A lot of ink has been spilled trying to handicap the House, Senate, and Gubernatorial elections. One of the important things about a wave election is that it usually has a down the ticket affect in boosting the victorious party in state legislature and other statewide elections. I figured that I would begin today by researching where things stand in the race to control the state's attorney general offices. In the coming days we will focus on the races for control of state legislatures and offices of Secretary of State.
While these elections are not quite as important as the congressional races, the positive news concerning the lawsuit against ObamaCare illustrates the vitality of this position. Just observe how Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli is taking on the left on such issues as ObamaCare, global warming, and immigration. These issues in particular will be fought primarily in the states over the next few years and it is imperative that we gain control of as many AG offices as possible. Furthermore, these positions serve as great breeding grounds for future farm teams of conservatives who will be able to run for higher office.
Currently, 32 of the 50 state AG's are Democrats. That needs to change and hopefully it will. This cycle, there are 30 AG's up for election (a few others are appointed by the Governor) and the Democrats are defending 19. Based upon other statewide polling and the prominence of the challengers, it appears that the GOP is in good position to hold all of 11 offices that they are defending, but the Democrats are facing the possibility of losing a bunch of their incumbents. Here are some of the Dem seats that we might win:
Illegal alien loving AG Terry Goddard has served in this office since 2002. He is vacating it to make a failed bid for Governor. Republican Tom Horne, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction is running against no name Democrat Felecia Rotellini. Tom Horne is a staunch conservative endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and is ostensibly a shoo-in for the office, as the Republicans are poised to swamp the Democrats throughout the state this year. He was leading by 18 points in the most recent poll. Oh, and Rotellini opposes SB 1070. Enough said.
Jurassic Park fossil Jerry Brown has been AG since 2006 and is vacating the office to run for Governor. Democrat San Francisco DA Kamala Harris and Republican LA County DA Steve Cooley are facing off for the office. Kamala has been criticized for her record of being weak and crime and Cooley is widely regarded as the stronger candidate. Cooley has been endorsed by almost every major newspaper in California, including the LA Times and Sacremento Bee. He has also outraised Harris in campaign contributions. The most recent Field Poll has Cooley up by 4%. In almost any other state he would be a shoo-in, but with many Democrat voters showing up to vote in the high profile statewide races, I would put his chances at about 65%.
Democrat Thurbert Baker held this position since he was appointed by Zell Miller in 1997. He is retiring and Democrat Ken Hodges and Republican former Cobb County Commission Chairman Sam Olens are vying for the AG office. The latest poll has Olens up 10. This is another strong conservative state in a conservative year, in which the party is slated to do well up and down the ticket. Mark this one as a pick-up.
Democrat Tom Miller has been AG for every year since 1979, except for four years in the 90's when he ran for governor. Conservative Stalwart Brenda Findley is taking on this liberal fossil and has a great chance this year. The Republicans are slated to win the Gubernatorial and senatorial races by wide margins and have an excellent chance of picking up at least two house seats. Findley, who served as Chief of Staff to Steve King, has a unique opportunity to ride the wave, but we can't call this one a pick-up yet.
Incumbent Democrat AG Stephen Six was appointed in 2008 by the Democrats and is running for reelection. Republican state Sen. Derek Schmidt is challenging him, and even though a recent Survey USA Poll had him up only 8, it's hard to see how he doesn't unseat Six. The Republicans are absolutely decimating the rats on every level across the state this year, making this AG office a near certain pickup.
Freshman Dem. AG Rich Cordray is being challenged by former Republican Senator Mike DeWine. While Mike DeWine is kind of a Voinivich Republican, he would probably be an improvement over Cordray in this vital swing state. Polls have consistently shown DeWine leading, and with the GOP poised to make one of their most dramatic comebacks across the state, he should be in a solid position on election day.
Despite the conservative bent of the state, Democrat Edward Edmondson has held the AG office for 16 years. He vacated it to run a failed bid for Governor. This is almost a sure pickup for former state Sen. Republican Scott Pruitt.
These are the seven seats in which the Republicans have an excellent chance of a turnover. Depending on how things turnout in the the top of the ticket races in states like Nevada, New Mexico, and New York, the Republican challenger might have a decent shot at winning. So as everyone continues to focus on the bigger fish some of us might want to give some green to a few of the above-mentioned candidates. 2010 is particularly important because there will be numerous legal battles over redistricting and AG's will be heavily involved in the process. We are headed for a serious state's rights crisis over the next few years and the Attorney's General will be in the thick of it. Let's make sure that we finally come to a gun fight with some young guns.