Commentary Magazine


Topic: Fairfax

Northern Virginia Up for Grabs

Virginia continues to surprise Democrats and the elite media. This week a special election was held to fill the state Senate seat in Fairfax County vacated by conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who was elected as the state attorney general. The Democrat won but by only a few hundred votes. Lee Hockstader of the Washington Post — not known to make excuses for the GOP — explained that the Democrat was a “well respected, two-term member of the House of Delegates who is universally acknowledged as one of the state’s leading experts on juvenile justice, incarceration and rehabilitation,” while the Republican “served a single term on the Fairfax School Board before being unceremoniously turned out of office.” The result should give Democrats pause:

This is a no-brainer. [Democrat Dave] Marsden should’ve cleaned up. Instead, he won by scarcely 1 percent of the 23,600 votes cast. His margin of victory came from a 2-1 edge among the state’s 1,200 absentee voters, a constituency GOP officials somehow overlooked. All 40 seats in the state Senate will be up for grabs next November. Be afraid, Virginia Democrats, be very afraid.

But before we get to another round of state races, we have this year’s congressional contests. Gerry Connolly, a first-term congressman in the 11th district and former Fairfax County supervisor who replaced longtime and very popular Tom Davis, should be “very afraid” as well. Two Republicans — Fairfax county supervisor Pat Herrity and businessman Keith Fimian (who lost to Connolly in 2008 by a 54 to 43 percent margin, considerably ahead of John McCain, who lost to Obama by a 60 to 39 percent margin in the county) — are vying to challenge him.

Since coming to the Hill, Connolly has eschewed the model of his predecessor, a moderate, pro-business Republican who remained popular in his district even when Republican fortunes flagged. Instead, Connolly has voted down the line with Nancy Pelosi and Obama on the left-wing agenda. His votes on cap-and-trade and especially ObamaCare (which will hit his constituents with a bevy of new taxes) will certainly be under attack. Connolly has reason to be nervous: Bob McDonnell shocked Virginia politicos, who had come to see Fairfax as drifting further and further into the Blue, by carrying the county 51 to 49 percent, running against the very Obama agenda items Connolly has supported.

In a year in which Massachusetts is competitive, northern Virginia certainly will be — especially if Republicans can make the case that incumbent Democrats have lost faith with their more moderate voters.

Virginia continues to surprise Democrats and the elite media. This week a special election was held to fill the state Senate seat in Fairfax County vacated by conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who was elected as the state attorney general. The Democrat won but by only a few hundred votes. Lee Hockstader of the Washington Post — not known to make excuses for the GOP — explained that the Democrat was a “well respected, two-term member of the House of Delegates who is universally acknowledged as one of the state’s leading experts on juvenile justice, incarceration and rehabilitation,” while the Republican “served a single term on the Fairfax School Board before being unceremoniously turned out of office.” The result should give Democrats pause:

This is a no-brainer. [Democrat Dave] Marsden should’ve cleaned up. Instead, he won by scarcely 1 percent of the 23,600 votes cast. His margin of victory came from a 2-1 edge among the state’s 1,200 absentee voters, a constituency GOP officials somehow overlooked. All 40 seats in the state Senate will be up for grabs next November. Be afraid, Virginia Democrats, be very afraid.

But before we get to another round of state races, we have this year’s congressional contests. Gerry Connolly, a first-term congressman in the 11th district and former Fairfax County supervisor who replaced longtime and very popular Tom Davis, should be “very afraid” as well. Two Republicans — Fairfax county supervisor Pat Herrity and businessman Keith Fimian (who lost to Connolly in 2008 by a 54 to 43 percent margin, considerably ahead of John McCain, who lost to Obama by a 60 to 39 percent margin in the county) — are vying to challenge him.

Since coming to the Hill, Connolly has eschewed the model of his predecessor, a moderate, pro-business Republican who remained popular in his district even when Republican fortunes flagged. Instead, Connolly has voted down the line with Nancy Pelosi and Obama on the left-wing agenda. His votes on cap-and-trade and especially ObamaCare (which will hit his constituents with a bevy of new taxes) will certainly be under attack. Connolly has reason to be nervous: Bob McDonnell shocked Virginia politicos, who had come to see Fairfax as drifting further and further into the Blue, by carrying the county 51 to 49 percent, running against the very Obama agenda items Connolly has supported.

In a year in which Massachusetts is competitive, northern Virginia certainly will be — especially if Republicans can make the case that incumbent Democrats have lost faith with their more moderate voters.

Read Less

Virginia Backlash?

The Washington Post highlights the four vulnerable Democratic congressmen who will need to face the voters in 2010. The bottom line:

Republican leaders think that they can reclaim at least two of the three seats they lost last year, when President Obama became the first Democrat in 44 years to win Virginia. They also think that the political climate has changed so decisively that they can unseat U.S. Rep. Rick C. Boucher, a 28-year incumbent from the far southwestern part of the state, where antipathy toward Obama and national Democratic policies run strong. And they are planning a well-financed challenge to Gerald E. Connolly of the Washington suburbs, where victory is possible although more difficult, they say.

What the Post avoids mentioning — because that might remind readers of their own ill-fated crusade for his opponent — is that Bob McDonnell won big in each of these districts running against the Democrats’ national agenda. Even in increasingly Democratic Fairfax county, McDonnell prevailed. How much stronger will the GOP message be in that affluent suburb, what with a new bevy of taxes passed in the name of health care?

And these Democrats shouldn’t count on Obama to help them. Indeed, they’re going to have to put some distance there. Obama’s disapproval rating exceeds his approval rating in Virginia. So the task for Democrats will be to explain to voters that they’re somehow different from Obama or that they will defend their constituents’ interests. But that’s an uphill climb after voting for the tax- and spend-athon and ObamaCare. Republicans are understandably delighted, having watched McDonnell test run their anti-government and anti-Obamaism message. And Democrats who enabled the leftward lurch are right to be nervous.

The Washington Post highlights the four vulnerable Democratic congressmen who will need to face the voters in 2010. The bottom line:

Republican leaders think that they can reclaim at least two of the three seats they lost last year, when President Obama became the first Democrat in 44 years to win Virginia. They also think that the political climate has changed so decisively that they can unseat U.S. Rep. Rick C. Boucher, a 28-year incumbent from the far southwestern part of the state, where antipathy toward Obama and national Democratic policies run strong. And they are planning a well-financed challenge to Gerald E. Connolly of the Washington suburbs, where victory is possible although more difficult, they say.

What the Post avoids mentioning — because that might remind readers of their own ill-fated crusade for his opponent — is that Bob McDonnell won big in each of these districts running against the Democrats’ national agenda. Even in increasingly Democratic Fairfax county, McDonnell prevailed. How much stronger will the GOP message be in that affluent suburb, what with a new bevy of taxes passed in the name of health care?

And these Democrats shouldn’t count on Obama to help them. Indeed, they’re going to have to put some distance there. Obama’s disapproval rating exceeds his approval rating in Virginia. So the task for Democrats will be to explain to voters that they’re somehow different from Obama or that they will defend their constituents’ interests. But that’s an uphill climb after voting for the tax- and spend-athon and ObamaCare. Republicans are understandably delighted, having watched McDonnell test run their anti-government and anti-Obamaism message. And Democrats who enabled the leftward lurch are right to be nervous.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.