Michael Hamar

Will the Democrats Lose Virginia in November?

Filed By Michael Hamar | July 09, 2009 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Politics, Politics

Harold Meyerson has a column in the Washington Post that looks at the Obama administration's apparent failure to mobilize its grass roots supporters via the Internet as it did during the campaign.

But the lack of grass roots Democrat mobilization is not limited to the national level or health care issues.

An early poll in Virginia shows ALL of the top three Democrat candidates trailing their GOP opponents. Yes, it is still early in the campaign, but given that Obama carried Virginia by a several hundred-thousand vote margin and that Mark Warner enjoyed a huge victory in the U.S. Senate race, this poll ought to be setting off alarm bells and screaming sirens.

The GOP standard-bearer and gubernatorial candidate, Bob McDonnell, is a long time puppet of Pat Robertson and water carrier for James Dobson's Virginia affiliate, The Family Foundation. Yet he is being allowed to market himself as a "moderate" - with, to date, little or no opposition on his false marketing campaign by Democratic candidates.

Moreover, State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax, who is the GOP candidate running for Attorney General is about as Christianist and anti-gay as they come. Here are some poll highlights from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The latest survey by Public Policy Polling shows Republican Bob McDonnell has the support of 49 percent of those polled, and Democrat R. Creigh Deeds has 43 percent, in the race for governor. The result follows polling right after the June 9 Democratic primary that showed Deeds, a state senator from Bath County, with an edge over McDonnell.

The new poll also shows Republican Bill Bolling apparently ahead of Democrat Jody Wagner, Virginia's former secretary of finance, 46 percent to 40 percent in the race for lieutenant governor. State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli, R-Fairfax, has 45 percent versus 38 percent for Del. Stephen C. Shannon, D-Fairfax, in the race for attorney general.

According to Public Policy, McDonnell has picked up more support among independent voters and holds a 54-33 advantage over Deeds in that category. . . . the survey suggests that there is little interest in the race among black voters, or young voters, whom pollsters expect to turn out in lower numbers than last year.

While I believe the race will tighten up markedly as it did in 2005 - Deeds lost to McDonnell in 2005 by only a few hundred votes in the contest for the Attorney General slot - if history repeats itself, the LGBT vote alone could decide who is the next governor of Virginia.

However, neither the Democrats at the national level nor Virginia Governor Tim Kaine have given LGBT Virginians any reason to trust their promises of support. Obama and Congressional Democrats have delivered almost nothing for the LGBT community despite all of Obama's lofty pro-gay statements.

As for Kaine, he signed Executive Order 1 (2006) which allegedly gave employment non-discrimination protections to gay state employees. Recently, however, a Virginia Circuit Court said in effect that the Executive Order is basically worthless. Kaine's glib response as reported by the Washington Blade was that the Executive Order would be enforced at the executive level rather than in the Courts.

Truth be told, however, as one familiar with this case, Kaine did NOTHING in the case to support his own executive order or its enforcement by his subordinates which was anything less than an incompetent joke.

The Democrats need to seriously wake up and stop assuming that LGBT citizens will get out and vote for their candidates.

Here in Virginia, gays have already been deprived of all legal equality - and far right extremists like Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli could not do much to make matters worse than already is the case.

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I'm not convinced that McDonnell et al couldn't do more damage, but I think your overall message that the Dems need to energize their base not just run to the center if they hope to win in Virginia is spot on.