Three far-away gubernatorial elections -- in California, Texas and Florida -- could portend big changes in national politics.
The key in these three state is who controls redistricting plans in these states, Republican or Democratic governors. In 1992, California will go from 45 House members to 52. Depending on how the state is re-districted, the number of Republicans and Democrats could vary by as many as a dozen. Texas, as the second or third largest state after the final Census count, with a probable 30 seats in the House, could also have a significant partisan swing. Ditto Florida, with four new seats.
Since governors can veto redistricting plans that favor the opposite party, the outcome of the gubernatorial races could prove pivotal.
In California, a Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, has a good chance to end eight years of Republican rule. She is running dead even with Republican Sen. Pete Wilson in the latest Los Angeles Times Poll. In Texas, Ann Richards, the Democratic state treasurer, has a fair chance to end four years of Republican rule there. She is now neck and neck in the polls with GOP rancher-businessman Clayton Williams. And in Florida, where Republicans have held the governorship for four years, former Democratic Sen. Lawton Chiles is considered even with the Repubican incumbent, Gov. Bob Martinez.