The Old Dominion has seen a dramatic shift in the political landscape over the past 20 + years with respect to national elections, from a primarily red state to an increasingly purple-blue tilt. Since then-Sen. Jim Webb (D) knocked off incumbent Sen. George Allen in 2006 due to his infamous “macaca” comments (plus the disgust following the conviction of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and anti-corruption sentiments cited by voters in exit polls), Virginia has not held a Republican U.S. Senate seat for more than 8 years.
Senator Warner’s voting record has definitely proven to be one that supported the President and his agenda, with an ACU rating of 12.5 and an 85 percent rating from Americans for Democratic Action, a liberal group. Despite often being touted as a “centrist”, Warner’s voting record certainly shows that he is anything but.
According to UVA political analyst Larry Sabato, Virginia’s Senate race is a “likely Democrat” vote. Jeff Katz, host of the Jeff Katz Show on Richmond, VA-based radio station WRVA-1140, recently noted that the 2014 GOP nominee for US Senate, Ed Gillespie, has recently withdrawn his campaign commercials and weighs in on the race.
“For a lot of Virginia voters, the Senate race comes down to a race between two candidates who are both seen as career political operatives,” he tells me. “Gillespie has been able to close the gap quite effectively, but the question is, will it be enough? The math would indicate that if the election were to be held in February Gillespie would win, but of course the election will happen in November.
Sen. Mark Warner has tagged Gillespie as the official Enron lobbyist while Gillespie has repeatedly identified Warner as Barack Obama’s biggest water carrier in the Senate,” continues Katz. “For many voters I’ve spoken with, both assessments are correct and neither seems to be a deal breaker.”
Longtime Virginia Republican grassroots activist Jim Parmelee also weighs in on the Senate race. “President Obama’s unpopular numbers in recent polls are probably not helpful to Mark Warner, who has been a supporter of the President, and his attempts to distance himself from the president could hurt him with base voters,” he tells me. “If you are a Virginian who wants to vote for change in the US Senate this year, Ed Gillespie is your best choice.”