Posted by | August 23, 2010 10:42 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

As November draws closer, more and more attention will be paid to the horse race aspects of the election.  Much will focus on the Senate and House, but gubernatorial contests are also crucial.  Governors will play a key role both in redistricting after the 2010 Census results are announced and in the 2012 election. Steve Singiser has a nice (if depressing) post up about these contests at Kos.

Aside from their critical importance, the gubernatorial races deserve the eye of the political junkie for another reason–they are bound to be top-flight political theatre. The cast of characters and villains is second to none (I see your Rand Paul, and raise you a Tom Tancredo!) [pictured], and the implementation of term limits in most states mean that more than half of the races on tap could easily be defined as competitive.

For Democratic supporters check out the “Lean Republican” races.  They include the traditional battlegrounds of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  Ohio and Wisconsin are rated as toss ups.  All are currently controlled by Democrats and my take is that the Dems will be lucky to retain two of them (I’d bet on Illinois and Wisconsin actually).   If I ran the DGA, I’d focus my efforts on these races as well as Florida and California (although how sweet would it be to unseat Rick Perry in Texas!)

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Copyright 2010 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.