Sunday, May 01, 2005

Rell Mulling Full Term

I'd say it's almost definite that she will run, but she's been interestingly difficult to predict so there's no way to say for sure.

Here's what Gov. Rell had to say to WTNH on Friday:

WTNH: "So you're up for a statewide campaign?"
RELL: (Laughs) "So am I up for a statewide... we still have a little time to make that decision, but, as you ask me that Mark, I have to tell you, we are giving it more and more talk time, shall we say, within the family."
link to interview

Cagey. But it sounds like she's given it some thought, and she's ruling out nothing. Of course, she's had a pretty good couple of weeks. Her approval numbers are through the roof following Rowland's sentencing and incarceration, she has the Democrats over a barrel on the budget and she came through a potentially devestating fight over civil unions with flying colors (liberals are happy she signed the thing, conservatives are happy she was able to pressure the House to stick that definition of marriage in there).

Statewide prospects for Republicans don't look good for 2006, and a Rell candidacy might be the only bright spot in an otherwise dismal year for them. I do expect a few GOP pickups in both houses of the General Assembly, which right now is tilted absurdly in favor of Democrats, but the Republicans will come nowhere near a majority. The only statewide office they can win will be the governorship--all other offices (attorney general, sec'y of the state, treasurer, etc.) will in all likelihood be retained by Democrats. Republicans are also in serious danger of losing two of their three congressional seats (Shays and Simmons) without the chance of picking up a win over either DeLauro, Larson or Lieberman.

Republicans who want to see a government that isn't controlled entirely by the opposite party should be breathing a bit easier.

Source
Davis, Mark. Interview with Gov. M. Jodi Rell 29 April, 2005.

4 comments:

Scott Harris said...

Hmm... I don't know about GOP pickups in 2006 here in Connecticut. I'd say that 98% of the State House Democrats will enjoy a coast to re-election. The number is significantly lower for State House Republicans, especially for those in Central Connecticut and Fairfield County. I would predict UNCH for boht parties, with perhaps a few extra seats labeled "Democrat" at the end of Election Night 2006.

If I can make some bold predictions: I'd say that Shays and Simmons are in their last terms. I would say that Rell's numbers will come down during the campaign and the candidate for the Democrats will matter the most when it comes down to the wire. For now, I'd label the race "likely R-retention" but the Democrats are going to want to put alot of money into whomever they nominate.

Connecticut is a strong lean D state in 2006. Any surprises will be surprises in favor of Democrats.

Genghis Conn said...

Scott,

Agreed about the gov's race, for the most part. Rell, if she's in, will be tough to beat. She's demonstrated a remarkable amount of political savvy for someone who wasn't supposed to have any.

CT will lean Democrat for the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean that the party won't suffer a few losses. Republicans running as fiscal conservatives could make some inroads in the wilds of Windham, Tolland, Litchfield and New London counties, while Fairfield County and the Farmington Valley will remain in their hands. I think they'll pick up 6 or 7 in the House and maybe one in the Senate, especially if Rell does well.

Might be too early to bury Shays and Simmons yet, although Shays is shaky and Simmons will go down quickly if the base is closed.

Municipal elections this week might give us some clue as to which way things are going.

Anonymous said...

Blumenthal is her only real competition for governor and the current "No Child Left Behind" issue will provide some insights. If she backs the Bush policy, withdrawing support for a legal challenge she will have to explain the increases in millions of dollars in local costs across the state and not run. If she supports Blumenthal's challenge, she fights for local control and runs.

Rell's taking a similiar position on Indian recognition, backing Blumenthal's positions in her May 11 appearance before Sen. McCain's hearing.

Scott Harris said...

Genghis,

If the Republicans pick up a few seats - maybe one or two - it'll fall into everyones expectations. But New London is quickly becoming a New Haven-like county in terms of favoring the Democrats. But they are also very stubborn with electing new representatives. I think, with the Democratic and Republican incumbents in the area, it's going to be hard for either party to make gains here.

The same can be said for Tolland County, which either has deep red towns or deep blue towns. I think this region will stay UNCH for both parties. In Litchfield, the Democrats are probably in danger of losing both their seats in the corner of the state, but it mostly depends on the coattails of Rell.

In short: I would say that Democrats pick up three in Fairfield County, one in Northeastern New Haven County and one in Windham County. I would say that Republicans pick up one in Litchfield, one in Fairfield, and one in Central Connecticut, one in Eastern Connecticut. If that pans out, the Democrats will pick up one seat. However, there are four or five seats that I didn't mention that can swing either way. But, like I said, I think Republicans are going to have a hard time making legitmate gains in 2006, unless Amann gets caught killing a kitten and the Register reveals that the Democratic Party of Connecticut bought him the gun.