New Print Edition: 2007-08 Gubernatorial Outlook

May 4, 2007 · 12:10 AM EDT
The latest print edition of the Rothenberg Political Report is on its way to subscribers. The print edition comes out every two weeks and the content is not available online. Subscribers get in-depth analysis of the most competitive races in the country, as well as quarterly House and Senate ratings, and coverage of the gubernatorial races nationwide. To subscribe, simply click on the Google checkout button on the website or send a check.

2007-08 Gubernatorial Outlook
By Nathan L. Gonzales

Republicans took heavy losses in governorships in 2006, giving Democrats a 28-22 advantage nationwide to start this year. Three states will elect governors this year (Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi), and they may turn out to be a patch of sunshine in an incredibly dark environment for the GOP.

Cong. Bobby Jindal (R) is the clear frontrunner in Louisiana, especially now that former Sen. John Breaux (D) decided not to run. That race moves to the Lean Takeover column. With Gov. Haley Barbour (R) heavily favored to win a second term in Mississippi, GOP victories in the two Deep South states would at least maintain the current 28-22 Democratic advantage going into the 2008 elections.

In Kentucky, embattled Gov. Ernie Fletcher (R) is looking stronger than previously thought, making it at least a possibility that Republicans could hold there and gain a governorship this year. Still, Kentucky is a good Democratic opportunity, and the single most likely outcome this year is no net change in partisan control of governorships.

At this stage only four 2008 races look to be in play with each seat defending two seats. Gov. Matt Blunt (R) of Missouri is probably the most vulnerable incumbent up for reelection next year, and Democrats will mount a strong challenge to Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) in Indiana. Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) is gearing up for a rematch with Dino Rossi (R) in Washington, and Republicans will take a shot at the open seat in North Carolina.

This cycle is particularly light for governorships, with the big prize coming in 2010 when 36 races are up again. That cycle will also be critical because governors often have a role in the redistricting process to follow.

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