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

800px-governors_by_party

Tennessee

tennessee-stampIncumbent: Phil Bredeson (D) Term-Limited

Primary Election: August 5, 2010
General Election: November 2, 2010

STATUS: OPEN SEAT
RATING: Likely Republican Pick-up

RECENT ELECTION RETURNS:
2002 Result: Bredesen wins 51%-48%.
2006 Result: Bredesen wins 69%-30%.

Tennesse Gubernatorial Race: Headlines

Democrats:
Ward Cammack Web Site Twitter YouTube
Roy Herron Web Site Twitter YouTube
Jim Kyle Web Site
Kim McMillan Web Site Twitter
Mike McWherter Web Site

Republicans:
Bill Gibbons Web Site Twitter YouTube
Bill Haslam Web Site Twitter YouTube
Joe Kirkpatrick Web Site
Ron Ramsey Web Site Twitter
Zach Wamp Web Site Twitter YouTube

StateHouseRock Rating: LIKELY REPUBLICAN TAKEOVER

4) Tennessee - One of the few states trending toward the Republicans at the national level during the 2006 and 2008 elections, Democrats will face a difficult task defending the chair currently held by term-limited Phil Bredesen. Reflecting the shift toward the GOP, Bredesen was one of the few Democratic governors who publicly contemplated rejecting some Obama stimulus funds. Looking toward 2010, both parties have crowded primary fields with no clear frontrunner on either side. Regardless which candidate wins their respective primaries; the Republicans have a stronger group of candidates and will likely enter the general election campaign with the advantage.

The Republican field includes Shelby County DA Bill Gibbons, Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Congressman Zach Wamp, and conservative party activist Joe Kirkpatrick. The Democratic field includes Mike McWherter, the son of a former governor, Ward Cammack, a relatively unknown self-funder, state Senator Roy Herron and former state Representative Kim McMillan. As a group, the GOP candidates have outraised the Democrats by a 3-1 margin, reinforcing the conventional wisdom regarding the Republicans’ opportunity to pick up this governor’s chair.

But sex scandals could weaken two of the GOP’s leading candidates. Ramsey, as speaker of the Tennessee House, has been dogged by questions of what he knew and when he knew it regarding Rep. Paul Stanley’s extramarital (with alleged blackmail) affair. As a long-time resident of the C Street fraternity house, Wamp is getting similar questions from the local media. How this plays out in an election still many months away remains to be seen. But salacious headlines can’t be viewed as an asset as these candidates seek the support of “family values” voters in the GOP base.

~SHR, Sept 9, 2009

Local Media/blogs:
Humphrey on the Hill (Knoxnews.com political blog)

State Resources:
Tennesse Dept of State – Elections

PollWatch:
Vanderbilt: Tennesseans happy with Gov. Bill Haslam, 68% approve of his job performance (12/12/12)
Middle TN State U: Haslam job approval stands at 51-16% (10/28/11)
Public Policy Polling: In 2012 Senate contest, Bredesen only Dem strong enough to challenge Corker (2/15/11)
Rasmussen: General election campaign opens with Haslam way ahead, Haslam 56, McWherter 31 (8/9/10)
Crawford, Johnson & Northcutt/WSMV-TV: GOP Primary – Haslam 32%, Wamp 21%, Ramsey 11%, Undecided 36% (7/8/10)
Rasmussen: McWherter trails all GOP hopefuls by double digits (6/15/10)
Rasmussen: GOP has early edge (3/22/10)