The Jay Nixon campaign was very pleased to announce this morning that Congressional Quarterly magazine has moved the race for Missouri governor from “Neutral” to “Lean Democratic”, reflecting Nixon’s lead in the polls over Congressman Kenny Hulshof.
New Rating: Leans Democratic
Old Rating: No Clear Favorite
Polls show Democratic state Attorney General Jay Nixon has moved out to a lead over Republican Rep. Kenny Hulshof , who presently represents the northeastern 9th District, in the contest to succeed retiring one-term Republican Gov. Matt Blunt .
Nixon’s edge is partially attributable to his own political strengths. Nixon is wrapping up a four-term tenure as attorney general, an office to which he was first elected in 1992, and he ran two vigorous though unsuccessful challenges to incumbent Republican senators John Danforth in 1988 and Christopher S. Bond in 1998. He has higher name recognition than Hulshof, who represents one-ninth of the state in Congress.
Nixon is also benefiting from some Republican weaknesses. Blunt — who is the son of Missouri Rep. Roy Blunt , the House minority whip — was viewed as a rising star when he won the 2004 race for governor just before his 34th birthday. But Blunt had mediocre approval ratings during his term, and he decided not to run for re-election.
And Hulshof, while held in high regard by most of his House constituency in northeastern Missouri, is hindered somewhat in that he’s a member of the congressional Republican Party that is held in low esteem by most of the voting public.
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