Gubernatorial Ratings

March 19, 2010 · 12:36 AM EDT

We’ve changed our rating in six gubernatorial contests, four in the direction of the Republicans.

In two states, Arizona and Nevada, the GOP’s chances have gotten better with the expectation that Govs. Jan Brewer (AZ) and Jim Gibbons (NV) will not be their party’s nominee. Republican chances have also gotten better in Massachusetts, where Democratic Treasurer Tim Cahill’s run as an Independent is making unpopular Gov. Deval Patrick’s (D) reelection extremely challenging. In Oregon, former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) is looking like a mortal, even though Republicans still have an uphill climb.

We never expected Gov. David Paterson (D) to be the Democratic nominee in 2010, but his retirement announcement clears the path for popular Attorney General Andrew Cuomo (D). It’s interesting that Democratic Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy is switching parties to run as a Republican, but, at this stage, there is little reason to believe he’ll be a serious threat to Cuomo. And in Illinois, Gov. Pat Quinn’s (D) narrow primary victory doesn’t inspire confidence, but Republicans nominated Downstate legislator Bill Brady who has to work hard to avoid getting swamped in Chicago and the suburbs.

In the spirit of the NCAA tournament, two other states are on the bubble. It might be generous to Democrats to call Florida a Toss-Up since Attorney General Bill McCollum (R) has demonstrated a consistent lead in the polls. But he hasn’t been near 50%, so we’ll keep it there for now. And it might be generous to give Attorney General Jerry Brown (D) the advantage in California since he’s either even or trailing former eBay Executive Meg Whitman (R) in the polls. But the Democratic nature of the state might save him in the end.

Here are our latest gubernatorial ratings.
# – Moved benefiting Democrats
* - Moved benefiting Republicans

Lean Takeover (4 R, 7 D)
  • CA Open (Schwarzenegger, R)
  • CT Open (Rell, R)
  • HI Open (Lingle, R)
  • VT Open (Douglas, R)
  • Culver (D-IA)
  • KS Open (Parkinson, D)
  • MI Open (Granholm, D)
  • OK Open (Henry, D)
  • PA Open (Rendell, D)
  • TN Open (Bredesen, D)
  • WY Open (Freudenthal, D)
Lean Independent (1 R, 0 D)

  • RI Open (Carcieri, R)


Toss-Up (3 R, 4 D)

  • Brewer (R-AZ) *
  • FL Open (Crist, R)
  • MN Open (Pawlenty, R)
  • CO Open (Ritter, D)
  • Patrick (D-MA) *
  • Strickland (D-OH)
  • WI Open (Doyle, D)
Narrow Advantage for Incumbent Party (2 R, 3 D)
  • Perry (R-TX)
  • GA Open (Perdue, R)
  • O’Malley (D-MD)
  • Quinn (D-IL) #
  • ME Open (Baldacci, D)
Clear Advantage for Incumbent Party (3 R, 2 D)
  • Gibbons (R-NV) *
  • AL Open (Riley, R)
  • SC Open (Sanford, R)
  • NM Open (Richardson, D)
  • OR Open (Kulongoski, D) *
Currently Safe (5 R, 3 D)
  • Herbert (R-UT)
  • Heineman (R-NE)
  • Otter (R-ID)
  • Parnell (R-AK)
  • SD Open (Rounds, R)
  • Beebe (D-AR)
  • Lynch (D-NH)
  • NY Open (Paterson, D) #