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


MI: The Politics of Bailouts

By · Jul, 30 2010

President Obama visited Detroit today in an effort to reshape the public perception about one of his administration’s most contentious policies – the government takeover of Chrysler and GM.

Is it a coincidence that he’s in the state the weekend before the state’s voters go to the polls in next Tuesday’s primary? The open seat governor’s mansion has been rated as a prime Republican pick-up opportunity given the state’s economic “Lost Decade,” where the once-proud industrial behemoth had suffered the wrenching decline of its manufacturing sector. Could the president’s use of the bully pulpit change that calculus?

On the stump he’s trumpeting the dramatic turnaround of the once-teetering auto giants – a message of hope unfamiliar to Michiganders who’ve grown accustomed to depressing economic news over the past decade. The state no longer tops the nation in unemployment rate and the auto industry is hiring new employees – and even working through the traditional summer shutdown period.

A forceful case can be made that the president’s leadership has saved the auto industry (and the state of Michigan) from a prolonged depression. If the president can explain how this is a validation of Democratic economic philosophy of strategic and limited intervention that helped the middle class he may rewrite the narrative in the Michigan gubernatorial contest.

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