November 07, 2005
Kaine benefits from a popular Democrat governor, although that popularity is, as far as I can tell, undeserved. To his credit, Mark Warner has been a pretty moderate Democrat, which is the only type that this state will elect, except for the I-promise-I-won't-raise-taxes-so-what-I-did broken promises on taxes. However, the Republican majority in the state legislature gets most of the blame for that, and rightfull so, as the Democrats didn't have the votes to enact an increase without Republican help. There will be enough disaffected Republican voters who believe that it doesn't really matter who's in office anymore.
Update: After mulling over matters last night, I've decided to be a bit more optimistic based on several factors:
1) Back in 1989, Doug Wilder was predicted to blowout Marshall Coleman. He ended up winning by around 5,000 votes.
2) The 2004 national elections proved that Republicans could get out the vote as well, if not better, than the Democrats.
3) Mark Warner was up big in the polls against a tepid candidate who he had outspent by an enormous margin going into election day 4 years ago, but managed only a 4%-5% victory.
4) As I mentioned, Potts 4% in the polls won't translate into 4% of the actual voters. Many of those voters will end up voting for Kilgore.
5) Virginia is, buy and large, a pretty Republican state. Ask Joh Kerry how he did last year. I do understand the differences between state and federal elections, though.
I'm callling it a tossup.
One caveat: Virginia voters should beware the dreaded Democrat bias in early exit polls. Around 3:00 p.m. on election day last year, John Kerry thought that he was president. I can already the NBC/CBS/ABC/CNN talking heads trumpeting "IT'S OVER!!!!" before the polls close, which would make some people simply avoid voting altogether.
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