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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Sep
26

Michigan GOPers Seek Renaissance

By · Sep, 26 2009

 A Detroit News/Mitchell Research poll of Michigan’s open gubernatorial contest shows Republican Attorney General leading a hypothetical matchup against Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Cherry by thirteen, 45-32%. Michigan’s dismal economic performance over the past decade makes the Great Lakes State a prime pick-up opportunity for Republicans if they can successfully tie the demise of the state’s manufacturing base to Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm.

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While Cox leads a crowded Republican field, nearly one-third of GOP primary voters remain undecided in the contest. Cox is the only candidate in the group who has a proven track record of statewide electability.

Congressman Pete Hoekstra – one of Congress’ more prolific tweeters – has been scoring political points among the GOP base by opposing the proposed move of Gitmo detainees to a prison in Western Michigan, his political home base. Additionally, his high-profile opposition to Congressional inquiries into CIA torture has kept his name in local and national headlines.

Pollster Steve Mitchell said Cox has “a solid lead” but the large number of undecided voters means the contest is up for grabs.

“This race will ultimately be decided by who has the most money to carry their message to the voters next August,” he said.

Another poll conducted by Marketing Research Group for Inside Michigan Politics showed an even tighter primary contest between Cox and Hoekstra, with the AG getting 27% to the congressman’s 26%.  Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard again came in thrid (with 15%) while both Tom George and Rick Snyder barely registered at 2% each.

Five of the six declared GOP candidates (EMT Tim Rujan wasn’t invited but was planning on being in the audience) gathered for a debate today on Mackinac Island each aiming to emerge as a viable challenger for the nomination. The Michigan Taxpayer Alliance hosted the forum during a gathering of Republican activists and according to the Detroit News, the audience reacted favorably to the typical meat and potato offerings - business tax cuts and reducing public employee benefits – conservatives like to see on the political menu.

The Alliance limited the scope of the debate (which did not include candidates directly interacting with one another) to tax and fiscal issues. According the Detroit Free Press, there was much the group agreed upon:

  • Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has done a lousy job.
  • Michigan’s tax climate stinks, especially for job providers.
  • Ditto for the treatment business gets from state regulators.
  • And the next governor shouldn’t raise taxes but reform government.

 

Rick Snyder’s ability (and desire) to finance his long-shot bid has changed the rules of the primary contest. Under Michigan law, if a candidate donates over $340,000 of his own money to his campaign, it eliminates spending caps. Snyder surpassed that total recently, altering the campaign’s financial landscape.

Another potential game-changer on the political calendar is the looming Oct 1 start to the next fiscal year. Lawmakers continue to grapple with a $2.8 billion budget gap. The potential for a government shutdown hangs over Lansing, a prospect some Republicans view as a political win for them going into 2010.

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Categories : Michigan, Polls

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