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!
by | June 8, 2010

Today probably will be the most compelling day of elections between now and November. We have lots of good primaries for both state and federal office, as well as intriguing ballot measures in California and Maine.

So, I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to share with you a bunch of things I'm reading, with just a quick comment or two.

Before I get to that, though, I did want to mention that I will be doing a live chat here on Governing Politics tomorrow at 3 Eastern. I'm really excited about this -- it will not only be the first live chat in the history of this blog, but actually Governing's first ever live chat. You can ask me about today's election results or about November or about anything else going on the political world. In fact, if you prefer you can also ask me questions about Cleveland Indians baseball. You'll be able to submit questions early, so feel free to check back here tomorrow morning.

Anyways, here's what I'm reading:

-I'm wondering whether Nikki Haley wins the Republican nomination for governor without a runoff. Public Policy Polling's final survey had her at 43%.

-On the Democratic side, Brad Warthen, former editor at the State, offers a gushing endorsement of Vincent Sheheen. With all of the Republican excitement, not enough people have paid attention to the 39-year-old Sheheen's expected victory over Jim Rex, who is the only statewide elected official Democrats have in South Carolina.

-Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina are looking like sure winners and, according to First Read, Whitman isn't entirely pleased with the notion of sharing the ballot with Fiorina:

Whitman drove Tom Campbell out of the CA GOV primary in order to run for the Senate to stop Fiorina. The Whitman folks are worried about the "dual CEO" storyline -- big time, especially since Whitman's e-Bay track record is a good one, while Fiorina's HP days are, well, not as stellar.

-Whitman's bigger ticket-mate trouble would be if birther Orly Taitz is the Republican nominee for Secretary of State. It's possible.

-The happiest person today may be Abel Maldonado. Not only did the final SurveyUSA poll show Maldonado with the lead in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor, but the switch to the top-two all-candidate primary system (which he insisted be placed on the ballot as part of last year's budget deal) also is ahead. An extra bonus: Maldonado's Democratic opponent seems likely to be San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who could have serious electability problems. On the other hand, I wouldn't be shocked if Maldonado is upset by conservative Sam Aanestad, who, if nothing else, seems certain to secure the aardvark vote.

-The New York Times notes that in Iowa, despite the court ruling legalizing gay marriage, other issues have garnered more attention. I've been surprised that social conservative Bob Vander Platts hasn't gained more traction in his Republican primary against Terry Branstad, but the focus on issues other than gay marriage probably is part of the reason.

-Maine's final (only?) gubernatorial primary poll showed 62% of Democrats and 47% of Republican undecided. It's races like this one -- with lots of candidates that voters are struggling to distinguish between -- where you can make a pretty good case for the value of primary runoffs. But, there are no primary runoffs in Maine.

-Mike Allen says that insiders expect Blanche Lincoln to lose in Arkansas. It strikes me that this year insiders have been pretty good at knowing what will happen on election eve. The White House pretty much telegraphed that they knew Scott Brown, Joe Sestak and Mark Critz would win.

-NorthJersey.com reports that voters don't realize it's election day:

If a poll released today is any indication, turnout for tomorrow’s primary elections will be low.

A Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll of 555 New Jersey registered voters released this morning found just 14 percent of them identified this month as the next time they’ll have an opportunity to vote for office holders.

In their defense, the elections in New Jersey are pretty boring.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer

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