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



kansas-stampIncumbent: Sam Brownback (R)

Primary election: August 3, 2010
General election: November 2, 2010

RATING: Likely GOP Pickup

2002 Result: Sebelius wins 53%-45%.
2006 Result:
wins 58%-41%.

Tom Holland      Web Site facebook twitter flickr

Sam Brownback

Kansas Gubernatorial Race Headlines


#1) Kansas Senator (and former GOP presidential candidate) Sam Brownback has always been viewed as the overwhelming favorite to become the next Cedar Crest resident.  Popular yet term-limited Democrat Kathleen Sebelius departed Topeka  early to become the Obama Administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services leaving a dearth of Democrats in her wake.  Despite numerous pleas from Team Blue her replacement, the Republican-turned-Democrat Lt. Governor Mark Parkinson, has repeatedly said he isn’t interested in running for the office in his own right. He is currently the only “Accidental Governor” (along with Arizona’s Jan Brewer, New York’s David Paterson, Alaska’s Sean Parnell and Utah’s Gary Herbert) who has thus far opted out of running for governor in 2010.

The Democratic field is virtually non-existent at this stage (scrappy state Sen. Chris Steineger has expressed some interest) although Democrats continue to urge Parkinson to revisit his decision. The one significant obstacle to a Brownback coronation, Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh, abandoned plans to mount a primary challenge after early poll numbers showed him badly trailing the Senator. In early September, Brownback announced the moderate Thornburgh would be chairing his gubernatorial effort, effectively solidfying the conservative’s control of the Kansas GOP. Unless he’s been womanizing with other GOP presidential wannabes Sanford and Ensign in the C Street fraternity house (and videos show up on YouTube), it’s difficult to foresee a development that endangers Brownback’s chances. This is why Kansas occupies the top slot.

~ SHR, Sept 9, 2009

SurveyUSA: Brownback in trouble; Challenger Davis narrowly ahead, 43-39% one year till Election Day (10/25/13)
Survey USA: Brownback job approval rating drops dramatically, now at 40-52% (9/19/11)
Rasmussen: Brownback has huge lead, 57-34 (8/4/10)
Survey USA: Brownback cruising to GOP nomination (7/19/10)
Rasmussen: Brownback leads Holland by nearly 2-to-1, 59-31 (6/30/10)
Survey USA: Brownback has huge primary lead (6/27/10)
Rasmussen: Brownback’s lead grows, ahead 58-27 (5/11/10)
Rasmussen: Brownback leads Holland 55-33 (3/1/10)

Local Blogs
Kansas Forward (“Kansas Politics. Without the Crazy”)

State Resources
Kansas SecState