Friday, November 03, 2006

Gov 06: State of play

Here is a recap of what are (or at least once were!) the competitive Governor's races (AK and ID lack enough data for the analysis and are omitted.) The graph is ordered from the strongest Republican in the lower left corner to the strongest Democratic in the upper right.

Recent action that may affect election day is visible in NV where Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons is facing allegations of sexual assault. The race had looked strong for Gibbons but has now narrowed, with Gibbon's leading by under 5 points. In Maryland a small but consistent lead for Democratic challenger Martin O'Malley has all but vanished, leaving Gov. Robert Ehrlich a chance to hold on to the office. The reverse has happened in Minnesota where Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty has lost the small lead he held over Democratic challenger Mike Hatch, with the race now a dead heat. In Iowa, Democratic fortunes have improved to a small lead, as have those of endangered Oregon Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski. In Wisconins, incumbent Dem. Gov. Jim Doyle has persistently held on to a small but relatively steady lead, making challenger U.S. Rep Mark Green's chances look longer than many (including me) expected.

No other races give any indication of shifts likely to threaten current leaders. The bottom line should be a considerable gain for Democrats. Our scoreboard shows 28 Dem, 20 Rep with 2 races too close for an assignment. This would give the Democrats a majority of Governorships for the first time since 1994, with potential advantages going into 2008 presidential contests.

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