Texans are known for their social and fiscal conservatism. Rick Perry has been the incumbent Governor since George W. Bush’s election as President in 2001. But demographic changes have seen areas north of the Rio Grande slowly turn blue. The Lone Star State has not elected a Democrat to state-wide office in 20 years. Can they turn the tide in 2014, and find a successor to the Democratic legacy of Lyndon Johnson and Ann Richards?
The desire of incumbant Democratic governor Christine Gregoire to run for re-election, as well for her Republican rival, Dino Rossi, from 2004, who lost by 129 votes in a third manual count, to once again challenge her, leads to a dominant theme in this election. But can other challengers from the two main parties, and even Third Party and non-partisan candidates, make an impact this election? Or will it retread (or reverse) 2004’s path?
“Bill Ritter trounced his Republican opponent to win Colorados governorship in 2006, but now in a state that has been trending Democratic and even hosted the partys national convention last year, the incumbent Democrat may be facing problems in his 2010 reelection bid. This race will be all about the economy and a referendum on the moderate incumbents policies”
“With Corzine’s popularity flagging, and the political mood in the country slowly coming to terms with the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election, things don’t look good in New Jersey. With fresh young Republicans rising to face a tired and old Democratic establishment, who will bring the bloom back to the Garden State?”
“Having had a Democratic Governor since the new millennium, Virginia with the expansion of Metro DC has become increasingly Democratic in nature. A new swing state, which voted Obama in ’08, still holds pockets of conservative values voters in the rural areas. In 2009, who will win out?”
“The global economic slowdown has hit Michigan hard. With unemployment skyrocketing, even General Motors, Detroit’s biggest name has gone bust. Can a new President save an unpopular State Democratic Party, or will the Republicans win big back in Michigan?”
From the scenario designer: “Little Rhody, the home of the American Industrial Revolution, is regarded as a solidly Democratic state. However, for the last eight years the Republicans have held the Governorship of the Ocean State, and it is top of the Democrats’ target list with a field of candidates vying for position. But will Chafee, the unseated liberal Republican Senator and favourite son upset everyone’s chances? “
From the scenario designer: “The State who’s history established the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ is looking for a new Governor. The Democrats, fairing very well in representation despite the conservative slant of the state are hoping to hold on to their southern prize, but can the Republicans recapture the Volunteer State?”