The Politico has a story on a number of independents running for governor in 2009-10. The list includes Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Minnesota, and New Jersey. But it's not clear that this is necessarily "a development that threatens Democratic fortunes in some of the bluest and most progressive-minded states in the nation."
Consider that Tim Cahill, as I've previously reported, is running as a fiscal conservative and gunning directly for the voters a Republican candidate would need to win the Massachusetts governorship. The polls bear this out: Against Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick, the Republican candidates are tied or narrowly ahead. Throw Cahill into the mix and they fall to the 20s, with Cahill and Patrick in the 30s -- giving Patrick a much better chance of winning re-election if those numbers hold.
The trend is similar in New Jersey, where Chris Christie's lead has slipped in the polls that show independent ex-Republican Chris Daggett in the double digits. Stuck at 45 percent or below, Jon Corzine seems to be following a strategy of driving up Christie's negatives in the hopes that voters will declare a pox on both major parties' houses. If so, Dagget could get enough of the vote for Corzine to potentially squeak through with a plurality in the mid-to-low-40s.
Lincoln Chafee might be able to get elected governor of Rhode Island as an independent. But the fact is, the last two governors of this very blue and progressive-minded state have been Republicans. And reasonably conservative ones, by Rhode Island standards, at that.
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