The G.O.P.'s Stately Mansions

Don't dis Mr. Burns. During a hard-fought Indiana gubernatorial race that saw opponents hurling media brickbats at each other to the tune of $31 million, a state spending record, incumbent Democrat Joe Kernan joked that challenger Mitch Daniels, head of the Office of Management and Budget under George W. Bush, resembled The Simpsons' distasteful plutocrat. Hoosier voters, however, responded to Daniels' fiscal savvy--and to the coattails of his former boss--making him the state's first Republican Governor since 1989.

That, in turn, helped the G.O.P., which owned a 28-22 gubernatorial majority going into the election, maintain its margin. Five states (Indiana, Missouri,...

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