Election Predictions: Virginia 2010

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    1st Congressional District: Easy Republican Retention

    I supported Krystal Ball for the nomination because I thought she’d be both the more progressive and the stronger candidate than Scott Robinson. I also was hoping that Catherine “Bullet Box” Crabill might run as a Tea Party candidate, potentially splitting the vote with Republican incumbent Rob Wittman. Unfortunately, although I continue to believe I was right about Krystal Ball, Crabill got crushed by Wittman in the Republican primary, and Ball hasn’t really been able to gain any serious traction on Wittman. The net result in this heavily “red” district: Wittman 60%-Ball 40%

    2nd Congressional District: Toss Up

    I have no idea who’s going to win this one, and part of me doesn’t care. Why do I say that? Because Glenn Nye is pretty much the least progressive Democrat in Congress, having voted against – among other things – health care reform and clean energy/climate legislation. Having said that, I also believe that Scott Rigell is utterly awful, a typical right wingnut who lists an outright bigot (Rev. Lou Sheldon) prominently as an endorser. So, let’s put it this way, it’s not so much that I want Nye to win, but I want Rigell to LOSE. Finally, Kenny Golden may be a factor in this race if he gets close to 10% of the vote and pulls more from Rigell than from Nye. We’ll see. Anyway, who will win next Tuesday? Right now it could go either way. Nye 47%-Rigell 47%-Golden 6%.

    3rd Congressional District: Easy Democratic Retention

    Rep. Bobby Scott is superb, popular, and will easily remain in Congress for another 2 years over his unknown Republican opponent (Chuck Smith). Scott 75%-Smith 25%

    4th Congressional District: Easy Republican Retention

    Rep. Randy Forbes defeated Democrat Andrea Miller 60%-40% in the 2008 presidential year. This time around, Forbes will easily defeat Democrat Wynne LeGrow. It’s very unfortunate, because Forbes is horrible and LeGrow would be excellent.  Oh well. Forbes 65%-LeGrow 35%

    5th Congressional District Tossup

    Rep. Tom Perriello is one of the best people in Congress, certainly one of the best who was first elected (barely) in 2008. The problem is, this isn’t 2008, but instead is a much tougher, mid-term election in which the Republicans are energized and “angry.” In theory, that should help Perriello’s opponent, State Senator Robert Hurt. However, this isn’t theory, and in reality, Perriello is a superb and tireless campaigner, an articulate and skillful debater, and far and away more than a match for Robert Hurt as a politician. So, this will come down to the battle of the “overall playing field” (advantage, Hurt) versus the clear superiority of Tom Perriello in every other way. Right now, I’d have to say this leans slightly to Hurt, but as always, it would be a huge mistake to count Tom Perriello out.  Also, we’ll see if third-party/Tea Party candidate Jeff Clark can draw a few points away from Hurt.  Current prediction: Hurt 48%-Perriello 48%-Clark 4%. [NOTE: I freely admit that I’m biased on this one, as I consider Tom to be a friend and I admire him greatly. So, feel free to take this prediction with whatever sized grain of salt you care to. :)]

    6th Congressional District: Easy Republican Retention

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte is a right wingnut who will win reelection easily in this district, where he faces no Democratic opponent. Unfortunately. Goodlatte 80%-Others 20%

    7th Congressional District: Easy Republican Retention

    Rep. Eric Cantor is an empty suit and a bully, but he’ll win in this heavily Republican district – where he basically controls the media, by the way – over poorly funded (but surprisingly feisty!) Democratic candidate Rick Waugh and Tea Party candidate Floyd Bayne. Definitely, bad news for America. Can’tor 60%-Waugh 35%-Bayne 5%

    8th Congressional District: Easy Democratic Retention

    Rep. Jim Moran will win fairly easily in this heavily “blue” district, despite Republicans pouring money and resources into the campaign of Patrick Murray. In the end, it won’t lead to Moran’s defeat, although it will have had the desired effect of having helped pin down Moran so he can’t help Gerry Connolly and other Democrats in more competitive districts. Smart strategery. Moran 60%-Murray 40%

    9th Congressional District: Slightly Leaning Democratic Retention

    This one’s a lot closer than I thought it would be when it started. While Rep. Rick Boucher remains personally popular, it’s a really tough year to e a Democrat in a district like the 9th, and Morgan Griffith has been fairly well funded. Thank goodness that Griffith lives outside the district, because if someone like Terry Kilgore had run this year, he very well might have won. But he didn’t, and in the end, my prediction is that Boucher will hang on by the skin of his teeth. Boucher 51%-Griffith 49%

    10th Congressional District: Easy Republican Retention

    What can we say about Rep. Frank Wolf that we haven’t said already? No, he’s not a moderate. Yes, this district went for Barack Obama and Jim Webb. But no, Frank Wolf ain’t goin’ anywhere, it appears, until he decides to retire. Judy Feder was well funded and lost badly. Jeff Barnett is barely funded at all and – although perhaps he’s a better “fit” for the district – he’ll lose badly as well. It’s really unfortunate, but there it is. Wolf 60%-Barnett 39%-Redpath 1%.

    11th Congressional District: Leaning Democratic Retention

    It would be interesting to know what would have happened if Republicans had nominated Pat Herrity – relatively moderate, well known in Fairfax because of his father’s name and good reputation – instead of right wingnut Keith Fimian. On the other hand, Fimian certainly has plenty of money, both his own and also the shadowy outside right-wing groups that are pounding Rep. Gerry Connolly day in and day out. Fortunately for Connolly, Fimian’s truly an extremist and out of step with his district on social issues. That should help Connolly pull this one out, but it won’t be by a lot. Connolly 52%-Fimian 48%

    So, what are your predictions?