Saturday, August 21, 2010

Culver, the Optimist

Covering Culver: Iowa Governor Chet Culver is down by double digits in every poll I have seen in months. But in a story I saw today, the gov said he "couldn't be more optimistic."

In fact, I saw two stories involving Culver. wrote one with this heading, "

Iowa weathers recession, but its first-term governor, Chet Culver, may not

And MSNBC's First Read called Culver's re-election race against former 4-time Republican Governor Terry Branstad the 4th most likely to see a takeover this November.

From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Ali Weinberg
*** First Read’s Top 10 governor takeovers: If it’s Friday, it’s time for another Top 10 list. Today, we look at what we consider the Top 10 states where a party will win/lose control of a governor’s mansion. The number in parentheses is our last ranking (from June).
1. Wyoming (1): Matt Mead won the crowded GOP primary on Tuesday, and he’s the overwhelming favorite to replace outgoing Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D).
2. Kansas (2): Hello, Gov. Sam Brownback (R).
3. Tennessee (3): It’s Bill Haslam (R) vs. Mike McWherter (D) to replace term-limited Gov. Phil Bredesen, and the moderate Haslam has the edge.
4. Iowa (7): When Gov. Chet Culver (D) is admitting to mistakes, as he did earlier this week, you know he’s in deep trouble. The GOP nominee is ex-Gov. Terry Branstad (R).
5. Michigan (6): Another GOP moderate, Rick “One Tough Nerd” Snyder (R), won the GOP nomination, and he’s leading in the polls by double digits against Virg Bernero (D).
6. Hawaii (5): Democrats have a crowded field for the Sept. 18 primary – led by ex-Rep. Neil Abercrombie -- but they’re the favorites here.
7. Oklahoma (4): One thing we know will happen: The Sooner State is going to elect its first female governor -- either Mary Fallin (R) or Jari Askins. Fallin is the favorite in this red state.
8. Pennsylvania (8): Attorney General Tom Corbett (R) is the clear front-runner to succeed term-limited Gov. Ed Rendell (D).
9. Connecticut (9): Democrats got their stronger candidate, ex-Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy (D), who faces off against former ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley (R).
10. Minnesota (10): Ex-Sen. Mark Dayton (D), who narrowly won this month’s Dem primary, probably has the edge against Tom Emmer (R), but the race to replace retiring Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) could be closer than people think.

*** First Read’s Gubernatorial ratings:
Toss Ups: CA, FL, GA, IL, MA, MN, NM, OH, WI, RI, VT
Lean Democrat: CT, HI, ME, MD, OR
Lean Republican: IA, MI, OK, PA, TX
Probable Democrat: CO
Probable Republican: AL, AZ, ID, SC, NV, TN
Solid Democrat: AR, NH, NY
Solid Republican: AK, KS, NE, SD, UT, WY

Neither article seems likely to fill Culver supporters with much optimism for their chances this fall. Culver this week at the Iowa State Fair said again and again his office had made mistakes. It was an interesting piece of "strategery" that had some Democrats telling me they had no clue what he was trying to do. They felt the whole thing smelled of desperation. But could it actually endear Culver to Iowans who may warm up to the "Big Lug" after hearing him admit mistakes and pledging to govern better because of them? Or is this too little, too late?

Zero Coke Zero: I'm not a huge caffeine-chugger. Usually, one Coke Zero is my limit for the day. But since my son was born a month ago, I have doubled my dose. I have too many friends who went caffeine crazy, so I'm always a bit leery sucking down too much of it. Today, I tried to see if I could go the whole day with no caffeine at all. With Hayden sleeping only about 2 hours at a time still, boy, that was a mistake! I finally gave in around 5pm and not a minute too soon! Surely, he'll start sleeping longer soon, right? Please, tell me, yes!

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