President Obama is in the process of putting together a political operation that could stymie the Republican nominee before the race begins. It is an imperative for the GOP to shore-up homegrown support now in the non-battleground states. If the list of 2012 battleground states expands, the eventual Republican nominee could have a tougher time trying to capture the White House. The eventual GOP nominee’s best defense against backtracking is conservative chief executives who are well respected in their home states.
Kentucky — Leans Democratic
Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear is seeking reelection. The GOP could take ownership of the governor’s mansion in the Bluegrass State, but the incumbent Beshear is building a sizeable war chest and the eventual GOP nominee faces a crowded field.
Louisiana — Solid Republican
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindhal is seeking reelection. The jungle primary format in the Pelican State strongly favors the re-election prospects of Republican Gov. Jindhal.
Mississippi — Solid Republican
Sitting Republican Gov. Barbour is term limited. The Magnolia State is likely to stay in Republican hands. At this juncture, the main question is whether the GOP nominee will be L.G. Phil Bryant or businessman Dave Dennis.
West Virginia — Toss Up
Acting Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is seeking re-election. The Republicans have been shut out of the West Virginia governor’s mansion for more than a decade. While Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin maybe the incumbent, this race has the feel of an open-seat battle, which Republicans could very well win.