Elephant Ears

This blog is dedicated to the political happenings in the Valley and Southwest Virginia. As the the name implies, this blog will have posts based on what is heard by this elephant's (GOPer's) ears. It is also a great treat to get while at the county fair or a carnival.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Early '06 Governors Outlook

There are 22 GOP and 14 Dem governors races in 2006 (the GOP holds a 28-22 edge overall). With the current fund advantage the RNC commands over the DNC, this may not be as big a factor as usual. The bigger effect is where these seats are and also the overall political climate.
Here is a list that Larry Sabato says will be competitive. He has 13 of 22 GOPs and 8 of 14 dems in the competitive column. He predicts a party change for GOP to dem in New York, Massachusetts and probably Ohio. If that is all that changes, there will be a 25-25 tie for the gubenatorial majority. Considering the seats up for election this year, that would probably be a wonderful outcome for the GOP. If they could manage to defend the majority and only lose 2, it would be a huge victory.
Here is my competitive list (NY and MA are guaranteed Dem pickups):

GOP Held Seats:
Colorado: Depends on who gets the nominations
Minnesota: Pawlenty(R) leads 47-44
California: Arnold Tied with Dems
Ohio: Ted Strickland (D) leads Ken Blackwell (R) 44-40
Alabama: Only if Roy Moore wins the GOP primary
Arkansas: Mike Beebe (D) leads 46-40
Maryland: Ehrlich (R) leads 47-42
Nevada: GOP by 5

Dem Held Seats:
Maine: The GOP may have a shot here
Pennsylvania: Lynn Swann (R) leads 45-43
Iowa: GOP edge here
Illinois: Topinka (R) with 48-37 lead

I must reiterate that if the GOP can defend its gubenatorial majority in 2006, we will be very well positioned for the future. We are defending all but 6 seats this year, so we will likely be set in the majority for 4 more years if we come out of '06 retaining the majority. With 2 guaranteed losses and a less than helpful political climate for the GOP, we need to turn the tide and protect this majority. The GOP has some good chances for pickups in places like PA, IA and IL so we need to capitalize. Notice that MN, CA and MD are blue states in the GOP column (and also MA and NY) whereas Iowa is the only red state in the Dem list, so that makes our task even tougher.
Our 5-1 fund advantage might come in handy this year, we will need every cent of it.


  • At 2/13/2006 8:53 AM, Blogger James E. Martin said…

    1) Thats a very selective use of polls when it comes to Ehrlich, i can find others where O'Malley is up by 5.
    2) Money Isn't Everything.
    3) Great List:-)

  • At 2/13/2006 10:22 AM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Agreed on the polls. I used all Rasmussen b/c I think they are the best firm and b/c they do polling on most all races.
    Money certainly isnt everything, but it can make a difference.

  • At 2/13/2006 3:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I get a feeling that MD will be back in the Democratic column. Having Ehrlich and Steele split up is going to be a problem for the GOP because they were a good campaign team. With both of them going for statewide races - and with Steele being a bona fide conservative and the Governor being more moderate - their differences will eventually come back to haunt them. Ironically, Steele is a better communicator, but too conservative for most MD folks. Once the Democrats figure out their nominees for both races, things will shake out really differently. If O'Malley wins the Dem gov. nod and Mfume wins the Dem Sen. nod (unlikely), then MD's next governor is going to be Blue.

  • At 2/13/2006 5:12 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    Thanks for your input Conway. I think Mfume will get Steele elected b/c he will be too much a nutcase and may even hurt O'Malley. I dont think the MD dems are that dumb so I think Cardin will make it tougher.
    A different political climate would make this race different too.

  • At 2/13/2006 5:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yeah, but honestly, you guys got lucky in 2002. Kathleen Kennedy was a perfect storm for GOP success: a bad Dem candidate, who pissed off her base (in MD, blacks are nearly 35%-40% of Democrats, and so it really matters there) by picking a GOP running mate, and a black Republican LG running mate who is actually friends with Mfume. That got Ehrlich in. Now, MD's Dems are even stronger, have 2 good candidates (Duncan's better than O'Malley in my mind), and the GOP is split up.

    Mfume's not a nutcase - he was the sane one who attempted to keep Julian Bond in check at the NAACP. He also was a huge Steele defender in 2002, opening the door for MD black establishment types to sit down and not go for the Dem ticket.

  • At 2/13/2006 5:50 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    I am not totally in the know there.
    I have always heard Mfume would be very outspoken. Most of that I am sure comes from biased sources though.
    You may be right.

  • At 2/13/2006 5:57 PM, Blogger s1c said…

    What no CT predictions?

  • At 2/13/2006 6:14 PM, Blogger GOPHokie said…

    No change in either governor or senator.

  • At 2/13/2006 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Alabama will go for reelecting Bob Riley. Roy Moore is a one trick pony (Ten Commandments), Baxley is a puppet for the teacher's lobby and Siegelman will probably be convicted at an upcoming corruption trial.


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