In a National Journal story about races for governor in states all over the country, Missouri is singled out as a potential bright spot for Democrats in 2012.
Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., appears to be in solid shape for reelection against Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.
There's plenty of time left, but Missouri's race is developing on a parallel track to the one in Kentucky—with a Democratic governor running ahead of the odds in a Republican-leaning state, thanks to his charisma and likability and his opponent's early stumbles.
It offers yet another reminder that governors' races are about a personal comfort level with the candidates. That truism is giving Democrats some optimism in what otherwise is shaping up to be a difficult year.