Closing That Two-Party Gap in Gubernatorial Races


New York Times reports on what it considers a hot new phenom this year: Republican governors and gubernatorial candidates (with Cali's Austrian Avenger as the lead exemplar) running on such non-trad-GOP stances as being for stem-cell research, abortion rights, and quick legal action on greenhouse gas emissions. An excerpt:

"The ideology that binds Republican governors is getting things done for their constituents," said Philip A. Musser, the executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "From the broadest perspective, voters in these races go into the booth caring less if governor is pro life or pro choice and more about whether he is going to reduce their property taxes or make their life easier at the D.M.V."

Unlike other campaign seasons, when a popular president has been an asset to local politicians, many candidates this year are trying to distance themselves from President Bush, either by staking out ground in contrast to him or, as is the case with Mr. Schwarzenegger, treating the president like a communicable disease.

Democratic candidates across the country have responded by constantly reminding voters of their opponents' conservative leanings, wherever they exist, and trying to tie them as much as possible to the White House.