By Paul Goldman
In the “whatever it’s worth department”, I heard last night from a friend, usually reliable but I think she is one of those anti-Allen Republicans about a poll done by a Republican organization, it sounded like the National Republican Senatorial Committee but maybe not. Anyway, keep in mind that what follows is from what must be considered the anti-Allen side of the GOP debate. Although it really isn’t anti-Allen, as I hear what they are saying.
Their position is this. Voters don’t like to go back, they go forward. You don’t have to be new, just not yesterday’s news. Like how Reagan in 1980 made himself new after having lost or the “new” Nixon, or the “new” Clinton after he lost for Governor and got himself re-elected.
They didn’t try to recapture past glory. That’s not possible. She does campaigns. So I see what she is saying. It’s generally true.
Anyway, suffice to say it was a legitimate poll, just done, testing a Kaine vs Allen race, and a few other people too. It was automatic dial, those polls having a proven GOP bias.
She said Kaine was up six, and Perriello was up one. She was shocked by the Perriello number. To be honest, so was I.
According to her, the only strong Republican candidate right now was Governor McDonnell.
He could beat Kaine she said but it would be a knife fight. She was pushing me to write about the Congressman from the sixth, Bob Goodlatte. She thought he was a sleeper statewide for the GOP.
I frankly don’t know much about him. He is already asleep.
The poll said the ant-Obama, tea-party rant had peaked, and that too many in the GOP had bought into it. She included Allen in that category. In some ways that seems odd since Allen is facing a Tea Party challenger. But on the other hand, he has basically gone that route politically in his statements this past year.
I am not sure I agree.
But her big point was Allen’s weak profile with young voters and his platform, to the extent they could poll it, She said it showed he had little hope of improving it.
Kaine’s connection with Obama proved a big help there.
Perriello also seemed to connect.
The older, anti-Obama voter was, as they say a cooking school, already baked into the cake.
She said the election would be decided among swing voters 50 and younger, along with turnout among those 35 and younger, in her opinion.
I have no idea if this is true. It strikes me that vote maxed out in 2008. The groups that stayed home where strongly anti-Obama last year.
But if you buy her thesis, then to the key voters, Kaine had a powerful message, less so for Perriello but still potent.
Almost non-existence for Allen right now.
53-47% is a big win for VA Democrat facing a real contest.
Actually, it seems too big. Historically, a national Democratic connection has hurt here in Virginia. But things are changing.
Bottom line: If she is right, then Allen needs a Kaine screw-up, a tanking economy, a world can to hell, or a serious reboot from Senator Reload to have a chance of winning.
Allen only controls one of those paths. So far, he isn’t going near that one either.
SO: If you get to this time next year and Kaine is a serious +6 – not 40-34 but in the 46-40 with the usual independent, younger bias to the undecided, then look for the national Republicans to try and find someone to challenge Allen in the primary.
Giving Kaine’s history, he figures to get stronger, not weaker, as election day nears.