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 West Virginia


PollWatch: PPP Ranks the Gubers

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Public Policy Polling provides a run-down of the gubernatorial polling they’ve done throughout 2010.

The nation’s most popular (of the 30 polled by the PPP gang) is West Virginia’s Joe Manchin – who’s now ducking votes as a Senator in DC. The least popular is California’s Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been making noise about wanting to move east to work on green issues at the federal level.

Of the governors up for re-election in 2011-12, Democratic incumbents Steve Beshear (KY) and Jay Nixon (MO) are looking pretty good at this point, as is Republican Bobby Jindal (LA). North Carolina’s Bev Perdue could be facing a tough reelection battle, especially considering how the GOP flipped the state legislature in the 2010 GOP tsunami.

Looking back, it could be argued that unpopular incumbent governors could’ve been a drag on their party’s nominees in the 2010 contests. PPP observes:

-Four Governors ended the year (and their terms) in the under 30% approval club. The least popular in the country at least in our polling is Arnold Schwarzenegger at a -38 spread (25/63). The other folks reaching this unwelcome unpopularity level are Bill Richardson at a -37 spread, Jim Gibbons at a -36, and John Baldacci at -29. It’s not a coincidence that 3 out of 4 of these guys saw the Governor’s office in their state flip to the other party last month.


Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/21/10

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Colorado: As Rocky Mountain Republicans ponder how to clean up the mess that is their gubernatorial contest, independent candidate Jason Clark is trying to become a viable alternative. It’s quite a step up from advertising on Craig’s List for a Light Guv running mate.

Hawai’i: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman finally resigned as mayor and officially launched his gubernatorial bid against Democratic rival Neil Abercrombie. It’s a rivalry that’s been around for quite a long time – the former Congressman defeated Hannemann in a Democratic primary for his old House seat way back in 1986.

Massachusetts: Did Deval Patrick pull “a Sanford?”

Massachusetts II: Could Tim Cahill resurrect his floundering guber candidacy by winning over social conservatives? In a move that only hurts GOP guber wannabe Charlie Baker, an anti-abortion group, Massachusetts Citizens for Life backed Cahill’s independent bid.

Michigan: Former GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz, who had flirted with an indie guber run this year, has backed the “nerd” in the GOP primary, former Gateway exec Rick Snyder. He also urged Democrats to cross-over and participate in the Republican contest, despite the presence of a race between Andy Dillon and Virg Bernero on the Democratic side.

Nebraska: In the ‘why did they bother? file’ ¬†RazzleDazzle Polling reports that GOP incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman has a commanding lead over Democratic sacrificial lamb Mike Meister, who only became a candidate in the heavily Republican state within the last 10 days after the party’s nominee dropped his bid.

Pennsylvania: After hiding in his bunker for eleven days, GOP guber nominee Tom Corbett finally addressed his controversial comments on the long-term unemployed in a public forum.

South Carolina: They’re playing the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” tax return game in South Carolina. Democrat Vince Sheheen has released ten years of his returns and has challenged Nikki Haley to do the same.

West Virginia: According to the WaPo’s Fix,¬†the maneuvering to replace Gov. Manchin has begun in earnest. With no Light Gov-in-waiting, the Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be replace him if he wins the special US Senate race this November. How long he will serve is unknown, as state law requires a special election but is vague on when it should be held once a vacancy occurs.