Monday, November 07, 2005

Who's afraid of Virginia..

no not Virginia Wolfe, Virginia the State.....

It’s Monday night, and for most of us it’s time to sit back after enduring the first day of a new work week. However in the State of Virgina it’s election eve.

That’s right, tomorrow voters in Virginia (as well as other states) will go to the polls and cast their votes, and the most closely watched contest in the state will be the race for Governor. While this is not the only race for Governor that will be decided tomorrow it is the one that Republicans are watching closely.

In tomorrow’s election former State Attorney General Jerry Kilgore (R) goes head to head with Lieutenant Governor Timothy M. Kaine (D).

Virginia is usually considered to be a republican party stronghold, except this year the party is not so confident. The recent indictment of ‘Scooter’ Libby is one of a long line of setbacks to the republicans and they are looking at the off-year gubernatorial elections as an indication of the parties strength , and Virginia is the test case.

If the republicans can win in Virginia, then they believe they will stand a chance in 2006 and 2008. However if they can’t win in one of their most dependable strongholds then conventional wisdom states that the Republicans are on the verge of a massive meltdown of the party. They are worried enough to bring in Mary Matalin, and even White House Political Director Sara Taylor.

Currently the two candidates have been neck and neck in the polls. The faithful of each party have been working the phones diligently. Party leaders have been traveling the state as well. What about the candidates?

After being kept out of his own ads because of the ‘mountain twang’ in his voice, Kilgore has been out making the rounds and shaking hands.

Not one to be outdone, Kaine appeared with a former Republican Governor of Virginia, A Linwood Holton, Governor from 1970 to 1974, who just happens to be his father in law.
Kaine has also tied himself to his friend and running mate from 2001, current Virginia Governor Mark Warner, a Democrat with an approval rating of 70 to 75 percent.

On Monday, the President is scheduled to stop in Richmond on his way back from South America to participate in a voter rally for Kilgore. The Democrats are taking his visit in stride. Kaine’s communications director, Mo Elleithee welcomes the appearance of Bush to Virginia and says that you can sum up the Governors race by asking “Do you want someone who’s going to govern like Mark Warner, or someone who’s going to govern like George Bush?”

So are the Democrats correct in their assumption that the problems in the Bush administration will help them win the State House in Virginia, as well as springboard them to other victories in 2006 and beyond? It may be too soon to tell, but tomorrow will be a good indication.

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