Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
Christine Gregoire is the Democratic governor of a Democratic state. Mitch Daniels is the Republican governor of a Republican state.
Gregoire, of Washington, was first elected in 2004. Daniels, of Indiana, was first elected in 2004.
Gregoire was unpopular early in her term (the whole recount thing). Daniels was unpopular early in his term (the toll road, taxes and daylight saving time).
But, in her reelection bid this year, the most recent poll gives Gregoire a seven-point lead. And the most recent poll gives Daniels a five-point lead, while other surveys show him ahead by a bit more.
So, you can see why the prospects of the two most endangered governors in the country this year seem quite similar. Both are in competitive races, but both are favorites.
If you scratch beneath the surface, I do think that there's a key difference, however. Gregoire's opponent, Dino Rossi, is already defined to a greater extent than Daniels' opponent, Jill Long Thompson, owing to Rossi's race against Gregoire in 2004. That gives Long Thompson more of a chance to grow -- or to crash and burn.
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