Thursday, October 28, 2010

Political wheel to spin again Tuesday

Republicans will almost surely take control of the House of Representatives Tuesday.

They won't win the Senate, although they'll gain seats. They squandered a chance to win the Senate by choosing too many Tea Party wackos as Senate candidates.

Which is amazing when you consider that two years ago pundits were wondering if the GOP was doomed as a national party.

A combination of the Tea Party, the still dragging economy and relentless propagandizing by Fox News and right-wing talk radio has brought the party back from the brink of the abyss and has them on the brink of their biggest election victory since 1994.

Virginia, were the polls close early, may give an early signal on how the night is going to go.

Expectations have been that Republicans would take out at least two of Virginia's six Democratic congressmen -- freshmen representatives Glen Nye in the 2nd District and Tom Perriello in the 5th. Both have trailed their Republican challengers throughout the race, although the polls in both races have closed over the last week. Still, incumbents polling less than 45% a week before Election Day are probably doomed. In both races the presence of a Tea Party-affiliated independent candidate raises the possiblity that the seat could be won with as little as 45% of the vote. That's probably the best shot Nye and Perriello have.

I either Nye or Perriello survives, the GOP wave may be smaller than predicted.

On the other hand, two races Democrats felt confident about -- long-time incumbent Rick Boucher in the 9th District and freshman Gerry Connolly in the 11th District, have begun to look shaky in recent days. Although he's held a comfortable lead over Morgan Griffith, the majority leader of Virginia's House of Delegates who actually lives in the 6th District,  througout the summer, the most recent poll in Boucher's race showed it deadlocked. Tuesday will show if that poll was an outlier or caught late movement. In the 11th, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has committed $1 million for a last minute TV ad blitz. With the number of incumbents they have in jeopardy around the country, it's unlikely they'd do that if Connolly was safe.

If either Boucher or Connolly go down, the GOP is likely in for even a better night than has been predicted.

The Democrats' problem is the stubbornly high unemployement rate and, let's face it, discomfort in the country that there's a black man in the White House.

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 11, 2010

Like kicking a crippled puppy..

This week's blog entry is about a story you didn't read in The Virginia Gazette.

You didn't read it because I, along with Editor Rusty Carter and Publisher Bill O'Donovan thought it was a tawdry invasion of someone's privacy, and a political low blow that crossed the line.

If you live in the 1st Congressional District and you've followed other media, you probably know what I'm talking about.

Last week embarrassing photos of Democratic candidate Krystal Ball appeared on a Republican blog. The photos, from a party when Ball was 22, showed her in a Santa-themed dominatrix outfit with a man identified as her ex-husband wearing a red rubber phallus for a nose.

It looked a lot like the kind of thing most of us probably did once or twice while in college. Would you want everything you did in college spread across the Internet?

The photos quickly spread through the Republican blogosphere, and beyond, though many GOP bloggers took them down at the request of Rep. Rob Wittman's campaign.

The Wittman camp said it wanted to run on the issues and, from a practical standpoint, they don't need the controversy. They stand to trounce Ball in the heavily Republican 1st District. It would be a moral victory for her to score more than 40% of the vote.

That's what made the decision the decision to post the photos so mean-spirited. It was unnecessary and uncalled for. It was like kicking a crippled puppy.

Bookmark and Share