New England Guv Sweep?

 Way, way, back last November, I blogged that...

...there is a realistic, if slim, possibility that Democrats could hold all six New England governorships come January 2011. According to my extensive research -- OK, scrolling through Wikipedia, mostly -- I believe this would be the first time that has happened ever, in the 200+ years of the party (including when it was called the Democratic-Republican Party).
As we come sneaking up toward the fall campaign season -- and 9/14 primaries for three of the states -- that outcome still looks like a realistic possibility.
At the National Governors Association meeting here in Boston a few weeks ago, I asked RGA chairman Haley Barbour how he thought the GOP would do in the six New England races; he predicted that the party would win three. NGA chairman Jim Douglas, Vermont's retiring Republican Governor, also said three. That's also a very realistic possibility.
Let's take a quick look at where things seem to stand:
Connecticut Last week's primaries produced a matchup between Republican Tom Foley and Democrat Dan Malloy. Polls show Malloy with a significant starting lead, and most analysts expect him to win. So do I.
Maine Waterville Mayor Paul LePage was a bit of a surprise GOP primary winner, and came out of that win with a lead in some polls. But most people I talk to believe that, once Democratic nominee Libby Mitchell becomes better known, she has the edge -- depending on turnout. National analysts are divided on this race, with Cook Report and Congressional Quarterly calling it Lean Democrat, Rasmussen making it Lean Republican, and others calling it a Tossup.
Massachusetts Polls say that incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick holds a high-single-digit lead over Republican Charlie Baker, with Independent Tim Cahill still hanging around with enough support to presumably hurt Baker. And that's with Patrick not spending any money yet. Personally, I think it's roughly a 55% chance of a Patrick victory, but a lot of analysts would put that figure higher.
New Hampshire Incumbent Democrat John Lynch is not as much of a mortal lock as usual, and I know a couple of smart observers up there who think John Stephen can give him a real run (assuming he wins the Republican primary). But, like most analysts, I'm hard-pressed to imagine Lynch losing.
Rhode Island The one thing we can pretty safely say is that this will not be a Republican victory -- the only question is whether Independent former Senator (and former Republican) Lincoln Chafee can beat the presumptive Democratic nominee, state treasurer Frank Caprio. I say no, he cannot, and this is a Dem win. But not everyone agrees.
Vermont They've been electing Republican Douglas every two years like clockwork, and his lieutenant governor Brian Dubie has led every poll I've seen so far -- but nobody thinks that will mean much once the Dems pick their nominee from a crowded field next week. Every national analyst I've checked has this one rated a Tossup.

So, it's certainly easy to imagine Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont all going Republican, making a 3-3 split like Barbour and Douglas predict. But it's also easy to imagine a Democratic sweep -- at least, at this distance.

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