Following in the footsteps of Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.), former Saturday Night Live star Joe Piscopo said he was seriously considering running for governor of New Jersey next year, a decision he would probably make in January.
“They just want to see change. They want us to rip up Trenton inside out and backwards,” Piscopo is quoted as saying. The problem for Piscopo is he would run as a Republican, and Chris Christie has been governor since 2009. He still has another year left in office, but he is already a lame duck in large part because of Bridgegate. Christie received a 19 percent approval rating in a new Quinnipiac University poll, the lowest of any governor in that poll’s history. That kind of political environment would make it very difficult for any Republican to run.
Several Democrats – including a DNC chair candidate, an Obama cabinet secretary, and a potential 2020 presidential candidate – penned a collection of mini op-eds for the Washington Post outlining their vision for the party and its future. All of them are worth reading.
Politico has a good look at the governors’ races coming up in the next two years, and how they offer the Democratic Party’s best immediate chances as a path to rebuilding in the wake of the recent election.
Coming up first are the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races and statewide legislative races scheduled for late 2017. Candidates in both parties are already moving in these races. I will write a preview/outlook of these states and races in December as a look for what’s ahead in the new year.
Even further down the line are the 2018 midterms. The Senate calendar that year is particularly difficult, and the likelihood of retaking the House of Representatives is slim. However, 26 out of 36 governor’s mansions up for election (or re-election) are held by Republicans. This means that if Democrats can retake some of those states, their party will be in place and in control for the 2020 census and redistricting.
The great unknown right now will be the dynamics of the country and individual states going into those election cycles. Looking at it one or two years ahead, the two obvious factors that will have an impact will be the state of the economy, as well as the popularity of the Republican-controlled Washington DC (President Trump and the McConnell/Ryan Congress).
Lots more on this subject to come in the future.