Summary from Today's National Journal Hotline on Midwest Gubernatorial Elections
Their '02 victories crushed the GOP's grip on midwest GOVs. Four years later, those Dem GOVs (MI's Granholm , IL's Blagojevich and WI's Doyle) are fighting for their lives. Why??
-- First, the economy. The midwest is struggling to evolve from its manufacturing past. IN's Daniels and MO's Blunt, both GOPers, aren't up in '06, but they also aren't popular.
-- None of the three Dem GOVs has had friendly legislatures. It reminds us of how poorly cong Dems received a Dem president in '93 and '94.
-- These GOVs are also suffering from labor pains. Unlike in red states where Dem GOVs are safer, these three have a heavy union presence. All are struggling to balance labor and centrist policies.
-- Expectations? All three replaced GOPers who'd held power for more than a decade. Did they spend too much time re-populating state bureaucracies? Or, perhaps, not enough time?
-- In truth, it's all four factors, and they're turning the midwest into an unexpected ground zero for GOV races this fall.