The Utah races should be no surprises this year. Incumbent Republican Governor Gary Herbert leads his Democratic challenger Paul Corroon by 28 points in polling thus far. Herbert got the job when very popular Governor John Huntsman left in 2009 to become Ambassador to China. Probably the best chance for Corroon is to court the more “moderate” Republican elements in Utah. But, the Republican base is energized as the ouster of Robert Bennett is Exhibit A. At this late date, 28 points may be too much to make up. He has added a Republican as his running mate to prop his bipartisan/conservative Democratic credentials. But in perhaps one of the most Republican of red states, his chances of victory over Herbert are remote at best.
Incumbent Republican Senator Bob Bennett was ousted at his party’s convention and was not even on the primary ballot. This is demonsttrative of just how red Utah is at this point. Mike Lee leads Sam Granato by 28 points- simply an insurmountable lead at this point in the game. Granato’s only chance- if such exists- is to follow the path currently being pursued by Corroon by reaching out to the alleged moderate Republican voices in Utah.
In Congress, both Republicans will be re-elected and why Democrats even run an opponent in the 1st and 3rd Districts boggles my mind. In the 2nd, Democrat Jim Matheson is expected to win re-election largely due to his conservative votes in Congress. He is also co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition. Like certain other Democrats, he is one that Republicans can live with. One final note about Utah and Matheson. As a result of the Census, they are expected to pick up a seat in the House in 2012. With Republicans in control of the state, it will be interesting to view the results of reapportionment and how it affects the 2nd District. And quite frankly, I cannot believe I got three paragraphs out of Utah.
I will make up for that in Wyoming (the #2 producer of natural gas and #7 in oil). Republican Matt Mead leads Leslie Paterson by 30 points to replace the term-limited Democratic Governor. And Republican Cynthia Lummis will return to the House.
In Vermont, Republican Brian Dubie for Governor is headed for a victory and is one of two Governors in the country to serve two year terms. Meanwhile, Democrat Patrick Leahy, perhaps one of the most liberal members of the Senate, will win re-election very easily as will their lone Congressman, Democrat Peter Welch.