Last year’s election cycle offered considerable hope to conservatives as Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives and came within spitting distance of retiring the awful Gerry Connolly from politics. As Obama nosedives in the polls and Democrats are proving themselves inept, incompetent and ineffective a picture is emerging of a tidal wave in Virginia politics that will make the historic gains of 2010, where Republicans gained more seats than any election since 1938, look like a footnote. Virginia in 2011 is looking to set new records as the electorate firmly fixes responsibility on Democrats at all levels of government for the mess we’re currently in.
The tide actually started turning in 2009 as the real scope of the Obama agenda started to emerge, the ObamaCare debate started, and Bob McDonnell lead a ticket that swept all three statewide races and picked up six seats for Republicans in the House of Delegates. Polling back then indicated that Obama still retained substantial support in the electorate, but whatever elements of that support that had pushed Obama over the top in Virginia had entirely evaporated once it came to electing a Governor. Deeds and the rest of his team were pretty lackluster, McDonnell, Bolling and Cuccinelli were firing on all cylinders, but just a year before Obama had carried Virginia.
When the elections of 2010 came around the prospects for Democrats soured even more as Democrat incumbents Glenn Nye, Tom Periello, and even Rick Boucher were sent packing. Boucher, who had served since 1982 in the House, lost in South-West Virginia because he got painted as being aligned with the Obama agenda and his loss even surprised a lot of Republicans that were slightly hopeful of what Morgan Griffith might be able to do in the 9th District. Gerry Connolly narrowly escaped defeat in the 11th District by a razor-thin 820 vote margin despite the DNC pouring millions of dollars into his campaign and Fimian displaying stunning incompetence during debate appearances. The natives were becoming awfully restless.
The situation has only become far worse since then. In mid-September polling in Virginia by Quinnipiac University showed Obama had a minus 14 point gap in job approval with 51% saying he didn’t deserve re-election. The more leading indicator here is the right-track/wrong-track results, which nationally are running more than fifty points towards “wrong track.” In the absence of a Republican nominee for President to galvanize Democrats in opposition to someone, 72% of Americans are saying Obama is going in the wrong direction and are deeply suspicious of Democrat leadership. Even if Virginians are more optimistic in this regard, it’s not because of Obama and the Democrats, it’s because of Bob McDonnell constantly announcing new jobs while delivering a budget surplus at the same time the federal deficit is exploding and national unemployment statistics remain persistently high.
Omaba has been flailing around trying to find a way to overcome this problem, and has only made it worse in the former battleground state of Virginia, which Gerry Connolly has already written off for the President. Obama is offering the idea of having another stimulus, raising taxes by $1.5 trillion, and giving amnesty to illegal aliens by administrative order. None of this is selling at all outside of heavily Democrat districts. Obama’s credibility is shot, and even the Congressional Black Caucus is asking their constituencies for permission to go after Obama for not delivering on his promises while unemployment for African-Americans in Virginia persistently hangs at double the depressingly-high rate for whites. While James Carville calls for “panic” Democrats offer no hope, and no change from the policies Obama has already tried that have so miserably failed. Just more of the same.
This animosity towards Democrats started building soon after Obama took office and has only accelerated in the past year. In 2009 there were pretty historic gains. In 2010 the gains were even bigger. So what does this mean for 2011? Get ready for a tidal wave, where races that were considered somewhat out of reach for Republicans start to look quite winnable. Republicans need to win three seats in the Senate to gain a majority, as well as hold two seats that were relocated by redistricting and previously held by Republicans. They might win all that right here in Northern Virginia, and gains elsewhere could give Republicans a hefty majority that would last for several cycles.
Here’s the races I think are shifting from Lean-Democrat to Lean-Republican in this area as a result of this dynamic:
Jeff Frederick over Toddy Puller (36)
Miller Baker over George Barker (39)
Caren Merrick over Barbara Favola (31)
That puts the following Northern Virginia Senate races within very close striking distance:
Patricia Phillips over Mark Herring (33)
Jason Flanary over Dave Marsden (37)
With Dick Black comfortably in the lead in the 13th Senate District (a hold), that makes it rather possible that the Senate majority could strongly shift based solely on the outcome of races in Northern Virginia, and there are several opportunities for Republican pick-ups elsewhere in the state. Republicans could quite reasonably hold the two open seats they are defending due to redstricting and pick up between 5-8 more. In 2010 Republicans swept 75% of the competitive Congressional races and things have only gotten worse for Democrats since then. Twenty-four Senate seats are contested across the Commonwealth, about two-thirds of them are reasonably competitive races, and just on the basis of how Republicans performed in 2010 that strongly suggests a Republican wave this year that changes control of the Senate.
Of course that isn’t going to happen if you don’t get involved, but once again the wind is at your back. This is a year where you have a great opportunity to be on the winning team and that feels a heck of a lot better than what it was like before this wave started to build. If this happens without your involvement you’ll regret having missed the opportunity to be a part of it, so seize this chance for all it’s worth. On November 9th you can tell people that you were a part of this, or you will have no alternative but to admit you sat on the sidelines as a spectator.
Trust me, it feels a whole lot better owning a little part of the credit. Especially in the close ones.
UPDATE: Virtucon ladles out more bad news for Democrats with the latest Roanoke College poll.
The opinions expressed here are solely the views of the author, and not representative of the position of any organization, political party, doughnut shop, knitting guild, or waste recycling facility, but may be correctly attributed to the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. If anything in the above article has offended you, please click here to receive an immediate apology.
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