Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer

Josh Goodman is a former staff writer at GOVERNING. From 2005 to 2010, he covered a variety of topics including transportation, education, politics and health care. 

Josh Goodman
November 1, 2010

The Future of Redistricting and Rural America

Redistricting is not likely to be kind to the political clout of rural areas.
November 1, 2010

Philadelphia's Mixed Feelings on Legalized Gambling

In Philadelphia, the SugarHouse Casino’s story reflects the mixed emotions about legalized gambling.
November 1, 2010

Reforming Sex Offender Laws

California's Chelsea's Law rethinks the way the state manages sex offenders who will return to society.
November 1, 2010

Cuyahoga County's Road to Recovery From Corruption

A lot has changed, and is still changing, in Cuyahoga County since the county was slammed with corruption charges.
November 1, 2010

Getting Teens to Register and Vote

A new effort is under way to encourage young adults to start voting and keep voting.
October 1, 2010

Thanks for Reading!

Josh Goodman says goodbye.
October 1, 2010

Goodbye Moderate Governors, Hello Partisans

From Vermont to Hawaii, moderate governors are leaving office after the fall elections. Will partisan purists soon be running state government?
October 1, 2010

Florida's Amendment 4 Puts Land-Use Issues on the Ballot

Is this the perfect year for Florida voters to constrain development?
October 1, 2010

Legislatures Tackle Concussions in School Athletics

Growing concerns about the risks associated with serious head injuries are catching the attention of state legislatures.
October 1, 2010

Smarter Parking in San Francisco

San Francisco's two-year pilot project will adjust parking prices based on time and location.
October 1, 2010

Oregon’s Pension Puzzle

Oregon's public pension performance in the past decade has been stellar, but can they maintain it in years to come?
September 28, 2010

Florida Redistricting: Democrats' Structural Disadvantage

Democrats have a voter registration advantage in Florida, but a new study shows that Republicans would have an edge in a map with compact, contiguous legislative or congressional districts. That's because Democrats are concentrated in a few urban areas.
September 27, 2010

NY-GOV: Lazio's Decision Highlights Byzantine Judicial Nominations

Once you're on a ballot in New York, there are only three ways to get off of it: die, move out of state or be nominated for a judgeship. The third option is the choice of Rick Lazio, in a move that highlights the controversial way that New York picks judges.
September 24, 2010

Four Ballot Measures the Political Establishment Hates

Some ballot measures are nearly unanimously hated by their state's political establishment, but might pass anyway. Here are four of them.
September 23, 2010

California's Crucial Ballot Measures That Aren't About Pot

The national media and pollsters are obsessing about California's initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use. But, it would be a shame to ignore other ballot measures in California that might very well end up having more tangible significance.
September 22, 2010

Redistricting: Big Cities Show Resilience

Population growth in America's largest cities has come close to keeping up with population growth elsewhere over the last nine years. As a result, big cities will be able retain most of their clout after redistricting updates the nation's political lines.
September 21, 2010

Downballot Doom for Kansas Democrats?

Kansas' downballot statewide races this year present a test for the Democratic Party, as well as an interesting test of the power of incumbency. A new poll offers a preliminary answer.
September 17, 2010

GA-Governor: Nathan Deal and the Politics of Empathy

The Republican candidate for governor in Georgia has serious financial problems. He's trying to turn that into a political advantage.
September 16, 2010

HI-Governor: The Washington Post's Take

The Washington Post took a look this morning at Saturday's Democratic primary for governor in Hawaii. Besides being a good description of the race, the piece has some interesting trivia about candidates Neil Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann.
September 15, 2010

Ballot Measures: Democrats Fail to Drive Turnout

In midterm elections, parties can use ballot measures to inspire their voters to come to the polls. Republicans are trying to do that this year. Democrats aren't.
September 15, 2010

CA-Governor: Clinton Endorses Brown

Even after he made a Monica Lewinsky reference the other day, Jerry Brown still won Bill Clinton's support in the California governor's race.
September 14, 2010

DE-State Senate: One More Primary Challenge from the Right

The story of today's Delaware primaries is a clash between establishment Republicans and conservative activists. Besides the prominent races for U.S. Senate and U.S. House, there's another case of that in Delaware's 19th Senate District.
September 13, 2010

New York Senate: Seven Toss-Ups

One of the best political reporters in New York predicts which races will determine control of the New York Senate.
September 10, 2010

GA-Governor: "Too Corrupt Even for Congress"

Democrat Roy Barnes probably can't win the Georgia governor's race on his own merits in the current political climate. But, Nathan Deal's ethical problems and the taint of Deal's tenure in Congress may be enough to win it for Barnes.
September 9, 2010

CA-Governor: Will Clinton Respond to Whitman's Ad?

Republican Meg Whitman's new ad in the California governor's race uses Bill Clinton's words against fellow Democrat Jerry Brown. Will Clinton come to the defense of his old rival?
September 9, 2010

AK-Senate: For Lisa Murkowski, No Stickers

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's potential write-in campaign in Alaska highlights states' diverse rules for counting write-in votes. Some states even let write-in candidates distribute stickers with their names for voters to use on the ballot.
September 8, 2010

NM-Governor: Susana Martinez Campaigns Against "Richardson Denish"

Democratic candidates for governor are struggling in states with unpopular outgoing Democratic governors. A new ad from New Mexico Republican Susana Martinez is an illustration of how G.O.P. candidates are taking advantage.
September 8, 2010

Ohio Legislature: The Power of Redistricting

A single fact illustrates the significance of the once-a-decade redrawing of political lines.
September 7, 2010

Massachusetts Sales Tax: Do the Candidates' Views Matter?

Every candidate for governor in Massachusetts opposes a ballot measure that would cut the sales tax rate from 6.25 percent to 3 percent. But, voters might approve it anyway.
September 3, 2010

Random Thoughts on the 2010 Elections

Here are some notions that have been percolating in my brain as I think about the upcoming elections.
September 2, 2010

Implicit Referendums on Gay Marriage

For the first time in years, no state will vote on gay marriage this year. But, there are still a few elections around the country that will tell us how voters feel on the issue.
September 1, 2010

In Florida, the Perfect Time for a Populist Uprising on Development?

A ballot measure in Florida would create new obstacles to development. It's opposed by many business groups, unions, developers, planners, local governments and newspaper editorial boards. But, with the esteem of many of those groups at an all-time low, could it pass anyway?
September 1, 2010

Colorado Collects Popular Votes by Mail

Once open to choices, Colorado appears headed toward all-mail balloting.
September 1, 2010

Governor Parkinson Pins Successes on Lame Duck Status

Kansas' governor has taken the politics out of lawmaking -- and has had great success so far.
September 1, 2010

Building Demolition a Turning Point in Hartford

One of the first orders of business for the new Mayor Pedro Segarra: getting rid of the 'Butt Ugly' building.
September 1, 2010

State Estate Taxes at the Mercy of Congress

What is the future of the 'death tax'?
August 31, 2010

CO-Governor: In Search of Conservative Unity, ASAP

If there were one conservative candidate in the Colorado governor's race instead of two, he'd have a chance to win. But, if Don Maes and Tom Tancredo are going to join forces in Colorado, they'd be best off doing it this week.
August 27, 2010

Jim Douglas Reflects on Being a Moderate Governor

Vermont's centrist Republican governor considered it part of his job to check some of the impulses of his state's Democratic legislative majority. But, he's proudest of accomplishments that are decidedly non-ideological.
August 26, 2010

Arizona AG: An Inconclusive Verdict on Andrew Thomas

The Republican primary for governor in Arizona was, in part, a referendum on whether voters approve of former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' aggressive prosecutions of other Maricopa County officials. We now have a verdict: maybe.
August 25, 2010

In Alaska, Proof that Ballot Measures Can Drive Turnout

People have debated for years whether controversial ballot measures can affect who shows up to vote. In Alaska yesterday, a measure did just that -- and may have ended the career of a U.S. senator.
August 24, 2010

AZ-Governor: Why Jan Brewer Is Winning

Everyone knows that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer made a political comeback because she signed SB 1070, the state's controversial immigration bill. But Robert Robb, a columnist with the Arizona Republic, says that everyone is wrong.
August 23, 2010

VT-Governor: A Referendum on Single Payer?

In most states, single-payer health care is nothing more than something progressives dream about. In Vermont, it could become a reality, depending on who wins tomorrow's Democratic primary and who wins the general election.
August 20, 2010

Arizona AG: The Uniquely Controversial Andrew Thomas

Andrew Thomas has been at the center of the most surreal dispute in American local government in recent history. He is beloved by some Arizona conservatives, but regarded as a rogue prosecutor by his many critics, including many fellow Republicans. He could be Arizona's next attorney general.
August 19, 2010

CO-Governor: John Hickenlooper's Shower

The Democratic candidate for governor in Colorado has a quirky first ad.
August 18, 2010

VT-Governor: Will the Legislature Make the Decision?

Vermont is the only state where governors' races are thrown into the legislature if no candidate receives a majority of the vote. Will it happen this year?
August 18, 2010

When a Governor Won't Talk

Staff Writer Josh Goodman wrote a profile of Chris Christie for the August issue. But, Christie wouldn't talk to him for the story. Here's how Josh handled it.
August 17, 2010

Why Tennessee Holds Thursday Primaries

Most American elections are held, of course, on Tuesdays. In Tennessee, primaries are on Thursdays. Why? For no better reason than that the Tennessee Constitution says so.
August 16, 2010

Register of Wills: The Easiest Job in Government?

A reader makes the case that in Maryland registers of wills (an elected office that also exists in Delaware and Pennsylvania) are highly paid with few responsibilities. Would anyone notice if the job ceased to exist?
August 13, 2010

Governors: Democrats' Silver Lining?

We all know by now that, barring something dramatic happening, this will be a very good year for Republicans. But how good depends to a huge degree on the office you're talking about. In fact, when it comes to governorships Republicans might not gain at all -- if you define a gain like I do.
August 12, 2010

In Delaware, a Battle of Wills

Sussex County Delaware -- like other Delaware counties -- holds elections for Register of Wills. Couldn't an appointed or career official do the job better?
August 11, 2010

Lieutenant Governors: How Selection Rules Foster Diversity

Some states let candidates for governor pick their own running mates. It's no coincidence that those states tend to end up with lieutenant governors who aren't white men.
August 10, 2010

GA-Governor: A Job for a Legislator?

Supporters of Nathan Deal in the Republican runoff for governor in Georgia say that former legislators make good governors. There's some evidence that they're right.
August 7, 2010

Governors: The Next Generation of Moderates

Primaries in the last week make it more likely that, for better or for worse, there will be a new crop of centrist governors.
August 5, 2010

TN-Governor: Debating the Murfreesboro Mosque

A proposed mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee has stirred controversy. Here's what the candidates for governor have to say about it.
August 4, 2010

The Perils of Feral Pigs

Wild hogs, I've now learned, are a major problem in Texas.
August 4, 2010

Kansas House: Most Republican Moderates Survive

Kansas Republicans who voted for a sales tax increase this year faced challenges from the right yesterday. But, only one of the moderates appears to have lost.
August 3, 2010

In Republican Primaries, Control of the Kansas House at Stake

Today is primary day in Kansas, so, obviously, we don't have any races between Democrats and Republican. Yet today's elections still could determine who controls the Kansas House of Representatives next year. Will conservative Republicans have the majority or will moderates exercise power?
August 2, 2010

Rick Snyder: A Moderate Republican for Michigan?

Rick Snyder is running a mostly non-ideological campaign for governor, touting his competence, business acumen and outsider status. It's a very bad time to be a Republican moderate. But, Snyder might win the nomination tomorrow anyway.
July 30, 2010

How Close Was Texas to Redistricting Reform?

As State Senator Jeff Wentworth tells it, Texas would have placed a bipartisan commission in charge of congressional redistricting -- a move that could have been the difference between a Republican and Democratic House of Representatives after the 2012 elections -- if it weren't for the sense of legislative courtesy of a single state senator. It makes a great story, but is it true?
July 30, 2010

The 'Chris Christie' Way

New Jersey's new governor has a take-no-prisoners style, but there are signs he is learning the art of the deal.
July 30, 2010

Running in the Shadow of Spitzer, Cuomo

Will New York's next attorney general embrace his predecessors or blaze her own path?
July 30, 2010

American States That Might Have Been

The strange history of states that never were, and their arbitrary borders.
July 30, 2010

NYC Experiments with Bus Rapid Transit

The Big Apple needs some serious help to make city buses be a faster, more reliable method of transportation.
July 30, 2010

Rhode Island's Slots Subsidy

Some state officials insist financially helping the Twin River Casino would be a smart move.
July 29, 2010

Term Limits: "Freshmen and Lame Ducks"

Do term limits create lame-duck lawmakers who are disengaged from governing?
July 28, 2010

For Arizona Democrats, "Crazy" Times

With Republicans in complete control of the state, Arizona has become a focal point for conservative policy experimentation. How does it feel to be a disempowered Democrat?
July 28, 2010

Redistricting: Will Rural Interests in Texas Be Devastated?

Texas' suburbs and exurbs are some of the fastest growing places in the country. Many of its rural counties are shrinking. Does that mean rural interests will lose political clout when the lines are redrawn?
July 27, 2010

Sam Brownback's Difficult Decision on Medicaid Funding

So far, Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is opposing extended state aid for Medicaid, even though approving the money would make life easier for future Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
July 27, 2010

Why Kansas Raised Taxes

Kansas is a conservative state with a Republican-controlled legislature. Nonetheless, this year lawmakers approved a temporary sales tax increase. Why did Kansas raise taxes? Senate President Steve Morris makes the case that his state didn't have any other choice.
July 27, 2010

Redistricting: Why States Won't Let the Public Draw Maps Online

Most states aren't likely to offer a Web-based system for members of the public to draw their own congressional and legislative maps. The reason isn't disinterest or fear of public involvement. It's money.
July 26, 2010

Redistricting: Should Computers Draw the Lines?

Traditionally, state legislators are in charge of congressional and legislative redistricting. Many reformers want people with less of a stake in the outcome to draw the lines. Could it be that both sides are wrong? Why have people do the hard work -- why not have computers do it?
July 23, 2010

Michigan Senate: The Term Limits Twist

In the 38-member Michigan Senate, at least 29 of the members will be freshmen in January as a result of term limits. What are the implications of that? Perhaps less than you might expect.
July 22, 2010

John Oxendine and the Failings of Republican Frontrunners

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine was expected to be the Republican nominee for governor. He finished fourth in the primary. But, he can take a small measure of solace that it's been a rough year for Republican frontrunners in other states too.
July 21, 2010

FL-Governor: Alex Sink's Interesting Ancestry

The Democratic candidate for governor in Florida is a descendant of the world's most famous set of conjoined twins.
July 20, 2010

The Impending Return of Mark Sanford?

Scandal-plagued or not, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford reportedly isn't willing to concede that his political career is over.
July 19, 2010

GA-Governor: Republicans for Tax Increases

It's not at all clear who will win tomorrow's Republican primary for governor in Georgia. It might not even be clear tomorrow night. But, whoever wins, there's a good chance that he or she will support a tax increase.
July 16, 2010

Could "None of These" Reelect Harry Reid?

Voters in Nevada are the only ones in the country whose ballots offer them the choice of "None of These Candidates." Will that quirk help the Senate Majority Leader win another term?
July 15, 2010

With Mail Voting, Colorado Polling Places Suffer a Slow Death

Until recently, Colorado was happy to let votes choose between casting ballots at precincts or by mail. Now, the state appears headed toward Oregon-style all-mail balloting.
July 14, 2010

AL-Governor: Did Democrats Show Up for Bentley?

Robert Bentley won the Republican nomination for governor in Alabama yesterday after being backed by key officials in the Alabama Education Association, who also happen to be top officials in the state Democratic Party. Still, it doesn't look as though Bentley won a Republican primary with Democratic votes.
July 13, 2010

Schwarzenegger: From Action Hero to Tragic Hero?

As he leaves office, is California's governor unpopular because he fought the good fight against Democratic and Republican ideologues? Or was he really part of the problem?
July 12, 2010

AL-GOV: Bentley Squeezes Byrne from Both Sides

Bradley Byrne has a tough task in tomorrow's Alabama Republican runoff for governor. He has to defeat the candidate who is running to his right: Robert Bentley. He also has to defeat the candidate who is running to his left: Robert Bentley.
July 9, 2010

Why New York's Legislature Is Worse Than New Jersey's?

Both New Jersey and New York legislators have been involved in plenty of corruption scandals. But does Trenton's part-time political culture, or lack of culture, give it an edge?
July 8, 2010

Christie the Compromiser?

New Jersey's Chris Christie was a governor who wouldn't make a deal -- until he did.
July 6, 2010

CA-Governor: Jerry Brown's Troubled Campaign?

Despite tens of millions of dollars in spending by Meg Whitman, Jerry Brown still leads in the California governor's race. Yet Democrats keep worrying whether Brown has what it takes to win a modern campaign. Are the concerns justified?
July 2, 2010

Can Chris Christie Avoid Eliot Spitzer's Mistakes?

Eliot Spitzer took an aggressive prosecutorial style to the New York governor's office. It didn't work. Can the nation's new most famous prosecutor-turned-governor, New Jersey's Chris Christie, succeed where Spitzer failed?
July 1, 2010

Marijuana Legalization in California: A Toss Up

Two recent polls show that the vote on a much-watched ballot measure will be very close.
June 30, 2010

A Global Warming Cool Down?

More Republican gubernatorial candidates are skeptical of the science of climate change.
June 30, 2010

Shutting Down State Fairs

To cope with budget shortfalls, some states – like Michigan – are choosing to shut down their state fairs.
June 30, 2010

Tunnel Vision in Seattle

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is proposing plans that focus less on roads and more on public transit.
June 30, 2010

Reviving Local, State and Federal Collaboration

NACo's Larry Naake is pushing for a commission of representatives from all forms of government.
June 30, 2010

Will Arizona's New Law Push Illegal Immigrants to Other States?

The Arizona Republic says that illegal immigrants are leaving Arizona after the state's crackdown. People said the same thing about Georgia when it passed a tough immigration law in 2006. But, it didn't end up happening.
June 29, 2010

GOP Presidential Calendar: Should States Go Early or Late?

Republicans plan to punish states that schedule their presidential primaries too early in 2012. Should states schedule them early anyway?
June 28, 2010

How Democrats Lost on Gun Control

Gun rights advocates have been on a roll lately. Is that because Democrats gave up the fight a decade ago?
June 25, 2010

California's Redistricting Battle on the Ballot

In 2008, California approved a ballot measure to redraw to place an independent commission in charge of legislative redistricting. Depending on what happens at the polls this fall, that commission could see its power expanded or it could be eliminated entirely.
June 24, 2010

CA-Senate: Special Republican Turnout

Democrats feared that the odd timing of a California State Senate special election would hurt their party's candidate. They may have been right.
June 23, 2010

SC-Governor: Nikki Haley and the Bass Pro Bill

A controversy over a fishing store reveals a lot about the Republican nominee for governor of South Carolina.
June 22, 2010

CA-Senate Special: Who Shows Up?

Today's special election for California's Senate will help determine the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans for purposes of writing the budget over the next couple of years. But, no one knows who will vote in this oddly timed race.
June 18, 2010

Kris Kobach: Kansas' Interstate Immigration Crusader

If he's elected Secretary of State of Kansas this fall, Republican Kris Kobach could make national waves. In fact, he already is.
June 17, 2010

Eliot Cutler: ME-Governor Frontrunner?

In Maine, the leading candidate might not be the Democratic or Republican nominee. It's Eliot Cutler.
June 16, 2010

New Jersey Democrats' Passive-Aggressive Approach to Chris Christie

New Jersey Democrats oppose Gov. Chris Christie's budget. But, they have a funny way of showing it.
June 15, 2010

California's Moderate Republican Party?

Supporters touted California's newly adopted top-two voting system as the only way for moderates to overcome the ideologues that dominate the Republican and Democratic parties. That argument would have more weight if it weren't for the curious case of Abel Maldonado.
June 14, 2010

The Michigan Senate's Term Limits Madness

What are the real effects of term limits? Come January, the Michigan Senate will be the place to find out.
June 11, 2010

An Immigration Crackdown in Massachusetts?

A state known for its immigrant friendly policies is thinking about changing course.
June 10, 2010

A Record Year for Rookie Governors?

If a few more incumbent governors lose, next year we could have the most new governors in American history. Will it happen?
June 9, 2010

Post-Primary Live Blog Transcript

GOVERNING staff answered your questions about Tuesday's primaries and any other election queries June 9.
June 9, 2010

ME-Governor: The Dickensian Story of Paul LePage

Paul LePage, the surprise Maine Republican nominee for governor, has the most compelling biography of any candidate I've encountered this cycle.
June 8, 2010

Election Day Reading -- and a Chat Tomorrow

Today probably will be the most compelling day of elections between now and November, so there's lots of news to share. Plus, tomorrow Governing Politics will be hosting a live chat!
June 7, 2010

Diana Taylor: The Bloomberg Household's Real Political Star?

New York Republicans would love to have Michael Bloomberg's girlfriend as a candidate.
June 4, 2010

SC-Governor: Revenge of the Sanfords

South Carolina State Sen. Jakey Knotts played a key role in the downfall of his arch nemesis, Gov. Mark Sanford. Now, Knotts' feud with Sanford -- and his own shocking words -- probably has cost him his own political career.
June 3, 2010

AL-Governor: Did the Voting Rights Act Doom Artur Davis?

Everyone is trying to figure out today how Artur Davis lost so badly yesterday in the Democratic primary for governor of Alabama. Could the explanation be the same civil rights law that has vastly expanded opportunities for Southern black politicians such as Davis?
June 3, 2010

Maine's Strange Tax Debate

Usually, Democrats and Republicans have predictable views on tax policy. When it comes to a ballot measure that will go before voters in Maine next week, those views have been turned upside down.
June 2, 2010

AZ-Governor: Terry Goddard's Immigration Balancing Act

As he runs for governor, Terry Goddard faces a dilemma. Most Arizonans support the state's new crackdown on illegal immigrants. But, as a Democrat in Arizona, many of the voters Goddard needs to win -- Hispanics -- don't. Can he strike a balance that will win him the votes of some supporters of the law without alienating its opponents?
June 1, 2010

Keeping Up With E-mail

Governing takes a look at governors' constituent service
June 1, 2010

Voting the Straight-Ticket Sweep

Will Republicans win big in states that make voting a straight ticket easy?
June 1, 2010

The Rise of Attorneys General

With a Democrat in the White House, conservative state attorneys general are mobilizing against federal power.
June 1, 2010

Leading the Census-Participation Pack

Livonia, Mich., had the highest census participation rate not because of what it did – but because of what it is.
June 1, 2010

Immigration Fizzle

Arizona's new immigration law seems potent right now, but will it fizzle like Georgia's?
June 1, 2010

Sacramento's Net Gain?

Ex NBA-player Mayor Kevin Johnson has an unorthodox plan to build a new basketball arena.
June 1, 2010

NM-Governor: Susana Martinez Versus Allen Weh

Just by watching a couple of campaign ads, you can get a decent understanding of today's race between Susana Martinez and Allen Weh for the Republican nomination for governor in New Mexico.
June 1, 2010

Alabama-AG: Troy King's Strange Political Demise?

As he seeks another term, Alabama Attorney General Troy King probably will lose in today's Republican primary. The biggest reason why is that he's gotten on the wrong side of Alabama Republican heavyweights on the number one issue in the state: electronic bingo.
May 28, 2010

CA-Governor: Brown Leads by Double Digits

In the California governor's race, Democrat Jerry Brown has opened his biggest lead on Republican Meg Whitman since September.
May 27, 2010

Rhode Island's Courageous Casino Bailout

Everyone knows that the American people hate bailouts right now. So, there's only one possible explanation for why Rhode Island lawmakers bailed out a casino and the big banks that own it: They believed it was the right thing to do.
May 26, 2010

Marco Rubio: A Creation of Term Limits

As the man who drove Charlie Crist out of the Republican Party, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is a rising star. He may very well be elected to the U.S. Senate in November. He could even be a future vice president or president. But, if Florida were like the 35 states that don't have legislative term limits, you'd never have heard of Marco Rubio.
May 25, 2010

CA-Governor: Whitman and Brown, Up and Down

First, Democrat Jerry Brown had a solid lead in the California governor's race. Then, Republican Meg Whitman surged into a tie. Now, Brown's back ahead. But, the ups and downs so far probably don't mean all that much
May 24, 2010

ID-Governor: Why Isn't the Tea Party Rejecting Butch Otter?

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, a Republican, pushed a controversial gas tax increase last year. Idaho Republicans are big Tea Party supporters. So, why is Otter expected to easily prevail in the Republican primary for governor?
May 21, 2010

Illinois Redistricting: A Growing Swing Vote?

In Illinois, the places that are growing the fastest are also the ones that are up for grabs between Democrats and Republicans. Does this growth in Chicago's suburbs and exurbs mean that the state's politics will be more competitive after redistricting?
May 20, 2010

MN-Governor: Gay Marriage at Stake?

If there's one governor's race in the country where the result will determine the fate of a gay marriage bill, it's Minnesota's.
May 19, 2010

Arizona: Why Voters Wanted Higher Taxes

Arizona voters overwhelming opted to raise the state's sales tax yesterday. What's the lesson?
May 19, 2010

In Arkansas, Democrats Win by Default

With all of the action around the country yesterday, you'd be forgiven for not paying attention to the Republican primaries for state attorney general, state auditor and state treasurer in Arkansas. You'd be forgiven because there weren't any candidates. Why do Democrats still often win in conservative places in the South and in Appalachia?
May 18, 2010

Arizona's Sales Tax Vote: The Size of Government on the Ballot

The political world is focused today on U.S. Senate primaries in Pennsylvania, Arkansas and Kentucky. But, the best test of what voters are thinking actually is a ballot measure to temporarily raise the sales tax in Arizona. The question: Do voters want to see governments balance their budgets through a combination of tax increases and spending cuts or exclusively through deep spending cuts?
May 17, 2010

Les Otten: Maine's Renaissance Man?

Of all the people across the country who have a legitimate chance to be elected governor this year, none probably has as interesting a background as Les Otten. The Maine Republican is a former ski resort mogul, former part-owner of the Boston Red Sox and most recently founded a company that sells boilers powered by wood pellets. That eclectic background makes his conventional plans for office even more striking.
May 15, 2010

Dan Onorato: Who will be the PA Governor?

Get a glimpse of Dan Onorato, the Allegheny County Executive who will likely be the Democratic nominee for governor in Pennsylvania.
May 14, 2010

On Financial Reform, Obama and AGs Team Up

Conservative state attorneys general have gotten a lot of attention for battling the White House over health care reform and greenhouse gas regulations. But, on preemption issues in financial reform, President Obama is the best ally that AGs have.
May 13, 2010

In Florida, Growth Favors Republicans

As redistricting approaches, population trends in Florida favor Republicans. But, growth in the Orlando area is a silver lining for Democrats.
May 13, 2010

Do Straight-Ticket Options Hurt Independents?

There's a good case that independent candidates suffer in states that allow voters to support a full slate of Democrats or Republicans with a click of a single button.
May 12, 2010

New Hampshire Governor: Is John Lynch in Trouble?

Until quite recently, New Hampshire's Democratic governor appeared politically impregnable. But, he's taken some hits lately. Could a Republican oust him in the fall?
May 12, 2010

Election Results in Massachusetts, Georgia and Newark

Republicans won Scott Brown's old Massachusetts state Senate seat, but a new poll shows Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick in good shape. Plus, Jimmy Carter's grandson wins in Georgia and Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker is reelected.
May 11, 2010

In a Georgia Special, a Famous Name

Jimmy Carter's grandson guns for a seat in the Georgia Senate today in a special election.
May 11, 2010

Massachusetts Senate Special: Symbolically Significant, Practically Irrelevant

No matter who wins today's special election for Massachusetts Senate, Democrats will continue to enjoy large majorities in the legislature. But, Democrats would love to pry away the seat previously held by Scott Brown, the state's new Republican U.S. senator.
May 10, 2010

In Newark, the Revenge of Sharpe James?

The former mayor isn't on the ballot for Tuesday's elections. But, loyalists to Sharpe James, including his son, are running for City Council. They could strike a blow against Cory Booker, Newark's ambitious young mayor who is James' one-time rival.
May 9, 2010

Will Straight-Ticket Voting Magnify Republican Gains?

This year, with the GOP expected to make gains, will Republicans' wins be biggest and broadest in the 15 or so states that allow straight-ticket voting?
May 7, 2010

Julián Castro: Your 2018 Frontrunner for Texas Governor?

The New York Times Magazine has a profile of San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro that is well worth reading in full. But, I can't resist sharing a couple of tidbits with you.
May 6, 2010

Frank Caprio: "I was a teenage father."

The Providence Journal tells us about an interesting moment at a Rhode Island gubernatorial debate earlier this week: "I believe abortion should be safe, legal ...
May 5, 2010

HI-Governor: Duke Aiona's Linda Lingle Liability

Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has had a remarkable run for 7-plus years as the popular Republican governor of one of the nation's most Democratic ...
May 4, 2010

CA-Governor: Will High-Speed Rail Be an Issue?

In the May issue of Governing I wrote 3,000 words about high-speed rail in California, but I didn't answer what is, undoubtedly, the most important ...
May 4, 2010

The Director's Cut on High-Speed Rail in California

Some reporters write long. If an editor gives them 3,000 words, they'll take 4,000. Some reporters write short. Give them 3,000 words and they'll struggle to ...
May 3, 2010

Legislatures: Republicans Aim for Gains in Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina

In 2008, Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio had a great run as some of the most politically interesting states in the country. They wisely scheduled their ...
May 3, 2010

Meg Whitman Hedges on Global Warming

Since I wrote a post titled "Meg Whitman: Global Warming is Real, Man-Made" just a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised by ...
May 1, 2010

Fleet Dreams

If tomorrow's cars won't be fueled by gas, what will run them and who'll pick the winner?
May 1, 2010

Doubling Trouble: Minnesota's Gigantic Mall Has Growing Pains

The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, welcomes 40 million annual visitors, spans 4.2 million square feet and houses 32 shoe stores alone. But the mall's managers want to double its size, and they want state and local governments to help pay for it--to the tune of more than $200 million in tax breaks.
May 1, 2010

Nevada's Comeback Kid?

Almost from the day he stepped into office, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons has been widely unpopular. But somehow, he still has a chance to win...
May 1, 2010

Dues and Don'ts

As states engage in yet another round of budget cutting, Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has zeroed in on an unlikely target: the money his state...
May 1, 2010

Counting Down the School Days

Could shortening school years be a pain-free way for school districts to save money?
May 1, 2010

Small Bag Tax, Big Impact

The tax on disposable bags in the nation's capital has had a noteworthy impact.
May 1, 2010

High-Speed Rail: Transit Solution or Fiscal Disaster?

California is racing to build an ambitious high-speed rail system. Some cities think it should slow down.
April 30, 2010

MA-Governor: For Deval Patrick, a Win on Wind

To my mind, the three governor's races that have changed the most in the last couple of months are Maryland (where former Gov. Bob ...
April 30, 2010

CA-Governor: Poizner Says Whitman Equals Schwarzenegger

I've written a bit about the challenge Meg Whitman has in persuading California voters that she's not another Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, my thinking ...
April 29, 2010

Arizona Moves to Adopt Strange Lieutenant Governor Selection Rules

Say what you will about Arizona's new immigration law, but it's not nearly as mystifying as the decision the state's legislature made ...
April 28, 2010

D.C. Mayor: A Referendum on Michelle Rhee?

There are lots of big issues in the race in Washington, D.C. between Mayor Adrian Fenty and lead challenger Vincent Gray: -Crime (which has ...
April 27, 2010

Will Arizona's Immigration Law Fizzle Like Georgia's?

Arizona's new immigration law has become a huge source of controversy, but will its provisions actually do much of  anything? That might seem like ...
April 26, 2010

In Tennessee, Remembering a Time When Redistricting Didn't Exist

In the process of redistricting next year, state lawmakers undoubtedly will draw some legislative and congressional maps that serve the interests of one political party, ...
April 23, 2010

The Lower Hudson Valley: New York's Fastest Growing Region?

The other day, I decided to play God. I invented a whole new region of New York. Here's what I said: I consider Rockland ...
April 22, 2010

Meg Whitman: Global Warming is Real, Man-Made

Meg Whitman is trying to distinguish herself from Arnold Schwarzenegger as she runs for governor of California. She's also trying to court conservatives in ...
April 21, 2010

In Arizona's Conservatism, Signs of What's to Come

One of the big themes I've been talking about for a long time is how the 2010 elections could move state government away from the ...
April 20, 2010

New York Redistricting: The Big Apple's Small But Notable Growth

When I was working on a story a couple of months ago about the role of local governments in the Census, I talked with a ...
April 20, 2010

In Alaska, a Vote on a Larger Legislature

Remember how rural Alaska legislators were worried that redistricting would make their absurdly large legislative districts even larger and were pushing to expand the size ...
April 19, 2010

MA-Governor: Cahill's Conservatism Burdens Baker

In his campaign for Massachusetts' governorship, Democrat-turned-independent Tim Cahill has been positioning himself as the most conservative candidate -- more conservative than newly minted Republican ...
April 16, 2010

Connecticut AG: Can Bysiewicz Win?

For people who have been following the story closely this may be old news, but it's becoming clearer and clearer to me that no ...
April 15, 2010

Clarification on Texas' Shrinking Counties

Commenter Wendell pointed out some fuzzy phrasing when I was talking about shrinking counties in my post on Texas and redistricting: Jefferson County is located ...
April 15, 2010

How Charlie Crist Could Prove He's Staying a Republican

Charlie Crist's campaign for U.S. Senate put out an unequivocal statement last week. He's running as a Republican:  "To put these rumors ...
April 15, 2010

NV-Governor: Democrats Try to Save Jim Gibbons

Nevada Democrats are engaged in some funny business, intervening in the Republican primary for governor. From the Reno Gazette-Journal: A Democratic operative has launched a ...
April 14, 2010

In Texas, Somewhat-Less-Conservative Republicans Win

While they might cringe if you called them moderates, the less conservative candidates won two key Republican primaries in Texas yesterday for Supreme Court and ...
April 13, 2010

A Tax from Governing's Past

In my April feature story, I said that the question of why sales taxes generally apply to goods but not services is "one of ...
April 13, 2010

In Florida, Fighting Ballot Measures with Ballot Measures?

The Palm Beach Post has an interesting development in the debate over redistricting reform in Florida: Senate Reapportionment Chairman Mike Haridopolos directed staff to begin ...
April 13, 2010

In Texas' Runoffs, Two Races to Watch

Today is primary runoff day in Texas and, while we don't have the suspense of a gubernatorial contest (thanks to Kay Bailey Hutchison's ...
April 12, 2010

Texas Redistricting: The Effects of Exurbanization

Everyone agrees that Texas will be the big winner in reapportionment. Thanks to the state's rapid population growth, Texas is expected to gain 3 or 4 ...
April 9, 2010

Chris Kelly: Democrats' Own Wealthy California Candidate

Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger pummeled Democrat Phil Angelides in the 2006 California governor's race in large measure due to money. Schwarzenegger had lots of it. Angelides, ...
April 8, 2010

Will Redistricting Muddle Virginia's 2011 Legislative Elections?

Virginia is one of only a few states that holds regular state legislative elections in odd-numbered years. When it comes to redistricting, that's a ...
April 7, 2010

California Redistricting: Population Shifts Favor Republicans, for Now

We're still months away from having the results of the 2010 Census, but, in some ways, there isn't that much suspense. While it will ...
April 6, 2010

Pennsylvania's 8-Year Coincidence?

I'm not particularly good at math, but one of the mathematical insights I understand is that, given a large enough sample, the unlikely becomes ...
April 5, 2010

UT-Gov: Gary Herbert Steps Out of the Shadows

When I'm on a long car ride with my wife, I sometimes try to see how many of the nation's governors she can ...
April 5, 2010

Wyoming: Dave Freudenthal's Surprising Standing

As Dave Freudenthal spent months pondering whether he would try to win a third term as governor of Wyoming, whether he could win was every ...
April 2, 2010

Arizona's Semi-Closed Primary

Richard Winger corrects my post from yesterday: Terminology is important. Arizona does not have an open primary. It has a semi-closed primary. An open primary ...
April 2, 2010

Arizona AG: Joe Arpaio's Protégé Prepares to Run

I pride myself on being at least vaguely aware of what's going on politically in every state in the country. But, events in Maricopa ...
April 1, 2010

Taxing Services to Ease Budget Woes

Jim Wayne is getting an earful from Kentucky hot air balloon operators these days, and it's easy to understand why. Wayne, a Kentucky state representative,...
April 1, 2010

Sheila Simon: A Carbondale Resident Responds

I speculated last week on why Sheila Simon (who was picked as Illinois Democrats' new lieutenant governor nominee over the weekend) lost the 2007 race for ...
April 1, 2010

Arizona Senate: Is an Open Primary Good for McCain?

Read how Arizona's open senate primary may affect John McCain.
April 1, 2010

Texas Redistricting: Let's Make a Deal

One thing I find endearing about the congressional redistricting process in Texas is that no one pretends that it is anything other than political. So, ...
March 31, 2010

Kansas Democrats' Best Case Scenario

In a year when Republicans are expected to make gains, the best hopes for Kansas Democrats are two unlikely candidates: Though Dennis McKinney is the...
March 31, 2010

A Vote for Appointed Offices

For years, California cities have debated whether their city treasurers should be elected or appointed officials. Now a new paper provides empirical evidence as to...
March 31, 2010

Is 'Sexting' a Crime?

Sexting is a source of angst for parents and public schools. But should it be a crime? That's the question that, almost overnight, state after...
March 31, 2010

Axing the Taxman

Tax collectors might not be the most popular government officials, but as Arizona recently discovered, they might be the very worst to cut in a...
March 31, 2010

Governors: Democrats' Best Case Scenario

Yesterday, I used Rasmussen polls to find the worst case scenario for Democrats in gubernatorial races. Last night I was thinking, well, what's the ...
March 30, 2010

Governors: Democrats' Worst Case Scenario

Rasmussen Reports, this election cycle's most prolific pollster, tends to show results that are more favorable to Republicans than other survey firms. But, that ...
March 29, 2010

Meg Whitman: I'm Tougher than the Terminator

As Meg Whitman tries to make the transition from underdog to overdog, one of her big challenges is the last wealthy Republican outsider to run ...
March 26, 2010

NY-Governor: Cuomo Bounces Back

Since I commented on a poll that showed New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's approval rating dropping to 54% recently, it's worth noting that ...
March 26, 2010

Illinois: Why Sheila Simon Lost in Carbondale

It's easy to see why, coming off the Scott Lee Cohen debacle, Gov. Pat Quinn wants the Illinois Democratic Party to pick Sheila Simon ...
March 25, 2010

Health Care Tests the Independence of Attorneys General

In a day, an argument about health care has morphed into a case study over the relative power of governors and state attorneys general. Michigan ...
March 24, 2010

Which Attorneys General Will Sue Over Health Care Reform?

As you probably know by now, 13 Republicans attorneys general are suing to block the individual mandate in federal health care reform, claiming that it is ...
March 23, 2010

On Health Care, Patrick Stands Alone and Stands to Gain

In January in Massachusetts' U.S. Senate special election, Martha Coakley, a candidate who favored health care reform, took 47% of the vote. That was bad ...
March 22, 2010

With a Democrat in the White House, Republican AGs Rise

When George W. Bush was in the White House, Democratic state attorneys general attempted to check his administration's power. State attorneys general, for example, ...
March 19, 2010

Governors' Races Ratings: South Carolina-Wyoming

Here's the fifth and final installment of my gubernatorial ratings. South Carolina -- Leans Republican: One lesson I took from Scott Brown's victory ...
March 18, 2010

Governors' Races Ratings: Nevada-Rhode Island

Here's part four of my gubernatorial race ratings. The English majors out there will note that if I had been going in proper alphabetic ...
March 18, 2010

In Los Angeles, Avoiding the Risks of the Status Quo

I tend to think that one mistake people often make (in business, in government, in life in general) is to assume that maintaining the status ...
March 16, 2010

Governors' Races Ratings: Maine-New Mexico

Here's the third part of my gubernatorial race ratings: Maine -- Toss Up: Maine's 2006 governor's race was a robust four-way race. Gov. ...
March 16, 2010

Governors' Races Ratings: Florida-Kansas

Here is the second part of my governors' races ratings: Florida - Leans Republican: I tend to think that state party scandals and feuds don'...
March 15, 2010

Governors' Races Ratings: Alabama-Connecticut

I'm traveling this week, which means you get five days of gubernatorial ratings. Since, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "a foolish consistency is ...
March 12, 2010

MA-GOV: Is Charlie Baker's Health Insurance Background a Liability?

We're learning that it's a rough time to be a banker running for office. Republicans are targeting the banking backgrounds of Alexi Giannoulias ...
March 11, 2010

MI-Governor: Virg Bernero Banks on Populism

I definitely think I'm going to enjoy the gubernatorial campaign of Virg Bernero. Bernero, Lansing's mayor, is most famous for his impassioned defense ...
March 10, 2010

Cutzilla Attacks New York

Which would win in a fight, a demon sheep or Cutzilla? That's all I can think about after watching this ad from New York'...
March 10, 2010

IL-GOV: Peculiar Polls

If you pay a lot of attention to polling, you know that surveys by Rasmussen Reports have tended to show Republican candidates in a stronger ...
March 9, 2010

In North Dakota, a Vote for Speed Readers

First it was gubernatorial question time in Arizona. Now, another fad federal reform idea is coming to the states. The Associated Press has the news ...
March 9, 2010

The Long Way to Redistrict California

Say that you were entrusted with the task of redrawing California's legislative districts. One way to go through the process would be to consider ...
March 8, 2010

SC-Governor: Dwight Drake Returns to the Shadows

Democrat Dwight Drake's exit from the South Carolina governor's race means we won't get to watch an intriguing political conversion. Drake spent ...
March 5, 2010

In Texas, a Vote That Never Should Have Happened

Victor Carrillo, a member of the Texas Railroad Commission, offered a provocative explanation for his loss in a Republican primary on Tuesday. From the Dallas ...
March 4, 2010

California: Majority Budgeting Ballot Initiative Falters

Let's say you're a rich California Democrat or the leader of a rich interest group that supports Democrats. You could spend your money ...
March 3, 2010

After Texas, Are Members of Congress Flawed Candidates for Governor?

For a Tuesday in March, yesterday was quite an interesting day of elections. Rick Perry became his party's nominee without having to spend more ...
March 2, 2010

Will Rick Perry's Contrarian Education Views Catch On?

As we chew over election results in Texas, here's a policy question to contemplate: Will Perry's unorthodox views on education become the standard ...
March 2, 2010

Virginia House: A Small Test for McDonnell

If you're hungry for an election outside of Texas today, look no further than the race between Democrat Eileen Filler-Corn and Republican Kerry Bolognese ...
March 2, 2010

Undemocratic Towns and Doughnut Holes

Governing announced the winner of our state and local government journalism award, the Hal Hovey award, last month.
March 1, 2010

Local Governments Face Census Challenge

If you receive a water bill in Phoenix, you'll get a note about the census. If you spend time in a classroom, you're likely to...
March 1, 2010

The Price of Popularity

John Hoeven may be something close to the perfect candidate for the U.S. Senate. The Republican governor is North Dakota's most popular politician and,...
March 1, 2010

The Price of Moderate Politics

Bill Ritter became Colorado's governor in 2007, promising to be a pragmatic, pro-business Democrat. That political niche seemed like a good fit for a moderate state....
March 1, 2010

Growing Alaska's Legislature

When Alaska state Rep. Peggy Wilson wants to visit her constituents, she goes by boat. Wilson represents seven Alaska towns, most of which are on...
March 1, 2010

Philadelphians Withhold Billions in Taxes

Philadelphia residents owe the city a backlog of more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes. Now a city official has found a strange place to recover...
March 1, 2010

Governors: Uneasy Leads for Southern Republican Frontrunners

Poor Henry IV -- the guy really needed some Ambien. But, because he couldn't fall asleep, he uttered a famous phrase: "Uneasy lies ...
February 26, 2010

The Decision That Might Cost David Paterson His Job

Could one of New York Gov. David Paterson's best decisions be what costs him the governorship? Now that Paterson has announced he isn't ...
February 25, 2010

Texas Board of Education: More Drama Than the Governor's Race

Increasingly, the Texas Republican gubernatorial primary has all of the suspense of Groundhog Day (the day, not the movie). If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, ...
February 25, 2010

Selling State Buildings: The Perfect Time for a Bad Idea?

Here's a wacky idea that seems to be spreading as states confront budget shortfalls: selling state buildings to private investors, then leasing them back ...
February 24, 2010

NV-Governor: Gibbons' Comeback Cut Short

I was all set to write a blog post that said, "Jim Gibbons still has a chance!" But, recent events haven't been ...
February 23, 2010

New York Senate: Helen Sears Is Out

Helen Sears, the Democrat who Republicans wanted to nominate for the special election in New York's 13th Senate District, has dropped her bid. Republicans ...
February 23, 2010

Question Time in Arizona?

The idea seems to have fizzled on the federal level, but leave it to the states to be laboratories of British-style democracy. Arizona is looking ...
February 22, 2010

A Ballot-Order Gambit from West Virginia Democrats

Ballot Access News has a fun little story out of West Virginia: West Virginia lists parties on the ballot in order of how well they ...
February 22, 2010

New York's Strange Senate Race

Following up on my post from Friday: It's looks as though New York will have a strange election for state senate next month, one ...
February 19, 2010

A Race to Control the New York Senate Next Month?

Liz Benjamin of the New York Daily News has some interesting news: A fascinating wrinkle has developed in the fight for Hiram Monserrate's Queens ...
February 19, 2010

D.C. Mayor: Will Snowstorms Freeze Out Fenty?

Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's reelection bid this year probably will be of national interest primarily as a referendum on Michelle Rhee. Fenty ...
February 18, 2010

California: 31,000 Aspiring Political Cartographers

Even though it's right there in the lede, I still think this article in the Sacramento Bee manages to bury the lede: Nearly 31,000 Californians ...
February 17, 2010

Legislatures: Republican Wins in Alabama and New Hampshire

Republicans shouldn't be enthused about winning legislative special elections in Alabama and New Hampshire yesterday. They should be enthused about how they won. In ...
February 16, 2010

Alabama House: Republicans Hope to Gain

As they look to win a majority in the Alabama House this fall, Republicans have a good pickup opportunity today in a special election in ...
February 16, 2010

New Hampshire Senate: Democrats Look to Solidify Majority

New Hampshire Democrats are showing a bit of friskiness as they compete today for the state senate seat that Republican Ted Gatsas gave up when ...
February 16, 2010

The Nevada Senate's Alluring Simplicity

In the spirit of Valentine's Day (and with apologies to my wife), I must confess my love for the Nevada Senate. I don't ...
February 12, 2010

New Faces for the G.O.P.?

At Governing's Outlook conference, Charlie Mahtesian of Politico made a good point: If a few governors' races break with right way for Republicans, the ...
February 11, 2010

Introducing America's Largest State Legislative District

A debate over expanding the Alaska legislature has brought to my attention the state's incredible Senate District C, America's largest state legislative district. ...
February 11, 2010

Lieutenant Governors: The Grass Is Always Greener...

New Jersey policymakers didn't like having the State Senate President -- someone who most voters never elected -- as second in the line of ...
February 10, 2010

NY-Assembly: For Republicans, Promising Gains in Westchester County

Republicans appear to have won three of the four special elections for the New York State Assembly yesterday, picking up two suburban seats previously held ...
February 9, 2010

New York: Four Legislative Specials

Today, we have four special elections for the New York Assembly. Democrats and the Weprin family are trying to hold a seat in Queens, as ...
February 9, 2010

In Kansas, Democrats Test the Power of Quasi-Incumbency

A list of the most interesting downballot elections of the year slowly is fermenting in my brain. High on that list are the Kansas races ...
February 9, 2010

Staff Snapshots from D.C.'s 'Snoverkill'

Editor's note: Reading this month's photo essay on Syracuse's snow plows stings just a little for Governing's D.C. staffers, who ...
February 8, 2010

New Orleans Mayor: Did the Saints Help Mitch Landrieu Win?

During the final weeks of the New Orleans mayoral race, everyone joked that the city was paying more attention to the Saints than the election. ...
February 8, 2010

Will Arizona Vote for Higher Taxes?

After nearly a year of debate -- and nearly a year of urging from Gov. Jan Brewer -- Arizona lawmakers finally have sent a sales ...
February 5, 2010

New Orleans Mayor: Landrieu's to Lose

The people of New Orleans are captivated by a contest this weekend. Plus, the city also is voting for a new mayor. The New York ...
February 5, 2010

Illinois: Peculiar Lieutenant Governor Rules Compound Democrats' Problems

To state the obvious, Democrats in Illinois didn't do themselves any favors in the ticket they picked on Tuesday. Gov. Pat Quinn, who was ...
February 4, 2010

Kentucky House: A Democrat's Surprise Win

You'd think that after the Scott Brown experience, I (and everyone else) would learn not to take election results for granted. But, I'm ...
February 4, 2010

Kay Ivey's Curious Cash-on-Hand (AL Governor)

Alabama State Treasurer Kay Ivey is considered a long shot for the Alabama Republican gubernatorial nomination, in large part because of financial troubles with the ...
February 3, 2010

Memphis Reporter Wins GOVERNING/ Award

Marc Perrusquia, a reporter with the Memphis Commercial Appeal, is the recipient of the seventh annual Hal Hovey Award, presented by GOVERNING and
February 3, 2010

Illinois Turnout: Good News for Republicans?

I was at a Governing conference today, so I didn't get to comment on the results from Illinois. I'll have more to say ...
February 2, 2010

Crist v. Rubio: Nine Months Later

If you'll forgive a little bit of self-indulgence, I got a kick out of rereading a post I wrote last April about the campaign ...
February 2, 2010

Final Thoughts on Illinois

I have just a few final things to say about today's Illinois primaries. -First of all, I'm more than a little ashamed that ...
February 1, 2010

Southeastern Water Wars

On June 10, 2009, state officials in Georgia declared that the severe three-year drought that parched metro Atlanta and much of the Southeast was finally over. But...
February 1, 2010

A Candidate Takes on Taxes

When Lincoln Chafee kicked off his campaign for governor of Rhode Island in January, he did something unconventional: He actually made news. Rather than stick...
February 1, 2010

Health Reform, Utah Style

Conservative Utah doesn't usually have a lot in common with liberal Massachusetts. But both states have embraced health exchanges - one of the big ideas...
February 1, 2010

Reaching for a Tuition Tax?

In cities from Boston to Baltimore to Birmingham, Ala., universities and hospitals have played key roles in revitalizing urban neighborhoods. But expansions of eds and...
February 1, 2010

Merging Historically Black Universities

Now that American higher education has been racially integrated for decades, what's the role of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)? That's the question that...
February 1, 2010

Governors Races: Where Will Democrats Support Gay Marriage?

Pat Quinn and Dan Hynes have been arguing about so many different things that it would be easy to miss one of the areas of ...
January 28, 2010

Sanity on Sexting?

Here's a bill that caught my attention. A Pennsylvania state legislature has proposed a law to make sending sexually explicit text messages a misdemeanor, ...
January 27, 2010

Minnesota Senate: A Republican Hold

In a special election in Minnesota's 26th Senate District yesterday, a Republican blowout would have suggested that the G.O.P. is in line ...
January 27, 2010

Interpreting a Vote for Higher Taxes in Oregon

Oregon voters yesterday approved two ballot measures to affirm tax increases. One raised taxes on the rich. The other raised taxes on corporations. This morning ...
January 26, 2010

Minnesota Senate: An Interesting Special Election?

While Oregon's tax vote today is the big prize, there's also a not uninteresting state Senate special election in Minnesota's 26th District. &...
January 25, 2010

IL-Governor: Dan Hynes Closes on Pat Quinn

The Republican primary for governor of Texas was supposed to be a great race because it was going to be very unpredictable, very mean and ...
January 25, 2010

Why the Bushies Don't Like Rick Perry

The Texas Tribune has a good story looking at all of the possible reasons that most people from the Bush inner circle, including George H....
January 22, 2010

In Oregon, a Test of the Politics of Taxes

Voters are angry about government spending, worried about budgets, mistrustful of government in general and what they really want are...some tax increases? I wouldn'...
January 21, 2010

IL-Governor: Harold Washington Haunts the Democratic Primary

Yes, yes, we know that the dead have a reputation for involving themselves in Illinois elections. The tradition, though, is for them to show up ...
January 21, 2010

Ted Strickland Tries Populism

One lesson coming out of the Massachusetts Senate race is that, so far, Democrats have completely failed at populism. Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is trying ...
January 20, 2010

What Would a G.O.P. Congressional Landslide Mean for Governor's Races?

Yesterday's Massachusetts Senate election confirmed what, really, everyone already knew. November 2, 2010 could be a tremendous night for Republicans and a terrible night for Democrats. ...
January 19, 2010

Mississippi University for Women -- for Men Too

When I go on a long car ride, I always end up with a long mental list of things to look up on Google or ...
January 15, 2010

MA-Senate: An Unusual Referendum on Health Care Reform

The entire political world wants to talk about the Massachusetts Senate race and who am I to resist? I don't think that enough people ...
January 14, 2010

In Virginia, Big Consequences for Small Electoral Victories

One thing that pretty much everyone does is over-interpret close election results. So, when Democrat Dave Marsden wins Virginia's 37th State Senate District by 327 ...
January 14, 2010

Marijuana: A Sleeper Political Issue?

New Jersey has just legalized medical marijuana. A California House Committee has approved marijuana for recreational use. New polling in Washington state shows a solid ...
January 13, 2010

Virginia Senate Special: a Democrat's Counterintuitive Win

I've been saying for months that Democrats are motivated and Republicans are complacent, so it comes as no surprise that Democrat Dave Marsden yesterday ...
January 12, 2010

CO-Governor: Was Ritter's Problem Moderation or Inconsistency?

Commenter Bob Stovall offered a good response to my post arguing that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's moderate approach doomed his governorship: It is not ...
January 12, 2010

Rhode Island Governor: Will Unions Back Chafee?

Following up on my speculation about whether independent Lincoln Chafee might turn out to be the most liberal candidate in the race for governor in ...
January 11, 2010

Virginia Senate Special: A Repeat of Deeds and McDonnell?

See if this election taking place tomorrow in Virginia sounds familiar. The Democratic candidate is running as a centrist and facing criticism for where he ...
January 8, 2010

North Dakota: John Hoeven's Major Weakness

Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling had a good post the other day slicing and dicing gubernatorial approval numbers. He showed that right now governors ...
January 8, 2010

The Origins of the Vermont Yankee Controversy, Continued

David O'Brien, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Public Service, was kind enough to respond to my post on the Vermont Yankee nuclear power ...
January 7, 2010

Bill Ritter and the Burden of Moderates

The current political environment seems intent on proving once-and-for-all that being moderate and being electable aren't the same thing. In fact, with ideological passions ...
January 6, 2010

Ten Governors Who Might Help Their Parties by Not Running Again

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that he isn't running for reelection this year, but the state's Democrats shouldn't be displeased by ...
January 5, 2010

RI-Governor: Lincoln Chafee Takes on Taxes

Lincoln Chafee has done something remarkable: He actually made news in a formal campaign announcement. The Providence Journal reports on the tax increase that the ...
January 5, 2010

Republican Governors Association Enjoys Fundraising Edge

As it turns out, Republicans owe Mark Sanford a big thank-you. Sanford was the head of the Republican Governors Association for the first half of ...
January 5, 2010

Vermont: How One Word Created Years of Political Controversy

For years, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant has been one of the top topics of debate in Vermont politics. This year, Vermont's lone ...
January 4, 2010

Seven Elections to Watch in Early 2010

I know you're sick of end of the year and end of the decade lists (which invariably bog down in the question of whether ...
December 31, 2009

An "Ordinary Joe" Runs Indianapolis

The tenure of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is helping to answer an oft-posed question: What would happen if an "ordinary Joe" was in charge of...
December 31, 2009

Energy Program Comes Under Fire

Every state wants to create green jobs. Oregon actually has done it. But a political consensus has emerged that the state has done it the...
December 31, 2009

A Showdown Over Nuclear Power Wages in Vermont

State legislators in Vermont are the only ones in the country with authority to vote on whether a nuclear power plant can continue in operation....
December 31, 2009

States Weigh Pot Reform

While political power has been shifting to the federal level lately, there's a clear exception. When it comes to policies on marijuana for medicinal use,...
December 31, 2009

Following An Ethically-Challenged Governor

For better and for worse, it is Pat Quinn's fate to be the governor who followed Rod Blagojevich in Illinois. Quinn served as lieutenant governor...
December 31, 2009

Top 10 Legislative Issues to Watch 2010

The Great Recession may technically be over, but it continues to have a devastating effect on the ability of state legislators to craft new legislation...
December 30, 2009

Is Party Switching About to Decline?

Let me ask a question that might seem quite bizarre: Are we about to see party switching approach extinction? This question is somewhat bizarre because ...
December 29, 2009

MN-Governor: We Have Frontrunners!

Perhaps more than any race in the country, the contest to be th next governor of Minnesota has been a muddled mess. There are so ...
December 29, 2009

Jack Markell Facts

As a group, the political future of the nation's current governors doesn't look great. We have lots of governors who are unpopular do ...
December 28, 2009

MN-GOV: Mark Dayton and the Merits of Truth-Telling

In my rather limited knowledge of great literature, one of my favorite passages is in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn when Huck decides upon a truly ...
December 28, 2009

California: Give or Take 1.5 Million People

I'm looking forward to a year in which state and localities argue with the Census Bureau about their populations ahead of the all-important decennial ...
December 23, 2009

Gary Johnson for President?

I sighed as I read Politco's piece talking up the prospects of a Gary Johnson presidential candidacy -- not because it was a bad ...
December 22, 2009

Optimism in Detroit?

In the holiday season, it would be cruel to deny any place of its hopes for a better future. So, it's appropriate that even ...
December 21, 2009

The Sanfords: How Jenny Saved Mark

The State has a good reconstruction of how South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford avoided impeachment. I feel like I already knew this piece of the ...
December 21, 2009

Christine Gregoire and Mike McGinn: Documenting the Viaduct Divide

The Seattle Times has a fascinating article looking at how the staff of Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire responded to the possibility that Mike McGinn would ...
December 18, 2009

A Preview of the 2052 Presidential Election

Here's a chart of how various racial/ethnic groups voted in the 2008 presidential election, according to exit polling: (The numbers don't add to 100% ...
December 17, 2009

How Asian-Americans Vote

When I was writing about voting trends in Gwinnett County, Georgia the other day, I wrote the following: Plus, I'm not sure whether people ...
December 17, 2009

Carole Keeton Strayhorn: Frequent Candidate?

The cruelest insult in politics is "frequent candidate." If a reporter wants to send the message that a political aspirant has no chance ...
December 17, 2009

Arizona: No Deal on Sales Tax

That didn't last long. Following up on my post from yesterday, it's clear that the Arizona legislature isn't going to vote to ...
December 16, 2009

In Arizona, Searching for a Sales Tax Deal

We'll have some suspense tomorrow in Arizona, as Governor Jan Brewer continues to push for legislative approval of a ballot measure to increase the ...
December 15, 2009

California Likely to Vote on Marijuana Legalization

The Los Angeles Times tells us about a California ballot measure worth watching: California voters could decide whether to legalize marijuana in November after supporters ...
December 15, 2009

Which Issues to Watch?

In next month's issue, for the fourth time in my five years at Governing, I'll be writing our annual preview of state legislative ...
December 14, 2009

In Houston, an Election About Sexual Orientation

Allow me to make a provocative claim: The Houston mayoral election was ever bit as much about sexual orientation as the Atlanta mayoral election was ...
December 11, 2009

Will Immigration Turn Gwinnett County Blue?

Governing's December cover story is about how immigration is changing Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Here are the basics: In 1990, Gwinnett was 91 ...
December 10, 2009

Alaska: Sean Parnell Grapples with the Liberalism of Sarah Palin

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell is faced with a question that, to those of us in the Lower 48, must seem strange: Were Sarah Palin's tax ...
December 9, 2009

Gay Marriage: Forgetting Arizona

Remember this? A blast from the past from Stateline: Arizona in 2006 became the first and only state so far to reject a ballot initiative to ...
December 9, 2009

Kentucky Senate: Key Win for the G.O.P.

Jimmy Higdon preserved the G.O.P.'s narrow edge in the Kentucky State Senate yesterday by winning a surprisingly comfortable 56%-44% victory in a ...
December 8, 2009

The Unintended Consequences of a California Divorce Ban

I enjoyed this response from commenter mmarty on my post on California's ballot measure to ban divorce: If divorce is banned in California, they ...
December 8, 2009

Kentucky Senate: State and National Politics Collide

Today, the political world receives a pre-Christmas, pre-Hanukkah gift in the form of a splendid special election for state senate in Kentucky. The race comes ...
December 7, 2009

Will Tim Pawlenty Support a State-Level Stimulus?

On the federal economic stimulus, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was able to finesse his two roles as a state executive and as an aspiring Republican ...
December 4, 2009

How Democrats and Republicans Differ: Taxes

Remember the innocent days of 2000 when, during the uninspiring Bush v. Gore presidential campaign, people actually argued that there weren't major differences between the ...
December 4, 2009

TX-Governor: Bill White is Running, of Course

I have a bad habit: I believe politicians when they say things. For example, I believed that Houston Mayor Bill White was running for Senate ...
December 3, 2009

Creative Approaches in the Gay Marriage Debate

In case you haven't seen it, the Associated Press had a fun story about a tongue-in-cheek ballot measure in California: Til death do us ...
December 3, 2009

Glenn Richardson: The Latest Speaker in Trouble

Glenn Richardson, the speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, seems likely to resign at any moment. Richardson's tragic tale involves a suicide attempt ...
December 2, 2009

Kidd and Kelsey Win Special Victories

Both of the legislative special elections I mentioned yesterday turned out to be snoozers. Independent Rusty Kidd won easily in Georgia, while Republican Brian Kelsey ...
December 2, 2009

Nassau County: Mangano Wins

I mentioned this earlier, but it deserves it's own post. A month after election day, Democrat Tom Suozzi, the County Executive in Nassau County, ...
December 2, 2009

Atlanta Mayor: Reed or Recount?

Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood have disagreed on a lot in their race for mayor of Atlanta, so it's fitting that they disagree on ...
December 1, 2009

Legislative Specials in Tennessee and Georgia

The big contest today is for mayor of Atlanta, but we also have a couple of legislative special elections I'm watching. First, in Tennessee, ...
December 1, 2009

Will Republicans Raise Taxes?

Here's a striking quote from Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in the Arizona Republic: "We could cut every government service in the state of ...
November 30, 2009

Should Cities Be in the Mega-Hotel Business?

The campaigns of Tom Leppert and Anne Raymond spent millions of dollars this spring wooing Dallas voters. Leppert and Raymond debated on radio and television....
November 30, 2009

A Democratic Governor's GOP Employment Program

Steve Beshear, the Democratic governor of Kentucky, is appointing Republicans to key offices--and other Republicans don't like it. Beshear's display of bipartisanship, GOP leaders say,...
November 30, 2009

Why States Are Saying No to Nuclear Plants

As climate-change legislation began winding its way through the U.S. Senate this fall, the outlines of a possible bipartisan deal came into focus. Republicans...
November 30, 2009

Mike McGinn

In picking Mike McGinn as their next mayor, Seattle voters selected a little-known environmental activist over the incumbent and then over a wealthy and well-connected...
November 30, 2009

Atlanta Mayor: Who Is Playing the Race Card?

In tomorrow's tossup race for mayor of Atlanta, Mary Norwood has a fascinating final ad. Here it is: You can watch that ad and ...
November 30, 2009

Nassau County: Mangano Nears Victory

In Nassau County, New York, we have a different meaning of leftovers. From the New York Times: MINEOLA, N.Y. -- Nearly three weeks after ...
November 27, 2009

Kathy Cox's Game Show Grief

This isn't news, but it's news to me. Jim Galloway of the Atlanta-Journal Constitution has an interesting piece about the perceived vulnerability of ...
November 25, 2009

Believe It or Not, Turnout Was Up in Virginia

Virginia's governor's race earlier this month was a blowout election in which one party was supposedly deeply demoralized. But, based on the most ...
November 24, 2009

Nassau County: As Race Tightens, Suozzi Saga Continues

I have to believe that election officials in Nassau County, New York are making a point of dispelling stereotypes. The South, after all, has a ...
November 23, 2009

Democrats' Best Hope in Colorado Drops Out

One of the great questions heading into the 2010 elections is what Democrats can do to get their base motivated again. While there are several different ...
November 20, 2009

TX-Governor: Does Farouk Shami Have a Chance?

If Texas is feeling dull, dry, limp and lifeless, the state has just the candidate to give it new luster. Democrat Farouk Shami will have ...
November 19, 2009

Are Unicameral Legislature Proposals Coming into Style?

As you may have read by now, not only are there reports that Rudy Giuliani isn't running for governor next year, there are also ...
November 19, 2009

NY-Governor: Giuliani Reportedly Says No

According to the New York Times, "people who have been told of the decision" say that Rudy Giuliani won't be a candidate ...
November 19, 2009

New Jersey Democrats Divided on Gay Marriage

From my vantage point, it's looking less and less likely that the New Jersey legislature will push through a gay marriage bill before Republican ...
November 18, 2009

On the Ballot: Health Care Reform

To some degree, the elections across the country next year likely will be referendums on health care reform, but more so in Arizona than most ...
November 17, 2009

Nassau County: Suozzi Struggling

Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, a prominent New York Democrat, ended election night clinging to a narrow lead, but the situation has gotten worse for ...
November 17, 2009

Campaign Finance Free-for-All in the States?

USA Today notes the significance of the Supreme Court's campaign finance case for governor's races: If the Supreme Court opens the door to ...
November 16, 2009

Atlanta Mayor: Kasim Reed Leads Narrowly

When Atlantans went to the polls two weeks, 46% voted for Mary Norwood for mayor. Today, 46% of Atlantans support Mary Norwood for mayor according to a ...
November 12, 2009

G.O.P. Candidates Face a Question: Is Global Warming Man-Made?

I'm beginning to notice a theme. In September, Minnesota Public Radio ran this article: St. Paul, Minn. -- Nearly all of the Republicans running ...
November 11, 2009

Major Mayoral Endorsements in Atlanta and Houston

With runoffs ahead, we have two major endorsements by the third-place finishers in two big-city mayoral races. Let's start with Houston, where City Controller ...
November 11, 2009

RI-Governor: Lincoln Chafee Is Poll Rich, Cash Poor

To the extent that developments in the Rhode Island governor's race generate buzz, a poll showing independent Lincoln Chafee leading Democratic and Republican competition ...
November 10, 2009

Nassau County: Suozzi Falls Behind

With Mike McGinn victorious in Seattle, the only election on my radar from Tuesday that's still undecided is the race for county executive in ...
November 10, 2009

In Texas, Hopson's Choice Aids Republicans

The Republicans recently doubled their majority in the Texas House of Representatives. The Austin American-Statesman explains: State Rep. Chuck Hopson switched parties Friday and became ...
November 9, 2009

The Lottery That Elected Bob McDonnell

Republican Bob McDonnell won a smashing, 345,000-vote, 17-point victory in the Virginia governor's race last week -- and he wouldn't have won had ...
November 9, 2009

Gay Marriage in New Jersey: Now or Not for a While

In New Jersey last Tuesday, a candidate for governor who opposes gay marriage (Chris Christie) defeated a candidate who supports it (Jon Corzine). That's ...
November 9, 2009

Seattle Mayor: McGinn Close to Victory

In Seattle's mayoral election, underdog Mike McGinn is looking more and more like he will end up on top. From the Seattle Times: Mike ...
November 6, 2009

Why Turnout in Virginia Wasn't Quite as Bad as You Think

Part of the quickly congealing convention wisdom of Tuesday's election is that turnout was down dramatically in Virginia. Democrats lost because they didn't ...
November 5, 2009

New York City's Indepublican Mayor

I've been looking through exit poll data in Virginia, New Jersey and New York City. A couple of questions struck me in the Big ...
November 5, 2009

Charlie Crist on the Stimulus, Then and Now

Feeling heat from the right in his U.S. Senate bid, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist said on CNN today that he never endorsed the federal ...
November 5, 2009

The People Who Aren't Leading the Seattle Mayoral Race

The Seattle mayoral election is one of the few around the country that remains too close to call. What's striking, though, is who isn'...
November 4, 2009

Maine Voters Reject Gay Marriage

For the second time in as many years, gay-marriage supporters yesterday suffered a narrow -- but stinging -- defeat at the polls. By a margin...
November 3, 2009

Races I'm Still Watching (and Goodnight!)

There are a few legislative special elections I'll get to tomorrow, but other than that the only races I still have my eye one ...
November 3, 2009

Tomorrow's Story?

If you had to design tonight's results to cause painful soul-searching in both major parties, wouldn't you have had Republicans win the governorships ...
November 3, 2009

Nassau County: Suozzi Leads by 313 Votes

The barnburner of the night is in Nassau County, New York, where Democratic County Executive Tom Suozzi is clinging to the lead. From Newsday: With 98 ...
November 3, 2009

Gay Marriage in New Jersey?

With Jon Corzine losing in New Jersey and Maine looking more and more likely to overturn its gay marriage law, I have to wonder what ...
November 3, 2009

Republicans Win Majority on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Republican Joan Orie Melvin has won a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving Republicans a 4-3 majority. I'll make sure to remember this ...
November 3, 2009

Democratic County Executives Trail in Suburban New York

Andrew Spano, the Democratic county executive in Westchester County, trails badly. Tom Suozzi, the county executive in Nassau County, trails narrowly.  As Liz Benjamin points ...
November 3, 2009

St. Petersburg Mayor: Republican Bill Foster Wins

The Democratic-leaning voters of St. Petersburg, Florida stuck with Republican leadership, picking Bill Foster in an open-seat race. From the St. Petersburg Times: ST. PETERSBURG ...
November 3, 2009

Mayors: Bloomberg, Bing Win

Order is restored to the universe, as the AP calls the New York City mayoral race for Michael Bloomberg. Also, Dave Bing won a full-term ...
November 3, 2009

Maine Gay Marriage: A Repeat of California 2008?

Nate Silver tweets: Not sure it looks too good for gay marriage in Maine. Cumberland County, the most liberal in the state, is way overrepresented ...
November 3, 2009

Charlotte Mayor: Democrat Anthony Foxx Wins

If Democrats are seeking solace on a rough election night for the party, one place to look is Charlotte. From the Charlotte Observer: Anthony Foxx ...
November 3, 2009

NYC-Mayor: Bloomberg Doesn't Win?

Wow, things have gotten crazy in New York City, where an exit pollster has retracted its call that Mayor Michael Bloomerg has been reelected. The ...
November 3, 2009

NJ-Governor: Christie Wins

The Associated Press has called the New Jersey governor's race for Chris Christie. The Republican won in his Democratic-leaning state despite being badly outspent ...
November 3, 2009

Republicans Make Gains in Virginia House

Blogger Not Larry Sabato -- who is a more irreverent version of his namesake -- is compiling the results from the elections for the Virginia ...
November 3, 2009

NYC-Mayor: Bloomberg Wins

posted by Josh Goodman Well, there was no more or less suspense than anyone expected: Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been reelected in New York City. ...
November 3, 2009

Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Advantage Republicans?

posted by Josh Goodman Right now, Democrat Jack Panella has 51% of the vote in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race that, in a convoluted way, could ...
November 3, 2009

Charlotte Mayor: Still Close, But Democrat Leads

Posted by Josh Goodman While there are about a million things going on at once right now, I'm somewhat transfixed by this mayoral race ...
November 3, 2009

NJ-GOV: Daggett Support Collapsing

You could see this coming from the final polls: Independent Chris Daggett is only winning about 5% of the vote right now. Daggett reached almost 20% in ...
November 3, 2009

Boston Mayor: Menino Leads Narrowly

I didn't think I was going out on a limb in expecting Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to win easily -- they do call him &...
November 3, 2009

Polls Close in New York

With polls closing in New York, I'm prepared to project that Democrat Bill Thompson will have spent less campaign cash per vote than incumbent ...
November 3, 2009

Charlotte Mayor: Tight Race

Republican John Lassiter is up by about a 1,000 votes with healthy chunk of votes counted in the Charlotte mayoral race. You can follow all of ...
November 3, 2009

The Next Big Election in Virginia

Republican Ken Cuccinell's victory in the race for attorney general sets up an election that could determine whether the G.O.P. takes complete ...
November 3, 2009

Virginia-AG: Cuccinelli Wins

The Republican sweep of statewide offices in Virginia is complete, as the Virginian-Pilot has called the attorney general's race for Ken Cuccinelli. Let the ...
November 3, 2009

VA-GOV: McDonnell Wins

The Virginian-Pilot, among others, has the word that Republican Bob McDonnell will be the next governor of Virginia. Bill Bolling, the Republican incumbent lieutenant governor, ...
November 3, 2009

Democrats Leads in Early Vote in Charlotte

From the Charlotte Observer: Democrat Anthony Foxx built an early lead over Republican John Lassiter on Tuesday night in the race to replace Pat McCrory ...
November 3, 2009

Polls Closing in Maine, New Jersey

Finally, polls close in Maine, New Jersey and a bunch of the states with lower-profile races I'm watching (Don't forget about the Supreme ...
November 3, 2009

Republican Momentum in Mayoral Races?

With polls closing in Charlotte, now's as good a time as any to pass along a point that my colleague Alan Greenblatt made today: ...
November 3, 2009

VA: Republican Statewide Ticket Keeping Up With McDonnell

In very early returns, the Republicans running for lieutenant governor and attorney general are keeping up with Bob McDonnell at the top of their ticket. ...
November 3, 2009

VA-Governor: A Non-Call Call

With polls closed, here's what the Washington Post says about the race for governor in Virginia: Republican Robert F. McDonnell is off to a ...
November 3, 2009

Exit Polls in NJ and VA: Obama Popular, But Not a Factor

From Marc Ambinder: First things first: even in a year when the composition of the electorate is dramatically different than the 2008 presidential election, President Obama'...
November 3, 2009

In Virginia, Will Turnout Be Up or Down?

With polls closing in an hour in Virginia, Republicans are expected to do well because Democrats weren't motivated, right? Or is it that Republicans ...
November 3, 2009

In Case You Didn't Realize New Jersey Was Close...

Intrade essentially is giving both Corzine and Christie a 50% chance to win. I'll begin live-blogging in earnest when polls close in Virginia in about ...
November 3, 2009

Counties to Watch in New Jersey and Maine

We have two races today that everyone expects to be close: New Jersey's governors race and Maine's vote on gay marriage. So, if ...
November 3, 2009

Turnout High in Maine

While I've never had the nerve to do it, I think that Election Day would be a great time to play golf. While the ...
November 3, 2009

Three More Local Races to Watch

Studious readers may have noticed that in my post listing the elections I'll be blogging about tonight I mentioned a few races I haven'...
November 2, 2009

Races I'm Watching (and Blogging)

We'll be live-blogging tomorrow night's election results here on Ballot Box, a fact that has necessitated actually compiling a list of all of ...
October 31, 2009

Can Higher Ed Control Its Costs?

At Virginia Tech, freshmen learn mathematics in a 60,000-square-foot box of a building that used to be Rose's discount department store. It's called the Math...
October 31, 2009

Albuquerque Voters' Republican Gamble

When Richard Berry won a surprise victory last month for mayor of Albuquerque, voters wondered whether they had chosen new policies or merely a new...
October 31, 2009

Tax Troubles in Arizona

Jan Brewer was Arizona's popular secretary of state early this year when her political career took a turn for the worse. She became governor. With...
October 30, 2009

Legislative Races to Watch Tuesday

While Virginia and New Jersey are the only states with regularly scheduled legislative elections on Tuesday, several states have irregularly scheduled legislative elections. If you'...
October 29, 2009

What to Watch in Virginia, Even as Republicans Sweep

Barring some dramatic turn of events, Republican Bob McDonnell will be elected governor of Virginia Tuesday. Polls show the Republicans running for lieutenant governor and ...
October 29, 2009

New Orleans Mayor: In Search of Candidates

The New York Times has a great story on the New Orleans mayoral election, which will take place early next year: Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu ...
October 29, 2009

Democrats Conceding Senate Seat in Michigan?

Republicans' narrow majority in the Michigan State Senate is the only thing that has blocked Democrats from having complete control of the state's government. ...
October 28, 2009

Pennsylvania's Hugely Significant Obscure Election

I thought I knew about all of the important votes that were taking place Tuesday, but clearly I was wrong. In Pennsylvania, a judicial election ...
October 28, 2009

In Detroit, a Comeback for the Ages?

There's a slight chance that one of the most remarkable come-from-behind victories in political history could take place in Detroit next week. Sound like ...
October 27, 2009

The Politics of an Opt-Out Public Option in the States

The new plan in the U.S. Senate is to include a public insurance option in the health care overhaul, but to allow states to ...
October 27, 2009

In Maine, Will the Polls on Gay Marriage Be Wrong Again?

As Maine's referendum on gay marriage approaches, the polls are giving supporters of same-sex nuptials reason to cheer. Most surveys indicate that the effort ...
October 23, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: South Dakota-Wyoming

Here's the final installment of governor's race ratings: South Dakota - Likely Republican - While Democrats' top recruit, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth ...
October 22, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: New Hampshire-South Carolina

The governor's race ratings continue: New Hampshire - Very Likely Democratic - Democrat John Lynch has been a Teflon triangulator during his three terms ...
October 21, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Maryland-Nevada

The governor's race ratings continue: Maryland - Likely Democratic - Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne illness that's native to the Southeastern United States and causes ...
October 20, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Georgia-Maine

The governor's race ratings continue: Georgia - Slight Lean Republican - When former Governor Roy Barnes declared in June that he was running for ...
October 19, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Alabama-Connecticut

I haven't updated my gubernatorial race ratings since May, so all this week I'll be bringing you new ratings for the 37 governor's ...
October 14, 2009

Is the Cameron Todd Willingham Case Hurting Rick Perry?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's future increasingly looks imperiled by a subject that I never would have suspected would get him in political trouble: the ...
October 13, 2009

Is Your Governor Fat?

In the context of the discussion in New Jersey, Nate Silver has a list of which governors could stand to lose a few pounds. Silver'...
October 13, 2009

Big Stakes in a Little Tennessee House Election (Corrected)

If it's possible for an election that will take place in only one 99th of a state that has only one 49th of the ...
October 12, 2009

Can Virginia Democrats Salvage a Statewide Victory?

To state the obvious, Republican Bob McDonnell looks increasingly likely to be the next governor of Virginia. McDonnell leads by nine points over Democrat Creigh ...
October 9, 2009

NJ-Governor: The Weight Debate

Did Jon Corzine really call Chris Christie fat in a campaign ad? The New York Times says that the answer is obviously yes. Marc Ambinder ...
October 8, 2009

Will Maine Voters End School Consolidation?

A year ago, I wrote more than 2,000 words asking whether states can force local governments to consolidate. Next month, the people of Maine may offer ...
October 7, 2009

Republicans Win Big in Albuquerque

Not only was Republican Richard J. Berry elected mayor of Albuquerque yesterday, but the G.O.P. also took control of the Albuquerque City Council, ...
October 7, 2009

NYC Mayor: Does Bill Thompson Have a Chance?

All of the political prognosticators, including PolitickerNY's Steve Kornacki (and me too), have been skeptical that Democrat Bill Thompson can upset Michael Bloomberg in ...
October 6, 2009

In the Health Care Reform Debate, Governors Are Everywhere

Everywhere I turn in the federal health care debate, there's a governor. -Governors' concerns about the expansion of Medicaid are front-page news. -Twenty-one Democratic ...
October 6, 2009

Pyramid Schemes Central to Memphis Mayoral Race

What do you do with an iconic 20,000-seat arena that no one is using? That's one of the key questions that the candidates for ...
October 6, 2009

Mommy, Where Do Governing's Stories Come From?

The classic childhood question is "Where do babies come from?" Well, that's the classic question other than "Are we there yet?&...
October 5, 2009

VA-Governor: Bob McDonnell's Counterattack

One of most difficult decisions a political campaign has to make is how to respond to allegations of scandal. If you don't challenge the ...
October 5, 2009

Albuquerque Mayor: A False Frontrunner?

In tomorrow's Albuquerque mayoral race, the candidate in first place may very well be third most likely to win. That's a message I ...
October 1, 2009

How Advocates for Fire-Safe Cigarettes Beat Big Tobacco

As a member of Congress 25 years ago, Jim Shannon fought to put a self-extinguishing mechanism in all cigarettes that would make them less likely to...
October 1, 2009

Can a White Candidate Be Elected Mayor of Atlanta?

Hot of the presses off the October issue of Governing, here's a preview of the Atlanta mayor's race: The question in Atlanta's mayoral ...
September 30, 2009

Stimulus Results: Difficult to Pin Down

Suppose you're a state budget director and you started this year looking at a huge fiscal shortfall (as virtually all of them did). It seemed...
September 30, 2009

Can a White Candidate Be Elected Mayor of Atlanta?

The question in Atlanta's mayoral election this fall isn't just who will win, but what it may reflect about the demographics of the city. City...
September 30, 2009

Obama Steers Clear of New York City Mayoral Race

First, President Obama was causing controversy by involving himself in New York politics, asking Gov. David Paterson not to run again. Now he's causing ...
September 29, 2009

In Pennsylvania, a September State Senate Showdown

No one seems to be quite sure why Pennsylvania is holding an election today, just weeks before November, but, regardless, voters -- or at least ...
September 28, 2009

Kay Bailey Hutchison's Senate Career: A Blessing or a Curse?

Kay Bailey Hutchison has a chance to oust Rick Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, because she is a U.S. senator. However, that ...
September 28, 2009

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing's Refreshing Pessimism

Can a politician win an election with brutal honesty instead of tantalizing promises? Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is going to try (and almost certainly succeed), ...
September 25, 2009

For King County Executive, a Partisan Victory in a Non-Partisan Election?

Last year, voters in King County, Washington decided to make local elections in their jurisdiction non-partisan. This year, the race for King County Executive is ...
September 24, 2009

Mayoral Storylines from New York City to Albuquerque

This week's Boston mayoral election was completely dull if you're only interested in partisan politics. All of the candidates were Democrats. But, if ...
September 23, 2009

Terry Goddard Leads for Governor in Arizona

Attorney General and likely party nominee Terry Goddard leads incumbent Republican Jan Brewer and two other potential GOP rivals.
September 23, 2009

After Preliminary Win, Boston's Menino Looks Safe

It says a lot that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino yesterday had the weakest electoral showing of his 16-year tenure -- and still looks as though ...
September 22, 2009

The Politician New Yorkers Like Less Than David Paterson

In a new poll from Siena University, New York Governor David Paterson gets clobbered in a Democratic primary matchup with Andrew Cuomo. He gets clobbered ...
September 22, 2009

In Boston, Tom Menino Faces His Toughest Test

Thomas Menino has been mayor of Boston for 16 years and has never had a close race. He's thrived even as he resembled a politician ...
September 21, 2009

VA-Governor: A Delayed Thesis Effect?

For anyone, such as myself, who spends countless hours reading about politics (for work and for pleasure), one of the easiest mistakes to make is ...
September 21, 2009

NY-Governor: Obama Pushing Paterson Aside?

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is getting involved in the New York governor's race: Gov. David A. Paterson insisted on ...
September 18, 2009

Why Virginia Doesn't Elect Governors of the President's Party

In eight consecutive gubernatorial elections, Virginia has never elected a candidate from the president's political party. Larry Sabato looks at this phenomenon more closely (...
September 18, 2009

In Maine, a Gay Marriage Toss Up

Finally, at long last, we have some fresh polling on the Maine vote on gay marriage this fall. However, the DailyKos/Research 2000 poll doesn't ...
September 17, 2009

In Memphis, AC Wharton Favored in Out-of-this-World Election

When I catalogued this fall's big city mayoral elections the other day, I completely forgot about Memphis, where there is a special election October 15 ...
September 17, 2009

Florida Marlins Pitch a Miami Mayoral Candidate

Tomás Regalado and Joe Sanchez are the two candidates in the open Miami mayoral race. They're both members of City Council. They're ...
September 16, 2009

NJ-Governor: Does Chris Daggett Hurt Corzine or Christie?

I've speculated on whether independent Chris Daggett will take more votes from Democrat Jon Corzine or Republican Chris Christie in the New Jersey governor'...
September 16, 2009

Mayor's Races That Won't Be Close (I Think)

You may have noticed that I haven't written much about the New York mayoral race, in which Democrats nominated New York City Comptroller William ...
September 15, 2009

The Once and Future Governors?

The football world rolled its eyes when Brett Favre spent the summer contemplating another comeback. If Favre were a former governor, however, he'd fit ...
September 15, 2009

Story Behind the Story: A Quote Quota?

Currently, I'm reading Anthony Trollope's "Orley Farm." Or, at least I'm trying to read it. Don't get me wrong ...
September 14, 2009

Polling Arizona

Last week, I gave my pitch as to why Public Policy Polling should survey Arizona and, in particular, the Arizona governor's race. Now, Arizona ...
September 14, 2009

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown's First Reelection Chance

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is in a competitive Democratic primary to keep his job tomorrow against Council member Michael Kearns. The only factor reducing the ...
September 11, 2009

Delaware Democrats Aim for Supermajority Status

Sunday Update: In a special election, Ruth Briggs King this weekend held a seat for the Republicans in the Delaware House of Representatives. My preview ...
September 11, 2009

A Vote to Poll Arizona

Public Policy Polling, a Democratic survey firm, is once again doing something that loyal readers will know is a favorite of mine. They're asking ...
September 10, 2009

Measuring the National Mood from Mayoral Elections?

The governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey this fall will be used to assess the national political climate. But, as Chris Cillizza of ...
September 9, 2009

In Vermont, Tom Salmon Goes Against the Flow

Often, party switches are motivated by crass political self-interest. You can't say that about Vermont State Auditor Tom Salmon, who just became a Republican ...
September 9, 2009

Watching Washington's Same-Sex Partnerships Vote

The legal machinations continue, but increasingly it sounds as though the state of Washington will vote this November on whether to overturn the "everything ...
September 8, 2009

In Nevada, a Reid Family Feud?

In Nevada, Democrats are trying to sort out the political implications of having two Reids on the ballot. It's messy, as the Las Vegas ...
September 8, 2009

Mark Sanford's Flight Fight

I guess we should take this as another sign that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford won't be leaving quietly. From the Greenville News: COLUMBIA ...
September 8, 2009

Making the Stimulus Czar Calls

One of the first things GOVERNING's editors taught me when I started here four years ago is that when reporting a story you have to think long and hard about where you call.
September 7, 2009

VA-Governor: Explaining Bob McDonnell's Lead

We now have two polls (from Rasmussen and SurveyUSA) indicating that Virginia Republican Bob McDonnell has held his lead over Democrat Creigh Deeds in spite ...
September 4, 2009

Concierge Medicine and the States

Is it retainer medicine, concierge medicine or boutique medicine? When it comes to the practice of paying doctors a fixed fee for expanded primary care...
September 4, 2009

NJ-Governor: Jon Corzine, Stuck at 39%

Mark Blumenthal makes an observation about polling in the New Jersey governor's race between Democrat Jon Corzine and Republican Chris Christie: While the vote ...
September 4, 2009

Sam Adams Recall Sputters in Portland (Updated)

Remember Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who became embroiled in an especially damaging sex scandal just days after taking office? Increasingly, it looks as though he ...
September 3, 2009

In a Florida State Senate Race, a Choice for Republicans

Republicans clearly are mad at President Obama and Democrats in Congress. But, are they mad at their own party too? That, says Matt Towery, is ...
September 3, 2009

Massachusetts Election Law Brushes Back Curt Schilling

Curt Schilling is a World Series MVP, a six-time All-Star and a 216-game winner. One day, he'll be in the Hall of Fame. Still, ...
September 2, 2009

Interpreting the National Mood After an Iowa Win for Democrats

I promised an exciting election, so I'm relieved that the 90th District in the Iowa House of Representatives delivered. In a special election, Democrat ...
September 2, 2009

VT-Governor: Hope for Republicans?

It would be easy to think that Vermont Governor Jim Douglas is the last of a dying breed. Douglas, a Republican, announced recently that he ...
August 31, 2009

Primary Care Looks to States for a Booster Shot

Rhode Island doesn't have any retail health clinics. One major reason: toilets. Retail clinics are the facilities in drug stores or big-box stores where patients...
August 31, 2009

Disappearing Doctors

What accounts for the dramatic decline in the number of doctors opting to be primary-care physicians? Simple economics, mostly. "They're not dumb," says Candice Chen,...
August 31, 2009

Gay Marriage at a Crossroads

Other than the presidential election, no vote last November drew more attention than Proposition 8, California's ballot measure on gay marriage. The result, a 52 percent verdict...
August 31, 2009

The Governors' Big-State Blues

When Arnold Schwarzenegger's approval rating hit a new low of 28 percent in one poll this summer, it must have been only a small consolation that...
August 31, 2009

The Fight to Commercialize Rest Areas

Along I-95 in Maryland, rest stops come with fast-food restaurants and gas stations. Along I-95 in Virginia, they have orange barrels that block anyone from...
August 31, 2009

A Referendum on Gay Marriage in an Iowa Special Election?

It's a recipe worthy of Giada de Laurentiis: Combine a swing district, a hot-button issue and a ton of outside money and you're ...
August 31, 2009

Should Voter Registration Be Automatic?

A Washington Post editorial looks at bipartisan support for automatic voter registration: ONE WAS general counsel to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, the other held ...
August 28, 2009

In Louisiana, a State Senate Battle on the Bayou

Sunday update: Democrat Norby Chabert won the special election 54% to 46%. My preview post is below.  Only in Louisiana does a state legislator resign to become ...
August 28, 2009

TX-Governor: Is Hank Gilbert the Right Candidate for Democrats?

The Republican candidates for governor of Texas, Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, appear set to go nuclear on one another ...
August 26, 2009

In Missouri, Mr. Smith Goes to Jail

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the fascinating story of a corruption scandal besetting Democrats in Missouri: ST. LOUIS -- As in other political scandals, it ...
August 26, 2009

A Key Win for Kentucky Democrats

Democrats won a narrow victory in a hotly contested Kentucky State Senate special election yesterday, pulling themselves closer to controlling the upper house of the ...
August 25, 2009

In New Jersey, An Election and Then a Gay Marriage Vote

New Jersey has been a strange state in the gay marriage debate. The state allows same-sex civil unions, but not marriage. Governor Jon Corzine and ...
August 25, 2009

Lessons from Mayor Greg Nickels' Defeat in Seattle

For shame! I neglected to write about Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels' reelection bid leading up to the vote last week and nor have I said ...
August 24, 2009

In Kentucky, Beshear Bets on Special Election Victory

Since winning the governorship in 2007, Kentucky's Steve Beshear has promoted expanded gambling as a fiscal and economic balm for his state. But, he's ...
August 24, 2009

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett: "Urban Folk Hero"

As the Associated Press notes, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has gained some notoriety ahead of a potential bid for governor, but, for all of the ...
August 21, 2009

NJ-Governor: Will Ballot Design Hurt Chris Daggett?

I've talked up independent Chris Daggett's relevance in the New Jersey governor's race, as a spoiler if nothing else. PolitickerNJ takes a ...
August 20, 2009

Benign Birthers and Hawaiian Statehood

Two national polls have now indicated that large numbers of Americans believe the Birther conspiracy theory. But, is it possible that pollsters simply are asking ...
August 20, 2009

Mayoral Tossups in Atlanta and Charlotte

This fall we have an excellent slate of mayoral races, which I expect to be covering in more detail in the weeks ahead. Just this ...
August 19, 2009

TX-GOV: The Pot Versus the Kettle

By any reasonable standard, both Texas Gov. Rick Perry and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (his primary challenger) are career politicians. Hutchison has held ...
August 19, 2009

On NYC Ballots, a Candidate Goes Missing

From the people who brought you the Committee on Coversheet Review, the New York City Board of Elections has a twist on the meaning of &...
August 18, 2009

VA-GOV: Deeds Dominating Among Unlikely Voters

If you want to measure Democrats' motivation problem in Virginia, it's helpful to think about a little-discussed category in polling: the unlikely voter. Polls, ...
August 17, 2009

CA-GOV: More Democrats Besides Brown and Newsom?

California Democrats have Attorney General (and former governor) Jerry Brown and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom as gubernatorial candidates. The question, as the Contra Costa ...
August 17, 2009

You Know You've Been Reading Too Much Political News When... read the headline "Bill Becomes Hurricane" and expect an article about health care legislation. (Yes, this really happened to me earlier today.) ...
August 17, 2009

Doyle Out, Otter In

Two governors made big announcements about their political futures over the last few days. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, a two-term Democrat, announced he would not ...
August 14, 2009

The Mayor to Replace Willie Herenton...Willie Herenton?

After months of indecision, all we know is that Willie Herenton doesn't know whether he wants to be mayor of Memphis or not. Herenton ...
August 13, 2009

NJ-GOV: Chris Daggett, an Independent with Impact

A rule of American politics: The number of votes that third-party candidates receive usually reflects how much voters dislike the major-party candidates more than it ...
August 13, 2009

VA-GOV: Another Slow Start for Deeds

As Democrat Creigh Deeds has fallen behind in the Virginia governor's race, I've been wondering in the back of my mind whether he ...
August 12, 2009

NY-GOV: Why Giuliani Probably Won't Run

New York Democrats are increasingly nervous about running on the ballot with Gov. David Paterson, according to the New York Times. That's not surprising, ...
August 11, 2009

Will Mark Sanford Be Impeached?

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is facing new allegations of travel improprieties, but Chris Good of the Atlantic explains some of the obstacles to impeachment: ...
August 11, 2009

Better News, or Not, for Jon Corzine

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's reelection campaign has shown faint signs of life in a couple of recent polls. Research 2000 showed him facing an 8...
August 11, 2009

Republican Governors as Health Care Messengers?

The American people aren't sure about Democratic plans for health care. The American people also don't regard Republicans in Congress as especially credible ...
August 10, 2009

Rod Blagojevich's "Message of Inspiration and Hope"

Rod Blagojevich has a new Web site, as the Associated Press noted. My favorite part: Public Speaking, Public Appearance Because of his dynamic presentation and ...
August 10, 2009

IL-GOV: Can Hynes Win on Taxes?

In general elections, it's usually good politics to criticize tax increases. But what about in a Democratic primary in a blue state? That isn'...
August 7, 2009

Does Obama Secretly Support Gay Marriage?

Writing in the Washington Post last weekend, James Kirchik pointed out a phenomenon about which I hadn't previously thought. He noted that many liberals ...
August 6, 2009

States' Peculiar Ways of Filling Legislative Vacancies

As Alan noted yesterday, legislative special elections are a helpful (if imperfect) way to judge which direction the political winds are blowing. One reason they'...
August 6, 2009

Charlie Baker's Ace in the Hole

Here's some very idle radio chatter: Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker won't rule out former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling as a running ...
August 4, 2009

VA-GOV: Democrats' Motivation Problem

We have another poll this morning highlighting Republicans' motivation advantage in the Virginia governor's race. Republican Bob McDonnell leads Democrat Creigh Deeds 51%-37% according ...
August 3, 2009

For Schwarzenegger, a Hollywood Ending?

What's Arnold Schwarzenegger going to be doing after his tenure as governor of California ends? The same thing he was doing before it started, ...
August 3, 2009

NJ-GOV: Does Corzine Have a Chance?

New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine's reelection campaign is just getting started, but Stuart Rothenberg suggests that his challenger, Republican Chris Christie, is nearly certain ...
August 3, 2009

MA-GOV: Republican Candidates for Gay Marriage

A few weeks ago, I wondered what Charlie Baker, a health care executive and much-touted Massachusetts Republican gubernatorial candidate, would say about gay marriage. Now ...
July 31, 2009


These days, Bettye Fine Collins doesn't talk like a power politician. "It's not easy being me," she complains. It's not hard to understand why. As...
July 31, 2009

Quittin' Time In Colorado

There's an employer in Colorado that is having serious problems retaining its workers: the state legislature. Five legislators have left office this year alone, including...
July 31, 2009

Beating the Spread

What happens in Vegas is coming to Delaware. In May, Delaware became the third state, along with Nevada and Montana, to allow betting on sporting...
July 31, 2009

Just How Strong Are Muni Bonds?

Vallejo, California's bankruptcy last year represented the largest municipal default in 14 years. For 16 months, Jefferson County, Alabama has been unable to pay debts on billions...
July 30, 2009

Bob McDonnell's Big Lead?

SurveyUSA has a new Virginia poll showing Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob McDonnell with a 15-point lead over Creigh Deeds, his Democratic opponent, among likely voters. ...
July 30, 2009

Dave Bing Scores Early Victory

When Ken Cockrel (the interim mayor) and Dave Bing (businessman and former basketball star) squared off in the Detroit mayoral race this spring, one of ...
July 29, 2009

CT-Senate: Will Blumenthal Be Bold?

For most of the last two decades, Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal has been a bold, activist attorney general and a cautious, deliberative politician. That combination ...
July 28, 2009

NYC's Troublesome Committee on Cover Sheet Review

I remember once having a high school English teacher who cautioned our class that college professors wouldn't give an A to any paper that ...
July 28, 2009

Gay Marriage Vote to Wait in California?

Another vote on gay marriage in California next year is looking less and less likely, as the New York Times reports: LOS ANGELES -- Discouraged ...
July 27, 2009

New Alaska Governor Faces Difficult Year

As Alaska's new governor, Sean Parnell simply needs to diffuse a politically poisonous atmosphere, mend a fractured Republican Party and guide one of the largest...
July 27, 2009

In Massachusetts, a Real Three-Way Race for Governor

Politics is just a little bit more exciting when more than two candidates have a chance to win. For that reason, I'm really looking ...
July 27, 2009

IL-GOV: Hynes Is In?

Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes has raised lots of money for something and that something increasingly looks like a campaign for governor against fellow Democrat Pat ...
July 24, 2009

In Michigan, Ballot Measures for Labor to Love?

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan Democrats are considering using the ballot measure process to push economic populism next year. The ideas: o Hiking ...
July 24, 2009

The Return of Terry Branstad?

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver appears to be in better shape than many governors who are up for reelection next year, which isn't saying too ...
July 23, 2009

Big State Governors Remain Unpopular

Public Policy Polling has a new survey that shows 55% of Louisiana voters approving of the job that Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing. At first glance, ...
July 22, 2009

In California, Deal or No Deal?

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more suspenseful, high-stakes legislative vote than the one coming up on the California budget deal. The Los Angeles ...
July 22, 2009

Hispanic Voter Surge Imperils Republicans

The Census Bureau yesterday released voting and voter registration statistics for last year's election. The nuggets of insight that can be found in these ...
July 21, 2009

In Money Chase, Pat Quinn Is No Rod Blagojevich

Who has raised the most money for the 2010 Illinois governor's race? The answer, believe it or not, is Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich accumulated more than $4 ...
July 21, 2009

Sorry, the Election is Canceled

We all know that state and local governments are having financial problems. They're cutting workers, cutting services and, apparently, cutting elections. From the Birmingham ...
July 20, 2009

A New Mark Sanford?

I'll readily admit that I wasn't looking forward to reading another apology from South Carolina's governor. But, Mark Sanford's column in ...
July 20, 2009

Obama: Major Player in Gubernatorial Politics?

President Obama made the first gubernatorial campaign stop of his tenure last week, visiting New Jersey to support Jon Corzine. Expect many, many more in ...
July 17, 2009

Sean Parnell's Intraparty Problem

He hasn't even said his vows yet and already some Alaska Republicans are trying to bring Sean Parnell's political honeymoon to a premature ...
July 16, 2009

NJ-GOV: Christie Holds Steady Lead

We've had lots of polling in the New Jersey governor's race lately, but not much movement. Here's the latest composite, ...
July 16, 2009

A Vulnerable Governors Guessing Game

A guessing game for you: Which incumbent Democratic governors does the executive director of the Republican Governors Association think are vulnerable in 2010? Here's what ...
July 16, 2009

A County's Contracts Go Missing

Jefferson County, Alabama, is likely the nation's most financially troubled large local government. Alabama's most populous county (home to Birmingham) could go bankrupt ...
July 15, 2009

In New Mexico, a New Face for the G.O.P.?

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has seven Republicans and all seven of them are white men. That's a good reminder of the demographic ...
July 15, 2009

Republican Wins in Alabama

Republican Phil Williams won the Alabama state House of Representatives race I mentioned yesterday. From the Huntsville Times: For the second time this summer the ...
July 14, 2009

Thanks Dad, Now I'll Never Get Elected

When Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced last week that she was running for reelection, a lot of people were puzzled. Madigan, based on most ...
July 14, 2009

For Alabama Republicans, a Special Opportunity (Updated)

Republicans appear to have a good chance of picking up a seat in the Alabama House of Representatives today, thanks to a Democratic scandal and ...
July 13, 2009

Why an Illinois Income Tax Hike Will Wait for Fall

It sounds like a non sequitur: Illinois has an early primary election date and that might mean an income tax increase. Illinois policymakers seem to ...
July 13, 2009

TX-GOV: Can Democrats Find a Winning Candidate?

The Democrats have their best chance in 16 years to win the Texas governorship next year. What they don't have is a candidate who looks ...
July 13, 2009

New Jersey Clings to School Districts Without Schools

posted by Josh Goodman I wrote 2,300 words last year about how even the smallest local governments are reluctant to merge with neighbors -- and how ...
July 10, 2009

MA-GOV: Will the G.O.P. Nominee Favor Gay Marriage?

To win statewide in New England, Republicans must nominate moderate candidates. In 2010 and beyond, does that mean we'll see Republicans who favor gay marriage? ...
July 9, 2009

Did Cuomo Tip His Hand?

As Alan noted earlier, the coup in the New York Senate appears to be over a month and day after it began. Sen. Pedro Espada ...
July 9, 2009

Was Paterson's Move Necessary?

New York Gov. David Paterson had to take the unprecedented, legally controversial step of appointing a new lieutenant governor because the New York Senate, tied 31...
July 9, 2009

In Florida, a Vote on Direct Democracy Itself

How powerful is Florida's "Hometown Democracy" ballot measure? It changed the state's constitution before it ever appeared on the ballot. The ...
July 8, 2009

David Paterson's Solution to the Senate Stalemate (Updated)

The New York Senate has been stymied for weeks because of two major problems. One is that the Senate is deadlocked between 31 senators who support ...
July 8, 2009

Madigan and Herseth Sandlin: Two Democratic Women Stay Put

Off years in politics are mostly spent waiting. We can't say much that's intelligent about an election until we know who is running. ...
July 7, 2009

VA-GOV: McDonnell and Fellow Republicans Lead

Public Policy Polling's latest shows strength for Bob McDonnell and the other Republicans on the ticket in Virginia, Bill Bolling and Ken Cuccinelli: Creigh ...
July 7, 2009

"Girlie Men" Arnold Returns

Dan Walters notes in the Sacramento Bee how Arnold Schwarzenegger has come full circle: Remember the Arnold Schwarzenegger who, exactly five years ago, denounced state ...
July 6, 2009

Will Palin Help or Hurt McDonnell and Christie? (Updated)

No one knows what Sarah Palin will do next. But, we do know what Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, wants her ...
July 6, 2009

Ted Stevens for Governor of Alaska?

Sarah Palin's resignation will give other youthful politicians a chance to shine in Alaska politics. People like, oh, Ted Stevens? From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: ...
July 5, 2009

Can Sarah Palin Win by Running Against the Republican Party?

Sarah Palin's decision to resign as governor of Alaska was greeted with doubts, criticism and downright derision -- not just from Democrats or the ...
July 3, 2009

50 States, 50 Stories -- 2009 Edition

In celebration of the United STATES of America, here's a thought about politics in all 50 states. For a blast from the past, check out ...
July 2, 2009

In California's Budget Crisis, a Political Rorschach Test

As California drowns in a sea of red ink, its budget problems are serving as a political inkblot test. Why does California have a $26 billion ...
July 1, 2009

Albany's Latest Joke: A Senator Walks Into the Chamber...

Mark Sanford should resign as governor of South Carolina in exchange for an appointment to be president of the New York Senate. That way, everything ...
June 30, 2009

Franchise Frustration

The recent bankruptcies of Chrysler and General Motors are halting, for now, a furious burst of state legislative lobbying by the nation's car dealers. As...
June 30, 2009

Vive Le Roy?

When Roy Barnes lost his reelection bid as Georgia's Democratic governor in 2002, it was the surprise of the year. Now, the man his opponents once...
June 30, 2009

The Costliest Ride

In Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a city of just over 150,000 people, almost half of the annual public transit budget doesn't go for buses, or trolleys,...
June 30, 2009

Democrat Holds State House Seat in Mississippi

In a special election, Democrat Wilber Jones easily won the Mississippi House of Representatives' District 82. The Meridian Star's twitter feed has the numbers: 100 percent ...
June 30, 2009

A Black Republican in the Mississippi House?

Democrats seem likely to hold a seat in the Mississippi House of Representatives in a special election today, but if the Republican does win, he'...
June 30, 2009

Where the Democrats' Gubernatorial Talent Went

I wrote a post last week arguing that the Democrats currently have far fewer governors who look like future presidential candidates than the Republicans. Commenter ...
June 29, 2009

The Origins of the New York Senate Stalemate

The New York Senate remains stymied, with Democrats and Republicans fighting over who controls the chamber. Who is to blame for the 31-31 tie that ...
June 29, 2009

Rhode Island's Name Game

Soon, Rhode Island may be named Rhode Island. The Providence Journal explains: PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Voters will consider in 2010 a proposal to drop "...
June 29, 2009

Bauer Benefits If Sanford Stays?

The conventional wisdom is that South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer's chances of being elected governor in 2010 will increase if Bauer becomes governor in 2009. ...
June 26, 2009

The Governors Most Likely to Be Elected President

In the wake of the Mark Sanford scandal, Ken Rudin of NPR had a fun idea: Rank all of the nation's Republican governors from ...
June 26, 2009

In Kansas, Governor Anonymous

Quick quiz: Who is the governor of Kansas? If you don't know, don't fret. Kansans don't know who Mark Parkinson is either, ...
June 25, 2009

The Case for Sanford Staying

Over at Governing's other blog (or is Ballot Box the other blog?), Alan Greenblatt lays out a thoughtful case for Mark Sanford remaining governor ...
June 25, 2009

Former Sanford Spokesman Calls for His Resignation

One of the websites I've been checking regularly over the last 24-plus hours is The site was founded by Will Folks, a ...
June 25, 2009

Sanford's Popularity Problem (Updated)

I say this after every scandal, but, since it's still true, I'll say it again: Whether a politician survives or not has as ...
June 24, 2009

Jakey Knotts Triumphs Over Mark Sanford

When Columbia, South Carolina's newspaper, the State, first broke the story that Gov. Mark Sanford was missing, they only had one on-the-record source: State ...
June 24, 2009

In South Carolina, Enter Governor Bauer?

This morning, some foolish people were still talking about South Carolina Mark Sanford as a presidential candidate. This afternoon, the question is whether he will ...
June 24, 2009

Sanford Admits Affair

Now you can write Mark Sanford's political obituary. Gosh, I wish he would have told me he was having an affair before I wrote 800 ...
June 24, 2009

Sanford: Additional Thoughts

I should note that this remains a fast-moving situation -- everything I wrote below is predicated on there not being additional damaging revelations about what ...
June 24, 2009

Mark Sanford's Premature Political Obituary

There is nothing better for a Republican presidential candidate than to appear to be persecuted by the media. Everyone seems to have forgotten that when ...
June 23, 2009

AL-GOV: What's Wrong With Davis and Sparks?

Leading Alabama Democrats are working feverishly to recruit a top-tier candidate to enter next year's governor's race. That wouldn't be especially noteworthy, ...
June 23, 2009

Democratic Optimism in Utah

You don't become a party leader by saying that your party is going to lose. In that context, I present a statement from the ...
June 22, 2009

Is Gay Marriage a Political Winner in New Jersey?

Going into this year, New Jersey and Vermont seemed to me to be alone as states that might legalize gay marriage legislatively. New Jersey had ...
June 22, 2009

All's Fair in Love, War and Redistricting

If you want to understand why state legislative districts end up so gerrymandered, this statement from a Tennessee legislator in the Chattanooga Times Free Press ...
June 19, 2009

Virginia Gets Some Competition

For anyone who likes competitive elections, we have a promising development in Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch explains: The major political parties are competing for 58 House ...
June 19, 2009

GA-GOV: John Oxendine, Outsider and Frontrunner

The Republican primary for governor of Georgia wasn't making much sense to me, until I tried something that, according to the history books I'...
June 18, 2009

VA-GOV: Tie Game

I didn't quite trust the two recent polls that gave Democrat Creigh Deeds a lead over Republican Bob McDonnell in the Virginia governor's ...
June 18, 2009

In New York, One Senator, Two Votes?

The latest controversy in the battle for control of the New York State Senate seems orchestrated to dispel the notion that lieutenant governors don't ...
June 17, 2009

VA-GOV: Questionable Polling Gives Deeds the Edge

Last week, Rasmussen Reports achieved a feat that has never before been accomplished in the history of mankind: The survey research firm produced a poll ...
June 16, 2009

Doubts About a California Bailout

The Obama administration is skeptical of a California bailout, the Washington Post notes this morning in a front-page story: The Obama administration has turned back ...
June 16, 2009

Prop. 8, Hispanics and California's Next Gay Marriage Vote

The debate last fall over whether California should ban gay marriage was heated. After Prop. 8 passed in November, the debate over why California decided to ...
June 15, 2009

WI-GOV: Doyle Trails?

It looks like the pollsters will have to agree to disagree. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is in good shape for reelection says Research 2000. Not so, ...
June 15, 2009

WI-GOV: Doyle Leads, We Think

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle has been in office for more than six years and for more than six years, it seems, he's stayed in ...
June 12, 2009

Is the New York Senate Worth Controlling?

While we wait for some clarity out of New York as to who will control the State Senate, here's a question: Is control of ...
June 11, 2009

The Absurdity in New York, Part 2

The situation in the New York Senate just keeps getting stranger. From the New York Times: ALBANY -- The coalition that joined two Democrats with 30 ...
June 11, 2009

The Absurdity in New York

If you're struggling to make sense of the Republican takeover of the New York Senate, I can help. The first thing to understand is ...
June 11, 2009

Creigh Deeds Gets "THE Call"

I'm finding Creigh Deeds' twitter feed oddly addictive. The latest: All you have to do is win a primary and the funniest things happen. ...
June 10, 2009

In Alabama, a Republican Win and a Preview of 2010

Republicans bounced back in Alabama with a big win last night for state Senate, as the Huntsville Times notes: First-time candidate Paul Sanford beat veteran ...
June 10, 2009

Miscellaneous Thoughts on the Virginia Governor's Race

I have a few more thoughts on last night's election and the one that's ahead in November in Virginia: -Besides being in a ...
June 9, 2009

VA-GOV: Slow and Steady Wins for Deeds

The Democratic primary for governor in Virginia ended up being the story of the tortoise and the hares. The hares were Terry McAuliffe and Brian ...
June 9, 2009

CA-Gov: Finessing a Fiscal Crisis

You're running for governor of California and your state faces a calamitous fiscal crisis. What do you say about it on the campaign trail? ...
June 9, 2009

Alabama Senate: Democrats Defend Their Turf Again

Another week, another competitive special election in Alabama. Last week, Democrats held an open seat on turf that leans Republican in presidential elections, but tends ...
June 8, 2009

Republicans Appear to Regain New York Senate

New York Democrats needed four decades to gain control of the New York Senate. The Republicans needed just five months to take it back. The ...
June 8, 2009

VA-Gov: Deeds Dominating?

Surprise, surprise: Public Policy Polling says that instead of a wide-open race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Virginia, Creigh Deeds has opened a wide ...
June 5, 2009

The Reason Brian Schweitzer Endorsed Terry McAuliffe?

I try very hard not to assume that every action by every elected official is motivated by nothing more than cynical political self-interest. It's ...
June 4, 2009

The Return of Roy Barnes

Every election cycle seems to have at least one result that comes as a complete shock. In 2002, there wasn't really any question as to ...
June 4, 2009

VA-Gov: McAuliffe Leads?

SurveyUSA has an interesting new poll on next week's Democratic primary for governor of Virginia, but one that confuses as much as it clarifies: ...
June 3, 2009

In Alabama, a Surprisingly Expected Democratic Victory

Superficially, Alabama's 22nd Senate District has a distinct Republican lean. Just look at the presidential results from its eight Southwest Alabama counties.   (Note: These ...
June 3, 2009

VA-GOV: Deeds Leads

Public Policy Polling has a new survey that shows Creigh Deeds surging ahead: With a week to go until the Democratic primary for Governor in ...
June 2, 2009

Legislative Specials in Alabama and New Hampshire

While the big election today is the Republican primary for governor of New Jersey, I'm also keeping my eye on special elections in Alabama ...
June 2, 2009

GA-GOV: Barnes' Decision Coming Tomorrow?

We could know very soon whether former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat, will attempt a comeback bid. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway has ...
June 2, 2009

Does Alabama Want Moore?

Roy Moore, a controversial conservative, is running for governor again, as the Birmingham News reports: MONTGOMERY -- Almost three years to the day after he ...
June 1, 2009

VA-Gov: Movement Toward Deeds?

Public Policy Polling's Tom Jensen loves to drop hints about his upcoming surveys. Here's what he wrote over the weekend about his firm'...
May 31, 2009

Mischief After Midnight

Last summer, just as the nation's credit markets were about to tighten, Gregory Schmidt received a loan from his bank under extraordinarily generous terms. His...
May 31, 2009

Past the Deadline

California, 2008 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't sign the budget until 85 days after the 2009 fiscal year began, making it the latest in state history. Although state government...
May 31, 2009

Horrible Honeymoon

Sam Adams may be off to the worst start of any American politician since President William Henry Harrison. While Adams didn't catch a fatal case...
May 29, 2009

A Tougher Foe for Palin?

Eye on 2010 has the news of a new challenger for Alaska's governor: The Alaska Democrat who almost toppled Rep. Don Young last year is ...
May 28, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Ohio-Wyoming

Here's one final day of governor's race ratings. Ohio - Likely Democratic -- Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, is more popular than your ...
May 27, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Iowa-New York

Yesterday I kicked off my latest gubernatorial ratings. Here's a second round of them. Iowa - Likely Democratic -- Remember when George W. Bush ...
May 26, 2009

Governor's Race Ratings: Alabama-Illinois

I haven't updated my gubernatorial race ratings for 2009-2010 since December (see here and here). That was so long ago that Rod Blagojevich, Janet ...
May 25, 2009

A Recall in Kansas City?

I've been more focused on the possible recall of Portland Mayor Sam Adams, but today is a key date in the attempt to recall ...
May 22, 2009

California and the All-Important B-Word

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made one thing very clear earlier this week. From the Los Angeles Times: But Schwarzenegger acknowledged the federal government can only ...
May 21, 2009

A Slumber Party in the Nevada Senate

I'm adding Nevada to my list of states where political tensions have erupted over the budget. The Review-Journal has the details: CARSON CITY - ...
May 21, 2009

Misreading the Huntsman Pick

Lots of political analysts have described President Obama's selection of Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as his ambassador to China as a political masterstroke -- ...
May 20, 2009

For the G.O.P., Sooner Strength

Oklahoma looks as though it really is going Republican. Public Policy Polling has numbers on the governor's race that look good for the G....
May 20, 2009

California's Misery Has Company

Scott Pattison, the executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers, mentioned to me a few weeks ago that states have a harder ...
May 20, 2009

More of the Same in California

California voters took the therapeutic step of rejecting a series of ballot measures yesterday designed to raise taxes and control spending. In doing so, voters ...
May 19, 2009

Obama's "Finest Governors"

President Obama's taste in governors is a bit different than that of the people of California, Michigan and Massachusetts. NBC's Chuck Todd explains: ...
May 19, 2009

NV-GOV: Gibbons' Woes Continue

I think David Paterson and Jim Gibbons are having an unpopularity contest and forgot to tell anyone. Nevada's governor has staked his claim as ...
May 18, 2009

A Republican Hope in New York

Tom Golisano is out, Rudy Giuliani may be out too, so who are Republicans going to run for governor of New York next year? The ...
May 18, 2009

Unity Bounces in Virginia and New Jersey?

Here's a blast from the past: Remember, about this time last year, when we were all talking about the concept of a unity bounce? ...
May 15, 2009

Louisiana Legislature: A Job That Shouldn't Be Outsourced

The most basic job of state legislators is to vote on bills and resolutions, right? Not in Louisiana, as John Maginnis points out in his ...
May 15, 2009

In Mayoral Elections, the Status Quo Loses

You know, of course, that all politics is local. But there's a little-known corollary to that rule: All local politics is really local. If ...
May 14, 2009

Five Key Governor's Races for Congressional Redistricting

Out of one decision, we get two great elections. Florida Gov. Charlie Crist opted to run for U.S. Senate just a few days ago ...
May 13, 2009

Omaha Mayor: Suttle Victory

Democrat Jim Suttle won a small but clear victory over Republican Hal Daub, a former mayor, in the Omaha mayoral race last night. The Omaha ...
May 12, 2009

A Blast from Ballot Box's Past

Charlie Crist running for Senate? Yeah right!
May 11, 2009

Julián Castro in his Own Words

When I want to find out more about a politician, one of my favorite things to do is to watch him or her speak. Is ...
May 11, 2009

Leffingwell Surprises in Austin -- or Not

We've conclusively determined that Ballot Box commenters are better informed than the Associated Press. On Saturday, Lee Leffingwell took first place in the Austin ...
May 8, 2009

Are Unpopular Governors Doomed?

I'm not the only one who has noticed that numerous governors have seen their approval ratings plummet in recent months. Governor after governor seems ...
May 8, 2009

Schwarzenegger for a Democrat and Other Hypothetical Endorsements

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's has had a tense relationship with his fellow Republicans for years. In recent months, he's more or less been ...
May 6, 2009

Will Maine Overturn Gay Marriage at the Polls?

As the ink dries on Maine Gov. John Baldacci's signature legalizing gay marriage, it's not too soon to ask whether this law will ...
May 6, 2009

Bing and Sullivan Win

In mayoral races yesterday, Detroit opted for a businessman and basketball star who had never served in public office, while Anchorage went for a Republican ...
May 5, 2009

In California, a Prop. 8 Reprise?

California appears increasingly likely to vote again on gay marriage sooner rather than later, as ABC News reports: Same-sex marriage backers in California, anticipating a ...
May 5, 2009

In May, a Feast of Mayoral Elections

Big city mayors often are rising political stars, generally command powerful political machines and invariably make important policy decisions. The national media ignores them almost ...
May 4, 2009

Is Ted Strickland Vulnerable?

Economics recessions are bad for lots of reasons. Quite far down the list of reasons is this: They make it hard to tell which politicians ...
May 1, 2009

Poll Finds McAuliffe is Strong, But...

Just a few weeks ago, two polls in the Democratic primary for governor of Virginia showed a jumbled mess. The three candidates were tightly bunched ...
April 30, 2009

Shades of Greywater

Laura Allen is no one's idea of an unrepentant lawbreaker. But under California's state plumbing code, that's exactly what she is. Allen, a soft-spoken elementary...
April 30, 2009

Second Chance in San Antonio

For a few months in 2005, people in San Antonio were talking about Julián Castro as the Hispanic Barack Obama. The city councilman, educated at...
April 30, 2009

Three Tracks to Vegas

The federal stimulus package provides $8 billion for high-speed rail--and a lot of tough questions. As states fight for this pot of money, they'll have to...
April 30, 2009

The Power of Purple Pipes

You may have never thought about the color of your pipes. You might even think the topic is so mundane that no one could possibly...
April 30, 2009

Solace for Republicans

On Tuesday, as Arlen Specter left the Republican Party, the G.O.P. was gaining in the states. In a special election, Republicans won a ...
April 30, 2009

27,000 Reasons Arlen Specter Became a Democrat

It's pretty obvious to me why Arlen Specter left the Republican Party. He didn't stand a chance in a Republican primary against former ...
April 29, 2009

VA-Gov: Who is the Most Electable Democrat?

You'll be shocked to learn that all three Democrats who are running for governor of Virginia say they favor good jobs, public education and ...
April 28, 2009

Republican Infighting in Idaho

I had Idaho Gov. Butch Otter pigeonholed as a libertarian early in his term, but it might be more accurate to describe him as predictably ...
April 28, 2009

Where Are All the Party Switchers?

What's really striking to me, as Arlen Specter switches parties today, is how rare the occurrence has become. With Democrats gaining power in Congress ...
April 27, 2009

Charlie Crist: Soon to Become Wounded Waterfowl?

Chris Cillizza has the latest on whether Charlie Crist is looking to move to Washington: Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to announce his decision ...
April 27, 2009

No Party for California Ballot Measures

Californians will vote on six ballot measures in May that many of the state's leaders say are essential to putting the state back on ...
April 27, 2009

What If Texas Were Five States?

Nate Silver has an alternative to secession that's a lot more fun.
April 24, 2009

A Blog to Keep Your Eye On

A new blog I really like: Congressional Quarterly's Eye on 2010. Yes, this is somewhat of a shameless plug of a corporate compatriot (Governing is ...
April 24, 2009

Is Gay Marriage Still a Wedge Issue?

In ways large and small, gay marriage proponents have had momentum on their side the last few weeks -- in fact, the most momentum their ...
April 23, 2009

Redistricting: Let the Speculation Begin

It's columns like this one from Steve Kornacki of PolitickerNY that get me really excited for redistricting: Every indicator suggests that, when all of ...
April 22, 2009

Why Marco Rubio Could Beat Charlie Crist

Gov. Charlie Crist is the most popular politician in Florida. The Republican appears increasingly intent on running for the state's open U.S. Senate ...
April 22, 2009

NH State Senate: Bradley Wins

The Concord Monitor reports on yesterday's special election: Former Republican congressman Jeb Bradley won election to the state Senate yesterday, bouncing back from two ...
April 21, 2009

Election Day in New Hampshire

A reminder: Today's the day of the New Hampshire state Senate special election, in which former Republican congressman Jeb Bradley tries to return to ...
April 21, 2009

My Vote Is for a Poll in Oklahoma

For a while now, Public Policy Polling has been doing something that I consider downright revolutionary for a pollster: Asking the public what races they ...
April 20, 2009

The Reason McCain Picked Palin Over Lieberman?

Is it possible that Sarah Palin was introduced to the world last fall only because of state laws in places thousands of miles from Alaska? ...
April 17, 2009

2.4 Million Texas Voters Favor Secession

You've probably heard by now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made some controversial remarks about secession on Tax Day. Here's what he said, ...
April 17, 2009

A Winner in NY-20

After a super-close election, tense days of back-and-forth ballot counts and legal machinations, I'm prepared to declare a winner in the congressional race in ...
April 17, 2009

Are the Right Convicts Being Let Out of Jail Early?

State lawmakers from across the political spectrum are moving haltingly toward a consensus on corrections policy. Corrections costs have increased far more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past couple of decades.
April 16, 2009

Counting the Votes for Gay Marriage in New York

Democrats hold only a 32-30 majority in the New York Senate. Four Democrats have said they won't vote to legalize gay marriage. So, the ...
April 16, 2009

In Idaho, a Small Step Toward Redistricting Reform

From the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho - The Senate voted 30-5 to require territory within Idaho's 35 legislative districts be linked by roads, when possible, ...
April 16, 2009

NH State Senate: Jeb Bradley Lowers His Sights

Another sign of the tough economic times: Jeb Bradley will be happy if he can get a job that pays a fraction of what his ...
April 15, 2009

Rod Blagojevich's New Reality

If you wanted to see Rod Blagojevich sent to a far-away jungle, your wish could soon come true. Reuters has the news: LOS ANGELES (Hollywood ...
April 15, 2009

CA-Gov: This Guy Has a Chance, I Guess

It's easy to make fun of celebrities who think they are politicians. Val Kilmer for governor of New Mexico? Holy structural budget deficit, Batman! ...
April 14, 2009

Republican Governors Back Down on the Stimulus -- or Do They?

Have Republican governors backed down in their fight against the stimulus? Politico says they have: The list of governors threatening to decline federal stimulus money ...
April 13, 2009

For Connecticut's Hamlet, to Run or Not to Run?

When it comes to running for higher office, Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut's popular five-term attorney general, often is described as being as indecisive as Hamlet. ...
April 10, 2009

Positives for Pawlenty in Senate Recount?

Politico called Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's decision on whether to certify Al Franken as his state's newest senator a "a no-win predicament.&...
April 9, 2009

The Elections that Enabled Vermont's Veto Override

Since the Vermont legislature approved gay marriage on Tuesday, we've heard lots of discussion of whether lawmakers made the right decision. We've also ...
April 8, 2009

Omaha Mayor: Partisan Showdown Looms

Shame on me! Omaha, Nebraska held the first round of an interesting mayoral election yesterday and I haven't said a word about it until ...
April 8, 2009

Anchorage Mayor: Sullivan v. Croft

Dan Sullivan didn't quite make it past the critical 45% threshold in yesterday's Anchorage mayoral election. That means the Sarah Palin-backed Republican will have ...
April 8, 2009

For State Senate, Jindal Picks the Wrong Horse

If you were wondering whether Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is politically omnipotent in the Bayou state, we got the answer last weekend. From the Advocate: ...
April 7, 2009

Election Day in Wisconsin

If you're in the mood for some election watching this evening, but don't want to stay up for the midnight Eastern poll closing ...
April 7, 2009

Anchorage Mayor: Sullivan Strives for Forty-Five

Today, Anchorage elects a new mayor. Or, perhaps not. I sketched the general contours of the contest a few weeks ago. But, I didn't ...
April 6, 2009

Stimulus Politics Color Texas Governor's Race

The Texas governor's race already is testing what could be a key question in the 2010 elections: Just what do Republicans want to hear from ...
April 6, 2009

Tim Pawlenty's Certifiably Difficult Decision

I'd been meaning to write something about the dilemma Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is about to face with regard to his state's marathon ...
April 3, 2009

Gay Marriage in Vermont: The More We Learn, the Less We Know

The big news today is that the Iowa Supreme Court has ruled in favor of gay marriage. But, don't miss the important developments on ...
April 2, 2009

Republican Governors Split Ten Different Ways on the Stimulus

Republicans governors have been in an awkward spot for the past few months. Their states' economies are hurting and their budgets, for the most part, ...
April 2, 2009

GA-GOV: Baker Announces

The other day I wondered whether Thurbert Baker's success in Georgia elections bodes well for U.S. Rep. Artur Davis' bid for governor in ...
April 1, 2009

Doom and Gloom in California

There's something about the word "doomsday" that makes my ears perk up, even when we're just talking about fiscal doomsday, rather ...
April 1, 2009

VA-GOV: Anyone's Game

My political instincts have been telling me for a few weeks that Terry McAuliffe has been separating himself from the field in Virginia's Democratic ...
March 31, 2009

The Second Best Job in the State

Eliot Spitzer of New York styled himself a steamroller, an uncompromising politician who preferred intimidation over negotiation. Mike Beebe of Arkansas is a behind-the-scenes dealmaker...
March 31, 2009

Uneven Stimulus

The feds are dumping piles of stimulus dollars on all 50 states, but when you look behind the 11-digit numbers, some interesting disparities emerge. Through subtle...
March 31, 2009

Electoral College: Will the Popular Vote Plan Win a Majority?

The Wall Street Journal has an update on one of my favorite subjects: The ingenious and/or devious (depending on your perspective) plot by states ...
March 30, 2009

Jack Markell Versus the NFL

Politicians sometimes spend years trying to lure pro sports to their jurisidictions. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell needed only a couple of months to bring the ...
March 30, 2009

Revisited: Can Artur Davis Win White Voters?

I wrote more than a 1,000 words the other week about whether U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, an African-American Democrat, can win enough white votes to ...
March 27, 2009

Blagojevich Does Quinn a Favor

This has to be good for Pat Quinn, right? From the Daily Herald: WLS 890-AM turned its airwaves over to Rod Blagojevich for a couple ...
March 26, 2009

History Working Against Dems in 2010

Everyone knows that the president's party usually loses seats in Congress in midterm elections. But, I didn't know about the trend in gubernatorial ...
March 26, 2009

In Vermont, Clarity, or Not, on Gay Marriage

Lots has happened as Vermont lawmakers have debated gay marriage the last few days, but we still don't have much of a better idea ...
March 25, 2009

Sarah Palin's Complicated Relationship with the Stimulus

So is Sarah Palin rejecting stimulus money or not? The March 20 headline in the Anchorage Daily News seemed to make the answer pretty clear: "...
March 25, 2009

The South Targets Tobacco

State budgets always are at the heart of state politics, but even more so than usual during a recession, when legislators face vexing choices as ...
March 25, 2009

Special Win for Democrats in Connecticut

As expected, the Democrats retained the 15th District in the Connecticut House of Representatives in a special election yesterday, as the Hartford Courant reports.
March 24, 2009

WY-Gov: Dave Freudenthal's Newsworthy Indecision

When it comes to Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, no news is news. The Democrat recently reiterated that he hasn't decided whether he'll seek ...
March 24, 2009

Special Election in Connecticut

If not for legislative special elections, I'd be suffering from a severe case of election deprivation. Today, voters in Connecticut's 15th House District ...
March 23, 2009

Spitzer: Governors Face a "Catastrophe"

Some guy named Eliot Spitzer has a Slate column arguing that it's a terrible time to be a governor: The numbers from the states ...
March 23, 2009

In Vermont, a Cloudy Forecast for a Gay Marriage Bill

The Vermont legislature began in earnest the debate over gay marriage on Friday, when a state Senate committee voted unanimously for a bill to allow ...
March 20, 2009

Palin Takes on the Stimulus

Thanks, but no thanks? Sarah Palin announced yesterday that she's rejecting a broad swath of stimulus money, as the Anchorage Daily News reports: JUNEAU ...
March 19, 2009

Artur Davis and the Reverse Bradley Effect

Most observers have concluded that the number one challenge that U.S. Rep. Artur Davis faces as he runs for governor next year is persuading ...
March 18, 2009

Slightly Good News for Jim Gibbons

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons hasn't gotten much good news since he was elected in 2006, but he received a boost this week. Former state senator ...
March 17, 2009

Andrew Cuomo's Enviable Job

In the April issue of Governing, I'll have a story looking at attorneys general who run for governor -- whether AGs make good governors ...
March 17, 2009

Gay Marriage Debate Moves to Maine

In November I wrote more than 1,000 words about the states that might legalize gay marriage this year, but didn't even mention Maine. Whoops. Now, ...
March 16, 2009

Butch Otter's "Howl of Delight"

Never let it be said that governors don't know how to let loose. From the Washington Post: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's decision to ...
March 16, 2009

Jon Huntsman's Centrist Strategy

The New York Times takes a look at the centrist views of Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman: In addition to leading the fight to change the ...
March 13, 2009

Jack Markell's Gamble

Earlier this week, I told you about Jan Brewer's gamble. She isn't the only new governor placing a risky bet. Delaware's Jack ...
March 13, 2009

In California, a Shriver May Strive for AG

If you thought we'd exhausted our supply of Kennedy family members to consider for elected office, think again. From the Sacramento Bee: Bobby Shriver, ...
March 13, 2009

The Curse of an Oklahoma State Senator

If you're like me, you've often wondered whether an Oklahoma state senator, Japanese baseball fans and Colonel Sanders are interconnected in some way. ...
March 12, 2009

Detroit Mayor: Cockrel, the Insider, Faces Bing, the Outsider

Detroiters face a classic choice on May 5, when they'll pick a new mayor to lead their troubled city. Do they choose the acting mayor, ...
March 11, 2009

On the Stimulus, Sanford Ups the Ante

Just as the kerfuffle had settled down over Republican governors rejecting stimulus money for unemployment benefits, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford broadened the debate. The ...
March 11, 2009

Watch Out, Nebraska

It's good to see that newspaper reporters still have a sense of humor. From the Denver Post: Lt. Gov. Barbara O'Brien's in ...
March 10, 2009

Surprise, Suprise: Californians Split on Gay Marriage

Sometimes a poll can be interesting even when its finding is completely predictable. The Sacramento Bee has latest on gay marriage in California: Four months ...
March 9, 2009

Jan Brewer's Gamble

Jan Brewer, a conservative Republican, took office as Arizona's governor a few weeks ago. The first thing she did: propose a tax increase, of ...
March 9, 2009

David Paterson's Poll Problem

posted by Josh Goodman New York Gov. David Paterson's approval rating has plummeted at an almost unbelievable pace. The development, though, says as much ...
March 6, 2009

NYC Mayor: Bloomberg Faces Early Tests

When New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ran for reelection in 2005, the votes of nearly 1.3 million New Yorkers determined his fate. This year, five votes ...
March 5, 2009

Burlington's Thrilling Mayoral Election

You'd be hard-pressed to find a wackier election than this week's Burlington mayoral race that was conducted using instant-runoff voting. There were five ...
March 4, 2009

Democrats Face Quandary with Sebelius Not in Kansas Anymore

Strange but true: Soon, there will be four Democrats in Kansas holding statewide elected offices, but none of those people will have been elected to ...
March 4, 2009

Republican Wins Pennsylvania Special Election

The Republicans held the state Senate seat in Pennsylvania that I mentioned yesterday, as the Associated Press reports: HARRISBURG, Pa.--Republican state Rep. David Argall (...
March 3, 2009

Specials in Connecticut and Pennsylvania

More proof that it's always election day somewhere: The Republicans held on to a seat in the Connecticut House of Representatives yesterday (a Monday ...
March 2, 2009

Jon Huntsman: The G.O.P.'s New Voice of Moderation

Politico looks at the emergence of Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman as a leading moderate Republican: Largely under the radar of the national media and even ...
March 2, 2009

Anchorage Mayor: A Fifteen Candidate Free-for-All

Last year, the nation was fixated on the presidential race. Next year, Congress and 36 governorships will be up for grabs. This year, though, belongs to ...
February 28, 2009

Minneapolis Speedway

John Chiglo is looking up from the banks of the Mississippi River at a huge ivory monolith. It's the new I-35W bridge, built on...
February 27, 2009

Mapping the Gubernatorial Races

Highly recommended: Congressional Quarterly has a new interactive map that provides an overview of the 38 gubernatorial elections over the next two years. If you ever ...
February 26, 2009

TX-GOV: New Poll Shows Hutchinson Lead

Back in December, an internal poll for Kay Bailey Hutchison showed the U.S. senator ousting Texas Gov. Rick Perry 55%-31% in a 2010 Republican primary. ...
February 24, 2009

What a D.C. Vote in Congress Means for the Electoral College

Legislation to give the District of Columbia a voting representative in the U.S. House cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate today, bringing D....
February 23, 2009

For Governors, the Era of Good Feelings Is Over

Are we sure the nation's governors, not Congress, gathered in Washington, D.C. this weekend? Ironically, the inception of the Obama administration has ushered ...
February 21, 2009

Schweitzer Jabs at Jindal

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, a Democrat, took a not-so-subtle shot at Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, this morning at the National Governors Association winter ...
February 20, 2009

A Redeem Team for Texas Democrats?

Will Texas Democrats bring back the Dream Team? Back in 2002, Texas Democrats thought they had a great strategy. No, it wasn't to run Michael ...
February 19, 2009

Six Governors Consider Rejecting Stimulus Funds

The other day I mused about South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford rejecting money in the federal stimulus package. He's not alone, as the Associated ...
February 19, 2009

Indiana Rejects Local Government Consolidation

I wrote a story last fall that centered on the question of whether state governments can force local governments to consolidate. We're starting to get the answer -- and it isn't surprising
February 18, 2009

Crist for Senate Looks More Likely

I recently argued that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is unlikely to run for the Senate in 2010. Given my record with predictions, it should come as ...
February 17, 2009

Will Freudenthal Pull a Bloomberg?

The Washington Post has the scoop on talk that Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal will seek to overturn his state's term limits law: It now ...
February 16, 2009

Should Mark Sanford Reject the Stimulus Money?

Paul Begala picks a fight with South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on If Republican politicians are so deeply opposed to President Obama's ...
February 13, 2009

Are State Legislators to Blame for Washington's Partisanship?

After a fitful, month-long rise from the grave, bipartisanship in Washington has once again been pronounced dead (on Friday the 13th, no less). Democrats say ...
February 12, 2009

The G.O.P. Stimulus Divide

Congress includes 219 Republicans. To date, three of them have supported the stimulus. Perhaps that number will change when the House and Senate vote on the ...
February 11, 2009

Ernie Fletcher: Still Kentucky Dems' Secret Weapon?

Kentucky Republicans thought they were done with Ernie Fletcher when he was walloped in his 2007 reelection bid. But yesterday he may have cost the G....
February 10, 2009

MI-GOV: A Field of 25

I noted last week that everyone seems to want to run for governor. I was remiss not to mention Michigan. Congressional Quarterly looked at the ...
February 10, 2009

Renegade Speaker Booted from the Tennessee G.O.P.

Almost never does an election for a single legislative seat warrant a mention more than a year before the voting takes place. Almost never, though, ...
February 9, 2009

John Chiang: California's New Political Player

The California Democratic Party has a lot of power. What it doesn't have is a lot of youth. That's true of the state'...
February 9, 2009

TX-GOV: Palin Favors Perry

Sarah Palin sure knows how to make news, doesn't she? The Alaska governor created headlines again last week when she announced she's supporting ...
February 6, 2009

Governor Ramsey of Tennessee?

Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen is a rumored candidate for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If Bredesen is picked, a Republican, Ron ...
February 6, 2009

Bill Richardson's Problems Hit Home

SurveyUSA has polled New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's approval rating on a monthly basis (with a couple of exceptions) since May 2005. Every month, more ...
February 5, 2009

VA-Gov: No Frontrunner for the Dems

By electing Barack Obama president, voters proved that they're willing to support a candidate with (as Obama put it himself) a funny name. Perhaps, ...
February 4, 2009

Crist for Senate?

The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza has some more details on the talk that Florida Gov. Charlie Crist may run for an open Senate seat ...
February 3, 2009

In Virginia, a Test of Democratic Gains

Democrats control the presidency, both houses of Congress, a majority of governorships, most state legislatures and, I'm guessing, most of the nation's offices ...
February 2, 2009

2010: A Great Time to Run for Governor?

Everyone, it seems, wants to run for governor. A few examples from the past few weeks: * Doug Racine, a Democratic state senator and former lieutenant ...
February 1, 2009

Radical Renewal

At the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, you can pick up a gyro from Holy Land Grocery or, if you prefer, sushi and bubble tea...
January 31, 2009

The Skyways: The Limit?

There's something odd about Camille's Sidewalk Café at 150 S. 5th Street in Minneapolis: It isn't anywhere near the sidewalk. Instead, Camille's is on the second...
January 30, 2009

Blagojevich: A Governor Who Wasn't Fit to Serve

Commenter Bob Stovall offers another thoughtful take on impeachment: This is an interesting debate about impeachment, and I think that most of the original piece ...
January 30, 2009

The RNC Race and Presidential Calendar

The Republican National Committee is voting on a new chairman as we speak (or, if you want to get technical, as I write). After three ...
January 30, 2009

The Truth About Impeachment

Commenter Dave Thomas offered this interesting response to my post on whether Governor Rod Blagojevich's trial was fair: Impeachment is the revolting process of ...
January 29, 2009

Was It Fair to Remove Blagojevich from Office?

It's the question no one really wants to dwell on too much: Did Rod Blagojevich get a raw deal? At this point, virtually everyone ...
January 29, 2009

Pat Quinn: A Gadfly Becomes Governor

Who is Pat Quinn? CBS in Chicago has this to say about Illinois' new governor: Quinn would have the most unusual political pedigree of any ...
January 29, 2009

An End Game for D.C. Representation in Congress

Richard Hasen makes an intriguing argument over at Slate. Congress should approve legislation to give Washington, D.C. congressional representation, even though it's probably ...
January 28, 2009

Arkansas Moves Toward Later Presidential Primary

Three cheers for the Arkansas House of Representatives! The Associated Press has the news: LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- The Arkansas House of Representatives voted unanimously ...
January 27, 2009

Blagojevich's Motives Revealed

The Onion has the scoop:  "Blagojevich Claims Behavior Was Just Elaborate Plan To Surprise Patrick Fitzgerald With Senate Nomination On His Birthday."
January 27, 2009

Nebraska Sticks with Electoral Vote System, for Now

After Barack Obama won one of Nebraska's electoral votes despite losing the state 57%-42%, Republicans in Nebraska talked a lot about amending their system ...
January 26, 2009

Pessimism About Paterson

From listening to some of the coverage, you'd think that David Paterson had appointed Rod Blagojevich to the Senate. From the New York Daily ...
January 26, 2009

David Paterson's "Dizzy Mix of Ingratiation and Trickeration"

What really happened with that Senate appointment in New York? New York Magazine reconstructs the story -- or at least tries to: Yet in two ...
January 23, 2009

Will Pat Quinn be a Lame Duck?

As Rod Blagojevich's impeachment trial heads for what appears to be a predetermined conclusion, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will soon be the governor of ...
January 23, 2009

The Sam Adams Scandal: What Is a Fireable Offense?

Mayor Sam Adams of Portland, Oregon, is having perhaps the worst first month in office of any American politician since William Henry Harrison. His sex ...
January 22, 2009

MD-Gov: Is Bob Ehrlich Running?

Former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich has been mulling a rematch ever since Martin O'Malley thwarted his reelection bid in 2006. To win, he'll need ...
January 22, 2009

Charlie Crist for Senate and Other Unlikely Ideas

We're just at the beginning of a new political biennium, which is a wonderfully fanciful period in the election season. With November of 2010 a ...
January 21, 2009

For Nevada, Are Two Reids Too Many?

Fundraising figures indicate that there are two very serious Democratic candidates for governor of Nevada, as the Review-Journal reports: Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, ...
January 21, 2009

Paterson's Senate Choice

At long last, New York Governor David Paterson has announced his choice for U.S. Senate, as NBC reports: I have reached a decision. I ...
January 20, 2009

Arizona's New Governor

Janet Napolitano has been confirmed as secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That means that Napolitano, a Democrat, will be replaced as ...
January 19, 2009

NJ-GOV: Two Takes on Corzine v. Christie

The polls in the New Jersey governor's race show incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine with, at best, a very narrow advantage over Chris Christie, his ...
January 16, 2009

The Return of Rick Lazio?

An old friend from elections of yesteryear may be making a run for the New York governorship in 2010. From the New York Times: Former Representative ...
January 16, 2009

The California Budget: Yikes

When it comes to California's budget situation, no matter how bad you think things are, they're probably worse. The Mercury News puts a $40 ...
January 15, 2009

Askins Declares in Oklahoma

Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Jari Askins is askin' to be the next governor of Oklahoma. Sorry, I couldn't resist. From the Norman Transcript: OKLAHOMA CITY ...
January 15, 2009

A Gas Tax Increase in Idaho?

I did a double take this morning: Butch Otter, Idaho's Republican governor, is proposing a gas tax increase. He's facing resistance in the ...
January 14, 2009

A Four-Year Term for New Hampshire Governors?

New Hampshire and Vermont are the two states that still only grant governors two-year terms. Will New Hampshire leave Vermont on its own? From Seacoast ...
January 14, 2009

Contrasting Takes on the Minnesota Recount

When it comes to the Minnesota Senate recount, it seems the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post are each entitled to their own set ...
January 13, 2009

Bloomberg to Run as a Republican?

Is America's leading political chameleon about to change colors again? From the New York Post: Mayor Bloomberg has begun reaching out to city Republican ...
January 12, 2009

Blagojevich and the Politics of Surviving a Scandal

Here's my theory of political scandals: How long a politician survives in office  -- or even whether or not he or she survives at ...
January 9, 2009

Which Party Runs State Government?

With a pair of new governors coming to power and new state legislators across the country taking office, now seems like a good time to ...
January 8, 2009

Palin Has An Opponent

The nation's most famous hockey mom has a challenger, as the Anchorage Daily News reports: Bob Poe says he is running for governor as ...
January 7, 2009

Seattle Mayor: Is Greg Nickels in Trouble?

SurveyUSA has some ghastly approval numbers for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels as he gears up for a run for a third term this year. Only 28% ...
January 6, 2009

Why Everyone Is Running for Governor of Tennessee

It looks like the Tennessee governor's race is about to get wild. Here's what the Memphis Commercial Appeal said in an editorial: Who ...
January 6, 2009

A Busy Week of Gubernatorial News

Loyal Ballot Box readers will agree that I can get a little long-winded. In fact, I wrote 2,270 words previewing the 2009-2010 governor's races just ...
January 5, 2009

Bill Ritter's Curious Choice

Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter's decision to appoint Michael Bennet, the superintendent of the Denver school system, to the U.S. Senate was met with ...
January 5, 2009

Recount: How Did Minnesota Do?

Today, the Minnesota Canvassing Board is expected to certify Al Franken as the winner of the state's marathon U.S. Senate recount. While legal ...
January 2, 2009

Card Check Fight Coming to the States

If you follow Congress, you probably know that the preeminent business-labor fault line right now is the rather obscure question of whether workers should be ...
December 31, 2008

Issues to Watch

The nation's political map has turned blue, but state budgets have gone decidedly into the red. The Democrats enjoy a more than 850-seat edge in...
December 31, 2008

Blagojevich's Survival Strategy

Dan Conley has an interesting theory about how Rod Blagojevich may be trying to use the appointment of Roland Burris to stave off impeachment: But ...
December 30, 2008

Why Did Burris Accept Blagojevich's Offer?

It's no mystery why Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich would want to appoint Roland Burris to Illinois' vacant Senate seat. By offering the job to ...
December 30, 2008

Can Blagojevich's Appointment Be Blocked?

Lots of people are mad that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, while under a cloud of scandal, would try to appoint Roland Burris to the U....
December 30, 2008

Blagojevich: Burris is "good and honest man"

If you just watched Rod Blagojevich's press conference to announce Roland Burris' appointment to the U.S. Senate, I'm sure you'll agree ...
December 30, 2008

Blagojevich Picks Burris for Senate

In the Christmas spirit, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has given a gift to political junkies everywhere. Blagojevich has named an appointment to the U.S. ...
December 26, 2008

Rendell Admits to Booing Santa Claus

I was in a restaurant in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport yesterday when who should appear on ESPN but Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. State ...
December 24, 2008

McCain: Governors Are the G.O.P.'s Future

This is from a couple of weeks ago, but I thought it was so unimportant that I had to comment on it. John McCain declined ...
December 23, 2008

Rating the Governor's Races, Nebraska-Wyoming

I started on my 2009-2010 gubernatorial race ratings yesterday. Here are the second half of them. Nebraska - Likely Republican -- Without any national attention, ...
December 22, 2008

Rating the Governor's Races, Alabama-Minnesota

For Republicans still smarting from November's elections, I've got some good news: My projections indicate that after the 2010 elections the G.O.P ...
December 19, 2008

In 2010, a Repeat of the Wacky 2002 Elections?

Finally, with the presidential race behind us, it's time to start talking about the 2010 governor's races. The first question: Will the results be ...
December 18, 2008

The Case for Appointments Over Special Elections

I, among many others, wondered in light of the Blagojevich scandal why we don't simply use special elections to fill all U.S. Senate ...
December 17, 2008

The Bell Tolls for Chris Bell?

Republican Joan Huffman defeated Democrat Chris Bell in the Texas state Senate special election that I mentioned yesterday. Huffman's comfortable margin was a surprise (...
December 17, 2008

Minnesota Recount Fun

Let me be just the latest to say the live video of the Minnesota Canvassing Board judging challenges in the Coleman-Franken Senate race is amazingly ...
December 16, 2008

A Very Special Texas Election

For anyone out there suffering from election deprivation, we have a vote today in Texas. Republican Joan Huffman and Democrat Chris Bell will square off ...
December 16, 2008

GOP's Chances Brighten in Texas Governor's Race

Will any high-profile Democrat run for governor of Texas in 2010? First, former state comptroller John Sharp announced that he's running for U.S. Senate. ...
December 15, 2008

Jindal Says He's Not Running in 2012, But...

Big news in the 2012 presidential race last week: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal isn't running for president. That reminds me of a similar pledge from ...
December 12, 2008

Silent Treatment Between Quinn and Blagojevich

I guess at this point I should no longer be surprised by anything related to Rod Blagojevich, but this line in this morning's Washington ...
December 11, 2008

Seeing Red in Oklahoma?

NPR ran a piece this weekend in which host Scott Simon called Oklahoma "the most Republican state in the Union" and then asked ...
December 10, 2008

Who Will Republicans Run for Governor of Illinois?

For months, there's been speculation about the 2010 Illinois governor's race, but almost all of it has been on the Democratic side. I made ...
December 10, 2008

The Blagojevich Front Pages

As a print journalist, I'm always looking for reasons to justify the existence of print journalism. One of the best, in my opinion, is ...
December 9, 2008

Greenblatt Chats on Blagojevich

For those of you who can't get enough Rod Blagojevich, Ballot Box's own Alan Greenblatt conducted a live chat on about ...
December 9, 2008

Blagojevich's Arrest and the 2010 Illinois Governor's Race

Even before today's events, the 2010 Illinois governor's race was already one of the most intriguing and uncertain in the country. That's still ...
December 9, 2008

Blagojevich Won't Get to Name a Senator After All?

Dick Durbin, for now Illinois' only U.S. senator, is floating the idea of holding a special election to fill Illinois' vacant Senate seat. The ...
December 9, 2008

If Blagojevich Was Selling a Senate Seat, Who Was Buying?

Federal prosecutors say that before Gov. Rod Blagojevich named a U.S. senator to President-Elect Barack Obama's now-vacant seat, he wanted to get something ...
December 9, 2008

Blagojevich: Now What?

Quick thoughts (and questions) on the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich: -Will anyone want to be named the new Illinois U.S. senator now? ...
December 8, 2008

Mitch Daniels Cautiously Optimistic About Obama

A number of times over the past eight years, governors have been broadly bipartisan (or even nearly unanimous) in their opposition to Bush administration policies. ...
December 8, 2008

Is Now the Time for Gas Tax Increases?

Only one state approved a gas tax increase this year. That was Minnesota, where the 35W bridge collapse created a special urgency around infrastructure spending ...
December 5, 2008

A Commentary on the Newspaper Industry?

I found this article in the  New Hampshire Union Leader  oddly amusing: A feud between state Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen and conservative activist and state ...
December 3, 2008

Richardson's Departure Is Democrats' Gain

The nomination of Gov. Janet Napolitano as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security was a blow to Arizona Democrats. But, when Gov. Bill Richardson ...
December 2, 2008

Arizona Mulls a Lieutenant Governorship

With Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano accepting Barack Obama's offer to become secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of State Jan Brewer will ...
December 1, 2008

Mark Sanford Leads the Stimulus Opposition

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is proving once again that he deserves the title as America's most contrarian governor. From  Now, the ...
December 1, 2008

Granholm for Labor Secretary?

The Washington Post mentions Michigan's governor as a candidate to head the Department of Labor: What she offers: Granholm has grappled with many of ...
November 30, 2008

The Coverage Connection

Two years ago, when Massachusetts legislators began debating near-universal health insurance, a lot of smart people helped them craft the package. And all of these...
November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ballot Box will be enjoying a long weekend off. We'll be back on Monday.
November 26, 2008

Bobby Jindal's New Test

Conservatives are hailing Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal as a Republican Barack Obama -- their own brilliant, youthful star who will be ready for the national ...
November 25, 2008

As Utah Goes, So Goes Idaho

When I wrote a post last week identifying Iowa as the new bellwether state in presidential voting, a commenter asked what the worst bellwether state ...
November 24, 2008

Why Can't We Vote Online?

During the Democratic presidential primaries, I was reckless enough to suggest that Michigan and Florida consider conducting new votes online, to replace their unsanctioned primaries. ...
November 21, 2008

Why Janet Napolitano Might Leave Arizona

Janet Napolitano is the popular governor of Arizona. Why would she consider giving up such a sweet gig to head the U.S. Department of ...
November 21, 2008

The Joys of a Recount

Minnesota Public Radio has posted some of the disputed ballots from the recount of the spandex-tight U.S. Senate Race in Minnesota. These are great ...
November 20, 2008

The States that Could Legalize Gay Marriage in 2009

As a result of Prop. 8, California has, quite understandably, become the focal point of the gay marriage debate. But, while the legal drama unfolds in ...
November 19, 2008

Move Over Missouri, Iowa Is the New Bellwether State

There's some hand-wringing going on in Missouri right now. Unless Barack Obama improbably rallies to win the Show-Me State when provisional ballots are tallied, ...
November 18, 2008

Gavin Newsom for Governor: Over Before It Starts?

I'm sure I'm not the first person to point this out -- I'm probably not among the first hundred -- but doesn'...
November 17, 2008

Nebraska's Electoral Vote Split: One and Done?

By splitting its electoral votes for the first time this year, Nebraska made history. By 2012, the system that made the split possible could be history. ...
November 14, 2008

A Theme for the Republican Party

As the G.O.P. tries to figure out why it lost so much ground in 2006 and 2008, Republicans have pretty much narrowed it down to ...
November 13, 2008

Was Palin's Task Impossible?

Since the election, we've now had a few days of recriminations against Sarah Palin and a few days of Palin fighting back. Palin's ...
November 12, 2008

Republicans Hold the Texas House by 20 Votes

No, Republicans don't have a 20-seat majority in the Texas House of Representatives. Their majority is actually 76-74. Republicans have a 20-vote majority -- 20 ...
November 11, 2008

Sarah Palin's New Nemesis?

In late 2006 a "working group" of Democrats and Republicans formed a bipartisan majority in the Alaska Senate, selecting Republican Sen. Lyda Green as ...
November 10, 2008

Career Advice: Don't Become a State Legislator for the Pay

The salaries of state legislators in Arizona have stayed the same for a decade: $24,000 a year. A bipartisan commission placed a proposal on last Tuesday'...
November 7, 2008

The Fastest Growing Counties Stay Republican, But Does It Matter?

If there's one statistic I remember hearing over and over after the 2004 presidential election, it's this: Bush won 97 of the 100 fastest growing counties ...
November 6, 2008

Polling on the 2012 Presidential Race!

See here.   Admit it, you cl icked on the link.
November 6, 2008

Colorado's Affirmative Action Surprise

If there were two ballot measures I felt completely sure would pass on Tuesday, they were the bans on public-sector affirmative action in Nebraska and ...
November 5, 2008

History in New Hampshire

The Thicket reports another historic first: The New Hampshire Senate has become the first legislative chamber ever to have a majority of women members.  Thirteen ...
November 4, 2008

The Night in Ballot Measures (Updated)

Social issues may have taken a back seat in the presidential race this year, but not on state ballots -- where South Dakotans rejected a ...
November 4, 2008

Will California Approve Non-Partisan Legislative Redistricting?

So far, the proposal has a 53%-47% edge. This could really shake up the California legislature.
November 4, 2008

VT-GOV: Douglas Wins

Talk about a survivor: Jim Douglas, the Republican governor Vermont, has won reelection. Every two years, Douglas has to deal with an overwhelmingly Democratic electorate ...
November 4, 2008

MT-GOV: Schweitzer Wins

I think we missed this one in all of the hoopla. Democrat Brian Schweitzer has been reelected governor of Montana as expected. Schweitzer has become ...
November 4, 2008

South Dakota Abortion Ban Fails

CNN says the South Dakota abortion ban has failed. This is the second time in three years an abortion ban has failed in South Dakota (...
November 4, 2008

WA-GOV: Gregoire Leads

Surprisingly quick vote counting in Washington state: Gov. Christine Gregoire leads her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi, 52%-48% with 30% of precincts reporting.
November 4, 2008

New York State Senate: Democrats Seem Likely to Take Majority

The New York Senate, which has been in Republican hands for decades, appears to be going to the Democrats, according to the New York Times. ...
November 4, 2008

Arizona Votes to Ban Gay Marriage

Arizona became the first state to reject a gay marriage in 2006. This year, the story is different. A scaled-back version has passed, according to CNN (...
November 4, 2008

WA-GOV: Exit Polls Look Strong for Gregoire

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire leads among men (49%-47%) and among women (54%-43%) in the exit poll, according to CNN. It would be a pretty big ...
November 4, 2008

South Dakota: Abortion Ban Trails

It doesn't look like the challenge to Roe v. Wade will happen in South Dakota. Right now, the ballot measure to ban abortion is ...
November 4, 2008

California Gay Marriage Trails Narrowly in Exit Polls

The exits are in on Prop. 8. The measure to ban gay marriage gets 48% of the vote from men and 47% of the vote from women. If ...
November 4, 2008

NC-GOV: Perdue Wins

Democrat Bev Perdue has won the North Carolina governor's race according to NBC. This is a really impressive win for Perdue, who is North ...
November 4, 2008

Waiting for 11:00

There's a pretty good chance Obama will be announced as the next president in 15 minutes. But, I'll also be interested in checking the ...
November 4, 2008

Massachusetts and Michigan: A Good Night for Marijuana

Wow, that's an alliterative headline! Massachusetts has voted to decriminalize possessing small amounts of marijuana. Michigan has voted for medical marijuana.
November 4, 2008

Florida: Gay Marriage Ban Narrowly Ahead

posted by Josh Goodman With two-thirds of precincts reporting, the gay marriage ban in Florida is getting 62% -- just more than the 60% it needs.
November 4, 2008

Maryland Gambling on Slots?

A ballot measure to legalize slot-machine gambling in Maryland is taking 59% with about a third of the vote in -- that matches the exit poll ...
November 4, 2008

NC-GOV: Perdue Looking Strong

Earlier in the night, Democrat Bev Perdue was running behind Barack Obama. No longer. She's now up 51-46% with 70% of precincts in. Obama is ...
November 4, 2008

Arkansas: Another Tight Gay Rights Vote

Arkansas is voting on a ballot measure that forbids unmarried couples, including gay couples, from adopting children or serving as foster parents. Arkansas is a ...
November 4, 2008

Why Turnout Won't Be Depressed on the West Coast

We can tell which way the presidential race is headed. Several of the networks, including CBS, NBC and CNN, have called Ohio for Barack Obama. ...
November 4, 2008

DE-GOV: Markell Wins

This was an open-seat race, but you wouldn't know it from the results. Democrat Jack Markell has been called by CNN as the winner ...
November 4, 2008

Massachusetts Rejects Income Tax Repeal

This could have been a huge deal had it passed. Massachusetts voted on a ballot measure to eliminate its state income tax. Massachusetts gets about 40% ...
November 4, 2008

NC-GOV: Perdue the Weakest Democratic Link?

So far, it's good news for all of the Democrats in North Carolina. Kay Hagen (just called the winner on CNN) has 54% in the ...
November 4, 2008

NH-GOV: Lynch Wins

posted Josh Goodman A major call in New Hampshire! No, no, not the presidential race. Gov. John Lynch has won reelection, as CNN reports. Lynch ...
November 4, 2008

FL Gay Marriage: Very, Very Close

While California has gotten most of the attention for its gay marriage ballot measure (with good reason), Florida has a really interesting vote too. The ...
November 4, 2008

WV-GOV: Manchin Wins

The Charleston Gazette reports that West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, has won reelection. Manchin is exactly the type of Democrat that wins in ...
November 4, 2008

Presidential: Intrade Has Obama at 92%

We're starting to get real numbers and Intrade, the political betting site, still has Barack Obama about where he was this morning: with a 92% ...
November 4, 2008

NC-GOV: Very Close

With polls closed in North Carolina, we have the official first exit poll (from CNN) for the governor's race. Democrat Bev Perdue leads 53%-43% ...
November 4, 2008

Indiana Gov: Daniels a National Political Figure?

To get a call this early, Mitch Daniels has clearly won a comfortable victory in what might be a tough night for Republicans (or might ...
November 4, 2008

VT-GOV: Will Douglas Hit 50?

I'm an opponent of early exit polls, but, once the polls close, I'm fully in favor of them. The results for the Vermont ...
November 4, 2008

Indiana Governor: Daniels Wins

Just saw it on the bottom of CNN: Mitch Daniels has been reelected. At one point, this was a real target for Democrats, but Daniels ...
November 4, 2008

VA-President: An Early Call?

A lot of people have talked about an early call for Obama in Virginia. I just don't see it (although I'm studiously avoiding ...
November 4, 2008

Indiana Governor: Really Early Numbers

Via CNN: With about 1% of precincts reporting, Obama has 55% of the vote and Jill Long Thompson has 48% in Indiana. That gap may be slightly smaller ...
November 4, 2008

Indiana: Down the Ballot

Pre-election polls have indicated close races for attorney general and superintendent of public instruction in Indiana. With so much else going on, we're going ...
November 4, 2008

Indiana: Daniels-Obama Voters?

Good evening and welcome! A first thought on Indiana: One of the big questions is how many voters will support Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels and ...
November 4, 2008

Big Ballot Measure Roundup

So many ballot measures, so little time! With only a few hours before votes start getting counted, I still haven't covered every ballot measure ...
November 4, 2008

Avoiding the Exit Polls

Nate Silver makes the case that we should ignore the exit polls. Mark Blumenthal of makes a somewhat different argument: Ignore the exit ...
November 3, 2008

WA-GOV and NC-GOV: Final Ratings

I believe in going out on a limb -- even at the risk of plummeting to the ground and ending up with lump on my ...
November 3, 2008

Stem Cell Research: On the Ballot in One State Only

Peter Beinart argues in this morning's Washington Post that the culture wars are coming to a close. Some of the strongest evidence for his ...
November 3, 2008

Will the Golden State Go Green?

I've added a couple of environment-related initiatives in California to the ballot measure guide. Here's what I've added: Issue: Prop. 7, which (among ...
November 2, 2008

Counties to Watch Guide

Over the past week, I've been going over the counties to watch in the highest profile state races. Here are links to my five ...
November 1, 2008

Healthy Debates on the Ballot

As I covered a few weeks ago, Massachusetts is voting on whether to repeal the state income tax. What I didn't mention? The vote ...
October 31, 2008

Attempted Merger

Leon Duff retired as a Maine school superintendent in 2001, but not for good. In the seven years since, he's been called back into school administration...
October 31, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse

You can now bet on the 2012 presidential election on Intrade.
October 31, 2008

Arizona Gay Marriage Ban: The Counties to Watch

I'll make this short and sweet. Arizona voted on a ballot measure to ban gay marriage in 2006. It failed (the first time that's ...
October 31, 2008

Correction of the Day

From Politico : CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story conflated two non-existent audio tapes of Michelle Obama.
October 31, 2008

California's Gay Marriage Ban: The Counties to Watch

As we get ready for California to vote on a closely watch ballot measure to prohibit gay marriage, it may be helpful to look back ...
October 30, 2008

Could Obama Kill the California Gay Marriage Ban?

Barack Obama opposes Proposition 8 in California, which would ban gay marriage. But, other than announce his opposition, he hasn't been actively involved in the ...
October 30, 2008

NC-GOV: The Counties to Watch

I've spent the last 24 hours pondering how I'll figure out which counties to watch on election night in the North Carolina governor's ...
October 30, 2008

Governors Galore!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention all of the governors who showed up in Barack Obama's half-hour infomercial last night: Kansas' ...
October 29, 2008

Oregon's Education Showdowns

Oregon has a couple of interesting education-related measures on the ballot this year. Here are the details, which I've added to the ballot measure ...
October 29, 2008

South Dakota Votes on Term Limits

Since I know you love South Dakota ballot measures as much as I do, here's a quick addition to Governing's ballot measure guide: ...
October 29, 2008

South Dakota Abortion Ban: The Counties to Watch

When South Dakota voted on a ballot measure to ban abortion two years ago, it fell short, receiving 44.7% of the vote. This year, South Dakotans ...
October 29, 2008

The Texas House Tantalizes Democrats

If Democrats are looking for a cherry on their election night sundae, they may find it in Texas. The Republicans are clinging to a 79-71 ...
October 28, 2008

Voting by Mail in Action

SurveyUSA released a poll of Oregon yesterday that gave Obama a large lead (not very surprising) and Democratic Senate challenger Jeff Merkley a moderate-sized lead (...
October 28, 2008

WA-GOV: The Counties to Watch

You've probably been in this position before. It's election night and with 30%, 40%, 50% of precincts reporting, the race you're watching is close. But, ...
October 27, 2008

South Dakota Abortion Ban: A Dead Heat

New poll number one on South Dakota's ballot measure that would ban abortion in most cases: 44% in favor, 44% opposed. New poll number two on ...
October 26, 2008