Thursday, August 02, 2007

2007 Races: August Edition

Kentucky Governor:

With the national media focused on Presidential politics, it is tough to be exposed to much news on the three Gubernatorial races for this year during this period before Labor Day.

All that those of us in other states seem to be able to go on are polling results. In the Bluegrass State, there are conflicting results. Survey USA shows the Democrat nominee, former Lt. Governor Steve Beshear continuing to hold a large lead over embattled incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher, though the race is at least a few points closer. Another poll from a Kentucky firm shows Beshear’s lead over Fletcher to be very small, with a high number of undecided voters. The reason that seemed to be cited for that result were the fact that the Kentucky Legislature, controlled by the Democrats, at least in the State House, had fallen in esteem and that could potentially firm up support for Fletcher.

In the meantime, Beshear remains the favorite, but these two very different polling results still make it hard to gage just how much ground Fletcher needs to make up.

August rating: Leans Democrat

Louisiana Governor:

Not much appears to be new since a month ago, at least in the Governors’ race. Louisiana politics appeared to be thrown for a loop for about a week when Republican Senator David Vitter admitted he had committed a “very serious sin” in relation to prostitution several years ago. For a time, there was some speculation that Vitter would be forced to step down, and that associates of the leading Republican candidate, Congressman Bobby Jindal, who has been an ally of Vitter, were conspiring to get him to leave office. However, Vitter appears to have weathered that storm, and Jindal, still seems in very good shape to win the Governorship. The most recent poll shows him with 52% of the overall vote, which would allow him to take the office without the need of a runoff. State Senator Walter Boasso, the leading Democrat has taken some solace over the fact that he had moved up from 6% to 21% in the same poll. Needless to say, Democrats will be praying to force Jindal into a runoff and then would hoping for several breaks.

August rating: Likely Republican

Mississippi Governor:

Heavily favored GOP Governor Haley Barbour appeared to take a verbal jab at his likely Democrat opponent, trial attorney John Arthur Eaves Jr, but saying something to the effect that the First Lady of Mississippi is his starter wife, the mother of his kids, and his trophy wife, all rolled into one. The Democrats’ primary for Governor will be next Tuesday, and if a runoff is needed, it will take place on August 28th.

August rating: Safe Republican