813,422 47.68%

Anne Arundel County:

Ehrlich 113,968 64.7%
Townsend 60,753 34.5%  

Baltimore City:

Townsend 120,070 75.0%  
Ehrlich   38,838 24.3%  

Baltimore County:

Ehrlich  170,920 61.2%
Townsend 106,195 38.2%  

Harford County:

Ehrlich   63,553 74.3%
Townsend  21,246 24.8%

Howard County:

Ehrlich   53,260 55.2%
Townsend  42,438 44.0%

In the 2002 election, when the returns came in, Ehrlich won by roughly 66,000 votes. And the numbers were brutal in the Balitmore suburbs. Whereas Glendening came within 4,000 votes of winning Baltimore County, KKT was 64,000 votes short. Thus, between the 1998 and 2002 election, shelost ground by 60,000 votes  In Anne Arundel County the margin was around 53,000 votes. Out of those two counties alone, Ehrlich's margin was 117,000 votes. When you add in Harford and Howard counties, Ehrlich's margin over KKT was roughly a combined total of 53,000 votes. So out of the Baltimore suburbs, Ehrlich prevailed by roughly 170,000 votes. KKT won Baltimore city by 82,000 votes, less than Glendening by 8,000 votes. So, in the entire Baltimore metroplitan region, Ehrlich had a lead of roughly 88,000 votes.

So, in eseence, KKT blew the race in suburban Baltimore. She ran behind Glendening in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard counties. Ehrlich also did a better job of getting out his base than KKT did, for KKT even ran behind Glendening in Baltimore City.

For O'Malley to win he is going to have to pick up a lot more votes in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties. If he can cut Ehrlich's 2002 margin in half there, he can win this election.

by jiacinto 2006-08-29 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: The MD Race

What I don't understand is why you don't look at 1994 when Glendenning tied with Sauerbrey (many people think she actually won that election).  By 1998 he was an incumbant and held on easily to the moderate dems and independents.

I would think comparing 1994 and 2002 would better show who are the likely and possible Erhlich voters.

I am not suggesting that your analyses is wrong just comparing apples and oranges.

Look at this in 2002 Erhlich got 879,592 pure votes.  In 1998 Sauerbrey got only 688,357 votes.  That is a big spread. Do you know her totals for 94? I think it is more interesting to consider who those 879,592 voters will vote for--will they stick with him or move.  The polls don't look good for Erhlich but I live in the County and he has support here.

by aiko 2006-08-29 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The MD Race

Ok. Here is some information on the 1994 numbers:


Glendening: 708,094
Sauerbrey:  702,101

Anne Arundel County:

Anne Arundel    

Glendening: 54,920    
Sauerbrey:  83,663    

Baltimore County:

Glendening: 102,398    
Sauerbrey:  134,663    

Baltimore City:

Glendening: 114,022    
Sauerbrey:   38,420    

Harford County:

Glendening:  22,884    
Sauerbrey:   42,124

Howard County:

Glendening:  34,198    
Sauerbrey:   39,466    

So out of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard Counties, Sauerbrey had a lead of 85,516 votes. When you add in Glendening's Baltimore City's margin of 75,062, her lead out of the entire Baltimore area was 9,914 votes.

Between 1998 and 1994, it is clear that Glendening improved significantly by winning Howard county and losing Baltimore County by only 4,000 votes in 1998.

I hope that this helps.

by jiacinto 2006-08-29 12:44PM | 0 recs
South Carolina

I wouldn't classify that as "Safe Republican". Mark Sanford was named the most ineffective governor by Time Magazine. He has been polling under 50%. The last poll had Sanford ahead of his challenger, Democratic state senator Tommy Moore, 47%-38%. So he might be the Craig Benson of 2006.

by jiacinto 2006-08-29 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

The MN numbers you're using are old.  The recent Zogby/WSJ numbers show Hatch with a slight lead:

by Stahlsworth 2006-08-29 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

I'm not using the Zogby numbers because they are simply so erratic as to not be useful.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-08-29 12:31PM | 0 recs

What you failing to notice in some of these states i the growing Polarization the Republican maybe a bastard but they still aren't going to vote for a democrat in alot of southern and midwestern states unless they are like the Governor of Wyoming or Kansas

by orin76 2006-08-29 12:46PM | 0 recs
GO RITTER, GO! (Colorado)

Bob Beauprez should have never been elected to Congress - those 121 votes in 2002 still get under my skin. Ritter can right that wrong and prevent another one from happening in '06 in this race. Go, Ritter...

by donnatella 2006-08-29 03:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

It does and that's why Granholm should attack DeVos and the Republican led state legislature for repealing the single business tax.  

It absolutely parallels the fiscal irresponsibility and deficit spending we see everyday at the national level.  

by Eric11 2006-08-29 05:40PM | 0 recs
Vermont shouldn't be "safe Republican"

Incumbent Jim Douglas is certainly the favourite right now, but it really doesn't belong in a slam dunk category... right now I'd rate it "likely Republican"

The last public poll (ARG, end of July) had the race 47 for Douglas, 36 for Scudder Parker, his Democratic opponent. That's a far closer margin in a neutral poll than many of the other states that you've rated closer, and led many local commentators here to question what it says about a 2 term incumbent to be below 50% before the campaign even heats up.

Parker has posted good fundraising totals, Vermont is a blue state in a blue year, Bernie Sanders is going to win with 60%+ for the Senate, there is going to be a massive GOTV to make sure that Peter Welch takes Sanders old congressional seat for the Dems -- all of that will give a lift to Parker. (Who is, BTW, a pretty good candidate - he's beeen campaigning full time across the state all year -- something that can make a difference in a small state like Vermont).

So yes, Douglas is still likely, but don't write off the possibilities here.

by terje 2006-08-29 06:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

FYI Jonathan, Iowa does not have term-limits, Vilsack just decided not to run for re-election because he's pondering a 2008 run, as I'm sure you're well aware.

by Chris Woods 2006-08-30 05:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Governor 2006 Forecast

Thanks for the correction.

by Jonathan Singer 2006-08-30 06:34AM | 0 recs


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