With the national focus directed to United States Senate races, we haven't had much chance to focus on governor's races. In fact, there are actually more close races in that realm, and just like the Senate races, they seem to be breaking for Republicans in the final days. Republicans lead in six of the nine races on the front page of the Real Clear Politics score sheet; one is dead even (see below).
Rather than get into all of them, I simply provide the latest from Real Clear Politics.
The governor Democrats would most like to defeat, Scott Walker, seems to have moved to a two point lead against Mary Burke in the Wisconisn average. A new poll by Marquette University has Walker up by seven points (50-43) and has so frightened Democrats that they've actually sent Barack Obama into the state to campaign for Burke to get out the minority vote in the Milwaukee area. A sign of desperation? We'll see.
Democrats' second biggest target, Rick Scott of Florida, trails Democrat (former Republican) Charlie Scott by 1.7 points. The race was virtually a dead heat with four polls showing ties until this week when two new polls have Crist ahead by three and four points (one was from Rasmussen, so be very suspect) . You know if a baseball or football game is well played, we say, "Both teams deserve to win." In the case of the Florida governor's race, many pundits say, "Both men deserve to lose." After watching a debate, not the one over Crist’s use a fan to cool the nether regions of his body, I tend to agree. If only they could both lose...if Scott ends up winning, chalk it up to the Obama effect.
The race I'm following most closely is in the highly Democratic state of Massachusetts. Martha Coakley, the Democrat who lost the "Ted Kennedy" Senate seat to Scott Brown a few years back, has actually fallen behind Charlie Baker, and it's not just by a point or two; it's actually three, and he was up nine points (45-36) in a recent Boston Globe poll. I’ve been following (and disliking) Coakley since she burst onto the national scene as prosecutor in the famous au pair trial.
Three other races in New England (Maine, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) remain close. New Hampshire may or may not be close depending on which poll you choose to believe.. After one poll early in the weed showed Walt Havenstein moving into a tie with Maggie Hassan, UNH released a poll showing her ahead by 15 points (52-37), but today ARG has her up by only two points (48-46). Go figure.
Maine is most interesting of all as unpopular Republican LePage, who today is trying to score political points on the Ebola nurse issue, could squeak by as two a Democrat and Independent split the remaining vote. LePage was actually up ten points in a recent Portland Press poll, but his lead is only 1.8 points in the RCP average.
The incumbent with the fun name, Democrat Hickenlooper of Colorado, is tied with Bob Beauprez. Wouldn’t it be something if Cory Gardner developed enough coattails in the Senate race against Tom Udall to carry Beauprez to victory?
In Georgia, Jimmie Carter's grandson now trails incumbent Nathan Deal by 2.6 points. Guess there'll be no malaise in the next four years in Georgia (sorry Jimmie--the devil made me say it).
Democrats are crowing about a big lead in Pennsylvania and they'll win there by double digits. (After all, the incumbent Republican was involved in the Joe Paterno Penn State scandal). Sam Brownback is down by a point in what will be a widely watched race in Kansas, but the plum in the Midwest, Illinois, is too close to call with Democrat Pat Quinn up by less than half a point, and Republicans seem poised to win Michigan.
After being called a "whore" by her Democratic opponent Vincent Sheheen (who then laughed about his slip of the tongue), Nikki Haley is expected to win big in South Carolina...hmmm...I didn't see HuffPost or The View picking up on that whore comment. I guess calling someone a "whore" is not nearly as bad as "ugly as sin". Hmmmm.
In Texas, Wendy Davis didn't help herself by depicting her opponent in a wheel chair; the queen of the Texas filibuster will lose, most likely by double digits but then, she was always destined to lose.
The funniest moment was in Vermont where Cris Ericson, one of the minor candidates (am I allowed to say she was wearing a funny hat?) referred to the Democratic incumbent Peter Shumlin as "uncivilized" due to his support for cutting back on hours of operation for interstate rest areas. (I've found a link to it; it's worth a look if you haven't seen it).
Only in Vermont, my native state!
You just can't make this stuff up. Uncivilized indeed! Hey, I've actually blogged from three of those rest areas; they're great. If some of these RCP numbers don’t quite synch, it’s because we’re in a state of flux, and they are constantly changing.