GOP could add six AGs, web site says

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Oct 27, 2010


MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) -- Republicans could pick up as many as six state attorney general seats on Nov. 2, according to the editor of a free, online encyclopedia about state politics.

Joseph Kastner, Ballotpedia's state attorney general elections editor, said attorney general seats currently held by Democrats in Arizona, California, Georgia, Kansas, Ohio and Oklahoma are in the "leans Republican" or "likely Republican" category based on factors that include polls and campaign funding.

Heading into next Tuesday's general election, the Democratic Party holds the AG position in 32 states, while the GOP holds it in just 18.

However, only 30 of the 50 state attorney general seats are up for election this year.

In those 30 states with attorney general elections, Democrats hold 20 seats and Republicans hold 10.

Kastner said if the GOP picks up six seats as projected, holding all its "safe, likely and leans" elections, it will win 57 percent of the 30 November elections. Also, it will be in possession of 24 state AG seats altogether, while the Democratic Party, if it holds all its "safe, likely or leans" Democratic seats, will be at 25.

Just one state, Iowa, is in the toss-up column, according to Kastner's analysis. The state's AG position, currently occupied by a Democrat, could go either way, he said.

The Iowa Attorney General election pits incumbent Tom Miller against Republican challenger Brenna Findley.

Kastner said the race is "one of the toughest to predict" because of limited polling information in the down-ballot race. Also, the GOP's Findley has significantly outperformed Miller in the money sweepstakes since mid-summer which may enable her to be competitive with Miller's incumbency and name-recognition advantage, he said.

Kastner said two attorney general offices are likely to get a new occupant as a result of their gubernatorial elections.

In these states -- Hawaii and Wyoming -- the AG is appointed by the governor.

Hawaii currently has a Republican governor, but is thought to be a gubernatorial pick-up opportunity for the Democratic Party this year, Kastner said. The reverse is true, he said, in Wyoming.

Ballotpedia is sponsored by the non-profit, non-partisan Lucy Burns Institute based in Madison, Wisconsin.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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