Early '06 Governors Outlook
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.