Gubernatorial Race Analysis 2013-2014 (Archive)

Governor 2013-2014:

Safe DLikely DLeans DTossupLeans RLikely RSafe R
New York
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New Mexico
South Carolina
South Dakota

Alabama Safe R Incumbent Robert Bentley (R)

There may be some primary action on the GOP side, as not everyone's happy with Bentley.  Whatever happens, the Democratic Party will not figure prominently.

(2/5/14) Bentley has a primary challenger - Morgan County Commissioner Stacy Lee George - and a Democratic opponent - businessman and former pro baseball player Kevin Bass.  Meanwhile, former Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith, who rather prominently became a Republican in 2010, then an Independent after losing two successive Republican primaries, is likely to run ... as a Democrat. Say what you will about Charlie Crist, but at least he only went one way.

(6/11/14) Rasmussen has Bentley leading Griffith by 23.

(7/30/14) A NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll has Bentley beating Griffith by 28.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Bentley up 34.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Bentley up 37.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Bentley up 38.

Alaska Tossup Incumbent Sean Parnell (R)

It now seems more likely Parnell will not run for Senate, which probably means he's angling for another term.  In 2010 he won the largest percent of the vote ever in an Alaska gubernatorial race, so he should be fine.  The strongest Democratic candidate would be Ethan Berkowitz, who still maintains some residual popularity from his last two statewide runs, but even he'd start out down by 9.  Other Democrats PPP thinks might run are Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams, State Senator Joe Paskvan, and Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre.  Parnell leads the three by between 18 and 26.

(5/5/13) Parnell will run for reelection.  He has a primary challenger in the form of Valdez Mayor Bill Walker.  Walker ran last time around and finished second with 33%.

(7/30/13) Despite having an only so-so net approval rating - +2 - in the new PPP poll,  Parnell starts out with solid leads in the head-to-heads: 13 over Berkowitz, 21 over State Sen. Hollis French, 20 over State Rep. Les Gara, and 19 over State Sen. Bill Wielechowski.  He gets a majority in each matchup.

(8/5/13) Walker's thrown a wrench in things by deciding to run as an Independent.  It's possible he could split the vote with Parenll and let a strong Democrat like Berkowitz in; it's also possible he could end up splitting the Democrat or anti-Parnell vote a la Charlie Crist.  Or he could end up not having much of an effect, though Alaska is one of those states that is quite open to voting for third party candidates.  Without polling to back it up, I'm going to keep this Safe R.

(11/1/13) Parnell now has a declared Democratic challenger, Byron Mallott, a businessman who has served as the mayor of Juneau and president of the Alaska Federation of Natives.

(2/5/14) PPP has Parnell leading Mallot by 16 (41/25), with Walker taking 16% of the vote.

(5/14/14) PPP has Parnell leading by 10, with Walker taking 17% of the vote.

(7/7/14) An internal poll for the Walker campaign by Ivan Moore has Parnell at 42%, with 28% for Walker and 16% for Mallott.  In a two-way race, Parnell beat Walker by 1 and Mallott by 21, but Mallott doesn't seem interested in getting out of the race, even if that's what Walker would like.

(8/5/14) PPP has Parnell 37%, Mallott 22%, Walker 20%, so Parnell leads Mallott by 15 but trails Mallott-Walker combined by 5.  Against Mallott alone, he leads by 11, and against Walker alone he leads by 1.

(8/27/14) Rasmussen has Parnell leading Mallott by 11, 47% to 36%, though Walker is not listed as a choice.  11% are for 'other'.

(9/2/14) It looks like there will be an anti-Parnell independent unity ticket with Walker for Governor and Mallott for Lieutenant Governor.  The state Democratic Party will not put up a candidate and will instead officially support Walker/Mallott.  There are few issues to work out, but it seems like it will go forward.  Leans R, but this is definitely moving competitive.

(9/17/14) The first post-unity ticket poll, from Hays Research Group for the AFL-CIO, has Walker beating Parnell by 7.  While this doesn't look good for Parnell, I'll wait for more polls (there should be one from PPP coming out next week) before changing the rating.

(9/23/14) PPP has Walker up 1 with third parties and up 4 without them.

(9/29/14) The Walker/Mallott ticket has survived one legal challenge.

(9/29/14) Rasmussen has Walker up 5.  Tossup.

(10/8/14) FOX News has Parnell up 5.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Walker up 5.

(10/15/14) Rasmussen now has Walker up 9.

(10/23/14) Hm.  Sarah Palin is endorsing Walker.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Parnell up 3.

(11/1/14) Rasmussen has Walker up 7.

(11/3/14) PPP has Walker up 1 both with and without third parties.

Arizona Leans R Incumbent Jan Brewer (R) (Term-limited) (Probably)

Brewer wants another term but doesn't seem likely to get one thanks to the state's term limits law (she argues there's "ambiguity' because she took over halfway through her predecessor's term).  Secretary of State Ken Bennett is already exploring on the Republican side, and seems to be the current frontrunner.  The primaries on both sides could end up being long and bloody; on the Republican side former Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman's already declared, and 2012 Senate candidate Wil Cardon, Treasurer Doug Ducey, AG Tom Horne, Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, and State Senate President Steve Pierce talked about; and on the Democratic side 2012 Senate nominee Richard Carmona, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, and Neil Guiliano, another former Mayor of Tempe, are rumored.

(4/8/13) Democrats probably lost their best chance now that Carmona won't run.

(4/29/13) Businessman Fred DuVal seems to be snapping up support on the Democratic side.

(5/25/13) State Senator Al Melvin and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas are running in the Republican primary.  Neither look like they'll be a big player in the race.

(7/29/13) Ducey has set up an exploratory committee.  Meanwhile, State Rep. Chad Campbell is a possible Democratic candidate and, according to a new poll, beats DuVal 31-18 in a primary (the link provided is subscription-only.  I don't have a subscription, so I'm relying on what Wikipedia says the poll says, which is usually - but not always - accurate).

(8/21/13) GoDaddy General Counsel Christine Jones has jumped in on the Republican side, while Democrats are coalescing around DuVal.

(9/18/13) Campbell out.

(9/19/13) Hallman out.

(11/13/13) Bennett in.

(12/15/13) There's not much surprising in this Susquehanna poll.  Bennett leads for the Republican nomination, but it's a fairly wide open race.  Bennett and Ducey lead DuVal, but not by too much.

(1/5/14) Well, this maybe, possibly, throws a wrench in things - Steven Seagal is "remotely considering" a run.

(1/9/14) Smith in.

(1/23/14) Another candidate (semi) out of the blue - former Rep. (from California) Frank Riggs.

(2/9/14) New poll out from the Behavior Research Center.  The Democratic primary is fairly wide open, with DuVal leading Ron Cavanaugh 18%-12%. Meanwhile, Jones 'leads' the Republican primary with 8%, with 7% for Smith and Thomas, 6% for Bennett, 2% for Ducey, and 1% for Melvin.  In the general, DuVal leads Smith by 3 and Ducey by 2, and trails Bennett by 4, though in all cases a majority are undecided. Meanwhile, there's now an eight Republican candidate - Dr. John Molina.

(3/4/14) New poll out from PPP.  All the general election matchups are close - DuVal trails Smith by 6, Bennett by 4, and leads Ducey by 1, Molina by 3, Riggs and Jones by 4, and Melvin and Thomas by 5 - though with the exception of DuVal against Thomas, no candidate gets 40 or above.  In most of the head-to-heads, many more Republicans than Democrats are undecided, giving the edge to Republicans.  Meanwhile, Bennett "leads" the Republican primary with 20%, to 16% for Jones, 12% for Smith, 9% for Thomas, 6% for Ducey, and 1% each for Riggs, Melvin, and Molina.

(3/13/14) Well, Brewer has given up trying to get another term.

(4/7/14) Rick Santorum has endorsed Riggs.

(5/15/14) Scott Walker is endorsing Ducey.

(5/23/14) One Republican headache out of the way - Joe Arpaio isn't running.

(5/31/14) Magellan has Ducey 27%, Bennett 13%, Jones and Smith 12%, Thomas 6%, Melvin and Riggs 1%.

(7/1/14) Melvin out.

(7/2/14) January-to-May finance reports are out.  Smith and Ducey have a huge lead in donations, with about $900,000 each.  Most of Jones' money came from $1.6 million in self-financing, and most of Bennett and Thomas' money came from $754,000 apiece in public financing.  DuVal also raised around $900,000 and has a little over a million in cash on hand.

(7/10/14) A pro-Jones PAC is putting up over $750,000 in ads against Ducey.

(7/25/14) Harper has Ducey and Jones narrowly on top with 23% and 21% respectively; Smith, Bennett, and Thomas well behind with 13%, 12%, and 7%; and Riggs bumping along the bottom with 1%.

(7/30/14) A NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll has Jones beating DuVal by 11.

(7/30/14) Ted Cruz is supporting Ducey.

(7/31/14) The Behavioral Research Center has Jones 17%, Ducey 13%, Bennett 10%, Smith 8%, Riggs 2%, Thomas 0%, and an impressive 50% undecided (with four major candidates and the primary less than a month away).

(8/4/14) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is endorsing Ducey.

(8/7/14) At the same time Sarah Palin supports Ducey, Jan Brewer supports Smith.

(8/8/14) Another Ducey endorsement: Barry Goldwater Jr.

(8/23/14) Harper has a solid Ducey lead with 32%, with 19% for Smith, 16% for Jones, 14% for Bennett, 7% for Thomas, and 2% for Riggs.

(8/27/14) Ducey is the Republican nominee.  PPP on behalf of the liberal group Progress Now Arizona has Ducey and DuVal tied with 35% each.

(8/29/14) Hardly helpful in a marginally Republican race; Ducey's rivals are taking their own sweet time backing him.

(8/31/14) Rasmussen also has Ducey and DuVal tied, this time with 40% each.

(9/5/14) Now all of Ducey's former opponents are backing him.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ducey up 1.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ducey up 11.

(10/21/14) Rasmussen has Ducey up 5.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ducey up 10.

Arkansas Leans R Incumbent Mike Beebe (D) (Term-limited)

The fields have shaped up remarkably quickly here.  Former Lt. Gov. Bill Halter seems to be the Democratic nominee since AG Dustin McDaniel withdrew after admitting to an affair.  The Republican primary is shaping up to be a match between 2006 nominee Asa Hutchinson and 2010 Senate candidate Curtis Coleman, with the edge going to Hutchinson.  It's difficult to get a real handle on the race because polling's been sparse - one post-affair poll showed McDaniel, presumed to be the stronger D candidate, down 13 against Hutchinson, but nothing for Halter or Coleman.

(3/17/13) A new poll has Hutchinson at 47% and up 16 against Halter.  They also tested former Rep. Mike Ross, who's down five at (43-38).  If Ross declines I'm moving this to Likely R.

(4/29/13) Ross appears to be in.  On to the primary!

(6/25/13) State Rep. Debra Hobbs is running as a Republican.  Probably still advantage Hutchinson.

(7/16/13) Ross smashes all opponents in this quarter's fundraising.

(7/29/13) Halter's out.  With the way cleared for Ross, I think the polls justify moving this to a Tossup/Adv. Hutchison.

(8/7/13) A new poll has Hutchinson leading by 8 with 46%, though he's much better known than Ross.

(10/19/13) Ross left Hutchinson in the dust a second time on fundraising.

(10/27/13) Talk Business Arkansas has Hutchinson with a small 4-point lead.

(12/16/13) Hutchinson is now down to a 1-point lead, according to PPP.  One problem for Hutchinson is that Ross only takes 60% of the black vote in the poll.  He's likely to get a much higher percentage on election day, even though African Americans aren't a terribly big segment of the electorate (so it might not be worth too many percentage points).

(1/13/14) Hutchinson had decent fundraising this quarter, though it's still well below what Ross has been bringing in.

(2/9/14) Rasmussen now has Ross beating Hutchinson by 3, 44-41.

(2/20/14) Impact Management Group has the race tied.  Pure Tossup.

(4/9/14) Talk Business has Ross leading by 1, 44-43.

(4/16/14) Both Ross and Hutchinson's fundraising is down this quarter, with about $200,000 each (Ross slightly outraised Hutchinson).

(4/30/14) PPP has Hutchinson leading by 8 in the general and 39 in the primary.

(5/14/14) Hutchinson has $900,000 cash on hand, while Ross has just under $2 million.

(5/30/14) Rasmussen has Hutchinson leading by 7.

(7/16/14) Ross and Hutchinson had similar June fundraising and cash on hand.

(7/30/14) A NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll has Hutchinson beating Ross by 4.

(7/31/14) Talk Business has Hutchinson leading by 5.

(8/5/14) PPP has Hutchinson leading by 5.

(8/19/14) Hutchinson now has a solid $500,000 lead in cash-on-hand.

(8/29/14) As a contrast to the recent polls, Rasmussen has Ross leading by 2.

(9/8/14) NBC/Marist has Hutchinson up 9.  I think this is worth moving to Leans R.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hutchinson up 7.

(9/16/14) Hutchinson outraised Ross last month, and has more cash-on-hand.

(9/23/14) PPP has Hutchinson up 6 both with and without third parties included.

(9/24/14) Suffolk University / USA Today has Hutchinson up 1.

(10/8/14) FOX News has Hutchinson up 9.

(10/18/14) Rasmussen has Hutchinson up 2.

(10/22/14) Talk Business / Hendrix College has Hutchinson up 8.

(10/26/14) NBC/Marist has Hutchinson up 3.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hutchinson up 9.

(10/30/14) The University of Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas Poll has Hutchinson up 11.

(11/1/14) PPP has Hutchinson up 10 with third parties and up 9 without them.

California Safe D Incumbent Jerry Brown (D)

Brown appears to want another term, but the state's new blanket primary law makes things difficult, as an ambitious Democrat like AG Kamala Harris or Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom could end up facing Brown in the general.  For the Republicans, state assemblyman Tim Donnelly has already declared, which has some worried he could affect downballot races, and hoping former Treasury Department official Neel Kashkari gets in.

(4/4/13) Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado is in.  He's probably a lot less likely to be a disaster than Donnelly, though having crossed party lines to vote for a tax increase won't help him among the base, so Donnelly might still come out ahead in the blanket primary (or another Democrat, or Brown could win a majority).

(5/30/13) A PPIC poll finds Brown with a pretty solid approval rating.

(6/18/13) Outgoing LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says he wants to run for Governor.  No year is specified.

(7/24/13) Brown has a +18 net approval rating and Californians favor his reelection by 5 points.

(9/17/13) Maldonado's campaign has been running into some trouble.  The only way this matters is if it affects the results of the jungle primary.

(11/13/13) Kashkari is getting close to a run.

(12/5/13) Brown isn't under any threat, according to two new polls.  The Field Poll has 52% for Brown, while Maldonado takes second with 11%, with 9% for Donnelly and 3% for Kashkari.  The PPIC statewide survey has Brown taking 46% to Donnelly's 16%, and Maldonado's 7%.

(1/17/13) Maldonado out.

(1/21/14) Kashkari in.

(2/6/14) Kashkari raised an impressive $976,000 in his first two weeks in the race.  Of course, he's going to need a lot more than that to win.

(3/29/14) PPIC has Donnelly placing second, with 10% to 2% for Kashkari and Laguna Hills mayor Andrew Blount.

(4/9/14) The Field Poll has Donnelly again taking second, with 17% to 4% for Blount and just 3% for Kashkari.

(4/28/14) Similar results from PPIC: Donnelly 9%, Blount 3%, Kashkari 2%.

(4/29/14) Kashkari has endorsements from Mitt Romney, Darrell Issa, and former Gov. Pete Wilson.

(4/30/14) Blount out.

(5/1/14) Jeb Bush is endorsing Kashkari.

(5/19/14) Kashkari has put $2 million of his own money in the race.

(5/22/14) SurveyUSA has Donnelly 18%, Kashkari 11%, while PPIC has Donnelly 15%, Kashkari 10%.

(6/2/14) The first poll to have Kashkari leading - from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner - is out.  Kashkari gets 18% of likely voters, while Donnelly gets 13%.  This follows Kashkari's recent surge.

(6/4/14) It's Kashkari vs. Brown.  Either way, Brown should win easily, but Kashkari is probably less likely to make self-destructive mistakes.

(6/25/14) No surprises, the Field Poll has Brown leading by 20.

(7/24/14) PPIC has him up 19.

(7/30/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has him up 24.

(9/4/14) The Field Poll has Brown up 16.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 18.

(9/13/14) Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has Brown up 25.

(9/24/14) PPIC has Brown up 21.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 20.

(10/23/14) PPIC has Brown up 16.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 18.

(11/2/14) The LA Times has Brown up 19.

Colorado Tossup Incumbent John Hickenlooper (D)

Hickenlooper's approval ratings are through the roof, and he's steered a fairly moderate course.

(4/18/13) Hickenlooper's approval has taken a bit of a hit and is now at "only" +9.  He still leads all major Republican possibilities considerably.  Former Rep. Bob Beauprez leads the pack by just being down 7.  All others trail by double digits.  I'm downgrading this to Likely D, but it'll still be a difficult pickup for Republicans.

(5/21/13) Former Cranston (R.I.) Mayor Steve Laffey will run as a Republican.  Also, the state GOP expects to have "as many as five" candidates running: possibilities include State Sen. Greg Brophy, AG John Suthers, Sec. of State Scott Gessler, and former Rep. Tom Tancredo, who was the de facto Republican nominee last time around, but running on the Constitution Party line.

(5/23/13) Tancredo will officially announce soon, and Gessler has said he will decide by next week whether he will run for Governor.

(5/24/13) Gessler's campaign has filed a campaign affidavit for governor; necessary because his campaign officially confirmed he was thinking about the race.

(5/28/13) Well, that didn't take long.  Laffey out.

(5/28/13) Nate Silver's average of the four most recent polls puts Hickenlooper's approval at a much healthier +32.

(5/30/13) Some Republicans are worried about Tancredo.

(5/31/13) Gessler is moving towards a campaign.  He may not be a better candidate than Tancredo; he's had a number of scandals and his net favorability is actually lower: -20, compared with Tancredo's -15.

(6/4/13) Hickenlooper is not as strong as he was six months ago, but still quite formidable.  It looks like having the Democratic legislature in place and pushing liberal bills is having an effect after all - there may also be a high profile recall fight over gun control.  All of this makes Hickenlooper a more polarizing figure, and though it may not threaten him too much, it might mean he'll have a closer and more expensive race than originally thought.

(6/13/13) Or maybe it will threaten Hickenlooper a lot, if this Quinnipiac poll is any indication.  He leads Tancredo by 1, Gessler by 2, and Brophy by 6 and is stuck in the low forties for vote share.  His net approval is now just +4, and voters only say he deserves reelection by 1 point.  All three Republicans have narrowly positive favorability ratings.  Brophy and Gessler have 14% and 26% name recognition respectively, so Hickenlooper looks like he now has sort of the same problem as Snyder in Michigan - a lot of voters in both cases appear to really dislike the incumbent and thus will vote for their opponent basically automatically.  It's still possible Hickenlooper's opponents could overreach - for example, through talk of secession from the state.  According to the poll, he's also hurt himself on the issue of the death penalty.  Though the questions are, I think, at least sort of leading, a very large majority support the death penalty and consider it at least somewhat important to their vote.  I'll make this Leans D for now, but it looks like Republicans have had another competitive seat dropped in their laps.

(6/14/13) Suthers isn't running, according to this article.

(6/27/13) Arapahoe County DA George Bauchler is thinking about running.  I can't imagine he'd be that strong of a candidate.

(7/12/13) Gessler's released an internal poll showing him down by one.  Internal polls tend to favor the person conducting them, but it's hard for that to be wrong enough to justify moving this back up to Likely D.

(7/15/13) Brophy in.  He's hurt by low name recognition, but might ultimately be a better statewide candidate than Tancredo or Gessler because they're so controversial.

(8/13/13) Josh Fox, producer of the anti-fracking Gasland series of documentaries has called for a primary challenger to Hickenlooper from the left on the issue of fracking.  Hickenlooper has been quite moderate on the subject, at one point drinking a glass of fracking fluid to prove it's safe.

(8/23/13) This new Quinnipiac poll has Hickenlooper in a sort of similar position as before.  His net approval is hovering near zero and his reelect numbers are near equal.  He leads Tancredo by 1, and the poorly-known Gessler and Brophy by 5 and 7.  The biggest difference here is that voters have gotten more decided and Hickenlooper is in the upper-mid forties instead of low forties.

(9/13/13) I apologize for not writing about the recalls yet, but I was busy with classes over the last couple of days.  For those who haven't been following things, on Tuesday night, 2 Democratic State Senators - Angela Giron and Senate President John Morse - were recalled in Democratic-leaning districts in favor of Republicans George Rivera and Bernie Herpin.  The recent gun-control bills were a major issue, though not the only one.  At the very least, this ought to be concerning to Hickenlooper.  Giron was unexpectedly recalled by a 12-point margin, with Independents supporting recall by 26 points and 33% of Democrats supporting it.  PPP's poll of the race found Hickenlooper's net approval in the district to be -5, and found him tied with Tancredo and 42% each. According to the crosstabs, his net approval is -11 among Independents and +26 among Democrats (a very poor showing).  Tancredo takes Independents by 6 and gets 25% of Democrats.  Both Giron's and Morse's districts lean fairly significantly more Democratic than the rest of the state.  If those numbers from the poll hold up statewide, Hickenlooper would be in trouble.  Fortunately for him, they probably won't.  Pueblo is more Democratic than the state as a whole, but the Democrats there tend to be blue-collar voters more likely to defect from the party over issues like this than Democrats statewide.  Then there's Tancredo.  Hickenlooper's been the one taking the hits over the past few months, but once the election gets going, Tancredo's going to have to set himself up as an alternative, which will pose some problems for the Republicans.  Third, there will be a different electorate, with mail-in voting.  Giron's been going around saying she lost because of the lack of mail-in voting.  I find this absurd given the margin of her defeat, but it could flip a very close election.

(9/18/13) Gessler officially in in a very badly-timed announcement.

(11/20/13) Quinnipiac's newest poll is basically a repeat of their August results.

(12/6/13) PPP's results are similar to Quinnipiac's (a not-particularly-popular Hickenlooper narrowly leading a weak Republican field) with a couple of twists. Tancredo and Gessler trail by 8 and 7 respectively (former State Senator Mike Kopp also trails by 8).  Brophy, despite nearly having the lowest name recognition, performs the best, trailing by only 1 point.  Tancredo has a solid lead in the GOP primary (though a relatively small 34% of the vote).  Gessler takes a distant second with 15% and Brophy has 9%.

(2/6/14) Hickenlooper's improved some in the last two months, according to Quinnipiac's recent release.  A majority now approve of the job he's doing, and his leads over the Republicans have expanded to 10 points over Brophy, 9 over Kopp and Tancredo, and 6 over Gessler.

(2/26/14) Well, this is interesting.  Beauprez is thinking of running.  Tancredo has encouraged him to, though he might not leave the race even if Beauprez runs.  Beauprez running and Tancredo withdrawing would improve Republican chances, but it's worth remembering Beauprez didn't do that well last time he ran for Governor.

(3/3/14) Beauprez in.  He's probably a stronger candidate than the others, but without recent polling (given all that's happened here I imagine we should be getting some soon) I'm going to keep this Leans D.  And it's worth pointing out he may not make it out of the primary.

(3/11/14) Suthers is endorsing Beauprez.

(3/19/14) It looks like Hickenlooper is out of the worst of the danger.  By PPP, he leads Beauprez by 10, Gessler by 12, Tancredo by 14, Brophy by 15, and Kopp by 17, which is a better position than he was in all the way back in April last year, when he lead Beauprez by 7, Gessler by 10, and Tancredo by 11. Meanwhile, it's not clear Beauprez will make it out of the primary, which Tancredo leads with 24% to 20 for Beauprez and 18 for Gessler.  I'll keep this Leans D for now, but if it moves anywhere, it'll most likely be back to Likely D.

(4/13/14) Kopp, Gessler, Tancredo, and Beauprez qualified for the Republican primary ballot.

(4/23/14) Quinnipiac has Hickenlooper leading Tancredo by 7, Beauprez and Kopp by 9, and Gessler by 10.  His job approval is 15 points positive, and respondents say reelect by a 4-point margin.

(5/14/14) Mitt Romney is endorsing Beauprez.

(6/5/14) A Beauprez internal from Magellan has Tancredo 27%, Beauprez 25%, Gessler 13%, and Kopp 10%.

(6/17/14) The Denver Post reports two polls have Beauprez leading by 1, including a Beauprez internal.

(6/18/14) Hickenlooper is flattening all four Republican candidates in fundraising.

(6/25/14) Beauprez is the Republican nominee.  He's not a great candidate, but he isn't disastrous, and even if he loses, he should keep the collateral damage to a minimum.  Hickenlooper is still the favorite.

(7/2/14) Hm.  Rasmussen has Beauprez and Hickenlooper tied, an unexpectedly good result for Beauprez.

(7/15/14) NBC/Marist has Hickenlooper up six.

(7/16/14) Gravis has Hickenlooper up six, while Quinnipiac has him trailing by 1.

(7/22/14) PPP has Hickenlooper leading by 1.

(7/30/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Beauprez and Hickenlooper tied.  I still think Hickenlooper has the advantage, but I'm surprised at how close this appears to be.

(8/5/14) Hickenlooper has about a 3-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage, $770,000-to-$235,000, and outraised Beauprez by $100,000 last month, though Beauprez could be able to self-fund, as he did throughout the primary.

(9/8/14) NBC/Marist has Hickenlooper up 4.

(9/8/14) Rasmussen has Beauprez up 1.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has the race tied.

(9/12/14) SurveyUSA has Hickenlooper up 2.

(9/17/14) Hickenlooper again outraised Beauprez and has more cash-on-hand.  On the other hand, Quinnipiac's first likely voters poll has Beauprez up 10.

(9/18/14) USA Today / Suffolk has Hickenlooper up 2.

(9/21/14) Gravis has Beauprez up 5.

(10/4/14) Rasmussen has Hickenlooper up 4.

(10/8/14) FOX News has the race tied.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hickenlooper up 4.

(10/13/14) High Point University / SurveyUSA has Beauprez up 2.  Tossup.

(10/13/14) SurveyUSA for the Denver Post has Hickenlooper up 1.

(10/15/14) CNN/ORC has Hickenlooper up 1, while Quinnipiac has Beauprez up 4.

(10/21/14) PPP has Hickenlooper up 1 with third parties included, and the race tied without them.

(10/22/14) Monmouth has Hickenlooper up 7.

(10/22/14) USA Today / Suffolk has Beauprez up 2.

(10/22/14) A Reuters/Ipsos online poll has the race tied.

(10/23/14) Quinnipiac has Hickenlooper up 1.

(10/26/14) NBC/Marist has Hickenlooper up 5.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hickenlooper up 4.

(10/28/14) Rasmussen has Beauprez up 2.

(10/29/14) Quinnipiac has Beauprez up 5.

(10/31/14) SurveyUSA / the Denver Post and PPP for LCV have the race tied.

(11/1/14) YouGov has Hickenlooper up 2.

(11/3/14) PPP has the race tied with third parties included and Beauprez up 1 without them, while Quinnipiac has Beauprez up 2.

Connecticut Tossup Incumbent Dan Malloy (D)

Malloy had some very nasty approval ratings for a while, though they've improved post-Sandy and are now right-side-up, though still not great for a Democrat in a blue state.  2010 Republican nominee Tom Foley is already declared.  This race could be an upset.

(6/19/13) Continuing its recent streak of producing really good results for Republicans, Quinnipiac has Foley leading Malloy by 3 this morning.  Malloy's approval and reelect numbers are neither great nor disastrous, and the net results for all three hover around 0, but he's deep underwater on taxes, the budget, and the economy.  Perhaps more troubling for him, he leads three largely unknown Republicans - State Senate Minority Leander John McKinney, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, and State House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero - by single digits.  Leans D, given Connecticut's partisan lean.

(7/23/13) McKinney's in.  Foley's still the frontrunner.

(8/14/13) Boughton is expected to set up an exploratory committee soon.

(1/9/14) Boughton in.

(3/4/14) Quinnipiac has Foley with a solid lead in the Republican primary, and tying with Malloy in the general.

(5/9/14) Another Quinnipiac poll, same results.

(5/19/14) Foley, Boughton, and McKinney qualified for the primary ballot.

(5/27/14) Former State Rep. Jonathan Pelto is trying to start a third party bid.  If he manages to get a campaign started, Pelto could certainly act as a spoiler if this race is as close as last time, and could play a bigger role if (big if) he manages to get public financing.

(6/6/14) Looks like Pelto's in.  He's named a running mate, and is collecting signatures to appear on the ballot.

(6/19/14) Boughton out, supporting Foley.

(7/30/14) In the odd poll results department, the NYT/CBS/YouGov has Foley leading Malloy by 7.

(8/19/14) Foley is the Republican nominee.

(8/21/14) Rasmussen also has Foley up 7.

(8/25/14) In another indication of competitiveness, the DGA is putting up $1.25 million in ads.  I'm making this a Tossup.

(/10/14) Quinnipiac has Foley up 6 despite independent Tea Party activist Joe Visconti taking 7% - Visconti draws more from Democrats and Independents than Republicans, though his supporters do narrowly label Foley as their second choice.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Malloy up 1.

(10/6/14) PPP has Malloy up 8 with 9% for Visconti - without Visconti, Malloy is up 6.

(10/8/14) Quinnipiac has the race tied with 9% for Visconti.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has the race tied with 3% for Visconti.

(10/19/14) Rasmussen has Foley up 7.

(10/22/14) Quinnipiac has Malloy up 1 with 9% for Visconti, and the race tied without him.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has the race tied.

(10/29/14) Quinnipiac has the race tied with Visconti, and Foley up 1 without him.

(11/1/14) PPP has Malloy up 3 both with and without Visconti.

(11/2/14) Rasmussen has Malloy up 1.

(11/2/14) Visconti out, endorsing Foley, though I think he's still on the ballot.

(11/3/14) Interesting result out of Quinnipiac: a three-way race has Malloy up 1 with 8% for Visconti, while a two-way race has Malloy up 3.

Florida Tossup Incumbent Rick Scott (R)

I may be too optimistic in calling this one a tossup, as Scott's approvals are seriously underwater, and PPP has him trailing likely challenger and former (Republican) Gov. Charlie Crist by 14 points, though a different poll recently showed them tied.  A big x-factor is that Scott has pledged to throw $100 million into the race.  Big spending didn't appear to help Meg Whitman, but Crist has big liabilities, and Scott has the money to make sure everyone knows about them (one of the more inexplicable things about this race is that about half of Floridians view Crist favorably.  Who are these people?).

(3/13/13)  Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll unexpectedly resigns.  There was a probe into a nonprofit she represented alleged to be involved in illegal gambling.  So far as I can tell, she hasn't been officially implicated, but, to paraphrase Greg Corombos on today's Three Martini Lunch, when one abruptly resigns with no apparent health problems, it's usually not a good sign.  Electorally, this scandal will probably not make Scott happy, though at least Carroll was involved with the company before she joined his administration.  We'll have to see who he picks as successor.

(3/23/13)  In light of two recent polls showing that Scott is in deep trouble (PPP has him down 12 against Crist, Quinnipiac 16) and that Crist probably will not face primary trouble, I'm moving this to Leans D, though I still think we'll have to wait and see what happens once Scott gets that $100 million ad machine going.

(4/20/13) I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this Tampa Bay Times piece noting that a lot of top Democrats are beginning to worry about what I've been saying here: Crist has a lot of liabilities and Scott has a lot of money.

(4/29/13) Interestingly, according to Quinnipiac, Floridians by a 10-point margin think Crist's political evolution is a good thing.  This will blunt what was probably going to be the main Republican attack.

(6/1/13) Crist is moving towards a run.

(6/6/13) 2010 Dem nominee Alex Sink may be looking at another run.  Most polls show her losing pretty decisively to Crist in a primary.

(6/7/13) Terrence McCoy has '5 Reasons Charlie Crist Will Not Run For Governor'.  Interesting, but I disagree.  I can't comment on Reasons 3 or 4 except to say that 3 seems pretty minor.  But Reasons 1, 2, and 5 aren't accurate.  Contra 5, Crist is not all alone.  Those who've read earlier entries on this race know that poll show Crist has both good favorability ratings and dominance in a Democratic primary.  I wouldn't trust him, but for some reason a lot of Democrats do.  Per Reason 2, Crist has been all over the map.  That is true.  But, by the poll in (4/29/13), Floridians don't seem to care.  Reason 1 is absurd.  Yes, Crist has a lot of liabilities.  Yes, Scott has a lot of money.  But Crist starts with consistent double-digit leads in reputable polls.  The idea that a guy with a double digit lead who has liabilities the electorate does not necessarily consider liabilities will inevitably lose because his opponent will spend upwards of $100 million is lunacy.

(6/18/13) Better news for Scott in this new Quinnipiac poll.  He now trails Crist by 10, up from 16; and his net favorability and approval are virtually even, up from -13 each; his reelect numbers are still in the dumps but have improved 8 points since the previous poll.  Voters are now much more split on Crist's party switch, and only think it a good thing by 3 points.  I'll keep this Leans D, but Scott is better positioned than, say, Corbett in Pennsylvania, to recover from these numbers.

(6/25/13) Scott has drawn a primary challenge from Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce CEO Elizabeth Cuevas Neunder.  Scott might lose a primary but I doubt Cuevas Neunder can beat him.

(6/28/13) Upon further reflection, I think I'll move this back to Tossup, but qualify it as Advantage Crist.

(7/8/13) Quite apart from his ability to self-fund, Scott also has over $10 million in his reelection committee, and, given recent fundraising numbers ($8.6 million this year), will probably take in quite a lot before election day.

(8/21/13) Sink had hoped to make a decision by September 1st, but it may come later.

(9/12/13) Rich may get some help from Scott's guys, or at least that's what a comment from Scott adviser Tony Fabrizio seems to suggest.  This is a tactic that can have a huge payoff - Claire McCaskill's spent a good bit of money boosting Todd Akin in the 2012 Republican Senate primary.  If he won because of it, it's not a stretch to say that that won the race for her.  On the other hand, Akin was much more competitive for the Republican nomination there than Rich is in Florida.  While Akin was fairly consistently single digits behind the frontrunner, Rich is in single digits against a Crist who usually gets a majority. Meanwhile, while Rich does poll well behind Crist against Scott, a lot of that is probably due to name recognition.  Then again, she'd still probably be a weaker candidate.  Of course, Scott and his guys could simply be trying to cause Crist a bit of trouble by giving him a serious Democratic opponent who can attack him on flip-flopping and so on, which probably would be worth it.  Of course, there is one overriding consideration - if you're going to use underhanded tactics like this, don't tell people about it.

(9/20/13) Sink out.

(10/1/13) PPP has Scott still in a difficult position.  His net approval is -22, and he trails Crist by 12.

(10/9/13) Tampa Bay Times political editor Adam Smith suggests an interesting possibility.  Longtime (really longtime - 43 years) Republican congressman Bill Young, representing the 13th district, announced today he wouldn't seek reelection.  The district is knife's edge competitive - almost perfectly balanced between the two parties.  Smith suggests there is a longshot possibility Crist could switch to running there instead.

(10/22/13) A new University of North Florida poll has some interesting results.  Crist only leads Scott by 4, Scott leads Rich by 15, and Scott's approval rating is net positive at +7.  This is definitely the way Scott's numbers have been trending by Quinnipiac, if not PPP.

(10/26/13) Crist will announce on the fourth.  Meanwhile, he's having no trouble getting acceptance from Democrats; activists, voters, and establishment alike.

(11/1/13) Scott is already bringing out a big buy of ads.  But this is puny compared to what he's said he'll do.  By my calculations, if Scott does put $100 million of his own money, he has the capacity to put up more than 7 times that every single two-week period until election day.  Now, obviously, not all that money will going towards ads, but it's still a ton of them.

(11/1/13) Crist's in.

(11/16/13) But the Nelson-for-Governor rumors are still running.

(11/21/13) Scott is now down 7, according to Quinnipiac.  He's still not in a great position, but it's better than where he was earlier this year.  He's improved 9 points in Quinnipiac's polling since March.

(11/25/13) Beth Reinhard has a very good piece in National Journal about the danger Obama's falling approval poses to Crist.  Most important takeaway: by the latest Quinnipiac poll, Scott has a higher approval rating in Florida than Obama.

(1/15/14) Scott's announced his pick to replace Carroll as Lt. Gov.: former State House Majority Leader Carlos Lopez-Cantera.  The general consensus is that it's a good choice from a political perspective, and I have no argument with that.

(1/22/14) PPP has Crist down to a 2-point lead, 43-41.  Three things are driving the change: People don't like Crist very much (his favorability, at 36/46, isn't as bad as Scott's, but it's getting close), Republicans are coalescing around Scott (he gets 80% of Republicans, and Crist gets 14%, compared to 65% for Scott and 21% for Crist in their last poll), and Crist is losing Democrats (his share of their vote is down from 72% to 66%, and Scott's is up from 17% to 20%).

(1/24/14) Meanwhile, Crist is having some difficulty getting a campaign apparatus up and running.

(1/30/14) Quinnipiac has Crist beating Scott by 8.  Notably, they don't find the negative favorability for Crist that PPP did.

(2/6/14) Crist leads Scott by 7 in a new poll for the University of Florida.

(3/11/14) That PPP poll mentioned a few entries up is looking more and more of an outlier, with a number of business polls finding Crist up 7 to 10 points statewide, and many bad local poll results.

(3/18/14) On the other hand, UNF has Crist leading by 1.

(4/9/14) Saint Leo University has Crist leading by 4, Sunshine State News has Scott leading by 1, PPP for has Crist leading by 7.

(4/11/14) In Q1, Scott raised $17 million to $6 million for Crist.

(4/24/14) Rasmussen has Crist leading by 6.

(4/25/14) Mason-Dixon has Crist and Scott tied.

(4/30/14) And Quinnipiac has Crist leading by 10.

(5/1/14) Tell-all books, by former state GOP chair / Crist ally Jim Greer, and former Scott LG Jennifer Carroll, are coming out in June.  As if the candidates needed more fodder for ads.

(5/2/14) SurveyUSA has Crist leading by 3.

(5/7/14) Hm.  Crist may visit Cuba this summer.

(5/14/14) Carroll is causing more trouble for Scott.

(5/15/14) SurveyUSA has Crist leading Scott by 3.

(5/27/14) SurveyUSA for WFLA has Scott leading by 2.

(6/9/14) The Miami Herald has Crist doing (relatively) poorly in Miami-Dade County, only leading Scott by 12, which is lower than usual for recent statewide Democrats.

(6/10/14) PPP has Scott and Crist tied at 42% each.  Interestingly, their results have Crist considerably less popular than Scott - while their unfavorability/disapproval is tied at 48%, 39% approve of Scott, while 32% have a favorable impression of Crist.

(6/11/14) SurveyUSA has Crist leading by 4.  Crist's possible visit to Cuba may not be all that big of a deal; only 24% say a gubernatorial candidate visiting Cuba would affect their vote, and those are evenly split between whether it would make them more or less likely to vote for the candidate.

(6/17/14) Scott has over $130 million in assets, should he choose to do some self-funding.

(6/20/14) Crist may end up getting millions in public financing for his campaign.  For each contribution, Crist gets a matching amount no more than $250 of state money.

(6/24/14) Turns out Crist won't be visiting Cuba after all.

(6/26/14) SurveyUSA has Scott leading by 1.

(7/10/14) Now by 2.

(7/22/14) And now they have him down by 6.

(7/23/14) Quinnipiac has Crist beating Scott by 5 in a two-way race.  With Libertarian Adrian Wyllie included, Crist's lead drops to 2 points, but with Wyllie taking an unrealistically high 9% of the vote.

(7/30/14) AFSCME has dumped $1 million into Crist's campaign.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Scott leading by 5, which I think is the best showing for him of any poll this cycle.

(8/1/14) Rasmussen has Scott leading by 1.

(8/7/14) SurveyUSA has Scott up 2.

(8/23/14) Now up 3.

(9/3/14) The Tampa Bay Times has Scott leading by 5 with Wyllie included and by 6 without him.

(9/3/14) SurveyUSA has Crist leading by 2.

(9/8/14) Mason-Dixon has Scott up 2.

(9/10/14) PPP has Crist leading by 3 both with and without Wyllie included as an option.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Scott up 3.

(9/12/14) Rasmussen has Crist up 2.

(9/18/14) SurveyUSA has Scott up 5.

(9/24/14) SurveyUSA for WFLA-TV has Scott up 1, while Quinnipiac's first likely-voter poll of the race has Scott up 2 both with and without Wyllie included.

(10/1/14) SurveyUSA for WFLA-TV has Crist up 6 with 8% for Wyllie.

(10/7/14) Scott and Crist are fairly close to even in cash on hand.

(10/8/14) SurveyUSA for WFLA-TV has Crist up 2 with 6% for Wyllie.

(10/10/14) The University of North Florida has Crist up 5 both with and without Wyllie.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Scott up 3.

(10/14/14) CNN/ORC has the race tied with 9% for Wyllie.

(10/15/14) The Tampa Bay Times has the race tied while SurveyUSA has Crist up 4.

(10/22/14) Quinnipiac has the race tied both with and without Wyllie.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Scott up 1.

(10/30/14) Quinnipiac has Crist up 3 with 8% for Wyllie.

(10/31/14) The Tampa Bay Times has the race tied with 6% for Wyllie.

(11/1/14) YouGov has the race tied.

(11/2/14) PPP has the race tied with 6% for Wyllie, and Crist up 1 without Wyllie.

(11/3/14) Quinnipiac has Crist up 1 with 7% for Wyllie; without him Crist is up 2.

Georgia Leans R Incumbent Nathan Deal (D)

Deal's approval is very so-so, but so far polling doesn't find anyone a threat to him.  Probably the most talked-about Dem is Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed; others include state Sen. Jason Carter (grandson of the former President and Governor) and Rep. John Barrow, though both seem more likely to run for Senate.

(8/6/13) Dalton Mayor David Pennington is challenging Deal in the primary, and state Schools Superintendent John Barge may as well.

(8/7/13) Deal leads State House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams by 13, Carter by 15, and state Rep. Scott Holcomb by 20.  Neither Barge nor Pennington are a threat to him in the primary.

(9/3/13) Barge in.

(9/4/13) Embarrassing misstep for the Barge campaign.

(10/8/13) Carter is commissioning a poll to look at a possible run.  Meanwhile, former State Sen. Connie Stokes is running as a Democrat.

(10/9/13) The Deal scandal grows.

(11/7/13) Carter's in, and generating a lot of buzz.  A victory is not out of the question, particularly with the Deal scandal, and in combination with a strong Nunn Senate candidacy.  He is still, however down by 15 points, according to PPP.

(11/13/13) A DGA poll has Carter trailing Deal by 8.  Carter jumps to a 5-point lead after a positive statement is read about both candidates.  I tend to doubt the usefulness of those last numbers, given the difficulties in creating balanced positive statements (particularly since this is a partisan poll).

(12/12/13) More in the ethics scandal.

(1/13/14) Deal leads Carter by 11 in the AJC poll.

(2/25/14) Deal leads Carter by 3 in a new poll by PPP for Better Georgia.

(3/21/14) SurveyUSA has Deal leading Pennington and Barge 65%/11%/7%.

(4/3/14) A Landmark Communications / Rosetta Stone poll has Deal leading Carter by 4.

(4/4/14) Carter has $1.6 million cash on hand.

(4/9/14) Deal has almost $4 million cash on hand.  Barge has about $16,000, Pennington a couple hundred thousand.  Meanwhile, for what it's worth, a PPP survey for has Carter leading Deal by 1.

(4/10/14) A jury has ruled in favor of former state Ethics Commission Director Stacey Kalberman, who's been alleging Deal forced her out of her job for investing his 2010 campaign.  In light of Democrats having a credible candidate in Carter, the closer results of recent polls, and the problems piling up for Deal, I'm making this Leans R.

(4/29/14) SurveyUSA has Deal leading Carter by 7 and running away with the Republican primary.

(4/30/14) Actually, Deal leads by 4 in SurveyUSA.

(5/11/14) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has Deal leading by 3.

(5/15/14) SurveyUSA and InsiderAdvantage have big leads for Deal in the primary - no surprise there. Meanwhile, St. Leo University has Deal leading Carter by 3.

(5/27/14) In today's not-terribly-believable-polls news: Rasmussen has Carter leading Deal by 7.

(5/29/14) Still, the RGA is sufficiently concerned about this race to put up $500,000 in ads supporting Deal, with more probably to come.

(6/7/14) SurveyUSA has Deal leading Carter by 7, which is much more believable.

(6/10/14) Another $500,000 from the RGA.

(7/1/14) InsiderAdvantage also has Deal up 7.

(7/9/14) Deal got fairly seriously outraised by Carter last quarter: $1.25 million to $2 million.

(7/15/14) PPP for the Democratic group Better Georgia has Deal leading by 1.

(7/18/14) Another not-terribly believable poll: Landmark Communications has Carter up 8.

(7/27/14) Rasmussen has Carter up 1.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Deal leading by 9.

(8/21/14) InsiderAdvantage has Deal up 4.

(8/23/14) SurveyUSA has Deal up 9, while Landmark Communications stands out among recent pollsters by having Carter up 4 (there's a similar dynamic in the Senate race, with Landmark having markedly better results for Democrats than other pollsters).

(9/3/14) WRBL has Deal leading by 2.

(9/10/14) SurveyUSA has Deal up 1.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Deal up 8.

(9/13/14) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has Deal up 1.

(9/13/14) InsiderAdvantage has Deal up 4.

(9/15/14) Landmark Communications has Carter up 3.

(9/19/14) Rasmussen has Deal up 1.

(9/24/14) SurveyUSA for WXIA-TV has Carter up 1.

(10/4/14) InsiderAdvantage has Deal up 1.

(10/6/14) Rasmussen has Deal up 6.

(10/7/14) PPP has Deal up 5 both with and without Libertarian Andrew Hunt.

(10/8/14) Though Deal outraised Carter last quarter by about $2 million, they're both about tied in cash on hand, with a little less than $3 million each.

(10/9/14) WXIA-TV/SurveyUSA has Deal up 2.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Deal up 5.

(10/13/14) Landmark has the race tied.

(10/15/14) SurveyUSA has the race tied.

(10/16/14) WRBL has the race tied, but I'm keeping this Leans R because Deal should be advantaged in a runoff (pop over to Georgia's entry in this year's Senate rankings for a more full explanation).

(10/22/14) SurveyUSA has Deal up 2.

(10/23/14) InsiderAdvantage has the race tied.

(10/24/14) CNN/ORC has Carter up 2.

(10/24/14) The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has Deal up 5.

(10/25/14) Landmark Communications has Deal up 3.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Deal up 4.

(10/28/14) PPP for LCV has Deal up 3, while SurveyUSA for WXIA-TV has him up 2.

(10/29/14) Monmouth has Deal up 6.

(10/31/14) Landmark has Deal up 2, while Vox Populi for Ending Spending has him up 7.

(11/1/14) YouGov has Deal up 4.

(11/2/14) NBC/Marist has Deal up 5.

(11/3/14) SurveyUSA/WXIA-TV has Deal up 5.

(11/3/14) Landmark/WSB-TV has Deal up 6, while InsiderAdvantage has him up 3.

(11/3/14) PPP has Deal up 4 both with and without the Libertarian.

Hawaii Likely D Incumbent Neil Abercrombie (D)

I can't find a recent poll to back it up, but PPP's survey in October 2011 found Abercrombie's approval at -26.  If that holds, he should at least be theoretically vulnerable, even in one of the most Democratic states in the union.  Former Lt. Gov. James Aiona, who was the 2010 nominee and posted very good favorability ratings throughout the campaign (though the last poll to do so also underestimated Abercrombie's margin of victory by an incredible 15 points), has already expressed interest in running again; former Rep. Charles Djou (covered in more detail in Hawaii Senate 2014) could as well, though he seems more likely to run for federal office.  A wild card is Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, who might resent Abercrombie passing her over for a Senate seat and see an easy target, though she might also run for Senate.

(5/10/13) I should have noted that Hanabusa is running for the Senate, and thus Abercrombie will probably not have primary trouble.

(6/1/13) An October 2012 poll by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser found Abercrombie with an unimpressive-but-not-disastrous -7.

(7/10/13) Turns out Abercrombie will have primary trouble after all - State Sen. David Ige.  I'd have to say Abercrombie would start as the frontrunner.

(9/22/13) Aiona says if he runs for anything in 2014, it will be for Governor.

(2/17/14) Very interesting poll results from the Hawaii Poll.  Abercrombie has a fairly small lead over Ige in the primary, 47-38.  The bigger news is in the general election results - Aiona leads Abercrombie by 8, 48-40, and Ige by 17, 51-34.

(2/19/14) Of course, it's always worth keeping in mind the difficulties of polling in Hawaii.  That's why I'm keeping this Leans D.

(3/14/14) The Honolulu Civil Beat poll has Ige tying Abercrombie in the primary.

(4/25/14) Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman is running as an Independent.

(5/19/14) Aiona in.

(6/13/14) Two polls from the Civil Beat have Ige leading Abercrombie by double digits (they polled twice to confirm the surprising initial results).  They also have Aiona with a tenuous lead in the general, 33-27-18 over Abercrombie and Hannemann, and 31-31-17 against Ige and Hannemann.

(8/1/14) The latest Civil Beat poll has Ige with a majority and double digit lead in the primary, 51-41.

(8/4/14) The Star-Advertiser has Ige with an 18 (!) point lead in the primary, 54%-36%.  In the general, Aiona/Democrat/Hannemann results are 45/30/14 with Abercrombie and 41/34/15 with Ige.

(8/18/14) I expected Abercrombie to lose, but not by 36 points.  Ige should be more formidable than Abercrombie would have been, but for now I'll keep the rating where it is.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ige up 2.

(9/13/14) Rasmussen has Ige up 1.

(9/22/14) The Honolulu Civil Beat has Ige up 4.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ige up 6.

(10/23/14) The Honolulu Star-Advertiser has Ige up 12, with 12% for Hannemann.  An Aiona upset is looking increasingly less likely.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ige up 32.  This seems to be one of those rare races where the incumbent being defeated in the primary improved their party's position.  Likely D.

(10/27/14) Okay, so that NYT result was probably an outlier, particularly with a new Civil Beat poll that has Ige up 6.  Still, it's clear Ige has a decent lead of at least high single digits or so.  Being that far behind in a blue state like Hawaii so close to the election is not a good position for a Republican.

Idaho Safe R Incumbent Butch Otter (R) (Running)

The primary here could get interesting.  70-year-old, two-term, Gov. Butch Otter is already running for a third term; Rep. Raul Labrador and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna might challenge him.  The Democratic Party will not figure prominently, though former Reps. Larry LaRocco or Walt Minnick might make it closer than most.

(6/5/13) Despite confirmations that Otter will run again, some suspect he will still pull out.  If he does, Labrador and Lt. Gov. Brad Little would be top candidates.

(8/13/13) Labrador will announce his plans tomorrow.

(8/14/13) Labrador out.

(10/25/13) Turns out Otter will have a challenger after all - State Senate Majority Leader Russ Fulcher is primarying him over his decision to create a state-run Obamacare exchange.

(5/15/14) Hm.  Labrador is endorsing Fulcher.

(5/21/14) Narrow win for Otter (51% to 44% for Fulcher), while businessman AJ Balukoff won the Deocratic nomination.  Otter should be safe in the general election - if nothing else, he's been through this before, when in 2010 he won the Republican primary with just 55% of the vote against a field of much weaker candidates than Fulcher, and easily won the general.

(6/6/14) Rasmussen has Otter leading Balukoff by 14, with 50% of the vote and just 7% undecided.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Otter leading by 22.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Otter up 18.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Otter up 24.

(10/15/14) Hm.  PPP has Otter only up 4 with third party candidates included, and up 9 without them.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Otter up 18.

(11/1/14) PPP has Otter up 12 with third parties and up 13 without them.

Illinois Tossup Incumbent Pat Quinn (D) (Running)

Quinn barely won reelection against a subpar GOP nominee, and has subsequently only managed to dig himself deeper into the hole.  He is now by far the most unpopular Governors in the country, blowing away even such detested figures as Rick Scott, Lincoln Chafee, and the aforementioned Neil Abercrombie.  Only 25% Illinoisians approve of the job he's doing; 64% disapprove.  If the GOP nominates a good candidate, Quinn would start out behind.  That is, assuming he survives a primary, which is looking increasingly unlikely as AG Lisa Madigan inches towards a run (polling finds her winning with a margin in excess of 40%).  A Madigan nomination would put the governorship in Leans/Likely D territory.  Former US Sec. of Commerce and White House CoS Bill Daley may also run; in his case the primary and general would be quite close.  On the Republican side, State Sen. Kirk Dillard is already declared, and State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Rep. Aaron Schock are also rumored.

(5/10/13) Schock won't run.  There are a number of terrible puns I could make about the particular level of surprise at this announcement, but I'll spare you those and just say that the race is undefined enough at this point that it probably won't make too much of a difference, and that the Republicans haven't lost their best candidate.

(5/31/13) Rutherford will declare soon.  Quinn's approval rating has improved to -19, based on Nate Silver's average of the four most recent polls.

(6/4/13) Daley is closer to announcing a decision, and looking like he might be a candidate.  The inclusion of a second anti-Quinn candidate (I assume Madigan will run) might make it a bit easier for Quinn to come out on top, but if Daley jumped in Madigan would still be the frontrunner.  Quinn v. Daley would be a tossup - one poll finds Daley leading by 3, the other, Quinn by 5.

(6/11/13) Daley is setting up an exploratory committee.

(6/12/13) Daley is officially in, as is wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner.  Meanwhile, a Republican primary poll by Battleground Polling puts Rutherford in the lead with 27%.  Dillard gets 14%, and Rauner gets 5%.  2010 nominee Bill Brady gets 19%, and talk radio host Dan Proft gets 13%.

(6/18/13) Daley seems pretty serious about running.  He probably shouldn't antagonize Madigan, though.

(6/20/13) Daley's campaign released an internal poll today showing a major potential Madigan weakness - her father.  As he serves as state house speaker, if Madigan ran and won they would control 2/3 of the state government, which some fear creates a conflict of interest.  The information released show Madigan beating Rutherford by 16 in a generic head-to-head.  When that is modified to say that her father would also stay on as speaker, they are tied.  Keep some caveats in mind, however.  It is an internal poll for the Daley campaign, and may be unreliable.  I haven't seen the poll itself, so I don't know if the questions were leading or not.  As I've noted before elsewhere, a message that looks to have a huge effect when tested in a poll won't necessarily have that much of an effect in the actual election.  It's also worth noting that they didn't test a Madigan-Daley primary (or at least didn't release the results).

(6/26/13) 2010 nominee Bill Brady is the fourth Republican running.  Of the declared candidates, I suspect he'd be the weakest in a general election, given his previous loss.  Dillard also will have the endorsement of former Gov. Jim Edgar.  I don't know how influential he is nowadays, but back in the nineties he was pretty popular statewide.  Then again, Dillard may have had his endorsement in 2010 as well, in which case it didn't really help.

(7/15/13) Madigan out, depriving Democrats of their best candidate (at least right now it looks like she would have been; the father issue is a bit dicey, and there's some evidence to suggest - mentioned in (6/20/13) it might have been a major liability had she run).  Republicans would have a better chance against Quinn or Daley in the general as is, and early polling suggests a Quinn-Daley fight would be close, and thus, presumably, damaging.

(7/23/13) There's now a third possible candidate on the Democratic side - State Sen. Kwame Raoul.  He could be a force in the primary among African Americans.

(8/30/13) Raoul out.

(9/16/13) Big news: Daley out.  There are still a few potential Democratic candidates left - including former Comptroller Dan Hynes, who lost to Quinn by under 1 percentage point in 2010 - so Quinn can't quite rest easy for the nomination yet.  Republicans should be cheering this news, given Quinn's weakness in a general election.

(9/18/13) That Hillary Clinton would openly say something like this about Quinn tells you all you need to know about his position right now.

(10/8/13) Rauner raised $1 million, while Quinn took $750,000, Dillard $239,000, Rutherford $179,000, and Brady $48,580.

(11/26/13) Quinn's in sort of a better position in this PPP poll than the last one, but it's still not a very good one.  He either ties or trails the relatively unknown Republicans (except for a small lead over Rauner), and gets no more than 41% of the vote.

(12/2/13) Rauner just gave his campaign another $500,000.

(1/2/14) And raised over $4 million.

(2/5/14) Capitol Fax / We Ask America has Brady, Dillard, and Rutherford leading Quinn by 9, and Rauner leading by 8 (and importantly, all the Republicans are in the high forties).  Obviously, bad news for Quinn, though he does have a history of overperforming the polls.

(2/10/14) Rutherford just got hit with a sex and ethics scandal.

(2/25/14) Rauner is dropping another $1.3 million of his own money into running for Governor.

(3/9/14) He now has a solid lead in the Republican primary.

(3/4/14) Rauner's personal spending is now breaking state records.  Meanwhile, he leads the GOP primary in another poll, and, along with Brady and Dillard, leads Quinn in the general.

(3/8/14) Rauner leads a third primary poll, this one from the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV, and the Tribune has endorsed him.

(3/15/14) WeAskAmerica has Rauner leading Dillard by just over 20 points.

(3/18/14) As I write this, 92% of precincts have reported in the primary.  It looks like Rauner will win, though Dillard got a lot closer than polls suggested, with Brady a distant third, and Rutherford stuck in the single digits (someone joked earlier that he barely avoided Some Dude status - pretty accurate).  On the Democratic side, Quinn won in a landslide, though just over 70% isn't a great showing when your only opponent is a bona fide Some Dude with a domestic violence arrest to boot.  That said, I don't think Quinn will lose too many Democrats in the general (maybe in the teens).  Nothing really happened here to shift the Tossup rating.

(3/21/14) Americans for Prosperity is attacking Quinn.

(3/28/14) Politico has a good overview of the race here.

(4/10/14) The RGA has already spent $1.5 million on this race.

(4/15/14) Rasmussen has Rauner leading Quinn by 3.

(4/16/14) Rauner raised $9 million last quarter, including $5 million in self-financing, to $5 million for Quinn.

(4/30/14) One of Quinn's programs is under grand jury investigation.

(6/12/14) We Ask America has Rauner leading by 10.

(7/14/14) Now they have him up twelve.

(7/16/14) Rauner raised $8 million last quarter, and has $3.5 million cash on hand, as opposed to $3.7 million and $11.6 million for Quinn.

(7/31/14) No surprises: teachers unions are supporting Quinn.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Rauner leading by 3.

(8/1/14) Rasmussen has Rauner leading by 5.

(8/19/14) We Ask America has Rauner leading Quinn by 13, while Quinn's internal has Rauner up 1 and the pro-Quinn Illinois Education Association has Rauner up 4.

(8/21/14) Democratic pollster Garin Hart Yang has Rauner up 3.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Rauner up 4.

(9/13/14) In contrast to every other recent poll, the Chicago Tribune has Quinn up 11.

(9/22/14) We Ask America has Rauner up 3.

(9/30/14) Rasmussen has Quinn up 2.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Quinn up 3.

(10/13/14) We Ask America has Quinn up 3.

(10/13/14) The Chicago Tribune is endorsing Rauner.

(10/18/14) The Simon Poll has Rauner up 2.

(10/23/14) The Chicago Tribune also has Rauner up 2.

(10/24/14) Rasmussen has Rauner up 1.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Quinn up 4.

(10/30/14) The Chicago Sun-Times has Quinn up 3.

(11/2/14) PPP has Quinn up 2 with 3% for Libertarian Chad Grimm, and the race tied without him.

Iowa Safe R Incumbent Terry Branstad (D)

Branstad got a nice break with Tom Harkin's retirement, which freed up strong potential opponent Rep. Bruce Braley to run for the seat.  With Braley out of the way, Branstad shouldn't have too much trouble getting a record sixth term unless US Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack decides he wants his old job back (he leads all other potential opponents by 10 or more).  Rep. Dave Loebsack, former Gov. Chet Culver, State Sen. Jack Hatch, and state Rep. Tyler Olson also might run.

(4/24/13) I urge you to read this article in The American Spectator.

(5/23/13) There are some fairly odd results out of a Quinnipiac poll today: though voters give Branstad a net +18 approval rating, they say 43-42 that he does not deserve reelection.  Some have speculated that Iowans are just getting a bit sick of the guy, as he's approaching his 20th year as Governor (though not continuously).  Unfortunately, they didn't test any head-to-head matchups.  This is sort of an inversion of an earlier PPP poll that found Branstad with a +1 net approval, but a solid lead in most head-to-heads. I still think he's favored as the Democrats aren't likely to get a great candidate.

(6/5/13) Vilsack out.  This moves to Likely R.  State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is considering.

(6/8/13) The Des Moines Register Iowa poll has Branstad leading Hatch by an incredible 28 points with 55%.  That margin will close considerably as the campaign progresses, but it's still a very good place for Branstad to be in.  More data should be coming soon.

(6/9/13) In the same poll (results here), Branstad gets a very nice +26 net approval that also tracks pretty well with with the head-to-head numbers.  Hatch does have room to grow with only 18% name recognition.  This is most likely the primary driver of Branstad's huge lead - those who don't have too much of a problem with Branstad and don't know who Hatch is would generally respond 'undecided'.

(6/13/13) The Democratic State Party Chair Tyler Olson is resigning his post and may be taking a look at the gubernatorial race.

(7/10/13) Olson in.  I can't image him being any stronger than Hatch.

(7/10/13) Interesting results from PPP.  Branstad's approval rating is fairly poor (net -1), but has solid double-digit leads against all but former Gov. Chet Culver.

(7/19/13) The results out of Quinnipiac are similar to those in their previous poll - Iowans like Branstad (+13 net favorability, +18 net approval), but think he's been Governor long enough (3 points does not deserve reelection, 17 points shouldn't run).  Still, the Democrats will probably need a better bench than the one they've got lined up.

(7/31/13) Two big state Democrats decided against a run today - State Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and State Senate President Pam Jochum.

(9/3/13) Hatch is officially in.

(9/30/13) Branstad's got a nice approval rating in the new Des Moines Register poll - 54/36 - but respondents said by 20 points he should retire rather than seek another term.  Kyle Kondik thinks the first set will have more influence on voters' decisions, and I think he's probably right.

(12/17/13) Two good polls just out for Branstad: Quinnipiac finds him with a 58/32 approval rating, 50/41 reelect, and 49/33, 50/32, and 49/31 leads over Hatch, Olson, and former State Rep. Bob Krause, respectively; in the Des Moines Register poll he gets 58/33 approval and has 23-point leads over Hatch and Olson.

(1/15/14) Branstad is running.

(2/25/14) PPP has Branstad leading Hatch by 12.

(3/8/14) The Iowa poll from the Des Moines Register has Branstad up 15 against Hatch.

(3/13/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad leading Hatch by 11, with solid approval and reelect numbers.

(4/9/14) Suffolk has Branstad leading Hatch by 10, and primary challenger Tom Hoefling by 63.

(4/23/14) Huh.  PPP has Branstad leading Hatch by only 5, 43-38.  The race has closed in recent months, so a switch to Leans R may be in order.  Still, this is the first poll to have Branstad's lead under double digits, and I'd like to see more before I change the rating.

(4/28/14) Daily Caller / Vox Populi has Branstad leading by 2, with leaners included.

(5/8/14) Hickman Analytics has Branstad leading by 10.

(5/20/14) One problem for Hatch: even if Branstad is vulnerable, he has to deal with a massive 14-to-1 cash-on-hand disadvantage.

(5/21/14) PPP has Branstad leading Hatch by 8.  Hatch's numbers really aren't very good (neither are Branstad's).  His name recognition is still under 50%.  His favorability is negative despite his having much higher name recognition among Democrats - 1/2 of Democrats aren't sure about him, compared to 2/3 of Republicans and Independents - and he's 10 points underwater among Independents.  Branstad leads Hoefling by 54 in the primary.

(6/4/14) No primary surprises - Branstad won easily.

(6/6/14) Rasmussen has Branstad leading by 9, and Loras College has him leading by 14.

(6/9/14) Vox Populi has him leading by 11.

(6/19/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad leading by 6.

(7/16/14) NBC/Marist has Branstad up 15.  Meanwhile, Hatch's cash on hand disadvantage isn't getting any better.

(7/22/14) Gravis has Branstad up 8.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has him leading by 11, with a majority of the vote.

(8/26/14) PPP has Branstad leading Hatch by 13, both with and without third party candidates.

(8/27/14) USA Today/Suffolk has Branstad up 12.

(9/9/14) Loras College has Branstad up 22.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Branstad up 13.

(9/18/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad up 23 in their first likely voters poll, while FOX News has Branstad up 13.

(9/22/14) Rasmussen has Branstad up only 6.

(9/30/14) The Des Moines Register has Branstad up 14.

(9/30/14) PPP also has Branstad up 14, both with and without third parties.

(10/2/14) Gravis has Branstad up 8.

(10/5/14) NBC/Marist has Branstad up 22.

(10/7/14) Loras College also has Branstad up 22.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Branstad up 13.

(10/14/14) The Des Moines Register has Branstad up 15.

(10/15/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad up 15.

(10/16/14) USAToday/Suffolk has Branstad up 17.

(10/23/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad up 18, while Monmouth has him up 21.  Might as well make this Safe R.

(10/26/14) NBC/Marist has Branstad up 23.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Branstad up 13.

(10/28/14) Loras College has Branstad up 21.

(10/29/14) Quinnipiac has Branstad up 19.

(10/31/14) Ipsos has Branstad up 23.

(11/1/14) FOX News has Branstad up 17.

(11/1/14) YouGov has Branstad up 14.

(11/1/14) The Des Moines Register has Branstad up 24.

(11/3/14) Quinnipiac now has Branstad up 11.

(11/3/14) PPP has Branstad up 11 both with and without third parties.

Kansas Tossup Incumbent Sam Brownback (R)

Brownback is just unpopular enough (-15) to make this not-quite-safe R despite the state's partisan lean. Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, 2010 nominee Tom Holland, and former interim Gov. Mark Parkinson might run as Democrats.

(8/1/13) Scratch one potential Dem candidate - former Ag. Commissioner Josh Svaty.

(9/17/13) Democrats now have a candidate: state House Minority Leader Paul Davis.

(1/2/14) A SurveyUSA poll has Davis leading Brownback by 4, with 12 percent going third party and 6 percent undecided.  This is troubling for Brownback; still it's difficult to see him actually lose.  Still Likely R.

(1/9/14) Davis had a pretty good fourth quarter.  This could end up being surprising.

(3/13/14) PPP has Davis leading Brownback by 2.  Leans R.

(4/9/14) A poll by PPP for has Davis leading Brownback by 4.

(4/21/14) Rasmussen has Brownback up by 7.

(4/28/14) The FBI is now investigating some former high-level Brownback staffers over possible influence-peddling relating to the state's health care bill.  I don't know whether Brownback himself will be implicated in anything, but this isn't helpful to his reelection efforts regardless.

(6/26/14) Some interesting results out of SurveyUSA.  Davis leads Brownback by 6 and, in a sign of discontent with Brownback among Republicans, his lead in the primary against businesswoman and hemp activist Jennifer Winn is only 18 points.

(7/2/14) National Journal has a good piece here.

(7/17/14) Davis has been endorsed by a number of Republicans, mostly former officeholders.

(7/18/14) One of the more prominent Republicans on Davis' list, former Rep. Jan Meyers, says there was some mistake, she never endorsed him, and is in fact supporting Brownback.

(7/20/14) A couple more on Davis' list turn out not to be Republicans anymore.

(7/25/14) Brownback's primary lead over Winn has grown to 30 points in SurveyUSA's latest poll, though Winn's still doing better than she really ought to be.  In the general, Davis leads by 8.

(7/30/14) Davis seriously outraised Brownback in contributions - $1.1 million to $750,000 - though Brownback brought in more money thanks to a $500,000 loan from his running mate, LG Jeff Colyer. Brownback still leads in cash on hand, $2.3 million to $1.3 million.

(7/31/14) In contravention to the most recent polls, NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brownback up 12 and with a majority of the vote.

(8/6/14) In a more tangible sign of discontent, Winn took 37% in the primary against Brownback, a very, very good result for a minor candidate.

(8/19/14) Rasmussen has Davis leading by 10.

(8/20/14) PPP has Davis leading Brownback by 2 with Libertarian Keen Umbehr included, and by 5 without him.

(8/27/14) SurveyUSA has Davis leading by 8.

(8/28/14) One sign of the seriousness of his situation - Brownback's campaign is touting an internal that only shows him up 1.  Tossup.

(9/8/14) SurveyUSA has Davis up 7.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brownback up 7.

(9/16/14) PPP has Davis up 4 with Umbehr included and up 6 without him.

(9/18/14) FOX News has Davis up 4.

(9/22/14) Rasmussen has Davis up 4.

(10/1/14) USA Today / Suffolk has Davis up 4 with 6% for Umbehr.  Umbehr supporters have Davis as their second choice by a wide margin.

(10/3/14) Gravis has Davis up 8.

(10/5/14) NBC/Marist only has Davis up 1.

(10/8/14) KSN-TV/SurveyUSA has Davis up 5.

(10/8/14) CNN/ORC has the race tied, while FOX News has Brownback up 6.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brownback up 3.

(10/13/14) PPP has the race tied with Umbehr included, and Davis up 1 without him.

(10/14/14) Remington has Brownback up 3.

(10/20/14) Monmouth has Davis up 5.

(10/25/14) Rasmussen has Davis up 7.

(10/26/14) NBC/Marist has Davis up 1.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brownback up 3.

(10/29/14) SurveyUSA/KSN-TV has Davis up 3.

(11/1/14) FOX News has Davis up 6.

(11/1/14) YouGov has Brownback up 1.

(11/3/14) PPP has Davis up 1 with the Libertarian included and up 2 without him.

Maine Leans D Incumbent Paul LePage (R)

LePage was elected in a four-way race with less than 40% of the vote, currently posts a -16 approval rating, and is a Republican in a blue state.  Why is this a tossup?  In two words: Eliot Cutler, a lawyer whose independent bid landed LePage in the Governor's office in the first place, and who could run again.  Larry Sabato seems to think he is, though I can't find other confirmation of this.  Any Democrat - or Cutler on his own - will start out with a significant advantage in a two-way race, but one playing spoiler for the other would give LePage - who will have a unified conservative base - a serious fighting chance.  The Democratic Big Three are Reps. Mike Michaud (who has indicated interest) and Chellie Pingree, and former Gov. John Baldacci, though there are a plethora of other possibilities.  State Rep. David Slagger and businessman Steve Woods have already declared.

(5/12/13) A few things have been happening.  Pingree won't run, and Slagger is now running as a Green Independent.  This is good news for LePage, as any split in the Democratic vote increases his chances of slipping into a second term, particularly since Maine voters have little aversion to voting for a Green candidate (the party didn't run a candidate in 2010, but in the races from 1994 to 2006, the Green candidate won 6.39%, 6.82%, 9.28%, and 9.56% respectively).  Meanwhile, a new poll from Pan Atlantic SMS basically reinforces the current narrative of the race, which is that LePage is very vulnerable against a united Democratic front, but he might actually start out with an advantage if it is split.

(6/7/13) Democrats got more bad news today - Cutler is definitely running.  Given Cutler's wide appeal, Democrats' best option would probably be to run a weak candidate in hopes the base will unify around the acceptable Cutler similar to what they pulled off in the 2012 Senate race or almost did in the 2010 Governor race - but Baldacci will run again if Michaud does not.  If asked, I'd have to say the most likely result is now a narrow LePage win - probably with less than 40% of the vote - with Cutler and Baldacci close behind and Slagger taking 7 or 8%.

(6/13/13) I suggest you take a look at this piece by Rebekah Metzler for the Bangor Daily News.  In sum, she argues that the 2010 late surge for Cutler was an attempt at strategic voting to defeat LePage - i.e., a lot of Mitchell supporters concluded at the last minute that Cutler was the stronger candidate and that they'd rather have him than LePage.  This then indicates that past performance does not guarantee future results for Cutler.

(6/13/13) Michaud is exploring.

(6/21/13) I doubt LePage is making things easier for himself here.

(6/24/13) Of all the events that could shake up this race, this would be the biggest: If Michaud ran, he would leave open the relatively conservative 2nd District - LePage has now said he might abandon reelection and run for Michaud's seat instead.  If Metzler (see (6/13/13)) is right, LePage's absence might make it more likely that a Democratic split would occur - on the other hand, a different Republican might have trouble getting to LePage's 35-40% base.

(6/27/13) That was over pretty quickly: LePage won't run for Congress.

(6/28/13) Interesting new poll showing some bad news for LePage: He only gets 32%, tied with Michaud, and Cutler gets 24%.  If accurate, this indicates 1) Cutler may be slipping as Metzler predicted, and 2) LePage may have angered so many people as to even start turning off that crucial 35-40% base.  If either of these happens, he's in big trouble.  Advantage Michaud.

(7/3/13) LePage says he's running for reelection.

(7/26/13) A poll sponsored by the NEA has Michaud leading by 9 in a three-way race and 27 in a two-way race.  I'll keep this Tossup/Adv. Michaud for now, until this is backed up by a public poll.

(8/12/13) In moving this race to Leans D last week, Sabato's Crystal Ball said they thought Mainers were getting sick of LePage's antics.  Seeing stuff like this makes me wonder if they're correct.

(8/14/13) Michaud is expected to declare soon.

(8/20/13) LePage's biggest enemy is probably himself.

(8/27/13) Michaud leads LePage by 4 according to PPP, while Cutler only takes 18% - an 8-point decline from PPP's last poll.  If Cutler continues slipping, most of his support should go to Michaud; in a Michaud v. LePage matchup Michaud leads with 15% and gets 54%.  Leans D.

(9/14/13) MPRC finds Michaud leading LePage by 6 with 40%, while Cutler only gets 17%, and has a seriously upside-down net favorability of -20 (worse than LePage's).  In a two-way, Michaud leads by 20 and gets 56%.  LePage's position is looking ever-more precarious.

(10/11/13) Michaud leads LePage by 3 in a new poll from Critical Insights.

(10/23/13) Governor, if you're in a hole, stop digging!

(11/4/13) Michaud has come out as gay in a Bangor Daily News op-ed.  National Journal's Hotline probably identified the most important electoral effect of this - to undercut Cutler's support among coastal progressives, who would be attracted to the possibility of producing the first victorious openly gay gubernatorial candidate in the country.

(11/12/13) PPP's newest poll is basically just more of the same.

(12/10/13) Michaud leads LePage by 1 in the new Pan Atlantic SMS Group poll.  The more worrying number for LePage: 67% of Cutler/Michaud voters say they would strategically switch their vote to defeat him.

(3/8/14) A poll by Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner for America Votes has Michaud leading LePage by 13 (45-32).  If this is accurate, LePage is in serious trouble.

(4/9/14) A poll by PPP for has Michaud leading LePage by 7, with Cutler at 14%.

(4/18/14) Pan Atlantic SMS has LePage leading Michaud by 1 with Cutler at 20.

(4/30/14) Rasmussen has the two tied with 40 each, while Cutler takes 14%.

(5/1/14) Michaud is also outraising LePage.

(5/7/14) Critical Insights has Michaud leading LePage by 1.

(6/23/14) UNH has Michaud leading LePage by 4, with 15% for Cutler, and some evidence Cutler/Michaud supporters may vote strategically to get LePage out of office.

(8/5/14) The Maine People's Resource Center, a Democratic outfit, has Michaud leading by a point, with 13% for Cutler.

(8/19/14) A nice (and needed) boost to the Cutler campaign: popular Independent Senator Angus King is supporting him.

(9/9/14) Rasmussen has Michaud up 4 with Cutler at 15%.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has LePage up 1 with 10% for Cutler.

(9/15/14) PPP for Maine Conservation Voters has Michaud up 1 with Cutler at 11%.  Interestingly, the poll suggests Cutler's decline might not have quite the effect I (and probably many others) expected, with LePage taking 42% even with Cutler in the race, and taking 46% (just losing by 4) without Cutler.

(9/19/14) Cutler raised $400,000, plus $100,000 in self-funding, over the last two months.

(9/25/14) Michaud slightly outraised LePage the last two months and has slightly more cash on hand, wile Cutler's well behind both of them in cash on hand.

(9/28/14) The Portland Press Herald has Michaud up 2 with 12% for Cutler.

(10/9/14) Hm. PanAtlanticSMS has LePage up 6.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Michaud up 2.

(10/11/14) Rasmussen has LePage up 1.

(10/14/14) Ipsos for the Bangor Daily News has Michaud up 6 with 16% for Cutler.  Without Cutler, Michaud's up 9.

(10/15/14) Critical Insights has LePage up 3 with 21% for Cutler.  I must say, LePage is proving more durable than I expected.

(10/24/14) PPP for Maine Conservation Voters has the race tied with Cutler taking 17%.

(10/26/14) The Portland Press-Herald has LePage up 10 and Cutler taking 16%.  That's probably not accurate (particularly the result suggesting LePage would win by 7 if Cutler wasn't in the race), but evens so, LePage appears to be tied with or even leading Michaud (he's up almost two points in the RCP poll average).  I think a late shift back to Tossup/Adv. Michaud may be in order. He's certainly doing much better than a certain other incumbent Republican I could mention.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Michaud up 2.

(10/28/14) Pan Atlantic SMS has the race tied.

(10/29/14) Cutler has ... sort of ... left the race, and King is switching his support to Michaud.

(10/30/14) In the wake of the Cutler news, I'm going to move this back to Leans D.  An exodus of Cutler supporters is going to benefit Michaud.  This may be a record - shortest span of time in my ratings between changes on a single race.

(10/30/14) Ipsos for the Bangor Daily News has the race tied with 13% for Cutler.  Michaud is up 2 without Cutler in the race.

(11/3/14) The Maine People's Resource Center has the race tied with 10% for Cutler.

Maryland Safe D Incumbent Martin O'Malley (D) (Term-limited)

The Republican Party has dragged itself over the line for this office exactly once since Spiro Agnew held it in the sixties.  The only real Republican hope here is a lot of luck and that the Democrats massacre each other in the primary, which could get crowded quickly with Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, AG Doug Gansler, State Delegate Heather Mizeur, and Howard County Executive Kenneth Ulman.  Two Republicans are already declared: Frederick County Board of Commissioners president Blaine Young and consultant Meyer Marks.  Other possibilities include former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, 2012 Senate nominee Dan Bongino, and a couple of county executives: David Craig of Harford County and John Leopold of Anne Arundel County.

(5/24/13) Brown, Gansler, and Mizeur are in; Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger is considering.  State Del. Ron George is running as a Republican.

(6/1/13) Brown has announced that Ulman will be his running mate.  The Baltimore Sun piece argues that this should be viewed through the lens of inevitability,campaign finance, and coalition politics: The announcement allows Brown to balance the ticket racially, religiously, and geographically; significantly narrow his financial disadvantage relative to Gansler; and attempt to create an image of himself as the inevitable nominee.

(6/1/13) Bongino is running for Congress instead of Governor; Craig will declare Monday.

(6/3/13) Former Lt. Gov. and RNC Chairman Michael Steele is interested in running.

(7/1/13) Brown is winning the 'invisible primary' with his recent endorsement by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

(9/13/13) Gansler in.

(9/18/13) Brown has the endorsement of Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

(9/26/13) An internal poll for the Brown campaign gives him solid leads in all possible matchups.

(10/1/13) Brown has the endorsement of the SEIU.

(10/14/13) Gansler, meanwhile, has been acting like a 4-year-old with his state police escort.

(10/18/13) More police trouble for Gansler.

(10/19/13) The first public poll of the race has Brown leading Gansler by 20.

(10/21/13) And now the Maryland State Education Association is endorsing Brown.

(10/23/13) Gansler has not had a good couple of weeks.  Now he's getting in trouble for not doing anything about a teenage party in Delaware his son attended (Gansler was briefly there as well) where there was much underage drinking.

(10/26/13) Now two attendees at the party say Gansler was there for a while, and that there was no way he could have missed the beer.

(11/1/13) Video has emerged - maybe - of Gansler at the party.  You can watch it for yourself at the link.  It's only about 35 seconds not counting intro and ending.  For the most part it just shows clips of Gansler walking in what appears to be the same house as the party alongside clips of the party.  The most incriminating bit comes around the 32nd second, where Gansler appears (I can't tell for sure if it's him, the video is too poor, so don't take this with great confidence) to be dancing alongside some of the partygoers.

(11/18/13) Now Brown has the endorsement of Sen. Cardin.

(1/13/14) There may soon be a new candidate in this race: Democratic Rep. John Delaney.  He was included as a candidate in a poll he may have commissioned to test the waters - it also asked voters whether they wanted a new candidate in the race.

(1/13/14) Republican businessman Larry Hogan is also running.

(1/24/14) Ruppersberger out.

(2/16/14) A new poll from the Baltimore Sun has Brown leading the Democratic primary with 35%, to 14% for Gansler and 10% for Mizeur.  Hogan leads the Republican primary with only 13%.

(2/19/14) Similar results from the Washington Post.

(4/9/14) Bill Clinton is endorsing Brown.

(4/23/14) To reprise a line from Daily Kos Elections several months ago: How did this guy manage to get elected Attorney General?

(5/11/14) The Washington Post is endorsing Brown.

(5/14/14) Bill Clinton is supporting Brown.

(6/8/14) The Baltimore Sun has both Brown and Hogan with fairly solid leads in their respective primaries.

(6/10/14) Same thing from a Washington Post poll.

(6/10/14) WaPo also has Brown leading Hogan by 18 in the general.

(6/16/14) The Baltimore Sun is endorsing Brown.

(7/13/14) Rasmussen has Brown leading Hogan by 13.

(7/31/14) And he gets another 13-point lead from the NYT/CBS/YouGov.

(8/25/14) A Maryland Republican internal poll has Hogan trailing by just three.  I seriously doubt the accuracy of this result, and won't be adjusting the rating unless this is corroborated by other polls.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 14.

(10/1/14) The DGA is sufficiently concerned about this race to be spending over $1 million helping Brown.

(10/6/14) The Washington Post has Brown up 9.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 17.

(10/12/14) The Baltimore Sun has Brown up 7.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Brown up 13.

(10/29/14) Gonzales Research, for the pro-Hogan "Maryland, My Maryland" PAC has Brown up 2.

Massachusetts Tossup Incumbent Deval Patrick (D) (Retiring)

Republicans have in fact held the governorship twice as often as Democrats since 1990, and are usually at least semicompetitive.  The big question here is whether Scott Brown gives it a go.  If he does, he would be at least initially favored.  If he doesn't Democrats would probably start out with an advantage.  Other potential Republicans include former Gov. William Weld, 2010 nominee Charles Baker, and 2012 congressional candidate Richard Tisei.  Democrats, meanwhile, have assembled a huge list of possibilities (available here; I'm not going to list them all), the likely current frontrunner on that side is Treasurer and Receiver-General Steve Grossman.

(5/7/13) PPP is out with a big poll today.  With the exception of Scott Brown, the candidates are mostly unknown.  Among Democrats, Grossman is actually pretty far down at only 6% of the vote (the "frontrunners" are Sec. of the Commonwealth William Galvin and Rep. Mike Capuano, with 13% and 17% respectively).  In the general, Brown leads all Democrats, with leads ranging from 4% against the well-liked and reasonably well-known Galvin to 18% over US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.  Baker leads the weaker Democrats, while Tisei trails all.  Indecision rules the day in most of the matchups with Baker and Tisei.  Ultimately, this confirms that Republicans do have a decent chance here, particularly if they can get Brown to run.

(5/25/13) If Gabriel Gomez loses the Senate special but doesn't crash and burn a Brown-Gomez ticket could be quite formidable.

(6/4/13) Gomez is looking like he'll lose to Markey, but has kept a pretty solid net favorability.  He'd be formidable for Governor as well.  Both Baker and Grossman have positive net favorability but low name recognition.

(6/17/13) Berwick is running.  He's weak in both the primary and the general, so a stronger Democrat like Capuano probably wouldn't have too much trouble with him.  If he somehow made it to the general, he'd be disadvantaged against both Baker and Brown.

(6/28/13) Hmm.  Coakley is seriously reconsidering a run for Governor.  Particularly if Capuano declines, she'd be a solid frontunner in the Democratic primary, and Brown is probably the only Republican who can beat her in the general.  Incidentally, if Capuano doesn't run, Somerville mayor Joseph Curtatone will. State Sen. Dan Wolf is expected to announce a campaign shortly.  Meanwhile, Stephen Lynch is thinking about running, and would be formidable in both the primary and general.

(7/9/13) National security expert Juliette Kayyem is exploring.  I doubt she'd be a particularly strong candidate.  Meanwhile, Capuano is exploring, so he can probably be counted in.

(7/11/13) Wolf in - Grossman soon to follow.

(7/15/13) Grossman in.

(8/8/13) Wolf is facing an ethics investigation, but won't leave the race.

(8/9/13) Brown is considering a run.

(8/21/13) Kayyem appears to be leaning towards running.

(8/21/13) Brown out.  Baker and Gomez are the Republicans' next best options.

(8/23/13) Kayyem in.

(8/26/13) Grossman owes more than $500,000 in back taxes.  It seems to have been an honest mistake, but it certainly is very embarrassing, considering he is the State Treasurer.

(9/4/13) Baker will take another run at it.

(9/5/13) Capuano and Coakley are moving towards bids.

(9/13/13) Coakley's expected to get in soon.

(9/16/13) Coakley in.

(9/24/13) Coakley has a strong lead in the Democratic primary (even if you include Capuano), and leads Baker by 13 with 51%.  In light of this, I'm moving the race to Likely D.

(9/26/13) Capuano out.  Coakley now has a pretty clear path to the governorship.

(10/7/13) Grossman has a pretty big lead in money, though Coakley just got in.

(10/27/13) Coakley leads Baker by 20, and Grossman leads Baker by 13.

(11/18/13) Of course, you can always count on Coakley to screw up huge leads.  Now she's in hot water over erroneous campaign finance reports.

(1/22/14) WBUR has the race much more competitive, with Coakley getting 39% of the vote to Baker's 29%.

(2/5/14) A Suffolk University / Boston Herald poll has Coakley beating Baker by 13 (44/31) and a huge 45 point primary lead.

(2/20/14) National Journal has a good piece on how Grossman could upset Coakley.

(3/20/14) A WBUR poll has Coakley leading the primary by 31, taking 45 to 14 for Grossman.  In the general, Baker trails Coakley by 16 and leads Grossman by 8, Berwick by 19, and Kayyem by 15 (virtually all of which I expect is name recognition).

(4/9/14) Western New England University has Coakley leading Baker by 29, and Grossman leading Baker by 9.

(4/25/14) Both Grossman and Baker now have superPACs backing them.

(5/22/14) WBUR has Coakley leading Grossman by 44, and Baker by 9.

(6/6/14) The Boston Globe has Baker trailing Coakley by 5 and leading Grossman by 6.  Independent businessman Jeffrey McCormick takes 7% and 9%.

(6/6/14) McCormick is putting $100,000 up in ads.

(6/9/14) Another big lead in the primary for Coakley in the Democratic primary, from the Boston Herald.

(6/9/14) The Herald poll also has Baker leading the Republican primary 63-5.  In the general, he trails Coakley by 8; and leads Grossman by 2, Kayyem by 8, Berwick by 11, and Avellone by 13, though in each case he's in the upper 20's in terms of vote share.

(6/13/14) The Boston Globe has Coakley leading Grossman by 35 points in the primary.

(6/16/14) Grossman, Coakley, and Berwick all won enough of the vote at the Democratic convention to be placed on the primary ballot.

(6/24/14) Another independent, businessman Evan Falchuk, is spending $360,000.  If Falchuk and McCormick keep up this level of ad spending, they could get enough of the vote to have an effect on the general election, though whether they draw more from Baker or the Democrat remains to be seen. Falchuk, I expect, would draw more from Coakley, with his calls for more health care regulations and his targeting of the Hispanic vote.

(7/2/14) Even Grossman's internal has him way down - albeit improving - with 24%, compared to 47% for Coakley, and 9% for Berwick.

(7/2/14) Baker led the field in fundraising, at least, June, with $400,000 raised and $1 million cash on hand, to $173,000 raised and $500,000 CoH for Coakley, $151,000 raised and $ 930,000 CoH for Grossman, and $163,000 raised and $225,000 CoH for Berwick.

(7/5/14) WBUR has Baker trailing Coakley by 13, and beating Grossman by 2 and Berwick by 12.

(7/7/14) The Boston Globe has Baker trailing Coakley by 9, and beating Grossman by 8 and Berwick by 20.  In the Democratic primary, Coakley gets 52% to 18% for Grossman and 6% for Berwick.

(7/18/14) The Globe has Coakley down to a 3-point lead over Baker.

(7/25/14) Back up to 5.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov have Coakley with a 15-point lead.

(8/1/14) The Globe has Coakley up to a 10-point lead over Baker and 'down' to a 25-point lead over Grossman.

(8/8/14) Now an 11-point lead in the general and 27-point lead in the primary.

(8/19/14) Now an 8-point general lead and 24-point primary lead.

(8/23/14) 7-point general lead and 21 point primary lead from the Globe.

(8/26/14) The Boston Herald has Coakley with a relatively low 12-point primary lead.

(8/29/14) In a bit of a surprising result, the Globe has Baker leading by 1.

(9/2/14) The Boston Globe is supporting Grossman in the primary.

(9/3/14) The University of Massachusetts, Lowell has Coakley with a 32-point lead in the primary and 9-point lead in the general.

(9/3/14) WBUR has a 24-point Coakley primary lead and a 9-point general lead.

(9/5/14) The Boston Globe has a 22-point Coakley primary lead.

(9/8/14) WBUR has Coakley leading by 21 in the primary.

(9/10/14) Coakley is the Democratic nominee, albeit with a much weaker performance than expected, winning by just 5 points instead of the 20+ most polls had predicted.  She should be favored in the general.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Coakley up 8.

(9/17/14) WBUR has Coakley leading Baker by 7, though he does have a nice $930,000-to-$86,000 cash-on-hand advantage.

(9/18/14) The Boston Globe has Coakley leading by 3.

(9/21/14) Rasmussen has the race tied.

(9/24/14) WBUR has Coakley up 10.

(9/26/14) The Boston Globe has Baker up 2.

(9/29/14) Suffolk / Boston Herald has Coakley up 1. Leans D.

(9/30/14) Western New England University has Baker up 1.

(9/30/14) UMass Amherst / WBZ has Baker up 1.

(10/1/14) WBUR, which previously had high Coakley leads, is now down to a 3-point Coakley lead.

(10/3/14) The Boston Globe has Baker up 3.

(10/7/14) UMass Amherst / WBZ now has Coakley up 4.

(10/8/14) WBUR is now down to a 2-point Coakley lead.

(10/10/14) The Boston Globe now has Coakley up 5.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Coakley up 6.

(10/11/14) Emerson College / WGBH has Baker up 6.

(10/15/14) WBUR has Coakley up 3.

(10/16/14) Rasmussen has Baker up 2.

(10/17/14) The Boston Globe has the race tied.  Baker still has a massive cash on hand advantage over Coakley.

(10/22/14) WBUR has Baker up 1.

(10/24/14) The Boston Globe now has Baker up 9.  This stretches the limits of plausibility, particularly since it marks a 14-point shift to Baker in the last two weeks, and a 9-point shift in the last week.  It's possible he has a lead, but not that big.

(10/26/14) Even if the Globe poll does overstate Baker's lead, here's a decent indication it exists - Coakley is out touting an internal poll that has Baker up 2.

(10/27/14) The Boston Globe is endorsing Baker.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Coakley up 4.

(10/28/14) UMass Lowell / 7 News has Baker up 4.

(10/28/14) WBUR has Baker up 1.

(10/30/14) Suffolk / Boston Herald has Baker up 3.

(10/31/14) The Boston Globe has Baker up 7.

(11/1/14) Two new polls: Western New England University has Baker up 5, while UMass Amherst / WBZ has Coakley up 3.

(11/1/14) PPP has Baker up 4 with third parties and up 1 without them.

Michigan Tossup Incumbent Rick Snyder (D)

Snyder really blew up his image by signing right-to-work; his approval is now -17.  That said, he doesn't trail potential opponents by much, especially since the strongest, Rep. Gary Peters, now seems likely to run for Senate.  It's also possible his numbers will improve if right-to-work fades into the background.  Two potential Democrats are former Rep. Mark Schauer and 2010 nominee Virg Bernero.

(5/14/13) Democrats seem to be coalescing around Schauer, who starts off the race running about even with or a little ahead of Snyder, which is fairly impressive given that most Michiganders don't know who he is.

(5/28/13) Schauer is officially in.

(6/4/13) Snyder is not in a good position right now.  Schauer leads him by 4, again despite the fact that Schauer only has 38% name recognition. Interestingly, Schauer is not really that liked either.  He has a net favorability rating of -8, while Snyder's is -12.  That Schauer gets 42% of the vote despite having only 15% of voters like him is further indication that there are a lot of people whose primary motivation will be to vote against Snyder.  Meanwhile, the Democratic field has basically been cleared for Schauer.  Still Tossup, but I'd say advantage Schauer.

(6/12/13) This may or may not end up being important; about two dozen Tea Party activists and other prominent figures - including a county party chairman - have published an open letter saying conservatives should not help Snyder get reelected.

(7/31/13) Two new polls suggest things are looking up for Snyder.  A Detroit News poll found him leading Schauer by 6 (43/37) and with a +4 net approval rating, while a Harper poll gives him +8 net approval and +16 net favorability.  Schauer only has 24% name recognition, and most of Snyder's numbers are in the low forties, so he's definitely not out of trouble yet; however, I think this justifies removing the Adv. Schauer qualification.

(8/4/13) Schauer's way has mostly been cleared as far as the primary goes.  There's only one remaining potential opponent - UAW President Bob King.  I don't know how much interest he has in being Governor, though he doesn't appear to like Snyder.  There's a Bob King for Governor Facebook page, but it doesn't appear to be official.  In the event King did jump in, one poll suggests he'd have a small advantage over Schauer, though the questions appear to be constructed in a leading manner.

(9/5/13) By Harper, King leads Republican National Committeeman and potential opponent Dave Agema 64% to 16%.

(9/14/13) Snyder leads Schauer by 8 according to EPIC-MRA.  Snyder's in no way out of trouble yet - his disapproval is 54%, and he's still well short of a majority - but his net favorability is well into positive territory, and he's definitely better off than he was a few months ago.

(11/21/13) Snyder is now up 14.  Democrats are right to note that he's still vulnerable, that he's well under 50%, and that Schauer is unknown, which is why I'm keeping this a Tossup (though now Adv./Snyder).  He has, however, improved markedly in just the last few months.  Back in June, Snyder was so disliked that 42% would vote for Schauer, even though most of them either disliked him or had no clue who he was.  That's now down to 31%, while Snyder's vote share has increased 6-7 points.

(12/5/13) There are some interesting results out of the Michigan State University State of the State survey.  The results suggest, again, Snyder isn't quite out of the water yet.  Depending on how you measure it, Snyder's net approval is either slightly higher of slightly lower than President Obama's (the poll uses a excellent/good/fair/poor approval spread, leaving questions about what to do with the 'fair job' responses.  I tend to think they should be counted as neutral), and are either decently positive or horribly underwater.  Either way, as I said before, a significant part of the improvement in his poll numbers isn't getting people to like him so much as getting them to not reflexively hate him.

(12/10/13) PPP has Snyder leading by 4 against Schauer.  That's still not great, but it is a lot better than the position he was in in their last poll.

(1/9/14) Schauer will probably be significantly outspent.

(1/14/14) Harper has Snyder up 12 on Schauer, though I have some doubts about this poll's accuracy (for more, see yesterday's entry under Michigan in 2013-2014 Senate races).

(2/15/14) EPIC-MRA has Snyder leading Schauer by 8, with 47%.  Combined with the fundraising disparity, I'm moving this to Leans R.

(4/4/14) Marketing Resource Group has Snyder up 8 on Schauer.

(5/7/14) Hickman Analytics has Snyder leading by 12.

(5/19/14) Well, this is interesting.  Michael Bloomberg is hosting a fundraiser for Snyder.

(5/28/14) EPIC-MRA has Snyder leading by 9, Detroit News / WDIV-TV has him leading by 10.

(6/12/14) Mitchell Research has him leading by 5.

(7/2/14) PPP has Snyder and Schauer tied.

(7/15/14) NBC/Marist has Snyder leading by 2.

(7/18/14) EPIC-MRA has Snyder up 3.

(7/28/14) Snyder has a bit under a 2-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage over Schauer, $4.7 million to $2.5 million.

(7/31/14) Mitchell Research has Snyder leading by 4.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has him up 3.

(8/1/14) Rasmussen also has him up 3.

(8/7/14) Market Reasearch Group just 3/10 of a point.

(8/8/14) Mitchell now has him up 5.

(8/28/14) Hm.  EPIC-MRA now has Schauer up 2.

(8/29/14) Mitchell now has Snyder leading by 1.

(9/5/14) Snyder has a $1 million advantage in cash-on-hand.

(9/9/14) PPP has Snyder up 1 with third-party candidates included and up 2 without them.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Snyder up 1, while USA Today / Suffolk University has Schauer up 2.

(9/15/14) Mitchell has Snyder up 5.

(9/18/14) Denno Research and Vanguard have Snyder up 3.

(9/22/14) We Ask America has the race tied.

(9/24/14) Rasmussen has Snyder up 6.

(10/2/14) As does EPIC-MRA.

(10/2/14) Mitchell has Snyder up 4.

(10/7/14) Marketing Research Group has Snyder up 5, while the Detroit News has him up 8.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Schauer up 2.

(10/11/14) Mitchell has Snyder up 1.

(10/13/14) Now up 3.

(10/21/14) Up 2.

(10/22/14) EPIC-MRA has Snyder up 8.

(10/24/14) Rasmussen has Snyder up 3.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Schauer up 1.

(10/27/14) The Detroit News has Snyder up 5.

(10/29/14) Mitchell also has Snyder up 5.

(10/30/14) EPIC-MRA has Snyder up 2.

(11/2/14) PPP has Snyder up 1 with third parties included, and the race tied without them.

(11/3/14) Mitchell now has the race tied.

(11/4/14) Their final, final poll has Snyder up 1.

Minnesota Likely D Incumbent Mark Dayton (D)

Dayton's held up quite well in Minnesota (his net approval is now +14), and top Republicans like former Sen. Norm Coleman and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty have already declined to face him, though he may see his popularity decline without the foil of a GOP legislature.  A number of state legislators are talked about as potential candidates, plus Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

(5/23/13) I should have mentioned businessman Scott Honour's entry as a Republican a while ago.  Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson is also running. Meanwhile, PPP has a new poll out; the upshot is that Dayton is weaker than he was about 6 months ago, but still formidable.  His approval is down to +2, driven largely by a 24-point drop among independents.  None of his opponents have name-recognition numbers better than 21% (Emmer isn't running), but he leads them all by double digits - including 18 over both Johnson and Honour - and is above 50% of the vote.

(5/30/13) A Harper poll finds that likely voters by 6 points do not believe Dayton deserves reelection.  A couple points: First, Harper is untested and leans Republican, so take the poll with a grain of salt.  Second, it's been said that there are two essential questions in an election - 1) Does the incumbent deserve reelection?, and 2) Is the challenger a viable alternative?  Even if this poll is correct and Minnesotans answer question 1) negatively, there isn't any real indication yet that voters will answer question 2) positively.

(6/6/13) Dayton says he will not use his fortune to finance his campaign.  Presumably this is a shot aimed at Honour, who will need self-financing to get off the ground.

(6/19/13) For what it's worth, the Star-Tribune has come out with a poll suggesting Minnesotans approve 57%-31% of the job Dayton's doing.

(6/24/23) State Rep. Kurt Zellers and State Sen. Dave Thompson are also challenging Dayton.  In terms of strength, Zellers is down there with Johnson and Honour, and Thompson probably is as well.

(10/31/13) New poll out from PPP.  My analysis of this for Dayton is pretty much the same as my analysis of it for Franken, so in the interest of not being repetitive, just go to today's entry for Minnesota at this link.   The personalities are a bit different, but otherwise it's mostly the same.

(11/13/13) 2010 candidate Marty Seifert is running again.

(3/5/14) SurveyUSA has Dayton leading all Republicans by 17 to 21 points.

(4/30/14) Suffolk finds 12-17 point Dayton leads against all opponents.

(6/13/14) SurveyUSA has some close(r) results for this race, with Dayton leading Johnson by 6, Zellers by 7, Seifert by 8, and Honour by 10.

(6/16/14) PPP has the Republicans down double digits, but with room to grow.  Dayton leads Zellers by 10, Johnson and Seifert by 11, and Honour by 12.

(7/7/14) Some primary results from SurveyUSA: Johnson and Zellers tie with 23%, followed by Seifert with 14%, 'other' with 11%, and Honour with 9%.

(7/7/14) Gravis has Dayton beating Johnson by 15.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Dayton leading Seifert by 16.

(8/19/14) Johnson is the Republican nominee.

(8/21/14) Rasmussen has Dayton up 8.

(8/27/14) KSTP/SurveyUSA has Dayton leading Johnson by 9.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Dayton up 7.

(9/15/14) The Star-Tribune has Dayton up 12.

(10/4/14) Rasmussen has Dayton up 10.

(10/7/14) KSTP/SurveyUSA has Dayton up 12.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Dayton up 7.

(10/21/14) KSTP/SurveyUSA has Dayton up 10.

(10/26/14) The Star-Tribune has Dayton up 7.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Dayton up 9.

(11/2/14) KTSP/SurveyUSA has Dayton up 5.

Nebraska Likely R Incumbent Dave Heineman (R) (Term-limited)

This race has already had way more drama a this point in the cycle than occurs in most swing states.  First Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy got in, followed by Legislature Speaker Mike Flood.  Flood soon withdrew after his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, then Sheehy left both the race and his job among revelations that he had used a state phone to make thousands of calls to women not his wife.  State Sen. Charlie Janssen is now in; whether he will be afflicted by what I may start calling the Curse of the 2014 Republican Nebraska Gubernatorial Candidates (wouldn't that make a great mystery novel) remains to be seen.  State Treasurer Don Stenberg, state Auditor Mike Foley, and businessman Pete Ricketts might also get in.  Democrats could nominate Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler or State Sen. Steve Lathrop, but it probably won't matter.

(5/29/13) The state party chair "reasonably believes" there will be a competitive primary.

(6/2/13) Former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hasselbrook is the first to join the Democratic primary.

(6/6/13) Cattle rancher Charles Herbster may be considering a run.

(6/9/13) Reports are that Flood is back in the race as his wife's condition improves.

(6/10/13) Never mind.

(7/23/13) Ricketts looks like he's running.  I expect he's the frontrunner against Janssen.

(8/12/13) Herbster and State Sens. Annette Dubas (D) and Tom Carlson (R) have entered the race, while Lathrop won't run.

(8/26/13) A third candidate's out; this time Herbster, whose wife is also facing health issues.  Meanwhile, Republicans State Sen. Beau McCoy is in.

(9/5/13) Foley in.

(9/9/13) Ricketts in.

(11/25/13) Now Dubas is out.

(1/30/14) A couple new Republican candidates: tax attorney Bryan Slone is running, and AG Jon Bruning is considering it.

(2/10/14) Bruning in, upending the race.  He is now the frontrunner, though it is definitely possible for someone else to win.  Meanwhile, Janssen out.

(4/7/14) Sarah Palin is endorsing Ricketts.

(4/23/14) So is Ted Cruz.

(4/23/14) And Governor Heineman may endorse soon, which could be a big boost to his candidate of choice.

(5/8/14) And it's Bruning.

(5/11/14) Magellan has Ricketts and Bruning effectively tying with 25% and 24%, respectively.  Foley gets 18%, McCoy 16%, and Carlson and Slone 5% each.

(5/14/14) Ricketts very narrowly won the Republican primary, but should win the general easily.

(5/19/14) Rasmussen has Ricketts leading Hassebrook by 7.  That's a lower lead than I expected, but maybe it's taking some time for non-Ricketts primary voters to come home, particularly after such a competitive primary.

(6/20/14) PPP, in a poll for the Hassebrook campaign, also has the race close (a little too close, I think), with a four-point lead for Ricketts.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ricketts leading by 8.  I'll move this to Likely R.

(9/10/14) Ricketts' running mate, incumbent Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidemann, is resigning his position and withdrawing from the race.  Foley is his new running mate.  I mention this partly because it's an important story, but also partly because it's yet another high-profile resignation/withdrawal in a race that's already seen more than its fair share of them.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ricketts up 20.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ricketts up 20.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Ricketts up 20.

Nevada Safe R Incumbent Brian Sandoval (R)

Sandoval is one of the most popular Governors in the country and should be in little trouble.  Democrats might nominate AG Catherine Cortez Masto, Treasurer Kate Marshall, or Sec. of State Ross Miller, who are all term-limited.  There will probably be more action in the race to replace term-limited Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, which Democrats hope to win as a firewall against Sandoval taking on Harry Reid in 2016.

(7/5/13) Masto won't run, and many people expect Miller to run for AG.  Even with one of their top-tier candidates like these two, Democrats would have had a very difficult fight.  It'll be even harder without them.

(10/9/13) Sandoval's approval in a poll for the Nevada State Education Association is astounding - 68-24 statewide, 67-22 among Independents, and 53-35 among Democrats (i.e., a majority of Democrats approve of him) - and he leads Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak by 23.

(11/1/13) The Rothenberg Political Report has moved this race to Safe R.  I'm not quite there yet.  If Sisolak declines, I probably will make this Safe R.

(11/7/13) Safe R.  The DGA's given up.

(11/26/13) Well, Democrats have a candidate - businessman Chris Hyepock.

(2/18/14) Sisolak out.  It is now only slightly premature to say: Congratulations on your second term, Governor.

(3/16/14) The filing deadline's past, with only minor Democratic candidates running.

(6/11/14) Former Economic Development Commissioner Bob Goodman won the Democratic nomination last night, though, in an indication of just how weak the Democratic field is, he actually came in second behind 'None of the Above' (if 'None of the Above' wins, the nomination goes to the actual candidate with the most votes).

(6/24/14) Rasmussen has Sandoval leading by 27.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has him up 24.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Sandoval up 22.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Sandoval up 31.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Sandoval up 25.

New Hampshire Likely D Incumbent Maggie Hassan (D)

Having just won a convincing election, Hassan is presumed reasonably safe until I see more.  Republicans might nominate former Rep. Frank Guinta, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, State Sen. and former Rep. Jeb Bradley, or 2012 candidate Kevin Smith.

(3/24/13) This new poll confirms Hassan's safety.  Her closest opponent, Bradley, trails by 14.

(7/23/13) In this poll from New England College, Hassan gets a net approval of +30.

(9/12/13) Attorney Brad Cook is looking at a bid.

(9/17/13) Hassan does pretty well in PPP's new poll.  Her approval rating is solid, and she leads in the head-to-heads by 15, 16, and 17.  All the Republicans are poorly known, but, even so, she doesn't have too much to worry about at this point.

(11/1/13) The Rothenberg Political Report is moving this race to 'Safe D'.  I basically agree with their analysis.

(12/13/13) Lambert is out.

(1/15/14) Hassan gets a very good approval rating in PPP's new poll, and leads four Republicans by 20 or more.  Even taking low name recognition into account, I think it's safe to make this Safe D for now.

(1/30/14) Conservative activist and businessman Andrew Hemingway is expected to announce a run.

(1/31/14) Hassan leads Hemingway by 21 points in the new WMUR poll.

(2/16/14) Another potential Republican - businessman Walter Havenstein.

(3/9/14) Hassan leads all Republicans by a large margin in the new Boston Herald poll.  They didn't test Havenstein, but I doubt the result would be much different.

(4/2/14) Havenstein in.

(4/18/14) According to UNH, Hassan leads Hemingway by 21, Gatsas by 11, and Havenstein by 30.

(5/7/14) Hickman Analytics has Hassan leading Hemingway by 21.

(6/19/14) Suffolk/Boston Herald has Hassan leading Havenstein by 32 and Hemingway by 34.  In the primary, Havenstein has a not-terribly-meaningful 13-7 lead over Hemingway, with 72% undecided.

(6/20/14) American Research Group has Hassan leading by 13.

(7/8/14) WMUR has Hassan leading both Hemingway and Havenstein by 26.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has her leading Havenstein by 15.

(8/21/14) Havenstein is keeping up with Hassan in fundraising - thanks to plenty of self-funding.

(8/23/14) WMUR/UNH has Hassan leading Havenstein by 17 and Hemingway by 20.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hassan up 17 against Republican nominee Havenstein.

(9/18/14) New England College has Hassan up 15.

(9/24/14) New England College has Hassan up 12.

(9/30/14) ARG has Hassan up 15.

(10/1/14) New England College has Hassan up 4.

(10/6/14) UNH has Hassan up 10.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hassan up 10.

(10/13/14) High Point University / SurveyUSA has Hassan up 8.

(10/15/14) New England College has Hassan up 5.

(10/20/14) Suffolk / Boston Herald has Hassan up 10.

(10/22/14) New England College has Hassan up 8.

(10/23/14) CNN/ORC has Hassan up 6.

(10/24/14) UMass Lowell / 7 News has Hassan up 4.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Hassan up 9.

(10/27/14) New England College has the race tied.

(10/29/14) UNH has Hassan up 15.

(10/30/14) ARG has Hassan up 2.  This belatedly moves to Likely D.

(11/1/14) Rasmussen has Hassan up 9.

(11/2/14) New England College has Hassan up 7.

(11/3/14) The WMUR/UNH Granite State Poll has Hassan up 4.

(11/3/14) PPP has Hassan up 5.

New Jersey (2013) Safe R Incumbent Chris Christie (R)

Now the most popular Governor in the country, Christie has scared off all strong potential Democrats, and the unenviable task of overcoming a consistent 40-point deficit in the polls falls to little-known State Sen. Barbara Buono.  Democrats are beginning to worry that they'll get beaten badly enough at the top of the ticket to threaten downballot races.  I'm not, however, quite ready to call this Safe R in as blue of a state as New Jersey, though it probably is.

(5/4/13) Halfway through the race, Buono has managed to cut her poll deficit down to where it is hovering slightly over 30 points.

(5/25/13) Katrina Trinko has a nice piece on NRO about Buono's campaign.

(5/29/13) Republicans are trying to tie Buono to former Gov. Jon Corzine.

(6/3/13) Meanwhile, Christie is getting financial support from a lot of unusual places, including huge Democratic donors like John Doerr.

(6/7/13) While most of the action here recently has occurred on the Senate side, Lautenberg's death has implications for the gubernatorial race.  Now that the dust's settled a bit, we can get a better picture of the effect.  With the earlier special election, Christie avoided the turnout problems sharing a ticket with Booker might have caused him.  He did hand Buono a great issue by setting the election earlier at an 8-figure cost in a case where political motives are at least implied despite having earlier consolidated elections to save money, and you can expect the point where he declares he doesn't care how much it costs to feature in Buono's ads from now on.  On the other hand, the Senate race will overshadow the governor's contest, particularly in the next couple months as Booker, Pallone, Holt and others pour millions of dollars into winning the Democratic nomination.  In sum, it might affect a few points in one direction or the other, but doesn't look to have a major effect.

(6/7/13) One thing to keep in mind is the candidacy of destructive possible Republican nominee Steve Lonegan who could get Christie in trouble if they end up being tied together, a bit like the unpleasant situation Ken Cuccinelli currently finds himself in down in Virginia.  I'm much less certain than Pascoe is that the NJ Supreme Court will end up resetting the election date, but even if they don't Lonegan might be a problem.  That said, I don't think it's fatal.  Here's why, using the Virginia race as a comparison: First, Cuccinelli needs (controversial LG candidate) Jackson to win a lot more than Christie needs Lonegan.  There's more at my entry on the Virginia race, but the short version is that Cuccinelli needs Jackson so he can implement his agenda.  Christie throwing off Lonegan might (emphasis here) hurt him among conservatives in 2016.  Second, Christie is a lot more ideologically separated (particularly in the public eye) from Lonegan than Cuccinelli is from Jackson.  Third, it's worth pointing out, Christie is leading by 30+ points.  This will probably sort of decrease naturally, but even still, Christie has a lot he can lose without going down.

(6/10/13) In this new Quinnipiac poll, Christie still leads by thirty points.  Of more importance are the findings that only 18% of the electorate actually likes Buono (23% dislike, 56% don't know).  This is not a good position for Buono to be in, especially since she'll be overshadowed by the Democratic primary for the special election for the next couple of months.  Particularly good numbers for Christie are those findings that voters approve 33%-26% his appointment of Chiesa and, more importantly, 50%-40% of his decision to hold the special election when he did (despite saying 62%-29% it was based more on politics than principle).  Quinnipiac's helpful trend numbers provide more bad news for Buono - 22% formed an opinion of her between this poll and their previous one.  14 % formed an unfavorable opinion and only 6% a favorable one (an additional 2% wouldn't say what their opinion was).

(6/11/13) More signs of trouble for Buono - Democratic power broker Joe DiVincenzo is backing Christie.

(6/13/13) A Monmouth poll has Christie leading Buono by 30, and, better news for him, with 61% of the vote.  The poll does indicate - in contravention to the Quinnipiac one mentioned earlier - that voter disapprove of Christie's actions on the special election.  The trouble for Buono is twofold: First, even if voters disapprove of it, the head-to-head numbers seem to indicate it won't be a deal breaker.  Second, as I've discussed previously, she doesn't really have much opportunity to exploit it.

(6/14/13) The new Rutgers-Eagleton poll just confirms most of the findings of the Quinnipiac poll, that (presumably) Christie's ads have been effective in defining Buono negatively.  By Rutgers, since April her favorability has gone up by 4 points and her unfavorability has gone up by 12.

(6/17/13) A Stockton College poll now has Christie up 40, 64 to 24.  I'm not sure how accurate these results are, as it seems odd that Buono would regress that much - even with her decreased approval rating, this didn't show up in other polls.  Better news for Christie is the increase in his share of the electorate.

(6/27/13) Kean University has Christie leading 58 to 28.

(7/10/13) By Quinnipiac, Christie leads 61 to 29.

(7/14/13) Buono's running out of time and making no progress, so I might as well just call this Safe R.

(8/8/13) Quinnipiac now has Christie leading 58 to 30.

(8/22/13) The race has closed further, and Christie now leads by 20.

(8/29/13) The Farleigh Dickinson poll has Christie leading by 24% but with 50% of the vote.

(9/14/13) Rasmussen has Christie leading by 26 with 58%.

(9/17/13) Rutgers/Eagleton has Christie up by 20 with 55%.

(9/25/13) Quinnipiac has Christie leading by 34 with 64%.

(10/10/13) Quinnipiac now has Christie up by 29 with 62%.

(10/18/13) Rutgers/Eagleton has Christie up 26 and Quinnipiac has him up 29.  In both polls Buono only gets 33%.

(10/28/13) The Christie campaign has an ad up featuring an endorsement from Shaquille O'Neal.

(10/29/13) Quinnipiac has Christie leading by 33 with 64%.

(11/1/13) Farleigh Dickinson finds a closer race - Christie leads by 19 with 59%, thanks largely to some more drop-off among Democrats (though he still takes 23%).  Meanwhile, Christie takes an insane 80% of Independents.

(11/4/13) Quinnipiac has Christie up 28, Rutgers/Eagleton 36.

(11/5/13) Final Prediction: Christie with 60%, leading by 21.

New Mexico Likely R Incumbent Susana Martinez (R)

Martinez' reelection situation is very similar to that of Brian Sandoval in Nevada.  AG Gary King has already declared for Democrats.

(6/3/13) This might end up being a big deal - Martinez' campaign manager has been indicted for illegally intercepting and releasing her campaign's e-mails.

(10/23/13) State Sen. Howie Morales is running.

(10/29/13) Businessman Alan Webber is in, running to the left in the Democratic primary.

(3/25/14) In PPP's new poll, Martinez gets a 52/40 job approval rating, and leads King by 5, State Sen. Linda Lopez by 14, Morales by 14, Lawrence Rael by 11, and Webber by 16.  This isn't as good a result as I expected for her, but I think she's probably still fairly safe.

(4/15/14) Martinez well outraised all challengers, with $1.5 million to about $800,000 for Webber, $300,000 for Rael, $200,000 for King, $200,000 for Morales, and $30,000 for Lopez.

(5/26/14) A poll for the Albuquerque Journal has the Democratic primary getting closer - King leads with 22%, to 16% each for Rael and Webber, 12% for Morales, and 5% for Lopez.

(6/4/14) King is the Democratic nominee.

(7/7/14) Martinez has a serious cash-on-hand advantage over King - $4.3 million to $115,000.

(7/25/14) Hm.  Rasmussen has Martinez and King tied.  I still think Martinez has an advantage, but I'll move this to Leans R.

(7/31/14) By contrast, NYT/CBS/YouGov has Martinez leading by 7.

(8/19/14) The Albuquerque Journal has her with a 9-point lead.

(9/9/14) Martinez is still way ahead of King in cash-on-hand - $3.8 million to $150,000.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Martinez up 5.

(9/15/14) The Albuquerque Journal has Martinez up 18.

(9/26/14) Rasmussen has Martinez up 13.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Martinez up 7.

(10/27/14) The Albuquerque Journal has Martinez up 15.  Back to Likely R.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Martinez up 12.

New York Safe D Incumbent Andrew Cuomo (D)

One of the safest bets of the year is that Cuomo will be reelected.  Republican Rep. Chris Gibson might challenge him, and a couple of county executives are also talked about, including Rob Astorino of Westchester County and Greg Edwards of Chautauqua County.

(6/17/13) A new Siena College poll has Cuomo's reelect number significantly down.  Not danger zone, but the race might be closer than expected if Republicans can find a decent candidate.  It depends how serious the 41% who want to elect someone else are.

(6/18/13) Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin is considering running.  I don't think he is the decent candidate I mentioned yesterday.  If the first comparison people reach for is Carl Paladino...

(7/15/13) One thing to keep in mind: Cuomo has just under $28 million cash-on-hand, an impressive sum even in an expensive state like this.

(8/12/13) Cuomo's reelect numbers are back up.  55% want to reelect, according to Siena, while 35% want someone else.

(9/30/13) Now they're back down slightly: 52% reelect, 39% someone else.  His favorability numbers are excellent - (64/32) - but 50 view his job as Governor as fair or poor while 49% view it as good or excellent.

(10/14/13) According to the New York Post, some state Republicans are trying to turn to Donald Trump to take on Cuomo.  I'll put it charitably and simply say that I have no idea what they are thinking here.  Yes, Trump is rich.  Yes, he's well known.  He's also a birther.   And tweets borderline anti-Semitic things about comedy-show hosts.

(10/31/13) Also, he likes Bill de Blasio.

(11/18/13) There are some interesting results out of Siena's new poll.  Cuomo's reelect and job-approval numbers are the lowest they've ever been - reelect by 10 points, and excellent/good.fair/poor job 7/37/39/17, which Siena counts as -12 net approval (I'm not sure that's the best way to read those numbers). In a hypothetical 2016 presidential election - in New York - he loses to Chris Christie by 5 points. That said, he doesn't look like he has to worry about keeping his job.  Against Paladino, Astorino, and Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox, he leads by 37-41 points.

(11/22/13) Astorino says he'll decide by mid-March.

(11/26/13) Of course, he wouldn't be much of a threat to Cuomo either way.  Quinnipiac has him losing by 31, and Marist has him losing by 42.  In Marist, Cuomo also beats McLaughlin by 40, Paladino by 44, and Trump by 46.

(12/4/13) Despite repeated public statements of lack of interest and strong evidence that it would be a horribly bad idea, some Republicans still want Trump to run.

(12/16/13) Trump says he'll make an official decision soon.

(12/30/13) Now Paladino is thinking about running as a Conservative.  On the one hand, this decreases Republican odds of winning this race.  On the other, I'm not sure how you can go lower than zero.

(1/9/14) Astorino is looking like a candidate.

(1/21/14) Cuomo beats both Astorino and Trump by almost 50 points, according to Siena.

(2/25/14) Another huge Cuomo lead.

(3/2/14) Astorino in.

(3/9/14) Marist has Cuomo's approval rating dropping, though they use the "excellent/good/fair/poor" approval question (about which this captures my sentiments pretty well).  At any rate, Cuomo still leads the Republicans by 40+ points.

(3/11/14) Nevertheless, Cuomo is taking Astorino seriously, and trying to knock him out early with as much as $10 million in ads.

(3/14/14) Surprising absolutely no one, Trump out.

(3/24/14) New Siena poll, big Cuomo lead, etc., etc.

(4/15/14) Hm.  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is talking about investigating Cuomo over his role in potentially interfering with Moreland Commission ethics investigations.  If this develops into something Cuomo may be hurt, but he has a long way to fall before he's in danger.  This race is staying Safe D.

(4/23/14) Another big lead for Cuomo in the new Siena poll, with this extra tidbit: some members of the leftist Working Families Party are talking about the party fielding its own candidate for Governor, and a generic WFP candidate would take 24%, to 39% for Cuomo and another 24% for Astorino.  Even if they decide to do this and find a halfway decent candidate, it's hard to see them let Astorino slip through, but it's still probably his best shot.  Definitely no rating change, but worth watching nonetheless.

(5/22/14) Quinnipiac has Cuomo leading Astorino 57-28, and Astorino and a WFP candidate 37-24-22.

(5/29/14) If the WFP does decide to run their own candidate, education scholar and activist Diane Ravitch, and Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout are possibilities.

(5/30/14) Ravitch out, but Teachout is pushing for WFP to nominate a candidate against Cuomo.

(5/30/14) Teachout is running against Cuomo for the WFP nomination.

(5/31/14) 538 has a good piece explaining how - particularly with the polls where they are now - a three-way race makes things a lot worse for Cuomo.

(6/1/14) Cuomo beat Teachout for the WFP nomination.

(6/16/14) Teachout is now challenging Cuomo in the Democratic primary.  If she couldn't beat him at a WFP convention, I have a hard time seeing how she beats him in a Democratic primary.

(6/16/14) Siena has Cuomo leading Astorino by 37.

(7/9/14) WSJ/NBC/Marist has Cuomo leading by 35.

(7/21/14) Nothing new in the latest Siena poll.

(7/31/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Cuomo 'only' leading by 24.

(8/5/14) 31-point Cuomo lead from WSJ/NBC/Marist.

(8/19/14) Siena has a 32-point Cuomo lead.

(8/20/14) Quinnipiac has a 28-point lead.

(9/2/14) Cuomo has over $30 million cash on hand.

(9/10/14) Cuomo beat Teachout by a lower-than-expected margin last night (about 25 points), but this should only affect any presidential ambitions he may have, not the general election.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Cuomo up 24.

(9/24/14) WSJ/NBC/Marist has Cuomo up 25.

(9/25/14) Rasmussen has Cuomo up 17.

(9/26/14) Siena has Cuomo up 29.

(10/8/14) Quinnipiac has Cuomo up 20.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Cuomo up 27.

(10/22/14) Siena has Cuomo up 21.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Cuomo up 25.

(10/31/14) WSJ/NBC/Marist has Cuomo up 26.

Ohio Safe R Incumbent John Kasich (R)

This could be one of the marquee races of 2014, though if a recent Quinnipiac poll finding Kasich with a +21 approval is true, it might not be.  The four Democrats most discussed are USCFPB Director Richard Cordray, Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald, Rep. Tim Ryan, and former Rep. Betty Sutton.  Kasich's lead over these four is not nearly as impressive as his approval rating.

(3/18/13) Ryan will not run.  This might be helpful for the Democrats to avoid a contentious primary, but otherwise won't affect the race too much.

(4/24/13) In the month-plus since I've written about this, Sutton has declined and Fitzgerald - oops, FitzGerald - has declared.  Now we just see whether Cordray gets to keep his job, or if he'll need a new one (there is a significant legal challenge to Cordray's appointment as exceeding executive power).

(6/25/13) Quinnipiac has Kasich at 47% and leading by 11 and 14 against Cordray and FitzGerald.  Just under 50% (49%) of voters say he deserves to be reelected.  I think this can now safely be moved to Leans R.

(8/1/13) Kasich is pretty far ahead of FitzGerald money-wise.

(8/10/13) Cordray's been confirmed as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and thus can be considered out, effectively clearing the field for FitzGerald and basically setting the race 16 months in advance.

(8/20/13) PPP's out with a new poll today showing FitzGerald leading Kasich by 3, with Kasich getting a -5 net approval rating.  Back to Tossup.  That didn't last long.  President Obama's net approval is significantly higher than expected, so I'll add an Adv. Kasich for now on the suspicion that the poll might lean left.

(11/26/13) Quinnipiac has Kasich leading FitzGerald by 7 at 44% while FitzGerald's name recognition is under 30%.  Kasich's approval and favorability are down but still pretty good.  On the whole, Tossup/Adv. Kasich.

(11/28/13) On the other hand, these financial problems by the Democratic LG candidate (Eric Kearney) can't be helpful to FitzGerald's campaign.

(12/9/13) Kearney's hometown paper has an editorial saying he should leave the race.

(12/12/13) Kearney out.

(1/2/14) There a number of new developments: FitzGerald has a (maybe) opponent in Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, Kasich has a primary challenge from Ohio Liberty Coalition President Ted Stevenot, and former State Rep. Charlie Earl is running as a Libertarian.  For now I don't consider either challenge likely to succeed.  Portune is a bit of a gadfly and might still pull out; meanwhile FitzGerald has the Democratic establishment behind him.  Kasich has a favorable/unfavorable rating of 75/6 among Republicans in Quinnipiac's latest poll.

(1/5/14) Well, that was quick.  Stevenot out, on the revelation of financial problems by his running mate.

(1/17/14) Fitzgerald's announced a new running mate - attorney Sharen Neuhardt, a two-time failed congressional candidate best known for her activism for pro-choice causes.  It's a bit of an odd pick; you can see Kyle Kondik's explanation for it here.

(1/31/14) Portune didn't last too long either.  He's out.

(2/20/14) Kasich now leads by 5, according to Quinnipiac.

(4/25/14) But has a 6-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage.

(5/1/14) SurveyUSA has Kasich in a 10-point lead.

(5/14/14) Quinnipiac now has Kasich leading by 15.

(5/16/14) PPP has Kasich leading by 4, in a poll for the Ohio Democratic Party.

(6/16/14) Kasich has more than four times the cash on hand FitzGerald does - $9.3 million to $1.9 million.

(7/14/14) PPP has Kasich leading by 1, in a poll for the Ohio Democratic Party.

(7/31/14) Quinnipiac has him leading by 12, continuing this year's pattern of PPP showing a close race and Quinnipiac showing large Kasich leads.

(8/1/14) And the NYT/CBS/YouGov splits the difference and has him leading by 6.

(8/6/14) Kasich has almost five times the cash on hand FitzGerald does - $11.4 million to $2.4 million.

(9/5/14) FitzGerald's basically given up.  Safe R.

(9/10/14) Rasmussen has Kasich up 20.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kasich up 13.

(9/15/14) The Columbus Dispatch has Kasich up 30(!).

(10/1/14) Quinnipiac has Kasich up 22.

(10/6/14) In another indication of the utter collapse of the FitzGerald campaign, Kasich outraised him in September $1.5 million to $55,000.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kasich up 16.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kasich up 19.

(11/1/14) FOX News has Kasich up 15.

(11/1/14) The Columbus Dispatch has Kasich up 28.  They've been a little on the high side lately, and Kasich's probably leading by only 20 points or so.  Which I'm sure is very comforting to the FitzGerald campaign

Oklahoma Safe R Incumbent Mary Fallin (R)

It's Oklahoma.  Enough said.

(2/5/14) Democrats at least have a candidate - State Rep. Joe Dorman.

(7/19/14) Hm.  Rasmussen has Fallin up by only 5 points, with 45% to 40% for Dorman.  It's a far worse result than I would have expected, but I'm keeping this Safe R unless this becomes a trend.

(8/1/14) Well.  NYT/CBS/YouGov has Fallin up 9, still lower than I would expect.  Still Safe R.

(8/5/14) A poll from Republican firm Cole Hargrave Snodgrass has Fallin up 13.

(9/8/14) News 9/News on 6 has Fallin up 18.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Fallin up 18.

(10/4/14) News 9/News on 6 has Fallin up 14.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Fallin up 25.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Fallin up 24.

(11/1/14) The Sooner Poll has Fallin up 8.

Oregon Likely D Incumbent John Kitzhaber (D)

Kitzhaber barely won election in 2010, but Oregon is a blue state and he's unlikely to get a strong opponent.  Businessman Allen Alley might run as a Republican.

(7/25/13) State Rep. Dennis Richardson is running and rancher Jon Justesen is exploring.

(12/9/13) Kitzhaber appears to be running.

(4/6/14) Huh.  Harper has Kitzhaber leading Richardson by only 3 points.  Maybe the state's healthcare exchange mess is doing some damage.

(5/3/14) Vox Populi has Kitzhaber and Richardson tied (both with and without leaners).  One caveat - the same poll also (in my opinion) overstates Republican support in the Senate race (see the Senate page for more), so it may also overstate Republican strength here.

(5/8/14) DHM Research has Kitzhaber leading Richardson by 12, though respondents say by 14 points he doesn't deserve to be reelected.

(5/29/14) PPP has Kitzhaber leading Richardson by 13, though the race should get closer, with underwater job approval for Kitzhaber and 38% name recognition for Richardson among the respondents - among the undecideds, Richardson's name recognition is 38%, and Kitzhaber's job approval is 45 points underwater.

(6/12/14) SurveyUSA has Kitzhaber leading by 13.

(8/1/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has him up 10.

(8/8/14) SurveyUSA has Kitzhaber leading by 12.

(9/8/14) Rasmussen has Kitzhaber up 10.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kitzhaber up 6.

(9/26/14) SurveyUSA for KATU-TV has Kitzhaber up 12.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kitzhaber up 7.

(10/22/14) SurveyUSA has Kitzhaber up 13.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Kitzhaber up 6.

(10/28/14) The Oregonian has Kitzhaber up 7.

(10/31/14) SurveyUSA/KATU has Kitzhaber up 10.

Pennsylvania Likely D Incumbent Tom Corbett (R)

Corbett has had a fairly rocky tenure and already has a strong challenger in Rep. Allyson Schwartz.  He does, however, have political tradition going back decades on his side; the parties have switched control every eight years since the 50's, and Corbett's in the first term of that cycle.  We'll know more once PPP comes out with it's poll this week.

(3/12/13) I'm switching this to Leans D in light of the new PPP poll, where Corbett is down 11 against Schwartz, who nearly reaches 50.  Corbett's approval rating is now down to -25.

(4/29/13) Corbett's status as a seriously vulnerable incumbent is reinforced by this Quinnipiac poll, which shows him trailing former Rep. Joe Sestak by 14, Schwartz by 13, and Treasurer Rob McCord by 9.  The Democratic primary, meanwhile, is wide open; the "leaders", Schwartz and Sestak, each get 15%.

(5/23/13) Sestak has decided to challenge Pat Toomey for the Senate in 2016.  With him out of the way, Schwartz is now the Democratic frontrunner.  I should have noted that former state Environmental Protection secretaries John Hanger and Kathleen McGinty are in the race; as is businessman Tom Wolf. Businessman Max Myers is likely to run, and McCord is as well (plus one other candidate, according to the first article - perhaps Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski).

(5/27/13) This fairly old Global Strategy Group poll confirms Schwartz' relative frontrunner status.

(6/6/13) Voters say 58-23 Corbett did not do enough to investigate the Penn State scandal while AG - just under 47% say the scandal will be important to their vote.

(6/7/13) According to this Quinnipiac poll things have been drifting (very slowly) in Corbett's direction.  Schwartz leads by 10, which is still really bad for Corbett but better than the 13 she had in the previous poll, and Schwartz has also drifted two points away from the crucial 50% support mark (all this is inside the margin of error however).  Schwartz is a relative frontrunner in the Dem primary, though she only gets 18%.  McGinty gets 5%, McCord 4% (very low  for someone who's won statewide twice), Wolf 2%, and all others 1%.  63% are undecided.  Things might be a bit better for Corbett but he's still in trouble.

(6/12/13) McCord is opening a campaign committee.

(6/19/13) Another bad poll for Corbett - 53% total disapproval, 65% does not deserve another term (49% definite), trails Schwartz by 12, and Schwartz nearly hits 50%.

(7/8/13) Harper has Corbett in trouble too: only 24% say he deserves reelection, while 56% say "give someone else a chance".  Unfortunately, they didn't do approval or head-to-head numbers.

(7/17/13) Some Republicans are looking to push Corbett out in favor a stronger candidate.  National Journal reports that the most-discussed alternate candidates are State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and Reps. Mike Kelly, Jim Gerlach, and Pat Meehan.  Assuming this happens (which may not - Corbett doesn''t look like he's willing to step aside, and a primary might be worse than just letting him run uncontested), I think Gerlach or Meehan would be the strongest candidate (they've both also run previously).  Both come from the swingy Philadelphia suburbs, where they won very solid reelections despite Romney only narrowly winning their districts.

(8/29/13) There's a lot of bad news for Corbett in the new Franklin & Marshall poll.  48% of respondents view him unfavorably to 24% who view him favorably.  Only 20% say he's done enough to deserve reelection while 69% say it's time for a change.  Only 1% view him as doing an excellent job, 15% a good job, 43% a fair job, and 33% a poor job.

(9/9/13) Pawlowski in.

(10/4/13) Corbett just compared same-sex marriage to incest.  Things really are not looking good for him.

(10/31/13) Another terrible Franklin & Marshall poll for Corbett.  52% of voters have an unfavorable opinion of him, compared to only 23% who have a favorable opinion.  The other numbers have 'improved' slightly: now only 67% percent of voters think he doesn't deserve reelection, and 19% as opposed to 16% think he's doing a good or excellent job.  The good news for Republicans is that Republican voters think - by a small margin - the party ought to nominate someone else.

(11/1/13) Well, Corbett is running for reelection.  Meanwhile, the Rothenberg Political Report has decided to join me and Larry Sabato in calling this Leans D.

(11/26/13) The results for Corbett in the new PPP poll are absolutely terrible.  His net approval is -41, and even a majority of Republicans (but not primary voters) disapprove of the job he's doing.  None of the Democrats has name recognition over 50%, and only Schwartz and former state Auditor Jack Wagner (who isn't yet running) have name recognition significantly over 30%.  Despite this, Corbett trails all by double digits.  The best he does is 12-point losses to Wolf and Pawlowski.  His highest vote share is 33% against Pawlowski and Schwartz.  He trails Schwartz and McGinty by 15, Hanger and McCord by 19, and Wagner by 20.  Primary voters net disapprove of his job, and want someone else by 5 points.  He leads Kelly and Gerlach by 11 in a primary, but that appears to be due to name recognition, and he seems to be stuck at 42% of the primary vote (h/t to PPP for noticing that).  Republican chances to hold the governorship would probably improve with another candidate (though I'm still not sure it's advantageous if it occurs because of a primary challenge) but even then it seems like Democrats would be advantaged.  PPP tested Kelly and Gerlach against Schwartz - both trailed by 8.  There are two possible takeaways from the Gerlach-Schwartz/Kelly-Schwartz results.  On the one hand, one could say that the fact that Kelly and Gerlach both get basically the same vote share as Corbett suggests that Corbett's tenure has seriously damaged Republicans, and that things are so bad for the party that any nominee will be in the same trouble as Corbett.  On the other hand (this is the position I lean towards) one could note Gerlach and Kelly's low name recognition (around 30%) and Schwartz' low vote total (around 40%) and conclude that, though disadvantaged, a different Republican would have significantly better chances than Corbett.  Meanwhile, the race to become the lucky Democrat to take on Corbett is wide open, with 21% for Schwartz, 17% for Wagner, 10% for McCord, 9% for McGinty, 8% for Hanger, 4% for Pawlowski, and 2% each for Myers, Wolf, and Lebanon County Commissioner JoEllen Litz.

(12/3/13) Politico mentions yet another major potential Democratic candidate - former Lt. Governor Mark Singel, who served under Bob Casey and lost to Tom Ridge 20 years ago (though he's still fairly young).  Without polling it's hard to get a sense of how strong he might be.  Meanwhile, there's another poll of the Democratic primary which gives Schwartz another small lead.  She takes 22%, to 15% for McGinty, 12% for McCord, 7% for Hanger, 6% for Pawlowski, and 5% for Wolf.

(12/18/13) Another bad poll for Corbett - though definitely better than PPP - Quinnipiac has him leading Hanger by 5, and trailing Pawlowski by 2, McCord by 3, Wolf and McGinty by 7, Schwartz by 8, and Wagner by 12.  His other numbers are pretty bad as well: 36/53 approval, and respondents say by 20 points he doesn't deserve reelection.

(1/10/14) Well, Wolf is making good on his promise to spend millions of his own money on this race.

(1/30/14) Still more bad results for Corbett from Franklin & Marshall.

(1/31/14) Pawlowski out.

(2/9/14) Not terribly surprising, given the large number of candidates, but no Democrat won an official party endorsement for the primary.

(2/20/14) Wagner reportedly in.

(2/25/14) Myers out.  Meanwhile, the big news of the day comes from Harper, which finds that after his ad blitz, Wolf leads the Democratic primary by 26 points (40% to 14% for Schwartz and single digits for the rest).

(2/26/14) Franklin & Marshall confirms the Harper results.  Meanwhile, Quinnipiac found that Wolf's spending has helped in the general too.  He leads Corbett by 19, compared to 7-point leads for McCord and Wagner, a 6-point lead for Schwartz, 3 points for Hanger, and 2 for McGinty.  Meanwhile, his favorability among the general electorate looks like what you'd expect him to get among Democrats.  Even among Republicans, his favorability is more than double his unfavorability.

(3/14/14) Hanger out.

(3/21/14) McCord and McGinty have started putting up ads.

(3/28/14) Wagner out.

(4/4/14) Franklin & Marshall has Wolf leading the Democratic primary with 33%, to 7% for Schwartz, 6% for McCord, and 4% for McGinty.  With leaners, it's 40/9/8/6.

(4/9/14) PPP for has Corbett trailing a generic Democratic opponent by 22 points. Meanwhile, fundraising numbers are out.  Corbett, Wolf, Schwartz, McGinty, and McCord raised $1.4 million, $600,000, $1.5 million, $1.1 million, and $567,000, respectively, and have $6 million, $7 million, $5.1 million, $1.6 million, and $3.1 million cash on hand.

(4/20/14) A poll of Wolf's campaign by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner has him taking 52% of the Democratic primary vote, with 14% for McCord, 12% for Schwartz, and 5% for McGinty.

(4/25/14) Wolf may not be able to keep up the spending if he wins the primary.

(5/3/14) Muhlenberg has Wolf with another big primary lead - 38 to 13 for Schwartz, 11 for McCord, and 2 for McGinty.

(5/14/14) New Franklin & Marshall poll - another big Wolf lead.

(5/15/14) Harper has Wolf at 50%, with 15% each for Schwartz and McCord, and 5% for McGinty.

(5/19/14) Muhlenberg College / Morning Call has Wolf with 41% to 16% for Schwartz, 11% for McCord, and 7% for McGinty (leaners included - without leaners it's 37/14/9/5).

(5/21/14) Very big win for Wolf last night (40 points over Schwartz).  He should start with a significant lead over Corbett.  He's probably down from the 19-point lead Quinnipiac had him at in February (which is the last general election poll I can find), but a double-digit lead is not out of the question.

(6/1/14) Maybe not.  Rasmussen has him leading Corbett by 20 points.

(6/3/14) And PPP has him leading by 25 points, as a result both of Wolf's popularity (+27 net favorability) and Corbett's unpopularity (-31 net approval).  Indeed, their favorability numbers are fairly neat reverses of each other - while Corbett is well underwater with Independents and narrowly approved of by Republicans, Wolf has very high favorability among Independents and is even close to even among Republicans.  As I've said before, part of this is probably a result of Wolf having the airwaves almost to himself for so long, and things probably should get closer as the spending becomes more equalized (though he doesn't appear to have taken any particular hit from the Democratic primary becoming more combative). Even so, Corbett is in serious trouble (forget the incumbent-under-fifty-percent rule, Corbett hasn't been above 40% against Wolf since last January). I'm very close to moving this to Likely D.

(6/4/14) Quinnipiac has Wolf leading by 20.  This is the fourth poll in a row (from three different pollsters) that has Wolf leading by near to or more than 20 points - the last one that didn't have him with such a lead was in January.  Likely D.

(7/2/14) And now Franklin and Marshall has Wolf leading by 22.  I suppose Corbett can take solace in the fact that Wolf is under 50%, but, on the other hand, an incumbent in the mid-twenties...

(8/1/14) It says a lot about Corbett's situation that only trailing by 13 points is a big improvement.

(8/7/14) More of the same: Magellan has him trailing by 12.

(8/28/14) Franklin and Marshall has Corbett down 25, with 24% of the vote.

(9/4/14) Harper has Corbett losing by a comparatively low 11 points.  He's also gone above 40% of the vote for the first time in ... 18 months.

(9/11/14) Quinnipiac has Wolf up 24.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Wolf up 11.

(9/21/14) Muhlenberg College has Wolf up 21.

(9/22/14) It's just piling on at this point, but Wolf is outraising Corbett and has more cash-on-hand.

(9/25/14) Franklin and Marshall has Wolf up 20.

(9/25/14) On the other hand, Magellan has Wolf 'only' up 9, the first poll since January Corbett hasn't lost by double digits.

(9/26/14) Mercyhurst University has Wolf up 15.

(10/3/14) Robert Morris University has Wolf up 23.

(10/7/14) Quinnipiac has Wolf up 17.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Wolf up 9.

(10/18/14) Magellan has Wolf up 'only' 7.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Wolf up 13.

(10/29/14) Franklin and Marshall has Wolf up 13.

(10/29/14) Harper has Wolf up 10.

(11/1/14) Muhlenberg has Wolf up 9.

Rhode Island Likely D Incumbent Lincoln Chafee (D)

This race is setting up to be a battle of the political titans.  On both the Democratic and Republican sides are a number of very popular possibilities: for Republicans, former State Police Superintendent Brendan Doherty, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian; for Democrats, State Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras.  In the middle of this is Lincoln Chafee, a former liberal Republican Senator who is as disliked as those just listed are liked.  Polling shows Raimondo would start out with a small edge, but it's difficult to predict what will happen, particularly when you throw Moderate Ken Block into the mix.  Chafee might run as a Democrat.

(5/18/13) Doherty won't run, and it looks like Avedisian won't either but Fung probably will.  Meanwhile, former state auditor Ernie Almonte is out on the Democratic side - I forgot to mention him earlier since he wasn't really a major figure in the race.  Anyway, this race is now one of the weirder ones of the cycle, as Raimondo has won plaudits from Republicans for her work on pension reform, and both her and Fung have high favorability across the board.

(5/21/13) Block will run, and, according to Kevin Brennan of National Journal, could be trouble for the GOP.  The scenario he lays out is a distinct possibility, but I think it's also possible he could siphon off moderate votes from Raimondo.

(5/29/13) Chafee will run as a Democrat.  This could make it simultaneously easier and more difficult for the Republicans to win.  On the one hand, the lack of an Independent Chafee candidacy will unify the Democratic vote.  On the other hand, if Chafee wins the primary, Fung might benefit from facing Chafee alone, given Chafee's terrible approval ratings and Fung's correspondingly high numbers.

(5/29/13) It's worth looking back a PPP's poll of this race from late January.  Raimondo wins a primary with Chafee, Taveras, and Almonte 35/22/19/11.  Almonte drew from the conservative and moderate voters who also support Raimondo, so without him she would likely win even bigger.  A lot in the general depends on the Democratic primary.  Chafee/Fung/Block would have Fung leading by 4; Taveras lead by 6 and Raimondo by 19.  Given Raimondo's strength in the primary and general, I'm moving this to Leans D until I see more, though it's volatile enough that Democrats should keep an eye on this seat.  Two more points, one important, one interesting: 1) Chafee may well have Obama's endorsement.  They have a good working relationship and Obama declined to endorse the Democrat when Chafee ran as an Independent in 2010.  2) If Chafee wins the Dem primary this race might have the greatest disparity in approval ratings in the country - Fung's currently at +41, while Chafee's at -26.

(5/29/13) I should note that the -26 net approval rating for Chafee I described in the previous entry is only from the PPP poll.  According to Nate Silver's average of the most recent four polls the actual net approval is an astounding -43.

(5/30/13) Obama is being fairly enthusiastic about Chafee.

(6/3/13) Rothenberg is moving this race to 'Democrat Favored' - effectively 'Likely D'.  I think there's a reasonable case to be made for that, though the fundamentals argument on which he relies has much less of an effect in gubernatorial races than Senate or presidential races - the state has no problem voting for Republicans for Governor.  And Fung, to say the least, is formidable.  A lot depends on the Democratic primary.  Raimondo and probably Taveras as well would be strong enough to make this Likely D, while a Chafee win would probably result in a downgrade to a tossup.  Given such contingencies, I think Leans D is more appropriate at the present time.

(8/1/13) Raimondo is pretty far ahead in money.

(8/11/13) Robitaille is reconsidering his earlier decision not to run.

(9/4/13) Chafee out.  Without the possibility of him winning the Democratic primary, this moves to Likely D.

(9/11/13) Fung has set up an exploratory committee, meaning he'll probably run.

(9/26/13) In contravention to PPP's earlier results, an internal poll for the Taveras campaign has him leading Raimondo in the primary by 19.

(10/9/13) Interesting poll results out of Brown University: Raimondo leads Taveras 42-34 in the primary, but Taveras does better against Fung (42-33 v. 38-36) and is more popular statewide (64% good or excellent, v. 54% for Raimondo).

(10/25/13) Well, Taveras is in.

(10/28/13) Block has decided to run in the Republican primary instead.  This is probably marginally helpful to Republicans, who he might have taken more votes from running as a Moderate (I don't think he has too much chance to win the nomination).

(11/5/13) Fung in.

(11/19/13) Claiborne Pell IV, the grandson of the former Senator, has started an exploratory committee to run for Governor.

(12/18/13) Raimondo in.

(1/28/14) Pell in.

(4/11/14) Brown University has Raimondo narrowly leading Taveras, 29% to 26%, with 10% for Pell.  On the Republican side, surprisingly, Block leads Fung 36-31.

(4/25/14) Taveras raised $500,000 last quarter, while Raimondo raised over $1 million.

(5/1/14) And Pell gave himself another $1 million.

(6/4/14) WPRI has Taveras at 33% in the Democratic primary, with Raimondo at 29% and Pell at 12%.

(8/1/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Taveras beating Block by 25.

(8/20/14) WPRI now has Raimondo 32%, Taveras 27%, and Pell at 26%.

(9/8/14) Politico has a write-up of the race here.

(9/10/14) Raimondo and Fung are their respective party's nominees.

(9/12/14) For all it's worth, NYT/CBS/YouGov has a Taveras-Block race tied.

(9/27/14) Rasmussen has Raimondo leading Fung by 5.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Raimondo up 3.

(10/15/14) Providence Journal / WPRI-12 has Raimondo up 6.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Raimondo up 5.

(10/28/14) Brown University has Raimondo up 1.

South Carolina Likely R Incumbent Nikki Haley (R)

This was far closer than it should have been in 2010, and Haley has had a rocky tenure since, though she'll be boosted by the partisan lean of the state.  All eyes are on 2010 Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen, who might run again.

(4/10/14) Sheheen's in.  Because of the partisan lean of the state, I'm keeping this in Leans R for now, but Republicans really should keep an eye on this or they might receive a nasty surprise on election night.

(6/24/13) Haley might not run for reelection.  If she doesn't, one guy to watch is Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell.

(8/12/13) Haley's spokesman says she's running for reelection and will announce soon.

(8/27/13) Haley's running.

(10/11/13) Haley raised just under $1 million, Sheheen just over $500,000.

(10/29/13) Haley leads by 9 in a new Harper poll.  She still isn't really liked, but then again, neither is Sheheen, who posts a -4 net favorability.

(4/11/14) Haley outraised Sheheen last quarter, and has $4.3 million on hand compared to $1.7 million for Sheheen and $270,000 for primary challenger Tom Ervin.

(4/13/14) Now Ervin is running as an Independent.  If Haley wins I expect her margin of victory to be fairly small, so Ervin could act as a spoiler, but I don't expect it to happen - even though he's a Republican I think at least a significant portion of his vote would come from voters who would otherwise have gone for Sheheen.

(4/24/14) Rasmussen has Haley leading Sheheen by 15.

(5/6/14) Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is campaigning for Sheheen.  Whether that is a good thing for Sheheen remains to be seen.

(7/11/14) Haley remains well ahead of Sheheen in fundraising and cash on hand, while Ervin put $1.5 million of his own money towards his bid.

(7/23/14) The Palmetto Politics Poll has Haley leading Sheheen by 4, 46% to 42%.

(7/25/14) Ervin made it onto the ballot.

(8/2/14) The NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll has Haley leading Sheheen by 17.  One caveat: the poll didn't list Ervin or Libertarian Victor Kocher as an option (just generic 'other').  In the recent Palmetto Politics poll, Haley's lead went from 13 to 4 when they were included.

(8/19/14) Ervin is putting out $2 million worth of ads.  He definitely has the potential to be a serious third party candidate - and thus possibly a spoiler.

(8/29/14) Rasmussen has Haley leading by 15 with 6% for 'other'.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haley up 21.

(9/17/14) Ervin is putting up another $500,000 in ads.

(10/1/14) Winthrop University has Haley up 10 with 4% for Ervin.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haley up 17.

(10/21/14) The Post and Courier has Haley up 20 with 11% for Ervin.  Likely R.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haley up 17 (without including Ervin).

(10/28/14) Ervin out.

South Dakota Safe R Incumbent Dennis Daugaard (R)

See Oklahoma.

(3/2/14) Rasmussen has Daugaard leading Democrat Joe Lowe by 40 points.

(5/15/14) SurveyUSA has Daugaard leads of 33 points and 36 points.

(6/9/14) Rasmussen has Daugaard leading Democrat Susan Wismer by 20.

(8/2/14) Another huge lead from the NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll: 39 points.

(9/11/14) SurveyUSA has Daugaard up 20.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Daugaard up 28.

(9/30/14) Neilson Brothers has Daugaard up 25.

(10/9/14) SurveyUSA has Daugaard up 29.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Daugaard up 26.

(10/13/14) Harper has Daugaard up 18.

(10/26/14) NBC/Marist has Daugaard up 39.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Daugaard up 26.

(10/28/14) The Argus-Leader has Daugaard up 36.

Tennessee Safe R Incumbent Bill Haslam (R)

Haslam has managed quite well and should have an easy reelection.   Democrats might nominate state house minority leader Craig Fitzhugh, who has admitted Haslam will probably not "lose any sleep over me".

(7/12/13) This might complicate things: Haslam has kept a lobbyist on his private payroll, a possible violation of campaign finance law.  If true, this could cause problems, but Haslam has far to fall before he would be in any danger.

(8/7/13) Fitzhugh's out, but former Teennessee Regulatory Authority Director Sara Kyle might run.

(5/3/14) Rasmussen has Haslam leading former Sullivan County Commissioner John McKamey by 30.

(8/2/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haslam leading McKamey by 23.

(8/21/14) Rasmussen has Haslam leading Democratic candidate Charlie Brown by 25.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haslam up 27.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haslam up 32.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Haslam up 28.

Texas Safe R Incumbent Rick Perry (R)

Perry's unpopularity and the prospect of a bloody primary with AG Greg Abbott - who has an incredible $18 million in the bank - remove this from the category of 'Safe R'.  This is a case where the incumbent party might actually be better off without the incumbent as a candidate, but either Perry or Abbott would be favored.  Democrats might nominate state Sen. Wendy Davis.

(6/18/13) Another University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows Perry beating Abbott by a wide margin - others are much closer (go here for a full list).  Meanwhile, the Republican primary is getting colorful with secession activist Larry SECEDE Kilgore (seriously), ethnic chauvinist and nasty campaigner extraordinaire Miriam Martinez, and former Workforce Commissioner Tom Pauken all running.

(6/20/13) Perry says he will decide before July 1.

(7/1/13) Ross Ramsey pours a bit of (accurate) cold water on the Davis-for-Governor rumors that have popped up following her filibuster of the abortion bill.

(7/2/13) There's a lot of interesting data about Davis'filibuster in this new PPP poll.  For purposes of the governor's race, it shows Democrats don't have much of a chance to win.  Republicans lead by double digits in all cases except Perry v. (San Antonio Mayor Julian) Castro and Abbott v. Davis.  Neither Castro nor 2010 nominee Bill White will run.

(7/5/13) Very good Harry Enten piece here.

(7/8/13) Perry will not run for reelection.  Look for Abbott to declare soon.  He should be a pretty solid frontrunner.

(7/14/13) Abbott in.  Given Abbott's strength and what does not look to be a seriously contested primary, this can move to Safe R.

(8/6/13) Davis will either run for reelection or for Governor.

(8/29/13) Davis has postponed her announcement of her decision until late September.

(9/18/13) Davis will announce her plans Oct. 3.

(9/26/13) Reports are that Davis will run.

(10/2/13) A new poll out of Texas Lyceum is causing some buzz by finding that Abbot leads by 8, but both candidates have support levels in the 20's.  For a number of reasons, I don't find the result terribly credible.  The number of undecideds would have had to spike 38 points from PPP's last poll of this race and 30 from their first poll.  It's possible PPP's result simply overstated the number of decided voters, though it's unrealistic to suggest that can come close to explaining the difference.  Most likely, I think, Texas Lyceum didn't list the candidates' party affiliation (I can't tell for sure because they didn't release the questions).  This being Texas, party affiliation is something that would redound to Abbott's benefit if it were included.  There's another problem: according to the release, fifty percent of respondents approve of the job Obama is doing.  Generally, I'm not a fan of the skewed-poll argument (having learned my lesson last election), but that result is simply outside the bounds of reasonableness.  It's higher than Obama's national approval rating in all but one poll taken in the last four-and-a-half months.  It's nine points higher than Obama's share of the vote in Texas in 2012 (a number which, I've argued on this blog before, should generally exceed his current statewide approval rating, given his national decline in approval).  And it was taken before the whole shutdown business.

(10/4/13) Peter Hamby of CNN offers '8 glimmers of hope' for Davis in this piece (and it's important to keep in mind they're only glimmers.  Some are more persuasive than others.  Numbers 2 and 8, for example, I don't find too persuasive.  Number 2 is a standard feature of elections that resolves itself without much fuss as the election goes on.  Number 8 is true as far as it goes, but the simple fact is that Abbott starts out with $20-25 million while Davis has less than a million.  Outside money will come in, but it's hard to see those groups putting on a long-shot candidate the amount of money necessary to approach Abbott's advantage.  Most of the glimmers are things that would only be decisive in a very close election; a point to which Davis will have trouble getting (I apologize if that sentence doesn't make sense; it's late).  Numbers 3 and 6 are the only ones I think have the possibility to be major events.  Sure, implosions like Akin's happen, but not very often.  In other words, it's possible Abbott could self-destruct badly enough to put Davis in the Governor's office, but the likelihood of that happening is extremely low.  As for Medina: 1) She might not run.  After all, she's raising money for comptroller and simply hasn't said she won't make an Independent run; 2) Her 18.6% in the primary isn't that impressive.  By my calculations, if she had gotten that many votes in the 2010 general, she would have gotten 5.5%.  That might swing a close election, but even if you take every single theoretical Medina vote from Perry, he still would've beaten White by more than 7 points; 3) She appears to have maybe been a bit of a flash in the pan produced by the Tea Party wave and a brutal primary between Perry and Kay Bailey Hutchison that left both with net approvals - among primary voters - in the positive single digits.  4) It's possible that the more people get to know her, the less they like her.  In the two weeks between PPP's last two polls of 2010 primary voters, her net favorability nosedived from +31 to +6, and she lost four points of support.  21% of primary voters thought she was a truther and 29% weren't sure. 5) There's a lot of difference between supporting someone for your party's nomination for Governor, and supporting them as an Independent when they lose.

(10/7/13) Davis says she expects to raise $40 million by the time this race is over.  I suppose that may be doable, but it's a tall order.  For comparison, in the two weeks of being the center of national liberal attention after her filibuster, she raised just under a million dollars.  To reach her target, she'd have to overperform that by 2/3rds every single two-week period from now until Election Day.

(11/4/13) A UT/Texas Tribune poll has Abbott leading Davis by 6.  Abbott and Davis have equal, fairly low name recognition.

(11/5/13) Meanwhile, PPP has Abbott leading by 15.  Davis' favorability has fallen considerably since their last poll, from a net of +10 to a net of -6.  Davis actually has more name recognition than Abbott.  A Medina run would still leave Abbott with a 10-point lead.

(12/5/13) Pauken out.

(1/14/14) Davis' fundraising was pretty good, but Abbott kept pace.

(1/20/14) This can't help Davis' chances of winning, but as I said of Republican odds in New York, it's hard to get lower than zero.

(2/24/14) The UT/Texas Tribune poll has Abbott up 11 over Davis.

(3/5/14) There isn't too much to note in the primary results.  Meanwhile, Rasmussen has Abbot leading by 12.

(4/15/14) PPP has Abbott leading Davis by 14.  Abbott's pretty well liked, with 40-27 favorability, while Davis is well underwater at 33-47.

(6/12/14) UT/Texas Tribune has Abbott leading by 12.

(7/17/14) Davis is keeping up with Abbott in fundraising at least, but is still far behind in cash on hand.

(7/28/14) A NYT/CBS/YouGov online poll has Abbott up 17.

(8/19/14) Rasmussen has Abbott up 8.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Abbott up 18.

(10/1/14) Texas Lyceum has Abbott up 9.

(10/3/14) Rasmussen has Abbott up 11.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Abbott up 14.

(10/20/14) KHOU-TV has Abbott up 15.

(10/23/14) UT / Texas Tribune has Abbott up 16.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Abbott up 20.

Vermont Safe D Incumbent Peter Shumlin (D)

Shumlin just came off of a resounding reelection, and should be in no trouble.

(8/2/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Shumlin with 52% to 27% for Republican businessman Scott Milne and 15% for Independent Republican hemp activist Emily Peyton.

(8/29/14) Rasmussen has Shumlin leading Milne by 12.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Shumlin up 10.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Shumlin up 17 with 11% for Peyton.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Shumlin up 12.

Virginia (2013) Leans D Incumbent Bob McDonnell (R) (Term-limited)

This will be the big race of 2013.  AG Ken Cuccinelli and former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe were the only ones to file for their respective nominations, so the only question is whether Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, angry about Cuccinelli's side switching to a nominating convention, decides to run as an Independent (He will announce his decision March 14).  Cuccinelli and McAuliffe both have their own liabilities.  McAuliffe has a great ability to fundraise to point out Cuccinelli's, while Cuccinelli is a rock star for a huge base that doesn't think they're liabilities.

(3/12/13) Bolling won't run.  I agree with much of the analysis at the link.

(4/17/13) It's surprising how little I've written about this race thus far, but there are a few new developments to talk about.  McAuliffe has been taking quite a bit of heat recently over his GreenTech business (see here, for example), while Cuccinelli's set off his own little controversy about an anti-sodomy law.  A recent Roanoke College poll found Cuccinelli leading by 8 (an earlier one by 7), but, as a guy on my Twitter feed whose name escapes me noted rather snarkily, they found in late October last year that George Allen was leading by 5.  Tell that to Senator Kaine.  It's probably more accurate to find a nailbiter race, as Quinnipiac and University of Mary Washington did.  The plus side for McAuliffe: he raised an impressive $5.1 million in the last three months, while Cuccinelli only raised $2.4 million (although partially because he couldn't fundraise when the General Assembly is in session, meaning Cuccinelli only had half the time).

(5/4/13) Hmm.  This Washington Post poll has Cuccinelli up 5 among registered voters and 10 among likely voters.  I'm keeping this tossup because the race is still sort of undefined for a lot of voters, but I wonder if the recent controversies over GreenTech and some nasty headlines over McAuliffe's antics as a Democratic Party fundrasier are hitting home.

(5/16/13) McAuliffe is now up 5 by Quinnipiac.

(5/17/13) And ... a Republican-affiliated pollster has Cuccinelli up by 8.  Well then.

(5/20/13) The state GOP probably didn't do themselves any favors by nominating a controversial ticket - Lt. Gov. nominee EW Jackson is coming under particular scrutiny. This will make it more difficult for Cuccinelli to pivot away from social issues that might be a liability.  On the other hand, the nomination of a ticket the base loves - as John Fund argued on NRO's Corner blog - could help swamp McAuliffe on turnout.

(5/21/13) Apparently many in the state GOP - including Cuccinelli himself - are worried about being too closely associated with Jackson.

(5/23/13) Sean Trende has a great analysis here.

(5/25/13) One problem with the turnout argument is that there's not a lot of evidence I can see that Jackson has any sort of special pull with the base.  Remember, he was nominated at convention, so he only got a couple thousand votes - and was helped by a strong speech right before voting and a weird kerfuffle over sham endorsements of his opponent before the final ballot.  In the only primary he's actually run in - Senate 2012 - he got a bit less than 5% of the vote, indicating he's got a lot of work to do if he's going to try to pull off a turnout victory.  As for Cuccinelli - he could try to distance himself from Jackson, but whoever wins the LG race will control the balance of power in the state Senate for the first half of his term, a huge price to pay.

(5/26/13) Former Republican Senator John Warner is refusing to endorse.

(5/28/13) Who wants to bet the Republicans will have a primary in 2017?

(5/28/13) According to Ben Tribbett of Not Larry Sabato, the Democratic LG primary is not going well either.

(5/29/13) Peter Ferrara argues in The American Spectator that the combined ticket of Cuccinelli, Jackson, and AG nominee Mark Obenshain will produce an unstoppable Reagan-like wave of conservative sentiment that will overwhelm McAuliffe and whoever the Dems put up for LG and AG (Most of the article is taken up with discussion of policy - go the the section "The Political Stakes" on page 2).  I have, at minimum, serious doubts about this.  Jackson in particular (Cuccinelli and Obenshain, not so much) will turn off key suburban sections of the Republican coalition, and any victory will most likely be far from a landslide unless circumstances radically change.  On the whole, the article seems to fall for what has been called "the siren song of punditry": assuming your preferred policies make good politics.

(5/29/13) PPP's new poll finds that neither Cuccinelli nor McAuliffe are liked but McAuliffe is less disliked, and thus leads by 5 (Cuccinelli net approval is -12, and McAuliffe net approval is -4).  McAuliffe has a small but distinct advantage now, I think, but not enough to make this Leans D.  For LG, Jackson is pretty unknown but still has a nasty -11 net approval.  He's not doing as bad as I thought he would be but is still not in a good situation.  For AG, all the candidates have extremely poor name recognition but Obenshain seems to be holding his own.

(5/30/13) In an excellent piece, Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics notes one of the odder aspects of the PPP poll - namely, that the number of undecideds has risen from 13% to 21%.

(5/31/13) Winston Churchill said in the British Parliament that he hoped the bomb plot against Hitler failed - because Hitler was such a bad strategist he might well have been working for the Allies for all the damage he did to the Nazi war effort.  I recalled that anecdote when reading this - Jackson might as well be working for the Virginia Democratic Party for all the damage he's doing to the Republican ticket.

(6/3/13) Time details the nasty aspects of the campaign here, and argues it will probably get worse.  Meanwhile, according to Steve Contorno of the Washington Examiner, the race could turn into pure base motivation campaigns if the candidates' approval ratings continue their downward slide.  In that situation Cuccinelli would have an advantage given his intense support among the base - something McAuliffe simply doesn't have.  On the other hand, McAuliffe looks set to crush Cuccinelli among moderates and may win Independents by a significant margin.

(6/6/13) McAuliffe is trying to build an Obama-style turnout operation, while the LG race just keeps getting weirder and weirder.

(6/7/13) Do I think McAuliffe can succeed at Obama-style turnout?  In a word, no.  In more than one, let me explain: Obama's turnout machine depended not just on data and technology but also his cultural-phenomenon status as the cool, young first black president.  McAuliffe is somewhere between 'businessman' and 'party hack'.  The liberal base, minorities, and infrequent voters particularly like Obama; McAuliffe has no such appeal - or at any rate much less.  I suppose he'll have the money to build a decent operation (I wouldn't know how much it costs), but he's far more likely to win by beating Cuccinelli among Independents than winning a turnout war.

(6/7/13) Cuccinelli is at least trying to distance himself from Jackson.

(6/11/13) State Sen. Ralph Northam has won the Dem primary.  His more moderate image could help create contrasts with Cuccinelli and Jackson.  Larry Sabato put it well: "Dem goal is to build out to GOV & AG from Northam strengths. GOP goal is to separate 3 contests."

(6/11/13) You know, that primary worked out pretty well.  Virginia Republicans, are you taking notes?  I will stop the snark now.

(6/27/13) This race has been pretty quiet of late,and not much has changed.  It's still very tight.  Adrian Gray's predictive model gives Cuccinelli a 50.4% chance to win, while McAuliffe has a 49.6% chance.

(7/1/13) I should mention the recent ethics scandals surrounding Governor McDonnell.  The quick version is that he used the Governor's mansion to reward donors and failed to disclose many quite valuable gifts.  As a general rule, this would be expected to redound to the benefit of the party out of power (i.e., Democrats), which I think is most likely to happen, but Jim Geraghty argues that McAuliffe is ill-positioned to take advantage of this.

(7/11/13) Both Cuccinelli and McAuliffe are reacting strongly to the scandal.

(7/16/13) PPP's releasing a new poll today, but in the meantime, I'm calling this Advantage McAuliffe.

(7/16/13) I've expected for a while that Cuccinelli would be outspent, given that fundraising is one of McAuliffe's talents, but just 'outspent' may not describe McAuliffe's greater-than-2-to-1 cash on hand lead.

(7/16/13) Despite McDonnell's and Cuccinelli's troubles, McAuliffe only leads by 4, as people don't really like him either.  Still Tossup/Adv. McAuliffe, but the previously mentioned cash on hand disparity may soon make this Leans D.

(7/17/13) Roanoke has Cuccinelli up by 6 but, as I've noted previously, they have a pretty large GOP lean.  Quinnipiac should have a poll of the race out tomorrow.

(7/18/13) Quinnipiac also finds McAuliffe leading by 4, with both candidates having much higher net favorability ratings than PPP (the ones PPP gets tend to be low).  The scandal may not have much of an effect after - 70% said it wouldn't affect their vote, 14% said it would make them more likely to vote for McAuliffe, and 10% said it would make the more likely to vote for Cuccinelli, 13-11 among Independents.

(7/24/13) A probe into a top DHS official's possible influence in the EB-5 visa program could end up hitting McAuliffe.  Meanwhile, McDonnell is trying to get on top of his own scandal.  Whether this will be successful remains to be seen.

(7/29/13) McDonnell's wife spent at least $17,400 in campaign and inaugural funds on personal items.  Surprisingly, this is legal in Virginia, but it still doesn't look good.

(8/4/13) Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer is backing McAuliffe with a lot of money.  He doesn't appear to have had much of an effect on previous races he's spent in (the general and Dem primary of the Massachusetts special Senate race)  On the other hand, in a race like this, even a marginal benefit for one candidate could flip the outcome.

(8/5/13) While the focus more recently has been on Cuccinelli and McDonnell's problems, it's important to note things aren't exactly sunny for McAuliffe either.

(8/12/13) More piling on.

(8/21/13) Cuccinelli's coming off worse than McAuliffe out of these last couple months of scandal.  He now trails by 6 according to Quinnipiac, and McAuliffe gets close to a majority with 48%.  This may understate Cuccinelli's slide a bit.  Quinnipiac switched from registered voters to likely voters in this poll, a move that usually benefits Republicans.

(8/22/13) McAuliffe leads by 4 in a Democratic Party internal poll.

(8/29/13) McAuliffe leads by 7 in this PPP/LCV poll, though he gets a smaller portion of the vote than he did in Quinnipiac - 44%.  Libertarian Sarvis takes 9%.  Comparing this poll to the Quinnipiac one suggests that Sarvis isn't drawing too much more off of Cuccinelli than off of McAuliffe.  McAuliffe loses 4 points, Cuccinelli loses 5, and Sarvis gains 7-9 (depending on how you count the two percent in Quinnipiac who said 'someone else').  The crosstabs tend to suggest this.  Sarvis gets 8% of the Democratic vote and 2% of the Republican, but 21% of the Independent.  Both major candidates' favorabilities are upside-down.  Cuccinelli's fav./unfav. numbers are 35/54, and McAuliffe's are 36/48.

(8/29/13) An Emerson College poll has McAuliffe up 10 and Sarvis at 10%.  I should note that there is some dispute as to whether Sarvis can actually receive the amount of votes the polls are indicating.  As a general rule, polls tend to overstate the strength of third-party candidates, but there are cases where both candidates are unpopular and third parties receive about what the polls would suggest.  On the other hand, 9-10% for Sarvis would be unprecedented in recent Virginia political history (the previous third-party record holder got 2.2% (excepting one case, when Independent Henry Howell effectively ran as the Democratic nominee (h/t Geoffrey Skelley)).

(8/30/13) Larry Sabato, Kyle Kondik, and Geoffrey Skelley have switched their rating of the race to Leans D.  They make an excellent case, and my sense is that they are correct.  One big possibility to keep an eye on is a possible write-in bid bid by Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (who briefly considered then declined an Independent run months ago).  If McDonnell resigns, and Bolling serves well as an interim Governor, it's possible, and the unpopularity of the two candidates makes a victory for him possible if unlikely (it's basically been all downhill for both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli all campaign, and I don't expect that trend to reverse).

(9/5/13) Steyer's dumping another $500,000 in the race against Cuccinelli.

(9/7/13) Rasmussen has Cuccinelli down 7, with 7% for 'some other candidate (i.e., Sarvis).  McAuliffe now definitely has a clear advantage.

(9/12/13) On the other hand, Purple Strategies has McAuliffe up 5, with 43% of the vote.  Both candidates are so hated, (net favorabilities -15 and -20), Republicans may start rooting for McAuliffe, and Democrats for Cuccinelli, on the "you made your bed, now lie in it" theory of politics.  In other words, if McAuliffe wins, Democrats will celebrate winning, and Republicans will celebrate the Democrats being stuck with McAuliffe as Governor for four years.  And vice versa. There are some interesting aspects of the poll.  McAuliffe's -28 net favorability among Independents is far worse than Cuccinelli's -16, and Cuccinelli wins Independents by 12 (somethiing I certainly didn't expect).

(9/12/13) McAuliffe is enmeshed in another scandal.

(9/17/13) McAuliffe raised $2 million more than Cuccinelli and leads by about $3 million in cash on hand.

(9/18/13) Maybe I was a bit too hasty in switching the rating.  Quinnipiac has McAuliffe only up 3.  I still think McAuliffe has a better chance of winning than Cuccinelli, but I would not be surprised to see this move back to Tossup or to see Cuccinelli win.

(9/19/13) Roankoe College has Cuccinelli only up by 1.  Those who've been following this post will know that Roanoke tends to lean significantly Republican (high single digits), so this poll effectively corroborates the Purple, PPP, Rasmussen, and earlier Quinnipiac ones.

(9/23/13) Generally, it's considered a good thing for a candidate if lots of voters know who they are.  In Jackson's case, he's probably better off having name recognition less than 30%.

(9/23/13) A new poll from Bearing Drift has McAuliffe leading by one, with Sarvis at 11% and both candidates stuck in the mid-30s.  I think I was too hasty in calling this Leans D.  It's back to Tossup for now but with Adv. McAuliffe.

(9/23/13) Then again... (two links)

(9/24/13) There's evidence to suggest McDonnell isn't dragging Cuccinelli down - a majority approve of the job he's doing, and he would lead McAuliffe by 5.

(9/25/13) Perhaps I was actually too hasty in switching back to Tossup.  Rasmussen has McAuliffe up 6.  McAuliffe has a clear advantage, but this race straddles the line between Leans D and Tossup, and as such, as I said before, I wouldn't be too surprised to see Cuccinelli win.

(9/25/13) Adrian Gray's model puts McAuliffe's chances of winning just under 70%.

(9/26/13) McAuliffe has the endorsement of Republican Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.

(9/26/13) Sarvis had a pretty effective ad running during the debate casting himself as the alternative to the other candidates.

(10/4/13) The University of Mary Washington has McAuliffe up 7, and Hampton University and Emerson College both have him up 5.

(10/7/13) A joint poll for Politico by PPP and Harper has McAuliffe up 9 against Cuccinelli with Sarvis taking 12%.  Without Sarvis as a candidate, McAuliffe would lead by 10 with 52%.

(10/8/13) Christopher Newport University has McAuliffe up 9.

(10/9/13) Sessoms is cutting an ad for McAuliffe.

(10/9/13) Now court documents in a federal fraud case have surfaced suggesting McAuliffe lied to a federal official investigating death benefits fraud.  I feel really sorry for Virginia voters right now.  As far as the race is concerned: I still consider McAuliffe to be the favorite until I see data suggesting otherwise. One sort of wonders whether this will even have much of an effect.  After all, it's not like people viewed McAuliffe as an upstanding citizen beforehand. Everybody already knew he was a sleazeball; the man is already under one federal investigation, and those who planned to vote for him surely knew that before these revelations and were resigned to that fact.

(10/9/13) The AP has now retracted the story, saying that the documents only identified a "T.M.", not McAuliffe specifically.

(10/10/13) McAuliffe leads by 8 according to Quinnipiac, 47-39, while Sarvis takes 7%.  The most interesting bit of data out of the poll is McAuliffe's net favorability, which they found to be (narrowly) positive.

(10/18/13) McAuliffe raised a little under $3 million more than Cuccinelli.  Their cash-on-hand numbers are much closer, indicating what we already knew: McAuliffe is significantly outspending Cuccinelli.  Meanwhile, McAuliffe has an 8-point lead according to NBC/Marist and narrowly net positive favorability.

(10/19/13) McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 7 according to Christopher Newport University.

(10/21/13) Interesting and amusing endorsements out of some papers this week.  The Richmond Times-Dispatch endorsed no one but considered Sarvis, while the Charlottesville Daily Progress endorsed writing in Bill Bolling, even though he's not actually running.  I'm skeptical, particularly in these times, about the effect of newspaper endorsements (for example, the Des Moines Register endorsement of Mitt Romney doesn't appear to have moved the polls more than a point or two, if at all), but they might offer sort of a picture of where things stand.  The two papers sort of lean Republican - the Times-Dispatch endorsed Romney, and the Daily Progress endorsed Gilmore over Warner in 2008 (h/t Chuck Todd).

(10/22/13) PPP has an interesting new poll out of only early voters.  McAuliffe leads by 18, which should be expected given the Democratic lean of early voters (the respondents went for Obama by 16 points).  For example, take a look at their last poll of North Carolina last year, where Walter Dalton led Pat McCrory by 3 among early voters but trailed by 24 among Election Day voters.  The more important part of the poll is Sarvis' three-point showing, confirming the thesis advanced by Geoffrey Skelley and others that his numbers in the polls were far above his actual support level.

(10/22/13) On the other hand, Rasmussen has McAuliffe up 17.

(10/23/13) Quinnipiac has McAuliffe up 7, which is probably more accurate.  Even considering the federal government's larger-than-average presence in Virginia, it's hard to see the shutdown having such a large effect as to move the race 10 points.

(10/25/13) Larry Sabato has moved the race to Likely D.  You can see their reasoning here.

(10/28/13) McAuliffe leads Cuccinelli by 12 in the new Washington Post poll, 51%-39%.

(10/29/13) Chris Cillizza has an excellent piece here.

(10/30/13) There's an interesting new poll out of Quinnipiac that has McAuliffe beating Cuccinelli only 45% to 41%.  As many have pointed out, however, the sample leans much more Republican than is realistic.  Also, it's bad news for Cuccinelli if, even if the electorate is more Republican than Democratic, he still loses by four points.

(10/31/13) Roanoke, meanwhile, has McAuliffe up 15 points, which is probably an outlier.  Roanoke has not proven to be the most reliable pollster in the past, which I've frequently noted here, and their polling has been well outside the norm for the entire race (though it usually showed Cuccinelli doing much better than the other polls).  The Rasmussen poll I mentioned last week certainly appears to have been an outlier, as they now have McAuliffe back down to a 7-point lead.

(11/1/13) Christopher Newport University has McAuliffe up 7, while Hampton University has him up 6.

(11/1/13) The Emerson College Polling Society (a student organization, so take their results with a grain of salt) has McAuliffe up only 2.

(11/4/13) There does seem to be some tightening of the race.  PPP has McAuliffe up 7 in a heavily-female sample, while Quinnipiac has McAuliffe up 6. Both polls indicate some shrinking of McAuliffe's lead among women.

(11/5/13) Final Prediction: McAuliffe with 51%, Cuccinelli with 46%, Sarvis with 5%.

Wisconsin Leans R Incumbent Scott Walker (R)

Calling this one 'Leans R' may be optimistic on my part, but Walker leads most opponents by decent if not great margins.

(6/10/13) Rep. Ron Kind has effectively ruled out a run, depriving Democrats of one of their strongest possible candidates.

(7/23/13) Another disadvantage for the Democrats: Walker's national connections allow him to raise plenty of money.  He pulled in $3.5 million in the last six months.

(8/20/13) Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris says he thinks he's "going to throw [his] hat in the ring".  Meanwhile, Democrats have a good chance of getting former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke.

(9/3/13) Harris says he won't run unless both Burke and State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout decide not to.

(9/17/13) Walker has small leads over potential opponents, though they're all pretty poorly known.

(10/7/13) Democrats get their candidate.  Burke in.

(10/30/13) Marquette has Burke down two on Walker.  From what I've seen so far, I'm moving this to Tossup.

(12/4/13) Well, Democrats may have a primary on their hands.  State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is getting close to running.  Still, she's not a terribly formidable candidate (she got 4% in the recall election primary) and I don't think Burke is too threatened.

(1/17/14) Never mind.  Vinehout out.

(1/28/14) Marquette has Walker up 6.  Leans R.

(3/13/14) Rasmussen has Walker and Burke tied.  Meanwhile, Walker has millions more in cash-on-hand than Burke.

(3/25/14) Gravis has Walker leading by 5.

(3/31/14) Marquette has Walker leading by 7.

(4/10/14) WPR/SRI has Walker leading by 16.  Spot the outlier.

(4/13/14) Ace of Spades HQ Decision Desk has a long, but very good, piece on this race.  I encourage you to read it.

(4/23/14) PPP has Walker leading by 3.

(5/22/14) Marquette has Burke and Walker tied.

(6/20/14) A bunch of documents have been released from a campaign finance investigation into Walker. While I doubt the investigation will find anything (it's already been dismissed by a couple of different judges, and no actual charges have been filed), these last few days of headlines have not been helpful for Walker.

(7/10/14) In the first half of the year, Walker raised over $8 million, compared to under $4 million for Burke, and has a $5 million, 3-1 cash-on-and advantage.

(7/24/14) Marquette has Walker leading by 1.

(8/2/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov also has Walker up 1.

(8/21/14) Same for Rasmussen.

(8/27/14) Marquette has Burke leading by 2.

(9/4/14) We Ask America has Burke leading by 4.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Walker up 4.

(9/18/14) Rasmussen has Walker up 2; Marquette has him up 3.

(10/1/14) Marquette has Walker up 5.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Burke up 1.

(10/15/14) Marquette has the race tied.

(10/23/14) WPR / St. Norbert's College has Walker up 1.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Walker up 1.

(10/29/14) Marquette now has Walker up 7.

(10/29/14) It's possible Burke was fired from her position at Trek Bicycle - a position on which she's based a lot of her campaign.

(11/1/14) PPP for the Wisconsin Democratic Party has Walker up 1.

(11/1/14) YouGov has Walker up 2.

Wyoming Safe R Incumbent Matt Mead (R)

There could be primary action, as Tea-Party backed Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill is challenging Mead.  Whoever wins will be the overwhelming favorite in the general.

(6/19/13) Good news for Mead - a massive new report shows huge abuse in Hill's department, and she might end up being impeached.

(7/'23/13) Mead is pretty safe in this new PPP poll.  He leads popular former Gov. Dave Freudenthal by 11 (who, so far as I can tell, can't run), and businessman Gary Trauner by 42.  The charges against Hill seem to have really hurt.  She has a net approval of -22, Freudenthal would smash her in the general by 34, and even Trauner would beat her by 9.  Fortunately for Republicans, that situation looks extremely unlikely - Mead leads Hill in the primary by 54.

(5/5/14) Mead is facing some unhappiness from the right over education - he just narrowly avoided being censured by the state party over the issue.

(8/2/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Mead leading Democrat Education Board member Pete Gosar by 28. Of note: an unusually high share of respondents (16%) chose 'other' (according to politics1 there are only Democratic and Republican candidates).  The crosstabs suggest they're mostly conservatives/Republicans, meaning they're probably Hill supporters unhappy with Mead.

(8/20/14) Mead won the Republican primary - albeit with only 55% - and the general should be pretty quiet from here on out.

(9/12/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Mead up 28.

(10/10/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Mead up 23.

(10/27/14) NYT/CBS/YouGov has Mead up 25.

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