2011 Governors Races - August 2011 Update

Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and West Virginia are electing governors in 2011, but the contests look to be competitive in only two states. In Louisiana and Mississippi, no strong Democratic candidate has emerged and there is no sign that the Democratic Governors Association has these two southern states on their radar for 2011. In Kentucky, the incumbent appears to be on track for an easy re-election. West Virginia's contest is still volatile, with the GOP candidate closing the gap in recent polls.

Kentucky

Projection: Likely Democratic

Snapshot: Democrat Steve Bashear is seeking re-election; Kentucky Senate President David Williams is the Republican challenger.

Political Landscape: Incumbent Beshear is well financed, and is widening his lead on Williams, who may need to rehabilitate his image following allegations of gambling.

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West Virginia

Projection: Likely Democratic

Snapshot: Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor, is seeking re-election; Businessman Bill Maloney is the GOP challenger.

Political Landscape: Polling indicates that Tomblin has a sizeable lead over Maloney. But Maloney, a political unknown, has been gaining significant ground. This race has caught the attention of the Democratic Governors Association, and could be a real pick-up opportunity for the GOP in October if Maloney can continue on his current trajectory.

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Louisiana

Projection: Solid Republican

Snapshot: Republican Bobby Jindal is seeking re-election; No leading challenger has emerged from a pack of Democratic candidates.

Political Landscape: With no credible challenger, it appears that incumbent Bobby Jindal will easily win a second term in the Pelican State’s jungle primary format.

Mississippi

Projection: Solid Republican

Snapshot: Incumbent Governor Haley Barbour is term-limited; Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant is the GOP nominee. Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny Dupree and Bill Luckett will meet in an Aug. 23rd runoff to determine the Democratic nominee.

Political Landscape: While the Democratic nomination has yet to be determined, national Democratic organizations have shied away from this race, thinking that either GOP frontrunner is likely to win by a significant margin.

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published this page in In The News 2011-08-03 09:09:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy