Polling and analyzing the 2012 presidential election has been going on since just about a week after Barack Obama took his hand of the Bible in January of '09. Squaring up the 2012 gubernatorial elections, however, is still a relatively recent phenomenon. Nonetheless, what seems to be the first volley in odds-making has arrived via Governing magazine and it's got an interesting tidbit on Washington's dynamic.
If the Beltway-based mag is right, then a matchup between incumbent Gov. Chris Gregoire (if she decides to seek a third term) and Attorney General Rob McKenna (who has made every hint he's running, besides formally announcing a bid) will be extremely tight.
Nationally, besides showing all the too-close-to-call races as being currently held by Democrats, the analysis also shows the GOP likely switching two Democrat-held seats from blue to red.
As for Washington, it's one of three states listed as a "tossup."
Washington (D-held). Washington state hasn't elected a Republican governor since John Spellman in 1980, but the GOP is excited about a strong potential candidate for 2012: state Attorney General Rob McKenna. If he runs, as many expect, the race would likely be a tossup. Two-term Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire would be able to run for a third term if she wishes. If she doesn't, contenders could include Rep. Jay Inslee, King County Executive Dow Constantine or state Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown.
This is, of course, based on the political climate of today. Considering that Republicans will likely be expected to show some governing results in the next two years and not just gum up the works with legislative gridlock, the pro-GOP trend laid out by Governing may be quite different by the time campaign season gets into full swing.