Monday, October 03, 2011

2011 Gubernatorial Races- October Update

Not a lot of drama or much in the way of changes for most of these under the radar contests.


Democrat Steve Beshear looks easily on his way to a second term in Frankfort. The Commonwealth may be loath to send any Democrat to Washington D.C. these days, but with rare exception, the people there tend to favor electing Democrats to statewide constitutional office. Beshear's likely landslide reelection can be attributed to the old axiom "all politics is local."

Beshear even managed to skip out last week on a debate with his Republican opponent David Williams and Independent Gatewood Galbraith, who might flirt with double digits come the November voting.

With the most recent polling showing Williams failing to even reach 30 percent, I will have to change this month's rating.

October rating: Safe Democrat

Williams campaign link:


With the filing deadline having come and gone, only four minor Democrat candidates and a small handful of Independents will be on the ballot against first term Republican incumbent Bobby Jindal, who last month endorsed his colleague from a neighboring state, Rick Perry for the Presidency.

Come October 22, Jindal should be able to easily pass the 50% mark needed for reeelction. If by some crazy occurrence, he does not, he would obviously still be a safe choice in a November runoff.

October rating: Safe Republican -Likely Final Prediction

Jindal campaign link:


I haven't seen or heard much about this contest in the past month, which indicates to me that Republican Phil Bryant remains on track to defeat Democrat Johnny DuPree in this southern GOP bastion. The most competitive contests in the state, like Kentucky and Louisiana appear to be down ballot for the constitutional offices.

October rating: Likely Republican

Bryant campaign link:

West Virginia:

If there is any Gubernatorial contest this year that may produce suspense, it would have to be in the Mountaineer State, which will hold it's special election tomorrow.

As of last month, acting incumbent Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the Democrat was though to have a hefty lead over GOP challenger Bill Maloney, but that may no longer be the case.

While West Virginia sees Democrats with a traditional massive voter registration edge, the state is seen as quite anti-Obama and could be in the mood to "send a message. to his party." After I first looked at this race in September, Democrat affiliated polls were released showing Tomblin holding a lead of only 6-10 points. This morning, the Democrat leaning Public Policy Polling released numbers where Tomblin had a lead of a single point. They showed the tremendous come from behind effect that has benefited Maloney, and stated that if he had a few more weeks to campaign, he might be in great shape to win.

The fact that the national parties are spending money on the race indicates that it is very much a contest. I definitely have to revise my rating of "Likely Democrat" from last month, and while I very much hope that it is at least a tossup where Maloney can win, I have to think about the Senate election in that state last year, where the Democrat did better than the final polling indicated, and under an abundance of caution:

October rating: Leans Democrat- Final Prediction

Maloney campaign link: