Politics

TheDC Election Outlook: Gubernatorial races heating up in homestretch

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Heading into the last couple days of the 2010 midterm election season, Republicans are likely to pick up several statehouses all over the country.

Real Clear Politics projections show 12 governorships are either likely to be picked up by the GOP or leaning in Republicans’ favor, with only 5 leaning to or likely to flip to a Democrat.

The party with the governorship in each state has a large advantage when redrawing congressional district lines, so the party that picks up each gubernatorial race will have a big influence on the congressional landscape for the next decade.

Ohio

Though former Republican Congressman and Fox News host John Kasich looked to have been pulling way ahead of Democrat incumbent Ted Strickland in mid-October, more recent polling shows Strickland closing the gap.

Kasich is only polling, according the Real Clear Politics average, 3 points ahead of Strickland.

Strickland has run negative campaign ads, which didn’t, until recently, look like they were going to have much of an effect on the race.

Connecticut

Republican Tom Foley appears to have closed the gap in the Connecticut governor’s race with Democrat Dan Malloy.

At the beginning of September, Foley was 13 points behind, but he has steadily climbed back into the race. Foley tied with Malloy in a CT Capitol Report/MRG poll early last week and was 2 points ahead of the Democrat in a Public Policy Polling poll late last week.

Florida

Democrat Alex Sink’s debate debacle in which a staffer prepared her for an upcoming question with an iPad on a television commercial break may prove to be the breaking point in the Sunshine State.

Sink, who’s running against Republican businessman Rick Scott, is trailing in the Real Clear Politics average now by 1.7 points.

Sink has tried to position herself as far from President Barack Obama as possible, focusing on what she calls fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets.

Scott, the former CEO of Columbia/HCA and founder of Solantic walk-in health clinics, is running a large part of his campaign against Obama’s health care reform.

California

It’ll take a lot for Republican Meg Whitman to vault herself back up in this race against Democrat Jerry Brown. Whitman has held a couple of leads in polls over the race, but wasn’t able to sustain momentum.

Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, is polling 6.4 points behind Brown, according to the Real Clear Politics average, and hasn’t seen a lead since mid-September.

Minnesota

Independent Tom Horner, formerly of the GOP, is keeping this race close, even though Democrat Mark Dayton still leads Republican Tom Emmer and Horner.

Dayton, at 41.6 points, has a 5.2-point lead over Emmer, who has 36.4 points, according to the Real Clear Politics average. Horner is trailing both by double digits, polling at 12.4 percent.

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