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United States gubernatorial elections, 2006

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States gubernatorial elections, 2006

← 2005 November 7, 2006 2007 →

38 governorships
36 states; 2 territories
  Majority party Minority party
Bill Richardson at an event in Kensington, New Hampshire, March 18, 2006.jpg
Mitt Romney 2006 (cropped).jpg
Leader Bill Richardson Mitt Romney
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat New Mexico Massachusetts
Last election 25 governorships (22 states) 31 governorships (28 states)
Seats before 25 (22 states) 31 (28 states)
Seats after 31 (28 states) 25 (22 states)
Seat change Increase6 Decrease6
Popular vote 33,244,105 29,329,042
Percentage 53.13% 46.87%

2006 Gubernatorial election map.svg
  Republican hold
  Democratic hold
  Democratic gain

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 2006 in 36 states and two territories.

The elections coincided with the midterm elections of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.

Democrats won open Republican-held governorships in Arkansas, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio and defeated one Republican incumbent — Robert Ehrlich of Maryland — while retaining all of their then-held seats.

Voters in the United States territories of Guam (then-Republican held) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (then-Democratic, but term-limited) also chose their governors and voters elected a new mayor for the District of Columbia, the District's chief executive.

As part of the 2006 Democratic sweep, Democrats did not lose a single incumbent or open seat to the Republicans in the gubernatorial contests.

This election marked the most recent cycle where Arizona, Iowa, Oklahoma, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wyoming elected Democrats to their respective governor's mansions, as well as the most recent cycle Democrats netted a majority of the governorships of the 50 states. This was also the most recent cycle where California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Minnesota elected Republican governors.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • Congressional Elections: Crash Course Government and Politics #6


Hi, I'm Craig and this is Crash Course Government and Politics, and today we're going to talk about what is, if you ask the general public, the most important part of politics: elections. If you ask me, it's hair styles. Look at Martin Van Buren's sideburns, how could he not be elected? Americans are kind of obsessed with elections, I mean when this was being recorded in early 2015, television, news and the internet were already talking about who would be Democrat and Republican candidates for president in 2016. And many of the candidates have unofficially been campaigning for years. I've been campaigning; your grandma's been campaigning. Presidential elections are exciting and you can gamble on them. Is that legal, can you gamble on them, Stan? Anyway, why we're so obsessed with them is a topic for another day. Right now I'm gonna tell you that the fixation on the presidential elections is wrong, but not because the president doesn't matter. No, today we're gonna look at the elections of the people that are supposed to matter the most, Congress. Constitutionally at least, Congress is the most important branch of government because it is the one that is supposed to be the most responsive to the people. One of the main reasons it's so responsive, at least in theory, is the frequency of elections. If a politician has to run for office often, he or she, because unlike the president we have women serving in Congress, kind of has to pay attention to what the constituents want, a little bit, maybe. By now, I'm sure that most of you have memorized the Constitution, so you recognize that despite their importance in the way we discuss politics, elections aren't really a big feature of the Constitution. Except of course for the ridiculously complex electoral college system for choosing the president, which we don't even want to think about for a few episodes. In fact, here's what the Constitution says about Congressional Elections in Article 1 Section 2: "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature." So the Constitution does establish that the whole of the house is up for election every 2 years, and 1/3 of the senate is too, but mainly it leaves the scheduling and rules of elections up to the states. The actual rules of elections, like when the polls are open and where they actually are, as well as the registration requirements, are pretty much up to the states, subject to some federal election law. If you really want to know the rules in your state, I'm sure that someone at the Board of Elections, will be happy to explain them to you. Really, you should give them a call; they're very, very lonely. In general though, here's what we can say about American elections. First stating the super obvious, in order to serve in congress, you need to win an election. In the House of Representatives, each election district chooses a single representative, which is why we call them single-member districts. The number of districts is determined by the Census, which happens every 10 years, and which means that elections ending in zeros are super important, for reasons that I'll explain in greater detail in a future episode. It's because of gerrymandering. The Senate is much easier to figure out because both of the state Senators are elected by the entire state. It's as if the state itself were a single district, which is true for states like Wyoming, which are so unpopulated as to have only 1 representative. Sometimes these elections are called at large elections. Before the election ever happens, you need candidates. How candidates are chosen differs from state to state, but usually it has something to do with political parties, although it doesn't have to. Why are things so complicated?! What we can say is that candidates, or at least good candidates, usually have certain characteristics. Sorry America. First off, if you are gonna run for office, you should have an unblemished record, free of, oh I don't know, felony convictions or sex scandals, except maybe in Louisiana or New York. This might lead to some pretty bland candidates or people who are so calculating that they have no skeletons in their closet, but we Americans are a moral people and like our candidates to reflect our ideals rather than our reality. The second characteristic that a candidate must possess is the ability to raise money. Now some candidates are billionaires and can finance their own campaigns. But most billionaires have better things to do: buying yachts, making even more money, building money forts, buying more yachts, so they don't have time to run for office. But most candidates get their money for their campaigns by asking for it. The ability to raise money is key, especially now, because running for office is expensive. Can I get a how expensive is it? "How expensive is it?!" Well, so expensive that the prices of elections continually rises and in 2012 winners of House races spent nearly 2 million each. Senate winners spent more than 10 million. By the time this episode airs, I'm sure the numbers will be much higher like a gajillion billion million. Money is important in winning an election, but even more important, statistically, is already being in Congress. Let's go to the Thought Bubble. The person holding an office who runs for that office again is called the incumbent and has a big advantage over any challenger. This is according to political scientists who, being almost as bad at naming things as historians, refer to this as incumbency advantage. There are a number of reasons why incumbents tend to hold onto their seats in congress, if they want to. The first is that a sitting congressman has a record to run on, which we hope includes some legislative accomplishments, although for the past few Congresses, these don't seem to matter. The record might include case work, which is providing direct services to constituents. This is usually done by congressional staffers and includes things like answering questions about how to get certain government benefits or writing recommendation letters to West Point. Congressmen can also provide jobs to constituents, which is usually a good way to get them to vote for you. These are either government jobs, kind of rare these days, called patronage or indirect employment through government contracts for programs within a Congressman's district. These programs are called earmarks or pork barrel programs, and they are much less common now because Congress has decided not to use them any more, sort of. The second advantage that incumbents have is that they have a record of winning elections, which if you think about it, is pretty obvious. Being a proven winner makes it easier for a congressmen to raise money, which helps them win, and long term incumbents tend to be more powerful in Congress which makes it even easier for them to raise money and win. The Constitution give incumbents one structural advantage too. Each elected congressman is allowed $100,000 and free postage to send out election materials. This is called the franking privilege. It's not so clear how great an advantage this is in the age of the internet, but at least according to the book The Victory Lab, direct mail from candidates can be surprisingly effective. How real is this incumbency advantage? Well if you look at the numbers, it seems pretty darn real. Over the past 60 years, almost 90% of members of The House of Representatives got re-elected. The Senate has been even more volatile, but even at the low point in 1980 more than 50% of sitting senators got to keep their jobs. Thanks, Thought Bubble. You're so great. So those are some of the features of congressional elections. Now, if you'll permit me to get a little politically sciencey, I'd like to try to explain why elections are so important to the way that Congressmen and Senators do their jobs. In 1974, political scientist David Mayhew published a book in which he described something he called "The Electoral Connection." This was the idea that Congressmen were primarily motivated by the desire to get re-elected, which intuitively makes a lot of sense, even though I'm not sure what evidence he had for this conclusion. Used to be able to get away with that kind of thing I guess, clearly David may-not-hew to the rules of evidence, pun [rim shot], high five, no. Anyway Mayhew's research methodology isn't as important as his idea itself because The Electoral Connection provides a frame work for understanding congressman's activities. Mayhew divided representatives' behaviors and activities into three categories. The first is advertising; congressmen work to develop their personal brand so that they are recognizable to voters. Al D'Amato used to be know in New York as Senator Pothole, because he was able to bring home so much pork that he could actually fix New York's streets. Not by filling them with pork, money, its money, remember pork barrel spending? The second activity is credit claiming; Congressmen get things done so that they can say they got them done. A lot of case work and especially pork barrel spending are done in the name of credit claiming. Related to credit claiming, but slightly different, is position taking. This means making a public judgmental statement on something likely to be of interest to voters. Senators can do this through filibusters. Representatives can't filibuster, but they can hold hearings, publicly supporting a hearing is a way of associating yourself with an idea without having to actually try to pass legislation. And of course they can go on the TV, especially on Sunday talk shows. What's a TV, who even watches TV? Now the idea of The Electoral Connection doesn't explain every action a member of Congress takes; sometimes they actually make laws to benefit the public good or maybe solve problems, huh, what an idea! But Mayhew's idea gives us a way of thinking about Congressional activity, an analytical lens that connects what Congressmen actually do with how most of us understand Congressmen, through elections. So the next time you see a Congressmen call for a hearing on a supposed horrible scandal or read about a Senator threatening to filibuster a policy that may have significant popular support, ask yourself, "Is this Representative claiming credit or taking a position, and how will this build their brand?" In other words: what's the electoral connection and how will whatever they're doing help them get elected? This might feel a little cynical, but the reality is Mayhew's thesis often seems to fit with today's politics. Thanks for watching, see you next week. Vote for me; I'm on the TV. I'm not -- I'm on the YouTube. Crash Course: Government and Politics is produced in association with PBS Digital Studios. Support for Crash Course US Government comes from Voqal. Voqal supports nonprofits that use technology and media to advance social equity. Learn more about their mission and initiatives at Crash Course is made by all of these nice people. Thanks for watching. That guy isn't nice.


Major parties

The results of the 2006 elections gave Republicans 22 governors to the Democrats' 28, a reversal of the numbers held by the respective parties prior to the elections. There were 22 races in states that were previously held by Republicans, and 14 in states previously held by Democrats. Republicans held the majority of governorships from 1995 until 2007.

Election summaries

In 2006, ten governorships were open due to retirement, term limits, or primary loss.

Retired Democratic governors

Tom Vilsack (Iowa)

Congressman Jim Nussle was the Republican nominee, while the Democratic Party nominated Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver, a progressive whose father was a U.S. Senator. An October 11 poll by Rasmussen Reports showed the candidates tied at 42% each.[1] An October 19 Rasmussen Reports poll had Culver leading Nussle 47% to 44%.[2]

The Democratic nominee, Chet Culver, was elected with 54% of the vote.

Retired Republican governors

Frank Murkowski (Alaska)

Governor Frank Murkowski, suffering poor approval ratings, was not favored to win renomination. An August 8 poll by Rasmussen Reports showed that going into the primary election his approval rating was at 27%, while his disapproval rating stood at 72%. Former Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and former state Railroad Commissioner John Binkley challenged Murkowski in the Republican primary. Former governor Tony Knowles was widely considered the favorite to win the Democratic nomination. In the primary held on August 22, Palin won the Republican nomination for governor with 51.1% of the vote, Binkley received 29.6%, and Murkowski received just 18.9% of the vote.[3] Knowles won the Democratic nomination with 68.6% of the vote; state representative Eric Croft, who received 23.1% of the vote, was his nearest competitor.[3]

Palin campaigned on a clean government platform in a state with a history of corruption. An October 15 CRG Research poll had the candidates tied at 43%.[4] An October 28 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Palin leading Knowles by a single percentage point.[4]

Republican nominee Sarah Palin was elected with about 48% of the vote, a plurality.

Mike Huckabee (Arkansas)

Governor Mike Huckabee was term-limited. The Republican Party nominated Asa Hutchinson, a former congressman, U.S. Attorney, DEA head, and Undersecretary of Homeland Security. The Democratic nominee was Arkansas Attorney General Mike Beebe. Beebe's campaign centered on what his campaign called his "Believe in Arkansas Plan", which outlined his plans for improving access to affordable healthcare, improving education, and stimulating economic development and job growth.[5] Beebe led in most statewide polls, although his margin of victory in those polls varied wildly. Just days before the election, a Rasmussen Reports poll showed Beebe winning by just 8%,[6] while a SurveyUSA poll showed him winning by 20%.[7]

Democratic nominee Mike Beebe was elected with about 55% of the vote.

Bill Owens (Colorado)

The retirement of term-limited Governor Bill Owens revealed divisions among the state's Republicans. Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez, widely regarded as a conservative, was attacked by his primary opponent, former University of Denver President Marc Holtzman for compromising with Democrats in Congress. Beauprez became the nominee when Holtzman failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, but the negative attacks they exchanged damaged Beauprez's campaign. The Democratic nominee was former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, a pro-life Catholic and a political centrist who could not easily be portrayed as a liberal. Ritter did, however, support Referendum I and oppose Amendment 43; conversely, the public defeated the former and passed the latter. Ritter's campaign was boosted when he was endorsed by a group of Larimer County Republicans. During the period of January through August, Ritter raised almost twice as much as Beauprez.[8] According to an October 16 Zogby poll, Ritter led Beauprez 47% to 45%.[9] An October 22 SurveyUSA poll showed Ritter leading Beauprez by a larger margin, 56% to 38%.[10] Similarly, an October 22 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Ritter leading Beauprez, 51% to 39%.[11]

Democratic nominee Bill Ritter was elected with 57% of the vote.

Jeb Bush (Florida)

Governor Jeb Bush was term-limited. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist, a moderate, won the Republican primary with 64%, defeating the Chief Financial Officer of Florida, Tom Gallagher, who received only 34%. Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa won the Democratic primary with 47% of the vote, defeating State Senator Rod Smith of Alachua, who received 41% of the vote. In addition to Crist and Davis, Reform Party nominee Max Linn also appeared on the ballot in the general election.

Crist came out of the September 12 primary with momentum, but as the election drew closer, polls began to show a more competitive race. An October 23 Quinnipiac poll October 23 showed Crist's lead down to 2%.[12] However, an October 26 Rasmussen Reports poll had Crist leading Davis 52% to 41%.[13]

Republican nominee Charlie Crist was elected with 52% of the vote.

Jim Risch (Idaho)

Governor Jim Risch was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2002; in May 2006, he succeeded to the governorship when his predecessor, Dirk Kempthorne, resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior. Before Kempthorne's appointment, Risch, a former Ada County District Attorney and state Senator, had committed to a reelection campaign for Lieutenant Governor, which meant the campaign for the governorship remained open.

Republican Congressman C.L. "Butch" Otter, a former lieutenant governor himself, was heavily favored to succeed Risch. On May 23 he easily won a four-way Republican primary, receiving 70% of the vote. In the general election, he faced newspaper publisher Jerry Brady, who was the Democratic nominee for the second consecutive gubernatorial election. Although Brady won the state's most populous county (Ada County, the location of Boise) in 2002, he was decisively defeated by Kempthorne statewide. He was expected to fare similarly against Otter; however, the race became fairly competitive, possibly due to a national trend towards the Democratic party.

Republican nominee Butch Otter was elected with 53% of the vote. Brady received 44%, making this gubernatorial election the closest in Idaho since 1994.

Mitt Romney (Massachusetts)

With his approval ratings down, Governor Mitt Romney opted not to seek a second term. Romney endorsed his lieutenant governor, Kerry Healey, in her bid to succeed him. Healey was unopposed in the Republican primary. Deval Patrick, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General who headed the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, won the Democratic primary with 50% of the vote[14] against Thomas Reilly and Chris Gabrieli. Third party candidates included Grace Ross of the Green-Rainbow Party and independent Christy Mihos, a former Republican and Board member on the state Turnpike Authority. Over the course of the campaign, Patrick was the victim of several smears by the Healey campaign, including reports of his brother-in-law's criminal history that were leaked to the press.

On November 7, Deval Patrick was elected with 56% of the vote. He became the first African American governor ever elected in the history of the state, and just the second in the nation's history (the first was Douglas Wilder, a Democrat from Virginia, who served as Governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994). Patrick was also the first Democratic governor of Massachusetts since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991.

Kenny Guinn (Nevada)

Governor Kenny Guinn, a moderate Republican, was term-limited. His retirement resulted in competitive primaries in both parties. The Democratic nominee was State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, who won the primary with 54% of the vote over Henderson mayor Jim Gibson. The Republican nominee was Congressman Jim Gibbons, who won the primary with 48% of the vote, defeating state senator Bob Beers and Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt. Gibbons, who then represented Nevada's 2nd congressional district, had a strong base in northern Nevada. Titus had a strong base in the Las Vegas Valley due to her legislative and education careers. An October 17 Rasmussen Reports poll put Gibbons ahead of Titus with a 51% to 43% lead.[15] Polls in late October conducted by Mason-Dixon and Research 2000 indicated that Gibbons was on track to win the election.[16]

Republican nominee Jim Gibbons was elected with 48% of the vote, a plurality. Titus received 44% of the vote and Christopher H. Hansen, the nominee of the Independent American Party of Nevada, received about 3%.

George Pataki (New York)

Governor George Pataki, a moderate Republican, opted not to seek a fourth term in office. Without an incumbent in the race, the Democratic nominee was heavily favored to win the election. New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer won the Democratic primary with 81% of the vote, defeating Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. As attorney general, Spitzer became well known for prosecuting cases relating to corporate white collar crime, securities fraud, internet fraud and environmental protection. The Republican nominee was attorney John Faso, a former New York State Assembly minority leader. Throughout the race, polls showed Spitzer defeating Faso by a large margin.

Democratic nominee Eliot Spitzer was elected in a landslide, winning 58 out of the state's 62 counties and taking 69.5% of the vote.

Bob Taft (Ohio)

Term-limited incumbent Governor Bob Taft was viewed as one of the most unpopular Governors in the history of Ohio. Polls showed his approval rating in the vicinity of 10% to 25%. Congressman Ted Strickland won the Democratic primary with 79% of the vote, defeating state representative Bryan Flannery. The Republican primary, between Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro, was more competitive by far. Petro came under fire for switching positions on same-sex marriage and abortion, as well as allegedly taking business from lawyers who refused to give him campaign contributions.[17] Blackwell and Petro also split over proposals to reduce state spending. Blackwell ultimately won the primary with 56% of the vote.

Blackwell was not a close ally of disgraced Governor Taft, but Taft's unpopularity still damaged his campaign. The negativity of the Republican primary also damaged Blackwell's general election campaign. In addition, in 2006 there was a nationwide trend towards the Democratic Party. An October 6 poll by Rasmussen Reports showed that Strickland led by 52% to 40%, a decline from September.[18] By contrast, an October 12 SurveyUSA poll had Strickland leading Blackwell 60% to 32%.[19]

Democratic nominee Ted Strickland was elected with 60% of the vote. He became the first Democratic Governor of Ohio since Dick Celeste.

Notable Democratic incumbents

Rod Blagojevich (Illinois)

Incumbent Rod Blagojevich proven to be an incredible fundraiser, and governed a relatively strong blue state. But recent opinion polling showed that his approval rating at a rather dismal 44%.[20] Blagojevich initially had the advantage in the general election, leading his Republican challenger, state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka by eight percentage points in polls, although not reaching the fifty percent "safe zone" for incumbents. In March, Topinka won the GOP primary by 38% to 32% over dairy magnate Jim Oberweis. Meanwhile, a former Chicago Alderman named Edwin Eisendrath won a surprising 30% in the Democratic primary. During the election United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was looking into the hiring practices of Governor Blagojevich.[21]

An October 15 Rasmussen Reports poll showed Blagojevich dropping 4 points, to end with 44% and Topinka staying at 36%.[22] An October 22 SurveyUSA poll had Blagojevich leading Topinka 44% to 34% with 8% undecided.[23] However, an October 31 Mason-Dixon poll showed Blagojevich leading Topinka only 44% to 40% with 9% undecided.[24] Democratic incumbent Rod Blagojevich was re-elected. Green Party candidate Rich Whitney showed one of the best showings of a third party candidate in all the 2006 election and it place the Green Party on the ballot as one of the major parties he got 10% 361,336 votes.

John Baldacci (Maine)

In February 2006, Baldacci was given a mere 41% approval rating by the voters of Maine in one poll.[25] But when the GOP unexpectedly choosing conservative state Senator Chandler Woodcock over the more moderate state Senator Peter Mills and former Congressman Dave Emery, Baldacci was handed a huge boost.

Polls consistently showed Baldacci with a small lead. An October 17 Rasmussen Reports poll had Baldacci with 44% and Woodcock at 34%.[26] Meanwhile, a Voice of the Voter poll announced by WCSH on November 6, one day before the election, gave John Baldacci his smallest lead yet with only 36%, with Senator Chandler Woodcock 30% and the now leading independent Barbara Merrill 22%, more than doubling her share. Green Independent candidate Pat LaMarche polled at 11%.

Baldacci was reelected with 38% of the vote compared to Woodcock's 30%, with 21.55% going to independent Barbara Merrill.

Jennifer Granholm (Michigan)

Michigan, like many other Midwestern states, had been unable to take advantage of reported national economic and job growth. A string of plant and factory closings by big name companies such as General Motors in Granholm's state led to growing disapproval of her among voters. Opposing her was wealthy Republican businessman Dick DeVos. Throughout the race polls showed the election to be close, but in the last days Granholm pulled ahead. According to a November 1 EPIC-MRA poll, Granholm led DeVos 52% to 43% with 5% undecided.[27] A November 4 SurveyUSA poll had Granholm leading DeVos 51% to 45%.[28] Ultimately, Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm was re-elected with 56 percent of the vote.

Ted Kulongoski (Oregon)

Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski was elected in 2002 barely defeating former State Representative Kevin Mannix. Kulongoski leads his challenger, former Portland Public School Board member Ron Saxton 51% to 44%.[29] Oregon has not elected a Republican as governor since 1982, when Kulongoski lost to then-Governor Victor Atiyeh. Democratic incumbent Ted Kulongoski was re-elected.

Jim Doyle (Wisconsin)

In 2002, Doyle was elected with only 45 percent of the vote because of an unusually strong challenge from the Libertarian party. Although his early 2006 approval rating was a mildly unfavorable 45 percent, he led both Republican challengers, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Congressman Mark Green by six to nine points in polls; he has not been able to poll greater than fifty percent. Green got a big break when Walker dropped out of the race. And more recent polls show that Green has pulled even. Wisconsin is a swing state in the strongest sense, with George W. Bush losing the state by some 5,700 votes in 2000 and around 12,400 votes in 2004, although they haven't voted for a Republican for president since 1984, and they haven't had a Republican senator since 1993. An October 18 Rasmussen Reports poll has Doyle leading Green 48% to 44%[30] and an October 31 Research 2000 poll has Doyle leading Green 50% to 44%.[31] Democratic incumbent Jim Doyle was re-elected.

Notable Republican incumbents

Arnold Schwarzenegger (California)

Arnold Schwarzenegger won the 2003 recall election and replaced Gray Davis. Despite his failed special election and budget cuts, Arnold Schwarzenegger seemed to be ahead in the polls against Phil Angelides. Schwarzenegger's aggressive push for environment-friendly legislation, his support for stem cell research, gay rights and opposition to sending the National Guard to the border has made him very popular among the voters. Republican incumbent Arnold Schwarzenegger was re-elected.

Robert Ehrlich (Maryland)

Bob Ehrlich's approval rating was 48%, which suggested a close election. Martin O'Malley, Mayor of Baltimore City, who was expected to run for governor almost as soon as the 2002 election was over, was initially expected to be a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination, but he was challenged by Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, who then unexpectedly dropped out of the race, citing a recent diagnosis of clinical depression, saving Democrats from a costly and potentially divisive primary.

A November 2 SurveyUSA poll had O'Malley leading Ehrlich 48% to 47% with 2% undecided.[32] A November 3 Mason-Dixon poll has O'Malley and Ehrlich tied at 45% with 9% undecided.[33] Democratic nominee Martin O'Malley was elected.

When Ehrlich unexceptedly beat his Democratic challenger, Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy in 2002, and became first Republican Governor of Maryland since Spiro T. Agnew, he was regarded by many as potential presidential candidate for 2008.

O'Malley defeated Ehrlich in the general election, 53% to 46%.

Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota)

Pawlenty's approval rating was measured at 56%[34] on September 21, 2006. In 2002, Pawlenty won the governor's mansion with only 44% of the vote, facing a strong challenge from DFL Party candidate Roger Moe and Independence Party candidate Tim Penny, a former DFLer himself. Pawlenty has been criticized by some Minnesotans for budget cuts to programs such as MinnesotaCare to balance the budget (and controversial moves such as deferring required payments to the state's education and health care funds to later budget biennia to make the budget appear balanced when it was actually not). Pawlenty faces another strong DFL challenge this year in state Attorney General Mike Hatch, who fended off a liberal primary challenge from State Senator Becky Lourey. Pawlenty and Hatch were virtually neck and neck, with between 40-45% support for both candidates as recently as September, until the Mark Foley scandal hit the papers late that month, and 5-6% for Independence Party candidate Peter Hutchinson.

An October 23 SurveyUSA poll has Hatch leading Pawlenty 45% to 44% and Hutchinson with 7% . A November 1 Saint Cloud Times poll has Hatch at 46% and Pawlenty at 36%.[35] Republican incumbent Tim Pawlenty was re-elected.

Donald Carcieri (Rhode Island)

Recent polls have shown Carcieri running even with his Democratic challenger, Lieutenant Governor Charles J. Fogarty,[36] and Carcieri is a Republican governor in one of the most liberal states in the country. Carcieri's approval rating is currently 52%. Judging from recent polling, many voters may be willing to punish Carcieri for their displeasure with President George W. Bush. A November 2 Mason-Dixon poll has Carcieri leading Fogarty 50% to 42% with 8% undecided.[37] Republican incumbent Donald Carcieri was re-elected.

Rick Perry (Texas)

Challenges from two popular independents, coupled with Perry's mediocre approval ratings, made the race interesting. Populist state Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn decided to defect from the GOP and run against Perry, her bitter political foe, as an independent. Six weeks after the announcement of her candidacy, she moved to within single digits of Perry in polls. In addition to Perry and Strayhorn, former Congressman Chris Bell ran as the Democratic candidate, with country singer and Texas icon Kinky Friedman as another independent. This resulted in a peculiar four-way race (technically, a six-way race including the Libertarian candidate and a write-in candidate) in which no run-off would take place. Perry was elected to a second full term with just 39% of the vote.

Felix Camacho (Guam)

In the U.S. territory of Guam, in the western Pacific Ocean, Republican Governor Felix P. Camacho was challenged by Democrat Robert Underwood. A former Guam Delegate-at-Large in the U.S. House of Representatives, Underwood had previously represented Guam from 1993 to 2003. The race was a rematch of the 2002 gubernatorial election in which Camacho handily defeated Underwood and won his first term in office by 10 points (see Politics of Guam). However, the race was significantly more close and competitive in 2006, with Camacho narrowly winning reelection by a 2-point margin over Underwood.

List of elections

This is a complete list of states with a gubernatorial election in 2006.

Key: (D/DFL) Democratic/Democratic–Farmer–Labor, (R) Republican, (AIP) American Independent, (Con) Conservative (NY), (C) Constitution, (G) Green, (GRP) Green-Rainbow, (IPM) Independence Party of Minnesota, (L) Libertarian, (PF) Peace and Freedom, (Ne) Nebraska Party, (Pop) Populist Party of Maryland, (Ref) Reform, (S) Socialist, (V) Veterans, (I) Independent, (CC) Concerned Citizens Party, (AI) Alaskan Independence Party, (LU) Liberty Union Party, (SW) Socialist Workers Party

(The winning candidates are listed below in bold.)

State ↑ Incumbent Party Status Election results
Alabama Bob Riley Republican Re-elected Bob Riley (R) 57.4%
Lucy Baxley (D) 41.6%
Alaska Frank Murkowski Republican Lost primary, Republican hold Sarah Palin (R) 48.3%
Tony Knowles (D) 40.9%
Andrew Halcro (I) 9.5%
Don Wright (AI) 0.5%
Billy Tolen (L) 0.3%
David Massie (G) 0.3%
Arizona Janet Napolitano Democratic Re-elected Janet Napolitano (D) 62.6%
Len Munsil (R) 35.4%
Barry Hess (L) 2%
Arkansas Mike Huckabee Republican Term-limited, Democratic gain Mike Beebe (D) 55.3%
Asa Hutchinson (R) 41.0%
Rod Bryan (Independent) 2.0%
Jim Lendall (G) 1.7%
California Arnold Schwarzenegger Republican Re-elected Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) 55.9%
Phil Angelides (D) 39%
Peter Camejo (G) 2.3%
Art Olivier (L) 1.3%
Janice Jordan (PF) 0.8%
Ed Noonan (AIP) 0.7%
Colorado Bill Owens Republican Term-limited, Democratic gain Bill Ritter (D) 57.0%
Bob Beauprez (R) 40.2%
Dawn Winkler-Kinateder (L) 1.5%
Paul Fiorino (I) 0.7%
Clyde Harkins (C) 0.6%
Connecticut Jodi Rell Republican Re-elected Jodi Rell (R) 63.2%
John DeStefano (D) 35.5%
Cliff Thornton (G) 0.9%
Joseph Zdonczyk (CC) 0.9%
Florida Jeb Bush Republican Term-limited, Republican hold Charlie Crist (R) 52.2%
Jim Davis (D) 45.1%
Max Linn (Ref) 1.9%
John Wayne Smith (L) 0.3%
Richard Paul Dembinsky (I) 0.2%
Karl Behm (I) 0.2%
Georgia Sonny Perdue Republican Re-elected Sonny Perdue (R) 57.9%
Mark Taylor (D) 38.2%
Garrett Hayes (L) 3.8%
Hawaii Linda Lingle Republican Re-elected Linda Lingle (R) 62.5%
Randy Iwase (D) 35.4%
Jim Brewer (G)
Ozell Daniel (L) 0.5%
Idaho Jim Risch Republican Elected Lieutenant Governor, Republican hold Butch Otter (R) 52.7%
Jerry Brady (D) 44.1%
Marvin Richardson (C) 1.6%
Ted Dunlap (L) 1.6%
Illinois Rod Blagojevich Democratic Re-elected Rod Blagojevich (D) 49.8%
Judy Baar Topinka (R) 39.3%
Rich Whitney (G) 10.4%
Randy Stufflebeam (Write-in) (C) 0.5%
Iowa Tom Vilsack Democratic Retired, Democratic hold Chet Culver (D) 54.0%
Jim Nussle (R) 44.6%
Wendy Barth (G) 0.7%
Kevin Litten (L) 0.5%
Mary Martin (SW) 0.2%
Kansas Kathleen Sebelius Democratic Re-elected Kathleen Sebelius (D) 57.8%
Jim Barnett (R) 40.5%
Carl Kramer (L) 1.0%
Robert Conroy (Ref) 0.6%
Maine John Baldacci Democratic Re-elected John Baldacci (D) 38.0%
Chandler Woodcock (R) 30.3%
Barbara Merrill (I) 21.5%
Pat LaMarche (G) 9.6%
Phillip Morris Napier (I) 0.6%
Maryland Bob Ehrlich Republican Defeated, Democratic gain Martin O'Malley (D) 52.7%
Bob Ehrlich (R) 46.2%
Eddie Boyd (Green) 0.9%
Christopher Driscoll (Pop) 0.2%
Massachusetts Mitt Romney Republican Retired, Democratic gain Deval Patrick (D) 55.6%
Kerry Healey (R) 35.3%
Christy Mihos (I) 7.0%
Grace Ross (GRP) 2.0%
Michigan Jennifer Granholm Democratic Re-elected Jennifer Granholm (D) 56.3%
Dick DeVos (R) 42.3%
Greg Creswell (L) 0.6%
Douglas Campbell (G) 0.5%
Bhagwan Dashairya (C) 0.2%
Minnesota Tim Pawlenty Republican Re-elected Tim Pawlenty (R) 46.7%
Mike Hatch (DFL) 45.7%
Peter Hutchinson (IPM) 6.4%
Ken Pentel (G) 0.5%
Walt Brown (I) 0.4%
Leslie Davis (I) 0.2%
Nebraska Dave Heineman Republican Re-elected Dave Heineman (R) 73.4%
David Hahn (D) 24.4%
Barry Richards (Ne) 1.5%
Mort Sullivan (I) 0.6%
Nevada Kenny Guinn Republican Term-limited, Republican hold Jim Gibbons (R) 47.9%
Dina Titus (D) 43.9%
None of These Candidates 3.6%
Christopher Hansen (C) 3.4%
Craig Bergland (Green) 1.2%
New Hampshire John Lynch Democratic Re-elected John Lynch (D) 73.5%
Jim Coburn (R) 26.5%
New Mexico Bill Richardson Democratic Re-elected Bill Richardson (D) 68.8%
John Dendahl (R) 31.2%
New York George Pataki Republican Retired, Democratic gain Eliot Spitzer (D) 69.0%
John Faso (R/Con) 29.2%
Malachy McCourt (G) 1.0%
John Clifton (L) 0.4%
Jimmy McMillan (I) 0.3%
Maura DeLuca (SW) 0.2%
Ohio Bob Taft Republican Term-limited, Democratic gain Ted Strickland (D) 60.4%
Ken Blackwell (R) 36.8%
Bill Peirce (L) 1.8%
Bob Fitrakis (G) 1.0%
Oklahoma Brad Henry Democratic Re-elected Brad Henry (D) 66.5%
Ernest Istook (R) 33.5%
Oregon Ted Kulongoski Democratic Re-elected Ted Kulongoski (D) 50.8%
Ron Saxton (R) 42.7%
Mary Starrett (C) 3.6%
Joe Keating (G) 1.5%
Richard Morley (L) 1.2%
Pennsylvania Ed Rendell Democratic Re-elected Ed Rendell (D) 60.4%
Lynn Swann (R) 39.6%
Rhode Island Don Carcieri Republican Re-elected Don Carcieri (R) 51%
Charlie Fogarty (D) 49%
South Carolina Mark Sanford Republican Re-elected Mark Sanford (R) 55.1%
Tommy Moore (D) 44.8%
South Dakota Mike Rounds Republican Re-elected Mike Rounds (R) 61.7%
Jack Billion (D) 36.1%
Steven Willis (C) 1.2%
Tom Gerber (L) 1.0%
Tennessee Phil Bredesen Democratic Re-elected Phil Bredesen (D) 68.6%
Jim Bryson (R) 29.7%
Carl Whitaker (I) 0.6%
George Banks (I) 0.4%
Charles Smith (I) 0.2%
Howard Switzer (G) 0.1%
David Gatchell (I) 0.1%
Marivuana Stout Leinoff (I) 0.1%
Texas Rick Perry Republican Re-elected Rick Perry (R) 39.0%
Chris Bell (D)29.8%
Carole Keeton (I) 18.1%
Kinky Friedman (I) 12.4%
James Werner (L) 0.6%
Vermont Jim Douglas Republican Re-elected Jim Douglas (R) 56.3%
Scudder Parker (D) 41.1%
Cris Ericson (I) 0.9%
Jim Hogue (G) 0.7%
Benjamin Clarke (I) 0.4%
Robert Skold (LU) 0.2%
Wisconsin Jim Doyle Democratic Re-elected Jim Doyle (D) 52.8%
Mark Green (R)45.3%
Nelson Eisman (G) 1.9%
Wyoming Dave Freudenthal Democratic Re-elected Dave Freudenthal (D) 69.9%
Ray Hunkins (R) 30%
Territory↑ Incumbent Party Status Competing candidates
Guam Felix Camacho Republican Re-elected Felix Camacho (R) 50%
Robert Underwood (D) 48%
U.S. Virgin Islands[38] Charles Turnbull Democratic Term-limited, Democratic hold John de Jongh (D) 49% (57% in runoff)
Foncie Donastorg (R) 23%
Kenneth Mapp 27% (43% in runoff)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2006-10-27.
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ [4]
  11. ^ [5]
  12. ^ [6]
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-07-04. Retrieved 2006-10-31.
  14. ^ [7]
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 7, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2009.
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ [8]
  19. ^ [9]
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 20, 2006. Retrieved October 20, 2006.
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2006-10-20.
  27. ^
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved November 3, 2006.
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved October 30, 2006.
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^
  38. ^ John deJongh will likely have to face Kenneth Mapp in a run-off election later in November 2006. (Caribbean Net News)


External links

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