2013 US Elections

Although 2013 is an off-year, there will be a few elections held in 2013. The most high profile elections are the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia, as well as the special election to fill John Kerry’s Senate seat (Mr. Kerry was just overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate to be the Secretary of State). I will start with that one first.

Massachussetts Senate Special Election

Scott Brown announced today that he will not be running. This is a huge surprise and a major dissapointment to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Mr. Brown is enormously popular in the Bay State, despite the fact he lost his Senate seat to Elizabeth Warren. He will almost certainly run for governor in 2014, and he stands an excellent chance of winning.

New Jersey Gubernatorial Election

Chris Christie is up for re-election. Like Brown, Governor Christie is another Republican hugely popular in a deep blue state. His response to Hurricane Sandy was swift and competent, and New Jersey voters will not forget. I believe he stands a very good chance of winning re-election, which will propel him further to the national scene and lay the ground work for a presidential run in 2016, 2020, or 2024.

Virginia Gubernatorial Election

This is wide open. Governor Bob McDonnell is term limited and Democrats would love to follow up their presidential victory in Virginia with a gubernatorial win. However, Virginia is tradionally conservative and only narrowly voted for Obama. I think this will be a close race.

Virginia (my state) will almost certainly be a close race.

For the Republicans, Lt Gov Bolling and Attny General Cucinelli are the likely candidates. Both would be competitive candidates

The Democrats have their party chairman, Terry McAuliffe I think it is, and former Senator Jim Webb could enter. I’m not real sure on McAuliffe, but Webb at least would be a formidable candidate.

This is a state that is near dead even. McDonnell is a Republican, but prior to him were 8 years of very popular Democrats in Tim Caine and especially Mark Warner. I think a Democrat of a similar mold – moderate to slightly conservative – would do well. Obama is in some ways an outlier, because I think the perception is that he’s further left than the type of Democrats who have succeeded in Virginia, but he was also able to motivate a lot of voters who probably won’t turn out for the gubernatorial elections.