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


Archive for 100 ADS

In a devastating new minute-long ad from the Brown campaign, MegaBucks Whitman shows she’s studied the GOP sound bites and is simply regurgitating the party’s campaign talking points. It’s as if she learned at the knee of Arnold (or at least those of his high-priced handlers) as to which poll-tested phrases might seduce weary Californians into electing a ‘moderate’ Republican with business experience to take over the state.

If Californians had thought the Meg mantra sounded familiar, Jerry Brown’s new ad shows them they had indeed heard it all before. With Schwarzenegger’s approval ratings in the toilet, Meg certainly doesn’t want to be linked too closely to the Governator.

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Democrat Terry Goddard’s newest TeeVee ad really goes after Gov. Jan Brewer’s connections to the owners of private prisons doing business in the state.

The private prison profiteers have a direct line to “Brewer for Governor,” Goddard’s camp claims in the ad.

Goddard wants to undercut Brewer’s law-and-order creds by linking her to the violent prison break earlier this summer. The story of convicts who went on a deadly rampage across the Interior West garnered national headlines.  Goddard would like it to become a central issue in the governor’s race.

Goddard’s effort might persuade voters who respond to reality-based arguments, but it’s unlikely to convince  voters who have Brewer-induced nightmares of  beheaded bodies littering the Arizona desert and rampaging gangs of illegal immigrants pillaging the cities and towns.

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Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is back on his heels in his bid to win election to the office he inherited from Rod Blagojevich. A confluence of political forces (not the least of which is Blago) and continued economic bad news has put him on the endangered governor’s list.

He’s got a new TeeVee ad (complete with grainy video and ominous music) attacking Republican challenger Bill Brady labeling him a “millionaire politician” who “somehow” hasn’t paid any federal income taxes in recent years.

Quinn faces an angry electorate where being an insider (especially in scandal-weary Illinois) is a huge obstacle. He’s stumbled into one self-induced crisis after another since he assumed office.

It’s unclear whether Quinn can effectively seize the populist mantle, as he’s trying to do in this ad. But, it may be all he’s got this late in the game.

Categories : 100 ADS, AdMonitor, Illinois
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Democrat Vincent Sheheen goes all out in this attack ad on rival Nikki Haley.

Is she an outsider? Or Mark Sanford’s hand-picked successor?

If she’s for transparency, why did she hide $42,000 in consulting fees from her financial disclosure reports?

How can she be a fiscal conservative if she’s advocating a grocery tax?

What kind of an accountant files her personal taxes late for five straight years?

All of that squeezed into 30 seconds. Ouch.

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Except Bob Ehrlich, who wants voters to believe there’s “a lot of difference between a fee and a tax.”

Most people see through that claim. And they also know that when a fee goes up, that’s the same as raising taxes.

In tight economic times with family budgets getting squeezed, most people are simply frustrated with higher fees and declining services.

Martin O’Malley has found an Ehrlich weakness and has teed up a powerful television spot exposing Ehrlich’s political doublespeak.

Categories : 100 ADS, AdMonitor, Maryland
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TX: AdMonitor – Open For Business

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Rick Perry’s first television ad of the general election campaign has a simple message – Texas has a record of job creation, balanced budget and small government that has made the Texas economy a model for every other state in the nation.

Under Rick Perry, Texas is ‘Open for Business.’

Wonder how long Perry stays positive, especially considering Bill White looks like a serious challenger who could actually upset the GOP hegemony in the Lone Star State.

Categories : 100 ADS, Texas
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Alabama’s gubernatorial candidates are on the TeeVee airwaves and their choice of issues reveals the vast differences between the two major parties. The Democrat’s message is about investment and hope for a better future while the Republican opts to play on people’s fears, worry and frustration over

One of the issues Democrat Ron Sparks hopes can propel him to an unexpected victory in the Alabama gubernatorial contest against Republican Robert Bentley is the creation of a state lottery to help Alabama’s children pay for a college education. Bentley chooses to

In the Democrat’s ad, Sparks’ campaign plays a grainy clip of Bentley denouncing the idea of an education lottery making the argument that it’s not the government’s responsibility to provide a college education, nor does every child deserve to go to college. Sparks responds that every child deserves a chance.

Bentley, who emerged from a fractious GOP primary where one of his opponents, Tim James, garnered national attention with his “We Speak English Here” campaign ad, has chosen immigration as his post-Labor Day general election opening message airing across the state’s airwaves. To his credit, it’s a softer, more mature message, but it’s still built on fear, not hope.

Bentley also blames the problem of illegal immigration on voters’ favorite bogeyman – the federal government. There’s no question immigration is a federal issue – and state politicians (in the current economic and political climate there are both Republicans and Democrats running for governor across the country denouncing the federal failures on securing the borders) banging the drums on the issue in an election year is more about posturing and winning votes than anything else.

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OR: AdMonitor – Who Would You Hire?

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That’s essentially the question posed by former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s first ad of the general election.

It raises questions about GOP rival Chris Dudley’s experience and his commitment to the state of Oregon.

Categories : 100 ADS, AdMonitor, Oregon
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Independence Party guber wannabe Tom Horner is aiming for the moderate, ‘common-sense’ middle in his first ad of the general election campaign against DFLer Mark Dayton and Republican (and Target-sponsored) nominee Tom Emmer.

It’s visually arresting.

And it doesn’t hesitate to hit one right up the middle.

Horner voices over the cross-eyed image with,

“For the past few years, the Republicans and the Democrats have only been looking one direction.

Too far to the right. Or too far to the left.

Most of us would agree that we need a governor with a vision to get Minnesota going  in the right direction.

I’m Tom Horner. I’ll show you why common sense solutions make good sense for Minnesota.”

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Democrat Roy Barnes’ guber campaign had a good week. Ethically-challenged former congresscritter Nathan Deal’s razor-thin victory over Sarah Palin’s Mama Grizzly Karen Handel revealed a deeply divided state GOP. While the establishment rallied to Deal’s campaign did Handel’s defeat alienate the grassroots supporters who are fueling the base’s ‘enthusiasm gap’ over Democrats?

While the prolific gang over at RazzleDazzle Reports has a poll showing Deal with a comfy-cozy 9-point lead over the former (and wants to be future) governor, the Barnes campaign has to be thinking a congressman who fled Congress this past Spring while an active Ethics Committee investigation was inching towards formal charges has to be their best possible opponent.

They’re up with their first ad hammering Deal over his ethical distractions. They’re framing the election as a choice between ‘more of the same’ from Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes, ‘experienced and ready to go on day one.’

Categories : 100 ADS, AdMonitor, Georgia
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