During the last week of a federal election cycle party chairmen take a look at where the remaining competitive races are and funnel huge chunks of cash into those races, either trying to prop up a candidate on the verge of losing his seat or to take advantage of a new opportunity to push a challenger over the finish line. This week the DCCC looked at sixty-six races and decided the one that needed the most help was right here in the 11th District of Virgina.
Gerry Connolly has been maintaining all through this election cycle that he felt pretty good about the internal polling numbers in this race, while predicatably his challenger Keith Fimian has been telling a different story. The conventional wisdom during most of this cycle has been that Connolly was in pretty decent shape, and as such no outside pollsters have been paying much attention to the race. All the interest in Virginia congressional races has been directed elsewhere, where incumbents like Nye and Periello were expected to get strong challenges, and the polling in those districts has been constant.
In the past week thought, the polling in these districts has widened, and a recent poll in the 9th District – where Boucher was expeted to pretty easily fend off a challenge by Morgan Griffith — showed Griffith was actually ahead of Boucher, although well within the margin of error. The internals in these recent polls must have been telling a very disturbing tale, as suddenly the DCC money spigot has been pretty much closed for Nye and Periello and now the DCCC is directing last-minute cash towards the races they previously thought were safe.
When Gerry Connolly is the beneficiary of $1,079,867 in last-minute national campaign largesse, more than any other race in the country, and about ten times what Nye and Periello are getting, that’s a clear indication that the DCCC view of the battleground has shifted tremendously in the past week. The one race they obviously feel is the closest, and the one where they think a bunch of last minute, hastily conceived and rushed to execution advertising can make a difference is in VA-11. The Connolly-Fimian race is the critical battle for them.
So much for Connolly feeling confident. Sounds to me like his internal polling is putting him down a point or two.
We’ve got a rare opportunity to fire Gerry Connolly next Tuesday. Your conversations with friends, your interactions with potential voters, your personal efforts are far more effective than gobs of DCCC money used to put up negative radio and TV ads. Whether Keith Fimian gets across the finish line as a winner depends on you, and your opposition is clearly signalling that you’re narrowly in the lead already.
Let’s finish strong and win this one.
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