A declaration of independents in 2010


Independent candidates are poised to run serious campaigns for governor in at least a half-dozen states, a development that threatens Democratic fortunes in some of the bluest and most progressive-minded states in the nation.

In New Jersey, where Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine is seeking a second term in November, polls suggest an independent candidate is carving a sizable portion of voters out of his hide.

In two other reliably Democratic states, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, well-known politicians running as independents could significantly undermine Democratic chances in 2010, if not flat-out win. Credible third-party candidates are also mulling over bids in a handful of other states that have open seat governor’s races next year — including Minnesota and Maine, both of which have a recent history of electing third-party governors…

…For Democrats in Rhode Island, where the party has been shut out of the governor’s office for 14 years, the independent candidacy of former Sen. Lincoln Chafee is viewed as a serious blow to their chances of winning the open governor’s seat.

Chafee, a former Republican senator running in a state Barack Obama won in a landslide, has been critical of both parties — even going so far as to take a shot at President Obama, whom he endorsed in the 2008 presidential race, for not reaching out to congressional Republicans.

Since entering the race earlier this year, Chafee, a persistent thorn in the side of the GOP since he bolted in 2007, has aggressively portrayed himself as a candidate who offers a fresh “third way” approach to politics.

“There’s real opportunity for a new way,” Chafee told POLITICO…

Continues at Independents ’10

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