There is, of course, Democrat Terry McAuliffe's expanding lead in the polling. But forgive me if that doesn't really get me excited. Our chances at the state legislative level, on the other hand, are a different matter.
We, of course, have endorsed four Democrats in the House of Delegates, beginning a multiple-cycles-long effort to retake that chamber ahead of the 2020 redistricting process. A sane Virginia House map would net Democrats at least a couple of U.S. House seats, if not more. That's worth fighting for as we fight for a long-term progressive governing majority.
So far, things are looking good for next month's elections.
[The political climate is] energizing Democrats and alarming Republicans. It could augur what neither party had anticipated in early October: That badly outnumbered House Democrats could make significant gains, because of their party’s stronger-than-expected statewide ticket and backlash to the shutdown.The Republican gerrymander will ensure that the GOP maintains control of the House ... for now. But 18 GOP-held House districts were won by President Barack Obama in 2012. Poor off-year Democratic base voter performance has given Republicans those seats. Any significant gains will auger well for 2014. It will mean our base is energized at greater levels than is usually the case in non-presidential years.
Recent internal polling by both parties suggests as much. Operatives in both parties disagree on how many House seats actually may be in play: Democrats believe there could be 10. Republicans put the number at six, maybe, eight, if conditions continue to erode.
The right-leaning Loudoun Times-Mirror newspaper, representing one of the state's key swing counties, has endorsed virtually the entire Democratic ticket. The paper has stuck with a handful of incumbents, but for a newspaper that endorsed Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Bob McDonnell, their endorsements of a mostly Democratic slate is astounding.
Virginia Dems are about to buck history—that the party in the White House loses the governor's race, and they're poised to cut deeply into Democratic advantages. Our job is to back them up. So chip in a few bucks to one or all of them, each dollar a tiny anvil thrown at a drowning Republican. They couldn't be more deserving.