Monday, December 1, 2008

Gubernatorial Race – Have Things Changed?

Back in August I posted a ranking of who I thought would be the best candidate for the 2010 gubernatorial race. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you may view it by clicking here. More than three months and an election have passed since I commented on who I thought would be best to run against Gov. Culver. Some of you may think this is early to be talking about Iowa’s top of the ticket in 2010 but believe me, meetings are taking place right now.

My top five candidates, in order, were Steve King, Mark Pearson, Matt Whitaker, Bob Vander Plaats, and Chuck Larson, Jr. I didn’t discuss some other folks who were right on the edge at the time I wrote the original post. Looking back on that now, I see where I should have broadened my field.

So for the next few days I will discuss additional potential candidates and then follow that up with a new ranking. A lot of things have changed in the last three months including a massive shift favoring the Democrats at a statewide level. There is no doubt this will change my ranking and those who I believe are worth risking.

The first new addition is Congressman Tom Latham, who proved this year without a shadow of a doubt, he’s a major Republican force in Iowa. In an evenly split district that voted for Obama in 21 of 28 counties, Tom Latham was able to win every county with 60 percent of the vote. Latham has very good name ID and is able to raise a ton of money. He simply outlasted his opponent this election cycle with good grassroots campaigning and fundraising. He also voted against the Wall Street bailout which definitely helped him with the masses.

Latham’s primary weakness? Most conservatives want a little more out of him. This translates into a tougher primary battle than what King would have. Latham also has years of votes that can be picked apart, although he seems to defend himself well while going on the offensive. Latham is also more of an establishment, country club Republican. Although I really don’t view him this way, it is easy to get that assumption because he votes right, but doesn’t use his office to be a vocal advocate of conservative causes.

Bottom line, Culver would be very worried if Latham jumped in the race.


Al said...

I like Latham. I think that he would make a good governor. However I wonder if we really want to give up his seat in Congress. I really wouldn't want to give up King's seat in Congress either.

I'm not Yoda but I've seen his lightsaber said...

Okay - Take Vander Plaats off your list. I'm tired of the BVP obsession - he's done. Period. Talking about him only hurts this site's credibility.

Latham would be a helluva candidate and I think he should consider it.

King is perfect for Western Iowa but would get smoked in the East. Sorry Kinger, your staying where you are.

Whitaker - Why not?

Rants - Really? You don't think he'll run??? I would expect a surprise announcement from him right after Culver's State of the State Race.

Larson - I know he's been in Latvia for the past several months, but he hasn't been out campaigning for years. You think he's a candidate? Don't think so.

Pearson - He could be the next BVP. Come out of no where and think he's entitled to be Governor. NEXT!

Northey - I love ya Billy. But we need you where you are. I don't want O'Brien coming back and turning our state Ag upside down.

just my 2 cents

I'm not Yoda but I've seen his lightsaber said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Im not a State Representative but I wouldnt have voted for Rants too said...

You know 10:06, you and all of the blog trash can sit around in your cubicles all day running Vander Plaats down but the fact is Vander Plaats would kick the holy crap out of “Prissy Chrissy” Rants any day of the week. Talking about him doesn’t hurt the site’s creditability, but running him down certainly hurts yours. Name me one other candidate with statewide name ID, a new class of donors, national celebrity aid and an existing statewide organization?

If you want to hate Vander Plaats, fine but he’s got a lot of supporters out there. If you thought Rants was shocked when the House caucus tossed him out of the leadership, you’ll be stunned by what happens in June of 2010.

Anonymous said...

Prissy Chrissy? OK, that's hilarious.

Get over it said...

If BVP has a great statewide organization, why hasn't he won anything yet? If he has a lot of donors, why didn't he outraise Nussle or Gross? Please...

You clearly are new to the game 11:06. You don't know the kind of whisper campaign that BVP and his CM, Heine, were running. Just aweful against Nussle. BVP spearheaded that same kind of whisper campaign against Romney about his religion.

BVP is a high school teacher who likes high school gossip. That's it.

Do a little background on your boy.

BTW - I didn't say I support "Pissy Chrissy", just to watch for an announcement. I'm a Latham guy. I wonder what rumors they'll start about him????


Anonymous said...

Wow, that’s what you think is it? And I’m the newbi? Do you ever get out of your sound-proof echo chamber? You may want to try stepping outside sometime because its becoming obvious that the air is running out in there.

I don’t think anyone would start any rumors against Latham. He’s a good Congressman and he is the only thing keeping the 4th District in the GOP column … Which is probably why he wont run. The last thing Latham wants is to be the next Congressman to follow in the footsteps of Jim Lightfoot and Greg Ganskie, you know, the popular and safe congressman who leaves his seat to take on an incumbent on a state level, then loses and loses his seat in the process?

Only time will tell if I’m right about that or not. In any case, we will see who the new comer is in June of 2010 until then, you had better get used to talking about Vander Plaats. If he didn’t have a substantial following he wouldn’t be up for discussion would he?

Also, just a tip, yelling “NEXT” at someone doesn’t mean you won an argument … It actually makes you look like an ass.

Anonymous said...

Wow, its getting deep out there! We should support Vander Plaats because he has a "national celebrity" to help him campaign! Well then sign me up!! Just because Bob thinks he can get that tax raising, squirrel eating, professional christian Mike Huckabee to say a few things about him is exactly why we should all rally against Vander Plaats and crush this clown once and for all!!

Anonymous said...

Good luck with that ... Who are you going to get to help "crush that clown?" Mitt Romney? We found out last January what Iowans thought of that guy. So to quote you ...


Anonymous said...

Latham is Iowa's best Congressman. Period.

Western IA said...


Why did you bring down Romney in hopes of defending Bob.

I supported BVP (twice) and I supported Romney.

I see where the other guy is being ridiculous but let's not bring the Huck/Romney thing in to the gubernatorial race. That's just a turnoff and I would like to support Bob again, but not if that's the campaign plan.


Anonymous said...

Bob VP is a nice guy- good motivational speaker- at least when he is speaking to the choir-
otherwise he is a preacher who attempts to mix in his evangelical message into each speech- or sermon
Sorry - Bob got less thn a third of the vote running for Gov 7 years ago in three man race- then in two man race 3 years ago was polling about a third when he gave up and joined Nussle- face it he will get 33-40% backing in his party with the message and priorites he preaches and that is it. He - like King - would never win a statewide race for Governor.
Latham would be great but think he is not a candidate. Same with Northey - not sure if he could get the non ag backing statewide either.
My money at this point is on Larsen if he can convince his wife, to make a solid run.