5. Washington (2008): We debated long and hard whether to make this race or Gov. Mitch Daniels's (R) reelection bid in Indiana the final race on the Line. We decided to stick with Washington because of the likely candidacy of 2004 nominee Dino Rossi (R). Rossi has said little about his intentions, but most observers expect him to challenge Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) -- setting up a rematch of the controversial 2004 race, where recount after recount ultimately put the Democrat narrowly over the top. Washington State went south for Republicans in 2006 (witness Sen. Maria Cantwell's shellacking of Republican Mike McGavick), and 2008 isn't likely to be much better for the GOP in the state. But Rossi is an extremely strong candidate and will have four years of Gregoire's record to pick through for weak spots. (Previous ranking: 4)And that record is primed to picked through. The Cato Institute's 2006 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors ranks Queen Christine seventh from the bottom with a grade of "F". After this spending-spree session in Olympia is over, she may be the worst.
HT: Liz Mair