Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | August 08, 2003

KY, LA, MS governor races

With the political circus playing at a California or Texas location near you, it's hard to remember that there are other, regularly scheduled elections happening this year.

To be specific, we will see governor races in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. These three southern governorships will be hotly contested by both parties, who will be seeking "momentum" heading into the make-or-break 2004 election season. The DNC will also be test driving its newfangled voter database system, so we'll get an early indication whether McAuliffe's pet project has potential.

The latest polls, three months before the elections, are as follow:

KY is an open seat vacated by a scandal-plagued Democratic governor (adultery -- you know, the stuff that matters to Republicans, unless that GOoPer's name is "Ahnold").

Public Opinion Strategies (R) poll
June 18-19 (MoE +/- 4.4)

Ernie Fletcher (R): 46
Ben Chandler (D): 39
Undecided: 15

LA is an open seat being vacated by a Republican. Louisiana has about the weirdest electoral system in the nation. The general election is an open primary. If no candidate scores 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote getters face off in a December runoff. Given the latest polls, there is a real possibility that the runoff will feature two Democrats. This is almost certainly a (D) pickup.

As a bonus, a Democratic governor would put Mary Landrieu in play for the VP slot.

Southern Media & Opinion Research (non-partisan)
July 16-21 (MoE +/- 4)

Kathleen Blanco (D): 17
Bobby Jindal (R): 11
Richard Leyoub (D): 9
Buddy Leach (D): 6
Randy Ewing (D): 5
Dan Kyle (R): 4
Hunt Downer (R): 3
Jay Blossman (R): 3
Undecided: 41

Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group (D)
June 18-19 (MoE ?)

Kathleen Blanco (D): 21
Bobby Jindal (R): 11
Richard Leyoub (D): 10
Randy Ewing (D): 9
Buddy Leach (D): 6
Jay Blossman (R): 5
Dan Kyle (R): 3
Hunt Downer (R): 3
Undecided: 32

MS will be a nail-biter, with incumbent Democrat Ronnie Musgrove facing off against ex-RNC chair Haley Barbour. There hasn't been any recent polling on the race, but Barbour will clearly be a serious threat for the seat.
Mississippi State Univ. Poll
April 1-14 (MoE +/- 5.5)

Ronnie Musgrove (D): 49
Haley Barbour (R): 29
Undecided: 22

Update: from chrississippi in the message boards:
Musgrove did WAY better than anybody anticipated Tuesday . . . which ought to be music to everyone's ears. Musgrove brought in 386,234 votes, while Barbour--who has plastered the state with TV adds running nonstop since this spring--received only 146,394. The next day he immediately started hammering about turning out the vote this November--clearly something that didn't happen for the primary, despite the ton of groundwork he laid.

Barbara Blackmon is the reallly big news--winning the Dem Lt. Gov. primary, she's a respected African American legislator, and promises the opportunity to be the first black politician elected to state-wide office since Reconstruction. The AfrAm vote should be energized, if the Dems do their homework. (She's also running against the current Lt. Gov, Amy Tuck, who switched parties from Dem to Rethug last year---a lot of people, even Rethugs, don't have much respect for that move.)

Musgrove is going to benefit from Blackmon's candidacy, even though traditionally the Gov. and Lt. Gov aren't considered a "ticket." Barbour is already seeing the handwriting on that wall, and calling himself and Tuck the "conservative" ticket, vs. Musgrove and Blackmon the "liberal" ticket.

Posted August 08, 2003 12:31 AM


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