The Corner

Gubernatorial Update

Some new polls are out on the two most-watched governor’s races this cycle: Washington and North Carolina.

In the Northwest, Survey USA has incumbent Gov. Christine Gregoire at 50 and Republican challenger Dino Rossi at 48. Rossi had small edges in polls last week, reflecting the effects of the party’s broader post-convention, pre-financial meltdown bounce. The last time a Republican officially won the Washington governor’s race was 1980.

In the Southeast, the Civitas Institute has Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, the Republican, at 43 and Democratic Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue at 41, with 3 percent for Libertarian Mike Munger. Public Policy Polling finds a similarly close race but reverses the order, with 44 for Perdue, 43 for McCrory, and 6 for Munger. The last time a Republican won the North Carolina governor’s race was 1988.

It is entirely conceivable that disgruntled voters in both states would elect new Republican governors even in a bad GOP cycle. In North Carolina, a significant share of independents may vote Obama for prez, against Elizabeth Dole, and for McCrory. Change everything!

John Hood — John Hood is president of the John William Pope Foundation, a Raleigh-based grantmaker that supports public policy organizations, educational institutions, arts and cultural programs, and humanitarian relief in North Carolina ...

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