The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Jul
31

Never Can Say Good-bye

By · Jul, 31 2009

One might think that after taking months to accept defeat (at the behest of Mitch and the NRSC), Norm Coleman may have overstayed his welcome in Minnesota politics. But Norm doesn’t think he has. Fresh from his razor-thin loss to now-Sen. (finally) Al Franken, is keeping his options open regarding the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race. He’s playing coy, as he won’t make a decision about running until 2010.

“Coleman spokesman Tom Erickson now says the Republican won’t announce if he’s in or out of the governor’s race until March or April. Erickson says Coleman just wants some time to not be running for office,” MPR’s Tim Pugmire writes. 

The former senator’s decision could be a game changer in the race, which is already filling up with GOP hopefuls since Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty announced in June he would not seek a third term.

Staying on the sidelines of such a crowded field is an interesting (and revealing) strategy.  Considering his universal name ID, a Coleman candidacy would probably deter some of those considering a run to opt out of the contest.  Perhaps he’s fatigued by the drawnout recount and not really interested in making another gubernatorial run (he lost to Jesse Ventura back in 1998) or he may sense the Gopher State voters have grown tired of his media presence. But it’s more likely that like an aging athlete playing beyond his prime, Norm Coleman simply doesn’t want to let the spotlight move on.

Over at fivethirtyeight they pondered the possibility of a Coleman gubernatorial run and concluded that despite polls showing Coleman competitive against leading Democrats, his 38-52 net negative ratings would deter him from entering the contest. Considering he’s got lingering ethics and legal questions unresolved, it might be wise to wait until a later date to attempt a political comeback.

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Categories : Minnesota, Open Seats

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