Governors races expected to heat up in 2012


The battle for Capitol Hill takes up a lot of space in the inside-the-Beltway news outlets, but there is also a lot of interest directed at the top spot in each of the 50 states. And it’s true that a hot gubernatorial race can really spike the political income for broadcasters lucky enough to be in a state that is having one.

The 2012 elections are still about a year and a half away, one of the inside-the-Beltway pubs, Politico, just put out its list of 10 gubernatorial races to watch. Here is a down-and-dirty summary – we are taking the liberty of moving the three Politico picks that are taking place this year to the top of the list

2011 races:

* Kentucky: This is a 2011 battle, and a Democratic incumbent may hold an edge over a relatively weak Republican candidate
* West Virginia: Also happening this fall, filling the seat left by now-Sen. Joe Manchin. His acting replacement holds a lead to get the job full time
* Mississippi: 2011 race, still awaiting primary results.

2012 races:

* Montana: A Democrat incumbent is leaving, and may be a tough hold for the party
* Washington: Democratic incumbent expected to step down, and Republicans seem to have an early lead, but lots of ifs when it comes to possible candidates.
* North Carolina: Incumbent Democrat was hurting, but is now showing signs of bouncing back – still looks to be a tough race.
* Missouri: Democrat incumbent gains from response to twisters while possible opponent falters in a perpetual battleground state
* Indiana: Popular Indiana Dem may face off with nationally-known Republican congressional leader
* New Hampshire. Democratic incumbent may stick around for 5th term, which is said will help his party if it happens.
* North Dakota: Republican stronghold, but Democrats just may be able to put forward a credible candidate