The conventional wisdom about 2010 can be summarized as follows; Republicans will pick up some seats in the House, maybe a few in the Senate, and Democrats will retain control. More and more, though, that CW is turning to the governor's races as the most consequential. I think the CW is right. Nearly 80 percent of Americans will choose their state leaders on the eve of the first and only congressional redistricting of the Obama era. Democrats have the chance to consolidate gains at the state legislature level, and Republicans have the chance to prevent the Democrats from exploiting the national/natural demographic drift toward the Democrats. Including New Jersey and Virginia, Democrats will be trying to hold onto 22 seats; Republicans will try to keep 16 seats.
Races in both Pennsylvania and Colorado will test the degree to which recent Democratic gains in both of those states are ephemeral. In Michigan, the most recession-battered state in the union, a half dozen Republicans are gearing for the primary; no big name Democrat has yet declared.