Friday, December 21, 2007

New Print Edition: 2008 Gubernatorial Outlook

The December 21, 2007 print edition of the Rothenberg Political Report is on its way to subscribers. This is our final issue of the year.

The print edition comes out every two weeks and the content is not available online. Subscribers get in-depth analysis of the most competitive races in the country, as well as quarterly House and Senate ratings, and coverage of the gubernatorial races nationwide. To subscribe, simply click on the Google checkout button on the
website or send a check. Here is a brief sample of what's in this edition...

2008 Gubernatorial Outlook

By Nathan L. Gonzales

Republicans and Democrats each took over a governorship this year, but there was no net change in the nationwide totals. Democrats go into next year with 28 governorships to the Republicans’ 22.

Three states elected governors this year. In Kentucky, former Lt. Gov. Steve Beshear (D) defeated incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R), after only four years of Republican control. In Louisiana, Cong. Bobby Jindal (R) won the open seat vacated by Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D) and avoided a runoff in the process. And in Mississippi, Gov. Haley Barbour (R) easily won reelection over wealthy attorney John Arthur Eaves (D).

Next year is an “off-year” for governor races, with only eleven states selecting a chief executive. In 2010, with Congressional redistricting on the horizon, 36 states will elect a governor, including California, Texas, Florida, and New York. At least 19 of those 36 races will be open seats.

Currently, only three of next year’s eleven races look truly competitive. Incumbent Govs. Matt Blunt (R-Missouri), Mitch Daniels (R-Indiana), and Christine Gregoire (D-Washington) face serious challenges and dissatisfied electorates. Other states like Vermont and North Carolina could develop into competitive contests but aren’t there yet.

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) will likely surpass its fundraising goal of $12 million this year, $3 million more than in 2003 (the comparable year), but short of the $20 million raised by the Republican Governors Association (RGA). The DGA should finish the year with close to $6.5 million on hand, five times more than ever before because the group is focused on a four-year cycle of races and didn’t spend every last cent this year. Both committees plan to finish 2008 with millions in the bank in preparation for 2010.

This cycle, the most likely scenario is that Democrats gain a governorship or two.

For a state-by-state analysis and recent polling data, you must subscribe to the print edition of the Report.