Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 22, 2014

Posts in "Gubernatorial"

August 8, 2014

Rating Change: Connecticut Governor

Dannel P. Malloy is a Democratic governor of a Democratic state, but he is far from a sure thing for re-election in November.

Malloy won a close race in 2010 and will likely face former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, a Republican, once again. The governor’s polling numbers have been consistently mediocre and this is looking increasingly like another close and competitive race.

We’re changing The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Leans Democratic to Tossup/Tilts Democratic.

Rating Change: Colorado Governor

Republicans appear to have avoided disaster by not nominating polarizing former Rep. Tom Tancredo in their effort to knock off Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Former Rep. Bob Beauprez gives Republicans a credible nominee and polls have shown him within striking distance of the governor. But he has also been underfunded, and this looks like a race the Republican Governors Association is going to have to carry across the finish line if the GOP wants to win it.

The overlap with the very competitive U.S. Senate race between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Cory Gardner and the competitive 6th District race between Democrat Andrew Romanoff and incumbent Republican Mike Coffman makes Colorado a top state to watch on election night.

We’re changing the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Democrat Favored to Leans Democratic.

Ratings Change: Georgia Governor

Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of Georgia is in a competitive race for re-election against Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter. But the limited public, automated polls — some of which showed Carter with a significant lead — appear to be driving a narrative of the race that doesn’t match reality.

Deal endured some negative headlines for his handling of a severe ice storm in the Atlanta area, and his state ethics commission director alleges the governor’s office pressured her to make ethics complaints against Deal’s 2010 campaign go away. Some GOP strategists also admit the governor isn’t particularly well-defined for an incumbent about to finish his first term.

But that doesn’t mean Deal is on the verge of defeat. Full story

August 7, 2014

Rating Change: Wisconsin Governor

Republican Scott Walker of Wisconsin isn’t your typical governor running for re-election. He initially won in 2010, then two years later became the first governor to survive a recall attempt.

But with nearly a full term under his belt, voters may not be as willing to give him the benefit of the doubt in his bid for a second term. Full story

Rating Change: Pennsylvania Governor

Time is running out for Tom Corbett, the Republican governor of Pennsylvania.

The incumbent’s ballot-test poll numbers have been mired in the 30s for months. The latest public poll, an automated survey by Magellan Strategies BR for Keystone Report, showed the governor trailing Democrat Tom Wolf 50 percent to 38 percent.

In fact, it appears the last public survey that showed Corbett above 40 percent was almost exactly a year ago. An August 6-8, 2013, poll for Democratic Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz showed her leading Corbett 49 percent to 41 percent.

The worst part about Corbett’s standing is that it doesn’t appear things are headed in the right direction. Full story

August 6, 2014

Rating Change: Kansas Governor

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is vulnerable, but how close is he to losing re-election?

Democrats reveled in the governor’s underwhelming performance in Tuesday’s GOP primary, when the incumbent received 63 percent against a candidate who wasn’t running much of a campaign. But we knew Brownback was in trouble before last night.

During his first term, Brownback has fanned the flames of the intraparty battle between conservatives and moderates going on for at least a couple of decades. And his economic plan has gone over like a set of rock-climbing gear in Topeka.

But it remains to be seen how vulnerable Brownback will end up being. Full story

August 5, 2014

Rating Change: Illinois Governor

Many people were writing Democrat Pat Quinn’s political obituary in 2010 just before he was elected governor of Illinois with 47 percent of the vote. Four years later, Quinn’s re-election bid is in rough shape.

Public polling in the race has been spotty and from less-than-reliable outfits. But private polling at the statewide and congressional district level also shows the governor is unpopular, particularly outside of Chicago. Full story

Rating Change: Ohio Governor

At the beginning of the cycle, Ohio Republican John R. Kasich looked like one of the most vulnerable governors in the country. But with just three months to go before the election, the incumbent’s prospects for re-election are getting better each day.

After some initial stumbles in office, Kasich has appeared to get his footing. And his opponent, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald has had trouble getting off the ground. The Democrat hasn’t raised nearly enough money to knock off the incumbent. Full story

August 4, 2014

Rating Change: Hawaii Governor

Neil Abercrombie’s days as governor of Hawaii may be numbered.

The Democratic incumbent is at considerable risk of losing renomination Saturday to state Sen. David Ige. And the primary is throwing a considerable amount of uncertainty into the general election. Full story

July 11, 2014

Rating Change: Wisconsin Governor

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Walker faces a competitive re-election bid. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Wisconsin is one of the most polarized state’s in the country, so Republican Gov. Scott Walker was never going to have an easy re-election bid. Full story

June 5, 2014

Why Do We Suddenly Care About Races for Lt. Governor?

The office of lieutenant governor is so important that five states don’t even have one, yet that hasn’t stopped the national political media from treating some contests for the office as crucial indicators of something.

In the recent primary runoff in Texas, anti-establishment conservative state Sen. Dan Patrick unseated incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by a sizable margin. The result received considerable attention since it fit neatly into the “tea party takeover of the Republican Party” narrative that has been struggling to survive since all but one GOP member of Congress won his or her primary through the end of May.

Maybe it’s the proliferation of political reporters and news outlets or the lack of other serious contests, or a mixture of both, but the conclusion that a race for lieutenant governor has some larger, long-term political impact is still unproved. Full story

May 23, 2014

Rating Change: Georgia Governor

Gov. Nathan Deal had no problems in the Republican primary this week, but the November general election could be a different story.

Democrats held the governorship in Georgia for more than 130 years, until Republican Sonny Perdue defeated incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes in an upset in 2002. It looked like Democrats wouldn’t get another shot at the governor’s mansion for years to come, but a couple of missteps by Deal in his first term and his opponent’s unique pedigree could give Democrats an opportunity later this year. Full story

May 22, 2014

Race Rating Change: Michigan Governor

As a Republican governor in a blue state, Rick Snyder started the midterms as one of Democrats’ prime targets. But while Michigan has been a tossup for much of the cycle, it appears to be slipping from the top tier of opportunities.

At this stage, Maine, Pennsylvania and Florida are more likely Democratic takeovers, while Ohio and Michigan make up a distinct second tier of Democratic opportunities. In both cases, Republican governors are presiding over states that Barack Obama won in two presidential contests, but where Democratic challengers have yet to put together the type of campaigns often necessary to knock off incumbents — particularly when the national trend is working against them. Full story

May 21, 2014

Rating Change: Hawaii Governor

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Abercrombie, left, could lose votes to Hannemann. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s only been eight years since Republican Linda Lingle was elected to her second term as governor of Hawaii. But her success in that race overestimates the GOP’s chances in future statewide elections, including this year’s gubernatorial race.

Lingle was Republicans’ best possible candidate for Senate last cycle, and she was crushed, 63 percent to 37 percent, by Democratic Rep. Mazie K. Hirono. That should give anyone pause when handicapping former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona’s challenge to Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the fall.

But former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s decision to run for governor as an independent changes the math of the race. The Honolulu mayor should be a credible enough candidate to raise the possibility of splitting the Democratic vote with Abercrombie, allowing the Republican, Aiona, to win the race with less than 50 percent of the vote. Full story

April 30, 2014

How to Ruin Your Interview With Stu Rothenberg

After interviewing more than 1,000 candidates for the House and Senate with my colleague, Stu Rothenberg, I’ve got a pretty good idea of what makes him tick and what just plain ticks him off.

Over the course of the past 25 years, Stu has garnered somewhat of a reputation of being a “hard” interview. And some party strategists and consultants probably have more colorful adjectives than that. Those are also probably the same folks who prepare their candidates for the alleged onslaught they will face when stepping into The Rothenberg Political Report offices.

But I’ll be honest with you: Stu is more bark than bite, and if candidates come in and act and talk like normal human beings, the vast majority come out on the other side unscathed. But there are a few ways a candidate can virtually guarantee a less than ideal outcome. Full story

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