Democratic governors pow-wow ahead of 2014 contests
December 9th, 2013
11:25 AM ET
1 year ago

Democratic governors pow-wow ahead of 2014 contests

Updated 11:45 a.m. ET, 12/9/2013

Washington (CNN) – Democratic governors and gubernatorial candidates are gathering in the nation's capital Monday to plot strategy ahead of next year's elections, when three dozen governorships are up for grabs.

Eleven Democratic governors, a governor-elect, and around a dozen candidates are taking part in the Democratic Governors Association annual meeting. On the agenda: Strategy sessions and policy panels during the day, with a holiday party to cap things off in the evening. The main mission is to give a walk-through to the incumbent governors and candidates running next year of what the DGA does and how it can help them.

Also on the agenda: Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is expected to be re-elected as DGA chairman.

Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe of Virginia is attending the day long meetings, and his victory last month over Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will be highlighted, with the DGA hoping to take the lessons learned and carry them forward to next year's contests.

Unlike the Senate, where Democrats will be defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs, the GOP controls 22 of the 36 governorships in next year's elections. And some of them are in states that President Barack Obama carried in both 2008 and 2012, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, Maine, Nevada and New Mexico.

"Democrats are on offense in 2014. We feel hugely confident to take back states that elected GOP governors in 2010," DGA Communications Director Danny Kanner told CNN.

Kanner added that McAuliffe's victory in Virginia and what issues he highlighted, such as jobs and schools, will be in their spotlight.

"We look forward to discussing those lessons," Kanner added.

Kanner predicted that the 2014 gubernatorial contests will mostly be about jobs and the economy, and said that the improving economy will only help Democratic governors and candidates. As for the ongoing political battle over the federal health care law, which could hurt Democrats up for re-election next year, Kanner said he thinks "voters, no matter what they feel about the law, will reward candidates and governors who are making it work for people who want high quality access to health care," adding that voters "will punish governors, in the name of right wing ideology, who have tried to sabotage the law for working people."

Among those attending today's meetings: Shumlin, Colorado Gov. and DGA Vice Chairman John Hickenlooper, Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. Democratic gubernatorial candidates from Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania are also attending the confab.

The rival Republican Governors Association is also confident heading into 2014, and feels the economy will be their tailwind.

"Republican governors are in strong position for re-election in 2014. They have a clear record of results of growing jobs, reducing spending and cutting taxes. The economies in states with Republican governors have dramatically improved since 2010 and numerous polls show voters give credit to their governor for the success – not President Obama or Washington," RGA spokesman Jon Thompson told CNN.

And the RGA touted their financial advantage when it comes to fundraising.

"The DGA talks a big game, but reality shows they have raised half what the RGA has raised in 2013. Their limited resources will restrict which of their candidates they are able to support financially in key races in 2014," Thompson added.

While acknowledging being outspent, Kanner infers that the DGA spends its money more wisely.

"We spend our money better, we have better candidates, and we have a better message," Kanner added.


Filed under: DGA • Washington D.C.
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama:

    Meanwhile....we're enjoying a little of your MInnesota weather here in the Mid-Atlantic with a mini ice-storm that has shutdown school counties, and created havoc on the roads...

    Brrr. It IS cold. Fleece and flannel. And Uggs. All to be worn inside the house for the next few days. Bundle up and be safe!

    @ Fair is Fair:

    Yes, it was understood before they hit reality T.V. outlets that the duck dudes are and have always been about merchandising. For what it is worth commenting on, they did well merchandising for themselves before their reality program hit the air waves.

    As you've suggested, more power to them ... they've expanded their "audience".

    December 9, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Donna

    Democrats remain totally DELUSIONAL about how much Obamacare and all the LIES told to get it passed has damaged their party. And the worse is yet to come as the Obama administration itself has predicted tens of millions more employer covered people will be seeing their healthcare coverage cancelled as well. And of course, the Democrats will be doubling down on their lies but the American people now know better.

    These Democrat governors had better hold a session called "How the Heck do we Survive Obamacare?". (answer, you probably won't, only the deepest of blue states that is)

    December 9, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. ThinkAgain

    From another CNN article: @Rick McDaniel posted:

    "The main reason the American Dream is a myth........is that there are no jobs in America to enable people to achieve self improvement through their own effort. There's no stepping stones, left in America, and the government is making that worse, by the DAY, with EPA regulations, and impediments to business of every possible kind. This is the most anti-business regime in history."

    DGA, this is the mindset you are facing: right-wing nutjobs who think the key to success is to make our country "hospitable" to business so they'll bring jobs back. "Hospitable" as in third-world business-friendly: low wages, no workplace safety, no benefits, no environmental regulations, rampant, unregulated exploitation of natural resources, massive government subsidies, and the top 1 or 2 percent owning and controlling everything.

    THIS is what you're facing – and the only way to combat it is through action and words and getting in voters' faces about what it REALLY takes to continue our nation's economic recovery and building for a sustainable future for EVERYONE, not just a bubble-burst economy for the wealthy few.

    Get in their faces long and loud and often. Get voters as excited about the 2014 midterms as they were about the 2008 election – because if the repubs make gains in the House and (God forbid) gain control of the Senate, our nation is TOAST.

    December 9, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    adding that voters "will punish governors, in the name of right wing ideology, who have tried to sabotage the law for working people."
    -----------------------------------------------
    Absolutely correct! We will hold these governors accountable for trying to sabotage the law, not expanding Medicaid & not offering an alternative. I can tell you right now that Kasich & Scott are finito.

    December 9, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    "Republican governors are in strong position for re-election in 2014. They have a clear record of results of growing jobs, reducing spending and cutting taxes. The economies in states with Republican governors have dramatically improved since 2010 and numerous polls show voters give credit to their governor for the success – not President Obama or Washington,"
    ------------------------------------------–
    Growing jobs? Have you looked at Texas? Wisconsin? New Jersey? TX pays below minimum, while NJ and WI have lost jobs.

    I'll agree with the remark that voters associate spending cuts and tax cuts in their Republican Governors. The issue is whether that association is for giving them credit, or for laying blame. The only states with Republicans governors that have faired pretty decent have been the ones that have received the most federal dollars, or have benefited from the resurgence of the auto industry. The rest of them have had a tough run.

    December 9, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    A suggestion: Begin winning the war on words, DGA.

    – The repubs have taken over "family values" (even as they cut food stamps for the most vulnerable among us).
    – They claim "freedom" (even as they tell women what they can do with their own bodies and tell people whom they can marry).
    – They say they are the people of "faith" (even as they ignore the First Amendment guarantees of religious freedom and want to impose their narrow version of Christianity on others).
    – They say they are "fiscal conservatives" (even as they push for tax cuts for the wealthy which have NOT resulted in job creation here in the U.S. and have over and over and over again historically created deficits).
    – Repubs say they are strong on defense (even as 9/11 happened during a repub administration – which famously stopped actively looking for the perpetrator).
    – They say they don't believe in handouts (even as they continue multi-billion-dollar subsidies for the oil industry which doesn't need it).
    – Repubs say they believe in representative democracy, yet continually filibuster in the Senate and block bills from coming to a vote in the House (the blocking of votes on presidential nominees and the changing of House rules to guarantee the government shutdown come to mind – google H.R. 368 for details).

    DEMOCRATS are the ones with the policies that create economic prosperity across a broad spectrum of income levels, a thriving middle class, investment in our future, an inclusive society and greater stability.

    Start calling the repubs on their lies and distortion and epic failures – and start spreading the message of what Dems have done and will continue to do FOR OUR COUNTRY.

    December 9, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  7. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Democrats make pitiful Gov. Hands down. Even some liberals will admit that. The problem the GOP face is wining back the white house.

    December 9, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. destroyerofeconomies

    democrats are doomed.we are looking at historic levels of republican gains in the house and senate.democrats will run from liberals for years to come

    December 9, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  9. simplyput

    Doubt that this will get posted...someone is censoring most of what I send these days at CNN, but democrats need big magic at pow wow. Which flavor of poison cool aid did you drink? Mine was cherry, because I was cherry picked by the gov to get insurance for 3 years at a 2,000 deductible, and then they took the flavor away. Big lies at big pow wow. Democrats sit with bad medicine, sick people die.

    December 9, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  10. just asking

    ThinkAgain
    DGA, this is the mindset you are facing: right-wing nutjobs who think the key to success is to make our country "hospitable" to business so they'll bring jobs back. "Hospitable" as in third-world business-friendly: low wages, no workplace safety, no benefits, no environmental regulations, rampant, unregulated exploitation of natural resources, massive government subsidies, and the top 1 or 2 percent owning and controlling everything.
    ---

    just more of the endless lies told by the lunatic leftists. lies and deceit just like their obamacare lies and deceit. your usual strawmen arguments, over and over. after 5 years of ant–business, anti-capitalism climate from obama and his far left cabal, we see what it gets us, record unemployment, for record time along with record debt and deficits.

    --
    THIS is what you're facing – and the only way to combat it is through action and words and getting in voters' faces about what it REALLY takes to continue our nation's economic recovery and building for a sustainable future for EVERYONE, not just a bubble-burst economy for the wealthy few.
    --

    obama and his clowns at the fed with their no interest money have done more to help the wealthy get wealthier as all that printed money has driven the stock market wild, while job growth has gone nowhere, thanks in large part to obamacare. americans wages have dropped more under obama than at any other time. the income inquality he rails against is one of his own making! does he think all of those unemployed people are building their bank accounts?

    --
    Get in their faces long and loud and often. Get voters as excited about the 2014 midterms as they were about the 2008 election – because if the repubs make gains in the House and (God forbid) gain control of the Senate, our nation is TOAST.
    --

    yes, get in our faces just like you did in wisconsin and see what you get. thrown out. the american people have seen and heard enough of your leftist rubbish that continues to bring this country's economy down.

    December 9, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @thinkagain "Start calling the repubs on their lies and distortion"

    Yes! I think the Dems need to go more on the offensive and start calling out that list of lies. We are letting the Repubs of the hook and they will just keep doing it. I would suggest turning the light of Truth on some of the seedy stuff the conservatives are doing as well to undermine ACA
    – advertising to young people on campuses NOT to sign up for ACA to pull the rug out from underneath the Law
    – setting up false (LIE) websites to lure honest people trying to sign up for insurance
    – lying about death panels
    – highlighting anecdotal problems and lying about this being the norm
    – lying to Medicare folks about how they need to sign up for insurance to confuse people

    December 9, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  12. CB FL

    Here in FL Governor Rick Scott is running attack ads at Charlie Crist. The writing is on the wall for Scott's time as Governor is coming to an end.

    December 9, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. A True Conservative

    "Democrats are on the offense in 2014" – Yea, right! And they are all going to run on Obamacare too!! This is too funny.......

    December 9, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Donna, you continue to make stuff up. Roughly 74%, of your rants are fact free.

    December 9, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  15. A True Conservative

    @Think Again – I must comment on one of your talking points. What is so hard to understand about the conservative view of abortion? Step back for just a moment from the sacrament of the feminist movement and think about it. Conservatives see abortion as murder. Are you, as a "pro-choice" person in favor of murder? Is there something magical about traveling through the birth canal that miraculously transforms a fetus into life (except for certain abortionists such as Kermit Gosnell)? You can say whatever you like – taking away a womans choice – causing her to lose control of her own body – etc. The truth is that she had a choice – she made her choice and now she, and maybe her partner, want a do over! It is murder – no matter how you try to describe or justify it – that is what it is. I know, the truth hurts.

    December 9, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. ghostwriter

    I have little hope for Ohio. The democrat is just as horrible as Kasic, I dunno who I'm voting for. Probably the one who nauseates me the least.

    December 9, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |