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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

VT-Gov: Douglas With a Big Lead

Posted by DavidNYC

Jim Douglas, the Republican Governor of Vermont, holds a large lead over his Democratic opponent, former state Sen. Scudder Parker, according to Rasmussen (likely voters, no trendlines):

Parker: 31
Douglas: 54
Undecided: 11
(MoE: 4.5%)

Frustrating, given how Democratic Vermont usually is. It's hard for me to see how Parker might break through at this point - Douglas is very popular (65-26 approval rating, good for 8th out of 50, according to SUSA). And ethics scandals currently devastating the national GOP are likely to leave most Republican state officials in the clear. I hate to be a pessimist, but barring some unforeseeable major changes, the VT governor's mansion may well be out of reach for us this year. Fortunately, the governor only gets to serve a two-year term, so we'll get another crack at Douglas before long.

Meanwhile, independent Bernie Sanders is cruising in his bid to replace Sen. Jim Jeffords. So it looks like the House race will be Vermont's most interesting election this year. Sanders, by the way, is backing Democrat Peter Welch, and is advising left-wing third party candidates to avoid jumping into the race.

Posted at 10:16 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Vermont | Technorati

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The Democrats have supermajorities in the Legislatures of most of these New England states, making their Republican Governors little more than figureheads. The only state I'm worried about is Maine, since Baldacci is vulnerable and both Houses are pretty evenly divided.

The 2010 gubernatorial elections are the most important since those Governors will be positioned to draw district lines after the next census. With that in mind, an extremely successful 2006 and 2008 cycle could position the Dems for corrections in 2010, which would really handicap our long-term competitiveness. I'm not saying I want the Dems to lose in '06 and '08, but successful Democratic Governors and Legislatures will have to carefully calibrate their moves to keep from being voted out four years down the road and thus allow Republicans to gerrymander their way to a permanent majority the way they probably did in 2000.

Posted by: Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 10, 2006 11:01 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Actually, the Governors would be in a position to approve district lines in 2011/2012.

The legislatures draw the districts in most states. Not the Governor.

The Northeastern states where the district lines will be important in 2011 are Pennsylvania and New York.

Which is why it's important to follow Rendell up with another Democrat, so we'd either have (a) a Democratic governor to veto Republican plans, forcing a court to redraw the lines or (b) a Democratic Governor and a Democratic legislature.

Connecticut might have some fun with redistricting.

But Rhode Island, Maine, and New Hampshire don't do much messing around with their district lines. In fact, Maine draws their districts after the 2012 elections (which could be illegal)

Posted by: RBH [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 11, 2006 09:09 AM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

One thing down the road that we should keep our eye on is a possible 2010 Douglas Candidacy for Senate. (By than i think Leahy will retire.) In which case it could prove very difficult to hang on to. So it would be best if we could defeat Douglas this year to take the Mansion and to end any Douglas 2010 hopes.

Posted by: D in FL. [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 11, 2006 04:46 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment