If you're wondering just how seriously you need to take this article about the Great Gubernatorial War of 2010:
Nick Ayers, the executive director of the Republican Governors Association, offers this preview of what's at stake in the 37 gubernatorial races in November. Between now and Election Day, the association and its Democratic counterpart will be engaged in "a $100 million-plus chess match for control of the foundation of American politics for the next 10 years."
...the answer is: very seriously. Besides redistricting, the states are where both parties typically recruit their Presidential candidates*; the bigger the pool to draw from, the better. The House and Senate races are important, sure - and we're now in a position where a Republican gain of 38 in the former will be spun as a failure, and a gain of 8 in the latter will be defined as mediocre - but in terms of long-term advantage the governorships are key. The Democrats are worried, particularly in light of the massive fundraising disparity that's going on with the RGA & DGA right now.
As to whether the Democrats are right to be worried, let me put it this way: of the Democratic governors mentioned by name in this story (via Hot Air), precisely one (Beebe) up for re-election has good odds of still being a Governor next year. Of the rest: Manchin's bailing out in favor of a Senate bid, Ritter didn't dare run for re-election, Quinn is on-track to lose in November, Patrick is counting on a third-party bid to survive (no, seriously, that's his entire re-election strategy), Culver has actual vultures escorting him everywhere he goes, and Gregoire is thanking her lucky stars that she was able to run in 2008 and not 2010.
*With the 2008 election becoming an increasingly powerful counter-example of why the parties should recruit their Presidential candidates from the Executive branch.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.