Of the open gubernatorial seats currently in Republican hands, I thought that those in Hawai’i, Rhode Island and Vermont were most likely to flip. All three are pretty much blue states, with none, save Vermont, having gone Republican in a presidential election since 1984.
Well, the state which has only elected one Democrat to the United States Senate in the past 150 years maybe be returning to its Republican roots. Republican Jim Douglas, elected to succeed Howard Dean in 2002, is stepping down. And now his Lieutenant Governor, “Brian Dubie leads all five of his potential Democratic opponents in the first Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 survey of this year’s race for governor in Vermont.” And, in each case, by comfortable margins.
Well, technically, Dubie is not Douglas’ lieutenant governor as the Governor and Lt. Governor are elected separately.
Now, this may not be a sign of the Green Mountain State returning to its pre-1980s form, but merely a reflection of the popularity of Mr. Dubie. Or that of Mr. Douglas who holds a 64% approval rating. (Memo to Governor Douglas: Patrick Leahy’s Senate seat is up this fall.)
In any case, here’s something from Vermont which corresponds to polling date from other states: “The Republican hopeful holds double-digit leads over all of the Democrats among voters not affiliated with either major political party.” In the Buckeye State, the Republican hopeful holds a 23-point lead over that state’s incumbent Democratic governor among independent voters.
Just like Massachusetts in January and New Jersey and Virginia in November, independents appear to be breaking the Republican ways in bellwethers like Ohio and left-leaners like Vermont.