Top 10 Gubernatorial Races in 2006

Ranked by HUMAN EVENTS Political Editor John Gizzi.

10. Wisconsin
Conservative Rep. Mark Green is the Republican favorite to go up against Democratic Gov. James Doyle, Jr., who polls show is increasingly unpopular.

9. Iowa
Former House Budget Committee Chairman Jim Nussle will carry the GOP banner against Democratic Secretary of State Chet Culver. Incumbent Democrat Tom Vilsack is leaving office.

8. Oregon
Stalwart conservative State Sen. Jason Atkinson leads a three-candidate GOP pack to oppose Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongowski, who has served in all three branches of state government.

7. Florida
Republican Gov. Jeb Bush is termed out. State Atty. Gen. Charles Crist and former State Insurance Commissioner Tom Gallagher are competing for the GOP nomination to face the likely Democratic nominee, Rep. Jim Davis.

6. Arkansas
With GOP Gov. Mike Huckabee stepping down, former Rep. and Clinton impeachment manager Asa Hutchinson is the certain GOP nominee against Democratic State Atty. Gen. Mike Beebe.

5. Alabama
"Ten Commandments Judge" Roy Moore and Gov. Bob Riley are in a hard-hitting GOP primary fight. The winner will face Democratic Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley, 40 years after the state elected its first woman governor.

4. Oklahoma
Clinton-style Democrat Brad Henry won the governorship in ’02 in a freakish three-way race. Now he faces a stiff GOP challenge, most likely from conservative Rep. Ernest Istook.

3. Michigan
In a state that has not shared in the nationwide economic boom, Amway heir and sure GOP nominee Richard DeVos, Jr., is considered even money against Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

2. Pennsylvania
Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell will face a close race with former football great Lynn Swann, another black conservative on social and economic issues.

1. Ohio
With financial scandal swirling around lame-duck Republican Gov. Bob Taft, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a black conservative, is the favorite for the GOP nod. Blackwell is considered the Republicans’ best chance of beating the certain Democratic nominee, Rep. Ted Strickland.