Thursday, September 23, 2010

Battle for the Governor's Mansions: Poll Updates

Of all of the governors in the nation, 26 are Democrats, 23 are Republicans, and one is Independent (Charlie Crist of Florida, formerly Republican). 37 governorships are up this year (19 seats currently held by Democrats, and 18 by Republicans), and things are looking good for the GOP.

California - tossup (current R)

Outgoing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is a Republican (well...) , but California is a liberal state. Former Democrat Governor (1975-1983) and current Attorney General Jerry Brown is running against Meg Whitman, the GOP nominee. The RCP poll average has Brown leading by 1.4%. Brown has been leading for most of the past year, but Whitman led in the polls during March and August. Currently, Brown has a very slim lead.

Illinois - lean GOP (current D)

In Illinois, you have a match-up between State Sen. Bill Brady (R) and Governor Pat Quinn, who replaced impeached Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) in January of 2009. The RCP average has Brady leading by 9.2%. Brady has led this race since March by an average of 8-10 points.

Iowa - likely GOP (current D)

Democrat Chet Culver is facing Republican Terry Branstad, who was a former Iowa governor (1983-1999). The RCP average has Branstad leading by 13.4%.

Kansas - safe GOP (current D)

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback is running against State Sen. Tom Holland. Brownback is basically a shoo-in, as polls have found him with leads of 25-40%.

Maine - likely GOP (current D)

Mayor Paul LePage (R) is running against State Sen. Libby Mitchell (D), but a fairly strong Independent is in the race (Eliot Cutler). Due to Maine's tendency to have strong Independent candidates, no candidate has received over 50% of the vote since 1998 (and ironically, that was Independent Governor Angus King - the last time a Democrat or Republican gubernatorial candidate got over 50% was 1982). RCP has LePage leading by 15%. Cutler is taking anywhere from 10-15%, Mitchell 25-30%, and LePage has 40-45%.

Maryland - tossup (current D)

Maryland has a rematch of the 2006 gubernatorial race, when Democrat Martin O'Malley unseated incumbent Republican Bob Erhlich. Now, Erhlich hopes to turn the tables on O'Malley. RCP hgas O'Malley by 3.8%, but this race has been tightening.

Michigan - likely GOP (current D)

Rick Snyder (R) is running against Mayor Virg Bernero (D). Snyder has an impressive lead in this economically devastated state; the RCP average has him leading by 21%.

New Mexico - lean GOP (current D)

District Attorney Susanna Martinez (R) is facing  Lt. Gov. Diane Denish in the New Mexico gubernatorial contest. RCP has it Martinez by 4.7% - she has had a slim lead in the polls since June, but polls done in August (the most recent) had her leading by 6% and 7%.

Ohio - lean GOP (current D)

Gov. Ted Strickland (D) is trailing Republican Congressman John Kasich, who is set to spoil his reelection bid. RCP's average has it Kasich by 10.7%. Kasich has held a pretty steady lead for the past few months, with one poll earlier this month putting him up by 17%.

Oklahoma - likely GOP (current D)

Congresswoman Mary Fallin is running against Lt. Gov. Jari Askins in what is only one of two female-only gubernatorial races this year (New Mexico is the other - both will result in their state's first female governor). Polls have Fallin leading by 15-20%, but due to the voter registration in this state, Askins is by no means out of reach.

Oregon - tossup (current D)

Former NBA player Chris Dudley (R) and former Democrat Governor (1994-2002) John Kitzhaber are running to replace Governor Ted Kulongoski (D). RCP has Dudley leading by 3.4%. Dudley has held a very slim but consistent lead since May. The latest polls had him up by 5% and 6%.

Pennsylvania - likely GOP (current D)

Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett and Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato are seeking to replace Governor Ed Rendell (D). The RCP poll average has Corbett up by 9.8%.

RCP has this interesting tidbit about the Pennsylvania Governorship:
There are some trends in politics that border on the surreal. Virginia always elects a governor from the opposite party of the one holding the White House (true since the 1970s). The North Carolina Senate seat currently occupied by Richard Burr switches parties every six years (true since the 1970s). And the Pennsylvania governorship switches parties every eight years. The latter has been true since 1954, when Pennsylvania elected only its fourth Democratic governor since the close of the Civil War.
Polls have had Corbett around 50% for the past several months, and Onorato in the upper 30s.

Tennessee - safe GOP (current D)

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam (R) has a big lead over Mike McWherter (D), son of a former governor. The RCP average has it Haslam by 23%. The latest poll had Haslam at 56%, and McWherter at 31%. Easy pickup for the GOP.

Wisconsin - likely GOP (current D)

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett are facing off to replace retiring Governor Jim Doyle. RCP has it Walker by 9.3%. Walker has led the polls since January. Walker also has an interesting "brown bag" theme to his campaign (see here and some of his YouTube videos) that you should check out.

Wyoming - safe GOP (current D)

Call it over already in Wyoming - Republican Matt Mead is leading Democrat Leslie Petersen 58%-24% in the latest poll.

1 comment:

  1. The latest Rasmussen Poll has Fallin up 60 - 34% over Askins, a 26% difference. I'd like to think that means that this is a 'safe GOP' race, but who knows with the huge amount of money that Askins is willing to throw into her campaign.


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