2014 Elections Gubernatorial preview by Chris Ivan
The gubernatorial races will start heating up soon, let’s take a look at some of the contests. There are 36 governors races for our amusement this year.
Florida: The gubernatorial race in Florida promises to be an expensive fight. Current Gov. Rick Scott has been plagued by low approval ratings, much of which I believe is more about the nationwide economy and not him. None the less, Rick has proven himself a strong campaigner with deep pockets. His record in Florida has been better than most people want to admit. A previous article I wrote details his accomplishments. It is unlikely at this point Rick Scott will face a serious primary challenger. On the democrat side, former republican governor turned democrat, Charlie Crist is the front runner. He does face a primary challenge. His biggest threat is Nan Rich. Crist has plenty of baggage to drag around. The flip flop party changes, the infamous hug photo with Barrack Obama. The pundits are calling this a toss up, but i have to give the edge to Rick Scott.
Illinois: The State’s current governor, Pat Quinn is not doing so well. Lucky for him there isn’t much of a primary challenge for the low rated Governor. There are four Republicans who are polling neck in neck with him. Democrats have ruled the roost here for far too long. Republicans have a real chance to take this post. So lets meet the republican primary players. Two state Senators, Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard. Reports say Kirk’s fundraising is not getting off to a good start. As for Bill Brady, this is his third run for the seat. He narrowly lost to Pat Quinn in 2010. A political newcomer, businessman Bruce Rauner is in the mix, He has deep pockets and has raised some serious funds. State treasurer Dan Rutherford is in this race as well. Dan argues he’s the only statewide officeholder among the GOP field. His tenure as state treasurer has been less than stellar by most accounts.
Maine: Blue state republican Paul LePage is in a battle to keep his post as Maine’s governor. Democrats believe they have a chance to unseat Paul. Low approval ratings and gaffes have taken a toll on LePage. He will face Rep. Mike Michaud(D) and Eliot Cutler(I). This three-way race could bode well for LePage and save him from himself. Let’s put this race in the toss-up column for now.
Pennsylvania: Incumbent governor, Tom Corbett is likely in trouble. Dismal approval ratings have democrats licking their chops. His hope is that the eight democrats wanting his seat will wound themselves so badly in their primary, he’ll smell like a rose. Sabato has this in the R to D column and i agree. Democrats have the edge here. Sorry, but Pennsylvania has proven fools gold for the GOP in recent history.
Michigan: Republican Gov. Rick Synder elected in 2010 seems to have a single digit lead over his likely democratic challenger, Mark Schauer. Democrats will fight hard to unseat Rick but at this point i have to give the edge to Mr. Synder.
Wisconsin: This mid western state continues to show some bright spots for the GOP at times. Gov. Scott Walker i suspect will be reelected. This guy is a survivor, defeating a recall effort delivering a painful sting to the democrats. Polls show Walker leading his democratic opponent, Mary Burke. Let’s not count the chickens before they hatch, do not take this race for granted.
Ohio: More mid western action in the buckeye state for our enjoyment. Gov. John Kasich looks to retain his post. Kasich is on the democrats hit list. The collective bargaining battle in 2010 got the democrats fuming. Democrats are challenging with Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, an unknown who is struggling to get it together. Polling shows Kasich leading this race. I give the edge to Kasich, but this contest will be tough.
Colorado: Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper in recent times has become vulnerable. There is some hope amongst the GOP that he can be defeated. The GOP primary field is rather crowded here. Secretary of State Scott Gessler has received much grass roots endorsements and is hoping to build on it. State Sen. Greg Brophy is also in the mix. Some recent polling has shown him tied with Hickenlooper. Former Rep. Tom Tancredo has also thrown his hat in this race. The pollsters give Hickenlooper the edge here, but i’m somewhat optimistic about the GOP’s prospects. Recent grass roots efforts involving recall efforts and restrictive gun laws may just give Hickenlooper a run for his money.
Arkansas: Term-limited Gov. Mike Beebe(D) is leaving office. The democrats are putting their hopes on Rep. Mike Ross to hold the seat for them. Republicans have a primary to contend with before they can make this run. The primary candidates are Rep. Asa Hutchison, State Rep. Debra Hobbs, and businessman Curtis Coleman. Asa is leading this mix and has some strong endorsements. The pollsters have this as a toss-up, but Arkansas has been trending toward the GOP more and more. I’m calling this race a pick up for the republicans.
Texas: The lone star state is a pipe dream for the democrats. Attorney General Greg Abbott(R) has a solid lead over democrat state Sen. Wendy Davis. None the less, liberal groups are pouring money into this for Wendy. Stick a fork in this T-bone, its done. Texas stays red.
South Carolina: Governor Nikki Haley(R) has the edge here. Haley’s likely opponent from the democrats is state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. Nikki’s approval ratings haven’t been stellar lately but this is South Carolina, this state is red, and red it shall be.
Connecticut: This upcoming contest in this state has seemed to fly under the radar. Gov. Dan Malloy(D) is not well liked in his state. Republican Tom Foley is the front runner but he has to survive a primary first. State Senate President John McKinney and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton are Foley’s challengers. Surprisingly this state is in the toss-up column. I’ll be watching this one.
At this point the rest of the races are not contests, but Team Ninja will keep an eye on these and other races. Tell us what races and candidates you like in our comment section.
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