* Reid Wilson at the Washington Post…
With no big national wave benefiting either party this year, some Democrats and Republicans are finding themselves unexpectedly competitive in territory that’s usually anything but — and at least half a dozen governors in so-called safe states, who tend to expect few bumps on this stretch of the road to re-election, are finding their campaign fortunes oddly uncertain.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) faces voters this Saturday in a Democratic primary in which he has outspent his opponent, state Sen. David Ige (D), by a 10-to-1 margin. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) won with more than 63 percent of the vote in 2010 in his heavily Republican state. But polls show both incumbents trailing.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) faces a fierce challenge from businessman Tom Foley (R), who is expected to win his primary election next week. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) trails his opponent, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner (R), in an ordinarily blue state. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) faces a close rematch against state Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D) that has drawn national attention. And Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) is running neck and neck with state Sen. Jason Carter (D), in a state where no Democrat has won the governorship since 1998. […]
Quinn, who won office with just 47 percent of the vote in 2010, signed what he said was a temporary income tax hike, then proposed making the increase permanent.
“Quinn has to significantly improve on his own 2010 performance, after raising income taxes, after falling way short on improving the economy and in the midst of a federal investigation into a 2010 anti-violence program and a lawsuit over patronage hiring practices at the Department of Transportation,” said Rich Miller, editor of Capitol Fax, an Illinois political publication.
Subscribers know the rest of my comment, which also included a warning that Quinn can’t ever be counted out.