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Cuccinelli vs. McAuliffe is the highlight race of Election Night 2013.

There was a time, well before the 2012 cycle had wrapped up, when it seemed probable that 2013's off-year elections would be a high-intensity affair at the top of the ticket, and a low-energy affair further down the ballot.

After all, the Democratic majorities in the New Jersey state legislature, and the Republican majority in the Virginia House of Delegates were pretty strongly established, and the districts seem to have been engineered to keep it that way. The only intrigue in either state's legislature was the deadlocked Virginia state Senate, and that wasn't going to be up for election until 2015.

Meanwhile, Virginia's tradition of mandating one-term governors seemed to portend a competitive open-seat affair in one of the true bellwether states in the Union over the past decade. Further north, an often prickly and controversial Republican governor, who only earned election with 49 percent of the vote over a deeply unpopular incumbent, was facing re-election in a blue state.

But, then, Sandy happened, and Ken Cuccinelli happened. And, as a result of both, it could easily be argued, the early CW about the 2013 off-year elections has been turned on its head. Barring an unusually strong late catalyst for enormous political change, the gubernatorial elections seem pretty well locked in. But the nature of those elections could be creating some intrigue downballot.

Head beyond the jump for an in-depth look at what to watch for in just nine days in the Garden State and the Old Dominion.

NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR:

Given that New Jersey is a state that swept both Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez to victory by nearly 20 points, and given that Democrat Cory Booker just won a special U.S. Senate election by double digits despite a manipulated special election date designed to tank Democratic turnout, the gubernatorial race in New Jersey has to be a bit of a blow for Democrats.

I, for one, am a little surprised that this race, between incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state senator Barbara Buono, never tightened to the point that Democrats could even harbor slight hope for an upset. Every political science student has heard of the "Rally Effect", but every political science student also knows that one of the key words in its definition is the word "temporary." But Christie's post-Sandy honeymoon has been sustained, and has not abated in strength much, if at all.

And while Democrat Barbara Buono raised a decent amount of money for her campaign, she is still waiting for the magic ingredients to wear down some of Christie's teflon. At the close, a clear gambit for Buono is warning voters that Christie harbors 2016 presidential ambitions, and may tack hard right in a second term in order to placate GOP presidential primary voters. She alleged, for example, that a recent veto of a gun ban was done at the behest of a gun rights group based in ... New Hampshire.

In a crafty (and likely cynical, given the timing) move, Christie might've helped to take an issue off the table this week by dropping a planned appeal of a lower court decision in New Jersey sanctioning gay marriage. This was one of the clear position issues where Christie and Buono contrast, and this half-measure by Christie might allow him to run off the clock on an issue where 61 percent of New Jersey voters favor marriage equality.

Compounding the woes for Buono is that a surprising number of fellow Democratic elected officials have actually crossed party lines and endorsed Christie. Among the more prominent to do so was state senator Brian Stack, who endorsed Christie last Spring. Earlier this month, Christie picked up what he claimed was the 50th endorsement he has received from a Democratic elected official.

With less than two weeks to go, the unfortunate question for Democrats appears to be twofold: (a) can Buono utilize the natural lean of the state to keep the margin down versus Christie, and (b) can the Democrats avoid any coattail effect in order to preserve their majorities in the New Jersey state Assembly and state Senate?

NEW JERSEY STATE LEGISLATURE:

Without question, the specter of a one-sided gubernatorial election has most Democratic observers convinced that the blue team will have to play defense in order to preserve their modest majorities in the New Jersey state lege.

The Democrats hold a 48-32 lead in the state Assembly, and a 24-16 lead in the state Senate. For a little while, it really began to appear as if the GOP had a puncher's chance of reclaiming the state Senate, a scenario which now seems markedly less likely as we head into Election Day.

For those unfamiliar with Garden State politics, New Jersey (like many states) has legislative districts where both chambers are "nested" within the same geographic space. There are 40 legislative districts in the state, with one state Senator seated in each district, and the top two vote getters per election destined for seats in the state Assembly.

Recent polling has shown that one of the biggest target districts, on both sides, is showing signs of being surprisingly fertile territory for the Democrats. In the South Jersey-based 2nd LD, there is a somewhat unique circumstance in that the GOP holds both Assembly seats, but a Democrat is state Senator.

In a recent Stockton College poll, Democratic state Sen. Jim Whelan has a surprisingly large 55-34 lead over Republican Frank Balles, the sheriff of Atlantic County. To be sure, Balles might be the victim of a self-imposed political wound, having pointed and laughed his way to a monstrous gaffe earlier in the month. That said, it could be more than Balles tanking: a poll of the Assembly race in the district shows the GOP in danger of losing at least one of their Assembly seats to Democrat Vince Mazzeo.

On paper, the neighboring 1st LD might be more fertile ground for the GOP. Democrats hold all three legislative seats in the district, but the district only went 53-46 for Obama last year. However, mid-October polling in the district, also by Stockton, showed little cause for concern for the Democrats. Incumbent state Senator Jeff Van Drew (often talked up as a future Congressional candidate) held a 58-29 lead over Republican Susan Adelizzi-Schmidt. And while the "top two" system of electing Assembly members makes for closer contests, the two Assembly Democrats combined to lead their two Republican challengers by a pretty healthy margin (47-35).

So, based on those two South Jersey districts (where, by the by, both polls showed Chris Christie wrecking shop in the gubernatorial race), Democrats have to be at least a little bit heartened by the data. These are two districts, for what it's worth, that their Senate incumbents won in 2011 with margins only in the single digits.

Those are not the only battlegrounds in the state, however.

Republicans also have designs on Senate and Assembly seats in four other districts. Their foray into the 3rd LD is perhaps most interesting, because it is the home of state Senate president Stephen Sweeney. On paper, it is not terribly fertile ground for Republicans (the LD went 60-39 Obama last year), and there has been some dispute internally in the GOP over how hard to fight there, with some convinced that Sweeney could be quite vulnerable despite the terrain in the district. The 14th and 38th LD's, meanwhile, are swing territory that has gone back-and-forth between the two parties over the years. The 38th is a little less Democratic (though still 55-44 Obama in 2012) than the 14th district, but given Obama's outsized win here last year (which defied late polls, and might've been fueled by a Sandy rally effect, to boot), Republicans no doubt think that this is their most fertile turf for a comeback. The most curious target, and a depository as it happens for substantial cash from the Koch Brothers, is the Middlesex County-based 18th LD. Not only is it a district that trends substantially blue (61-38 Obama in 2012), but it is the home district for Barbara Buono, who is at the top of the ballot for the Democrats.

Democrats are not entirely playing defense, however. They have a bit of an opportunity in the state's other district that splits its legislative delegation. In the state's 7th LD, Republican Diane Allen has survived in Democratic turf (64-35 Obama last year), in a district where both Assembly members are Democrats. Businessman Gary Catrambone is trying to topple the longtime legislative veteran, who is among the most formidable fundraisers on the GOP side of the ledger. Democrats could also theoretically be competitive in the 8th LD (53-46 Obama) and the 11th LD (55-44 Obama), but those two districts appear to be enormous longshots for the Democrats despite the amenable terrain.

VIRGINIA GOVERNOR:

There may be no more appropriate case study for political self-sabotage than what the Virginia Republican Party has done this cycle. Eighteen months ago, the Virginia GOP had a governor talked up in presidential/vice-presidential circles, hold of every statewide constitutional office, and a ginormous (albeit heavily gerrymandered) majority in the state House of Delegates. There was little in the cards to suggest that 2013 was going to do much to dent what seemed to be Republican hegemony in-state over a state that has been growing increasingly competitive at the presidential level.

Then Ken Cuccinelli happened.

Cuccinelli had been a multi-term state legislator in purple-to-blue territory in Northern Virginia before being elected in a landslide to the post of state Attorney General in 2009. He managed to sidestep a potential showdown for the gubernatorial nod with state Lt. Governor Bill Bolling by ensuring that the GOP nominee would be chosen by convention, which would seem to effectively cede the nomination to Cuccinelli, who was much more beloved by the socially conservative base voters in the GOP. This led Bolling to briefly flirt with, and then eventually decide against, an Independent bid for Governor.

In many ways, though, the damage had been done. Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who had no such internecine battles to wage in order to win the nomination of his party, was able to shrewdly exploit the wedge in the GOP to paint Cuccinelli as someone who wasn't even in the mainstream of his own party, let alone the Virginia electorate. Cuccinelli, for his part, did nothing to dispel the notion that he actually WAS out of the mainstream (a grand example can be found here). The net result is that, even as McAuliffe has hardly been a universally beloved candidate (his poll numbers reflect roughly even levels of favorable and unfavorable sentiment), Cuccinelli has proven so toxic that he's been unable to make this race truly competitive.

Indeed, as the race progressed into the autumn months, the polls in this race remained remarkably stable, with virtually every poll conducted over the past five weeks staking Terry McAuliffe to a lead over Ken Cuccinelli of anywhere between 5-9 points.

Indeed, the one poll that deviated from the norm this week couldn't even cobble together a lead for the GOP standard bearer. The Wenzel poll (and their track record in 2012 was right-leaning and awful) had McAuliffe ahead of Cuccinelli, albeit by a single point.

The government shutdown, in a state that a critical mass of government workers call home, surely did not help. But McAuliffe's ascendancy preceded that, and Cuccinelli is going to need a hell of a lot more than fading anger over the GOP-induced shutdown to claw his way back to parity.

VIRGINIA DOWNBALLOT RACES: LT. GOVERNOR AND ATTORNEY GENERAL:

Virginia elects three statewide officers. In addition to Governor, the offices of Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are also decided at the ballot box. These downballot offices are critical for several reasons. Lt. Governor is especially important now, since a 20-20 split in the state Senate will hold until the Senate is up for election again in 2015. What's more: these statewide officers are all too often the partisan bench necessary for the next round of gubernatorial elections. Remember: Virginia is a state with a one-term limit for governors.

Democrats are fairly confident that their victory in the Lt. Governor's race has been baked in every since the Republican Party defied expectations, and any semblance of logic, and gave their nomination to E.W. Jackson. Jackson, for those who don't remember, is this guy. As in "the Great Society was worse for African-Americans than slavery, because blah-blah-blah", and other greatest hits. When the race was between two unknowns, the results were shockingly close. But as Democratic state senator Ralph Northam has taken to the air to define himself, and to define Jackson, the race's numbers have diverged. A handful of recent polls have had Northam up by double digits, and climbing.

Meanwhile, Republicans, ever fearful of a complete shutout statewide, have started to build their firewall around AG candidate Mark Obenshain. One group, the Republican Statewide Legislative Committee (RSLC) has dropped a seven-figure sum into Virginia to save Obenshain, who polls show is in the midst of a coin flip election with fellow state legislator Mark Herring, the Democratic nominee. Obenshain is hardly a moderate (evidence of that can be found here), but when you stand next to Cuccinelli and Jackson, it is hard not to look reasonable by comparison. This race has shaped up more like a generic D-versus-R affair, which explains why it is still a toss up.

VIRGINIA STATE HOUSE OF DELEGATES:

In many ways, the series of elections in the Virginia House of Delegates are a bizarre converse of the legislative races in New Jersey. In New Jersey, the popularity of the GOP statewide ticket has Republicans eyeing gains in the legislature. In Virginia, the unpopularity of the GOP statewide ticket has Republicans looking very warily at the state of play next month.

Having said that, let's stipulate one thing: the Democrats will most assuredly not seize a majority in the state House of Delegates next month. Not only does the GOP have a better than two-to-one majority in the 100-seat chamber, but they started the 2013 general election with a guaranteed pickup of one seat. In the downstate 4th district, veteran Democratic Del. Joe Johnson retired, and no Democrats filed for the very red seat (68% Romney in 2012). Therefore, Republican Ben Chafin takes the seat in a walk. That means that the Democrats would have to pick up nearly 20 seats to reclaim the chamber. That ain't gonna happen.

That said, a while ago it looked like the Republican super-majority was going to be preserved in the 2013 elections. That no longer seems to be the case, as the combination of the GOP-inspired shutdown in D.C. and the Cuccinelli swoon has contributed to a sudden improvement of the prospects for Democrats to make significant progress in their quest to move towards parity in the House. This statement alone, from a recent column by Jeff Schapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, ought to give Democrats a tremendous boost of optimism:

It’s a pattern playing out across Northern Virginia; Hampton Roads, a defense-rich region also rattled when Washington went dark for 16 days; and, possibly, pockets of the western countryside. It’s 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.

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.

Clearly, Republicans are most concerned about their seats in NoVa, where the rapidly changing demographics had ushered in a sea change in political terrain even before the government shutdown wounded the Republican brand name in the communities where many, many federal workers are housed.

One bellwether district may well be HD-34, where Republican incumbent Del. Barbara Comstock has parlayed formidable fundraising skills  into a pair of close wins over Democratic challengers in a district that Barack Obama carried by less than a point. However, a recent Democratic internal poll showed Democrat Kathleen Murphy leading Comstock by a 48-45 margin.

Two other races in NoVa have seen recent polls that show Democratic pickups are possible. In HD-87, Republican Del. David Ramadan (who barely won election in 2011) is deadlocked with Democrat John Bell at 47 percent each. In HD-86, usually entrenched Republican veteran Del. Tom Rust only leads Democrat Jennifer Boysko 48-45.

The shutdown, so critical in the ring of communities just outside of the District, could also be creating a competitive race in Prince William County. In HD-51, well-funded Democratic challenger Reed Heddleston is giving sophomore Del. Rich Anderson all he can handle. Anderson didn't even face a Democratic opponent in 2011.

Just to the southeast of the Anderson/Heddleston contest, in the exurban HD-02, freshman Republican Del. Mark Dudenhefer is being challenged by Democrat Michael Futrell in a district he only won 56-44 in a very Republican year in 2011. Barack Obama won 59 percent in the district. Further to the west in the D.C. exurbs (HD-13), longtime Del. Bob Marshall is a far-right ideologue that has somehow, and miraculously, held his seat for 7 terms in a district that is now a 55-44 Obama district. Democrat Atif Qarni is trying to stop his winning streak.

And, in one of the more extraordinary examples of a seat that could be in play, the red-tinted seat in HD-33, located west of the D.C. metro area, has become competitive through a combination of a better-than-average Democratic candidate (Mary Daniel) and a teabagging in the primary that replaced incumbent Joe May with insurgent conservative candidate Dave LaRock. LaRock has been ducking public appearances, trying to use the district's Republican lean (56-42 Romney in 2012) and make his way across the finish line. This race has taken on a definite "sleeper race" tone in the final few weeks.

Further downstate, other districts appear competitive as well. One of the closest races in 2011 was Joseph Yost's 52-48 win in HD-12, a 51 percent Obama district that includes Blacksburg. Democrat James Harder is trying to deny Yost a second term.

In Newport News (HD-93), Republican Del. Mike Watson was elected to his first term in 2011 by just a 52-48 margin. Now, he faces Democrat Monty Mason in one of the most expensive races in the state in a 56-42 Obama district. In the neighboring HD-94 (a slightly more GOP district at 52 percent Obama), freshman Republican Del. David Yancey is facing a tougher than expected challenge from local firefighter Robert Farinholt. There are also a pair of open seats in Virginia Beach (HD-84 and HD-85) which had slight leans to Mitt Romney in 2012, but could be in the mix if the wave is high enough.

Equally dispiriting for the GOP: aside from their guaranteed pickup along the Virginia/North Carolina border, there is not a single Democratic-held seat that seems likely to be closely contested come November. Opinions vary rather wildly on how many seats the Democrats will pick up, but it would be a huge victory for the GOP if they managed a wash on the evening.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The SEIU has been posting yard signs for Buono (28+ / 0-)

    and Question Two: Raising the state minimum wage. That's the wedge issue that might help Team Blue.

  •  LOL. Those photos! (12+ / 0-)

    Cucinelli looks like a surly junkyard dog while McAuliffe looks like an aging golden boy who just took a hit of of superweed.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:20:10 AM PDT

    •  Cucinelli looks pretty non-descript except for (0+ / 0-)

      when he is in the  black and white profile in a McAuliffe negative ad. Then, he looks like the health care executive  about to take away your grandma's health care. McAuliffe always has the sly grin like a cat who  just swallowed a canary.

  •  poor barbara buono (25+ / 0-)

    you know we do have a governor race in new jersey too?

    i never seen such a traitorous party as new jersey democrats.  they decided they didn't like barbara from the start because she does not play ball with the party bosses.

    well good luck to all when you see the obnoxious right wing agenda that christie will dish on the second term.  he can not run for reelection and he will veer hard right to win presidential primary.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:21:33 AM PDT

    •  Yup, that is exactly what I am worried about. (13+ / 0-)

      We in NJ are just a stepping stone to Christie's national ambitions.

      •  Barbara has Christie nailed cold (22+ / 0-)

        Her one commercial has it 100 percent.  She is running for Governor while he is running for President.  Pity that so many are fooled by Christie.  Also downright disgraceful that the NJ democratic party abandoned Barbara.  The party bosses are terrified of Christie.  i would not be surprised if he has dirt on them from his prosecutor days.  NJ dems really need to clean house and primary out the corrupt people who are in the bosses hands.  They are the same Dems who  endorsed Christie.  Any Dem that endorsed Christie should go.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

        by noofsh on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:31:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And you're going to implement that how? (6+ / 0-)

          There are few actual dems left in NJ but excavating the regional powers, like the Norcrosses in SJ, is a long, difficult, and sometimes dangerous job.  Just finding credible candidates to run against them is fraught.  This is where tribalism is lethal because when they know your vote is in the bag, you're finished as a pressure point.  Playing the parties'candidates against each other is a workable strategy in these circumstances--if you work at it.  

          Which brings up another critical point:  LBJ used to say, "Don't tell a man to go to hell unless you can send him there."  Don't make threats you can't deliver on.  That's why the unions are so politically inconsequential.

          “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

          by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:51:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Very difficult given Norcross isnt even elected... (0+ / 0-)

            You have to run against his stooges! While he owns some of the local press. But yeah clearly Christie has followed your advice... he couldn't beat Norcross so he deals with him.

            So yes you are dead right, sadly.

            Acting Assistant Vice Chair of the DKE international cheer squad

            by CF of Aus on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 05:33:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  George is unelected. Donald is a state senator. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CF of Aus

              I believe Christie and George Norcross met as equals, but that's just my opinion.  And there are some others in the wheeling and dealing.  All very inside baseball, but it affects everything political in the state, like the re-org of the state university system that slathered on the patronage.  Can't be too rich, too thin or have too many patronage jobs, you know.

              Maybe if I had one of those six figure sinecures I's feel differently.  I'm certainly willing to give it a try.  Five figures even, I won't stand on pride.

              “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

              by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 06:20:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think he'll pick up some Chamber of Commerce (5+ / 0-)

        type GOP national backers who 1) despise the Tea Party's antics and 2) see Christie as a shrewd recruiter of the old Reagan Democrat sort of voter.  Why not?  He's doing it here.  Maybe think of him as their version of 1992's Bill Clinton.  Because he can attract money, right now I think he's as well positioned as anyone to get the GOP's 2016 nod.

        •  we can only hope he self destructs (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tomhodukavich, wasatch, GleninCA, Matt Z

          moving to the far right.  he will still have to do what romney did and veer way right to win primaries in red states.  i am hoping that will be his downfall.

          "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

          by noofsh on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:48:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't panic (5+ / 0-)

            Christie is really overrated as a candidate. Sure he's probably the Repugs' best shot, but that's a bit like saying you're more afraid of a ferret than the rabbits.

            For starters, in both the primaries and the general, his bully bruiser attitude doesn't play well outside NY/NJ. Evangelicals won't like it when he says 'fuck you' to some mom in front of her kids. In the general, women won't like it when he is aggressive towards Hillary.

            Another problem he has is the Tea Party - and to an extent Evangelicals - don't perceive him as one of them. Remember - in the current GOP this is very important. His ambiguous stances on gay marriage and the shutdown will come back to haunt him.

            "Aha!", I hear you say, but Romney and McCain got the nomination despite the same problems. Well, yes, and the Ts and Es have drawn the (erroneous) conclusion that they should make sure that next time they run a true conservative candidate. And while it's true that the Repubs usually run the 'next guy in line', Christie isn't next in line. Also, Goldwater and Reagan were not supported by the establishment. That compares to six candidates who were (since 1960).

            Then there's Sandy; thanks to touching the black guy and taking Federal munnies, in the primaries it will only hurt him (except in NY/NJ). In the general no one will care. Sandy is responsible for much of his crossover appeal in NJ. This will not translate to the Presidential election.

            Finally, any Republican starts out with a steep hill to climb. The Electoral College is against them. VA, NV, CO and NH are all getting bluer. Part of that is due to demographics in our favor. That alone should give us an extra two percentage points compared to 2012. Add another percent, maybe two if the candidate isn't black/brown (sad, but true). Tough going. Which will be made even harder by ongoing Teapublican extremism.

            •  Don't underestimate Christie (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Miss Blue, Adam B, Matt Z

              Sure, he's not a "true believer" teabagger, but he is very authoritarian.  And the conservatives - and yes, teabaggers - eat that shit up.

              I understand qualms about Hillary Clinton for President, but she can beat Christie and also deliver down ticket.  The House is where progressive legislation will start and do you really think Hillary won't sign progressive legislation?

              "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

              by mconvente on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:10:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I'll go one better, I think he will be the GOP (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikejay611, stevenaxelrod, EricS, Matt Z

          nominee, and he can pick off several blue states like Pa, NH, maybe MI. Because everyone has been told what great guy he is. Yet he actually has a demonstrably worse record than Corzine. Oh yeah, he "took on" the meanie teachers and their union. God I miss the Soviets, they kept repugs busy....now all they can demonize is teachers...and gays...and women...and educated folks....

    •  NJ dems are a treacherous lot, true, but they've (13+ / 0-)

      been snuggling up to Christie since he was elected, so no surprise there.  This site's election blog described the NJ dems as having "a weak bench and a corrupt and crumbling party structure," both observations bitterly true.  Buono is a north Jersey dem virtually unknown in SJ.  I walked around a nominating petition for Buono and with the county dem registration list in hand, so I only knocked on registered dem doors, I'd say at least half the people who signed had never heard of her.

      And that brings me to the other side of the argument.  Buono's campaign was ill conceived, ill planned, and ill executed.  Far as I know, she's never appeared below Trenton.  To people down here who would vote for her, she's invisible.  Most of them wouldn't know they have a dem candidate for governor.  That's on Buono.  She didn't know what she was getting into in a state wide race and doesn't appear to have learned a thing as it's gone along.  Her campaign staff, well, I don't want to go there.  Just say they're not competent.  And you know what, that's on Buono, too.

      I gave her money and I'll vote for her just to cut into Christie's margin, but Barbara Buono has been a huge disappointment and certainly an exclamation point to the remark about NJ's weak dem bench.

      “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

      by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:38:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  She has no money! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mconvente, stevenaxelrod, Kombema

        The party bosses seen to that as did DGA who did not come through for her.  it is hard to run a state wide campaign on the cheap.  i do not know of anyone who could have done better with so little resources to work with.

        you are right.  nj dems are snakes.  christie probably has dirt on them.  that is why they suck up to him.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

        by noofsh on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:42:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I told DGA not to give her any... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarolinNJ, mconvente, VClib

          ...I don't want to seem callous, but as an actual DGA contributor, I want my money to go where it will be useful.  It might make you feel good to take a shot at Christie but the cold reality is that Buono has never shown forward traction, and wasting a couple million of DGA's funds today means they'll have less for the competitive races next year in Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

          •  You need some ads to damage Christie in advance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kombema

            of the 2016 election..  If you want to poison the well, you start with a little bit and let it fester.

            "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

            by zenbassoon on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:08:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed - very bad that the national Dems are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zenbassoon

              giving Christie a pass on this race, allowing him to consolidate his pre-presidential run position. They needed to soften him up in the governor's race after the WH made him seem all bipartisan and leaderly with Obama (and understandable, since it was good for Obama in 2012, too) after Sandy. THis was a missed opportunity.

              "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

              by Kombema on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:16:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A missed opportunity for whom? Seems to me some (0+ / 0-)

                people did very well from this.  Don't be terribly surprised if some national dems support Christie for pres:  he and his crowd know how to network and make cross aisle alliances.  They don't miss opportunities.

                “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

                by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:28:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Stupid... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Adam B, VClib

              ...the DGA is not responsible for Presidential campaigns, and the DNC should not be spending its money softening up potential Presidential candidates.

          •  A few million, which a NJ campaign would have (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mconvente, CF of Aus

            soaked up in media buys, and supposing Buono's campaign would have made smart choices, not at all a sure thing, IMO would have made the race much closer; and tho Christie may well have won anyway, would have taken some of the starch out of his crisp snottiness and made perfidious dems think twice about going hand in glove with his agenda.

            There is an issue here that no one is raising.  The regional powers in this state, George Norcross in south Jersey, for instance, are unelected powers.  The same prevails in north Jersey.  These people can't be dislodged in the electoral process, their power doesn't depend on getting candidates into office nor are they diminished by election results because they play across the aisles and on both sides:  not much hurts them.  They are extremely difficult to get at.  They're monied fixers with enormous leverage, Rahm Emanuel types who would be flattered to see themselves described as such.

            “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

            by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:31:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Third paragraph in this article: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, mconvente
          And while Democrat Barbara Buono raised a decent amount of money for her campaign,...
          I don't have access to the campaign books and wouldn't know what I was looking at, in any case.  Buono should have known going in what the money situation was going to be:  that's a big part of politics and I'm guessing, btwn NY in the north and Phila in the south, NJ is an expensive media state.  Of course, getting in the designated campaign vehicle and riding circuit was an option--it's a pretty small state in area--but so far, no show.

          I am really put off by the excuses offered.  Barbara Buono was presented as an experienced candidate and has turned out to be a bust.  Incompetence is not excusable and supporting electorally incompetent candidates is an exercise in weak minded futility:  we congratulate ourselves on supporting the "right" candidate and don't admit we have made ourselves look foolish.  This debacle has strengthened the hand of an obnoxious and mendacious politician who soaks in the triumphs of malicious public exchanges with people whose concerns should be honestly addressed but are turned aside with snotty putdowns.  Not a desirable outcome.

          “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

          by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:11:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The bosses are NOT backing her (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kombema

            they are backing the other side. end of story. She's far more intelligent, and serious about NJ issues, than her opponent, whose only accomplishment is the scapegoating of public employees, with the aid of norcross, Sweeney, and DVincenzo. She herself has noted that her party is not really supporting her.

        •  It's up to the candidate to be credible (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarolinNJ, VClib, MrLiberal

          DGA, like DSCC/DCCC, helps those who've helped themselves.  Raising only $1.6M doesn't cut it.

          This was never a winnable race with Buono as the only willing challenger.

      •  maybe you should try to go to (0+ / 0-)

        some of the political rallies  the two I wnet to were quite good, and the second one was inspiring. Of course, this was in Passaic County, which supports the Democratic ticket strongly, and one rally was practically a chance to meet all of the Democratic officeholders in one spot.
             If you look at the results of Cory Booker's Senatorial campaign, there are just two major GOP strongholds, one in the center of the state and one in thw western part, more farmland.
              Within the state itself, there has been a growing north/south resentment just toward people in the North==south Jerseans call us North Jerseans BENNYS, short for BrooklynNorth Jersey/and New Yorkpartly because of the way us northerners are perceived as conducting ourselves---think Snooki at the seashore and you'll get a picture of the stereotype. So some south jersean independents might factor that into their vote--Buono is from Nutley originally---which would be an odd rationale, given Christies' much louder volume on most issues.
           One of the problems remains gerrymandering--such as Scott Garretts district which is at the top of the state
        == help skew results in this decade's elections. With a true democratic party assembly and senate, one would hope to begin to fix such problems at the state level. The Bush=Gore battle of the chads election still haunts the electoral process.
              One hopes that the choice of Milli Silva from the union movement will help mobilize union support on voting day. And while it's obvious that the Democratic top of the ticket has two women, very little has been said about it in press coverage. Women independents who might lean toward more female representation in top jobs might factor that into their decision.
           On the actual issues that matter most to New Jerseans-- jobs and high property taxes--Christie offers platitudes but little proof of performance. My property taxes keep going up, and when inflation returns, local government will once again return to the taxpayers. Where I live, we get a separate bill for sewer services, and one for property taxes. The total keeps getting higher.
            With reference to the minimum wage proposal on the ballot, even if you get 8,75 per hour minimum wage, how does that help you to afford college education, let alone enough savings for a down payment on a first home?
            Independent voters should be asking: which candidate helps lessen the inequality in the state?
             

        •  Disagree on the definition of a BENNY (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CarolinNJ, Kombema

          It's what those of us who live down the shore call the visitors/tourists  from northern NJ and NY.  I understand it comes from the day when most came by train and stayed for a week or so.  On the return, their luggage would be stored with a sticker that said  "Bound for Elizabeth, Newark, New York". BENNY.  That way the baggage handler knew to store the luggage toward the back.   And we all know the only good visitor is one who is leaving.  So long, BENNY.

          •  Now I know. Been in SJ for 42 yrs and never (0+ / 0-)

            before heard the term.

            “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

            by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:42:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's a shore term (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kombema, Patricia Lil

              not a S Jersey term per se. We have a term for S Jerseyans, they're called Pineys......I grew up thinking everything south of Mercer County was Piney country. Turns out not many people actually live in the Pinelands.

              •  I spent some yrs of my summers in Lacey Township, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leftangler

                the heart of the pinelands, and I would never call the residents pineys.  They do have a different culture and they live a different rhythm, but it works for them and fits the environment they live in.  You should try Cumberland County if you're looking for different strokes, especially the southern half.  Hey, it's a big country, there's niches for many lifestyles.

                “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

                by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:22:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  heh, always thought BENNY meant (0+ / 0-)

            "Bergen, Essex, Newark, New York"

            True Lodi peeps, lol.

            "Give me a lever long enough... and I shall move the world." - Archimedes

            by mconvente on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:13:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Factual correction duly noted (0+ / 0-)

            Now I know exactly how I'm being insulted. I thank you for the clarification, but I don't know how good I feel about it. Got to work on my abrasiveness, I guess.

        •  She hasn't made herself known here. At all. (0+ / 0-)

          'nuff said.

          Haven't heard that north Jersey label.  Who wrote that and on what evidence?  See, I'm getting the idea north Jerseyians believe things about south Jerseyians that aren't true.  Personally, I regard north Jersey as a different state, but, then, I'm well acquainted with the north and south differences just in Camden County.

          “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

          by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:41:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I feel the same way about S jersey (0+ / 0-)

            always felt like a different state, and DE felt like a different country. By the way, Edison and Metuchen are not North Jersey, which is where Barbara is from. North Jersey roughly starts at Elizabeth. Matter of fact, NOAA includes both towns in the Mt. Holly forecast area.

            •  DE is a different country, tho not without its (0+ / 0-)

              charms.  Much lower cost of living being one.  Spent two yrs working just north of Wilmington, tried every restaurant I saw, the only decent place to eat closed a few yrs after it opened.  I do enjoy eating out.

              “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

              by CarolinNJ on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 12:15:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Got the term verbally from (0+ / 0-)

            an old friend in the area. I don't think it's made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary yet--digital edition, of course. Of course, the more people say it, the more status it gets as an epithet. Say, as a variant for any pie fights.

        •  Look, anyone running for office who doesn't think (0+ / 0-)

          to get a descriptive piece ready for the ballot is not a credible candidate.  I have a sample ballot right in front of me and Barbara Buono isn't on the back.  Christie is, Schroeder is, Kaplan is, Araujo is, Sare is(I've met her, she's an interesting person but I won't vote for her because she strongly supports nuc power)Welzer is, Boss is.  Buono isn't.  There was a media flap about the oversight, it's so basic it's a sin her campaign staff blew it.  Incompetent.

          Hey, I was really psyched when she declared, but it's been all downhill since.  Buono has been in politics for yrs, she should know a thing or two about campaigning.  Don't make excuses.  Cut the losers.

          “The road to success is always under construction” --Lily Tomlin

          by CarolinNJ on Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:13:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  New Jersey (7+ / 0-)

    I'm optimistic that much of C. C.'s soft support from folks who vote Dem at least half the time will drift away; I'd be fine with a single digit win of 53 - 54%. Moreover, he's not going to have much in the way of coat-tails either; the leg is off the table. The national anti-Republican tide will make a difference here versus what the results would've been had the election happened pre-shutdown.

    As for Virginia, I'm no fan of Terry Mac's massive ego, but hey ... you want to shut down the federal government, then metro DC counts as a Friendly Fire zone politically. He's collateral damage.

  •  Virginia won't be done in November (19+ / 0-)

    The State Senate is now 20-20, and Republicans have control with Bolling as LG.   However, with Northam as LG, casting the tie-breaker will put Democrats in control.

    But Northam will have to give up his own Senate seat, and there will be a special election in a couple of months.  That will determine control of the Senate.  The Democrat is favored, but not overwhelmingly...

  •  I just hope and pray we are not being too (6+ / 0-)

    optimistic about VA ... The blue voters had to turn out, the independents have to vote blue, and the right wingers have to be disgusted enough to stay home ... and I am not really confident all three things will jive.  The right wing has become so fanatical ...totally unrational, and I think lots of Democrats in the state are just not that enthused over the head of their ticket ...
    But if the minorities and the women all turn out.. and turn out decisively for the Dems, then VA will go blue and I think this might energize all lot of blues for the 2014 election

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 09:42:04 AM PDT

  •  The lessons for Republicans are clear. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, a2nite, bythesea, LordMike

    When disaster struck, Christie chose to work with Obama instead of trashing him and letting the victims starve. Cooch embraces a dominionist theocratic agenda.

    If Republicans would do a bit of actual legislating instead of following the teabaggers, their prospects for next year would improve quickly. Fortunately, they seem to be ignoring this.

  •  Cooch's problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    Aside from the fact that he's, well, him, his problem is he can't pretend to be a moderate the way McDonnell did.

  •  Even if it, as has been shown, the NJ race (0+ / 0-)

    was  out of reach, it should not have been written off by national Democrats as it was.  Some money should have been invested in advertisements to begin to define and damage Christie in advance of 2016.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:05:38 AM PDT

  •  Buono never had a chance. Many Democratic (4+ / 0-)

    power brokers don't like Buono and will be glad to see her go.  Her confrontational style never worked with her colleagues and they have done nothing to support her.  The most telling diss was when the President spoke in Asbury Park, embraced Christie for pix and never even introduced Buono.  No Democrat was brave enough to take on Christie and no Republican was brave enough to take on Booker.  A cynic would think those two made a deal.  

    As for coat tails, Christie has never had them in the past, and if he has them now, they will be bomber jacket short.   Don't expect any Democratic surprise pickups.   They will maintain control of both houses, but may lose a seat or two in the Assembly and the Senate because Democratic campaigning and media buys have been noticeably weak and because so many Democrats have openly praised Christie for his "bi-partisanship", i.e Corey Booker and Senate President Steve Sweeney.  The lack of team play among fellow Democrats has also been disconcerting, as the power brokers have already made it clear that Essex County Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver will lose her Speaker's chair to Vinnie Prieto.  

    Diane Allen will hold serve.   This former Philly anchor woman and cancer survivor is well liked, and it would take a minor miracle for her to lose.

    All and all, not a banner year for the good guys in NJ.

    Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:06:21 AM PDT

    •  And Christie's confrontational style is a winner? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Vincent
      Her confrontational style never worked with her colleagues and they have done nothing to support her.
      •  Apparently, his style works and hers does not. (3+ / 0-)

        Steve Sweeney supports Christie.  He does not support Buono.   Christie seems to be doing something right.

        Self awareness is one of God's greatest gifts. Don't waste it.

        by SpamNunn on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:29:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's the Rutgers polling to support you (6+ / 0-)

          Rutgers University: Christie: More ‘Fighter’ than Bully and a Smart, Strong Leader
          Friday, October 25, 2013

          NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – While opponents have often tried to label Gov. Chris Christie a “bully,” most of New Jersey’s registered voters have a different take. By more than a 2 to 1 margin (72 percent to 34 percent), respondents in the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll agree that the governor’s self-description as a “fighter,” fits “very well” and is more apt than bully.

           “Whether or not they all mean it in the same way, it is the single word most applied to Christie by New Jersey voters,” said David Redlawsk, director of the poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. He added that since he started polling about the governor’s character traits in 2010, this is the first time fighter has been included in the list of descriptors.

          The latest survey also shows that about two-thirds of registered voters see Christie as a “smart,” “strong leader.” Voters started to identify those traits more frequently following Superstorm Sandy’s assault on the state a year ago. “This perception of Christie as a strong leader has not only driven his high overall ratings, but has sustained their heights much longer than expected,” Redlawsk said.

          About half of voters also ascribe “effective” and “independent” as key Christie characteristics, saying they fit him very well; 43 percent say “trustworthy,” 40 percent “fair” and 30 percent “reformer.”

          Even so, there were issues that Buono could have exploited.

          Rutgers University: Christie’s Overall Ratings Remain High but Voters Unhappy About How he Handles Economy and Taxes
          Buono still largely unknown just weeks before the election
          Wednesday, October 23, 2013

          NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – As Election Day approaches, New Jersey’s registered voters continue to give incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie high overall ratings, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. Christie’s favorability remains steady at 61 percent. He is viewed unfavorably by 28 percent of voters. Similarly, his overall job grade and approval are strong: 60 percent grade the governor B or higher and 67 percent approve of the overall job he is doing.

          Voters remain persistently negative toward Christie’s efforts on what they perceive as the two most important issues facing the state, the economy and taxes. Only 42 percent approve of his handling of the economy and jobs, which more than a third say is the biggest problem facing New Jersey. Similarly, 38 percent approve of his performance on taxes, the top problem for 25 percent. But, as earlier polls have found, Christie’s overall support is not hurt by disapproval on specific issues.

          Christie continues to benefit from Democratic challenger state Sen. Barbara Buono’s lack of a statewide profile – 43 percent of respondents have no real impression of her. Among those with an impression, negative views now outweigh positive, 29 percent to 28 percent, a seven-point increase in negative ratings since early September. This slippage reflects Christie’s continued and mostly unanswered TV ads attacking his opponent.

          “For a major party challenger, Sen. Buono has had very low visibility throughout this campaign,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University. “Her lack of resources and unwillingness of many Democratic leaders to promote her have hampered her messaging. Christie could have been vulnerable on the issues voters care about, but not without the presence of a visible, viable alternative.”

          Along with the issue Christie defused.

          Rutgers University: Voters Agree as Christie Drops Same-Sex Marriage Appeal and Strongly Support Marriage for Gay and Lesbian Couples
          Monday, October 21, 2013

          NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J – As wedding bells ring for the first same-sex marriages in the Garden State, a majority of New Jersey voters agrees with today’s decision by Gov. Chris Christie to drop the state’s appeal of the ruling that made New Jersey the 14th state to adopt marriage equality, according to a new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

          Reflecting continuing changes in public opinion, support for legalizing same-sex marriage is now at 61 percent, versus 27 percent who oppose and 12 percent who are unsure. For the first time, a plurality of Republicans supports allowing same-sex couples to marry.

          Opinion on the appeal is somewhat less lopsided; 53 percent say the state should accept the decision, while 40 percent side want it appealed to the state Supreme Court.

          “Beliefs about same-sex marriage have shifted rapidly,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “Fully one-quarter of today’s supporters tell us they were previously opposed. Not long ago, a ruling like this would have created a significant backlash. Now most voters agree with it.”

          "The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead." ~ Paul Krugman.

          by Neon Vincent on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:00:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  well, Barbara confronted corrupt Dem bosees (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, Neon Vincent

        instead of going along and begging for crumbs like Strack and Oliver.

  •  Even if he's not popular with D-Kos (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psychicpanda, mconvente, Matt Z

    Christie is popular with a lot of moderate Democrats.

    http://callatimeout.blogspot.com/ Jesus Loves You. Keep pointing out others. You're most likely the problem.

    by DAISHI on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:14:06 AM PDT

  •  Christie's popularity is not suprising (9+ / 0-)

    I was born and raised in New Jersey-- moved away in 1986.  At that time, suburban New Jersey (which is most of the state) was hard-core Reagan country.  Reagan, in fact, overperformed his national numbers in New Jersey in both 1980 and 1984, as did Bush in 1988.

    National Republicans only ceased to be competitive in New Jersey when the party was taken over by Martians.  (For New Jerseyites, people like Cruz and Palin are as alien as actual Martians.)

    Chris Christie is a true Reagan Republican (as opposed to Cruz and Palin, who are some sort of bizarre caricature of Reagan Republicans).  His popularity in New Jersey is a healthy reminder that a Republican Party that was not under the control of freaks and lunatics would actually be quite competitive in much of what we think of as "blue" America.

    •  I think he is to the right of Reagan (5+ / 0-)

      but he gets away with it because the media love a character, and this guy is nothing if not a character. He can't govern worth a shit though, unless canceling public works projects and demonizing public workers and making them take drastic cuts count as good governing.....and then turning over the savings to billionaires, which accomplished nothing for the people of NJ.

  •  Also election day in NY! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, bythesea
  •  Has anyone got a summary of the (0+ / 0-)

    constitutional amendments on the NY ballot?

    •  A Governing.com article briefly describes two: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      http://www.governing.com/...

      New York: casinos

      A proposed constitutional amendment to permit as many as seven new casinos, primarily upstate, is on the ballot. It has the support of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and has been approved twice by the Legislature. It’s been subject to heavy lobbying and spending by affected industries.

      New York: judicial retirement age

      A proposed constitutional amendment would raise the retirement age for state judges to 80.

  •  Virginia Term Limits for Governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nimh

    The only limitation placed on the number of terms someone can serve as governor is that they cannot succeed themselves.

    In practice, this has meant one term governors, except for Mills Godwin, who served two non-consecutive terms, first as a Democrat and then as a Republican.

  •  Christie is a loud-mouthed obnoxious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    RW buffoon. He won't be the next POTUS. I feel sorry for our NJ Democrats/Progressives. We know all about statewide corruption down here in the 'sunshine' state. Our Democratic Party is in pieces. However, we have hope as Scott Randolph, an excellent central Florida Progressive, has taken on the Demo Party chairmanship. He gave up certain re-election to do so. A lot of us are watching him rebuild the Party. Wish us luck.

    Through thoughts, words and actions, we live the truth we know. -- L. Spencer

    by orlbucfan on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:24:11 AM PDT

  •  It'll be devastating if Mark Herring and Jennifer (5+ / 0-)

    Boysko don't win.  Obenshain sponsored legislation that would have mandated that women report miscarriages to the police within 24 hours.  You have to have a deep-seated hatred of, and contempt for, women to think up anything as shitty as that.

    Boysko would be far better than Rust, who is 72 and has voted with his party, the Transvaginal Probe party, 97 percent of the time.  He has no new ideas and little concept of reaching across the aisle.

    Boysko, on the other hand, is smart, energetic, willing to reach out to the other side to find common ground, but strongly prochoice. She would represent our district far better than Rust.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:34:55 AM PDT

  •  I think there are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Darth Jeff, dufffbeer, CF of Aus

    about six competitive House races (meaning likely to flip) in Virginia: The three NoVa seats (the 34th, 86th, and 87th), the two Newport News seats (93rd and 94th) and the Blacksburg-based 12th. I might add the 33rd and 51st onto that list to make it eight. I know Democrats are spending hard in the 33rd (and in a couple other open conservative seats) but it seems like a lot of money is being wasted trying to rent some of these seats for two years when they should be targeting just about every seat held by a Republican in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William. They've also left everything in Virginia Beach on the table, which is a shame because there are four establishment Republican Delegates who are retiring to be replaced by tea partiers.

    HD-02 is a big missed opportunity. McAuliffe will almost certainly win there, but the Democrats have left their candidate high and dry. Dudenhefer had a pretty strong win in 2011, though - it was a newly created district and he raised about the same amount as his opponent then. He ran up a huge margin in Stafford (more than 2-1) while his opponent only managed a 12-point victory in Prince William.

  •  Rs think at least 6 delegate seats are in play?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, Matt Z

    Oh man, I thought the max was 5. Fantastic news, I'll do my best to try and do some GOTV for them.

    Managed small races in VA and DC. Worked political for DGA. Follow me @bharatkrishnan if you want to be my friend.

    by Bharat on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 11:46:43 AM PDT

  •  Previewing November: Election Day .... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevenaxelrod, LordMike

    I am a resident of Northern Virginia,and to be honest, I don't really care for Terry MacCauliffe, (D). I always thought he was a bit too corporate. But I WILL vote for him. There is no way I would ever considering voting for Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson or Mark Obenshain. E.W. Jackson is worse than Cuccinelli. The only reason K.C. chose Jackson is that Jackson makes Cuccinelli appear to be sane by comparison. Obenshain is simply a chip off the old block of his segregationist father who died in a plane crash back in 1978. Cuccinelli and Co. are the Three Stooges who want to take Virginia back-to the 19th century. The solution is simple-If you want Virginia to move backward, select (R). If you want Virginia to move forward, select (D).

  •  Virginia's one-term governors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG, Matt Z, KingofSpades, MrLiberal

    Contrary to popular belief, Virginia doesn't limit governors to one term, it's just that they are limited to one consecutive term. McAuliffe can't run for reelection in 2017, but he can try for a comeback in 2021.

  •  Virginia Election Prediction (0+ / 0-)

    No consideration of the possible effects of purging the voter rolls in VA, and of Cuccinelli as state AG being in the position of overseeing any challenges to the validity of the election?

  •  Thanks Steve ... (0+ / 0-)

    for your diaries of last year.

  •  Police shoot themselves in the foot (0+ / 0-)

    Whenever there is legislation before Virginia's General Assembly to outlaw or regulate assault weapons or cop-killer bullets or shoulder-mounted missile-launchers, you can count on the Fraternal Order of Police and all the sheriffs to come out in favor of protecting law enforcement officers and citizens from such deadly weapons.  You can also count on the NRA rounding up the usual suspects to testify for making these ridiculous killing implements totally unregulated.  And providing lots of campaign cash for politicians.

    For some reason, as in Virginia this year, you can also count on the FOP and the sheriffs supporting the Republicans with the highest NRA rating.  Go figure.

    I want my government to be big enough to drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub.

    by sercanet on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 04:37:28 PM PDT

  •  Talked to a freshman... (0+ / 0-)

    at UCLA who's from New Jersey.  Seaside Heights, in fact, which got pummeled by Hurricane Sandy.  She supported Rush Holt in the Senate primary earlier this year.  She's not voting in the governor's race because she's out here in California now, but said that if she did... she'd vote for Christie.

    Why?

    His response after Sandy.  That was it for her.  No matter his stance on gay marriage or unions or taxes.  So he's running for President in 2016.  So what?  He did right by her after Sandy hit, and that's all that matters.

    •  I know, it's so annoying. (0+ / 0-)

      at least it won't trickle down much to legislative races, but people will crow nonetheless

      "You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate! Only the unloved hate — the unloved and the unnatural!" -Charlie Chaplin

      by KingofSpades on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:09:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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