Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The governor's race ratings continue:
New Hampshire - Very Likely Democratic - Democrat John Lynch has been a Teflon triangulator during his three terms as governor, but I do wonder whether his confrontation with public employee unions will cause him any political problems.
New York - Likely Democratic - As you can tell from my rating, I expect Andrew Cuomo to run and Rudy Giuliani not to run. If Gov. David Paterson received a bump from getting to play statesman in the State Senate stalemate, it has now receded. What the governor decides to do may end up being irrelevant.
Ohio - Leans Democratic - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland faces a potential test of his political sway this November, as Ohio votes on a gambling plan that he says is a bad deal for the state. So far as I can tell, John Kasich, the likely Republican nominee, hasn't taken a position on the issue, so it will be interesting to see what (if anything) he does. Republicans usually tend to be more skeptical of gambling than Democrats, but the inclination of challengers is usually to listen to what the incumbent is saying and say the opposite.
Oklahoma - Likely Republican - Somewhat shockingly, Oklahoma still had 200,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans as of January. Nonetheless, Republican Mary Fallin is a solid frontrunner.
Oregon - Leans Democratic - Both former Gov. John Kitzhaber and Secretary of State Bill Bradbury have, it appears, been in politics too long to defer to anyone. The primary between the two Democrats is something close to a clash of titans. Just how divisive the race between the two friends gets could determine whether Republicans have a chance.
Pennsylvania - Slight Lean Republican - Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett is the early frontrunner for the Republican nomination and the very early frontrunner for the general election. But, it will be interesting to watch whether the "Bonusgate" investigation he has led turns out to be an asset or a liability. On one hand, it's good to investigate public officials for wrongdoing. On the other hand, the investigation has continued for the last 15 months without any new indictments.
Rhode Island - Leans Democratic - If Maine upholds its gay marriage law, heavily Catholic Rhode Island will be the only state in New England where gays can't marry. That's likely to change soon though: The three leading candidates, Democrats Patrick Lynch and Frank Caprio and independent Lincoln Chafee, all support gay marriage. Chafee, by the way, is having some difficulty raising money, which is one of the troubles that independents face.
South Carolina - Leans Republican - It seemed like a big coup for Democrats when State Education Commissioner Jim Rex announced he was running for governor. Democrats finally had a statewide winner in the race to go to toe-to-toe with proven Republican vote-getters like Attorney General Henry McMaster. But, weak fundraising numbers already are raising questions as to whether Rex is the strongest Democrat.
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