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


PollWatch (AZ): PPP – The Dems Oasis in the Desert

By · Sep, 24 2009

Democratic leaning Public Policy Polling has a first look (pdf) at the yet-to-form Arizona gubernatorial contest and delivers perhaps the brightest news for Democrats they’ve heard in months.

“This is the first poll in months where we’ve found a Democratic challenger leading a Republican incumbent anywhere across the country,” Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy Polling. “Jan Brewer’s one of the least popular Governors anywhere and that’s put Terry Goddard in a strong position.”

PPP tested Democratic Attorney General  Terry Goddard (who thanks to the state’s quit-to-run laws, can’t declare his candidacy until January 2010) against Brewer (and Accidental Governor), former Governor Fife Symington (who left office in disgrace a decade ago) and State Treasurer Dean Martin.

Brewer, the only Accidental Governor (the others – NY’s Paterson, Alaska’s Parnell, Kansas’ Parkinson, Illinois’ Quinn & Utah’s Herbert) whose elevation to the top spot marked a shift in partisan power, battled the GOP-controlled state legislature in on the nation’s longest budget battles of the 2010 budgeting season. Brewer’s advocacy for an increased sales tax to help close the state’s budget hole may have been the right position but it wasn’t a strategy designed to win over the anti-tax, small government base of her own party.

Her challenge to the party’s low-tax orthodoxy means it’s unlikely she will have a unchallenged path to the GOP nomination, if she opts to run. Brewer’s net-negative ratings at this point place her in endangered status territory. A strong primary challenger may knock her out of the race before it even starts.



Job Approval Numbers
  Approve Disapprove Not Sure
Brewer  26 43 31
Goddard 44 22 33
Martin 27 19 54
Symington 17 54 29



Goddard holds comfortable leads over all three potential GOP rivals, with the lesser-known Martin as perhaps the strongest candidate at this point.


Potential Arizona 2010 Matchups
Goddard 46 Goddard 45 Goddard 52
Brewer 36 Martin 37 Symington 29
Undecided 17 Undecided 18 Undecided 18

PPP didn’t include controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio in their survey, although the notorious lawman has been rumored as a potential candidate. An Arpaio candidacy would undoubtedly garner national media attention, as his assault on civil liberties and focus on illegal immigrants has made him a hero to those on the right and a bigoted tyrant to the left.




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